A fight had nearly broken out earlier when a few quasi-Ritters had come to ‘ask’ for a transcendent-rank and a few base-rank Akanasds. Locke was beyond pissed; he yelled for a Magister’s witness as he challenged these robbers to a duel. The victor would bring away a few major monsters while the defeated was spared.
The whole incident eventually spiralled out of control, alarming a level-two Magister in the same vicinity. The chaos in the landing zone was subdued peacefully with the Magister’s stern reprimand.
The entire situation was resolved in Locke’s favour. After all, the Magister was a member of the Sanctum so it only made sense for him to side with his party. Locke may be a knight but he was currently considered to be associated with the Sanctum. He’d shown a glimpse of Parlina’s crystal ball and the level two Magister immediately took the hint. But of course, displeasure was still inevitable.
Locke had no idea which branch the knights belonged to. He could only hope that they weren’t from the Missia continent or else he’d face some problems getting along in the organisation in the future. He tried to shake away the unpleasant feeling; they would soon be meeting familiar faces.
“I wonder how Daenie is faring so far,” Locke said to Angelina.
The Faustian princess’ smirk was insinuating. “I thought you would ask about Magister Ashar instead.”
Locke was at a loss for words. Truth be told, he’d been spending more time around Ashar than with Angelina when he was actively working as her assistant at the Sanctum. Even so, Angelina’s jealousy still came as a surprise.
During the days leading up to their departure, Locke and Angelina had forged an explanation that they were off to Battlezone 7 on a mission for the other Lehrlings. Not even Daenie was aware that they had gotten lucky enough to score a trip home.
Besides Locke and Angelina, the scorpiondrake family were sprawled across the deck lazily as they basked in the sun’s warmth. The floating vessel had a colossal capacity that could carry ten thousand Botanians so there was ample space for the Akanasds to move around much to their delight.
Angie chased its siblings around while the Akanasd sovereigns watched the clouds below in curiosity. Having lived for aeons, Adamyrs and Shiva had seen almost everything life had to offer. Yet, they had to admit that the plane below looked starkly different from the other foreign planes they’d visited.
For the first time in a while, Adamyrs felt like getting ushered onto the Sanctum’s ship was perhaps a good thing. For one, many casters and knights alike had expressed their outright desire for its family. Since Locke and Angelina had always managed to resolve the absurd situation despite barely being level-one lifeforms, it could only mean that the two had strong backing. The Akanasds would be spared from becoming cannon fodder as long as they followed the couple closely.
The other benefit was the enrichment of the mind, much to Adamyrs' delight. The observant Akanasd had often caught sight of the newly-captured Botanians in Battlezone 7. Typically, it would’ve regarded weaklings as nothing worth interest but their concentrated life energy had piqued its interest. Unlike the casters that raved about Botanian essence, the Akanasd had shared the same focus as the knights; they were deeply taken by the concentrated life energy that dwelled within the Botanians’ being. The fact that Locke and Angelina could advance this well within a few years was tempting. Adamyrs felt the urge to rush over and take a bite out of a Botanian, just to see what it tasted like.
The floating vessel began its gradual descent. Daenie involuntarily squinted from the ground as the approaching vessel grew larger. Clank! Planks were haphazardly thrown from the deck and the numerous doors along the vessel’s side creaked open. The slaves began to alight the vessel pliantly.
“Wait a minute. Did you request for level-one slaves this time?” Porscher quickly turned to Parlina in bewilderment. He’d sensed two overwhelming presences on the deck.
“No.” Parlina’s perplexed gaze was fixed to the top deck.
The two Magisters had already picked up on the two transcendent-rank major monsters onboard. One of them was stronger than its counterpart; it was as strong as Ashar! Parlina and Porscher were startled by the finding.
Though the Sanctum did have a considerable supply of stronger slaves above level-one, those were usually reserved for level-two and three Magisters. Level-one Magisters like them would need to go through excruciating red tape to request a single level-one slave. It didn’t help that the payment required was hefty either. Only level-one Magisters with loaded coffers or actual summoners could afford to request for slaves this calibre.
Their uncertainty would soon find their answer when a familiar voice rang from the deck. “Grandmeisterin Parlina, Magister Porscher and Magister Ashar! We’re back!”
Daenie, who was standing on the other end, recognised that voice. She glanced upwards excitedly and sure enough, Locke and Angelina were standing before the planks. Locke was even waving at them from above. Parlina’s lids twitched. It went without saying that she noticed the lack of rune restraints or soul imprints on the scorpiondrakes.
As the three Magisters assessed the Akaansds, Adamyrs mirrored their scrutiny. Its heart sank a little upon noticing Ashar, who stood behind the other two Magisters. She was as strong as Adamyrs! As if on cue, Ashar locked gazes with Adamyrs.
Locke scratched his head sheepishly at the Magisters’ different reactions. He laughed dryly, knowing that a lengthy explanation was inevitable tonight.
Hundreds of slaves exited the floating vessel in need lines while the Akanasds walked between them with Angelina and Locke on their backs. The monsters steered clear of their path as the Akanasds’ overwhelming presence was incredibly daunting.
“Where’s Grandmeisterin Carla?” Though Angelina was overjoyed to see Parlina again, she couldn’t help but notice her mentor’s absence.
“Magister Carla is currently recuperating.” Porscher was long aware that Carla was a sister disciple of Charles the Faceless Magister, so he was willing to spare a warm explanation to her sole mentee.
“Recuperating? Is she injured? I need to visit her!” Angelina’s heart sank. Carla had always treated Angelina with motherly tenderness. The Faustian princess had always seen her as a mother figure since she’d grown up in the absence of a mother. Locke was taken aback by the news. He quickly took off with Angelina towards Carla’s quarters.
“Locke, hold it right there. I believe you owe us an explanation.” Parlina’s stern voice halted him.
He stiffly stopped in his tracks and the nine scorpiondrakes that stood in the middle of the crowd came forth.