Chapter 13 - Heaven's reach.
Dressed in the beautiful changshan he had received as a gift, Silver was preparing to leave his room when suddenly,
He heard a knock on the door so he went to open it only to find Akela, who was dressed in dark blue armor with a black overcoat on top.
The coat had a symbol of a tiger surrounded with lightning, embroidered onto it.
“Mm…you look respectable, now let’s hurry up we don’t want to be late.” Said Akela while nodding in satisfaction.
“I’m ready,let me just get the badge Grandpa gave me then we can leave.” Said Silver as he ran to pick the gold badge which was lying on the bed.
However just as Silver grabbed the badge, Akela walked into the room and closed the door behind him.
Silver stood about ten feet away from Akela silently staring at him with a confused expression on his face,
“Why the hell does that old bastard act in such stupid ways.” Thought Akela.
Akela opened his mouth to speak but before he could say anything Silver interrupted,
“You want the badge, yes?”
Akela was completely shocked, he didn’t know what to respond with.
“How did Silver know? Who told him?” these were the questions that were going through his head.
Noticing Akela’s curiosity Silver continued,
“Given Grandpa’s personality I figured he would give me something extreme as a reward so when he handed me the badge, I knew that there must be more to it than just it being a symbol of his authority.”
After hearing Silver’s explanation Akela simply laughed while saying,
“All these years I never learn that when it comes to you, it’s always the simplest answer that explains your actions.”
Akela then walked over to Silver put his hand on Silver’s shoulder and said,
“I don’t care anymore, you can keep the badge but you have to promise not to show it to anyone except me.”
Silver immediately nodded,
“Father, what exactly is this badge anyway?” said Silver as he looked up at Akela.
“I’ll tell you later, right now we have to get to the banquet as soon as possible.”
Both Silver and Akela exited the room headed towards the main hall of the mansion, and as they were passing by the hallway where the painting of Tar hanged, Akela stopped and bowed slightly. Silver followed Akela’s lead and after paying their respects, they headed towards the hall.
Inside of the hall,
Ignus dressed in a long white robe was sitting on a chair drinking wine and behind him stood a beautiful young man with long dark hair, clad in similar armour to Akela but was bronze instead of dark blue in colour. Though he seemed ordinary, there was something in his brown eyes that was feral.
“Grav, what do you think of littleSilver? I hope you’ve been watching him!” said Ignus.
Grav hesitantly replied,
“I can’t say much about him but he is interesting.”
Ignus seemingly unsatisfied with Grav’s answer stood up and said,
“What do you mean you can’t say much? Didn’t I tell you stick with him.”
Grav looked at Ignus and confidently said,
“I have been your companion for many years now and you of all people should know that although I don’t specialize in stealth, I am more than capable of spying on a child without him noticing.”
Ignus now even more irritated by Grav’s roundabout answer replied,
“Hurry up and get to the point before I lose my temper.”
Grav looked away from Ignus and hesitantly said,
“I don’t know why but it was as if…..”
Ignus barked at Grav,
“What is it! Speak before I make you.”
“It was if…..that child knew I was watching him.” Said Grav.
Ignus went quiet and began to pace around the room,
“He probably used his eyes to spot Grav. Tch! I keep getting this odd feeling whenever I look at that child…….almost as if I’m looking at one of those Tenshi bastards. I know he also has the light attribute but his aura,………although it’s faint there are some similarities with those assholes.”
Ignus turned around and was about to give Grav an order when suddenly he spotted Silver and Akela chatting and smiling together as they drew closer towards him.
His gaze focused on Silver who was smiling while talking animatedly to Akela about his eagerness to compete and see just how strong he was. After staring closely at Silver for a few seconds Ignus’s heart gave in,
“Silver is my grandson, it is impossible that he has any relationship with those Tenshi bastards and besides I doubt the The Divine Tiger Sovereign would mark him if he really had any relationship with those who killed his children.”
Akela and Silver soon arrived where Ignus and Grav were,
“Ah! Grav we’re all ready to leave now.” Said Akela.
“Yes, Young Master Akela!” saidGrav as he slightly bowed.
Ignus then began to laugh heartily,
“To think after all these years, Grav still refuses to call you Lord…….eh Akela.”
Akela simply shrugged his shoulders,
“Well it can’t be helped, beasts will only bow to those who are stronger than them.”
“Hmph…..enough of this idle chatter, Grav hurry up and get us out of here.”
Ignus, Silver, Akela all followed Grav outside to the mansions garden, where he suddenly began to grow fur and then to increase in size at a fast rate.
Before long, Grav had completely transformed into a gigantic winged black bull, a black spherical gem with hints of green on it’s edges about the size of a fist, could be clearly seen on his breast.
Grav was about twenty metres tall and ten metres wide.
Silver just stood there slack jawed as he stared unblinkingly at the gigantic bull in front of him,
“This can’t even compare with Kabul.” whispered Silver.
Hearingwhat Silver had just said Grav snorted coldly and said,
“Don’t compare me with that half-hearted bird.”
Ignus then jumped into the air and shouted,
Akela grabbed Silver’s hand and jumped onto Grav’s back and as soon as they did Grav began to ran on the ground creating tremors with every step until finally he jumped into the air spread his wings and took flight.
Silver looked down as they flew seeing trees below as nothing but a blur, the wind blowing loudly in his ears and almost suffocating him. They were moving so fast that he could only get a sense of the general landscape, but it was enough for him to realize that this place really was special. Besides the fact that it appeared to closely resemble what people often called a paradise, Silver sensed an abundance of spiritual energy, and realized that this must be the reason the main branch of the clan had settled here, but he decided not say anything.
After flying for about an hour Silver turned to face Ignus,
“Grandpa, where are we going?”
Ignus as if having waited for Silver to ask, jumped up into the air and began to float. He then pointed at a mountain in the distance that was visibly taller than all the others.
“We’re going to the headquarters of the Divine Tiger clan, the highest peak of Mount Sharah Heaven’s Reach.”
Although Silver was interested in what Ignus was saying, he was more focused on the fact that Ignus was flying. In his previous life Silver never had the ability to fly and it was something that he longed for however when he had asked Akela about it the only response he got was that,
“No human in Vargath has the capability of flight.”
Silver immediately turned to Akela, a dark cold look in his eyes.
As if reading Silver’s mind Akela pointed at Ignus and said,
“I didn’t lie to you when I said that no human is capable of flight, what you’re SHOW OFF of a grandfather is doing is simply mimicry and nothing more.”
“Mimicry? But then how is he floating in the air.” Thought Silver.
Noticing Silver’s confusion Akela decided to explain,
“It’s a gravity manipulation technique. It allows the user to go upwards or downwards at will but it is rather difficult to go forward or backwards.”
Silver’s eyes began to shine as he looked at Ignus who was able to effortlessly keep up with Grav’s speed.
“You should forget about using that technique though.” Said Akela in a serious tone.
“Eh?” said Silver in disbelief.
“It’s not just you, even I can’t use that technique. To use this particular technique requires a lot of divine power just to activate.”
He then looked up at Ignus and with a sigh said,
“Actual flight would require someone to expend vast amounts of energy, that’s why only those who have surpassed the soul-compression stage have the ability to use it.”
Silver was only slightly upset after Akela told him that he wouldn’t be able to use the gravitational technique until he surpassed the soul-compression stage.
The reason for that was because of the [Re-birth] technique which would allow him to grow wings once he reached the second level. Although he didn’t know how long it would take him to get to the second level, Silver was confident that it wouldn’t take him as long as it would take to reach Ignus’s level of cultivation.
“We’re almost there!” said Grav.
Silver looked in front and saw a gigantic mountain, towering above them, the likes of which he had never seen before and just as he was lost in amazement Grav suddenly began to ascend at high speed.
Silver who wasn’t prepared at all for this sudden rise in speed was almost thrown off Grav’s back but luckily Akela grabbed hold him just in time.
After only two or three seconds Grav pierced through the clouds and they had finally reached the clans Head quarters, Heaven’s reach peak where a gigantic castle almost ten times the size of Break Jaw castle stood majestically. It was of the same style though, with nicely slanting roofs, but where as Break Jaw castle was just that, a castle, this looked like a palace in which royalty resided.
Ignus directed Grav to land at a place where three men were standing, though they appeared young enough, their faces told tales of battles well fought.
As soon as everyone disembarked, Grav turned back into his human form and the company of four walked together towards the three men.
“We pay respect to Elder.” Said the three men in unison as they cupped their hands and bowed.
“Mm…lead us to where the banquet is being held.” Said Ignus as he nodded in satisfaction.
“Please follow us.”
The company of four then followed the three men through a large doorway decorated with the most intricate carvings Sliver had ever seen, and beyond that appeared a maze of identical corridors, had Silver not had such a good memory he would have been completely lost after the first dozen turns.
After about ten minutes of walking the three men stopped in front of a gigantic door,
“This is as far as we can go, please go inside the other members are waiting.”
Ignus simply flicked his sleave signaling them to leave and then opened the door.
Inside, was a gigantic hall decorated with various beautiful paintings and sculptures, enchanting female servants moved around the room serving drinks to people in extravagant and luxurious clothing, all of varying ages. The food tables lined across one wall were all full of delicious delicacies of all kinds, with a wide array of both meat and vegetable dishes and an abundance of desserts.
Ignus looked around the room until his eyes focused on a bearded old man wearing a bright green robe who was sitting across the room,
“I have some things I have to attend to, I’m sure you and Silver can handle yourselves.” Said Ignus.
Not paying attention to Ignus, Akela grabbed Silver’s hand and said,
“There’s someone I want to introduce you to.”
Akela then guided Silver through the crowd of people until he suddenly stopped and pointed at a middle-aged man with a stern face and greying hair wearing a gold changshan,
“You see that man, I was in the army with him. He’s now the deputy head master at the best military school in all of Vargath, I asked him to come here so that he could view you during the performance and maybe admit you.”
He then looked at Silver and said with a very serious tone,
“Make sure you behave!”
Akela then let go of Silver’s hand and walked over to his old friend.
As soon as they saw each other, they both immediately put their hands behind their backs as they saluted each other. After the salute they then hugged each other tightly.
“Dion it’s been so long, eh!”
Dion just lightly laughed and said,
“Not so long, that I settled down and became a family man.”
“We all have to grow up sometime, don’t we.” Said Akela.
“This coming from the man who spent over seventy years in the army because he hated his father.”
“I could never win an argument against you.” Said Akela while smiling.
“Who’s this little fellow over here?” asked Dion as he looked at the silver haired child in front of him.
“This is my seven year old son, Silver.” replied Akela.
“Seven!” Dion shouted in surprise.
He looked at Silver top to bottom and just by looking at his body there’s no way the child in front of him was seven.
“I don’t remember you being one to make jokes, maybe it has been a long time. This child is probably at least thirteen, how could he be seven.” Said Dion while chuckling.
Akela furrowing his brows and glaring at Dion said,
“When was the last time I told a joke?”
Dion was shocked because if what Akela was saying was true, then the child in front of him was really seven and judging from his body alone, he must have already undergone his baptism.
Dion then took in a breath of cool air,
“Calm down, let’s talk over here.” Said Dion as he put his arm around Akela’s shoulder and led him to a table in the corner.
“Silver go look around, I’ll come fetch you later.” Said Akela.
Being left alone Silver had nowhere to go so he began to search around the room for a quiet place to sit when suddenly something caught his eye.
It was a group of boys gathered in a corner of the hall surrounding a young male servant who looked to be around fifteen and had dark-skin with strange markings on his entire arm.
Silver focused on the dark skinned servant and he couldn’t get even a single sign showing fear from the boy.
The more he looked at the young servant the more he was reminded of himself in his past life and for some reason he felt a tinge of fear the more he looked at him.
“Who is this kid?” thought Silver.