38 Aftermath Part 1
"I am your Father."
The ridicule in the voice of the young boy grated in Svein's ears. After becoming a [Bronze Rank] member of the Bloodline Hunters everybody treated him with respect, and no one dared to insult him face to face. However, the goblin boy in front of him didn't care about his rank nor identity and mocked him openly.
He felt humiliated and growled in anger. "You devil spawn! I'll tear you to pieces!"
Svein lunged towards the young boy in front of him with the intention of tearing his body apart. The boy, however, didn't run away and even looked at him in disdain.
"You want to tear me to pieces?" the boy said with contempt. "You are a hundred years old too early!"
Svein snarled in fury and delivered a punch aimed at the boy's chest. The boy didn't move, but Svein felt a powerful blow hit the side of his head. Blood splattered from his mouth and he was sent rolling unto the ground due to the force behind the blow.
He ignored the pain and immediately stood. For someone to successfully deliver a sneak attack on him means that they managed to hide themselves from his acute senses. This means that the other person was stronger than him.
Kei crossed his arms on his chest snorted. "Surrender or face your just desserts Bloodline Hunter."
"Who are you?" Sven asked. He was trying to buy time in order to find the location of the warrior that attacked him.
"I. Am. Your. Father."
Svein ignored the boys reply and decided to get serious. His body bulged and his shirt tore to pieces. Shiny gray hair covered his entire body and they were hard as steel. He howled at the moonless night sky. The clouds covering the full moon parted and moonlight lit the dark night.
"So, it's just a small pup acting like an adult," an indifferent voice spoke behind him. "I thought the mastermind was a big fish, but I guess a small fry has its value as well."
Svein turned his head and saw a burly man with blonde hair staring back at him. He could sense that the person behind him is very dangerous and the chances of him winning is slim even in his werewolf form.
He knew the identity of the person in front of him. Since he was based in the Earldom of Ravencourt it was only natural to familiarize himself with the family ruling the land. There was a time to be stubborn and a time to negotiate, so he decided to negotiate first.
"I have a proposal." Svein said. "If you allow me to leave, I will swear an oath that I will never return to this kingdom ever again. Also, all the treasures I have… including the two girls in the carriage will be surrendered to you."
The man didn't reply and Svein knew that his bribe was not enough to move him.
"Let me add that those two girls have the mythical bloodline of the Vanari. They will make excellent… addition to your forces. You have three sons correct? You can make them their concubines if you like." Svein paused and took out a scroll from his storage ring. "This is a list of all the members of the organization in your Earldom. If you let me go, I'll also give you this as compensation."
Aenarion narrowed his eyes. He didn't really care about the two girls in the carriage and was more interested in the list in Svein's possession. Weeding out the rats in his Earldom would be a long and grueling task if he start from scratch. It was a tough decision and Aenarion was tempted to accept the proposal.
"Pa, just accept the proposal." Kei said from where he stood. "He's just a small fry anyways, we won't lose anything by letting small fries go."
Svein gritted his teeth. The little goblin boy's word irritated him to the core. Calling him small fry not once, but twice brought shame to his ego. 'I swear, if given the chance I will make you wish you were never born!" he clenched his fist until blood flowed from his palms.
"Very well, I will accept your proposal." Aenarion nodded his head. "Swear an oath to the Gods that you will do as you promised."
"I also want you to swear that you, your family, and your men will not block my way from leaving the Kingdom of Edelweiss!"
"Fair enough, but you will be the first to make an oath."
Svein said his oath and returned the scroll to his storage ring. He took it off from his finger and threw it to Aenarion.
"Come out of the carriage." He shouted from where he stood and the twins disembarked the carriage. They walked towards Aenarion like puppets on a string.
The Earl of Ravencourt glanced at the two girls and felt pity at their current condition.
"Remove their marks of slavery," Aenarion said.
"I can't do that." Svein replied. "The slave collars of the organization are different from those of slave traders. The mark of slavery can only be passed and not erased."
"I can pass their mark of slavery to you, but I need to make physical contact."
Aenarion frowned. He had no doubt in his mind that what the werewolf was saying was true. He had faced-off with the hunters on several occasions and understood how their slave collars work. Aside from passing the mark of slavery, there was also a hidden command in the collar of the Bloodline Hunters. If the master of the collar dies, the slaves would immediately commit suicide.
He couldn't allow himself to be in a defenseless state in front of the Werewolf because the latter didn't vow to not hurt him in any way. An oath made to the Gods was a serious matter in the continent of Eleison. No one would be able to escape such oaths because the Gods would not allow anyone to escape.
Oath breakers would have their souls pulled out from their bodies and become the slaves of the Gods for all eternity. Aenarion was debating whether he should take the risk when he noticed Kei started walking towards the werewolf.
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"Pass their mark of slavery to me," Kei said. "You can do that right?"
Svein didn't bother to look at the boy coming towards him. He only focused his gaze on Aenarion. The Earl of Ravenvourt nodded his head and Svein finally gazed at the young boy in front of him.
'He called him Pa before… can he be his son? No. The Earl of Ravencourt only has three sons and a daughter. Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, and his youngest daughter Chloee. This boy is not part of their family, so who is he?'
He was deep in thought, but he didn't let it show on his face. Although there was a chance that this goblin boy was related to the Earl, his own life was more important so he didn't bother to play any tricks and just passed the mark of slavery to him.
Kei felt a connection form between him and the twins as if they were part of his own body. He briefly nodded his head to Svein and walked towards Aenarion.
Aenarion didn't say anything. Deep down he breathed a sigh of relief, and waited for Kei to stand beside him. Kei waved his hand and the twins finally regained their consciousness. Tifa and Milfa hugged each other and cried.
"I've done my part. It's your turn to honor yours."
Aenarion closed his fist and rested it on his chest. "I hereby make an Oath to the Gods! I swear on my name, my wife, my descendants, my men, and my subjects will not hinder you from your escape from the Kingdom of Edelweiss."
"Now, get out of my sight Bloodline Hunter." Aenarion said. "There will be no next time."
Svein ran on all fours sprinting as fast as he could. He cursed the Earl, cursed the boy, and even the Gods as he ran with everything he had. His defeated back disappeared from sight and Aenarion glanced at his son with a complicated face.
Kei scratched his cheek and returned his gaze. "Pa, why are you looking at me like that?"
"Tell me Kei, will he be able to escape?" Aenarion asked in a serious tone.
Kei chuckled. "Of course not, Pa. How can anyone make a big mess in our territory and get away with it?"
"Now I feel sorry for him."
"Pa, He doesn't deserve your pity."
Kei glanced at the two girls who were still crying in each others arms. His dark brown eyes glowed for a brief moment and thunder roared above the heavens. 'He doesn't deserve anyone's pity.'
Kei raised both his hands to the heavens, and the dark clouds blocked the full moon from sight. The twins raised their heads and looked at him. They felt a tingling sensation on their skin and was awed by the spectacle in front of them.
Tendrils of lightning danced all over Kei's body as if they were snakes that have a life of their own. Milfa held her chest. Her heart was beating very fast and she couldn't take her eyes away from him. Kei could feel her gaze through the connection they shared. He also felt something else, it was a warm feeling. A feeling that he had never felt before, but deep inside he knew what it was.
He closed his eyes and slowly guided that feeling to a safe corner of his heart. Now was not the time for compassion and mercy. He could only use his powers when there was a storm, and fortunately a storm was brewing over the sky of Veritas.
Thunder roared and lightning danced like wild beasts. Kei felt the power rising within his body. There was a strong pressure that was pushing him down. It was as if the weight of the world where suddenly on his shoulders.
Kei gritted his teeth and raised his head arrogantly to the heavens.
"The power I wield will obliterate one and all. Pierce through the darkness and hear my call!"
[Thunder God's Wrath!]