Unsealing Emptiness -
Ozul woke up, and the first thing he noticed was that both Blaze and Raven were meditating the whole night!
How did he find out? Simple. Every time he slept, his position would be changed because of Raven. This time, however, it was clear that Raven did not sleep beside him the previous night.
A few minutes later, Ozul stood with his hands crossed, looking down at the two who were on their knees with their heads down.
Ozul had a cold look in his eyes, which was not left unnoticed by Raven and Blaze. They were even more nervous right now.
After a few minutes of uncomfortable silence, Ozul spoke;
“I told you that it is harmful to you when you go beyond what is necessary.”- His voice had a stern tone to it as their eyes wouldn’t meet Ozuls’.
“Raven, since you are also a Rank-5 Fighter, it wouldn’t matter much to you... But you... Blaze, You are not even a Rank-2 Fighter yet.”- Ozul had instructed them to train hard but not to the extent where it would bring them more harm than good.
It was okay for Raven not to rest the whole night; she could even go for a few weeks of training nonstop. However, Blaze was different. He had raw potential, and if not trained appropriately, it could have opposite effects.
If he were at least a Rank-3 Fighter, continuing for two days wouldn’t be a problem. But it was just this day that he advanced to a Rank-1 Fighter, and his power had not stabilized yet.
“And you, Raven... Why didn’t you instruct him to stop?”- Ozul couldn’t blame Blaze as it wasn’t much of time that they were together, and he couldn’t teach much to him.
But Raven, on the other hand, knew everything and still chose not to help! Blaze could have also thought that it was reasonable to train for the whole night when you were only a Rank-1 Fighter! He didn’t know that training had its limitations.
What if he trained his body to such an extent in a single night that it caused an internal injury? Advancing in Ranks was a tedious process, and it shouldn’t be rushed. Otherwise, it may even cripple you!
Raven couldn’t lift her head until Ozul went inside the house. It was the same for Blaze as well. It may not have been too long since he joined the team, but he was afraid of displeasing Ozul.
Even after Ozul went inside, they did not stand up from their position. Their expressions showed the anxiety of some children waiting for punishment from the parents.
They had to stay on their knees for half an hour before Ozul called them inside and looked at them with an expression that they couldn’t take in. His neutral tone vanished as he said;
“I don’t ever want to repeat myself in the future. Don’t fight amongst yourselves, and that’s final. Do you have any objections?”- Ozul asked while looking towards both of them.
Raven and Blaze had tingling sensations on their back of the necks when they heard his tone. Both quickly shook their heads and did not dare to utter a word.
Ozul nodded his head and relaxed his stern posture. He then spoke;
“Good... Now go and prepare. We will go to the Guild after a few hours... Blaze, take a nap. Your body is still not used to it... Have some rest.”- Again there were pauses in his sentences.
Blaze felt good inside since Ozul did not seem angry anymore. He even showed his care when he instructed him to have rest.
Raven also left to prepare small stuff. She didn’t need any rest as being Rank-5 Fighter; her body could last for a few weeks.
She also sighed in relief when Ozul did not seem specifically mad at her. Just as she was about to head out though, she heard;
“Do not disappoint me, Raven...”-
Raven did not dare to turn around and face Ozul to apologize. She could only nod her head. She went out of the house bringing her dejected self.
At that time, Raven could only think of not letting Blaze surpass her. She did not consider the consequences. And now she was regretting it.
Since Ozul had given her a chance, she would not disappoint him in the future!
. . .
Later that day, Ozul was sitting on the couch together with Raven and Blaze.
“You saw the three Rank-5 Beasts... right?”- Ozul asked while looking towards Raven.
There were a few moments of silence before;
“T-they were not normal...”- Raven nervously replied as she discerned that it was a test. Ozul wouldn’t just randomly ask her if she noticed the Beasts last night or not.
“And what was not normal?”- In the previous decade, Ozul would occasionally test her observation skills.
“Three Beasts in the same Rank will never work together.”- Raven knew that she hit the spot when Ozul nodded his head. So, she continued;
“Unless... they were members of a pack. Which meant that there should have been a Beast in a higher Rank to lead them. But no one appeared after you killed them.”- Raven.
“Yes... There should’ve been a higher Rank Beast... But there wasn’t any that I sensed. Which would bring the question—why did they work together only to chase weak humans?”- Ozul.
Ozul nodded his head at Raven’s explanation and began to explain the situation.
It was an odd event altogether. Since there was no Rank-6 Beast leading them, there should’ve been some reason for their co-operation.
But only one Rank-5 Mage was not something that would’ve made them join forces. Heck, they would’ve been fighting over who will get to kill and eat him!
Moreover, Rank-5 Beasts were not intelligent enough to understand that they could survive by uniting their forces.
“Remain cautious all the time... We don’t know who or what was the cause, so just remain alert.”- Ozul advised both of them as they would frequently go in the forest to train.
Raven and Blaze both solemnly nodded their heads. The situation could only be grave for Ozul to advise them specially.
After that, the trio set off to leave towards the Guild.
When they were closer to the Guild building, they could already hear the chatter;
“Did you hear? That the Gold Rank Mercenary came back last night?”- Unknown-1.
“Hum? You are talking about Larry?”- Unknown-2.
“Yeah, one of the only Gold Rank Mercenaries in Adron City!”- Unknown-1.
“Tell me something new. It’s old news...”- Unknown-2.
The trio heard these gossiping from various passerby’s.
“Raven... note the name.”- Ozul said as he found it too much of a bother even to remember his name!
Raven was not complaining either. Instead, she smirked while looking towards Blaze, who had an even wilder smirk!
It was one of the only things that they both found familiar in themselves. Ozul ignored those battle maniacs and kept walking as the Sun was up in the sky, burning as bright as ever.
The trio arrived at the Guild as the Mercenaries gave them the way. By now, everyone had heard the yesterday’s incident. So all of them were wary of this group.
Just as the trio was about to head towards the Task Board, they heard a voice;
“Ah! You guys are here...”
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