"But... no... you... how? The Humans... you... how are you alive?" Trella was confused and scared. Tiera had clasped her hands in front of her chest and was saying a prayer of some sort while she cried silently in joy.
Mixed and complicated emotions could be seen on Lone and Sophie's faces while Swind looked like he didn't understand what was going on.
"I don't remember much, but I was captured by Humans and forced into slavery," Breena explained in the hope to alleviate some of her childhood friend's questions.
A pained look flashed across the Junior Patriarch's face. "That day... if it weren't for you... Tiera would have..."
Breena raised a hand to stop Trella from speaking and shook her head. "Please, Trella. I can't remember much from that time and I've already put it past me. Now I serve my Master and I merely wish for you to trust his words."
"... Again, you called him Master again," Trella's rage was slowly returning. Various images flashed through his mind as thoughts of what the word meant and about his perception of Lone. Trella felt sick.
"To enslave your own kind... I really can't trust you!" Trella roared before he jumped towards Lone like an escaped caged animal that had been waiting to strike down its captor.
"Fox Arts: Fourth Form, Gentle Claw of the Tail!" Trella shouted out a skill's name and his left fist that was extended towards lone glowed a bright red hue. A large, crimson spectral tail cloaked Trella's arm as it approached Lone's face.
'I can dodge it, but maybe I should let him hit me? 'beating me up' might relieve some of his pent-up feelings... besides, I should be able to learn whatever skill that is if I can see it a bit more... ' Lone wondered before decided to do just that. he closed his eyes and waited for the small fist of the teen, Trella, to impact his chin.
A loud crashing noise rang out in the hall. However, it didn't come from Lone. Opening his eyes, Lone could see that Breena was sat atop a collapsed Trella and she was holding his arm which was twisted behind his back.
"Breena... ?" Lone mumbled. Why had she apprehended Trella? Wasn't it obvious that Lone wanted to accept his rage and lessen the boy's pain?
"Trella! How dare you attack my Master! Not only are you not his match, but he hasn't earned such treatment!" Breena yelled with a hurt and slightly conflicted expression.
"What do you mean 'hasn't earned such treatment'?! He's enslaved you!" Trella roared in defiance, clearly still misunderstanding the relationship between Lone and Breena.
"You idiot!" Breena replied before she jumped away from Trella and stood next to Lone. Trella weakly stood up and coughed. Having his skill interrupted midway had caused a minor backlash to hit his body.
"Master hasn't enslaved me. He saved me from my life of captivity," Breena stated in a far calmer tone and with a nostalgic expression.
"... He what?" Trella was confused. If Lone has saved her, then why was she calling him 'Master'?
Now that Trella had calmed down a little bit, Breena took a few minutes to explain her life outside of the clan. She told Trella and Tiera about how she had lived as a masterless slave for several years before being bought by a Hero of the Humans.
Breena didn't detail her mistreatment with Daisuke Tamiko. Those were memories that she wanted to forget. She went on to tell the twins how Lone had freed her from her slave contract and how he had promised to take her back to the Crimson Foxkin Clan since that was his destination anyway.
At this point, both Tiera and Trella were shocked to the core. Trella, in particular, seemed very shaken. Not only had Lone not enslaved Breena, his childhood friend, like he'd thought, but he'd even saved her from such a cruel fate.
"But... but... if that's the case, then why do you call him Master?" No hate or anger could be felt in Trella's voice anymore, only pure confusion and care.
Breena smiled lightly. "We entered a dungeon shortly after leaving Milindo, and just before we did, I was attacked by several Minotaurs."
Tiera's eyes widened. While she was a bit ditzy, she had a fairly vast knowledge of monsters, so she was aware of the way Minotaurs tended to treat their victims before killing them. "D-Did they... ?" she stuttered.
Breena shook her head. "No. I awakened three times consecutively and killed them all before passing out."
"T-THREE TIMES?!" Trella shouted. That was one more time than the strongest person in the clan, and while not unheard of for a child to awaken once or twice if they were an absolute genius, but three times? That was enough to instantly dry up a person's lifeforce and kill them.
"I know what you're thinking," Breena said. "I should be dead, and I nearly was. However, Master saved my life. He reversed the ageing and fixed my body. I owe my freedom and my life to Master. I've vowed to serve as his and Sophie's bodyguard for the rest of my days. That's why I call him Master."
Trella wanted to scream. He wanted to shout. However, he could do nothing. Foxkin were exceedingly prideful beings, and he was more than aware of how proud Breena was in her role as being Lone's bodyguard. "At least you're alive. That's good news."
Tiera had been silent for most of this exchange, but seeing how her brother had calmed substantially, she chose to raise the topic of Lone's favours once more. "Mr Lone-ro... can you save our parents?"
Lone grinned. "Naturally I can. It won't be pretty and it will probably be painful for them, but I can absolutely cure them of whatever disease they're suffering from."
With that being said, a relieved and excited look washed over Tiera's young face. Lone looked at Trella. "What would you like from me, Trella?"
The boy remained silent for a few moments before opening his mouth. "Don't ever mistreat Breena. That's all I want since she's determined to stay with you."
Lone immediately nodded. "Naturally, I would do so anyway. Let's make a contract though, to keep you at ease, of course."
Lone then created two Legendary Level Five Contracts. It was a skill that he hadn't used in quite some time, but thanks to his vastly increased magical power, he could now create several of such contracts without the risk of losing his consciousness from mana exhaustion.
"I assume you don't want your identity as an heir to the clan to be revealed, Breena? Even with my status, it might be difficult to convince Lossa to keep you by my side considering your talent." Lone stated.
Breena nodded her head before putting her face mask back on. Tiera and Trella looked slightly saddened by this, but they could understand her feelings now after having heard her story. The two were shocked by the power of Lone's contracts, but naturally, they had seen similar ones before considering who they were in the Crimson Foxkin Clan.
The two children agreed to keep everything about Breena a secret in exchange for Lone promising to always look after Breena and to heal their parents. With such a powerful contract binding Lone, Trella felt far less apprehensive about him attempting to heal his parents. This was the unquestionable power that contracts held.
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- The Scottish Slothy Sloth
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