Eolande floated up to Elder Foru with absolutely no enthusiasm and looked straight into his eyes. "Make it fast, I'm already bored," she ordered him lazily.
Elder Foru was enraged, but he was an examiner, and she an examinee, so it was beneath him to lash out at her. Regardless, King Ele'hunda hadn't said anything in regards to her attitude, so he grit his teeth and performed the test.
"Race: Elder Tylwyth Teg. Age: Two-hundred and six thousand, nine-hundred and fifty-two. Energy level: Low X-rank. Actual strength: Low X-rank. Grade: Failure."
"Yup, like I thought. Become a Cosmos-level being when you're only a thousand-years-old and then never gain enlightenment or hunt monster and you'll stay stagnated for far too long. Urg, I bet Husband is laughing at me right now," Eolande muttered under her breath before she ignored everyone and started to return to Kyuubi's soft and fluffy back.
"Wait," King Ele'hunda moved from his seat and was stood in front of Eolande. He had travelled so fast that no one could detect his steps and it seemed like he had teleported.
"What do you want?" Eolande was annoyed and a bit frightened, to be honest. The King didn't have a friendly look on his face. She knew that he didn't stop her in regards to her obscenely old age because a lot of Demihuman species were inherently close to being immortal like the High Elves themselves, so Eolande was confused as to why this powerful Elf had halted her.
"You are the Fairy Princess from three-thousand years ago, are you not?" King Ele'hunda asked her with a very serious tone.
"I'm not a Fairy," Eolande stated, "But yes, I was called that once. Why does it matter?"
The King's expression changed after receiving her confirmation and he lowered his head to be next to Eolande's ear before whispering a few words to her. Eolande's expression changed dramatically from irritated to elated then to enraged.
A few moments passed and the King stood upright once again. "Feel free to not believe my words, but I was one of the leaders of that task force, so you should understand that I'm telling the truth. I'm glad you survived. Regardless of your accumulated grades in today's test, I will allow you to become a keeper in consideration of your past ordeal."
"... Thank you." Many meanings were hidden in Eolande's words.
King Ele'hunda nodded and returned to his seat while Eolande went back to her perplexed companions.
"What was that all about?" Lone asked as soon as Eolande had placed herself on Kyuubi.
"... Later. I need to collect my thoughts, please, Lone," Eolande responded after pausing for a moment. Clearly, her emotions were in turmoil and she didn't want to talk about it right now.
'What the...? She just called me 'Lone', not 'Husband'. She hasn't done that ever since she announced our 'marriage'. Just what the fuck did that bastard say to her?' Lone thought as he looked at the seated King who was calmly watching Elder Foru test the next participant.
Sophie was also bewildered. 'I should be happy that Eolande addressed Lone properly... but why... why does my chest feel so heavy?' Sophie's instincts were screaming at her that King Ele'hunda had told a very grave piece of news to Eolande, and whatever that piece of news was, it must be related to her time before she fled to Clicker's dungeon.
Eolande had told Lone and his group that she and her people were hunted down by a certain Human King who ruled over a very powerful kingdom for the stupid reason of nothing more than their beauty and enchanting nature. Unfortunately for Eolande, she wasn't skilled enough in illusions at that time, so she couldn't mask her charm like she currently was since it wasn't a skill that she needed back on Earth, and thus, hadn't learnt it.
Eolande was under the impression that she was the only Tylwyth Teg left since that King had captured and killed all of her comrades and family members after having his way with them. This was what she had told Lone, Sophie, Breena and Swind.
'That Mad King! If what that Elf said was true... then... then...' Eolande's mind was in distress and she simply sat on Kyuubi while she tried to organise her thoughts.
Eolande's mind was disturbed by a gentle hand resting on her head. Looking up, she saw Lone looked down at her. "I've got no idea what's going on, but tell me when you're ready. Y'know I'll help you out."
"... Thank you, Husband," Eolande smiled softly. 'Really... You do nothing but push me away, then when I need you, you pull me in... Truly my fated partner.'
Sophie frowned and sulked, but she knew that Lone had no ulterior motives and she wanted to help Eolande as well because they were friends... so long as Lone wasn't concerned.
Finally, after quite a bit of time had passed, the person who Lone was most interested in, was now going to be tested. Breena calmly and swiftly walked onto the stage and let herself get examined by Elder Foru.
"Race: Crimson Foxkin of The Deep. Age: fourteen. Energy level: High D-rank. Actual strength: Low S-rank. Grade: Perfect Pass."
"I didn't know it was possible for someone to be so strong at such a low rank."
"Indeed. Perhaps Elder Foru has expended too much magic and is struggling to get accurate readings now?"
Several of the council members and other participants were busy chatting away and discussing Breena's immense power for her young age and small D-rank internal strength. It was to be expected for most passing participants to be stronger than their own rank by one rank, or at most, two ranks, but four ranks? That was completely unheard of.
"Child, how did you get so powerful, if you don't mind me asking?" King Ele'hunda was wildly curious and he couldn't help but scratch his beard with excitement.
While she was weak now... with some special nourishment and care, Breena could easily become a very powerful keeper and she might be one of the keys the King needed to help avert the world tree's coming death.
"I am self-taught, though I owe my life and most of my power to my Master, Mr Lone Immortus." While normally quiet and not a girl of many words, Breena wasn't like the rude Lone and Eolande, and she couldn't dare to ignore this exceedingly powerful man like Sophie had, so she chose to respectfully answer his question.
'Master? Certainly, she does have the scent of contract magic on her, and not only that, but it's incredibly powerful contract magic, so much so that someone untalented in the arts like myself can even detect it...' King Ele'Hunda thought.
"I see. I wish you success in the following tests, Three-tails," the King said. He had decided to keep his remaining questions in his mind for now.
Falin was staring daggers at Breena as she walked down the stage and it was no longer possible for him to hide his hostility, though none of the Elves blamed him nor did they think less of him for it. Lone's attitude and actions had clearly upset everyone and had only helped to reinforce their xenophobic natures.
Some time passed before it was finally Lone's turn. He confidently strode onto the platform and grinned at the King. Clearly, Lone was very expectant of how good his results would be, and this intrigued King Ele'hunda.
"I wonder what your limits are, Nine-tails? Do tell me, how long have you actively been trying to gain strength?" King Ele'hunda asked before Elder Foru could start grading Lone.
Shrugging his shoulders, Lone replied, "A little bit over two years now."
"So little time? It's incredible that you're a C-ranker despite training for little more than six-hundred days," King Ele'hunda genuinely praised Lone.
"I think it's too slow, to be honest, but that's the trouble with being an almost unmatched genius. The only person that can keep up with me is Soph," Lone stated arrogantly, causing unhappy murmurs to fill the plaza.
"Is that so? Well, let's see your true strength then, shall we? Elder Foru, sorry to disturb you." King Ele'hunda waved his hand, signalling for Elder Foru to grade Lone, which he happily did.
"Race: Golden Sky Fox of The Endless Void. Age: Twenty-six. Energy level: C-rank. Actual strength: Unable to accurately detect. Estimation of Actual Strength: High XXX-rank. Grade: Flawless Pass."
Elder Foru began wobbling on his feet and slowly fell over. Using his ability on Lone had caused him to lose consciousness.
The entire plaza was silent and Lone was sure that if a pin dropped, he'd be able to hear it, that's just how silent it was. King Ele'hunda was visibly sweating and he gulped the saliva that had gathered in his mouth.
Lone flashed his canines and smirked. "Care for a rematch? I won't get caught off guard by you again, so I can guarantee you'll lose to me."
"I... I think I'd rather not. I wish Elder Foru's results weren't always one-hundred percent accurate... Nine-tails, what are you?" King Ele'hunda asked in confusion.
He himself was an XXX-ranker and was very close to becoming a Divine-level being, but he could clearly tell that Lone genuinely was a C-ranker and not a Dragon or something similar in disguise, so he couldn't figure out who, or what, Lone really was. Never before had there been someone so powerful at such an age and at such a low rank before.
"What am I?" Lone replied with a rhetorical question. "I'm just a man that you don't want to piss off unless you're an Ancient-level being or stronger, either that or if you don't care about my retaliation."
After having said that, Lone left the speechless King and returned to his group. None of the people that heard Lone's reply had any idea what an Ancient-level being was, everyone except for King Ele'hunda.
'What kind of beast have I provoked?' The king heavily regretted his attitude towards Swind during the first test. 'I need to convince the council that Lone and his group must be given the best treatment possible. Not only is he a potential financial backer, but his strength is most certainly needed. If what he said was correct, then having another person as strong as me, or perhaps even stronger, on our side, can only benefit us.'
Eko grabbed Lone and wrapped his arm around the Foxkin's shoulder before loudly laughing. "How can you be so insanely strong? Hahaha, you were holding back against me in Milindo, weren't you, you little punk?"
Lone scratched his head and adjusted his glasses. "I guess, but I'm not really that strong. I have two abilities that work on almost anyone except for a few exceptions, and they kind of make me unbeatable. I only use them in emergencies though, otherwise, I try to challenge myself by using my normal strength, which is only equal to about a high S-ranker or a Low SS-ranker."
Fep was suddenly very interested in what Lone had just said. "Two special abilities?"
"Mmm, I'm not gonna show you them, but trust me, unless you're immune to magic or you're unbelievable strong, then you won't be able to beat me," Lone shrugged.
He wasn't trying to be arrogant, and lying was a hassle for him, so Lone had just decided to tell the truth to some extent.
"Immune to magic? What, like Dragons?" Eko asked.
"Yeah, like that," Lone replied. Naturally, a powerful type of creature like a Dragon had been extensively documented, and Lone had read a very detailed book on them from Clicker's collection of books in his throne room.
As stated, Dragons were immune to magic, which bothered Lone slightly since his mental destruction wouldn't work on them, but he was confident that he wouldn't be fighting a Dragon any time soon, so he chose to ignore this potential threat.
A few minutes passed and Elder Foru was healed by Her Highness, so he wearily finished testing the other participants before leaving the event to rest.
"We will now begin the next test. Skill. This one is simple. Demonstrate your most powerful or most unique skill and you shall be graded on it from one to one-hundred. I understand the need to hide your skills, so if you feel confident, then use one of your weaker ones, but if not," a ruthless look entered King Ele'hunda's eyes, "Then you may leave. We do not need keepers that we cannot trust or who do not trust us."
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