Armad, Iliyasis, Cokali and Aish were locked in a heated argument.
"Why don't you pause and think. Listen to yourself for God's sake." Iliyasis said angrily.
Cokali nodded in agreement.
Armad looked at Aish to hear her side but she kept silent.
"How is this your decision to make? I only ask you to tell me if this information is genuine." Armad snapped. Dammit, we just had a banquet as brothers.
"It's genuine. But you are not strong enough to participate in the Jinzidal." Iliyasis said flatly.
Armad looked at Iliyasis and Cokali angrily. He knew there was another reason behind their sudden personality shift.
"As long as I'll get information about the Triple-factor, I would participate in the Jinzidal. If you think I am not strong enough then try to stop me."
"I won't stop you but don't expect my sister to accompany you." Iliyasis said.
So that's it? He doesn't want Aish to leave Seith. Well, it's somewhat justifiable. If she leave she will lose the appointment.
"I don't need her to accompany me so calm down. All I want is a little help in getting access to the portal web."
Iliyasis heaved a sigh of relief.
Armad dragged the panel in front of his eyes and pressed yes.
You have been selected by Mikrom empire to participate in the upcoming Jinzidal.
Reward: information about Triple-factor's last seen location.
Participant info: [Name: Armad Number : 0432]
"I guess it's a goodbye then." Armad headed toward the door.
"And where do you think you are going?" Aish asked, walking forward to block his way. "I said I'll take you to the Fourth World, I am not going back on my word."
Armad stopped. He slowly turned around and looked at her. "You can't; your appointment will be delayed if you leave."
"Then it shall be delayed." Aish said.
Iliyasis and Cokali jumped forward. "You can't do this, sister, this is exactly what the Dukes want? They already know you are looking for the Triple-factor, don't you think it's a bit too much of a coincidence? Only God knows what they have to sacrifice to make this deal with the System. They badly want you to go out of the city so they can delay your appointment. They might even try to kill you again. I'll not let you fall victim to their machinations." Iliyasis said. His expression deadly serious.
"I am with Iliyasis on this, sister." Cokali said, blocking her. "You have protected us and now it's our turn to do the same."
"I don't know if this Armad is an accomplice of the Dukes or not, but I'll not let him or anyone ruin your carrier. Besides, if you really want to help him, you will not allow him to participate in the Jinzidal. And if he really want your success, he would allow you to remain in Seith till after the appointment." Iliyasis added.
Cokali nodded. "Armad obviously can't compete in the Jinzidal. He didn't tell you how I knocked him out with a single strike."
Aish had conflicting thoughts. She wanted her appointment so badly but her sense of morality wouldn't allow her to forsake Armad. She kept telling herself Armad wasn't strong enough, that she would help him by stopping him from going.
Iliyasis saw the confusion in her eyes and he immediately seized the opportunity. "Let's make a bet, sister. If he can defeat me and Cokali then he can go, you can even accompany him. But if he can't defeat us then you would remain here. Whether he decides to stay or leave it's his problem, but you will not accompany him."
Aish narrowed her eyes. This was a very clever move by Iliyasis. There was no way Armad could possibly defeat Iliyasis or cokali, not even the two together. If Armad agreed to this deal and fail then she would have no moral responsibility to help him. The problem was a part of her still wanted to help him.
"Do you accept our challenge?" Iliyasis asked.
"You see, sister, he can't even accept this challenge. How on earth would he survive the jinzidal. That's where the best of the best show themselves." Cokali added.
Armad knew it was unfair to force Aish to forsake everything just for him. He wanted her to stay. But he couldn't just back down from this.
"I accept your challenge."
"Y... you... accept our challenge?!" Both Iliyasis and Cokali exclaimed in unison. Did they misheard? Well, obviously not. The little mage wanted to challenge them.
"Iliyasis, let me do this." Cokali said. He tapped into the power of his Djinn to create a magic wand.
Iliyasis smiled. "Let's do this like old times." He said, creating a light sword.
I will show you a Dance that will silence your arrogance. Armad mused. He'd the Dance of Uncertainty, but that wasn't what he intended to use.
"Shut the fuck off, both of you. I'll only say this once, fighting is not allowed among members of this family. I am the eldest in this family and I am the Duchess, I will make all the decisions. Iliyasis and Cokali, you are both above level 200, don't you think it's unfair for the two of you to gang up on him?"
"I... " Iliyasis started but Aish cut him off.
"I don't want to hear any excuses. How about we use the Dukes to get the Triple-factor and then take them down using their own plan?"
"What..?! How? Is that even possible?"
"Armad is the key, but the Dukes must never know I am gone."
"I still don't get you, sister. How is Armad the key? Taking those old bastards out is gonna require more than just a plan. We have already gone through this."
Aish smiled and walked to Armad. "Armad, have you ever seen emperor Hannibal of the Third World?"
Armad shook his head.
"I am the Duchess, but I have never seen emperor Mikrom. Only a few people are allowed see the emperors. One of these few people is the person who won the Jinzidal. How about we team up?"
Armad gave her a puzzled look. He was only participating to save his mom, but he needed all the help he could get.
"Does this plan of yours involve a training for the next one week? Because, that's exactly what I am going to do." Armad said.
"Er.. not really, but I can help you with that. There is a deserted island three days ride from here. It connected this hemisphere to The Wall. My brothers and I trained there due to the abundant nature energy. If you want I can take you there."
"A deserted island near The Wall, at this time of the year when the Wall is fully warded? That sounds like the best place for training." Armad said, smiling. The desire for battle raged in his eyes.