At the center of the city, the commotion didn't go unnoticed.
An untainted castle stood tall, covered in white marbles and green jades. Another forest seemed to be left to surround it, almost as though the castle itself was too great to be a part of the Elvin City.
Inside, a fiery discussion was taking place in a large hall filled with elders. But, only 3 men seemed to be speaking.
"Elder Kroak, the commotion is too much, even for a genius' soul manifestation. I'm sure you felt the pressure, it was intent on making everyone kneel! If we don't find the king soon, it's best if we consider changing the rules of the kingdom. A new tide is coming."
Elder Kroak was stoic man. His ears were sharp, and his aura was stifling. His hair was such a bright shade of white, it almost hurt to look at him directly. Yet, despite his old age, a booming vitality could be seen, as though he was still a youth.
"I'm sure your Mathilde Academy would love that, Elder Cormyth. However, Acacia Academy will always stand by the king and the proper traditions."
This Elder Cormyth was decidedly less sharp than Elder Kroak. However, his strength lost out in no way.
Elder Cormyth seemed to expect this answer, so he was unbothered, "not only has the king not been seen in nearly a decade, we wouldn't be able to follow the proper traditions even if we wanted to. With the unrest in the kingdom, and the underhanded deeds of the major families, it would be impossible to test for possible successors to the throne."
Elder Kroak smiled. They had had this very same argument so often that he knew all of his peer's points, "if that is the case, then why do you insist on the throne switching families. If it was about easing into things and following the new trends of other kingdoms, why would we switch ruling families? Wouldn't it be the best for the kingdom if the throne remained in the Acacia family?"
Elder Cormyth's expression darkened, "the Acacia family had never had the throne before the late king. They're not even a part of the 9 major families. Why would they get the throne? Just because they happened to be the most recent rulers?"
Elder Kroak's eyes narrowed. He hadn't missed the wording of the elder. "Late king", as though insinuating the king was already dead.
An Elder that had been watching their argument this entire time sighed, "Florence Academy has been on the fence for too long… Maybe it's time we made a decision. Whether you like to admit it or not Elder Kroak, 10 years is too long for a king to be gone. When you consider the traditions that choose our king, and the destruction of Celestial Deer Sect, it's impossible for the previous order to be sustained. You know as well as I why the alliance with the Celestial Deer Sect was necessary. With them now gone, how could we possibly continue with traditions? That would be like us running ourselves into the ground."
Elder Kroak sighed. Although Elder Cormyth was clearly biased due to the backing of the families that resided in his school, he couldn't think the same of Elder Deryth. Elder Deryth was even older than he was and had seen many things. In fact, he was alive for thousands of years before King Acacia was chosen for power.
Seeing Elder Kroak's resignation, Elder Deryth continued to hone in on a point, "remember, even if we did manage to find a True Empath to succeed the throne, the ending would be just the same as it was this time and all those millennia ago before the alliance with the Celestial Deer Sect," Elder Deryth seemed sad as his old and wrinkled face seemed to age even further, "I will never forget the reason for this tradition. However, even while following this tradition, it has only led to tragedy and not the result our ancestors wanted. It may be time for us to consider the idea that maybe… they were wrong…"
The hall fell into silence.
Just as soon as Elder Deryth's speech finished, a massive stone tablet standing hundreds of meters into the air began to vibrate in the great hall.
The elders gasped, watching with bated breath.
"A change in the upper regions Manifestation Tome?" Elder Cormyth's voice seemed to eek out, forcing its way out of his throat. His fists clenched, he thought that he was absolutely certain of who was making this change, 'it must be him,' he thought with a smile, 'the Mathilde Academy will flourish!'
A blinding light stormed up the tome, quickly reaching the upper portions.
"How about this," said Elder Cormyth with a smirk, "if this soul manifestation reaches the first quadrant, that family will gain the support of you two elders in their bid for the throne."
Elder Kroak and Deryth looked over at Cormyth with suspicion. The first quadrant was not something to be taken lightly. The Manifestation Tome was split into quadrants, not rankings. It would be impossible to make a ranking of every manifestation ever, thus, the manifestations were instead split into tiers.
"Don't be ridiculous Elder Cormyth. The first quadrant might be rare, but, it isn't unprecedented. Many youths will reach that level in this generation. Many do in every generation," Elder Kroak reprimanded.
Elder Cormyth's smile didn't fade, "just a joke. Just a joke."
Soon, the blinding light reached the peak of the tome, forcing its way to the top.
"it really is a first quadrant manifestation…" Elder Kroak said softly. He was slightly bitter. Given Cormyth's reaction, it was likely this manifestation came from his school.
But, what really shocked the elders was that this light didn't seem intent to stop. Normally, once a manifestation reached its peak tier, it would stop and solidify. This would result in heaven's chosen name for the manifestation to appear on the tome. In addition, the aura of the words would make it obvious which family the manifestation belongs to since the bloodlines of the major and sub families were so distinct. If there was no way of knowing who it was from, often, it wouldn't matter. However, in special cases, like the current king, his talent would link him to his ranking once he displayed his manifestation before the tome. Doing such a thing would result in the name of your manifestation being lit.
However, this light seemed too arrogant. It wasn't content with being a manifestation of the first quadrant. It was ramming against the top of the tome as though there was another ranking. And shockingly, the tome kept growing taller and taller in response, giving way to the manifestation.
This was the time that Dyon's humanoid manifestation roared arrogantly at the sky. The manifestation shone brightly on the tome, covering the entire tome in a blinding light.
"this…" the elders shook.
The manifestation wasn't happy with the height the tome was reaching. Or, maybe, the increase in height was too slow for it.
The manifestation began erasing everything from the tome in its fit, almost to stare down in disdain at even past Elvin Emperors and Kings. Not even sparing unparalleled geniuses. Intent on wiping the entire history of the elves for the simple fact it didn't think they were worthy of being named with it.
The stone tome began to shatter.
"NO!" The elders boomed. But it was too late.
The blinding light of the tome began to intensify as the Manifestation formed itself into words, burning its name into the sky and bursting through the canopy of the castle.
Near the center of the castle, in a locked vault no one dared to enter, two statues stood on either side of a swirling portal. An eerie fog occasionally rolled from it, partially covering the sign that hung above: Dead King's Valley.
Despite the majesty of the statues that seemed to stand guard, they slowly kneeled down and kowtowed. No one knew who their respect was for and no one knew it had even happened, because in the blink of an eye, it was almost as though they had never moved at all.
Back within the grand hall, the elders were shivering as they looked at the words left by the manifestation through the massive hole in the castle canopy. The tome had disappeared…
"this is just too much…" the elders all said at once.
In the city, everyone looked up at the words that hung above the castle. Despite their 2D nature, it seemed like it could be read in any direction. Almost as though the manifestation disdained the idea of anyone not understanding its arrogance. Almost as though it wanted everyone to know its name.
There, in fiery letters, marking the Elvin Sky, read the words:
'You Don't Qualify to Name Me.'
I had a lot of fun writing these chapters, hope you enjoyed
I decided to put a little spin on the twin souls aspect of things. Usually that makes people op, but in the Focus verse, it could be a handicap too. Because it's a unique type technique that was used, there's no rule book on how to use your soul. So, people often spend their whole lives trying to figure out what the true powers of their manifestations are. Now imagine that you have to do that for not one, but two manifestations. What if you get confused as to which manifestations is responsible for which power? It's quite the rabbit hole *smiles deviously*
Aside from that, there are a few important things I introduced in this chapter. A) the king (or queen), has to be a True Empath (whatever that means ), and B) that there's a place called dead kings valley (spooky). Also, in all of this, you'll find out next chapter why no one knew where the manifestation was coming from aside from those higher ups at Acacia Academy