She forced herself to calm down. Then she took hold of her husband's face with her hands and looked at him with a gentle, loving smile.

"Honey, you know I love you. So what I'm about to do is for your own good, okay?"

With vicious force, she mercilessly slapped him across the face.

Even A'daire kneeling beside the guy felt the force behind the attack deep into his bones.

She glared at her husband. "This has to be the single most idiotic thing you have ever done!" She screamed. " I can't believe how--how stupid you were today! What were you thinking?" Alyssa demanded suddenly.

The man got up, rubbing his face.

" I know. What I did was wrong. But you don't understand. If our enemies found that place and unleashed what was within, who knows what could have happened?"

The wife snapped. " Oh? And speaking of, do you even know what happened? Go ahead, A'daire, fill him in on what you saw." She prompted the large, bald man with a look of angry contempt in her lovely green eyes.

He coughed and squirmed uneasily.

Faced with being in the middle of an arguement that shouls clearly remain between the two husband and wife, he felt increasingly uncomfortablee and awkward. Although he was a bit strong, he had no defense against a woman's anger. Especially when their children were involved. He's rather face a Hydra with his arms tied behind his back than standing here, being hacked to pieces by a dagger-like glare.

Ai, why did he only ever encounter women who were either dragons and tigresses?

That brat never had this problem. That Alderton girl, the pretty young maid, his own sister...why was it that he never got chewed out like this? Were the gods not being too unfair?

Such were his inner thoughts as he recounted to the two what he had witnessed...he left out the part of him and the brat duking it out.

The woman was already pissed off enough as it was, he didn't feel like making his own wife a widow by digging his grave like that.

Truth be told, it was a bit embarrassing. Him having a bit of trouble handling a mere 15 year old. Shameful.

Ai, he could only blame his godly teaching skills for the boy being such a powerful brat at that young an age. Honestly, anyone else would call the boy a monster. Fuck, even his own daughter wasn't as strong as that at the kid's current age! If the two of them ever really met, knowing his battle-maniac of a daughter, wouldn't it be a disasterous thing for the world?

He couldn't help but sigh and curse. The boy had talent and was even blessed with flowers on each arm, never having to deal with an enraged mother like he was now. No, even most mothers would probably like him. Too unfair!

His thoughts grew increasingly sour and hateful as he continued his explanation without missing a beat.

However, what he didn't know was that he had left out several important details of the story.

"...And after a quick glance I saw some Death Lords, along with other creatures I wouldn't want to meet in some alley unprepared. But nothing else. Luckily the seal regenerated before any could escape."

Lord Greyborne frowned.

"Death Lords? That can't be. My family has watched over those things for generations." He muttered.

Those seals were of the highest tier. They wouldn't be created unless they were used against a seriously powerful force.

He didn't know exactly what the Mage Kings looked like. No one did. But the power he had always felt behind the seal was frightening. Although Death Lords were among the most powerful of creatures,would they warrent such a powerful seal?

...Maybe if there were numerous in number and fully mature...

But his ancestors wouldn't lie.

If A'daire saw nothing but Death Lords as the most powerful of the bunch, then...what happened to the Mage Kings?

"Well, they weren't there. But in any case it's a damn good thing they didn't get out. What was in there could have wrought havoc among the entire continent."

She paused.

"But that aside...again, what the hell did you think you were doing?" She spoke quietly. " Didn't you hear him? Lucius, your own son wanted to killed you. And honestly, I don't really blame him. You endangered his only sister. Those two are everything to each other, of course he'd wanna kill you after what you did." A snort. "Hell, even I want to just smack that pretty face of yours until it's black and blue. What you did won't come without consequences. We nearly lost our daughter because of all this, but you undoubtedly lost a son." She felt tired all of a sudden. The father and son were not especially close, but they had a better relationship than most Noble families had with their children.

Because of his father's upbringing, Lyle was never the type of Noble who would abuse his status. Unlike other Noble-born children. He took no interest in getting drunk, he didn't visit any of the gambling dens, and he never had one night stands with any woman who may have caught his eye. He was not righteous either, but he did help those he could. It wasn't in his nature to be overly kind and "heroic." Had he been the son of one of those other high and mighty Nobles, he may have become a much different person.

But no. He was better than that, a direct result of the man before her. The impact his father had on his life was significant. Even if the two were not overly close, they were not distant either. Because of this she felt saddened that such distance would be the result of her husband's actions. To so endanger Lyle's little sister, whom he doted on even if he himself denied it, would obviously earn his hatred no matter what the other party's intentions were.

For his part, his wife's words cut into Adarians's heart.

She only used his name for when she was truly disappointed in him, or angry, or both.

But he couldn't refute any of her words.

He knew he had done wrong. But he had a duty to safeguard the seal. If it's location was known to these mysterious enemies,if those things were unleashed...

He had to move them. And the quickest-- and safest-- way to do that was keeping them inside their bodies, making them unable to do anything to get free.

But...they apparently weren't even there.

Was it possible his ancestors were mistaken?

Was it that the past Greybornes were keeping guard to make sure those Death Lords were locked away only because at the time they couldn't kill them?

What a joke.

Perhaps back then so many Death Lords were too strong for his ancestors to defeat, but now? Although difficult, if he hired a massive subjugation force they could definitely destroy them. This...all this felt wrong. He simply didnt know what exactly.

What's more, he wasn't sure why he even brought Iris along...

Why did he decide to do so?

Although it would be faster if she participated, this was not exactly needed.

"Lucius dear, as the common folk love to say, you're fucked. You can't expect this mess to be easy to fix. I'm so angry right now that I can barely even stand to look at you. As for Lyle...he probably won't get past this in your lifetime."

His wife shook her head sadly.

Then she left him there, leaving him alone with his thoughts.

As for A'daire, he had long since stealthily slipped out.


Floating above the scene just seconds before the woman's departure were three orbs.

A red orb, a green one and a duel-colored blue-violet orb.

"Well, those three are taken care of. The two men won't remember us entering the boy, and they won't ask too many questions either. Neither the part of the boy's ability to break the seal, or about him being able to rescue the girl on top of that. Am I not a genius? You guys are much too slow." Nakir's self-praise turned into a light mocking of the other two.

With his quick thinking he had told the others to help him manipulate the minds of the three so that they could be sure to not have their existence leaked. Despite his attitude and barbaric manner, Nakir was generally a clever individual.

In their weakened state it was a bit difficult, but worth it.

"Good. But we'll need some rest to recover. That boy...unlocking even that much of his potential drained us severely. And it was only able to unlock the boy's physical aspect of his power."

There were few who understood what they actually meant by "potential" in this case. How could you tap into something as illusiory as potential? How could you grasp what isn't there? No, what they meant was the "accumulation" of power he'd had building within him. Much of his body have was comprised of magical circuits. This meant he rate at which he created energy was vastly superior to an ordinary mage. And Bathory Clan mages were special. Their Awakenings were an explosion of power. This is one of the reasons their's were so dangerous to the person experiencing it.

The circuits allowed ALL kinds of energy to flow and produce quickly. Some would escape out of his body and return to the world safely. But trace amounts would remain and slowly gather inside his body. This is what they unleashed from him. This "chunk" of energy.

None of them expected, however, that he had so much of it built up. This meant that when he truly Awakened he would, if not properly handled, explode in a wild mass release of power. And if his body and mind were not capable of withstanding that release, he would undoubtedly die. The physical aspect they just talked about meant his Inner Strength. It was bodily energy. Vitality itself. Different from mana. It was the accumulation of that one form of energy alone that allowed him to soar to such levels of strength, and he was merely waving it about with no control at all.

One can see, then, why they coveted him so. He was a treasure trove.

"That golden aura he had was very mysterious as well. Even with us three forcing out his hidden abilities, he still wasn't at his most powerful. Frightening."

Etain mused.

Strictly speaking, that kind of aura shouldn't have appeared. They had no idea what it was from, but it was scary. Once activated they couldn't get anywhere near him. They had to wait until it was gone before they could truly enter his body.

Azamat cut in. "Enough fooling around here. Let's go back to the boy and rest. With our "curse" on him he'll have to call for our aid eventually. It's best we can offer that aid when the time comes, or we risk losing a fine host."

Before they left, Etain's disembodied voice muttered softly to itself. " I wonder if Livia is liking the girl's body. She's different from us. I wonder what she'll do. That person, she never does what we expect. It'ill be fun watching what she chooses as her course of action..."


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