Book 2 Chapter 153

Wayerliss's Reward

Though Port Lormi was on Lance, it was considered part of Hocke's territory. Hocke's laws thus applied. The town had a constabulary and a court. It was the biggest difference between Lormi and the rest of the continent's settlements. Naturally, the Federation of Nine Cities objected to its existence. They even sent their militaries to the border to cause friction. Emperor Larwin's attitude was firm, however. He even sent a fleet to support the town's construction. A loose group like the Federation didn't dare to go too far against such a power. They eventually accepted this state of affairs. One had to deal with internal threats before external ones. Given that the Federation couldn't even claim to be the top dog on the continent, they it wasn't foolish enough to offend another power. The Federation finally extended an olive branch after much negotiation.

Emperor Larwin wasn't interested in war either, so the two factions negotiated and the Federation recognized Hocke's territorial rights over Lormi. In exchange, Hocke had to pay tribute to the Federation. The sum wasn't great, however, so Emperor Larwin didn't mind. It would be considered a down-payment on reputation -- something beneficial to both sides. Lormi was a crucial area for communication and transport between the two continents. Not only was its population far greater than any similarly sized town, its prosperity rivaled those of some smaller cities back on Chino.

Leguna lay on his bed lazily and enjoyed the soft sensation of his silk pillow. The seaside evening breeze slid in through the window facing the sea.

Finally going back tomorrow. I wonder how are the guys? thought Leguna. While he didn't have many fond memories of his childhood, he had still spent most of his formative years there. He couldn't help but be moved at the prospect of his return.

He recalled the past, a trace of a smile on his face. He had fought the poor laborers' children for various trivial reasons. He also got into a fight with three kids two years older than him to protect Eirinn, only to be beaten to a pulp. He flung stones at the baker's shop one night. And snuck into a widow's home for food only to see her screwing someone. He had thought such memories would be washed away by the tides of time, but there they were, fresh as the day they were made. A voice rang in his mind and broke his thoughts.

{Hey, Ley, come out to meet me. I'm near the east entrance,} the familiar old voice said. The saint-ranked assassin and mid-order magus with elven bloodline really had horrible timing.

Why would that old elf come looking for him now? Then again, after everything that'd happened over the last couple of years, he didn't think it would be easy to cut ties with Moonshadow. The guild never did anything to hurt him, but their inaction scared him the most. He didn't really want anything to do with anyone from the guild but Annelotte. But, regardless of how he felt about it, he didn't have the courage to go against his teacher, so he climbed out of his bed a grudgingly. He arrived at his destination half an hour later. It was late; nobody was around. What on earth did the man want in such a dark place? The air a meter in front of him suddenly moved.

{Careful! Duck!} his other teacher's voice rang. Even she couldn't detect it before.

Leguna roll out of the way immediately, barely avoiding the attack. This was his first time facing it, but there was no mistake, this was Wave Blade, his teacher's famous skill. Its danger couldn't be underestimated. Strictly speaking, it was a simple impetus slash but it wouldn't be his teacher's ultimate skill if it was that simple. Its most terrifying attribute was that it was soundless and formless. The target could not detect it until it was practically too late. Neither Leguna nor his second teacher knew where the elf was hiding, nor did they know how he made his attack. His teacher had developed this skill himself, so no one knew its intricacies.

A corner of Leguna's leather garments was chipped. Fortunately, he dodged just in time so the strike didn't hit him. He looked around alertly but noticed no movement apart from the leaves' rustling and the rhythmic waves crashing on the beach. He couldn't sense any presence at all.

{Huh! I didn't think Wayerliss would actually come up with such an interesting move,} Gahrona whispered. Her tone once again course and stable.

{It's definitely teacher. Where is he?} Leguna didn't know why his teacher had called him over, but the attack was definitely aimed at him. Does Teacher want to kill me?

{Right next to you,} Gahrona lazed, {Don't worry. He won't hurt you. If he wanted to kill you, you wouldn't have evaded his strike.}

{Then what's he want?}

In this world, there were only a few people he couldn't see through no matter how he tried. One was Annelotte; her thoughts were always a mystery to him. It might be because of how different their personalities were. Maybe their thought processes were just too different. The other was Marolyt. The old man's actions appeared completely random. Then again, he wasn't exactly sane, so it wasn't odd for him to not behave like the average person. The last one was Wayerliss. His teacher didn't belong in the same category as the first two. Leguna couldn't figure him out because his agendas were far too well-hidden. Sometimes, the kid would only understand what his teacher intended when things were already over. At the same time, he admired his teacher's foresight. For instance, there was the matter with the Eye of Arcana. If Gahrona's words were true, Wayerliss's plots weren't things a young fool could comprehend. The only one who could match his teacher was his other teacher. He couldn't help but mock himself.

{What's he up to?} Gahrona wondered, {I bet he's here to give you your reward. Well, just hold on for a little longer. I'm sure he will stop once he sees you're at your limit.}

Leguna could only grit his teeth and endure. Wayerliss's Wave Blade started with one wave at a time, before it became two. When it hit three, Leguna couldn't hold on anymore. One of the waves cut his arm lightly.

"Not bad. You can take on two blades at once. Satisfactory," said his teacher, appearing beside him. "If you had Host of Darkness on, you might take on four or five at once. Not bad, Ley!"

"Teacher." Leguna bowed as a disciple should. The cut was shallow and couldn't be considered an injury.

Wayerliss tapped the kid's shoulder. "You did well with the Eye and Balor. They couldn't defeat you. Well, that's to be expected of my disciple."

Leguna's teacher was in a rather good mood. So, he relaxed.

"What does Teacher need me for?"

"You've been calling me that for so long... I believe it's time I did something befitting of that nomenclature. Since you've defeated Balor, a reward is due."

"Reward?" Leguna hesitated, "Thank you, Teacher. What is it?"

"You just saw it," his teacher smiled.

Leguna stared blankly.

"Wave Blade. Given your current level, you should be able to master it. I've come to give you its crucial techniques."

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