He clenched his fists tight and set off to the Royal Palace.
"It's dinner time, finally," Snowflake remarked.
"I won't join you," said Helial, "I need to visit the library and start training. From now on I'll sleep on the training grounds and I'll eat the food I can save. Lumia, go to Caesar first and then come to the Royal Library. Snowflake, do as you prefer. You can join us, as long as you don't bother anyone. If you just want to fuck around, then go gallivanting around the palace."
Snowflake's glare suddenly glimmered with fierceness. With his paw, he suddenly struck a deadly blow right towards Helial's neck, which the guy blocked just by casually raising his arm.
Snowflake's sharp claws didn't scratch him and crashed against his forearm instead. It was as tough as iron. Cat and human ended up face to face. Helial could feel Snowflake's nervous breathing upon his skin.
"You piece of shit. We all have a desire for power. You're not the only one here who needs to get stronger," hissed Snowflake a palm away from his face. "And you know what? This Supreme Cat will start training harder than you do and will rule unrivalled over the whole fucking universe. I have a few scores to settle too."
As soon as he finished speaking, Snowflake bounced backwards and backed off. A moment later, he was licking his paw as if nothing had happened. "Now we can go eat."
The fact that Helial had referred to him as a no-good had actually hurt Snowflake. Helial gazed at him with a strange light in his eyes, trying grasp the meaning behind that snarky cat's words. Maybe he shouldn't have talked to him like that, after all.
Helial nodded, but suddenly he caught sight of something out of the corner of his eye. He got paralyzed.
"Go now… I have some… stuff to do," smiled Helial as little beads of sweat condensed on his forehead.
Snowflake curled his whiskers, his tail slashing the air, and set off to the Royal Palace. He looked still offended. "Do the fuck you want."
Lumia, on the other hand, wanted to wait for her brother, and said: "What stuff?"
"I've got someone to meet. Alone. Go, we'll catch up later," Helial smiled.
Although Helial had acted fairly natural, Lumia saw that something was off just by observing her brother's eyes. She should stay with him. In the wolves Dungeon though, she had learnt that she had better listen to what Helial would tell her. However, Lumia was still weak and despite her worries she knew perfectly well that, since Helial was under the King's personal protection, no one would have laid a finger on him.
Helial waved at her sister and, as soon as that tiny silvery-haired angel turned, he dashed into an alley.
A figure impossible to overlook was standing before him, perfectly still. The figure's face was covered by a cloth in the flashiest green. Helial grabbed him by a shoulder and violently pushed him against a wall.
The figure was imposing. He had something heroic about him. His eyes, the only thing the drape left uncovered, could bewitch any onlooker only by their color; one was blue, one was green. A mere glimpse, and Helial's blood froze.
"What are you doing here?!" Helial snarled, his eyes bloodshot.
A curt and brief sound made its way out of the green drape as the figure's sardonic eyes brightened.
"Why, can't I pay a visit to my beloved brother?" The figure grabbed Helial's wrist so brutally that he forced him to loosen the grip on his shoulder. Helial could not help succumbing to his force. "Your strength improved, apparently, but you still have a long way to go." The figure paused for a second and focused on Helial's face. "They say Caesar took you as his pupil. Remarkable. Did you forget about our little deal?"
Helial pulled his arm and tried wiggle out of the grip that was pressing his wrist. With a voice filled with hatred, he said: "How many years have you forced me to live in that rat-hole, Hades? Did you even count them?"
Hades smiled and moved the green drape away from his face, revealing an heroic and terribly charming face whose different-colored irides were the undisputed crowning jewel of. "Ten years, I guess, give or take. Was it fun?"
What Phase is he in? Helial asked the Devil inside his Soul.
The Devil, intent on laying the table as usual, cast a glance behind his back and said: "Fifth Phase Late stage. Level 350, more or less. You can't win, not even paying with your life. He's got more asses up his sleeve than you think. His actual fighting strength is beyond the Sixth Phase."
Just like Helial could face an opponent in the First Phase Late stage without having reached the First Phase yet, the same went for other geniuses, whose fighting strength could overtop that of their actual Phase.
Helial felt as though the world were crashing all around him. He had become stronger and now possessed two powerful Legacies, but he was still too weak. He was a shrimp at the mercy of his brother. He ground his teeth and growled like an animal: "What do you want?"
"Not much… How is our little sister doing?" A macabre smile spread over Hades' face.
"I asked Caesar to take her as a pupil as well, so I guess she's fine," Helial smiled back at him scornfully. "Would you dare offend even an Immortal?"
Hades furrowed his straight dark eyebrows and said: "Sounds like you've got it all figured out, my little brother. But never mind, I'm just here in visit. I wanted to chat a bit, you know, but you don't look happy to see me… Tell me, what are your intentions?"
Helial closed his eyes. All around him, the temperature dropped by several degrees. An atrocious bloodlust spread all over. The sight of such a powerful Aura made Hades furrow his eyebrows even tighter. But suddenly, he unleashed his own. He let all the knowledge he had acquired on his Dao of Mana rush through his Aura unrestrained. It began to gradually suppress Helial's.
Hades' Aura was so oppressive that it made Helial spit out a mouthful of blood. The guy didn't give in though, and instilled everything he had took in from Life and Destruction into his Aura, falling into a deep meditative state.
He sensed the depth of his desire to kill, of the bloodlust he had experienced every time he had glanced at his brother, and his Aura grew even more glacial than before.
Looks like this reunion has unblocked something. He's already made progress towards Destruction… the Devil whispered to himself. Not bad, Shithead, not bad.
When he sensed the energy rippling through the air around him, Helial's brother realized that Helial's Aura was immensely deep. Despite the kid had not yet reached the First Phase, his Aura showed a strength he had better not undervalue. His body seemed to exude obscure and tyrannizing principles.
Hades let out a sigh and withdrew his Aura.
"Come with me," said Hades as a shroud of darkness veiled his eyes, "I've already asked you ten years ago, and I'm asking again now. Come with me, Helial, and I'll guide you up the path to power. Come with me and we'll fight together. We could desert as well, you know? You and me. Together."
"Why did you ask me to kill her?! Why?!" Helial hissed, his gaze giving off all his hatred. "I had always admired you, you wretch!"
Hades shook his head helplessly. "You're still weak. If you can't kill a girl, how do you think you'll handle them? Do you really think no blood will be shed? The more your weaknesses, the more their leverage on you. Look at you. How many years did you spend in that damn village due to that useless girl?"
Hades' gaze turned to look out afar and he said: "I need to be surrounded by the strong, Helial. I intend to fight place out in this world. I'll be nobody's vassal. They want to put us in chain, to take away our freedom, and you just shot yourself in the foot." He paused for a moment and then put a hand on Helial's shoulder. "Do you really think Caesar can make you run from your destiny? Do you really think it's that easy?
He gently tightened his grip on Helial's shoulder, then slowly retracted his hand and heaved a sigh. He pushed back a lock of hair hanging over his forehead. "Your weaknesses will stand in the way of your freedom. E freedom isn't going to conquer itself. Together we can bend your destiny, divided we can't win. Think about this. When you make your decision, you'll find me in the Capital."
Helial could not bear listening to that hypocrisy any longer. He made Curse of the Demon flash into existence in a black beam and raised it over his head. Along his neck, the veins pulsed violently. He was ready to slash, but Hades smiled, winked at him and placing the green drape back on his face, he vanished into thin air.
Helial looked at him disappear, his arms still raised and strained. They were swollen. His muscles seemed to be about to explode.
That was the only thing Helial could feel towards his brother, along with the urge to get rid of all that negative energy.
As he was deep in that sea of hate though, a voice resounded out behind him. "If you want to bring half the palace down, go ahead. But then you'll have a hard time explaining why. Put that down."
Helial got distracted by a hoarse voice. It surprised him in a very particular moment. It felt as though someone had just thrown a bucket of cold water over his body.
He saw a pitch-black armor covering a figure slightly taller than him. When Helial sensed the immensity of that person's Aura, his pupils shrank. Despite looking weaker than his brother, he was giving off a suffocating amount of Mana.
All of a sudden, the Devil frowned. He turned abruptly. "This Mana…" The Devil had showed that interested only when testing Helial. After that, nothing else had drawn his attention away from his usual practice regarding that half-lain table. He gazed at that figure with a dark light flashing in his eyes and murmured: "Interesting, very interesting."
That person was giving off a dark Aura that, through the eyes of Perception, seemed to be engulfed in an abyss of Black Flames. The space around him looked as though he were about to be devoured by the devastating energy he himself exuded.
Helial was taken aback. All he could do was ask: "Who are you?"
Helial thought of the best geniuses in Orma and felt a jolt of electricity. The Goblins turned out to be something other than the unfit creatures the human propaganda had depicted them as. Helial was starting to realize he barely knew anything about that people, and felt the strong urge to gain the right knowledge to survive.