He left without telling Cori. He left her with nothing more than that slight jolt of electricity. He left that very night, conscious that the more he would wait, the more the problems Beritius would cause him.
According to what he had got to know, the Dungeon bustled with demoniac monsters whose soul was made of a singular kind of metal, the Demon Marrow. Despite being a typical feature of Second Phase monsters, the Demon Marrow could boast Fourth Phase properties.
If melted with other metals, just a few grams of Demon Marrow would give birth to extremely valuable and efficient mixed-steel swords, which made the perfect weapons for a Mana Warriors army. Also, once melted with armor set pieces, it would make for a defence that no creature under the Fourth Phase could dream to pierce.
It was as an outstanding metal as difficult item to find. Very few Dungeons could boast to be rich in such metal, and those monsters it was extracted from were powerful ones. However, someone in a higher Phase than the monsters would get no drop at all; a Fifth Phase monster killed by an Immortal wouldn't drop anything.
The only way to lay hands on such metal was to be in the same Phase as the demons, or in a slightly higher one, and then challenge them. And still, those demoniac creatures whose soul was imbued with Demon Marrow were so frightening they could likely squeeze out the head of a Third Phase practitioner.
Usually, the Mana Congregation would send an entire party made of Healers and several different Classes, to maximize efficiency.
Beritius, however, had strived to fob this off on Vidio. According to him, this operation was needed to make sure Vidio would be prepared to finally become a Master of the Mana Congregation. And to test his reliability as well. Beritius was a sneaky and devious man, but fortunately, Vidio couldn't care less. For how intensely Beritius aimed at getting rid of his troublesome romantic rival though, he couldn't speak his mind on this with any member of the Mana Congregation, or he would be punished harshly. His only way to get Vidio out of the way was do it sneakily and deviously.
Helial's future Master went on walking as if nothing had happened, his hands crossed behind his back. Suddenly, he smiled and slowed down his pace. He reached for a tree and stopped, back turned on the road. Then he began to slowly unbutton his trousers.
"There's a pretty nice bunch of you, isn't there?" Vidio sensed over twenty Auras scattered across the area. If his senses didn't betray him, at least one amongst them must already be in the Fourth Phase. Might they be mercenaries hired by Beritius? "Just come clean, you bunch of retarded," Vidio yawned.
Fwoosh! Fwoosh! Fwoosh!
Twenty figures, faces covered and weapons clutched, stepped out of the bushes and surrounded the young man, who was still fiddling with his pants.
"What is he even doing?" one of them whispered in bafflement. That young man wasn't frightened in the least. He was standing there, in front of a tree, surrounded by a goon squad, and yet all he seemed to care about was unfasten his trousers.
Vidio smiled back at the exclamation. The head of the group nudged at the stooge who had talked. Then, he took a step forward and yelled: "Hey brat! Rumors have it you stepped on the wrong one's toes. And you're still acting bold even after sensing out our presence. Do you really think you can flee?"
"Hahahah!" Vidio burst into a wild laughter, leaving the hit men speechless. The head of this bunch of more than twenty mercenaries, so good at sneaking that a squirt in the Second Phase had just sensed their presence, was trying to make a show of force? Like, really?
Without the least intention to answer him back, the young man kept fiddling with his trousers. They wouldn't unbutton.
Then this was Beritius' plan? This was all he'd got? Recruit mercenaries in the Fourth Phase Early stage to put him down? Vidio furrowed his eyebrows. A rather foolish mercenary, also, since he was showing off his Aura instead of concealing it. Affinity for Earth, huh? Vidio pondered. Maybe he could detect the Affinity of all of them.
Vidio quickly swept his eyes over the others. Apparently, he took notice, none of their Mana had any particular Affinity with speed.
Beritius really did underestimate him. If he had been faintly smarter, that oldie would have gathered a little bit more information on Vidio and his strong points. The young man was no ordinary warrior indeed; his speed could easily compare that of someone in the Third Phase Late stage.
Helial felt heart-wrung. He was worried for his Master. He knew perfectly well that those were merely memories. It all belonged to the past, to a long time before when Vidio had no clue on what would expect him, nor knew that one day, he would stumble on a guy named Helial. This meant Vidio couldn't die in that fight.
And yet Helial was scared for his Master's life. A life that had been already taken. But… in that very moment, Vidio was right before him. Vidio was alive.
Helial was a witness to something he had never seen before. His Master was a young, strong and hotheaded man, way more spontaneous than the Vidio he knew, and he was full of life. He was invincible, a bright future ahead, and his moves were majestic and relentless. He glistened with pride and vigor. The sight of this Vidio made Helial travel back in time.
Helial heard his Master's voice from the very deep ends of his memory.
Hey boy, look at that ass!
What do you think, is this waitress open to try out this Master's shaft?
What? You're telling me you've never delivered your battle shaft between a woman's legs?!
You wanna grow stronger, huh? How about you let go of this bullshit and just go for an intercontinental tour for pimps-wanna-be? No? You sure? Sorry to hear that, I'm pretty sure it might be a great job one day. Just saying.
What is love for me, huh? Oh, boy. Stop asking such silly questions. Helial could still recall Vidio's gaze as he answered this question. Love? Pf, there is no such thing as love. There sure is a lot of stunning women… but love? Better to fall ahead over lust. Love… well, love is just a thorn in the flesh.
Vidio had always been a skilled liar. For how he despised the very concept of love itself in Floralivory City, his mind and heart had always been oriented towards his one and only. And it was the same woman the future Master of the Mana Congregation was thinking of while unbuttoning his pants, surrounded by a large group of warriors. "Don't worry, Cori, death won't find me here nor in the Capital. We'll spend our life together, Cori, happily together."
Helial felt some warm moist on his cheek and brushed his fingers on his face to check what it was. Without his noticing, he had begun crying. That teardrop was soaked in everything he had never understood about Vidio.
That Vidio he had always considered to be merely a womanizer, a lay-about, was actually concealing his inextinguishable love for an unreachable woman. All his fatigue, all his suffering… and yet, Vidio had never let nothing but a smile cover his face and nothing but joke fill his mouth.
How many times had Helial considered his Master's lack of seriousness as a symptom to excessive faintness? But he had got him wrong. Vidio knew perfectly well the weight of living, but had always born it without letting anyone spot the faintest trace of his pain.
"Ah, so now you dare laugh even?" An evil smile spread its way on the face of the head of the hit men recruited to kill Vidio. "Then you must be one of those hysterical who burst into laughter before shitting themselves? Well, then. If you're a good boy, your death will be of the quickest kind."
The young man's fingers stopped moving. The boss hit man's words must have scared the crap out of him!
Vidio suddenly turned, facing his enemy… his trousers finally unbuttoned.
Under the shocked gazes of everyone, a golden jet poured down on the leader's clothes.
The leader felt this strange warm moist on his chest and his face turned red. He yelled: "The fuck are you doing?!"
"I'm peeing on you, bitches!"
Vidio was walking through a clearing, alone, under tiny rays of sunshine that warmed up his body.