"Augh! Gah... Kraah!" Heath choked on his own blood, attempting to breathe as he faced the green tree canopy above him with widened eyes.

After he coughed out a ball of blood, he began to pant heavily once again, getting down onto his hands and knees.

Lyrian slowly approached the young man who couldn't believe what just happened. 'I almost died!' He looked up, only to see a heartless expression slowly walk over to him.

His body instantly leaned back. He sat on his rear, before pushing himself back slowly until his back hit the tree behind him. He gasped inwardly slightly as his back thudded against the tree.

'How? He was meant to be a lying small fry? What spell did he just use? A punch? Is he that strong of a sorcerer?' Heath had far too many questions.

This overwhelming pain and confusion was the perfect combination of factors that forced him to use 'Telespeech,' a unique spell of the Black Petal Sect.

"I need backup... please hurry." His voice was slightly echoey as if he was a robot, and his mouthbox lit up in a purple aura as he spoke.

A smile stretched across Lyrian's face when he heard this.

"What the hell is wrong with you!?" Heath exclaimed as shivers ran up his back.

"Now, I can kill even more of you," Lyrian exclaimed in a believable tone. He was a surprisingly good actor since Heath didn't hesitate even a second to believe him.

"Che! You may be stronger than me, but don't think you can defeat our squadron leader! Thats right... Master Jue is coming this time. You won't stand a chance! In fact, I'll have him kill you!" Heath screamed like a maniac.

"Hey... did you forget who's still in power here?" Lyrian knelt down next to Heath as the teen slowly crept his face away from Lyrian.

"Ahhh! Heelppp!" He suddenly screamed out of nowhere, facing the sky.

Lyrian shook his head, 'I wanted him to scream for help so that the backup would come quicker, but to think... how pathetic. Looks like that barrier wasn't the only thing shielding him from life to grow up and become a coward like this.'

At that moment, three figures appeared behind Lyrian and Heath.

The one in the middle had short gray hair and a similar-looking stubble. In terms of age, he looked to be no older than 50 with a few wrinkles, and his body was quite tall and developed.

He wore a pristine black robe with stripes of purple outlining it, and the aura he exuded could be described as ruthless and continuously flowing.

He stood confidently with his hands wrapped behind his body, as the two accomplices beside him were on one knee and facing the ground.

They also wore black, but instead of robes, it was the iconic black suit that the Black Petal Sect members were known to wear.

"S-squadron leader! You're here!" Heath exclaimed in relief, his eyes and face lighting up.

Lyrian faced this man with wariness. As the squadron leader, Jue, walked forward, Heath slowly rose up and got onto his feet, using the tree to help himself.

"What a pitiful state," Jue exclaimed with a disdain-filled look on his face.

"Y-yes... but it was due to this bastard! Master Ju... I want you to kill him! Right now! Kill him!" Heath suddenly exclaimed in a fit of rage.

This was quite a skeptical situation for Lyrian. He didn't want to fight to the death here. He wanted to be captured instead, so Heath saying all of this wasn't ideal.

'Maybe I should have killed him after he called for help...' Lyrian mused to himself.

"He did this to you? Impossible. What happens to you is always only your own fault. You were too weak to pick a fight with him, clearly." Jue said in a heartless tone.

"W-what?" Heath exclaimed under his breath, in slight shock.

"And you said to kill him? Did you forget the orders of the Third Head? We mustn't kill him. If he is ever found, he needs to be taken in. His potential can be crucial to the Black Petal Sect."

As Jue paused, Lyrian urgently thought to himself, 'Third Head? Did he see my plan? No... he must have just seen me coming here. Still, it seems he is higher on the hierarchy than this guy.'

"B-but... I am the prince! You can't defy my direct orders!" Heath suddenly yelled.

Jue then looked at him with a more serious expression.

"Boy... what makes you think you can bark orders at me?" Jue said in a low tone.

Heath winced slightly, looking down a bit.

"In the Black Petal Sect, your birth status means nothing. You must prove what you can do, or go suck a pile of shit. Right now, you are no greater than a pathetic First Level Cadet."

Heath could speak no longer, stumbling back slightly as he leaned against the tree behind him.

'Interesting...' Lyrian thought to himself, 'This sect looks to have some viewpoints that are even more virtuous than that of the normal world. Birth hierarchy doesn't exist.'

"Boy." Jue looked down at Lyrian, "Join our sect willingly. You will have the chance to become a squadron leader, and perhaps, even more."

Lyrian stared at Jue for a long while before finally speaking, "To hell with that! I'd rather eat dog shit than comply with the evil that your sect has brought to this world!"

Ju's expression did not change. He expected this sort of reply.

'Good... it worked.' Lyrian thought to himself, impressed with his acting skills.

At that moment, Jue reached into his robe and took out a small, squirming red worm.

"Go, Mind Controlling Gu." Jue said as the worm in his hand dropped to the ground.

'Huh?' Lyrian mused as the worm disappeared into the grass.

An odd feeling of worry overcame Lyrian, as a sudden pain jolted through his body.

He froze, feeling an overwhelming pain in his head. Then finally, he blacked out.


"It worked," Jue said, staring at the emotionless eyes of the young kid in front of him.

"Let's go," Jue said, jumping up to the trees as his accomplices followed him. Lyrian also followed behind him, moving robotically as if his body was not his own...

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