[8th Heaven; Kiyohime’s Island]
In the main office of the castle, Kiyohime’s daughter, Aqua, could be seen working on a stack of paperwork. Her expression was extremely focused and many similar stacks were scattered all around her..
50% of them were complaints about the mischieves of dragons and the calculations necessary to compensate the victims.
Auction houses destroyed.
The list was so long that working on it was a true pain in the rear, but she had no other choice than to deal with this hell.
Thankfully, the other half of that paperwork was more normal things such as new laws, food regulations, settling conflict between islands and kingdoms, and dealing with the treasury.
‘Mother really does a lot of work. I guess she used the occasion to rest a little.’
She was thinking so when someone suddenly opened the door.
“Who the hell—Hello~ Lady Nent. How may I help you?”
Nent chuckled at how this little girl’s expression shifted from wrathful to respectful in such a swift way.
“I remember you used to call me Aunt Nent when you were smaller.”
Aqua blushed a little. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Nent had partially raised her when she was just born. After all, Kiyohime didn’t really have enough time to raise one child alone.
In a way, Kiyohime was the ‘mother’ of all dragons so it was hard for her to really act as a mother for one dragon. In those times, Nent would take care of her and play with her.
Of course, those were the old-time during the second era. She didn’t know the details, but she hadn’t seen Nent since seven hundred years ago. Even for her, this wasn’t a small-time since she was still only in her early thousand years.
At the end of the day, she couldn’t act chummy with Nent when Kiyohime hated her, right?
Nent, who understood all this did not show any changes in expression. She had already been long used to being isolated. She cut to the chase.
“Sol has vanished for a while. I am quite worried now about him. After all, he is sort of like my mate. Where is he?”
Aqua’s lips twitched. It felt so weird to know that the young cousin she barely knew was fucking someone who had raised her. But she didn’t let that bother her.
“Haha. I am sorry lady Nent. But I cannot disclose such information.”
Nent smiled. She knew all the places in this territory. The only place that someone as high ranked as Aqua would refuse to talk about could only be that place.
“Hum…well I already had my inkling. But from your reaction, I can be now sure that he is in Tartarus.”
“*Snicker* No need to emanate dragon fear, little Aqua. For one, you are simply too weak and two, I already know that the Tartarus’ locations are all highly confidential. I just needed to confirm.”
Not even goddesses were completely omniscient, much less demigods.
The location of Tartarus in all the territories was highly confidential and thoroughly sealed.
In fact, most demigods didn’t even know which territories had a Tartarus in them.
All this secrecy was for protection.
It wouldn’t be funny if some lunatic managed to hide under the observation of a demigod and open Tartarus.
If she had been offended by Nent’s words, she showed none of it. Her pride was in no way wounded because she knew that Nent was a powerful King ranked being who could have become the queen of Phoenixes.
Furthermore, since Nent had been quite close to Kiyohime in the past, it wasn’t that surprising for her to know about Tartarus.
“Oh well, I didn’t come just for that. Since Sol is training, we can’t just stay here like prisoners. Give us a pass to visit the sixth and seventh heaven.”
There, she hesitated a little.
“Lady Kiyohime… things might be quite troublesome.”
“*Snort* Are you thinking about those horn dogs?”
This was indeed the case. Both Nent and Isis were extremely beautiful and exotic-looking women.
The seventh heaven was filled with young dragons and the sixth was filled with elves of ancient families.
While elves weren’t as lustful as dragons, they were quite the romantic bunch.
“Don’t worry, we can protect ourselves.”
‘I know! It’s them I am worried about!’
She wanted to scream in frustration. She could already smell trouble coming from a thousand miles.
But in the end, all she could do was sigh in resignation.
As she had said, neither Nent nor Isis were prisoners and in fact, they were honored guests. She couldn’t stop them from going out and sightseeing.
Even more so since the island’s belongings to Kiyohime were void of basically any form of entertainment.
“I understand. I can give you a pass to have full access to the Island’s belongings to mother in Seventh and Sixth Heaven but that’s all.”
The eight dragons didn’t only have one island on the eighth heaven. They all had their own territories in the lower heavens for their children, servants, worshippers, and so on.
Technically, she could have given them full access to all but, since her mother was currently absent for an undetermined amount of time, she wanted to diminish the amount of trouble she would have to deal with.
While all young dragons would be trained by Kiyohime, it wasn’t as if the results were always perfect or even positive.
At the end of the day, what a teacher could do was limited by the willingness of the students to learn.
But dragons and elves in Kiyohime’s territory had all gone through special focused education since their birth and were less driven by their instincts.
Nent was perfectly satisfied by the arrangements. Not only could she move around, but she wouldn’t end up meeting Fafnir by accident.
“By the way, forgive me for asking, but is that cat yours?”
Caressing the white cat that was resting in her arms and sighing at the slightly cold aura it was emanating, she wondered what kind of magical beast it was and why it couldn’t communicate even though it could already use magic.
“No. It belongs to Sol.”
“I see. It’s a beautiful creature. What’s her name?”
She nodded and approached the cat before gently petting it. Sekhmet on the other hand was acting as arrogantly as any cat, melting the heart of the two women.
The previously awkward atmosphere between the two warmed up considerably thanks to the cuteness of Sekhmet.
“Now then Sol. Before you go, what kind of weapons do you use?”
“Hum? Why the sudden question?”
“I need to understand something for your future training. I left quite a number of weapons with you, but I remarked that you used none of them.”
“I was trained in the sword. but…” Sol frowned before shaking his head, “Swords don’t suit me. Before I awakened, I used swords. But after that, I slowly realized they weren’t for me. In fact, I have never fought with one since then.”
Sol didn’t quite finish his words. When he fought with a sword, he had to think about many things. Wielding a sword wasn’t just about swinging it around recklessly.
In comparison, when he fought with his fists, the feeling of exhilaration as he tanked one hit after another before pummeling the face of his opponent was something a sword could never give him.
In short, he liked bashing people more than cutting them.
“As I thought…”
Kiyohime mumbled a little while confirming that sending Sol here was indeed the right choice. His fighting style needed him to become tougher and have a much higher regeneration speed.
She still wanted him to consider using a spear since it could greatly enhance his power and reach. Furthermore, some beings like the Lord made out of acid were quite a pain to deal with barehanded.
‘Well, I will take all that into account.’
“From now on. Whenever you fight, I want you to keep certain images in your head. The War Form you obtained is still incomplete so it’s time…”
“Ah… Incomplete is not the right word. Hum…how should I say this? Let’s see. When you put on new armor, You can’t just use it right away for battle, right? You need to become used to it, change some little things until it truly fits you.”
Sol immediately understood what she was trying to say. In short, it was fine tuning.
“The same goes for War Form. There’s no standard form because the final result is the one that suits you the most. For example, Fafnir focused extremely on defense. His scales are so tough that even I have a hard time dealing any wounds to him. In his war form, he is nearly indestructible.”
“What about you?”
Kiyohime smiled, “I will tell you when you finish your training.”
‘So you sold out your brother’s information but kept yours secret?’
Kiyohime chuckled as she continued, “The fighting style you pursue needs high defense, but not to the point of sacrificing speed, strength or regeneration. In short, what you seek is a balanced state. Quite greedy, but dragons are greedy by nature. It’s good.”
By focusing on this path, Sol’s immediate evolution would be a little slower, but once he bathed in dragon blood, his base stats would skyrocket.
“Well then…That’s it for the briefing. Since you decided to continue, I wish you luck.”
With those words, Kiyohime vanished.
Sol, now alone, sighed as he continued to eat and prepared mentally for what will happen next.
High in the sky, watching as Sol used the transfer matrix, Kiyohime couldn’t help but think about Nadu.
The poor girl was still imprisoned to this day.
From what mother had told her, staying in this place would one day be very useful for Nadu.
She didn’t know how staying in such a place filled with madness could be good for anyone in the long run, but she decided to not argue.
The fact that Nadu was still sane to this day was already a miracle.
Many divine beasts of her generation had killed themselves because they could not support the flow of time even after hibernating regularly.
Without a doubt, Nabu was someone extremely admirable.
But she was sure that the girl was reaching the limits of her sanity. She was slowly becoming more bloodthirsty and would attack anyone trespassing on her Territory — Dragons or not, it didn’t matter.
During the past training, she had warned the young ones to not disturb her, but since Nabu was a sort of legend in the clan, they always tried to fight her and they also always ended up nearly dead.
She had been about to warn Sol about this trait but Tiamat had communicated and stopped her from doing so.
‘Does mother wish for Sol and Nabu to be in contact?’
She neither knew nor cared much about it. Since Tiamat was interested in this situation, then nothing would happen to Sol.
That was more than enough for her.
When he entered the 5th Hell, Sol frowned a little but managed to keep the disgust in his heart.
It seemed that he was slowly becoming used to the air here. Once he went back to the normal world, his mana circulation would without a doubt become much smoother.
‘Now then…what should I do?’
Sol thought a little before deciding to go into hiding and scout the surroundings. The reason he could finish the 4th Circle so easily, minus the whole super ambush, was the fact that he had intel about the best road to follow.
Right now, rather than rushing head first, he should find some helpless straggler and ‘discuss’ with them, ‘gently’ extracting the information he needed.
He took a deep breath before slowly releasing the air accumulated in his lungs. His state of mind became cold while his eyes became listless.
The threatening and killing aura that now always surrounded him completely settled and his presence itself vanished.
This was a technique he recently came up with. In the past, he had to superimpose his existence with his dimension in order to ‘vanish’. Now though, he ‘fused’ his aura with that of the environment.
Short of direct sight, it was basically impossible for anyone at his level to feel and find him.
Picking up a direction without much thought, he began to walk. No matter what happened next would be left up to Fate.