As the old man got closer, the members of the empire started to feel uncomfortable, the closer he gets the heavier the feeling was and they saw how the air around him was tainted by a brown glow.
The discomfort that they were feeling was not a psychological response to the nefarious and intimidating aura of the man, but a physiological one generated by their bodies due to the immensely high amount of energy to which they were being exposed.
It started as a common irritation on their skin, but it grew to the point that those at Rank 1 started to feel suffocated as if the air was too heavy and the little amount of oxygen they were able to inhale, made them feel like if dust was invading their lungs.
Even those Rank 2 Magus and the three Neo-Demons, were forced to activate their magical defenses.
The cause was simple, the old man wasn't containing his magnetic force field and all the power in his body was being released to the outside.
The immense amount of energy on the old man's body is enough to change the environment, and seeing the effect on those Rank 1 Magus, one could imagine the effect that he would generate in a highly populated city full of Rank 0 individual.
This was the terror of Soul Forging existence, they do not have to do anything and their mere presence could kill tens of thousands.
Of course, the old man would not dare to do this in a city under the control of a powerful organization, like the empire or dynasty, unless he wants to have his soul extracted and tortured until its dissipates.
Seeing the pain and struggle on the faces of those Rank 1 Magus, made the old man smile grow bigger and sinister.
And when he saw how Zatiel was having an easier time overcoming the energy of his body compared to the Rank 2 Magus on the platform, his eyes sparkled.
'So this is the one, he was not lying when he said that there was an extremely young and talented man in here. Excellent!' The smile on the old man continued to grow, and it reached the point it becomes unnatural.
Although Lun was able to reach Rank 4, it was only thanks to the fact he had a powerful background and obscene amount of resources were poured on him, otherwise reaching Rank 3 would have been the peak of his life.
But even though he achieved Soul Forging, it was only thanks to a lucky encounter and even then, he was one of the weakest and if it wasn't for the thousands of years of accumulation, he could not speak on equal grounds with those in his same Rank.
When he started to reach the end of his path, Lun began to feel life tasteless, physical placer was now insignificant to him, but there was one thing that brings him a wicked satisfaction even now and that was to use his power to crush geniuses and rising stars, make them feel despair and destroy their hopes.
Unfortunately for him, most geniuses are smart enough to put themself under a powerful organization or obtain some sort of backer, so when he was contacted with the mission of killing a supreme genius, he happily accepted.
As for the statue of the powerhouse of the empire, he will only need to bring a decent excuse and was sure that the man will not offend him just for someone at Rank 1.
Lun reached the sky over the platform and it was only when he saw those Rank 1 individual suffocating and fighting to breathe, that he retracted his magnetic force field.
To him, those Rank 1 Magus were no different from ants, and killing them brings him no placer and the only he would obtain would be a debt to the ones they serve.
When Grigori saw the old man floating in the sky, he silently cursed his bad luck for having him have to interact with such a crazy Soul Forging, of course, he didn't dare to show those emotions and after adopting a complacent smile and polite posture, he flew to the man and bowed.
\"Grigori Feirr, humbly greet the mighty Soul Forging existence, can I know the Lord name?,\" Grigori speech and performance was implacable, leaving no excuse to move against him.
As someone how as live thousands of years, Lun was able to notice Grigori acting immediately, but even though it annoys him, killing a Rank 3 individual without cause, was a great crime on the empire, so he only sneered and proceed to speak.
\"I am Lun, The Spirit of One Hundred Mountains, hand over the core of the platform and the record with the deposits made and important events, happening during this expedition,\" Lun words were harsh and severe, treating Grigori no different than a servant.
But Grigori smile did not diminish, and he politely handed over the core of the platform and a crystal to Lun, before bowing and flying back to the platform.
Lun did not waste time and immediately send his consciousness into the core to gain control over the platform and into the crystal to obtain the information about the important events that happened during the expedition.
As he examines the information on the crystal he obtained a new understanding of Zatiel monstrous talent and the smile on his face filled with so much excitement that he was almost trembling.
The more especial Zatiel was, the greater the placer he would feel by shattering his will and killing him. And as he read more, he paused when the Star Heart was mentioned.
'A perfect excuse, excellent!' Lun's wicked smile grew as he turns to look at Zatiel and he released a horrendous pressure against him.
Zatiel saw the smile of the old man and in the next second a force lashed out on him, forcing him to kneel and he felt how his bones started to fracture.
The actions of Lun shocked everyone, as he attacked Zatiel without a word and it was apparent that there was no prior connection between them.
The response of the members of the empire was varied, but among those at Rank 1, there were smiles. Every single one of them was so inferior to Zatiel that they could never challenge him, but now seeing this genius was being humiliated by someone at Rank 4 gave them satisfaction.
Those at Rank 2 were better at hiding their emotions, and Kira was the only one that was showing something.
But on the woman's eyes, there was no such thing as sadness or anger, it was resignation and a little regret, possible to the fact that she now thought she should have taken the rings.
A stark contrast was the emotion on the two Neo-Demons beside Zatiel, there was coldness and killing intent as they saw Lun's action, and they would have attacked even if that meant their deaths, had not Zatiel informed before that this could happen.
Of course, this was only an emotional response as they understand that they could escape at any moment, but even so, the coldness and fighting will in their eyes did not decreased as both Sophia and Ezequiel remained by Zatiel side.
Zatiel was able to feel the emotion on the duo hearts and warmth fills his and using all the power of his body he stands up and looks back at Lun, with calm and indifferent eyes.
'Yes!, resist and fight against it, it will only make destroying you more pleasurable.'
Zatiel resistance made Lun's smile grow to the point that all his teeth were visible.
\"Zatiel Daybreak, you obtained a Star Heart during your time inside the cave, due to the immense value of the object I will search your mind to make sure you are not hiding another piece,\" There was expectancy on Lun eyes as he waited to Zatiel's despair
Although Lun says he will just read his mind, what the old man will do is sent his consciousness into Zatiel soul and forcefully extract his memories, something him to horrendous torture and destroying the soul in the process.
But Lun's wishes were not granted, as Zatiel was looking at him with complete calmness even though the pressure the Soul Forging was releasing was making him bleed from every orifice on his head.
\"There can only be one Star Heart in any astral body since they are the core of this one. You are just using the power obtained by your age to bully me,\" There was no indignance in Zatiel's words, it was like if he was explaining something irrelevant to him.
Seeing Zatiel calmness started to make Lun feel anger.
\"Yes I am bullying you, I am using my age to overcome you, you may be talented but you are weak so I can do whatever I want with you, this is the unfairness of the universe.\"
With these words, Lun hoped to at least affect Zatiel but the answer he got was nowhere near close to what he hoped.
\"HAHAHA, you are right, fairness does not exits, just as you are using the power obtained by living thousands of years to bully me, I am using my talent and knowledge to dominate those garbage,\" Zatiel calmness broke as he spoke and pointed to those Rank 1 Magus that were looking at him.
\"The universe is unfair, there is no such thing as good and evil. If you are an embodiment of death and destruction killing trillions of lives, so what, you are right and they are wrong because you are the strongest!\"
When they hear those words, everyone was shocked, and even Lun was not an exception.
What Zatiel just spoke was the highest truth of the universe.
Power Reigns Above All.
What Lun felt when he obtained this new knowledge wasn't gratitude but hate.
\"How dares an insignificant ant like you try to teach me something, I will consume your soul and use my Law to shatter it,\" Lun's face was filled with anger, and the power he released was increasing.
But even in the presence of that, Zatiel don't feel threaten and the smile was still on his face.
\"You don't let me finish, I have another advantage and that is my brother!\"
The moment Zatiel words ended, Lun feels as if an ocean of blood assaulted him and paralyze his body, and before he could do anything a black sword pierced him from the back, allowing him to see how the sword tip appear from his chest.
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