193 Derek Talks 2
"I lost my hand to that man's attack.."
Derek continued to recount the story of how he escaped.
The situation looked dire for Derek. He had lost an arm. He was losing blood quickly and to make it worse, the blood had left behind a long trail.
He pulled his sword with his other hand and gritted his teeth. He had no option. Flames blazed and the sword turned red due to heat.
Derek used the flat surface of his sword to burn the cut in order to seal the wound. The process was extremely painful. But he endured it without letting even a squeak escape his mouth.
Covered in sweat and extreme exhaustion, Derek continued to move. He avoided the common and usual means of transportation and took the unusual ones.
The pursuit continued. He had to live on the edge every second worrying whether someone would recognize him. The bounty set up on his head sent countless people after him.
One such encounter had cost him his leg when he had to jump from the 8th floor of a building. He sacrificed his one leg to protect the other one and escape from the pursuit.
Max couldn't help but stare at Derek.
'Everyone has got their troubles I guess….' He thought. But it still didn't change any of his feelings for Derek.
Stark sighed after hearing what happened. Ethena too didn't look good. The smile on her face had faded away.
"Do you have any idea who they were? Have you seen them before?" Ethena asked.
Derek shook his head as he replied, "No...I haven't. But I felt this bad and ominous feeling from the fluctuation around them. It was exactly like the man who went on a rampage earlier."
Ethan's eyes gleamed with a fierce light and Stark's face too turned grim.
Max observed their expression and confirmed a few things.
"You seem to have an idea about what that thing was…." Derek said as he turned towards Max. He had been with Max during the battle. He could at least tell that much from his observations.
Stark and Ethena looked towards Max. There was a surprise in their eyes.
'Could it be the prophecy was true?'
A question appears in both Stark and Ethena's mind.
Max knew it was time to make things clear.
"Before I answer anything, I want to ask one thing, Master. Do you belong to the Ancient Families?"
Stark looked at Max and so did Ethena. They didn't reply.
"Master...the hammer you gave me. It was not just an ordinary hammer, right?" Max asked and their expression changed even more.
Stark looked at Max and then at Lear and Anna as he spoke, "We should talk in private."
'Why the hell is it so complicated?' Max felt a pain in his head.
"They know everything…. besides, they need to know about this too…." Max said calmly.
Stark noticed that the Max he knew had changed. It seemed that snotty brat who only acted strong and confident back then had become a man now.
He couldn't help but smile.
"What about him?" Max asked as he looked towards Derek.
Derek frowned and replied, "I am staying…."
"Let him be….if Leo chose him, he is already one of us…" Stark replied.
He then looked at Max and continued, "You are right, I am from the Ancient Family and so is she…"
"Sigh! You didn't have to drag me into this...you know very that revealing our identity in the real world is a taboo…." Ethena said with a sigh.
"I know. But how do you think we can carry this conversation ahead then. Besides, don't you want to know…." Stark said seriously.
Ethena looked at him. It was true. They had heard stories from childhood. Today, she finally had a chance to hear it. How can she not be interested? Besides, if they just reported it to the Lords of the family, they might not even get to know about anything.
Stark noticed that she had turned quiet.
But at this moment, Derek spoke, "What are Ancient families? Was my master from it as well?"
"The thing which you people encounter. Those creatures are a threat to humanity. They haven't emerged recently but have been present for a long time. We call them Demons. On the surface, the threat to humanity is Mana beasts which are dealt with by the 12 noble houses. But the true threat is the Demon Race." Stark said with a serious tone.
"The Ancient Families are the one who defends humanity against these Demons and your Master too belonged in one these families."
Stark then looked at Max and spoke, "The hammer that you took, it was one of the five divine artifacts. That one belonged to my family."
" All five divine artifacts follow a prophecy. It is said that no matter where it is when the time comes, it will find its wielder. The person who would change the world. The one who will either be the cause of the beginning of a new era or the destruction of the current one."
'What kind of double meaning sh*t is this?' Max thought as a frown emerged on his face.
He could understand the thought behind the prophecy. If they succeed in sealing Vaccaria again, it would end up the beginning of a new era. But if they failed, it would be the ending of the current one. Both sounded the same, but the difference between the two was of heaven and earth.
'I hope it doesn't create any new kind of trouble…'
"Even though it is said that, I don't believe it. So does our family Lord. He has always supported me to raise you well." Stark said sensing the change in Max's expression
Max felt grateful that he met the right person.
But he still couldn't understand one thing.
Where was the Heavenly Demon, Vaccaria? Where was the battle ongoing through millennia? Did they know about it or not?
If they didn't, would it cause trouble in Max's plans?
'It's getting troublesome…..' Max muttered in his mind.