Chapter 15 - Heavenly Pupils

Ryu ate leisurely. His plate was different from others since he couldn't withstand strong, spiritually rich dishes. However, he enjoyed many delicacies as well.

His mother, despite her calm demeanor, was far more overprotective of him than his father, so it was often her that arranged his meals. Such a thing was unheard of for a woman of her stature, but she refused to allow others the right for fear that they would make a mistake and end up injuring her son.

Currently, the family sat at a long table. Ryu's father sat at the left head while his mother sat at the right. Directly to her right, starting the very edge of this long table, Ryu sat with Elena to his own right. As for the shy and reserved Nuri, Ryu would always sneak food to her against her wishes, resulting in her adorably nibbling away with a happy smile on her face while hidden in the void.

Directly across from Ryu were empty chairs where his grandparents had been, but it seemed that they were taking this time to mingle with friends of theirs. As for Elena's family, they were nowhere to be seen. But, Ryu had expected this. Maybe only the Holy Wing Clan would dare to reject a Tatsuya Clan invitation.

"Little Ryu, do you have something on your mind?" Himari lovingly brush her son's long white hair with a delicate palm. Others might not notice, but how could she not? Ryu's expression seemed to be just as cold as usual, but Himari noticed that something was off.

Himari didn't seem to care that she was perpetuating rumors by treating Ryu like this in public. She wanted to see who dared to tell her to refrain from loving her son just for the comfort of others.

Many saw the Himari that was as gentle as a lake, but Titus knew quite well that his wife was even more domineering that he was. It was a large portion of the reason he fell for her. How could a Mistress of the Tatsuya Clan be weak?

"Your grandmother told me about the ruins... But you shouldn't put too much stock in folk lore, okay?" Himari's words were meaningful and deep. She didn't doubt her son's intelligence for even a moment, but what she did worry about was his wellbeing.

Could it be that her Little Ryu was thinking about seeking out this Second Awakening? After all, who in his position wouldn't be tempted? Ryu had two of three Phoenix bloodlines within him, if the Phoenix Sky God was going to pick someone… Shouldn't it be him? It made sense, no?

Hearing these words, the idle Titus and Elena looked toward Ryu simultaneously. Although Titus tried to hide it, a flash of emotion lit his eyes. As for Elena, she was far less capable, resulting in the air around her becoming slightly misty. Even Nuri stopped nibbling at her food to look at Ryu was a painful sorrow.

Truth be told, Ryu's heart warmed at the reaction of his family. Other large Clans would be clamouring to find out the details of such a large treasure trove, yet Ryu's family only wanted him to not lose himself.

Ryu shook his head, looking toward his mother's beautiful and worried visage. "I have no plans to seek out my end, mother. I'll be by your sides for as long as I can."

Himari's heart ached at these words, but she could only begrudgingly accept them.lightsnovel

"What I'm worried about is something entirely unrelated… The movement of things, isn't it far too odd? I hadn't noticed anything until this morning, but when Elena mentioned the sudden rise in Light Saintesses, a lot of seemingly unrelated events started circulating in my mind..."

"Unrelated events?" Himari's brows furrowed.

"Mm." Ryu fell into what almost looked like a trance. "The Ice Flames' weakening. The Rebirth Flames' weakening. The sudden rise of Supreme Priest Adofo and his Scarlet Clan. Nine Light Saintesses in less than one million years. My birth. Old Mistress Holy Wing's hatred. My interaction with Gale Ventus. The Unda Clan Heir's gaze. The Grand Elder's eavesdropping. The birth of Gale. The birth of Lacus. The birth of Elena's mother.

"They're all linked by a ribbon of gray, filled with peaks and valleys, bathed in the blood of the heroic and innocent…"

Ryu awoke with a start, a violent cough erupting from his frail chest. If it wasn't for Elena's delicate hand shooting forward to rub his back and send a steady stream of energy to him, Ryu felt that he would have lost consciousness in that instant.

"Little Ryu!" Himari appeared by her son's side. Truthfully, this incident had gone completely unnoticed given the gathering's atmosphere. If even the laugh of a powerful expert like Priest Saint Kunan couldn't interrupt it, how could the cough of a mere mortal like Ryu do so?

However, Himari had to take her son's face in her hands because… His eyes were bleeding!

Titus' frown solidified as his jaw clenched. He didn't understand his son's words either, but he didn't need prompting to know that this was a big matter.

These so-called ribbons of gray… Weren't those the Lines of Karma? What sort of Lines of Karma could possibly tie all of these things together?

They didn't know and neither did Ryu. However, had the Tatsuya Clan not been suspicious themselves, why would they send out invitations for today's event? Even to the point of calling out so many secluded members of the older generation?

Having no choice but to do his best to cover up his son's situation, Titus stood and made an announcement.

"It's about time we begin, honored guests. Bring in the Origin Flame!"