"If you think of it that way, you’re making a huge mistake," said Old Man, shaking his head. "Although you’re an exceptionally powerful individual, His Majesty’s doubts are still doubts. We don’t know for sure if he contacted you just because of these uncertainties. He definitely has a more farsighted plan, of course? Your father’s contributions then were not done in vain, right?"
"We should stop our discussion here for now." Garen closed his eyes, unwilling to talk further.
The Black Prince had already arrived in the Kingdom, and Avic’s stabbing incident would be exposed, which would cause an uproar in the Kingdom. Then it wouldn’t matter if he wanted to seek refuge with her, the question of whether the princess would even be able to protect herself was already a problem.
Moreover, as to whether or not Avic knew that he had killed the daughter of a king, realistically the nature of the incident was already very severe. However, when he thought about it carefully, he realized that it was not an issue that was too serious.
He had powers equivalent to a Form 5 Totem User himself and was probably the strongest person in the entire Kingdom. The battle at Snowy Peak proved that he had achieved that level. To fall out with him merely for the sake of a king’s daughter, was beyond someone who was as wise as Avic.
The Trejons family of the past may have encountered terrible disasters because of this. However, now, it was different.
Before Garen could switch his status completely, he was already cornered by Old Man. When he thought back about this now, he realized that there was nothing serious to be worried about.
Old Man and the others only needed to look at Garen’s expression to know that this rationale was something that he could not refuse.
He did not bother to overthink it, this was not one of the key bargaining chips in the beginning anyway.
"Since we’ve come to this, just wait until we’ve arrived at the Kingdom so the princess can speak to you personally. Frankly, ever since you handed your household treasure over to His Majesty Avic, Her Majesty has wanted to speak to you. The problem was not that you didn’t have time to speak to her, rather, Her Majesty was the one who had no time."
"Then we’ll wait until we arrive at the Kingdom to continue discussing this matter," answered Garen simply.
Old Man shook his head and did not say another word.
From their perspective, Garen was a royal minder that would hold on stubbornly, and would never change his mind so quickly. Right now, he was only trying to create a sliver of doubt in Garen’s heart, to create uncertainties in his loyal heart towards Avic.
The tasks thereafter would require Her Majesty to speak to him personally.
Regarding the princess, Old Man had unshakeable confidence in her.
He moved away slowly and stopped bothering Garen, choosing instead to run towards Red Umbrella on the other side to speak to him.
Garen had actually seen through Old Man’s intentions.
However, he knew that future forces and the Obscuro Society were ready to stab the king, which would then throw the Kingdom into a state of turmoil. Before the situation cleared up, it was too early to be discussing these matters.
The steam in the hot spring continued to rise, and at once, Garen immersed himself in his thoughts again.
He did not know why there was an unknown irritability bubbling up inside his heart. He kept trying to think, but was unable to focus quietly.
Garen stood up from the water suddenly and used his Secret Techniques to dry off the steam on his body, before grabbing his clothes from the side of the pool and putting them on quickly.
"I’m going to take a walk first, you guys can take your time to soak."
"Okay, we’re almost done as well," answered Old Man hurriedly.
Red Umbrella made a sound of agreement as well.
Garen walked out of the hot spring with long strides and saw Fox outside using a dry towel to wipe her long hair, while Kitten sat on the side and laughed happily about something.
When both of them saw Garen come out, they frantically stood up cautiously.
"You’re done bathing, Leader?"
"Yes," answered Garen simply with a slightly impatient tone. He did not know why his heart had been filled with an uncomfortable irritating feeling since just now.
He was about to make a round around his surroundings before a loud angry yell echoed from the hot spring suddenly.
It sounded like Red Umbrella’s voice.
"I only had good intentions, Red Umbrella. Don’t you get the wrong idea!!" Old Man’s anger-filled voice could be heard as well.
"What’s going on?!"
Garen raised his voice and asked the people inside.
Instantly, the three people came out one after another, two of them fuming with anger. They seemed to have started fighting. Meanwhile, Kid walked behind them, clad in his brand new black skirted armor.
"It’s nothing, just a little quarrel. Leader, don’t worry about it," said Old Man, suppressing his anger determinedly.
"All my life I’ve hated it when others tried to threaten me!" Red Umbrella replied coldly from the side.
As he looked at both of their faces, Garen did not know why violent emotions started bubbling up inside his heart suddenly.
Could these weak pieces of trash give him some peace of mind?! Not only had he protected them throughout the journey, did he have to be responsible for their mental health as well? He was their leader, not their nanny!
The anger inside him grew stronger.
The air around him began to solidify gradually, and the atmosphere became more and more tense.
Suddenly, a shock quaked through Garen’s mind, and he began to feel like something was wrong.
As a fighter who had extreme control over his own abilities, he had always understood his physical changes like the back of his hand. Moreover, practicing his Secret Techniques had allowed him to repair some parts of himself as well.
But currently, Garen felt that something was not right.
Usually, he would not get upset at others so easily.
Furthermore, Old Man and Red Umbrella were usually mild tempered as well. How did they get mad so suddenly?
He glanced past Kitten and Fox.
Kitten’s brows were currently furrowed as she glared at Old Man angrily, as she was obviously furious at Old Man who had picked a fight with Red Umbrella.
Meanwhile, Fox had a cold expression on her face, a sign that she was somewhat upset as well.
"Is this place making us all like this?!" A thought flashed through Garen’s mind.
He glanced at the expressionless Kid again and noticed that the little guy had a sleepy look on his face, and seemed to be completely unconcerned about the emotions of his teammates.
Garen raised his head again and looked at the sky, noticing that the dark clouds had moved closer, while the sentient-like feeling became more obvious.
He yelled suddenly.
Old Man and Red Umbrella rushed forward one after another and shouted back at Garen.
A red light flashed.
A hostile flash illuminated Garen’s forehead, as two dreamlike red dragon heads flashed in front of him suddenly.
After the two loud strikes sounded, Old Man and Red Umbrella were both sent flying before crashing into the stony ground on both sides and rolling far away.
"Garen! You dare touch me?!" Old Man attempted to get up, but his whole body was powerless, and he could not seem to move.
"Speak again and I’ll kill you!" Murderous rage flashed in Garen’s eyes suddenly.
Old Man was shocked and could not speak anymore.
On the other side, Red Umbrella seemed to have realized that something was wrong, as his power was now slightly stronger, and one hit had made him nauseous and unable to react properly.
Garen glanced at Fox and Kitten and noticed that both their eyes had become slightly more bloodshot, as they were temporarily suppressed by his strong powers, and it would not be long before he exploded.
"Hnngh!" Garen huffed coldly as two dragon heads flashed in front of his body again.
"Don’t fight back!"
The four dragon heads bit down one person each.
While the four of them were being bitten, even if they tried to retaliate, they were currently held down by its terrifying level of suppression which made it hard for them to breathe. Not only was it hard for them to fight back, but speaking required a lot of energy as well.
"Kid, follow me!" Garen glanced at Kid.
"Okay." Kid bore no sign of abnormalities and nodded his head sincerely.
On his own, Garen brought the four others out of the misty area and ran outside quickly.
Kid returned to the white rhinoceros and took everyone’s bundles from it, before following behind Garen closely.
The group of people rushed along for more than an hour before the white mist in front of them gradually became thinner.
The white rocks on the ground had also decreased, and the cracks between the rocks had stopped spraying water vapor.
The mysterious irritating feeling had also finally disappeared.
Once they reached a depression in one of the large rocks, only then did Garen throw the four people he had been biting on top of the rock.
He had regulated his own breathing slightly and began to feel as if his emotions were suddenly normal now. The irritating feeling from earlier was gone.
He looked at the others and their uncomfortable faces, that seemed to have realized the strange things that happened earlier.
"I knew there was something wrong when there were no monsters there. Who would think that there was something abnormal inside!" Old Man got up and shook his head.
"Everyone was almost done for." Red Umbrella forced a smile and got up as well. "It almost caused me to fall out with Leader and Old Man, really…"
"It seems like there aren’t any places without danger in this wilderness, so we have to keep our guard up at all times. Regardless if they’re strong or weak…" Garen nodded and said seriously. "Since I fell victim to it, you guys would be more likely to. No wonder there wasn’t a single monster in that area, I didn’t expect this effect to exist."
He stopped speaking and looked at Red Umbrella and the other man, before smiling slightly.
"You two are alright, right? I attacked you a bit harshly earlier. But I believe that you won’t blame me, yes?"
"It’s fine. Don’t worry, Leader." Red Umbrella stroked the left side of his face where a burning sensation could be felt, which meant that there was no way he was fine. But after looking at Leader’s fake concerned expression, if he even dared to say that something was wrong… He remembered Garen’s murderous rage from earlier, and a chill ran down his spine unconsciously.
"No… Nothing’s wrong. Leader, you did all this to save us, and we are inexplicably grateful. How could there be anything wrong? Ha… Haha…" Old Man held the swollen part of his face that had been hit and answered jokingly.
"That’s good." A happy look appeared on Garen’s face. "Since nothing’s wrong, we’ll continue our journey, because I don’t think we can get the things that were on the white rhinoceros’ back."
"I took all of our stuff." Kid dragged six suitcases along and stood beside them, taking credit for his contributions loudly.
"Well then, this time we owe you, Kid!" Garen laughed as he patted Kid’s head.
Kitten stood on the side and rejoiced in their misery. She was angry and speechless when Garen bullied her, but now that she realized another two people had joined her side, her heart was suddenly unbelievably joyful.
Fox, on the other hand, was still analyzing the abnormalities of the place.
"If I hadn’t guessed wrongly, the misty area earlier probably had characteristics that amplified the negative emotions of large creatures." Fox’s calm voice rang out amidst all the other people.
Garen was shocked. "Amplified negative emotions?" He pondered carefully and realized it was true.
He was worried that there would be no cure for his after effects, which caused the irritated and fretful feeling. Old Man and Red Umbrella had disagreed on only one matter, and while both sides would usually compromise, this time no one had expected them to be impatient to the extent of having outbursts.
Behind them, Red Umbrella had dared to yell at someone who was stronger than himself, which was an obvious sign that something was not right.
"I’ve observed Kid for a long time. Kid has never gotten angry. He was even happy. Regardless of how others treat him, he’s never troubled and always happy," explained Fox in a soft voice. "That’s why he was the only one among us who was completely fine and did not feel threatened at all. At the time, I heard the noises as well, and began to feel an inexplicable need to explode suddenly."
Garen turned around and looked at the direction they had rushed in from, and etched this place in his heart deeply.
"We’ll stop discussing this matter here then. Let’s just hurry up and head to the Kingdom."
The others had no objections. If they had not been convinced about Garen’s strength last time, they had experienced it first hand now, and finally realized that their Leader’s strength currently surpassed theirs greatly, and the difference between them was too large, and even his mere breath could make them terrified.