Chapter 168 – Two Choices

Chapter 168 – Two Choices
 
The winged creature continued to hover near the eclipsed sun, guarding the dark orb and preventing anyone from attacking it.
Calron did not know what species the flying beast belonged to, but it was clear to see that it closely resembled a dragon. Unlike the magnificent and bulky form of Weir or Valis, the winged creature in the sky was nefarious and skeletal. He could not tell the accurate size of the dark dragon since it was high up in the air, however, Calron guessed that it was at least much bigger than him in his beast form.
 
That orb is the cause of Saint and Heavenly stage experts being drained of their strength.
Calron thought, seeing all the guards, Tower Lords, the King, and any other powerful cultivator on stage struggling to stand up straight.
 
He was just about to ask someone what was happening when he heard multiple screams coming from the crowd around him. Taking a quick glance to the side, Calron saw long trails of blood spluttered in the air which was followed by a dozen severed heads. It was hard to see the weapons that were the cause of this massacre, as they resembled scythes made of translucent air. 
 
It was the essence of a wind cultivator.
 
In the next moment, numerous black-robed figures flew in the air and each figure indiscriminately slaughtered anyone in their path. Some wielded the power of the elements, while others simply killed with cold metallic weapons.
 
“Oh no… ”
Calron whispered, mortified at seeing the carnage unfold in front of his eyes. The crowd all started to scream and dispersed away in all directions, only thinking of survival.
 
“Get Ellie out of here, Calron!”
Linda abruptly shook Calron, bringing him back to reality and away from the gruesome sights around him.
It finally dawned upon him that Ellie was also witnessing everything that he was. Taking her down from his shoulders, Calron looked into Ellie’s terrified eyes.
 
“It’s alright, Ellie, Master is still here.”
Calron placed both his hands on the little girl’s cheeks and tried to console her.
 
“M-master… blood… “
Ellie rambled in a hoarse voice, her eyes wide in shock.
 
“Just get her out of here!”
Linda exclaimed, pushing Calron to the side.
 
“Where will you go?”
Calron asked, knowing that this area was soon going to turn into a battlefield. 
 
“I will go to our clan members and get the Patriarch and uncle Kail out of here. I don’t know why but anyone under the Saint stage is unaffected by whatever vile thing that is.”
Linda stated while pointing at the massive black orb in the sky.
 
She figured it out as well.
“That’s too dangerous, Linda. I’ll come with you.”
Calron protested, worried for the young woman that he had only recently bonded with.
 
“What about Ellie? Just find a safe place for her and then you can return. Don’t worry, I may seem like a frail girl, but don’t forget that I am still a member of the Raizel clan.”
Linda winked at him and swiftly rushed towards the stage.
 
Shit!
Calron cursed, and quickly hugged the little girl to his chest with one arm and activated the Blood Mist Step. The screams of the crowd continued to echo throughout the city, the slaughtering of innocents causing even the air itself to reek of blood.
 
Roran, I need you!
He sent his thought into the Blood Legacy, hoping that the distance between him and Roran was not too far.
Through some miraculous luck, none of the black-robed figures arrived near Calron but he knew that he still had to get far away from the palace. He hoped that the Patriarch and the other members of the clan were safe, and once he carried Ellie to a secure location, he would return to fight with them.
 
Just as Calron was about to escape from the palace grounds, he heard a horrified cry mixed in with the screams of the crowd. He did not know what caused him to halt in his tracks, but that cry resonated deep within his memories.

“Wait! Could you sell that core to me? I will pay double of what you paid for it!” He recalled the clumsy blonde girl whose spectacles kept bouncing on top of her slender nose.
 
“Mirane!”
Calron shouted while turning his head back, realizing that the cry belonged to the kind and gentle girl that helped him start the Azure Pavilion.
 
Fuck! What do I do now!?
He shut his eyes, furiously thinking about his decision. If he went back to save Mirane, then he would be endangering Ellie, but if he ignored Mirane’s cry, Calron would resent himself for the rest of his life. He had vowed in the past, that if the clumsy girl was ever in a precarious situation, he would go to her aid regardless of any consequences.
 
“Choice… there was never a choice… ”
Calron sighed, slowly opening his eyes while a slight smile covered the edge of his mouth.
 
It was not a matter of protecting Ellie or saving Mirane.
It was whether Calron was strong enough to do both at the same time.
 
“Ellie, I need you to listen to me very carefully.”
Calron hurriedly got down on his knee so he could be at eye-level with the little girl.
 
“Master?”
Ellie asked in confusion, her eyes still in a daze after witnessing the massacre.
 
“I need you to close your eyes tightly and not open them until I tell you otherwise.”
Calron whispered gently, pleading for the child to trust in him.
 
Seeing the concerned look on Calron’s face, a wave of confidence rushed through Ellie’s body.
Master is strong, so those bad people won’t be able to hurt me or him.
 Ellie gave a nod in response to Calron’s question, an innocent smile etched on her childish face.
 
“Good girl.”
He patted the brave little girl’s head and told her to climb on his back. Once making sure that her eyes were shut and her arms were securely crossed around his neck, Calron charged back into the bloodied battlefield.
 
Utilizing both the lightning around his feet and the Blood Mist step, Calron narrowed down Mirane’s location using the Divine Perception and he flashed straight ahead like a crimson lightning bolt.
He went back to his original position where he had left Linda, and just as he was searching for the blonde girl, the familiar cry sounded out again.
 
“There!”
Calron noticed Mirane fighting a black-robed figure while several of her guards all lay dead on the ground. The blonde girl appeared to be battered with several parts of her armor dented and torn fabric near her thighs. Blood dripped down from her forehead and neck, igniting an uncontrollable fury inside Calron’s chest.
  
Although the cut on her neck was shallow, he could tell that the longer the fight went on, the more Mirane would lose her blood until she had none left in her body. Her sword burst into an inferno of flames as she deflected the spear made of ice.
 
“Haaaah… Haaa… ”
Mirane rasped out of breath, her fiery sword sinking into the ground as she held on it for support. Without the support of the sword, she knew that she would collapse on the ground.
 
I need to help father.
She wanted to go to her father, but the robed figure barred her from leaving the area. Her guards had tried to protect her, but against the might of a Saint stage expert, none of them were able to stop the robed figure. 
  
The robed figure raised his ice spear and coldly looked at the defeated form of Mirane on the ground. Since the start of the battle, the robed figure had not even said a single word and silently killed anyone around him.
 
Mirane continued to rasp, her hands trembling around the sword’s handle.
 
“I don’t want to die.”
Two streams of tears cascaded down her bloodied cheeks when she saw the feet of the robed figure draw closer to her. She could see the shadow of the ice spear rise and pointed towards her neck.
 
It would only take a second for the frosty ice to pierce through her flesh.
  
*whooosh*
She heard the ice spear whizzing through the air, and knew that it was the moment of her death.
 
It was at this instant, that the face of that young teenager flashed through her mind. To this day, she did not know why she had agreed to help him, a complete stranger.
“He did not even pay me back… ”
Mirane let out a choked laugh, tasting the salty tears as they fell down from her beautiful emerald-gold eyes. The spear was only a few inches away from her skin.
 
 
*clang*
The sound of metal hitting against metal echoed in her ears, as a golden claw clutched the frozen spear and stopped its trajectory.
 
Mirane’s eyes widened in shock when she saw the owner of the claw.
 
“Sorry, I promise to pay you back after this whole mess is over. Also, take care of her until I deal with this guy.”
Calron glanced down at the teary-eyed girl and flashed her a grin as he gingerly placed Ellie next to Mirane.
 
“Why…”
Mirane asked in confusion. While everyone was trying to escape from the slaughter, why did he return back to save her? 
 
“Hmm… I don’t know?”
Calron shrugged his shoulders and proceeded to force the spear away from Mirane.
The cold metallic scales brushed against Mirane’s skin, but instead of feeling the chilliness…

She felt warm.

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