Chapter 429 Weird Encounter
It took a few hours before they finally agreed on and finalized all the clauses required for their custom Soul Pact. After that, it was only a matter of minutes before the Soul Pact between the EmeraldLeaf Adventurers and Michael had been completed.
Now that everything was completed, Michael spent another day in the Origin Expanse to see if the Relic of Draka was actually capable of producing a Spirit Bow.
Fortunately, it worked out much better than Michael could have hoped for. The Spirit Bow was radiant and seemed fluid. It was near weightless to hold. The bowstring emitted a soft hum as Michael drew it back and glimmered brightly, almost as if stardust had been collected to forge the Spirit Bow.
The external enhancement provided by the Spirit Bow was not as powerful as that of the Legendary Ring Artifact, but it was similar to the enhancement his Spirit Armor Set gave him. That was what Michael had hoped for. It would enhance the Forest Elves' power significantly, especially Mika's.
'The strength required to draw the bowstring is quite high, but it should be fine with enough practice. The power it can exhibit should be more than enough to deal with strong enemies.'
Now that the first Spirit Bow was finally ready to use, Michael decided that it was about time for him to leave the Origin Expanse once again. It had been a while but it was definitely time.
After a quick stroll through his territory to ensure that everything was fine, Michael manifested the Runic Gate and stepped through it. Michael closed his eyes as space around him twisted. He only opened them after he emerged back in Piloq.
Taking a deep breath of Piloq's air was enough to understand that he had truly left the Origin Expanse. The origin energy permeating the air was scarce, almost non-existent, and it wasn't as fresh as the air in the Untamed Jungle. Michael had just stepped out of the Origin Expanse, but he felt like returning already.
But before Michael could reconsider returning again, he was bombarded with messages. Michael didn't think that anything was wrong when he saw that Alice and Kaleb messaged him. However, his danger senses rang wildly when he noticed that Jacqueline had left him a message too – more than once at that.
Jacqueline Orlando never sent him messages. She didn't like him because he always beat up Frederik. At least, that was what Michael picked up from her. That was why it was even weirder to see that Jacqueline sent him more messages than Alice and Kaleb together.
He opened the messages on Starnet Messenger and began to read through them slowly. Michael went through them one by one, reading each of them with full focus. In the meantime, he walked through Piloq, hoping that he would somehow end up near Alice's office – though he had no idea where it was actually located.
But that was fine since Michael's instincts led him straight to the Colosseum where he could ask others for more information. Michael finished reading through Jacqueline's chaotic chat when he reached the Colosseum. His expression was sour and his eyes filled with anger.
"What a fucking mess," Michael cursed under his breath without realizing that a small group of Awakened was standing next to him.
"I totally agree," One of the Awakened said. He was a young human, who was either his age or one year older.
Michael looked up just to see that the young Awakened and his group were looking at another group that stood near the entrance of the Colosseum and whispering among themselves. Their group consisted of more than 20 members, surrounding a young woman as if they feared that someone would kidnap her.
"I didn't mean tha–..." Michael said, but the young Awakened didn't pay attention to Michael's words. Instead, he stretched out his hand with a thin smile plastered on his face. It seemed fake.
"My name is Fernando Jochez. Nice meeting you …?"
"Michael. I'm Michael Fang," Michael responded automatically.
"Nice meeting you, Michael. But I cannot recall having heard about your family before. Where is your family from?" Fernando asked with great curiosity. His hand reached out for Michael's hand, but Michael pulled back before Fernando could grasp him.
"I am not from any influential family," Michael answered, his discomfort increasing the longer he spoke to Fernando.
Fernando's hand pulled back and he clicked his tongue. From one moment to the next his kind and welcoming expression turned into disgust. Fernando looked at his hand, glad that Michael had not shaken it.
"At least, this nobody knows that he shouldn't shake my hand," Fernando mumbled, turning away to ignore Michael.
Michael nearly burst into a laughter hearing such nonsense coming out of the young Awakened's mouth. It had been quite a while since he encountered such an idiot.
"Michael! Why didn't you message us that you've returned?!"
Michael heard a familiar voice from behind him and turned around with a smile. He forgot about Fernando and looked at Kaleb, who rushed toward him with a relieved smile. Interestingly enough, Alice Zenovia was also there. Her pace had been slower than Kaleb's but seemed to accelerate suddenly to arrive in front of Michael before Kaleb did.
"Good thing I saw you on one of the observation cameras," Alice said, looking at the holographic screen next to him before adding, "You were too engrossed in some messages to see that we've been messaging you as well. Did Jacqueline write to you?"
Michael was a little surprised that Alice accurately guessed what he had been up to, but he gave her a nod. "Her chat is a mess, but I think I got the gist of her situation. I hope Frederik is doing fine now…"
Because of Fernando Jochez, Michael had momentarily forgotten about the Barbaric Couple's problems. Jacqueline's problem could be considered less troublesome than Frederik's issues, but it was still something that could decide her or their future.
Would the Barbaric Couple split up in the future, or would they elope and run away from the Elders of the Orlando Family? If it was in Jacqueline's hands, Michael was certain that they would run away. However, Frederik would never be able to forgive himself for not being able to provide for Jacqueline. Jacqueline was a spoiled brat, and Frederik loved to spoil her. But now Frederik was still in a coma and had also lost his entire fortune. His father was also a cripple, and it was still uncertain whether Frederik would recuperate from his wounds, or if he would never be able to regain his former strength.
The only advantage was that Frederik's Pillar of Light and War Rune weren't injured. He could still refine his War Rune without issues. As for the rest…it was uncertain what would happen to Frederik, and how he would be able to handle everything.
As Michael chatted with the Zenovia siblings, Fernando Jochez and his colleagues turned around. They didn't care who called out for Michael because they believed that nobody of great importance would value someone as worthless as a nobody without a big family backing him up. However, the voices calling out for this nobody sounded extremely familiar. Too familiar to ignore.
Thus, looking back to Michael, who was now accompanied by an otherworldly beauty and a terrifyingly handsome young man, the group froze in their tracks.
"I must be hallucinating…" One of them mumbled, only for the second to add, "The Zenovia siblings. Is that for real?!"
Fernando stared blankly at the group of three for a few seconds. He tilted his head and wondered,
'Did he lie to me? He could have just said that he is affiliated with the Zenovias!!'
Fernando reconsidered joining their conversation, but he decided against it after weighing the pros and cons. It looked like the Zenovia siblings liked the nobody quite a lot given that they stood so close to him while talking. The siblings were fully invested in their conversation with Michael and didn't take note of anything around them.
Therefore, Fernando had to back off. Joining their conversation would backfire after just treating Michael like trash because of his non-existent family background.
Frustrated, Fernando entered the Colosseum, ignoring the comments of his colleagues.
Alice looked at Michael, precisely his bald head, and suppressed a laugh. Her glacier-cold facade nearly burst seeing that Michael lost his hair…once again.
Kaleb, on the other hand, didn't suppress his chuckle. He laughed aloud and teased Michael about losing his hair once again.
"Just keep your look like this. You can get an eyebrow tattoo. That way you don't have to worry too much about losing your eyebrows the next time you let your enemies burn your hair!"
For a moment, Michael considered actually tattooing some eyebrows, but he recalled that his skin burned way too often as well. His tattoo would probably burn alongside his hair.
'I should get hold of a healing Soultrait. If I cannot find one…at least give me a Soultrait that accelerates hair growth…' Michael cursed inwardly, while maintaining a poker face on the outside.
The siblings had fun for a few minutes, until Kaleb noticed something, "Wait! Since when are you at the Mid-rank of the 2nd Tier?!"
Michael pressed his lips together and stared at Kaleb as if he wanted to say 'Are you serious right now?.' But he then recalled that he had yet to tell Kaleb and Alice about the Kitsun Lord and the territory warfare.
"I just fought some enemies and advanced. Yay," Michael said lightly, fully understanding how curious Kaleb was.
"A few enemies? Advancing just like that? Don't fool me, Michael! Tell me in detail!" Kaleb demanded while Alice nodded eagerly as well.
She was also curious about what Michael had to go through to refine his War Rune so quickly. After all, she knew that Michael required more energy than most others. He had too many Soultraits, after all.
"Alright, Alright. So it started like this…"