148 Protected Estate
"So… Akra resonate with each other?"
"I see. So that's why you all were so confident. Talking about my parents and all."
Rupika regretted what he had done.
"But that's troubling. I guess the people here trust Akra a lot."
"Stiel, you look too excited to be saying that you're troubled."
"Huh? No way. I love peace, but it will make others keep jumping at us. You don't even have Akra."
"Yeah, but put that Akra back inside. I know you were trying to release everything."
"Oh. How did you know?"
"Anyone would know if you gather it into your hand like that."
Sian sighed. Stiel was gathering up all her Akra onto her hand as she heard that people could find out how much Akra was stored within others. It seemed like she wanted to impersonate a commoner but Sian wasn't going to let her do that.
"Ha… okay. I'll keep them. But it will take a long time for it to grow to my level."
Akra was slowly absorbing Stiel's energy to grow. It would take a very long time to grow enough to have a powerful resonance that would suit her level.
"Don't look at me like that, Sian. It might be better to look weak. We don't know how strong these people are."
It was correct, but Stiel's intention was already obvious.
"By the way… the lord here doesn't seem to be coming. Isn't he supposed to protect the estate?"
"Right. I thought it might bring him here."
There were four men hung upside down on the tree, but no nobles came down to check on it.
"I guess they don't care about the commoners."
"Let's go. At least we heard a lot of interesting stuff."
Sian and Stiel then began to walk toward the tree trunk again.
Locke felt the sudden movement of Akra from below and looked outside. The noble that empowered the Ciculus Tree was very sensitive to Akra movement within the estate. Locke let out a gasp as he looked out. There was someone getting beat up mercilessly. The Akra movement was sent out by him. He was getting beat up so bad that even Locke himself could not see through it. The woman was beating up the entire body as if she had been doing this for a long time. And the stick she was using seemed special that men were getting severely beat up but none of their bones were broken. They were just screaming in agony.
Under normal circumstances, he would not have cared. It did not matter if they did not die. But he couldn't ignore it because the woman did not have any Akra Resonance. The speed and skill she had also made it easy to tell that she was more powerful than Locke himself. Even without any Akra Resonance, it was obvious.
'A Count… and with a bad temper. Why at our estate?'
The woman didn't seem like a Marquess, but she was at least close to being a mid-level Count. It was a vague guess without fighting her, but her skill had proved enough.
The Counts were being careful as it was a critical time these days. There was no way a Count would come visit a Viscount's Estate, especially without any Akra.
Viscount Locke reached a conclusion.
'She trained herself without Akra. But how?'
There were some who became strong without any help of Akra or a noble's protection. It was extremely rare, but it wasn't impossible. But these came out of hiding to roam around the world as it was powerful enough to become a Baron. Locke never heard of one staying in hiding to train to that level of strength.
Viscount called in the other Barons from below. If he was going to fight, it was good to fight inside the trunk. If he fought outside, the commoners might get caught in it and die. Besides, fighting within the trunk would allow him to gather Akra as he fought.
The best way to resolve it was to not fight against her, but he still needed to prepare for the worst.
'By the way… I should waive their Akra next month. They've done good things. No… I'll give them a three-month waive to compensate for that beating.'
If he did not see them getting beaten up, he would've probably met the same fate as he too relied on Akra Resonance. But those four men allowed him time to prepare.
Kukuru, a warrior of the ferocious Graans, didn't feel good as he had missed his prey few days ago. These weak white prey were delicious and gave good amounts of energy when consumed. But these things hid behind weird trees so it was rare to find them out in the open. He almost succeeded in attacking them but was knocked out. When he got back up, he and others were all knocked out and the Antaines that they raised so hard had been all killed.
Kukuru felt unpleasant and kicked the Antaine that he was riding on. If they did not have enough Antaines, it might allow the Barkhans from the plains to invade their territory. They needed to replenish their lost numbers fast. If they allowed an invasion by the Barkhans, their chieftain would surely kill Kukuru for failing. That's why Kukuru walked into the inner forest where they usually never traveled.
There was not much to eat and they had strange power that they did not like, but it wasn't time to be picky. They needed to find food and find what they need to create Antaine.
As Kukuru hunted down beasts by ordering the Antaines, he felt something was different from before. The strange power could be felt if he was about this far, but he couldn't feel anything.
Kukuru became curious but decided to shake it away. It was only better to not feel anything. It allowed him to venture deeper into the forest. Then Kukuru found a small lake when he was looking for a place to rest. Kukuru ordered Antaines and his subordinates to take rest.
His subordinates began playing by the water and Kukuru kicked one of them out of anger. It made him fall into the lake. The others laughed. But something was weird. He wasn't coming back out.
Kukuru felt something was wrong and walked into the water to bring him out. It wasn't deep enough to drown but the fool was still useful. Even if he died, he could be used to feed the Antaines.
As he walked in, he felt his footing was disappearing from below.
He was shocked, but he swam for a few seconds before he felt the ground again and stood up.
Then he shivered at the ominous energy seeped into him. He quickly dived back into the water and there was no energy coming back. He glanced around. There was the fool that he kicked who was crouching by the water also.
It looked like the red atmosphere was the reason. Kukuru decided to leave and turned to dive back into the water. But the fool called him.
He was pointing at something outside the well and Kukuru turned to the side.
It was a mountain of corpses.
Red monsters that he had never seen before were piled up there. It seemed terrifying and was not something Kukuru would even dare to look at, but they were all dead. Kukuru carefully observed them and became excited.
Kukuru told his fool to go back and fetch the others. There were food and husks for the Antaines here.
As Kukuru ordered his subordinates, he walked out of the well. It could be dangerous, but he couldn't pass up the chance.
This happened while Sian and Stiel were traveling to the Locke Estate.