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Before Jillian and the old man could understand what Ed meant, they were teleported away by him. The next instance, they found themselves in the courtyard of what seemed to be the royal castle. It was then that they understood how dangerous Ed truly was. They didn't know the extent of his teleportation ability, but it was enough to make them shiver.
"It's safe to assume that we are in Avalon, right?" The old man couldn't help but ask. He already knew the answer, yet wanted to hear it from Ed's mouth.
"Correct. Are you afraid that you are now inside the enemy's house, or are you excited, trying to find something to use against me?" Ed looked at the old man with eyes that could pierce through stones.
"I could never do something like that. Once it is established that the alliance between us, can help our continent, I would dedicate my life to this cause!" The old man's blood pumped hard as he answered Ed. His old, pale face turned redder every second he thought about how he could benefit from this situation.
"It is not an alliance. You will become our subordinates, not our partners." Ed reminded the old man of the real situation as he indicated that they should move. The old man hung his head but didn't lose spirit. Jillian, helpless, could only follow after them in silence.
"Oya? Master Ed, you have returned much quicker than we thought. Is everything doneI guess not." Griffin, now a sect Elder, happened to be inside the castle when Ed and the others were walking inside. He noticed the existence of the tense old man and the disturbed Jillian. "Enemies, or allies?" Griffin wanted to assert their position by asking Ed, all so he could decide on the way to treat them with.
"That is up to what they decide to do from now on. Also, it's just 'Ed'. Your position is enough for you not to care about positions anymore, isn't that right?"
"Force of habitAnyway, Sir Arthur isn't around. He left towards the sect to prepare for war." Griffin guessed that Ed wanted to speak with Arthur, so he told him his current whereabouts.
'I need to upgrade the Map sometimes soonMaybe I'll be able to check names then.' Ed thought to himself.
His Map was very useful, but it wasn't omnipotent. Although he could tell the position of allies and enemies, he couldn't tell the person. Now that he has so many allies, the green dots can't be distinguished that easily.
"So, what war is going to happen now?" Ed asked as he started to walk towards the sect grounds with everyone.
"It's against the Beastmen. Ellie wants to save the kingdom from the clutches of the royal family. The promise is that she'll enter into a partnership with Avalon in case she becomes the new queen. Knowing her, it's highly unlikely, so she'll force whoever becomes king or queen to enter the partnership. Just now, I came back to the castle to inform her highness of the plan." Griffin explained, not bothering to hide anything from the ears of the two frenemies.
"Brother, can I go say hi to mother?" Bella asked while tugging on Ed's clothes.
"Of course. Emilia, you probably want to check on Ellie, right? Where is she, Griffin?"
"She should be in the same room as always. I haven't seen her at all this morning. I guess she wanted to prepare mentally for what is going to happen.
Emilia and Bella quietly moved away from the group. Ed's companions each went to do something on their own. Only Mehen remained around Ed's neck, while Raikou went into his shadow. The old man and Jillian could breathe a little easier now that most of the monsters surrounding them left. Still, the feeling exuded by Ed and Griffin didn't allow them to drop their guard at all.
After walking for a couple of minutes, they reached the sect grounds. The guards didn't dare to try and stop anyone, as the sect Elder was with them. Of course, they wouldn't dare to stop Ed, the hero of the Bloody war. The old man couldn't help but look around, looking for any possible information that he could exploit in his future exchange with the king of Avalon.
"What are you doing here already? Don't tell me?! Did you miss us only after leaving for a little over a month? Man, I'm touched, dear brother!" On the way to meet Arthur, they met Eric who immediately tried to tease Ed.
"Some stuff came up. And of course, I would miss you, dear brother!" Ed moved on while opening his arms wide, trying to catch Eric in a hug.
"No, please. I was just joking." Eric, who wanted nothing to do with hugging a man, backed away immediately. "I'm guessing this is the friend you told me about?" Eric changed the subject to Mehen, who was hanging around Ed's neck.
"Yeah. He's strong, you know?" Ed knew that Eric liked to spar with his companions, so he let him know beforehand.
"Of course I would know that. Aren't you, and your companions, all monsters?" Eric showed a sly smile as he teased Ed.
"Oh, isn't it you? It's you isn't it?" Mehen suddenly spoke with a hissing voice. He caught everyone by surprise, as they started to look for who he was talking to.
"Eric? You know Mehen?" Once Ed noticed Mehen's target, which was Eric, he couldn't help but ask.
"No. I don't think I've ever met a talking snake before in my life." Eric explained as he shook his head.
"Never mind, it's not you." Mehen put his head back on Ed's shoulder, resting there.
'What was that about?' Everyone couldn't help but ask themselves this question. Still, they continued to walk ahead, heading towards Arthur's location.
The old man couldn't help but admire the relationship dynamic between Ed and everyone around him. He had planned to try and use his position as firstborn, and Eric's position as next heir, to try and mess things up between them. But, just seeing their interactions, he could understand that he would only be digging a grave with his name on it.
A sigh escaped from his mouth just as they entered a room. There, the other Elders of the sect were present. Along with Arthur.
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