When Bastian heard Tino’s voice through Kenshin’s link, he felt like he had been struck by lightning. Kenshin could feel a slight disturbance from Bastian’s side, but now was not the time to split focus on such a thing, for the spell he was using used up much of his mind.
It’s her! What the heck is she doing here? And judging from the conversation she is familiar with Shasha and Kai.
Bastian listened to the conversation attentively while coming up with a plan.
Hhmm, I see. She was sent by Shasha’s brother, and judging from what we have seen and heard from today, Shasha is the prince of a country that is powerful. Interesting, he did well to hide this.
Then another phrase surprised Bastian. “”Is there anywhere in this world that can hide us from him? Kai you and I both know that this world will soon fall into our father’s hands. There will be nowhere for us to hide. We have no choice but to do this. You know far more than me the consequences of not following my brother’s orders.”
His…his father will conquer world?
Suddenly, the world became white, and Bastian found himself in the last place he wanted to be in, on the entire planet, assuming that this world was round. Mr Li stood in front of the stable smiling. “Hello Sebastian.”
“For f*ck’s sake Li! Of all the times you could have chosen to show up you choose now?!” Bastian was irritated beyond compare. Right now a very important conversation had just happened and he was coming up with a plan of action. Li’s presence however changed everything.
“It is precisely because it is an important time that I have chosen to speak to you now.” said Li with smile. “My purpose is to advise you young one.”
“Purpose? Purpose for what? You haven’t given me jack sh*it! You haven’t even explained what this whole Mark thing is about, so why the f*ck should I listen to you now?” Bastian was spewing out curses like an Irish sailor, something which he rarely ever did, which just went to show how much he disliked being in front of Li.
“Ah yes, that reminds me, I really haven’t explained anything. Okay let me rectify that. An incredibly powerful emperor from an empire far, far away is in need of an heir, thus he came up with this method. The winner becomes his heir. Certain officials from his court are allowed to choose a candidate to back. Such officials are called investors, and the candidate chosen by an investor becomes a successor. Investors are there to guide their successors through these trials and ultimately lead them to success. That’s pretty much it.”
Bastian opened his mouth, but he didn’t quite know what to say. Due to the urgency of the situation in the real world and this sudden data dump, Bastian was at a loss for words. After sorting out the information in his mind, Bastian shook his head and lightly slapped his face with both hands, to get himself focused.
“Okay Li, I have a few questions for you.”
“I will gladly answer them, so long as they are within reason.”
Bastian frowned but still continued anyway.
“Am I a successor and are you my investor?”
“Yes and yes.”
“Why? I am pretty confident I didn’t meet the criteria that one has to reach before becoming a successor?” Bastian had not done anything regarding slaying or subduing Mark Bearers, thus he was confident he should not be a successor.
Li had been waiting for this question and said confidently, “An investor can choose a candidate to back even before the criteria is met, but there are many disadvantages to doing so, so it is usually best for an investor to wait until the criteria are met.
In your particular case, the advantages far outweighed the disadvantages so I made the decision to back you.”
“What advantages?” Bastian was rather skeptical. He was sure he had not done anything extraordinary before meeting Li that could warrant such attention. His bloodline awakening was quite impressive, but such a thing was not special considering the scope of the entire continent. Not to mention Bastian had started cultivation late.
“Well the main reason is something you are not strong enough to know, but I can tell you plenty. For starters your elemental affinity is incredibly high. You are very intelligent, to the point where you created spells by yourself after only knowing magic for a few weeks. Your soul is incredibly powerful. Your cultivation speed is incredible despite the fa t that you started out late. You have a top class bloodline that gives you access to yuan and you are amusing.” Li stated his reasons for picking Bastian with a serious expression, yet his last words did not fit what his face portrayed.
Amuse him? I amuse him? He chose me just because of that? Pause.
Bastian had thought that Li’s observations about him were quite astute. Humans have a habit of devaluing themselves, thus Bastian had not even realized his own potential. Li had listed out things that did make Bastian seem extraordinary, making Bastian a little proud. Yet the last part caught Bastian off guard. “What do you mean amusing? You picked me because I amuse you?”
Li crossed his arms and shook his head. “No no no, I am quite serious. I mean think about it, you are a twelve year old noble from the Southern Grasslands who was kicked out of his family for not having enough talent, yet you are a monster in your own right. Despite the immense talent and potential you have, you have spent the last few months as a slave, and odds are you will continue to be one in the future, yet none of this bothers you one bit. How amusing.”
Bastian’s expression grew grim as soon as he heard Li’s words. “What do you mean by saying I will continue to be one in the future?”
“Bastian, surely you can’t be this naive can you? Do you really think a person like you can roam the Sovereign Continent free and unfettered forever?
Think about it. Your talent, age and skill set make you a prime target. So far you have just been fortunate enough to meet people who didn’t know your value, “as Li spoke he walked closer and closer to Bastian, until he was only a foot away and whispered, “But what happens when you meet someone who does?”
After seeing the slightly anxious look on Bastian’s face, Li knew his words had hit home. “Young man, you may not realize this, but the moment that tattoo appeared on your chest, your life was destined to be one of continuous battle.”
“What do you mean? Old mad don’t f*ck around! Don’t stop halfway! If you’re going to talk, then say everything!” Bastian bellowed.
Li raised his hands in false submission. “Mark Bearers gain many gifts once they become successors. One of them being the ability to locate other Mark Bearers and Successors as well. At the moment you are invisible because you are young, but once you become 15 years old, that cloak will disappear, and any nearby Successor will be able to find you.
Sebastian I have been observing you. You are very laid back and lack ambition. You think you can just GI back to your little kingdom and live a life of luxury? Is that not what got your predecessor dead?
If you do take power, at some point with your skills your kingdom will flourish, drawing the attention of your clan. You think the Tirius clan will sit back once they realize your true talents? No, they will do everything in their power to possess you and make you their tool.
Once you turn 15, every successor in the Sovereign Continent will be able to find you. There is nowhere you can run, and there is nowhere you can hide. So here is my piece of advice. Get stronger. Gain power. Become so strong that no one would dare touch you.
Gain so much land and wealth causing any man or woman to want to kneel at your feet. Sebastian, you have little ambition, but I know you desire freedom. I tell you here and now, there is no free a place such as the sky, but to get there you need wings, and only with wings will you be able to soar and look down upon others.” After his long speech, Li observed Bastian, and looked for any response. He assumed that Bastian would be overwhelmed and was ready to step in at any time to scoop him up. Such was his plan.
“Hahahahahahaha, you sneaky old man. That’s your plan? To demotivate me then pick up my pieces? Building me into what you want? Well you can shove your advice where the sun don’t shine.” Contrary to Li’s expectations, Bastian was calm, eerily calm.
Li was surprised for a fraction of a second, but then he let out a hearty laugh. “As expected of my chosen candidate. You saw through me. I may have been wrong. Your ability to adapt is definitely your most amusing trait.”
Bastian shook his head and sighed. “Old man, I have to admit, you had me going for a second, because your words do make sense. But I don’t want power. It’s not my thing.”
Li raised a brow in surprise, he was interested in what Bastian said next so he kept quiet and payed attention.
“Old man, desiring power for the sake of desiring power is the path of the foolish. I have no loved ones, I have no real goal, so I just did what I felt like doing.” Bastian then sat down cross legged on the floor and tossed his arms, “but now it seems fun time is over. I don’t want to waste my life working for someone else. Not in this life, so old man let’s make a deal.”
“Hoh? What kind of deal?
“Simple. I want to be free. But to do that I need power. To gain that power I need information. If you give me the information I want, then I can play your silly lower game.”
Li looked at Bastian’s face and noticed a slight change. A change that would prove monumental in the future. This was something Bastian only showed when he sought knowledge, and was the driving force behind his obsessive personality, this was desire.
“I can’t tell you much. Like I said before, you are far too weak to know anything of importance.*
“Okay, I just need you to answer one question.”
“Hhmm okay, I will be lenient. What do you want to know?”
“Tell me everything you can about Shasha’s kingdom.”
Li was wondering what Bastian wanted to know, he assumed it would be something about yuan, since Li had indicated he knew what it was, but surprisingly it was this. Li was ecstatic. This was the change he had been hoping for. Bastian usually sought for knowledge for the sake of sating his curiosity, but now he sought knowledge for a whole different reason, for power!