As soon as Bastian disappeared from the space, another form appeared in his place. Normally that would not be possible, as the space was only accessible by an investor, avatar or mark bearer. Surprisingly, Li being the witty man, had found a backdoor to that rule, and his backdoor was the use of Soul Brethren.
“Hello Kenshin, or should I say Taiga? Well that doesn’t matter. Anyway I have given you plenty of time to think it over, so you should already have an answer. So, young man what will it be?”
In front of Li stood Kenshin. His lifeless pupils giving out a tinge of hostile intent. Li had gotten used to being despised throughout his life, but something about being disliked by the man before him gave him goose bumps.
“Minister Li, what you are asking me to do is not only dishonorable, it is vile. Bastian is my brother, though not by choice. He is still family to me none the less.” said Kenshin as he crossed his arms.
“Now, now Kenshin, we have been through this. You are not betraying Bastian, you are actually helping him. He might not want to do this, but we both know that it needs to be done if Bastian is going to survive. Don’t forget that you have something to gain out of this as well.” Li had a devilish grin as he looked at Kenshin, confident that the former would not resist his offer.
“What you promised me still sounds impossible. Even high ranking ministers of the court, such as you do not have the qualifications to do such a thing. Ambevilius would never allow it.”
“Yes my emperor is very serious when it comes to his games. Yet he is childish when it comes to serious matters. This puts his vassals such as myself in quite the conundrum.” Li shook his head helplessly.
“Everyone knows that you are just as insane as Ambevilius himself, if not worse. What you are promising me is proof of your insanity.”
“Kenshin I already made an oath to the heavens. What more could you possibly want? An oath by one of the most powerful ministers within Ambevilius’ court, what is more binding than that?”
“Your oath only shows that you believe your own words,” Kenshin walked toward Li, whilst at the same time, his eyes staring straight into Li’s, “due to your insanity, I don’t know whether or not what you say is true.” Kenshin stopped a few steps away from Li, he was somewhat intimidated by Li, for he was quite infamous for doing the unexpected. However Kenshin did not want to seem weak, so he did whatever he could to look unfazed. Unfortunately, in front of a man like Li such efforts were futile.
“Kenshin why do you cling to such a belief? Those are merely rumors.”
“When I was growing up, your name was used to frighten children to get them to behave.”
“…” Li was stunned. He had no idea that he was that infamous. Like Bastian, Li was a man who immersed himself heavily in what he was doing and cared little about the going ons of the outside world.
“What makes me truly believe you are insane is the fact that you chose Bastian.”
“Oh really? How so?” Li was interested in Kenshin’s response. He wanted to know why Kenshin held so little faith in his own brother.
“Bastian is incredibly talented, although the circumstances of how his potential increased to such heights are strange, it still does not change the fact that he came in late. If he had been one of the first or second generation Mark Bearers, then he could have had a chance. However, he is one of the last. He doesn’t have enough time to get strong enough to contend with older more experienced Mark Bearers, especially those who have already consolidated their power.
You are no different from a mortal man holding a piece of meat in a den filled with hungry tigers. Every Mark Bearer with power will be seeking to either get Bastian to join their ranks or slaughter him.
However, he has no backing. He is going to become the target for thousands of Mark Bearers, and he is only 12 years old. Why exactly did you choose him?”
Li’s figure flashed in front of Kenshin. Before the latter could even react, a few words were whispered into his ears. Afterwards, Li merely stood back with his hands joined behind his back.
Kenshin looked flabbergasted. Li’s words struck him like lightning. He had thought that his heart was as steady as a steel tower but at that moment, he truly realized how naive he was.
After coughing lightly and preparing himself, Kenshin said, “Very well. I will do what you wish. In exchange for what you have promised me. However, I refuse to submit to him until he proves himself worthy.”
Li’s face cracked the widest of grins, like he was getting the greatest wish of his life. “He will Kenshin. You may think you know him better than I do, which you do, but I know his potential better than you what you think. Oh and Kenshin, don’t you forget this…I am his backing.”