Chapter 11: Countering The Operation
'How could I be so reckless?!' Mejar reprimanded himself as his face turned rigid. 'That woman is getting closer!' An ominous feeling at the back of his head caused him to shiver. From a hidden pocket in the torso part of his black clothes he took out a small capsule and threw it to his mouth.
An unbridled golden aura fluctuated out of Mejar's body. The color his mist energy emitted promptly turned dark gold. With the boost from the capsule, Mejar actually reached the Advanced phase of the Mist Lord level and with the constant utilization of his movement technique, his speed rose exceptionally.
"A boosting supplement?" About seventy meters from behind, Zetsa was briefly stunned, but with a small icily laugh she found herself suddenly agreeing with Mejar's action. 'Better bedridden than dead, I suppose'.
Wind whistled as Mejar executed his movement technique. 'Is that woman really a Mist Lord?!' Seeing that the gap between him and Zetsa continued to shrink, he became frantic. But even at the same cultivation level and with the help of a movement technique, how could he compare to Zetsa when a genuine Advanced phase Mist Lord, such as the deceased Fang Lor, lost to her in one move and without a chance to retaliate? If Mejar had bother to look carefully, he would have discovered that after he took the capsule, Zetsa sole response was to push her legs a little harder.
'All because of that damned Binjo!' Mejar gritted his teeth. "Woman, you are courting your death by chasing me!" Since he was already discovered, there was no reason for Mejar to remain inconspicuous. This part of the operation failed anyway.
As his voiced reached Zetsa's ears, it continued to reverberate for hundreds of meters, shattering the silence of the night.
Hearing the hostility and resentment in his words, Zetsa had no intention of answering back. In her eyes, the one in front of her was a man already dead, not even worthy of using her own movement technique.
Reaching for a pocket in his pants, Mejar drew his caller. "Fath-" Though he pressed the instant dial call to his father, Dureil, before Mejar managed to utter the first word, an azure flash flickered in his eyes and in the next moment all he could see was his body stumbling before him and darkness descending.
As Zetsa perceived the instantaneous death of her prey, her feet halted as she stood on guard, inspecting the person who unexpectedly appeared in a speed even more impressive than her current one.
"You..." Zetsa muttered. The person in front of her clearly was not a stranger. "Eden Formation's school principal..."
"Hahaha, young girl Zetsa, did your Master not teach you not to play with your food, especially if he has a caller?" Don smiled back at Zetsa. In her hand, Mejar's caller was pulverized.
"You investigated?" Zetsa was taken aback. She knew that when this school principal visited Anet, she discerned her presence and at the time Don's Soul Sense even let Zetsa know when she indiscreetly probed her.
"Did you except that I would let you keep an eye on my Tal without knowing who you are? Besides, you also seem to know who I am". Don replied.
When Don told Mizuri that there was more than one monster by Anet's side, the first monster she meant was Zax, while the second was Zetsa. Back then, when Don surveyed Zetsa, she found that not only her soul and mist level were at the Advance phase of the Mist Lord level, her body fitness level was, astonishingly, equal to her own.
From that much, Don deduced that the boy who barged into her school and the young woman that looked over Anet were somehow related. Instead of asking Anet for explanation in regards to the two, Don preferred to investigate who the two were using her own means.
With her vast connections and status, if Don looked to uncover something, no one would hinder her. Thus, it was not difficult and even faster than she expected to find details about Zax. By mentioning the words "A boy with clogged Qi channels, possibly from cave twenty five, around fourteen, fifteen years old" she managed to lit all the red lights that were responsible and worked hard to conceal Zax's case from being associated to his experience in the Great Earth's Core Pursuit.
Don learned a lot about Zax and his family. Even about his parents' story on the benevolent expert that accepted him as a Tal. However, beyond that story, whether true or false, the trails went cold and no more information could be found. No one was interested in a boy with clogged Qi channels.
Zetsa also was not ignorant of the identity of the woman in front of her. After she read Zax's letter, her expression grimaced. At first she was angry at him for leaving without asking her opinion in person, or at all. But afterwards she understood his attitude by acknowledging the importance of a breakthrough. Even more so after she talked with Anet and understood why he would be anxious to get stronger.
Later, from Anet, other than learning what happened to her, who was the perpetrator and to what family he belonged to, Zetsa also learned who the woman with the noble aura that visited her was.
"'Don would be fine. You are not my student and as far as I know, no one of your household is part of my school. As such, seeing that we share a mutual objective, calling by name will suffice".
"Very well, Don Ram", Zetsa accepted Don's point, but since she felt a since of respect toward the older woman for her cultivation level and for her actions, which clarified where she stands, she added the honorific title "Ram". Also, Zetsa was not too familiar with Don to call her by her first name. Politeness always preceded candidness.
"Are these two the only ones sent by the Derneldar family?" Zetsa understood that Don's appearance was not coincidental and suspected that she did not appear earlier, against Fang Lor, to view her fighting capabilities.
"Not sent, they are the Derneldar family". Don attested. Her head turned and she looked over at Mejar's corpse. "I, too, am surprised. This one here is Mejar Derneldar. He is the second brother of Binjo ... I'm sure you are familiar with the name". She turned her head back to Zetsa.
"Of course". Zetsa clenched her fists.
Don ignored the display of killing intent that followed Binjo's name. With a nudge of her hand she released a surge of mist energy and disintegrated Mejar's head and body. "Come with me". She instructed Zetsa.
Don took Zetsa back to Fang Lor's corpse and destroyed it as well, and then she led her to a roof, five buildings from Anet's home.
"I received credible information that Mejar Derneldar hired experts from the Core Breakers Guild for an extermination mission against all possible suspects who might be connected to your little brother, Zax. But oddly, the marked names they were hired to assassinate did not include Anet's. Tonight I decided to check in for myself in case my contacts missed something".
"Did you have doubts in my ability?" Zetsa asked.
"I was careful. Three of the experts Mejar hired from the Core Breaker Guild are Core Masters, and despite being aware of your brother's ability, when I surveyed your body fitness level, I sensed that you were a weaker than Zax".
"Mmm..." Zetsa was slightly offended, yet did not retort.
It was true that in terms of body fitness level and soul Zax was more accomplished, but would she not be able to close the gap if she used her mist energy? If she executed her most potent Martial techniques who could tell who will win in a fight between her and Zax. Besides, as his older sister she was not willing to accept that her baby brother may not need her anymore in any form or way.
Don sighed, dispirited. "I really didn't want to interfere and hoped that you would take care of the two by yourself ... Yet you had to give him the chance to use his caller".
If traces of her mist energy's signature were left in the environmental essence and someone detected them near the last signature of Mejar's mist energy before they fade, the Derneldar family could use it as an excuse to diminish, if even a little, the monumental reputation of the number one great family of El-Eden. They could protest how the Dauch family permits the administrator of the fine establishment they contributed so much to, to act excessively against a member of their family. Now, if such a thing were to happen, even if it would not create the tension the Derneldar family might hope for, it would still cause the other families that contribute to the school to ponder on whether it is right for both the school board and the principal of the number one Martial school to be members of one family, the same family.
"Don Ram, you said that there are other names targeted by the Derneldar family. Are those students' name, by any chance?" Zetsa asked.
"Some. My contacts in the Core Breaker Guild let me know of six names, three of which are students of my school".
" ... These are kids that they are targeting..." Zetsa said, frowning.
In truth, a portion of the students in Eden Formation were the same age or older than Zetsa, since the graduating age is thirty years old. Moreover, it was possible that one of the students or all three were older than her, but because of Anet, Zetsa associated the other students as kids in her and her little brother's age. Also, growing up in Valgarel, Zetsa's last impression of a school was a place that kids go to.
Picking up the discontent in Zetsa's voice, a small smile briefly adorned Don's face. "Though for me to personally interfere is problematic, others that are related to me can still do what they want..."
"You mean... !" Zetsa's eyes widened and a gratified shimmer flickered in them.
"I've given my heart to choose the side that aligned with my principles. Now I simply make use of the opportunity before my eyes to improve the odds of my choice..."