The chief among them was the Academy elder. “Good elder, we’ve encountered many good apprentices this time!” one spoke to the elder with a smile. “Indeed. This time, I’m in charge of the Ahi Dynasty while my brothers handled the other kingdoms. Who knew my luck would be so good!” Another chimed in the conversation. “However, the royals here have no respect for rules and regulations. I heard they dared to interlope in the Tournament!” His tone implied annoyance. “Never mind, it’s a small matter. As long as we get to pick the best fighters, we’re good. We don’t need to quarrel with them over things like this,” the Academy elder said calmly.
“Eh?!” Suddenly, the Academy elder’s expression changed. He quickly looked in a certain direction. “This energy signature… it’s...” Everyone present was an Academy master, each being a strong Agile. All of them could feel a sudden rush of energy from afar. “Is this not the signature of Zephyr Khan? Such anger, such violence… what is he up to?” questioned the Academy elder. “We must follow his trail!” After a second, his expression suddenly changed, to one of conviction.
At the palace, the roaring complaints of the Ninth Prince could be heard throughout. “Curse that Zephyr, curse him so!” he cried as he tossed and turned everything in his room. He was throwing a big fit, with red eyes to follow from it. His servants and guards dared to not go any closer. “Damn it!” he cried once more. “Zephyr you b*stard! How dare you take away my number one spot!” Each exclamation of what Zephyr did to him during the Tournament fueled his anger even more. At this rate he was going, he would not be able to calm himself down anytime soon. After all, his rightful glory had been stolen from him!
Ever since the end of the Tournament, the Ninth Prince never had a calm night ever again. He could not stop thinking about what could have been. “You wouldn’t have expected it though, would you Zephyr? I’ve sent a militia to wipe out your stupid clan! I bet you’re crying in agonizing sorrow there in Starlight by now, right?” the Ninth Prince suddenly laughed, looking like a delusional maniac. “No matter how strong you are, no matter if you knew it was me, what could you do? You have no proof I did anything! No one can help you this time! This is what you get for crossing me!” the prince continued on, his expressions were getting more and more sly.
Suddenly, a loud boom could be heard across the sky from a faraway place. A great force had made its way as it rushed through the palace. “You sorry excuse for a prince, come out and face me!” a thunderous voice demanded, shaking the palace. Every fighter within the palace raised their head instinctively, curious to see who had dared barge in on royal grounds.
Up in the sky, upon a cloud-piercing Eagle, stood a furious young man. His eyes bro rage like no other, and it was filled with killing intent.
“Who are you? How dare you raise your voice here!”
“Did he just insult one of our honorable princes?”
“Indeed. Is he mad? Is he not afraid of royal punishment?”
“Wait, he looks familiar…”
The people below stared and gawked at Zephyr. Once they realized who he was, they could only speak in hushed towns. Zephyr was clad in black, with lightning in his eyes. The cold wind blew past his robes, flailing his attire. He emanated a terrifying energy pulse.
“How dare you!” a great roar came from the palace. It was then followed by a pillar of light that shot into the sky towards Zephyr. His mount screeched in defiance when it was met with such a display of force, faltering in the air. Following this, a group of royal officials immediately rushed out of the palace. All five of them were strong, powerful elders. Each of them emitted a great aura, a great presence. They were the Ahi Grand Masters!
“It’s Zephyr Khan!”
The Masters gawked in a moment’s disbelief as they saw Zephyr atop his mount, hanging in the air. At this point, Zephyr’s character had become fairly known. After all, he was currently the most important fighter in the kingdom, an apprentice of one of the Big Five academies. It would be because of him that this Dynasty could grow stronger. Once Zephyr Khan grows up, he would be the sole protector of the kingdom! This was why the Grand Masters felt uneasy at the sight of an angry Zephyr Khan at their doorstep.
“Zephyr! Why are you here?!”
Although Zephyr’s role was extraordinarily special, this was still the Dynasty’s palace, the home to the emperor. To protect the kingdom’s dignity, the Masters had to intervene. Zephyr did not reply to him, he ignored the man and only scanned the area. He noticed a group of people who came out to meet him, amongst them was the Ninth Prince, his current most hated adversary.
“There you are!” Zephyr said coldly. “Zephyr! How dare you! Don’t you know that this is the palace?!” the prince demanded. “Even if you are an Academy apprentice, you aren’t allowed on royal grounds! Are you seriously considering making an enemy of the entire Ahi Dynasty?!” he continued, though he showed hints of fear.
“Well, my reason for being here, I’m sure you understand. Today, I’ll make you pay for all you’ve done!” Zephyr declared as his energy surged through the palace.