Author note : Hi guys, GSD Reddy here and I am back with another chapter.
Edit – self – edited.
This is the 3rd of the six (3/6) promised chapters.
Enjoy and Thank you.
Standing a little distance away from a large crowd who were all excitedly talking about the ceremony, Rigel frowned slightly as his eyes followed a certain someone. Standing in between the crowd was a young man with black hair and a gentle smile on his face. He was also wearing an exquisite suit made of linen and silk, only his suit was even more elegant than Derek’s and radiated an aura of nobility- He was Ezareal.
With the increasing number of guests, Ezareal and Ravel were together sent to receive them. Even if they had extremely high status within the clan, the were the hosts of this ceremony and thus were responsible for taking care of their guests. By welcoming them in person, they were showing how much they respect them and were happy that they had come to attend their ceremony.
However what annoyed Rigel was the fact that Ravel was welcoming these people along with Ezareal. Usually when a man welcomes someone into his house along with a woman, the woman is deemed as his other self, his wife but obviously Ezareal wasn’t married and yet he and Ravel was forced to welcome people together who were all delighted and were praising Ezareal that Ravel would make him a happy man.
Rigel stood at one corner of the large hall keeping an eye on Derek, Ravel and Ezareal who were the stars of the night. Standing beside Ezareal was an old woman who was wearing a casual robe and had a weak looking face with grey hair, but no matter who it was, everyone bowed and showed their respect for her. Rigel could thus immediately tell that this woman was most probably the grandmother of Ezareal, Matriarch Shanya.
Rigel received a personal invitation from Matriarch Shanya herself and yet this was the first time he was seeing her. For some reason, Rigel felt uncomfortable knowing that people were keeping an eye on him although it was expected as he was an outsider who had just joined the clan and there certainly would be people interested in him.
There was also Taeron who was standing behind a middle aged man with white hair. He looked nothing like his usual self and kept a polite face as he greeted everyone along with his father. He was Orlon, one of the most powerful experts among the second generation of Shia clan and father of Taeron and Leya.
Even among all these new faces unfamiliar to Rigel, there was one person who attracted his attention more than anyone. A man who was standing beside Patriarch Liongate with a calm face. He was probably in his early fifties and emanated an aura of sharpness. Just as Rigel was about to look away, the person turned his head and stared at Rigel straight in the eye.
At that moment, Rigel felt as if he was stared at by a snake who was eyeing his prey. He immediately bowed slightly in respect and the man nodded in acknowledgment before turning away. Standing behind him was Derek who smiled knowingly as Rigel looked at him. He was Ragnar, the current head of the Shia clan.
“Everyone, I thank you all for accepting our invitation and attending this ceremony.” Patriarch Lionsgate’s loud voice resounded in the great hall drawing everyone’s attention and the hall immediately quieted down as the elderly man who was the backbone of the the Shia clan continued, “I still clearly remember the day Ezareal was born twenty one years ago right here in the Rio town.
He had always been a quiet kid who had inherited the talent and courage of his father. Being one of the eldest of the third generation, he had always been an excellent influence for everyone of younger generation including my own grandchildren. Today, that little lad who used to play in my lap has grown so big and has come to age.
Ezareal is the pride of my clan and he will definitely make us proud. I am sure of it and so is everyone. This is the day many of us have been waiting for. Today, the clan will celebrate Ezareal’s coming of age by announcing something very important. My son Ragnar, the current head of the Shia clan will announce it for you.” Patriarch said in a clear voice and looked at his son.
Ragnar nodded his head in acknowledgement and stepped forward. The crowd looked at him with fear and respect in their eyes. Ragnar had the fearsome reputation of being incomparably strong for his age and his methods of ruling the clan had made him infamous as the Shia clan under his command didn’t shy away from clashing with Xia and the Li sects.
Ragnar looked at the crowd of people and said in a clear voice, “All the people in this hall are related to my clan in some way and many of you are a part of my family. Thus I wanted to announce this here in your presence so that you can give Ezareal your blessings.
Ezareal had always been like a son to me. My good friend Arbour left us all at an early age, but he asked me to take care of his son, Ezareal as my own. I promised him that I will and ever since then, I stayed true to my word. I never treated Ezareal differently and my own son Derek is a proof of my word. He and Ezareal were always treated similarly.
However, it is also true that Ezareal isn’t my son. I watched him grow up in front of my eyes, I watched him struggle and I watched him succeed. Today, as promised to my good friend Arbour, I am announcing that I am giving my only daughter, Ravel’s hand in marriage to Ezareal. This was a promise made even before Ravel was born and although Arbour is no longer here to watch me keep my promise, I hope that he will celebrate his son’s marriage in heaven.”
As Ragnar announced the matter, the whole hall erupted in cheers at the unexpected development. Although a brief look of surprise appeared on Ezareal’s face, he calmed down within a minute and a smile replaced his calm face showing his state of happiness. Apparently, he was already aware of the agreement, only he didn’t know that it would be announced today.
Compared to Ezareal, Ravel appeared lost as she stared mutely at her father. The people however didn’t seemed to notice her blank face as they rushed to congratulate her. Struggling to control herself, she still smiled sadly and thanked everyone who congratulated her.
Derek looked at his sister with a guilty expression. Apparently he too was aware of the matter regarding this pre arranged marriage. Taeron who was standing at one corner of the hall had a dark expression on his face. Even though he tried hard to control his emotions, anyone could tell that he didn’t like the fact that Ravel was engaged to Ezareal.
Orlon gazed at his son from the corner of his eyes and remained silent. He too knew about the agreement and he also knew that it would be announced today. He was also aware of the fact that Taeron was attracted to Ravel but what could he do? “It is good that your illusion was shattered early on son. There are somethings in this world that you can not acquire at any cost and Ravel is one of them. It is better this way.” Orlon thought to himself.
Standing beside Orlon, Leya too sighed slightly as she saw her disappointed brother. She glanced at Matriarch Shanya who was beaming as she smiled and received the congratulations of various guests. However, among the crowd of smiles were a few blank faces. These people were just like Taeron who had hopes of courting Ravel and their hopes was completely shattered that night.
However, it wasn’t Taeron nor was it Ravel herself who was the most shocked of all, It was Rigel. Standing at one corner of hall, Rigel was staring at Ravel in stunned stillness. His eyes looked blankly at her and he had a lost expression on his face as he repeated to himself the words spoken by Ragnar.
He turned his head and looked at the guilty expression on Derek’s face. He suddenly understood why Derek tried to force him away from Ravel. Derek always knew that Ravel will eventually end up with Ezareal so he was trying to protect Rigel in his own way but was he successful?
Watching Rigel’s blank face, it was evident to anyone that he wasn’t.
Rigel laughed bitterly at himself as he saw all the smiles in the hall. Everyone in the hall were full of smiles as they congratulated the now engaged Ezareal and Ravel. It was as if they were expecting this to happen since long ago and now that it was announced, this has turned into a moment of celebration.
Ezareal, the only grandson of the Matriarch Shanya, a genius at cultivation and a tier two alchemist is going to marry Ravel, another genius of the current generation and the only daughter of the clan head Ragnar. Why wouldn’t anyone be excited?
Rigel’s heart was heavy as he slowly walked towards the exit. Even though there was music and laughter all around him, all he felt was anger mixed with helplessness. Ravel was going to marry Ezareal and he had no way to prevent it from happening. Rigel understood that so he could no longer bear to stand in that hall knowing that the one girl he opened up to was going to be marrying someone else.
He slowly walked out of the hall and arrived at the stairs leading to the exit. However, he suddenly stopped in his tracks as Matriarch Shanya was standing before him along with Patriarch Liongate who were both conversing seriously with Lord Orlon.
As they noticed Rigel, all three of them turned around and looked at him. From their serious expressions, Rigel could immediately tell that something wasn’t right.
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