Author note : Hi guys, GSD Reddy here and I am back with another chapter.
Edit – Self-edited. This time I really tried to edit n I am positive that I omitted common errors.
Enjoy and Thank you.
Ley, Leyden, Boler – subordinates of Ian in Xia sect
Ian – their mysterious young master.
Shukla – the assassin who killed an elder of Shia clan before and almost killed Rigel as well.
A Scorched Heart :
Ley sat down in front of Ian waiting patiently while the latter peacefully read a scroll. A Cool wind blew from the open windows, and the occasional chirping of birds could be heard in the rather silent cottage while he sipped his tea creating a rather peaceful atmosphere.
Ian gently raised his eyes and looked at Ley, he could tell from Ley’s expression that he wanted to say something. A smile was on his lips as he put down the scroll in his hands and looked at Ley.
“What are you worrying about Ley?” Ian looked at him and asked in a calm voice.
Ley glanced at the peaceful looking Ian and shivered slightly. He knew better than anyone that the calmer Ian appeared, the scarier he was.
That peaceful attitude and that smile on his face were nothing but an act to make others drop their guard. He knew very well that a single foolish mistake on his part would be enough for Ian to dispose of him without the slightest bit of hesitation.
He would have preferred to keep quiet but he had an obligation to keep In safe at any cost. It didn’t matter what he had to sacrifice, as long as Ian was safe, all was forgiven.
So, Ley gritted his teeth and said in a respectful voice, “Young master Ian, I am unworthy to say this, but you are trusting Ezareal too much. He was born and raised in the Shia clan, it is his home and his family.
I cannot trust him. I fear that he may betray us.” Ley said in a hesitant voice.
Ian laughed and picked the scroll back, he glanced at Ley and said in a low voice, “Here, I was thinking you had something important to say, Ley.
Regardless of what Ezareal decides to do, he is already trapped. He has consciously given the authority to rule over him and there is nothing he can do to stop me anymore, do you know what this means Ley? That means that he was able to see through my plan through the few clues I chose to leave uncovered. He understands what is going to happen and he chose me over his clan.
However, you are wrong about one thing Ley. I don’t trust Ezareal, nor do I trust you. I don’t trust people, I trust the faiths which dictate their choices.
I cannot make a man abandon his family for wealth unless his greed for it exceeds the love he has for his family. You, for example, are a coward who fears my sect for whatever reason. So, you will never be able to go against me and my orders. That is your faith, and thus, I trust you.”
Ian smiled slightly as he got up and looked at Ley’s confused expression. He picked up another scroll from the shelf and continued, “Ezareal, he, however, is much more similar to me than any of you. His heart is scorched with desire and that is his faith. Don’t try to judge him Ley, it is impossible for you to see the inner demons of his heart.
If you aren’t satisfied yet, wait for a few hours and you will understand what I meant.”
Ley listened to Ian and sighed in his heart. Ian did not hide the fact that he didn’t trust any of them, not him, not Leyden, and not Boler.
Any person in his sane mind would never reveal these thoughts, and certainly not to the person himself even if they didn’t trust him. However, Ian simply stated that he didn’t trust Ley, rather he trusted in his faiths.
What are my faiths? Ley questioned himself but he could not come up with an answer. True, he feared Ian because of his powerful background but was that all? No, Ley feared Ian much more than the power behind him. Was Ian unable to see through him? Ley didn’t think, so he could tell that Ian simply chose to not state his other fear.
For three years, Ley had served under him and he had yet to see Ian’s true nature. No matter how loyal he was, Ley was certain that he was nothing more but a pawn in Ian’s hands. He had sure that if deemed necessary, Ian would mercilessly sacrifice him, as long as his death would further his own plans.
“I understand young master,” Ley said in a quiet voice and slowly walked out of the cottage. He looked at the cloudy skies from the top of the mountain and thought to himself, “Young master has for the first time chose to support someone. If Ezareal is similar to him, just what on earth is he?”
At the same time, on the East side of the Rio town, three men were walking down the streets of the Shia clan’s market. All three of them had the golden mark of ‘Li’ on their robes representing their statuses as the inner disciples of the Li sect.
The Rio town had four markets situated in four directions. While the lord of the prefecture controlled one market, the other three were controlled by Xia sect, Li sect and Shia clan each.
Being a market directly in control of the Shia clan, rarely disciples of other powers were seen Moreover, it was three inner disciples of the Li sect.
While some of the people were confused, the three inner disciples glanced at all the market stores with keen eyes. They too weren’t sure why they were sent to the Shia clan’s market, but as ordered, they were trying to analyse various stalls to find the marketing strategies employed by the Shia clan.
No matter how powerful or ancient a major power was, it also needed a strong economic backing to survive in the world. The sect or clan was not only made up of immortal cultivators but also many mortals who managed the various activities of the sect.
Leaving mortals aside, these powers spent a lot of spirit stones every month to nurture the disciples. Thus, an astronomical amount of money was spent every month and these powers needed a similar level of sources to sustain themselves.
Markets were thus dealt with great importance as they were the major source of income to all three major powers of the Rio town. Fair trading and illegal monopolizing were a part and parcel of everyday activities in the markets and the powers backed their own merchants in any way possible to crush the other markets.
In the middle of the eastern market was a large five floored pagoda with the mark of Shia clan on it. That pagoda was the stock market, and also the residence of the Shia clan elder who looked after the market.
To maintain such a huge market where millions of spirit stones were exchanged every day, a large staff was essential. An elder was thus permanently stationed in the market to maintain order.
That day, the markets were particularly rowdy as it was Ezareal’s coming of age ceremony and the Shia clan had decided to lower their commission by five percent to celebrate the ceremony.
In a trade of a million spirit stones, five percent meant saving fifty thousand spirit stones. So people were flocking to all the stores to make use of such a rare opportunity. The three inner disciples of the Li sect made their way following the path towards the centre of the market and looked at the magnificent pagoda.
“Since we are here, let us take a look at the stock market as well.” One of them suggested.
“Alright,” another agreed.
The three of them slowly made their way towards the pagoda. In the bustling market filled with countless voices, nobody really noticed one unassuming guard stationed near the entrance of the pagoda and most certainly, none noticed a peculiar shadow behind him.
The guard’s heart was palpitating and he was sweating profusely but he didn’t dare to even move an inch. It was as if he feared that the slightest movement would mean his death. The shadow materialised into the figure of Shukla who was looking at the three at the Li sect disciples walking towards the pagoda and smiled slightly, his hands slowly crawled behind the guard’s neck and caught him.
“You do remember your family, right? Well, If you don’t follow my orders, I will send you their heads to make sure you won’t forget them for the rest of your lives.” Shukla whispered in a low voice.
“Spare me, my lord. I am just an ordinary guard,” the guard pleaded in a terrified voice.
Shukla smiled slightly and said in a calm voice, “Alright, I promise to let you go, but before that, I need you to do a simple job for me. Can you see those three Li sect disciples? Go and pick a fight with them.
Don’t worry, I am not asking you to kill them. Picking a fight with them is enough. You can later apologize to them and your task is done.”
The guard looked at Shukla stunned by his words and asked in a hesitant voice, “Is that all, my lord?”
Shukla nodded his head and gently pushed the guard forward and disappeared into the shadows. The guard looked back but wasn’t able to find anyone. He glanced at the three Li sect disciples and gulped slightly. He really didn’t want to pick a fight, but he was more scared of Shukla than the three Li sect disciples.
He was scared that any act of defiance on his part may harm his family in Shukla’s captivity. So, resigning himself to fate, the guard walked forward and stood before the Li sect disciples.
“Get out of here, you are not allowed to enter the market of the Shia clan,” the guard said in a rough voice.
The three disciples of Li sect looked at the guard. Humiliated by a mere guard in front of everyone was like a slap on their faces and to the Li sect. Their eyes turned red and their bodies trembled as they grabbed the guard by his collar in anger.
Shukla who was watching everything from the shadows looked at the skies and said to himself in a quiet voice, “It’s your turn, Boler.”
Resounding with his thoughts was the miserable scream of the guard as he was stabbed by a sword of one of the three Li sect’s disciples. The remaining two watched in horror at the last one. Even if they wanted to fight, they would never dare to attack a person of Shia clan in an enemy’s territory. They couldn’t understand why their fellow disciple directly assaulted the guard without thinking of resulting circumstances.
The one who stabbed the guard pounced on him and began to stab him repeatedly with crazed eyes. Before anyone could react, the guard was murdered in broad daylight. The bustling market became dead silent and everyone watched as the blood dripped from the edges of his sword tip.
“Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” following the moment of silence, a scream of horror rang out in the markets followed by the roar of the guards, “Kill them all.”
Shukla glanced at the everyone running madly towards the Li sect disciples and walked away. At some point, Boler had joined him and together, they slowly made their way out of the eastern markets.
“Good job there,” Shukla said in a low voice.
Boler smiled slightly and puffed a cigar, he looked at the people walking down the street and said in a calm voice, “It wasn’t difficult to convince the kid to kill that guard. People are after all weak. More importantly, what happened to the resident elder of the Shia clan?”
“I sent him to hell,” another voice rang out and Leyden appeared out of shadows to join the two. Leyden stretched his arms and continued, “Looks like, it is finally time to show our worth to young master Ian. Let’s hope that Ezareal brat doesn’t disappoint us.”
Shukla and Boler smiled at each other as they heard Leyden and then, all three slowly made their way towards the Shia clan.
Author note : Hey guys, I am back. I relaxed a little in the past few days, but did I stop writing, technically NO.
So, I was actually done with Ch 53 when I announced a leave. However, after thinking for a while, I felt that the Chapters 51-53 weren’t really good so I DISCARDED them.
Then, I began writing again from Ch 51 and now, I am done with Ch 54. The Book 1 ends with a epic shock at 55 chapters. All the chapters are already available for my patrons. Pledge now to read them within an hour.
A SMALL RANT at the end :
The day I announced my leave, someone rated Rigel with 0.5 stars. How do I know? My rating dropped from 4.62 to 4.5 with one rating. This person didn’t write a review to justify his rating.
Let us be honest, is my work worth only 0.5 stars. I will understand 3, 3.5 but 0.5. I am not going to judge anyone, it is their individual opinion but this is hatred, idk who hates me n why.
I spend countless hours working on Rigel, hoping to make it enjoyable and when I see such ratings, it drains all my excitement and drowns me in unshed tears. It breaks my heart and I was almost crying that day, but then I got a new review from one gentleman named King Ragnar and also a rating which managed to cheer me up.
I won’t say that my novel is the best. However, it is not the worst on RRL. If you are going to rate me, consider me as your brother and rate my work honestly. I will forever remember all your blessings.
P.S I do have writer’s block often, the reviews on RRL, they cheer me up. No matter who they are, I guarantee that I have read their review a hundred times till date and I continue to do so to cheer myself up. After all, the work of an author is bitter and you guys are the light in my darkness.
Rate and review at – http://royalroadl.com/fiction/4075