Two young voices echoed through the courtyard. Under a nearby willow tree, an old man stood seemingly relaxed. The old man stroked his reddish-brown beard as he monitored the two kids as they fought.
The first child was a girl with scarlet red hair tied into a bun. Her freckles and short nose made her appearance extraordinarily impulsive, and that trait was reflected in the way she was attacking her opponent. She held nothing back and kept moving forward.
Her opponent, on the other hand, was a black-haired child who was on the defensive. Never engaging the monster that was charging at him.
“Shin! If you keep dodging, I will hit you!”
“What do you mean?! You’ve been trying to hit me all the while!”
The girl, Ariel threatened the young boy.
“Shin! Come on! Stop dodging! It won’t hurt! I promise!”
“As if a punch from a bulldog like you won’t hurt.”
“What did you say?!”
Ariel seemed to have a surge of adrenaline rush to her head after Shin’s comment. She jumped into a frenzy with a barrage of fists.
“Hey! Shit, she snapped! First Elder help me!”
The old man who was peacefully watching the fight play out gave a short sigh and slowly walked towards the girl who lost control.
“Hahahahah! Let this bulldog teach you a le… Hey Grandpa! What are you doing?! I have yet to make Shin cry!”
Ariel exclaimed as her grandfather grabbed her by the hand and carried her up.
“Ariel… You shouldn’t take things too far. And Shin, you had it coming when you provoked her.”
“But First Elder!” “But Grandpa!”
“Enough! I should have known letting you two spar would lead to this… No dinner for both of you tonight!”
The bearded old man stroked his beard as he slowly walked away from the dumbfounded children.
“It’s your fault! Grandpa is mad at me now!”
“You were the one who wanted to hit me!”
“Then guess what’s going to happen now?”
Ariel raised her fist and gave Shin a menacing look. Fearing for his life, Shin ran away from the monster that was threatening it.
The Frie Clan. A clan with a history spanning over a thousand years and has been around since the last Spirit Immortal ascended into the Immortal Realm. Situated atop of a dormant volcano, the Frie clan was one of the many clans in the Himmel Empire.
Being located in a place where the fire elements thrive, the descendants of the Frie clan were blessed with Fire spirits from birth and have gone on to contribute to countless of battles for the Himmel Empire.
However, ten years ago, a battle that nearly wiped out the entire Frie Clan concluded. To recuperate their strength, the once proud Frie Clan that wouldn’t cower in the face of danger was forced to enter seclusion in their holy mountain.
“Ouch! Can’t you be gentler?”
“Can’t you be smarter? How many times have I dressed an ‘Ariel wound’ of yours? Although you guys are childhood sweethearts, she sure doesn’t hold back.”
“WE ARE NOT CHILDHOOD SWEETHEARTS! Who would like that violent ape?”
“Yeah yeah… Deny it all you want but the rest of us have a bet that you would end up together.”
“What? Then I bet that she and I won’t end up together and take all your money.”
Shin was sitting on his bed topless, revealing a multitude of bruises. Treating him was a teenage boy four years older than him and recently promoted Spirit Apostle, Junius.
“Joke all you want! By the way, are you prepared for next week?”
“Hmmm? What’s happening next week?”
Shin gave Junius a quizzical look.
“My god you are clueless...”
“It the Day of Spirits! You are awakening your spirit dumbass!”
Shin replied Junius in an uninterested manner.
“Wow. That’s the response I wanted. Didn’t you realize it when First Elder increased your training and made you fight Ariel?”
“So that’s why the crazy old man did that.”
“You sure are unrestrained… Nobody else in our group would dare call First Elder that.”
After the Frie clan went into seclusion, they accepted orphans to increase their dwindling numbers. The children were put in the care of the First Elder to groom. Junius and Shin were part of that group.
“Of course I don’t say it to his face. He has a kind and gentle exterior, but the insides are just like a grown-up Ariel. If someone told me that they were not related instead I would have told them that they were crazy.”
“Either way it seems that he dotes on you quite a bit. The others were quite jealous.”
“Try taking his whip of love before you get jealous...”
Shin shivered as he recalled the numerous times the First Elder disciplined him.
“No thank you. That whip is exclusively for your personal use. I wouldn’t want to infringe on your rights.”
This banter continued on for an extended period of time showing off the kinship between the two. Junius was the oldest of all the orphans and was considered to be the big brother. Every single child would go to him for advice, and he would reply in kind. Junius was four when he was adopted into the Frie clan and had no memory of his family. Being the oldest, Junius believed that he had to be the most responsible one. Whenever an orphan was being bullied by those in the main family, he was the first to stand up against them.
As Shin and Junius continued their bickering, a deafening shriek sounded outside their lodging.
“Oops, Wifey’s here!”
“She’s not my… Argh, whatever.”
Shin groaned as he grew lazy to retort Junius whenever and unwillingly got out of bed.
“Try not to make her angry. I just treated your bruises, my services for an ‘Ariel wound’ is only limited to once per day.”
Junius was not going to pass up on an opportunity to make fun of his little brother.
Shin reached the main door and slowly opened it. In front of him was a young girl in her pyjamas looking not older than ten. Her appearance was not the prettiest in the world, but there were numerous charms that could be pointed out.
Ariel greeted Shin as he opened the door.
“Ariel, you know you shouldn’t be here at this hour. The headmistress will scold both of us if she finds out!”
“Urgghhh… That old lady. It’s okay I won’t stay long. As I was getting ready to sleep, I realized that we have not settled our fight!”
“What? You want to go now?”
“Nah, that would be too boring! Next week, after we awaken our spirits, then we can fight!”
“Cause it would be much more interesting!”
Ariel smiled brightly as she proposed a dangerous scenario for Shin. She happily skipped away from Shin’s lodging. After she moved a certain distance, Ariel turned back to make one final declaration.
“Get ready to fight me!”