Chapter 22 – Catalyst
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In a well-decorated garden, an attractive woman with caramel skin sat quietly, the scent of flowers filling her nostrils and the tweets of birds adding to the tranquil atmosphere. Her flaming red hair felt the cool breeze caress it as it flowed like the gentle waves of an ocean, her black robe clasping her body, displaying the beauty of her voluptuous figure.

Although her eyes were shut, one could notice that she was immersing herself in the tranquility of the garden as her ample peach coloured lips arched slightly upwards revealing her beautiful smile. She blended perfectly with the surroundings, nature itself seemed to also appreciate her beauty.

But suddenly her eyes opened as they glistened in pure white, the view of the garden slowly receding from her sight as she entered a trance. An image gradually unfolded but what she saw shook the very core of her soul as she trembled in fear.

In her vision, she watched as a gigantic black palm decimated the entire continent, spreading outwards and affecting the neighbouring continents leaving nothing but chaos and destruction

She saw a sea of blood which was as a result of the deaths of countless people, their corpses littered about as the world lost its vibrance.

The sky was split open and torn asunder, the stars lost their brightness, the void became unstable as numerous dimensions shattered as a result of this single palm.

Next she saw a figure, his deep black hair flowing freely down to his waist, his eyes were darker than the abyss. Like a mountain, tall and strong he stood as he stared at the assembly of corpses and the ocean of blood with indifference.

But at this moment he turned his head as his gaze met hers

Her body trembled greatly, her heart crashing against her rib cages, echoing in her head. Now she had a clearer view of his eyes, pitch black, cold and menacing. His gaze razor-sharp and unfathomable, he showed no malice or anger but she could feel his violence and bloodlust.

She wasn't sure if he was staring directly at her or just in her direction but right now she wanted to flee. She felt naked in front of this monster, she felt like all her secrets couldn't be hidden from his eyes, she felt like a baby, weak and helpless.

But alas she couldn't retreat, she stood rooted on the spot but at that moment, the man stretched his hand in her direction. She immediately felt a pulling force on her, helpless as she was, she was pulled with such a force and speed that it seemed she would be obliterated.

Now she was sure that this monster could somehow see and touch her, her fear intensified and for the first time in her long life she loathed her abilities. This wasn't the first time she had visions regarding this particularly person but today was the first time she got this close to his presence and now it looked like it was a colossal mistake.

Still, she couldn't properly control it, this vision in particular was way too strong and heavily influenced her existence so there was nothing she could do about it.

Finally she reached the man, all this happened in an instant, leaving her no chance to struggle or even scream. Grabbing her figure by the neck the man scrutinized her, her hairs stood on end as she shivered.

She saw the man stretch out his index finger as he tapped on her forehead. Suddenly she felt something seep into her, she wanted to resist but she was powerless, extremely powerless to do anything.

The man looked at this and grinned as he let go of her, the next instant her vision gradually turned dark, the man's figure slowly disappearing from her sight.

Back in the garden her eyes slowly changed from pure white to ruby, but her face was pale. Her hands kept shaking as she tried to compose herself but it was all for naught.

She suddenly sensed a sharp pain in her soul, she inspected herself but what she saw had her gasp in shock. This was the present world, and not a vision so she could only come to one conclusion

'He did something to my soul'

The danger was real, if anything happened to her it would be a huge blow to the family. So right now she wanted to warn them and immediately make preparations.

But she couldn't move, she wanted to speak but nothing came out of her mouth. She watched in horror as the foreign substance slowly invaded her mind and corroded her soul, she could hear faint whispers like they were from the devil himself.

She didn't know what was happening but her instincts warned her that whatever it was, it was definitely disastrous. So she struggled, she clenched her fists and tried to steady herself.

She was a revered immortal bloodmage, she got to where she was with sweat, blood and tears. She had lived through countless millennia, her mind was unshakable, she could already sense her own laws but now it seemed that even that became her greatest weakness.

The invasion of the foreign substance could not be halted, it was set in stone. She knew this, she was sure that whatever happened after this would not end well

But her struggles were all in vain, now all she had was fear, she was someone who instilled fear and respect in others not the other way round. This wasn't the first time she peered at the future with her law, this was what kept her one step ahead of her enemies.

Although she could not wield it completely it was still a powerful law. She thought back to when she first got the vision, she was surprised because it was only when something could heavily threaten her very existence and her family that her law would spiral out of her control.

The first time, she saw a beautiful woman with black hair and brown eyes, her beauty was enchanting and her figure exquisite. She saw her with a tall man who had silver hair and crimson eyes, his muscles well built and his demeanor that of an overlord.

Still that was all she saw, she was confused, she knew who they were but she didn't consider them much of a threat, afterall her family was even more powerful. But leaving nothing to chance she decided to plant trusted spies to monitor the situation. She believed in her law and knew it didn't show her that vision for nothing.

She used false mortals since it was easier for them to blend in unlike mortals. And so she waited, the reports came in secretly but all she got where what she already knew. The weirdest thing was, she tried to use her law and divine the problem but she wasn't successful.

Thus In her mind she regarded them as extremely dangerous individuals to her family. But then came the second vision, this time she saw the beautiful woman again but there was a difference, she was pregnant but what piqued her curiosity was, the woman looked visibly slimmer, almost sickly.

She was surprised, this woman was a rank seven and very few situations could leave her in such a state. But then her quick mind immediately identified the problem, it was her baby, that was the only change afterall.

Her confusion only increased, how could a baby affect a mighty rank seven immortal so much that she looked weak. But as if her law sensed her curiosity, she was shown another vision, a young looking boy with black hair and crimson eyes, bearing a slight resemblance to the woman.

She saw his expression, one of apathy, one not belonging to a child his age, she saw him destroying entire villages and performing immoral experiments. She witnessed his growth and it shocked her immensely, he grew extremely powerful in so little amount of time.

She saw him sparing nothing and no one when it came to slaughter, she felt like she was looking at a being only meant for destruction and chaos. The vision vanished then, now she was sure that this boy was the problem, he was the threat to her and her family, with the growth she witnessed she was sure that he would reach her level and maybe even surpass her.

For the first time in a long while, she felt a slight fear and she panicked. She immediately sent instructions to her spies, her instructions were simple, she wanted her spies to be present during the child delivery at all costs and once they confirmed it was a boy, they would kill the child without hesitation.

Although she was at this level, she wasn't purely heartless, if the baby turned out to be female then the spies would let her be. She could just wait till the woman was pregnant again with a boy, afterall her lifespan was plentiful

She made various preparations as she procured an item from her big brother with much difficulty, she sent the item along with a special spell to her spies. It was an extremely powerful and rare one time use immortal item that could mask and elevate a spell to its rank temporarily.

Although the spell was only a first rank, it was enough, she also had to imbue her energy into the item for easy activation to be used by a false mortal though it would still be detrimental to them.

She decided on a rank one spell because that's the most she could do, despite the help from the item, a false mortal was still a false mortal. They couldn't handle the might of such a spell, still it was enough, the item itself did most of the job. Her preparations were thorough, she didn't leave anything to chance but at the end of the day, her plans could not keep up with changes.

The day came for the child birth, she was extremely restless even more so than the father of the child. Later on, a few of her spies left in there sent a message to her, the mission was a complete failure. The spies present during the childbirth all died miserably, nothing left of them.

Now she was even more restless, but she still composed herself. She was sure other families would notice the threat but she had to make a move first. She decided to rope in a grand duke family, their plans aligned with hers so she didn't mind and she could be considered somewhat an acquaintance to their family head.

Her visions intensified over the years only cementing the fact that she had to do something immediately no matter the cost. She heard the report about his deeds at the cave of beginnings, how he became a rank one at such a tender age. Her fear and worry only increased as she immediately threw caution to the wind and hastened her plans. It was all for the sake of her family.

But now, as she thought of all this she smiled bitterly to herself, all her plans, all her preparations, where they all just going to end up in smoke?

She was indignant, she refused to accept such an outcome but nothing she did could stop the foreign substance but at the last moment she had a painful enlightenment as her eyes widened

'Wait, it seems I am the catalyst for this calamity, this ill omen somehow begins with me, was this fate or was it him?' she wondered but she could do nothing about it now, this was not a power that she could contend with.

Now true fear enveloped her existence, she gazed at the lush garden, and then at her family quarters and its territories. She looked at the bright clear sky dotted by stars, the cool breeze still brushing her hair and skin but she had a forlorn expression

'All this, everything starts with me, there was not just one threat to me and my family because' -she looked in the direction of the Varmon empire- 'I myself was the second threat, I should have killed myself. If only I knew it would come to this.'

This epiphany came all too late to her, she felt used and she hated this feeling. An immortal like her naturally had pride, it wasn't easy to get to her level but now she was just a tool being used by someone.

She truly hated her situation

The foreign substance finally completed it's invasion as it conquered her mind and soul, she blanked out for a moment before regaining clarity but now all that could be seen was a calm expression on her beautiful face.