21 Chapter 20 Another place - II

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From that day forward, Frank's life took a new direction. The memory of the cloaked warrior, Valorius Sentinel, ignited a fire within him. He yearned to embody the courage and strength he had witnessed that night. Frank's determination to meet Valorius Sentinel and become like him became his driving force.

With unwavering resolve, Frank channeled his energy into his studies and training. He realized that education and skill were the paths to his goal. Frank knew that the first step toward his dream was education. He recognized that college would provide him with the knowledge and wisdom he sought. The journey wasn't easy; his academic challenges were significant.

His efforts paid off when he received the news of his college admission. Beyond academics, Frank trained tirelessly to build his physical strength. He engaged in rigorous exercise routines and martial arts practices.

As time passed, Frank's dedication became evident to those around him. Professors admired his thirst for knowledge, and peers respected his unwavering commitment. Upon graduating college, Frank transformed into a remarkable young man. His understanding of the world had deepened, his combat skills had sharpened, and his spirit had grown unwavering. With his heart set on meeting Valorius Sentinel, he embarked on a journey, seeking out the stories and legends that could lead him to the enigmatic hero.

Frank's quest took him to ancient libraries, remote villages, and mystical landscapes. He listened to tales from wise elders and explored forgotten texts, piecing together the scattered fragments of Valorius Sentinel's legacy.

After dedicating over a century to the search for Valorius, Frank's perseverance finally bore fruit. Amid his unyielding quest, he stumbled upon a vital clue that held the promise of uncovering the truth about Valorius. It was a carefully preserved letter, penned by the hero himself, addressed to those who sought to understand his legacy.

With trembling hands, Frank unfolded the aged parchment and began to read Valorius's words.

Dear Seeker,

If you're reading this, you're on a quest to uncover my journey's truth. I, Valorius Sentinel, haven't vanished. I sought greater power to benefit our world. Challenges demand more than might.

With a heavy heart, I've embarked on this path. I've joined a mercenary group to fulfill my vision. I've left a communication device, connecting you to them. Together, we can carry my legacy of valor and compassion.

Activate the device to connect. Become an agent of change, driven by valor.

With hope,

Valorius Sentinel

Emerging from hyperdrive, the squad's spacecraft navigated its way toward the outskirts of the planet Strapus B42. As they drew closer, the celestial body came into view, its features gradually becoming distinguishable. Strapus B42 was a world characterized by vast and rugged landscapes, with sprawling terrains that ranged from arid deserts to towering mountain ranges. The planet's surface seemed to be a canvas painted in hues of dusty reds and burnt oranges, a stark and unforgiving environment that spoke of the challenges that lay ahead.

Inside the spaceship, the atmosphere was palpably somber. The squad members, usually a spirited and lively bunch, were now marked by downcast expressions. The weariness of their extended interstellar voyage had left the squad members with little enthusiasm for their impending mission. The repetitive nature of their tasks, moving from planet to planet, weighed heavily on their motivation.

After their spacecraft made a controlled descent, they touched down in one of the semi-habituated cities on Strapus B42. The planet had earned a reputation for its unique natural terraforming processes, resulting in landscapes that were both awe-inspiring and diverse. The cities in this world were designed with a deliberate lack of excessive technology, embracing a more organic and harmonious relationship with their surroundings. This distinctive approach established Strapus B42 as a sought-after destination for those seeking vocational respite.

However, the allure of this vacation spot also came with a shadow side. The squad knew that the tranquil surface concealed a bustling undercurrent of dubious activities and illicit transactions.I think you should take a look at ραΠdαsnovel.cοm

Several years had passed since the young boy had last trained within the confines of that room. The setting remained unchanged, a familiar scene of practice dummies surrounding him. The boy, now older and more experienced, engaged in his breathing exercises with intense focus. Every inhale and exhale held profound meaning as he prepared for what was to come. With the exercises complete, he rose from his seated position, his breath released as he assumed the Iai stance once again.

At this moment, the atmosphere held a charged energy, and a sense of anticipation hung in the air. As his stance relaxed, the boy's swift movements seemed almost imperceptible. Yet, despite his efforts, no physical outcome was visible in the training room. However, this time, there was no shadow of disappointment or frustration. Instead of dwelling on perceived failure, the boy calmly walked to the door.

Exiting the room, he exhaled and closed the door behind him. As he moved away, an inexplicable transformation took place within the training room. Inside, the dummies stood seemingly untouched, but the reality was drastically different. Slowly, the evidence of his prowess became apparent. One by one, the dummies were sliced in half, the precision and speed of the cuts leaving no doubt that the boy had indeed made progress over the years. By the time the room's contents were fully revealed, it was clear that every dummy had been reduced to fragments, a testament to the mastery he had achieved.

Stepping out of the training room, he was greeted by the sight of his master. The master, an Aer'eok alien, was seated in a distinctive pose. His one leg was drawn close to his face while the other was tucked beneath it, his hands resting on both knees. The alien's appearance was unique, with elongated limbs and a physique that reflected his race's inherent traits.

The master's voice held a mixture of approval and caution as he spoke, acknowledging the young boy's success. "So, you've finally achieved it. That should suffice for now. The patriarch is awaiting your presence. Remember, you still have much to learn. Do not become overly confident. If you truly aim to be the strongest, return swiftly. My time is limited."

The Aer'eok master embodied the characteristics of his race. Known for their exceptional teaching abilities, the Aer'eok were renowned throughout the universe. Despite their inherent physical frailty, even their strongest members only reached a mere 1-star level. However, their teaching prowess lay in their racial traits -an ability to unlock the maximum potential in anyone, regardless of their origin or abilities.

"I will fulfill my duty, neither more nor less. At this moment, I see no reason to squander time merely for the pursuit of power," the young boy, Rager de Vent, declared. His words might have seemed brash, but they reflected the upbringing he had received under his master's guidance. In different circumstances, his demeanor would have been vastly different.

With his master's understanding gaze upon him, Rager strode down the corridor. Despite the decades that had passed since he last left that room, his steps bore the confidence of someone well-accustomed to such movements.

Rager's lineage was deeply intertwined with Eternity, spanning many generations. However, the recent setbacks faced by his family in the last two generations had resulted in their once-prestigious position at the high table being lost. (Yeah, John Wick ref.)

Upon entering the grand hall of his family's estate, Rager respectfully inclined his head towards an empty seat. This particular seat held great significance-it was meant for the patriarch of the Vent family. However, on this occasion, it remained vacant due to the patriarch's recent passing. Neither Rager nor his master had been privy to this news, having been isolated from the world during their intensive training.

Despite the emptiness of the seat, Rager's countenance remained unchanged. Instead, he turned his gaze toward one of the attendees present in the hall and inquired, "What happened?"

"The esteemed Patriarch was assigned a mission by Eternity on the planet Corth 5LU. Where he became part of an experimental endeavor that involved infusing blood from higher races to enhance our strength. Unfortunately, the outcome was far from desirable-Patriarch met his demise in the throes of unimaginable agony," the attendee conveyed the solemn news to Rager with a tone of deep respect.

Unperturbed by the revelation of his patriarch's death, Rager continued his line of questioning, as if seeking more information. "Did the experiment yield any positive results?"

"Yes, indeed. Among numerous test subjects, only a single survivor emerged. He was administered the blood of the Onziads race, an extinct civilization with the remarkable ability to manipulate dark matter. Their thirst for power ultimately led to their downfall, as they believed they could consume the entire universe with their abilities-an endeavor that ultimately led to their extinction. Their entire race was condemned to destruction due to the consequences of their actions," the attendee elaborated on the history.

Upon absorbing the information, Rager nodded thoughtfully as he began to walk away. However, after a few steps, he halted abruptly, his curiosity getting the best of him. Turning back to the attendee, he posed two pressing questions, "Who is currently overseeing the family's affairs in the patriarch's absence? And what has become of the proposal I presented years ago?"

In response, the attendee provided the details, "The current steward of the family is your third uncle. He has assumed responsibility for addressing the family's myriad concerns, and it is projected that he will continue in this role until the selection of the next patriarch." Pausing briefly, the attendee locked gazes with Rager before continuing, "As for your proposal, it was elevated to the high table for consideration. Remarkably, the proposal garnered approval from the council. However, they stipulate that our operatives carry out the mission of infiltrating the council's planet to convert their allegiance into traitors."

Rager's curiosity didn't waver as he continued to inquire, "That's promising news. How far along is the progress?"

With a hint of pride in his smile, the attendee responded, "We are approaching the final stages of the plan's implementation. It's conceivable that within the span of a year or two, we will witness the fruition of our arduous efforts, aided by your strategic insights."

Although he might have been perceived as a mere attendee by outsiders, his role was far more significant. In truth, every attendee within the Vent family held a distinguished position. They were either former patriarchs or the second-in-command to their predecessors.

Within the Vent family, a significant gathering convened every century to determine the new patriarch for the upcoming hundred years. This decision remained unswayed by the patriarch's fate, whether they served their entire term or met their demise during their tenure. The selection of the patriarch was a single-term affair, unwavering in its approach.

"Before you embark on your journey to gain experience, do not overlook the tasks that may be assigned to you by the family," the attendee advised as Rager made his way towards the exit.

Rager turned to the attendee. "Do you think I would forget?"

"You've been confined for far too long. We don't even know what you might achieve or if it will meet our expectations," the attendee said with a hint of frustration. In response, Rager left the hall in silence, his thoughts racing.