Hunters: The Prequel Book 1 Chapter 49 1
Volume 1: Hunter Hunted Chapter 49 The 7th's World: Part I
The voice of the 6th was filled with shock. So loud was his baritone voice that he startled Mane, causing the little boy to shake harshly in his seat. Abelard noticed Mane's weird behavior. So did the twins.
"What's wrong? Have you heard of it before?"
Mane did not give Abe a reply. His intelligent colleague realised that the captain was lost in his thoughts. He smartly kept mute as he waited for Mane to reorient himself.
"Is it your world 6th?"
Back in the mind space, Mane had fully manifested himself. This meant he would not be attentive to anything that happened outside his body. Normally he wouldn't take such a risk in public. However, he had enough faith in his team members. Their strength was more than enough to deal with any threat that came their way- at least on this planet.
"Why are you not answering?"
Mane focused all his attention on the 6th mountain, expecting answers. Although the 6th was easy going, he never lost his cool for a baseless reason. It was obvious that the name Kreech had meaning to him.
"Because it is not his world, but mine."
The voice of the 7th surprised Mane. He was a bit amazed. He looked at the 6th with doubt. His gaze seemed to say, 'why were you the surprised one'.
"Sorry 7th. I didn't handle myself properly." The 6th sounded embarrassed by his giveaway.
"Mmm. I doesn't matter. I was just as surprised as you were. My gift for handling emotions better than most came in handy."
The 7th didn't seem too concerned that the 6th had let the cat out of the bag. Mane wasn't surprised by the 7th's demeanor. He was the Wandering Sword God. He had long learnt how to control his emotions. Even for those who knew him, it was a tedious task- almost impossible even- to discern his true feelings.
"There must be a reason why the 6th was so riled up. Yes, Kreech isn't his world. Yet I doubt that is enough to bring about such a startling reaction from him. So tell me, what is so special about this Kreech that caused an Ascension Realm Expert to lose his cool."
Mane showcased his intelligence as he struck a blow at the heart of the matter. He was certain that this place must be very special to elicit such a reaction from the 6th.
"You should tell him. He'll figure it out eventually. He has a sharp mind." The 3rd spoke softly.
"Sometimes your intelligence is such a drag. Any other kid would have left it alone, waving it off as just a lack of control on my part." The 6th grunted in resignation.
"Well, I'm sure Abe would have reached the same conclusion had he been here" Mane smiled in response.
His masters agreed with his words. Abe was one of the few kids who were as bright as Mane in the world, and maybe, the universe.
"You are right. Kreech is special." The 6th sighed gently. Mane couldn't see his expression but he was certain his master would be rubbing his temples if he could.
"Let me tell him." The 7th interrupted the words of the 6th. He wanted to be the one to tell Mane about his home.
"Kreech was, as I'm sure you've already deduced, a higher realm. It was a prosperous planet, filled with several resources, most of them untapped. Yes, there were skirmishes here and there, but it was largely peaceful. There were three major continents: the central continent; the western continent; and the eastern continent. Each continent had its own major powers. In total, there were seven of these major influences. I was born as a descendant of one of these superpowers. My parents were part of the main family, though they weren't very high up the hierarchy. However, we were happy just the way things were. After all, although we weren't high up in the family's pyramid of power, we weren't placed low either. Because of this we weren't bullied, neither did we have any major responsibilities. Unfortunately, the peace did not last for long. The family was invaded."
The 7th paused to take a break. He wasn't a talker. In fact he had never spoken so much in one sitting before. It was understandable that he would want to pause for a bit. This speech may be short to some, but the 7th was definitely not part of that group. Mane understood this. He didn't rush the 7th, only waiting patiently for his master to continue. After about fifteen seconds, he finally did.
"On higher ranked planets children are tested for their level of talent when they are seven. The ranking scales are more than just bloodline classifiers. When I was 7 years old, like many other children, I was tested. My talent was great. It trumped many others. I was referred to as the greatest genius in a thousand years. My small family had suddenly been thrust into the center, garnering everyone's attention. We were finally able to experience the fifth of politics first hand. It took us a while, but we finally became accustomed to it. Just when we were getting more comfortable with the change, my little brother finally had his test."
"My parents and I prayed he would have an average talent. As selfish as that desire was, we didn't want him to go through what I went through. Unfortunately, our prayers went unanswered. His talent was not as great as mine, but it was finitely close. And so our life was turned upside down- again. Mane, what would you say was the most logical cause of war." The 7th suddenly paused to pose a question to his young disciple midway through his story.
Mane was not rattled by his question. He calmly replied in one word, "Resources".
"Yes", the 7th consented. "Resources. Powerful forces engage each other when the resources aren't enough to go around. Though the greedier ones seek more than what is necessary, they still do so for resources. What is the most important resource?"
"It is debatable, but I believe human resource is of prime importance" Mane replied.
The question and answer session between master and disciple continued. The master asking, the discipline answering.