"I will protect you, Sister," Kyo suddenly tells me. He must have heard my question. "Don't worry about me."
I like hearing those words. To keep hearing those words, I must protect my younger brother. To me, he is Kyo. Only Kyo. I will protect him from the Dark God and the Renasir. If I need more power and knowledge to defeat the Renasir, the chosen one, and the Dark God himself, then I will find that power and knowledge.
The tinker man makes a face at Kyo. "Your brother is both naive and strong. I don't like this combination."
"It's better if you stay away from him." I give him a genuine warning. "If something happens again, I might not be able to save you."
He lets out a heavy sigh when he hears my words. I notice that his wrist is healed. In his eyes, I can see that he doesn't think that Kyo can harm him gravely.
"I didn't introduce myself." Suddenly, he recalls his manners. "My name is Iver."
"Kresi," I tell him. I point at Kyo. "This is my younger brother, Kyo."
"My name is Deia Parisa." Deia gives him a slight formal bow. I like how we are all pretending to be civil to each other. I wonder how Iver and Deia will react if they find out that I am the Harbinger or that the Renasir and the Nameless Knights are looking for me. What will be their reactions when they find out about Kyo's real identity or Mogrok's origins?
I wonder if they will ever find out. Maybe we will part before they can find out.
"You are from the Parisa bloodline." Iver wrinkles his nose. His prejudice against the Seers is strong. Why though? I am curious who he really is. I am sure that Iver is not his real name. "I had no idea that there is a branch of that bloodline in the lower realm. Main Parisa clan is in the higher realm."
"Really?" Deia asks him with excitement. "I had no idea."
"Of course, you don't." Iver shrugs nonchalantly. "Though that bloodline is declining, they are quite popular for their manipulating ways. Don't hold it against me. I really dislike Seers. In the past, I had to face great troubles because of them."
"I am the only seer of my bloodline." Deia pats her chest proudly. "I hope that I can meet my distant cousins in the higher realm."
"I hope that there are no more of you." Iver looks slightly uneasy. I realize that Mogrok had a similar reaction to the Seer. Why though? Deia is weird, but she has a good personality. She doesn't seem to manipulate.
"Do you agree?" He decides to continue our earlier talk. "I will become your guide through the Cursed Sea. If you want, I will even help you in the Middle Realm. I have travelled the three realms. I can also take you to Belan, but you must do everything for -"
"I will do my best." I cut him off. He already has a lot of books on healing the channels. I am sure that he has contacted the sorcerers to work through the spells. He wants me to try because of my blood. He seems desperate to get my help. Desperate men are the best tools to use.
Iver looks into my eyes. "I want a promise."
'Don't make a promise, Harbinger.'
I freeze. His bone-chilling voice echoes inside my head. That was the Dark God's warning. Kyo meets my eyes with a carefree expression. "Sister?"
"Nothing." Making a formal promise might be an ordinary thing for a normal person. However, it has binding power. It might not affect the commoners much, but it harms the Wahr and Sehr a lot when they break it.
The Dark God is becoming stronger with each passing second. If I let him be, Kyo will completely disappear. I need more power to take care of that Dark God.
Kresi swallows and looks back at Iver. Iver wonders why she looks afraid suddenly. Is she afraid to make a formal promise? Generally, he wouldn't go this far. But, this girl is a Mirin. In case she finds out about him later, she might change her mind. He needs a promise to keep her bound to her words.
"Why should I make a formal promise?" She asks him defiantly. The fear is gone from her face. "When you are not capable of making a formal promise to me because of your broken channelling veins, why do you ask me to make a formal promise to you?"
He has expected her to not know about the meaning of a formal promise. That knowledge is not a piece of common knowledge in the lower realm.
It seems that she knows more than she shows.
"How can I trust you?" Iver asks her calmly.
Deia's vision change at that moment. She sees Iver and Kresi, but not the ones who are standing in front of her. Surrounded by the green lush trees, an older Kresi is sitting next to a wounded Iver. His one arm is missing. Her eyes are full of sadness.
"How can I trust you?" Iver asks the same question with amusement in his eyes.
Kresi doesn't answer. She smiles at him sadly and presses her palm against his chest.
The sight change. Deia glances at the young Kresi and Iver who has both intact arms.
"Listen, Iver. We are following you through the Cursed Sea. It needs trust to give our lives in your hands. In return, you should also trust me." Kresi scowls at him. "Take it or leave it. Even if I don't find anyone, I will go by myself. Where is that damn spirit beast? He plays around too much."
"Fine. I will take the chance." Iver sighs. He doesn't have much of a choice anyway.
Kyo, who has been quietly watching from the sidelines, makes a face. Once, he only had to worry about Mogrok. Now, there are more people who want to follow his sister. His sister shines like the sun to these people, giving them hope and freeing them from their despairs. Kyo doesn't like it. It would have been better if they had never left the capital. That way, his sister would have only paid attention to him.
He knows that his sister is wonderful. He wants her to only love him. There should be no one else taking a position in her heart.
He shifts closer to his sister who is arguing with Iver. He puts his arm around her waist and rests his head on her shoulder. She lifts her arm behind him and runs her fingers through his dark hair softly on the back of his head. This action comes so naturally to her that she doesn't even realize that she is doing it in front of other people. It soothes him when she does that. Kyo is happy that he is inside her heart even when she is occupied with other thoughts.
"MASTERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!" Mogrok crashes from the sky behind Iver and Deia, sending tremors through the ground and frightening their hearts into near cardiac arrests. "I am back."
Pablo and Belle are hanging upside down from his arms. They look like their souls have flown away from their bodies.
"Did you have fun, you little pig?" Kresi glowers at him. "Are they alive?"
Iver and Deia wonder how Kresi can call him little. In what way is he little? Is she being sarcastic?
"It was fun to play with them." Mogrok snickers and lays down the two lifeless bodies on the ground. "They aren't dead yet."
"Good boy." Kresi smiles at Mogrok. "Mogrok, this person has agreed to guide us through the Cursed Sea. He knows the best way through the Cursed Sea. From now on, he is our new teammate. Greet him."
Mogrok slowly turns toward Iver and gives him a black look from each of his thousand eyes.
"I am looking forward to your company."
Iver feels his blood turn cold. He can't understand what Mogrok said to him but he can decipher that the spirit beast doesn't like him.
Deia feels sympathy for Iver. Mogrok dislikes Iver more than her. Both of them are following Kresi for their own goals. They need to endure being with this spirit beast.
"I will make the preparations." Iver gives a small bow to Mogrok and leaves in a hurry. He can feel his eyes on his back. He wonders how did he manage to offend this big guy. It's him who is wronged by this spirit beast and its master.
"Kresi, do you trust Iver?" Deia asks her after Iver is gone. Kresi plants a kiss on Kyo's forehead who moans in his sleep. She lays his head down on her lap. "I have to take a chance in trusting him."
"There must be a reason why his channels are broken." Deia puckers her forehead. She wonders why Kresi has been looking at Iver with sadness. Why did he say if he can trust her? In that future, what happened to Iver? There are so many questions. Can they trust Iver in the first place?
Why is it always Kresi who can bring the solution to their problems? She wants to know more about this girl, but she is also afraid to know the answer.
"There is always a reason," Kresi tells her solemnly. "There is a reason why you want to cross the Cursed Sea to find your spirit. There is a reason why I must leave the lower realm in search of knowledge and powers. There is a reason why Iver wants to heal his broken channels. We are all driven by our reasons. Just like you trust that I will help you find your spirit, I must trust Iver that he will get us through the Cursed Sea."
Deia purses her lips. Kresi is right. There must be a reason why Kresi is the key to her and Iver's future. For now, she must trust Kresi.
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