1

In the skies above the Rapax Nest, far above where their protections lay, a raging battle was ongoing. On one side there were the elites amongst the Rapax, and on the other there were the shadows of the Three Finger Cult.

If anyone saw this level of battle, they would realize that it as this that would decide the fates of all those below and not whatever petty squabbles the youths had gotten into. If Leonel saw it, he would come to understand that this was what was truly going on and why it seemed the Rapax had such lackluster preparation.

However, upon realizing this, he would also gain himself another question. Where did Amery fit in all of this? The only explanation, then, was that Amery had a method of leaving this place outside of conventional means.

On another hand, though, this also meant that the youths who had chosen to run away instead were suddenly in a precarious position. Leaving was impossible for them. There was danger on the inside, and there was most definitely danger on the outside.

A group of youths who had had every intention of rushing away and finding a path back to Human Domain territory within the Void Battlefield were stuck. They had made it to the outskirts of the Nest, only to find that there was nowhere to go.

A few brave souls had tried to cross the barrier, as there didn't seem to be anything stopping them, but the result was devastating. The Rapax and the shadows didn't even pay attention to these youths, and they were even thousands of kilometers up into the sky, and yet the reverberations of their battle alone was enough to blast everyone who tried to escape into minced meat.

The youth found themselves at a loss, not knowing what to do. Running was suicide. Staying was also suicide. What kind of Selection was this supposed to be?!

Among these youths were, surprisingly, Myghell and Noah. They observed the situation with placid expressions, feeling neither fear nor apprehension. However, even if they had no outward showing of emotion, they still weren't taking this matter lightly. The both of them wanted to find a path to survival, and they also both seemed to realize that just staying here wouldn't do them any good either.

Everyone was working under the assumption that the Void Palace wouldn't give them an impossible Selection to complete, so there had to be a way… Being completely ignorant to the true innerworkings of this matter. It would be difficult for any of them to survive this at all if things continued like this.

But, maybe the God of Fortune had truly smiled down upon this generation. Not only had this God given this generation more talent than maybe every other before it, but it just so happened to hand them a savior this time as well.

"Aiya…"

Velasco scratched his head, feeling annoyed. He really was this close to being in the embrace of his wife. He already knew that Alienor wouldn't allow him any intimacy with a clone, that was nothing more than a pipe dream. But, he could have at least gotten himself some cuddles and softness.

Unfortunately, these damned kids were so annoying. In truth, he didn't give a single care if all of these children died. The unfortunate part of it all was that his little nephew was part of them. He quite liked his little nephew and couldn't just leave him like this.

If Leonel could hear his father's thoughts, he would be speechless. Where was this care and affection for his own son? Why did it sound like he cared about Noah far more than he did Leonel? By all rights, Leonel was technically in an even more dangerous situation because he wasn't even close to leaving. Leonel would definitely have to give his old man a piece of his mind.

"It really is you."

Velasco continued to scratch his head for a moment before switching over to picking at his ears. It was as though he hadn't heard the voice that had so suddenly appeared to his back at all. And yet, this individual didn't do a single thing either.

If one knew who this person was, they would have been shocked to an absolute extreme. This sort of apprehension wasn't the sort of trait one would ever expect them to exhibit.

There were many ranks amongst the Three Finger Cult. However, one of the highest was the title of Scholar. No one knew exactly how large or widespread the Three Finger Cult was, but what a select few did know was that there were only five confirmed Scholars.

Every time they appeared, it would without a doubt be during a very important mission. And, without a doubt, this mission would succeed.

"Ah, I understand. This is just an Avatar of yours, it's no wonder you haven't done anything, there shouldn't be much of anything you can do."

The Scholar seemed to visibly relax when he came to this conclusion before his gaze swept over the location Velasco had been observing.

"If you would like, I won't stop you from taking away those children. Consider it a favor. Their lives and deaths aren't worth much to me anyway."

Velasco finally seemed satisfied with how clean his ear was, pulling out his pinky and blowing on it.

"A Shadow Sovereign shouldn't be enough for the Three Finger Cult to make this move."

"Oh? You're interested in our goals? You're correct, we do indeed have quite the large assortment of Shadow Sovereigns. 1614 from my recollection. 1615 truly isn't enough for me to make a move.

"When it comes to Blood Sovereigns, though…"

The Scholar didn't say anything more, chuckling lightly.

"Interesting."

Velasco yawned. He took a step forward and vanished, appearing before the barrier of youths. When Noah saw him, his brows couldn't help but shoot up.

"Come on kiddos, I'm here to escort you away. Girls, please keep your panties to yourselves, I'm a married man. As for you lads, I don't swing that way, sorry to disappoint."

Velasco waved a hand and the barrier retracted. He turned, beginning to bring everyone along with him.

In the skies, the Scholar sneered. His face, obscured by shadows, twisted, jagged teeth dripping with blood and flesh barely being hidden beneath the dense black.

His palm suddenly waved, his cock almost standing at attention when he thought of the feeling of euphoria he would experience not only killing so many people, but especially Velasco himself, even if it was nothing more than an Avatar.

However, before he could swing down, he suddenly felt a hand on his shoulder, his entire body freezing over as though it had been dunked into a vat of ice water.

At some unknown time, Velasco had appeared in front of him, just barely off the side. He placed a palm on his shoulder, leaning forward until his mouth was barely a half foot away from the Scholar's ear.

"Just as stupid as always. You Three Finger Cult members are all the same. I didn't make a move before only because I can't be bothered to deal with small fry, but it seems that you didn't take the new lease on life I gave you seriously."

In that instant, the shoulder Velasco touched crumbled along with an entire half of the Scholar's body. In the blink of an eye, there was nothing just but half a hip, torso and head. The Scholar stood shivering in the skies, Velasco's breath still feeling searing hot on its ear.

"If you manage to survive this, you should learn to count again, by the way. You only have 1613 now.

"I would also warn you, my son's temper seems worse than mine and my father's. Even if you sent that Variant Invalid, things probably won't work out so well for you, especially if he finds out you're targeting his little girlfriend."

"Good luck, though."

Velasco turned and vanished once more, the kids below being nonethewiser.

"Aiya, maybe I raised that brat wrong. He was supposed to be the calm and cool headed one. Ah, forget it, if worse comes to worst, I'll just have to have my beautiful Alienor pop out another one for me."

As for Leonel's safety, Velasco truly didn't care. As far as he was concerned, any son of his wouldn't have any trouble with even ten times the odds stacked against them.