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For centuries, the Beast King Invigris had been patiently waiting for the Divine Flower of Renewal to reach full maturity.

Once consumed, it would aid in solidifying its ability to ascend beyond this world.

That's because, unlike mortals, beasts had a different way of ascending into the Divine Realm.

Due to their natural connection with the world and innate talents, instead of ascending like mortals through the divinity line, beasts were reformed into the Divine Realm itself as an entirely new entity.

It was similar to experiencing a rebirth, except the only part of them that remained would be their bloodline. Of course, this bloodline would be vastly improved upon reaching that place along with their natural gifts, turning them into a true divine beast!

However, Invigris was forced to put their plans on hold because of some young ignorant human. Now, he would have to replant the Divine Flower of Renewal and wait a few more years than originally anticipated for it to bloom. How could it not be furious after enduring for so many centuries?

Under normal circumstances, Invigris would have merely slain the perpetrator without wasting words; however, it was somewhat cautious after its first attack out of anger failed.

Invigris was not fearful of Izroth as one might think. Instead, he was wary of one thing—the divine energy faintly radiating from that person. And it was not just one divine energy Invigris felt, but multiple sources!

Of course, what Invigris sensed were the several blessings bestowed upon Izroth by those in the Divine Realm.

The All-Seeing Goddess Helilatiaa, God of Craft Mazi, Lady of Everlasting Rain Tal'Nis—there was even a pseudo-blessing he received from the Daughter of the Eternal Vow, Ierosni. Although it could not compare to a true divine blessing, it was as close as one could get without counting the actual thing.

Nonetheless, these several divine blessings caused Invigris, who was soon to ascend, to quell their anger and take another path.

With their life experience and intelligence, Invigris knew that this young human in front of him was not normal. After all, it lived for a millennium, and this was its first time coming across any being that received two, let alone three blessings from those greater beings.

This showed the Beast King just how much those above the firmament cherished this young human.

The situation would be different if the Beast King were nowhere close to ascending. After all, even if those above the firmament wanted to interfere there was a limit to what they could or were willing to do. But, since they would undergo a rebirth when they reached the Divine Realm, the last thing Invigris wanted was to make enemies of those greater beings by killing the one under their protection. This was even more so considering the potent divine energy radiating from those blessings.

Without a doubt, even among the greater beings, those who gave that young human their blessings must have reached extraordinary heights.

However, its long-standing pride as the Overlord of the Ferae Jungle would not allow Izroth to get away without some form of punishment for delaying its plans.

Ultimately, Invigris believed that as long as they did not kill Izroth, those greater beings would not find fault with it.

'Oh? Strange, its killing intent disappeared.'

Naturally, Izroth noticed the change in the drastic shift in the Beast King's killing intent. It was also bizarre how it was willing to speak to him.

Among those who met or knew about highly intelligent beasts like Invigris, it was common knowledge that they were usually arrogant, and rightly so. After all, they essentially dominated whatever territory they ruled over, and very few if any would ever challenge that authority.

That's why Izroth found Invigris' behavior unconventional. This was even more so considering he took away something incredibly valuable from the Beast King.

Regardless of their intent, Izroth had no intention of following through with Invigris' delusions.

'The situation isn't ideal, but if there's no other choice, so be it.'

The last thing Izroth needed right now was to clash with the Overlord of the Ferae Jungle; however, it seemed that no matter what he chose to do, Invigris did not plan to back down. Therefore...

"Astratis," Izroth calmly called out to seemingly no one.

However, not even a full second passed before a figure appeared standing right next to Izroth. This person was, of course, the Son of Thunder, Astratis.

"You called, youngest?" Astratis said as his gaze locked onto the Beast King.

The moment Astratis felt the killing intent coming from Izroth's position, he immediately moved closer to respond as swiftly as possible in case things got out of hand. After all, if anything happened to Izroth under his watch, how would he have the heart to face his siblings, let alone his other half?

When Astratis appeared, the Beast King Invigris narrowed its eyes and sized him up. There was not the slightest fluctuation of mana or any energy source for that matter within this person; however, for some reason, its instinct told it that it could not afford to look down on that man. No, it was more than that. But, the feeling was fleeting.

"Was it some kind of trick?" Invigris growled to itself.

No matter how it looked at it, the person in front of him was just a normal mortal. Besides being unable to sense their presence or any energy sources, there was nothing else noteworthy or remarkable about them.

"Enough," Invigris said as it lifted one of its front paws and struck the ground under it.

Rmmmmble!

That simple action caused the surrounding area to tremble as parts of the ground were fragmented, and the nearby trees violently swayed.

"Another ignorant mortal does not change the outcome of your fate. I tried to give you a path of retreat, but you arrogantly chose to meet my mercifulness with yet more naivety. That shows your clear lack of judgment. I do not know what those greater beings see in you, but in this jungle—in this realm—it is I who stand at the mountain peak!" Invigris roared.

This roar swept through the entire Ferae Jungle and carried on for more than ten kilometers in every direction. It caused numerous monsters to shiver in fear and find the nearest place to hide. Even those boss monsters like the Insolum Beetle were shaken by this terrifying roar.

"Can you handle it without revealing your hand?" Izroth asked nonchalantly under the roar of the Beast King.

"If that's the requirement, I'll be able to play a few rounds with it. But I won't have the means to land a killing blow. Is that alright?" Astratis replied calmly.

"That's fine. I just need you to keep it busy and keep this safe." Izroth said as he removed the Divine Flower of Renewal from his inventory and handed it off to Astratis.

"Oh? This place has some good stuff." Astratis said as his brows rose while he briefly examined the Divine Flower of Renewal before storing it in his Call to the Void.

He then continued, "Worry not, youngest. I will keep it safe."

Izroth gave a small nod and said, "Then, I'll leave it in your capable hands. If it gets too dangerous, you can do what must be done or run away. After all, your life takes priority."

The Divine Flower of Renewal was undoubtedly valuable, but it was still only one material. In the end, Astratis was much more important than a mere flower.

Woosh!

Right when he finished speaking, Izroth made his way toward the 9th Division at his top base speed.

At the same time, Astratis immediately ran in the complete opposite direction of Izroth.

"Heh, youngest... It's supposed to be my job to worry about you, not the other way around." Astratis thought to himself as he moved deeper into the Ferae Jungle.

"Audacious!" Invigris' roar ceased, and it was quickly replaced by a voice of infuriation.

It shifted its gaze to the way Izroth ran off but contained its rage and urge to give chase.

"Right now, the Divine Flower of Renewal is more important. Young human, I will never forget this day...! This Overlord will have his vengeance!" Invigris roared as it turned to chase after Astratis.

...

A couple of hours later, somewhere in the Tempest Kingdom near the Gale's Eye outpost...

"It's almost time. Everyone, stay on guard." Niflheim warned.