"You know, I should have frozen your leg to keep you from moving. I could have won if I did that," Allen said as reflected back on the match against his sister.

"I would still have won," Alena mentioned. "I was ready to transfer my Essence from one core to another. You might have won if you knew what I was doing. But since you didn't, you wouldn't."

The two siblings bickered a bit on the street while their guards were too used to such a display to even be embarrassed. They simply walked next to them, sending away anyone that tried to come close to them.

Well, even if they did, it wouldn't be for the prince or princess at all. After all, behind them was the Crown Prince, who walked without saying anything.

The two siblings ignored their uncle for long enough that they nearly even forgot that he was there. When they did remember, they turned around to ask him for advice on which of the two was a better fighter in the competition.

When they looked back, they saw their uncle completely lost in his own thought, not paying the two of them any attention at all.

"Uncle?" Alena called out to him.

"Uncle!" Allen spoke a little loudly, finally catching his attention. "What's wrong with you, uncle? Are we boring you? Just say so and we won't talk about the match."

"Hmm?" the man asked, completely not understanding what his nephew was even saying.

Alena narrowed her eyes. She looked around discretely and back at their uncle. "Are you alright, uncle? You seem sick," she said.

"No, I'm… alright," the Crown Prince said. He was… alright, right?

His mind was consumed with the thought that his father was going to do something once again out of impulsiveness and ruin the future of someone that could truly be the pillar of their land.

He knew, just as his father said, that they could turn out to be evil and be a danger to their family. But wouldn't they be trying to befriend them?

If you squashed every little bud that seemed strong enough to grow to be a giant tree, what would happen to the forest?

There was strength in unity, and his father seemed keen on dividing it all.

"Uncle, are you truly ill?" Allen asked, bringing his attention back to them again. Damien shook his head and nodded furiously.

"I'm alright. You guys don't have to worry about me," he said, roughing up his nephew's hair. Let's continue. We should reach the academy folks if we hurry," he said, continuing to walk through the road.

The two siblings went back to talking about more mundane things, but they kept an eye on their uncle, who they were worried about.

Had he been feeling under the weather?

As they talked, the topic changed to Ning, who had shown such incredible results. Hearing them talk about it, Damien couldn't help but be a bit curious.

"How is he? This Ning fellow. Do you like him?" he asked.

"He's… pretty good as a person, I guess. He's quite strong, but didn't appear arrogant at all," Allen said.

"He's old too, around our age, but… he never acts out age," Alena said. "It's hard to say what age he acts like. He seems completely oblivious to many obvious stuff, but he somehow still appears reliable."

"Right, right. That," Allen said. "Can you believe it? he said he would've likely beaten me if he wasn't slow to break through to the Low Essence Realm. And somehow, I completely believe it."

"He did?" Alena asked.

"Yes," Allen said. "And I sensed his Essence too. So pure… I can't help but wonder just what sort of Essence Soul he has formed. Do you know what a Pure Essence Soul usually looks like, Uncle?"

He turned to ask his uncle, but his uncle seemed completely out of it.

"Uncle?" he called out.

Damien's mind raced from one side of the fence to the other, trying to make up his mind on what to do. He looked at his niece and nephew, their young and innocent eyes.

The young man would be no different. So innocent… so happy. If he could keep them then—

'But he is most likely dead,' Damien thought. But… but… if he was not…

"I need to go," he said, turning around right there. "You two, take the prince and princess back to your academy friends as soon as you can."

"Yes, your highness," the two young guards said in a serious voice as Damien rushed back toward the arena.

They wondered what was happening. Where he was going. But they had been ordered, so the two of them decided to leave.

Damien employed the wind to his cause as he rushed as quickly as he could to go back to the new arena. He hoped he prayed that his father hadn't already killed Ning. He wanted to help the young man survive.

He couldn't let his father kill another innocent person again. He had been young and had no authority to speak to his father back then. He had done what he could to appear to be against him, but he never truly could.

However, now he was going to. Even if it required him to directly oppose his father, he was ready to take on that option.

He arrived close to the arena and sensed strong Essence fluctuation from there. They were a few people outside, wondering what was happening inside, but they didn't go in.

Damien, however, rushed without waiting. The moment he arrived at the door, he noticed the destruction there. He looked at the source of the destruction, Ning, who pointed high in the air.

Damien looked up and saw Saburn creating a massive wind blade with which he was about to attack Ning.

Damien wanted to help, but then he sensed something.

A ball of dark colorful light flew into the sky, containing all Essence and none at once. It struck the wind blade in the air and simply vanished into it.

A moment later, however, it showed its effect.

The Wind blade exploded.