1

Hours after the collective funeral of the Symons family, night came to the city.

Vicente had finished his training, left his house for the association building, and was now entering the area where he would compete against Landon in a few minutes.

Arriving there alongside Benson, Vicente saw many people in the arena, most of them blacksmiths, but also people who had nothing to do with the profession.

That was the case with Nova, who was already sitting next to Nina and Eve on one of the stands of the small betting platform.

Bets like Benson and Henry's weren't that common. However, forging fights took place here almost every day. That's why there was a suitable place for this bet to be contested in front of witnesses.

Usually, between 5 and 20 'fights' would take place in this small arena every day, depending on the day of the week and the season. But tonight, this would be the only contest, and almost all of the blacksmiths free to come and watch the event were in the area.

Watching people compete was not just an attraction enjoyed by the people of Polaris Realm. It was a way for the weaker to learn from the stronger.

As much as each person had their own qualities, and their powers were usually unique to them, there were things about a competition that could help people with similar abilities grow faster.

To say that watching a fight was like watching a lesson wasn't entirely wrong!

So, it took Vicente a while to find his family in this place, as he saw more than 100 blacksmiths scattered around the stands in this area.

But as soon as he saw Nova's blue hair, a smile broke out on his face as he waved to the three most important women in his life.

Nina stood up from her chair and waved back, a big smile on her face as she finally got the chance to see her big brother in action.

But they weren't the only ones to cheer him on in the evening's competition. Not far from them, a gray-haired woman looked at Vicente with a strange smile.

He felt this person's gaze on him and immediately turned his attention to Layla.

'That woman...' He suddenly clenched his fists at seeing his ally standing there, seeing that she had already discovered his identity.

"Master, can you give me a moment? There's someone here I want to talk to for a moment." He said to Benson.

The old man looked at the gray-haired woman and understood what his student wanted. "Make it quick. Henry and Landon are already here. It won't be long before we start."

He nodded affirmatively before walking over to Layla under the eyes of Nina, Eve, Nova, Shelby, and Livia, those two who had just arrived.

"Livia... What are you doing here?" Shelby asked as she saw the woman approaching next to Nicolas. "I thought you had left town."

"I'll do it later." The green-haired woman said. "First, I want to see our friend's skills."

"Our friend?" Shelby gave Livia an ugly look, not liking it at all.

Livia laughed. "I think he really is a great talent. Otherwise, you wouldn't react like that, and this place wouldn't be so crowded."

Nicolas noticed the same thing when he looked around and saw the smiths excited about the upcoming competition.

Amid it, he saw Vicente approaching where they were, near Layla.

Vicente arrived before Layla and said in a low but somewhat irritated voice. "What are you doing here? Get out of here! You're risking our disguises!"

Layla smiled. "Vicente Fuller... That's your real name, huh? Now that I've had time to study you, I remember exactly where I've seen you before."

Vicente came closer to her while several people watched them from a distance.

He forced a smile, not enjoying this woman's presence but putting on a happy face.

Seeing him approach Layla like that, Nova clenched her fists, wondering who this beautiful woman was and what her relationship was with Vicente.

"You'd better stop, Layla. We are allies; don't try to change that."

Layla was quite bold with Vicente and wasn't afraid to argue with him. She stood and stood inches away from him. "You were the boy in Saltstar City, right? The one who saw his sister being taken away?"

Vicente felt his heart beat faster and squeezed a hand on one of her shoulders. "How do you know that? Were you there that day?"

She smiled, enduring Vicente's grip as if it were nothing. But she was really in pain. "No, but my organization has detailed information about that day. Your sister awakened a power from the Dark Path and was taken by a force dominated by magicians from that path. Since then, we've been watching everyone related to her.

You awakened your powers here in Millfall a few months ago. The same week that happened, the local temple cataloged your information and your connection to Lauren Fuller.

It's on your record the day your sister awoke in Saltstar City and how she was taken right in front of you. That's how I know about it."

"And Lauren?" He asked, seeing that this organization seemed to have information about her.

Layla smiled at Vicente, recognizing his weakness. "You want revenge, huh? Do you want to save her? Is that why you're doing all this? Is that why you left the path your father taught you to become what you are today?"

"So what if that's why? What do you care?" Vicente asked as he looked into her eyes.

"Vicente, don't get me wrong." She followed his gaze with her own. "Now that I know more about you, I trust you more. What happened that day was truly a tragic event for you and your little sister. So I know now that you are a much stronger and more reliable ally than I thought before."

'You are not a madman with nothing to lose and no goals. You know what you want and can't take all the risks for your sister's sake. Knowing that comforts me.' She thought as he watched her.

Vicente didn't know how to deal with this woman right now!

"What do you want, Layla?" He asked.

"Just be honest with me. Since our lives are connected, let me know how I can help you, and don't fuck with me." She got a little more serious. "I may not be as strong as you, but I have more experience, contacts, and information, Vicente. Is it too much for you to listen to me? I ask you to do so from now on. I have no reason to put you or your family in danger. I just don't want you to fuck me over in your rush to power."

He clenched his fists and said. "I can do that. But for now, I want you to leave."

She laughed and prepared to leave. "Good luck in your fight. See you later. We have much to discuss regarding your dangerous plan."