Maxim and Celty immediately stood up when Kieran walked out of the shadows.
“My lord.” They bowed.
The weak might not be humble, but the strong should be respected. They had already witnessed Kieran’s powers first hand before, and each and every time after that, their expectations would be shattered beyond reason, thus Maxim and Celty had exceptional respect for Kieran.
Kieran didn’t reply to them directly, instead heading towards the sofas in the tea room and sitting down firmly. He glanced over at the duo.
Sweat immediately broke out on their foreheads. Similar to their conversation just now, whether it was Maxim or Celty, both of them knew exactly what kind of person Kieran was.
Kieran had quite the tolerance when it came to his friends, but his enemies?
With their lives on the line, even the ever hesitant Maxim stopped having second thoughts.
He took a deep breath, regulated his thoughts and said, “Please forgive our rudeness from before. The Tale of the Virtuous King clearly mentions that under the leadership of the Virtuous King, cowards will become courageous, the bold will become heroic, and heroes will become the Holy Spirits—we are blinded by this achievement-to-come, so… Please forgive us.” Maxim then knelt down on one knee and Celty quickly followed as well.
“We really didn’t mean anything else! It’s just that the sudden difference produced unnecessary hatred in us. And I know this kind of hatred is ridiculous!” Celty smiled bitterly.
Kieran remained quiet as he looked at them both, bits of Devil aura slowly encaging them.
Chaotic and hot, filled with a sulphuric scent.
The sweat on their bodies evaporated in an instant, causing their bodies to shiver uncontrollably.
The shiver grew from a slight shake to a heavy falter within seconds. When both of them were on the verge of collapsing to the ground, the pressuring aura suddenly vanished.
Both finally fell on the carpet. They panted heavily as if they had survived a drowning.
Kieran turned away his fierce gaze. The two of them had temporarily passed his test.
Neither of them showed any malicious intent under the Devil aura despite being on the brink of collapsing.
Of course, it was just a temporary result.
Kieran knew how complicated the human heart was.
As for the Tale of the Virtuous King that they mentioned?
Kieran had experienced prophecies and legends multiple times now, so he basically looked at them as groundless stories. They were nothing but vague statements put together in a mechanical order.
Further, anyone could fit the criteria of a prophecy or legend under given circumstances.
Of course, if there were someone arranging things from behind the scenes… everything would come together flawlessly.
Unconsciously, Kieran thought of Nikorei, the God of Earth.
Once he thought about the old lady’s bad taste, he couldn’t help but frown.
The old lady wasn’t as mature as she looked and it had nothing to do with her excellent gifts, just the flaws in her personality.
In the next moment, the door of the tea room was pushed open.
Mary and Perry Kaner came in.
Mary went ahead and sat on the sofa beside Kieran while Perry Kaner habitually entered the shadowy spot on his other side.
Maxim and Celty, who had stood up from the carpet, were astounded when they saw the Viper Sect leader enter the room. Both of them stared at her with a less than friendly gaze.
Likewise, Perry Kaner returned them with one of her own hostile gazes.
The Viper and Raven weren’t natural-born arch-nemesis but what happened later caused too much conflict and collision between the two sects.
Each time they collided, death would follow, and those deaths were hard to forget, drawing long grudges.
The two sects turned more and more hostile toward each other as the days went by.
If it weren’t for Kieran, who sat in the middle, all three of them would have brawled it out by now.
Judging from their fierce, clashing auras, Mary didn’t doubt for one second that a fight might break out, but when she looked at Kieran, anticipating his reaction, she realized Kieran was slowly enjoying the tea-time pastries.
Kieran had limited experience with drinking tea. When he did try it, he usually finished his cup in one gulp, so he really didn’t know whether it was good or not.
But pastries were different.
Kieran was slowly savouring the cooking of the royal pastry chef.
“The flour is really too ordinary, the eggs weren’t whipped properly, even the fermentation’s timing was a little off, but there was real effort put into making the dough. Not bad,” said Kieran.
He stuffed the pastry into his mouth and munched loudly.
Celty was dumbfounded when he heard what Kieran said.
“My lord, aren’t you overpraising this kind of pastry? It’s not sweet enough, if at all! How can some poorly made dough be considered as a pastry?”
Everyone has their own baseline.
Some were good, some were evil.
And some were picky about food. Celty was that kind of person.
He couldn’t acknowledge cakes without sweetness as pastries.
It was his baseline, and even while standing before Kieran, he didn’t plan to change that view.
“Ah! So it’s not a pastry if it isn’t sweet enough? Then savoury pastries aren’t pastries?” Perry Kaner mocked coldly.
“How can savoury cakes be considered as pastries? The person who makes them might suffer a broken tongue!” Celty glared at Perry Kaner.
“That’s right. If their tongue brakes, it should be cut off and fed to the dogs!” Perry Kaner squinted her eyes and her gaze showed slight killing intent.
“You look like a losing dog, don’t you?”
“No! You are one! How does it feel to be betrayed by one of your own?”
Celty purposely tore open the old wounds of Perry Kaner, sprinkling salt on top.
Pain rose from within Perry Kaner’s heart, hurrying her breath.
She had to somehow divert her attention… like slicing someone’s head off!
Fire began burning in Celty’s hand. Having felt the killing intent, the Raven Sect nomad wouldn’t just sit back and wait for Perry Kaner to kill him. He too wanted to test whether Perry Kaner had escaped all her pursuers in one piece.
However, before either of them could even begin their brawl, the fight ended because Kieran stood up.
Both of them quickly bowed in fear after regaining their senses. They suddenly remembered who they were and where they stood.
“Maxim, Celty, gather everyone you can and bring them to the palace.”
Kieran gave his order directly, not having a care for the dispute between them. He then looked at Perry Kaner. “Perry Kaner, did you contact Ape Sect?”
“My lord, I am sorry. That time…”
Perry Kaner wanted to explain herself but was interrupted by Kieran.
“No, I don’t mean anything else, I just want you to keep contacting Ape Sect. Follow your plans and tell them what you wanted to tell them.”
Maxim and Celty exchanged gazes.
The two of them knew how scary that sect was and wanted to dissuade Kieran, but before words even escaped their mouths, Kieran along with Mary vanished from the spot.
The three leftover sect members looked at each other. They grunted coldly in unison before turning away to go about their own business.
Being on the same side didn’t mean there would be peace between them.
It was similar to how those who hid in the shadows weren’t actually hidden.