Liam’s deafening bellow sent Fergus plunging into the abyss.
It was an abyss that was a bottomless pit.
He felt weightless as he fell through the darkness. There was nothing under his feet. He was on the verge of a breakdown.
What was going on?
He had no idea what was happening.
How had things turned out this way?
The disciples who had followed his lead were furious and terrified. They were furious at Fergus for acting rashly when he had no idea what was going on.
Ethan and the sect leader clearly knew each other. They couldn’t believe he had the nerve to offend Ethan.
Did he want to get himself killed?
He could do that on his own time. Why had he dragged them into this as well?
They weren’t the only ones who were dumbstruck. Lacey was equally stupefied. She was utterly lost. She didn’t know what was going on.
She knew that Ethan wasn’t a member of Clearheart Sect. She had spent her whole life in the sect and had never heard of him. How could her father possibly know this man?
This seemed impossible.
Was Ethan really a member of Extreme Sect? Did such a sect really exist?
She could suspect everyone, but she couldn’t suspect her own father.
Silence filled the air. Liam did not say a word. No one dared to breathe.
The principal of the Inner Court and Helis arrived within no time.
They had not expected something like this to happen. They never expected Fergus and his gang to have the nerve to do something so bold in Liam’s presence.
“Chief O’Clear,” Cid, the principal of the Inner Court, greeted Liam.
“I see you’ve been doing a good job at keeping the Inner Court disciples in line,” Liam scoffed.
Cid swallowed visibly. “Forgive me. I failed to perform my duties. I deserve punishment for my failures.”
“I’m glad that you know that,” said Liam as a severe look settled on his face. “Helis!”
“Yes, Chief O’Clear.”
“What is the punishment for disobeying the rules of Clearheart Sect?”
Helis froze momentarily. This wasn’t a joke. The sect leader was really angry.
He glanced at Cid and caught the pleading look in Cid’s eyes, but he pretended that he didn’t see it. He cupped his fists and said, “A demotion, seven days spent in solitude and penitence, and confiscation of a full year’s worth of resources.”
Cid’s heart spasmed violently. Fergus nearly collapsed to the ground.
Fergus would pay for the punishment that had been inflicted on Cid.
This…was going to be the end of him!
Fergus trembled violently. He felt hollow, as if his soul had fled from his body.
“Cid, do you agree that you deserve this punishment?”
Liam narrowed his eyes.
“I do! I have neglected my disciplinary duties and failed to perform my duties. I deserve to be punished!” Cid declared loudly.
His eyes slid towards Fergus. He had spat out his words. Each word had been torn out from him like how he wanted to rip the flesh off Fergus, bite by bite.
Fergus was stupefied. His hearing had fled him. So had his vision. He had fallen into a daze. All he knew was that he was done for…
…and that his death wasn’t going to be quick or painless!
“Good. I hope to see improvement,” Liam said coolly. “Leave us.”
“Yes, Chief O’Clear!”
Cid and Helis dared not say anything more. It was rare of Liam to get so furious.
They dared not say anything and fled the courtyard immediately.
Fergus and the other disciples had no idea how they managed to make their way out of the courtyard. They had descended into a state of complete terror.
Silence lingered in the courtyard.
The guards had clustered together. None of them dared to utter a word. They dared not make a sound as they breathed as lightly as they could.
Lacey stood there silently too, afraid to say anything. She was still reeling. What had just happened? What was going on?
“So, the both of you…” She hesitated as she looked at Ethan, then at Liam. “…know each other?”
Ethan didn’t say anything. Neither did Liam.
They exchanged a look. This fleeting look seemed to speak volumes.