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"We will separate from here," Jinkan declared with a sense of finality.
Emery, along with the entirety of Team A, a collective of 50 magus, would be departing on a distinct vessel to rendezvous with the core Nephilim team. The remainder of their comrades would embark on another ship, forming an unofficial Amarhiks team.
As the moment of departure drew near, Emery turned his gaze to his friends, absorbing the presence of each familiar face one last time. He offered them his heartfelt well-wishes, hoping for their safety and success in the challenges that lay ahead.
Eeshoo, standing beside Emery, offered words of encouragement and reassurance. "Don't worry about them," he said, "we need more of the good luck wishes than they do."
The group made their way onto a medium-sized spacecraft and soared through the skies for a few minutes, gradually approaching the colossal Nephilim flagship, the "Judgment." With a mixture of anticipation and determination, they set foot on the star-class ship.
Jinkan led the group deeper into the vast expanse of the Nephilim flagship. While navigating the ship's interiors, they encountered a group of magus who appeared to be waiting for their arrival. At the helm of this assembly was a familiar face, LinHao, the Amarhiks prince.
Observing that there were only 100 magus accompanying LinHao when he was supposed to bring 150, Jinkan inquired with a hint of curiosity, "Not all here yet, cousin?"
In response, LinHao chuckled and confidently retorted, "No need. A hundred is enough to protect me, and if I ever require more, I can always rely on you, can't I, little cousin?"
It became apparent that LinHao had squandered 50 of Amarhik's allotted spots, a fact that irritated Jinkan. Unlike her rigorous preparations and dedication to the upcoming expedition, LinHao appeared indifferent to the whole affair.
Emery, in the meantime, attempted to sense the abilities of the 100 magus accompanying LinHao. He discerned that 10 of them were at the full moon realm, 30 were at the Halfmoon realm, and the remaining 60 were crescent moon magus. Their collective presence exuded a sense of discipline, akin to soldiers awaiting orders.
Recognizing the futility of engaging in a confrontation with her somewhat irritating cousin, Jinkan chose to walk away, saying, "Let's not keep the other families waiting." Her irritation lingered, but she was determined to focus on the mission at hand.
The massive ship's interior was a labyrinth of corridors and chambers, and it took them several minutes to reach the main hall. Here, they found a gathering of grand magus elders and hundreds of magus, as the hall began to fill with the Nephilim's greatest young talents from a myriad of families. It was a congregation of 1000 of the most promising young magus, a testament to the scale and importance of the upcoming expedition.
A mechanical voice resonated through the ship, announcing, "The spaceship Judgment will leave shortly, destination sector 3741, ETA 4 hours."
Following the announcement, one of the grand magus elders approached LinHao and Jinkan, offering his respects and saying, "You are invited to join the VIP lounge."
Linhao responded with a smirk, "Alright, I thought for a second there you wanted me to wait among these lowlifes." With a gesture, he signaled five of his full moon magus to accompany him to the VIP lounge. Meanwhile, Jinkan invited Eeshoo and Emery to join her.
As they made their way toward the designated lounge, Emery couldn't help but notice that the flagship had already begun its journey and was now entering hyperspace, hurtling towards its destination.
As Emery, Jinkan, and Eeshoo entered the VIP lounge, they found themselves in a room that was worlds apart from the bustling main hall. This chamber was a haven of relaxation, filled with dozens of people casually mingling, sipping drinks, and sharing conversations. It was a stark contrast to the impending battle they were about to embark on; the atmosphere felt more like a social gathering than a pre-expedition briefing.
Linhao immediately gravitated towards a group of people, seamlessly blending in as he shared hearty laughs with the crowd, while his five full moon magus loyally stood guard by his side.
Jinkan couldn't help but heave a deep sigh as she observed Linhao's carefree demeanor. Turning to Emery, she jestingly said, "If I ever become like that one day, just do me a favor and put an end to me."
Eeshoo, glance at Emery saying "She's just joking."
The trio found a spot in the lounge, and Jinkan began pointing some of the individuals in the room to Emery. "These are the VIPs. It's good for you to know them, so you don't end up accidentally killing them if you cross paths in the ruins," she remarked with a hint of humor, implying that Emery was more than welcome to kill the other 1000 if the situation forced him to.
Amid the chatter and laughter in the VIP lounge, Emery noticed a distinct Nephilim uniform. He recalled their encounter on the Centauri planet, where Zephyr had showcased his prowess as a familiar face that caught his attention. It was Zephyr, dressed in the distinct Nephilim uniform. He recalled their encounter on the Centauri planet, where Zephyr had showcased his prowess as a spirit master.
Upon seeing Emery's curiosity, Jinkan decided to provide some context. "That's Zephyr from the Aztebas family. He's one of their top talents," she explained. Emery remembered that the Aztebas were one of the three prominent Nephilim families.
"Even though he's technically still my cousin, Zephyr has no claim to the family's throne. This year, it seems none of the Azteba royalty joined the expedition. It makes them appear a bit disorganized, but you should consider them more dangerous."
As the conversation unfolded, the lounge's calm ambiance was abruptly shattered by the sound of a breaking glass. Emery's attention swiftly shifted to the source of the commotion. There stood Linhao, the Amarhiks prince, engaged in a heated argument with a group of other magus. Jinkan's expression transformed from casual conversation to a mixture of frustration and exasperation as she muttered, "That idiot Linhao!"