Chapter 2194 Overlord
Leonel didn't seem to pick up on the reaction of his elders. He sat on his throne stoically, his eyes even partially closed. It didn't seem like he cared at all about their response, and yet he didn't say a word after. It was as though he was just fine with the silence, just fine with letting this sort of atmosphere brew and breed, just fine with allowing the pressure to slowly and steadily rise, pressing down upon the shoulders of these Ancestors in a way they had simply never experienced before. 𝑓𝘳𝑒𝑒𝑤𝑒𝘣𝘯ℴ𝓋𝑒𝓁.𝘤ℴ𝑚
The silence was deafening and persistent. Many thought that Leonel would eventually fold, but eventually it looked as though he was simply taking a nap, his aura dormant, rumbling like a sleeping dragon.
Eventually, it was Ancestor Alvaro, the very one who had witnessed this process from start to finish that spoke. The others were aware that something big had happened, but they had no idea just how big it was. However, even Alvaro never guessed that he wouldn't be able to speak.
An aura the likes of which these Ancestors had never felt before descended. The expressions of several changed, as though waiting for an oncoming enemy. But those that were in the know and recognized this aura all too well felt their faces go pale. Just what had occurred for this individual to be stirred?
The most senior of the Ancestors was Ancestor Hito, or so it seemed to be so on the surface. The truth was that the true depth of a large family's prowess was more than even deeper than most of their upper echelon knew, let alone outsiders.
There were two separations of such existences within the Morales.
The first were the Death Sworn. These were individuals born and bred their entire lives to give up their very breath for the sake of the family. Often, even to their former family members, they had died long ago. It wasn't until the day they were needed that they would step forward, but most often they would die of old age, never able to take up their role they were meant to. After all, for such a large family like the Morales, how many could threaten them enough that such a trump card would need to be used?
For many powerful families, the so-called Death Sworn were mostly made up of Savants that were taken and raised from birth. Such was the fate of Savants in the Dimensional Verse, a sad fate for many.
Normally, though, these Death Sworn Savants would be used in ways much more cleverly than Anya had used hers. Anya used her Savants as though they were her personal attacks, throwing them out like tamed beasts. But a family like the Morales would only use them in key areas and they'd be highly protected. For example, as the core of a large scale Force Art...
The second were the Overlords, the truest and deepest reaches of the family and existences that stood beyond the Ancestors. These were existences that while still in the Eighth Dimension, had abilities that approached the very limits and sometimes even surpassed it. These were old men and women so ancient that many thought that they had already died of old age, but due to the use of special methods, they were able to extend their lives...
Special methods like the use of a World Spirit.
It seemed that Leonel's deductions were both correct and incorrect. It was true that the World Spirit was weakened due to the actions of the Morales, but the purpose wasn't just control, it was to extend the lives of these Overlords of theirs.
It took far too long to practice to the extremities of the Eighth Dimension, and by the time that happened, many would be at the end of their lifespans. Only the most powerful of families could circumvent the tides of times, and it could be said that one of the reasons World Spirits didn't play a prominent role on the largest stages was precisely because they were the most useful in this role.
As for why the Void Library didn't talk about this sort of thing, it was obvious. Why would these large families allow such a thing to be casually shared?
Leonel realized all of this the moment he sensed the aura of death around the man who descended.
His face was filled with a countless number of wrinkles, so much so that his eyes were barely visible. His eyebrows were overgrown and a densely packed grey, while his hair was sparse and his skin filled with aged spots.
When he descended and touched down, the Ancestors who knew who he was kneeled down immediately. They didn't have the slightest bit of arrogance and loftiness on their faces any longer. This was the same even for Ancestor Issa and Alvaro, both of them bowing their heads low.
The more regular elders of the Morales, many of whom were getting on in age and were stuck at the pinnacle of the Seventh Dimension, didn't understand what was going on at all. However, they knew that if an Ancestor was kneeling, they had no right to stand on their feet. As such, they immediately followed suit without the slightest hesitation.
The old man continued to walk forward as though he hadn't seen anything. It seemed, though, that every movement he made only caused the aura of death to thicken.
He stopped before the throne, seemingly unsurprised that Leonel hadn't kneeled.
"Like father, like son. The World Spirit of the Morales, return it."
The old man's words startled everyone but Alvaro who had seen what happened. But even more so than that, his voice shook their hearts. It felt like walking on a gravel road, but in their ears instead. Their eardrums themselves felt uncomfortable, like they had been aged to the same level as this man in an instant.
Leonel didn't respond. It was as though he hadn't heard the old man speak at all. He, the Patriarch, had asked a question, and yet no one had answered it, but now they wanted him to answer to other things? He didn't have the patience for it.
The atmosphere grew dense and the old man chuckled. "Indeed, just like the father."
It was odd for him to be laughing in such a situation, seemingly moment away from death, but here he was, having the time of his life. He didn't seem to be laughing out of rage at all, but rather out of true amusement. He hadn't seen the world in a long time, but he had actually run into such a scene the moment he did.
"What was that question he asked? Indeed," the old man looked toward Ancestor Alvaro, "you and Issa should be in charge. Explain."
Leonel's eyes suddenly opened, but he could only now see the back view of the old man. He had already looked away, completely focused on Alvaro.
"This..." Alvaro, who was still kneeling, was taken aback. "... the family entered a state of Ancestor Rule, all decisions were made by us. In addition, Little Nova wasn't yet the Patriarch, it is still technically First Nova's father. There is no protocol or need to communicate with him at that moment."
"Logical," the old man nodded and looked toward Leonel, "but it seems like there's more to the story, no? As far as I'm aware, when the family enters a state of Ancestor Rule, every member should be informed of the current situation and understand that the Patriarch has been stripped of their power. Is Littlest Nova not a member of the Morales?"
Alvaro froze. This was true, but...
Back then, they had felt that Leonel was a bit too arrogant and they could feel his ambition seeping through, especially when he refused their order to release Third Nova. As such, they had thought of teaching him a small lesson. The only purpose was to show him how well the Morales family functioned without him, nothing more, nothing less.
What they hadn't expected was for this to come back and bite them like this.
They didn't know what the Overlord was trying to do, but wasn't this a bit too biased? If he really wanted the World Spirit from Leonel, couldn't he just snatch it back, why did an Overlord have to say so many words?
"At the same time, though..." The old man looked toward Leonel. "... It seems that this little one has far too much ambition. What is it that you want to do with my Morales family, exactly?"
Leonel looked into the old man's eyes, the scent of death permeating the air as the Overlord seemed to wilt right before their eyes.
After a long while, Leonel waved a hand and a strong surge of Force appeared before flooding into the old man's body. He, who had just been on the brink of death, while he wasn't suddenly young, looked as though he could live several more years with ease.
The Overlord's pupils constricted, but he remained silent, seemingly still waiting for Leonel's answer.
In the end, Leonel answered simply.
"The Morales family will go as far as I take it."