Chapter 679 Ivanov
Aidan, Alexander, and Antoine immediately got on one knee as the apparition slowly took shape.
They placed their right hands on their left shoulders and shouted at the apparition with their head lowered.
Their behavior drew a frown from Jonathan, who did not understand the Remdikian words the men were uttering.
Karl moved closer to Jonathan and whispered, “They’re paying their respects to that apparition, though they’re not addressing it in the same way. Aidan and Alexander call themselves his subordinates, while Antoine, the man you almost killed, is calling the apparition ‘Forefather.’”
Jonathan shot Karl a bewildered glance before asking, “Are you sure he said ‘Forefather?’ Not Grandfather or Great-grandfather or something along those lines?”
With a wry smile, Karl explained, “Did you think everyone has a unique address for every generation of ancestors like the people of Chanaea? In Remdik, everyone older than a great-grandfather is addressed as a forefather.”
“What’s the name of this apparition?” asked Jonathan.
The apparition floating in the middle of the sky piped up in response to Jonathan’s question.
Then, he muttered a string of Remdikian, and the three men on the ice raised their heads and shot Jonathan murderous glares.
Karl was about to translate for Jonathan when the latter stopped him.
Instead, Jonathan stared at the apparition and said dismissively, “You’re just a Divergent Spirit. Why are you floating so high in the sky? We can have our discussion on the ground.”
“How dare you, Jonathan!”
Along with his bellow, Antoine made a move to strike Jonathan with his long sword. However, he froze in his tracks once he heard a cold harrumph in the sky.
Ivanov slowly lowered himself to the ground under Jonathan’s cold gaze.
Jonathan said, “By the way, if you want to protect the lives of these fools, then drop the Remdikian. I don’t understand a word of it.”
As he spoke, Ivanov’s apparition suddenly dissipated. A moment later, it materialized in thin air and looked more human-like than earlier.
It still levitated in thin air, albeit in a more opaque form.
Jonathan and Ivanov stared intently at each other. The latter’s semi-translucent pupils were creepier the longer one stared into them.
It felt like a ferocious beast’s hungry stare at its prey.
Ivanov broke the silence by asking, “You’re Jonathan Goldstein?”
His voice sounded so devoid of emotion that he came across as a robot.
“Yes,” replied Jonathan coldly.
He added, “I didn’t think you’d speak Chanaean. That makes things considerably simpler. Where are you from?”
Ivanov answered, “I learned Chanaean decades ago when I fought there.”
His nonchalant reply caused Jonathan to furrow his brows.
Asura’s Office was a military force comprised of local armies in recent times, and there had been no leader before Jonathan. Naturally, his knowledge of the area and its history extended to, at best, fifty years ago.
However, while analyzing war strategies against Remdik in the past, Jonathan and his men had come across the Horbah Incident, which happened almost a hundred years ago.
Written records alleged that Remdikian forces had entered Terrandya with the excuse of protecting an important citizen. Their military forces remained in the area for a whole month and only retreated when they almost ignited a full-blown war.
The details of the incident were very fuzzy, and there was little useful information that military successors could glean from the records.
Plus, technological advancements generally favored the analysis of the Battle of River Onxy when designing counter-strategies against Remdikian forces.
Jonathan was surprised that the apparition before him had been a participant in the Horbah Incident a century ago.
Still, he chuckled and taunted, “That happened donkey years ago. You’re more than welcome to give it another shot. I guarantee I’ll kill every person who crosses River Onxy.”
“The audacity!” Ivanov guffawed after his comment on Jonathan’s character.
Ivanov continued, “You must be descended from the powerful ancient families if you can recognize my Divergent Spirit form. You wouldn’t have held off Antoine’s and the others’ combined attacks otherwise.”
Spirit Diverging could only be practiced by cultivators whose cultivation level was at least the advanced phase of Divine Realm. The cultivator would first condense his spiritual energy, blood essence, and part of his spiritual sense. It would then be stored in a unique spatial magical item and crafted into a Divergent Spirit. Spirit Diverging was a consumptive spell that could only be performed once.
Though Ivanov looked incredibly fearsome, Jonathan reckoned his opponent was only slightly stronger than himself.
Otherwise, Jonathan would not have recklessly taunted a powerful, Divine Realm cultivator.
He even added, “No one’s interested in your deductions. Since you’ve split out a portion of your spirit and placed it in Antoine as a safeguard, I can let him live. Your other two subordinates won’t be so lucky.”
Just then, Sawyer approached Jonathan and informed him softly, “Mr. Goldstein, I’ve planted backup around this area. Just give the word, and they’ll charge. I’ll make sure none of our enemies make it out alive.”
Jonathan glared at his subordinate, while Ivanov burst into laughter after overhearing Sawyer’s words.
Ivanov jeered, “A Grandmaster Realm cultivator is joining our midst? You Chanaeans are an interesting lot and I’ll give you that. Why don’t you ask Jonathan if he dares to strike?”
“I don’t,” confessed Jonathan.
He explained his decision, “No organization or respectable family on the face of this earth can withstand the revenge of an advanced phase, Divine Realm cultivator. Nonetheless, the Remdikians made the first move this time, and I can’t just let them off the hook. So I propose we do away with the formalities and talk terms.”
“Sure.” Ivanov shot him a half-hearted smile and suggested, “If you let them go, I guarantee Remdik won’t launch any attacks on Chanaea within the next half a year.”
“That’s all?” Jonathan’s displeasure was palpable.
He declared, “Your terms are obviously lacking in any hint of sincerity, so let me improve them for you. Send Karl’s wife and children back to Chanaea.”
Karl whipped his head around and stared at Jonathan in shock and gratitude.
He mumbled, “Mr. Goldstein…”
“Don’t call me that.” Jonathan continued, “I can relate to your pain. My own wife and kids were just abducted by the Osborne family. But don’t mistake my request for an olive branch. Death remains the only fate awaiting you after your family’s rescue. Otherwise, I can’t make it up to the fifty thousand or so soldiers who died in Mysonna.”
Ivanov, however, shook his head in response to Jonathan’s request.
He said, “All I can promise you is a ceasefire for half a year, Jonathan. Even if you disagree, I will be able to protect my men. Once you retaliate, I guarantee you Medved Army will launch a counterattack within three minutes.”
Right before his apparition disappeared, he warned, “I’ll kill you with my own hands the next time we meet, Jonathan.”
Aidan, Alexander, and Antoine turned and retreated following Ivanov’s disappearance.
“Let’s just fight them, Mr. Goldstein!” Sawyer continued through gritted teeth, “Eastern Army has one hundred and sixty thousand men, and I have another two hundred thousand under my command. We can definitely thrash Medved Army’s one hundred and fifty thousand soldiers!”
“Now is not the time,” replied Jonathan with a shake of his head.
“A full-blown war could happen if we start fighting at River Onxy. As it stands, Chanaea hardly presents a united front.”
As Jonathan spoke, an SUV pulled up in front of them.
Dominick, Karl’s second-in-command, jumped out of the vehicle.
He announced, “Sir, our intelligence shows that Remdik’s Snow Wolf Army, Glacier Army, and Arctic Army have reached Calvico and Sinchko. They are rapidly bearing down on River Onxy.”