After some hesitation, two juniors, one from the Flowing River Sect and one from the Ronan Clan stepped forward.
"Clan Leader Waylon, Garlen and I were in a trial where we were attacked by powerful beasts. I...I was able to escape, but unfortunately Garlen wasn't," responded the one boy from the Ronan Clan.
He and his friend had tried their luck in a trial, but only he was unable to make it out alive. Such were the dangers of the pocket realm. It held amazing treasures, but also great danger.
The Flowing River Sect girl spoke up as well, telling a similar story. All the elders were carefully watching them, and found no hints of lies being told.
"A pity," one Elder spoke up.
"Indeed, it's always like this, but it doesn't make it any easier to bear," responded another.
"You may step back," Waylon stated, and the two juniors quickly returned to their groups.
Warren Gildar had a dark face as well, as two of his Juniors, including Dylan, were missing. He was about to step forward and ask what happened, when Jason spoke up.
"Sect Leader Warren, I will explain what happened to our two members at a later time."
Warrens eyes narrowed, and he nodded his head before taking a step back.
"Now...John Fenix is missing, what exactly happened? Who knows anything?" Waylon asked in a raised voice, himself hinting that foul play was at hand. Everyone instinctively looked over to the Crimson Valley Sect group.
"What are you looking at us for? We had nothing to do with it," Warren Gildar responded, but a slightly smug smile hung on his face for all to see. Everyone knew his enmity with John and the Fenix Clan, and so even if they truly didn't cause his demise, they would still take pleasure in it.
"Bastards, do you really think anyone would believe such bullshit lies? Tell me what happened, or don't blame me for destroying your sect," Barden Fenix exploded in rage, causing everyone to jump. His powerful aura radiated off him, making everyone believe his words that he would start a fight at a moment's notice.
"Careful with those vicious accusations," Warren responded in a cold voice. His narrowed eyes stared straight back at Barden unflinchingly.
"Accusations? Everyone knows what happened in the tournaments, and how strong John was. If not for your vicious bastard ways, how else would John not be here?" Miko yelled out in rage.
He had lost track of John in the swamp, and no matter how hard he looked, he was unable to find him. Eventually he went his own ways, assuming that John would be able to handle himself.
When the pocket realm began to close, Miko felt an amazingly powerful aura wash over him and invade his soul. Although he tried to resist it, he was unable to do so. Just when he thought the powerful soul aura would kill him, the soul aura took refuge in his own soul space and immediately went into a slumber.
Although he didn't know what, or who it was, Miko was sure that if it wanted to kill him, it would have been able to do so. Instead, it went into a slumber, and Miko could tell that the soul was on the verge of collapse. He didn't know when it would awaken, but for now he had no answers as to what happened.
He was looking forward to meeting back up with John upon exiting the realm and talking about these wondrous events, but was dismayed to see that John himself had never left.
"If you won't admit it, then I'll have to beat it out of you," spoke Barden in an ever growing rage. His sword suddenly appeared in his hands, and a searing fire began to flow over it.
Just as Barden was about to attack, a voice chimed up from behind, stopping him in his tracks.
"Uncle Barden, I know what happened to John."
Barden quickly turned around, and saw Parker standing there with his head lowered slightly in shame.
"What happened? Why didn't you speak up sooner?" Barden asked as he dashed over towards Parker.
"I..I wanted to speak up, but I was ashamed of myself…."
"Ashamed? Why?" Barden asked, but Parker's behavior gave him a bad feeling regarding John's fate.
"I...Towards the end of the realm's opening, John and I ran into each other and decided to adventure together. We came to a large chasm so deep we couldn't see the bottom, and just when we were about to turn around, a Qi Condensation beast attacked us….I was eventually able to kill it, but in the battle, John was knocked over the edge into the chasm by the beast…I wanted to follow him...but I was too weak to do so...Im so sorry Uncle Barden."
While telling his story, Parker took out the corpse of a lizard type Qi Condensation beast he had killed in the realm. A faint hint of dried blood was left over on one of its claws, and close examination made everyone realize it held the same aura as John's aura.
What they didn't know was that this beast was killed by Parker in an unrelated matter, and some of the blood that John had leaked during their battle was collected off the ground and smudged on the beasts claws, making it look like it had attacked him. Although it was only the faintest hint of blood, it was enough to convince everyone.
Barden's face went ashen as he inspected both the beast and Parker, but he found no hints of lies in either one. The entire Fenix Clan turned pale as well, having lost their most promising junior, and a young master of the clan.
Only the Crimson Valley Sect had slight smiles on their face. Jason looked at Parker in an approving manner, clearly pleased with his performance.
"So it's true....He fell. I'm so sorry," Waylon walked over and comforted Barden.
Cade Fenix was boiling in rage at having lost such a promising youngster, as well as his grandson, but was unable to do anything about it. He suddenly called out to his clan.
Although a celebratory feast was normally held by all the parties afterwards, everyone understood the Fenix Clan's reasons for leaving so hastily. The Fenix Clan bid the Varis Clan farewell, and quickly departed for their home.
While watching them leaving, Jason turned and whispered something in Warren Gildars ears. His eyes lit up as he listened, and his smiling gaze shifted to the leaving Parker.
"Interesting..this will greatly help with our plans."