While hearing them talking about some kind of disease, I started to get curious and asked interested. In the end, Leorio started talking and explained to me what happened.
“Yes. It seems that after Lord Shen passed out, Miss Aura and her group of healers were able to save Yuri in the last moment, thanks to Lord Shen’s giving his all in healing his injury. For this, we are truly gratified.” → Leorio
Leorio bowed his head to me but I simply waved my hand, unable to even remember that.
“Please continue.” → Shen
“Yes. When his state became more stable, his skin started to redden while white crack-like sores appeared everywhere on his body. This disease is called Magma Stains, exactly because it looks like the incandescent cracks that form on magma. It can’t be cured with spells and neither does it matter of one’s power-rank, being a disease which affects the meridians directly. This disease normally appears to children between 5 and 18 years old, rarely it passes this age. Is not dangerous enough to threaten one’s life, but if the person is too weakened even before the disease could appear, then it might be possible to put one’s life in danger.” → Leorio
“So you’re telling me there is no cure for that?” → Shen
“None. His body must confront this disease on its own.” → Leorio
I thought in silence for a while then starred at Ryu.
“So you said he was the one who saved me from the devil?” → Shen
“Yes.” → Ryu
“Understood. Then that means it’s my fault that his life is endangered.” → Shen
“Oho~ you’re finally aware of that?” → Zhin
Zhin starred at me with enmity but I simply glanced at him calmly.
“That’s right. That’s why I’ll go and see if there is something I can do.” → Shen
“Eh? Now?” → Ryu
Ryu asked confused while the others looked at me dumbfounded. I got up, but before leaving I asked first:
“Where is that Yuri residing right now?” → Shen
“Huh? Uhm… There must be something like a little asylum built on the northern residential area of the Kingdom. Is right beside the improvised school.” → Ryu
“Understood. I’ll go and search for it.” → Shen
Right after I got out from inside the waters, feminine laughter and shouts were heard from the other side of the door. Suddenly, the two doors are slammed open and a little demon boy rushes inside with a bright burning face and a little fairy girl right behind him.
“S-sorry! I mistook the bath!” → Theo
“Wait! Theo! You mustn’t run like that inside a hot-spring!”
The young boy shouted with his eyes closed while a little fairy ran right after him with a worried face, both being covered in towels. Then more girls rushed inside with naughty faces, those being just like the two children, only covered by small bath towels, barely covering their more private parts.
“You little rascal. You saw us naked. Now it’s time for punishment~.”
“Indeed~. Why aren’t you obeying us older sisters? Your friend Faust showed no resistance~…Ah.”
“What do you mean obeying?! It’s just because you used telekinesis to make him freeze in place- Ouch!” → Theo
The young demon boy named Theo slammed on me then fell backward, at first confused, then more and more shocked, staring at me as if in a daze. Because of the impact, my towel actually fell while everyone, I included, stared dazed at the enchanting figures in front.
At that moment everyone froze in place, completely dazed by the other party. The guys, with the exception of Ryu and Gregor who tried not to look, stared at the girls’ naked body while hiding themselves inside the water, while the girls stared just as mesmerized at the guys, especially at me who was in full view at the moment. The little fairy had her eyes hastily covered by one of the girls while the rest took glances at me with a bright blush forming on their faces as they covered themselves with light screams of embarrassment. I was just as stunned for a moment; the shock of seeing so many naked beauties rushing inside, but being seen back by them as well made my train of thoughts crash for a moment. Until-
“Oh! Master’s wee-wee is raising! Master! How are you doing that?!” → Theo
The little demon pointed at my thing and shouted in surprise, unable to understand how that happened. Everyone was stunned while the girls reddened even more at the boy’s words but I instantly reacted, feeling my own cheeks burn from embarrassment.[Dark Wall] → Shen
Between us and the girls, a wall of dark smoke appeared which made impossible for anyone to pass through it, let alone see. I then shouted out in an annoyed voice toward the other side while putting my towel back on.
“This is the men’s bath. I beg the ladies to turn back and enter their own bath.” → Shen
The girls answered together, some in an embarrassed tone but most with a giggle, which only made me more annoyed. Afterward, the little boy said in a hurry.
“M-master! Please save Faust as well! He was taken as prisoner by the girls simply because we entered by mistake inside their bath!” → Theo
Not really understanding what the little boy was talking about, I simply started to feel around inside the neighboring room, until I felt a little male essence which was as still as a statue inside the changing room of the girls. Right before they could get a hold of him, I turned him into smoke and summoned him here. In less than a second, the young demon named Faust appeared beside the little demon boy while looking around in shock and surprise.
“Faust! Are you alright?!” → Theo
The boy asked in a hurry with worry on his face. However, the young boy had an exasperated expression on, for a different reason than the boy Theo thought of.
“Huh?! Theo, it was you who brought me here?! Dude! Fast, send me back! I was in Paradise there!” → Faust
“W-wait, what?” → Theo
Theo was completely dumbfounded by his friend’s sudden disappointment of being saved. While Faust tried to explain to Theo why he should’ve been left alone inside the paradise, I felt like I should just get out from here as fast as possible. The less I made a fool of myself. However, just as I walked past them, the young demon named Theo walked toward me while talking in high spirit.
“Master! I can finally see you after you passed out! I learned to control my powers much better than be-“ → Theo
However, just as he touched my hand, a cold shudder rushed down his spine then he retreated in a hurry, his happy expression changing into a terrified one, his smile frozen on his face. His voice trembling while his body sweating profoundly.
“Theo? What’s up?” → Faust
After greeting me respectfully, Faust observed the weird reaction Theo just showed and looked at him in confusion. I stared just as confused at him then observed how everyone else was glancing at one another, serious expressions covering their faces. Ryu then got up and patted Theo’s head.
“No need to worry about it anymore, little Theo. The Devil has been sealed back inside his body. This time with a seal strong enough to even cover his physical body.” → Ryu
Ryu said with a serious expression while staring at the tattooed chains around my body. Still filled with fear, Theo slightly nodded but didn’t move from his place. Seeing him like this, Ryu sighed and lightly pushed his back toward the hot-spring.
“Alright. Go and relax your nerves. Shen and I have something else to do. Meanwhile you children can go play for as much as you want.” → Ryu
Then we got up and together with the others, we entered the changing room to put back our clothes. I thought back about what happened with the little demon boy but simply shook my head, not asking about it but just the direction of the respective temple once again.
After giving me the coordination, the ones from the heroes’ party looked in a daze at the closed doors and then at each other’s with surprised faces.
“Shall we follow…?” → Tom
Tom asked sheepishly and the others did just that. Be them the clan members, heroes, elites or the superiors of Antara, they all got out together, changed clothes and followed right after me, showing the right way toward the asylum. After responding to innumerable greetings, I observed here and there a few demons and even some fairies which would keep their distance from us. Or rather, from me. Even though I wished to find out the reason, we already arrived at the asylum and entered it in a hurry. It looked like a temple for some reasons, made out of hardened clay, stone, and wood. Even though the materials used were of what the others found around the Kingdom, the design was surprisingly stylish, just like the other buildings that had a main role inside the kingdom like: the school, training grounds, main tower or the defensive towers which surrounded the Kingdom, all of them representing their respective roles through the designs used. The library which was built on the other side of the school also had the form of a smaller colosseum, ending up being surrounded by all kind of books or notes the moment you entered, the middle being filled with chairs and tables.
After entering the temple-like asylum, the first person we met was the blue-haired fairy I last remember seeing after losing my consciousness.
“Ah! L-Lord Shen! H-how are your injuries, sir?”
For some reasons, the little fairy was so nervous that she wasn’t even able to see King Ryu and the others by my side, stuttering and bowing her head only to me.
Have I done something to her before? → Shen
I looked backward at Ryu and he simply scratched his head with a troubling expression. It seems that he knew something I wasn’t aware of.
“Miss Aura. If you could show us to Mister Yuri’s room. Shen is here to pay his respect to his savior.” → Ryu
“K-K-King Ryu! I-I’m extremely sorry for not being able to see your highness!” → Aura
She stuttered again and bowed her head over and over again. Then she greeted every person each.
“Miss Aura. We’re in a hurry.” → Shen
“Y-yes, I apologize… Follow me please.” → Aura
I instinctively talked in a cold tone and Aura instantly froze in place and answered politely, her shoulders dropped. I felt like a villain but I didn’t know what I did wrong in the first place.
Well, this is awkward… → Shen
Shen, I will explain to you after we’re done with Yuri. I wished to explain everything while in the hot-spring, but it seems you’re quite in a rush. → Ryu
I heard Ryu’s voice in my mind and understood instantly that he used telepathy. I activated my mind barrier so he won’t read more than he should and I answered back:
I only wish to get back on my training. It seems that I absorbed the devil’s powers which are quite unstable at the moment. If I don’t fully understand them then I might only bring more self-harm. → Shen
Did you discover such a thing? → Ryu
Yes. But because my powers aren’t stable enough, my AP is oscillating between 700 and 2000. I need to understand it fast so I won’t do some kind of mistake. → Shen
Two thousand… That’s almost as much as my own AP right now. → Ryu
How much do you have? → Shen
1900 AP. → Ryu
Hmmm~… That dragon essence you told me about, I really wonder if is really weaker than the devil’s or you still need to work over your dragonic powers. → Shen
I have a long way. It says I only absorbed 70% of the entire essence. → Ryu
“It”? → Shen
The system. You know, my own stats. → Ryu
… We might really need to research this weird system we players have. A spatial inventory and observing our own stats… Is not normal in this world and something or someone else might be behind it. → Shen
In the past you said is not that dangerous. → Ryu
It might not be, but I’d rather not use something which might use me back later. I need to find what’s behind all of this. → Shen
Ryu then stared at me surprised and simply shook his head.
If before you were distrusting, then now you’re on a whole other level. But even so, I don’t blame you for that. → Ryu
While conversing with Ryu telepathically, we reached a room and Aura turned around to us.
“This is his room. But I don’t recommend entering it for the illness is quite contagious.” → Aura
Aura showed us a wooden door with a seal imprinted on it. The seal wasn’t made so to stop people from entering or exiting, but for the germs to not leave the room and infect the others.
“In that case, I will enter alone. I have super regeneration. Something like an illness won’t harm me even if is poison.” → Shen
“Understood. Then we’ll wait for you here.” → Ryu
Ryu nodded and ordered to Aura to open the door for me to enter. With a shiver, Aura got in front of me and opened the door to let me in. Seeing her timid reactions, I let out a light sigh then entered on my own, the door closing behind me with a light sound.
I stared around and observed how the windows were open for ventilation, but the other paper-seals were used as windows against the disease and coldness, not letting the warm air to leave while having fresh warmed air to oxygenate the room. There was no light other than what came from the windows while inside the room there was only a wooden chest, more wooden chairs around a stone table and a bed beside a little locker which had a basket of fruits atop of it. On the bed, a curly blonde haired young man with a red face filled with white cracking-like lines were laying down and covered with around three blankets made out of smooth fur. His face looked as if in pain while sweat was falling down his forehead.
Hm? → Shen
I stared above him and observed something like a gas leaving his body. From around his chest area a dark smoke rose to the ceiling, but after I entered it seemed as if it tried to come my way. There was also another kind of red gas which was emanated from his entire body, this one simply raising to the sky.
This is…. The illness… → Shen
For some reasons, I knew exactly what that gas represented. I understood that the red gas which was emanating from all over his body was representing the Magma Stains while the black smoke was the remaining devilish energy which couldn’t be purified by the healers.
Another ability of the Devil… I can see the weakness and what he’s suffering from… Something like the [Soul Eyes] of a Soul Seer, but more accentuated on the essence of “pain”. If I can see it, maybe I can also do something about it. → Shen
I got closer and observed how the black smoke came my way as if being absorbed by me.
“Come back.” → Shen
I ordered and the smoke entered through my nose and mouth as if I just breathed it in.
… That was easy. Now maybe I can do the same with this illness as well. → Shen
I then focused on the red gas and observed how it started to swirl around me. At first, it didn’t even touch me, but then I thought of inspiring it. The next second, all that gas suddenly entered through my pores, mouth, and nostrils.
“Enough.” → Shen
I then stopped absorbing the gas and left behind some little strings, leaving some to Yuri so his body could create some antibodies.
This should be enough. → Shen
I then pulled up my sleeve from my left arm and observed how my entire arm was red and filled with white cracks. However, the rest of my body was entirely healthy. I tried to focus the entire illness just on my left arm and it seems It worked wonderfully.
Now let’s get rid of this. → Shen
I walked to the window and stared around, making sure there was nobody around. I made a hole in the ground, slashed my arm clean and threw it inside the hole as swift as possible. I then set the arm on fire and made all the smoke rise in the sky, not letting the smell permeate the room or the surroundings. After the arm turned to ashes, I covered it with dirt then focused on recovering. After not even 2 minutes, the arm was back and I left the room with light steps. Of course, right after I slashed my arm I made sure to use acupuncture to stop the bleeding instantly, the less I stained my clothes and had to explain to the others.
“Now he should be fine after the next day.” → Shen
After reporting such, I left without looking back, only glancing at Ryu to follow me alone. The others stared my way with dumbfounded faces and entered the room in a hurry. Aura was just as curious as to the others and rushed inside right beside the bed. She looked with wide-open eyes at the now pink skin which barely had any cracks on it.
“I-Incredible… But how?!” → Aura
She whispered incredulously and then continued to make more examination on his body to see if there was anything else wrong with him. To her surprise, she observed the wound on his chest also completely closed now, leaving behind a huge scar which might remain like so forever. The others also starred at him with surprise, especially Leorio who was just as dumbfounded as Aura, having some knowledge about medicine as well and understanding that what just happened might as well be called a miracle.
“Well, this is quite surprising.” → Leorio
He whispered while wiping his forehead with a grin on his face, happy that his companion is already safe.
Outside the asylum, Ryu and I walked one beside the other toward the school and started talking through telepathy, having such a quicker conversation than through words.
Found something new, but first I wish to learn what you know about the other’s fear for me. → Shen
Fine then. First of all, the moment you turned into a devil, every demon and fairy started to suffer from incredible panic and fear. The fairies would try to run away in fear or freeze from the terror, while the weaker demons started to tremble uncontrollably or bow down and beg for mercy. Theo and Melinda also showed some after-effects from your terrifying aura that one time inside the tower. Melinda was less affected, only feeling some fear, but Theo was on the ground and unable to even move, tears drenching his face from fright. If you truly forgot about them, they are your disciples. There was also that demon child you saved from the heroes, named Faust, but it seems he was fine. That crystal you offered him seemed to work as a barrier against your demonic aura. → Ryu
Ah. That was the Kraken’s Core. I don’t remember how I got that. → Shen
Yeah… I gave you that… → Ryu
Oh, thanks then. → Shen
… Anyway. It seems that the demons heard some kind of whispers in their heads which told them to run away from the Devil. The fairies are pure entities which try to evade evil and do more good. After feeling your evil and terrifying aura, they were unable to keep calm and listened to their own instincts which told them to run, to escape the danger, the impure. → Ryu
“Impure”… what a fitting word, eh? So, in the end, is about their instincts. The demons tried to escape from a superior “evil”, while the fairies wanted to run from that “evil”. I more or less understood that part. → Shen
After continuing to chat some more, we finally arrived at the school and observed how some children were inside the classes, while only 4 children stood on the training grounds inside the school courtyard. The four were sitting down and meditated while a beautiful dragoon woman talked to them in a suave and calm voice.
“Let your conscious drift through your own mind. Feel how your mind is being engulfed by darkness, then a little light appears at the end of it all. Find yourselves enter through that light and then through more tunnels. Even if you see that you’re going through the walls of the tunnels and not through the tunnel itself, do not stop and continue to drift away until you finally reach outside the body.”
While she was explaining, a little fox girl exhaled out and I was able to see from atop her head, her own spirit levitating around and looking around with empty eyes.
Able to separate the conscious from the body at such an early age, very nice. It seems she’s not fully awake in the spirit world, but after one or two more years, she might wander around like a true ghost that still has a body to return to. → Shen
I gazed surprised at the spirit which levitated aimlessly above her own body, then she turned around toward me with a confused look on her face.
Oh? Spirits can hear one’s thoughts. Did she hear me? → Shen
After looking at me, the spirit let out a light ethereal sound while her face distorted in terror, then she re-entered her body and shouted out in fear. The other kids twitched in shook and because of the sudden noise when they were focusing, a sudden backlash struck them. Their heads started to throb and some of them either felt a burning irritation or a chilling fear taking over them. Unperturbed, Bonny activated [Purifying Area] and calmed down everyone in one go. She then walked toward the crying little fox-girl and cleaned her tears from her cheeks. With a smile, she calmly asked:
“What did you see, Tia? You normally don’t fear the unknown. What did you see?” → Bonny
“Q-Queen Bonny. Th-there was a monster, something like a devil! Its aura was dark and scary, while his eyes were red and shiny! He was chained down with rusty chains but his aura was still extremely scary!” → Tia
The little girl explained while still trembling, pointing toward Ryu and me who stood beside the entrance door.
“Ryu…? And Master Shen?” → Bonny
Bonny looked surprised at both of us then she calmed down her students. She told them to meditate and calm their own circulation inside the safe area. She then walked toward us with a worried expression.
“Yo Bonny. Good with children as always.” → Ryu
“Hello. Nice to make your acquaintance.” → Shen
Ryu smiled happily while I simply nodded my head.
However, she didn’t even stop on her steps and hugged us both while tears fell down her face. My first reaction was to push her away, but something else made me stop my arms, feeling a little bit surprised by myself.
I… don’t feel repulsiveness from her? → Shen
I remember how every hug I was given from the others outside my family circle, would make me feel some kind of disgust as if I was able to feel their fake feelings. However, this one woman named Bonny made me feel no such thing as if I was able to tell that she was actually a trustworthy person.
“I thought I’ll never see both of you together like this… Thank God, you’re no longer fighting. That time back in the tower gave me the frights and I couldn’t even sleep at night.” → Bonny
“Ahahaha~ sorry for worrying you, Bonny. Ah, I’m sure you already heard about Shen’s condition, right?” → Ryu
“Right! Master! Do you remember me?” → Bonny
Bonny stared at me with pleading eyes but I couldn’t feel a thing for her, nor was I able to remember who she was. I only saw her as a stranger, and so I said:
“I am sorry. I’m unable to remember you.” → Shen
“No way…” → Bonny
Just like Ryu, her reaction was quite heartbreaking, but lying was futile at this moment.