Chapter 55: Unwavering Spirit (Part 2)

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Shen looked at the tearing fox woman with calm eyes. He wasn’t cold anymore but a light of understanding lit in his eyes.

Hmm… Almost all the fox-people had at least one tail cut. So that was the reason? Hmm… I wonder how did they discover this trait of the fox-people. → Shen

The succubus was dumbfounded. She looked at the fox woman as if looking at an idiot.

“What do you mean only to see your sister? With what does that help you in any way? There is no use! And to think you’re actually betraying the kingdom for such a lame reason! ARGH~! What a moron~!” → Eve

The demons understood all and everything but love, they couldn’t understand any kind of love. Theo was raised by showing love from Old Shu which showed him familial love. Then by me who showed him the love of a teacher and Melinda who slowly showed him the love of a friend and, maybe in the future, that of a lover, forming a heart inside his once void chest.

“You talk a lot, you know?” → Sylvia

Sylvia wished to end the fight as fast as possible. She wished to understand some more of this new form of magic Shen showed her.

Kundalini is quite the curious function. If only I could get more information from Shen, but he’s always answering with ‘you’ll learn when you’re more prepared.’ I wonder what he means by that and when will that be? → Sylvia

While feeling some annoyance, she shot out another breath of fire toward Eve.

“W-what magic is this?” → Eve

Eve had no time to think, she instinctively activated barrier over barrier, trying to resist the breath of fire with everything she got. From the 8 barriers, only a cracked one remained, barely resisting the wave of incinerating flames.

“AAh~ I can’t deal with this on my own! Why do I have to fight with a fake-god and a failed experiment at the same time~?” → Eve
“Say again?” → Shen

Shen was surprised after hearing what the demoness just said.

Fake-God, that’s how Hamata called Ashura and Tara, but failed experiment? Who? Am I perhaps a failed summoning of a fallen God? Are they that incompetent?! → Shen

While Shen thought in annoyance to himself, Sylvia became more agitated and wished to silence the succubus before she continued to say anything anymore.

“Ho~?” → Eve

Eve then retracted her mana and surrounded herself with some kind of blue mist. It had no other role than hiding one’s spiritual presence, but it was used only in hidden and narrowed places. If the enemy was right in front, you’ll be discovered as if you just walked in front of them to get killed, the [Mana-Mist] wasn’t a smoke-screen so she was still just as visible as before.

“Come and catch me if you can~.” → Eve

Eve surrounded Sylvia with the [Mana-Mist] and simply flew around her. Everyone was able to see this, being confused by what the succubus tried to do. Some demons started to laugh while the beast-men looked confused.

“…What is she doing, that idiotic demon?… Wait…” → Shen

Shen then muted. He knew the role of [Mana-Mist], but what shocked him beyond words was how Sylvia tried to catch at empty air. She rushed randomly behind Eve from a place of the mist to the other, like a blind person, making the demons laugh even more at this sight.

“S-Sylvia…? Are you alright? Is there more to that [Mana-Mist] than the eye could tell?” → Shen

There must be some kind of trick, right? I can’t feel anything from it besides the characteristics of a normal [Mana-Mist]. But j-just what is… happening… → Shen

Shen was shocked beyond words, he was too confused to understand anything. However, he still had an idea which he did not wish to accept.

“Fufufu~ Mister Shen, was it~? It seems your woman hasn’t told you about the fact that she’s another experiment like the Fake-God down there~? And not only that, she’s a failure! A pariah even around the experiments inside the laboratories, the lowest of the kind!” → Eve

The succubus was amused by Shen’s stunned face and shouted out every word, letting everyone to hear them.

“Every experiment has in common the white skin and hair, caused by the terror and sufferings experimented inside the laboratories-” → Eve

QUIET!→ Sylvia

Sylvia shouted out in a shivering voice. She then released a strong mana-shockwave around her, trying to disperse the mist.

“Oh my~ how aggressive. Shouldn’t you say the truth to mister Shen now that he found out most of the secret~?” → Eve

Eve simply continued to gather her mist back, looking just like before, as if nothing happened.

“…” → Sylvia

Sylvia stood there like a statue, looking downwards, not daring to raise her head and let Shen see the guilt in her eyes and the sorrow on her face.

“…Sylvia.” → Shen

Shen opened his mouth after a good pause. Even Ashura was a little bit confused and shocked as to what he should do.

Sylvia trembled after hearing her own name being pronounced by Shen’s neutral tone. She started to feel how his heart was filling up with rage and indignation. This only scared her stiff and she tried to talk, but from her mouth nothing came out, feeling a knot in her neck.

“Oh my~? How long are you going to remain mute? At least say that you can’t tell where he is because of the mist around you. Being blind is not such a big deal you know~?” → Eve

“Kuh!” → Sylvia

Sylvia grabbed her skirt in frustration. She was stabbed by the truth and couldn’t react at anything around her. Her confidence disappeared and the demons’ laughter made her spirit shatter even more, together with Shen’s growing negative feelings.

“What? Blind?! What do you mean!? She commented my looks before, too-…” → Shen

Wait… Now that I think about it, I always felt like she looked more like, through me, rather than at me myself… And that weird ‘makeup’ magic… What kind of illusion is that? What was it meant to hide?! → Shen

Shen’s heart was disturbed and more indignation was filling it.

“Shen, I’m-!” → Sylvia

After feeling his heart turn darker and darker with negative feelings, Sylvia started to shake and tear up.

“S-Shen please, listen to me…” → Sylvia

She wasn’t able to see where Shen was and this made her feel only more helplessness and frustration. She looked in front with worried and pleading eyes while Shen was at her left in the air. Seeing how she was struggling in such a pitiful manner, made Shen’s heart break and unable to endure this bad-joke any longer.

“Stop making a fool of yourself!” → Shen

He boomed and pulled her with [Heavenly Pull] towards him. He caught her in his embrace then let go of her with trembling hands.

“Kya!” → Sylvia
“…Why didn’t you tell me about this…?” → Shen

His voice was trembling, feeling fury and sorrow at the same time

Sylvia was surprised by the sudden pull then falling right into Shen’s arms, away from the mist of mana. Even though her physical eyes weren’t functional, she was still able to see other people’s auras. At that moment, she started to tremble and pale in the face when she saw Shen’s aura turn bright red, showing his rage and fury. She grabbed his coat in desperation while she started crying, supporting her head on his chest, feeling his hands letting her go.

“Please forgive me! Being a failed experiment, I feared of being avoided and hated by you! I also tried to hide my damaged eyes with illusion magic by making the white pupil turn black, looking as if my eyes were completely normal… Shen, if you were to start hating me too, then who else would I have into this world?!” → Sylvia

Sylvia asked while hiding her crying face on his chest. Even though she wasn’t too discriminated at the monastery, the ones who knew the truth about her treated her with coldness, while the ones who were still unaware about it, made Sylvia unable to trust them or speak openly. After meeting Shen, she felt like he could actually accept her for what she truly was, but at the same time, she still couldn’t bring enough courage to confess a secret that might make her hated by the only person she fell in love with. If Shen started to hate her, she would start feeling lost and alone into a dark abyss, filled with sparks of light which would avoid her for what she was. The biggest spark she found, then would also leave her inside the darkness alone, forever. The isolation would become insupportable for someone who finally got rid of it.

“…So all this time, you played an act… Was it fun?” → Shen

Hearing his cold voice, Sylvia trembled even more and pressed her head on his chest with even more intensity, as if trying to reach his heart and get a hold of it with everything she had. Her eyes turned red from the overflowing tears while her heart pulsated more and more energy so she could keep the connection with Shen intact. If he suddenly felt like cutting the cordon between their hearts, she would become unable to recreate it again.

“Ooh~? Things turned out even better than I thought~!” → Eve

Eve was looking with interest and amusement. She wished Shen would erupt and kick Sylvia away from his life completely. She felt excitement, then a sudden feeling of fear struck her out of nowhere.

“S-sir Shen. Please calm down.”

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The woman fox said a little bit frightened by the aura he emanated. The image she saw right now was that of a little wounded white bird, trying to find shelter atop a furious devil’s horns.

“[You all, shut up]” → Shen

After commanding out, the laughing demons, the confused beastmen and the two generals which just talked, closed their mouth unable to open them again for the next 5 minutes. The entire battlefield of more than a few thousands, has been silenced with just a few words.

H-he’s completely angered! W-what should I do? W-will he still help me like this?

The fox-woman looked at Shen while sweating bullets, unable to move from the monstrous pressure and killing intent he was releasing everywhere on the battlefield.

“…” → Ashura

Ashura stood still and stared at Shen and Sylvia, ready to make a move if it were needed.

I can tell Shen is incredibly mad, but I feel no danger befalling Miss Sylvia…What will he do, I wonder? → Ashura

Ashura examined every move Shen made. He was able to tell that he had no hostility towards Sylvia, but he was mad and angry nevertheless. He was like a volcano ready to erupt at any moment now.

“Please, Shen! I’ll do anything for you to forgive me!” → Sylvia

Sylvia cried out after having her illusion severed by Shen, letting him see her completely white eyes. He separated himself from her and grabbed her shoulder with one arm while preparing a palm with the other.

”You did enough.” → Shen
“!!!”

Sylvia saw the form of a palm rising from inside the red glob of light, making her heart shatter, while even Ashura was shocked by Shen’s action, feeling some urgency.

What is he doing?! I can’t see Shen doing such things as hitting his own people outside the training grounds, even less to his own wife! Is he really going to hit Sylvia?! I must stop him! → Ashura

Ashura rushed to Shen but it was too late.

-SLAP~!-

“Kya!” → Sylvia

Sylvia looked with a flustered face and wide eyes at Shen, a little bit confused by his action just now.

“S-Shen…?” → Sylvia

Everyone around them was dumbfounded, Ashura even tripped and fell head first after failing to make the next step, being too dazed by Shen’s actions.

I knew it…Shen isn’t that kind of person… → Ashura

The fox woman looked with a red face and wide open eyes, completely taken by surprise.

H-her butt? Did he just slap her butt?!

Eve looked with even more shock at the annoyed Shen.

What is he doing?! She’s a damn failed product! How can he show such mercy to her?! He didn’t even use mana in that slap, making it a normal one which wouldn’t even leave a mark! Rather, wasn’t it more of a sensual slap?! This b*****d! Even I know when to be serious on a battlefield! → Eve

Shen slapped Sylvia’s butt with no mana so not injure her, but at the same time, he made sure to hit some acupoints which would excite the victim at the impact. Like this, he made sure to raise her spirit right back to how it was before, not being able to endure her sorrowful face. He then looked with indignation and shouted in annoyance at Sylvia who was still gazing with a red blush at him.

“Avoid you? Hate you!? What rubbish you’re talking there, woman?! Is that the kind of person you see me as? Am I such trash in your heart?! I don’t give a damn if you’re a pariah, a hybrid or whatever! Geez, you can be Satan’s daughter for all I care! You’re the one and the only woman who was able to open up my heart and the only one which I love with all I got for God knows how many lives now! Yet you still think about how I’ll discriminate you?! You really need a good spanking! Damn idiot!” → Shen

He shouted with some tears in his eyes while trembling in frustration. He was pained by the thoughts of being compared with such a low human by the person he’ll give even his life for, and full of rage for the ones who made Sylvia go through such maddening pain and sorrows.

Even if she sees me as such a worthless man, I’ll still take care of her with all I have, and I swear I’ll find and cripple- no, I’ll KILL the motherf*ckers who did this to her! → Shen
NO! → Sylvia

“NO!” → Sylvia

Through telepathy and through her own mouth, Sylvia shouted back in a rush.

“That’s not it! It’s because I’m not even a human anymore… How can someone like me be your partner…? I tried to only serve you and be something more like a maid than a lover after knowing you better. I didn’t wish to taint your honor by having a pariah around you… I tried to seem like a normal human so you’ll be able to feel like you have a normal person beside you… I’m sorry that I’m nothing more than a failure…” → Sylvia

Sylvia was born and raised inside a world with a mentality almost like those from middle ages, where the women were supposed to stay and support the man and not bring him any shame or dishonor. Such a thing made Shen, who had the mentality of a modern person, only more annoyed at this world.

After hearing such words, Shen trembled from emotion and thought.

What a damn foolish girl! → Shen

Then summoned a field of mist around himself and Sylvia. After being sure nobody was able to see them, he embraced her with everything he got, slight tears still falling down his cheeks.

“After you accepted me and said you loved me, I was so happy, I only wished to stay beside you…I tried my hardest to appear more… whole… As a failed product not only my eyesight got erased… I can’t smell or taste anything either…and…I-I…” → Sylvia

Sylvia choked on her own words, unable to continue. Curious about what she tried to say, Shen connected telepathically and focused on the heart’s connection. He was able to feel a pain comparable to the loss of someone loved from her soul while the information he got from inside her mind made him freeze.

I can’t even bear a child anymore! → Sylvia

At first he was unable to say anything, then a boiling sensation surfaced from the deepest parts of his soul as if leaking out through his pores. He then asked in a neutral and calm voice.

“… Sylvia, in which kingdom was the experiment taking place…?” → Shen
“Huh? In the Nostrung’s capital-” → Sylvia

Too late to understand his question, she spat out the name of the Nostrung Empire. Right after that, she saw his aura redder and redder, until it became a black, blood-red. His heart was already stained with wrath and fury, his eyes completely red.

Oh no… I shouldn’t have told him that. → Sylvia

The bad habit of saying whatever was on her mind while shacked, got the best of her again.

“Very well, we’ll have to take a visit to your benefactors when we return. I’ll be sure to repay their kindness in full.” → Shen

Shen’s aura was so threatening, the heavens were turning while the Earth was shaking. The view wasn’t as destructive as the one from the World Tree, but it was enough to frighten every soldier present. His voice also became more hoarse because of the slight deviations in his circulations. If he continued like this, his meridians and veins might snap and rend his energies astray.

“Demons! Retreat! We don’t need useless deaths now! Get back!” → Eve

Eve ordered anxiously. Even though Shen was hidden inside the little cloud he made, his powers were still felt in full, making the demons think he’s preparing some kind of great spell.

“You’re not going anywhere!” → Ashura

Ashura shouted while leaping high in the air toward her. He grabbed her tail and pulled the demoness towards him with strength.

“Hya~!”

Eve moaned loudly, feeling currents go through her entire being. That was a weak point for the succubus. Ignoring her erotic sounds, Ashura slammed her with all his power on the ground, creating a huge crater, making her lose consciousness from the impact. Even though she was a Great-Saint, she was a demon that focused mostly on spells and items, not on physical enchanting like Lupy or the others.

“Finally! I got you!” → Ashura

Ashura bumped his fists with a triumphant face while feeling victorious.

She annoyed me for a good while now. → Ashura

“…” → Shen

Shen looked at the armies retreating while his eyes turned from red to brown. He wished to calm himself but the rage was simply too much. He had to stay there, not moving, so he won’t lose control over himself.

…However much I’d wish to go on a rampage, this is not the right place… Nostrung Empire… Sooner or later, I’ll come for you, like the thunder after the greater storm! → Shen

Sylvia felt complicated after feeling Shen’s anger soar sky-high. She was happy to see how much Shen cared for her but at the same time, she was worried he’ll enter mana-deviation if he continued like this. The mana and chi from inside would collide and a chaotic circulation would damage his inner organs, having the possibility of getting his heart and lungs to explode.

“Shen, I can feel how much you care for me, but I’ll ask for you to not harm yourself anymore. This rage harms not only your body but your mind and spirit as well. Please calm down, yes?” → Sylvia

Even though she was blind, she was able to tell where was Shen’s face. She could see the mana and chi circulate inside Shen and his body’s outline from the aura around him. Right now, being in his arms, she barely could see his outline because of the intense shine of red in front of her eyes, but she was able to discern it. She touched his face gently and gave him a light kiss.

That one kiss worked wonders. Shen’s mana started to fluctuate and the aura around him pulsated, slowly retracting back inside his body while slowly calming his nerves.

“…Yeah…I’ll do that.” → Shen

Shen then reabsorbed his aura, calming himself, even though not completely, but enough to crack a smile for Sylvia.

“Sigh… Still, how did you end up as a priestess?” → Shen

“…Right when I was close to being discharged as a failure, a priest saw the power of a seer inside me. Later he found out I was able to talk with Goddess Hamata, taking care of me and teaching me about the world. Even so, he never really showed affection towards me. Happily, he kept a secret I was an experiment, and a failed one at that…” → Sylvia
“Wait. Discharged? What does that mean?” → Shen
“Huh? I mean killed… B-but it’s fine! I-I mean, look! Aren’t I a fine great Saint? No need to worry about the past now, Shen!” → Sylvia

Seeing how his anger almost shot up again, Sylvia hastily got a comeback and tried to relieve him by giving a warm hug, as if letting him feel her warm and beating heart.

“…” → Shen

Shen said nothing while hugging her back and feeling her warmth. The thoughts of having her killed without him even knowing, made Shen’s blood turn cold.

She lost so much because of them… → Shen

At that moment, Shen remembered the words of his father when he got home with a bruise on his mouth. He just had a fight at school and at one rare moment when his father was home, the both of them had a talk about this. However, rather than the normal scolding Shen expected from him, the father said only this: When in debt, always be sure to pay back in full. No less, no more, but the same amount you received. Just like this can you live with no regrets, my son.
Shen was dumbfounded at that time by what his father told him, but he made sure to follow them in full from then on.

… but I’ll be the one to ask for payment. → Shen

However, the father’s words continued with: Fear not when you receive, but when you give back. You might give more than the equal sum and end up regretting it later.

No, father… Who knows how much time has passed since then? The interest… must also be paid! → Shen

After that, Shen calmed a little bit down. He was still incredibly angry, but he used the fire of wrath to store it inside for later. He then breathed out some dark chi and said in a calm manner.

“Haah…I understood, thank you for telling me everything.” → Shen
“Yeah…I’m sorry.” → Sylvia
“…I’ll try to find a way and heal you up. For healing such injuries I might need more than just a stone of Prana.” → Shen

Shen said with a pained voice.

“Shen, if you wish for a child you can get a concubine. We’ll be something close to rulers inside the kingdom Ryu will create. The nobles are known for having polygamy in their families, you know?” → Sylvia

Sylvia said with some pain, she didn’t wish to see another woman in Shen’s embrace but if he wished for a child then, or that, or he needed to adopt one. When Shen heard that, he slapped her butt again because of the irritation.

“Kya!” → Sylvia

Shen used a little chi in that palm, making it a little more painful than the first one, still not enough to even redden her butt.

“Shen!” → Sylvia

Sylvia was embarrassed after being slapped 2 times on the battlefield. Her face reddened and she looked at Shen as if she were wronged.

“Hah!? What’s up with that face? Telling me to go with another woman when I just said how much I love you, it seems you really need a good spanking! I won’t permit such a thing even if I were to die today! You’re the only one I love and wish to have children with! Also, be it Ryu or me, polygamy will be completely banned inside the kingdom!” → Shen

Shen was red from irritation and embarrassment.

Damn woman! Must I explain everything to you? → Shen

“Hmm~? So as long as you love her, everything is fine?” → Sylvia

Sylvia joked around with a naughty face, but then she stepped back after seeing his face darken while stepping toward her.

“K-kidding! I was just kidding!” → Sylvia

She closed her eyes and awaited the slap on her butt when his serious voice resounded in an ethereal tone.

“[One with the Universe: Second Chapter]” → Shen

A metallic sound reverberated behind Sylvia then a powerful gust of wind shock the entire cloud away from around the two.

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