After everything settled down, Shen’s aura suddenly disappeared. He stood there still while the other high-elves stared at him, unsure what to do or how to react.
“S-sir Shen. I’m-”
The elf woman who appeared to be the queen wished to say some apologetic and grateful words, but she stopped after seeing Shen remaining there, standing motionless. The queen got closer to Shen who looked downwards, not letting anyone see his eyes. She touched his chest then her eyes widened in shock.
“H-he has no pulse! Everyone! Bring him inside the core of the World Tree! Now!”
The woman shouted in anxiety and looked at the others. The elves froze when they heard her command and were unable to react fast enough.
“B-but my queen-!”
Seeing how he tried to talk back even in such moments, the queen became furious.
Even after sacrificing his life for us, they’re still thinking about the useless tradition?! → Queen
After slapping the one who opened his mouth, she reprimanded them all coldly and turned around.
“Very well, if you can’t even do that much, I’ll carry him myself inside the core room. You all are dismissed.” → Queen
She then walked over them all and lifted Shen over her shoulder, then sprung outside the cave with the speed of the wind. Even though she was the queen, she was also of the Semi-God rank in power, carrying a body of around 70 kg or so, was something incredibly simple for her.
The other high elves looked with pained eyes, especially the one who was slapped. He shouldn’t have commented after seeing her desperate face. The queen was right, the tradition didn’t matter at such a moment.
“Miss Sylvia!” → Ashura
Ashura got down inside the crater and searched for Sylvia. From the huge blast just now, the Diablo member got blasted away with blood flowing from his mouth. It seems that his organs got injured, not being able to continue the fight for a while. Ashura stayed inside the blast, trying to cover himself with his ridiculous chi and being able to resist it enough without too many injuries. Inside the crater, he saw her sobbing right in the middle of the huge hole.
“Miss Sylvia! Are you alright?! What happened-! Oh my god, you’re fully covered in wounds! Fast! Let’s get you out from here and ask Melinda to heal you!” → Ashura
Ashura was shocked to see her sobbing like this, fully covered in blood and wounds. Her muscles were torn and the veins were ruptured, showing purple bruises all over her body, together with nasty flesh-wounds visible to the eye.
“Dhavala! Sob what should I do? Sob Shen is…Shen is dying!” → Sylvia
Sylvia grabbed Ashura, starting to tremble and cry even more.
“W-what?!” → Ashura
Ashura was shocked beyond words. After feeling his ridiculous powers when he turned into One with the Universe, Ashura had a hard time believing that Shen could die like this.
Shen? Dying?! HOW?! From what?! There’s no way that prince would’ve been able to…right?! → Ashura
“I tried to send him my vitality but he wouldn’t accept it!” → Sylvia
Sylvia’s eyes were red from crying. When Shen was taking control over energy-stones, she found out a way to send him her vitality. Of course, Shen would never accept it, sending it back and sometimes a little more because he didn’t know how to control the energy-flow all that well yet. Seeing such things, Sylvia stopped doing so, being afraid of him sending back more than he gained. Now she tried to do the same but Shen blocked the connection subconsciously, making Sylvia unable to give him her life-energy any longer.
“F-first! Let’s get you to Melinda! They were able to get away from the blast while the demon they fought with got engulfed by it, getting knocked out. Meanwhile, try to feel the connection with sir Shen! You might be able to detect where he is!” → Ashura
Sylvia nodded her head weakly and focused, ignoring the excruciating pain from her wounds. Theo and Melinda rushed inside the crater and started to heal Sylvia while she was trying to detect Shen. After 5 good minutes, she finally feels a slight soul-wave in the World Tree’s direction, where he was moving at an incredible speed towards the Tree. He was close to death so someone must be carrying him right now.
“I found him!” → Sylvia
Sylvia opened her eyes and jumped up. She was still bleeding but she didn’t care. She rushed towards the World Tree with the almost non-existent chi she still had.
“Ugh…” → Sylvia
Her legs gave in and she fell face first. Her eyes were tearing up while she tried to force herself up again.
Please! Move, please, please! → Sylvia
Unable to see her like this any longer, Ashura grabbed on his back and gave her a piggy-back.
“To where?” → Ashura
He asked with a serious face. Even though her clothes were extremely revealing at this moment, his first thoughts were to reach Shen as fast as possible.
“To the World Tree! Please hurry! He’s close to death! We might be able to use this on him!” → Sylvia
Sylvia takes out a golden stone. It was an energy stone imbued with Prana that Shen gave everyone before the fight, except for Ashura, saying that, in case they are severely injured, they should circulate the energy inside it through their bodies. Of course, he ended up giving the lasts he had, not having any for himself, using the excuse “I can summon the Prana whenever I want to, I don’t need them.”
Dummy! What was it about being more selfish? How could you forget so soon?! → Sylvia
Sylvia thought while clenching the stone in her hand. Her eyes were filled with pain and anguish. They rushed till they got in front of the world tree where thousands of elves were looking upwards, where an entrance inside the World Tree was guarded by other High-Elves.
“There!” → Sylvia
After reaching the base of the World Tree, Sylvia pointed at the entrance with anxiety.
“MOVE!” → Ashura
Ashura roared and used his aura to pressure everyone to move away from before them. He rushed till he appeared at the entrance where he was stopped by two high-elves. Seeing them approaching so fast, they stepped forward and asked threateningly.
“Who are you?!”
“Your father! Now let me pass or I’ll make you regret it!” → Ashura
Ashura roared then kicked one of them to the side.
“You! Kill them!”
The other high elves were furious and wished to leap at them when…
A woman’s voice was heard from inside the entrance.
“Let them in.”
The voice sounded like an echo while giving commands to the elves. The elves looked at each other, at first faltering, in the end moving to the side to let them enter. Ashura rushed through them without even minding their scorning eyes. The inside was incredibly spacious with a long corridor. It looked like they were little ants rushing inside the crack of a tree. After more than 20 minutes of running at top speed, they finally arrived.
The end of the huge wooden cave was a big room with something like a green, shining tower in the middle, glowing and pulsating like it was alive. It was actually alive because, that was the core of the world tree, the place in which only the queen and the other high elves had the right to enter. The vitality in this place was thousands of times stronger than in any other place, making Sylvia’s wounds heal at a speed almost comparable with Ashura.
It smelled like fresh cut grass, the air was a little bit moist, while a refreshing wind was blowing from the tower every few seconds as if a pulsing heart was actually beating. A lot of green bubbles-like fireflies flew around, while beautiful and colorful flowers grew everywhere inside the room. The first impression anyone would receive about this place would be strong enough to compare it with the Garden of Eden, feeling like in Heaven. However, Sylvia’s group had no time to even admire the heavenly place, looking around only for one person.
“SHEN!” → Sylvia
Sylvia finally saw Shen which was supported on the core, a high-elf woman was washing away at his wounds, taking care of his broken-down body. Sylvia got down from Ashura’s back and rushed towards him. Her wounds were already healing up so she had enough power to dash like a feline in the woods. She grabbed one of his arms while with the other one she circulated the Prana from the stone through him to heal him faster.
“…How did this happen…?” → Sylvia
After looking at Shen with her eyes, she was able to see the little bit of chi and mana barely circulating through him. She also observed how the vitality inside his organs were almost disappearing. If it weren’t for the World Tree, he would’ve died a long time ago. Sylvia’s heart broke at this view and she barely controlled herself to not burst out in tears again. She then looked at the queen and said with sincerity.
“Thank you, your majesty, for taking care of Shen. I’m incredibly indebted to you…” → Sylvia
Sylvia knew the worth of being inside the Core Room. This place was a sacred place in which not even elves were permitted to enter, leaving aside the other races. She felt gratitude for the queen for letting Shen recover inside this divine place.
“…No…We’re indebted to you all. Without mister Shen, we would’ve been killed by the war between the two godly beasts right about now… We did nothing, and while we were saved by sir Shen… We couldn’t even defend or support him properly…” → Queen
The Queen looked with sorrow and guilt in her eyes at Shen, while evading the gazes of the others.
“What! You mean that Shen had to do your work and repair the seal?! What the hell were you lot doing?!” → Ashura
Ashura was incredibly mad after hearing her explanation. He wished to dash at the Queen and beat some senses in her head but he was stopped by Sylvia.
“Dhavala! Control yourself! Without the Queen’s help, Shen would’ve been dead by now… There is still hope, fighting between us now won’t resolve anything.” → Sylvia
Even though her heart was in pain and anguish, she still felt no hate for the elves, she was able to see the Queen’s feelings of guilt and sorrow through her flickering aura. The negative feelings were strong enough to endanger her health and even make her circulation deviate. She grabbed the Queen’s hand and said gently.
“Please stop blaming yourself, your highness. Let’s first find a way to heal Shen then please show us around this place. I always wished to visit the World Tree from the legends.” → Sylvia
The queen finally saw that Sylvia was blind, the reason why she was mostly looking downwards. She grabbed back at her hand and with tearing eyes she said.
“Yes, let’s do this… Thank you…” → Queen
Theo and Melinda looked at Shen’s unmoving body with tears in their eyes, especially Theo. He fell on his knees beside him and with shaking hands he touched his chest. He froze in place after feeling no pulse from his heart.
“N-no, NO! Please! Master! Not you too! If you leave too, t-then what should I do?! Aaah~ please don’t! Master! Waahhh~!” → Theodore
Theo started to cry with his head resting on Shen’s chest. He didn’t wish for another precious person to die. He felt like all the feelings he cultivated until now might as well just disappear completely and turn back into a cold demon like before.
“Sob Uuuhh~…” → Melinda
Melinda did the same as him; she fell right beside Theo and started to sob uncontrollably, feeling her heart breaking.
“…” → Ashura
Ashura stood with his back, not being able to look at Shen’s disciples. Shen was full of dried blood, his expression was one of calm and sadness, his injuries, even though they were mostly healed, the bruisers were huge and of an almost black color. Some scales were still on his face and the two horns were full of cracks, one of them even shattered.
How did you end up like this…And why must you die for this cursed world? → Ashura
Ashura looked up with reddened eyes full of hate and contempt. He hated the world for taking away the most amazing person he ever met in his life, the one he trusted the most right after his sister. The one who gave him the full name and helped him start a new life.
I swear on my name, Do you hear Shen?! If you don’t wake up, I’ll destroy the 3 continents with my two hands! I’ll kill every bastard that stood in our way! The empires with their cursed experiments! The Demons and elves! Even damned beast-men who dared to fight against us! I’ll kill them all and destroy everything they built! EVERYTHING! → Ashura
The oath made by Ashura affected the heavens, making it darken with clouds. An oath of a semi-god was no joke, be it a “fake” one, a God is a God and he must be sure when he’s making an oath. After saying this, his aura became red and the base of his hair together with his horns turned blood red. The anger and injustice inside his heart transformed him from a “fake” god to a true Semi-God almost on the same level as the Elven Queen. If Shen died for good, Ashura would keep his promise and he would bring chaos on the 3 continents, becoming stronger and stronger the more he fought, ending up becoming a true God of War and a Calamity-class entity for every living being. In short a True Ashura.
In a distant place, where no living creature can survive.
“…Huh?” → Shen
Shen opened his eyes and he found himself in space. He was levitating in space dazed for a moment, then when he looked behind, he saw a huge planet with 3 continents meeting in the center and on the sides, with a huge ocean behind it. However, what stunned him speechless was a huge tree which was covering the entire globe with its branches. Its branches stretched even on the other side of the planet, while its roots penetrated deep and far into the globe as if making it into its own garden. Even more amazing were the huge leaves atop the tree, which appeared to bring any living being that touched it into another world entirely. On the other hand, the rest of the leaves released in the air everywhere around the planet ridiculous amounts of mana and pure chi. However, from inside the earth, deadly dark miasma was also released in the air, turning whatever it touched into corrupted beings like the demonic beasts or plants from Eihwaz.
“ What is… everything?” → Shen
He was overwhelmed by what he saw. He wasn’t able to understand how everything worked or why it did so. All the wanders on the World Tree seemed out of anything he knew about, be it from books or visions. After remaining dazed while looking at the magical gigantic tree, he shocks awake and looked at his own hands in confusion.
“No, wait a moment! I’m dead? I feel so~ damn free! And I can feel the mana and other kinds of energies around me like water! God, it feels so good~. I knew that the body is something like a cage for the soul in which the spirit is put to experience through different kind of things in life. But this feeling of freedom tho!… Hm? Who’s that? Rather… t-that’s ridiculously far away…” → Shen
He happily flew around like a fish in the water, until he observed something a few dozens of thousands of kilometers away. On the other part of the planet, Shen sees a person with was enveloped in darkness. He walked around blindly while hugging his head and screaming in pain.
“Oy oy oy…Are you alright? Why are you in so much pain? And what is this dark energy around you?” → Shen
He suddenly appeared right beside him, not aware of the distance he just traveled in less than half a second. Even though he already had a feeling about what that darkness is, he still asked nevertheless.