Chapter 59: Back to Zero

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“What’s happening? Why are demons coming toward the core room?!” → Queen

The Queen was shocked when she felt two demons rushing towards them and they have already covered half the distance in. She contacted, through the elves connection from the World Tree, the other high-elves.

My queen! Bad news! When the seal was close to opening, the detection array and defensive array got deactivated! We had to reactivate them but in the meantime two demons got past the defensive lines, entering the Core room! We are extremely sorry, your Majesty!

The high elf said in a panic while sweating profoundly.

“Oh no…I’ll need to obstruct them. I can’t let them too close to the Core.” → Queen

The two finally appeared when the queen stepped up and rushed toward the entrance. Both of them had their clothes ragged and ugly wounds on their bodies. Their eyes were bloodshot and looked with hate and insanity at the group.

“You won’t take another step. Don’t even think of trying to go 1 against 2, you have no chance.” → Queen

The queen said with a calm and cool voice. She stood tall in front of the two demons while pressuring them with her own aura. The demons didn’t expect for the queen to be here and have such a ridiculous vitality after supposedly closing the seal.

C**p! Why is this elf woman here?… There is only one way to finish our mission, then…

The two demons locked eyes with each other and with insanity inside their gazes they slapped their own stomach where the dantian was spinning. A cracking sound resonated through the room, then a sucking force absorbed every form of energy around. The rich mana around coming from the Core was absorbed by the two demons with an insane absorption force, swallowing all the mana around them and compressing it inside their dantian like a vacuum.

“W-what is that? Their auras are becoming stronger and stronger!” → Ashura

Ashura was thunderstruck by the sudden change. Even though he wasn’t a Soul-Seer, he was able to see the ridiculous power they absorbed.

“STOP! You fools!” → Queen

The queen was terrified by what they wanted to do.

“They wish to self-destruct! The entire Core room will become dust and the seal will reopen, making Shen’s sacrifice for nothing!” → Queen

The queen was shocked and tried to create a strong barrier around the two demons, preventing them from absorbing any more mana.

“W-what?! Those bastards!” → Ashura

Ashura was furious. He wished to leap at them but was grabbed by Melinda which pointed at the two demons.

“Dhavala! It’s too late now! Look!” → Melinda

The two demons started to swell like balloons, more and more, their auras already reaching God Rank power.

“Barriers! We need more barriers!” → Melinda

Melinda cried out in a panic while using up all her mana to create barriers around everyone in the room.

“…It’s useless.” → Sylvia

Sylvia saw the monstrous mana inside the two demons, one of them was comparable with around five [Super Nova] she created while fighting the demoness. If two such bombs were to explode in this little room, everyone would die, possibly even Dhavala.

I’m unable to stop them because I still have no mana…At least I’ll meet with Shen in the afterlife… → Sylvia

Sylvia made a sad smile, tears falling from her eyes while hugging his head with care.

“DIE!”

The two demons shouted and exploded together. The barriers broke like glass at the pressure then:

[BLACK HOLE!]

An ethereal voice suddenly resounded from everywhere inside the Core-room.

The explosion stopped as if the time froze, then slowly it started to retract and become smaller and smaller. Even the shockwave, sound and the light it emanated, became absorbed by the black-hole which suddenly opened between the two explosions. The explosions were absorbed and together, formed a golden-white sun of 10 centimeters in diameter.

[Such pure and strong energy, as expected of the Yggdrasil’s essence.] → Shen

The little sun flew above Shen’s body and was then held by a phantasmal hand which materialized from gas. From it, the rest of the body continued to materialize with a transparent density. After few seconds, everyone looked thunderstruck at the ghost which took a form visible for the naked eye.

“S-Shen…?” → Sylvia

Sylvia opened her eyes wide. Even though she was blind, she was able to feel Shen’s aura and soul pretty close to her. She looked around while shouting around with a trembling voice.

“Shen! Can you hear me? Shen!” → Sylvia

[Hahaha~ My dear Sylvia. I can hear you loud and clear, no need to scream like that… I’m sorry for worrying you like this. I can see your heart almost shattered like glass because of me… I promise I’ll return, just let me do something for you that I won’t be able to do inside the flesh.] → Shen

Shen said while smiling at Sylvia with a sad glint. Everyone still looked with shocked faces, even the queen was truly surprised. She never expected for Shen to use magic and be able to talk with the living after being reduced to the statute of a spirit.

He truly isn’t normal… → Queen

The Queen looked with wide open eyes at Shen, having a rare feeling of admiration for the second time and for the same man.

[Hm? Hahaha~. So it’s true, spirits really can hear the thoughts of the living. Queen of the elves, Elisabetta, right? It seems I’m really not that normal even among the spirits. I’m able to keep my consciousness even after death, being able to talk with other spirits and learn some stuff, Hahaha~ I must say, the spiritual world is really wonderful and full of mysteries. Although it sounds weird for you all, I can’t wait to return and continue researching the universe, haha~!] → Shen

The queen was stunned, he was able to read her mind and even said her name that nobody knew of. More than that, the last thing he said ticked her off a little bit.

“Mister Shen, don’t say such dangerous things, please.” → Queen

The queen was irritated by his words of saying “I can’t wait to return” in the spirit world. Meaning he literally wished to die faster.

[Sorry, sorry. Now, Sylvia.] → Shen

Shen turned around and looked at Sylvia with sincere affection.

“Y-yes?” → Sylvia

She was still a little bit dazed but she answered immediately.

[I want you to lie down, close your eyes and relax. I’ll try to enter inside you and use this pure energy which is pretty close to the one of creation, and try to recreate the organ of reproduction so you’ll be able to give birth.] → Shen

“….”

Everyone was muted, nobody knew what to say while weird thoughts appeared inside their minds.

Melinda was blushing so hard, smoke was going out her long ears. Theo looked with a dumbfounded face, the idea of introducing that sun inside Sylvia seemed ridiculous for him. Ashura was just as dumbfounded as Theo, he thought that Shen entering inside Sylvia as a spirit seemed just as ridiculous for him. Queen Elisabetta was shocked after hearing this and a slight blush appeared on her face, she covered her little mouth with her hand and giggled for a bit.

Sylvia was as red as a tomato, she grabbed her skirt and just found out how ragged and cut it was, giving free view to anyone who looked at her to see her underwear. She then blushed even more and stayed in her knees while covering her body.

“Uh, um…Shen, this is not the best place for that. Don’t you think?” → Sylvia

Sylvia asked with a shy and quiet voice while looking downwards. Seeing her like this, Shen felt like laughing. He had no flesh so things like lust or carnal desires were non-existent.

[Oh my~ how naughty can you be, miss Sylvia. I’m a spirit so I can’t do “such things” with you. I only need to enter inside your flesh and see where the problem is with your reproductive organ then repair it or even recreate it with the help of this pure energy. No need to be afraid, you won’t feel any pain.] → Shen

Shen said smiling with a calm voice, making the listener relax.

“…Alright…If you say so…” → Sylvia

Sylvia, still blushing said while lying down, trying her hardest to relax her burning body. The thoughts of having Shen see her insides still made her burn up in shame and embarrassment.

“Alright, we better give some space to the two, don’t you all think the same?” → Queen

The queen said while making a beautiful smile. She then grabbed the dazed people and dragged them out through the entrance of the cave.

“Let’s go~”. → Queen

After they left, Shen dematerialized and entered inside Sylvia’s stomach like a smoke.

“Mmh~…” → Sylvia

She felt a gentle cool wind entering inside her stomach then dissipating through her entire body. The sun shone over Sylvia and a thin strand of energy separated from it, entering through her stomach inside her body. This time, she felt warmth entering her, making her feel relaxed and a little sleepy. The sun became smaller and smaller, ending up only half of what it was before.

[Hmm… I have enough energy to repair your eyes, smell and taste senses. Do you wish for me to do so?] → Sylvia

Sylvia had a shocked face, she couldn’t believe it even after hearing it. Even though Shen’s Prana stones could do the same, she still didn’t dare try it, afraid of being found out.

“S-Shen. Please do!” → Sylvia

She said with a trembling voice, she couldn’t control her emotions from swirling inside her heart.
Shen was able to feel her emotions so he laughed then said.

[Haha, Your wish is my command, milady.] → Sylvia

Sylvia closed her eyes. She waited nervously then a slightly sweet taste suddenly appeared in her mouth. The sudden feeling made her tremble with emotions. Through her nose, a smell of flowers and trees appeared, her breath became quicker. Lastly, she suddenly saw a green glow in the darkness, even though she was able to see the beautiful green aura of the Core-tower beforehand, she wasn’t able to see the materialistic shine. Now both of them were combined, making for an incredibly beautiful sight for sore eyes. She looked completely frozen at the shining core, being surrounded with green shining dots like fireflies. Tears started flowing knowing that all her senses were completely recovered now. The little sun disappeared and Shen then got outside and said without materializing again.

[Sylvia, I used some of my energy because the little sun wasn’t enough to make some molecules I needed…I’ll go inside my body and sleep for some time, I’ll try to recover the destroyed circulations. It might take a while, tell Dhavala to not destroy the continents while I’m sleeping, hahaha~] → Shen

Shen then disappeared inside his own body, not saying another word afterward. Sylvia still looked in the air where the aura was just a while ago when she looked in the direction she felt it move. There, a young man with short, spiky blonde hair and tattered, bloody clothes stood beside the core-tower, laying on the wooden floor.

-~Stare~-

Sylvia examined Shen’s face and body with her eyes, looking at him for 5 good minutes with a slight blush on her face.

He told me he doesn’t like his androgynous face, but I can barely see any feminine features. His cheeks are like those of a man, a little rough and with no fat; his eyes seem to be like those of a wolf while his jaw has a triangular form with a manly jaw-line. Maybe the red lips are a little bit like those of a woman, together with the long eyelashes… → Sylvia

She continued examining every part of his face like a feline, trying to understand every aspect of his body in detail.

Aww~ what tiny ears! → Sylvia

She stretched her hand and wished to touch Shen’s ears when.

“Sylvia?” → Theo

Theo rushed inside, startling her and making her to distance her face from Shen’s in a hurry.

“Y-yes?” → Sylvia

She asked with a blush on her face while trying to be natural.

“How is master? Will he wake up? Is he alright now?” → Theo

Theo asked with tears in his eyes while slowly getting closer. Seeing the young boy in front of her, Sylvia knew he was Theo.

He looks a little bit like Shen! → Sylvia

Sylvia thought with surprise in her eyes. After seeing his blue and anxious eyes, her heart tightened. He took him in her arms and embraced him gently while stroking his hair.

“Shen is fine now. He said he’ll sleep for a while until his body is completely healed up. No need to cry anymore.” → Sylvia

She always had a good relation with everyone but she felt a somewhat sympathy for Theo, giving him more attention than to the others. Theo was surprised by the sudden embrace but he accepted it and hugged back, calming himself. Feeling Sylvia’s warmth made him sleepy, all the exhaustion from the fight just now and from the long travels he had to make, washed over him like a wave of drowsiness, falling asleep instantly.

“Theo! Come ba-” → Melinda

Melinda rushed inside after Theo, but she stopped calling for him when he saw him asleep on Sylvia’s lap. She got closer and looked at his sleeping face then asked.

“He looks so relaxed. All this time he had such a serious face, I almost couldn’t recognize him for a few times. Now I know he’s Theo.” → Melinda

Melinda smiled and stood beside him, then asked Sylvia with worried eyes.

“How is master Shen? Will he wake up?” → Melinda
“Shen will wake up but at a later date. Right now he’s too tired and he needs to recover. He told me it might take a while for him to heal so he’ll need to sleep for a longer period of time.” → Sylvia

Sylvia said with a calm smile. She was happy that everything finally calmed down and she could relax a little.

“It’s good to hear that.” → Melinda

The queen Elisabetta and Ashura walked together before Sylvia. Elisabetta was surprised when she looked at Sylvia in the eyes.

“It seems that Mister Shen didn’t return only your fertility. I can see your eyes being able to focus and the pupil is black. I congratulate you, Miss Sylvia, for regaining your eyes and fertility.” → Queen

Queen Elisabetta said with a sincere smile.

“…Ah! T-thank you! Your majesty!” → Sylvia

Sylvia was dazed by the beauty of the Queen for a moment. She had delicate and beautiful features with an incredibly well-proportioned body, looking like a goddess of beauty for everyone who looked at her. Sylvia wasn’t the only one. Theo and Melinda, and even Ashura was completely dumbfounded by her beautiful smile, remaining dazed for a while.

-Stare~-

Sylvia continued to stare at the queen with big round eyes, making her cover her mouth and giggle.

Cough Miss Sylvia.” → Ashura

Ashura coughed to attract Sylvia’s attention. He too, was happy for Sylvia’s recovery but for the young lady that was Sylvia, staring at others wasn’t really the right thing, and Ashura tried to make her remember of her own belief.

“Ah! Thank you, Dhavala! Please excuse my rudeness just now, your majesty.” → Sylvia

Sylvia bowed her head to the Queen, a little bit embarrassed.

“Fufu~ no problem. Now, shall I help you all with a place in which to sleep? I can see someone has already become a victim of drowsiness.” → Queen
“Please do.” → Ashura

Ashura said with a serious face. Not servile, nor arrogant while carrying Shen’s body while Sylvia carried Theo.

“Very well. Please follow me.” → Queen

The Queen walked them inside a room on top of a huge leaf of the World Tree. On it, more wooden houses rested atop the leaves, as if grown from inside them. Every house had from one to 5 rooms. Shen’s group picked a house with 5 rooms in which they could stay together. That night, everyone slept without a worry for the world, except for Ashura. He stood on the rooftop and looked at the full blue moon in deep thoughts. They were on a leaf on the World Tree. The view was incredible and the moon looked huge at that time, shining its blue light all over the world.

What a crazy day… → Ashura

Ashura couldn’t sleep after all that happened. In just one day, they rushed inside the Eihwaz continent also nicknamed “Danger-zone”, They helped the kidnapped people of other races to return home, they rushed to the World Tree with some weird spell Shen just created; had to fight a war, the world almost got destroyed, twice! Shen died then he recovered again…

”It’s me the weird one for not being able to sleep after all this?” → Ashura

Ashura felt confused for a second when he heard a commotion at the base of the World Tree. He looked down and saw more beast-men and demons prisoners, kneeling in front of the elves.

Hm? Isn’t that the fox woman? → Ashura

In the top-middle of the prisoners, the fox woman which asked for Shen’s help was tied down together with the others. In front of her, the queen and 6 high elves were debating what to do with her. The other elves at the back were holding aquamarine crystals which illuminated with a blue-green light around them.

”Shen accepted to help her, she can’t die yet.” → Ashura

Ashura jumped off the leaf, free-falling like a boulder toward the ground.

“My queen, we can’t let this fox-woman live. She’s a general of the demonic armies.”

An old high-elf said with a calm voice while looking coldly at the fox-woman.

“T-that’s true, but she also helped us fight the demons after the 3rd Prince entered the fight. A lot of elves and allied beast-men were saved by her! She even got severely injured after protecting two elves from an ice-spear made by a demon Commander.”

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A woman high-elf said with worry in her eyes. She looked at the tied down fox woman which was bleeding from her wounds on her shoulder and hip, her face pale.

The elves debated some more when the Queen looked up and smiled.

“It seems our guests will have the last say.” → Queen

After saying that everyone looked at her in confusion, then they heard a sound as if something were cutting the air.

Ashura fell from the sky, some meters away from everyone so he won’t injure anyone. Even so, the shockwave was strong enough to make the closest elves fall on their butts. Ashura walked from inside the 3 meters radius crater he created as if nothing happened then got at the side of the high-elves and the queen. The fox woman looked at him with wide eyes and was surprised by the sudden appearance.

“Excuse me for the sudden intrusion in your debating, your highness, but sir Shen said he’ll help this woman to reunite with her sister. She can’t die here.” → Ashura

Ashura bowed his head first then he said with a serious face, as always, with enough respect to not seem insulting.

“Very well.” → Queen

The Queen smiled then she gave her answer almost instantly. Everyone was dumbfounded. Even the fox woman was shocked by the sudden reply from the queen.

“Y-your majesty, are you sure about this? Agreeing so hasty like this…”

The high-elves were sweating a little, seeing the Queen show such a free spirit made them slightly worried.

“Shen is our savior, we’re more than just indebted to him. If he wishes to free all the prisoners then I’ll do so without even second thought.” → Queen

The queen said with a matter-of-fact voice.

“That won’t be needed, this woman is enough.” → Ashura

Ashura then walked beside the woman and cut the ropes in which she was tied with his palm. After that, he took out a Prana stone which he stole from Theo before coming and started to heal the woman with it.

“W-what stone is that?!”

Everyone was dumbfounded. The speed at which the wounds were healed was incredibly fast and it would leave no scars, healing the wound as if turning back the time. Even the queen was surprised by the healing power it had. The fox woman looked at Ashura with wide eyes, she never expected for this young man to help her in the most dangerous moment. Her face-color returned and she looked fully healed.

“W-what?! Even my old scars have been healed?!” → Fox-Woman

The woman was stupefied by the healing powers of the stone, she then looked at Ashura again in confusion.

“This stone was made by Shen, it’s able to even grow limbs. Erasing some scars is nothing. Besides, I thought of fully healing you if I were at it.” → Ashura

He said with a calm voice, not minding the others. He then helped the woman to stand up and said.

“Come, you’ll stay with us till we leave. I thank your majesty for your understanding, I wish you a good night.” → Ashura

Ashura slightly bowed his head then dragged the fox woman by the hand, without carrying what the fox-woman was thinking about all this.

“I wish you a good night as well.” → Queen

The queen said back then ordered to everyone to execute the rest of the prisoners. They were sitting on a stand-still just because they didn’t know what to do with the fox general. Now that she was dealt with, the elves could finally get rid of the incapacitated invaders. The queen left before the execution could start.

“…Um…”

The fox woman was walking after Ashura while she was dragged by the hand. They walked on a wooden road which was suspended, going from a leaf to another. The woman tried to say something but Ashura reacted faster.

“Ah, we’re far enough. Follow me, I’ll walk you to your room.” → Ashura

Ashura let go of her then walked in front. As always a firm face was on, looking as if he were on guard around anyone.

The two of them walked from a leaf to another under the blue moon. Sometimes the woman would look up at the moon and think of what happened that day, feeling as if one full month or even more were compressed in just one day. She then looked at Ashura’s back and said.

“Thank you for rescuing me.” → Fox-Woman

She said with a quiet voice.

“There is no need for thanks. The queen would’ve left you free anyway. She’s a wise person, I only jumped in because I couldn’t sleep.” → Ashura

Ashura said in a neutral voice while walking forward.

“Ah…I see…then thank you for healing me. Thank you.” → Fox-Woman

The woman smiled beautifully at Ashura again, trying to show her gratitude.

“…You’re welcome.” → Ashura

Ashura turned his head and saw her smile, with calm eyes he replied back then continued to walk. After a few minutes, Ashura opened his mouth again and asked.

“What’s your name?” → Ashura
“Excuse me?” → Fox-Woman

The woman was dazed by the moon and wasn’t aware of what Ashura just asked. He stopped and looked back with neutral eyes.

“Your name, what is it? You’ll travel with us for a while. We’ll need to know each other’s names, you know?” → Ashura
“Ah! My name is Freia, a Saint-ranked former general of the demonic army and now your companion.” → Freia

Freia introduced herself with a calm demeanor, showing maturity and conviction.

“Ah. The name is Dhavala Ashura, an experiment from one of the laboratories, former fake-god now semi-god, Shen’s companion. Nice to meet you.” → Ashura

Ashura introduced himself with calm and somewhat indifferent eyes. His title was nothing to be proud of but he didn’t care. Shen said to believe in himself and trust in his power, he had nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of.

“Oh? What a unique name.” → Freia
“The surname is from my martial-arts teacher while the name is from Shen.” → Ashura
“Shen named you?!” → Freia
“Yeah. He told me to not become what others wish me to become and to not be locked down by the name of “Ashura”, saying that only my strength is like an ”Ashura’s” while my heart is like my own, giving me a name befitting for my soul, or that’s what he said.” → Ashura

Ashura made a little smile, remembering what Shen told him and continuing telling her about that moment. The fox woman was dazed by Ashura’s smile. It was the first time she saw him so relaxed and at ease. The moon rays fell on top of the two, making Ashura’s white half of the hair turn blue, making a beautiful contrast between blue and red. Freia looked intently at Ashura, making him feel her gaze.

“…Is there a problem?” → Ashura

He asked while feeling a little bit troubled.

“Ah? Sorry. It’s just that, It was the first time I saw you smiling.” → Freia

Freia giggled and looked again at Ashura with big eyes.

“Hey. Tell me more about the others, you included. I wish to know about everyone before going on a trip with you all.” → Freia
“Hmm…Very well.” → Ashura

Ashura walked beside her and started talking. After they arrived, they stood on the roof-top of the house and under the full moon, Ashura continued chatting and describing everyone from his point of view, also all the experiences he has gone through together with the group. Meanwhile, Freia listened interested about the story, supporting her head in her palms and looking at Ashura intently.

They talked like that till late at night. Without knowing, Freia fell asleep while Ashura continued his stories, looking at the moon in a daze. Only after 5 minutes did he notice the sleeping Freia. He said nothing, he simply carried her inside the house and placed her on his bed then covered her with the blanket. He slowly closed the door of the room then walked back on top of the house, looking at the moon for the entire night.

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