Chapter 917 Three Choices
The strange turn of events inside the mausoleum left Klein, who had his eyes closed and his spirituality converged, completely unaware of what was happening. He had no idea if it was something good or bad. Therefore, even though he had already chanted the activation incantation, he still didn’t dare rashly use the Fate Siphon charm. He was afraid it would make things worse or that it would have the opposite effect.
Seconds passed as Klein felt the passage of time was especially slow. He felt as though an entire century had passed.
Finally, he heard Mr. Azik speak with a somewhat hoarse and uncertain tone:
Following that, an unperturbed voice that was clearly female sounded:
“You have three choices.
“First, continue proceeding forward to seek completeness. Allow Salinger to revive within your body;
“The second is to have me help you extract that half soul, allowing you to take it with you. You will think of a way to stitch it back together, but this will make you transform back to your original form. You will stop repeatedly dying and reviving, but it will not be the present you. Your past incarnations will truly recede into being dreams;
“Third, it’s to give up everything and directly leave. You will forever be stuck at your current level. You will have no way of advancing further. You will still die again and again, waking up with no memories, and repeatedly search for your past experiences.”
Klein was taken aback by what he heard. He never expected that there was another “person” in the depths of the mausoleum. Furthermore, she appeared to have absolute authority. She provided the former Death Consul, Azik Eggers, different choices that he could choose from.
This is that the “Artificial Death” that’s hiding deep in the black fog?
No, “He” originally didn’t seem to have any intelligence. It’s been so long, and it’s not like “He” has tried communicating…
Extract the half soul and think of a way to stitch it together… What does that mean? Azik’s soul was not whole to begin with?
Extract it from where? The lady speaking is actually able to do something Mr. Azik is incapable of?
Also, who is Salinger? Why would he be revived in Mr. Azik’s body? He, or “He” is Death that caused the Pale Disaster, Mr. Azik’s father or grandfather? “He” foresaw “His” death; hence, he left a seed in Mr. Azik’s body for “Him” to revive?
The first choice is definitely something to eliminate without any thought. The second and third choice each have their own problems. The former makes him not his current self. He will become an unfamiliar “him.” The latter is to suffer an undying curse for all eternity, never to receive salvation… If he’s confident with himself, truly treating all the past incarnations as an anchor, then the second choice can be considered. It allows for reconciliation and a compromise… But this involves the splitting of a half soul into half. It’s impossible to guess what developments will happen to the other half soul which didn’t experience those incarnations in the future. The anchor might not be able to resolve the problem…
Ideas flashed through Klein’s mind. He was puzzled, curious, stumped, and confused. He was so near, yet so far from a solution.
It was Azik’s life. It was a future he needed to face. No one else could make the decision for him.
And whatever Klein needed to say had been said. He stood there helpless and worried, waiting for Mr. Azik to speak again.
Azik looked at the beautiful hooded lady in front of him without saying a word. The pale-white eyes in his eyes flickered.
The illusory but real towering feathered serpent seemed to sense a negative development. It suddenly lashed out its tail, wildly sweeping it around as it lunged its head downward and opened its gaping mouth, revealing dark red flesh and fangs that were tainted with yellow oil stains. It stuck out its black serpent tongue and spat dark green slime in a bid to devour Azik Eggers.
However, all of its attempts failed to be effective. It seemed to live in another world!
Amidst the unsettling silence, Azik raised his right hand and rubbed his temples. Calmly, he said with a laugh, “Perhaps I’m accustomed to my present life. I choose the third choice.”
Just as he said that, the hooded lady clenched her fist, gripping the golden bird-shaped accessory tightly. Then, she retracted her arm, pulling out the ancient item from the gap in Azik’s forehead.
Azik’s expression distorted once again as though he was experiencing unimaginable pain.
Every drop of his blood, and in every piece of flesh, there were some parts of his soul seeping out, mixing together into a transparent soul.
This soul appeared complete, but it was filled with discordant and disharmonious feelings. It was because it was half gold in color, the same all the way from the brows, eyes, to the torso, and its four limbs. It had an ancient simplistic beauty.
As the golden bird-shaped accessory was extracted, Azik’s translucent soul began to disintegrate inch by inch, as though it was being skinned alive.
His throat let out an unhuman gasping sound once again, causing Klein’s head to spin and ache. It felt as though a needle had stabbed into his brain and was stirred wildly.
In seconds, Azik’s Spirit Body completely split into two. Half of it transformed into a golden stream that infused into the bird-shaped accessory, while the other half returned to his body, fusing with his flesh and blood.
The two pale-white flames in Azik’s eyes were extinguished as the white feathers and pitch-black scales on his body receded. His warped expression also eased as he no longer looked as savage.
His expression turned slightly pale and translucent as his forehead throbbed. Clearly, he was suffering a pain that stemmed from deep within his Soul Body.
“Thank you for your help.” He bowed towards the beautiful hooded lady. He turned around and floated up the staircase, coming to Klein’s side.
“You can open your eyes now,” Azik said with an exhausted smile.
Klein hurriedly opened his eyes and sized up Azik. Realizing that there weren’t any signs of madness or loss of control, he was completely relieved. He curiously cast his gaze deep into the mausoleum.
The black fog was still emanating, completely blanketing everything underneath.
“Who was that?” he couldn’t help but ask.
Azik laughed and reached out to grip his shoulder.
“Even if I were to tell you, you wouldn’t be able to hear it unless ‘She’ is willing to let you know.”
As he spoke, Klein subconsciously grabbed his two marionette’s shoulders.
The colors around them saturated and clearly stacked upon one another. The two men and two marionettes quickly passed through the spirit world corresponding to the Berserk Sea, returning to Klein’s inn in Kolain City.
Azik released his grip and pinched his forehead. With a gentle smile, he said, “I’ll need to sleep for an unknown length of time in order to recover. If you have any questions, you can seek out the spirit world’s Seven Lights. You should already be aware of the corresponding ritual.”
“Mr. Azik, are you alright?” Klein asked in concern.
At the same time, he rebuked himself.
How can he be fine having lost half his soul forever?
Azik laughed and said, “It’s not a big deal. I’ll just be maintaining my previous state, allowing me to foresee my death and arrange everything, severing ties with my original life. I’ll then forget everything and reawaken in search of my past.
“Like before, at least you’re there, someone who knows a lot about my past. If I were to forget once again, I should be able to recall a lot when I receive your letter.”
He paused and nodded indiscernibly as he chuckled.
“Sleep isn’t a bad thing either. At least I’ll have dreams. In my dreams, I never left, accompanying her while taking in the sun while guiding that stubborn son of mine to use the broadsword. I’ll also make a swing for that little kid that loves to wheedle…”
Having said that, Azik threw out the copper whistle and said with a gentle smile, “Remember to write to me.
“But before I awaken, I will not reply to you.”
Just as Klein reached out to receive the ancient and intricate copper whistle, Azik vanished from the room; his whereabouts an unknown.
After blankly watching this scene for a while, Klein suddenly let out a sigh.
To go anywhere else from Kolain City by land, one needed to follow the spiraling path that led upwards. After passing through the different streets, one would arrive at the peak of the city. Then, one had to descend the mountain and enter a plain.
At this moment, the Red Gloves team that Soest led was standing on a square at the peak, looking down at the abnormal Berserk Sea.
Daly Simone, who had been pressing her forehead all this time, suddenly lowered her hand as she said, feeling somewhat puzzled, “Everything has been returned to normal. There’s no more problems.”
“Normal?” Leonard returned with a question in puzzlement.
From his point of view, it was very difficult for Daly to return to normal before the end of the Berserk Sea’s abnormality.
“Perhaps it’s intermittent?” Soest hesitatingly raised a theory.
Daly was just about to answer when everyone’s spiritual perception was triggered. Once again, they looked towards the Berserk Sea.
In the swath of pure blackness, one bright star after another lit up.
Backlund. Beneath Saint Samuel Cathedral.
Archbishop Anthony Stevenson received an emergency telegram from the sea.
The telegram’s content was rather simple, but it was sufficiently shocking.
“Gehrman Sparrow has appeared, boarding the Black Tulip with another person. He has made Ludwell into a marionette and left with the person Ludwell addressed as Death Consul.”
Gehrman Sparrow… Death Consul… Saint Anthony silently repeated these two names.
He leaned back slightly and closed his eyes. Once again, the corresponding complete information of the Sealed Artifact, 0-17 appeared in his mind.
“Name: Angel of Concealment
“Danger Grade: 0. Extremely Dangerous. It’s of the highest importance and of the highest confidentiality. It is not to be inquired, disseminated, described, or spied.
“Security Clearance: Pope, Team A researchers, and Archbishop of the Backlund diocese (Note: When the archbishop is transferred out of the Backlund diocese, the corresponding memories have to be wiped out using Sealed Artifact 1-29)
“Sealed Method: The seal is completed through the combination of 1-29 and 1-80.
“Description: This isn’t an item.
“Warning: ‘She’ cannot be used!” “Appendix 1: This Sealed Artifact first appeared in the Pale Era of the Fourth Epoch.
Exact year: Missing.
Exact date: Missing.
Exact location: Missing
“Appendix 2: Based on the information, ‘She’ has been awakened five times.
“Appendix 3: A limited premise is the reason behind its inability to be used. It has been confirmed that ‘She’ can be used as the Goddess’s descent vessel.”