Chapter 264: 264
Chapter 264 – Epilogue (3)
He was called the White Sword Count in the Rios kingdom . It had been awhile since Bokard Lakardi was able to return to his castle .
It had been two months since he had participated in the final battle as a member of the suicide squad .
During those two months, he hadn’t been able to rest . The Plain of Darkness had meddled in the affairs of the world, so his country had been fighting a war against the Rulain kingdom . He had been ordered to lead the troops into the war .
Fortunately, the war hadn’t reached a point where the relationship between the two kingdoms couldn’t be salvaged . In the end, the two kingdoms reached an end-of-war agreement . It was all thanks to the effort made by the members of the Guardian Shadow in both countries . They patched up the relationship between the two kingdoms .
Bokard had been of those members . When the agreement to end the war was finalized, he returned to his castle, and he headed straight towards the field in the back .
It was a graveyard . It was where his parents, who had died at the hands of the Dragon Demon king worshippers, had been buried . Moreover, there was also a new grave placed next to the old graves .
“Our dreams will come true soon . Please look over us, Eileen . ”
He poured alcohol straight from the bottle over the grave . Bokard was wearing an eye patch . He had lost his left eye in the fight within the Dragon Demon castle .
However, his loss was small compared to his other loss . In the final battle, he had lost his beloved little sister . He had lost Eileen Lakardi .
He was pouring a brand of liquor that Eileen had enjoyed in life .
“Oppa, you’ve returned . ”
While he was remembering Eileen, his remaining siblings arrived behind him . Sarah and Jierens held the same brand of liquor as they approached the grave . Bokardi turned to look at them .
“Yes . Did you hear about the cessation of war?”
“You did good . ”
“What about you guys? How was count Karzark?”
“He is still ridiculous as ever . ”
Sarah burst into laughter .
While Bokard participated in the delegation that had brought about the cessation of the war, Sarah and Jierens had accompanied Azell’s party .
Their enemy had been one of the pillars of Darkness . He was a transcendent being called the King of Emptiness . The party had made many preparations . However, it was unnecessary . The fight was fierce but short . They were able to kill the King of Emptiness .
Bokard spoke after he listened to their account of the fight .
“I see . I wanted to join you guys in that fight . However, you guys did your part in achieving our dream . Eileen would have been happy . ”
“Oppa…… . ”
Sarah’s eyes were filled with sadness .
In the final battle, around half of the suicide squad had died . Everyone had been prepared for the possibility of death . Their deaths had not been in vain . In death, they were able to achieve their goals .
Still, one of his blood had died . Of course, he was sad . Each Lakardi sibling felt as if a piece of their soul had been torn away . They were still in the grips of sadness .
Bokard looked at his siblings for a moment then he changed the topic .
“Did count Karzark leave behind any message?”
“He did . ”
“What did he say?”
“He said he’ll head towards the Bijes kingdom after the last pillar is destroyed . He’ll focus his energy in rebuilding the County of Karzark . He asked you to visit when he succeeds in his task . ”
“He said he’ll freely shared Atein’s research material in regards to the Demon problem . He looks forward to working with you in solving the problem . ”
Atein had left behind a homework for humanity . The remaining Guardian Shadows had to work in place of the Dragon Demon king worshippers . They’ll have to fight against the calamity that would befall on the humans in the distant future .
Bakard spoke .
“We still have work to do . Of course, I’m willing to cooperate with him . However, I put more importance on both your input than mine . ”
“Of course, we are of the same mind as you . ”
She passed the liquor bottle as she spoke .
“Eileen would have wanted that . ”
“Yes, she would have… . ”
The three of them mourned the loss of their sibling as they drank the alcohol .
It was a bright moonlit night .
The bluish moon was at the center of the night sky, and countless stars surrounded it . Darkness was rising into the sky like a geyser .
The darkness pierced the sky, and on the ground, it spread like wildfire into the surrounding as the darkness dissipated .
This place had been a reservoir for magic, and it had encompassed the whole continent . The destruction of this reservoir was the last step in destroying the Great Darkness .
Kayalia was watching this sight when she opened her mouth .
-My work is done .
She had her back to the moonlight, so she looked like a forest fairy . She let out a bright smile as she looked at her party .
Azell’s party and the phantoms of the Guardian Shadows were the only ones to participate in the destruction of the last pillar . Azell, Laura, Kairen, Leticia and Arrieta were standing in front of Kayalia .
“Kayalia…… . ”
As he called out her name, Azell felt a lump in his throat .
She knew what her fate would be if she accomplished this task . Despite knowing what would happen, she went through with it .
Kayalia watched Azell bite his lips . She flew through the air as if she was a fish in water . Her half translucent hand stroked Azell’s cheek .
Of course, it was pretense . She was an illusion, so she could never touch Azell .
-Thank you .
“…… . ”
-Azell oppa accepted me . I can end my life without any regret .
She was reborn in this state thanks to Atein . It had always felt as if she was no longer alive . It didn’t feel as if she was a part of this world .
The only meaning she could find in this world was her ties to her old life . If there was no connection to her past, she couldn’t find any meaning in this life .
It was as if she was dreaming a never-ending dream . Her life should have ended a long time ago, yet she continued to work towards the moment when her incomplete life would be completed .
That moment had finally arrived .
“You…… . ”
Kayalia put her finger on his lips as she let out a bright smile . It was a mischievous smile .
-Please don’t say anything sad . I want you to laugh . I want to remember your laughing face .
At her words, Azell tried to force a smile onto his face . It was a really awkward smile, yet he had done his best .
-I really like oppa’s smiling face . When I was a human, it was that face that I always remembered .
Kayalia let out timid laughter as she nodded her head .
At some point, white figures lined up behind her . They were the Guardian Shadows .
「Prophecy…… . 」
「Prophesied person…… . 」
「Our long wish…… . 」
「It has been granted…… . 」
The forest had been destroyed from the battle, yet Azell could hear whispers emanating from his surroundings .
No matter where he looked, he could see the Guardian Shadows . Their numbers had dwindled a lot through the continuous fights, yet there were over 2,000 of them gathered at this location .
However, he would have to say farewell to them too .
They were in the same boat as Kayalia . Their existence had root in the Great Darkness . Soon, the Great Darkness will be no more, and their existence would end soon .
Despite knowing this, the Guardian Shadows weren’t sad . They had given up on their eternal rest to become the Guardian Shadows . This was the first time they were happy . Their whispers rang out in the forest, and it sounded like an ode to joy .
-Azell oppa .
As the song rang out, Kayalia retreated backwards as she spoke .
-Please be happy .
“…… . ”
-Good bye .
She let out a bright smile as she melted into the darkness .
Then her world changed .
Her connection to reality was severed . Instead, her consciousness flowed into the world of the Great Darkness . It was where her essence had been stored .
At one point, everyone within the Great Darkness had once existed in the real world . It was a world made out their experiences in life . This world was falling apart . The Great Darkness had lost all its pillars, yet it didn’t mean this world would immediately disappear . Still, the destruction of this world was right around the corner .
Kayalia was within this world as she looked at the memories that made her who she was .
She watched the distant past when she started walking this world as a parentless Dragon Demon .
She remembered her fear of death . It drove her to create the Reincarnation technique .
Then she watched herself go through reincarnations, and she saw the first moment when she started losing herself . She started changing into different existences… .
‘Kaydika . ’
She saw her twin brother, who had fallen under the weight of his sad fate . Since a single entity had been split into two, Kaydika couldn’t withstand the hatred that had been awakened within him towards Kayalia . He had lived a luckless life .
When Kayalia approached the figure in her memories, he laughed . This was him before he was crushed under his cruel fate . He had treasured her as someone that was of his flesh and blood .
Kayalia continued to fly through the world of memories .
Countless people passed by her . She couldn’t even remember the names of most of the people in her memories . It was rare for anyone to evoke any meaningful emotions within her .
‘Atein . ’
Amongst all of them, there were figures that she couldn’t forget .
They were part of her memory, yet the shadows of their former selves still remained within the Great Darkness . Atein was smiling towards her, and Aincera was next to her . She was smiling too . It was a smile that Kayalia had never seen before from Aincera .
‘You’ve acquired your salvation . ’
As the world continued to deteriorate, the shadows of the dead looked at each other as they laughed .
Kaylia flew past them, and she flew deeper into the world . She wanted to meet all of the remaining shadows within the Great Darkness .
Almaricked looked as if he had no regrets . The two of them showed respect towards each other as they brushed past each other .
‘Hey . You did a good job . ’
Unlike the other beings, there was a being that spoke in a carefree manner . He was a Dragon Demon with an unusually large body .
When Kayalia saw him, her eyes widened in surprise .
‘Reygus . ’
Her surprise lasted only for a brief moment . Soon, she put on a gentle smile as she flew into his arms .
The two shadows, who had finally lived a life with no regret, smiled at each other . They greeted their final moment of peace .
There was a strange echo as the whispers filled the forest .
Each Guardian Shadows followed Kayalia’s example . They started disappearing in ones and twos . It was as if they were melting into the moonlight .
The sound of their whispers started to sound distant as each Guardian Shadows exited this world . It had sounded as if several hundred children had been whispering to each other, but the unnatural sound started to die away . In the end, every one of them as gone . The only thing left behind was silence .
“…please rest in peace . ”
Azell murmured to himself as he touched his cheek . It was where Kaylia had placed her hand .
There was no way this could be true, but somehow, he could still feel her warmth on his cheek .
He was the Dragon Demon prince of the Rulain kingdom . Seigar Weil Rulain had participated in the final battle as a member of the suicide squad, and he had survived until the end . After the battle ended, he departed from Azell’s party . He returned to the Rulain kingdom, and he gave his report to his mother, the Dragon Demon Queen . Afterwards, he ceased doing his public duties .
Seigar ventured out of his residence after four months had passed after the final battle .
He hadn’t gone out, because he had to fulfill his duties as the Dragon Demon prince .
Seigar took couple talented bodyguards as he headed towards the County of Michael .
After he shifted all duties to his successor, Count Michael was currently enjoying his retirement . Seigar had traveled here to meet archmage Beorein Michael .
“Welcome, prince . ”
“It has been awhile . ”
Seigar gave a respectful greeting .
Beorein had also participated in the final fight as a member of the suicide squad, and he was a fellow survivor . This was why there was mutual respect in both their gazes even if there was a gap in age and station .
Beorein spoke .
“Did you achieve your goal?”
“Yes, it took a long time . ”
“May you show it to me?”
“Of course . ”
Seigar closed his eyes, and at the same time, a powerful wave of Dragon Demon magic was emitted from his body .
-Release Dragon Soul!
A half translucent blue dragon appeared as it wound itself around Seigar’s entire body . At the same time, sparks started to erupt from his surroundings .
Beorein looked impressed as he asked a question .
“As expected, your Dragon Soul is a Thunder Dragon . ”
“It is . My sister probably has the same Dragon Soul . ”
Seigar unsummoned his Dragon Soul .
He had been holed up in his residence, because he had wanted to perfect his Dragon Soul . In the final battle, he had been lacking in power, so he hadn’t been able to play a significant role in the fight . It had frustrated him .
Beorein asked him a question .
“What brings you to this retired old man?”
The County of Michael was pretty far from the capital . Seigar had went through the trouble of coming here, so he must have some business with Beorein .
Seigar spoke .
“I would like to commission you to make me a Dragon sword . ”
“You want a Dragon sword?”
Dragon sword was a weapon created by Kairen and Michael . Of course, several more people had collaborated in the endeavor, but the two of them was crucial to the process . If one wanted to make a Dragon weapon, either Kairen or Beorein had to be involved . If they were excluded, it was impossible to make the Dragon sword .
“Yes, the crown acquired all the ingredients . I’ll be sure to compensate you very well too . ”
Since Seigar had awaken the Dragon Soul, he would never be able to acquire a Dragon Demon weapon . Aside from the Dragon Demon weapons, the Dragon sword was the best weapon in the world, and he wanted one .
“Also, I would like to leave behind the Dragon sword to my descendants . ”
Unlike the Dragon Demon weapon, Dragon Soul was part of oneself, so it couldn’t be passed on . Moreover, the Albatan Forest had put a strict restriction on who can learn the Dragon Soul . This was why he wouldn’t be able to teach the Dragon Soul to his descendants .
He wanted a Dragon sword the more he thought about it . He’ll marry someday . If he had a son, he wanted to leave behind a weapon for him .
Beorein nodded his head .
“I see . Alright . This might be a good opportunity . ”
“A good opportunity?”
“It is time for me to start teaching my pupils on how to create the Dragon weapon . I cannot take this precious technique to my grave . ”
“I see . ”
Seigar laughed .
Beorein had spoken some wise words .
Seigar suddenly asked a question .
“Are you solely focused on teaching your pupils now?”
“I’ve taken my hands off from the family affairs, so I guess so . However, that isn’t the only reason why I’m doing this . ”
“I’m looking into the research material given to us by sir Karzark . We are furthering Atein’s research with the other members of the Guardian Shadows . ”
“Ah…… . ”
This was the first time he had heard such news . Azell’s party had handed over Atein’s research materials in regards to the Demon race . Azell had suggested they should collaborate in furthering the research, but the offer had been made to mostly magicians . This was why Seigar hadn’t heard about it .
Beorein stroked his beard as he laughed .
“It’ll be something that’ll happen in the distant future . We have to steadily make preparations, so we’ll be able to escape Atein’s prediction . I never expected to find so much motivation in my latter years . ”
“I see . If you need my help, please ask . I’d be happy to help . ”
“Understood . I’ll be asking the throne for support when I’ll be expanding my research . Please support my endeavors when the time comes . ”