Book 5: The Capital || Chapter 15: Strange Encounters (1)

Himmel Empire. The Capital. Lady Seph’s Personal Mansion.

Fifteen days had passed since Lady Seph introduced the orphans to their new home. Since the Spirit Venerate was trying to keep a low key, other than Principal Erudito and a handful of influential people, no one else knew that the infamous Imperial Physician had made her return to the Capital. The spacious estate had dozens of rooms, and due to the number of years that it had been left unattended, endless amounts of dust and cobwebs could be found lying all around.

Without any hired help, the orphans were tasked with the job of cleaning up the entire place, and considering how humongous the mansion was, it took them a full two weeks to ensure that everything was picture perfect. Lady Seph, who had directly purchased the building, left all of the cleanings to the children while she set up her research lab in the far reaches of the dwelling.

Now that Lady Seph had reached the level of a Rank 80 Spirit Venerate, something that had eluded her for decades, she had turned her sights to a new goal. Becoming the next Spirit Immortal. Compared to her predecessors, Lady Seph had a much higher chance of breezing through the early ranks of the Spirit Venerate realm and due to her outlandish comprehension ability and cultivation methods, she was almost guaranteed to become a Spirit Saint. Once that occurs, the next target in sight would be the prized goal of every Spirit User that had ever existed. Shedding one’s mortality for good to reach eternity.

However, that was easier said than done. In the long history of mankind, there were only nineteen recorded instances where a Spirit User managed to ascend. In fact, in the last five hundred years, there had only been one person that reached eternity, and that was the legendary Mind-element user, Spirit Immortal Dream.

Spirit Immortal Dream was considered to be a genius amongst geniuses and was widely coined to be the most talented Spirit User ever. At the age of five, she went against all expectations and awakened her Spirit on her own. By the age of ten, she had formed her Spirit Core, and when she reached adulthood at the age of twenty-one, Spirit Immortal Dream had crossed the first barrier of mortality and entered the Rank 40 Spirit Spectre realm, doubling her lifespan in the process.

The Mind-element monster went on to break numerous records as she founded her own cultivation techniques, created her own research laboratory, and even established a small country that was independent of the three major powers, stunning every person alive at the time. Just like every Spirit User before her, Spirit Immortal Dream was obsessed with reaching the heights of her ancestors before her and devoted her entire life to investigating the Immortal Realm up above. However, in her quest to reach the elusive dimension, Spirit Immortal Dream stumbled onto many other questions as well.

What were Spirits? What is the nature of life? Why do the ascended Immortals from the mortal realm never make contact? Does Yggdrasil exist? Many of those questions that researchers had been studying and will continue to explore were all disciplines that Spirit Immortal Dream wanted to know. In her quest for knowledge, at the age of thirty-seven, she discovered a little-known element called Aether and how mana could be stored in vessels that harnessed that magical power. 

That discovery shook the continent as people scrambled to find Aether mines that could help drive the technological wave that was hitting the entire continent. The country that Spirit Immortal Dream founded, seeing the immense thirst for the resource that their founder had discovered, capitalised on the situation, allowing them to grow to over ten times its original size in three years.

To Spirit Immortal Dream, wealth and fame mattered nought. As long as she had a conducive workspace to help generate her ideas, she was content. In her isolated, she cultivated as she dived deeper and deeper into the bottomless pit that was her research and at the age of forty-three, she made history to become the youngest Spirit Saint ever seen on the continent. By that time, the country that she had founded was quickly becoming the fourth major power in the world. Everything was going fine for the young cultivator. She had made history multiple times, her country was prosperous, and every single power in the world would bend their backs backwards just to gain a meeting with her; but then, everything changed one fateful day.

By the time she reached the ripe old age of sixty, Spirit Immortal Dream had long left behind the political matters to her ministers and secluded herself from the world to work on a secret investigation. It was known only to herself and some of her trusted aides. However, one day, a leak occurred, and the cabinet of ministers found out the preposterous research that she had been working on behind the scenes. 

Enraged by her studies, the entire government turned against their founder and demanded that she ceased all activities pertaining to the research. Spirit Immortal Dream tried to convince her brethren that it was for the greater good, but unfortunately, none of them wanted to listen. Almost overnight, she had lost the respect of her aides and her people.

Heartbroken, the then Spirit Saint decided to end it all. Flying up high into the skies of her country, closed her eyes and gathered all the mana in her body to cast one final spell. As a single teardrop fell despairingly onto the grounds that she had built, Spirit Immortal Dream used her tenth spiritual ability, that froze the minds of all in her country. There were no survivors. Anyone who was unlucky enough to have stayed within the borders of the nation had entered a state of eternal stasis, never to wake up from their slumber.

In less than one-thousandths of a second, Spirit Immortal Dream had condemned over a million souls to perpetual damnation, making this event the most deadly massacre in the history of mankind.

Shocked by her actions, every single Spirit Saint in the world back then flew over to confront Spirit Immortal Dream, ready to take her down if need be. Yet, by the time that they arrived, it had been too late. Hovering at the peak of Rank 99 for the past two years, Spirit Immortal Dream had been hiding her cultivation level from the entire world so that she could spend more time researching and not get pressured by the community to ascend. In fact, she believed that there was another way into the Immortal Realm and wanted to find it before she grabbed eternity for herself. After all, based on historical records, one could infer that there was no way for an ascended Spirit Immortal to return to their homeland.

Now that she had nothing to bind her to the mortal realm, Spirit Immortal Dream decided to complete her ascension right there and there. Her arms raised heavenwards, the gorgeous woman, that seemed to have been untouched by time, burst into a divine light and broke through the sky. Typically, when a Spirit Saint ascends, the Immortals above would bless the land by sending more and more spiritual energy into the continent. Yet, that wasn’t the case for Spirit Immortal Dream’s ascension.

Instead of having aurora borealis and magical rings of infinity grace the skies, the world had received a heavenly punishment. Earthquakes that tore the land in half. Tsunamis that towered over the tallest mountains. Hurricanes that sliced through the hardest of metals and made a joke out of gravity. Volcanic eruptions that spewed acres of blackened ash clouds. Almost every natural disaster known to humans all transpired in the short time-frame after Spirit Immortal Dream ascended. Thousands if not hundreds of thousands of lives and property amounting to billions of gold were lost in that one day, and it took the continent over fifty years to fully recover.

Up till this day, no one knows what truly happened and why did Spirit Immortal Dream’s ascension into the Immortal Realm cause that much devastation. However, what resulted from that whole ordeal, was the implementation of tighter controls over how Spirit Users could cultivate. Every single Spirit Saint would be monitored in their cultivation, and if they wished to tackle ascending into the Immortal Realm, they had to announce their attempt so that there would be ample time for the rest of the world to react, in case history were to repeat itself.

“Speaking of which, Spirit Immortal Dream’s personal laboratory is just a stone throw’s away from the borders of the Capital.” Lady Seph thought out loud.

Spirit Immortal Dream’s personal research facility had been combed multiple times for clues on why her own people turned on her and what morbid study she did that warranted such a drastic action. Unfortunately, no matter how much they tried to investigate, the only thing that they could find was the puzzling riddle left on the walls of her main bedroom.

[Dexsot Teinost!!!]

Historians, linguists and decoders had tried every means that they had to try and comprehend the bewildering language, hoping to find some clues about the study that she was conducting. Yet, the more they attempted to decipher the code, the more mystified they got. In the end, all that they could do was bow their heads in defeat as Spirit Immortal Dream’s research became the biggest mystery of recent years.

“Maybe I should bring Shin there…” Lady Seph pondered.

As a researcher herself, Spirit Immortal Dream was a fascinating specimen to Lady Seph. Her talents were so great, and her ingenuity was unparalleled for her time that it made people wonder if she really was human. Furthermore, given her contributions to mankind, what research topic could have possibly forced her government to turn on Spirit Immortal Dream, and even pushed her to take out her entire country?

“Well, that field excursion should wait for another time…” As the Spirit Venerate thought of her disciple, she couldn’t help but feel a little remorseful. Right as she was tidying her workspace, Shin was out in the training room pulling on weights and strengthening his core muscles.

Even though he was not physically unfit, compared to a combat specialist, Shin was equivalent to that of a child. Therefore, he had been making use of his medical knowledge to push himself to the absolute limit so that when his four months was up, Shin could at least force Principal Erudito to concede to his place in the academy.

“Using his healing water to speed up the recovery process of his muscles and strengthen his bones… If he has a few years, Shin might become an absolute machine…” Lady Seph predicted the young man’s future self. “But, the physical body has its limits, I hope he realises that soon…”

No matter how much progress Shin would see, eventually, his body would wear down, and his entire being would collapse. Naturally, with Lady Seph continually monitoring him, there was no way that she would allow him to reach that state, but still, she wished that Shin would realise that for himself.

“Right now his training in anger and grief… Urghhh, young boys are so hard to manage… Hmmm? Is this what it feels like when a mother sees her child enter his rebellious phase?!” Lady Seph exclaimed. Being single all her life, she had no experience when it came to raising a child. However, back in the day, she had heard many of her peers describe that it was better to give birth to a girl as compared to a boy, due to how difficult adolescent boys are.

“No, wait… Based on Shin’s age, wouldn’t I be his grandmother or a great-grandmother? Arghhh, either way, I need to find a method to cool him down…” 

Now that Lady Seph’s lifespan had reached four hundred years, she still had two hundred years remaining to raise Shin and tackle the Spirit Immortal Realm. Therefore, she had all the time in the world to help her beloved disciple, before he treads further down this self-destructive path.

“Ah, maybe I should bring him to the Healer’s Association? Perhaps that would rekindle his fire for the path of the healer… What do you think, Bingbing?”

“Yip yip yip!!!” The snowy white gerbil chirped merrily in approval. Since Shin was busy training day in, day out, Bingbing had been deprived of the chance to snooze in his embrace. Thus, she was willing to do anything if it meant letting Shin return to how he was before.

“Well, we can try that next time… How’re you feeling? Returning to the Capital after all these years?”

“Yip yip!!!” Bingbing merrily replied, her eyes full of life and her tail wagging rapidly.

“You sure? You’re not forcing yourself?”

“Yip yip yip!!!” Shaking her head, Bingbing reassured her master that she was really doing fine.

“Okay then… If you see any of those bastards again, come to me first. I’ll handle the rest.”

“Yip yip yip yip yip!!!”

“Haha, you Shinmaniac… I’m asking about you, not how much you want to stay in Shin’s embrace. Alright, we still have some unpacking to do! Go and run to your favourite person!”

“Yip yip yip yip yip!!!”

“Oh, I’m flattered, but do you honestly think that I would believe you? I see you leaving my bed in the middle of the night to cuddle with Shin!!!”

The Spirit Venerate and Spirit Beast teased each other as bosom mates would, making the dark and lonely lab, seem a little brighter for the beautiful blonde woman.

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