Lia panted heavily as she sat with her legs crossed and focused her concentration on circulating the Mana through the meridians in her body. Cultivating, is as strenuous on the body as a full body workout, perhaps even more so.
Having been at it for a couple of hours, she was now drenched in sweat and a light hot mist was being expelled from her body continuously, hovering just above the surface of her skin and then dissipating. Lia, no longer able to maintain her concentration, opened her eyes slowly. As she did so, beads of sweat poured down her face, stinging her eyes with the salt.
Rubbing her eyes and regaining focus, Lia glanced around the bare and dreary white room. Across from her, Shen was still deep in meditation. Having gained some training and experience in circulating her own Mana, she was now more sensitive to the flow of Mana in the environment as well as in others, and while it was nowhere near an advanced level, she was beginning to feel an immense pressure being emitted from Shen.
Although it was possible to hide one’s own Mana Aura, Shen felt no need to do so while in the safety of his own sanctuary. It wasn’t as if Lia was capable of fully discerning the amount of absurd Mana that existed within his body. She was still too much of a novice to truly grasp the depths of his power.
Having now caught her breath, Lia rose slowly and stretched her body. She took a nearby towel and wiped some of the sweat off her face and then wrapped her hair in the towel to prevent too much sweat from dripping on the floor.
While wrapping her hair, she observed Shen who had his eyes closed and was breathing evenly. He was still an enigma to her even though they had now lived within this sanctuary together for a few months.
She had been hesitant at first, and was afraid that he might do something to her, but it was a risk she was willing to take. But, not only did he not harm her in anyway, he even trained her. There was still the occasional look of condescension that would cross his face, and there was some awkwardness in their conversations and interactions, but it wasn’t an unpleasant experience for her.
Lia had been sheltered within a palace since birth. Her parents had tried to shield her from the harshness of life and so, her ignorance and naivety couldn’t be helped. It wasn’t as if she was denying it, she knew it all too well. The past few years had been harsh and unforgiving after the death of her parents. Her main priority now became one of constant survival with danger looming around every corner.
She was no longer a princess locked away in a tower.
“If your meditation is complete, you may proceed to the shower to cleanse yourself.” Mariam’s voice chimed from within the ‘Mirror of Souls’.
‘Mirror of Souls’ was the name that Shen had given the device, as to why he chose such a name, was something Lia still hadn’t figured out.
“Oh, Mariam! Thanks, and your guidance was helpful as usual. I would not have been able to train as efficiently and control the flow of Mana this well without your help over these past few months. You really are amazing! When I first came here, I never would have thought that Magitabs were capable of adjusting the flow of Mana in a person’s body. At least, none of the ones I was aware of were capable of that.”
“There is no need to thank me, I only did as my master instructed of me.”
Mariam was always like that. Towards Shen, she was always polite and did whatever he asked, but when it came to interacting with Lia, she seemed colder.
‘Well, she’s just an artificial being after all, it’s not like she can fully think on her own. Although… sometimes she really surprises me….’
“Even still, thank you. I will go take a shower now.”
Mariam watched Lia leave silently and then her eyes turned towards Shen.
“She has left master. Have you completed your cultivation?”
Just as what happened to Lia, a light steam was expelled from Shen’s body and he opened his eyes.
“I suppose that’s enough for now.”
Shen rose and wiped his body with a towel. He was sweating, but he had not perspired nearly as much as Lia had.
“Mariam, when I awoke from my long slumber, the status of my body had returned to a more basic state. Let’s see how my status has changed. Scan my body and calculate my status in regards to the scans of my previous self, before the long sleep, and daily changes over the last few months.”
Mariam had many functions and one of those functions was the ability to assess the status of a Human being as a numerical value. It wasn’t as detailed as Shen would like, but it was a good means to measure his growth and abilities.
A faint blue light emanated from the ‘Mirror of Souls’ scanning Shen from top to bottom.
“Calculating and comparing data….”
The ‘Mirror of Souls’ hummed faintly and the crystalline surface began shimmering.
“How should I present your status? Would you prefer a table format?“
Shen considered for a moment before coming to a decision.
“No, there is no need. Keep it simple.”
Complying to his request, the crystalline surface revealed Shen’s status.
[Raidus Ard’Rein. Race: Human, Rank 7 Adept Wizard. Strength: 8. Agility: 9. Constitution: 12. Spirit: 7. Spirit Potential: ∞. Characteristics: Mana enhanced perfect body (Increased sturdiness, Greater Constitution growth, Greater Strength growth, Greater Agility growth, Greater Mana resistance)]
“Is that all the information?”
Shen was surprised at how little information Mariam displayed. This couldn’t possibly be all of it. There were no indicators for attributes such as intelligence for example.
“My apologies, master, but this is all of the information I am able to quantify. Attributes such as intelligence or determining how much luck you possess, there is no way to objectively measure them in the form of data. As for your physical attributes, I am able to process them numerically based on the data I have backed up on your profile. As for your spirit, since I am a spiritual being, I am also able to calculate and display your spiritual data.”
Mariam was clearly disappointed in her limited analysis. Her only purpose was to be of use to her master.
“It’s fine Mariam. I was being unreasonable and expecting too much. Hmm, if I am to understand this correctly, before I slept I was a Rank 10 Master Wizard, and because of the changes in my body due to Mana exposure over hundreds of years, my body regressed to almost that of a normal person. So in the last few months, I have risen to Rank 7, and while I still have some way to go until I return to my former rank, my physique has grown exponentially and my body is much stronger than it ever was. Am I understanding this correctly Mariam?”
“That is correct. In addition, your body has gone through massive changes due to the Mana exposure. Your former power will return more quickly and advancement will also be easier. Lastly, your spiritual growth potential is limitless. You have already experienced the benefits of your enhanced body.”
Shen nodded thoughtfully. Not only was his cultivation technique providing more benefits for his advancement than it had in his previous life, but his potential for growth was immeasurable. There had been no growth left for him and he had sadly reached his peak at only mid-rank Master Wizard before he slept, but now he would soar to unknown heights.
What was even better was the fact that his body had become much stronger and more durable than his expectations. He even possessed the qualities of a rank 9 mid-rank expert warrior and would continue to strengthen his already powerful body over time.
He expected that his spirit would progress at a more rapid pace and would eventually outstrip his other attributes in the near future. This was simply because he was only required to cultivate at this time to increase his spirit, at least until he returned to his former rank.
As for the other attributes, they were more difficult to raise than his spirit. Up until now; he had been supplementing their growth with potions created from some of the rare ingredients that he had hoarded in his previous life, but these had almost run out.
“Mariam, from now on, only display my alias, do not display my real name. Also, falsify my spirit potential.”
“By the way, did you successfully scan Lia without her knowledge?”
“Yes, her body was successfully scanned. The data has been collated.”
“Good, display her status.”
[Lisanna Cal’An. Race: Human, Rank 3 Novice Wizard. Strength: 2. Agility: 2. Constitution: 3. Spirit: 3. Spirit Potential: 26. Characteristics: Noble Lineage (Higher Spirit Potential from birth]
“Impressive, her Spirit Potential is high, she could one day achieve the rank of Sacred Magus. If it was my past self, I would have envied her greatly. Thank you Mariam.”
Shen turned away from the Mirror of Souls and placed a finger on his chin thoughtfully.
“I had unfortunately reached my peak at only a Magus rank. Thankfully, that’s all in the past. Otherwise, she is slightly stronger than the average person, most wizards are physically weak so this is to be expected. I have been giving her some of my weaker potions that are of no use to me, and they seem to be supplementing her development well. My advancement is abnormal so there is no comparison”
After considering Lia’s potential, Shen turned towards Mariam once more and said, “I will shower now, make sure Lia doesn’t touch anything she shouldn’t.”
-Grand City of Caelum, Dusk District-
Skulking through alleys in the dark of night and hidden from prying eyes, Jamys quickly glanced around a corner.
“Someone is following me…” He whispers to the cool night air, his breath releasing a warm mist.
Jamys hugged his hood closer to his face to hide his features and stepped out of the alleyway. He quickly made his way across the street, heading towards the brothel he had found employment at. There weren’t many opportunities for him to work given that he needed to keep a low profile, but the brothel provided him a sense of security due to the confidential nature of the business.
He had bitterly failed his mission and the princess was nowhere to be found. His life was now a mish mash of moans from the brothel house, and the blood of rowdy customers. There were also occasional nights like this to deal with.
Only, was it just local the riffraff out to cause him problems, or was it someone more sinister seeking his life?
‘Since I’ve already caught on, they can’t be anything special. I am a Grandmaster Swordsman and I possess the Seven Star Sword. If the king and his cronies were to send someone after me, it would have to be someone at least at my rank if not higher. These local thugs bring their own troubles though… If they discovered my identity, I wouldn’t be safe even in this shithole district.’
Feeling relieved, Jamys allowed himself to be seen walking into another dark alley and pretended to be oblivious to the several men he sensed following him. Gone were the days of wearing luxurious clothing and living in comfort. Now he dressed much like a commoner, slightly better than the paupers living in the district, and most likely these thugs had marked him as a target.
“It’s a shame that you picked the wrong target…”
Walking towards the end of the alley which was a dead end, he hugged the wall, blending into the shadows so he would not be visible from the entrance. Jamys stilled his breathing and unsheathed a short sword from his side that he had hidden under his heavy cloak.
He did not bother unsheathing the Seven Star Sword, it was too recognizable. Only if his life was seriously in danger would he dare unsheathe it.
“Where’d he go!?”
“I saw him walk into this alley!”
‘Hmph, for someone who is supposed to be hunting prey, they are awfully loud’ Jamys thought.
“Let’s go check, he must be hiding in there!”
Jamys hugged the wall low to the ground and his dark cloak helping him blend in. There were no lights in the alley, but one of the street thugs was carrying a torch.
“This alley is just a dead end, where is he? I can barely see anything!”
Not waiting any longer, Jamys moved swiftly, keeping low to the ground, and slashed out, slicing the knees of the thugs closest to him. They dropped to the garbage littered ground with screams of agony and because of the tight space in the alley, it was difficult for the other thugs in the rear to realize what was going on before it was too late. It wouldn’t have mattered either way, for the fight was over before it even truly began.
Jamys made quick work of them as he moved from one to another, slashing vital points and ending their lives with agile grace. He didn’t even need to use his Aura and killed them only with his skill with a blade. A skill he had mastered over many years of strict training under his father and the other masters of his clan. None of them were alive anymore, but as long as he lived, his clan would live on through him and one day, may yet regain its status.
After ensuring all of the thugs were dead, he wiped the blood off of his blade on the clothes of one of the dead men and sheathed his sword. He checked the bodies for any valuables, finding nothing much of value on them, just a few small coins he pocketed.
Jamys walked back towards the main street, carefully observing his surroundings. He couldn’t sense anyone else following him, but he made sure to conceal his movements as much as possible until he made it back to the brothel.
On a rooftop not far from the alley where the thugs were killed, another man concealed in a thick dark hood and cloak crouched down and watched the bloody affair from above.
‘Hmm… just a normal blade and I didn’t sense any Aura… It’s still too early to confirm whether that is him or not. Even an expert warrior could have easily taken care of those thugs. It looks like I will need to take more drastic measures hehehe.
The man cloaked in shadows laughed wickedly from his perch and observed the man below until he left his sight.
‘A brothel huh… Looks like I’ll be able to take my time and savor every moment… hehehehe’‘
In his twisted mind he carefully planned his next move.
Jamys entered the establishment and was immediately engulfed in a haze of incense and smoke. Loud raucous laughter and merriment filled his ears from every direction. A faint hint of lust rose to his nose as he walked further in. It was a packed night and every available prostitute was busy serving customers.
The experience wasn’t only about the sex, each woman was trained in a variety of ways in order to serve every need of their clients. They were skilled dancers, artists, singers, listeners, drinking companions, whatever might be required of them.
Everywhere Jamys looked, there were beautiful women in seductive clothing accompanying clients. Just a few months ago, Jamys would have looked down on such a place as being beneath him. If he wanted women, he would have been provided a young virgin or anything else he desired. Of course, he had never been such a lustful person who indulged in concupiscence.
‘What irony, to think that such a place would be my sanctuary. I once looked down on such women with judgemental eyes, and yet not only did they take me in when I had nowhere to go, they have even treated me with sincere kindness.’ Jamys still couldn’t help but shake his head in amazement.
As he neared the stairway leading up towards the second floor, Jamys removed the hood which hid his face and was greeted by a warm smile.
“Jamys!” A pleasant and young excitable voice called out to him before he could take his first step up the stairs.
“Serina.. How is it tonight?”
Out of all the girls in the establishment, Serina seemed to have a special fondness for him and always showed him a special smile she gave to no one else. Not only was she extremely beautiful and quite popular among the customers, but she was also one of the few girls who could choose her clients. Not to mention that her services were extremely expensive.
He had never seen her once take on a client while he had been living in the brothel. She would often flirt with him, but not only did he not possess the funds to pay for her services, he still in his heart, could not accept such a woman. He knew it was an unjust prejudice and he truly did enjoy her company, but nothing could come of it and so he never fully responded to her flirtation.
“It’s one of the busiest days in a while! Every girl is busy tonight, I’m the only one free…”
Serina’s eyes looked longingly towards Jamys and she leaned forward slightly, just enough to tease him with her ample breasts. Her garments barely covered her voluptuous form and Jamys lost his breath for a moment before dragging his eyes away from her.
“I will be in my room until my shift starts in case anyone needs me…” He said despite his suddenly dry throat.
Serina’s face became one of disappointment, but she didn’t press him. She watched as he climbed the stairs and let out a frustrated sigh.
“What’s the matter Serina? Jamys again?” Chuckled her friend, one of the regular prostitutes.
“I don’t know who he is, but you should just give up. He doesn’t even look at the girls, maybe he doesn’t like women…”
Serina glared at her friend, but then shrugged with a resigned sigh. She glanced once more longingly up the stairwell before turning away.
Jamys was unaware of the extent of affection shown by the young woman and continued up the stairway and down a hall on the second floor. The lewd sounds emanating from the various rooms littering the hallway were a minor nuisance to him, but he had learned to block out the noise. It was the only way for him to keep his sanity in his current predicament.
Jamys was of noble blood after all and as such, these sorts of institutions were beneath him. He had never been one of those lascivious nobles who partook in such debauchery and the irony of his situation was not wasted on him. He had no other choice for the time being, he could only endure.
Lodging within the brothel was as distant from lavish as could be. It was barely at the level of the standards of a hovel. Jamy’s room was no better and despite his attempts at adjusting to his new lifestyle, it had proven difficult for him to adapt. Having spent his entire life with a silver spoon in his mouth, he had lacked for nothing. Now, the only possessions he had left were the swords his father had left him, and the clothes on his back.
The room itself was small and bare of anything that could be considered a luxury. The colours were bleak and the only distinguishable feature was a brown straw mat in the center of the room. Even though the mat was uncomfortable to sleep on, nonetheless Jamys was grateful for the kindness shown him, even if a part of his noble blood despised his living conditions.
Meditation was an important part of time spent in his daily schedule. Only power would be able to help him survive this current ordeal; So he spent as much time as he possibly could in deep cultivation. Whenever he wasn’t working, eating or sleeping, he was cultivating. His strength had showed steady growth, but he was still far from a breakthrough. He lacked the necessary funds to purchase supplements which could support his cultivation development, for now unfortunately he could only rely on meditation.
This, of course, caused many misunderstandings amongst the prostitutes, not that Jamys was aware of this, and neither would he care if he knew. In their eyes, men were all wolves, so the idea of a man resisting their charms and spending an unhealthy amount of time cooped up in a small room was abnormal.
Only Serina saw in him a noble character, something which had attracted her to him the instant they met. However, this only brought with it disappointment as her advances had consistently been ignored by Jamys. Being a scion of noble blood, he could never accept her regardless of her feelings.
Jamys had not given up hope of rebuilding his family and returning to the upper echelons of society. His ambition and desire for revenge was not something which could be easily ignored and there wasn’t a place in his heart for a lowly prostitute with romantic fantasies.
Ridding his mind of the images aroused by the noise coming from next door, Jamys began his meditation in earnest. He wasn’t sure how long had passed, as he had emptied his mind, but after a while, the smell of burning ash woke him from his meditation.
“What is going on? Is something burning…”
The scent of smoke and burning wood was much more clear as he exited his room. Many doors along the hallway were slightly ajar as worried glances peeked out in concern. Prostitutes and their clients shuffled hurriedly within the rooms and some had already run towards the staircase only half dressed as chaos ensued within this house of pleasure.
Familiar voices let out harsh screams from the floor below and Jamys hurried his steps throwing caution to the wind. Those were the voices of the prostitutes that he had been hired to protect, the voices of those who had sheltered him when he had nowhere else to turn.
Unsheathing his secondary blade, Jamys flew down the stairway and was met with a frantic scene of half naked people running for their lives as unknown assailants cut them down. Intense flames burned fiercely increasing the pandemonium.
Assassins in black tight fit outfits and masks immediately rushed towards Jamys, but he dealt with them in relative ease. These enemies were not even Master rank assassins, how could they possibly deal with a Grandmaster swordsman?
What is their purpose in attacking a brothel? Have they come for me? Then why are they attacking indiscriminately?
Jamys attempted to wrap his head around it, but he couldn’t understand the wanton killing that was taking place in front of his eyes. As a noble, death was a constant. Nobles often fought among each other, losing many of their warriors in the process, but those in the brothel were not warriors. And while they might not be the purest of individuals, they were nonetheless innocent and not deserving of being indiscriminately slaughtered.
Then what is this? Jamys could only shake his head and move to action. He was the only one strong enough to retaliate against the attackers and he owed the prostitutes a huge debt of gratitude.
Jamys made his way through the building, avoiding the flames and killing any assassins he could find. He knew he could not save everyone and focused on getting the prostitutes to safety, but with the chaotic situation, he was having difficulty locating and protecting them. Everywhere his eyes turned there were either assassins looking to kill him or flames barring his path.
Some of those from within had already escaped and soon the city guards would arrive, but by then it would be too late. Jamys desperately searched for any survivors and for a fleeting moment an image of Serina formed within the haze of smoke directly in front of him. It soon materialized into a physical body.
“Serina! Are you okay? We have to get you out of here quickly!”
Serina gasped in relief, her expression soon becoming joyful.
“Jamys! I was looking for you everywhere! I’m so happy you’re okay.”
“You were looking for me? Why didn’t you escape?” Jamys said a little too forcefully.
“I… No! Jamys, look out!”
Serina noticed the glint of a blade in the light of the fire coming from somewhere within the smoke and rushed towards Jamys, putting herself in the path of the blade. The blade easily penetrated her defenseless back and she looked up at Jamys as she fell helplessly into his arms.
He had been caught completely unaware and for a moment, stood there dumbfounded. He looked into the eyes of the young woman who had thrown herself into the path of the blade without hesitation and he could see tears glistening on her cheeks.
“What…” He could barely mouth the words and his mind became a jumble of incoherent thoughts.
“Hehehe… how touching.” An unfamiliar voice woke him from his shock, but he couldn’t locate the source of the voice.
“Jamys…” Serina desperately forced out his name. She was having difficulty breathing, but her eyes were filled with determination.
“Serina.. Why? I don’t understand…”
Serina raised her hand with difficulty and gently touched Jamys’s face. She was filled with longing, but soon her breathing stilled and her eyes became lifeless. He held the young and fragile body of the unfortunate woman in his arms and he shook with rage as he held her corpse.
“COME OUT AND FACE ME YOU FUCKING COWARD!!” He screamed into the smoke and roaring flames.
The building was beginning to collapse around him, but he didn’t notice it. His thoughts rang with the words that Serina had said and the misfortune of her death. He wanted to rip the life out of the bastard that had taken her life in such a meaningless and dishonorable way.
Fading laughter was the only response to his challenge and Jamys helplessly clung to the once gentle young woman who had always graced him with an innocent smile and warm encouragement.
Jamys placed Serina’s body gently on the floor of the brothel. His rage had reached a crescendo, but he still placed her body down with care. The sword that pulsed at his side called out to him and his hands shook with anticipation. He was no longer in the state of mind to control his eager heart which ached to unleash its rage in a torrent of emotions.
The Seven Star Sword shone brilliantly as it was removed from its sheath. Its aura poured outwardly, suffocating the surroundings with its power. Flames continued to burn in an ever increasing blaze and the brothel walls crumbled around him.
With a sweep of fury, Jamys unleashed the power of the blade in all directions, an immense hurricane of energy, seeking the target of his fury. However, his target was already long gone, and only an echo of laughter remained.
Jamys could only fall to his knees, destitute and alone. Nothing remained of the brothel which he had temporarily called his home.
“Again. Do it again!”
Lia wasn’t sure how many times now she had be instructed by Shen to correct her stance. He circled around her slowly, hitting her with a stick whenever he noticed a previously corrected mistake. She was frustrated and sweating profusely, but he didn’t let up no matter how much she complained. His image in her mind had become that of a nightmarish devil.
“How many times do I have to show you? Like this!”
Shen wacked her again and aggressively forced her legs into a proper position.
“Focus! You’ll never be able to control your mana like this. If you want to be of use, then start taking this seriously!”
“I am taking this seriously!” Lia shouted in frustration, losing her focus once more.
Shen stopped and just stared at her for a moment before saying, “that’s enough for now,” and then proceeded to walk out of the training room.
Lia relaxed her body and breathed heavily. The strain of constant Mana use while training was an immense burden on her.
“He’s a monster… does he think I’m just playing around?” Lia sighed and grabbed her towel, wiping the sweat off her body.
“Would it hurt him to say something nice…”
Her Mana had grown over the past few months that she had spent within the sanctuary, but not even once did Shen acknowledge her.
Invisible to her eyes, a spirit hovered slowly near the doorway. Shen was currently watching her through the eyes of the spirit. His face was expressionless, but his eyes shone with interest. He chuckled briefly to himself but a glint of madness flickered from the corner of his eye.
“No..” Shen shook his head, unsure of what it was he was denying, but he denied it nonetheless.
“I can’t…. I won’t… “ He shook his head vehemently, and a bout of pain caused him to grab his head with both hands.
“It’s time.” The pain had subsided and he continued towards his room as if nothing had happened.
After bathing, Lia returned to the room which she had been using as her sleeping quarters. She had carried with her very few possessions when escaping from the city and everything she owned was within the room. It was a sad sight, but at least she had been able to stay alive. Despite the memories which filled her with lingering despair, she held onto the last vestiges of her old life and sighed.
“Mother.. Father… I will soon be coming home.”
Everything had already been packed and Shen would soon come call for her. The two would make their way back to the city of her birth. Even though he had agreed to travel with her, beyond that he made no other promises.
“What are his plans…”
Lia reflected on the past few months she spent with Shen and couldn’t even begin to fathom his thoughts. She still understood so little about him, even though they had become closer as they spent more time together. He was reliable, intelligent, and knew much more than she had expected, but he exuded a cold distance that she just couldn’t understand.
“Just who is he?” She thought out loud.
“Lia.” A sudden voice startled her.
“Who.. Oh, Mariam, it’s you. Is it time to leave?”
Mariam appeared on the surface of the wall, something she did often. She was able to move freely on the surface of the walls within the sanctuary. It wasn’t something Lia understood and she could only marvel at the facilities magitech.
“Yes, Shen is waiting for you.”
Mariam disappeared from the wall and Lia grabbed her belongings and left the room she had lived in for a short while. Shen was waiting for her near the entrance to the sanctuary, before the maze of traps that guarded the facility.
He stood there in a dull black colored robe, a hood obscuring his face and only holding what appeared to be a singular hand mirror.
“I thought you were prepared to leave?” She asked, puzzled at the fact that he only carried a hand mirror.
“I am. Let’s go.”
“But, you don’t have any of your belongings… will you just go like that?” Lia eyed Shen curiously.
“Everything I need is right here with me.” He answered without hesitation.
Lia stared at him as if he had lost his mind, “I don’t think you realize how dangerous the outside world is….”
“You misunderstand. This mirror uses a form of space-time compression magic. It also functions as a smaller version of the ‘Mirror of Souls’. It isn’t quite as spacious within, but it is enough to hold the things I need for this voyage and it will also allow Mariam to function without issue.”
Lia didn’t know what to make of his words. She didn’t fully understand his explanation, but she wasn’t completely unfamiliar with space-time compression magic. She had heard of items called ‘Space Rings’ which could store items, but most were limited to only being able to store a few items. Just how much capacity did this hand mirror possess?
The mysteries surrounding Shen were bottomless.
“I don’t really get it, but basically the mirror functions like a storage device and a magitab…. Incredible.” Lia sighed and shrugged her shoulders.
“If you understand that much, then it’s fine.”
Shen didn’t waste any more time and began walking through the secret passageway leading through the dangerous maze towards the entrance. Lia followed closely behind him but remained silent and in deep thought.
“I need to find a way to get Shen to help me.” She thought, filled with determination.
The two stood before the large metal door leading towards the outer world. Surrounding the sanctuary was a dangerous wilderness known as the ‘Outlands’ where the defiled roamed freely. It was a dangerous and hostile environment, but the two were prepared to enter that environment without looking back.
As the metal door loudly clanked and grinded till it opened, Shen’s gaze burned feverously. He had spent what felt like an eternity alone and in darkness. It was finally time to be free of the shackles of his past.