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Chapter 861: Forget Me

    Chapter 861: Forget Me

    Chapter 861: Forget Me

    Li Ke had thought the universe had treated him cruelly, but now he saw how much his wife had had to endure. At least he was given the mercy of sleep within Ultus, allowed to wait until his opportunity was presented. Though he missed her most of the time had been spent in darkness as he maintained his spirit within the Banishing Blade.

    Time passed quickly as he slept, and moments where pain and regret gnawed at him were relatively brief. But her? Not only was the pain with her every single day, but she had to bear the hardships of raising a crippled child by herself.

    "Little Yue, blame me. I'm so sorry about what was happened to the two of you. It's all my fault." Li Ke's body shook.

    "Don't... you shouldn't upset yourself. Your body is dimming. Li Ke!" [1. She's referring to him as 'elder brother Ke' which I have not translated, because while it's more literal it seems very strange to refer to one's husband this way - especially during such an emotional scene.] She cried out as Li Ke's body began to fade.

    Suddenly Li Ke scowled, focused. His body solidified. "My greatest wish has been to see you again. But seeing you like this, seeing our daughter, it brings me no joy. I don't want to have to leave you in such pain. I wish I would be with the both of you until the end."

    The Pharmacist's face went white. "What... what do you mean?"

    Li Ke dropped his face, biting back the pain of reality. He knew he couldn't avoid it any longer. "When I was taken by the planets I tried to fight, but they were too strong. In order to gain the most from my DNA they didn't kill me immediately. I was first imprisoned and slowly decomposed. Before they could take my soul I funneled it into Ultus."

    "I thought - hoped - that Ultus would recognize me as its master. As master the sword's power would sustain me. It did know me, once, but with the loss of my body it became almost impossible to control the incredible power locked within the sword. When we merged my spirit couldn't bear the strength of its influence. I was successful in transferring my spirit, but there was a problem. It was always only temporary, and I would never be able to exist without the help of Ultus. The power of my soul has been slowly draining away - eventually I will pass into nothing."

    "I tried to mitigate the loss as much as I could. Although I knew the chances of seeing you again were slim, I had to keep myself going no matter how remote the opportunity. Seeing you one more time was all I needed."

    "The heavens eventually worked in my favor and one day you came. As you attacked Monarch I was as happy as I was frightened for you. Thankfully you were rescued, and I was able to use the connection between our blades to deliver a message."

    "You came back, stronger than last time. Monarch never expected my will remained in the weapon, capable of fighting back. Together we eliminated his strongest avatar, but in galvanizing Ultus' power I had to spend what remained of my spirit's essence. I will not be able to remain for long." His final words were heavy with grief.

    "No, it can't be. How could heaven bring us back together under these circumstances? How could the universe have the heart to bring you back only to take you away again? No... No!" Her voice broke as she staggered backwards. It was like she was trying to distance herself from this place, this cruel circumstance.

    "If there was even the smallest chance I would never leave you, but I can't hold off much longer. For all my pride and arrogance all I have remaining is this broken spirit. But death is not a bad thing for me now. If I am given another life after this one I will strive to be by your side. Whatever shape I take, I will be with you, protect you, forever. Until the last stars burn out."

    "I can only imagine the pain you've suffered through the years, little Yue. But can you see? Our daughter, she's so grown. So beautiful. She'll grow to be as stunning as her mother. She is the treasure of our union, and she bears within her parts of both of us. You've struggled, and now before I go I need you to make me a promise. Promise that you will live fully, that you will live well. For our daughter, alright?" Li Ke's voice was soft and charming, but laden with woe.

    "Take me with you." The Pharmacist shut her eyes tightly. "I don't want it to end like this. I want to sleep, long and deep, where there is no pain or memory. Li Ke, please take me with you. Please?"

    "No!" Anger rang in his spectral voice. "Wake up, little Yue! I cannot take you with me. Who am I to end your life? Your life is your own, it doesn't belong to me. I am not even worthy of being your husband, I've failed to protect my wife. What right do I have to be with you? You've weathered all these years without me and have since become one of humanity's best. Why can't you snap out of this madness? My spirit was go but a part of me will remain locked within Ultus. Who is to say, if one day you become immortal, that I might be brought back? So, for the distant chance that I might be returned to the world you have to live and get stronger."

    The Pharmacist was quiet for a moment, then muttered her reply. "There is still a chance? Really? Li Ke, is this true?"

    He nodded. "Of course. If Jue Di can be returned, why can't I? I believe it. Only, to bring me back I think it will require more energy than to return Jue Di to life. You have to grow stronger. I will remain in Ultus and wait."

    The Pharmacist stared deeply into his eyes and nodded. "I will get stronger. For you."

    Li Ke smiled softly at her. "Good, that is the right choice. My destiny is in your hands, only you can bring me back."

    "I'll call Jun'er in," the Pharmacist then said. "She hasn't met her father yet."

    Li Ke hesitated a moment, but ultimately shook his head. "No, I don't want her to."

    "Why?" She asked, looking at him.

    He smirked a sad, bitter smirk. "How can I face my daughter in this state? If she wanted a hug from her father I couldn't provide her one. I am not worthy of being her dad, not anymore. When you bring me back she can call me her father and I'll make up for all that lost time. For now the Jewelry Master is filling that roll, and she is happy. This is enough. I don't want that little girl to suffer any more than she already has. I can watch her from afar and be content."

    She looked at him strangely for a moment, but after a moment nodded in reply. "Alright."

    Gradually the pained expression fled from his face. He spoke again in low tones. "What do you think about this Lan Qing?"

    She paused before answering. "He's an excellent man, an outstanding leader in this generation. He and his younger brother, the Jewelry Master, are good men. If you were alive you'd all be shoulder to shoulder."

    Li Ke sighed. "I envy him, to be an admiral so young and a Paragon to boot. Now Ultus has chosen him, his dharma and Domain are most suitable. His foundation is solid and his dharma is well cultivated. He is a good choice to lead the Banishing Blades. He may be weaker than the others, but we can likely remedy that. Do you see a problem if I pass Ultus' lineage onto him?"

    Her response was quick. "There shouldn't be a problem. Without commander Lan Qing we wouldn't be where we are now. He's the best choice."

    "Very well." Li Ke nodded his head. "With your blessing I am satisfied. Ultus is the most potent of the blades and holds a close connection to Occisus. Besides me you are the best choice to bear it, but he will suffice. One I impart the sword to him I will no longer be able to manifest, but the mark of my spirit will remain within Ultus. Help him to learn how to bear the sword and summon its power. He's a brilliant and talented man, he should have no problem."

    "Alright." She nodded resolutely. However, for some reason she couldn't shake the sense of disquiet within her.

    Li Ke sighed again. "Little Yue, the greatest fortune I had in life was meeting you. I just wish I could have known the pain I would bring. If you don't become an immortal, or if a man comes who moves you... forget me."
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