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Chapter 260 – Unexpected Reunion (1)

    Chapter 260 - Unexpected Reunion (1)

    It was the very next day.

    "Okay."

    Early in the morning, Theodore took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and placed both hands on the bark. It wasn't a matter of rushing but of personality. After all, Theodore had always worked hard at solving anything ever since his days at the academy.

    Theodore concentrated and opened his mouth, "I'll ask you once again Mitra."

    [I noe!] Mitra, who was on his head, raised her arms and responded to the call. The bud gleamed through her tan hair, and the scene she was seeing started to flow into Theodore's mind.

    The flow of light spread like a spider web across the Baekun Mountains. It was a map of the dragon vein which couldn't be seen with human eyes. That was only possible for the famous feng shui shamans who practiced feng shui for decades.

    'It is still dizzying, but I have become more used to it. Shall I go back up from the sacred tree?'

    At first, he was surprised by the tingling in his brain, but now he could contemplate the flow of the dragon vein in a calm manner.

    Theodore's eyes were already following the dragon vein to a far-off axis. Like a salmon greeting the spawning season, Theodore's consciousness flowed towards the source-the river of light that began at the Tiger King's sacred tree.

    This wasn't an easy task, even for a warlock skilled in necromancy. However, it was rare that a person would have more experience than Theodore when it came to separating his consciousness. The experience which had accumulated unexpectedly in his body allowed him to succeed.

    Shortly afterward, Theodore's consciousness reached his destination. It wasn't the mountain peak. Instead, this was where the Receptacle of Solitude had existed yesterday, the place where the dragon vein had become blocked.

    Theodore's eyebrows twitched as he looked around the area.

    'It is much better than yesterday... but it will take a few more years for the crooked flow to return to its original shape.'

    If one were to compare it to life, the dragon vein was like the earth's blood. The dragon veins connected to the sacred trees weren't capillary blood vessels but the veins and arteries. As such, the Receptacle of Solitude was a blockage in the middle of a vein.

    It was a leech-like magic that blocked the smooth flow of blood and removed the nutrients in the blood. Theodore and the two spirits had defeated Eight-Tails and removed the blockage, but it needed at least a year for the wound to recover.

    Of course, a few years wasn't a long time in nature.

    There was a saying that 10 years would make a difference in the world. In other words, it meant that changes wouldn't be noticed unless they were counting by periods of 10 years. By human standards, a few years was only a few minutes.

    Theodore was just giving this process a little bit of help. He was binding a few disconnected flows together and cleaning the polluted land. It would've been impossible without Mitra's strength.

    "...Phew, this is roughly finished."

    Restoring a dragon vein wasn't an easy task. The sun was above his head by the time Theodore removed his hand from the sacred tree. It was now noon. Theodore had consumed a huge amount of mental power and just restored his breathing when a deep voice spoke out from behind him. It was White Bear, whose voice had an aged feeling to it, unlike Tiger King's.

    "Is it finished?"

    "Yes, I have done what I can."

    White Bear looked at the sacred tree and saw that some yellow leaves had turned green again. It was proof that the sacred tree had begun to regain its original vitality. With this, Tiger King and White Bear didn't need to fight over one sacred tree, and the Baekun Mountains would regain the same peace from before. It was all thanks to Theodore's help.

    "I truly thank you." White Bear bowed to Theodore without any hesitation. "It is true that I had a ray of hope... but I didn't know you would do such a great job. I would like to thank you as a representative spirit of the Baekun Mountains."

    "It was only right."

    "Doing the right thing is hard, as I have seen over my centuries of living. I'm not ashamed to boast about your merits."

    Before the humble Theodore, White Bear brought out a bag which was attached to his waist. The size of the bag was a bit larger than a watermelon, and a good scent flowed from its cloth, despite it being firmly closed.

    Theodore took it and looked at White Bear, who gestured at him to open it instead of explaining.

    'A surprise gift?'

    Then something happened the moment that Theodore untied the knot of the bag...

    Huuk.

    A sudden refreshing scene filled his mind. It was of the recovery of the sacred tree and the connection with Mitra. Then the power that Theodore had consumed was refilled at a tremendous rate!

    Theodore looked inside the bag with a surprised expression.

    'What is contained in this...?'

    It was really unthinkable. Theodore's insight told him that the things inside the shabby bundle could buy a high government position if they were converted to money.

    'One Hundred Year Fleeceflower Root, One Thousand Year Ginseng... I don't know the names but the rest sure aren't ordinary either!'

    Shamans would risk their lives for these ingredients and yet they were grown like vegetables in the garden of the spirits? Theodore looked at White Bear with a blank expression, but White Bear just shrugged with satisfaction at Theodore's reaction.

    White Bear showed no signs of regret. It was an attitude that showed he wouldn't listen if Theodore refused to accept the gift. Then another voice rang out above them, "What? You shouldn't act in such a cowardly way, Bear."

    "It isn't like that. You are just late as always."

    "Uhh, I arrived as quickly as possible!"

    Tiger King changed from a beast to two legs and started arguing with White Bear. In the end, Tiger King knew she couldn't win the quarrel and grumbled, "I didn't expect you to prepare a gift alone. I would've gathered things too if I'd known!"

    "It doesn't matter anyway. Do you think you can pick anything good?"

    "Shit! I'll just do it my own way!"

    Tiger King looked from White Bear to Theodore and then put a finger in her mouth. Then...

    Bbuduk. There was an eerie sound as she pulled out a large canine.

    "Now, take this. I already pulled it out, so you have to accept it."

    "T-Thank you?"

    "If you use a spell, you can summon me. It will be easy to call my spirit if my tooth is used as a medium. Feel free to call me if my strength becomes necessary."

    "Ah!" Theodore gulped as he realized the value of the gift. Tiger King was a senior spirit who had accumulated spiritual power for hundreds of years. So, the canine of the Tiger King was a catalyst symbolizing herself.

    Above all, this gift was proof of her trust. If Theodore put a curse on this canine, the Tiger King would die without any resistance. Nevertheless, she didn't hesitate at all.

    "I will keep it carefully." Theodore placed the fang and bag in his inventory, then he bowed to the two spirits. It wasn't a long encounter, but he couldn't forget the memories of the few days he spent with them.

    "Are you leaving soon?" White Bear asked after sensing that Theodore was saying goodbye.

    "Yes."

    "Lee Seol... You should meet with that kid one more time."

    "...Maybe, but I have already said goodbye. I don't feel like it is the last time I'll see her, so there is no need to waste time."

    "I see. I'm sorry if I spoke out of turn."

    In the end, Theodore bowed and stepped back with the three-tailed fox in his arms. He slowly floated up with flying magic and said his farewell, "Then this is goodbye until we meet again someday."

    "Don't worry."

    "Of course! Take care of your own work!"

    Theodore smiled one last time at the two spirits and then flew into the distant sky.

    This was a farewell to his three-month stay in the beautiful Baekun Mountains.

    *     *     *

    Huuuuong!

    The wind blew loudly as he passed by. Although being up high at 5,000 meters above sea level was cold, Theodore was warm inside his red robe. He held the three-tailed fox tightly in his arms while flying.

    'It has been a long time since I've done a high-speed flight.'

    He couldn't use long-distance teleport in the East Continent since he didn't know the coordinates of places, and the Baekun Mountains was too rough to cross with a vehicle like a carriage. As a result, there were only two means of transport left to Theodore-running on two legs or using magic.

    It would be faster to run on two legs if it were flat ground, but flying was more efficient in the mountains. There were no obstacles, so there was less consumption of power and he could proceed in a straight line.

    How long had it been since he had traveled as a magician? Theodore felt a subtle emotion as he realized he had been living as a martial artist instead of a magician. He looked down at the landscape which was passing by at a rapid pace.

    'Is it okay if I go home like this?'

    Despite the success of these challenges, the restoration of the Baekun Mountains and the integration of the Fairy Dance Lee Family, the fundamental problems had yet to be solved.

    The royal family of the empire that was dominated by Lust of the Seven Sins, and the identity of the shaman who had twisted the dragon vein to create the Receptacle of Solitude... If Theodore dug at it with earnest, these remaining problems were like overwhelming mountains.

    "...No, not yet. I can't solve these problems with my level of strength yet."

    Theodore gave up on entering this labyrinth. He didn't want to be deeply involved in the problems of other kingdoms, and he was worried about Meltor. Moreover, he recalled the advice Seimei had offered him.

    [If you go to the East Continent, never approach the capital at the center. If you have to go, only try it after you have reached full transcendence.]

    If he had to guess, full transcendence meant a minimum of eight circles, maybe nine. If Seimei's vigilance was against Lust, who had created her children over thousands of years, then this advice wasn't at all exaggerated. In the great empire of the East Continent, there would be a strong existence that Theodore wouldn't be able to defeat.

    As such, Theodore determined that it was time to step down here. He was in deep thought as he looked down at the ground from the sky. It was to find the lights of a village to stay in.

    "Oh, there's some." Soon after, Theodore found some lights and slowly dropped to the ground. He had enough strength to continue overnight, but it would take him a week to reach Western Xia anyway. There was no meaning in hurrying from the beginning.

    ...That was, if he hadn't heard a voice.

    「I've found you! Indeed, you were in the East Continent!」

    "Ack!" Theodore heard something in his head and fell to the ground in an unseemly manner. It was commendable that he protected the three-tailed fox even as he fell. Fortunately, his speed had dropped, so it wasn't a big shock.

    "W-What? That voice just now?"

    Someone answered Theodore's reflexive question, 「 What? Is it too much for me to look for you, Boy? 」

    "This voice... Don't tell me..."

    It was a voice from his memories. There was a clear mental wave from a far distance as he recalled the owner of the liquid-like voice. She was the notorious tyrant of the ocean, the ruler of the eastern seas...

    'Aquilo!'

    「 You took too long to notice. How hateful. 」

    The sea dragon Aquilo was talking inside his head.
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