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CHAPTER 223

NEW WORLD

Both Hannah and Lino were currently standing beneath a cracked statue, yet one still so tall even craning their necks wasn’t enough to see the top. The two of them together added up not even to the toe’s height, to say nothing of anything else. The cracked statue wasn’t alone as it was just one of many scattered about a city-like structure whose walls were as tall as the mountains.

The world the two walked into after crossing the wedge between the two dimension was a completely new one, practically the furthest thing from everything they were familiar with. They felt like small ants in the presence of giants, and even dead and gone, it seemed as though the spirits of such greatness still dwelt in the air.

One thing Lino immediately noticed was the density of Qi -- or, rather, that it wasn’t as diluted as it is in the outside world. Over the course of eons, the basic components broke up further to form many new elements, Lino had learned; just a few billion years ago, for instance, there was no Shadow Qi as it was yet to be naturally formed.

Inside the Titan Realm, most-importantly for Lino, the presence of Chaos was far more prominent than on the outside. He could practically catch a whiff of it every few minutes, which was impossible to do on the outside. The two had remained rooted in their spots for nearly a whole hour now, unable to move even an inch whilst taking in the grandeur of everything around them.

“... damn, now I kind of wish I was born a Titan...” Hannah mumbled, sucking in a cold breath.

“Maybe we could find someone really good in the Law of Time to send us back.” Lino said.

“Although that’d be cool, it’d also be impossible. You can’t go back into the past, Lino,” she said. “You can only look at it.”

“... well, that’s lame.”

“Not really,” Hannah shrugged. “Chronomancers are pretty much impossible to kill, you know? The only records of them dying are either due to suicide, or because an Empyrean killed them. So I suppose you do stand a chance.”

“Why’s that?” Lino asked, glancing curiously at her.

“Because they’re a lot like Fate,” Hannah said. “Except with the ability to manipulate time in small increments. You should already know that even half a second is sometimes enough to decide the battle’s outcome. If you had the ability to turn that half a second into a full second, or even more, you can always prevent any attack from actually reaching you.”

“... damn. I only ever keep hearing about the cool Laws,” Lino sighed. “And I’m stuck with this moron whose only ability is to send me straight into the inferno and wish upon a star that I live.”

“Oh, shut up,” Hannah groaned, hitting his shoulder lightly as the two finally began walking. “You’re like an anti... anti-fucking-everything. Why else do you think Empyrean lineage survived on for so many generations, in addition to practically everyone fearing your ass?”

“... yeah, that’s cool and all, but what of it? I can’t bend time,” Lino sighed even deeper, lamenting. “I can’t bend space or void, can’t shoot flames out of my eyes, can’t create stuff out of thin air and throw it at people, can’t freeze an entire ocean, can’t cause continental earthquake... all I’ve got is this lame body that can’t be killed. Which, you know, is cool and all... but just not cool enough.”

“God, you sound like a fucking rich kid who has everything except just one thing and then believes his life is just garbage because of it.”

“... yup, I heard it. Can’t believe I sounded that whiny actually. Anyway, this place is amazing...” he exclaimed in awe as he saw a massive, decked spire rise in front of him, broken off into sections still upheld by faintly shimmering arrays of light. “I literally feel like an ant...”

“... yeah,” Hannah assented, looking around and up, still unable to truly comprehend the actual scale of the place. Even the smallest of buildings were at least a hundred meters tall. “There’s a good reason why Titans were unrivaled during their Era...”

“What happened to them anyway?” Lino asked.

“... nobody’s quite sure,” Hannah replied, frowning slightly. “All records about them dating to the last 40 million years of their existence are just... well, non-existent. The best we got are assumptions of those who’ve lived underground and later formed the Four Clans Era. According to them, the most-likely scenario was that they were wiped out by the Origin Prime.”

“... you keep throwing around all these terms and expect me to know them. I’m not even sure whether you’re doing it intentionally at this point just to hurt me.”

“Oh, I am.”

“... good, good, yeah, good to know. Anyway, what’s the Origin Prime?”

“Eh, it’s just a fancy name for the First Prime to ever be created,” Hannah explained. “Why don’t you just ask Ataxia if you’re that curious?”

“... he’s just gonna say I’m not authorized to know or some shit.”

“Anyway, nobody even knows who the First Prime is, or even if there’s such a thing, but it’s the most-commonly accepted answer.”

“... I’m still having a hard time processing the sheer depth of the world’s history...” Lino mumbled as they slowly began climbing massive stairs by jumping onto each new one. “I mean, I’ve yet to live even thirty years, yet it feels like such a long time... and for the most of the stuff, we’re talking in scales of at least millions of years. I can’t even properly process what that timetable means.”

“... nobody who hasn’t lived it can,” Hannah said. “The oldest person in my Sect, the original founder of it actually, is currently nearly two billion years old.”

“Holy fuck!!”

“Oh, yeah, when I first heard, I shat my pants.”

“... literally?”

“Of course not literally you goddamn moron!”

“Uh... sorry. Please continue.” Lino quickly apologized, smiling sheepishly.

“Khm, anyway, I had a chance to meet him once when I was like twelve years old or so, that year when we first met actually.”

“Oh.”

“... he seemed like... just another normal, old guy with bushy beard and white hair. At one point I summoned enough courage and asked him how it was like to live so many lifetimes and he then just stared at me for like five minutes before saying just a single word: ‘long’.”

“... so he said nothing, basically?”

“Yup. Gosh, sometimes I really hate old people,” Hannah grimaced, her tone carrying a tint of anger. “They like talking in these weird, vague ways, like they ‘re trying to tell you something important but never really saying anything, you know?”

“Yes!! Hell-to-the-fuck-yes!! Finally! Finally someone who understands!! Fuck old people! Seriously, fuck their wisdom, fuck their vagueness and, quite frankly, fuck them whole. They stink.”

“Ha ha ha ha ha... yeah, I guess they do kind of stink. They have that ‘old people smell’ to them, don’t they?”

“... yeah, ha ha. Aah, damn, that felt good to get off my chest.”

“Where are we headed anyway?” Hannah asked.

“Umbra told me that she’s around forty miles east off the entrance,” Lino replied. “Wanna head over immediately?”

“Yeah, let’s go and take care of that before exploring.”

“Sure thing.”

Meanwhile, within the depths of the Titan Realm, inside a crimsoned mountain stacked with bones, hollowed on the inside, stood a massive throne of skulls and spikes, upon which sat a massive giant, beyond tall. The giant’s pair of eyes suddenly flashed open, deep crimson in hue, flashing in a strange glint. His jaw cracked for a moment, the whole mountain shaking in the process, as Qi within hundreds of miles around the mountain seemingly sprinted toward the throne and to the giant; had Lino been there to witness it, he’d have become gobsmacked to realize that the amount of Qi equaled to him emptying his reserves at least a million times over.

The giant took a deep breath, causing winds to gulf out of the hollow mountaintop which then began spitting out volcanic ash into the sky, cascading down slowly toward the earth. The giant’s eyes slowly veered toward northeast, well beyond all the natural barriers which ought to prevent him from seeing anything. The eyes quickly landed on a pair of young humans who were currently taking a casual stroll through the Agdhar’s Ruins, moving eastward in the process.

“... so, he cometh at last...” the giant mumbled lowly. “And with a friend at that...” the voice echoed lowly into the wind yet vanished thinly before leaving the mountain’s enclosure. “I’ve lived... Father... Mother... I’ve lived long enough... to carry on your Wills. Watch me... from Valhalla... where soon Your blood shall join you... very soon... my kin...”

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beddedOtaku

Bio: Bad writer, worse painter, terrible singer. Accumulation of all things gone wrong. Rather proud of it, actually.

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