While Arthur braced himself for the impact, and the [Hell Arrow] accompanied by Yamak charged at the blue light, a deafening sound was created for the impact.
It seemed the Blue light targeted the mountain but Arthur and the others didn't escape the danger.
The sound was so loud that it could be heard from afar, even the students in the academy did hear it.
From afar, it was as if a nuclear attack struck the ghost island, moreover that blue light is a condensed mana and its power is immeasurable.
Once the blue light struck, Arthur could feel his back disintegrating and burning like hell, it was as if it's being eaten by the blue light, but soon the light covered all his body and the pain increased even more.
even the black robe showed signs of breaking, blood flowed and wounds covered his body, the light never ended so he could only grit his teeth and cover Lucy, he knew if she was exposed to this light like him she would die as she didn't have stats like him.
Even when he tried his best to protect her, the light managed somehow injure her in her arms and legs but compared to Arthur, it was literally nothing.
Even his conscience began fading, he could no longer hold and the light didn't seem to stop, heck! Even his ears were bleeding from the sound of impact, though it's supposed to only be the sound of the impact, it didn't stop and the ringing made his headache like hell.
Fortunately, just as he was going to fall unconscious the light disappeared but if one looked at the scenery, they would be dumbstruck, especially if one knew the previous scenery.
Now it only looked like a huge pit, you could only see darkness as if it was a long forgotten abyss, there was not even a place to land in.
Arthur didn't have the time to be surprised, with barely any strength left, he commanded the cloud to quickly find a place to land on.
After a dozen of minutes they finally find a place, actually it was a huge cliff, and on the far horizon you could see the forest, but it seemed unusually quiet as if all beasts were afraid.
Arthur paid that no heed and with his last strength he landed the cloud at the cliff, then he finally fell unconscious, he knew Lucy was fine so he breathed a sigh of relief.
If one would see him now, they would surely not recognize him as a human being, his left leg is gone and his right one is half gone too, with some bones sticking out, his chest is bloody and full of holes as big as fists, as for his back, there is nothing left of it, it's as if he didn't have a back, no bones, no blood, just nothing, if one saw him they would surely think he is dead for sure.
Lucy was trembling as she saw his state, she thought he was dead yer she subconsciously began calling for him while shaking his body.
Even in the middle of calling out for him, she began sobbing as she was afraid of the possibility of him dying, then she would come back to being alone in this world, but of course she can't handle that anymore, not after experiencing true warmth, and being cherished and loved by someone, for her death is way better than being alone again.
After some time, she still didn't get any response, nevertheless she didn't give up that easily, she dragged Arthur's body or what was left of him and didn't stop until she found a small cave, she knew it's a dangerous forest, so she made a curse allowing her to cover the cave, it was a simple curse that distracts weak beasts or makes them feel as if the place was ominous, it may work on weak animals but against powerful beasts like an imoogi, they would be easily discovered, so she could only hope for the best.
Lucy really didn't know what to do, she didn't have any powerful healing skills, even normal healing was not available for her, so she could only use the miraculous healing potion he gave her.
She had hundreds of them, so she made him drink them.
This time she didn't restrain herself in any way and made him drink those portions using her mouth, it can be considered kissing, but she didn't care, as long as he is healed then it's fine, though it's the first time she kissed him on the lips, and she didn't do it in the past because she was afraid of her fears resurfacing again, but for the time being what most scared her is him dying, and if he wakes up she would no longer be shy about something like this.
She had a lot of objects in her storage ring, so she took out a bed which Arthur gave to her from his storage back then, and then she put him on the bed.
Her mind was much calmer now, and after some thinking and observation, she saw that his wounds were healing but for some reason or another, his healing is extremely slow.
Lucy would feed him a potion twice a day and never ever leave his side, she had enough food to eat but she didn't eat, she would fall asleep while sitting next to him.
She held his healed arm gently as if afraid of hurting him, and would sometimes start sobbing silently while calling out for him
"Arthur*sob* please wake up *sob*, I-I would never reject you again*sob*, please*sob*.....I love you.."
Days passed quickly, and after 2 weeks his body was half-healed, only his back is still gone, Lucy didn't lose hope but she still felt extremely depressed.
Not even once did she leave his side, she only ate enough for her to live, and every day she would shed tears while calling out to him.
Her heart ached, looking at his state and his back, she knew he protected her using his body, and she would rather die than make him suffer this again.
Lucy would stroke his chin with her beautiful white hand while lovingly smile at him but become worried the next second and anxious thoughts would overwhelm her.
A month passed and Lucy never stopped giving him the potion, in any case, she started giving him more, and fortunately, his back started slowly healing.
She became extremely joyful as she saw that, she couldn't wait for the day he would wake up.
2 months passed since the incident, and now his body is completely healed, including his back, Lucy was beyond happy and waited for every second with impatience, hoping to see him open his eyes, but that never happened, a week even passed but he still didn't wake up.
Having passed 2 months taking care of him, Lucy became anxious seeing him not wake up, however, she didn't feel lonely, even though he was unconscious, he is still next to her, and even if there is a chance in a million that he will wake up, she would still stick with it.
Every day passed like the previous one, from morning until night, she would stay next to him on the bed, the cave was sealed with a huge rock, and a fire was lit not too far from them.
In fact, it was winter right now, and even with the cave being sealed, it was still cold, so she lit a fire and she would sleep next to him under the blankets.
What was more surprising is that she would take his and her clothes off and stick to him closely for better heat, first she felt embarrassed but after that she no longer felt shy or anything of the sort, more so, not even once did she become afraid of him even when sleeping naked with him, quite the opposite, in fact, she hoped he would wake up and hugged her back, but to no avail, he never woke up and she would end up soundlessly crying...
There were some accidents when strong monsters discovered the cave, but she fought them until the bitter end, then she would come back to his side with bloody wounds on her, if he saw her like this, Arthur would fly into an endless rage.
There was even a time an imoogi found out about the cave and attacked them, so she had to lure it very far away then barely escape, but she didn't come out unscathed, she was seriously injured and could barely walk, the imoogi was too much for her, nevertheless she never gave up or even thought of giving up, heck! Even when she was luring the imoogi she was worried about the snow wolves that might ambush Arthur.
She knew his body somehow became very vulnerable even though he was completely healed and even a Lvl 45 snow wolf can hurt him if not kill him.
She was deathly worried and only when she finally came back to the cave and found him safe did she breathe a sigh of relief. That time she was so injured that she had to rest for a week, but that was a damnable week as the wolves sniffed her blood all the way to the cave so she had to take care of them regardless of her wounds.
After completely killing them and getting rid of the danger, she would as always come back to his side.
Sometimes, when she is on the brink of death in a hard fight against a beast, she would think, now it's time for her death as the opponent is stronger but at the last second she would muster her courage and fight until the very end to survive.
Though all of that happened just before winter came. However, when it finally came, monsters stayed home and would come out rarely, with the exception of snow wolves of course.
Not a day passed, she didn't wish to find him awake when she opens her eyes after a long sleep, but all of that became hopeless dreams as time slowly passed.
To be honest, she didn't know why he didn't wake up but she guessed maybe it had to do with his soul, maybe that bright blue light was also a soul attack?
In fact, in this world, there are physical attacks and soul attacks, but the soul attacks are almost non-existent and only certain beings can use them.
It is said soul attacks are terrifying as they use your worst fears and nightmares to destroy your soul, and of course, without a soul, you would only be an empty shell and your body will soon deteriorate.
Lucy was sure he didn't die and his soul is still existing, if not he would not have been completely healed, but him staying unconscious made her guess that surely his soul is affected and is either slowly weakening or slowly healing itself, but she had no way to know for sure, so she was confused as what to do, but in the end all she could truly do is wait and hope for the best.
Days passed and Lucy no longer stayed next to him all day, well technically she did, but she didn't hold his hand and wait for him to wake up, No! Instead she began practicing magic in the cave, right next to him, moreover, she would read books related to souls.
Actually, all the books Arthur got from Zodiak are now stored in a single storage ring, which is available for him and Lucy and of course, he handed her the ring and would only ask for it when he needed a book.
She read numerous books that contained information about souls and soul attacks, and one must know that those books belonged to Zodiak, so every one of them was very special and detailed.
Though her reading speed was not like Arthur, she managed to get decent knowledge about souls, and with the practicing and previous fights, her strength skyrocketed and her level became 112.
One need to know that to level up is by no means easy, Arthur can do that quickly because of 'X' blessing, but she didn't have that, nevertheless she managed to level up so much, so that totally proves how much she struggled and worked to become stronger to protect him from those beasts, she even stored the corpses for him to possess when he wakes up, a gentle and enchanting smile would form on her face every time she remembered him patting her head while smiling or when he hugged her or slept in her lap, those were the best memories she got, and never will she forget them...
Her usage of magma was now nb the beginning of [Advanced Magma Magic] and that was something extraordinary, one must know that to get to advanced in an attribute, one needs to practice for dozen of years, and even more years to reach advanced in special attributes as they were more powerful but they took more time to muster, while she practiced for less than a year, she guessed it must have to do with her family or blood, since she didn't know her origin, she didn't think much about it right now.
It has been 7 months since the incident and Lucy managed to finally find a clue and maybe a possible solution.
As for her practice and strength, she managed to reach advanced in Darkness magic and perfection in fire magic, her fire was now Violet, the strongest kind, also in this long winter there were numerous fights with yetis(AN:google the name to know what it is), and snow wolves, so she accumulated hundreds of those wolves, her level rose again and she managed to reach LVL131. However, that was only after thousands of bloody fights that injured her, every one of those battles was a struggle to her, nevertheless, with every fight that passed, her control in darkness, fire and magma became insanely good, the coordination in using them was beyond perfect.
Her [Advanced magma magic] reached the middle level and can now be considered quite terrifying, and with the strong curses of darkness magic she would win every fight except when those damned snow wolves would attack in a big pack of hundreds, they were very clever and very persistent, nonetheless Lucy always won even when she was covered with injuries.
She read a lot of books and finally found something that may wake him up, it was 'soul search', it's very ancient ritual, while there is a strong darkness curse similar to this ritual, it is not near as strong as this ritual.
The book mentioned that this ritual is used to invade the target's soul, and get its memories or bind it with your blood so you can control it.
It is indeed a sinister ritual, as to be expected from a book which belonged to Zodiak who was known as a mythical being, however, Lucy wanted to use this ritual to her advantage and see what is happening to Arthur.
She missed his touch, his voice, and his behavior, it has been a long time since she talked to him but she still didn't lose hope and since she found something that may help him then so be it.
To use ritual you need some ingredients, but they were all very simple and within her reach, so in no time she managed to assemble them, what was left was a drop of her blood and some of his hair.
As the last 2 things were acquired, she drew the mysterious circle and strange symbols like the book indicated, then she put the ingredients, after saying some incantations with some strange language that even she didn't understand, the circle excluded a black light and in a matter of seconds, her surroundings changed and she no longer was in a cave.
She was floating in some sort of dark space, there were stars all over, with all kinds of size. Lucy was astonished as she didn't think the inside of someone's soul is like this, or maybe it differs from person to another?
She began floating until she saw a dim light not too far away from her location, so she slowly flew towards to check what it is, since the ritual is meant to bind someone or steal their memories then surely it can do other things, it was just that Zodiak used it for evil things.
When she touched that light, she was transferred to another place. Lucy now is in an empty room with an iron door, the room reeked of blood and other disgusting things, the smell alone was agonizing, and in the middle was a man she recognized at first sight, it was obviously Arthur, but his state was horrifying and his eyes seemed empty as if he didn't feel anything.
Since she knew of his past, she totally guessed that she is in his memories, nonetheless, she tried calling out to him but that was useless of course.
She saw as the memories accelerated, and people came torturing him, there was also a particular woman who came to mock him or torture him in a disgusting way, it would be a lie to say Lucy was not angry and sad but no matter how she tried she couldn't change the past.
Memories changed and she saw his childhood, high school, etcetera..
She was astonished to see the new world, by that I mean the world he lived in, the towering buildings or strange machines, she stared in disbelief at all of that.
Very soon, she was cast out when she saw enough and she started roaming the dark space in search of the problem in his soul.
After some time, she finally found Arthur naked, while being bound by blue chains, he seemed to be in a sleep-state. Lucy tried to approach him but a strange orb above him seemed to exclude a terrifying pressure, it didn't let her get even a little closer, so she only could call for him, endlessly without stopping, until she could no longer do it. Time seemed to be running out, and the distance between them became wider, but even with that happening she never ceased her calls and yells.
At some point, her efforts and yells did indeed reach him and his body twitched, the chains began shattering slowly until they disappeared when were strangely sucked of the strange orb above him, nonetheless even after the chains broke, he seemed to be still asleep, Lucy did clearly see that and only then did she stop and let the energy cast her out of his soul.
To be honest, she didn't know if she was successful or not, but her guts told her that the chains were definitely the problem but now that they are shattered, he would wake up soon, hopefully.
She didn't retry the ritual and continued with her practice while sleeping next to him every night.
2 more months passed since the 'Soul Search', and now it has been 9 months since the incident, Arthur's hand twitched a little and he slowly opened his eyes at last....