Trending Searches

    Chapter 53: Immortal Flame

    Somewhat surprised, Sunny struggled to open his eyes. As his vision slowly focused, he saw Neph's pale face looming above him. Her short silver hair was wet, sticking close to her skin.

    She was standing on her knees beside his broken body, caressing his face with her hands. In her eyes, there was a strange expression.

    It was as though she was frightened, but resigned to something.

    Her pupils were wide and dark.


    Greeting her teeth, Nephis moved her hands to his collapsed chest and pressed them lightly against it, causing a pulse of pain to radiate through Sunny's body.

    Then, a soft, radiant brilliance suddenly ignited beneath the skin of her palms, reflecting in her grey eyes like two dancing white sparks.

    Almost immediately, Changing Star's face contorted in a grimace of excruciating agony, and she let out a terrible, muffled scream.

    Her skin became white as a sheet of paper, and as she bit her lower lip, drops of blood soon rolled to her chin.

    As the radiance grew in intensity, Nephis shut her eyes tightly, tears streaming down her tortured, bloodless face.

    Sunny, on the contrary, felt like he was in heaven. All pain disappeared from his body, replaced by gentle, all-encompassing warmth. He felt as though he was being cleansed by something pure and sacred.

    By a white, pristine, purifying flame.

    Under the influence of the flame, his dying body began to repair itself. His shattered bones were reassembled from the shards. His torn flesh regenerated and became whole again. His collapsed lungs and damaged heart were brought back to life and rejuvenated, instantly turning strong and healthy.

    Suddenly, he could breathe again.

    As his chest moved, drawing in a new breath, Nephis flinched away with a harrowing moan. The white radiance beneath her skin dimmed and disappeared, letting the darkness return to its rightful place.

    Crawling away a few steps, Changing Star stopped, standing on her knees and hands, and violently vomited. Her whole body was shivering uncontrollably, as though on the verge of a seizure.

    As the shivers died down, she slowly lowered herself to the ground and lay there motionlessly, catching the raindrops with her mouth.

    Sunny, meanwhile, raised his hands and carefully explored his body.

    To his surprise, nothing really hurt. It was as though he was never wounded in the first place, let alone almost died.

    With the help of Nephis and her mysterious Aspect Ability, he was completely healed.

    It was a miracle.

    Visit ʟɪɢʜᴛɴᴏᴠᴇʟᴘᴜʙ.ᴄᴏᴍ, for the best no_vel_read_ing experience


    By the time the storm was over, it was already deep into the night. Sunny, Nephis and Cassie huddled together for warmth and slept as though they were dead, too tired to make someone keep watch.

    If anything were to happen, the shadow would probably alarm them in advance.

    If not, so be it. They were just too exhausted to care.

    Luckily, the rest of the night went without incidents.

    In the morning, no one was in a hurry to make any plans or suggest leaving the cliffs. They just gathered some meat from the dead carapace centurion and the scavengers, collected the two soul shards and moved to the opposite side of the small island, afraid that the remains would attract some creature's attention.

    As it turned out, they were right. Not long after the group left the place of the battle, a dark spot appeared in the sky. Soon, it became larger and approached the cliffs, landing near the corpse of the centurion in a whirlwind.

    Sunny had never seen anything like it. The creature was massive in size, easily weighing twice as much as the carapace monster. Its body was white as a corpse and muscular, like that of a lion. It had two mighty paws in the back and six in the front, protruding messily out of its wide chest. Each ended with long, sharp talons.

    The neck of the flying monstrosity was covered in long black feathers, as well as its enormous wings. Its head resembled that of a raven, with large round eyes and a terrifying black beak.

    While they hid behind rocks, the creature feasted on the dead centurion, easily breaking its carapace apart with its talons and beak. Then, satisfied, it grabbed a few scavenger carcasses with its paws and rose back into the air, creating a small hurricane with each flap of its black wings.

    The creature left the cliffs and flew back the way it came.

    It was moving west.

    Following the black dot as it disappeared into the distance, Sunny sighed.

    "Neph. What do you think that thing is?"

    Nephis was also looking at the sky. After a few seconds, she lowered her gaze.

    "I have no idea."

    Sunny simply nodded and went about his business. He still had to perform his thousand strikes.

    After making a fire, they roasted the centurion's meat and had a delicious, hefty breakfast. Then, stuffed, the three of them lied down and lazily rested.

    After fighting against two scavengers at once, running away and barely surviving the sudden flood, climbing tall cliffs in the middle of a storm and battling an awakened monster — all done in a single day — they deserved some time off.

    Plus, Sunny needed to sort himself out. Truth be told, he was feeling a bit strange.

    The reason for this was not his traumatic near-death experience, although it had a lot to do with it. The thing was that, after the unexpected epiphany he had while trying to fight against the deathly mind fog, Sunny felt as though he had been changed.

    The latest_epi_sodes are on_the ʟɪɢʜᴛɴᴏᴠᴇʟᴘᴜʙ.ᴄᴏᴍ website.

    Because the clarity he gained never went away.

    It was still here, at the center of his being. He felt as though his very way of thinking and perceiving the world was now completely different. It was stark, streamlined and dauntless.

    Sunny felt that he had become calmer. He was now able to think much faster and act without hesitation. Many things that previously seemed obscure and frightening suddenly became predictable, and thus surmountable.

    It was as though he had discovered an underlying order to the world that wasn't there before. That inner understanding gave him an advantage that was hard to explain with words.

    In a sense, this change was even more profound than the transformation of his body at the end of the First Nightmare. He felt that he had made a big leap in his combat ability and overall power, even though it wasn't tied to the number of consumed shadow fragments or unlocked Aspect Abilities.

    Looking at the sky, Sunny wondered if this was how Nephis always felt.

    'Probably. Mastery of the body, mastery of the mind. Right?'

    He was still far away from being a master. But it felt as though he was on the right track.


    Some time later, Sunny approached the western edge of the cliffs.

    Nephis was sitting there, her feet dangling over the edge. She was looking west, lost in her thoughts.

    He sat down beside the silver-haired girl and followed her gaze, trying to guess what she was thinking about.

    Just like always, he failed. Changing Star was hard to understand.

    Sunny shifted, feeling incredibly embarrassed. Finally, he gathered his courage and said:

    "You saved my life twice yesterday."

    Nephis glanced at him and turned away again.

    "I did."

    He hesitated, trying to find the correct words. In the end, he couldn't come up with anything and simply said:

    "Thank you."

    This time, she looked at him a bit longer. Her face was calm and indifferent.

    "There's no need to thank me. Without you and your shadow, we would have drowned before reaching the cliffs or been torn apart by a large group of scavengers after stumbling on them in the labyrinth."

    Visit ʟɪɢʜᴛɴᴏᴠᴇʟᴘᴜʙ.ᴄᴏᴍ, for the best no_vel_read_ing experience

    After that uncharacteristically long sentence, she fell silent and added after a while:

    "We're allies."

    Sunny nodded, knowing that she was right. Still, Nephis went above and beyond to keep him alive. Even if he had also done his part, not everyone would have gone to such lengths to return the favor.

    However, he didn't say anything about it. Mostly because he could already imagine her answer.

    Staring right at him, she would stay quiet for some time and then say something like "I just wanted to" or "It is what it is" in a flat tone. And then there would be an awkward silence.

    With a subtle smile, Sunny looked away.

    A minute or two later, he said:

    "It's you Flaw, isn't it? The pain you feel every time you use your Ability?"

    Nephis was silent for a while before answering. Then, she simply said:


    Sunny looked at her. Changing Star's profile was calm and distant. The wind was playing with her short silver hair.

    "What does it feel like?"

    She was staring into the distance.

    "Like burning alive."

    He sighed, trying to imagine what kind of suffering someone being burned alive would have to endure. As always, the Spell was vile and cruel.

    "I'm sorry," he said quietly after some time.

    Nephis shrugged, not turning her head.

    "It's just pain."

    Sunny looked away, trying to hide his expression.

    'Just pain.'

    These might have been the saddest words he had ever heard.

    Visit ʟɪɢʜᴛɴᴏᴠᴇʟᴘᴜʙ.ᴄᴏᴍ, for the best no_vel_read_ing experience
    read-content read-mode read-font