Rebirth Online World

Creating, Telling, Sharing Dreams

Earth's Core

Chapter 263 - How Long?


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A mixture of dazed, flabbergasted and excited reception waited for Zax at Green Snow village. Several even gasped frighteningly when the carcass of the Four Wings Stork was recognized.

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There were Zax’s family and friends, who initially arrived to check on him after his closed doors session was extended beyond the original date, his neighbors, who joined the gathering after his loud announcement and every Dark Glow member currently present in the village.
 
Many more in the village were on their way to arrive, but apart from his announcement, every action Zax took, including his talk with Horn Kikon and slackened flight back, were still quite fast for everyone to converge before his return.
 
Seeing the welcoming faces, Zax smiled in embarrassment. What he just told to the entire world was too unbelievable and at a place such as Green Snow village, whether cultivators or regular villagers, all knew about the highest level of the known Martial path and that in this world the only six figures in this level are the sole rulers of this planet. Nevertheless, as exclusive as this level was, the person flying above them, who they were very much familiar with and in all sorts of relationships, has apparently strode upon this epitome of almost no rivals!
 
“M… Mister… Zax,” Huland’s voice wavered as he flew first to greet Zax. It was apparent that he was conflicted in as to how to refer to him and if he could uphold the same genial temperament of their previous interaction. After all, not his father or his esteemed Master were now experts that could be mentioned in the same breath as Zax.
 
Zax descended, looked friendly at Huland. He patted his shoulder as he passed him. ‘We’ll talk later. I believe it is time for me to answer your request. Oh, keep an eye on that for me”, he pointed with his thumb on the huge carcass. “See how it can be processed. If parts of it can be used as cultivation resources, please list it for me, anything else you can equally divide between your Dark Glow and Sinister Chain’.
 
“Yes”. Huland blabbered outloud, not yet fully digesting that the content of Zax’s words when suddenly he felt the weight of the carcass being released from Zax’s control and pushing the air as it plummeted. He hurriedly used his mist energy to catch it.
 
Not to his parents, his sisters, the rest of the family, friends or the sideline onlookers, but to Her Zax approached as if the world had only the two of them in it.
 
She watched as he got closer and closer. At first it seemed like he advances at a general direction in which she was yet another someone part of the view, but as their gazes interlocked her perception of the surrounding turned mute as all she could focus on was Him.
 
The drive was undoubtedly affection, but if being truly honest, for him it was also determination. Determination no regular person or cultivator of a lower caliber could match. And for her… in addition to love it was a portion of the new prowess oozing from him, which he had not yet realized he have to abate, else those too weak will be deprived from their bearing in his presence.
 
Finally, landing on the ground with his feet, he reached for a halt roughly twenty centimeters from her.
 
“Anet Lensi”, Zax gestured with his hand and the Four Wings Stork’s Pure Core appeared in his palm. “Will you marry me?”
 
“I… I…” Anything and everything that was happening, the atmosphere he exuded, the bizarre Pure Core with fiery attribute fluctuations and sudden proposal, it all took Anet by so much surprise she lost track of reality.
 
“You won’t?” Zax raised a brow, at last noticing his awe inspiring influence; he confined it and let the rest disperse. “Will you marry me, Anet?” He asked again, softly, leaning forward, as if to kiss her regardless of the answer.
 
They were all staring with bated breath. They were captured by his figure, but now their awareness of the surrounding and one another returned and specially fixated on two most prominent.
 
“Yes”. It came out as a whisper, not the consequence of embarrassment but the result of being too overwhelmed. “I will marry you-” She raised her voice, yet before she finished saying her reply he grabbed her shoulders, pulled her to his embrace and shut her mouth with a kiss.
 
“Hahaha! My son is getting married!” Marco shouted, among both regular villagers and high end cultivator, was actually the one to break the silence and initiate the joyful cheers.
 
“How fitting, Zax”, Serah teased from the side, as if they all returned to their juvenile past. “You had to become to strongest person in the world before having the guts to propose!” All the tension from trying to mediate the previous situation, before he exited his seclusion, and then from the shook of his announcement had vanished from her expression.
 
“Yahoo! I’m finally going to be a bridesmaid!” Liz applauded, mostly to herself. Because of the local custom in Grerown’s birthplace, his wedding with Zetsa was postponed; hence she had yet to play the part.
 
“Congratulation, guys!” Dane clapped, as many others.
 
“Laylen, we are officially to become a family!” Beka, Anet’s mother, hugged Laylen.
 
There were voices of joy and blessing from all over. Even those with no particular relationship to the Zel or Lensi families chipped in a few words out of courtesy. However, there were also, very few, faces who maintain solemn expressions.
 
Huland and couple more of the third realm cultivators from Dark Glow had smiling faces when Zax returned, and were even more affable when he exhibited no loftiness when he descended and patted their Leader’s shoulder. But, when the Overlord’s Pure Core was revealed, with an odd aura of fiery attribute in it, and used as a wedding ring, it was hard not to think of it as a waste. Most regrettably was that not only they could not do a thing about it, they were even afraid to remark outloud.
 
“Zax, when do you want to hold the wedding ceremony?” His grandpa inquired when his and Anet’s lips parted.
 
With a smile that could not go away, Zax located his grandfather in the crowd. “Soon, grandpa”, he took the opportunity to inform everyone at the same time. “There are couple of things both Anet and I must do and discuss before we announce the date”.
 
“Well, now we can at least celebrate the proposal!” Weysey, who came late and these days was a member of Dark Glow who happened to stay in Green Snow village, forced this way through. It was out of character to his perpetuate remoteness, which he displayed even with his girlfriend.
 
And so, at the same day a seventh expert surmounted the Martial Peak of New Earth, he also happened to celebrate his marriage proposal for a festive period that continued for two days and two nights.
 
Drinking, feasting, singing and dancing ensued. Unlike Anet, Zax had to loosen himself before he could feel comfortable with all the attention as he tried to enjoy each moment as a regular person. Green Snow village might have been larger than a typical village, but with its resources and proximity to one or two clans, it was easy to amass enough delicacies for as many humans and beasts who wished to join the celebration, either for the happy couple or their new idol, Zax.
 
And so, a sum of forty eight hours eventually passed.
 
Zax lay on his bed, with Anet in his embrace and nude, covered up to the waist by a thin, white sheet.
 
He felt her chest raising and falling as she breathed in the most serene of rhythms and the calm rubbed on him. He could also sleep and relaxed, but ultimately chose otherwise. Since there would be much to do when Anet will wake up, his only time to examine the changes in him was now.
 
He closed his eyes to fit the mood in the room, but instead of letting himself to sink in the void of blackness onto the valley of dreams, he manifested his naked self in his Inner Panorama.
 
‘How peculiar’. He muttered the moment he gauged the scene in his head, knowing that his reaction should be more astounded, yet he was not.
 
It was tranquil; now waves, not clouds, not quakes and it looked the same, apart from two things.
 
The first was the speck of dark light, the sixth bottleneck of insight. It floated in between heaven and earth, above the boundary of the land and sea. It appeared both within reach and untouchable.
 
The second was the soul. It was situated at the center of the land of the Inner Panorama. Before the breakthrough to the Mortal Enlightenment state it was dark and spherical, now though… a hand protruded from within, pushing the encompassing wall of the soul as if it was an extremely elastic membrane. The hand of the existence inside stuck out up to the shoulder, like that of a giant, its five fingers extended forward in a grabbing motion for the sixth bottleneck of insight.
 
As much as the hand extracted itself, it seemed to be at its limit and could not stretch the soul more toward the speck of dark light and now, for the meantime, was trapped in the position, at a length thirtieth part of the way from the object of its desire.
 
The more Zax concentrated on the two objects, the deeper the stupor his consciousness fell into. When he looked at the speck of dark light and tried to pondered about it, an invisible force repelled his awareness from anything he was about to deem as remotely interesting. And whenever he wondered about the actions of his spirit – he managed to discern that it was it – he received the impression that it was all natural.
 
‘Wrong, wrong. It’s wrong!’ Zax repeated in an attempt to resist the mellowing effect emanating from the two. ‘That is the last bottleneck of insight, a manifestation of dark element! I… should be curious, wanting to explore it, not disregard it! And this… is my spirit. Yes, I understand now. Even though it represents my essence, my entire being, for a long time it concealed its doings inside the soul from my awareness. I can’t pinpoint when it began to behave like that, but I think it was sometime after I comprehended the fourth or fifth bottleneck of insight. It could not be at the third… right?’ Again, slightly succumbing to the effect of the speck of dark light and spirit, he proceeded to doubting himself.
 
‘No!’ He bellowed and dark tempest stirred his Inner Panorama. Outside his sea of consciousness, his brows creased and the arm embracing Anet faintly tightened its muscles.
 
‘I won’t be deceived when things are right in front of my perception!’ He settled down and maintained an attentive mind.  ‘For my spirit to act this way, without me noticing until now, could mean that before it dropped the transparency it either develop second sentient that blocked my original one or everything it did, still does, was rather instinctive, beyond what I can fathom’.
 
He felt stronger assuredness toward the latter option and as he did, a sort of reconnection was made between his consciousness and spirit.
 
At that moment, lying on the bed, Zax opened his eyes wide and shut them again. From overlooking his spirit, he hastily averted his attention to the speck of dark light.
 
‘I need… you! My comprehension of you will succeed, not when I’ll manage to decipher you, but when my spirit will reach, grab and absorb you! Just like how it absorbed the dark attribute from the first Black Core and went through a fundamental transformation that changed my life, it will go through another, major transformation when it will make contact with your dark element!’ He spoke to the sixth bottleneck with anticipation and excitement, somewhat making it seem that it understood him.
 
‘But this road… it’s different from all of those I took before to comprehend the former five bottlenecks. Its complexity isn’t something I can accomplish in a simple sitting of closed doors training. If divided correctly, there are twenty nine more steps for my spirit to take before it will reach you and each of those steps is in need of unique enlightenment of its own on this path I chose to traverse’. With this realization his voice was muted and excitement subdued. ‘How long of a time is it gonna be?’ He feared that this new hurdle will hinder his Evolutionary Ascension to a date, post the imminent arrival of the Immortal powerhouses behind the five powers.
 
‘And there is another thing wrong…’

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