Chapter 27 – What lies beyond death (3 – last)
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5, Month Fall-Amberine, Year 2763 B.A.

08:45, Leogella Tribe - Town Square

 

So, he truly is still alive...

Swoosh!

The undying body was such a logic-defying physique indeed. Even with a severed head, Yao’s body could still operate on its own. The body swung the ax around protectively around itself.

“…”

While he was resurrecting, Isabella rearranged her thoughts and considered her options. She already knew that with her comprehension of law. While she could kill him, she could never stop him to resurrect. Her power was still lacking.

I could try to kill him more…

Killing him until his regeneration power ran out would be the first option. But it would also the most impossible one. To kill him, Isabella would be required to use her Law of Death otherwise she wouldn’t be a match for him at all.

But was her law unlimited? No.

While a true sage could indeed utilize the infinite power of the universe, Isabella wasn’t at that level yet. Her law usage was a child's play level at best. The way she used it was the same as when mage used their mana. She had to gather the law into her magic circle first.

This meant that her power had a limit.

She could use it three… no one or two times at most, considering her injury.

Would killing him two more times be enough? Isabella wouldn’t be that optimistic. This meant the first option was out.

The other way would be…

Isabella sunk her mind into her storage ring. Inside, there was a new item that she hadn’t had before—a black orb. This orb contained the true Purgatory Flame that SealedFate had. It was a joint effort between Isabella and him. This was only possible after she had a breakthrough and went over to the Demon Mountain Range to meet with him.

The amount SealedFate could generate was not large, as his level was only at a triangle phase. That was why they could only make 1 orb.

This would be the most optimal strategy.

There is only one chance to do it...

While she could indeed utilize the law two more times, the second one would not be effective as the first. The more she used it against him, the more Yao could adapt to it. So instead of dividing her little power into two, Isabella would rather use it in one big attack.

Everything will decide in the next attack!

She first cast some spells onto herself. The uses of them were limit, but it was still better than nothing.

The first spell was Wind Blinding. Its benefits were probably not much. But at least it could make her attack became harder to block. And it would probably come in handy against Yao later on.

The second one was Wind Walking. This resulted in increasing her movement speed as it allowed the wind to assist her action. Also not that effective, but it still did something.

The last spell that Isabella used was the Wind Mirage. This spell multiplied her body into 10 bodies. They were just an illusion from the wind, of course.

These three spells allowed her to become faster, harder to see, and caused confusion to her attack pattern. Isabella wanted to use more, but she also had to conserve some mana to attack.

The effect of them combine would be somewhat effective against him.

This was then Yao finished his resurrection and stared at the scene in front of him.

After the mana congregated above his neck, his head began to regenerate. And slowly, Yao, with his body intact, smiled at Isabella.

“Not bad.” he said.

With his power, all the illusions were meaningless. But when the life and death situation came, some slight confusion would result in death instantly. That was why these spells were not simple as they seemed.

“Hah!”

Yao knew he couldn’t let himself be in a defensive situation. He had to break all these illusions. His mana congregated in his right arm, and his muscles grew bigger.

“Heaven Splitting!”

With a swing of his ax, the stage broke in two. The power of his attack even resulted in an earthquake. Smoke and dust rose from the ground. Some dust even flew past some of Isabella’s bodies… No, her illusions.

With just a single move, he rendered all the illusions to become useless!

Isabella’s face turned cold, and she dashed toward him.

Isabella dismissed all the control she had on her Wind Mirage. They were not effective anyway. She just let them attack randomly, hoping that it would cause some confusion to Yao.

—Or that was what Isabella was hoping he would think.

After all, an illusion was something that would never work when casting in front of the opponent.

How could she still randomly choose to cast such a spell and even in front of Yao?

Her true objective never lied in the illusion itself in the first place.

What was Wind Mirage? The name of it already implied the essence. It used the wind to create an illusion. It was illusion magic, but it was also wind.

Her intention was never to create the illusion.

Isabella wanted to create more wind!

All Isabella’s bodies—her illusion—started to run around Yao mysteriously. Some tried to attack in between, but the true aim of them was never to cause damage—just causing some confusion. They ran and ran.

Slowly, all the wind in the area got guided by them. It started to form a wind stream and slowly a mini-tornado.

“This…!” looking at the strange action of all the illusion caused Yao to become apprehensive. But he was fearless. With an ax in hand, he charged out—wanting to get out of the encirclement.

But this was when his earlier action made him came to bite him in the back.

The dust that he created had caused the tornado to become more than just wind. The tornado, combined with dust and debris, suddenly had a mass that air could never achieve.

“Such trick!” Yao growled.

Another tremendous amount of mana concentrated on his arm again, this time larger than before. The full force of the perfect circle mage exploded, and the air trembled. He used the spell Unholy Force to boost his strength.

He spun his ax in an opposite direction of the tornado, wanting to dispel it. His strength was so strong that each slash of him could split even the heaven.

With only but a few swings, the tornado slowly dissipated.

Against the strong, all tricks would be useless.

After he cleared out the tornado, Yao looked in front—hoping to find the catgirl that caused him such a headache.

“…!”

But he couldn’t find her.

She had disappeared.

A hunch suddenly flashed in his mind.

He wanted to turn back, but it was all too late.

“You really had one trick, huh—Ugh!”

 


After the tornado started forming, Isabella never stopping moving. She circled around and got behind Yao quietly.

All the spells she had used before were for this moment.

After she had performed a similar trick against him successfully 3 days ago, Isabella had known one thing.

Yao lacked awareness of his back.

This was such a fatal weakness for any expert, but Yao could get away with it with his undying body. He never feared death. That was why he also never feared a sneak attack on his back.

The undying body of Yao, while it made him invincible, it was also the cause of his one fatal weakness, his lack of danger sensing ability.

If something caused him to be preoccupied, one could get behind his back easily. That was why Isabella was trying times and times again to get behind him by causing some commotion.

The only time that she failed was on the main street, which she didn’t attract his attention well enough.

Now, with such commotion occurred. How could he still be able to spot an invisible person?

That was why he reacted too late.

“You really had one trick, huh—”

Isabella readied her sword and stabbed him straight in the back. The sword penetrated cleanly all the way through the front of his chest. This attack contained all the Law of Death that Isabella still had left.

“Ugh!!!” Yao groaned. He grabbed the sword on his back and threw it away. But the damage had already been done. The power of the law of the world invaded his body. His heart that got destroyed by the stab couldn’t regenerate—at least not as fast as he could regenerate it before.

He spouted out a mouthful of blood, and his face grew pale.

But he was not dead. He was still alive.

“You couldn’t kill me…” while weak, Yao said. The attack got him, but it was never enough. His undying physique still held on.

“No.” Isabella shook her head. She retrieved a black orb from her storage ring. This situation was, ironically, the same as when she tried to kill him before. But many things had changed since then.

She had broken through and was much more powerful than before.

And the orb in her hand, this time, was real.

All of this happened shortly after she found a tablet in the cave. It was such a miraculous event that Isabella still couldn’t believe it even now.

“This is the end!” Isabella shouted. She grabbed the black orb in her arm and crushed it. “Behold, the blessing I got from my sage!”

A fire broke out. It was the Purgatory Flame. The dark flame that was darker than the darkness, yet holier than the light flashed out.

Yao panicked at the sight. He knew instinctively what this fire was. He twisted his body around, hoping to avoid the flame that tried to come close to his wound. But Isabella didn’t allow it. She used her left hand to grab Yao and forced the flame—coiling around her right arm—inside his chest wound.

“Arghh!”

Without a heart, a mortal would surely die. The only thing that kept him alive this long was his undying body and his power of resurrection.

But it would end now.

“Noooo!”

As if sensing their natural enemy, the Purgatory Flame quickly rushed inside Yao’s body. The flame had a natural attribute to dispel the element in the dark spectrum, and that included the death element.

His heart, that was already slow to heal from the Law of Death, stopped regenerating all together.

“I am dying…?”

Without a heart, there would be no pumping blood to the peripheral organs.

Slowly, his body ceased to function. His brain lacked the oxygen and energy to operate, and his other organs became defunct.

“No! I don’t want to die!”

It was only then that the natural instinct returned to his mind. The fear of death that Yao was lacking his entire life.

It came at the only time that it was effective—just before his death.

“I don’t want to…”

As his external vision became a blur, he could see more clearly inside himself. The memory of his life flashed before his eyes. Yao saw himself growing up, failing, fighting, winning, conquering, and dying.

“I… I see…”

No matter what life he had, it all ended now.

“Truly a pity... that I could never become a sage in this lifetime.”

Yao cried out deliriously as the Purgatory Flame burned his body, interfering with his resurrection process.

Farewell… Isabella… I hope... you would not end up like me...

He could no longer stand and fell down to the ground powerlessly. He lifted his right hand toward the sky, only for it to drop down to the ground again.

So... This is... what lies beyond death.”

The dying voice of Yao quieted down as his soul slowly leaving his body.

Ah… If... I... more…”

After the flame faded, his body was no more.

He died.

What did he actually see?

What actually lied beyond death?

Perhaps only the dead could know.

 


...”

Isabel!”

Isabella smiled as she listened to the crying shout of the woman she vowed to protect—Aila.

She turned around and saw the princess running toward her. Aila’s manner was all but gone as she used both of her hands to lift the dress and run unsightly. Her makeup was a mess from all the crying she made today.

But a smile was all Aila needed to become beautiful. Isabella looked at the smile that she had protected today and her heart grew warm.

Her eyes became slightly moist. Before she knew it, Isabella was crying too.

The two girls hugged each other tightly. And they would never let each other go for a long, long time.

Isabella forgot all the words that Yao had said at that moment. She stopped caring about the mystery of the death.

I am still alive...

And she would cling to it, no matter what.

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