Chapter 365: Astral
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“She’s here,” Ashia said.

“Already?” Nolan nodded. “I’ll be back.”

Nolan was in a train alongside Ashia. The trip was going to be long so he took the time to rest inside the cabin. But hearing Ashia, he pushed the window up, and slid out of the train and landed softly on the ground. The train speeding away.

 A woman with blazing red hair, slit eyes, and two hidden arms clasped behind her back that it made it looked like a strange belt.

“Uh-uh,” she said, examining Nolan. “So this is the man that broke the icy walls of the Mocker of Ancients. Hmm, you do have something inside of you. Still, some had their heads split open trying to break those walls.”

“I was the first,” Nolan argued. “May I know your name?”

“Astral,” she said. “I am one of the Ancients that heed the call. If you are strong then I shall welcome you as Guardian.”

“Very well,” Nolan conjured a single-edged blade. “Let’s dance then!”

A devilish smile erupted from the face of this woman.  Earth erupted as a lance made of earth that was taller than her was thrust towards him. Nolan parried that attack, he slid to her guard, and slashed his sword. She blocked the sword, and was thrown away by the sheer force of his strength. Nolan took a single step and appeared before her, blade raised towards her rolling back. She pivoted, spun, and blocked his blade. She gave a grin as she used her earth-lance to keep her balance.

Nolan didn’t let her. He kept on interrupting every action that she does. He gave no quarter to the woman named Astral. Forcing her to continuously block. Nolan repeated his blows until the woman named Astra pulled on the powers. A lance made of earth rushing towards Nolan in every direction, like a hundred bees that contained speed and power capable of breaking the sound. Nolan had felt that there was a grand spell placed around this deserted and barren land. The sky were tinted a bit gray and he caught the sight of the broken lands being reformed, not to mention that he felt Audrey’s power. Was she watching?

Thousands of lances formed underneath the earth that he stood. Above and below there was a rain of lances that intended to skewer Nolan. As the lances tip met Nolan, they all phased through his skin. Like a flash of light, Nolan swung his blade, slicing vertically in front, tearing through Astral and carving a part of a plateau.

Her arm flew, rotating madly before landing on the ground.

“Even my curses couldn’t reach you,” she said, a weary smile on her face.  “Are you perhaps possessed by one?”

“Do you want to see?”

“No thank you,” she grew her arm back. “I can tell from the curse alone that it would be something I don’t want to see. Spare me of that, I rather not think of it.”

“The spell?”

She clapped her hand. The dome that tinted the area shattered into a thousand shards of light, like broken glasses turning into swarm of fireflies. The sun appeared before them. She stretched her arms and wrapped her extra arms around her waist.

“You make me feel weak. I guess the Mocker wouldn’t just be with someone strong. We should catch up. I want to see what that woman has been doing ever since she humiliated the rest of us.”

Nolan flew like a bullet and saw the train. Seeing the window’s cabin, he slid inside, followed by Astral who sat on Ashia’s side. Ashia eyed Astral with a gentle expression.

“That was fast.”

“Well, none of my invisible lances seems to work on him.”

Nolan thought of the prickling sensation that he felt. His body registers everything that might hurt him and phase through it. Not to mention that the runes carved into his bones and soul were neutralizing every spell. He had hunted monsters, demons, and even those who’d call themselves as gods. It was easy to replicate the effects of the oils that used to neutralize monster’s ability. One good rune that emits a wave of it when closed to him was all what he needed.

“Well, you are fighting my husband after all,” she said, her face so proud. “It would be odd if he does lost to anyone of you when you are all so weakened by age.”

“This is coming from your mouth. Things really do change so easily. I figured you to be a single-minded woman who only cares about your duties, so it is nice seeing something other than the look of stone in your face. I hope you didn’t fall too quickly.”

“No, that can’t be right,” she said. “He waited for me for a thousands of years unimaginable and I only ran away from him. If anything, I should be glad that we finally stopped and thought about it.”

“Hah,” she said, shaking her head. “I wish someone would wait for like that. Alas, the life of the perpetual isn’t as easy. Anyway, I am glad to have another one in the fray. Still, I would like to warn you, Ashia.”


“Someone strong has appeared as well. She is a blur and her aura brings fortune as well. We believe that she was a threat, but her actions so far are normal, and she’s living so quiet that we had decided to leave her alone instead of provoking her. She’s a god-caller and that alone is enough for the Guardians.”

“Do you know where she is?” Ashia asked, hand on her chin.

“No, not at the moment. We prefer not stepping on her foot while she enjoys her life. Besides, we have something more pressing to look forward to.”

Her eyes traveled to the outside world. The object above the sky seem to grow larger. That round object with a faint glow was getting nearer and nearer to the planet.

“A troublesome thing isn’t it?” Astral said. “I hope to welcome you to our ranks, Bleak Walker.”

Ashia stayed silent, arms folded, eyes watching the object that was getting nearer every single day.