Chapter 366: The Only Escape From Eternity
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Astral left the train. It has been three hours since the train started traveling. In that three hours Nolan had stayed silent while looking at the object.

“That’s the real reason?”

“Yes. I didn’t lie to you.”

“I know,” Nolan agreed. “Because this should be expected. The world being saved won’t be enough.”

“We are attractors,” she whispered. “We draw from the source of power. We are lamps that attract all the good and evil that the universe has to offer. Each perpetual knows of this. This world are one of the sanctuary worlds that we can rest. There is no being like the Eon-Father here…but it only means that we are easily susceptible to cosmic forces. That is another one of our curse.”

She looked at him.

“What?”

“I expected a reaction.”

Nolan blinked. “Do you know what they always say about good times?”

She looked down.

“It never last,” Nolan replied. “You know this. I know this.”

“Still, do you find it uncomfortable?”

“I do. How long will it take?”

“I don’t know. We just need to get rid of that.”

“Can we?”

Ashia stayed silent. “I don’t know.”

Nolan turned his attention to the object above. A faint glow covered the object. Enhancing his vision he saw an atmosphere around the object, green continents, and a vast ocean. His eyes couldn’t penetrate the thick dense cloud, but there were concrete and cobble work that form a star-like pattern.

“Did they try anything?”

“Audrey slowed it down and it’s now traveling below the speed of sound. There were actually three of them, it had two moons and one of them were naturally resistant to the source of power. I have some resemblance to the tug because of her memories. But my current soul’s not strong enough to handle it.

“So you want me to handle it?”

“Yes. I believe in you.”

“I see.”

Nolan smiled. “So they want to grant me something in the mountain?”

“No. They want to welcome you as guardian. That’s all there is to it.”

“Any ideas where should I hit it? I think I have enough power to sidestep it.”

There were a slight light in her eyes. “Will you be okay?”

Nolan set his jaws. “I am. I have a tug on the power of creation. I know I can win.”

“Audrey will help you.”

Nolan eyed her. “It kind of bothers me that you are taking this well.”

Ashia looked up. “I’ve known you for too long, Nolan. You fought demons while having nothing other than the sword we recycled, you used every possibly weapon you have in your disposal, and woke up in fields of corpses, braced your shoulders against a wave of flesh, and even fought beings far stronger than you. Do you know that they always make a bet about you?”

“I know. I keep betting on myself and those idiots didn’t know. Ashia, you know that I am not brave. I am not stubborn as well. I can be reasonable and unreasonable if I have to. What keeps me moving is the thought that at least when I die. I know that I have done everything I can. I intend to deserve my death. Yet…I seem unable to do that.”

“I noticed. I remember the timelines. Compared to the days you have given up. The days you didn’t were much longer. Honestly, I thought of you as insane. Tell me, why do you fight?”

Nolan blinked. “Why ask me this now?”

“I want to.”

“Because I can. I don’t know why people keep asking me that. I might be insane to those who hear me. But what’s so wrong in doing your best? I fight because I want to. I keep moving forward because I want to.”

“That’s a lie, isn’t it?”

“…”

“You know it as well. Do you know what one of the reasons I rejected you for so long?”

“Duty.”

“I am not that simpleminded,” she argued. “Being courted for thirty-years in that timeline, after being treated like some cursed woman, and someone showed up, showing that he can wait for me, and become a friend that I can rely on. You were my confidant and before long someone I loved. Still, I know why you ‘think’ that you fell in love with me. You want someone to light your way, and you wanted to believe that. I’ve always hated seeing that in you. “

Nolan rubbed his chin. “I thought of that. I saw how determine you are and wanted to follow you. I was using you as an excuse to keep moving forward. I was a beggar, a tavern boy, and a guardsman before I met you. Of course, it wasn’t just because of you. A friend of mine wanted to be a part of the light’s’ war. I followed him and kept you as an inspiration. I admired you and used that admiration. I mistook that admiration for love, and I admit that. But, I am telling the truth that I do indeed think that I should welcome it, and not fear it. I intend to deserve my death. Of course, there are days that I can rust and stagger, and when I break…I still get up foolishly.”

Ashia stared, but said nothing for a second. “These moments may not last…but I intend to make it all count. I just wish that our days would continue to be peaceful.”

“I wish as well,” Nolan eyed the object above the planet. “But we aren’t given that rest. We could only live as best as we could.”

Nolan knew that already.

He had already been given the answer to his dilemma a long time ago by the Old Revenant on how he could end his eternity of fighting.

You cannot escape this unless you kill her.

She is your bane.

She is your nightmare.

In order to save your soul, you have no choice but to kill her. You have no choice. If you want to end this fate then you have no choice, but to  surpass, and defeat her. All of her. But…

She is your heart as well.

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