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The Beginning After The End Chapter 335
My mana arrow hit the clod of earth in midair, causing it to explode into a cloud of sand. The arrow continued its trajectory to the golem that had just launched the ground attack, hitting it in the right temple. Although part of the golem’s head collapsed, apparently it wasn’t enough to count as a kill, as the animated pile of earth and rocks shuffled aside, preparing for another attack. Must watch God of Martial Arts manga with subtitles for free.
At the same time, a second golem appeared, rising from the ground as if it were melting backwards. He had a huge stone ax pointed at my head. I let out a snort.
“Clops of earth and blunt axes? I trained with a Spear , Hornfels,” I said lightly as I dodged a clumsy blow from the axe-wielding golem.
The ax came in a sideways motion aimed at my hip, but I rolled it back over my shoulder. Reinforcing my bow with mana, I tripped the golem, then placed two gleaming arrows on my elven bowstring before rising to my feet again. Splitting the mana arrows with my finger, I launched them in slightly different trajectories so that one pierced the chest of the ax-wielding golem while the second hit the clod thrower in the throat.
“Nice shot, Ellie!” My new friend Camellia yelled.
I gave the young elf a toothy smile, then squealed in surprise as the ground beneath me turned to mud. As I dropped to my knees, three more golems rose from the ground and faced me.
I threw myself into the mud to avoid a crushing blow from a stone fist. The ground hardened again, trapping half of me in the rocky cave floor. I spat out a lot of mud.
“Eww,” I moaned, trying to adjust my position but completely stuck.
“Don’t forget, I also trained with a Spear, you skinny overconfident one,” Hornfels said jovially.
Soft footsteps darted towards me. “It’s all right?” Camellia asked.
Hornfels let out a low chuckle and the stone turned to sand, releasing me. “She will be fine. Don’t flatter her, girl. The girl already thinks she is too much.”
I got out of the sand hole and cleaned myself up. “I’m not arrogant!”
Someone snorted sarcastically, and I turned to see two familiar figures walking towards us.
“Jasmine! Emily!” I yelled excitedly. “Did you come to see how amazing I was?”
“No, not arrogant at all…” Camellia joked. I playfully shoved her shoulder and she nudged me in the ribs, then jumped before I could catch her back.
“I just needed to make sure she wasn’t getting into trouble,” Jasmine said, indicating Camellia.
The serious adventurer hasn’t changed much since I was a kid. I liked all the Twin Horns, but secretly I was a little scared of Jasmine. When Helen, Durden and Angela Rose were originally brought to the sanctuary, Jasmine hadn’t come with them. Camellia had told me all about how Jasmine had saved her, so I was glad she was back.
“Actually, we were looking for Hornfels,” Emily interrupted. “Helen suggested that we also do some training time.”
Unlike Jasmine, Emily had changed a lot in a very short period of time. There was a hardened tone to her that she definitely hadn’t had before, and sometimes I’d notice her go a little hollow and cold. She cut her hair off after it was burned in an explosion, but at least her eyebrows were growing again.
I was so happy when she arrived with the Twin Horns and Gideon. We weren’t best friends or anything, but Emily was always nice to me, and she even made a custom bow back then that took advantage of my pure mana techniques.
She was a total genius, so it wasn’t exactly surprising that she’d found a way to survive. She and Gideon were captured by the Alacryans and forced to work for them, but the Twin Horns helped to save them. Or did they help save Jasmine? I was still a little confused by the details.
She was almost as upset as I was to learn that my bow was destroyed. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any of the tools or resources she needed to make another one at the sanctuary, so I had to settle for a training bow.
It was still great to have them both back. And seeing more familiar faces had been good for Mom too. She started to come back to life a little bit when she realized that many of our friends were still alive out there, just waiting for help.
“I’m almost done with Princess Leywin anyway,” Hornfels sneered, making Camellia laugh.
“Hey!” I said indignantly.
“Another princess? Just what we needed…” Jasmine said, and she looked so serious I couldn’t tell if she was joking or not.
“Don’t mind her,” Camellia said, wrinkling her nose. “She’s just not very good at expressing herself.”
Jasmine raised an eyebrow at the elf girl. “Careful, Chata .”
Camellia crossed her arms and stuck her tongue out at Jasmine.
“All right then,” said Hornfels, laughing out loud. “With the Watsken girl I am familiar with, but you will have to show me your skills, Ms. Flamesworth…”
My attention strayed from the others as Jasmine and Hornfels began discussing the fight.
We had chosen a flat ridge overlooking most of the cave to be our training ground. It was far enough away that we didn’t accidentally break something in the process. I also liked it because it overlooked the village and almost all the houses here, as well as most of the tunnels leading out of the city.
Curtis and Kathyln Glayder were marching quickly towards the tunnel that led to the teleport gate. After what happened in Elenoir, most of us never left the sanctuary, but the Glayders, along with a few other strong mages, were still on a mission to look for more refugees.
The members of our expedition to Elenoir got very close after we all got back from Elenoir. Kathyln described this as “shared guilt.” Each of us thought we could—should—have done more to ensure Tessia was safe.
The only one who didn’t seem interested in talking to us was the elven guard, Albold. Apparently, he wanted to go back to the forest almost immediately when Tessia and I didn’t come back, but Virion wouldn’t let him. So when Bairon confirmed that Elenoir was completely gone, well…
I shook my head. I tried to consider what it would feel like to know that Sapin was just… gone, but…
“Ellie, are you okay?” Camellia asked, nudging me with her elbow.
“Of course,” I said as I slung my bow over my shoulder. “I’m really tired… I’ll call it a day, ok?”
Nodding to the others, I turned and began the long descent into town, not knowing what to do with myself. I was tired, but I was also…
I had no idea, actually. I never knew how to feel anymore, so I just started pushing everything to the bottom.
Is that how you handled it, brother? I thought.
Sighing, I kicked a rock at the natural ramp I was descending. She was rolling to the edge, eventually falling with a splash into the creek.
It didn’t help that I was surrounded by people who had lost everything. I lost my father and brother – and my childhood – to the war, but then I thought of Camellia… her entire family was killed during the invasion, her house was gone, most of the people she knew were dead…
I wanted to understand this. I wanted to help Camellia and Virion and everyone else, but I just couldn’t understand what they had experienced.
Albold was the only other elven member of our group. Maybe it was selfish of me, but it felt like he was my connection to what happened. I wanted him to help me understand what he was feeling, but he practically hid.
There were other elves I could talk to, of course. Commander Virion was in meetings all the time, and as much as I wanted to talk to him, I hadn’t had permission for weeks.
Rinia said she was too weak to receive visitors but had not returned to the shrine. I got the feeling that something was going on between Virion and her. I just couldn’t guess what. And since neither of them was talking to me, well…
Camellia’s presence was a good thing, at least. There were a few other children in the sanctuary, but no one who understood what I went through the way she did. Maybe it was because we were so alike that we both struggled to really understand what had happened. Before Jasmine saved her, she had already lost her entire family and seemed a bit numb when it came to the attack on her homeland.
There were others too, but no one I could talk to. If Tessia was still here, she could-
Could it be? I remembered that moment in the little elven town, with Tessia, beautiful, standing above her shocked and confused people…
Shaking my head, I let that thought go. Instead, my mind went back to Albold. I had looked for him a few times over the past few weeks, but I hadn’t found him. Still, trying again wouldn’t hurt, I told myself, and maybe he needed to talk to me as much as I needed to talk to him.
Although I was sure he wouldn’t be there, I went to the town hall first. Albold hadn’t been on any of his regular guard shifts since I gave my report to the council, but I really didn’t know where else to look.
As I expected, two unknown guards flanked the door, while the elf named Lenna was standing at the foot of the stairs. She was watching me approach.
I hadn’t come within ten yards of her when she said, “Sorry, Ms. Leywin, the Commander is not available.”
“Actually,” I began nervously, “I was looking for the guard, Albold. You-“
“Albold is still on leave from the injury,” she interrupted me, speaking firmly.
I happened to know that my mother personally tended to the elf’s wounds moments after he teleported back to the sanctuary. Although there had been some lingering discomfort for a while, he had returned to his duties almost immediately. Still, it was no use arguing with the head of the guard. I also knew what she would say when I asked where he was now, but I tried anyway.
“As I said before, Albold was given a private cave outside of town and asked not to be disturbed. I’m sure he’ll let you know when he’s feeling better.” The way she said it made it very clear how likely she thought Albold would come to me for anything.
I wanted to be mad at her attitude, but then I thought of Elenoir again and my stomach lurched. “Sorry to bother you. Thanks for your time and”—I struggled to say something, feeling more awkward with each word—“your service,” I finished with a shudder.
Turning around the corner from City Hall, I intended to go into one of the alleys and just walk a little, but a noise from inside the big building interrupted me.
As I listened more closely, I noticed there was a sound-dampening spell, but someone screamed loud enough for my sensitive ears to pick up.
Looking around to make sure no one was watching, I approached the side of town hall where the big conference room was, but there was something there, like an electrical charge in the atmosphere or an overwhelming pressure, enough to make my ears pop. Even though I wasn’t sure what was causing it, I trusted my instincts enough not to get any closer.
There was a small communal garden next to the town hall. It just grew roots and mushrooms and stuff, so I didn’t normally spend a lot of time there, but it was the perfect disguise now.
Sitting in the middle of the garden, I pretended to be examining the plants. Instead, I activated the first phase of my bestial will. Noises from across the cave flooded my ears as my senses sharpened dramatically, so it took me a few seconds to carefully filter everything. I focused on City Hall, listening to Virion’s growling voice.
“—artifacts that were promised to us. This lie you made me tell is only worth it if we—”
Another voice interrupted the commander. “The lie you agreed to tell is best for everyone, Virion, as we discussed at length. I understand you are eager to retake your continent, but the artifacts are not ready yet. Nor, by the way, are the asuras.”
Although I hadn’t heard this second voice in years, I knew immediately who it was. There was no way to forget the man – or deity – who gave me Boo.
But what were they talking about? Lies? Artifacts? I did not understand.
Virion’s voice was a growl as he replied, “Damn games, Windsom. Do not think that I have forgiven your crime against my people. I only divulge your lie because I have no other choice. Knowing what the asuras have done would destroy what little hope remains in Dicathen.”
“You are correct,” Windsom said, his voice cold and emotionless. “You don’t have a choice, Commander Virion. If you wish to lead your people – elves, humans and dwarves – in this war, it is essential to convince everyone that the destruction of Elenoir was an act of the Vritra clan.”
“The story worked well on Epheotus,” Windsom continued. “Even the remaining basilisk clans began to appear. Soon, Lord Indrath will have enough support to pursue a full-scale war.”
“But will Dicathen be protected?” Virion asked – a little nervous, I noticed.
“You have my word,” Windsom replied firmly. “Lord Indrath earnestly wishes Dicathen not to be harmed by this war. As for the Alacryan population, well, it’s regrettable…”
“And my granddaughter?” Virion fired back. “Will it be more collateral damage to your war? You told me you would find her, asura.”
“I’m afraid I don’t have anything new to report on this matter,” Windsom confirmed. “We only know that Tessia’s vessel – her body – is currently in Alacrya, but the Epheotus clans are not aware of this reincarnation technique Agrona used. In case it is not reversible, you should be prepared to—”
Reincarnation? My heart pounded so hard in my chest that it drowned out Windsom’s words. With my brother?
A slight snap made me jump, and suddenly all I could see was the big, furry body of my link. His head spun for danger, and as he turned, his big ass knocked me over. My concentration on keeping my beast active broke and the heightened senses vanished.
“Boo!” I grunted as I tried to sit up, but I couldn’t because of the wall of fur hanging over me.
He let out a growl that shook the ground.
“No, I’m not in danger! I was just-“
Another bang, this time accompanied by a moan.
“Well, I’m sorry I interrupted your hunt, but I didn’t ask you to—”
The huge bear-like mana beast leaned back with a snarl , crushing a smattering of glowing mushrooms.
“Hello Eleanor,” said a voice nearby, making me scream. Boo was up again in an instant, his size obscuring the speaker.
Grabbing a handful of the fur from my link, I got up and walked around him. Windsom was standing outside the garden, hands behind his back.
“Um, hello…sir?” I said nervously. Did he somehow notice that I was eavesdropping on his conversation? What would he do to me if he knew I heard…?
To my surprise, the asura sat down on a large boulder outside the garden and raised his hand towards Boo. My link approached him cautiously, sniffing at his outstretched hand. Then my bond’s behavior seemed to change, and he licked the asura.
My mouth dropped open as Windsom let out a small laugh. “Apparently he remembers me.” He started scratching Boo’s forehead between the white marks above his eyes, and his hind paw started tapping the floor in pleasure.
We sat in silence for a few seconds. My mind was blank with fear.
“You know, I intended to get back to you eventually,” Windsom said, his gaze on Boo’s broad head. “You need to know more about your bond if you want to start the assimilation phase of…”
His head turned to me, and I could practically feel his eyes dig into me, looking down to my core. “Fascinating,” he muttered. “You have completed the assimilation phase and can use your beast’s will. And did you manage this without help?”
My tongue seemed to swell up to the size of Boo’s mouth, and I couldn’t respond. Was it some elaborate trick to get me to reveal that I was spying on them?
“I’m making you nervous,” Windsom observed. “I speak with so few of your kind. My apologies.”
Boo turned to me and nudged my arm with his broad head. When he touched me, heat spilled from my core, driving away the fear. I let out a deep breath.
Windsom smiled, and I could see his eyes tracking the movement of the warm glow as it moved all over my body. “You really made good progress with your bond. Once again, I apologize for not having this conversation before. I didn’t imagine you would complete your assimilation without my help.”
I looked at the backs of my hands and my arms, where the fine hairs stood on end. “What… what kind of mana beast is Boo anyway?”
“We just call them guardian beasts,” Windsom replied, shifting her seat so that it was facing me. “They are begotten – or perhaps bred is a better term – by Clan Grandus of the titanic race. The whole purpose of a guardian beast becomes the protection of its bond.”
“What else can he do?” I asked breathlessly, my eyes locked on Boo’s, my fear forgotten. I knew he wasn’t a normal mana beast, but I never imagined he was some kind of super mana beast from Epheotus.
“Their powers manifest differently based on their form,” Windsom continued, “but all guardian beasts are made for protection, and so they can sense when their bond is in danger and teleport to them a great distance away, if necessary. Eventually, this guardian bear will be able to protect you in other ways as well, such as absorbing physical damage to your body and taking the wounds himself.”
“Oh,” I said softly, running a hand over Boo’s neck. “I’m not sure I like this very much.”
Windsom gave me a curious look. “That is the purpose of a guardian beast. A guard bear can also inspire great courage in your bond, allowing you to overcome your fear when necessary, as I believe you have just experienced.”
“When I channel Boo’s beast’s will, I can…um…” I trailed off, realizing I didn’t really want to talk about my heightened senses.
“It gives you a glimpse into the beast’s own senses, yes,” Windsom said, catching my train of thought. “It can be quite powerful. The second phase should then manifest some of your bond strength and fighting ability, but it differs from asura to asura, and I honestly can’t tell you how a human will adapt to the second phase. It is possible – very likely indeed – that you will never pass the integration phase.”
I nodded slowly. Virion had said something similar when I asked him about my wild will. Apparently, it was very common for beast tamers to stop at the assimilation stage, and some could not even assimilate properly.
“Why did you give me Boo?” I asked, unable to suppress the thought. Now that I knew the truth about what Boo was, it seemed pretty unlikely that a deity would decide to just hand me one of their special guardian beasts.
Windsom was silent for a while, pondering. A frown slowly furrowed his brow, and I felt his strangling aura leak out for an instant. Then he got up. “I’m afraid I must go back to Epheotus.”
He looked at me and instead of being drawn to his weird cosmic eyes, I felt my body trying to pull away from him. It only took another second to figure out why.
The night sky over Elenoir, that’s what his eyes looked like… Before he and Aldir destroyed the entire country , I remembered with a shiver of fear.
“Know that your brother is not forgotten among the asuras, Eleanor. You were important to him and therefore you are important to us. That’s why I gave you a guardian beast.”
Before I could respond, the asura was gone. Enjoy Netflix Mod APK For PC with unlimited premium facilities.
I sat in the garden for a long time after that, thinking. I still wasn’t sure if Windsom somehow realized I’d overheard him and Virion or not. Is that why he decided to tell me about Boo now? I thought. To distract me? Or maybe show me that he wasn’t a threat, that he still cared about us?
I wanted to go mad, but if Commander Virion was willing to go along with this lie to save Dicathen, then what right did I have to question him?
Then I thought of Albold, who wanted to know the truth more than anything. Don’t he and the rest of the survivors deserve to know the truth? I asked myself.
Wrapping my forearms around my knees, I curled up and wished, not for the last time, that Arthur or Tessia were there with me.