79 You Sure About This...?
"Uh....?" was the eloquent reply of Rider.
In but a single breath, Shuhang had made 4 people completely speechless. Looking at everyone's faces, Shuhang tilted his head in wonder.
"What? I'm serious you know?"
"THAT'S THE PROBLEM! BAKA!" shouted Rin right away.
"EH!?" responded Shuhang in complete shock.
"WHAT'S WITH THAT SHOCKED FACE, AAH?! YOU BETTER EXPLAIN YOURSELF PROPERLY!" said Rin in a threatening manner. 'Gandr' could even be seen taking form on her fingertips.
"--cough-- Okay okay. I won't play around anymore..." said Shuhang in a hurry as he could senses the eyes of everyone here starting to twitch dangerously. "But. I was truly serious in what I said before, Rider."
Once again, everyone went silent due to his answer. This time however, they were focusing their stares on Rider instead of Shuhang. More than likely, they were trying to understand what it was that Rider have which made Shuhang wanted 'her'. Being under intensive scrutiny from 3 pairs of eyes made Rider a tad bit uncomfortable so she forcefully asked Shuhang for his reason(s).
"What did you mean? And for what reason do I have to agree to your demand? Also, you still haven't answered my question from earlier. Why is Sakura here?"
"Hm. To answer your questions... One-- I need to gather people with high potential as well as those with lots of combat experience. Two and Three-- I can save Sakura. That is why she's here."
The moment the words 'save' and 'Sakura' were uttered in the same sentence, Shuhang had definitely received Rider's full undivided attention.
"What do you mean by 'save'?" asked Rider with a dangerous glare as well as a bit of hope laced within her voice.
"Well. Remember what I said earlier? How I 'came across' the Matou house hold? Well. I really was there you know. And it was definitely true that there were two people being burned alive in there."
At that reveal, both Rin and Rider put on a look of shock as if they had realized something.
"You..." said Rin in a grave tone. "Before Matou Zouken's death you see... I had read a bit of his memories. Actually, I'll just show you what I saw as words couldn't possibly explain it all properly."
Of course the 'memory reading' part was a lie. Shuhang didn't even want to see that disgusting piece of garbage that is 'Matou Zouken' and just directly burned down the whole place straight into slag.
With the snap of his finger, though a useless gesture, everyone were brought into a hastily made 'True Illusion'. One that was based on the memories of Matou Zouken, Sakura's adopted grandfather which Shuhang had secretly pulled from the 'hiding' Zouken himself. In said memories were nothing short of atrocities which Zouken called 'training'. Over and over, Sakura was violated by grotesque worms both in body and mind. Even her own 'brother' had....
Such scenes caused even the battle hardened King of Knights and 'Medusa' to almost be unable to stomach what they saw. As such, Shuhang had to cut the memories short after noticing how pale both Illya and Rin had become. After the 'True Illusion' was taken down, Illya seemed to have recovered a bit.
(Makes sense. Out of everyone here, she's the most experienced Magus after all. Rin on the other hand looks like she's starting to hyperventilate... to see your own beloved little sister go through such things every day. Sigh...)
Without a word, Shuhang had pulled Rin into a hug and allowed her to sob and vent out her feelings.
After about 10 minutes passed, Shuhang could feel that Rin's shaking had finally stopped.
"I'm fine now, Shuhang. '....th...ou....'"
Taking one last look at Rin, Shuhang wordlessly nodded his head and faced Rider.
"Zouken is still not dead. Inside of those... worms you all saw, are pieces of that old wind bag's soul. I have burned every traces of said worms that exists in this world." said Shuhang as he slowly lifted a hand and pointed to Sakura's chest area. "That is... with the exception of the worm that's lodged itself onto Sakura's beating heart."
With the metaphorical bomb dropped, both Rin and Rider were once shocked to the core. The bad never seems to end however with the next thing that Shuhang said.
"And if anyone try to carelessly remove it, that old monster could retaliate and instantly kill Sakura."
"Shuhang... you said earlier that you could 'save' Sakura didn't you? Then..." inquired Rin with a hopeful tone. Having finally remembered that as well, Rider gripped her fists tightly as she stared at Shuhang.
"That's right. This method will also be used on you later as part of our deal as well, Illya-chan."
Suddenly being mentioned, Illya gave Shuhang a curious glance and the question needn't even be asked.
"That is to say... I am able to able to completely, and safely revive Sakura even if Zouken were to 'retaliate' during the removal process." said Shuhang in a completely serious tone.
"And no, Rin, Illya. I am not talking about turning her into a 'dead apostle'. She'll still be human in every way possible after this process." quickly added Shuhang when he saw that Rin was about to protest and Illya's narrowing dangerously. The fact that she'll have 'dragon blood-line' will of course be omitted for the sake of a smoother negotiation.
Not that he needed to as Shuhang could just forcefully take Rider. He chose not to do so however as a willing subordinate are a whole lot more effective than the unwilling ones.
"Also... there's a very high chance that Sakura would choose not to come along with you and I. Which means, you both will go your separate ways. Do you still want me to 'save' her, Rider?"
"Do it." responded Rider almost immediately.
O.o.. "Hm... Got it. Let's get this over with then."
The moment Shuhang had said that, a blob of crystal clear liquid and a very colorful 'pellet' appeared in the air next to Shuhang. Then with a thought, both moved towards each and started mixing into a brightly glowing blob of water. The two items Shuhang pulled out were of course none other than the 'Dragon Pellet' and 'Living Spring' water! Both had incredibly high amount of 'life force'.
After the mixture was done, Shuhang had prepared healing spells in advance while at the same time shooting a very weak sword Qi straight into Sakura's chest area! As the speed was too quick however, none at the scene was able to react in time.
To everyone's growing horror, what came popping out of Sakura chest wound was a very disgusting looking worm!
"There you are...Matou Zouken!"
For those curious, this is what the 'crest worms' looks like.