Sian felt his body had fully healed and woke up. He could now feel it; he was at the end of the Beta stage.
'Did Chrona and Dragona have to go through these stages?'
They probably did. If he were to pass this one last stage… he would become like the legendary Broxian or Dragona. He would still be much weaker, however, as he would just be a newly-born Alpha.
He could feel the powerful energy from within himself. He was always fascinated when he finally broke through a wall and became a new self. It even tempted him to try and overcome another barrier. The power within was that alluring.
"Maybe I'm crazy now. To think that I would want to try again…"
Sian shook his head to dispel those thoughts and glanced around. If his body had felt a threat he might have woken up automatically, but it seemed that the area was now safe. Lorvall and the other Dukes must have managed to kill off the last Murakan.
It had been great timing. If they jumped in before, they probably would have fallen prey to the Murakans, and if they were too late, then they would have been fallen prey to the Murakan that had become stronger after consuming Sian.
Sian greeted Lorvall as he walked in.
"How long did I sleep?"
"Hmph. I think it's been about a month."
"I see. It's not as long as I worried."
He was so focused on healing himself that he could not even guess how long had passed.
"What happened to the Murakan?"
"Thanks to you, we managed to kill it off. We wouldn't have been able to do it unless you damaged it to that extent. I was prepared to die together with it."
"I was thinking of luring those Murakans to the Ciculus and overload it to make it explode."
He spoke of it casually, but the context was pretty terrifying.
"It's okay though. You won and everyone is saved. I thank you for that."
"Don't make such dangerous things anymore."
"Yes… that was unexpected. We didn't think your blood would be that powerful. We discovered that your blood completely erased mine that was put into those Murakans. That was the reason why they went out of control."
"Oh… I see."
"Yes. Well, that's been taken care of at least."
"So how are you defending against those invaders?" Sian asked. They had been relying on the Murakans to defend the warfront, so if they were gone, it would be a huge blow to Lorvall. However, he seemed unconcerned.
"I have other means… I also have Swarms too."
"Yes, I can use them now."
"Were the Gerna wiped out?"
"Yes. There weren't much of them left in the north. They probably all moved in when the barrier was down. We also got more Swarms when we cleaned up… I guess it was only natural as we had more food for them. We will manage."
"That's good to hear."
"What's even better is that we now can use the energy that was powering the barrier elsewhere."
"Oh… talking about that…"
Sian realized the barrier that covered the sky was now gone.
"It feels weird to see the sky without the barrier. It had been covering us for over three thousand years, but it's a good thing. We can focus on defending the peninsula for a while. All the Swarms are coming here, they will arrive by today or tomorrow."
"Thank you. It's good news for you too."
Conrad had told him that they needed the barrier to stabilize before they were able to send Sian back.
"Yes. We can now teleport you out. Conrad is working on the rune as we speak. It should be ready by tonight."
Sian couldn't believe that he could now go back home.
"Aren't you glad? You can go back now."
"Yes… but it just doesn't feel real yet. I just took a nap and then it's ready."
"Haha, you've been sleeping for a month and we've been keeping busy. You should rest a bit more."
"Okay. Oh, and where's Stiel?" Sian asked.
Lorvall laughed as he answered.
"She's out at the roots, training. She's been focusing on training for a while now."
"I think she was shocked to find herself powerless at the situation. But she has talent so she'll grow. The Dukes are training with her. Should I call her here?"
"No, I'll go to her."
"I'll show you the way. Follow me."
Sian got out of the bed and followed Lorvall outside.
"NO! That's not it! Do it faster!"
There was a training ground located at the outer roots of the tree. It was where the Dukes sparred with each other. It was built out of the most durable parts of the Ciculus <Lorvall> to withstand the Dukes fighting. The mile-long training ground of the Ciculus Tree was now filled with clashing sounds.
Stiel was fighting against some weird roots that were controlled by a Duke.
"What is this crap?!"
"Haha, there's an ancient tree race called <Antara>. My power comes from them. It's buried under the Ciculus at the southwestern side of the land."
The tree was so dense that it couldn't even be cut with Stiel's strongest attack. She tried to fight it off but soon gave up and jumped back to dodge the attack.
"It's pretty strong, isn't it? They were the rulers of the southwestern region for a long time. But they were wiped out along with their Betas during the first disaster."
"Ugh, when can I become stronger…" Stiel ranted. There were Dukes and Betas everywhere and she needed to catch up to them. The Duke heard her mumbling and said, "Is there anything good to eat? Find some of them and try it out."
Stiel became interested as the Duke laughed.
"Yeah… I mean, there's a lot. Ones like the heart of the ancient race or… a core."
Stiel then remembered that Sian had mentioned such things. She always believed she had to become stronger from her own training, but she needed results.
"I should ask when Sian wakes up."
"Yes, you do that. Shall we continue?"
At that moment, roots began sweeping over towards Stiel, and she began crushing them with her black gauntlets.
Sian was watching from afar so he wouldn't disrupt the training and thought, 'Something good to eat…?'
He had something like that.
<Heart of Nekra>
And what he could do with these two.
If Stiel attempted the succession by consuming the heart of Nekra and use Karnine, she would gain incredible power immediately. Unlike Kuntarian, Stiel would be able to absorb the full power and be born into a being at its limit.
'It might solve her age issue too…'
It had been on Sian's mind that Stiel did not have much time left to live. However, nothing was for certain yet, so Sian began to ponder as Lorvall asked, "What are you thinking about so seriously?"
Sian thought Lorvall might have a better idea as he had lived longer and began to explain. But Lorvall didn't give him an answer he wanted to hear.
"I'm not sure as I'm not an expert on that… I don't even know what that Kal-Gul race is."
Sian became disappointed but Lorvall added, "But I know someone who might have an answer to that."
Sian also realized that there was an expert not too far away.
"Conrad and Lagaope might have the answer to your problem. Go and ask them."
"I should do that. Where are they now?"
"They're probably installing the rune. Go to the core."
Sian jumped out to find them.