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Published at 29th of December 2018 09:40:19 AM
Chapter 4




It was quiet .

Then he heard the sound of a rushing wind; and the pounding of heavy rain .

His consciousness flashed back instantly; returning . He saw his ethereal soul ascend from the scene of their battle; ahead of him were hundreds of other specks of light - the others who had fallen .

Including the lights that represented his brothers and sisters in arms .

'W-what . . . I . . . ' He tried to look around, to turn his head and crane his neck to make sense of where he was now . But though he could "see", and sense what was around him, he had no body or head to turn .

' . . . I'm, I'm dead??'

'Is this . . . What comes after death . . . ? I feel like I'm going . . . *Somewhere* . . . '

He felt a force begin to pull him, sucking him towards an indeterminate destination .

'No, my . . . My treasured companions, no . . . ! It can't end like this, end so easily for those who set us up . . . ! Whether for protecting our Earth and homes or . . . For revenge . . . !'

If he still had eyes, there would be a murderous glint shining in them . Emotions riled up despite having no form or body, as well as an unwillingness to depart like this on towards whatever was in the afterlife .

'I . . . I . . . '

'I WON'T LET IT GO EASILY! GOD!!! IF THERE IS A GOD OUT THERE!!! HOW CAN THEY GO SCOT FREE WHILE WE, THE ONES WHO ARE MERELY DEFENDING OUR HOMES, STILL LIVE IN FEAR WITH NONE KNOWING OF OUR FATES!??'

' . . . Why . . . ? Why is there so much injustice . . . ? Why . . . Must we who peoples of the Earth who minded our own business, be treated like animals to be slaughtered . . . By beings who look and speak just like we do . . . ?!?'

' . . . Why . . . Robin . . . WHY??!'

' . . . Why did you betray us . . . ?'

His mind reeled from the anger and intense reluctance in his soul which writhed and squirmed in its form as a ball of light .

Then faster than the mind could capture; Mikael felt an intense suction propelling him out of the planet's atmosphere and into space .

Just before he left the atmosphere; he caught sight of the area his platoon had landed at . There was a large city about twice the size of London . However, he soon gasped internally as he noticed the size of the lands and the surroundings .

There were dozens more cities of such size scattered around the lands; interspersed around a hulking, massive city in the centre; ten, no, a hundred times larger than London!

'They . . . What military might is this? How can they be so strong? Could it be . . . The forces we faced are but the tip of the iceberg . . . ?' Mikael's heart was gripped with worry; and unwillingness .

Faced with such a colossal enemy . . . At this rate . . .

The earth was doomed .

'Sara . . . ' No matter how hurt he was; no matter how he wished he could change things - still he wished her safety, wished her well . Even if she were not his . . . He still wished her happiness .

He steeled himself; making a solemn oath to whatever entity, being or creature may be out there - whether a beast, devil, demon or God . . .

'I . . . I must live on . . . It can't, can't end just like this . . . No, NO! I will, I must warn my people, my homeland, my Earth!!! No matter what the cost! To bring an end to this vile and malignant Empire of murderers . . . Just for one more chance . . . '

' . . . I would even give up my soul!!!'

There was silence .

There was no answer; no one to hear his wordless, soundless declarations .

All that greeted him was silence . Just silence, the soundless movement without any wind for friction and without the whistling sounds that would normally accompany a body moving through the air . Just an incorporeal ball of light drifting through the empty atmosphere in complete and total silence .

All of a sudden, he felt himself pulled upwards, out of the atmosphere and into space .



As he moved, he caught a glimpse of eleven, maybe twelve planets? Orbiting a gargantuan, red sun at varying distances, however, all the planets seemed to be too close to each other . Odder still was that the orbits were circular rather than elliptical, violating Kepler's laws of planetary motion .

The motes of faint golden light quickly sped out of the cultivator's solar-system into an incredibly long and wide cylindrical tunnel - one perhaps as wide as half a planet and several times longer .

Glancing around, the walls of the tunnel were a solid, shining material - yet regularly pulsing with energy and myriad lights .

Then the motes of light exited the tunnel, and the suction force became gentle .

He "looked" around, and saw massive, great white pillars at the boundary of his vision; both "above" and "below" . Without a reference point for direction, he referred to their relative positions as above and below .

In fact, the great pillars were so large that from where he was, he could barely make out the ends . . . It looked like there were about fifteen or sixteen of the pillars both above and below .

Mikael drifted in the void - along with countless other motes and specks of light interspersed all around; hanging in the void just like him . They were heading towards an intersection ahead - every now and then, it looked like the converging motes of light would go around a bend and could no longer be seen .

'Perhaps . . . ' If he had a heart, it would have pumped furiously at the thought that he could maybe find a way out of this . He wondered if he could move in any direction; or reach out and touch the others .

'No . . . Didn't work . . . ' He *could* move; just . . . It would probably take years to cross the vast chasm between the nearest mote; so great were the distances in the void . '

With nothing to do but wait for the journey to end; Mikael could not escape thoughts of life, meaning, existence . . . And sorrow .

(Sara . . . I don't blame you . . . )

He thought about his childhood sweetheart; and how she had been forced by her family to marry a local tin miner just to feed her young siblings, ailing mother . . . And her alcoholic father .

Forced to marry the man that she detested, hated . So that she would not marry Mikael and be taken away from the family .

As much as he hated her circumstances - Mikael hated himself .

'If only . . . I had the courage to stay . . . To face her parents once more; despite knowing that they never liked me, never approved of me . . . '

His thoughts and heart laid bare; he could now admit that he left not because of the war . He left because he had felt unworthy; as a mixed-race orphan bastard left behind during the earlier Portuguese, Dutch, English colonists . . . From who knows which occupation of Malaysia .

'Funny . . . Only now that it's too late . . . Do I feel like saying sorry to her . . . Sorry - for running away, for abandoning her, for leaving to become a "hero" . . . '

' . . . For leaving her alone to face her mocking, scheming, selfish and self-seeking family . . .

He laughed mockingly at himself - at least, he would have, if a mote of light could laugh .

"Bleep-bloop . "

Oh! He *could* make sounds . The melancholic boy drifted along; accompanied by gentle ripples of warmth from the leaf-shaped necklace around his neck .

'Wait, what . . . ? How . . . It followed me here . . . ?' He was shocked as he noticed the necklace given by Sara at their parting - it was still with him?

Then he saw something nearby; approaching from behind - from the opening between the tunnel they had come from and the great white pillars above and below .

Penguins . Thousands of them . With fluffy white bird wings .

Flapping and coming over .

* * * * *

" . . . Bleep-bloop . . . ?" 'Hello, I guess . . . ?'

The penguin coughed, clearing its throat .

"Rejoice, infidel! I, Great Demon God Razku'rak, shall rescue you from a certain calamity!" The penguin closed its eyes and raised its beak, smug and arrogant .

Then the penguin dug its cute little claws on its cute little feet into his ball of light body; and began dragging him out of wherever he was .

'Wait! What are you--' "Bleep-bleep-bloop--"



"You fool! It's not "a certain" like in "A Certain Magical Index"! Idiot!" The agitated penguin hopped up and down on the spot as he pulled Mikael, turning around as he showed his frustration .

" . . . Bleep . "

"Don't you dare talk back to me, you blooping ball of light! Who do you think you are!?? You're just another common departed soul!" The penguin's feathers were nearly standing on end, so incensed was he . But he continued zipping away towards the "entrance" .

" . . . " Mikael was pretty smart, that is, at least he was when he was alive . And so he listened on .

"What I mean is - the chances of the calamity are certain! Do! You! Un! Der! Stand!!?" the penguin dragged this last word out, emphasizing every syllable as he continued to drag the ball of light towards the "entrance" .

"Bloop . "

"Good that you are sorry! Now, I, the Grand Swallowing King Kizorik, shall rescue you!" The penguin paused in his speech to rummage around in his cute white shoulder-slung satchel .

Mikael sighed internally . Despite being young; he had matured greatly during the war . He found it grating to deal with such a strange character . Especially one that talked about unintelligible things and had Multiple Personality Disorder . . . Or at least one that somehow forgot the name it had used only a moment earlier in its act .

But his thoughts were quickly silenced - as he heard a rush of wings and saw an endless flock of "birds" swarming out of the apparent "intersection" at the depths of the area they were in .

'This . . . This doesn't make sense! Wings are useless in space - there's no air for propulsion!'

Nonetheless, he kept silent - for the "birds" were revealed to be far more horrifying . They looked skeletal with leathery skin stretched across bones . The closest things he could think of that they resembled were "gargoyles" or "demons" .

"Hold on tight! Those are the All-Father's digestive system! I'm gonna speed up!" Razku'rak/ Kizorik sped up as he spoke; frowning in concentration and frantically flapping his tiny wings .

Mikael watched; and realised that his penguin was the fastest and strongest among them . But he did not rejoice - his heart only clenched in shock and anguish .

One by one, behind him, the other motes of light were being torn apart by the gargoyles; along with penguins pulling them along .

'NO! NO NO NO NO NO!!!' As he didn't know if any of those were his brothers or sisters in light form as he was, he cried out desperately . He could not bear the chance they fall here, while he be the only one dragged away .

"Bleep-bleep-bloop!"

' . . . Damn it damn it damn it!!!'

"Bleep-bleep-bloop?!?"

The penguin shook its head in dejection at his agitated question; sighing . "Once they fall here . . . "

The self-proclaimed Demon God paused, focusing as they finally left the countless penguins, motes of light and gargoyles behind . They passed the tunnel that Mikael had entered from, and exited the area of the great white pillars .

Then the penguin beckoned for him to look back to see something .

"Bleep-bleep!!!"

"I'll answer your question alright! Imbecile! Fool! We needed to get out first, alright!!? Don't you know where you were???"

"Bleep?"

The penguin sighed again, shaking his head in disappointment . "Don't you see the sixteen pillars up there?"

"Bloop . "

"And how about down there, what do you see . . . ?"

"Bleep-bleep?"

"Yes! Good! Now, does that remind you of something . . . ?"

" . . . . B-b-bleep bleep . . . ?"

"Yes! Yes yes yes yes! Now, do you understand?!?" The penguin smiled as he danced around in delight; his stupid potential contractor finally understanding .

"You're in the All-Father's mouth! About to be his meal! Like all the other fallen souls in the Endless Worlds!" Then the penguin turned even more grim as they soared along towards his hidden base .

And the pair travelled in silence, each with their own thoughts and worries to ponder .

* * * * *

[An indeterminate amount of time later]

They reached an igloo-like structure floating in space; that looked like it were made of ice .

Razku'rak/ Kizorik landed at high speed, tumbled, rolled and hurtled into a mattress propped against the wall - clearly meant for situations like this .

He then got up, taking the crash landing in stride, and retrieved a piece of paper which read "KONTWAK" (Contract) and spoke in an embarrassed, low voice . "Just sign here . Need it for immigration and customs checks . "

" . . . Bleep-bleep-bleep-bleep-bloop-bleep-bloop?!?

"You imbecile! You fool! You-you-you . . . !!!" The penguin began his little hopping dance again, jumping up and down on the spot until he could get over his anger .

"Don't you know there's no such thing as reincarnation in this part of the Endless Worlds?!?" The penguin stormed off to a corner of the igloo 5 feet away and folded his arms in anger; raising his chin to show his irritation . "Without me! You will never have a chance to avenge your friends!"

The ball of light - Mikael - was silent . Stunned .

' . . . A chance . . . ? For revenge . . . ?? He had spoken wildly of whether there was a possibility, but this . . . '

The penguin turned his head over his shoulder; raising an eyebrow; smiling smugly . "Those were your friends, right . . . ?" Then the penguin turned around and stomped towards Mikael; before continuing . "Don't think I didn't notice; the anguish in your soul; nearly turning your core as dark as the black of Lilith's tears . . . " The bird had a sneer on his face; confident in his deduction .

"So . What will it be? Oblivion . . . ? Or . . . " The penguin held up the "KONTWAK" to Mikael's ball-of-light body .

" . . . Or will you become my demonic contractor and show those a**holes some payback . . . ?" The penguin smiled an evil grin .

* * * * *

Razku'rak Kizorik - the penguin - was a nice guy . Turned out that was actually his full name .

"I'll take care of you from now! Except that I'm powerless to help you until you make contact with me again! Hahaha!"

It turned out that the contract was just a short-term temporary employment contract for 120 years .

'Not that long . . . I guess . . . ?' Mikael felt that something was wrong, but he was finding it quite hard to have coherent thoughts as he was .

They were now heading to the nearest reincarnation point - The Stream of Myriad Planes . This "stream" of reincarnation was a feeder to numerous other smaller systems, planes and worlds - the penguin admitted he didn't know where the boy would end up being reborn .

In fact, Mikael had asked numerous questions an hour earlier, before signing .

What is the All-Father? Why did the All-Heaven Divine Empire invade Earth? If the All-Father devours all dead souls, where do new babies souls come from? Where were they?

The penguin had stared him dead in the eye and shrugged .

'Perhaps this is how the mafia and triads scam so many people . . . ' Sighing as he thought about how he had signed the KONTWAK, Mikael felt like a gullible gambling addict dealing with a loan shark .

He re-analysed things, and thought back to his thought process in making the decision .

1: His only other choice was to stay here and wait - assuming the demonic penguin didn't just kick him out in the first place .

2: He had no time . Assuming he reincarnated now; it might be years, or even decades before he makes it back to Earth . In that period of time . . . Who knew what would happen? He was sure they would hold out; there were countless powerhouses greater than him - but he still couldn't help but worry when he thought about the plots, schemes, ambush and the fact that Robin; born and bred on Earth, could be a traitor . . .

3: The necklace . . . Sara's necklace . . . It was giving off a gentle stream of warmth; one that said . . . 'Fear not . . . '

And so he signed despite being unable to read the script written on the paper . . .

. . . Although that was mostly due to the atrocious; incomprehensive spelling and grammar used .

The penguin then explained the details of how things would work:

1: Razku'rak Kizorik is obligated to ensure Mikael is delivered to be reincarnated .

2: Mikael will establish 2-way communication with Razku'rak Kizorik in the new world .

3: Mikael and Razku'rak Kizorik will engage in a mutually beneficial partnership - via sacrifices by Mikael in exchange for power, blessings, and items from Razku'rak Kizorik - sharing on a basis of 80% Mikael; 20% Razku'rak Kizorik .

4: This contract cannot be terminated before the end of the contract term .

5: The penalty for going against the contract is the loss of consciousness and extreme pain .

When he had heard what he had just signed; Mikael let out a breath of relief - he was glad he hadn't just sold his soul to the devil . . .

Then he narrowed his eyes; firming his gaze .

Even if it had been a devil's contract . . . He would have signed it .

"Here we are . . . " The penguin spoke in awe as they drew near enough to see their destination; far off in the distance, just a speck from where they were - but already magnificent in its scale and dominating presence .

The Stream of Myriad Planes .

* * * * *

[8 hours later]

Razku'rak Kizorik apologised once more that he could not choose which world Mikael returned to - neither Earth's solar system nor the heavily-guarded Celestial Empire's system .

Then he dropped Mikael off onto the mind-bogglingly large natural phenomenon - a "river" suspended in the void; a thousand times the size of the largest solar system known to the demon bird .

The waters seemed to be shored up by invisible borders; none of it ever spilling out . And it followed a similarly unseen winding path; travelling through many, many planes and realms . In fact, no one knew where it started; nor where it ended - everyone who had set off to seek its origin and terminus had never returned to tell the tale - perhaps they were still on their journey, or returning?

Mikael gulped; then "nodded" his preparation to the penguin .

"It's time . " The cute, chubby black and white bird affectionately rubbed the ball of light's "head", then released him; pushing him to give him the momentum to reach the Stream .

(Ahhh!!!) Mikael cried out; imitating the scenes he had seen on television . But he soon stopped; because the descent was going slow - slow enough to take at least an hour more .

Left with some time to consider his plans; Mikael began to strategize, constructing his path to regain power; to protect his homeland . . . To avenge his fallen brothers and sisters .

And to reunite with Sara; and his beloved hometown . . . Whether as a lover . . . Or as just a friend .

* * * * *

[An hour later]

He prepped himself, committing his plan to memory just before he plunged into the waters .

'Alright; Mikael . Don't forget to-- ARGHHHGHHGH!!!!!!'

The moment he touched the waters; mind-blowing pain struck his soul; erasing every thought he had .

He felt a ripping sensation; a tearing feeling; a twisting and pulling of his soul - as his memories; thoughts and concepts start to slip away - including his soul-imprint .

(No, no no no no!!!!) He roared mentally as he felt his accumulated powers; concepts of law, elements and universal will being snatched away - the same powers that made him a level 24 legend .

In the midst of his agony and despair; his necklace released a bubble of warmth; wrapping around his memories, soul, and powers .

The leaf-shaped locket flashed brightly; releasing a brilliance great enough to drown out even the waters around him - then the great white light swallowed up his consciousness .

He slept .


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