Published at 3rd of April 2019 08:45:11 PM

Chapter 220

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Lino was currently panting, seated atop the pile of debris scattered around the ravaged plains; stone, rocks, weeds, trees, and most of all guts and gore splintered everywhere around . Though exhausted and pale, and seemingly on the verge of passing out, his eyes shone like starlit diamonds . The darkness had slowly began receding, a faint, melodic whisper carried by the void congratulating him and reminding him to pick her up .

It took every bit of what he had to emerge partly victorious, and he was truly terrified of how he'd handled it if Umbra had actually gone all out . He might have had to cripple himself all over again, which seemed to be a recurring theme with him and his insatiable desire for doing insanely impossible things . Regardless, he had finally become an Exalted -- and the highest tier at that, an Exalted Soul .

The entire feeling of his own existence had changed, he mused inwardly; breathing was lighter, and even the tiredness and exhaustion he felt due to the fatigue was being washed away with each passing moment . The dulled world had obtained faint traces of color, and all that was unseen before could now be seen -- like numerous Spirits floating around freely, swimming in the sea of reality .

" . . . congrats . " a warm voice spoke out from behind him, causing him to heave his head back . Hannah stood just above, looking down at him, her lips curled up in a gentle smile .

"Damn, you're cruel," Lino grinned . "You watched the guy you supposedly care for nearly get beaten to a pulp . "

"Wouldn't you feel bad if you got saved by a girl? You always go on and on about 'men this' and 'men that' . "

"Oh, no way," Lino shrugged, getting up . "If some random chick could just swoosh in and take over all my responsibilities, she'd literally make my day . "

" . . . ugh . " Hannah rolled her eyes and sighed, glancing at the mayhem around her . "So?"

"So what?" Lino asked, faking confusion .

"Care to explain it, or should you abstain from sex?"

"Can't abstain from something you're not having . " Lino frowned momentarily .

"For additional 2000 years on top of 500 that you have to wait . "

" . . . "

" . . . what?"

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" . . . y-you're gonna make me wait 500 years?" Lino stuttered .

"What? Am I not worth the wait?"

" . . . "

"You really want to say no, don't you?" Hannah suddenly burst out into laughter, walking over and kissing him tenderly . "Come on, just tell me what happened . "

" . . . ah, whatever," Lino shrugged . "I guess I can become a fucking Monk or something in the meantime . I mean, you know, how hard can it be to not touch a woman for 500--I can't fucking do it! No way!"

" . . . wait . D-did you really just think you'd have to wait for five fucking centuries just to see me naked? And you genuinely thought about it for a moment?"

" . . . p-perhaps?"

" . . . "

" . . . what?" Lino asked, noticing Hannah's dubious gaze .

"Nothing . Just got a bit wet, is all . " she shook her head . "Anyway, explain . Don't keep dancing around the topic . "

" . . . wait, so I don't have to wait 500 years?"

"No, of course not you moron . I'm kind of hurt that you thought I could do it either . "

" . . . good . That's good, yeah . " Lino coughed lowly, trying to play it cool for a moment . "Anyway, I sort of kind of maybe befriended Umbra and she made a fool out of me for a moment before promising to help me cross the barrier and become an Exalted . "

" . . . and . . . and you just happened to forget to mention that to the rest of us?"

"Hey, I made a deal . " Lino shrugged . "Besides, with Ella and you around, I knew everything will be fine . "

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" . . . you little fuck . "

"Anyway, let's go and meet up with the rest . I've got a bone to pick with the Emperor and his bean-sized fucking brain . Oh, and I also promised Umbra that I'd pick her up and put her in my Dimensional Pouch so she can nap in peace . "

"Yeah, it's better--wait just a goddamn second!!" Hannah exclaimed as Lino called out Grim, the two quickly climbing the elated bird . "You just said Dimensional Pouch?!"

"Huh? Well duh . Where the fuck do you think I keep this bird? In my ass?"

" . . . good point . " she assented . "Anyway, how are you feeling now that you've finally begun to join the big boys club?"

" . . . eh, it's fine . " he shrugged indifferently .

"Oh, right . Forgot to tell you but I reached Level 1900 during the fight," Hannah exclaimed, hugging him from the back . "Those abominations were quite strong . "

" . . . weren't you like not even 1500 just a few days ago?"

"Yup . "

"Go fuck yourself . "

"Oh my, are you jealous? What? Ataxia won't allow you to level up quickly? He he . "

" . . . ugh . " Lino held back a mouthful of blood his wounded pride was about to bleed .

"Eh, don't get too upset by it," Hannah smiled . "Ella's way worse than me . It's like that woman's on goddamn steroids or something . "

" . . . huh? What Level is she now?" Lino asked, frowning .

"She was around 1600 before the fight," Hannah said . "Don't know where she's at now . "

" . . . " Lino's heart thumped furiously, recalling that she wasn't even a Titular back in the ruins . He'd finally realized what it meant to have a monstrous talent -- even the two Bearers couldn't hold up to that level of insanity . "How in the shit is she that talented?"

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"Hm? You don't know?"

"Know what?" Lino asked .

"She has an Immortal Origin Soul . "

" . . . "

" . . . you've got no clue what that is, do you?"


"I'll seriously have to force you to start taking classes with me on the most basic shit of cultivation . You're simply embarrassing me over here . "

"When I get the time . " Lino chuckled . "So? What's it mean?"

" . . . exactly what it says," Hannah said . "She's one of the few rare mutations that occur naturally within the Human Race . We're pretty much on the bottom shelf when it comes to innate aptitude, but, every once in a while, someone will be born that simply shouldn't . Ella leaving pretty much crippled Qe'll Clan for centuries and put a huge question mark on their future . Before she left, she had practically mastered every single Martial Art that the entire Clan had, and to say she was unrivaled within her generation would be an understatement . To give you a reference, when she reached Soul Realm, she reportedly had Divine Sense spanning literally two million kilometers across . "

" . . . fuck that noise . " Lino shuddered for a moment, a look of disbelief on his face .

"It's true," Hannah chuckled . "Qe'll Clan was practically guaranteed a spot as a Holy Land so long as she stayed there . But, of course, they had to fuck it up so, you know, now they're barely surviving . "

"How in the god's name did that fat fuck manage to snag her?" Lino thought out loud .

"Well, look at us," she said, glancing sideways at him, her hair fluttering in the passing wind . "Is it really that much different?"

" . . . well, yeah . I mean, I'm a freaking Empyrean . He's, you know, a stone-banger . "

" . . . you're a stone-banger . "

"Yeah, but I'm also good-looking . "

"Yeah, you really are . "

" . . . ugh . " Lino nearly choked on his own saliva, his eyes veering toward Hannah in disbelief; for the first time in his life, someone actually validated the claim that he was good-looking .

"He he, I didn't think you were so weak to compliments . "

" . . . I can wait for 500 years, you know? If it's really important to you . "

"Oh my god, not with this shit again . "

"No, no, it's fine . Look, I have my right hand and my left hand, they can be my companions for a while, you know? I'll manage . "

"I'll manage your fucking brain if you don't shut it," she growled lowly at him . "We're fucking soon and it's final!"

" . . . "

" . . . oh . Right . It's you . " Hannah sighed, seeing the sneer creep up onto Lino's face . "You're really good, you know? I mean, terribly devious, outright manipulative, entirely apathetic, but good . "

"Hey, I'm very much an empathetic guy . I just happen to relate more to people who are suffering . Because of me . "

" . . . haaah . . . why am I attracted to you?"

"Because I'm good-looking . "

"Yeah . . . oh, there they are . They look fine . "

"Of course they're fine," Lino shrugged . "I mean, Ella could probably flatten the whole City all on her own . They're just like some basic accessories dangling from the side; kinda cute to look at, but the centerpiece are the huge tits . "

"Yeah, it's kinda like your attempts to be charming," Hannah snickered . "When all you have to do is just undress . "

" . . . that hurt . Like, deep-hurt . I'm more than my perfect muscles Hannah . "

"And I'm more than my holes, Lino . "

" . . . touche . "