Chapter 1936: Deep Scars (part 2)
As the light grew in intensity, a quick glance at the tower revealed that the building was sucking in tons of sands to convert them into two new floors.
The reconstruction process didnt make a sound yet it was clear that Solus was having a breakthrough.
They had never witnessed one because for a long time she hadnt had a body.
On top of that, usually Solus breakthroughs took place when she was in her ring form or asleep.
Except for the few vacations that Lith allowed himself, Solus spent most of her time away from geysers.
Now, however, between his violet core and the constant feeding that the tower received while either at the palace or the beach, she had reached the next stage while in her human form.
The blue light coming from Solus didnt form a pillar, didnt cause the ground to quake, nor did her body expel any impurity.
The body that the tower gave her was identical to the one she had 700 years ago.
It was a perfect vessel for a bright violet mana core, with no impurities or imperfections.
The only thing it lacked was the energy necessary to fill her core and body.
Without it, she was no different from a blue-cored Awakened.
A blue cored Awakened with the mass and the bloodline abilities of a mage tower, of course.
“Two new floors” Lith said in awe.
“And two more in the basement.” Solus nodded.
“I mean, it was pretty obvious that the more I progress the more floors I will get.
The tower at its prime was enormous and Ive only got four more breakthroughs before we are both fixed.”
“Lets go I cant wait to see-” Lith jumped on his feet but Solus remained where she was, glaring at him.
“Its still our honeymoon.” Kamila said, glaring as well.
“We made a promise about no work and no magic, remember”
“Tell him, honey.” Solus said, making the corners of Kamilas mouth almost turn up in a smile and her angry voice in a peal of laughter.
“But, part-time work.” He stuttered.
“You will work in the afternoon.
Why cant I”
“We already worked this morning and well be away until dinner as well.” Solus said.
“Kamila already made an exception for my sake and we are going to leave in less than one hour.
“Im not going to waste my time giving you a tour of the new floors.
I need rest before I face Bytra again.” Solus used a partial mind fusion to give him all the information she had recovered about the new floors.
“Besides, my body needs time to adapt to its new state and fill itself with world energy.
I bet that now I can keep my human form longer, but only if rest if I recover my mental strength.” She put her head back on Kamilas lap and fell asleep before either of them could reply.
Lith sighed and raised his hands in surrender.
He knew that two against one was a battle he couldnt win.
After lunch, they met back at the geyser with Bytra and Zoreth.
They repeated the stranded merchants trick a few times, moving further and further away from the border with Garlen.
Solus even joined them a couple of times to experience the life in Verendi in person.
She shapeshifted into a Desert woman with waist-long black hair and deep bronze skin.
Solus pretended to be Zoreths wife while Bytra kept acting as Liths.
They were both ignorant about the local customs and their foreign accents made people furrow their brows whenever they talked.
Yet one of the reasons for that arrangement was that Solus wanted to stay away from Bytra.
Solus enjoyed the new sights, the hot yet dry climate, and the exotic food.
She soon discovered that her mind could withstand the stress from her trauma for an even shorter time than her body when away from a geyser.
Every time she reached her limit, they had to find an empty alley where she could disappear away from prying eyes.
With each following attempt, however, she lasted a bit longer before being forced to leave.
Facing the beast, talking with it, and confronting her trauma gave her strength.
Lith and Solus went back home for dinner and the night, leaving the Abominations in the city of Quuza.
They could finally shapeshift both into women and have a bit of privacy for the night.
According to the rumors they had collected during the day, Theseus was near and unless something unexpected happened they would soon catch up with him.
Verendi Continent, another nameless cave in the middle of nowhere.
When Dolgus finally woke up, he realized that the sun had already risen and set while he was asleep.
The good news was that his body was brimming with energy and that his reserve of Life Maelstrom was full again.
The bad news was that they had wasted an entire day.
‘Dammit, if only we could fly, it would take us hours to reach the Desert instead of days. The Griffon thought.
‘Too bad that Theseus needs constant feeding and is prone to fits of blood madness that only make his hunger grow.
He turned around, noticing that the walls of the cavern that had been barren when he had gone to sleep were now covered in frescos and portraits.
They were all made in shades of grey and the only color of the drawings belonged to the underlying rocks.
Yet somehow the hybrid had managed to use different layers of blackness so to give his subjects shadings and depth.
“Did you do this” He asked.
“Yes.” Theseus nodded.
“I was- I mean, Paquut was an artist.
Even after becoming an Eldritch, he never stopped practicing.
Our deadly Abomination Touch doesnt bother a painter like it does other artists.
“By controlling the pressure I exert with my finger, I can draw wherever I want as if Im using a stencil.” The hybrid was now working on a portrait of his companions human form.
“It was a good method to keep his mind off the hunger and to train self-control.
“Whenever I lose focus, that happens.” He pointed at several black dots on the walls that had been caused by the Chaos energy going wild.
“A few mistakes here and there mean nothing.
You are really good.” Dolgus patted Theseus back to show that he trusted his companion.
“Im not good.
Thats all Paquut.” The hybrid slumped his shoulders.
“I never studied art.
I didnt spend centuries practicing.
I just stole the fruits of his hard work like he stole the lives of those he met.
“You always say that Im a new life form, that Im innocent.
But how can I have a fresh start if everything I know and do comes from my old self Theres no difference between Paquut and me.”
“Do you enjoy drawing” Dolgus asked.
“Yes.” Theseus nodded.
“Only a painter can make beauty and harmony immortal through their work.
Even a fleeting moment of perfection can be captured forever on canvas-“
“Then its your art as much as it was Paquuts.” The Griffon cut him short, not interested in an art lesson.
“Would your old self have spent his time drawing or would he have killed me in my sleep”
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