SYS (Novel) Chapter 307

C307 - Temar's Second Tomb (5)

Jin drew his sword.

He could feel the eerie sensation of bones and organs caught in the blade.

The retribution fire that burned throughout the area began to quickly subside as the guardian fell.

All her flames vanished as if they had never existed. They left behind small hot embers that scattered in the wind like flower petals.

The flames surrounding the guardian's body also diminished.

Shadow Energy flowed from the countless wounds on her body. The guardian's breathing was quite rapid, but it soon slowed as she decided to accept her own death.

"Sarah!" Murakan landed on the ground in haste and transformed into his human form.

He had been forced to fight her, but that didn't change the fact that Sarah was an old friend and comrade-in-arms for Murakan.

It wasn't Sarah herself but only a guardian created in her image. Nevertheless, there were traces of Sarah Runcandel's soul in the guardian.

It was torment for Murakan to see the guardian find her end, even though he had fought with Jin and the others to grant her this very rest.

Quikantel took on his human form and landed beside Murakan. He bit his lower lip. He seemed to have mixed feelings about it.

"Murakan?"

"Yes, it's me. I'm Murakan. Damn it. Did it really have to come to this? Did you really have to come to your senses like this?"

His emotions were evident in his trembling voice. Murakan bent down and took the guardian's hand. It was cold. It was hard to imagine that she had wielded such a large fire with her injured body just moments ago.

"You stupid lizard. You and the new contractor..." The guardian stopped at that moment.

The mention of the new contractor reminded her of something she had long forgotten. That Temar had died, and the splendor of the ancient Runcandels had disappeared from history.

That Murakan had only come to her side after all this time, and the people witnessing her long-standing battle coming to an end were not Runcandel swordsmen, but the silver dragon spectator and a handful of unfamiliar faces.

"Fortunately, you were strong enough to defeat me in my weakened state."

Sarah, what happened?

How did Temar die a thousand years ago? Why did Solderet create tomb guardians from the knights, and what do the Zipples gain by raiding Temar's tombs?

Why did Solderet leave you with this story without telling it to Misha or me? What things were they not telling me back then, and why?

Murakan didn't dare to ask Sarah these things.

He didn't believe he deserved to. No matter what had happened, the guilt of not being with his comrades pierced his soul like a knife.

Above all, Murakan was no longer Temar's guardian dragon. The ancient Runcandels were not under his command.

Now it was Jin's task to find the truth according to Solderet's plans. Murakan's role was to serve Jin as his guardian dragon.

"All this time, you've had to bear this burden alone. I'm sorry."

He expected to hear strong reprimands like the time with Silderay. But the guardian looked directly into Murakan's eyes and said something he didn't expect.

"Just as we had our pains, I'm sure you had yours too. There's no need to apologize."

Murakan didn't reply. He just held Sarah's hand tightly.

"But Quikantel, I'm quite surprised you're here. I thought you and your god sought neutrality. Was there a change of plans?"

The guardian's mind returned, but her betrayal against Quikantel hadn't changed.

"Just like you, the Runcandels, follow Temar's orders to the letter; I cannot disobey Olta's will."

"Yes, I'm sure you had no choice, being a dragon. I understand, to some extent. But remember that the Patriarch, my own brother, was a man who would have risked his life at any time if it were for your sake."

Jin's eyes widened at the mention that Temar was his brother.

Sarah Runcandel was Temar's younger sister.

"I sincerely hope that your proud God doesn't stand idly by in the battles that boy will have to face."

Like Murakan, Quikantel couldn't respond.

However, Sarah actually didn't despise or detest Quikantel, despite how betrayed she felt.

"But I must thank you for one thing. Thanks to you, I was spared the possibility of killing Murakan and that boy with my own hands."

It was as she described it. Without Quikantel's powers, Jin would never have been able to bring down the guardian.

The guardian looked into Jin's eyes.

"Jin Runcandel."

"Yes, Lady Sarah."

"This is my first defeat in a long time. From my weariness in the ancient battle that persisted for far too long, I have mistreated you."

"Since you alone have guarded this place for a thousand years, I wouldn't say it has been mistreatment."

The skeletons of the ancient Magicians that once filled the ethereal plane were no longer there. They had all been swept away by the retribution fire and reduced to ashes, disappearing afterward.

Jin's companions, who had shielded themselves behind a barrier, rushed toward him.

They didn't share any memories with Sarah like Murakan or Quikantel, nor did they feel indebted as descendants like Jin.

However, they couldn't harbor hostility toward Sarah, who had moments ago tried to kill them. They didn't need to be told what she must have endured over the centuries.

In truth, they felt rather helpless and realized they had to strive harder if they wanted to fight alongside Jin.

"I'm glad you say that. Jin, my descendant from future centuries."

"Please, go on."

"What are the Runcandels like in the present?"

"I would say they don't measure up to the days I didn't have the privilege to experience."

"I suppose the Zipples still control the world?"

Jin nodded.

The guardian could feel the chill of impending death as Shadow Energy continuously flowed out of her body. A hoarse whisper escaped her trembling lips.

"We've left you with a heavy burden."

"Becoming Solderet's contractor and inheriting my ancestors' legacy always seemed like opportunities, not burdens. So, I hope you don't feel that way."

He spoke sincerely.

Compared to the pitiful past life he had experienced, this was a blessing in itself.

Jin was also not blindly inheriting the will of the Runcandels. He was only moving forward into new frontiers of his second life with his own will.

"It seems you have a talent for making others feel better. Come closer. Come closer."

The guardian couldn't see Jin, even though he was right in front of her. She had become completely blind. Gilly patted Murakan on the shoulder as Enya took Quikantel's hand.

"I, Sarah Runcandel, guardian of Temar Runcandel's tomb, now pass my inheritance to Jin Runcandel."

Jin nodded.

At that moment, runic characters began to form over the guardian's body.

'Runic characters?'

They lit up all over Sarah's body, over the place where her missing arm should have been, and also over the pierced chest.

The runic characters contained the secret technique of Runcandel's magical swordplay that Sarah Runcandel had created throughout her life.

It was the retribution fire of Sarah Runcandel.

It was not part of Solderet's plans for Jin. The guardian was transferring it to Jin of her own volition.

The runic characters left Sarah's body, like a soul departing from a deceased, and were absorbed by Jin's body. The runic characters also conveyed Sarah's memories of creating the retribution fire with each character etched into Jin's body.

It was akin to the memory transfer of the Legends he had experienced from Boras, the fifth battle king, or the inheritance spell from the Historians.

"I had hoped someone worthy of this sword technique would come along. I suppose one of my small hopes has come true."

Unlike the other runic characters that Jin had on his body, those of the guardian were not visible all the time. They only lit up when activating the retribution fire.

"This is a gift beyond what I could have ever expected."

"Not as great as the solace you've given me. Thanks to you, I have finally earned my eternal rest."

Sarah's body disintegrated into particles of Shadow Energy. The Shadow Energy that flowed in place of blood now floated in the air like fine dust, enveloping Jin.

Jin would soon be transported to another layer of the ethereal plane, one that held old stories, just like with Silderay.

"Are there any final words you'd like to leave, Lady Sarah?"

"I hope all of you won't suffer too much."

She said 'all of you,' rather than just 'you.'

Murakan and Quikantel shivered and clenched their teeth at her words.

They would have preferred to hear her resent them for arriving too late. But she didn't speak such cruel words in her farewell.

Instead, she left one last brief comment about the thousand years of her desolate battles.

"I will finally be reunited with my brother and my comrades."

Soon, the guardian's body completely disintegrated into particles of Shadow Energy.

Jin and his group observed a moment of silence for her. The Shadow Energy created a gentle whirl, and a sound began to emit.

"I will briefly disappear into another ethereal plane. Do not be alarmed and wait for my return."

He heard a voice in the distance, just like the other time.

"...mu... s....., Sa... .......of."

"...mu... ....., Sa... ........"

Despite the unclear words, Jin knew whose voice it was.

It was Murakan's voice!

None of his companions could hear the voice. Jin quickly turned to look at Murakan, but he didn't seem to hear his own voice from the past either.

Only Jin could detect it.

The sound resonated as Shadow Energy completely surrounded Jin.

The particles of Shadow Energy then disappeared, leaving his companions looking dazed at the spot where Jin and Sarah had been.

When Jin opened his eyes again, he found himself in an empty darkness reminiscent of the first tomb.

An ethereal plane within another ethereal plane.

But unlike the first tomb, this plane was clearly damaged.

There were countless gruesome gashes in the darkness, and the entire plane shook as if there had been an earthquake. Additionally, the ominous noise created in the destruction of the ethereal plane constantly grated on his eardrums.

Just as Sarah had been injured in her long battle, the ethereal plane within her had also been destroyed. Jin intuitively understood how ethereal planes worked. He advanced toward the source of the voice in search of the recording device left by Solderet.

Soon, a giant orb shining in gray caught his attention. Murakan's voice became clearer as he approached the orb.

-We must stop him... We must stop him, Sarah Runcandel.

Murakan and Sarah were speaking in the scene from a thousand years ago displayed by the orb. Both were covered in blood, as if they had just come from battle, and their clothes and armor were torn in several places.

Sarah glared at Murakan.

-What do you mean by 'stop him'? Are you telling me we have to kill the Patriarch? You? Out of all people? Talking about abandoning the Patriarch?

Murakan didn't respond. He only brought his hand to his forehead in a display of weariness.

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