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472 The Gift Spera Received, The Night After they Met a Former God

 Day ▋▋ - ▋▋:▋▋ ▋▋ - Fortress Walls, Stone Fortress, Eastern Mountain, Spirit Dimension

Everyone opened their eyes, trying to adjust to the sudden change in their surroundings. Like how they left, it was also how they returned. With a flash of blinding light, they left the cave and appeared atop the walls of the Stone Fortress.

When the light vanished, however, darkness embraced them. Of course, it was not some idiom or analogy, but in the literal sense. Looking at the sky, it was already night time. Probably, it was already midnight. Due to the difference in lux, it was no wonder why they felt blinded.

The group felt odd. They were all sure that it was still morning when the battle with the giant happened. They had just woken up and did not even have breakfast yet. It was good that the tea that was served to them seemed to have effects that filled their stomach for some reason.

They left in the morning and returned in the evening when they spent barely two hours in that place. It was not hard to guess that the place they went to had its time moving even slower than the Spirit Dimension.

The group's return caused a commotion. It was impossible for them to return stealthily because of that flash of light, especially in the middle of the night. Not to mention that more than half of the races that were currently living around the Stone Fortress were nocturnals.

Soldiers immediately ran towards their direction to see what was that flash of light. And when the soldiers saw Mark's group, it was like a hero's return. Everyone was delighted to see them and had the look of reverence in their faces. It was very uncomfortable.

Mark urged Felenia to lead the way so that they could enter the fortress immediately. He did not want to stay any longer with this kind of reception.

Luckily, no one stopped them on the way. Instead, the races and the soldiers parted to the side, letting them pass without any hindrance.

However, it was very noisy. The Duendes that were guarding the walls had all turned to human size, securing the safety of the night. Seeing Mark, who defeated the giant that killed many of them, they started hitting the ground with the base of their spears as they cheered.

The way they chant and hit the ground was uniform as if they were trained to do so. It was a rather beautiful sight. It was quite annoying, though.

As they entered the gates into the fortress, they thought that it was over.

As they stepped inside, however, Diwata Danaya was there. Along with the king and queen of the Stone fortress and the representatives of the races.

Mark could feel that they wanted to throw a celebration for some reason.

And of course...

"Pass..."

He murmured.

Everyone could see the annoyance in his face now. And thus, Felenia decided to step up to quell the situation.

Since it was clear that the time they were gone here was longer than they thought, the Princess of the Stone Fortress took that to her advantage.

"Father, Mother... Diwata Danaya, can we rest first. Look at the time, we are all tired."

Felenia said with made everyone feel awkward. It was because the group truly looked tired. Of course, it was not because they were spent or something, but they were still digesting most of the things they heard earlier. And for the most part, the fatigue on their faces came from the unexpected reception.

Luckily, because of that, they decided to retreat. Although they were curious about the two additions in their group and the missing Sylph.

Unfortunately, it seemed that they were not going to stop but would just postpone the celebration. Mark and the others still had no escape.

They returned to their guestroom and gathered in the lobby, except for Felenia. She was called by her mother and father to tell what happened. Since Bathala graced everyone his presence that was not felt for more than a millennium already, it was impossible for them to settle down just like that.

"Is it fine to let Filenia go? She won't tell everything, right?"

Aephelia, who stood behind Mark's seat asked. Since she was already back to being human, she could not do what she did before. To sit down on Mark's shoulder like Amihan, right now. Nevertheless, she liked this place. It was the same place she always had when she was still serving Freed back then.

To Aephelia's question, everyone was also worried. Not everything that Bathala mentioned to them was safe to disclose. It was especially for Mark and Mei's circumstances that would surely invite unnecessary trouble.

"Don't worry. Felenia is a smart woman. She knows what to tell and what is not."

Teremillio bragged.

"Yeah, she is a smart person. But I still doubt why she fell for you."

Amihan rebuked. Of course, her relationship with the Prince of Black Duendes was still as bad as before.

"Still, I can't believe it that we met a God."

Alana said while she massaged Karlene's head who was lying on her lap.

Karlene was still weak and her head was still aching. Everyone told her to rest in her room already, but she wanted to join everyone. Especially since she could not leave Karla alone who stuck to Mark like a leech.

Actually, now, there was not only Karla. Mara, who sat beside the currently silent Spera, was smiling bitterly. Her sister was currently sitting on the floor in front of Mark as she took his free hand to put on her head.

Mark was quite troubled already, but what could he do? It was not like they were doing any harm. However, to say, it was a huge improvement that Janette could already feel jealous.

Still, Mark wished that she felt jealous about something else and not to Karla.

Fortunately, Mei and the three girls knew that they should not bother him and add themselves on top of the two. Mark already had two handfuls to deal with.

Everyone started to express their emotions and opinions about the unique encounter they had. They also exchanged ideas about the gifts they received. And the best topic of the discussion was about Aephelia who they saw from the vision that Bathala showed everyone.

There was one, however, that was keeping silent. Mark looked at Spera.

Among everyone, she was the only one who received something that was not Physical. Currently, she was moving a small ball of light above her palms. Furthermore, Bathala did not give any concrete explanation about it either. But to say, Spera seemed to be contented about it. The reason being like Amihan, she could feel some connection to the thing they received.

"What do you think that is?"

Mara could not help but ask as she was seating beside Spera.

As a reply, Spera shook her head.

Everyone was also curious about that ball of light. No one had seen something like that before. The only thing that they could tell that it seemed to have life and was an entity made entirely of energy different from what everyone here had.

The only exception in this curiosity was Mark. If he was right, he already encountered something like that before. And to say, Bathala knew his stuff. What Spera needed was not any item or accessory.

"Spera, catch."

Mark said as he tossed something towards her.

It was very unexpected and it made her flustered as she caught what he threw to her.

When she looked at it, it was crystal similar to the ones Mark gave her before. She already received three of these, one when he returned her ability, the other was to turn her into an Evolver.

Still, this one looked rather different.

"What is-"

She was about to ask Mark about the crystal when the ball of light in front of her rushed unto the crystal and swallowed it.

"AHHH!"

Spera was surprised for two reasons. One, because the ball of light reacted in an unexpected way. And two, she knew that a single crystal was too precious. Especially after their encounter with Bathala, she knew that even Gods would salivate for these.

But now... A rather large crystal... Was gone...

Spera was troubled she did not know what to do as she thought that she had to replace it.

"I..."

She was about to apologize to Mark when she saw Mark's had a playful look on his face.

"What? Say it."

Mark urged, almost laughing.

"Gege, don't bully her."

Mei reprimanded.

Everyone then realized that he must have expected that to happen. He was just teasing her afterward.

Of course, everyone here knew why he was teasing her. She was too bad at hiding her emotions. Right now, she looked like a child whose ice cream fell onto the floor, along with tears on the corner of her eyes.

"Do you know anything about it?"

Pefile asked as he looked at the ball of light in curiosity.

Even Spera had the look of askance, although she was about to cry just now.

"A juvenile soul, a spirit."

Mark replied. Of course, this just made everyone even more confused.

"Still don't get it?" Mark asked which Spera nodded. "That is what you need right now, instead of power-up items. You have a very loose grasp to life compared to everyone here. Do you know why?"

That question made Spera realize.

"Because I'm alone?"

She said. Although Mark and Mei did not treat her any different from a relative to the point of teasing her and making her laugh, it still felt different.

Mark had Mei and the little girls. Alana and Karlene were friends since childhood and was nothing less than sisters. They two also had relatives in the Mortal World. Teremillio had his wives. Pefile also had his, although not here. Edzel and Pearl were together. Aephelia and Amihan had Mark as the master they were devoted to.

As for her, she was different. Her relationship to everyone as also shallow since she had not spent too long with them. She found her current life enjoyable, but it was still incomplete.

"With that, you might have something more to grasp onto. That is a young soul bound to you. You should cherish it like a family. Probably in the future, find a body for it."

"Ah..."

Everyone had the same reaction.

The thing that Spera was given was an unborn soul. A soul without a body.

"Say..." Karlene interjected. "Can't Bathala just give her someone already grown or something like Karla? She can even give Aephelia a body. Why give a soul without a body to Spera?"

"Bessie, because it's different." Alana was the one who answered. "Bathala already said, he was weakened. Creating a body and granting it a grown soul could already be hard for him. It might even cause the Observer to find him since it is not a natural birth or scientific birth."

Then, Alana looked at the ball of light in front of Spera.

"As for that soul, Karla and Aephelia are different, I think. They already exist, though Karla was rooted from yours. And since it was a new soul, Spera will need to raise it and bond with it like a family. That is what matters the most."

"Hoh... To think that you can explain it to that extent."

Mark said. If his hands were not occupied, he might have clapped just to tease.

"Of course!" Alana replied. "I read a lot of light novels before. There are a lot of things in resemblance."

Mark shrug his head and looked back at Spera.

She was staring at the ball of light with a new spark in her eyes. It was a very good sign.

As for the crystal Mark gave her, it was actually the only crystal unique to his collection.

After all, this was not the first time he saw a ball of light like that. When he defeated the headless priest, he caught one and got that crystal in return. That made him think that it would help Spera's gift a lot.

The night got deeper and Felenia returned. As they expected, she knew that she needed to hide a lot of things. She also brought back several things. These were the things Mark asked her to find before, the records about the Blood Demons that their kingdom had.

Of course, he could not read it.

Thus, having new goals for tomorrow, they decided to sleep.