Book 3 Chapter 18.3

Book 3 Chapter 18.3 - To Cherish

The old man accepted the card. Without even looking at it, he placed it into his pockets and then said, It has only been a month. You move quite quickly.”

“Earning a million wasn’t too difficult.” Su said.

The old man smiled slightly and said, “It’s not difficult, but this is only true for a small portion of people. Youngster, for you, the truly difficult is still waiting. Please follow me. The ceremony has already been prepared.”

Only after hearing this sentence did Su’s constantly anxious heart relax somewhat. He was always worried whether the million the Spider Empress wanted was just an excuse, one that temporarily stopped him from going after Mitchels. After all, there was no way the Spider Empress was lacking a million, while Madeline...

Madeline truly died. 

At the very least, as far as Su’s knowledge could comprehend, he didn’t detect the slightest trace of vitality from her body. He knew even less about, or could not even think up of a way to revive her. 

Only when the old man said that the ceremony had already been prepared did a trace of hope appear in the bottom of his heart.

He followed the elder through terrifyingly spacious halls one after another before finally arriving in a living room that wasn’t too large. The so-called not too large was only when compared to the great halls outside. While standing in this room that was twenty meters long, ten meters tall and wide, the elder and Su looked as insignificant as two ants. 

At the end of the hall was an altar, and the steel coffin that carried Madeline was placed at its center. On top of the altar burned a blue flame so faint it was almost invisible. On top of the flame floated a faint white colored, semi transparent bubble. 

While standing in front of the five meter tall altar, Su already couldn’t see the situation on top of the altar. The blue flame on the altar had a unique power that could isolate all types of probing methods. At the very least, all of the perception methods Su grasped currently were useless before this blue flame. Even with the panoramic view that had not been fully developed yet, he could only see an expanse of darkness above the altar. 

The elder didn’t make any movements either, but a control platform slowly rose in front of Su. It had a black colored base but was adorned with dark red patterns, quite in accordance with this dark red castle’s style. Then, a light screen emerged from the control platform with three large choices that stood side by side. Below them were descriptions that couldn’t be simpler. 

The first selection was an unsheathed sword. The description was a semi-transformation: offensive increase. 

The second selection had a tall ancient tree painted. The roots below the ancient tree were actually wrapping around a star, the description text indicating that it was a semi-transformation: high speed recovery. 

The final selection was a limitless serene and deep starry sky. The description was: complete transformation.

“This is…” Su looked towards the elder with a questioning gaze. 

The elder showed a rare seriousness, no longer carrying a trace of a smile. In a slower pace, he said, “Young miss Madeline’s constitution is especially unique. After a period of time, a transformation would take place. When the empress brought young miss back, the young miss began to transform less than a month later. This process took up an entire month’s worth of time. Only after that transformation did young miss’ combat potential emerge. From a biological perspective, transformation is an extremely wonderful phenomenon, the mysteries contained within can provide us with over a hundred years of research. If I had to give a comparison, it would be like the process where a cocoon turned into a butterfly. Only after seven whole years of research did Dark Red Castle take their first step in its understanding of this transformation, as well as affect the process in an extremely limited manner. Originally, when young miss was going to carry out the third transformation, she should have returned to Dark Red Castle, because only here could her safety be ensured and smoothly complete the transformation. Only, who would have expected that young miss Madeline would choose this time to head for Sunset Castle and challenge Unwavering Sunset, thus entering eternal rest.”

The old man gave the altar a meaningful look, and then he slowly said, “For the sake of waking up young miss Madeline from eternal darkness, Her Majesty the Empress chose to sacrifice a portion of her own vitality to forcefully start up young miss’ third transformation. Just like what I have just said, right now, we have a bit of control over young miss Madeline’s transformation. In front of you right now are the transformation directions.”

“These three transformation directions are pointing towards…” Su asked. 

“A semi-transformation will maintain young miss Madeline’s current abilities, as well as a chance to strengthen certain abilities. The only weak point was that due to the transformation process not being complete, the increase towards her potential will be quite minimal, to the extent where it might not even increase it at all. Offensive increase will guide the transformation towards various offensive ability promotions. With the young miss’ talents, she might very well produce a new ninth level ability, perhaps even having a small chance of developing a tenth level ability.” The old man explained in a slow and unhurried manner. 

Tenth level ability! Was this the potential the little girl with blue eyes had? As Su looked at the options in front of him, his mind suddenly became extremely complex. What was strange was that while amidst all of these complex emotions, there wasn’t any happiness. 

“The other transformation direction will greatly strengthen the recoverative strength of young miss’ body. Together with young miss’ great offensive strength and exceptional speed, it will similarly increase her combat prowess by a large amount. Right, of course, because it is also not a complete transformation, the increase in her potential won’t be as apparent.”

The old man quickly explained the second option, and Su similarly understood this ability’s meaning. Recoverative ability strengthening made guerilla warfare and a war of attrition become a possibility, but towards one’s overall fighting strength, it was better off directly increasing her offensive strength. Su was a good example of one who relied on his great recoverative prowess to fight. 

Towards the final choice, the elder’s explanation was extremely simple. “Complete transformation is to undergo a complete transformation without adjusting the direction of transformation at all. It will greatly strengthen one’s potential, but it comes at the price of the disappearance of all of her currently existing abilities.”

After explaining all three transformation choices, the elder stood to the side and quietly waited.

When he saw the elder’s actions, Su stared blankly for a moment. Then, he asked in an extremely unconfident manner, “Could it be that… you want me to make the choice?”

The elder laughed and said, “Correct. Having you make the choice is most suitable. Even though young miss Madeline didn’t have time to tell us her own decision, I believe that she would be quite willing to have you make the choice in her place. Moreover, after this transformation, young miss Madeline should leave Dark Red Castle. From then on, taking care of her will be your responsibility.”

For Su, this was another piece of completely unexpected news. He looked at the elder with shock and asked, “Your distinguished self’s meaning is… to hand Madeline over to me?”

The elder nodded and said, “This isn’t my intention, but insteads the respected empress’. After experiencing the battle of Sunset Castle, Her Majesty believed that Madeline should return to your distinguished self’s side. This should also be in accordance to young miss’ desires.” 

“But..” Su frowned. 

Counting from the day Lanaxis brought her away, Madeline had already stayed in Dark Red Castle for close to eight years. Now, Madeline already had nine levels of ability! From this nine levels of ability, one can see just how great her natural talents were, as well as how much care and resources the Spider Empress placed on her. During this transformation, it was even the Spider Empress who was going to use a portion of her own vitality as the price. With so much invested, why did she hand Madeline back to him? 

The elder seemed to understand what Su was thinking. He looked towards the altar, and then a trance of doting fluttered across his face. Then, he smiled and said, “I believe you should understand that not everything paid needs something in return.”

Su took a deep breath. He finally raised his hand, and then he pressed towards the screen. However, when his hand made it halfway, it stopped. He just couldn’t get himself to push his hand down.

It was as if there was a mountainous pressure on his hand that made it extremely hard for him to move it in any direction. This intangible mountain, is called responsibility.

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