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Chrysalis

Anthony has been reborn! Placed into the remarkable game-like world of Pangera. However, something seems a little off. What's with these skills? Bite? Dig? Wait.... I've been reborn as a WHAT?! Follow Anthony as he attempts to adjust to his new life, to survive and grow in his new Dungeon home!

RinoZ · Fantasy
Not enough ratings
1264 Chs

Chapter 1346 - Anthony On Tour - Journey Home

Beyn didn't know what to think, or what to say. The Great One had risen high, taken the fight against the Phoenix of Light, although for reasons Beyn couldn't understand.

When the Great One had launched his mighty spell and swallowed the light, Beyn had felt as if his eyes were about to leap from his head. Was this truly the declaration of war, committing the New Path against the old?! Was the famed defender of Atreum about to fall, allowing for the rise of a new power?

Visions had flashed before his eyes, images of triumph, of despair, of misery and joy. His heart had soared as he imagined the glory of the crusade to come, even as he wept for the pain and suffering that would surely spread, the darkness that would smother the land before the dawn would come.

Yet, it wasn't to be. The Phoenix had been reborn in a blinding cascade of light, the Great One had been enveloped in flames. The rest was, as they say, history.

How could he describe the emotions that had overwhelmed him as he watched the Great One fall? That was the physical manifestation of his faith, a living deity, a creature who had been touched by divine providence. He had rocked an entire mountain to its foundations to defend his people, performed miracle after miracle, but now, he had been defeated? Was it possible for the New Path to fail?

As the hours dragged by, he sat on the deck, a respectful distance away from the slowly recovering ant, watching. After a time, Jern and Alis came to sit alongside him.

With the conclusion of the voyage, there should have been a glad and celebratory air around the fleet. Instead, it felt like a funeral. There was little conversation, the ants did not move much, the brathians kept to themselves.

Sailors and mages saw to their duties with only scattered, hushed words exchanged. Winds were summoned and directed into the sails, waters were driven along the sides of the ships. The fleet moved at incredible speed, every ship raising a plume of white spray in their wake.

"I don't… I don't understand what happened," Beyn confessed finally. His one remaining hand was clutched to his chest, as if trying to hold in the fear which had blossomed there. "That the Great One… could lose… I'm not sure what it means."

The two paladins didn't respond immediately. After some consideration, it was Jern who decided to speak.

"He's sad," he said simply.

Beyn was confused.

"Who is?"

Jern nodded toward where Anthony, still horrifically injured, remained motionless, slowly healing.

"The Great One. I can get a vague sense, a faint impression, of what he's feeling. He's sad."

Alis was reluctant to speak, but she frowned at Jern's words and couldn't contain herself.

"I'm not sure 'sad'... goes far enough," she said quietly, looking at the motionless ant with complicated emotions in her eyes. "He's… he's grieving. Deeply."

This was an even more shocking revelation to Beyn. Grieving? Grieving what? The loss? Jern seemed to anticipate his next question. The huge man rolled his shoulders and spoke.

"I wasn't sure either at first, so I went and asked the ants."

"You didn't tell me that," Alis objected.

"Well… I'm telling you now… I guess. One of the ants went missing in the city. Nobody seems sure just how it happened, or who exactly was taken, but the Colony is of the opinion one of them was… abducted… and the Great One went to get them back."

The one-armed priest listened intently to every word Jern said, but when the young man had finished speaking, he still didn't seem capable of processing what had been said.

An ant… abducted? Who would do such a thing? And why? Such sacrilege! A desecration! An unspeakable insult thrown directly in the face of the New Path! Rage burned within his chest, hot flames that threatened to ignite his entire self in righteous fire.

And the Great One! They had thrown themselves unflinchingly into the mouth of danger, dared to rise against the entire Atreum empire for the sake of a single member of the blessed family. Such selflessness! Such devotion! And now they suffered grief as deep as the oceans themselves, unable to save their precious family member! Great sorrow welled within the priest, enough to drown the flames of anger and plunge him into fathomless melancholy.

Then a thought occurred to him. A dark, terrible thought. One that caused the breath to freeze in his lungs and turned the blood in his veins to ice.

"Tell me more of this Colony," the Great Priest had smiled, "I am fascinated to learn more of them."

Him? Had it been HIM?! The Church of the Path considered all monsters to be resources, to be offerings, intended to uplift the mortals of Pangera. Why would he have been interested in the Colony for any other reason? Beyn had been all too happy to answer his questions, to share in the miracle, even in a small way. And yet… AND YET!

With a strangled cry of rage and despair, the priest shot to his feet and ripped his robe off. With only one arm, this was a bit of a struggle, but such was his frenzy that he swiftly achieved it, then he turned and roared at the now vanishing Silver City in the distance. Such a cry drew every eye, as it contained such anger, such sadness, such a depth of betrayal, that it brought a tear to the eye of all who heard it.

Then he sprinted at the railing and flung himself into the water.

After the brathians had fished him out and returned him to the deck, he lay gasping on the wooden boards, tears streaming down his face as Jern and Alis hovered over him.

The Old Path must be destroyed, he vowed to himself in his heart. I will never rest until it has been torn down completely, until not a single brick of that institution rests upon another. 

The Great One would be acknowledged as the true saviour of this world. Beyn could accept nothing less.