21 Chapter 21

{Are you sure this will work, Host?}

Of course.

While Yuu was talking to Siara telepathically, he had an idea after hearing Yue's request.

What was this request?

Well, after he had decided to take Yue with him, the golden-haired vampire wanted to taste his blood so that she would be closer to him, even though Yuu had warned her that this wouldn't be possible. However, Yue continued to sulk until Yuu finally agreed with a complicated smile that made her glow with happiness.

While it was true that he had not used it in his previous world, Yuu knew a method so that the effect of his blood would not have any unnecessary consequences on Yue.

Sitting on the throne with Yue on his lap, Yuu took Yue's hands between his own as he began to recite a strange spell that even the castle could not translate. A bright glow illuminated the interior, casting their shadows on the marble walls.

Yue felt a warm sensation spread through her body, like the rays of a sun that shouldn't be shining in this empty place. After a few seconds, Yuu completed the ritual and drew a faint smile.

"Done. Do you feel anything different?"

"Mmm..." Her eyes snapped open and glowed an unnatural crimson for a moment. She examined her body with a new vision and replied, "I feel stronger... It seems as if I have infinite energy... I even feel connected to you.

This must have been a characteristic of Yuu's previous world, Honkai Star Rail game universe. The birth of an Aeon like him gave rise to a Path over which the Aeon had power.

And what the hell was a Path? Basically, they were congregations of Imaginary energy, material manifestations of universal philosophical concepts. Those who believed and practiced the principles behind a given Path became Pathstriders, and the Path would respond to their philosophies and opinions.

Of course, the Aeons also had the ability to bestow some of their abilities upon mere mortals, making us 'Emanators'.

'But unlike typical Pathstriders, Emanators are chosen directly by an Aeon to draw energy from their Path.'―Yuu recalled a rather important part of that world's power configuration. 'An Emanator is proven to be more powerful than any normal Pathstrider.'

Different Aeons treated their Emanators in different ways. Some saw them as mere extensions of their will and granted them vast power. Others did not consider them worthy and ignored them altogether.

Yuu, or rather Aegis, fell into the latter category. Despite his millions of years of existence, he had never looked down and bestowed his power. In fact, he had broken the very rule that stated: "The birth of an Aeon creates a new Path"!

When he became the Aeon of the Beginning and the End, he completely blocked the Path that was about to be born, denying the very possibility for mortals to follow it.

The decision to completely deny the existence of his Path was an act that the other Aeons had considered madness at the time. Some had even attempted to abolish him and absorb that vast power...

But how could these fools believe that they could destroy an existence that literally embodied the "Beginning and End" of all reality? The few who dared to try paid a heavy price at the hands of the ultimately Aeon called [Aegis].

The Path of the Beginning and the End was forever closed to mortals. Its true potential was beyond comprehension.

And yet, against all odds, this Aeon had just granted Yue some of that power. A "Grace", in the terms of that world.

"Infinite energy, huh? That's the Grace you have now." Yuu explained with a faint smile.

A Grace made the recipient an "Emanator", a blessing with limited access to the Path of their Aeon. But even if they followed the same Path, each Emanator would mold it in their own image...

"You probably see the Beginning and the End as an endless cycle, that's why you feel inexhaustible. But the Beginning and the End is much more than that..... Your understanding of the Path will grow with time. You don't have to "rush" it."

"And this connection you feel..." Yuu stroked her cheek softly as he spoke. "It's because you are now something like my Apostle."

'Apostle? Um... I'm different from Jasmine... A rank even higher than a mere disciple.'

The revelation lit up her face with a smile. She felt strangely satisfied knowing that even Jasmine had never been this close to Yuu. She clung to the Aeon's chest, rubbing her cheek against it as she expressed her sincere gratitude:

"Thank you... Aegis."

Before Yuu could answer, Yue looked up and asked with a cute pout:

"Can I drink your blood now?"

His answer was simple:

"Mm. Go ahead."

So Yue wasted no time. She quickly straddled him and clung to his neck with her frail vampire hands. She took a deep breath of his intoxicating scent before opening her mouth.

Blood of a being that embodied the fundamental concepts of the universe? What would it taste like?

She sunk her fangs into Aegis' warm flesh. A thick, golden liquid flowed into her mouth, wrenching a choked moan of pure ecstasy from her. It was as if an electrical storm coursed through every fiber of her being!

For a brief moment, as the very essence of existence flowed through her, she finally understood a glimpse of the true meaning of "Beginning and End".

Her crimson eyes widened as the golden blood of Aeon flowed within her! Was this truly the nectar of a true god himself? She had never tasted anything so... transcendent!

She could feel her body burning the more she drank of that scorching liquid. Small moans of satisfaction escaped her lips. Her entire being was focused on sucking in more and more of this divine essence.

Through the threads of Emanator's bond connecting her to him, Yue could feel Aegis channeling some of that Castle's energy into her body. A necessary precaution, it seemed, to prevent the essence of an Aeon from destroying her from the inside...

The golden glow in her veins intensified with each gulp. A surge of power alien to any previous knowledge began to flood Yue, mingling with the traces of Aeon energy now coursing through her veins.

It was as if her very existence was being rewritten with every heartbeat!

A blinding flash burst in front of Yue's eyes as a distant voice echoed in her mind.

[The existence known as Yue will be forcibly Ascended to a Lesser Godhead]

Yue has transcended mortality! She became a demigoddess by the grace of the Aeon of the Beginning and the End!

After quenching her thirst with the Aeon's blood, Yue pulled her fangs from his flesh and licked the wound that emanated that golden glow. The flesh sealed before her tongue as if it had never been pierced.

She stepped back a little and raised her gaze to Yuu, who was staring down at her from above.

Their eyes met and for the first time Yuu noticed the changes in her appearance.

Yue's once slender body had taken on a new vitality. Her large crimson eyes glowed like bloody moons in the night. Her pale complexion had become even whiter and shinier, and even her golden hair seemed to radiate a subtle glow to it.

If she had once been considered "pretty" by mortal standards in Arifureta, with this new form of existence that had moved up a rung on the ladder of creation, her appearance was unparalleled among mortals.

Even if her face remained expressionless like a porcelain doll, she looked at Yuu curiously. The Aeon held nothing back as he explained what had just happened.

'Not only have I gained access to a Grace... but I've climbed a level in the great jegarchy of the Cosmos.... Is that what Aegis says?'

Aside from her astonishment, a warm emotion began to rise in Yue. Didn't becoming a demigoddess bring her closer to Yuu? Even after spending an eternity with her emotions frozen in that abyss, she now felt true happiness.

Her facial muscles, numb for so long, finally curved into a small but genuine smile. She stretched out her arms and gently embraced the Aeon, repeating her thanks over and over again.

Suddenly, Yuu stood up with the petite vampire wrapped around his waist. In an instant, the entire scenery changed around them through some method of teleportation.

When reality came back into focus, they found themselves on top of a tall building overlooking the city of Kuoh.


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