Chapter 1: How?
On a small corner of the enormous galaxy, a world existed.
It was a vast land, filled with endless mountains, great bodies of water, wondrous vistas and the likes. It truly is a magnificent piece of world even though it was filled with rich history and great dangers.
It is called, The Grand Ancestral Plane.
On the central part of the Grand Ancestral Plane, a lone kingdom stood strong for millenniums.
It is called, The Final Haven Kingdom.
Located amidst the vast expanse of forest filled streams, hills, poisonous swamps, lairs of demonic beasts and etc. The empire stood tall and remained.
This place might be the last haven for humans, thus it's name.
The Kingdom, though surrounded by enormous walls that protected it's citizens, are still under the constant threat of destruction from beast hordes.
Even so, humans can't abandon this place. It's citizens can't abandon this place. Since this is the last remaining place for humans to live in.
The Kingdom is divided to three main parts.
The Outer Ring where most of the regular citizens lived. This place is undoubtedly the most populated location in the Kingdom. Most of the families lived here in a very humble manner. Some relied on farming, other through clothing, smithing, cooking, trading, or even entertaining. They might lack wealth but they are filled with dreams that eventually, there will be a day when they too could live as comfortably as the nobles.
The Inner Ring, where most of the Nobles gathered. This is where the important figures of the kingdom resided or those who have a very impressive background. These nobles had a fair share of wealth and able to live as comfortably as they could, but they also knew that being born as a Noble has it's responsibilities
Last but not the least. The Royal Palace. Where the Royal Family resided. It is a tradition of their ancestors and their idea to build this place. It serves as a the beacon of hope, pride and protection for it's citizens, telling them that their King is there to shoulder the heavens for their safety.
The reason for their belief, is because their beloved King is a very strong Knight.
Knights are those people who had superhuman strength. They have strengths that could rival that of a god. They were the ones who protected the safety of the kingdom. It could even be said that being a Knight is the most honorable profession in the entire kingdom. And this is why almost everyone wanted to become a Knight.
On the southern part of the Outer Ring of the kingdom. There is a humble abode below a hill.
This is a rather discreet location for someone to live, but it is peaceful in here. The abode was made out of bricks, traces of smoke could be seen on it's chimney. The house is divided into separate doors, one for the living room, one for the kitchen, one leads towards the yard at the back, one leads to the masters bedroom and one lead towards the children's room, a total of five doors.
Inside the children's room, a youngster wore an agonized expression. He was at least thirteen or fourteen years old. He had a tanned skin, and a very lean body, it could even be said that he's skinny. His straight brows were furrowed and his jaw were clenched, his tiny hands were gripping the sheets, showing that he was suffering from something.
A soft but pained sound escaped his thin lips. His head felt like it was being pounded with many bricks. The throbbing sensation was coursing through his body, it was too painful that he wanted to lose consciousness but the pain was not letting him do so. It was incredibly agonizing for a small child to experience a pain like this.
If anyone was here, they would be totally confused as to what is going on with the boy. From the looks of it, he might be experiencing some nightmares, but how could a normal nightmare hurt like this? Another weird thing is that, a faint light was covering the boy's head.
It was very hard to recognize but if one paid attention closely, the light formed a shape.
A Crown-like shape.
However this phenomena disappeared quickly along with the agonized expression of the child. After a couple of peaceful breaths, the child opened his eyes only to witness an unfamiliar ceiling. His vision adjusted for a second before he felt a throb on his head. Raising his shaking hands on his head, he managed to utter his first word after waking up…
His raspy yet pitched voice echoed inside the room. The child massaged his temples for a while and this proved to be effective since the residual pain from the earlier torture was receding. He managed to open his eyes once more and roam his vision around.
He spoke with a great effort, his brows were once again furrowed as he tried to recall the events before his passed out. He closed his eyes and concentrated, and when he managed to trace down the last memory he had, his body shivered and his eyes abruptly flew wide open.
"How!? How is this possible!?" His voice almost sounded hysterical at this point.
"I died! I knew I did! I ignited my entire cultivation base in hopes of burying the Abyssal Emperor with me so I shouldn't be alive! What's going on?"
His voice carried a surprised reaction. It was no surprise that he acted this way, anyone would react this way if they experienced the same thing as he did.
The child concentrated once more and tried his best to recall everything. His eyes opened and once again roamed inside the room he was in. Suddenly, a very old memory of his started playing in his head. There were several pictures in that memory that seemed to overlap with the image that he was seeing inside this room right now.
Unknowingly, tears started falling in his immature face. These tears weren't formed because of sadness and instead, it was because of profound sense of joy, happiness and excitement. His heart threatened to leap out of his heart because of it's fierce beating. Every fiber in his body was screaming with joy. His mouth opened and closed multiple times but failed to utter any sound, it was after a long period of silence that he manage to say something.
"I'm back…" he whispered breathlessly.
"Holy shit, I really am back…" his words sounded like he was trying to convince himself about a very obvious thing.
"Hahaha! Fuck! I, Vendrick Valorheart, am back! Shit! Hahahaha!" His hysterical laugh echoed inside the room, seemingly announcing to whole world the news of his return. He quickly calmed down and tried to rationalize his thoughts.
"I never thought that this is possible. After the demise of the kingdom, everyone died except me. After crawling through the remains, I roamed the Grand Ancestral Plane in search of a way to raise my strength in order to avenge my family and friends. I eventually succeeded and ascended to the Divine Realm where I seek more power to revive them. But the Eternal Division Wall was breached, and the Divine Realm was attacked by the Abbysals."
"Many humans died under their claws, because of desperation, I raised my strength without holding back. I eventually had the strength face the Abyssal Emperor but he was too strong, during the last act of madness, I forcefully broke through the same stage as he did and ignited myself in order to take him down with me. I never expected that it will lead me to this scenario…where I'm back to start over."
It was difficult to express just how awesome he felt this time. There's a lot of things that's going on in his mind. All the memories he made, all of the adventures he took, all of the dangers he faced, the enemies he slew and so much more, add the fact that he will be able to once more and this time, better. Thinking about it just sends his heart into a frenzy.
"Partner…where are you?"
Vendrick or 'Raven' as his nickname, softly called out with his eyes closed.
He had not forgotten the one thing that accompanied him all throughout his journey. He searched and searched, his vision seemingly penetrated the deepest and most secretive part of his body.
His very own soul.
There he saw, a dimmed light flickering to existence. It was very faint but it signifies that it's there. Seeing this image brought immense joy in his heart. His eyes might be closed but his gaze softened as he silently watched over it. It was gaze, like that of a doting brother.
As a response to his gaze, the silhouette deep in his soul shook and flickered multiple times. It seems to be sentient and expressing gratefulness and joy upon noticing his gaze.
"Thankfully you're still with me…Divine Crown."