Chapter 51: Endeavor

Sona: “So what now?”

She looked at the silhouette in front of her with suspicious eyes as she asked,

Sona: “Now that you are here, it should mean that you have some business with me.”

Sagax: “To be completely honest, I would have to come to you even if I had nothing to say to you. After all, you did enter this place and I am the only one who knows how to send you back.”

Sona: “Hmm.”

She was skeptical but not unnecessarily suspicious. She did keep in mind the possibility that he might be lying, but decided to go along with it.

Sagax: “But that being said and done, yes, I do have something to talk to you about.”

Sagax’s voice showed a rather plain tone, almost as if he was trying to suppress all the emotions he had.

Sona: “So what is it?”

Understanding that well, Sona decided that it would be best to focus on the conversation and not get distracted.

Sagax: “Well, simply put, I was curious about what exactly you are going to do.”

Sona: “Huh?”

According to Sona, her intentions are pretty simple and it shouldn’t be hard for anyone to figure out what she is planning to do. But since he had asked, it was only natural to state it clearly.

Sona: “I am going to do all in my power to bring doom upon Ozyllus and his plans.”

Sagax’s hollow emptiness in place of eyes allowed him to hide all the emotions swirling up inside him as he said,

Sagax: “I am afraid … you didn’t understand my question.”

And so, by using that empty darkness, he decided to ask his question.

Sagax: “I know what you intend to do. I want to know how you’ll do it. What exactly will you do to fulfill that goal of yours?”

It was a pretty understandable question. Even Sona herself had no real plan for going about this goal. One reason for that can be said to be the fact that she hadn’t gotten much time to think about it, but even if she had, she wasn’t confident that she would really come up with a very good answer.

Sagax: “Surely you must know what you are going to do is exponentially difficult.”

Sona: “Yeah, I know that very well.”

She had prepared for over a decade to get her revenge on the dragon. The amount of effort it took her to form a contract with a spirit like Death and many other spirits she had was nothing to laugh about, not to mention giving them enough experience with battles and tactics, among other things.

And even after all that, she lost to the dragon. The game turned around so suddenly that she couldn’t even deploy any other spirit to assist Death. As a result, the spirits who may have been able to detect the special ability of the dragon and henceforth stopped Death in due time remained uninvolved in the battle as the main attack unit got wiped out in a second.

That was the result of a decade worth of training against the dragon. Needless to say, in order to destroy a plan Ozyllus of all people had worked for about 1000 years would prove to be impossible.

Sagax: “So, how exactly are you going to go about it? And don’t worry; I won’t sell your plans to Ozyllus.”

Sona: “Actually, even if you do sell me out, it wouldn’t really matter.”

Sagax: “Oh?”

Sona: “I mean, think about it. In these 1000 years of time, there is no way he could not have considered every angle in which his plan could be interrupted.”

Sagax: “Yeah, I expect him to have done that at the very least.”

Sona: “So anything someone like me cooks up isn’t going to be enough.”

Sagax stared at her with curiosity, among other countless emotions inside him.

Sona: “That’s right; it just won’t be possible for me to outwit him, not alone anyway.”

Her plan was simple, and perhaps the most feasible.

Sona: “Trying to think of some ingenious counter-plan will only backfire at me. So, all I can do is relying on others for help.”

Her approach was mature, to say the least. Needless to say, the chances of winning were still very slim even if all the people she had in mind would be willing to help.

Sagax: “I see.”

Sagax nodded. At the very least, the silhouette looked to be nodding. Sona couldn’t be sure of it until his next words.

Sagax: “That’s a good move, possibly the best move you can make at this point.”

Even Sagax, the man named as the wisest in the kingdom of Ozyllus could not have outwitted someone like Ozyllus when he has so much experience and knowledge on his side. So, at the end, even he would have gone with the same approach.

Sona: “We need to collect information that we don’t know and simultaneously get stronger. That, I guess, is the long and short of it.”

Sagax: “Yes, that’s fine. But you seem to already be assuming that people will join you on this quest.”

Sona: “That they will.”

She wasn’t bluffing. She knew people would join her. She knew there are many who would be willing to give their life to bring Ozyllus down. And there’s of course the confirmed support from Kais.

Sona: “I am not an idiot. I know he has created many tragedies like mine, maybe even worse than mine. And I can bet those whose lives he destroyed will be willing to take revenge.”

Sagax: “Revenge, huh?

Sagax knew the weight of those words all too well. And so, he could only frown on hearing them.

Sagax: “I suppose that is what’s driving you. So the first thing you’d use to motivate others like you is ‘revenge’ as well.”

Sona: “And?”

She sensed a fleeting rejection in his voice that he had tried to hide throughout their conversation.

Sona: “Do you have any objections to that?”

Despite her words, her tone gave no threatening vibes. If Sagax had eyes, he would have closed them and then sighed.

Sagax: “No, I do not.”

But that would still be the answer he had given. There was nothing else he could say and nothing else he deserved to say.

Sagax: “Whatever drives a person, it’s their choice. Whether it is revenge or hope; it’s not my place to judge.”

He gave his honest opinion.

Sagax: “Now that the question I had is out of the way, do you have any questions for me?”

Sona: “I do.”

Seeing the former owner of Eyes of Truth willing to answer questions, she just had to ask him.

Sona: “Do you know where the psychic library is?”

Sagax: “You don’t know where it is!?”

Seeing the location of one of the most popular places of his time being unknown to the Spirit-user in front of him, he could only frown.

Sona: “As far as common knowledge among us goes – nobody knows where it is.”

Sagax was surprised. That surprise could only mean that he hadn’t met anyone of the current time before who could tell him about these things. It would also mean that he has not talked to Ozyllus or Abyss. While keeping the possibility of him lying in the back of her mind, she derived this conclusion – Sagax’s soul has been in this place for a time long enough that nothing related to developments in the current world is known to him.

Sagax: “I see.”

After a pause because of the surprise, he regained composure and said,

Sagax: “Then, I suppose I can tell you where it was in the past. Hopefully, that would help.”

Sona: “Why would you tell me this?”

Sagax: “It’s simply because I too want to stop Ozyllus.”

As if he had predicted her question, he answered immediately.

Sagax: “But getting back to the library’s location, it was right in the middle of Ozyllus’ and Vermillion’s territories.”

Ozyllus had liberated from Vermillion and formed a nation of his own. From what the history says, the territory that Ozyllus claimed as his own belonged to Vermillion before. As such, the psychic library would have been in Vermillion’s territory. What the history doesn’t say is that the library was the point from where Ozyllus negotiated with Vermillion to have the boundary line drawn.

Sagax told her that missing piece of history, and Sona gained a clue as to where her next destination would be.

Sona: “I see. That’s helpful.”

She was undoubtedly thankful to him for that information. And so, she had gained a faint smile along with that information.

Sagax: “Well then, if that’s all, I would send you back.”

Sona: “Just tell me one last thing.”

She raised her arm making her palm face him as if to signal to stop him.

Sona: “What exactly is this place?”

Sagax: “It’s where my soul was sent just before I died.”

Because his soul was the only thing here and that was the only explanation to it that made sense, Sona had predicted that much but,

Sagax: “Even I don’t fully comprehend what this place is.”

The real answer to her question was that.

Sagax: “I think it’s a replica of a Cage that all psychics have in their subconscious.”

Sona: “I see. Well, it does look that way.”

Seeing the dark place that seemed endless in all directions, Sona can only agree to that assumption. Even if she had, obviously, never seen a Cage before, this was what she had imagined it to be like from the description Barry had given her years ago.

Sona: “Still, you have been here for about 1000 years now, and you still don’t know what this place is.”

Sagax: “Well, without eyes, it’s quite hard for me to actually investigate anything. Furthermore, Ozyllus is the one who made this place and I think he would have kept it in his mind to make something I wouldn’t be able to figure out.”

His reasons were valid and Sona did understand that, which is why she didn’t say anything. But, she was still disappointed.

Sona: “So the reason why you are able to move around like you can see everything is because of some ability?”

She wanted to ask him how, without eyes, he was able to move so freely. That was the last question she had for him.

Sagax: “I can sense a presence and then float to it. I suppose floating for these many years had allowed me to move much more freely than I initially could and so it may look like I can move as if I have eyes.”

That was an expected answer. And being satisfied by it, Sona was out of any questions for the moment.

In truth, she had many questions. She wanted to ask Sagax everything since he had been there when the war between Ozyllus and Abyss, the event everything seems to be connected to, happened. But, she had a certainty in her mind that he wouldn’t answer and will just say to go to the Library.

Sagax: “Well then, if that’s all,”

Sona: “Yeah, that’s all I had to ask.”

And so, she accepted what would come next.

Sagax: “I wish you succeed in your quest.”

He said as bright rays of light came from behind her and she got pulled back to the tomb.

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The two kept carefully matching their steps as they looked up the stairs to see where the sound they heard a while ago came from. And soon, they found the reason.

Sneha: “Sona?”

The woman who had been pulled back to the tomb a while ago is sitting on the stairs holding her left arm with her right.

Sona: “Yeah.”

The reason for her holding her arm is something the two of them got concerned about and it could be seen in their eyes.

Sona: “Don’t worry. It’s just hurting a little because I got hit on this arm when I was pulled back to the tomb.”

Sneha: “I-I see.”

As if all the tension has been released from her, her shoulders relax.

Sona: “But more importantly, I see we have been joined by your friend here.”

Sneha: “Please do me the favor of not calling us friends.”

Ethan: “Harsh!”

Ethan acted as if he was hurt only to get a frown from both women in return.

Sona: “So hey,”

Sona looks at Sneha as she asks,

Sona: “Where are the others?”

Sneha’s gaze drops as she hears that question.

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Sona: “I see.”

She clicks her tongue in frustration.  After having been updated on everything that happened after she got sucked in the black hole, all she could do was click her tongue.

Sona: “So it has already happened.”

She knew all along that the girl, no, Lilly, would die. After all, the dragon was about to die and the island was going to get destroyed.

Sneha: “Huh?”

Sona: “No, nothing.”

During her conversation with Sagax, she had also come to know how she would die. But she hadn’t expected her to already be dead by the time she got back. And so, she is frustrated.

Sona: “Tell me, how much time is left till this island is destroyed?”

Sneha: “I wouldn’t know the exact amount but,”

She turned to Ethan expecting him to have done all the calculations with time because of his Eyes of Truth.

Ethan: “About a day and a half. From what I can pick up, this interference will last for the current day only, so it would actually be a day and an hour.”

Half a day will pass in an hour but then the time will get back to normal, is what Ethan says.

Sona: “I see. We don’t have much time to be here, do we?”

She gazes at the ground as she says that.

Ethan: “No, we don’t.”

He says as he narrows his gaze.

The trigger that would lead to the destruction of the island, Lilly, is already gone. But that only means that her core has dispersed. She believed to the end that the island will be destroyed. So it will be destroyed. That has not changed. In fact, now it has become a certain future as there is no way for her to start believing otherwise.

Only Ethan among those three knows that and he sees no reason to reveal that information. The destruction of the island was something Ethan is the true reason for. At least, that’s what most would think if they hear about the why it would be destroyed.

They wouldn’t know that he had to do it because he had to make Ozyllus believe that he was dancing to his tune and so they would immediately antagonize him. In the current situation at least, Ethan decides to not take the chance and keep it a secret.

Sona: “If that’s the case then,”

Suppressing all her sadness and frustration for the girl’s death, Sona decided to think of what they would do next.

Sona: “So where is Kais?”

Sneha: “Don’t know. I didn’t go up the stairs ever since I came here and neither have I gone anywhere lower, so he could he on one of those floors.”

That was, obviously, assuming that Sagax would have let him go as well.

Sona: “I see.”

But she had an instinctive feeling that he would let Kais go, and she chose to put her trust in it for the time being.

Ethan: “Well, let’s hope we find him as soon as possible. You know, since the island doesn’t have many more hours left.”

Ethan says with folded arms, leaning against the wall.

Sneha: “I agree.”

She nods, and Sona simultaneously stands up from the stairs she was sitting on.

Sona: “I would like that too but I don’t think we will find him anywhere until he is let out of that place.”

Ethan: “That place, eh?”

He says with a curious expression.

Ethan: “We have told you what happened here while you were gone. Now I think it’s your turn to update us about the other side.”

Hearing so, Sona nods.

Sona: “Yeah, that’s fair. I’ll tell you what happened there but let’s start searching too.”

After moving her gaze from one to other, she puts out that proposal. And so, they decided to start searching for Kais while she tells them what had happened inside the black hole.

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