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Chapter 1112

White light seemed to surge from the mana spring in waves. Tendrils of light exploded up into the air, striking the meteors above and causing them to slow down. White light wrapped around Astria and then continued, carpeting the land. The mana disappeared slowly, like the afterglow of a flash of light, it faded away until there was no more.

When I could see again, the meteors that had been falling to earth destructively had been snuffed out. The rocks themselves slowly floated down to the ground at a speed that seemed surreal. In front of me, the wind began to swirl around in a small flurry. It grew increasingly severe until it began to take on a shape. That shape grew and morphed until a body seemed to solidify as if from the air itself. A beautiful fairy appeared as light as air, but her voluptuous body seemed to contain a great deal of mass in certain areas.

“Master!”

I blinked, a bit surprised at being called such a name. She looked directly at me, and there wasn’t a bit of pain, hesitation, or fear.

“C-Celeste.”

“Receive my love!”

“Eh! Ahhhh!”

Celeste erupted like a bullet. Whirlwinds exploded behind her wings, and the ground exploded into a dust cloud. However, she was already flinging herself at me at an enormous speed. I slammed my feet into the ground and braced myself as a form slammed into me. I was pushed back as two massive torpedoes slammed into my chest with a speed that created a shockwave. There was a booming sound as our chests thudded together, and I experienced a feeling that was both soft and extremely violent. As I pushed backwards with my feet, they tore into the ground, creating a groove in the earth as I was pushed back fifteen feet.

I had been forced to exhale, losing my breath completely, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if there was a bruise or two on my ribs. It was truly a devastating blow. I’d have thought she was attacking me if she wasn’t giggling with her arms wrapped around me while nuzzling her nose in my neck. That’s when I realized this hadn’t been her strongest attack. Celeste had just shown me a fraction of her power, and suddenly I felt like I was the one falling behind. She had spent two months absorbing not just a mana spring, but energy extracted from all the captured people in town too. The fairies had all been tasked with collecting and bringing mana to empower Celeste.

“You received my love.” Celeste laughed happily.

“C-Celeste… if I received any more of your love, I might have died.” I spoke in a wispy voice as I tried to regain my breath, even casting a heal spell for good measure.

“Oooo… if Master didn’t want to receive so much love, then Master shouldn’t have disappeared on us for so long!” She was using a playful admonishing tone, but I still grimaced with a guilty expression on my face.

“I’m sorry that I wasn’t strong enough. It must have been awful when the bond broke and you thought I was dead.”

Celeste looked up innocently. “Eh? I felt the bond break and was annoyed, but why would Master be dead?”

I blinked, looking into her innocent eyes. “My bond would have only broken like that if I was killed, and the connection between our souls was severed.”

“True… but Master would always find a way back to us. My mother came back. So did Salicia. So did Elaya. Where there is a will, there is always a way, and I trust Master will always return. I would wait for Master, as long as it took. So, don’t be afraid to go away, just make sure when you come back, you’re prepared to accept the love of all of us you left behind.”

“Celeste…” Tears began to form in my eyes.

I didn’t know how, but in just a few words, she had destroyed all of the pressure weighing on my heart. I embraced her tightly. We stood there in a field of green that moments before had almost been turned to ash. Now, that field was sprouting flowers and life like it was always meant to be.

Chapter 1113

I pulled away from Celeste for a moment. “Wait, how did you recognize me anyway. We no longer are bonded, and my face.”

I touched my face, confirming that it was still the modified face of the Osterian.

Celeste put on a smug expression. “Does Master think he can hide from me? I could smell Master’s scent and hearing Master’s sounds the second you stepped out of the Portal. I was just finishing my evolution, so I’m sorry for not appearing right away.”

“That’s right, did you have to interrupt your evolution?”

“Nope! I finished properly! I’m now a… uh… I don’t know, what am I, Master?” She looked at me brightly.

I used God and Devil Eye on her and raised an eyebrow. “An Aeolus?”

“What’s that?”

“No clue… it’s probably good though. Your Master Wind Magician hit level 85, while the other magician jobs have hit 55, 80, and 100 respectively.” I explained as I went through the flood of information to enter my mind while filing away extra goodies like Celeste’s erogenous zones.

“He’s the one who attacked Boss. Take him out!” A fairy shouted.

The fairies rose like a swarm of angry bees, swooping down at us. I turned to my sword, which was still sitting somewhere between me and Astria’s collapsed body, but Celeste had a mostly annoyed face.

“No.” She simply ordered.

All of the fairies fell out of the sky like their wings could no longer hold them. It was like Celeste had simply denied them flight. They fell to the earth in long shouts, but just before they hit the ground, they were caught by a blanket of wind that gently placed them down. Celeste was too strong! I knew that I wasn’t the one that should be saying that, but I wasn’t confident I could win against her in a fight. Without the strength of Alysia, I knew that I couldn’t be a match at all.

“Now, let’s fix this.” Celeste waved her hand again, and the spell that was transforming my face dispersed, revealing my true face.

“Master, she used mana to chop apart the spell controlling your face transformation.” Alysia, who was more sensitive than me to mana after her transformation, was able to see how she did it.

I couldn’t have taken the spell apart so quickly on my own, but Celeste seemed to do it with ease. Celeste reached out and touched my cheek, a loving smile in her eyes. I reached out and touched her as well.

“M-m-master?” A voice broke out.

Our growing scene had been interrupted again as Astria seemed to have regained consciousness. She was now staring at me, her eyes locked on me in wonder. She let out a cry and then began to race to me. Compared to Celeste, who had struck me like a bullet, her movements were sloppy as she stumbled. The entire time, she cried and wept. It was supposed to be the mother who was strong and resilient, while the daughter was emotional and needy, but for some reason their roles had switched.

“Astria, I’m sorry for doubting you.” I held out my arm.

“No! It’s my fault! I’m so sorry, Master!”

Astria dived into my arm, breaking into sobs as she cried against my shoulder. With both fairies in my arms, I felt a bit closer to regaining everything that I had lost.

Chapter 1114

“So, I got out only earlier today, and that’s what I’ve been up to the last few months.” I had Alysia in my lap as I sat down and relayed my story to the girls first.

Astria turned to Celeste and whispered in a voice I could easily hear. “He’s really into his sword.”

“He’s stroking her so lovingly. I’m really jealous!” Celeste giggled back.

“It’s not like that!” Alysia cried out.

“Really, now.” I sighed, taking my hand off of Alysia.

I wasn’t stroking the flat of the blade, was I? Alysia was just a woman I was fond of who now happened to be a weapon I depended on. That was all there was to it.

“M-master… you don’t need to stop…” Alysia’s voice turned pouty when I stopped touching her.

“A-anyway.” I ignored that and pushed the conversation forward. “What is going on here now? I want an explanation.”

The two girls looked at each other, and then Celeste shook her head. “I’m honestly not more knowledgeable than you. I only had a vague awareness once Elaya and Astria put me in the cocoon and dipped me into the fairy spring. I could feel mom changing things, but the only times I felt awareness was when the bond was severed and when you arrived and mom started tapping into the spring.”

“It is… a complicated story,” Astria spoke uncertainly. “After you died, Elaya and I had a falling out. She had control of the dungeon, and I had control of the fairy spring, but in the end, she won out and I had to flee. My focus was on protecting the fairy spring from annihilation and protecting my daughter. The cost… was extreme.”

“Cost?”

“Boring into the fairy spring under Elaya wasn’t easy. Maybe she knows I was doing it and allowing it because I was injecting more mana into it. I don’t know. Either way, I had to inject all of the mana I could. That included me.”

“What are you saying, Mother?” Celeste’s eyes widened.

“Part of the reason you’re so strong now, and that Deek was able to defeat me so easily, is because I have weakened substantially. To protect you, I used parts of myself. I permanently damaged my mana body and weakened my soul substantially, giving my power to you.”

“What about the people?” I asked.

“Fairies are inherently magic gatherers. Like a bee gathers pollen and makes honey, a fairy gathers magic and makes waters of life. How a fairy gathers magic ends up determining what kind of fairy you become. As a dark fairy, I absorb miasma. Some of my flock have evolved to absorb mana from humans.”

“The Nymphs…”

“Some are nymphs. Some are other types. The point is that we were all gathering energy to protect Celeste and the mana source. As for me, because of my dark fairy nature, I had to use those children as a sieve to filter out the miasma. I lied, partially at least, when I said I was turning them into fairies. In reality, they were being corrupted by my miasma, and would have turned into dark fairies if they survived.” Astria looked away, her expression filled with guilt.

“Mother doesn’t need to worry about such a thing anymore. When I evolved, I released a ton of purifying mana.” Celeste declared. “I used it to purify the children. They no longer contain any dark miasma.”

In the end, I hadn’t been as powerful as I had thought. I had been fighting a depowered Astria at the end of her rope. Astria had been a cornered animal, posturing to keep anyone from realizing how close she was to defeat. She had sacrificed most of her power to help her daughter evolve, putting her hopes in Celeste. This was why I was able to defeat her so overwhelmingly, and also why Celeste was so powerful now, having absorbed a purified form of her Mother’s power. They truly had changed places, with Astria much weaker now, and Celeste carrying her future.

“Astria… I’m…” I spoke up.

“Master doesn’t need to say anything,” Astria said. “It was my foolishness for not realizing who you were at first sight. I acted in a way that hurt the citizens you hold dear. I convinced myself that every sacrifice would be worth it, and in the end, that power could have easily been taken over by another if I kept going on the way I did. I will accept any punishment Master gives me.”

“Very well. Then, I will declare your punishment.” As I said this in a serious tone, Astria lowered her head, closing her eyes. “You will… be my slave again. Will you accept your punishment?”

Her head shot up, and tears began to run down her cheeks. “Yes. I will!”

{Astria has become your slave.}

{Name: Astria

Rank: Slave

Class: Advanced Magic

Job: Master Black Magician (LVL 100), Adept Darkness Magician (LVL 32)

Unlocked Jobs: Apprentice Darkness Magician (LVL 50), Basic Magician (LVL 100), Black Magician (LVL 93), Intermediate Magician (LVL 83), Novice Magician (LVL 25)

Race: Dark Fairy}

Yeah, I had a feeling that if I had tried to fight Astria at her strongest, she would have thrashed me.

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