LTBE - Chapter 475.1: Veronica’s Heart (1)
The heart is an amazing organ.
It supplies the body with everything that it needs to function, leaving no doubt about its importance. There are theories that there is more to the heart than we have uncovered, with one of them postulating it to be a storage of memory.
There were known cases in Roel’s previous life where patients who had received a heart transplant would dream of the original heart owner’s experiences. Some even subconsciously adopted the habits and mannerisms of the original heart owner.
Such occurrences baffled the scientific world. No one had been able to offer a convincing explanation for these phenomena, but fortunately, there was no need for that in the supernatural world of the Sia Continent.
On the Sia Continent, the heart had always been thought of as a vessel for the soul. It was the organ with the highest Degree of Assimilation for transcendents and legendary races, making it an ideal catalyst for creating magic tools. In fact, that was one of its main uses in the ancient era.
The heart from the Ardes still retained remnants of the divine power gained by contracting an ancient god, which was why Roel needed it to save Paul and the others. He didn’t expect to see something else as a result of that.
Staring at the heart glowing with mana, Roel’s expression turned heavy. He first organized his thoughts before slowly sharing his newly-gained information with Lilian.
“You don’t have to worry about Paul and the others. They should be fine.”
“That’s good to hear.”
The investigation party consisted of many high-profile individuals, both in the main team and the auxiliary team. The main team was filled with many renowned academics from Saint Freya Academy, as well as the imperial prince of the Austine Empire. The auxiliary team had successors to prominent noble houses in Knight Kingdom Pendor.
If something were to happen to the missing individuals, this would be the largest mishap that had happened in the last few centuries.
Lilian patted her chest in relief, but she soon raised her head and looked at Roel quizzically.
“What exactly is that disappearance spell? Is it a spatial spell? I didn’t sense any spatial distortions when the others disappeared. Even a god shouldn’t have the power to defy the laws of space to such a degree,” asked Lilian.
Spatial spells were incredibly rare in the Sia Continent, but that didn’t mean that they were almighty. On the contrary, due to the Sia Continent’s generally stable space, there were intrinsic limitations to spatial spells. One of them was the inability to conveniently erase traces of spatial distortions.
Similar to how the sun naturally cast shadows, the usage of spatial spells naturally distorted space. It was possible to quickly mend spatial distortions, but the spellcaster had to be present to properly smooth out the distortions.
This was a fundamental law of the Sia Continent, so even gods would be unable to circumvent it.
But that wasn’t what had happened here. Putting aside what happened on Lilian’s side, Roel also didn’t sense any spatial distortions or the presence of an enemy when Stuart, Selina, and Juliana were taken away. This made it highly unlikely that the disappearance spell was a spatial warp.
“You’re right. Not even an ancient god would be able to alter the rules set by the Genesis Goddess. That’s not a spatial spell but a temporal spell.”
Lilian widened her eyes at the answer. Roel nodded his head and began sharing about Paul’s condition.
Paul Ackermann was the only one who didn’t disappear after an encounter with the fallen treant, but in exchange, he had turned into an old man. This was a baffling situation, but Roel was able to make sense of it now that he understood the spell structure.
“The fundamental nature of the spell is time, but unlike my Time Devourer, its effects are centered around siphoning and transference.”
“Siphoning and transference?”
“That’s right. Those who have disappeared are actually still here; it’s just that they have regressed to the earliest form of their life, meaning to say…”
Halfway through his words, Roel suddenly realized that their concept of fertilization, sperm, and ovum didn’t exist on the Sia Continent, which left him at a loss as to how he should proceed. In the end, he could only glance at Lilian’s womb and hesitantly point toward himself and her.
Lilian initially tilted her head in confusion, but she quickly caught Roel’s drift and started blushing furiously. The atmosphere turned peculiar. Reminded of the events last night, she placed her hand on her abdomen.
“Y-you mean the state before birth?”
“Cough. Yes, that’s what I’m referring to. Of course, such effects can’t be sustained for long,” Roel let out a cough and pulled the topic back on track.
“Paul probably brought out a magic armor with his Kingdom Origin Attribute that reversed the effect of the temporal spell, causing him to age instead of regress. Fortunately, this spell isn’t fatal. It’s a temporary distortion of an individual’s form that doesn’t alter their fundamental existence. The affected individuals will revert to their original form once the spell’s effects fade. That’s why the fallen treant didn’t have to pay a heavy price for the spell.”
Roel shook his head. He didn’t have a high opinion of the Ardes’ temporal spell.
While both spells tampered with time, there was a huge difference between the Ardes’ temporal spell and Roel’s Time Devourer.
While Time Devourer was slow-acting, its time siphoning effect was permanent, making it an extremely dangerous spell. Even Origin Level 1 transcendents would be reluctant to go against an ability that continuously shortened their lifespan every passing second.
On the other hand, the Ardes’ temporal spell existed solely for the purpose of stalling time. Furthermore, from the looks of it, the spell only worked on targets weaker than the spellcaster. That rendered the spell meaningless since Roel could have easily dealt with any transcendents weaker than him with other means; he didn’t need a specialized spell just for that.
“Temporal spells have never been known for their destructive prowess. This ability can already be considered as one of the more useful ones amongst temporal spells. Rather, it’s that ability of yours that’s unusual,” Lilian refuted Roel’s opinion with a soft sigh.
She felt that he was starting to lose touch with what was normal from having encountered too many strong enemies.
Roel thought about Lilian’s words, and it suddenly dawned on him that the abilities he had obtained came from atypical sources. The Crown’s Stones born from the Six Calamities were authorities of the all-powerful Mother Goddess. It was only normal for its abilities to be superior to that of other gods.
“I understand the principles behind that spell, but how can the spell be dispelled?” asked Lilian.
“Temporal spells are a violation of Sia’s laws; the natural tendency of the world will cleanse all artificial distortions. However, that will take some time. We can try resonating our bloodlines at the locations where the others disappeared and attempt to undo the effect using this heart,” replied Roel.
Roel looked at the ruined town around him and exhaled a sigh of frustration. It would be an arduous task to find the exact locations where the others had disappeared when everything had been destroyed. There was much work to be done, but he showed no signs of getting to action.
Lilian looked at him contemplatively, but she didn’t say a word.
While Roel had only touched Ardes’ heart for a brief moment, there was a subtle change in his emotions afterward. It was so minor that it was unlikely that anyone else would have picked up on it, but Lilian did. That was why she didn’t make any move right after Roel finished his piece. Instead, she quietly waited for him to continue on.
She didn’t urge or question him. Instead, she felt unprecedented confidence in him. Roel might have chosen to withhold information from her if it had been in the past, but now that their fates were tightly bound together, she trusted whatever decision he made.
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Roel went through a long internal struggle before he finally made up his mind. He turned to Lilian with a grave look.
“Senior, to be honest with you, I saw other things other than this spell…”
“What is it?”
“… There was a portion of our ancestor’s memories, as well as the goal of the Fallens.”
Roel began sharing what he had witnessed earlier when he had a bloodline resonance with the heart.