Chapter 15:

The Man Who Saved the World

The Consequence of Saving the World

It was quite unsettling to see the golem, as in, the Legendary Sage, pacing back and off in deep thought. We moved to a different, more ‘normal’ room. It was filled with shelves and shelves of books, all of which I had no clue how to read. Bookmark here

I was sitting on top of a tiny stool, but every step that the Sage took still sent the ground quaking. I had no idea how Sereya still looked so normal because I was starting to get nauseous from all the aftershocks.Bookmark here

“Can’t you like restore his soul or something?” Sereya suggested.Bookmark here

“Soul transmigration only works when you have the soul in question. The problem is, and if I’m right, it seems that Hanasuke’s soul has left the world. The person in the room with us now is none other than that of the original Evan—the soul that inhabited this body prior to Hanasuke’s soul latching onto it.”Bookmark here

Listening to the Sage’s explanation, on top of all the shaking, was giving me a migraine.Bookmark here

“But that makes no sense,” Sereya countered, “Transferring souls is only possible if you’re transferring to an empty vessel, like what you did with your golem body. If Evan was already in his body all this while, how can Hanasuke take over? And when he just decides to leave, the old soul just pops back up?”Bookmark here

The constant shaking of the ground came to a halt as the Sage stared right at me. I probably looked like crap.Bookmark here

“Theoretically, this goes against everything we know, but that’s the case. This soul in his body right now—it’s the soul of an eighteen-year-old boy trapped in a twenty-eight-year-old man.”Bookmark here

“HUH? I’M TWENTY-EIGHT?!?Bookmark here

I was basically a middle-aged man at that point. Goddess, just end my life, please.Bookmark here

“That’s why I found it strange how young his soul appeared at first, but I digress. The bigger issue now is—Bookmark here

“Getting his power back.”Bookmark here

Hey, I could agree with both of you, but I just skipped my entire young adult life. That was still a big issue.Bookmark here

“Even if we can’t get Hanasuke’s soul back, this is still the body of the man who killed the Demon Lord. Surely you can dig out some fragment of power left in his body, right Ordis?”Bookmark here

“That’s what I intend to find o—”Bookmark here

“Wait,” this single word escaped my mouth.Bookmark here

“What if—what happens if I don’t get any powers back?”Bookmark here

“Then you will be a liability.”Bookmark here

The Sage’s answer was something that I kind of expected, but it still pained me how ‘matter of fact’ it sounded. Sereya was looking away, her expression sullen.Bookmark here

The Sage looked at me once more, its artificial eyes unreadable.Bookmark here

“You are but a regular human in the body of the greatest man in human history. While the masses are still celebrating the peace, the kings and queens are but hungry dogs, looking to grab whatever opportunity they can to expand influence.Bookmark here

Evan, since you’ve been asleep for ten years, allow me to get you up to speed. With the demons gone, the northern lands of Fallcross are ripe for the taking. Phoenixfell, Iavanthor, Adradia and some of the other minor kingdoms and states are desperately looking to be the first ones to settle in the north.Bookmark here

Part of the reason why none of them has made a move thus far is because Urstix is inspecting the land, as per the agreement from the previous Seven Heroes Summit.”Bookmark here

“Urstix the Giant, he’s one of the Seven Heroes.”Bookmark here

Thanks Sereya, but what the Sage was saying—it was all too big for me to take in.Bookmark here

“Regardless of how just his judgment is, you can expect some of the nations to disregard Urstix’s advice on how to divide the land. Bookmark here

That is why you, Evansmith, are the key to preventing war. You are seen as the people’s champion. The other heroes may have unbelievable might, but none holds as high of a renown in the eyes of the common folk. This is why the nations fear you, because to make an enemy of you, is to make an enemy of the entire world.”Bookmark here

“That’s crazy! How can one person have so much power?!” I protested. It wasn’t so much my brain being in denial—it was my heart.Bookmark here

“Even before slaying the Demon Lord, you changed the world. The flush toilet you told me about was but a mere inkling of the kind of changes you brought to Fallcross. You helped countless people. Nobles, peasants, even the non-human races—you united everyone through your wisdom and strength. It was because of this unity that humanity was finally able to end the war with the demons which lasted hundreds of years. This is what it means to be the man who saved the world, Evan.”Bookmark here

“If I united everyone, then why do people still want to have war?! Was this unity so weak that people forgot right away what it means to stay united?!”Bookmark here

“And that’s why you decided to hide away in that forest, Evan,” Sereya’s calm voice did little to ease me, “This is the true colour of humans. Take away a common enemy that is the demons, and greed becomes the real enemy—one that even you couldn’t defeat.”Bookmark here

I found myself slumping to the ground. This was not right. This was messed up! Bookmark here

“Hence, I’ll need your full cooperation to retrieve whatever memories or power that Hanasuke left behind in your body. To do that, we’ll need to perform a Memory Dive.”Bookmark here

“B-But, I don’t remember anything.” I bit my lip. The only memories I knew of were the times when I was eighteen and younger. After that, I had no recollection.Bookmark here

“It doesn’t matter. The fact remains that you and Hanasuke shared the same body for ten years. Even if your mind cannot recall, your muscles, your body—dive into your inner being and pick up what your body remembered from fighting as the Hero!”Bookmark here

The Legendary Sage’s words were my only hope. No, they were my everything. I had no room for error. I had to, I MUST get back my power to keep everything as it was!Bookmark here

“How will this Memory Dive work?”Bookmark here

“The soul and physical body exist on two separate planes. I will use my magic to open a direct link between the two. You will then need to explore the memories your body experienced. Search for the past ten years of your life, recall how your body felt in battle or in training, and it should come back to you.”Bookmark here

“I understand that but, ten years is—”Bookmark here

“You won’t be reliving every second. That’s my function in this process. I will be able to direct you to parts of your body that resonate strongest with your memories, but you have to pinpoint and relive the experience yourself. Bookmark here

I have to warn you, however. The reason why your hair turned white is likely due to an incredibly traumatic experience. It goes without saying, the path you took to save the world is most definitely a thorny one. Are you prepared?”Bookmark here

It wasn’t like I had a choice, anyway. What I was about to experience probably wasn’t pretty, but it was still better than having the world go to war.Bookmark here

Even though my mind was determined, my hands wouldn’t stop shaking.Bookmark here

What if I messed up?Bookmark here

This responsibility was just so unreal. If I didn’t get my powers back, war would be the result. So many people would die because of me. I—Bookmark here

“I’m here with you.”Bookmark here

Sereya held my shivering hand. Bookmark here

“No matter what happens, I will stay with you till the end. Even if it means having the whole world as my enemy.”Bookmark here

Her hand was colder than mine, but it didn’t bother me at all. I didn’t know what I did to deserve her, but hearing her words really soothed me.Bookmark here

Sereya was smaller than me, her shoulders so much tinier than mine. Yet, whenever she was by my side, I felt bigger than ever. Even though I was weak, with her with me, I really felt like I could achieve anything.Bookmark here

“E-E-Evan?!”Bookmark here

I pulled Sereya into an embrace. I finally understood that she was my pillar of strength. Even if it was an inch, I wanted to be as cool and strong as her. Bookmark here

I could feel her heart beating faster. Perhaps I was being selfish, but knowing that she felt nervous really helped to calm me down. Even heroes feel anxious or worried. In a way, that helped me accept my own fear.Bookmark here

“Sorry Sereya, I needed that.”Bookmark here

As I pulled away from her, her face was turning as red as the carpet in the hallway outside. I expected her to reprimand me, given how flustered she looked, but instead, she smiled back at me.Bookmark here

“I know.”Bookmark here

I was still afraid, but my hands weren’t shaking anymore. I wasn’t alone in this—I had the strongest swordswoman in all of Fallcross as my ally.Bookmark here

“Legen—” I paused. I had to recall being the Hero, and should address his allies the way he did.Bookmark here

“Ordis, I’m ready.”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.