Chapter 16:

The words of the old man

The Guardian

("Master, my name is Krystal, the artefact created by the first Guardian. I am pleased to meet you in this generation as well!")

Eric stared at his hands for a few seconds before letting them down, then let out a long sigh.

("Is there something wrong, Master?")

"No... I just prayed that my guess was wrong but it seems that the things would never go as I wanted..."

("If Master is displeased by my presence then I can go back to sleep. Another one thousand years won't make a difference. I will just wait patiently for Master's next reincarnation.")

Although she said this, Eric could feel a trace of sadness in her unchanged voice so he hurriedly tried to clear the misunderstanding.

"No, no, no, I'm sorry, I didn't mean it that way! You were a big help this morning and I'm quite thankful for that! And although you are surprisingly talkative for an artefact, I don't mind it that much! Also, don't ever say such sad things in the future, understand?"

Krystal keep quiet for a while then answered in her usual maid-like voice.

("I understand, Master!")

"Very well, as for what I said... I told you today that they thought that my sister was the new Guardian because of some kind of prophecy... well since she is not, then her responsibilities to save the world will fall on me. I wanted to have a quiet life but now it seems to be impossible..."

("But Master, I'm sure that your predecessor told you something else in the message he left.")

"Are you talking about that old geezer?"

Eric suddenly remembered the hologram of the old man back in the underground place and the words he said then.

* * *

"Welcome to my hideout young one! As you may have guessed already, I'm the legendary Guardian and your past reincarnation!"

The old man had a proud smile on his face but Eric didn't accord him too much attention because the information he received was too hard for him to digest.

(" 'your past reincarnation', don't tell me...")

Eric was lost in his thoughts with many questions raising one after another but the hologram didn't wait for him to organise his thoughts and continued to talk.

"I'm glad that you made it until her and all but I need to warn you that I won't tell you anything about the history of the past Guardians because I'm sure you already know about it or you will find out about it later."

"I don't know if you entered this place by chance or you searched for it and I can't answer any question since this is a recording but since you arrived here that means that you awakened your powers and find the artefact I left behind. If that's the case then my job is done here but even so, I still want to tell you something."

The smile on the old man's face disappeared and he looked in Eric's direction with a serious face.

"Us Guardians, although we are the same soul that travels through countless years, every time we are reborn we lose all the memories of our previous life. This way we can't learn from our past mistakes and we will have different personalities every time."

The old man talked until now like he was telling a story to a child but now, his tone became more sad and resentful as if all his regrets were put in the next words.

"The point I want to make is... just don't do the same mistakes I did too. F**k the world and the duty that was given to us! We were free the moment we descended into the mortal world. If you don't want to take the responsibility of saving the world then don't take it! You have the power to run and have a leisurely life without caring about anything else. We did enough for this world without gaining anything back for so many years and no one can judge us. Do whatever you want!"

* * *

Eric recalled the words of the old man with an irritated expression.

"If you are talking about what that old man said then I can assure you that all of his words were a completely nonsense!"

("I'm sorry Master, but I don't understand your reasoning. The old master said that you don't need to do what you don't want to, and Master is in the exact position where those words can be applied so why are they nonsenses?")

"Is true that you shouldn't do the things that you don't want to but that is applied if you have the possibility to choose!"

("Master, I still don't understand...")

Eric scratched his head while trying to organise his words then answered Krystal's doubts.

"Well, is not so hard to understand, 'we' just didn't have a choice from the beginning. Do you think that the so-called 'Universe' was so kind as to not restrict the Guardian after he already abandoned his duties once? If the 'Universe' put a magic, mental or physical restriction 'I' would have found a way to break it. Knowing this, a roundabout restriction was applied. We lose our memories and we are reincarnated as a human, this assuring that the Guardian will live like a normal human forever."

("But Master, what does being a human has to do with the restriction you were talking about?")

"Humans are creatures that can't live alone. We have families, friends or lovers with which we can't be separated. Even if we don't want to protect the world we would not be able to refuse to protect the people we love. In conclusion, even if I don't want to take the responsibilities of a Guardian, in order to protect the people I care about, saving this dumb world in which they live will be something inevitable!"

After Eric's explanation, it was Krystal's turn to be quiet because of the information hard to digest. She didn't say anything while Eric stood quiet as well and after several minutes of silence, the maid-like voice resounded again in Eric's head.

("You are a surprisingly thoughtful, Master...")

"Hey! What do you mean by 'surprisingly'?"

("What did Master mean by 'surprisingly talkative' then?")

Eric remember his words from before and was amazed by the artefact that felt the urge to take revenge for something her own master said.

"Mmmmm, fine, you got me here, enough with the talk for tonight, I'm going to sleep!"

He didn't want to continue the talk anymore and covered himself with a blanket and closed his eyes.

("Good night, Master!")

"Good night..."

After he closed his eyes it didn't take long for Eric to fall asleep. He had a long day and he didn't even sleep too much because of Alice last night so now all the tiredness accumulated hit him immediately.

* * * 4 hours later * * *

Several hours later Eric's room was still dark and quiet but a slight change occurred. The tattoos on Eric's hand started to shine faintly and the figure of a girl like a phantom started floating on top of Eric's bed. Krystal looked down at Eric's sleeping face with her lips showing a slight smile.

"Although you change every time I see you... I'm glad that this kind part of you never changes. We will have some difficult days ahead but I will do my best to support you with everything I have, Master!"

With this promise, the phantom-like body of Krystal disappeared and the room was again quiet.