Upon hearing his words, the room erupted in multiple voices that shouted, “What?!”
“T-Two spirits… inside of me…?” Ondine asked with wide eyes while unable to comprehend his words.
He nodded at her and said, “Yes. You have two spirits inside of you. One is yours and the other being the one that keeps you alive.”
“Um…?” Ondine asked slowly while looking around at the other girls. Then, turning back to him, she gave him a puzzled look and said, “I don’t understand.”
“Yes. I don’t understand either, Lucky. What are you suggesting?” Venezuela asked him through narrowed eyes.
Lakshman smiled and he gestured at himself before saying, “It’s something similar to case of me… When I was born, I had three spirits inhabiting this body of mine; me, Decisive Player and the Voice of the Phoenix. Decisive Player was the strongest spirit of this time and he quickly suppressed the Voice of the Phoenix to keep me safe and allowed me to be raised in a rather strange, but unique way. He had his reasons and I don’t want to blame him for it because they supported his desperate actions.”
“So, you’re saying there’s two spirits inside Ondine’s body, just like you and the Voice of the Phoenix right now?” Erza asked curiously.
Lakshman shook his head and said, “Slightly different. I can barely sense the other spirit, so it must mean that spirit is mostly merged with Ondine’s spirit. As to why that happened, I have my own theory about it. However, it’s better to hear all of this from the spirit because it makes more sense that way.”
“Yeah… That makes sense, but there’s one major problem in your plan, Lucky…” Venezuela said slowly with her eyebrows narrowed sharply. “How are you going to make the other spirit talk when it’s mostly merged with Ondine’s spirit? Don’t you realise that tampering with a spirit could mean disaster to that being or don’t tell me you skipped your lessons on spiritual beings?”
“That reminds me, you and the Voice of the Phoenix are separate entities, so how are you going to make a mostly fused spirit to talk without causing major tampering damage to the main spirit?” Erza asked him with a perplexed expression on her face.
All the girls glanced at each other with worried looks, all except Tetra that is. She made a face as if she was thinking about what he had said and finally realising something, she turned to look at him with a very surprised expression on her face.
“Wait… Lucky… You’re not thinking of…” she began while blinking at him in surprise.
He beamed at her and nodding once, he said, “That’s right. Using the secret arts of the Phoenix Clan, I’m going to unravel this care of mystery about Ondine.”
As he smiled, he thought, “Actually, I’m well aware of the circumstances thanks to the vast knowledge and wisdom I received from the Decisive Player. Now, it’s time everyone finds out the truth about Ondine and that she was originally a human that become a Water Spirit due to circumstances.”
“But first, we’ll need be in the Spirit Plane for this to work,” said Lakshman and he clapped his hands together before saying, “Spirit Connection and Spirit Transition!”
In an instant, a white barrier erupted from where he sat and it extended to all corners of the room, making it difficult for anything to be seen. The next moment, Lakshman and the girls found themselves standing in what appeared to be a bright light shone from somewhere high above while everything outside it was covered in blackness.
“Ah… It’s been a while since I came here…” Lakshman said reminiscently. “I think the last time was when I saw off Razzel before he was utterly destroyed by the Serpent of Revenge.”
“Eh?! S-Serpent of Revenge?!” Silvera exclaimed in a shocked voice and she quickly began looking around anxiously. “I heard that was a monster that roams the dark abyss between the planes and feeds on the darkness! Don’t tell me it’s going to make its appearance here to eat me…?”
Lakshman chuckled and said, “No, Silvera. You’re slightly wrong there. It does indeed travel the dark abyss between the planes and it does feed on the darkness, but only of those that are filled with evil. It will not spare them and even if it comes here, I will protect all of you. You have nothing to fear…”
“Oh… Okay…” said Silvera and she breathed a heavy sigh of relief.
He smiled at her for a moment before turning to face Ondine, who just asked him a question.
“So… What am I supposed to do now?” she asked him curiously.
“Nothing. I’m just going to use Spirit Release to release that fused spirit momentarily. When I do that, you might feel a little strange and I wouldn’t even be surprised if you lost consciousness,” explained Lakshman as he slowly walked over to her.
“Okay… I’m leaving it completely in your trusting hands,” said Ondine and she smiled at him.
“Leave it to me,” he said to her reassuringly.
Once within arm’s reach, he extended his right hand out and placed it gently on top of her head. She blinked up at it curiously and he closed his eyes momentarily to activate the power.
“I command you, the spirit dwelling within this body, to be released and find presence in this plane of existence to answer our questions. Appear before us in a form suitable to you and explain the circumstances. I call upon you now to reveal your secretes by releasing you to speak! Spirit Release!”
With the incantation complete, he shouted the last one in a firm voice. In an instant, a dazzling light appeared where Ondine and Lakshman stood, startling the other girls. They quickly covered their eyes and tried to focus on what was happening within that light, but it was no use. The light was very strong and all hopes of attempting to glimpse the action failed.
Finally, a few seconds later, the dazzling light slowly faded and brought the view back to normal. The girls removed their arms covering their eyes and looked curiously at Lakshman and Ondine, who stood still and silent from earlier. Nothing major seemed to have happened from what they could tell with their senses, but they felt this strange presence added to their group.
Lakshman opened his eyes and looked down at the face of his wife, which made his eyes to widen slightly in surprise. Ondine’s face was void of expression and her eyes were glowing brightly in blue light. He blinked down at her in surprise and instantly realised it was the spirit that he had released.
All of a sudden, Ondine moved her body and smashed her right hand into his chest. He groaned as he was blasted away from her at high speed before he regained his posture to land on his feet. The girls, watching their husband being blasted away from Ondine, looked at her in surprise.
“Ondine… What’s wrong?”
“Why did you blast him away?”
“I know he’s rude in doing strange things, but I think blasting him away like that is bad.”
“Wait… Why is her glowing like that?”
Ondine appeared to have ignored all of them and she focused her attention only on Lakshman, who had regained his footing and straightening up with a smile on his face.
“Girls! That is not Ondine right now! It’s the spirit that I released and it’s focused on attacking me! So, stay away for safety sake!” Lakshman shouted at them
“The spirit within her?”
“Then, what happened to the Ondine we know and care about?”
“I don’t know, but we’ll find out soon I suppose,” said Lakshman before shrugging his shoulders and focusing his attention on Ondine. “Now, would you mind calming down and speaking friendly to us? I’m not here to harm you or anything.”
Ondine completely ignored what he said and extended her right hand towards him. In an instant, a magic circle appeared and a jet of water got fired at him. It soared towards him at high speed as he blinked at it in surprise.
“What the…? Just water?” he asked with a surprised expression on his face.
The jet of water flew towards him and he moved slightly away, but it still washed against his left arm. In an instant, Lakshman’s eyes almost popped out of his sockets in shock from the pain he felt. He quickly held his left arm and began blowing hard at it as if it was on fire.
“Ouch…! Boiling water!” Lakshman shouted in shock and he wringed his arm as the pain lessened. “What was that for?”
He turned to her and was startled when several water blasts were headed his way. Instantly recognising them to be filled with boiling water, Lakshman avoided them at the last second. Ondine continued sending more and more water blasts at him and Lakshman did his best to evade them all while making sure his body did not suffer another boiling water splash.
Finally, having had enough, Lakshman shouted, “That’s enough!”
He gathered energy into the palm of his right hand and swung it forward as if he was brandishing a sword. A strong energy got released and it was sent directly at the wave of boiling water blasts that caused the still and silent wind to blow against Ondine. The boiling water blasts began falling short of their target from the forceful wind acting against them.
Recognising this, Ondine once again created a large magic circles and fired a massive water in his direction. At the same time, she disappeared and reappeared directly behind him, much to his surprise. She put her hand out and pushed him forward as if she was holding him in place. The next instance, he felt as if his entire body was heating up from the hand placed on his back.
“That’s hot! That’s hot! Stop it!” Lakshman shouted at her and he attempted to get away from her, but she did not let him get away. He saw the incoming attack and said, “If you don’t move, we’ll both be boiled up and perish! So, please… Let go and stop attacking me…!”
In that instant, he heard an unfamiliar voice behind him say, “Prove it with your actions.”
His eyes widened slightly and he looked over his shoulder to look at her and was surprised to see a small smile on her face. Then, he winced once again when the heat in his spiritual body hurt him. He focused his attention on the attack in front of him and realised that this was a test.
“Fine… As always, I’ll prove it with my actions!” he shouted before surging with power that surprised water spirit controlling Ondine’s body.
Lakshman pulled his right arm back and gathered energy there as quickly as he could because he did not have the time. As he did, he saw the girls attempting to come to his assistance, but he shouted them down to stop them from interfering.
“Don’t…! This is my test and I’m going to pass it on my own!” he shouted at them and surprised them into stopping.
They looked at each other monetarily before turning back to look at him and to his surprise, they began cheering for him in loud voices. They somehow became a cheering group for him to win this test as a large wave of boiling water headed his way.
“Damn… Cheering is actually sort of distracting, but whatever! I appreciate their effort anyway!” he thought with a smile on his face.
He winced once again as the pain in his body increased from the attack Ondine was using on him. However, he focused on the attack in front and let his body endure the pain. After a few seconds, the energy was finally gathered and he brought it forward to hurl it directly at the incoming attack.
“Positron Burst Blast!” he shouted loudly.
The fired blast of energy soared forward and smashed into the driving wave of boiling water. For a moment, there was struggle between the forces commanding each to push forward at each other.
Lakshman held his arm out and screamed, “UUUUUUUUUUUAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!”
With mighty force applied to his attack, his blast pushed the wave of blowing water back the way it came from. Once it reached that point, a large explosion occurred from the clashing forces finally giving way to create a wild blowing wind to go in all directions.
“See? I passed your test! Now, let go of me!” Lakshman said angrily and he turned to look at his back, only to find that she had disappeared.
“Yes. Well done,” said the voice of the water spirit controlling from the other side, where the explosion originated from.
He turned around just as his wives all hurried over to him with worried looks on their faces. The clothes he was wearing were slightly burnt and all, but it did not matter since it was not his physical being that got attacked. However, as a spirit, he was more vulnerable to feel more pain that he normally could have felt in his physical body.
“Are you okay?” Tetra asked him in a worried voice.
“Nyaa~?” Cantia said with a very worried look on her face.
“Geez…! Why is it that you’re always getting wounded…?” Erza asked with a very unhappy expression on her face.
“That stupid Ondine…! How could she do this to you…?” Silvera asked unhappily and she glared in her direction.
Lakshman smiled at them all and after patting each of their head in appreciation, he said, “Calm down, everyone. Calm down. I’m fine. See? No wounds at all.”
“Spiritual beings cannot be wounded due to not possession actual physical bodies,” said Venezuela with her arms folded and a small smile on her face.
“Yeah. That’s true, but aren’t you the least bit concerned about my safety?” he asked her curiously.
She appeared to think for a moment before she said, “Well… I was very worried when you were suddenly attacked by her, but I began to wonder why that was. She was using non-lethal attacks on you and giving you time to dodge them all perfectly well. So, I wondered if this was something like a test for you to pass. Then, you shouted that it was a test and I was proven that I was right in thinking along those lines. So, I didn’t really worry after that.”
All the girls looked at her with an astonished expressions on their faces. Even Lakshman wore a rather surprised expression on his face as he looked at his wife.
“You know… That somehow makes me feel happy and sad at the same time…”
“Why’s that?” she asked him curiously.
“I’m happy that you were confident in me the whole time and I’m sad to know that you didn’t exactly worry about me that much,” he said in a dull voice.
She chuckled at his words and said, “You should look at the positive side that I had great confidence in your ability to succeed.”
“Yeah…” he said and sighed in resignation.
The water spirit controlling Ondine’s body watched the scene of husband and wife taking place before her with a smile on her face. The next moment, she was forced out of her body to take on her original appearance as Ondine forcefully took control of her body.
“Dammit it all…!” she bellowed at the top of her voice and surprised everyone there. She turned to glare fiercely at the water spirit and shouted, “You…! What have you done to my husband?! Using my own body to attack him! Have you no shame?”
The girls looked towards Ondine and the water spirit she was yelling at her with expressions of surpriser on their faces. Lakshman made a smile on his face and chuckled heartily at seeing his wife very worried about him.
“I’m getting a delayed reaction from over there. This is so funny,” said Lakshman and his smile widened.
“There’s funny about it!” Ondine shouted in an angry voice before turning her attention back to the water spirit. “You…! Why did you do this…? I’m already surprised that you even existed within me, but to forcefully shunning me aside and then using my body to use such strong magic on him? How dare you?”
The water spirit raised her hands and said, “Calm down… Calm down…”
“That’s okay, Ondine,” said Lakshman as he walked over to them with his wives tailing behind him. “Rather, I want to know why she even attacked me in the first place.” He turned to the water spirit and asked, “Were you testing me whether I was a good husband or not?”
She dropped her hands to her side and nodded at him before saying, “Something like that, yes. I was taken by surprise when you managed to free me temporarily from Ondine even though my spirit failed to completely merge with her.” Yet, you gave no indication that you even cared about whether I was a good spirit or a bad one or the fact that you didn’t even up out a defence against me.”
“Oh… It worried you and that’s why, you wanted to see whether I had the guts in me to attack my wife in case she was possessed like what happened just now,” he said and she nodded in agreement.
“Correct. That’s why, I appeared behind you and ensured that you did not get out of the way so that you would show me whether you would get around me and knock me out or face that wave of boiling water head on. You impressed me by not taking assistance from your other wives to keep them at safe distance and taking the attack head on without caring about yourself.”
“I could hardly get out of the way, now could I? By keeping me there, you also left yourself to the fate of whether I get out of there or not,” said Lakshman with a shake of his head. “If I had gotten out of there, that attack would’ve hit Ondine’s body and hurt her severely. If she was a pure Water Spirit, then it would’ve been a different scenario, but she isn’t.”
The last sentence he spoke was a statement and it surprised everyone, including Ondine and her shared water spirit.
“I’m… not a complete water spirit…?” Ondine asked with a shocked expression on her face.
“You… How did you know about that…?” she asked him in a surprised voice. “I’m certain Rodrack wouldn’t have told you or Ondine anything about that…”
“I had help from someone else,” said Lakshman and he informed them about the wide knowledge and information he gained form the Decisive Player.
“Ah… You had help from the Ex-God of Wisdom, Whamana… That was surprising…” said the water spirit with a very surprised expression on her face. “I’m sure he noticed right from the start, but I guess he kept his silence to make sure you weren’t aware of his. The same situation that I was faced with after my spirit failed to completely merge with Ondine.”
“Wait… Are you saying that I’m…? I’m… I’m not a Water Spirit…?” Ondine asked with a look of disbelief on her face.
The water spirit turned to her and made a sad smile on her face that surprised everyone.
“To answer that question, I must tell you a short tale from several years back, when you were still a human and I was a pure Water Spirit,” said the water spirit and she began to tell them the story.
Thank you for reading the chapter. I know that some, myself included, have asked “Why is Ondine the weakest in the group when she met Lakshman first?” Well, it’s time to have that question answered in the next chapter with a short story of the truth. Once again, thank you for reading the story and see you in the next chapter.