“That’s how I came to be fused together with the Ondine standing before you,” finished the water spirit woman with a small smile on her face as she gestured towards Ondine.
Ondine look at her as tears slowly tricked down her face filled with sadness and asked her, “So… My mother died protecting me and you died protecting me as well…?”
The water spirit woman did not say anything, but she simply showed her a pleasant smile while closing her eyes. Seeing such a smile made Ondine clutch her face with her hands in sorrow as tears continued to trickle down her face.
Everyone had listened intently to the whole story behind the circumstances involving the fusion of her and Ondine. Erza, Tetra, Silvera and Cantia were looking at the water spirit woman with sad expressions on their faces after hearing the complete details of the story. Lakshman already knew most of the details of the story by the knowledge he obtained, but it still made him feel sad at the thought of saving one life through sacrifice.
Venezuela was the only one who appeared to have complete control over her feelings. She currently stood with her arms folded and with her eyes closed as she digested this piece of information. Then, she opened them and looked at the water spirit woman with a rather impressed expression on her face.
“I’m amazed…” she began lightly with a small smile appearing on her face and everyone turned to face her. “I’m amazed there was a Water Spirit capable of feeling human emotions and understands the significance of sacrifice. I always thought you Water Spirits hated us Humans and did your best to avoid us, so it amazes me at hearing this story…”
The girls were startled by her words and Erza quickly said, “Vena, that’s rude!”
The water spirit woman, however chuckled and said, “Yes. That’s true. Most of my kind don’t give a damn about Humanity due to our past history. That would’ve been the case when Ondine was still a baby, but I was not heartless enough to abandon the life of a child that was protected by the lives of its parents.”
“Is that why you wanted to make sure it reached the human settlement and into safe hands?” Venezuela asked her curiously and the water spirit woman nodded.
“That’s right. If the human baby had stayed there, I don’t know what the other Water Spirits would’ve done when they eventually found her. For all I know, they might’ve killed her just as how I slaughtered all those humans that came to hurt her. Additionally, humans don’t possess the natural instincts of the spirits that allows them to survive on their own in this world. So, sooner or later, that baby would eventually succumb to the needs of its body and ultimately perish. I didn’t want that to happen, not after witnessing its mother take her last breath while still protecting it.”
“Ah…” Venezuela said and she nodded in understanding with a smile on her face. Then, she turned her attention to Ondine and asked, “Then, why is it her behaviour so rash, reckless and downright annoying?”
Hearing such words caused Ondine to look indignantly at Venezuela, but she did not say anything. Due to hearing the story, her feelings felt tight and she did not trust her mouth. However, she noticed the tears on her face and she quickly proceeded to wipe them away.
To Venezuela’s question, they all turned to see the water spirit woman give her a broad grin, which surprised them.
“The reason for that being the things that happened afterwards,” said the water spirit woman as the grin was replaced by a sad expression on her face. “I suppose she never really talked about herself in front of her others because she hated how she was brought up, right?”
She turned to look at Ondine with a sardonic smile that caused Ondine to blink at her in surprise. In that instant, she realised that the water spirit woman had been observing all of Ondine’s growth while being silent. Lakshman also understood this as he realised it was a similar situation with him and the Decisive Player, who manipulated his mind to stay pure hearted and void of evil like in his past lives.
“What do you mean?” Erza asked curiously and the other girls looked at her intently.
The water spirit woman turned to them and said, “You see, we Water Spirits look at the purity of the world and shun all that is not pure. As such, we came to loathe many of the other creatures of the world as being impure due to always being carried forward by their selfish desires. Our strong emotions were such that we would ignore their very existence, which was what happened with Ondine.”
“W-Wait…” Ondine began weakly, but the water spirit continued speaking regardless.
“Many of them knew of my sacrifice to keep her alive, turning her into a Human Water Spirit, a new kind of race altogether. However, their regard for purity caused them to basically ignore the existence of Ondine Monahasara. She had grown up with the abidance from my friend, Rodrack and grew to respect the Water Spirits greatly, but she hated that face that many disliked her to the point of keeping their distance.
In the end, she became alone and not having the powers of the water caused her to become very agitated. To the Water Spirits, one that doesn’t possess any ability are mixed along with the useless trash of society. This is why she took up the sword and practiced it daily to become super strong to prove that she is not one of them, going to great lengths to master the North Sword Style.
She began doing many reckless things in her life just to become strong, but none of it made her feel welcomed by the Water Spirits she lived with. As such, she completely shut off her being a Water Spirit and focused on solely being a warrior like any human would aim to be. In the end, she reached the rank of Spirit Guardian in a very short amount of time, which surprised the Water Spirits.
Many were impressed by her achievement and gave her advices to further her skills, but she completely ignored them. The damage was long been done and in the end, she only believed her strength and the determination that pushed her forward to do things her own way. It was reckless, yes, but it became the way she lived her life and she remained as such, even after meeting the man she was destined to be together with.”
As she finished speaking, she turned to Lakshman with a small smile on her face and said, “You shouldn’t look so angry, young man; it’ll upset your good looks.”
The girls blinked at her in surprise and quickly turned around to see Lakshman, who was looking very angry. He had his fists clenched tightly with an angry expression on his face as he looked slightly at the ground.
“How could they do this to her…? How…? How?!” he muttered furiously and his muscles tightened.
All the girls, except Ondine and the water spirit woman, rushed over to be near him and give him comfort of their feelings. He had begun to release a lethal energy and this scared them very much. Even Venezuela, who always has control over her feelings, was suddenly looking pale as she worriedly looked at her husband.
“That’s enough, Lucky,” she said to him quickly in a worried voice.
“Please… Stop thinking negative!” Erza said in a panicked voice.
“Nyaa~!” Cantia said as she patted him on the back.
“Control your anger… Please…” said Silvera in a sad voice.
Only Tetra appeared to be cool as she said, “Lucky, what happened to her isn’t your fault or something you should worry about. Rather, it’s the fault of their people for holding such ridiculous beliefs in the first place! To think they are pure and nobody else are… What a bunch of arrogant spirits…!”
Silvera blinked at her in surprise and curiously asked, “Is this why you dislike being with the other spirits? Is that why you disconnected yourself from the Spirit Link?”
Tetra nodded and said, “That’s right. Those idiotic Spirits kept asking me this and that and anything else that I didn’t give a damn about. They’re doing this to ensure they are perfect and are superior to us, which is all caused by their pride of being spirits that are able to connect with godly beings, like the God of Spirits.”
Silvera looked very surprised by Tetra’s last spoken sentence before she smiled shyly and said, “W-Well… I did want to use the Spirit Link to know my origins by speaking to the other spirits, but I seem to have lost my ability in using it…”
“It’s for the best that you lost that ability,” said the water spirit woman and she grinned at her. “Believe me, it’s highly painful and annoying at times to constantly talk to some random spirit in this world or the Spirit World that just wants to talk. I believe such a similar behaviour has been seen in the humans, but I don’t believe I’ve seen such a behaviour yet…”
“You wouldn’t see that behaviour out in the open,” said Tetra with a dull expression on her face. “It’s usually done by people in the ancient times when the women would check up on each other to see if their family are doing better than the other… It was such an irritating experience to go through.”
“Wait… Hold on, Tetra,” said Venezuela with a puzzled expression on her face. “So, you’re able to remember the annoyance of so many years ago, but you don’t remember a lot of the past?”
To that, Tetra just shrugged her shoulders and said, “I remember what I remember. There’s no two way around it and I don’t have an explanation to why I’m able to remember it. However, I just do and I remember it being a horrible experience… Always comparing oneself to another to pointlessly compare and feel negatively about it.”
“Hmm…” Venezuela said with a thoughtful expression on her face. A moment later, she said, “If that’s the case, does that mean you’ve lived all the way since the first Phoenix Titan or does that mean you’ve lived after him…? For that matter, the same could apply to Silvera…”
She turned to gaze questioningly at Silvera, but the Demon Slayer just shook her head and said, “I’m sorry Vena, but I don’t remember…”
“Of course, but it makes me wonder about Tetra here…” Venezuela said shrewdly as she turned back to look at her. “She has lived far longer than all of us and retains a lot of her memories, although we did learn that most of her memories had been erased or locked away by the Calamity Titan.”
“What exactly are you getting at, Vena?” Erza asked her with narrowed her eyes.
Venezuela took a deep breath and asked, “My question is… Why is Tetra able to remember all the way back to the ancient time, yet she was apparently killed with the rest of us during that time according to the God of Energy, Engraut. Why is she able to remember all the way back there when she was supposed to have met a tragic death with the rest of us…? Why…?”
“Eh…?” Tetra said in a surprised voice, which was shown by her blinking at her. “Why do I remember the past when I should’ve died with you all…? Um… I’m a Sacred Spirit, so I was mistakenly thought to be dead…”
“No, Tetra…” Venezuela said and she shook her head. “If you were still alive, you would’ve been wielded by the next reincarnated Phoenix Titan for sure! Yet, you don’t remember any of it and instead, all you can remember were some events 8000-years-ago and the first Phoenix Titan, Asura Rangavardan.”
Tetra blinked at her in surprise and a troubled expression crept onto her face as she thought about everything Venezuela had just said. According to what the God of Energy, Engraut had said to them, the Destiny Queens, which were nine women in total, have died and devastated the Asura. This was an undoubtable fact and because of this, fear and doubts began forming in her at the question of her memories and existence itself.
“I… I don’t know…” she finally said as she went through her memories. “I don’t remember Asura wielding me… I’m always standing by his side as did eight other unknown figures… He never used me as a weapons… What does this mean…?”
She became very troubled by the contradictions of the memories she had of the first Phoenix Titan, which suddenly did not go well together with what the information given to them by the God of Energy. At that moment, she suddenly felt a pat on her head and looked up to see Lakshman looking at her with a smile on his face.
“That’s enough, Tetra. Don’t hurt yourself by trying to remember,” he said to her in a clam voice. Then, turning to Venezuela, he gave her a firm look and said, “Vena, set this topic aside. This has to do with memories and a lot happened when the Calamity Titan interfered 8000-years-ago. I’ll get to the bottom of this later, so put it aside. Okay?”
Venezuela was taken aback by the firm expression on his face as it surprised the other girls. Finally, she nodded in understanding and agreed to do exactly that.
“When you’re so sure of it, I’ll put it aside,” she said and she smiled at him.
“Thank you, Vena,” he said and he returned her smile. Then, turning to face the water spirit woman with a raised eyebrow, he asked, “The main issue now is… What will you do, water spirit woman?”
The water spirit woman blinked at him in surprise and while gesturing at herself, she smiled and said, “Are you by any chance calling me ‘water spirit woman’ as if that’s new name? Are you…?”
“Well…” Lakshman began nervously. “Before the fusion, you were Ondine, but then you passed that name onto the Ondine I know and now that you’re temporarily separated, there are two Ondines, with one being the Ondine I know and you not being the Ondine I know, but—!”
“Okay, okay! We get it!” said all the girls in a loud voice that stopped him from rambling.
The water spirit woman chuckled and said, “Wow… Wow… Young man… You totally complicated it!”
Lakshman chuckled and said, “I’m sorry, but it’s better than calling you not-Ondine, or Unknown Ondine because that’s ridiculous. So, I only had to go with water spirit woman in trying to be respectful.”
The water spirit woman chuckled and turning to Ondine, she said, “What I want to do now is complete the spirit fusion.”
“Eh?!” Ondine and the rest of the girls said in surprised voices. “Complete the spirit fusion?”
“Yes. If the fusion has succeeded, she would have received all of my potential, the power to use water magic right from the start and much more capability than most humans can possess. However, the spirit fusion is a two way receptor, which basically means that I will need Ondine’s trust, belief and wish that we will be together forever.”
“B-But, if you do that, you’ll disappear…” Tetra said with her eyes wide with surprise.
“Not only that, but Ondine will go through changes, which might make her better than she currently is…” Venezuela said with a nod of approval.
“No…” said Ondine in a very sad voice. “You’ve already saved my life, why must you go to such lengths…? Why…?”
The water spirit woman made a sad smile on her face and said, “It’s better than being enslaved to my duty. Before I met you, I’m always doing this and that as ordered by our elder, no matter how straining and difficult the tasks were. Because of growing up like that, I became one of the Spirit Slaves of the Water Spirits tribe. In the end, I could not change and in the end, I am enslaved to the duty of my life.
That’s why, I found it my chance to do some good to society by helping you live by giving you my life. You hold a destiny much greater than mine and you seem to hold a greater importance in the near future. In that vision, I saw nine women along with the one you were destined to be with, which is that young man over there. Standing behind him and radiating in pure light was a being of immense power that I had never seen or felt before.
So, you see… This is my way of being useful in something else other than being a slave of my duty. Besides, your mother’s dying wish was for me to protect you and although I was going to ignore it at the beginning, now that’s the final request I plan on fulfilling.”
Ondine looked at her aghast and instantly became emotional over it, causing tears to slowly flow down her face. The water spirit woman walked over to her and spoke to her soothingly.
“Don’t cry… You’re not alone anymore and quite frankly, these girls and the man you love are far better to be with than the Water Spirits. That’s why, the change in you can only happen with us becoming complete. Don’t regret and don’t falter… Your future depends on our spirits to complete the fusion…”
Ondine was still crying, but she attempted to wipe them away as she accepted there was no other way around it. She nodded at her guardian in agreement as the girls watched the proceedings in silence. Lakshman was the only one who appeared to be fighting the urge to say something because he did not like this outcome. It reminded him of the sacrifice the Decisive Player did for his sake to let him live. Now, the same thing was happening to Ondine and he had no way of changing it.
The water spirit woman sensed his distress and turning to him, she said, “You shouldn’t feel so angry about this. Rather, this is the only choice I have left for me since we cannot be separated anymore. Besides, I’m sure you’ll like her far better your other wives standing here.”
“Huh?!” Ondine and the rest of the girls exclaimed in shocked voice and surprised Lakshman.
The water spirit woman chuckled heartily and turning to face Ondine, she said, “Ondine, follow what I’m doing and do it after me. Okay?”
“R-Right…” Ondine said nervously and she nodded once.
Nodding in reply, the water spirit woman extended both of her hands forward and held them up. Ondine did the same and they clapped their hands together while holding them out. The next moment, the water spirit woman said the command, which was repeated by Ondine.
In an instant, a glow of light surrounded them and caused them all to cover their eyes from the dazzling light. The wind began to blow around wildly as the energy surging energy radiated around where the water spirit woman and Ondine stood. This continued on for several seconds before the light finally faded and allowed everyone to finally see the result.
“Wha…?” Erza, Tetra and Silvera said at the same time in voices of shock.
“Nyaa?!” Cantia exclaimed with wide eyes fill with shock.
Venezuela blinked at Ondine in surprise as she could not believe the changes she went through. Lakshman was the last to take a glance at Ondine and what he saw completely amazed him.
Ondine had a beautiful face that had changed slightly from its previous look, which appeared to be shining slightly in the light shone down from high above. Her shoulder length blue hair suddenly became long and fell all the way down to her waist. In a span of few seconds, she had grown several centimetres and was now standing around 178cm in height. She had her eyes closed and she remained standing there for a moment before opening them to reveal blue shimmering eyes.
“O-Ondine…? Is that… really you…?” Erza asked tentatively while the other girls remained transfixed by her sudden change in appearance.
Ondine turned to look at them with a very surprised expression on her face before looking at herself. She began touching her face to feel the change and then looked down to see the increase in her height, which put her close to Lakshman. Along with that, she was amazed she now had long blue hair that fell down to her waist.
“A-A-Amazing…” she said and the girls were astonished by how elegantly soft her voice sounded.
Looking at her newly improved appearance with wide eyes, Lakshman thought, “Wow… She looks so much more beautiful than before and what’s with that power increase…? Now, she’s as strong as the Magic Titan! This is incredible…!”
Ondine thought the exact same thing as she said aloud, “This is… incredible… I… I’ve reached the power that I always wanted to… I finally… earned it…”
She closed her eyes, put her hands together in like a prayer and quietly said, “Thank you… Thank you…”
Ondine was praying thanks to the being that merged completely with her and are now together forever. She was unable to sense the water spirit woman’s consciousness, but she felt her presence in the form of the power surging through her. From the deepest part of her heart, she thanked the water spirit woman for granting her the wish of wanting to be as strong as the other women. Now, she is the strongest of all the Destiny Queens.
Thank you reading the chapter, everyone. For some reason, I woke up very early today and I got down to writing this chapter out as quickly as I could. Now, I am feeling very sleepy and I think I’ll go sleep because of how hard I worked yesterday. Hopefully, everyone is sleeping peacefully as well with wonderful dreams. Once again, thank you for reading the chapter and see you next time as the story progresses forward.