The mysterious power surrounding the compasses could not be answered here or now. One thing they knew though was that although Danny died, his soul didn’t go with him. It was pulled into Kazuki along with Danny’s Mage core. This was no small matter. Kazuki had completely absorbed Danny’s Mage core into his and the two had fused without him knowing how or when. This taught them all something and it left them reeling from it.
“I wondered how Fera was capable of growing so strong in such little time. She took both my Mage core and yours along with comprehension and your martial skills. This alone makes her fearsome but it shouldn’t necessarily allow her to become a 7th stage Mage. For her to grow so strong within only ten years, would make her the greatest genius in the history of these lands. Garn himself took multiple decades and he’s only at the 5th stage. But now it’s making sense. If her compass has the same effect as mine then she must have used it to absorb multiple Mage cores. Her understanding of her compass must be deep. I didn’t know why she wanted my compass up to this point but maybe this is the reason. She wants it to become even more powerful. It’s not enough that she’s at the 7th stage. It’s not enough that she’s a queen and rules an entire kingdom. For her, she won’t stop until she has the world, not until she has it all.”
Kai and Danny both seemed to agree with Kauzki’s assessment.
“Not only is she strong, but now that she has your compass as well, she’ll theoretically grow stronger even faster. Kazuki, do you really think you can beat her?”
Danny proposed this question but it was clear by the silence and hesitation, that the answer wouldn’t be a good one.
Kazuki made a fist and squeezed it tightly. Thinking about his sister, thinking about his vile mother.
“I have to. No matter what…I will.”
A loud echo reverberated through the soul world.
Kai and Danny both looked upward and a cloud formed something similar to a screen that showed the outside world. Nunully was pushing Kazuki on the shoulder, trying to edge him awake.
“Kazuki, it’s morning, wake up.”
“Even though time moves at a much slower rate in here, night has already passed out there. Were we really talking for so long?”
Danny shrugged while Kai just shoved Kazuki.
“Who cares about that, you’ve got a hotty trying to wake you. I’m bored in here so give us a good show.”
Kazuki looked at Danny for help but Danny just waved him goodbye.
“Make sure Tsura and little Mei are looked after. I’ll be pissed if you don’t take care of them.”
“I know I know, leave it to me.”
Kazuki’s eyes opened and what appeared before his face was a pair of succulent lips. Nunully was trying to sneak a kiss on an unsuspecting Kazuki. As soon as he awoke though, the two locked eyes, and Nunully jumped back in fright.
(Kyaaa, really this girl.)
Kazuki looked down at himself and noticed his shirt was unbuttoned and in disarray. Straightening himself up he looked at Nunully accusingly.
Nunully, on the other hand, was sweating bullets and her eyes were avoiding Kazuki’s as she quickly tried to make excuses.
“I I I…I was just making sure you weren’t uncomfortable and well you know. Ah, um breakfast…That’s right, I came to wake you for breakfast, yeah, haha. Um please stop staring at me like that.”
Kazuki stood up and slowly walked over to Nunlly until he was a few inches from her face. He could feel her breath and he could hear her heart beating like a tribal drum. He reached forward as though he were going to caress her face.
Nunully’s eyes widened for a moment before she slammed them shut in anticipation.
(Is he going to kiss me!? He’s going to kiss me right! Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god. Ok, calm down you’ve prepared for this. Teeth are brushed and breath is fine. Light makeup and my hair are freshly washed. He won’t find anything wrong will he. No no no. I mustn’t think like that, I mustn’t………This is taking a long time. Maybe I should take a peek.)
Nunully’s heart was beating like crazy but she found the courage to open a single eye and look around. Kazuki was no longer in front of her and was instead in front of the stove. In his hand was a skillet. It was then that Nuunully remembered she was standing in front of the kitchenware and her heart dropped and fell into her stomach. A moment later and she realized that Kazuki must have thought she wanted to kiss. She literally had her eyes shut, leaning in with her lips perked ready for a smooch.
Nunully covered her face in an instant, trying to hide the pink and red that surely spread all over her, even up to the tips of her pointed ears.
Nunully heard these groggy words from the side of the room. She didn’t know when but Shin who was passed out had suddenly sat up and said that. He had seen all of it.
“To think you were going for a kiss and he was going for a cooking pan, damn that’s mortifying, hahahahaha.”
Shin broke out into laughter and Nunully’s embarrassment skyrocketed until she could take no more and she ran out of the room. Not before throwing a bucket’s worth of freezing cold water onto Shin.
Shin was still hungover and his reaction speed, well he had no reaction speed. He took the whole bucket’s worth of spine-chilling water and was drenched.
His teeth started chattering immediately.
“Haa Haa so cold so fucking cold.”
“Haha, you two sure are energetic so early in the morning.”
“Dammit Kazuki! Don’t laugh at me. Help me out, I’m dying here.”
Kazuki was prepping a few ingredients and didn’t even turn around.
“Is that how you ask a favor?”
Shin was shivering like crazy.
“Ah, shit it feels like it’s getting colder. Ok ok, please oh mighty and gracious Kazuki, please help your poor friend find some warmth.”
Kazuki chuckled lightly.
“Since you asked nicely, here take it.”
Kazuki made a fireball and tossed it behind him. Shin instinctively caught it and was about to freak out from getting burned when he noticed the oddness of this flame.
“It’s not burning me.”
“I wrapped it in a small barrier of ki. It prevents the burn but still allows a certain amount of heat out. The fire itself is burning around a thousand degrees inside the ki bubble. On the outside though, the temperature is around 150 °f.”
Shin held the small fireball in awe before he remembered something and almost panicked.
“Wait a minute, I don’t remember a lot in school but isn’t skin supposed to burn at like 111 °f? Shouldn’t 150 burn me?”
“Normally yes but have you already forgotten what we experienced in the Karada cauldron. Our bodies have been reforged and so we can withstand things normal people can not. 150 isn’t enough to burn you. Did you not notice that you walked several weeks through frozen snow-covered paths and never got frostbitten. Usually, it would take around 30 minutes or so depending on how cold it was but you and the others trekked through it for weeks with no shoes”
Shin thought about it. He didn’t realize it until now but it was true. He only thought about the instant strength he had gotten and his magic and never even considered that his body could handle harsher conditions than otherwise normal.
Shin felt confident all of a sudden and was just about to go change his clothes when Kazuki stopped him.
“You can take that fireball with you.”
“As I said it’s wrapped in my ki but my ki can only go so far away from me before it goes out of control. If you step out that door, the barrier of ki will fail and your hands will be toast. Just a small warning.”
Shin stopped right before he crossed the door frame and ran back and sat down on the floor, grumbling under his breath the entire time.
“Who doesn’t warn someone of something like that sooner. Dammit all, that was close.”
Shin would have spoken louder while complaining but he was afraid Kazuki would take his fire back. Kazuki though could easily hear it but he didn’t really care.
The stove was lit and Kazuki heated the pain and cracked a dozen eggs in the pan. With all the mouths to feed though, this definitely would not be enough, so he grabbed another two frying pans and went to work.
The smell of both eggs and bacon soon filled the house and a few doors here and there began to slowly open.
Sam and Kimi walked in holding each other’s hands. Sam looked full of energy while Kimi had a bird’s nest for hair this morning and was completely out of it. Exhaustion etched across her face.
Sam looked at the mess from last night and Shin still sitting on the floor and he went to work.
First, he made a chair for Kimi out of his flexible stone. This way the chair was sturdy but it didn’t feel like one was sitting on a hard rock but rather something that had a little bounce. Kimi sat down still wiping the sleep from her eyes, while Sam started to clean.
Kazuki got out another pan and cut slices of bread. In this world, there was no toaster so Kazuki simply buttered up the skillet and placed a few slices in it to make toast.
After Sam was done with the cleaning, he made a new table big enough for everyone to sit at and enough chairs for everyone as well as plates cups and cutlery. Shin was happy to have a place to sit and joked around while they waited and Kimi grew annoyed at all the noise.
Soon, Nunully returned with milk and fresh-squeezed orange juice. She had nothing to do and so she made some tea as well and gave a bit to Kimi. This tea seemed to be just what Kimi needed as she brightened up after only a few slow sips.
Eventually, heavy steps came running in followed by a shout of excitement.
Mei jumped around Kazuki before Kazuki made her sit down. Mei was already holding a knife and fork in her hand while her little feet kicked back and forth underneath the table. Tsura walked in right after. Seeing Kazuki cook she rushed over.
“What can I do?”
Kazuki brushed her off.
“Nothing, today I’ll cook for you. You just have a seat and relax.”
Tsura was a little perplexed. Kazuki, no not just Kazuki, no one really ever cooked but her and Danny. But Kazuki would cook for her. Tsura found this interesting and sat down. She observed Kazuki for a bit but seeing him handle it, her attention turned to girl talk with Kimi and Nunully.
As Kazuki put out the flame to the stove, Asuna walked in looking like a mess and blurry-eyed.
“Something smells really good, ah my head.”
Kazuki brought over the food and smiled.
“Morning sleepy monster, let’s eat.”