Xela smiled awkwardly as she faced her believers who were kneeling down devoutly before her.
"You guys, I keep telling you that I don't actually need you to go so far…"
However, as always, her words seem to fall on deaf ears as they continued to pray in various tongues to her, treating her like their goddess. This was an effect of her passive skill called Mercy.
｢Mercy – Active skill
Effect: Cleanse an enemy of their evil, edifying their soul and turning them into a devout follower. Each follower increases all stats by 0.1%.
Note 1: Can only be used on sentient beings.
Note 2: Can only be used on NPCs.
Note 3: Only a maximum of 90 followers at Rank 3.
She had already filled all 90 slots and had gained a sweet 9 stat points in all fields. All that was left was for her to form a proper formation with them, as she had carefully selected each and everyone for their various abilities.
However, before the training session could start, these fellows would always behave like this. It left her speechless and always fatigued, but she had learned to bear with it somewhat.
In truth, Xela used this time to reflect upon herself. Recently, she had begun to feel restless. It was because of something that had occurred a few days ago in the real world, about 4 days after the First Inter-Player International Games had come to an end.
Xela had been patiently nursing a few of the weaker children in the orphanage when she had suddenly heard an unfamiliar voice, which had talked directly to her mind. The voice had been feminine and very gentle, like a mother who saw the world as her beloved child, yet it had been too muffled and weak for her to make out what exactly it was saying.
Whatever it was, hearing a disembodied voice, no matter how harmless it might seem to be, had spooked Xela so much that she almost couldn't sleep the entire night. Not to mention, the next day she began to develop symptoms of a fever, her body became hot and her blood began to feel like it was lava.
All of this should have been impossible, or at least easily stopped since she had mastered Tier 2 Control, yet her body refused to listen. At most it elevated her signs for a short period, before they resurfaced. Unsure what else to do, she took time off the orphanage and entered Boundless, not having left the pod since.
However, Xela knew that running away wouldn't solve the problem. As such, she was prepared to go and visit Draco's clone in the Aether Palace to inquire as to what exactly might be wrong with her.
Xela focused on her followers, who had finally finished the theatrics and began their usual formation training. She had learned a lot from her battle with Dreary Traveler especially, suffering a loss at his undead army's hands.
She had also taken some pointers from Deployed Soldier on how to manage a group of subordinates in battle, which Justin Davis had been happy to give since they were both reps of the Central Country.
She was perfecting her own style day by day, and the moment she unleashed it in battle, it would shock all those who underestimated her due to her class' limitations.
A few hours later, Xela desummoned her followers. She didn't have a special pocket realm or space to keep her followers like Dreary Traveler, not that she would have used it anyway. All her followers were NPCs with various lives and positions, so she let them return to whence they came, whether it was their luxury villas, the prisons they were kept it, whatever.
Now that she was done, Xela used a home portal scroll to return to her own estate in the core section of Vita Kingdom. She appeared in her room which was full of various cute pets that she had bought or kept for herself.
She also had some NPC servants who were paid to maintain and groom the animals in her absence, who greeted her happily. Having Xela as an employer was a blessing, because not only was she kind, but she paid well.
Xela played with her pets for a while to relieve her stress before she left home. Flapping her Demi-Angel wings, she soon reached the Aether Palace where she was granted instant access due to her status.
She was greeted by Mortem, the Aetheric Eva clone who only responded to Eva's little sisters when they came to the Aether Palace. Usually, Hoover handled all Morningstar family business, while Vitae handled basically everyone else.
"How can I help you, Warm Spring?" Mortem asked gently, a far cry from her usual cold and aloof Riveting Night like demeanor.
"Erm. I would like to see Big Bro Draco if he's free." Xela replied shyly.
Mortem nodded and seemed to be communicating with someone as she closed her eyes. When she opened them, her glowing yellow eyes flashed with delight.
"He will meet you immediately. Let me lead you there."
Xela took her up on the offer and flew side by side with Mortem through the magnificent halls of the Aether Palace. They chatted about random stuff as Mortem inquired on Xela's state, who happily shared her latest happenings.
Soon, they reached Sublime's office, where Xela knocked. She soon heard a come in, and nodded to Mortem before entering slowly.
There, she saw Sublime seated at her usual place while working hard. The lolitician was wearing her glasses with a pensive expression on her face. As for Draco's Avatar, he sat calmly in a chair and was studying various materials one by one.
After all, he and Draco shared one mind, so if he filled up the gaps in the original's database with more Common material, the real Draco would benefit once they exchanged their information. He had stopped bothering with the sea route, because there were already enough ships to guarantee the trade would go on seamlessly.
When Xela came before him, she fidgeted around a bit, but the Avatar paused what he was doing and looked at her with a friendly smile.
"I don't often get to talk to you, Xela. Have a seat and let me know what's on your mind." Draco prompted kindly. He knew Eva was fond of this lass, so he did his best to accommodate her.
Xela sat down and hesitated, but decided to get it over and done with.
"Erm, after the International Competition, I went through an event that was pretty weird. I was just taking care of some of the kids in the orphanage when..." Xela elaborated her situation to Draco.
Draco's smile at first was genial, but soon became crooked. Another one so soon? He had just sent the Shadow fellow away a day or so ago. Now another one popped up, and it was someone who had been right under his nose all along?
"You know about the Lineages, right?" Draco asked.
Xela nodded. "Big Sis Eva explained everything to me. I also know that Big Sis Sublime has a bloodline too."
Sublime by the side pushed up her glasses and made a thumbs up before continuing her work.
"Good. Well, I suspect you're ikely a part of my Lineage." Draco revealed without pause.
Both Sublime and Xela showed confused expressions, the lolitician going as far as to put down her work because she wanted to listen in to Draco's reasoning.
Xela was puzzled. "How so?"
"A few day ago, I learned something interesting. Apparently there should be 9 people who have inherited God Serpents…" Draco explained the actions of Lucifer who had prepared the God Serpent Inheritors to serve as his Generals.
Sublime who was hearing this for the first time, smacked the table. "I will put out an order to look for those with characteristics based on the nine and have them assemble by next week!"
Draco nodded to her, fully trusting her capability. He then focused on Xela once more, who looked like she had been struck dumb.
"But what does that have to do with me?" She asked with confusion.
"Among those 9 God Serpents there are two female ones, Nuwa and Tiamat. Nuwa is the Dragon Goddess of Creation and the World. She is benevolent, kind and seeks to bring light to all living beings. Tiamat is the Dragon Goddess of Evil and Chaos. She is malicious, grumpy, cruel, and powerful enough to be second only to my Black Dragon in terms of destructive power." Draco explained slowly.
"Tell me, which one fits your personality and the experience you had better?" Draco asked with a knowing smile.
Xela and Sublime were speechless. Thinking about it, the Nuwa Dragon did fit Xela with her personality and the event she had just described. However, Xela was having a hard time accepting she was special in some way.
"…I still don't feel like I qualify."
Draco was not bothered by her doubt. "There's an easy way to check my suspicion."
He suddenly released his bloodline aura, which covered the entire room. Sublime felt slightly stifled due to her Merlin Linage being weaker than the Lucifer one. However, it did not affect her too much, especially since the Avatar was not focusing it on her in the first place.
Xela though, looked like he had been hit by a truck. She was smashed into her sofa, leaving a bloody mark in it, as her eyes spun and her body contorted. Blood leaked from her seven orifices slowly, up until Draco recalled his aura.
Xela did not recover from her daze, as the sudden burst of bloodline aura had stimulated her own bloodline to fully awaken, so she was dragged into a realm that looked like the most beautiful meadow floating in the clouds.
Standing there, she heard a lovely dragon cry as a long, eastern style female dragon with pure white scales coiled down from the heavens to land in front of her. Looking into those beautiful blue eyes, Xela felt like she was looking at her own mother.
"Child, it is nice to finally meet you." That soothing and motherly voice sounded out once more, this time without the effect of being partially suppressed.
Xela just stood there dumbfounded, disbelieving of what she was seeing and had to acknowledge. The White Dragon seemed amused by this and continued.
"I am Nuwa, the Dragon Goddess of Creation and the World. You are Xela Stone, descendant of my blood and the perfect inheritor for myself."
Xela shook her head and snapped out of her daze. "What do you mean descendant?"
Nuwa coiled a bit more and relaxed her head on the ground. "You know of your progenitor, right? It was through his help that I could awaken fully. I was partially suppressed by you because you refused to believe you were special in any way."
Xela blushed and lowered her head. "Erm, sorry about that."
Nuwa smiled without anger. "Raise your head, child, and do not feel shame. It is precisely because of such nature that I call you my perfect inheritor."
Xela looked up as Nuwa continued. "As I said, you know of your progenitor's circumstances? The one you call big Bro Draco is the reincarnation and carefully crafted clone of Lucifer, just as your precious Big Sis Eva is the same for Amaterasu."
Xela nodded. "I know this."
Nuwa smiled playfully. "Well, then you should be aware that the two of them were unable to procreate. How then, do you think they were made? By whose power do you think Lucifer and Amaterasu made them?"
Xela was left speechless at the obvious implication. "It was your power?"
"No, OUR power. Just like when he created the 9 Inheritors to assist his reincarnation, I was the one who handled most of it, or it would not have been nearly this perfect. Naturally, since it was my efforts, when it was time to design my own inheritor, I went for the best." Nuwa began explaining calmly.
"I sacrificed a part of my flesh and blood to create a child that was added to the Lineage. After years of breeding with the other Lineage members, they gave birth to you, my perfect and chosen inheritor... which is you." Nuwa revealed with a smile.
Suddenly, the Dragon goddess looked sad and sighed. "However, none of us back then could have predicted the disappointing events that would occur with the birth of the reincarnations. It was a breach of the agreement, which goes to show that Nidhogg and Orochi were right."
Xela looked confused. "I don't understand…?"
Nuwa gazed at Xela closely before continuing. "I just told you that I was responsible for the creation of Draco and Eva. Knowing what you know about the Pangu Lineage, how do you think they got heir prodigy to exist with their skillset?"
Xela's expression greatly changed. What Nuwa had just revealed was a detail that could shake the balance of the entire lineages.
Nuwa sighed. "Back then, due to the pressure of needing to leave Earth to go and fight together in the Gerdo Galaxy, Lucifer and Pangu came to a truce. Once the latter finally accepted that he would never be able to gain Amaterasu's heart or body, the two of discovered that they actually had a lot in common."
"The trio devised a plan to leave their three descendants together as a backup, so that when they grew up, they could ally together as friends and take on their mantle."