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Chapter: 169

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I return to Yrania the next day with a mess of emotions churning in my stomach. Fear, anxiety, apprehension, as well as a desire to finally get all of this over with run through my mind. If what Yrania said is correct, I'll eventually remember my past life, but it's safest with Yrania's help. I can't help but be apprehensive, I'm subconsciously locking those memories away for a reason, and I don't think I'll like who I was, but if there's a chance it won't affect who I am now, then I'll take it.

"How does this work?" I ask tentatively

"We need to draw out your memories. Normally they would come to you as you experience similar things in your current life, but that isn't the problem. First, meditate, clear your mind of everything, then focus on the childhood of your previous life," Yrania Explains.

I do so, finding a comfortable spot on the ground. Once my mind is clear and my emotions calm, I think back on my childhood, not of my previous life, but rather I start with my current life. It was mostly peaceful with caring friends and family. I never did remember my previous life's childhood; perhaps it was different?

"You're on the right track; I can see some resolution," Yrania encourages me.

I don't think I had a good past life, but that doesn't matter anymore. If my childhood wasn't good, then why? Were my parents not good parents? Were we poor?

"You're almost there, Alysara, just a little more."

Everything about this life is the opposite of my past life; just how bad was it?

As if answering my question, memories flood through my mind, and I feel Yrania's Bond flowing through my mind, taming the torrent of memories. Memories of abusive, drugged-up parents beating me when I was seven, my father being sent to prison, and a school friend being shot during a shooting.

It all made me even more grateful for my current life, and of all the places Myrou could have reincarnated me, this place is certainly the best place. I am glad I don't live in a run-down crack house in this life.

I shudder at the memories, glad that they feel distant, like a bad dream.

"Grandmother Safyr often says that tyranny is the rule, which implies that it is a fact that we should just accept, but I disagree," Yrania says. "It is the opposition to oppressive forces and circumstances that drives change. Tyranny is not something to tolerate; it is an obstacle to overcome. You lived an oppressive past life; did you simply accept being tried on, or did you fight back?"

"I... Don't know, I was only a child during those memories," I know the answer, but I don't like it. It's why I focused so much on developing myself early in this life when the memories most had an influence on me before I rejected them.

"I'm not reading your memories," Yrania reassures me. "But I can tell your past life does not get better."

I nod. I already expect that; however, there is something deep within my subconscious that is telling me to stop, to not remember.

"Are you sure that these memories will return on their own no matter what?" I ask, making sure that what we are doing is necessary.

"Yes. These come from your soul, not your vessel's memory; you can only delay it for so long. Think of it as melting ice atop a lake; eventually, it will weaken enough, and you'll fall through. It's already weak, and you'll remember them within the next few years."

That fits the timeline that Myrou said my memories would have all returned. But this makes a new question, If I remember everything now, will Myrou want me to show these memories sooner? I might as well get it over with, but am I ready for that?

Something to consider later, for now, I should try to remember the next part of my past life. My subconscious is telling me to stop, to not go any further, but I continue I focus on my past life's teenage years. What was it like? If it gets worse, then how does it? Did I get into drugs? Gangs? No, I hid away from the world, something I wished I hadn't.

With that realization, more memories wash over me. Memories of reclusion, when I'd play video games all day to avoid the realities of life. Something I'd yet to fully understand but had an awareness of. With the advancement of technology and the government taking over, those in power were arresting and executing anyone who disagreed and spoke out against the government.

I didn't fight; how could I? I was just a powerless teenager then, and I needed a job to support myself. I couldn't even speak out since that'd ruin my social credit that the government had implemented.

Work, school, and playing video games; that's all I did. Playing games itself wasn't a problem; the problem was that I was doing it as a way to run from reality, just like an alcoholic would drink their problems away or how a drug addict would use drugs to escape from responsibilities.

I would often wish to learn a skill, play the piano, or learn to draw, but I never did any of those. Hedonism never made my life fulfilling, yet in my chase of happiness, that was exactly what I pursued; I would never do what was necessary to learn skills and improve myself.

This progressed well into my adult life, but that's when the full realities of life sunk in. The government became more controlling, the police became more corrupt, people were sent to gulags, and my situation became more hopeless. A ruined economy, wars, and fear of the totalitarian government didn't make life prosperous.

Yet, even through all of that, I simply lived. I worked on the weekdays just so I could enjoy my weekends. I wasn't alive; I was just going through the motions.

Once again, the memories feel distant with no influence over me.

"You had strong regret," Yrania says. "That much is obvious, and although I've done what I can, its influence has already been ingrained in you, although that may have been for the better."

I nod in agreement. As much as I'd hate to admit, the lingering regret over not improving myself has led to my current life being better.

"Age does not make one wise; failure does." Yrania continues, "It is important to remember our failures, and fortunately for you, you have another life of them. You should not lock these memories away, for they are an excellent resource to you."

I've already recovered most of the technical memories; the only thing I can learn are the ones intrinsic to the lifestyle I had lived, which isn't very comparable to the one I live now.

"How many more do I have to remember?" I ask curiously.

"Two, although the last one is impossibly large... I'm not sure if I am strong enough to protect you from it."

"The time my soul spent in the void?" I ask to confirm.

"Yes," Yrania nods. "I've never seen anything that comes close to how much you've remembered. However, despite the risk, I think there is something important in it."

"Something important?" I ask.

"I do not know what it is; I will not read your memories unless you give me permission to but even then, it would be hard for me because the memories are sealed away. Even if I can, the sheer vastness of the memories of the time you spent in the void will make it hard for me to find what is important."

"So I need to remember it," I say. I do not know how she knows that something is important, but it's probably something to do with an evolved skill of hers.

I focus back on my memories; it's not hard to guess what happened next. The government was too aggressive in war, and it finally caught up to them.

Another flood of memories fills my mind to confirm my suspicions, but it was worse than I'd imagined. It started with skirmishes with another world superpower which, over the course of two years, devolved into a bloody war with people being drafted. Fortunately, I was never among those drafted, but the war was unpopular, and there were many protests that were quickly suppressed by the police.

That was when a group of insurrectionists armed with the military equipment of the enemy superpower attacked a military base. With the vast majority of soldiers fighting on the front lines, those in the base could do little against the rebelling force. The rebels gained more equipment and public support. Like a spark that ignited a forest fire, more people took this chance to rebel, and a full civil war broke out. However, I did not join them. Like a coward, I just kept my head down and tried my best to stay out of the fighting. Instead of fighting against a tyrannical government, I hid; if I did fight, maybe I would have lived longer.

With most of the government's forces overseas, the rebels quickly swept through the states; the police weren't capable of stopping so many people, especially when some of them had military-grade weapons. The government started doing all it could and bombed cities with the few forces still in the states.

The last memory I have of that life was the sound of bombs dropping and crashing in my apartment. At least it was painless. Don't know why they bombed the city I lived in; the rebellion wasn't even there, that I knew of, but it doesn't matter anymore.

Looking back, I never accomplished anything meaningful. I worked low-paying skilless jobs, being taken advantage of by corporations until everything fell apart around me. I don't want to live like that again, where my life is purposeless and meaningless, where I live solely to be taken advantage of by everyone around me. I will be the master of my own fate.

"The rest of your memories will be hard on you," Yrania warns me. "We can do this another day if you want."

I shake my head.

"Let's get it over with now."

Let's see what is so important about my time in the void.

"I'll do what I can to suppress them, but this time, you may end up reliving the memories; they'll be more vivid and feel more real."

I nod and steel myself, focusing on my time in the void. It helps having first woken up there by Myrou with recent memory pertaining to the void.

I fell deeper and deeper into my meditation, the process taking longer. Yrania must have been helping recover the memories. Slowly everything around me seems to change, and I begin to hear 'Tings' in my mind chiming like an alarm clock reawakening my memories.

Memories flood my mind, an endless torrent sweeping me up and carrying me along with them. Memories of a time spent in the void, drifting as my soul falls dormant. A 'Ting' rings in my mind, dozens, hundreds of trillions of them, an endless torrent of notifications as time seems to pass in an instant but at the same time, every second feels stretched out beyond imagination.

* * *

Dim red stars that represent entire realms blanket me. All around me, everywhere I look, I see the stars. I am slowly drifting away from one of them, tinted with grey, with life. There are others that are tinted with a different color, possible signs of life within them.

Slowly they spread, the colors infesting other dim red stars, the life in the realms discovering inter-realm travel. I wonder how long has passed since I died; I am quite far from my realm now. When did that happen? Is time the same here, where 'here' is?

I continue to watch the spread of life throughout the multiverse, and I notice that some stars fade out and vanish, but new stars flares into existence, brighter and more vibrant than the realms before them.

Are they changing?

It seems that each new generation of realm evolves, or perhaps they have slightly different laws.

One thing is clear, the realms with life seem to live longer than those that don't. It's possible that life is somehow extending the lifespan of their universe, delaying the end of time for that realm. However, they can't stop the end forever. I watch as the realm I am drifting away from slowly fades and finally disappears.

I can't help but feel a sense of loss. That was my home where I once lived, and yet it doesn't even matter anymore. The grey that originated from it, Humanity, has lived on, in other younger realms, the legacy of that universe.

I watch as the grey conquers the multiverse; sometimes, it lives in harmony with other life that started from the other realms. Sometimes peace wasn't possible, and the other life was extinguished. Eventually, all the realms sported the empire of humanity.

By now, I watch the Multiverse from the edge of this place. No longer are stars all around me, but now I watch from the edge of the sphere of stars. Will I continue to drift away forever until no more realms can be seen? Will I find another multiverse? Will I just be lost forever? How long has it been? Humanity had finally conquered the entire multiverse, but it feels as if only a few hours have passed by, yet it also feels like an eternity.

Suddenly a star near the center of the multiverse flashes brightly, blinding, even; shifting to a blue hue and something rings in my mind, like a wind chime. A wave seems to ripple outward, encompassing all realms and washing over me.

Ting! Humanity has discovered Mana! The Age of Mana has begun!

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