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«Endless Path: Infinite Cosmos EPIC (Web Novel) - Chapter 2262: Legacy of a King

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Chapter 2262: Legacy of a King

This chapter is updated by Novels.pl

Interrupting the conversations taking place throughout the spacious hall, a deep-voiced Herald called out, "Announcing the arrival of His Imperial Majesty, the Sage Dragon Emperor, and Her Royal Highness, Princess Sandora…!"

"Uuuoooooh…!"

Seeing Vahn enter into the hall with Sandora's arm linked through his, it didn't take long for people to begin piecing together why they had been summoned to the Palace. A few of the sharper-eyed individuals even took note of the expensive-looking ring emitting a mystical red glow on Sandora's finger.

With her extra sensitive ears, it wasn't difficult for Sandora to listen in on conversations throughout the hall. She normally wouldn't be bothered by people chatting about her, but, hearing a number of people offering speculation on when her first child would be born, it didn't take long for her cheeks to shift from a pale, almost porcelain white to a healthy shade of red.

Just as Sandora was beginning to regret calling for a banquet, a mixture of surprise, confusion, and a fair amount of caution marred her countenance as she spotted a man in a wheelchair…

"Father…"

Hearing Sandora's utterance, Vahn's brows raised ever so slightly as he locked eyes with the pale-haired man he presumed to be the current yet inactive Floor Master of the North, Salamandra, aka the Fire Dragon King…

Meeting Vahn's gaze, Salamandra would be lying if he said he wasn't intimidated. It didn't show in his expression but a slight tremor had started in his body the moment Vahn entered the room. The last time he had felt this terrified was when he faced down the Demon God and nearly lost his life…

"What an absolute monster…"

Catching the aging King by surprise, Vahn projected his voice across the hall but in a tone that only Salamandra could hear, stating, "That isn't a very polite thing to say about your son-in-law…"

Exposing his canines in amusement, Salamandra gestured towards Frey, saying, "Take me over to him." in a commanding tone. She immediately moved to comply, but, before she could place her hands on the wheelchair's handles, Mandra stated, "He is no longer your Master. You do not need to obey his commands."

As Frey turned statuesque, Salamandra turned his head, glaring at his son before adopting an even bigger grin and repeating, "You little sh*t…" before gripping the sides of his wheelchair and adding, "Fine, I'll do it myself…"

Surprising virtually everyone in the hall, Mandra included, Salamandra forced himself to his feet before ripping away the various electrodes and lines connected to his body. It took significantly more effort than he anticipated, but, seeing the incredulous expressions on everyone's faces, the smile on Salamandra's face grew wider as he walked towards Sandora and Vahn.

"Father…!"

Concerned for her father's well-being, Sandora released Vahn's arm before running over to try and support him. Before she could, Salamandra's expression became severe, his tone grim as he barked, "Stop right there, Sandora! I'm not so feeble that I can't stand and stare my daughter's fiance in the eye…"

Ignoring the hush that had descended upon the hall, Salamandra continued forward until he was less than an arm's distance from Vahn. Then, to the surprise of everyone, he pulled off the ashen-white scarf that had hung around his neck for the past two hundred years, saying, "This is a scarf fashioned from the scales of the Demon God. It is borderline indestructible, and, even after more than two hundred years, the energy contained within rivals the purest magic crystals in the entire Little Garden…"

Extending the scarf towards Vahn, Salamandra's complexion paled as beads of sweat began to form across his forehead. The energy within the scarf was one of the things keeping him alive, but, at the same time, it was also responsible for his present condition. Without it, he would surely die within a few hours. However, contrary to what his son and a great many others believed, Salamandra wasn't desperate to cling to life. Rather, he had died more than ten years ago. The only thing that kept him going this long was his refusal to let the legacy of the Stellar Sea Dragon King end with him and his children. Now that someone like Vahn had appeared, he could finally be laid to rest in the place his heart had been buried years prior…

"Take it…let it serve as a reminder of the horrors that await those who succumb to complacency…"

Forcing the scarf into Vahn's hands, Salamandra was prepared to return to his wheelchair when a firm hand gripped his left shoulder. Before he could look back and demand to know what Vahn was doing, a fiery warmth saturated every single cell in his body. From the perspective of the crowd, the surrounding temperature suddenly shot up by several tens of degrees as the color of his lion-like mane of hair shifted from a pale, almost pink hue to a far more vibrant shade of red.

Though he could feel the weakness in his body fading away, Salamandra promptly smacked Vahn's hand away from his body, saying, "My era has long passed. If you want to help me, do right by my son and daughters. Even if I fade to dust, the legacy of Salamandra will live on…"

On that note, Salamandra used his authority as Floor Master to teleport himself to one of the most secure and isolated regions in the North. Then, even though Sandora's coronation had yet to take place, he transferred his authority over to her before looking up at the sky with a massive grin and saying, "Sorry, Mandra…your father may have been a piece of sh*t but I owe it to your mother to go out with a bit of class. If you really want to one-up me, be a better man than I ever was…"

Punctuating his words, Salamandra pulled out a small curved dagger embedded with a fiery red gemstone. Instead of stabbing himself in the heart, however, he placed it, and several other items, into a small lockbox. This included his eyes, his fangs, and, once everything else was prepared, he reached into his chest as if were made of liquid before pulling out a pulsating, gem-like heart…

.

While everyone else was in a mild panic due to the sudden disappearance of their King and former Floor Master, Vahn was observing the man with a solemn look on his face. Shiroyasha had already informed him that Salamandra wasn't exactly a kind and benevolent King, but, seeing how he the man had elected to spend his final moments, Vahn couldn't help feeling a tinge of admiration for the former tyrant.

Though there were a few notable exceptions, Vahn had always tried to live according to the belief that hatred directed at the dead was a toxin that affected the mind and corrupted the spirit. Even if the person had committed unspeakable acts during their lifetime, he would still pray that their next life was filled with happiness and joy. He had never understood the rationale of people who wished an eternity of suffering onto others. It was one thing if your vengeance compelled you to carry out their punishment directly, but, the moment you entrusted the task to another and simply moved on with life, such suffering served no purpose.

After watching his experimental version of Hell gradually amalgamate into a veritable vortex of negative energy, Vahn had reached the same conclusion as his childhood self. Realms that existed solely for the purpose of gathering positive or negative energies were inherently flawed. The only 'correct' method of dealing with Spirits was a fair and unbiased Cycle of Reincarnation that drained the energies within a person's Ego and returned them to the void. Unfortunately, this was a 'dead end' as far as reality was concerned, as, without 'good' and 'evil' people reincarnating with karmic advantages, stagnation would quickly take hold.

As Vahn's understanding of the Soul increased, he had come to realize that the means to seed life in a new reality involved enticing Souls to inhabit it. If your world wasn't interesting, it didn't really matter how much power or authority you had. You may be able to create life and produce artificial Egos, but, as time passed, you would quickly come to see the flaws in such designs. This was often how Creators Gods produced their first servants, entities that were infinitely close to perfection yet ultimately paled in comparison to the mundane life that invariably appeared on smaller, seemingly inconsequential worlds.

Simply put, even if Vahn wanted to create a perfect and objectively fair system, the Souls lingering outside the Records simply wouldn't inhabit it. It was the essence of the Soul to seek stimulus and experience new, sometimes harsh experiences. If the world was perfect and everyone was allowed to live in the exact same manner, compelling new Souls to inhabit it was virtually impossible. The moment you created a disparity between the entities that ruled and the creatures they ruled over, however, Souls would practically flood into your world. Life would prosper, and, in turn, so would death…

Seeing Salamandra turn to particles of light that dispersed through the mausoleum where his wife was buried, any feelings of enmity or judgment Vahn had towards the man faded along with them. In their place, a desire to protect the legacy Salamandra had left behind was seeded within him. He didn't care what atrocities the man had committed throughout his life. Now that he was gone, Vahn would do everything in his power to ensure others weren't made to pay for his mistakes. There was a memorable quote he recalled at times like this. There were countless versions of it but the one he enjoyed most was, "Never waste new tears on the past. Hatred and resentment towards a memory sever the path towards the future. If you really want to be happy, the only thing you can do is move forward, seizing each and every moment along the way…"

"Rest in peace…"

.

Though the banquet continued as scheduled, Sandora hadn't paid much attention. She had been lost in thought ever since her father transferred his authority as Floor Master to her. She had never been particularly close to the man, but, understanding she would probably never see him again, an indescribable feeling of emptiness had pervaded her entire being. Were it not for the fact that Vahn had stayed by her side throughout the entire evening, Sandora got the distinct impression she may have lost something important.

What brought Sandora back to her senses was Vahn entering her room rather than seeing her off at the entrance. She tried telling him she would be okay on her own, but, instead of listening, he made himself comfortable and stayed with her the entire night. By sunrise of the next day, she was feeling a lot better, but, even then, Vahn never left her side. Instead, he cooked a delicious breakfast for her before helping her freshen up by offering to brush her teeth, style her hair, and apply her makeup.

Though she adamantly refused his assistance for the first task, Sandora ended up accepting Vahn's offer to style her hair and apply her makeup. The notion that someone as powerful and influential as Vahn could style a woman's hair was simply too novel for her to refuse. When he ended up doing a better job than even her personal hairdresser, Sandora was at a complete and utter loss for words. When she later learned that he personally operated a spa within the Sage Dragon's Hearth, one that was frequented by virtually every member within, Sandora was completely gobsmacked…

Fortunately, while gobsmacked was rarely a good thing to be, it was infinitely better than wallowing in depression. Thus, for the better part of two and a half days, Vahn continued to pester, tease, and simply accompany Sandora until the indescribably bleak, black, and purple threads in her aura had either disappeared or diminished into less concerning colors. This caused Sandora to develop a bit of a dependence on him, but, considering what she had just lost, he didn't mind becoming her rock of support. After all, he was her fiance, and, more importantly, the man her father had entrusted to look after her…

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(A/N: Alternate Titles: 'Some real big pp energy coming from this man…','Grim reality…','Vahn is best support (O w O)…')

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