Chaos Heir

Chapter 727 Enemy

Chapter 727 Enemy

?Rucking noises filled the area as dust rose into the air. Cracks widened on the ground, shattering and splitting into multiple brittle pieces. Some triangular tents fell during the destruction, and tremors enveloped the settlement.

Chaos unfolded, and various cries joined the ruckus. Everyone in the settlement moved to contain the catastrophe, but Khan stood still. He was aware of his surroundings, and his senses easily pierced through the dust. Yet, his attention was solely on himself.

The burning sensation waned, but Khan's forehead continued to hurt, instinctively bringing a hand to its center. He half-expected to find a third eye but only touched his sweaty skin. The check-up technique also confirmed that nothing had transformed and that his body functions were returning to normal. Still, he didn't feel reassured in the slightest.

The scenes witnessed after drinking the dark green liquid had felt incredibly real. The sensations experienced during the mental trip still afflicted Khan's brain, affecting his concentration and overall state.

Just trying to recall the sharp scarlet eyes filled Khan with dread. His best efforts couldn't do anything against that foreign, irrational fear. That emotional response was almost automatic and came from the Nak's side of his being.

'What the fuck was that?' Khan cursed in his mind as he attempted to retrieve control over his body. His mana was still boiling, but his deep breaths were slowly cooling it down.

Thoughts dashed through Khan's brain, giving birth to countless possible explanations. He needed answers, and his mind did its best to provide them, relying on every bit of knowledge accumulated throughout the past years.

'Was that a hallucinogenic?' Khan considered that initial option but quickly discarded it.

The dark green liquid probably had hallucinogenic properties, but Khan's mental trip had felt too real to be the simple result of an intoxication. The flashes from the nightmare had been too vivid to come from memory, and the emotions the following scenes triggered had been too intense to ignore.

Moreover, the issue was mana-related. Khan wouldn't have suffered such harsh consequences otherwise, forcing him to consider more profound possibilities.

'Was it part of the nightmare?' Khan wondered. 'Is it possible that Zalpa didn't unlock all of it?'

The idea crumbled as soon as it appeared. The old Scalqa probably was those aliens' version of a shaman, and the dark green liquid might have helped compensate for his lackluster skills. However, Khan couldn't see such a primitive individual outclassing Zalpa.

'No,' Khan shook his head, sweat and dirt falling from his forehead. 'It wasn't part of the nightmare. But I know it was Nak.'

Khan's thoughts inevitably went to Cegnore's natives and their revelations. After excluding other options, it felt mandatory to involve the Nak's grand quest in the equation, and a question promptly popped into his mind.

'Was that the mana's enemy?' Khan considered, enduring the instinctive fear to recall the pair of scarlet eyes.

The emotional response of Khan's body seemed to confirm that idea, but he didn't jump to conclusions. Still, his reasoning pointed in that direction, forcing him to consider possible explanations.

The dark green liquid had been the trigger, but Khan wanted to know more. The toxic substance didn't have Nak's mana, so everything had come from inside him, meaning his body stored information he was unaware of.

'Primordial instincts?' Khan thought. 'Atavistic knowledge?'

Khan had long since stopped seeing himself as a human, but his mind refused to view him as a Nak either. Yet, the transformation had pushed him closer to that species, granting him traits that went beyond the mere flesh.

The scenes in the mental trip probably were something intrinsic to the Nak. They could be part of knowledge bound to that very species, something that didn't need to be taught or passed down. Every Nak might have it from birth, turning Khan into the exception to the rule due to his unique situation.

That idea was far from unrealistic. Some animals didn't need training or teachings to develop their species' instincts, and the same could apply to the Nak. The mana made everything more plausible, almost convincing Khan of that conclusion.

Khan had calmed down when that conclusion arrived, and his hand returned to his forehead to scratch its center. Everything was still normal, but his recent performance further convinced him about the final idea.

The technique that destroyed the ground didn't come from Khan. The Nak's hand had performed something similar on Milia 222, connecting it to that species. It probably was a skill intrinsic to the Nak, which the dark green liquid had unlocked alongside the additional knowledge.

Khan sat down, his head still lowered toward the ground while his mind sorted out the new thoughts. If the mental trip was true, he had just found one of the final answers he was searching for. He would have cleared the massive doubt behind Cegnore's natives' revelations.

'Maybe the mana isn't simply in danger,' Khan thought. 'Maybe it has an enemy the Nak can't defeat.'

The blue alien's words from Cegnore resounded in Khan's mind. The Nak had reached the limits of their species, probably making them unable to defeat the caped figures. The latter could be after mana itself, so the Nak had infected as many species as possible, hoping to give birth to something stronger than them.

'Is mana's survival really at stake?' Khan wondered. 'Is the entire universe in danger?'

Khan could barely deal with his own problems, let alone a threat involving the entire universe. The connection with the Nak also made him inclined to ignore it. He couldn't care less if he failed their mission after everything they forced him to endure.

However, the mission involved more than the Nak. Khan had people he cared about in the universe, people he would give his life to protect. He would fight if the threat could affect them.

'Am I in the middle of a war?' Khan thought. 'Am I its center?'

Every conversation where "host" was mentioned crossed Khan's mind. He knew he was unique, but there could be other beings like him. He couldn't be the only contender for the Nak's legacy in the universe. Still, the recent discoveries made Khan consider whether he should attempt to seize it instead of simply getting rid of the nightmares.

The consideration came from an obvious detail. Khan lifted his head, and scenes of destruction filled his view. The Nak wielded true power, and Khan might need it to deal with all his problems.

Khan's attention went to his forehead. The pain had waned, but he still focused on its center to try to perform the previous absorption of information. His element would be unstoppable if he could replicate that ability.

Nevertheless, nothing happened. Khan focused and tried to summon the sensations experienced during the mental trip, but the ability didn't come out. He still had his heightened senses, but nothing beyond that.

Khan's attention inevitably went to his surroundings afterward. He wanted to check the cauldron's state, but something else claimed his gaze. Someone was standing before him, wearing a combat stance. Amy had ignored the faint earthquake to guard Khan while he was indisposed.

Khan spent a single second inspecting Amy's back before summoning his strength. He felt a bit weak, but his body complied anyway, bringing him back to his feet. The edges of his uniform attached themselves to his sweaty and exposed torso, but he didn't bother buttoning himself while glancing behind him.

The cauldron had partially caved in during the destruction, tilting it to its right. Some dark green liquid had spilled onto the ground, leaving fuming wet patches that blended with the dust.

Khan briefly inspected the cauldron before glancing at the figure behind it. The old Scalqa was still there, albeit on his knees. The destruction had startled him, but he didn't leave his position.

Wild emotions returned inside Khan's brain as he stepped toward the old Scalqa. His rational side knew the alien had nothing to do with the Nak, but the time to play nice had ended. Khan couldn't passively play along after what he had witnessed.

The old Scalqa noticed Khan and supported himself on his cane to stand up, but a hand suddenly landed on his throat, stopping his movements. The alien's neck was too wide for Khan's fingers, but the strength running through them was enough to convey the intended message.

The crowd had mostly dispersed to attend to the settlement, but the dust had started to settle, allowing a few aliens to see Khan. His sudden gesture triggered a few cries, and the word "Rok-Go" often came out of the Scalqa's mouths.

"Rok-Go, I suppose," Khan said, his cold eyes shining with azure light as he stared at the old Scalqa. "Never forget I'm allowing you to live."

The aliens couldn't hope to understand Khan's words, but the old Scalqa seemed to get their meaning. Khan stated that he was in charge there. Everything was happening simply because he was allowing it.

More worried Scalqa noticed the event and tried to get closer, but Khan abruptly let go of the primitive shaman. The alien wasn't to blame for the mental trip, so Khan's anger slowly waned. His attention tried to return to the dark green liquid, but something touched the edge of his senses, distracting him.

Multiple auras had appeared among the trees past the settlement, carrying evident ill intentions as they rushed toward the rocky barrier. The destruction had attracted unwanted attention, and Khan wouldn't let the tribe deal with it alone.

"Amy, stay here," Khan ordered, tapping the ground to send himself into the air. "It seems I have attracted another tribe's hunting team."

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