Magnus's eyes slowly opened. He found himself in a bright room. His body felt as light as a feather and his senses were still reorienting themselves to the surroundings. He assumed he was probably dead.
"Is this heaven?" he asked out loud. He wasn't really expecting anyone to reply.
When he turned his head to the right, he saw Epsilon's evil grin. "Yo, Maggie. So you finally woke up?"
"Welcome to hell." Epsilon laughed.
"Ugh. How long was I out?" Magnus got up and rubbed his head.
"Almost a week."
"Heh. Cecil got me good, huh?"
"You nearly died, but I knew you'd pull through. You are my guinea pig after all." Epsilon held her bowl of noodles like holding a glass of wine and slurped away.
"I am not your guinea pig, Razette Epsilon!" Magnus reacted angrily. While his mouth was open, Epsilon stuffed discount coupons into it. He nearly choked.
"Yes, yes." She faced the other way. "Thanks for volunteering to be a meat shield. You helped me out."
"Uhh... You're welcome."
"Wen!" Sphinx and Jasmine ran to their former guildmaster's side as soon as they entered the White Tower's infirmary. Wen was on one of the white beds being attended to by nurse NPCs.
"Did we make it?" Wen struggled to speak.
"We did it, Wen! Lyngvi helped us defeat Cecil!" Jasmine said happily.
Wen smiled. "That's great."
Garth drew a sigh of relief. "I'm glad you survived."
"I promised not to get killed, right?"
"What happens to Aries now?" Astrid asked Elris who was just standing at the side observing the joyous occasion.
"We rebuild Aries and improve its defenses. It will have to be closed down for some time though. I need some time to rework everything. Maybe release some new content while I'm at it too." Elris closed his eyes. "For now, we can enjoy the feast later tonight. I will need to make a trip to the real world and turn Cecil and his subordinates in to the authorities."
"What about Lyngvi?"
"While it's true that he helped cause this mess, we couldn't have taken back Aries if it wasn't for his help. I won't press charges against him."
Pio stepped forward. "You'll also press charges against Yaya, right?"
"I'm afraid so."
The Black Rose members looked at each other sadly. As much as they wanted to have their guild back to normal, Yaya also needed to pay for her crimes.
"I still don't get why Yaya is so set on protecting Cecil," said Pio.
"Yaya, Cecil, and Cecil's sister are childhood friends. When his sister died, Yaya made a promise that she'd watch over her brother. From what I heard, the three of them were very close," Wen answered.
Elris gestured Pio. "We should hurry and turn in the hackers so we'll have more time to prepare for tonight's celebration." He and Pio left the room.
"You guys should head out and celebrate." Wen yawned. "I think I'll catch up on some sleep."
"Will you be alright here alone though?" Garth asked.
"Yeah. Just bring me some food later." He paused. "And maybe some coffee too."
Everyone started leaving the room to give Wen some rest. Alice was the last to leave. She wanted to wish him good luck on his recovery.
Alice took a deep breath. Before she was about to say something, she felt a hand on her head.
"Good job," Wen smiled.
Alice immediately turned red. "G-Get well soon!" she said nervously.
"Go out there and enjoy yourself. Don't worry about me."
She nodded and stiffly walked out the door.
"Worried about Wen?" Ileanna asked when she noticed Alice sulking on one of the seats of the Lamont Cafe. She sat in front of Alice.
Alice nodded. Her free pudding was left untouched.
"He'll be fine. He's a survivor like Li Yuan." Ileanna started eating Alice's pudding.
"I hope so..."
Suddenly, Alice was attacked by a stray cat monster. Her health immediately dropped to zero. Ileanna was caught by surprise and couldn't save her in time.
"Crud," Alice said while being down on the ground.
"Oh yeah. I forgot you were back to being level 1." Ileanna resurrected her and added her to the party. "Come on, let's gain you some levels."
"Wait! I haven't eaten yet!" Alice resisted as she was being dragged to level up.
In the middle of the square, Tank and the other Knights Alliance members were drinking and laughing together. Lyngvi felt nostalgic to be around his guild members again.
"Thanks for the time, Tank. I should be heading back to the real world."
"Already?" Tank was disappointed.
"I need to start sorting things out." Lyngvi stood up.
"You'll be back, right?"
"Maybe when you finally give up drinking booze."
"I'm kidding. Don't start electing a new second-in-command just yet."
Tank laughed. "Your spot is always reserved."
Lyngvi was glad to still have his friends by his side. A secured place was enough for him to keep moving forward.
He stopped in his tracks and turned around. It was Lyria.
"Are you leaving?" Lyria asked.
He nodded. "Yes. As I am now, I don't deserve to have a place here in Aries. I need to spend some time away to contemplate and become better than my current self."
Lyria smiled. "You always have a place here, Vi. We'll be waiting..." She paused. "I'll be waiting."
Vi smiled. This time, it had a much clearer emotion than how he used to smile. "Thank you, Lyria. You've become very precious to me. I will return, if you will have me, milady." He took her hand and kissed it like a gentleman. After slowly letting it go, he waved and walked away.
She stood and waved back. She could still feel the sensation of his soft lips lingering on her hand.
Suddenly, he stopped and turned around once more. "When I start holding concerts again, I'll give you a VIP seat if you feel like watching."
Lyria couldn't help but grin. "I'd love that."
He waved once more before stepping into the gate back to the real world.
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