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 Into the Land of Immortals - Chpt 23

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PostSubject: Into the Land of Immortals - Chpt 23   June 19th 2009, 8:23 am

Into the Land of Immortals
Chapter Twenty-Three

Part 1

Gulichex saw Terish moving out into the water, and left being next to Straekin to wade out with the man. Giluchex had no intent to swim out, but did plan to get some deeper water in an attempt to again gain some liquid in his container. He did not doubt that his efforts might again be wasted, but somehow agreed with Terish that others needed to at least recognize the extent of his willingness to succeed. As Terish began swimming, Giluchex readied his bottle to be set down in the water before removing the top. He stopped with the swimmer as Dathol's voice rang out from the shore.

"Wait! There is a boat coming!"

Giluchex had to turn back to shore to find in what direction to look. The perfect clarity of the water actually made it hard to see the white craft. It appeared as a very large downy feather moving upon a wind current. Even as it approached there appeared no sturdy structure to the craft. No timbers covered the light ribs. A fine layer of spines from the delicate supporting beams seemed to trap air providing the buoyancy for the craft. Seeing the large form of Vemishill guiding the vessel really did not give Giluchex confidence in the boat being able to support a substantial weight.

"Terish, Giluchex!" the deity yelled, "come on aboard. I will take you out."

Terish changed directions to move towards the boat as he asked, "How did I gain this honor?"

"I believe it is to be revealed. Giluchex, were you honest about what you said?"

"About what? Supporting the people of Davelda?"

"Honestly supporting Munulva."

Giluchex really did not remember saying that, but would not deny the words. "I have always supported Davelda, and the Goddess of Davelda, Munulva."

Terish somehow moved aboard the craft by coming up through the basically non-existent hull. Giluchex watched the boat expecting some sign of the added weight, probably resulting in the disruption of its integrity. It turned and floated towards him without any sign of sinking. He looked for some sign of a hatch through the fibers of the hull. He waited for some special commands as the boat came upon him. No scrapes occurred as the parts of the boat passed around him, but only soft touches came upon his skin. Terish did reach out a hand to help pull him up, but Giluchex moved one hand to a rib for added support. The boat barely rocked as he applied force to put himself in the craft. As he settled into a sitting position on a convenient flat spot along a rib, Terish voiced the question that Giluchex wanted to ask.

"Why?"

Vemishill had no controls, but simply stood in the boat. Giluchex could only reason that the deity directed the craft with his mind. The strange vehicle moved smoothly along the surface of the water. The crest of waves did break against the feathery hull, but no jarring sensation could be felt by Giluchex. No sound from the water could be heard, although the words from Vemishill resonated clearly.

"The answer will come. It seems that you are not the only one wanting to send a message."

Terish replied, "Good, as I would jump back into the water if you were simply being nice."

The deity chuckled, then replied, "Yes, well, we haven't made a decision on that either. We are actually watching you for guidance on that."

Giluchex did not catch the reference, so looked to Terish to ask, "'Watching you for guidance' about what?"

"I am to bring salvation to the next race that Terdeskollit creates. Desiree however said nothing about the treatment of the next race. My speed and intelligence has been credited to the malicious nature of my society. Many thus say that Terdeskollit's next world should be as horrid as that I remember."

Giluchex considered the words for a moment, then said, "Yes, and Terdeskollit may not save those we consider good."

"Yes, Desiree did not speak on that either."

"Well, as someone that has been in government for a long time, let me assure you that some decisions are never clear, and many will come back to haunt you. You cannot just leave the matters hanging however."

"No, neither one of us has a reputation for doing that."

Vemishill put a hand out to Giluchex and asked, "Can I have your bottle?"

He held out the container even as he said, "I would appreciate it if you can make it hold the water."

"It will not hold much, but I will do what I can to have it hold something. When you reopen the bottle after gaining the water, have your plan in mind what to do with it."

"What should I do with it?"

"Whatever you desire, but know that you will have to live with the decision."

Terish quipped, "Okay, come on, Giluchex. Let us go get the treasure."

Giluchex smiled thinking that he could actually like this man. The journey had taught him things about Terish that he had never considered. While Giluchex still felt that his empress could have done better by choosing someone from Davelda, he had to admit that Terish had some unique qualities. Giluchex thus rode out to the center of the spring admitting that certain edicts did indeed need to be rescinded.

~^~^~ ^~^~^ ~^~^~

Annalia shot out of unconsciousness as the room became filled with light and an urgent voice said, "Venicht needs to go to the church, NOW!"

She felt the weight of her body as her hands pressed into the mattress to raise her torso. Annalia slept with only a sheet covering her, but found the cloth to put up resistance as she moved to the edge of the bed. Seeing the illumination from a very elegant appearing lady in robes, Annalia turned back to the bed fully expecting to see her body still resting. The shock that everything occurring was physically real astounded her, although she did not allow the strangeness to overcome her knowledge of proper behavior.

The deity spoke as soon as Annalia knelt on the carpeted floor. "There is no time for formalities, Annalia. Rise, get Venicht, and get to the church."

The lady obeyed while saying, "Yes, Goddess, Munulva, uh, why me? Why didn't you tell Venicht? You have been speaking to him."

"He comes from a world where the gods are more active. I want him for my own however, so I faced him on a more direct level. My jealousy goes further, but again a less direct fashion will not help me."

Annalia did not bother with her full routine of getting prepared. As she pulled a simple dress over her head, the light from the deity went away. Annalia did not slow down her actions however, but checked only a few details before rushing out to awaken Venicht.

Nuverd awoke as Venicht began his rush to put on some proper clothes. The man did not challenge the lady, but simply turned to get himself dressed. As Annalia left the apartment with Venicht, Nuverd trailed.

Soldiers were already at station as the trio left the castle. They did not ask any questions, but simply moved with them across the distance to the church. Approaching the religious building, Annalia saw that the lights were on. A brilliance came from the open doorway making her believe that the goddess was now inside, although only a military officer greeted her.

"I do not know what is going down, but an official message came on our system warning that everything needed to be cleared for your arrival."

Annalia decided it best to keep the facts rather basic, "Yes, my message to those on duty in the apartment was most urgent."

"Yes, Attendant, and it was assumed that it had Empress Straekin's approval."

"Yes, that would be true."

A priest rushed up to say, "We are assuming that Prince Venicht now will be able to contact his parents."

"Yes." Annalia turned to the lad to ask, "Are you ready, Venicht?"

He stated a simple affirmation while moving through the main chamber. He appeared hopeful as he moved into the alcove where the font rested. After taking a few steps, Venicht turned back with a sorrowful expression.

"The font is still dark."

Annalia moved up to direct him back to the font as she said, "I still believe it will work, Venicht. Do what you normally do."

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PostSubject: Part 2   June 24th 2009, 8:16 am

Into the Land of Immortals
Chapter Twenty-Three

Part 2

The lad did not have a confident expression as he went through the motions to contact his parents. Annalia noticed that the features from Nuverd also appeared as if he were wasting his time. While she trusted the goddess, Annalia moved up to give Venicht some support as he performed the rite. She smiled while noticing the surprised expressions when a female voice came from the dark water of the font.

"Venicht?"

The face of the lad lit up with joy as he said in return, "Mother, are you in trouble?"

"Not at the moment, Venicht, but I am extremely worried about what your father might be attempting."

A glowing feminine form rushed to the font before saying, "You support Terish?"

Eyes shot with surprise at the divine presence, although Munulva put her focus upon the font. Even with the actions of the Goddess, no vision of the scene filled the room as had occurred earlier. Annalia considered the sight of Munulva to be more exotic than the earlier display, but still worried that without the sight the empress might make the wrong assumption. As if the lady had a clear vision of the room, her answer came directly.

"Of course, Munulva."

The goddess made some motions over the font, but it stayed dark causing her to ask a question, "Is Terish there?"

"He is coming. The god Vemishill is just now bringing his craft to shore."

"I am glad that help did come. I made the request, but the gods there are very protective of their realm, although I have also found them responsive to your mission."

"The gods here have been most kind."

A masculine voice came from the font, "Empress, to whom are you talking?"

"It sounds like the voice of Munulva."

"Munulva? Why would she speak now?"

The goddess made a gesture for everyone to stay quiet even as irritation entered the voice of Straekin. "To make certain that I continued to do what she what she told me to do."

"What? When did Munulva ever speak to you?"

"You mean besides right now?"

"I don't believe she is speaking to you now, or has done so before."

Munulva now asked, "Straekin, to whom are you speaking?"

"This happens to..."

The masculine interrupted to say, "This is Councilman Giluchex of Davelda."

The Goddess said, "Ah, yes, I know of you. There are many, including Straekin, that prays for you. I however know that you are an evil selfish man. The submarine Ishthupo has just gained a reading from the remains of a submarine named Hintuldin. You did a wonderful job of secreting certain documents about the Beshard Bombing. The papers and data storage devices are still good."

"Empress?"

The voice of Straekin said, "I am certain that some historians are interested in those documents, Giluchex. It is over six hundred years later, and I will stand by my promise not to hold anyone accountable of actions of the war even those that occurred slightly after certain agreements had been signed. If your constituents now vote you out of office, that is not my affair."

A subdued tone that some in the room actually felt did not come from Giluchex due to its unusual meekness said, "That really is the voice of Munulva?"

"Yes."

"How do you know?"

"She has spoken to me before, Giluchex. Remember that day long ago when Terish and Ferrigote somehow pulled their beaten bodies and a wagon of treasure up to Castle Davelda?" A pause occurred, but Annalia could only imagine that Giluchex nodded instead of speaking. "You ranted about my care and treatment of those men, then continued to rant as I began spending more and more time with Terish."

"You should have married a man from Davelda."

"Munulva told me to make my life with Terish, Giluchex. I did, and I am very glad."

The Goddess now rang out, "And I am telling Straekin to again support her husband. He has a decision to make, and I want him to have the confidence that all will go well."

The voice of Terish came from the font. "I thank you, Munulva. It cannot be the right decision, but I cannot think of one better."

"Terdeskollit is not your God, Terish. He removed any claim to you when he forgot your existence. Do not fear him."

"He is still a God."

"But not your God, Terish. Remember that. He is not your God. I am the Goddess of your wife, and Venicht is accepting me. I would like to have your family complete, Terish."

"I will not deny a future with you, Munulva. I however am going to face my mission with Terdeskollit, so my devotion to you will not be at the level you deserve."

An expression of annoyance crossed the features of the Goddess as she said, "To keep your reason for existence, yes. He however is to bring salvation to others, not to you. You should not be fighting for your own salvation. I consider my people my family. You know of family, Terish. You speak of your family, and those that adopted you. The Dozzrines did not gain some stray urchin, but paid good money to get a child that worked to support his true family. You have remained true to your origins, and when I saw you about Davelda you worked to further your history even though your family no longer existed. You work in favor of what I myself hold dear. I wanted you, Terish, and I still want you. Terdeskollit should not have you."

Annalia could not imagine the reason for the pause, although the next words from Terish sounded rather subdued. "Care for Venicht, Munulva. Let him know that you are a Goddess worthy of honor."

"I have been caring for Venicht, Terish. I have however been worried about you. Just as many pray for Giluchex, I hear many prayers for you. Of the two, I care for you."

Some of Terish's usual confidence returned to his voice as he said, "I told Straek that she could get angry with me after I acted on my decision, Munulva. I guess now that she is going to have to accept it as the right choice."

"Straekin, have you regretted my command to you?"

"No, Munulva."

While the lights had stayed on in the room, the presence of the goddess had given the chamber a rather brilliant illumination. Annalia found herself thinking the room dark when Munulva disappeared. Venicht showed no concern for the absence of the Goddess, but quickly spoke to the font as he focused on communicating with his parents.

"Mother, Father, I miss you."

The voice of Terish came back, "You are doing fine, Venicht. Keep working. You have a lot to learn. General Nuverd, is all well?"

"All is well, King Terish. The Goddess spoke of her support. Let it be known that I have ever served you and my support of you has never failed."

The voice of Straekin declared, "My support of you has never failed either, Terish."

"Okay, I went and got the water. Might as well go do with it what I had considered. Terdeskollit does not deserve anything less. Oh, Straek, tell Venicht that you love him."

"I love you, Venicht."

Although the lad tried to speak further to his parents, no statements in return came. A soldier did move up to inform the group that a message from the submarine Ishthupo had come in concerning a strange series of signals from an ancient craft identified as the Hintuldin. All turned from the font wondering exactly what had transpired. One question was however answered by an arriving priest as the group left the alcove.

"Both cameras that have the room in view recorded the event. We now have a verified record of Munulva appearing."

Venicht sounded defiant as he declared, "I told you that she had been speaking to me."

A priestess said, "Yes, and our record of Munulva is of her speaking in favor of your father, Prince Venicht. Certain policies will need to be reconsidered."

A priest returned, "Yes, but it might not be necessary. It sounded like Munulva wanted Terish to know that he did not need to fear death."

Before the words could sink into the mind of the lad, Nuverd had him hurry along back to the castle. Annalia however stopped to look at the priests. She paused to consider the conversation between Terish and the goddess, then spoke her belief.

"Terish has risked his life numerous times before. I don't know his true belief, but I don't believe he fears death."

The priestess returned, "But isn't that the comfort that Munulva supplies? None of those that put their faith in her need fear death."

"We are immortal. Why should we fear death? I worship Munulva to help me through life."

"But... Attendant Annalia, the holy book mentions that we should look to Munulva for a restful afterlife."

"Maybe that is why she has been silent. Maybe she has been writing another book."

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PostSubject: Part 3   June 29th 2009, 8:05 am

Into the Land of Immortals
Chapter Twenty-Three

Part 3

Giluchex felt his body shake as he waited for Terish and Straekin to break from a long passionate kiss. A strong desire to scream at the embracing couple filled him, but experience told him that he would be ignored. As soon as they came apart however, his body quivered as he released his anger.

"YOU HAVE SPOKEN TO MUNULVA!"

Straekin pulled her husband away from the water as she said, "Yes, a few times actually."

Giluchex could not prevent his voice from bellowing, "Why didn't you tell anyone?"

"Because you would have called me a fool, and I am no fool, Giluchex."

"But if you had proof of the Goddess."

"What proof, Giluchex? My private quarters are free from cameras."

Giluchex worked his mind for any rebuttal to the lady. "How about your attendants?"

"Yes, but you would have discredited them as well. You already called them in for questioning concerning Terish a number of times. Each time they returned speaking of how you tried to ferret out all sorts of private details. I could only imagine the type of questions you would have asked if we started blathering about speaking to Munulva."

Ferrigote interjected, "I bet you are really mad about your Goddess revealing that information hidden in the submarine."

Giluchex's inner rage showed itself as he spun to declare, "Oh, as if you don't have skeletons in your closet!"

"Open it! Go ahead. I have a warrior god, Giluchex. He will serve me beer while I tell of some of the nastier things that I have done. HELL! He gave me and Terish immortality in spite of the stuff that we had done. Don't you realize, Giluchex, that the man your empress married is one of the most vicious creatures I have ever encountered? Read our stories, Giluchex. Terish was barely eight years old and matching me for kills."

Straekin commented, "I would not have considered Terish as anyone but a notable visitor to my world if Munulva had not commanded me."

Giluchex thought for a moment, then went ahead and admitted his secret. "I really did not intend to have that apartment complex bombed. It was my order, but the entire chain of command was rather warped in their thinking as we felt our cause collapsing. My order was to clear the area of hostile units in order to secure the territory. We were fighting to have control over who gained immortality. Those in the field thus saw the apartment complex as traitors selling us out for their own dominance of the immortality process. I removed the evidence not just to hide my own participation, but that of all underneath me that had a part. Couldn't burn it, as some storage devices could not be burnt, so I sunk them."

Terish said, "Sounds like you are an honorable person, Giluchex. Guess those you protected are your constituents that keep voting you back into office."

He no longer felt like talking, so replied, "I guess that we have to walk all the way back to leave."

"No. Vemishill is right there. We can return now."

The voice of the deity was clear even though he still stood in the boat. "Yes, as there is no longer any reason for you to be here."

Giluchex turned to Vemishill to say, "Well, the land was nice, but the hospitality was horrible. I hope that once back in the physical realm that we can eat and drink something besides water."

The deity laughed, then said, "All of you have more than earned your honor. Yes, the bounty of the land will again be yours for the taking."

As all moved to the boat, Dirchein asked, "Could I drink the water one more time? I do want to be whole."

Ferrigote watched as his wife moved to the shore of the lake to drink, then he spoke to his friend, "Kid, I guess that I did not need to come for you, but for her."

Terish replied, "The water has helped, but she will still take time to mend. You did do the right thing by coming. Honestly, though, if things go bad with Terdeskollit, it will be nice having you to fight with me."

The fighter turned to the holy man to ask, "Any final directions or commentary?"

Dathol smiled as he said, "No. At least I now have some things to reference when you ask me about my time with Sanver."

Kethal said as he stepped into the boat, "I have held myself with honor before gods. Surely my gods will recognize me when I again move into the mountains."

Celatia turned to Terish to say, "Well, after his wife spoke to him, I kept hoping that I might be able to speak to Raedell."

Terish moved over to his mount as he replied, "You would not have gotten the chance, Celatia. I would want to speak to her, and probably everyone else around you, and she knows us better."

She looked around before replying, "Yes, except for Kethal and Dirchein, I guess that I did know her the least. Still, that is what I was hoping for."

"You are doing a good job, Celatia. Trust me, when you finally move on, she will be wanting to speak to you as much you want to speak to her."

Giluchex watched as the centaur moved into the boat. While her form was odd, the ribs of the feathery craft presented her with no more resistance than it had for him or Terish. She also found a place to stand with as little of a problem. Realizing that it was his time to board, he looked at those remaining. Seeing Dirchein move back to her husband, Giluchex turned to Straekin as she moved to Terish. They hugged each other with no sign of having an inner dispute, which forced Giluchex to ask them a question.

"You had already discussed things between you about why you went with each other."

The lady replied, "Yes, Giluchex. I told him about Munulva. It was Terish that had the resistance to our being a couple. He really was not one that enjoyed being the center of attention. All that he came to me for was that he did feel safe in the castle. All those decades you ranted about Terish sleeping in my bed we were laughing at you for not knowing Terish. He does not sleep in a bed."

Terish added, "At least, not what you would consider a bed. You saw the Cricket House that I built. I tend to sleep in some rather unusual places."

Giluchex smiled as he said, "Well, whatever or wherever, the fact that the two of have had children means that you are managing to spend time together."

Straekin stepped into the boat as she said, "Oh, yes. Terish might not sleep in a bed, but he will join me in a bed. It also happens in places other than a normal bed, but it does happen."

He let the topic drop, but moved on into the boat behind Terish. As Giluchex found a place to sit, he saw a golden arm of Dirchein reach into the boat. Even after being around the lady for so long, he still found her form to be enchanting. Thinking he would always remember this journey, Giluchex sat back and prepared himself for returning to his home.

The boat moved back towards the center of the lake. While the radiance had been present on his earlier trip, this time it brightened to the point of enveloping the boat. As the glow dimmed, he saw that they were now upon the lake arriving at the shore near where the horses grazed.

Food was again upon a table. While most seemed eager to eat, drink, and rest, Terish picked up Deathguard then moved off alone. No rude words were heard towards those that approached him, but even Straekin returned without his companionship. As the day turned dark, Giluchex noticed that Ferrigote moved with his wife to some blankets after mentioning that Terish would be awake and keeping watch.

The man's mood did not improve the next day. He rode Celatia, but the usual motions to the lady were not noticed by Giluchex. She plodded along as if performing a boring task with Terish in the saddle barely moving more than a bag of grain. Any question to him was quickly answered, and a few statements from him indicated that he was very aware of his surroundings. Besides that, he was not a pleasant companion.

Terish's mood did not improve the next day, although he was more active. He had Celatia trot in the front of the group, although he was soon joined by Straekin and Ferrigote. The three did not speak, although the general mood of the travel did improve. Giluchex had almost forgotten about a certain meeting when the three in the lead stopped their mounts and dropped to the ground.

When Straekin asked Terish about the cup, he took it from Celatia's saddlebag, removed the lid, then handed it to his wife as he said, "Keep it as a memento."

"Of what, Terish?"

"Of the depth of my commitment to certain things, like our marriage."

Giluchex had dismounted, but paused as he watched his empress put the lid in a pocket of her dress. She then had a hand move to the shoulder of her husband. He had turned to the woods off the path, but looked back as his wife spoke.

"I am not going to abandon you, Terish."

"It won't take long. Come on."

Giluchex noticed that only Dirchein stayed back with Celatia and the other mounts. Kethal moved with him behind Ferrigote and Straekin who followed Terish. Indeed, it did not seem long at all before the grand fiery form of Terdeskollit could be seen. Giluchex found himself this time able to stand while looking at the large form of the terrible figure. The sounds of nature had ceased and the strength of horrifying power could be felt, but this time Giluchex felt an inner confidence to stay standing. He thus could turn his head as Terish moved up to the deity without any sign of hesitation.

The crystal container was turned over with the liquid spilling to the ground. Terish then tossed the cup to the God. Giluchex fully expected the entity to erupt in anger, but he only looked to Terish who spoke.

"This mission was a joke, Terdeskollit, but I did it. It is now your turn to get to work. I really don't care what type of race you create, but it had better be your own. I am going to have you admit that they are a good people. They will be your creation in a world of your creation, but I am going to fight for them.

"I loved my father, Endullae, most of my father's other wives, the matriarch of the Dozzrine household, and even the oldest of the Dozzrine children, Kethan. I even came to respect Desiree. There was good there, Terdeskollit. It is hard for me to be good at times, but I manage it. Most even think of me as being a good person. There is thus love and goodness in you, Terdeskollit. That means that there will be something worth fighting for in those you create. Until then, Terdeskollit."

The deity stepped back and disappeared into a black oval that momentarily appeared. Terish turned and began walking back in the direction he came. Straekin had to move quickly to stop her husband, but she did.

"I was wondering how Munulva knew what you were going to do, but now I wonder why I did not figure it out. It was stupid, and I would have argued with you, but I believe you were right. I want you to know that I will be there with you on that future date when you go to fulfill Desiree's prophecy."

"Thanks, Straek, and I love you too. However, until that day I cannot relax. I am going to have to return to the world that I left, and I am certain that if I lose any of the instincts, fears, and deadliness that the day will be the death of me whether Terdeskollit does it personally or not."

She moved to hug the man as she returned, "But on that day you will further understand love, devotion, and the support of friends. You will also have the unity of family. There will be more to you, and you will be the superior combatant. Terdeskollit better plan on a dinner and a handshake, Terish, because you will be able to face him as an equal. Maybe not as a God, but something that he will consider a match to him all the same."

As the couple began moving back together, Kethal looked to Giluchex to ask a question that Dathol translated, "Are you going to pour your water out?"

"No. It may or may not help my people, but I will bring it back to them." Giluchex took a couple of steps towards the couple before asking, "What do you think, Terish?"

"That water cannot be duplicated, Giluchex. It might help a few people, but once gone it is gone. You went and retrieved it, so use it to help yourself and whatever lady you desire."

Straekin said, "Giluchex is married, Terish."

"I know he is married, Straek, but children are a constant consideration that some are glad to have in the past. That water could change his life, and he might find that others do not want to have their life changed."

Giluchex said, "So, I have not found an answer for all of Davelda."

Straekin broke from he place next to Terish to move back and face Giluchex as she said, "We are immortal. We went to war over that. What that water could provide will bring an equally great change to our world. Don't force Davelda to go back to war. Don't even force them to have to consider suicide in order to make their lives better. Allow the people time and opportunity to make their decisions, and the freedom to live by them."

He held out the bottle while asking, "If I gave this to you, would you bring it to Davelda?"

"Yes, Giluchex, I would. I would however also make you take responsibility for me having it."

He smiled as he put the bottle back into a pouch, and only asked a question to assure that he understood the lady. "You believe this water would help?"

"I believe it could provide the answer that a number are seeking."

"What other change do you believe needs to come to Davelda?"

"Oh, Giluchex, we made an error long ago. I would like to see it corrected."

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Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market. "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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PostSubject: Re: Into the Land of Immortals - Chpt 23   

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Into the Land of Immortals - Chpt 23
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