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Chapter 667 Intense
Everything became a messy blur. Pain and other intense feelings flared, hindering the otherwise permanent clarity of Khan's senses. He lost control of his body and mind, and darkness often replaced his vision.
A foul stench eventually invaded Khan's nostrils, awakening him from that confused state. He found himself elbows and knees on the floor, facing a puddle of puke. Thick drops of sweat fell from his forehead, and a line of saliva still connected his mouth to the disgusting liquid below.
Khan mustered his strength to push himself to his right, ending with his back on the floor. A sharp pain flared from his chest, but he disregarded it and closed his eyes. Something far worse than wounds was afflicting his body.
A dense, scorching snake was slithering through Khan's rib cage. He felt it moving left and right, causing violent reactions in every inch of flesh it touched.
The snake had no fixed form or texture. It didn't even have a body. It was a ma.s.s of energy that Khan's flesh rejected and that his mana didn't hesitate to a.s.sault.
Khan dived into his mind and took a deep breath before summoning the clicking cry. His back arched as flares of violent mana flew everywhere, carrying the synthetic energy with them.
The process hurt. That violent discharge of energy worsened the injuries on the chest, and sending away the synthetic mana opened new ones. Still, Khan immediately felt better afterward, and his back relaxed on the floor.
The sweat on Khan's back spread some cozy coldness. Khan nestled on the floor, taking long breaths to calm himself down. He still hurt, but restoring his awareness came first.
Slowly, Khan's awareness regained its full strength, and his breath stabilized. He sensed everything once again, including the mess on his chest.
Khan peeked at his chest, and a groan followed. A big hole had appeared on his uniform, leaving burned edges behind. Moreover, the flesh above his rib cage had turned red due to all the blood flowing from his injuries.
The wounds followed the rune's lines but were deeper than what the [Blood Vortex] could produce. The suction force had been too intense, and Khan's flesh had paid the price.
Khan groaned again when he tore away the upper part of his uniform and used it to wipe off the blood. The true nature of his injuries became visible, showing their seriousness. They wouldn't leave a scar if he were lucky, but bandages seemed necessary.
'Why is it always like this?' Khan cursed, slamming the back of his head on the floor.
Of course, Khan had expected that outcome. He had basically looked for it by pursuing that reckless path. His curse had been nothing more than an instinctive response.
'My advantages come from my traumas,' Khan recalled, 'And my happiness from the blood on my hands. I guess I can add chest to that now.'
Khan snickered, but a third groan followed since a new wave of pain arrived. He needed to get patched up, but the cold floor felt too comfortable. Besides, his now-clear brain was already reviewing the experiment.
The experiment had succeeded. Actually, it had gone far better than Khan had expected. He had initially planned to stop everything before synthetic mana seeped into his body, but the process had been too fast.
Khan saw that as good news. The technique didn't only work. It was faster than the [Blood Vortex]. Its side effects were also harsher, but Khan could work on them and find the right balance.
'Though not here,' Khan thought. 'The synthetic mana will truly kill me otherwise.'
Khan mustered his strength and straightened his back to sit on the floor. He tinkered with the hall's menus to summon the cleaning robots before moving to his contacts to call a specific figure.
"Miss Bevet," Khan exclaimed once the call went through. "I hope I'm not disturbing."
"Never, Captain," Carla replied in a happy tone. "I'm happy you called. I have so much to ask about your recent trip."
"I merely visited one of the Solodrey family's establishments," Khan stated. "It's hardly gossip-worthy."
"On the contrary," Carla giggled, "But you never give this old woman any satisfaction."
"I like to keep my private life private," Khan admitted.
"Such a protective man," Carla sighed. "You will make my heart skip a beat."
"Miss Bevet, please," Khan chuckled. "Monica will have my head if she hears you talking like this."
"Jealous women are tough to handle," Carla commented, "But they can be incredibly rewarding, aren't they?"
"I do agree," Khan nodded. "I wouldn't have it any other way."
"Stop it, you player," Carla teased. "Don't make me hate my age more than I already do."
"I'll do my best," Khan laughed.
"Did something happen, Captain?" Carla wondered. "Your voice sounds off."
"I've just come out of a training session," Khan summarized, "Which brings me to the reason behind this call. I need a favor."
"Ask away," Carla said, intrigued. "If it's within my power, I'll gladly do it."
"I'd need a special greenhouse," Khan explained. "Ideally, something that won't cost too much repairing."
"Are you planning on doing something dangerous in my greenhouses?" Carla questioned.
"I called first," Khan pointed out.
"How polite," Carla joked. "The type of plants isn't important, right?"
"No," Khan confirmed. "The place doesn't need to be big either. I just need some working room."
"I'll see what I can do," Carla said. "Maybe I can coordinate with the Headmistress to turn a training hall into a greenhouse."
"That would be fantastic," Khan exclaimed, "But I'm fine with anything."
"Let me get back at you, Captain," Carla announced. "I'll update you as soon as I know something.
"Thank you, Miss Bevet," Khan replied. "I'll pay you back."
"I haven't done anything yet," Carla chuckled. "Besides, I told you. I'm a fan. I wouldn't miss the chance to help you."
"Thank you again," Khan stated. "I hope to hear from you soon."
"You will," Carla promised, and the call ended.
'That's done,' Khan sighed, exploring his contacts to request a cab. 'Now, I should probably see a doctor.'
Two months pa.s.sed in a blink. Khan immersed himself in his training and studies, barely appearing in public or returning to his flat. He worked himself like a machine, and results finally started arriving.
Nevertheless, as the month approached its end, important duties became impending, forcing the interested parties to move. Those events affected Monica, too, who was summoned back to the Harbor in a hurry.
A series of well-dressed figures followed Monica as she stepped onto her building's sidewalk. She instinctively quickened her pace due to her desire to see Khan, but spotting Andrew before the entrance forced a sigh out of her.
"Wait here," Monica ordered to the well-dressed figures before reaching Andrew. The two briefly chatted, and another helpless sigh escaped her mouth.
"I must make a short trip," Monica announced when she returned to the well-dressed figures. "You can make yourselves at home in my flat in the meantime."
"Miss Solodrey," One of the figures, a middle-aged woman, called. "We have orders to have you on the ship by the end of the day."
"You will," Monica promised. "Now, if you would excuse me."
Monica performed an elegant bow before making her way back into the cab. The ride immediately set off, and Andrew took care of escorting the well-dressed figures inside.
A tinge of anxiety invaded Monica when she checked her phone. It was still early, but that often wasn't enough with the involved parties. They weren't used to delays or hindrances. They ordered, and everyone complied.
The anxiety intensified when Monica reached the hidden floor occupied by the various branches of the scientific field. She knew that Khan occasionally trained there, but her knowledge only worsened her feelings. Monica almost expected to find him in a puddle of his own blood, disfigured beyond recognition.
After crossing a series of security measures, Monica finally found a soldier willing to escort her to Khan's current location. The two rode a car into a district full of labs, stopping before a structure that led to a descending staircase.
"Wait here," Monica ordered, diving into the staircase. The soldier complied and diverted her gaze while she disappeared into the darkness of the lab.
Monica had already obtained clearance for the area, so she only had to press the door at the end of the staircase to open it. A captivating scent immediately blew over her, and dim, bluish lights shone on her eyes. She saw rows of vases with beautiful white roses stretching in every direction, but her attention quickly went to the end of the hall.
The anxiety disappeared when Monica noticed the figure sitting cross-legged on the floor. Khan was facing her, showing his complete lack of injuries. As surprising as it sounded, even his bare torso was okay.
Khan opened his eyes, and the air shook. An eerie intensity filled the hall, and some of the roses' petals fell due to its weight. Monica could almost feel Khan's thoughts stretching toward her, and her pupils widened under their touch.
An ordinary soldier would sweat under that pressure, but Monica loved every aspect of it. Her breath grew louder as her lips split, and warmth spread through her abdomen. The long separation was to blame for that immediate reaction, but Monica didn't make excuses. She knew her body belonged to Khan.
Khan slowly stood up, generating a soft breeze. His eyes seemed to shine as Monica continued to monopolize them. He sprinted forward, teleporting before his girlfriend, and her face instinctively gained an eager expression.
Monica didn't know what had happened, but everything about Khan had intensified. His presence, frame, and even scent had gotten harder to ignore. His being had become too much for human senses, and Monica felt drawn to it.
"Is it time?" Khan asked, and Monica shook when his voice reached her. She would have even gasped if her mind weren't on completely different thoughts.
"The attendants from the Ra.s.sec family are here," Monica explained, leaning forward. "They are waiting for us."
"Noted," Khan stated, catching Monica and lifting her chin. She knew she had to say something and stop that development, but her mind went blank when their lips met.