Shout-out to Valyndral for supporting me! Thanks a lot!!
*Happy author noises*
The dinner with Shen Xiu ended with a chipper note as her expressions finally grew vivid in Nik's presence. Xiu had an easier time expressing herself, and that little difference 'brightened' her night in more than one way. In essence, she 'remained' in Nik's company until she slept away in her own mess, only to wake up each morning groggily. That is a tangent of her life that she did not discuss with Nik, and even if she did, Nik would have happily offered his personal assistance for the task. Finally, Nik made his way back into the Insititute and sat cross-legged on his bed before diving into his spiritual world.
In a world divided by crimson and violet alongside a beautiful starry sky, with a burst of violet flames, a small purplish, shimmering slime appeared in front of Nik and bobbed up and down while closing its distance from Nik. From the slime, a melodious voice with a playful tone emerged, and Asmodeus inquired with a tinge of liveliness, "Show me the books! Hurry!" Nik observed that even after all her antics, Asmodeus' form did not cross into the crimson portion of the world, as Nik nodded and with a single thought, all the material he read turned into recently scribed scriptures and materialized in front of Asmodeus. Nik did not have to understand the contents to memorize them and then display them to his spiritual tenant.
"Hoo!" With an amused chuckle, Lilith materialized in her portion of the land and then looked towards the nondescript slime. Her form did not have eyes so, Lilith actually pointed the tip of her body's blade towards the things in her sight, giving Nik sense as to what she was talking about, "Inscriptions, huh, I remember this art. Only the weak decided to turn to mere scriptures for power, and even if they succeeded, none could stand in my way!" Lilith proclaimed, and Nik inquired with a curious expression, "Did you recall a few recollections of your past?" With her body floating laterally, Lilith shook her hilt and spoke with her tone laced in impudent hubris, "I don't need the memories of my past to inform me that I can cut these papers."
Nik was slightly speechless, and he turned his focus on Asmodeus, who, for the first time, decided to ignore Lilith's grumblings and focused on the materials at hand. She was only so focused when she gazed at Nik's nights filled with action while alongside Sky and Lilith. Asmodeus buried her slimy head into the parchments and soaked herself with the knowledge that seemed to be clicking with her existence.
"Say, don't you have any other talents like Asmodeus?" Nik inquired as he left the bubbly slime to its own devices while turning towards Lilith as the blade swung down, "What do you mean? I am plenty talented." Nik shook his head at her words and sat down with his limbs stretched out, "I meant like crafting, painting, and other stuff. Don't you remember your hobby?"
"Says the one with no hobby to boast off," Lilith muttered as her body moved towards Nik and finally descended on his laps. Nik couldn't help but raise his eyebrow at the scene and casually stroked the flat surface of the death sword, "You seem rather tame," he remarked as his index traced the smooth surface of the broadsword and continued, "Are you blushing?" Nik inquired with a weird expression as the crimson blase deepened in its color while Lilith accepted the term rather naturally, "An unfortunate reaction of my body towards smooth talkers, continue stroking my blade. It feels calming."
For the next few hours, as Asmodeus enjoyed the accompaniment of the reading materials that ignited her rapid progress in the arts of inscriptions, Nik started to stroke Lilith's surface. Nik was the type of guy who would shove the entire length if he got an inch, alas; Lilith's current construct made him unable to indulge in his desires, so he simply stroked various parts of her sword. He would sometimes scratch the bony hilt and then move to rub the base of the blade as Lilith's satisfied sighs rang throughout the spiritual world. Finally, Asmodeus broke the moment as her bobbing self jumped on Nik's back and latched a portion of her slimy self on the back of Nik's neck.
"I am done!" She spoke with a strangely content burp and then crawled up Nik's back before scooching her slimy butt on top of Nik's head. Before she could inquire what the two have been up to, Lilith's body struck the flat portion of her blade and sent Asmodeus' blobbing self far away. "Hey, What gives?" Asmodeus hissed, while Lilith's somber voice rang, "You entered my portion of the land."
Barely controlling her anger, Asmodeus tried to reason, "Bitch," her non-existent lips trembled, "That was the border."
"Besides the point. I declare that this border belongs to me."
"That's illegal!" Asmodeus yelled as Lilith sneered.
"YOU SMUG BITCH!!"
That was Nik's cue to leave the world and amidst Sky's amused commentary, leave he did.
All things said and done, Nik still decided to digest his gains on the inscription patterns. This was an art that required theoretical knowledge and astounding experience with Nik having neither of them. There were two reasons he wished to try his best in this art. First, to finally have an icebreaker with Xiu Yin and second, for his students. As a teacher, being reported for insufficient knowledge was an insult that Nik did not wish to bear for long, and even if Nik's rationality dictated that the act was out of vindictive motives, the facts proved that Nik was indeed incompetent in some issues.
"Litte turds, always chasing skirts... not that I can complain," Nik sighed. Students take after their teachers. His students would make him proud, just like Nik became the pride of his teacher after learning everything about s.e.x and becoming a terrific lover to needy wives. Exhaling softly, Nik decided to postpone his training of various types of energy. The progress of his gravity and elemental Manipulation was slow, and he had other concepts to learn on a priority basis.
Nik had memorized all the contents, and now it was the time to digest and understand all his gains. While he was reluctant, most of his indignations were swept when he recalled Lilith's bashful nature. It was a time well spent. With his thoughts straightening, Nik started to examine all the information and finally took his first step in the art of inscriptions.
Within the next two hours, Nik continued with his meditation, and it was only until he revised all the content of the research material from Yin that he decided to lie down and rest for a few minutes. The extensive theories of the inscriptions were an unexpected toll on his mind, and Asmodeus' continuous correction of the multiple errors she found 'instinctively' made Nik's revision harder. Of course, in the end, Nik stood to gain and continued relentlessly. After an hour's rest, he rose from his bed and freshened up. It was time to train his apprentices. Just the thought made Nik feel giddy. From the corner of his eyes, before going for a bath, Nik looked at the two plants that he needed to replenish with his spirit force, and the two beings Asmodeus and Nik cursed simultaneously while Sky's and Lilith's vindictive chuckles rang in tandem.