Chapter 339: 339
When Zero returned, the wedding ceremony was over and the feast was in full swing . Some of the archangels weren't present and had left for official duties . Zero didn't really mind . After all, there was only one real archangel in charge of running Heaven's operations that he needed to talk to .
\"Oh, Zero! You're here . Have you eaten?\" Gabriel asked and Zero shook his head . The archangel laughed .
\"I guessed as much,\" he said and dragged the teen over to the long table of feasts . \"Here, the chefs reserved this for you . We can talk after you've eaten your fill, Michael's orders . \"
Zero beamed at the sight of food and completely forgot his manners until Medusa came around to greet him .
\"Zero, I want to thank you for what you've done for us,\" she smiled and Zero choked on a pheasant leg .
\"Oh no, the pleasure is all mine,\" Zero reassured after he could breathe again . Medusa looked really pretty and Zero wondered if Poseidon really didn't want to regain his sight . It's a real shame that he couldn't see how pretty his wife was . After all, a woman's most beautiful moment was on their wedding day . Once it was over, Poseidon would have missed it forever .
\"What are you thinking about?\" the gorgon asked when she saw Zero's troubled expression .
The young doctor sighed and shook his head . \"I'm just slightly annoyed that Poseidon has to be this stubborn . Doesn't he know that if he doesn't heal his eyes tonight, he won't be able to see you in a wedding dress this beautiful anymore?\"
Medusa laughed lightly and patted Zero on the head . The boy certainly grew taller and the long hair suited him .
\"Sayden's always been this way . He won't be satisfied until he feels like he has punished himself enough . The man has many regrets but it's a good thing I'm here to share half of that burden with him . Thank you for giving us a second chance, Zero . It doesn't matter if it was because of a quest, you've done a lot for us . \"
Zero blushed . \"It's nothing . The true gift that I prepared for your wedding should be waiting back in your new home . I do hope that both you and Poseidon will take care of it for me and protect this happiness . I will have to leave Heaven very soon and start on my adventure . \"
The gorgon bent down to give the teen a hug . Even if Zero was now about five feet and three inches (160cm), he was still shorter than the gorgon . The young doctor felt that the hug was very warm even if the gorgon's skin was cold . He wondered if she would also be able to give Minerva hugs like this . If Athena's new life was raised with enough love, who knows, the past karma of the unfortunate goddess could be resolved entirely over time .
After Zero had eaten his fill and exchanged greetings with everyone at the feast, he excused himself along with the archangels who gathered in one of the meeting rooms Michael booked for them at the 7 Virtue Tower .
The 7 Virtue Tower was very cold and bright . The walls were completely white and light filtered in through every glass window making the place rather tiring to look at for Zero who didn't like the light too much . It made him feel tired thinking about the lack of night in Heaven when he tried to sleep last night .
For the recommendation meeting, only Gabriel and Michael will be present . Zero was told that he could request anything within reason from Heaven for helping to save the plane and reviving the dying Tree of Knowledge . Prior to this, Heaven and Hell held an individual meeting to renegotiate the terms of mana flower supply . For now, Zero wouldn't have to concentrate too much about negotiating for Hell's benefits because Mammon and Lucifer have that settled . For now, the supply rate of mana lotuses will be seventy percent to Hell and thirty percent to Heaven so that the new Tree of Life can help to support both planes better .
Zero knew what he wanted to ask for but he was also wondering how Merlin would react after he handed the magician his property deed . Of the many things that Zero could ask for from Heaven, the most valuable thing Heaven had to offer was the rich land of the plane that was ideal for cultivating plants of all sorts .
Once they were seated comfortably, Michael sighed and started with the speech he had to give . Zero half-listened and half-zoned out on the archangel who didn't really care . After all, this was just a formality . Truth be told, they'd already discussed the terms outside of the meeting . Sadly, it had to be done formally and recorded for archiving .
\"With the above-mentioned terms and conditions, please let us know what you desire . Heaven will do its best to accommodate . \"
Zero smiled . Finally! Without hesitation, Zero slammed his palms down on the table with a huge grin .
\"A pasture! I want a deed to one of Heaven's pastures, preferably the one closest to the Garden Eden . I also want visitor permit rights for the villagers of Half Moon Village to travel to and from Heaven freely . A long term visa with Merlin as the guarantor . \"
Gabriel's smile froze and Michael facepalmed . What was the use of pretending to be formal if Zero was going to be like this? Negotiations were supposed to happen but here, Zero spoke as if it had all been concluded . Then again, they really were concluded behind the scenes . Zero sought Michael out before the meeting some time ago to prepare a thank you gift for Merlin . He mentioned something about being very poor and decided that setting up a business in Heaven that will generate income for his teacher while he was away seemed like a good idea . Of course, the teen was going to split the profits . He was going to take forty percent of the profits and Merlin was going to earn sixty percent . What Zero didn't say was how he was going to send half of what he earned to Half Moon Village for them to expand the village and work on some of Zero's other projects . Zero also wanted to support Half Moon Village because they were also supplying his teacher and Coux with materials needed for the cafe and hospital . However, the land in Half Moon Village was too small and not as fertile as the one in Heaven . Owning a pasture in Heaven for farming purposes would resolve a lot of problems . Not to mention, The Tree of Knowledge in Garden Eden needs to be tended to regularly by Cleo .
\"We have no problem issuing long-term visitor permits if you can have the villagers to register with the cupids . However, why a pasture? How big is the pasture that we are talking about?\" Gabriel probed further, completely puzzled about Zero's unique request .
Zero thought for a while . \"How big is the pasture closest to Garden Eden?\"
Gabriel went to get a map of Heaven and zoomed in on the pasture closest to Garden Eden . Then, the archangel paused . The pasture closest to Garden Eden was actually a property that belonged to Gaia . It was left barren and undeveloped for the very reason of keeping intruders out of Garden Eden despite the magical barrier created by the Tree of Knowledge .
\"This entire radius around Garden Eden belongs to Gaia . It's the pasture that best fits your requirements but it isn't for sale . . . \"
Michael stopped Gabriel mid-speech and shook his head . \"Consider it done,\" he told the teen who beamed . Gabriel looked hesitant but when Michael pulled out a magic scroll of ownership transfer from Gaia to Zero, he immediately understood what this was all about .
Zero signed the documents quickly and Michal told him that the villagers would need to register themselves according to Heaven's protocol for their respective long-term visitor passes that Gabriel was no in-charge of . The messenger archangel couldn't help but shoot the bossy Michael a dirty look . The meeting was quickly concluded and with the new title deed, Zero took the scroll and went separate ways from Gabriel with Michael . They were going to collect the last signature from Arabesque .
Needless to say, Merlin flew into a rage first when he saw the title deed . In the end, all it took was Zero twisting some facts to his advantage for Merlin to sign it . The wizard was initially afraid of having more work on top of his current work until Zero explained that Merlin was only required to act as a guarantor for Zero in his absence .
\"All the other work will be managed by Half Moon Village . If anything happens, you can call me and I'll teleport right back . This is just a formality . Also, there will be compensation for troubling you with the legal documents,\" Zero explained .
\"Compensation?\" Merlin quirked a brow .
Zero smirked . \"You'll get sixty percent of the profits . Of course, consider this payment for the help I've received so far . I might have to trouble you for more favour in the future so this is something skin to a downpayment for the trouble I will be causing?\"
Merlin made a face and twirled his beard . \"I reserve the rights to refuse your future favours . \"
Zero grinned . \"Deal!\"
With the matter smoothly resolved and Merlin fully convinced, the deed was signed . Once Merlin's signature was etched on the scroll, it vanished with a flash of light, disappearing into the angel's archives . Michael took his leave and Zero decided that he shouldn't dally with his departure either . He'd already said his goodbyes at the feast and to Buddha who he saw a few days ago . The last person he needed to bid farewell to was his magic teacher . Now that everything was in place, Zero had stepped through Arabesque's portal, setting the coordinates to somewhere very familiar .
Back in the village, Truen was polishing his arrow tips when the portal in the village square activated . The wood elf was immediately on his feet when Clowis sounded the horn . Zero was finally back!
The teen had grown yet again when Truen saw him but before the wood elf could go over to greet Zero, a certain werecat beat him to it .
\"Zero! You're finally back! It's not fair that everyone else got to see you while you were training in Heaven . . . did you bring any souvenirs?\"
Zero laughed . He definitely came prepared, knowing this would happen . In fact, Zero was still looking at the crowd, searching for that one person he had wanted to see for the longest time . Now that his promise had been fulfilled, it was time for them to travel together again .
Zero handed the souvenirs to the children and chatted with the villagers who noticed his change of hairstyle and his additional height . Zero no longer looked like a teenager . If anything, he was looking like a very young adult now and a very brilliant scholar . The lab coat only added to his mysterious charm and it was difficult to tell at once glance if Zero was male or female . Zenobia made a very apt comment that Zero grew up beautifully and nobody corrected her because it made Zero happy .
Gabriel had just left the village after registering the villagers and Zero explained that they could now visit Heaven whenever they wanted and had jobs to do . The agricultural team was most pleased with the arrangements and Zero left Cleo to take care of the crop rotation to satisfy Hua Tuo's hospital needs as well as Zero's personal medical inventory that Zoe was looking after from the mindscape . It took Zero a long while to settle all the outstanding village matters as the village head but when he finally did, someone else approached him from behind .
\"Hello, Zero . It's been a while . Have you been well?\"
This time, the young doctor froze, not daring to believe his ears . He sounded exactly the same as Zero recalled . It's almost two long years since they first met and Zero started to wonder where all that time went . So many things happened in that time but some things never changed .
Truen was prepared for the tackle and held his arms open, smiling widely as Zero leapt into his chest, crying like he did when he was only a child . Despite the exterior maturity, Zero was still a kid when it came to his best friends . The wood elf laughed and comforted the sobbing mess in his arms .
\"Welcome back, Zero . \"
-End of Season 3-