Ascension Rebirth – Facts and emotions
At the topmost floor of the Sanctuary lied the demon lord’s chamber.
Lined up in order were 12 of the demon lord’s generals who oversaw her armies.
Everyone was there making me the last to enter.
With renewed vigor for the future I professionally entered the chamber and bowed before the demon lord Astaroth.
“Morgant, you’re looking much better now.”
She took a glance at my missing right arm but did not comment on it for my sake.
“Thank you and I am sorry for my lateness.”
“That’s fine, now that you’re here we can start the meeting.”
I took a place at the end of the two lines of demon generals, right behind Arachna. She showed me a devious grin as I walked past her. She really does remind me of Lina in how she acts towards me.
“Up in only a month, I thought you’d take a bit longer than that.”
She whispered to me. No wait, what did she say? A month?
I was sleeping for a month?
I let that revelation sink in.
I was asleep for a month… I guess I broke my promise with the children that I’d be back in a week or two. Then again, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve broken promises, not that it’s a good thing. Still, it deeply resonated in my heart that the situation was so severe that it took me a month to recover.
They must be worried sick right now. If I come back with a missing arm I wonder how they’d react.
“I’ve already been briefed on the details of the mission but I would like a more in-depth report from someone who had observed the situation from start to finish.”
Astaroth naturally eyed me. I was the one who came up with the plan and was the main opposition during our farce with Nodens. That being said I also want to know what happened to the invasion team, I didn’t get a good grasp on their situation. All I saw was their aftermath.
I suppose now is a good time to get everyone caught up on the same page and just go through and analyze what we have learnt thus far.
“Strictly speaking, the overall mission was a failure; we failed to achieve our biggest mission objective, which was to capture [Dian Cecht].”
I started off, but that was already information everyone knew.
“That being said, I can’t help but call this a blessing in disguise. From this loss many things that were previously unknown came to light, especially information regarding the greatest enemy, [Nodens].”
“And these ‘previously unknown’ are?”
I explained to everyone about who Nodens truly was. His agenda, his history, his allies and his powers.
I then revealed the truth about [Ragnarok]; what its true purpose was. Of course I kept the parts about how it was created by Ivan Seron a secret, that’s not only irrelevant but it would also distract from the current conversation if they started to delve more into it.
“[Surtr], huh. Who would’ve thought for it to be like that?”
Astaroth contemplated on the situation. The general consensus of Ragnarok was that it was an end times event, so I wasn’t surprised that it would be a hard pill to swallow. There was also the lingering thought that ‘what if I was wrong’, though I knew from Nodens’ reaction that it was the most likely the truth but it wasn’t the same for the others.
“Well we’ll leave that on hold for now. I hear that there was something else there, a giant yellow crystal that mutated all of Raak’s soldiers?”
“A [monolith shard] infused with [divine energy]. For now we’ll call it [Yellow monolith] for simplicity’s sake.”
Kyrios shifted his head towards me in interest.
“Monolith Shard? There was a person long ago who possessed such a thing as well. It was used to prolong his life.”
“Yes, I have also been told the story of 500 years ago as well. You’re referring to [Partholon]?”
“I was also contemplating on that issue and the only answer I could come up with was that Nodens got his hands on the monolith shard.”
“I was told that Grandfather and the one named Partholon stayed back to buy time for the heroes to return back to Eternis.”
Astaroth’s grandfather, in other words [Balor of the evil eye]? That does match up with what Lorelei told me.
“Yes, most likely it was then that Nodens got his hands on the monolith shard. Which actually brings us to another question that I’ve been having this entire time.”
“Nodens is able to travel to and from Eternis and Akashia at his whim, so why didn’t he simply follow through after he defeated Balor and Partholon? I suppose it could be that he was already preoccupied with stopping Surtr with the divine energy he gathered, but he still could’ve followed after that. After much speculation the only answer i could come up with was that he immediately started experimentation on the Monolith shard to create what we know as Yellow monolith.
“You said it was infused with divine energy? But does Nodens have the luxury to expend so much divine energy trying to create an army?”
“Right. That’s what I was caught up on for a while, but we should probably go with the assumption that he already had enough divine energy, no we should think that he has an excess of it.”
“Excess? How? His only real military power comes from the [Red Knights], there’s no way they would’ve gathered enough divine energy in such a short time.”
“Of course I agree with you but his actions have been completely contrary to that assumption. There was something else that happened in the previous cycle that changes everything in this cycle. That is the sacrificing of the Hero’s daughter. She was half divinity, sacrificing someone like that must’ve provided an excess of divine energy.”
“Hmm, I can’t exactly doubt you on that but what about the other half divine hero [Lugh]? Was he also not sacrificed?”
“His divinity was transferred over to [Soumee] as I recall it, so no, that’s probably not the case.”
“I see. Then doesn’t that work against us? If what you say is all true then the moment Surtr awakens it will immediately be resealed, giving Nodens the next 500 years of free reign.”
Astaroth address the most important point. Right he gets free reign over the next cycle which would most definitely be disastrous for the entire world.
“You’re absolutely right, the previous cycle has bore numerous benefits to Nodens, and using those advantages he will undoubtedly more onto his real plans.”
“His real plans?”
Leanan Sidhe joined the conversation and asked. She raises an eyebrow in a seductive and curious manner. I know I said that her seduction doesn’t work on me but her natural beauty sort of comes through. Her luscious red lips, the curvatures of her body and proportions- well, this wasn’t the right time.
I coughed to clear my throat and mind from dubious intentions.
“To recreate [Tuatha de Danann] empire.”
There’s a tense silence in the room as everyone ponders on that point. These are all smart people, surely they know the implications of what could happen if Nodens is allowed to fulfill his wish.
Leanan Sidhe interjects.
“Didn’t you say that the Tuatha de Dananns were killed off a long time ago?”
True, even if Nodens accomplishes his pre-requisite task of sealing Surtr without anyone to back him up he’ll just be ruling empty buildings.
Which brings us to the true intentions of using the yellow monoliths.
“I have three possible hypothesis relating to the yellow monoliths. The first hypothesis; he wants to create a new empire, his new subjects will be those crystalline induced monsters. The second hypothesis; he is experimenting on trying to resurrect or revive the long dead Tuatha de Danann. The final hypothesis his not trying to create an empire, instead he’s trying to find a way to control Surtr using those yellow monoliths.”
I don’t know which of those options Nodens will take or even if he will choose any of them. It could be that he has entirely different plans, for now we cannot know that.
“So you’re saying that they simply used my men as mere test subjects?!”
Raak asked, infuriated of this new revelation.
“That’s most likely the case. I’m sorry Raak.”
“Dammit! If I can lay my hands on him, I’ll definitely kill him!”
We all want that, but that’ll probably be impossible for him. As much as I’d like to think that this group is strong enough, that simply isn’t the case. Nodens has at least 3 ~ 4x our level so fighting him directly will only result in our loss.
“Anyway, for now all we can do is double our investigation and defenses. Kyrios I’ll leave it to you to confirm whether or not Morgant’s hypothesis holds true or not.”
I suppose that’s all we can do for now.
We’ll also probably need more powerful allies if we want to have a fighting chance. So sending scouts to search for those kinds of people aren’t a bad idea either.
“Now then, what of this new addition to their entourage. The one called [Creidhne]?”
Astaroth changed the topic.
“I do remember meeting him at the end of the battle.”
I turned to Leanan Sidhe, Medusa and Arachna.
“What exactly happened back there?”
Arachna shook her head.
“We’re not entirely sure either. The battle against him was over before we even started. In an instant we were knocked out. Honestly speaking that kind of power is unfathomable.”
There’s a painful expression on her face. I can sympathize, I was also fighting against someone many times my greater. The results from those kinds of battles will always be unsatisfactory, still it’s a great learning experience if anything.
“He did say something about being the physical manifestation of [Claiomh Solas] whatever that means.”
Leanan Sidhe added.
Claiomh Solas? Now that I think about it I do remember seeing that in his title. At first I thought Claiomh Solas was the name of the skill Nodens liked to use but now it only seems like an homage to the actual thing.
In the original story, Creidhne helped Dian Cecht construct the silver prosthetic arm for Nodens.
It’s not the same thing but is it alright to interpret this as Creidhne becoming Nodens’ right hand? As the physical manifestation of Claiomh Solas?
This does fit in an odd sort of way I guess.
Nodens’ right hand man in silver armor. What is this, a pun?
“That expression on your face seems to indicate you know something.”
Astaroth looks at me one more. Why does she only ask me? No, I mean I know why, it’s because I keep answering her questions one by one and she probably already asked everyone else in the time I was spending unconscious, but still.
Ah whatever. Anyway back to Claiomh Solas. To be honest I’m not sure on what that means either. Perhaps it’s like the old Japanese folklore about the [Tsukumogami], where items would turn into sentient beings after a long period of time? Though somehow that doesn’t seem like it’s right.
“From what I’m aware of, the Tuatha de Dananns had four sacred treasures. One of which is Nodens’ sword, the Claiomh Solas. At first I thought it was simply referring to the skill he liked to use but it doesn’t seem like that was the case. There was a real Claiomh Solas after all.”
Ordwell joined in asking me. He was twirling his mustache around like a real boss.
“[Claiomh Solas], [Coire], [Lia Fail] and [Brionac]. Those are the four treasures. Claiomh Solas, also known as the [sword of light] has taken the form of an unimaginably powerful silver knight. As for his powers, I wish I knew.”
“Then what of the other three?”
He asks curiously in that deep and elegant tone.
“Brionac, the [Spear of the gods]. I believe this specific weapon is currently still in the hands of the hero from 500 years ago. [Soumee Arune].”
“The hero is still alive?”
Leanan Sidhe interrupted.
“She became immortal after Lord Astaroth’s predecessor, Lord [Balor de Signa] turned her into a homunculus after her death. So yes, she’s probably still alive.”
Kyrios answered for me.
“Hmm~ how come that’s the first time I’ve been told about this?”
Leanan Sidhe complains.
“I did not think it was important to tell you such irrelevant matters.”
Kyrios answered with his usual chipper tone, to which I could clearly see Leanan Sidhe becoming slightly infuriated. However she didn’t take that anywhere as we were now in the middle of a meeting.
I guess the relationships between the demon generals weren’t as tight as I originally thought. Honestly Astaroth is the only thing keeping this group together, I don’t know how old she is but I hope she lives a long life.
“As for the specific details on the Brionac’s functions, it’s still a mystery to me. It’s known as the [spear of the gods] but from what I’ve been told about it, it takes the form of a sword.”
I shook my head in denial, this is just stupid. Why can’t people just name things according to what they are? I mean, granted I’m using knowledge from my previous life which may not be too applicable here but still! It only makes my head spin trying to make sense of this.
“I see, so then what is the [Coire]?”
Astaroth asks so we could continue the conversation.
“The Coire, or otherwise known as the [Cauldron of Dagda].”
In the original story the Coire simply states that no one went away unsatisfied. Most likely this is in reference to food or drinks, however that kind of interpretation is probably not correct in this context.
“So what does that do?”
“This is simply my theory but most likely it grants the user unlimited strength, stamina and constitution.”
“Hmm, that does seem about right. When we were fighting him he never seemed to tire or even care about the wounds we inflicted on him, no matter how numerous or severe.”
Cedric comments on his battle against Dagda.
“Right, so it’d probably be right to assume that Dagda is in possession of the Coire making him an immortal in every sense of the word, but that can also mean that if we took it away from him he may be weakened.”
“An unexpected weakness hidden under strength.”
Albion speaks out this time.
“Then what about the last one. Lia Fail was it?”
This one I had to think a bit about. In the original stories the Lia Fail was basically an indicator for the rightful ruler of Ireland. All it does is glow when someone who is the rightful ruler appears, how that works in this world or whether it serves any tactical advantage is unknown.
There are obscure theories that link Lia Fail to the [sword in the stone] epics, you know the ones about Excalibur. ‘Whoever draws the sword will become king of England’? or however that story went.
“Lia Fail is known as the [stone of the monarch] but it’s actual properties or how it looks is completely unknown to me.”
I admit to my ignorance on the item, but Astaroth had a different expression to the one I thought she would have. She opts to remain silent, I think she may be hiding something but who am I to say that? I’ve been hiding things all the time. I’ll just have to trust her on this one.
Not to say that the four treasures are irrelevant but right now even if we somehow managed to covet all four they won’t be nearly enough to defeat Nodens. We simply need to get more powerful but that’s exactly the problem.
As I’ve stated before, all races have a maximum achievable level, of course with various special or intensive training they can go slightly beyond that’s all. It won’t be nearly enough.
That being said all of these demons have reached their maximum potential. They won’t be able to get much stronger than what they already have.
It’s not something you hear every day but in this situation I think the key to victory isn’t quality but quantity. We simply need more allies. An army actually, a bigger one.
I’m also going to have to raise my own personal force sometime down the line.
Well for now all I can do is continue on with my research on the possible methods to attain [Ascension].
With that the meeting went on for a little longer before wrapping up. In the end we couldn’t come to any solid conclusions on the way we should be taking this situation, so we simply opted for more surveillance and increasing our defenses until new information arrives.
I don’t believe Nodens will be moving too fast, he will probably continue with the experiments around the yellow monoliths, but that’d most likely take a lot of time.
I spent two more days at the Sanctuary resting up and recovering back to my 100%. The time to leave had come.
Deborah and Lilith were waiting outside in a carriage and I had packed up all of my stuff and was ready to leave before Astaroth decided to visit me in my room.
“Leaving so soon?”
“Astaroth? There are a some things I wanted to do, mainly more research.”
Incidentally I refer to her as simply ‘Astaroth’ when we’re in private. She also doesn’t seem to mind how anyone refers to her.
“That’s a shame. Do come to visit when you get the time.”
She stops me one more time before I leave.
She starts to fidget a bit. Does she want to tell me something? I wait for her reply but she doesn’t talk.
She then shakes her head.
“It’s nothing, don’t worry about it. Then take care.”
“Yes of course.”
I bow and leave.
After dropping Lilith back at her ’emporium’ I was taken back to the orphanage.
Right… the orphanage…
I took a deep sigh as I mere inches away from the orphanage. It’s the kind of swirling in your abdomen that you get just before an annual employee review session with a stuck up boss who just can’t get with the times so he-!
Cough never mind. Anyway.
Just what am I going to tell the children happened to my right arm?
I can’t imagine them accepting any excuse I give them.
I pulse of electricity ran down my spine and I froze in fear.
From just a few meters ahead of me was Diana who was tending to the flower garden. I’m surprised flowers could even bloom in this kind of climate- is what you’re probably thinking that I’m thinking, right?
Well I already knew the answer and it’s just that some flowers have adapted to this icy climate. The specific flowers she’s tending too are called [crystal petals], because of its ‘crystal’ like petals. Many botanists of this world claim that these flowers don’t have any inherent benefits aside from looking pretty. They’ll melt as soon as they are taken to a more moderate climate so they’re only really good for keeping in this specific city.
Yes, I’m just trying to distract myself from what’s going to happen next.
She looked over to me with a worried expression as she noticed my ‘situation’. Then she slowly started walking towards my direction.
I couldn’t keep steady eye contact, as though I’ve done something terrible, no, the truth was I did do something terrible, I made her worry about me needlessly.
She crouched down in front of me and embraced me as she stroke my hair.
Her first words were not ‘what happened?’ or ‘are you okay?’
I couldn’t help but apologize and thank her.
“I’m sorry. Thank you.”
Just walking up to the front door was making my heart beat nervously. Right now I just really wanted to run.
Sweat dripping down the side of my face, goosebumps alongside my arms. Still, I had to act like I was keeping my cool, for the children!
She tells me to go up to my room first to set my stuff back down as she will go call the other children.
I could only reply with a complicated nod.
I dropped my bags on the floor and sat on the edge of my bed. I stared idly out into the deep white, ever snowing city and contemplated on the events that took place this time.
Ever since I was born into this world I’ve always been engaged in some sort of mind shattering event, this time was no exception. Honestly if I didn’t have the help of the people who were with me I couldn’t have made it this far.
That I’m back home safely really resonated within my heart. To be entirely honest, I wish these kinds of peaceful days would last forever.
The phrase ‘ignorance is bliss’ has never rung more true to me. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to forget everything and enjoy the rest of my life.
However that would just be me doing a disservice to everyone who helped me get to where I am. I will-
Interrupting my thoughts, I could hear Alice screaming my name as she ran towards me. She embraced me wholeheartedly.
At first I didn’t know what to do, I panicked but just opted to what I normally do.
I reciprocated and petted her head with my left arm.
She grabbed onto my tightly.
Celina and Ren, along with Miko also entered the room one by one.
Alice noticed something different about me. She reached for my right arm but she couldn’t find it.
She then stared into my eyes in confusion. I didn’t really know how to reply to that so I just smiled back and stroked her hair.
“What happened to your arm?”
She asked innocently. She was so confused that that line came out so candidly and with genuine curiosity rather than worry.
Still, I had to answer her, but how?
“Sorry Alice, a lot of things happened.”
I answer vaguely.
She sat on me idly, staring at me with a baffled expression.
I could see her tiny mouth move up and down trying to form coherent words but all that comes out is a small ‘eh?’.
She finally speaks. As the information slowly sinks into her teardrops form from the side of her face and falls.
“Why? Did you do something dangerous?”
She rapidly shakes her head and grabs onto me more tightly.
In my guilt I could only let her vent out her emotions onto me. It wasn’t as though I was trying to be insensitive, I’m sure she’s had a hard time herself with many of the people close to her leaving, that’s why she’s at the orphanage in the first place.
The thought of me, who must’ve been like a close father figure, also disappearing would obviously scare her too.
“I’m sorry Alice.”
In the end Alice forgave me but only barely. To make it up to her I had to spoil her for an entire month, which then Ren and Celina joined in and also wanted to be spoiled.
Still, if that’s all it took to forgive me then I’m grateful.
Miko didn’t really ask or bring up the issue but I could tell she was incredibly worried as well. I’ll just have to add to the list of things I owe to her in a different time.
Afterwards ordinary life returned. I did allocate a bit more of my time on research than I used to as things will only get harder from now on.
And like that two years went by.
Morgant Fallon. Level 56
SUCCESSOR OF THE COSMIC LEGACY
Strength: 230 (155+75)
Dexterity: 60 (5+55)
Intelligence: 50 (5+45)
Insight: 100 (45+55)
[Status point: 95]
(AUGMENT) [Strike+]: Level 41
(ACTIVE) [Summon Skeleton Knight]: Level 31
(ACTIVE) [Transfer Life]: Level 47
(PASSIVE) [Life Force Sensory]: Level 50 (MAX)
(ACTIVE) [Avatar of Nyarlathotep]: Level 15
(ACTIVE) [Wither]: Level 29
(ACTIVE) [Decay]: Level 50 (MAX)
(AUGMENT) [Aura Field]: Level 24
(ACTIVE) [Soul Gambit]: Level 26
(PASSIVE) [Physical Damage Resistance]: Level 50 (MAX)
(ACTIVE) [Obsidian Lance]: Level 50 (MAX)
(ACTIVE) [Obsidian Shield]: Level 50 (MAX)
(ACTIVE) [Reanimate Dead]: Level 30
(AUGMENT) [Enchanting Voice]: Level 23
(PASSIVE) [Lord of Ghosts]: Level 15
(ACTIVE) [Phantasmal Maelstrom]: Level 27
(AUGMENT) [Transformation – Black Pharaoh]: Level 15
(PASSIVE) [Mental Fortress]: Level 50 (MAX)
(In the next chapter I will be taking focus off Morgant. Only for a single chapter or so! forgive me! It will be a semi-new character so look forward to that! Place your bets! Who will be the character that gets the coveted spotlight?!) =)