Ascension Rebirth – Hopelessness (Chapter 30)

Ascension Rebirth – Hopelessness

CHAPTER XXX

PART ONE

[Vertloch Downpour].

That was the name given to the territory under Raak’s control. The ‘perpetual’ theme of this continent extends to this place as well so It should be fairly obvious by the name what kind of place this is, right?

It took around 2 days to get to this place and we would soon arrive at the designated battlefield in an hour or two.

As I looked up at the skies it seemed to tell me with the darkened clouds and rain that coming any closer would be a huge mistake. Then again it’s always raining here so it’s probably just my imagination.

You may also be wondering on how this place hasn’t flooded yet with the constant rain. Well, magic. Yep.

Moving on, in my carriage was [Raak] and [Lilith]. Lilith was sitting really close to me because she felt a little uncomfortable around Raak. There was an awkward silence between us so I decided to talk to relieve our tensions.

“Raak, I heard you were at Arune training for the past 10 years. I have known stories about what it was like before the great war but I’m not too sure on the details as of now, what was it like?”

“… It was filled with many powerful monsters. Monsters that had jaws big enough to eat a man whole and creatures that only appeared when you were alone to attack you at your most vulnerable hour. A terrifying place. The land wasn’t any better, it had myriads of opposing climates all over the place. Some places were thick jungles, others were swaps, grass plains, deserts. Then there’s the ancient Giga-fortress surrounded by a raging inferno.

I see, it really is different than 500 years ago. Normally that’d be an impossible amount of change to be caused over by tectonic movement, at least not in 500 years.

So then is there something else in Arune that’s causing a massive shift in environment?

“Did you meet anyone interesting?”

I asked, I was honestly looking for some answers in regards to Nodens but an unexpected reply came.

He nods his head.

“I did, there was one. A dark skinned woman no taller than 1.6m. I met her during my time of invading the fallen fortress in search of greater challenge. However her skill and power were unparalleled by anyone I’ve seen before. I believe that she may even be stronger than Lord Astaroth herself.”

Someone with more power than Astaroth? I realize that Astaroth isn’t exactly at the pinnacle of power but the only one I know that’s above her level is [Ciocal Gricenchos].

“Someone that powerful. What happened to her?”

“We fought for a few seconds but it only took that long for me to lie defeated on the ground. She then left without finishing me off saying that I was too ‘boring and weak’.”

“Did you get her name?”

“Certainly, I could never forget her name as long as I live. Her name was [Anubis].”

The sound of rain could be heard in conjunction with the tapping of horse hooves and the carriage’s wooden wheels. I sat silently listening to the ambient noise in contemplation.

“Master?”

Lilith lightly tapped me on the shoulder but I remained unresponsive; I was too deep in thought.

[Anubis]. As in the Egyptian god of the afterlife? I do suppose that Arune is the one place that would make sense for that being to appear, but a woman?

Anubis as a woman? That doesn’t add up to my pre-established knowledge. Could it be that I was wrong to relay on such flimsy sources?

But it was then it came to me. There actually was a female Anubis. It’s so obscure that I couldn’t remember it before but if memory serves correct there was one or rather a female counterpart to Anubis named [Anput].

Still, why would she be calling herself Anubis and not Anput? Could it be a mix up in the names? Or is there some other reason why she decided to adopt the name for herself?

Whatever the reason, this saves me the trouble of having to throw into doubt my sources from my previous life.

But I digress, I shouldn’t be dwelling on this too much for the time being since we’re almost at the site of the battle. My top priority right now is the battle at hand.

There is a massive downpour outside the carriage as the name implies. I’m almost impressed that the horses are able to run through all this and at the same time I pity them.

What a perfect setting for my first battle against the gods.

Speaking of, I wonder if I really took everything into precaution here. I don’t think I’ve missed anything but I do feel that something is a little off, call it intuition I suppose.

I notice that Lilith’s face is turning pale. Perhaps it was a mistake to bring her along.

Despite her rather high levels, from observing her over these past three years I’ve come to understand that she isn’t really one for fighting, she’s a florist after all.

I only really brought her along because she insisted on coming, but that’s most likely because she didn’t want to stay back at the [Sanctuary].

“Lilith, are you okay?”

“Y, Yes. I’m just a little nervous, sorry.”

“Steel yourself. You’re the daughter of Lord Astaroth and we’re heading straight into battle. Those unprepared often find only death there. You have to prepare your heart for what’s about to come because this won’t be easy.”

Fixing his gaze on her, Raak reprimands her.

Lilith shrieks back a bit but regains her composure quickly.

“Y, yes. I understand. I’m fully prepared for what I must do.”

“Then that’s all I ask.”

I feel the carriage slowing down.

We’re finally there.

Upon exiting the carriage I take a deep breath. The smell of wet soil and water is thick in the air.

My clothes quickly become wet that that’s the least of my worries for now.

The others also exit their carriages and meet up with me.

Soon the 8 of us standing before the battlefield. The female members of our little superpower group complain about how their clothes are wet, but that can’t be helped.

We tell the carriages to head to some place safe for now since staying here would be useless.

Still, as I watch our only means of transportation leave there is a lingering feeling of doom, perhaps it’s the rain? It must be the rain.

“What’s wrong Morgant?”

I shake my head and try to detract from any negative thoughts about the mission. It won’t do now to think about what could’ve been handled better during preparations since we’re already here.

“It’s nothing, but are you okay even in all this heavy rain?”

Cedric is from the slime race and they’re susceptible to water after all. I’m slightly worried this might have some impact on the mission.

He tells me that it’d only be a problem when he’s submerged in water and if it’s simply just rain then there’s no problem as his armor would block most of it out.

“I see, that’s fine then.”

“Yeah.”

He replies with a thumbs up. I can’t help but chuckle at his honesty. I gather up the other members to re-brief them on what our objectives are.

“Then we’ll go over this one more time-”

Before I could even start the re-briefing something jumps down from above to interrupt us. We manage to dodge in time and jump away surrounding it in a circular formation.

I turn to see what I was. Even after placing my eyes on it I still didn’t know what it was.

It looks like an [Orc]. It has dark skin and a huge frame but something about it is different. For starters it has a large yellow crystal in its back.

It looks at us with a blank stare, almost as though it’s dead.

Actually something is wrong. Why wasn’t I able to feel this monster’s presence with my [Life force sensory]? There’s no way it could’ve gotten past that skill when it’s maxed out. Even now I’m not getting any reading from it.

I focus my mind to read it’s title to see if I can get any more information on what this really is.

[Crystalline Orc Soldier. Level 39]

There’s something under their titles, a status effect.

[Crystalline Frenzy: those inflicted will attack anything not infected with the Crystalline curse].

‘Crystalline curse’? Were I to hazard a guess it’d be most likely referring to the crystal lodged in its back. Anyway by the description it sounds like something out of a bad zombie movie.

The orc stares at us with a blank stare as he starts to drool. Is he brain-dead?

In fact the way it’s twitching its body is a little uncanny, almost as though it’s suffering from some sort of disease.

“That’s!”

Raak shouts out in dismay.

From that reaction I’m guessing that this is one of his men- or ‘former’ one at least.

He’s frozen in place from the sheer shock of seeing something like this happen to his soldier.

He starts to walk a bit closer to his solder. He grabs the orc soldier by the shoulders and yells as he shakes him.

“What’s happened to you?!”

He shakes the orc up but it’s only making it more irritated. It’s about to attack.

“Stop that Raak! It’s going to attack.”

Leanan Sidhe shouts.

“Shut up! This is one of my men! I need to know what’s going on!”

However the orc soldier doesn’t show any respect towards his former superior and simply strikes. It’s a direct hit at Raak but it doesn’t appear to have done too much damage. Considering that he’s level 84, I’m not surprised.

Still, it looks like it did quite a bit of mental damage.

“W, why?”

Raak slowly steps back but the orc doesn’t seem to care as it goes for another attack. Raak takes the hit over and over, not even bothering to defend himself.

The orc’s attack gets more brutal; aiming for the face and scratching him up.

Not wanting to see anymore of this Cedric steps in cuts it down with his sword.

The orc flies back a few meters and its arms are cut off, but the even more surprising fact is that it’s not even bleeding. It just stands up as though nothing happens and tries to go in for another attack.

Cedric cuts it down over and over again, but it gets back up.

It doesn’t have any regenerative properties but the way it tries to attack is uncanny. Having no other choice Cedric amputates all of its limbs and it’s now just groveling on the floor.

Planting its face on the floor it tries to crawl and attack once more. Without its limbs it’s probably just going to bite.

“What is this thing? It’s creepy.”

Leanan Sidhe asks.

Then I remembered I had something to analyze this with.

I walk past Cedric and stare down at the crystalline orc to investigate.

It’s something I hardly use but I think it’s necessary for this situation.

I take out the [Gladsheim Drone] from my [Inventory].

Last time I was at [Gladsheim] I took the drone with me to check for other people who were like me, as in people formerly from Earth, but I know this drone has other functions as well.

“Hmm? What’s that?”

Cedric asks.

“It’s the ‘synthetic organism’ that Tiki was referring to back at the Sanctuary.”

I answer vaguely.

I give the drone an order in Japanese.

“[Can you scan this and tell me it’s composition]?”

I point towards the crystal on its back.

“[Understood].”

It flies around making a small ‘winging’ noise. It flashes an odd blue laser towards the crystal and makes ‘beeping’ sounds as it’s computing.

After a while it flies back to me.

“[I’ve determined the physical composition to be comprised of [Element 746] and the interior energy signatures belonging to [Element 747]. Element 747 is using element 746 as a medium to infect the host].”

… okay then.

“[What’s element 746]?”

“[Element 746, [Nm] otherwise known as ‘mana’].”

“[I thought mana was ethereal].”

“[Correct, mana is the energy that many magicians of this world use as fuel to practice various forms of psycho kinesis, otherwise known as ‘magic’].”

“[But that thing’s solid].”

“[It is a rare, synthesized form of element 746 known as [Monolith Shard]. Normally it is extremely difficult to make].”

Monolith shard, where have I heard that before?

Searching the depths of my memories I come up with an answer. It was a term that came up within Lorelei’s story about 500 years ago. Partholon used it to prolong his life. There’s also Gygant who’s referred to as the [Primordial Monolith] though I’m unsure as to whether there’s any real connection for that one.

“[What’s element 747]?”

“[Element 747, [Dv] otherwise known as ‘divine energy’]. ”

‘Divine energy’? How could I forget that one? It’s the sole reason my entire village was wiped out, so that energy could be harvested.

It also appeared in Lorelei’s story. Dian Cecht used it to open a portal between the heaven continent and [Eternis]. Though it doesn’t appear to be used for that purpose here.

I stare at the crystalline orc as it struggles to move using its chin and neck as a makeshift limb. Obviously that’s not harnessing divine energy as a portal.

“[What kind of effect does divine energy have on living organisms]?”

I ask the drone.

“[Element 747 will cause genetic mutations within a target host. This then greatly increases the strength, stamina and speed of the host, grants them immunity to pain and the subsequent deterioration of the host’s mind].”

“[So this thing’s already dead]?”

“[Correct. However death was not induced by element 747, rather, due to the extreme purity of the element it is impossible for living organisms to be infused with the element].”

“[Then how was this thing created]?”

“[I suspect that it was already dead to begin with then was infused with element 747].”

“[So what? This thing is a zombie]?”

“[For a lack of a better term, yes].”

“[Thanks].”

Thanking the drone I put it back into my inventory.

I think I’m getting the full picture.

A monolith shard is used to prolong a being’s life by turning a person’s internal mana into life. Using that concept someone has rigged it with divine energy to make a corpse walk.

These corpses are stronger, faster and have virtually unlimited stamina. They’re also immune to pain, but why?

‘Why’? Did I really ask myself that? It’s obvious why they’re doing this. To make an army.

If I had to hazard a guess it’s the work of Dian Cecht. Since they were unable to build a steady empire in this cycle due to the political climate are they trying to make a zombie horde?

But I thought they needed the divine energy to open a portal to the heaven continent, are they okay with expending such a large amount of this energy?

Something isn’t right here.

Their actions are completely different to what I was expecting. What if.

Just what if-

“Morgant?”

Cedric interrupted my thoughts.

“Hmm? What’s wrong?”

I answer him.

“Shouldn’t you be telling us that? Did you find something out about these things?”

I look down, the monster is still trying to crawl.

“Yeah, the fact that they’re dead.”

“Dead? But how can that be? It’s moving about.”

“The large crystals on its back is what’s giving them the illusion of life. It’s controlling them and making them go into a frenzy and attack those who aren’t like them.”

There’s a brief moment of silence between us. They’re all contemplating on the situation.

“So do we still continue with the operations?”

Breaking the silence filled only with the sound of rain, Arachna asks.

I turn to Raak, it’s a bit hard to say what I want to but it needs to be told.

“I’m sorry Raak, but your entire force has most likely been turned into these things, and these things are all dead.”

He stares at the limbless orc and sighs heavily.

“… RARRRGGHHHH! Dammit. I’ll kill the bastard who did this.”

So then, how do we kill these things?

I try out various quick experiments.

[Life drain], [Wither] and [Decay]. I thought life drain might work since it was a living organism but to my surprise it was [Decay] that destroyed it.

As I touch the orc it writhes in agony before bursting into ashes.

Completely destroying it does sound like the most efficient means.

“Raak, can you pass me your weapon for a sec?”

He remains silent but gives it to me easily.

I don’t know if this can work but I’ll try to enchant this weapon so it gains the [Strike + Decay] property temporarily.

In principle this should work since [Strike +] is really just a form of enchantment. The only difference is I’m trying to turn it into a lingering enchantment for a weapon.

To my surprise it works out fairly well.

I had the weapon back to Raak.

He takes it and inspects it for a bit.

“I’ve made it so attacking with that weapon should kill those monsters.”

“…”

He nods his head.

I take Albion’s and Cedric’s sword and apply the same enchantment.

Lilith doesn’t have any sort of weapon but with her magic she should be able to destroy them completely even if it does expend a little bit more than usual.

“Then, since we’ve managed to solve that problem we can start the operation. [Invasion team] will infiltrate the castle through the back entrance that Raak outlined and [Assault team] will be with us, [Diversion] team until [Dagda] shows himself. If on the off chance that he doesn’t appear then Albion will break off and assist the invasion team and Cedric will be added to the diversion team.”

They all nod their heads.

“Let’s go.”

PART TWO

We made our way to a cliff overseeing the entire battle area. The sight was more horrifying than what we had originally thought.

Thousands of orcs similar to the one that attacked us were roaming about, patrolling the castle for intruders. However the thing that caught our attentions the most was something else.

Far off, floating above the large grey castle that was Raak’s domain, was an gigantic yellow crystal. From the coloration and size I could reliably determine it to be the cause of the ‘crystalline curse’.

“I’m going to have to alter the plan slightly but the invasion team’s secondary objective will be to destroy that crystal after defeating Dian Cecht.”

“Yeah, got it. That crystal is bad news.”

Leanan Sidhe agrees.

“Then we’ll head there first.”

Arachna says. The three female demon generals leave.

“Assault team will be with us until Dagda appears.”

Albion and Cedric nod.

The easiest way down would be to jump.

“On my mark, we’ll jump down, but before that.”

There’s something I’ve been meaning to test out.

It’s [Transformation – Black Pharaoh].

I can feel a grin starting to form on my face.

A large vortex of wind starts to form around me and a great pressure is let out as a result. The others noticing this take a few steps back, giving me room.

They’re all staring at me with curious eyes.

An oily black miasma start to form from my shadow and rises up slow into the air.

Reacting to the hurricane forming around me the black miasma is sucked in and the vortex turns completely black. The wind starts to move more erratically, spinning in all directions until finally settling down to form a menacing, dark sphere of miasma around me. It completely engulfs my figure.

The ball of miasma grows bigger. From my tiny figure it grows.

Eventually it reaches a bit over 2m meters in diameter.

With a loud bang the miasma instantly dissipates.

Cedric and the others are stunned at what they see; they’re speechless.

Even I feel a little different. My body feels much more lighter and more maneuverable.

I look down to see that my skin has turned black as night. It’s an unnatural shade of black, it’s too black, as though light won’t hit my skin. It’d be more apt to call me a shadow.

On my head is a golden pschent. My torso is exposed but I do have a small white and gold tunic on my lower half. On my wrists and ankles are several golden braces.

My eye sight is adjusted at around Raak’s height. I thought I would be a bit taller at 2.4m but it seems that I can only get up to 2m, which is still pretty tall.

“That’s a neat trick.”

Cedric tells me.

“I feel stronger.”

My voice is no longer the same pre-pubescent sound, it’s now much deeper, more sinister and hoarse.

“As long as you’re still Morgant.”

“I’m still me.”

Curious I check my [status menu].

[Status Menu]

?. Level ?

?

Strength: 330 (155+75) + (100)

Dexterity: 160 (5+55) + (100)

Intelligence: 50 (5+45)

Insight: 200 (45+55) + (100)

[Status points: 25]

So they were numeric improvements after all, but what’s this? Why are my name, level and professions marked with [?]?

If I had to guess it’s because I’m taking on Nyarlathotep’s figure but it still freaks me out.

Can I still access my skill menu?

I open that.

(AUGMENT) [Strike+]: Level 27

(ACTIVE) [Summon Skeleton Knight]: Level 22

(ACTIVE) [Transfer Life]: Level 43

(PASSIVE) [Life Force Sensory]: Level 50 (MAX)

(ACTIVE) [Avatar of Nyarlathotep]: Level 1

(ACTIVE) [Wither]: Level 29

(ACTIVE) [Decay]: Level 40

(AUGMENT) [Aura Field]: Level 24

(ACTIVE) [Soul Gambit]: Level 17

(PASSIVE) [Physical Damage Resistance]: Level 50 (MAX)

(ACTIVE) [Obsidian Lance]: Level 40

(ACTIVE) [Obsidian Shield]: Level 39

(ACTIVE) [Reanimate Dead]: Level 30

(AUGMENT) [Enchanting Voice]: Level 23

(PASSIVE) [Lord of Ghosts]: Level 15

(ACTIVE) [Phantasmal Maelstrom]: Level 20

(AUGMENT) [Transformation – Black Pharaoh]: Level 1

(PASSIVE) [Mental Fortress]: Level 50 (MAX)

Doesn’t appear to be any problems with that.

Alright let’s do this.

I summon [Obsidian Lance] and [Obsidian Shield] and use it properly by holding them with my hands for the first time. It fits like a glove.

“Okay, enough wasting time. We’re going in.”

I lead them by jumping off the plateau.

The wind and rain splashes across my body as I’m soaring through the skies at great speeds. I feel an exhilarating freedom as I close my eyes to soak up this sensation.

After what felt like an eternity I finally land in the middle of the crystalline horde and upon impact kill two of them instantaneously. Right now I have [Strike + decay] on permanently around my body.

I can see that the others have jumped straight into the fray as well.

I reposition my lance and point towards the crowd of Orcs.

“Prepare yourselves.”

PART THREE

-CEDRIC’S SIDE-

The sheer amount that Morgant was able to grow in merely four years is staggering. I understand now why Lord Astaroth has taken such an interest in him.

[Necromancers] are truly a different kind of existence altogether, aren’t they? The first and most powerful necromancer, Ciocal has surpassed even Lord Astaroth in strength and I can only imagine the day when Morgant accomplishes the same feat.

The [transformation] ability is such a rare ability that most people don’t even know it exists. The ability to adopt a different persona all together is one that takes considerable concentration and skill after all.

The appearance that Morgant has taken for himself is a magnificent display of mastery. Though, rather than a simple alteration of appearance this feels slightly different. More menacing and dark.

I wouldn’t hesitate to call it the harnessing of the power of darkness to his whim. Still, he says that he’s fully in control of this power. Just because an ability is dark doesn’t mean it’s evil.

I shall trust his judgment.

However, now was no time to be admiring his growth, there was a battle to be won.

I followed suit as Morgant jumped off and straight into the heat of battle.

As per the plan, we were assisting his team until Dagda shows himself.

It wasn’t long before that happened either. Just like he said Dagda was there and ready for us.

His appearance was exactly what we imagined him to be however, not, at the same time. According to Kyrios he was a man with towering and incomprehensible physique. Certainly the figure standing before me could be described in no other way than that.

A large scar ran down on the center of his face. That scar made no sense, something like that should’ve been fatal, but he was still standing.

He was far more threatening than what I had previously thought. It sends me shivering weak from his mere presence.

Yet he was weaponless.

He stared at us with his imposing golden eyes. A small grin etched across his face and as it did I could feel my body start to tense up. This body which feels no physical pain was feeling fear.

I turned towards Morgant who was in the midst of battle. He paused and looked towards Albion and I and gave a nod to engage in battle.

I drew my sword and shield and poised them against the god of war.

Albion did the same though with a frown on his face. He often had flashes of intuition when it came to battle and I could see it in his eyes that he was thinking that this would be an uphill battle.

Still, it was not one we could back down from. Should we fall here we would only be disgracing Lord Astaroth’s name.

Due to my armor my movements aren’t too fast, so at most in this battle all I can do is intercept Dagda’s attacks.

Albion on the other hand was incredibly agile, he would act as the main source of damage between us.

Dagda stood there waiting for us to make the first move. If that’s how he’s going to be then I didn’t mind.

I jumped in for the first strike, but to my surprise he easily caught my blade and took a hold of my shoulders, temporarily immobilizing me.

That was still well within our error range, or rather this was what we had planned from the beginning. I would act as a distraction and shield while Albion gets a perfect strike.

With breakneck speed Albion slashed across Dagda’s arms and blood started to spew in great quantities. For any mortal man this would’ve been the point where they would let go but he didn’t.

As though nothing happened he still grabbed onto me, no his grip only got stronger to the point he was starting to crush my armor. It started to dent due to the pressure.

I tried to struggle out and Albion continued to get free shots in.

In only a few seconds Dagda was bloodied from head to toe, yet he still had that psychotic grin as he wouldn’t let go. The entirety of my shoulder pauldrons were crushed and the left part of my armor was ripped from me.

It exposed slimy insides of my armor, though in truth this armor is only worn to keep my figure, it held no real defensive purpose, except for one, there was one part of my body that I liked to keep covered up with my armor.

That was my ‘core’; my nucleus that provides me with my sentience and intelligence. In other words, my brain. Were that to be destroyed I would die.

Most slimes do not have a nucleus thus they are 100% immune to physical damage, however it was a little different with me. I don’t quite remember when I gained a nucleus but I did and in exchange for sentience and intelligence above all my brainless peers, I was given a single point of vulnerability.

I can move my nucleus throughout the figure of my body but generally it is kept on my right arm, behind my shield where the defense is thickest.

So far no one has found out about its existence, not even Lord Astaroth knows. It should’ve been kept that way but for some reason it looks like Dagda knows. He’s most likely aiming for that vulnerability or else there’d be no point in trying to damage me with physical attacks at the cost of sustaining injuries.

Just how did he know?

Breaking free from Dagda’s grasp at the cost my entire left arm I make some distance between us. I shift the position of my nucleus to my right foot and make dash for him one more time using my shield to bash into him.

I tackle him a few meters before pinning him down on the floor against all of the mud. It must feel terrible with those wounds coming into contact with all those grime.

Albion tries to go for the execute and aims directly for his face but before that could be done, with unimaginable force and speed he throws me high up into the air and block’s Albion’s sword.

Within only a few short seconds a blinding flash engulfs everything. Though I’m also impervious to vision impairment due to my lack of eyes that doesn’t mean I can see through a wall of light.

When the light subsides four angelic wings appear behind Dagda’s back. His presence has been greatly magnified by the sheer force of his power.

I was told that this was something to look out for; his ability to turn into a fully fledged god.

Before I even have time to land he jumps up and destroys my chest plate portion of my armor leaving me in pieces. However the most surprising part was his ability to physically damage through my slime properties.

Even though I was supposed to have immunity to physical attacks I was hurt for the first time by that very thing. How was that even possible?

I fell in pieces down back to the ground. I would usually patch myself together but as I was feeling pain for the first time in my entire existence I was unable to. It hurt just moving my body that didn’t even house a nervous system.

My nucleus was left undamaged so I’ll probably not die from this but this agony was unimaginable. To think that everyone else has to live through this fear every day is almost scary.

No, far from that, the time back in Lani’tar, when Morgant had to take on the [Terror of the depths], he felt this kind of pain for an entire month while drowning, nonstop.

I could only laugh, who was the real monster here? Me or him?

I digress, the situation was looking bad.

Albion was barely able to keep up with Dagda’s speed now that he was in god form. Shit, is this where we fail?

PART FOUR

-ARACHNA’S SIDE-

I think I just saw something amazing fly past.

Whatever.

Leanan Sidhe, Medusa and I are stealthily making our way into the Raak’s castle through a secret back entrance.

I feel sorry for him, having to reveal all of his secrets to us in order to fix this situation. I always thought he was a big oaf but I guess he has his brains somewhere in there as well mixed with all that muscle.

As expected the castle was completely empty; All of Raak’s former soldiers were sent outside.

There’s a creepy atmosphere about this place. The lit up candles are aligned perfectly, almost like it’s trying to guide us into the innermost part of the castle; the throne room.

Are they expecting us to go there?

Maybe this is a trap.

“Leanan Sidhe, I’m surprised you went along with that boy’s plans.”

Medusa breaks the silence to ask.

“What are you talking about? It almost sounds as though you think I hate the boy.”

“Well, you hate all men, don’t you?”

“Men and boys are two different things.”

“That’s just semantics.”

“Whatever. That boy is different. My charm didn’t work on him.”

“Eh? When did you do that?”

I ask.

She takes a glance at me. I’ve never had a great relationship with her, I wonder why?

“During our initial meeting.”

“Hmm.”

So not only was he enduring my temperature drop but also resisting Leanan Sidhe’s charm. He’s a lot tougher than I had originally thought.

“What about you, Medusa? You’re fine with taking orders from a newbie?”

Leanan Sidhe asks her.

“Well, it was just curiosity for Astaroth’s new favorite that I went along with it. I’m also wondering as to how he learnt my name before even being told.”

“Wasn’t it probably just Cedric or Kyrios who told him?”

“No, I asked them and they told me they never spoke about any of the other generals with him before. Actually Cedric did say that he did something similar before when they were both at the [Lani’tar].”

“Lani’tar? The mermaid capital?”

“Yeah. Cedric says that he was able to pick out the mermaid queen who was in disguise without even a moment’s hesitation.”

“A convenient trick maybe?”

“Who knows, but it makes you wonder doesn’t it? I also heard that he managed to gain their queen’s support.”

“So he has the mermaids wrapped under his little personal force? Here I thought Lilith was the only one he had for a subordinate.”

“Well, I don’t think it’s quite the same as a personal force.”

We talked a bit more before finally entering the throne room; a large stone room with a single throne at the end. There were a series of candles decorated all throughout the walls illuminating the place.

Standing in front of us was a single man.

This was a little different than what we had initially expected. We were told that Dian Cecht liked to dress head to toe in black and had a white beaked mask.

The man that stood before us was nothing like that, completely the opposite actually.

A man dressed heavily in a decorative silver and black armor with shiny silver gauntlets and greaves. He had a red cape attached to the back of his shoulders. With no helmet his head was exposed to reveal an odd colored hair.

It was black and white. Though not mixed, it was entirely black on the left side and white on the right side. His eyes were a deep golden color.

He looked physically bulky but not too much, however with that it was obvious that this man wasn’t Dian Cecht. He doesn’t have any sort of weapon with him, not physical ones at least, does he perhaps use magic?

He was casually sitting on Raak’s throne and drinking a red liquid from a wine glass, he lifts his glass and holds it towards us.

“Welcome beautiful ladies. I have been expecting you to arrive ever since last night.”

We all made a pained expression as he started off with that creepy one-liner.

Leanan Sidhe especially was fuming. She hates such gaudy men, well she hates all men but those kinds really drive her nuts. I could see smoke rising from her ears just from him being anywhere near her. She looked to him with malice and disgust.

“You’re obviously not Dian Cecht, who are you?”

Leanan Sidhe demanded to know, her voice as well is clearly filled with revulsion towards this individual.

“How rude of me to not introduce myself.”

He stands up and gives a gracious bow but his movements are still a little creepy.

“I am the physical manifestation of the [Claiomh Solas]. You may call me Creidhne.”

He looks human, but he called himself the physical manifestation of that Clai- something or whatever. Maybe I should ask?

“Are you human?”

He turns his gaze towards me with an elegant smile.

“No, though I may look it, I am not human. I am a spirit of Claiomh Solas.”

“What’s-”

Before I even had time to ask what he meant by that I was interrupted by Leanan Sidhe.

“Tch, whatever, if you’re going to stand in our way you’re going to die.”

Leanan Sidhe’s threats falls on deaf ears as he sits back down and sips more of his blood colored wine. Actually, is that real blood? It looks so similar to it.

“I’m afraid my owner has ordered me not to let you through as it would be a hindrance.”

“What did you say?”

Leanan Sidhe is becoming angrier. Her usual pretty face is becoming- less so.

“If you so wish to pass through then I’ll have to be your opponent.”

“Hahaha! Alright you distasteful bastard, I’ll take you on!”

Leanan Sidhe strikes him with a bright red ball of raging inferno. Unlike me she’s the type that specializes in [fire] based magic.

Hmm, maybe that’s why we don’t get along? Our elements are opposing.

Creidhne slaps the fireball out of its trajectory and it flies off destroying a different part of the castle.

Being able to deflect magic is one thing but being able to slap it away is something else entirely. From that we knew that fighting this man wasn’t going to be easy.

Medusa readied her bow as she enchanted her arrows with lightning properties. She was an [archer] but also a [magician]. She specializes in [lightning] magic due to its property of never missing.

I move slightly to the right and start to prepare my own [ice] type spells.

[Glacial Lance]. A high ranking ice type spell that ought to pierce through his silver armor with ease. Or so I expected when I threw it at his direction but to my surprise he simply stopped it with a single finger.

The [Glacial Lance] disintegrated shortly afterwards, leaving only dust.

Medusa tried her hand. If both [ice] and [fire] magic won’t work then perhaps [lightning] magic would. That was our thought.

Medusa slowly drew her arrows and pointed it towards him.

However Creidhne only had a frustrating smile as he waited for her to attack.

[Electro Lance] the lightning version of the ‘lance’ series spells. Having lightning attributes the spell would never miss and thus meant that he couldn’t deflect or stop the magic attacks like he did with Leanan Sidhe’s and mine.

The lance did strike him and there was a large explosion that ensued. To our dismay as the dust settled the only thing remaining after the back wall and throne were destroyed were his figure has he smiled pompously back at us.

All three magic types were ineffective against this man. I have heard that there are those who train to become resistant towards certain elements, but to be immune to all three is unheard of.

It’s clearly broken!

I had to ask.

“What are you? ”

“Hah.”

He scoffed at us.

I could feel Leanan Sidhe only getting angrier as the temperature around her started to increase to the point that the nearby rocks were melting.

“You bastard.”

She started to grind her teeth in a very unladylike fashion.

“I believe I already told you. I am the physical manifestation of Claiomh Solas.”

“What’s Claiomh Solas?”

I was able to ask without getting interrupted this time.

“I shall show you.”

With a snap of his fingers everything turned white instantaneously; covered by a wall of silver light.

Managing to regain my vision after a few seconds I realized that I was now lying on the floor with rubble on top of me.

My entire body ached and I could taste blood in my mouth.

What happened?

Enduring the pain I lifted my body to scour the scene and I saw Medusa and Leanan Sidhe also with their backs on the ground. Medusa was knocked unconscious and Leanan Sidhe was bleeding worst than me.

I dragged myself to her to apply [healing magic].

“Uugh~’

Something wasn’t right, the healing process was way too slow.

“What did you do?!”

I shouted uncharacteristically at Creidhne who was still standing there with that smug smile of his.

“I showed you, the power of Claiomh Solas. This was but a mere fraction of the power I am capable of. It should be obvious now but your chances of triumph over my are non-existent.”

Through the disheveled mess I was able to at least slow the bleeding down. Her life won’t be in danger.

This is a nightmare. Just how should we go about defeating this monster?

PART FIVE

-MORGANT FALLON’S SIDE-

A great pillar of silver light burst out from the castle where the invasion team was supposed to be heading.

That kind of attack was certainly not from any of the invasion team’s. by process of elimination that stands to reason that it was the enemy’s attack. That’s not good.

My heart couldn’t take this anymore. I wanted to know what was going on but leaving my position and dragging a bunch of orcs to their location would be bad.

I pondered as I slaughtered waves and waves of crystalline orc.

I felt my levels steadily increasing from killing these monsters but by how much I didn’t know because my [status menu] was glitched for some reason.

I shifted my view to where the assault team was fighting. It came to me as a surprise as I saw Cedric’s broken figure tossed about on the floor and Albion trying to fight him off to the best of his abilities.

Four white wings on Dagda’s back.

[The Dagda. Level 153, God of war].

I grimaced at the absurdity of what I was seeing.

Was Dagda able to damage Cedric after going god mode or was it because of the sheer level difference? No, rather than that anymore and Albion will die.

“Raak! I’ll take care of things here go assist assault team!”

I shouted through the heavy rain.

“Alright!”

He carved his way through the solid wall of crystalline orcs and towards where Albion and Dagda was fighting.

It was now just Lilith and I.

Lilith was in the air with her flight ability; two ethereal black wings on her back keeping her afloat. She shot pillars of flame towards the orcs and they disintegrated upon impact.

However she was tiring out. Her altitude was quickly dropping.

I ran towards her landing zone and caught her with one hand and continued to fight off the orcs with my other hand. This 2m bulk was extremely convenient.

“S, sorry master.”

She apologized to me as she breathed heavily. She’s going into mana exhaustion.

At the cost of sustaining even more damage to myself I cast [transfer life] to her to replenish her mana.

Her pale complexion was getting better.

Soon, she found herself back at full strength, though I couldn’t say the same for me. I fell to one knee but could still fight off the brain dead horde of orcs.

My vision was starting to blur from the exhaustion alone. The only saving grace was my [physical damage resistance] passive ability, because of that ability alone I was able to endure the massive legions of orcs at my reproach.

Yet even that wasn’t going to be enough from the looks of it. I would be lying to say I didn’t have another trump card at my disposal but I didn’t want to use that, at least not until I was forced to the absolute limit.

I continued to fight for a few more minutes, but there were still countless more waiting to replace each one I cut down; an unending number of foes pilling on top of me.

I fixed my gaze back on how the others were doing, suffice it to say it wasn’t good, Raak was almost dead in only a few short minutes and Albion was still standing but heavily injured, he wouldn’t last anymore at this rate.

“I’m Impressed, that you’ve managed to hold out so long.”

A voice so chilling that it froze my very spine spoke from behind.

It wasn’t a hoarse voice, it wasn’t even a charismatic one, but one that held great evil and menace.

I instantly recognized the owner of this voice even though I had never met him personally.

Shifting my sight I saw a figure cloaked in a black robe as though he was wearing the shadows themselves. His face covered by a white beaked mask; an old European plague doctor mask.

“Dian Cecht.”

Why was he here?

Did the invasion team lose?

Are they dead? What happened?!

I checked his title.

[Dian Cecht. Level 139, God of healing].

Shit, if the invasion team lost, I guess this is the reason.

“I’m honored you know my name, but I’m afraid I don’t have the same luxury of knowing yours.”

If I were at my 100% the story would be different but right now I wasn’t in the mood for verbal combat with this guy. Without a doubt if I started to engage in semantics I would lose my resolve. That’s the feeling I get.

I kept my mouth shut.

In my distraction an orc had gotten close to me and was about to attack me, though it probably won’t be fatal it’s no good being attacked right now, especially when this guy was here.

These orcs don’t let of any sort of life signatures so my [life force sensory] doesn’t display their presence. It was due to this I was caught off guard.

Thankfully Lilith intercepted and blasted the orc.

She landed next to me.

“Are you alright master?!”

“I, I’m fine.”

What to do now?

A full on assault against someone 3 times my level isn’t such a bright idea, then again what choice do I have? If I do nothing then it’s determined that everything will be lost.

Shit.

He’s even stronger than Astaroth. They’re all stronger than Astaroth!

This entire mission was a mistake from the start.

Now we’ll die here.

There’s no hope left.

I felt the strength in my knees give out and I feel down on all fours.

It’s over. My battle against them was over the moment we decided to attack this fort.

“Master?!”

Lilith started to panic due to my current state. The orcs tried to take advantage of this and attack but was thankfully kept at bay due to her efforts, but even now I can see that she’s slowly losing power.

Even if Dian Cecht doesn’t attack us, this battle will turn into one of attrition and we’ll lose.

God dammit. Did I lack that much foresight? I didn’t measure the parameters enough and this was the result?!

Various thoughts and regrets started to flood my mind.

If I brought on more demon generals, would the situation have been any different?

Maybe even Astaroth herself would’ve been a good addition.

But their levels are-

They’re too strong.

“Shit!”

I punched the ground in frustration.

“Master…”

Lilith clenched her fist and straightened her back. She got into formation.

Formation for what?

I glanced at her and before I could react she lunged at Dian Cecht.

“Stop!”

I yelled, it was far too reckless even for her, why is she doing this?! If she dies here how could I ever face Astaroth again? If I even get that chance to leave here alive.

Dammit!

I slowly moved my aching body to stop her.

As I positioned my head straight up I noticed something else.

Far in the distant sky was a small red light. Upon closer inspection it wasn’t just any red light it was in the form of a sword.

[Claiomh Solas]!

It was aimed straight down towards Lilith. If she were to be hit at full force not even a piece of her would be remaining. I won’t even be given the chance to take her remains back!

“God Dammit!”

I moved my body as fast as I could to intercept.

“Lilith!”

I called out but she wasn’t listening.

I had no choice, I moved my body to its absolute limit and reached her.

Just as the Claiomh Solas was about to land I pushed her away with the full force of my right hand.

“Kyah!”

She shouted as she was tossed aside like a rag doll. She’ll have to forgive me for that one on the account that I just saved her life.

However it was a different situation for me.

A great red light engulfed everything to my right.

“Argh!”

The Claiomh Solas attack tore through my right arm completely destroying it. Pain unimaginable coursed through my entire body and at my shoulder the most. This pain was nothing compared to what I felt during my time at Lani’tar.

It felt as though my very soul was being torn asunder.

The light subsided but the pain did not.

Blood gushed out of my right arm; it did not stop. I tried to apply pressure to stop it and to some degree I was successful but I did not have access to any sort of healing spells.

“Master!”

Lilith flied towards me again.

“Eh?! What’s going on?!”

Noticing my pain and injury she tried to heal me but for some reason healing spells were not effective, or at the very least weren’t working as fast as it should.

Noticing that it wouldn’t do if things continued this way she bit her lower lips to tell me.

“Master, please drain my life, at the very least save your own.”

I stared at her. I shook my head.

“No. That won’t do, if I do that Astaroth would never forgive me.”

“Mother will never forgive me if I let you die here! So please use my life to save yours! I was happy that you decided to accept me as your subordinate when nobody else would, that you were able to help cure my mana deficiencies. So please, don’t die here like this.”

She was visibly shaking. I placed my left hand on her head and patted her.

“It’s fine.”

She was just a bit hysterical, but this injury wasn’t too life threatening. The bleeding was stopped by her efforts at healing magic. She simply saw that my arm wasn’t regenerating and thought I was going to die.

“How touching, the relationship between a loyal servant and her master. Unfortunately I cannot let any invaders leave here alive.”

A different voice.

One that shook the very essence of my soul. His voice alone halted the orcs that were about to attack us. The orcs who should’ve been brain dead were retreating way from this voice.

I was scared.

This voice.

I slowly tilted my head up to the sky.

I knew who this voice belonged to from the previous attack alone.

A golden figure with a silver arm.

Large pare of white wings.

An awe-inspiring imagery as the rain too parted from his location. His mere presence made the place that was known solely for rain to cease.

Rays of light from the sun seamed through the heavy grey clouds and reflected off his golden armor.

[Nodens. Level 197. High God of the Heavens].

END REPORT

[Status Menu]

Morgant Fallon. Level 42

NECROMANCER

DEMON GENERAL

SUCCESSOR OF THE COSMIC LEGACY

Strength: 230 (155+75)

Dexterity: 60 (5+55)

Intelligence: 50 (5+45)

Insight: 100 (45+55)

[Status point: 25]

[Skill menu]

(AUGMENT) [Strike+]: Level 27

(ACTIVE) [Summon Skeleton Knight]: Level 22

(ACTIVE) [Transfer Life]: Level 43

(PASSIVE) [Life Force Sensory]: Level 50 (MAX)

(ACTIVE) [Avatar of Nyarlathotep]: Level 1

(ACTIVE) [Wither]: Level 29

(ACTIVE) [Decay]: Level 40

(AUGMENT) [Aura Field]: Level 24

(ACTIVE) [Soul Gambit]: Level 17

(PASSIVE) [Physical Damage Resistance]: Level 50 (MAX)

(ACTIVE) [Obsidian Lance]: Level 40

(ACTIVE) [Obsidian Shield]: Level 39

(ACTIVE) [Reanimate Dead]: Level 30

(AUGMENT) [Enchanting Voice]: Level 23

(PASSIVE) [Lord of Ghosts]: Level 15

(ACTIVE) [Phantasmal Maelstrom]: Level 20

(AUGMENT) [Transformation – Black Pharaoh]: Level 1

(PASSIVE) [Mental Fortress]: Level 50 (MAX)

Ascension Rebirth - Plan of attack (Chapter 29)
Ascension Rebirth - Legacies (Chapter 31)
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