Ascension Rebirth – Legacies (Chapter 31)

Ascension Rebirth – Legacies

CHAPTER XXXI

PART ONE

The dark clouds that loom in the sky began to part with his arrival; his mere presence alone parts the skies and what used to be the land of perpetual rain was now the land of sunlight.

He looked down at us as though we were only bugs waiting to be squashed.

Seams of sunlight reflecting off his golden armor to reveal a majestic existence; he is [Nodens] the [High God of the Heavens].

“Why?”

Why is he here?!

How is he here?!

What’s going on?!

I was starting lose my head over this, no, I already have at this point.

My body began shudder from his radiance; a being who can exert so much pressure that can even penetrate through my [Mental Fortress].

At this moment I felt real fear.

Even just glancing into his contesting gaze was impossible. My head automatically peered downwards, as though my body knew subconsciously that this was my natural place before the golden figure.

In this already screwed up scenario the worst possible enemy reveals itself.

Calm down me. Just calm down and think about this rationally. There’s always a rational answer to everything and if I can just figure out how he’s here then I might be able to find a way out of this mess alive.

Shit! There is no rational answer to this!

Did I really miss calculate? Was he able to gather all the necessary divine energy even without raising an empire?

No, that doesn’t make any sense. Otherwise there would have been no point raising various empires throughout the cycle. It’s true that the [Red knights] have been going out to collect the energy but the scale of their operations are simply too small.

If there really was a bigger operation to gather divine energy then there’s no way I wouldn’t have heard about it. From the looks of it they’ve only gone for fringe places. Besides, am I to believe that such a miniscule organization was able to complete the same amount of task that took an entire empire?

I’m not trying to underestimate the Red Knight’s reaches but even with the most optimistic estimates it simply can’t be done.

Then what? There’s got to be a different answer.

Could it be?

“The gateway between [Eternis] and [Akashia] never relied on [divine energy]?”

Nodens look down at me from his position. A smirk on his face.

“Impressive, it looks like there’s someone with real brains in Vertloch for a change.”

But why?

How?

Numerous unanswered questions went through my head.

If he never needed the energy then why did he promote an empire each time?

Couldn’t he have just used his own armies to take over the world permanently?

Does he even have an army?

Why does he even need the energy in the first place then?

Why does he even destroy the empires he uses after each 500 years?

Just. Why?

Think! There’s got to be something to ties these all together.

If he never needed divine energy then why bother gathering them up in the first place? In the first place, what is divine energy?

An element that forms naturally in this world and has numerous affects on living organisms. Thinking about it now it would make no sense for that kind of thing to even be used for making portals. It would be like using mud to power electrical products.

So then, there should be another reason why he needed to gather this energy. The energy won’t affect normal people as long as they are alive due to its purity, then it would be for someone else.

It’s a fact that he requires this element, meaning that it’s to be used against someone or something that’s more powerful than himself.

I look up at the majestic figure that’s floating in the air. His divine figure radiates as the rays of the golden sunlight hits and reflects off his already prestigious armor.

His eyes, his hair, his skin, his armor. They are all perfect. The one who was worthy enough to be given the title, [High God of the Heavens]. He’s perfect.

However there is one thing.

His one imperfection.

His silver arm, the source of his shame.

It’s a prosthetic arm created by [Dian Cecht].

In the original story he lost his arm in battle against a warrior named [Sreng].

No, Sreng was able to best him in combat but he was later defeated by Nodens in their second battle. If that was the case then there’s no point in trying to defeat him in such a roundabout way with divine energy. It has to be someone more significant than Sreng.

The Celtic pantheon may be an inspiration for this world but it is not the same; they are two different stories. It would be more apt to call this world simply a ‘rendition’ of the stories of the Celtic pantheon.

Thus there are times when things don’t exactly match up to my own knowledge from my previous life.

The biggest indicators were his name, [Nodens] when it should be [Nuada]. Then there’s the intertwining of old Norse mythology as well.

The old Norse influence in this world; [Ragnarok].

Then could it be? That the answer lies within Ragnarok? Certainly the Celts didn’t have any apocalyptic scenarios, not as far as I know. Nodens is running around trying to prevent Ragnarok when it doesn’t even correspond with his own pantheon.

I’m almost positive that the answer has to do with Ragnarok.

Then what could it be?

Everyone’s so wrapped up about Ragnarok being the end of the world, they don’t even realise what form it takes.

So then, what form does it take?

At the end of Ragnarok, there is mentions of a figure. A giant being made entirely of flames that would engulf the Earth.

Could it be?

The true form that of Ragnarok is-

“[Surtr]?”

There is a reaction. Nodens shrieks back a little. His eyes twitch and I can see him start to lose composure.

I sigh a breath of relief as the pressure around him alleviates. I could feel my strength and motivation to resist slowly returning to me.

I see, this is starting to come together.

“You! Where did you hear that name?!”

He asks me, no he demands of me to tell him. His presence is majestic, to the point where you wouldn’t be able to breathe in front of him unless he gave you permission.

However, now that he has even slightly lost his composure he is starting to appear more imperfect. I can take advantage of that crack in his façade.

By his reaction I can definitely tell that Surtr is the reason he needs to harness divine energy.

Surtr is an apocalyptic deity; more powerful than even the old Norse gods, so if it’s Surtr then it’s definitely reasonable to assume that Nodens wouldn’t be able to defeat him with conventional tactics.

Perhaps Surtr is a being that cannot be destroyed? So then if he uses divine energy he might be able to hold him back temporarily. Yes, this line of thought does answer some questions.

But there is one thing that’s bothering me, why does he destroy the empires he has built over the 500 years if he’s just going to build another empire to do the same task?

500… years?

Going back 500 years is the [Arune Empire].

Go back another 500, then there’s Ciocal’s, the [Fomorian Empire].

500 years before that was the [Muintir Parthalan].

Before them was the [Nemedian Empire].

Then the [Cessair Empire].

Was there another empire before that? Or was that as far as the rabbit hole goes?

2500 years… was there anything significant then?

No, then what about 3000 years?

Assuming that an empire existed 500 prior to the Cessair. In Celtic myths, there had only been so many groups that controlled Ireland. Perhaps Nodens’ own empire?

The [Tuatha de Danann]? Their king was Nuada, not Nodens, then again those two names are synonymous and is speculated to have the same origin.

Another name that comes up when talking about 3000 years ago is [Ivan Seron], my predecessor for [Gladsheim]. He was originally from Earth as I was so he must’ve known about the gods as much as, if not, more than me.

But there’s no proof that he was involved in this and it would be far too big of a leap of faith to assume that he was.

I take out the [Gladsheim drone] from my [inventory] once more.

“[Are there any links between Ivan Seron and Surtr]?”

I ask the drone.

“[The Surtr Program was invented by Dr. Ivan Seron as a measure for maintaining balance amongst the gods of this world].”

It answers me.

I return it to my inventory.

Of course, it’s all coming together now.

“Have you finished saying your prayers?”

Nodens asks me.

“I am grateful that you were so patient with me while I was sorting out my own thoughts.”

I bow towards him gracefully but with intents of condescension.

“Hmph, whatever, now tell me, where did you hear the name [Surtr]?”

I’ve complied all of the information and have come up with a reasonable scenario that should answer most of the lingering questions. Of course this is all just conjecture on my part so whether it’s true or not is up for debate.

However I’m going to start gambling on the assumption that it’s all fact.

In the end, Gods are just flawed people. Even he, who may seem to be the quintessence of perfection is not. If that’s truly the case then I can exploit it.

I go through my usual gestures of pulling up my nonexistent glasses but this time I wasn’t able to. My entire right arm was lost.

It reminds me that I’m betting everything on the line for this one gamble. It has to be perfect.

“Before that, Nodens, no Nuada. Allow me to tell you a story.”

PART TWO

3000 years ago, there was an ancient race of godlike beings. Everything from their appearance to power were perfect. With their combined might they ruled the entirety of the heavens and all of the lands below.

The [Tuatha de Danann].

The empire had conquered all the lands in Eternis and had cities in every corner of the world. There were no seas that were left unexplored and all other races lived under their rule.

Their armies were unstoppable.

Their cities unsurmountable.

It was an empire that had reached the pinnacle of perfection.

And at the helm of this powerful race was a single man.

This man was known as [Nuada]; their king.

This king was the epitome of perfection. His appearance, his skills, his power, his reign, everything he did he was perfect. Only such a man was worthy of being called the king of the Tuatha de Danann.

However perfection did not mean good or just.

He ruled both heaven and earth with an iron fist. He bent everyone to his whims and if they were to ever fall out of line they would be swiftly punished and met gracefully with death.

The other races suffered under the might of the king and his empire. They were only given the bare minimum of what’s needed in order to live. Every day was hard and gruelling work, all without any sort of end.

Countless people were killed or tempted by suicide from the inescapable torture that was life.

That is until a certain man had come to contest the authority of the king.

The king scoffed at the mortal man; he was only human. He had no powers, no muscles and no training. What could he do against the most powerful king of the most powerful empire?

But the man who had contested the king only smiled back.

“Your arrogance will be your downfall. There is always someone stronger.”

Blasphemy; the king took exception to that. Being told that there could be an entity that superseded his throne did not make him happy.

The king lashed out at the man.

The man simply shook his head and replied.

“Soon the era of Gods will end. If you continue in your arrogance you will lose everything.”

The man reached out his hands and showed to the king a small flame.

Seeing this the king had burst into laughter. A mere parlour trick was to bring the era of the gods to an end? This man was not blasphemous, merely crazy, thought the king.

However, soon the king realized that it was not a joke.

The small fire from the man’s hand grew and grew.

So large that it dwarfed the mountains and covered the skies with flame.

What the man brought was a being of unrivalled power.

The king instantly recognized his fear. He started to tremble at the sight of the enormous monster of flames. Had the man been right? Was there truly a being that really could overwhelm the might king?

No! The king thought irrationally. The king would not have such blasphemy.

The king rallied all his countrymen, he expended all his resources and power to fight off the monster.

The battle raged on from days to weeks to months.

No matter how hard the king tried, the monster of flames could not be defeated. It engulfed [Tara] the capital city of the [Tuatha de Danann].

It decimated the king’s unconquerable army in one fell swoop.

Cities that were monuments to King Nuada’s reign were lit ablaze, leaving nothing but piling dust and smoke.

The man then used the monster to take away the right hand of the king. He knew very well that the king prided himself of his own perfection. The man took away that very perfection.

The king became distraught and angered by the fact that he had lost his symbol of god hood: his perfection, but he was unable to harm the man because of the monster.

In the end there were only a handful of survivors after the empire had come to a collapse. They looked at their king with disdain and turned their backs on him who had lost his status, empire and his perfection.

At the king’s most darkest hour, the man had appeared once more.

“Do you realize the error of your ways? You have become far too corrupt and the people under your reign had suffered many injustices and atrocities. For that only retribution can await you.”

The man then gave the king an ultimatum.

“You have 500 years to correct your ways. Else you will suffer the same fate as the rest of your race and empire.”

With that the man disappeared.

After that, the king became exceedingly more paranoid as the lease on his life was counting down. The king knew he would be no match for the monster but he didn’t want to die.

The king looked back at the broken world he had created during his sovereignty. Just like him, many people were wronged and forced to suffer. It was then that the king, for the first time, saw the error he had caused on the world.

With new ire, he wanted to sincerely change.

He wanted to help the people who were still suffering the effects of his dictatorship. So he decided to help create a different empire. One in which would help relieve the people of their suffering.

An empire that would usher in an era of true peace.

To aid the king, two survivors from his empire came to him. The first was a mighty soldier of unrivalled strength. The second was a slender man wrapped in black cloth.

The man in black told the king that it was possible to restore the king’s lost right arm, but will never be as perfect as before.

The king understood.

He was given a silver prosthetic arm and with that he was restored to godhood, but in a different sense. With new vigour to oversee the lands peacefully, the king changed his name from [Nuada] to [Nodens].

With his single imperfection serving as a reminder he strived to recreate a gentler world.

He was successful.

Over the course of the next 500 years he had created the first empire that was not his own. This empire was known as the [Cessair] empire.

The king looked back once more at his efforts.

However this time a different feeling brewed from within him.

Anger.

Jealousy.

Hatred.

Where his glorious empire of the [Tuatha de Danann] should be, stood another.

The [Cessair] empire had usurped the lands that rightfully belonged to him. The king wanted nothing more than to destroy this empire that annexed his territory, but he knew that doing so the monster of flames will return and destroy him for good.

So the king had to think. What could he do to prevent that?

If he could not defeat the monster then he would simply need to put it to sleep for another 500 years.

[Divine Energy]. It was a natural energy that appeared from the land of [Eternis]. It was the energy that contained marvellous properties over life itself.

The king thought, if he could harness this energy then he could seal away the monster.

The king appeared to the emperor of the Cessair. He lied to the people that the end of the world, that Ragnarok was upon them and the only way to prevent it was to gather and harness the divine energy.

The people foolishly believed in the king’s lies and did as he commanded. When the monster of flames came back after 500 years, the king was ready. Using the pure energy he pushed back the monster and sealed it away in deep slumber for the next 500 years. For the first time the king had gained victory over what annihilated his empire.

The people who watched the king fight the monster rejoiced not knowing that the actual purpose was to kill the corrupt king.

The king now free from the threat of death unleashed his fury on the world once more. He destroyed the very empire he helped created, all for the sake of satisfying his own jealousy.

After the Cessair was laid to ruins the king breathed in the destruction of the imposter empire. He felt more alive than ever.

However there was another problem. The monster will awaken in another 500 years and will surely come back to finish the job.

With the divine energy at his disposal all depleted, he needed to gather them again. So he decided to create another empire continuing the cycle.

PART THREE

By the time I got to the end of the story, Nodens was visibly angered. He did not attack me outright, he still wanted to know why I knew all of this; his most desperately kept secret.

It seems that all of my conjectures have been on point.

Pure rage can be seen in his eyes, he wanted to kill me this instant.

Seeing that expression of frustration I could only smirk back at him, condescendingly for the second time.

So then why was I still smiling you ask?

That’s because after seeing his reaction from my story I realized deep down that I’ve already won.

Of course I don’t mean I’ve beaten him down physically, that would be impossible. However fighting was never my forte, my true skills lies with manipulation of information and to coerce the other party.

After all, what am I if not the modern manifestation of the devil known as a ‘businessman’?

In my previous life there had been many times when I had to face those that were greater than me. Numerous presidents and CEOs, high ranking chairmen, district managers, etc.

To survive in the ruthless world of business, you needed very precise and honed skills. It is necessary to never show your weakness towards others who many wish to take advantage of that.

Among them there are two very important skills that I think all humans should learn. In the corporate world where aggression and coercion are prized it is a necessary skill to climb the ladder and trample on those who fall beneath you.

The first skill is to display your own dominance above everyone else.

Regardless of your position you must assert your dominance on the other party. Though it may sound a little rude, it’s easy to assert your authority without seeming like you’re overstepping your boundaries.

In simpler terms, assert pressure and show the other party who is really in charge. Make sure they can never read your thoughts or movements and always exploit every vulnerability that you find.

By retelling Nodens’ own story I have displayed my own mastery of information. I showed him that I knew everything about him and that he still had no clue who or what I was. The fear of the unknown is a very powerful force and it is through that I can assert my dominance on those who are greater than me.

“You… just who are you?”

He asks in a low key tone.

He tries his very best to not appear as though he was angry. However that was useless against me who has become so adept at seeing through people’s facades.

Now then, onto the second and most powerful skill that I have mastered in order to be successful.

That is the art of ‘Bluffing’!

The key to bluffing is confidence. Really sell your own lie and make the opposition believe in that falsehood.

Right, this was how I was going to defeat him, not by beating him down but to bluff my way through this all.

“Ivan Seron. Do you remember than name, Nodens?”

He suddenly lands to the ground with a great impact. A large dust cloud was kicked up covering everything.

As the dust clouds set, I gazed upon his eyes. It was filled with malice and enmity towards the name.

This is good, it’s all going accordingly.

However before I answer him, a demonstration is required. This was the moment that I played my final trump card. I said I would only use it when pushed to the brink and this was it.

The second skill that I received from [Nyarlathotep].

[Avatar of Nyarlathotep].

I have never used it but from the description, it would fit perfectly.

I activated the skill for the first time and an extremely potent force was unleashed upon the area around us. The skies that had been cleared up from Nodens’ pressure was starting to become dark once more.

A malicious black miasma similar to the ones that appeared during my transformation started to arise from the ground and form into a large tornado in the sky.

The tornado then started to ball up into a singular point.

Like a black hole had just opened up, the winds kicked up at high speeds.

It grew larger and larger, enough to engulf the skies and block out the sun.

It started to take a solid form. To be honest it was disgusting, I wouldn’t be surprised if anyone who beheld it really did lose their minds. As expected of the Lovecraftian deities.

Countless tentacles started to form and assimilate around itself into a spherical figure. As though worms had been crawling and amassing onto themselves, the black tentacles reinforced one another.

It was truly an abhorrent sight. I wanted to vomit.

The dark and dreary winds around the amorphous mass of tentacles calmed down a little.

A single slit was at the front of the sphere.

It slowly started to open up.

As it did a violent dark wind surrounded everything.

The constant forming and dissipating of violent winds were disturbing and annoying, just perfect.

The ball of tentacles opened up to form a single eye.

With its blood red irises glaring down on Nodens and Dian Cecht.

The orcs in the surrounding area started to go berserk. They screamed in pain as they began to attack one another, even though they couldn’t finish each other off they continued to hack away and slice each other up. It was horrific scene, far worse than a battlefield.

“What madness is this? The orcs are killing each other! They won’t listen to the commands!”

Dian Cecht exclaimed as he looked around with a grave expression.

“Hear me Nodens!”

I shouted at him.

“I am the successor of Ivan Seron, and I have access to Surtr!”

It was then he gave into his anger and lunged towards me. With his silver arm he picked me up by the neck and flew high into the skies.

In an almost perfect position the [Avatar of Nyarlathotep] was behind me and the blood red eye stared directly at Nodens with vitriol.

My neck hurt.

It hurt a lot, but I had to endure it and only reply with a snarky grin which made him even more mad.

“Kill me if you must, but know this. That is the eye of Surtr, should you decide to end my life know that it will retaliate and attack you. I admit it is not nearly as powerful as the original but with the power at hand it is enough to wound you and put you out of commission!”

He froze in place as he listened.

I smiled back at him; involuntarily this time, this situation was simply way too amusing.

“You will not die from the attack but you will be unable to continue on your mission for the next few years, just enough time for the real Surtr to awaken. When that time comes you will die.”

I could feel his grasp on my neck getting weaker and his hands trembling.

This was all just a bluff, but he was buying into it.

Excellent, then just a few more pushes.

They say mixing truth to lies makes it all the more believable but I have a different opinion. What makes lies and bluffs more believable is another essential human skill known as ‘taunting’.

Thinking rationally is what destroys lies. However if they lose their heads and start to think irrationally their minds become more susceptible to lies.

“HAHAHAHAHA! What’s wrong, O’ Cowardly King? Finish me!”

His grip hardened but not to the point where I would die.

“End everything! Along with the prospects of your empire! The Tuatha de Danann are long dead! Gracefully accept that fact and end everything! What’s wrong?! Why do you hesitate?!”

His lower lip bled as he bit down in frustration. Not being able to kill me from the possible repercussions but trying to qwell his anger.

“Hear me Nodens! I am Nyarlathotep! I am your infinite greater! Kill me and end the legacy of the Tuatha de Danann!”

Of course I wouldn’t tell him my real name, that would be too dumb. So I’ll use Nyarlathotep’s, he probably won’t mind.

Instead of crushing my neck he opted to throw me back down onto the land.

I crashed with great force and it hurt a lot, but my life was still saved.

He landed violent before me. His azure eyes full of rage.

I picked myself up. With my transformed physique I towered above him. I looked down on him.

“Hahahaha! The great king Nodens in such a pitiful state. It is no wonder your countrymen left you and [Ethniu] betrayed you. You are pathetic”

I scoffed at him and I was met with extreme acrimony.

“When the time comes, I will take your life with my own hands.”

He turned his back towards me and started to walk away.

Dian Cecht and Dagda rallied behind him. They both looked at me before turning their backs as well.

Then there was a new addition to their team, one I have not yet heard of.

A knight in silver armor with divided white and black hair.

[Creidhne. Level 187, Manifestation of Claiomh Solas].

He came from the direction of the castle.

I see, so he was the one who defeated the invasion team.

I stood there watching as they left.

I had done it.

I drove away a god with only words.

It was my win.

PART FOUR

I stood there for the next hour hoping that they would not return.

They didn’t.

After they left the rain had come back, restoring the natural order of this land.

Exhausting myself I returned back to my original form, but there was a single difference.

My right arm did not come back.

I touched my right shoulder and pain ran throughout my body making me fall to my knees.

I started to tremble as the reality of what I had just accomplished slowly started to set in my brain. Even for me this gamble was way too risky, but what choice did I have?

“Master…?”

Lilith flew over to my side. She started at my right shoulder before embracing me.

My trembling stopped with the warmth of her body. My heart rate returned to normal.

The giant amorphous eye of tentacles started to disappear as well. All of the orcs had been killed or at least incapacitated.

I slowly walked through the rain and came across three figures lying on the floor.

The first was armor in pieces, Cedric.

The second was a large orc who was heavily injured. Raak. I crouched down and checked for a pulse. Thankfully it was still there, he was alive, but not for long if he doesn’t receive treatment.

I eyed Lilith to heal him and she nodded.

The final figure was Albion’s. He was sitting upright and leaning on his sword. He was also injured but not to the point where his life would be at risk.

He looked up at me and gave a sigh of relief.

I walked towards the broken armor fragments.

“Cedric?”

I called out.

“Uugh~ M, Morgant?”

I heard his voice. It came from one of his greaves. I picked it up and searched.

Inside was a small red ball. Not knowing what it was I gently took it out.

“So it’s finally all over?”

It started to talk and in sheer surprise I dropped it.

“Ouch, why did you do that?”

“C, Cedric? Is that you?”

“Yeah, this is my ‘core’. The other parts of my body, the slimes are not too important but this is so please treat me with care.”

“Sorry.”

I hurried to pick it up.

It was a little slimy but it wasn’t really a bad feeling to touch it.

Unfortunately biology wasn’t my forte so the thought that he even had a nucleus didn’t come to me.

We rested a while and got back up. Raak didn’t look too good but it would have to do. He looked around to see his former soldiers lying in pieces and averted his gaze in a pained manner.

He figured out what was going on quickly. He didn’t like it but he had no choice but to accept it.

The five of us decided to go to the main castle for now and regroup with the invasion team.

We arrived at the throne room and found Medusa and Leanan Sidhe leaned against the floor and Arachna trying to apply healing on them.

Lilith quickly flew over to help.

With their combined efforts Medusa and Leanan Sidhe’s conditions were brought to a stable condition.

“Your arm.”

The first thing she pointed out was my missing arm.

I could only smile back wryly and answer.

“It was a small price to pay for this solemn victory.”

After resting up a bit more Medusa and Leanan Sidhe woke up.

“Uugh~ my head.’

Medusa said, rubbing her snake like hair.

“What happened?”

Leanan Sidhe asked.

“It looks like we won. Sort of.”

Arachna answered.

“How?”

Arachna shook her head and turned to me for answers.

However I was starting to lose consciousness myself and fell to the floor.

“Master?!”

Lilith shouted as she rushed over to me.

The cause of my exhaustion was the giant eye in the sky. Keeping it summoned for so long was taking a large tole on my body.

“We have to hurry and destroy the crystal.”

I told them as I lost consciousness.

PART FIVE

A great expanse of void was before me. It wasn’t the same white void that I was usually brought to during these kinds of moments.

There wasn’t that detestable man here either.

Instead familiar words appeared before me.

[System patch… 15%]

[System patch… 45%]

[System patch… 85%]

[System patch… complete]

[Custom Editor updated]

This was like the time when [Life Drain] evolved into a different skill, but I don’t remember doing anything to get another skill evolution.

[Custom Editor Ver. 2 initializing…]

[Initialization complete]

[Please select secondary class]

Secondary class?

[Magician]

[Knight]

[Archer]

[Cleric]

[Assassin]

[Brawler]

[Alchemy]

I took out the Gladsheim drone once more. I was actually surprised I could even do that.

“[What’s this]?”

I asked.

“[You are given a secondary class to choose from]?”

Yes, I can see that.

“[Why]?”

“[Most likely due to a large explosion of a power node nearby].”

“[The Yellow Crystal]?”

“[Correct. The large quantities of divine energy is seeping back into the land in its natural and harmless form, but it seems that your body has absorbed some of that and as a result has prompted a system update for the custom editor].”

“[So every time I destroy those yellow crystals I get a power up]?”

“[Incorrect. This is only a onetime thing].”

I see, that’s a shame.

So then what should I choose for a secondary class?

I didn’t even know it was a possibility so I didn’t give it much thought.

“[Can I hold onto this and make my decision at a later date]?”

“[Yes. Would you like to save this decision]?”

“[Please do].”

After I said those words I lose consciousness once more.

PART SIX

When I opened my eyes I found myself lying on a comfortable bed. The numerous cuts and bruises along with all of the associated pain had all mysteriously disappeared. Still, my body was pretty stiff, as though it hadn’t been moved for an entire month.

I scanned the room and quickly determined that I wasn’t captured or in enemy territory but I was back at the Sanctuary. I don’t know when we returned but I do remember passing out after our mission so it was probably then.

I let out a sigh of relief.

Ah, so everything’s finally over. Or not, everything’s only just begun. Things will only progress in an uphill direction.

I had vastly underestimated the enemy forces, the demon army is nowhere near as powerful to face them. I had thought that things would go smoothly but it seems that [Ascension] might really be the only way to face this situation.

When I thought about it like that I felt a shiver go down my spine. The world is balanced on a very thin line and there are people who want to destroy that balance. If that wasn’t enough the only people equipped to deal with the problem, ‘the demon army’, is far too weak.

I say that the demon army is the only one able to thwart Nodens’ plans because of the average level. Other races are far too weak, it’s no wonder they were enslaved during Nodens’ reign.

“Mm~ master~”

I noticed a familiar voice coming from my right.

At the edge of the bed was Lilith who was sleeping in an uncomfortable position. She must’ve been staying with me the entire time while nursing me back to health when I was unconscious.

I was overcome by a compulsion to stroke her hair but I couldn’t.

My body froze.

I remembered that my right arm was gone.

I could still feel the sensation on my right hand. Is this what they call ‘phantom limb syndrome’?

Shit.

It was painful. Looking at my nonexistent right side I was reminded that I was balancing on an incredibly dangerous tightrope. One mistake could’ve costed my life and everything would’ve been over.

“Hah… haha… hahaha.”

How ironic. This must’ve been what Nodens felt when he lost his own right arm. To face a foe many times your greater. His desperation, his frustration and his desires all piling on to well up within him.

I felt sick but at the same time I felt scared. My body started to tremble and I rolled myself into a foetal position.

Dammit. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be.

Everything was a failure. My plans were thrown out the window as soon as we started that mission. The enemy was stronger than anticipated, the final boss appeared and I was given a disability.

Just how am I supposed to fight against such monsters?

“Master?”

Lilith woke up from my excessive movements on the bed. She had an incredibly worried expression as she looked at me with those sad red eyes.

Hah, to make my own subordinate worry so much. I guess I’m just not cut out for this.

“Are you okay master?”

I calmed myself down and answered.

“I’m fine.”

“But-”

Knock, knock.

Before she could finish her sentence there was someone at the door.

“Come in.”

I instructed.

It was Deborah.

“It appears that you have fully recovered, that is relieving.”

She told me. I couldn’t tell if that was simply formalities or not, the dark lighting and her blank expressions do well to hide her true intentions.

“Did you need something?”

“Ah yes, sorry for interrupting but Lord Astaroth requires your presence.”

“I see, I understand. I’ll be there once I get ready.”

She gave me a nod and bowed as she left.

PART SEVEN

Guided by Deborah and Lilith I come up to the topmost floor of the Sanctuary and stand before a large double sided, iron door. Beyond me lies the demon lord’s chamber.

The door felt much bigger than I remembered.

I grasp at my missing right arm once more.

My missing right arm.

It bothers me.

It really bothers me.

It makes me feel as though I have lost something very important, but more that that it scares me because it reminds me of my own mortality.

It reminds me of what I am.

I am a mere human dancing alongside gods and demons. Do I truly even have a place among them? Is this even a fight that I should be involved with?

I know that I have long past the point of no return, but truthfully I’m scared.

What am I really? I’m just a normal salary man, maybe a bit more dishonest than the average person but in the end I’m just one man. Yet here I am, boldly proclaiming to fight against age old gods.

I’m not even fighting for the sake of morality or what’s just; I’m simply doing this because I feel that if I stopped now everything will come to an end. I realize that this is just my shallow thinking but it lurks deep in the recesses of my mind always peering its ugly head.

It minds me.

That I do not even trust the strength of the very people I have allied myself with.

That I can only listen to my own authority to do this right.

Deep down I was taking all of this too lightly. That this was all just a fantasy game to me and I was playing the role of the hero.

Rescue the princess, defeat the evil overlord, become the champion of justice.

Just a clean story you can find in any fairy tale book. I thought I would be that hero, that everything would end up with a ‘happily ever after’.

That because I knew basic mythology I deluded myself into thinking that I knew all of the pieces on the chessboard.

I was wrong. This wasn’t a game, this was reality and these are people’s lives I’ve been gambling with. The other demon generals have trusted me implicitly for everything to go right but all I managed to do was get them into more danger.

These juvenile thoughts never left my mind since day one of this life and because I haven’t taken this seriously I’ve paid the price.

My own arrogance was the reason we were almost all killed; petrified that I was the one that would cause everything to fail in the end.

I fooled myself into believing that other people needed me. That because I was amongst people that were younger than me, even my own parents, I’ve always thought I was more wise and mature. Yet here I am standing before people who have gained true wisdom that comes from age.

Because of my fear I’m starting to grasp at my own egotism; that I’ve been putting myself on a pedestal.

I’m realizing for the first time that I may just be useless. I’m frightened that I may just become a burden for everyone else and in the end that’s what causes everything to come spiralling down out of control.

“Hah.”

I wryly mocked myself.

“This wasn’t how it was supposed to be.”

I took out the crest that Astaroth gave to me when we first met.

[The crest of the demon lord].

I never truly deserved this. I just thought it was cool to swing this around and act like I was top shit. I don’t deserve it. But-

That’s irrelevant now.

I’ve crossed the point of no return so whatever thoughts I’ve had in the past will simply have to become my lesson for the future. These powers, these gifts, the people I’ve met and the help they’ve given me, I never deserved them but right now I have to pretend that I did.

It is my way of taking responsibility. Everyone has placed their trust in me, so in return I will try to the best of my ability to see to it that I live up to their expectations with whatever means possible.

If it means I have to walk the ambiguous line between justice and evil to get what I want then I will cross it if necessary.

Because in the end, that’s who I am.

I was never a good person.

I will lie, trick, deceive, fool and coerce people into doing my will. I will finish what I have started.

My trembling stops.

I’ve calmed myself down and I can finally take the next big step in my life. Nodens wants to kill me and recreate the world as he sees fit, but I won’t let him. Not because of morality or justice, but because I’m selfish and I don’t wish to see a world controlled by Nodens.

In the 8 years I’ve been here, I’ve come to enjoy the subtleties of daily life.

I like this world and I will defend it with the fervor of a corporate man.

END REPORT

[Status Menu]

Morgant Fallon. Level 56

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: 95]

[Skill menu]

(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)

Ascension Rebirth - Hopelessness (Chapter 30)
Ascension Rebirth - Facts and emotions (Chapter 32)
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