Ascension Rebirth – The hero’s journey (PART 1)
-500 Years ago-
The [Holy Empire of Arune]. Located on the southern continent of [Arune]. Ruled by the family of [Arune].
-MORGANT FALLON’S SIDE/Present day-
“Wait, stop. That’s how you’re going to start? Really?”
“Am I not allowed? I thought it would add more dramatic impact.”
Standing in front of me was a very excited ghost. I think she was trying to be funny but it was dumb.
Sitting next to me and keenly listening to the story was Miko.
Ah, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me just summarise the event of the last few hours.
After I met Lorelei at the abandoned mansion for the first time, I figured it wasn’t the best time to talk since the children were there and they were getting pretty spooked. I told her I’d come back later and left with the children.
On the way back they remained totally silent.
I decided to sneak out at night, because I was a genius and thought that there was absolutely nothing wrong with meeting up with a ghost at night. Especially when we have a blood dyed moon looming over our head every single night.
Not scary at all!
Anyway I was curious. A 500 year old relic! How could I not be?
Besides, if she really did live for that long she must’ve known more about the [Red Knights] than I did. Asking her that was my true intentions.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
Right as I was about to sneak out of the orphanage I was stopped at the front door by a certain violent Miko.
She glared at me with an intense focus. At any moment now I thought she would start beating me up with her staff, just like the other night.
“I, I’m not going anywhere. Ahaha… ha.”
“Weren’t you supposed to be done with all that stuff?! Where are you going now?!”
She’s really mad. Not that I can’t understand her worries.
I felt so small; I didn’t know how to reply.
“I’m not going to anywhere dangerous. Probably.”
“Miko, you’re being too loud. You’ll wake up the others so let’s take the volume down a bit, shall we?”
“Don’t tell me what to do, you little brat!”
Scratching my head I didn’t know what to do.
“Okay, okay. You can come too. I’m going to the abandoned house at the edge of town.”
“Abandoned house? Why?”
“There’s someone I want to meet there. I’m not entirely sure you’ll be able to meet her as well though.”
“You’ll see when we get there, or not.”
“Eh? ‘Magician Hero’? from 500 years ago?”
Upon arrival to the abandoned house, Miko was introduced to Lorelei.
It came as a surprise to know that she was actually able to see Lorelei at all. It may have something to do with the fact that she was of the [Shaman] class. If I’m remembering my RPG correctly then [shamans] specialize in spiritual or paranormal magic, which would explain this.
Well at least that makes this situation easier to explain.
Miko then gave me an intense stare. She probably wanted me to explain when I had the time to sneak out of the orphanage.
Please don’t look at me with those eyes. It was Alice’s idea! I’m innocent!
And that’s how we got to this situation.
“So can I continue on with my story?”
-500 Years ago- [Soumee: age 9]
Hailed as one of the greatest and most powerful empires throughout the history of [Eternis], the Arune empire had dominated the entirety of the southern continent [Arune]. It’s influences also stretched over and covered half of the center continent of [Ariadyne].
This particular empire while great also had a lot of flaws. One such flaw was that it tended to place humanity at the helm of everything. Right, this nation was one that raised the flag of human supremacy over all other races.
For this reason it did not have too great of a relationship between other races and often engaged in skirmish with them. Most of the time ending in bloodbath and in the empire’s win.
The crux of the empire was the [Arune] family who had overseen its government for many generations. One of the last head of the family was an extremely charismatic figure. The man known as [Emperor Eldwin Arune XIV] had single handily ruled the vast empire for over 30 years, succeeding from the age of 18.
The capital city: [Arune Giga Fortress] was as the name implied an extremely massive fortress. Walls made of steel reaching 30 meters into the sky had surrounded the fortress. Its sheer size made the current Ariadyne Tetrarch’s castle look like a small house by comparison.
Every 10 meters along the wall had a watch tower with readily available troops and the empire’s strongest archers on constant look out. Any and all attempts at conquering or capturing the capital city was made impossible.
Located in the middle of a desert this city was surrounded by both the defense from the land and the walls. Most of the southern continent was a desert so it would wear down any invading forces just to reach the capital.
From there it was easy to deflect any tired intruders from the fortress.
Several nations have tried, and all those nations had been defeated and absorbed into the Arune Empire.
At the center of the city was a large plateau with the actual capitol building at the top.
Within it a large throne chamber with decorative red flags across the walls, and at the end a large stone throne for the emperor.
Sitting on a large stone throne the emperor had been listening to his retainers talk for hours on end.
This talk had been going on for hours, and the emperor did not have any inclination of listening any further.
Of course he understood the importance of the reports given to him by his retainers, else he would not have been able to successfully lead the nation as he was now.
Yet at the same time because he knew what he was doing he also thought that it was unnecessary to listen to this right now.
“Enough. I will read them myself later on.”
At once all of his retainers had ceased any talk. Silence had suddenly filled the room, as evident by the small, high pitched pinging noise.
The emperor did not raise his voice nor show any violent movements. He only rubbed his eyes as he was growing tired of all the tedious talking.
The emperor wasn’t an unfair man, he would not sentence people to death for boring him like some of the kings that he had conquered did. Everyone understood that, yet still feared his greatness.
At that moment a certain black haired knight had entered into the room. Adorned with heavy, plated metal armour, and a large great sword slung on behind his back, he had a rugged face, grown weary from battle and killing.
“Your grace, I have returned.”
“Oh, Lugh. Since you’ve returned I take it everything had proceeded without a hitch?”
“Of course, your grace. The enemy now lie dead as their bodies feed the soil.”
For the past several months, a small sect of the empire had been planning to stage a coup d’état in order to overthrow the current emperor and restart the empire anew in their liking. However this plan had quickly gotten to the emperor’s ears, thus he had sent his most talented and powerful knight to deal with this situation.
He had single handily defeated hundreds of enemy knights and put an end to any potential uprising.
The name of this knight was [Lugh].
“Excellent, you have never failed me. I am grateful.”
“It is an honor, your grace.”
“Then you are all dismissed.”
After spending hours listening to other people talk the emperor simply had enough. He decided to retire to his chambers for the night and continue his work in the morning.
However it was at that night when the bright blue moon was at its apex that a certain voice had called out to him. This voice was not one that the emperor knew but it was one that he had realized.
It was the voice of his god. The god that ruled the [Holy Empire of Arune].
“Your daughter shall be my sword to slay the demon lord. Raise her not as an Empress but a hero.”
At once the emperor’s face had turned pale.
Though he was honoured to have been spoken to by their god, this command he had been instructed was hard choice. To the emperor, Soumee was his only remaining family.
Up until now she had only lived as a palace princess; unsure of what the outside world would have to offer. He wanted to keep it that way for many more years until she was ready.
“I, I shall do as you say, my lord.”
Reluctantly the emperor had to answer to his god. For it was this god that had given the Arune empire its success. In the end the emperor had to make the choice between his family and his nation.
The next day the emperor had woken up early with a weary face.
He still had a lot of things on his mind, from the work that needed to be done to run the country, to organizing the empire’s forces and lastly the decision to turn his daughter into a hero.
Looking to his side he noticed a small bulge under his blanket.
Upon lifting up the blanket he found his daughter, aged no more than 11, sleeping while clinging onto him. She seemed to have sneaked in sometime during the night to her father’s side.
He stroke through her brown black hair gently. She twitched a little but didn’t show signs of rejection.
This right here was the entirety of the emperor’s world. All condensed into a small and frail child, to think he would have to send her off on some life threatening journey was not a thought he took lightly.
“Mmm~? F, Father?”
Rubbing her gentle crimson eyes she looked at her father, still tired from just having woken up.
She gave him warm smile as she hugged him with her entire body.
“Did you have a nice sleep?”
The emperor asked his daughter.
“Yes. It was very comfortable.”
His daughter answered brightly.
They stared into one each other’s eyes for a few moments before the emperor broke the silence.
The words he were about to speak did not come lightly for him. He was still hesitating.
Noticing that her father was having trouble forming words, Soumee asked.
“Is there something you wish to say father? If there is anything I can do I am always willing to.”
The emperor once again stroke her hair.
“I’m sorry Soumee. The words do not come easily.”
“It’s okay father, please take your time. I will be waiting as long as you need me to.”
Once more there was a brief moment of silence between them.
“It is a divine revelation that had received during the night.”
“Yes, our empire’s god had appeared during the night to give me an order.”
Looking at his daughter with expectant eyes the emperor once again closed off his mouth. He slowly bit the lower of his lips.
Soumee cutely tilted her head to one side with a quizzical expression.
“Listen carefully Soumee, what I am about to tell you is of utmost importance.”
Soumee’s cute, bright eyes turned serious upon hearing her father’s tone.
“Yes, of course, what is it father?”
“From this day forward, you, Soumee Arune are to become a hero. A hero that will become the sword of god and slay the evil demon lord.”
There wasn’t any particular response from Soumee, she only lowered her head a little in contemplation. She seemed to have understood the weight of the revelation of her father but was confused as to why she was the one that needed to be the hero.
However, it was the words of her father, the one she trusted the most in the world.
Without question, Soumee simply nodded.
“I understand father. If that is what you truly want then I will become a hero. The sword of god.”
The emperor averted his gaze a little. There was no way that’s what he had truly wished for, however it was the command of his god.
With that the emperor steeled his heart so that he could send his beloved daughter to the uncharted northern continents in hope to one day defeat the demon lord.
-MORGANT FALLON’S SIDE/Present day-
“Wait, what do you mean ‘uncharted northern continent’?”
Lorelei puffed up her cheeks and gave me a discontent look as I rudely interrupted her story.
Well, I agree it was a little rude of me but I was curious.
“Up until 500 years ago, the demon race lived apart from every other race. They had secluded themselves within the northern continent. Official records say that they stopped with that closed door policy after the [Great War] 500 years ago.”
Miko had calmly answered my question.
[Great War]. I had heard it before when I was doing background research into this world’s history.
Something doesn’t add up though.
“I thought the heroes were supposed to be on a journey to find a missing god.”
“Ah, that. I think some of the people in power changed that since it would be a large scale scandal if the real reason was to kill the demon lord. You know how the demon lord isn’t that bad. So they just ret conned the entire thing and made it so we were on a different journey.”
Eh? I know history is written by the victors but isn’t that a little extreme. It’s like if I covered up the entire reason for the start of WWII.
I suppose I should consider myself lucky since I was getting the unedited version from a primary source; Lorelei. Still, it’s not like I’ve completely come to trust her, let’s be real, she’s a dead person. I should at least take some of what she says with a grain of salt.
“Also how did you know about the parts you weren’t there for?”
“Of course I would know! I know everything!”
“Is that so?”
I was a little distracted with her sudden presence before but now I can see that she’s totally full of herself. Luckily I was introduced to her true colors pretty soon.
“Are you done interrupting my story?”
“Yes, sorry, please do go on.”
-500 Years ago- [Soumee: age 11]
Receiving the orders from his god, the emperor had Soumee cast away her last name and to live on as simply [Soumee]. This was a standard practice for all the women serving under the nation’s religion.
Seen as the greatest honor, Soumee was to now wholeheartedly serve under the god as his sword.
At the end of the ceremony to rid her of her family name, it was now time for the emperor to let his daughter go.
“Soumee, from tomorrow you shall be sent to live on the frontier villages. This is to help you acclimate and learn more about the world outside the capital.”
“Yes, of course. I understand father. It will be a little lonely but I will do my best.”
The emperor patted his daughter for the last time.
“That’s a good girl. Go make me proud.”
Hailed as the strongest knight in the entire empire, was [Lugh]. He, himself were only at the age of 18, yet he had the emperor’s complete trust, enough to leave her safety with him. The one who would oversee Soumee’s training into a powerful hero, so that one day she would fulfil her destiny.
Along with one of the empire’s most trusted and talented knights as a teacher, Soumee was sent to live in a small border town on the southern continent. Of course at first she had kept her identity a secret in order to avoid any sort of complications.
The Arune empire did have a lot of enemies in the end, thus it would be a problem if Soumee were to be discovered as the emperor’s daughter.
Changing lifestyles wasn’t very easy for Soumee. As a palace child she had grown up to expect a certain amount of convenience in her life. Once that had been gone she had difficulty adjusting.
“You must be the new kid.”
“Yes, it’s a pleasure to meet you. My name is Soumee and this is my teacher, Lugh.”
“I see. You may call me as [Master Lorelei]!”
Even in the middle of nowhere, there was a small child, no younger than her, that would become her closest friend.
That friend was an extremely beautiful, cute, most powerful, daring, charismatic, talented and well liked person in the entire village. Her name was [Lorelei the Grand Magus]!
Even though she had only been 11 at that time she had reached the pinnacle of magic! With a bit more training it wouldn’t be wrong to say she could take over the entire world!
-MORGANT FALLON’S SIDE/Present day-
“Also, aren’t you going too overboard with your own description?”
Singing her own praise was Lorelei who started to drool in the middle of the story. Quickly realizing that she wiped her mouth to resume her dignified pose, but it was too late. The damage had already been done.
“I thought I was being modest.”
That’s what you call modesty?!
“Sigh, yeah, alright whatever. Go on.”
-500 Years ago- [Soumee: age 12]
The small town that Soumee and Lugh were sent to was located on the frontier just before the sea splitting Arune and Ariadyne; the town of [Fairshore].
Suffice it to say, it was a port town and its main produce was fish and grown products.
Even the village elder had been a fisherman in his younger days.
Despite the living in a place where its entirety smelled of fish, Soumee had found it fascinating. For her, it was the first time that she had been able to leave the Giga Fortress Capital.
“Look! Look Lugh! There are so many boats!”
Walking alongside the harbor where the wooden boats had lined up ready to be used when necessary, Soumee was seen enjoying herself.
While Lugh was a little less enjoying the fishy smell he did genuinely like to see Soumee smiling brightly. Not that she hadn’t done so before within the fortress, but it would mostly be forced as a way to show courtesy, for the first time, Lugh had seen a genuine smile on the small child’s face.
He, himself could not stop himself from showing a grin.
“Hey! New kid!”
It was Lorelei who called out to her.
“Miss Lorelei! It’s a pleasure to see you so soon.”
Soumee ran up to her with glee in her eyes. Lorelei was her first ever friend that she ever had.
“Yeah, of course it is! I’m amazing after all! It should come as a pleasure.”
A little self-centered but by no means was Lorelei a malicious child.
“So what did you come here for, Miss Lorelei?”
“Just call me Lorelei.”
“Understood. Then, what did you come here for, Lorelei?”
“That’s right! I came here to show you a new magic spell I learnt the other day!”
“You said you were a [Grand Magus] before, right?”
“That’s right! Now watch this!”
The spell that Lorelei had shown to her was a variant of [Ice Bullet]. It was however, much larger and had a unique shape. Normally an [ice bullet] would simply be a sharp log of ice but this one was cylindrical with a round tip. However the most interesting point of this was that the tip was hollowed out.
“It’s my special variant of the [ice bullet]. Check this out.”
Lorelei pointed her staff towards a large boulder and shot the [ice bullet]. A competent magic would easily make the [ice bullet] pierce through the large boulder.
However this was not exactly what had happened.
The [ice bullet] that Lorelei had shot exploded on impact, creating a bluish smoke; completely shattering the boulder into tiny fragments.
Even Lugh who was hailed as one of the strongest was surprised and impressed by the level of magic damage caused by such a basic spell.
Even for experienced magicians this level of skill would take decades to get to but the fact that a girl no older than 11 could do this was all the more impressive.
“Whoa! That’s amazing, Lorelei!”
“Hehe! I know right! I call this the [hollow point: ice bullet]!”
Since then Lorelei had come over every day to display many of her own variations on the basic and intermediate level spells. Most of them being [ice] magic since that was her specialty.
-500 Years ago- [Soumee: age 13]
It had been a year since Soumee had started training under Lugh in the way of the sword. Compared to an average girl her learning curve was extremely steep.
She had been able to sponge in everything that she had been taught and even had created variations on the sword techniques in ways that even surprised Lugh.
Calling her a ‘genius’ with the sword would be an insult. This level of skill was one what could only appear once every few hundred years.
Lugh understood then why she was chosen as the [sword of god].
Her training and rate of growth only improved as she constantly compared herself with Lorelei.
With Lorelei studying and improving herself on the magic side, Soumee had trained and improved herself on the physical side.
Often times the two would duel to see which one was stronger. It would mostly end in a draw and Lugh had to always step in to prevent it from getting any further out of hand.
From the two Lugh could feel an incredible amount of skill and respect for each other.
“This time I’ll win, Soumee!”
“Please come with all you have, Lorelei!”
Like always, Soumee and Lorelei were having a mock duel in the backyard of Soumee’s house.
It was a spacial enough to be used for training and duels.
Lorelei started off with her trade mark [hollow point: ice bullet].
Soumee braced herself with a [paladin] technique that temporarily shielded her from magic damage.
However the attack never came.
Soumee looked around and saw that her feet had been frozen to the ground.
“Haha! Don’t think I’ll always do the same thing!”
Unable to move, Soumee was at a loss on what to do. Since paladins were known for their defensive capabilities it was possible for Soumee to tank a few hits but any more would be dangerous.
Lorelei summoned three of her trade mark [ice bullets] and fired at her. With each successive blow more and more dust and smoke rising up.
Lorelei had used a little bit too much power that she even blinded herself with the smoke.
As the dust cleared Lorelei was shocked to see what had happened. Soumee was standing in the middle of the field but was unharmed.
Orbiting around her were small, glowing, white shields.
“What’s that! That’s cheating!”
Lorelei screamed, unfair that her attacks had all been blocked.
Lorelei had known that she would be at a disadvantage when fighting against a paladin since their primary role was a defensive one and they excelled at anti-magic, however she was certain she could win since she had far more experience and training.
“I’ve been training every day, Lorelei. I’ve seen through your movements!”
The surrounding ice around Soumee started to thaw. This was not due to heat but the aforementioned [Anti-magical] capabilities of the paladin class.
Soumee then started to charge at Lorelei.
Lorelei was still a little panicked but knew what to do, she summoned a large wall of ice around her to give her some time to think about her next move.
However, the ice wall started cracking.
Outside, Soumee was physically punching it to pieces. Her anti-magic was so strong that she could destroy solid ice made from magic.
Once the ice was lying in pieces, Lorelei had no room to make any further moves.
“I, I surrender.”
“Hehe! It’s my win today!”
“Sigh, just when did you become so strong?”
Lorelei sighed but she still had a smile on her face. She was glad to have found a friend that she could fight on an equal level. The people in the village were simply fishermen and had practically zero combat experience.
Like this they spent their days. Some days Soumee would win. Some days Lorelei would come back with a brand new skill and win.
Lugh could only see that scene and give a content smile. Soumee was learning how to adapt to new situations and act appropriately and Lorelei was improving her magic that much more.
Most magicians don’t have many opportunities to fight against those with anti-magic properties. However since Lorelei had the chance almost every day she would find ways to overcome it.
To overcome the magician’s greatest weakness was almost balance breaking.
-500 Years ago- [Soumee: age 14]
Every few years there is a festival that happens in Fairshore. There is no real reason for the festival, it is simply a means to help keep morale up and to congratulate all of the townspeople for their hard work up till that point and to continue to do so.
It had been two years since Soumee and Lugh had come to live in this town. As such it was the first time that Soumee had participated in such an event like this.
There were festivals in the capital fortress but this time Soumee was able to partake in the setting up process as well.
Many of the townspeople were also in high spirits as they cheerfully moved around to set up for the festival.
For this day, the townspeople also branched out to hunting in the nearby forest for meat as well. Sometimes it was good to diversify their diet, especially during times like festivals.
Soumee had tried to hang streamers from one roof to another while Lorelei instructed her on the position from down below.
“Yeah, I think that’s good. Come down now, Soumee.”
After a few days of preparation the festival was set to go in the evening.
It was now time for all of the townspeople to relax and await for the festival to begin.
Soumee, Lugh and Lorelei were sitting out in the veranda overlooking the town. The fishing town that was rather dull in appearance, for only today was filled with color.
Streamers littered across all of the rooves and colored lights hanging about, created using magic.
Everyone had a smile on their face as they walked through town.
“I can’t wait!”
Soumee exclaimed out aloud. Ever since her arrival at the town, she had matured considerably.
Whereas before she would be childish and demanding, now she was much more mellow and understanding of other people. She had learned how to socialize and deal with many different people and had improved considerably her way with the sword.
Lugh could only wryly smile as he thought that someday she would graduate from him. Then she would have to leave the town in order to fulfil her destiny.
After all it was all planned by god.
Yet for some reason, Lugh did not like it. Though he was an adherent follower of the national religion in Arune, he did not take it too much to heart. He had always simply relied on himself and did what he thought was right.
Never did he do it for the sake of his ‘god’.
It was an odd feeling. In some ways he was helping his ‘god’ by training Soumee. Training her to become a soldier.
That was what was getting to him.
He had known Soumee since birth, up until now he had thought of her as a frail younger sister that he had to protect, however the situation was becoming a little different.
Instead of an object of protection now he was sharpening her skills, to become a blade. No doubt walking down this path would not be easy. There will be many hardships that will come her way from becoming a hero and soldier, he knew that best as he had to commit many an atrocity in the name of the Arune Empire.
Still, he understood that Soumee was prepared to make that decision.
That’s why he could only wryly smile while looking at the still young girl.
The night had fallen and to start off the festival, fireworks had gone off in the night sky. This was, of course, done by magic and since the only magic user in the town was Lorelei, she was the one in charge of fire off colored [fire bullets] to make such things work.
“Looks like Lorelei’s working hard.”
Lugh commented as he watched the fireworks from the veranda. It was just him and Soumee now.
“Yeah. I hope she doesn’t wear herself out doing that.”
“She’ll be fine. Out of all the mages I’ve seen she’s the most talented.”
There was a brief moment of silence between the two.
“Lugh. Will you come with me?”
“I’m unsure of myself, even if I was chosen by god, to defeat the demon lord all by myself, it is a little daunting.”
Hearing that, Lugh could only answer by giving her a hug.
“Of course. The order that the Emperor had given to me was to stay by your side, always.”
“… Thank you.”
-500 Years ago- [Soumee: age 15]
It has been three years since Soumee had started training under Lugh.
She had made considerable improvements to her swords play. Even in the capital, her level skill was way above the average soldier. It could be that she was now one of the strongest knights in the entire southern continent, with only 3 years worth of training.
However, it was only after the third year that some things had become apparent.
Soumee’s skill had started to stagnate a little. That wasn’t to say that she wasn’t strong, however her skills were not as improving as much as it once did.
At first it was a complete mystery on why this was the case, but soon Lugh realized.
It was precisely because she had been practicing the entire time.
No matter how much practice she gets as long as she doesn’t have actual combat experience it was impossible for her to grow much further.
As painful as it was, as a teacher it was time for Lugh to send her out onto the fields from some real combat.
The task that she had been given was to traverse a nearby mountain and survive for the next month. However, the nearby mountain was no ordinary one. It was well known for housing several different kinds of high level monsters.
This test was designed to allow Soumee to start thinking quickly on her feet and adapt to the environment. Real battles were nothing like mock ones, they were more edgy and vicious.
Mercy would not be shown to her and she had to accept that and survive.
Of course Lorelei also opted to tag along. Lorelei also wanted to improve her skills since she didn’t exactly have real combat experience either.
Because the two of them together would be quite a powerful combination, Lugh had to extend the timeline by two months.
During that time she had to fend off against the onslaught of monsters and survive in the wilderness.
“Are you ready?”
Lugh asked. He would not go with her. That would simply defeat the purpose of the entire test after all. Of course it had pained him to make this decision, but he simply thought it best to trust the skills that she had honed for the past three years.
“Yes, I feel like I can definitely do this.”
Lorelei replied joyfully next to her.
“Alright then, starting from now you are to go to that mountain and survive for the next two months. During that time you are forbidden from coming back to the town or asking anyone for help.”
“Yes. I understand.”
“Then I wish you good fortune.”
With that the two girls, who had become fine adult women this year, had set off to the dangerous mountains.
The type of monsters that resided within the mountains were Orcs, Ogres, Kobolds, Wyverns and Harpies.
They were all powerful enough to have reputations as [adventurer killers].
Especially the Wyverns and Harpies, they would pose a lot of problems for Soumee as she was only used to melee combat. She had no real way of attacking monsters that were airborne. She would have to find ways to deal with them.
Of course it was also possible to rely on Lorelei since she had a variety of ranged attacks using magic.
The first few days went by without any significant problems. All of the monsters were within Soumee and Lorelei’s expectations. They were strong but nothing that they couldn’t deal with.
Soumee would lead from the front and Lorelei would provide support from the back. This way both of the girls could maximize their efficiency in combat.
Even the flying monsters were taken out no problem.
However the problems started to occur from the second week.
Their food rations were not going to last them the full two months. That was obvious, they knew that from the beginning but it had ran out quicker than they had anticipated.
Opening the map the two girls looked to find where there could be a potential food source.
“This small lake seems like it would have a lot of animals. Maybe we could hunt them for food?”
Lorelei suggested while pointing at the map.
“Hmm, but to get to that place we’ll have to go through a wyvern’s den.
One or two wyverns were fine, that was a manageable amount, however going through an entire wyvern’s den was a different story. There could be tens of wyverns just waiting for them. If they were spotted it would spell instant death.
“Hmm, then how about this place, it looks like wild fruits and vegetable may grow.”
Lorelei pointed towards an area that had think vegetation.
“I suppose that would be the most sound decision considering out situation. I think after a few more weeks of training we may be strong enough to go through the wyvern’s den, but for now it would be best to go to the vegetation.”
Analysing the situation, the two had come to a decision.
They travelled a bit farther to get to the place and upon arrival it was more messy than what they had first assumed.
Wild plantation were growing in random directions, vines covered in thorns swinging around and the smell of putrid grass entered their nose.
“This is horrible.”
Their footsteps sank into the floor as they entered the area. Even walking was made hard due to this fact, if they were attacked now they would be at a disadvantage.
Of course, to their surprise they were attacked.
Not by monsters, but by the plants themselves.
The vines started to swing around violently trying to get a hold of them so it could strangle and bleed them to death.
Soumee and Lorelei had held their ground. Cutting and freezing everything that were attacking them.
The most effective magic would be [fire] type but that doesn’t mean [ice] type magic was ineffective.
Freezing the vines made it easier for Soumee to cut them down.
After what seemed like hours of defending, almost all of the vines in the area were gone.
“Maybe it would’ve easier to go through the wyvern’s den.”
Lorelei complained, but she didn’t actually believe that, there was no way they would be able to fend off from several tens of wyverns at the same time.
“I didn’t think plants would attack us. That’s unfair.”
After two months the duo that came out from the mountains were stronger individuals. They’re skills increased considerably and their way of analysing situations had all become much smarter.
Lugh had a satisfied smile on his face as he approved. Sending them off to the mountains was the correct decision after all.
-500 Years ago- [Soumee: age 17]
It had been two years since Soumee had become a full fledged adult.
Perhaps because of this, Lugh felt somewhat uncomfortable around her. Until now he had seen her as a sort of younger sister and student but now she was clearly a woman.
Her proportions were near perfect, her gaze was powerful, the way she carried herself was mature and the way she spoke was alluring.
Living in the same house as someone like this it was hard for Lugh to contain himself. After all, Lugh himself was also a rather young man. He would be turning 24 this year yet he had not been given much of a chance to experience romance.
He wasn’t complaining about such a thing, his calling was at the front lines after all, however the situation had changed drastically when his mission was now to serve at the side of a young woman.
Every time they met, his heart would start beating rapidly.
He had no idea what to do about this situation. It was obvious that he needed to keep his integrity and continue on with the task given to him by his emperor; to keep overseeing Soumee’s training.
However strange thoughts kept entering his head whenever they were practicing. The way she moved, the sweat dripping from her supple body, the way her silky, black hair swayed from side to side.
It was extremely tempting.
“Sorry, that’s it for today. I seem to be feeling a little unwell so I’ll just be going out a bit.”
“Lugh? Are you okay?”
Soumee crept up to him and placed her hands on his forehead to check his temperature, but before she could even do that Lugh had pushed her hand away.
Making up a random excuse Lugh had left the house in a hurry, while Soumee only looked back with a worried expression.
Lugh spent the better part of the day just wondering around the town, visiting each shop and looking at the fisherman work.
“Oh? If it isn’t Lugh, what are you doing just wondering about?”
The one who had come to greet him was Lorelei. Unlike Soumee, Lorelei didn’t have the same sort of temptations coming from her. Compared to Soumee, Lorelei wasn’t too bad either but he did not feel the same sort of attraction.
“Nothing. I’m just thinking about some things.”
“Oho~ let me guess, something about your love life?”
Lugh shrieked back at Lorelei’s words. Bull’s eye.
“How did you- no wait. That’s not it.”
“You can’t hide things from me. I have a very keen sense when it comes to these things.”
“You shouldn’t treat your elders in such a manner. What happened to your training? Why are you just wondering about yourself?”
“What are you trying to change the topic for? I came to buy something and spotted you looking all depressed.”
“Yeah, it was so obvious. So who is it? Well, even if I ask the answer is obvious.”
“I mean, there’s only really one person right?”
Lugh gave a small conceding sigh.
“I can’t anyway. She’s someone I have to look after, not an object of affection.”
“I don’t know why you’re so stuck on things like that.”
Lorelei did not know about Soumee’s relation to the emperor. It was kept secret after all.
“It’s adult business, nothing a kid like you needs to know about.”
“How rude! I’ve become an adult 2 years ago!”
“You don’t have to sound so sarcastic! Well, anyway I don’t think you should worry too much about this, since I think Soumee likes you too. In a romantic kind of way.”
“Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed? Whoa you’re so dense.”
“I, no. what?”
Just before the conversation could continue any further, Soumee came running towards them.
“There you are! I was looking for you, Lugh. You just disappeared.”
“Oh, I guess that’s my cue to disappear. Then toodles~”
With a malicious grin, Lorelei crept away to give the two some room.
“What was that about?”
Soumee tilted her head at Lorelei’s strange behaviour.
“It’s nothing. Did you need something?”
“No, but you just sort of disappeared, so I was wondering if something was wrong?”
“No. it’s fine now.”
Soumee remained silent. She slightly bit her lower lips.
Lugh looked up at her.
“Why do you always hide things from me? You never tell me what you’re thinking. It’s a little frustrating sometimes.”
Soumee started to speak. She was clearly trembling as she did.
Small drops of tears ran down her face.
“It’s not like you need to apologize, I just wanted you to open up to me a little more. Is that so much to ask for?”
Lugh did not answer but returned with a hug.
Soumee was surprised, but soon accepted it and hugged him back.
“Sorry. Truthfully it’s been hard for me too. To keep my feelings a secret for so long.”
“I, I love. I love you! I don’t know from when, but for a while now I’ve felt like this! Every time I see you I get confused, but I had to continue on with my duty so it was hard, sorry to tell it to you like this.”
The corner of Soumee’s mouth rose up as she gave him a soft smile.
“I see, it must’ve been hard, but don’t worry, it’s over now. I love you too, Lugh.”
The two shared a single kiss as the sky was dyed orange.
Their love towards each other had been reciprocated.
-500 Years ago- [Soumee: age 18]
“Are you sure about this?”
“Yes, I want this.”
“Once it happens you won’t be able to train much anymore.”
“I know. I’ll train doubly hard after it’s over. So please, help me bear your child.”
“How could I refuse?”
-500 Years ago- [Soumee: age 19]
“Whoa! She’s so cute!”
Soumee laid upon her bed, just having given birth to a baby girl. The result of her and Lugh’s love for one another had taken shape.
The baby had inherited Soumee’s black hair and crimson eyes.
After crying a whole bunch the baby had fallen asleep in Soumee’s arms.
“So? Did you guys decide on a name?”
“Hmm~ not yet.”
Lugh answered truthfully.
“Why don’t you decide for us? As our friend Lorelei.”
Soumee asked with a smile.
“Eh? Are you sure you want to give me such an important task?”
“Why not? Amongst the three of us you seemed to be the most excited after all.”
Giving her a strange stare Lugh scoffed at her.
“Uu~ I can’t deny that but. Okay! Give me a second.”
After a moment of thinking through various names Lorelei had come up with one.
“How about [Elly]? It has the two most profound syllables from both your names. The E and the L”
“Oh, not bad considering it’s coming from you Lorelei.”
Lugh teased her once more.
“What was that?! Are you looking for a fight?”
“Ahaha. That’s a wonderful name Lorelei. Thank you, then we will give her that name.”
Thus [Elly Arune] was born.
-500 Years ago- [Soumee: age 21]
Standing in front of the house with a large sack of equipment, Lugh asked Soumee.
“Yeah. I’ve packed up all of my stuff.”
After 10 years of training, Soumee had surpassed Lugh in terms of sword play and had become one of the empire’s strongest swordswoman.
It was now time for her to truly start her journey to fulfil her destiny and become a hero.
However there was one problem.
That was Elly.
After much thought Lugh and Soumee decided it be best if she was sent to the Capital to be with the emperor. No doubt the emperor had been feeling lonely ever since Soumee had left.
Of course the emperor had already known about the child. Lugh had been sending in reports frequently.
If it was Lugh, the emperor had understood and trusted Soumee to him.
Soumee crouched down to meet Elly at her eye level.
“Elly, listen carefully, mama and papa need to go somewhere so you will be spending some time with grandpa. Be sure to not cause too much problems for him, okay?”
It was uncertain if Elly had even understood the situation, however she gave a cute smile and nodded to her mother’s words.
“Okay, good girl.”
The three had borrowed a carriage and loaded their stuff onto it.
As they were about to depart a certain figure had come and stopped them.
“Trying to leave without me, huh?”
It was Lorelei. Her long brown hair swaying side by side in the wind. On her back was a small sack containing her things.
“This is too sad, you were going to leave without me.”
“We didn’t mean to, but where we are going to go will be dangerous so-”
“So what?! Aren’t we friends? Take me with you!”
As though she were throwing a tantrum Lorelei argued.
“You don’t have to say it, I already know where you’re going. You’re going to go defeat the demon lord right?”
“Eh? How did you know?”
“Actually, I’ve been given a similar role as you.”
“What do you mean?”
“I had a dream and in it a god told me to go with you and defeat the demon lord.”
“I… see, but are you sure? This will be very dangerous.”
“Well, it’s not like mere mortals should go against the word of god so!”
Barging her way into the carriage she set down her backpack and turned towards Elly.
“Hello Elly! It’s aunty~”
Elly puffed up her checks and she turned away.
For some reason, Elly did not take much of a liking to Lorelei. Downtrodden Lorelei almost seemed like she was out of energy due to it.
“Well, if that’s how it’s going to be then I guess we’ll have to take you with us.”
If it were the words of Arune’s god then Lugh had no place to object.
With that the three headed toward the [Arune Giga Fortress].
Morgant Fallon. Level 37
Strength: 185 (90+30)
Dexterity: 35 (5+30)
Intelligence: 35 (5+30)
Insight: 75 (45+30)
[Status point: 0]
(AUGMENT) [Strike+]: Level 24
(ACTIVE) [Summon Skeleton Knight]: Level 19
(ACTIVE) [Transfer Life]: Level 19
(PASSIVE) [Life Force Sensory]: Level 50 (MAX)
(ACTIVE) [Life drain]: Level 50 (MAX)
(ACTIVE) [Wither]: Level 24
(ACTIVE) [Decay]: Level 36
(AUGMENT) [Aura Field]: Level 23
(ACTIVE) [Soul Gambit]: Level 15
(PASSIVE) [Physical Damage Resistance]: Level 50 (MAX)
(ACTIVE) [Obsidian Lance]: Level 34
(ACTIVE) [Obsidian Shield]: Level 31
(ACTIVE) [Reanimate Dead]: Level 27
(AUGMENT) [Enchanting Voice]: Level 13
(PASSIVE) [Lord of Ghosts]: Level 12
(ACTIVE) [Phantasmal Maelstrom]: Level 17
(Okay I lied a bit. I will be focusing on Soumee for a bit rather than Morgant. Don’t worry this will only be for a chapter or two. Sorry! Please don’t hit me!)