Ascension Rebirth – The hero’s journey (PART 3) (Chapter 23)

Ascension Rebirth – The hero’s journey (PART 3)

CHAPTER XXIII

PART ONE

-500 Years ago- [Soumee: age 23]

Atop a dimly lit stage, the final act of a fantasy tale was taking place, as two significant characters stood face to face, the air around them became thick. As though the tension alone could crush a person, the situation was about to hit critical mass, or so it seemed from the perspective of the three heroes.

Looming over them with an imposing aura was the [Demon Lord], he glared powerfully at the three gathered here with the singular purpose of taking his life.

With bated breaths, the hero and her companions stood before the final boss, sweat dripping down the sides of their faces. At the drop of a pin a large scale altercation was likely to break out, once the situation escalates to that degree it was up to fate to decide the outcomes.

Yet in a strange twist of fate, the demon lord did not show any inclinations of combat. In fact he wasn’t even properly armed, though as a matter of course, in a world where combat oriented magic exists, that was a rather moot point. Still it was a statement, that the demon lord did not desire combat.

“Allow me to reintroduce myself. I am [Balor De Signa], otherwise known as [Balor of the Evil Eye].”

As the demon lord once more revealed his name he lightly reached out for his eye. From behind thin piece of cloth was the true reason why he was known as the [evil eye].

He did not harbour enmity towards the heroes that came to take his life, rather his intentions were to peacefully exchange dialogue so that they may better understand each other. He did so in hopes that they would avoid a battle.

Hesitant, Soumee stared back at the demon lord, keenly listening to his words, yet on guard for any sudden movements. She gripped the handle of her sword tightly and raised her shield in front of her. Any slight movements that indicate hostility would mean she attacks.

That being said, she was still confused. Was taking the demon lord’s life really necessary?

The humans are truly detestable!”

She grimaced, the nightmarish memory came back to her; the vivid sight of what could happen if dialogue was not shared. Wrapped up in their own mentality of what they all truly thought was just and true, the story would only lead to tragedy.

The humans were wrong, the beast kin were wronged. However the situation might not have been if they had decided to put their differences aside, put their beliefs on hold to hear each other out and cooperate.

Right now, her actions were no different from the humans who had abused the beast kin. Were she to attack then all hope of dialogue would be lost, with only regret and lingering questions remaining.

For this reason alone, Soumee gave the demon lord a chance to speak.

Soumee turned to glance at her two comrades. Lugh and Lorelei tightly grabbed onto their weapons, ready to follow Soumee’s lead into battle. They must’ve had some semblance that their current actions wasn’t the one that they should be taking.

Was it because they prioritized the mission?

The demon lord continued.

“I do not wish to fight. There are a great many things that you do not know about our race, and it is for that reason that I have called you here. It is necessary for us to exchange dialogue so that this does not end in tragedy.”

She bit her lower lips, by those words she understood that he was not truly evil or malicious. There was no real justification for her or her friends to take his life other than that it was the ‘will’ of god.”

Duty and justice, she had to decide between the two. She couldn’t say she knew the entire picture, there may be something else there that may require the death of the demon lord. Perhaps Nodens had seen something in the future, or perhaps the demon lord may unintentionally let loose chaos in the future.

Who knows?

Yet those actions whether they would happen or not, they have not come to pass. Right now, the demon lord was innocent.

She wanted desperately to know, which was the right choice? Which choice would lead to the least amount of tragedy?

Wanting to test out the waters a bit more, Soumee posited the following question to the demon lord.

“And if we choose to fight regardless?”

“Then I will defend myself. I have a sworn oath to protect those that live under my reign. It should be the same of any king.”

“Right, that’s a given.”

See this! Witness this human! It is because of you that we will die!”

Those words from the beast kin came back once more to haunt her.

Soumee’s face began to sour, she shook her head and lowered her weapon.

In the end she could not go through with it. Even if she were to go against the orders of Arune’s god, even if it meant to betray her entire nation, the figure standing before her did not warrant death.

He was not a figure of malice or evil like the supreme god had claimed. The only evil part about him was in his title.

“Soumee…?”

Wondering what she was doing lowering her weapon in front of the enemy, Lugh asked.

“I can’t do it.”

Soumee shook her head, with a soured face, she could not stomach the situation, it was almost unfair to ask of her to ask her to murder an innocent person.

“Arune is wrong. Nodens is wrong. Everything is wrong. Why do we have to slay the demon lord? He has bore us no ill will. He simply exists as one ruling the demons in this continent, so then what purpose does it fulfil to take his life?”

Lugh held onto Soumee’s shaking figure. After standing for a while, he too lowered his weapon with a wry smile.

He turned towards the demon lord, simply gazing at them, with no intentions of hostility, he too realized the error of their mission.

“Soumee… I cannot answer that question for you. All my life, I have lived only to follow the orders of a higher power, it was simply easier that way, whether right or wrong, I only did as I was asked. However, coming with you on this journey, I have also experienced many things, things that I hardly ever put thought into. Duty and justice, I do not know which of those weigh more, but if there is one thing, it’s that I will always follow your decision.”

“Lugh…”

A kiss. A deep passionate kiss, perhaps it was not the right situation but both Soumee and Lugh exchanged an affirmation of their love.

Standing towards the side, having been forgotten was Lorelei. She had forgotten all about fighting and was simply blushing. Perhaps she was jealous or perhaps not, she only stood quietly.

Clap, clap, clap.

“What a touching scene. I think you made the correct choice.”

The sliding doors at the end of the room had opened up. Two men entered the room with a smile.

The first, who had entered while clapping at the touching scene, was a blonde elf. Almost as though the immediate area around him had sparkled as he moved, his movements were graceful and elegant.

His clear emerald eyes revealed a man capable of deep contemplation and action. A man with the calibre of a king.

His tall slender figure, adorned by his attire which was a glorious white and green leather armour, fit only for a single person, the wearer.

Slung on his back was an elegant long bow accompanied by feathered arrows.

A noticeable trait about the man was that a small emerald had been encrusted deep into his forehead, almost as though it were a third eye. It gave a strange power, neither malicious or holy, simply pure.

The other man while looking less glamorous wasn’t exactly dull either. His figure was human, yet it did not feel as though that were the case. A ghastly hollow energy flowed in an out of him, daunting to everyone but not malicious.

His neatly combed light brown hair reflected the red moon’s light, glowing burgundy. He wore a formal leather vested, suit.

Though his face had a smile, it was immediately obvious to everyone that it wasn’t exactly a true smile; a façade to do business.

Unlike the elf, he had no immediately weaponry available.

The three heroes simply stared back at them as they drew closer.

“Pardon our little interruption. I hope we haven’t disturbed you at a sensitive time?”

The blonde elf asked, specifically towards Lugh and Soumee who were still in each other’s embrace.

Noticing that, they slowly backed off to regain their proper stance.

“I guess not, we were simply going to start exchanging dialogue with the demon lord.”

Soumee answered.

“Ah, very good, then I believe our addition may prove to be rather relevant to this discussion. By choosing to talk, you have already distanced yourself from your god Nodens and have chosen a clear side.”

The man in the brown suit spoke.

“Clear side? Actually who are you people?”

Lugh asked, perplexed by their sudden entry.

“Ah, of course, where are our manners? Then allow me to introduce myself, I am known as [Ciocal Gricenchos]. The king of the [Fomorian], a race of ancient humans, and the last of my kind.”

The suited man introduced himself and bowed.

“Fomorian? I seem to recall hearing about them.”

Deciding to finally join in the conversation, Lorelei spoke. She placed her hands on her head, trying to rack up information on who exactly these [Fomorians] were.

Contrarily to her looks or usual behaviour, Lorelei was a fairly studious type; one had to be in order to become a magician of her calibre. During her studies she had come across an ancient form of magic used by the fomorians.

However in reality that was no magic, but a transformation.

“I believe they had lived around 500 years ago, and their king was said to have developed an entirely new form of magic.”

Ciocal, who was that specified king, simply listened with a smile.

“New form of magic?”

Lugh parroted, the only type of magic that was known to Lugh was, [ice]. [fire], [lightning] and [holy]. The possibility that a 5th type of magic existed did not even dawn on him.

“I think it was [life] magic? Ah! That’s right! It was [Necromancy]! The magic to manipulate [life] itself. It’s said that no one else was able to emulate it though.”

Lorelei turned towards Ciocal and gave a ‘how was I? was I right?’ kind of look, with a big smile on her face.

“You are very well informed Miss, however unfortunately you are slightly wrong there. I do indeed possess the power to manipulate [life] however that is no magic. It is simply a curse that I have to bear.”

“Curse? What do you mean?”

Lorelei asked, slightly dejected that her deductions were off.

“I will explain that in due time. Then it is time for my companion to introduce himself.”

“Of course, I am known as [Partholon]. As was the case with Ciocal, I am also a king of an ancient race of elves, the [Muintir Parthalan].”

Lugh and Soumee turned towards Lorelei to see if she knew anything about him as well.

“Hmm, the name [Muintir Parthalan] isn’t familiar, but I do remember reading about an ancient elven race, supposedly they were very good with magic, but that’s all I know.”

Surrendering quickly on the one she didn’t know, Lorelei finished there.

“Amazing, I did not think any evidence of our race even remained. However, unfortunately once again, you are slightly wrong. I suppose I had worded it incorrectly, rather than [ancient elves] I should’ve said we are the [progenitors] of the current elves.”

“Progenitor?”

Lorelei looks back quizzically.

“Yes, I will explain soon, since that too is relevant to our current discussion. However before that I wish to ask, how much is it do you really know about the one you claim to be the supreme being, [Nodens]?”

The question was now directed at Soumee. Not surprising, she was the princess of the country who’s national religion was dedicated to Nodens.

“The supreme being is at the crux of Arune’s culture, we’ve all been taught from a young age that it was because of him that Arune is as strong as it is now. We’re taught to be grateful and dedicated. As to what I know specifically, I can’t say much other than that he’s immensely powerful.”

“Hmm.”

Partholon gives Ciocal a look. They both nod.

Partholon continues.

“Seems about right. Then what if I told you that Arune wasn’t the first to submit under Nodens.”

“What do you mean?”

Soumee asks.

“A cycle; Nodens chooses the most prominent country and makes sure it becomes the dominating empire, then places himself at the top as it’s god.”

“Places himself at the top? What do you mean?!”

Tapping into her scholar side, a hint of excitement can be seen on Lorelei’s face.

“I’m sure you’ve all heard of a cataclysmic event known as [Ragnarok].”

“The end of days.”

Soumee says, a sudden realization dawning on her. Taking notice of this Partholon continues.

“Indeed, every 500 years or so, [Ragnarok] takes places and to ensure that it succeeds, Nodens takes control of the world, eliminating all resistance. For example, the current one powerful enough to even mount a resistance is the demon lord.”

“So then the real reason he selects a country to become the biggest power is because-”

“Right, global domination. Then mass destruction. Of course not all beings die, but the majority of the world will be plunged into despair. And after another 500 years the cycle repeats itself.”

“Why? What point is there in this?”

Partholon and Ciocal turn towards each other, making a sour face. They shake their head in unison.

“We do not know, it is a reason I wish to know myself. After all these years, the destruction of my people, I want to understand that there was at least a reason for it.”

Partholon answers, dropping his head down in a brief moment of sadness.

“Wait then you’re actually the survivors from the previous cycles?”

Lorelei asked, on the verge of screaming from being able to interview a relic from the past.

“Yes. In the previous cycle, the [Fomorians] were the largest empire, we had almost taken over the entire globe only to be destroyed at the end. Before us were the [Muintir Parthalan]. Before them were the [Nemedians], and before them were the [Cessair]. This goes cycle goes back many millennia.”

“Then how did you survive?”

“Of course, that brings us back to the original topic. The magic that the Fomorians developed, Necromancy. In exchange for my magic, I gained an immortal body and power over life. The form you see right now is not my true form.”

Ciocal turns to Partholon, to suggest that it was his turn to explain.

“As I explained before, the [Muintir Parthalan] were the original elves. We lived under direction of Nodens. We were gifted with magical talent beyond any race, we had completely mastered it. However as the day of [Ragnarok] arrived, we too were tasked with global domination. When we achieved that, we were in turn destroyed, entire castles sank, armies decimated and all hope lost. However not all of us were dead, a few of us survived, however unlike the humans who had enough in their numbers to repopulate, our numbers were too little to continue on our race, so we had to make a choice.”

“Choice?”

“Yes, we expended all our magical capabilities to artificially create the current race of elves. However they were not a perfect recreation, they did not have mastery over magic as we did, only 1/10 of them could even use it. Those that could use magic had their skin turn charred grey, they were known as [Dark elves]. However that was all we could do, the new elves would take our place. Before my countrymen’s death they pulled the last ounce of magic to create this [monolith shard].”

Partholon pointed towards the emerald embedded in the middle of his forehead.

“It is a that converts my mana into life, because of this, even I cannot use magic so handily, if I deplete my mana I die, if this gem is removed I die.”

“Wait, how does [Ragnarok] even work? There have been no documents about it. Not surprising that there aren’t if the entire world was being destroyed I suppose the time for writing wouldn’t have been in abundance.”

“A good question, the answer lies in the blue moon; [Akashia].”

“Blue Moon?”

“Right, even we did not know this until the hour of our demise came, but in truth, [Akashia] is an entire continent, the [Heaven Continent] to be precise. It is the place where Nodens and his pawns reside. Once a gate between Akashia and Eternis is open, he will send his entire force to decimate any resistance, even the country that served him, that is the truth of [Ragnarok].”

“I had no idea. I didn’t even know a Heaven continent even existed! So then why is there a need for global domination? Couldn’t he just wait until the gate opens then send his army before destroying the world?”

“Of course, were that possible then he wouldn’t have any need to promote a country in the first place. To put it simply it is impossible for him to do so alone. To open a gate powerful enough to send down his forces, a large cache of [divine energy] is required. Since no singular place has enough [divine energy] it must be harvested from all around the world, and to make this simpler global domination is used. Once the task is complete and the gate opened, then it’s all free game.”

“I understand all that but, while Arune is indeed large, there has been no attempts at global domination so far.”

Trying to interject Soumee starts to speak.

“I wonder about that, last I heard all communications from the Eastern continent were gone, half the center continent were also gone. Which actually brings us to our next point. Balor, it seems you have guests too.”

The demon lord who had simply been listening the entire time was now put under the spotlight.

“I noticed. Come in.”

Various representatives from other races came in. [elf], [titan], [fairy], [dwarf], [beast kin], [mermaid], [Golem], even [human].

A colorful bunch.

Since the room was exceptionally large, it was fortunate enough to accommodate all their presence.

“Your lordship, we-”

The elven representative began to spoke but was interrupted.

“I understand.”

“Eh?”

“Even I cannot afford to sit idly by while the world is in peril. No doubt after everyone else has fallen, we will be next. Then this will be an alliance between all those gathered here, against Arune, we will launch a counteroffensive.”

PART TWO

-500 Years ago- [Soumee: age 24]

A year had passed since the fateful day the anti-inquisition alliance was made in order to battle Arune and Nodens.

War raged on every corner of the world.

Skies darkened by arrows and smoke.

The ground washed over by a torrent of blood and fire.

Lives destroyed, homes plundered.

Independent nations fell, only two sides remained after a year of strife.

A horizontal line could be drawn on a map of the world, going through the center and it would be an apt representation of what the world was like.

There was hardly any place where one could call ‘safe’.

Amidst all the fighting, there were three who fought on the side of the demon lord, ironically they were known as the [three heroes]. They were sent around in the battlefield, changing the tides of combat. In only a year, their names rang throughout the entirety of the globe.

The battle was at a stalemate when a final plan was made in order to end the global war.

PART THREE

-500 Years ago- [Soumee: age 24]

A year had passed since the fateful day that everything was turned upside down.

War had overtaken every glimpse of the world. Every continent, every nation was locked in conflict.

Some were in the favor of the demon army, some were in the favor of the Arune Inquisition. It was currently a stalemate.

Soumee, Lugh and Lorelei, now fighting as part of the demon lord’s army was headed to where the center of the Arune Inquisition: the Giga fortress. A sizeable army had followed them sneakily into the country through its back channels and were on their way to deliver the final blow.

Many soldiers had already gotten ahead of them, but it was extremely unlikely that any of them were successful. Made even sadder by the fact that the volunteers were still young.

Soumee’s first priority was to retrieve Elly. There wasn’t a day that went by where she wasn’t worried about her safety. Her own child was behind enemy lines.

Lugh had tried to comforted her by telling her that at the very least Elly was still at the safest place and far away from combat. Still, she worried endlessly, even to the point of exhaustion.

Wrinkles that weren’t there before were on her face. Her hands and stature became much more rugged as time went on. Not a single trace of the nine year old girl that playfully pranced around the emperor could be seen.

Once she finds Elly and secured her safety, her next course of action would be to confront her father. Another though that tore her from the inside.

When her father sees her, would he be disappointed? Or would he be happy that she was able to make her own choice?

A sense of uneasiness and desperation coursed through her, with each passing second only intensifying the feeling.

Her only solace were her two friends who sat beside her on the carriage to where everything began.

Lorelei’s complexion had also changed greatly during the past year. She had a much more distance gaze and mature feeling. A woman who has known the brutality of war yet still fights for what she believes in; she had become extremely powerful, not just physically but emotionally.

Even then the cracks in her psyche did show. She was constantly tired and made much less attempts at humour. She only calmly read through various documents trying to find some way to save even just one more life.

Lugh was still the same. The same composed attitude and same relaxing presence. Most likely this was only a façade to ensure that Soumee has someone to rely back on.

Yet, Soumee was able to tell, that even Lugh was considerably worried for Elly and the emperor. He too didn’t wish to turn his blade to the man he had previously pledged his life too, it was uncomfortable and a horrible twist of loyalty.

“To think we would be ones assaulting the Giga Fortress, what a twist of fate.”

Lorelei spoke, trying to break tensions before everything was about to begin.

“Mmm.”

Soumee replied with a half-hearted sound. She did not like the idea at all, it pained her that she had to even consider this.

“Lugh, did we make the right choice?”

“I don’t know, the world has been divided into two, whoever wins will be the one that made the right choice, that is the principle of war. However, whether you were right or wrong, I will always be by your side.”

“Lugh…”

“Get a room, you two.”

Lorelei who had seen this scene over and over was now used to it. She made a wry smile, perhaps the last time she would be able to crack a joke.

This was the final mission. After all that fighting it would end one way or another, the strongest members of the demon lord’s army was to charge into the Giga Fortress, if they failed then it would all be lost.

Ciocal, Partholon and Balor were also planned to joining in the assault of the Giga Fortress. They would be arriving on a different carriage at a later time.

And finally they arrived.

Skies darkened by smoke and black clouds. The Giga fortress still stood, but their doors were wide open with countless bodies thrown in front of its gate.

Signs of magic were all apparent from the flames and ice covering the structure.

The Giga Fortress itself was covered in cracks and destructions. Even the strongest castle in the entire world was not enough to defend against countless waves of enemy soldiers for extended periods of time, even with the help of the gods.

Soumee, Lugh and Lorelei slowly got out of the carriage and onto the cold soft sand of the desert.

It was time to start.

PART FOUR

-500 Years ago- [Soumee: age 24]

“Home… huh.”

Soumee said with a solemn smile. It wasn’t the time but she couldn’t help saying it.

“Yeah, we’re back where it all started.”

Lugh answered, with the same expression.

“Come on, everything will end today. We have a duty to everyone to finish this.”

Lorelei said as she lead the way.

Soumee and Lugh followed briefly after.

On first sight, the place was in a horrible condition. All of the inner city was destroyed. Bodies everywhere, it was worse than the outside. Bodies of both sides.

Upon entry a strange feeling had overcome them. A malicious sort of calmness, welling from deep within them. As though their motivations for the entire expedition had suddenly evaporated into nothing.

Their minds rationalized this as some sort of trap, that they should still push forward, yet their heart was telling them that it was time for peace and rest.

As their wills dwindled the only thing allowing them to struggle forward was the sight of the city.

A river of blood flowing through the streets.

However one thing was a little odd.

Not a single soul, from either sides, were there.

It was just a quiet moment, only the sounds of the torn flags fluttering in the wind could be heard.

“What’s going on?”

Soumee asked.

“A trap maybe?”

Lorelei posited.

The three of them, not able to come to a conclusion, decided to head straight for the main castle.

A sense of relief overcame Soumee, it was a good thing that she did not have to immediately fight off her former countrymen. Even if she didn’t know them personally it wasn’t a very comforting thought.

Beside the upwards slope of the terrain it was a completely unobstructed march to the royal palace of Arune. There weren’t even bodies of dead soldiers anymore.

As the three came closer and closer to the entrance of the palace they became tense. Their hearts pounded heavily as Soumee laid her hands on the entrance.

“3 years… are you ready?”

She asked and the two gave a non verbal nod. Their eyes glimmering with the resolution to see this hellish war finally end.

Soumee flung open the doors to the palace, no intentions of keeping quiet.

Her figure was small in comparison to the palace. She and her friends slowly advanced through the hallways.

Not a single soul was there to meet them. There should’ve at least been the previous residents of the castle.

All of the doors were barricaded, was this for defensive purposes? It didn’t seem like that was the case, in fact it was rather that they were being lead to one place.

The three arrived at the only place the door remained unbarred.

The throne room.

Soumee’s heart pounded ever so quickly. When she opens the door what kind of face would her father make? What about Elly? How would she react?

Lugh lightly placed his hands on her shoulders to calm her down.

Lorelei gave a small nod to proceed.

Then Soumee opened the door and entered the room.

PART FIVE

-500 Years ago- [Soumee: age 24]

A great light had entered from the window, only to be reflected by the marble white floors. All in all the ambiance of the room could be said to have been rather ‘bright’.

This temporarily blinded the three as they entered the room.

As their eyes adjusted to the brightness of the room, what they saw did not meet their expectations.

For sitting on the throne of the emperor was not the same man that they had seen when they had left on their journey. No, it was different, a man who could only be described as ‘death’ and ‘suffering’ incarnate.

His face covered by a white pointed mask, usually worn by medieval plague doctors. On his back an all encompassing black robe, ghastly in its design and texture.

He sat there, bored while staring back at the three who had barged into his realm.

Standing next to the throne was a larger man.

With perfectly toned muscles and figure, he was one that could be described as the quintessence of a soldier of war. It was as though his entire being was made to bring war, he embodied the concept, nay, he lived it.

His golden eyes filled with excitement and bloodlust. He gazed at them with glee.

However the thing that piqued Soumee’s interest the most was something else.

Above them was a small opaque crystal. Suspended by some sort of magic.

Inside was the figure of a familiar child, she had become a little bigger but she was undoubtedly the same child that Soumee had left behind.

“Elly!”

Without even thinking of the consequences Soumee dashed towards the two who so rudely usurped the throne of the emperor.

“Soumee!”

Her friends shouted behind her, but it fell on deaf ears.

She drew her sword and had all intentions of killing the two men before her and retrieve her daughter.

Mere inches away from Dian Cecht’s face, her attack was stopped, no, her entire body was grabbed. The large muscular man had prevented her from moving a single inch.

As much as she struggled it wasn’t possible to move any further. The man’s grasp was extremely tight.

“Why don’t you calm down a little? Just like your father, the emperor, whenever this brat was on the line you dashed towards death.”

“What?! What did you do to father?!”

“Haha! We killed him! He wasn’t very cooperative so we had no choice, you can understand that, right?”

“You bastard! I’ll kill you!”

The Dagda having heard enough, threw her across the room with great strength, resulting in her crashing into the wall.

“Soumee!”

Lugh ran out to her to see if she was still alright. There wasn’t any sort of significant damage done to her, only that she had been knocked unconscious. The combined stress from the situation and everything she’s been through the past year had finally accumulated at the worst possible situation.

Other than that there was no major external injuries, after a few minutes of rest she would no doubt wake up.

“Is she alright?”

Lorelei asked, still on guard and pointing her staff in the direction of the two men.

“She’ll be fine, she just lost consciousness for a bit.”

“I see.”

Giving a sigh of relief, Lugh stood up to confront the two men, glaring madly towards them.

“You bastards, I hope you said your prayers, I’ll be taking back my daughter now.”

“Hmm? Daughter? Could it be?”

Dagda whispered under his breath, coming to a revelation he turned towards Dian Cecht for confirmation.

Despite the mask blocking his face, one could easily tell from the great pressure being exerted that he was smiling maliciously.

“I see, then you must be Lugh. Son of Ethniu.”

“?! You know my father?”

Lugh shook his head, now wasn’t the right time to be sating his curiosity. His father had died when he was very young, there was no point in learning about a man who had already passed on; right now what was important was to protect the family that was currently alive.

He drew his thin great sword and positioned himself to attack.

“Life father, like son, huh. Your father was also a fool to stand against Lord Nodens.”

“Tch, who are you?”

“Hmm, then I shall take the time to introduce myself. I am [Dian Cecht], the [master of restoration].”

“And I am [Dagda]! Your worst nightmare!”

Without even a warning Dagda charged headfirst at breakneck speed towards Lugh. An incredibly expensive looking war hammer is drawn and positioned for assault.

With an incredibly loud ‘clang’ and powerful shockwaves, the two weapon come to clash.

Lugh immediately sidestepped resulting in Dagda rushing forward from momentum. Taking this chance Lugh aimed directly for his opponent’s exposed back.

Twisting his body at an almost impossible speed, Dagda raised his war hammer to defend himself. Once more a loud ‘clang’ and powerful shockwaves echoed through the throne room. The windows rattled reaching near breakpoint from merely the exerted pressure from the two combatants.

“That’s a pretty impressive sword you got there.”

Dagda praised. It would normally be near impossible for such a thin sword to be able to repel a direct blow from a large and ornate war hammer. However Lugh’s sword didn’t even have a single scratch after multiple blows.

Lugh did not speak up. He merely backed off and readied for his next attack.

“The legendary sword: [Brionac], it seems as though you’ve managed to master it. I’ve only ever fought against it once, that was with your father.”

“Tch.”

Clicking his tongue at the mention of his father, Lugh leapt in for another strike.

Lugh and Dagda locked into multiple blows. Eventually the windows collapsed under the pressure and even the stone columns supporting the building were seeing signs of crack.

The two warriors were equally matched.

“Why don’t you fight with your full strength?”

Dragging on the fight would lead nowhere and what Dagda truly wanted was a fight he would enjoy. That would require his opponent to be at their top potential.

“What?”

Brushing the blood off his face he replied.

“Don’t play dumb, you’re half-divinity.”

“…”

“Your daughter could muster divine power, there’s no way you can’t.”

“Tch.”

Lugh showed a slightly more relaxed pose. Closing his eyes he mustered up as much power from within. A vortex of pressure with him at the epicentre swirled around the room.

Normally closing one’s eyes before the enemy would be a terrible idea, but it seemed that Dagda gave him the opportunity to draw out his maximum strength.

Whether this was a foolish decision of Dagda or not was not yet realized.

A bright flash of light engulfed the entire room temporarily. Upon subsiding Lugh’s appearance had undergone a slight change.

With a kingly and glamorous figure, he grasped his weapon once more and pointed it towards Dagda who stood there with a devious smile on his face.

Two large white wings grew from Lugh’s back. A symbol to denote that one has surpassed mortality and entered the realm of divinity.

“Oh! This is it! This is what I’ve been looking for!”

Without even a moment’s hesitation Dagda leapt into the fray, hammer first.

Lugh only coolly scoffed at his attempts and easily deflected the assault of the powerful looking hammer with his sword, knocking Dagda off balance a swift cut down his chest, with blood gushing out like fountain.

Yet, Dagda did not even seem to register the pain, better yet, he was genuinely enjoying it.

It made no sense to Lugh, why was he so happy when he now clearly held a disadvantage towards Lugh?

Becoming divinity meant to surpass human or mortal limitations. Power, strength, speed and skill, they were all greatly heightened.

Running laps around Dagda and constantly slashing and cutting him up, he should’ve been on the floor writhing in pain, yet that wasn’t the case. His resilience was inhuman.

Every cut would spew more blood, yet it almost seemed that no damage was done. He began to get frustrated by the lack of any indication towards his victory.

PART SIX

-500 Years ago- [Soumee: age 24]

“Nngh?”

From on the sidelines Soumee began to regain consciousness. Slowly she adjusted her eyes to the sensitivity of the room.

What entered her vision was a divine figure; Lugh.

“Are you okay?”

From next to her the voice of her friend could be heard. Lorelei rushed towards her in a worried state.

“I’m okay… but what’s going on?”

“I’m not sure. They were talking about Lugh being half-divinity.”

“… I see.”

“Are you not surprised?”

“… I am, it’s just a little hard to take in right now. I don’t know how to react properly.”

“This battle is already way beyond our expectations.”

“That’s no good, expecting the unexpected is a soldier’s job after all.”

A sudden and deep voice came from besides them.

Dian Cecht had somehow approached them without even their notice. He stood before them, towering them with his presence.

“Who are you?”

Soumee asked, trembling from both his presence and frustration.

“Of course, I shall take the time to introduce myself a second time. I am the servant of the supreme being [Nodens], I am known as [Dian Cecht]. I was tasked with overseeing the operations on this end of the world.”

“Operations?”

“Yes. Since you’ve been fighting on the demon lord’s side, I assume that you’ve already heard about the previous cycles. It is all true. My mission is to open a gate towards the heaven continent and allow Lord Nodens to descend.”

“You think we’ll let you?”

“I’m afraid it’s a tad too late now to speak such lines. I’m sure you’ve felt it on the way in, but this entire city is already filled with [divine energy], though admittedly we did come up a bit short. It will be converted to make this city into a gigantic portal gate. The countdown has already begun.”

“We’ll stop you and stop the countdown.”

“No, no, no. That’s not how it will work. This entire situation from the beginning was a trap after all. I said we had almost enough [divine energy] to convert this place into a gate, but where do you think we’ll be getting that last few drops of energy we need?”

“?!”

Soumee turned towards Lugh. He was visible tired, apparent from his haggard breath and slumped posture. His opponent was relatively bloodied as well but seemed to act as though nothing hurt.

“You catch on fast. Correct, your husband, once we kill him and harvest the divine energy it will be enough to open the portal.”

“No!”

Not even taking the time to pick up her sword or shield, Soumee rushed at Dian Cecht.

Perhaps it was due to her exhaustion but no matter how many flurries of punches she threw towards Dian Cecht they were all easily deflected.

Unlike Dagda, Dian Cecht did not make a hobby of playing with his opponent. He prioritized finishing the mission.

Thus he got right into business, releasing from his hand a storm of black mist. A skill known as [black plague], a cruel ability that damages the opponents internally and externally.

Though against Soumee who was a paladin that innately had rather high magic and physical defensive capabilities it was little more than a minor annoyance. However with her exhausted state, it would soon turn into a battle of attrition and she would lose out.

A sudden shard of ice aimed for Dian Cecht flew straight for his head. Barely having time to dodge he backed away.

The passive mage who had stood on the sidelines had finally joined in the battle.

Even for Dian Cecht, it was a disadvantageous situation. While he was indeed a lesser god, his opponents were extremely powerful for mortal standards.

Taking a few more steps backwards a great intensity resounded against the walls of the room. Like with Lugh, a bright flash of golden light blinded everyone.

When it subsided Dian Cecht too, had a pair of wings behind his back. However they were not white, but a haunting black. Resembling the wings of a crow rather than a dove, an image of dread filled everyone’s mind.

“You have tested my patience long enough. It is time to end this. Dagda!”

Dian Cecht shouted his partners name. Dagda responding with hearty grin. ‘It’s finally time’ he would whisper under his breath.

Another flash of golden light covered Dagda and reflected off the marble floors. Obscuring everyone’s vision.

Dagda too, had ghostly black wings growing from his back, they were extremely large, over 1.5x the man’s size each. While most of the wings of divinity may have looked like decorations, it would be easily to believe that these wings would actually carry this man’s large figure.

They exerted pressure of their own.

As he revealed his divinity, the scars and bruises on Dagda’s body began to fade.

It was the true reason why he did not mind the injuries he received from Lugh. Instantly Lugh’s face paled.

The trio’s situation turned for the worst and at the most horrible of times.

Lugh gave a small glance at Soumee. A silent communication between the two.

At first Soumee shook her head, but after giving her a hearty smile and thumbs up, she sighed.

They were going to continue on the uphill battle. Lugh would do everything in his power to defeat Dagda, while Soumee and Lorelei will fight Dian Cecht.

Not wasting any more time, Dian Cecht unleashed a wave of [black plague] once more. This time much thicker and dreadful than before.

Soumee and Lorelei combined their powers to erect a temporary barrier. A [glacial barrier] with slight [divine] attribute from Soumee’s support. It was successful in fighting off the enhanced [black plague] but not for long.

While protecting themselves they could not attack either.

At a loss on what to do, Lorelei spoke up.

“Soumee.”

“Mm?”

“Thank you for being my friend. It was like a dream you know, that you stayed by my side for this long. If it weren’t for you I’d have been stuck at the small portside town, just wasting my life away, heck I might’ve even been fighting for Arune by now.”

“What are you talking about? Stop sounding like you’re about to die, we can still do this!”

“Hehe, you’re very kind Soumee. You know I was always jealous of you. You were so powerful, you could do everything even with only a small amount of effort. But you never let that get to your head, you always stood by my side and trained together. Matching my pace, I sometimes felt like I was dragging you down but you didn’t say that, you gave me a warm smile, always.”

“… Lorelei?”

“That journey you talked about. I really wished we could’ve taken it together, the four of us.”

“What are you-?”

“Thank you, for everything. Good luck.”

Lorelei converted her [glacial barrier] to ‘single person’ mode, doubling its effectiveness, but the cost was that she was unable to gain protection from it.

Soumee was the one to receive the protection of the shield.

In an instant, Lorelei’s figure was engulfed in the thick black mist. How she was suffering, how the mist affected her was unknown.

“Lorelei!”

As the [black plague] lifted, the slender figure of her former best friend fell the floor. Lifeless.

“No! no… why?”

Shedding her tears, Soumee focused her sights on Dian Cecht. He once more casted [black plague], however it was no longer effective towards Soumee who had the enhanced protection from the [glacial barrier].

Quickly grabbing her sword she ran madly towards Dian Cecht.

Unprepared for this tactic, Dian Cecht simple stood as the sword pierced through his chest and onto his heart.

A stream of blood came down from behind his mask. Coughing painfully as he lost strength from his entire body.

“Y-you fool, you think you can oppose Nodens? You are mistaken…”

Spewing his last words he fell to the ground. As though death itself had died, a black haze rose up from his body and ascended to the sky.

PART SEVEN

-500 Years ago- [Soumee: age 24]

At the same time, Lugh and Dagda were locked in combat.

It was no longer evenly matched, Dagda clearly had the advantage after unleashing the full brunt of his divine power.

“Kahaha! This is great! This is what war is!”

From an objective point of view, Dagda was a being who had no mastery over his weapon. Meaning that he was complete crap at actually moving efficiently in combat. He was simple extremely overbearing with his physical power, speed and large physique.

He would overwhelm the opponent with those qualities that I made the opponent’s skill look useless. A figure who truly revelled in the ecstasy of his own vain glory.

Lugh was pushed up to the wall. With no more room to dodge or strife he readied his blade for a full on assault.

Upon impact, an enormous shockwave formed from the contact of the two legendary weapons, shattered the nearby walls and windows.

Unlike before, Lugh wasn’t able to hold off the force of the attack for long. This was the difference between their divinity.

Lugh was at best a half-deity, while Dagda was a full god, albeit a lesser god.

Yet the difference in power was apparent.

His arms started give away, the fracturing of his bones adding onto his pain ever-so more.

Just when he was about to be completely crushed by the ornate war hammer, a slender figure appeared behind Dagda and struck down at his back, temporarily giving Lugh enough time to free himself from the current predicament.

“Soumee?”

Lugh turned to see the devastated face of his loved one. Glancing behind he saw Lorelei’s figure gently lying on the floor, unbreathing.

Lugh closed his eyes and offered a silent prayer for her. Despite their usual slapstick relationship, they were still friends.

“Hmm, so you managed to kill Dian Cecht. Bah, that bastard was all just talk in the end. Whatever, I’ll just have to finish the job myself!”

Dagda swiftly closed the gap between them and went for the kill on the fatigued Lugh.

Soumee who had recovered her shield pushed Lugh out of the way and received the full brunt of the attack. Being a paladin she was able to fare better than Lugh who was only a knight.

She used [divine shield] to increase her defensive capabilities and started to push back at Dagda.

Of course in this situation it would simply be easier for Dagda to sidestep away and let momentum push Soumee away then go for Lugh. Yet he did not, his pride wouldn’t allow him to turn away from a battle of brute force, because that was all he was.

“Argh!”

Shield against hammer.

Lugh took the opportunity that he was distracted to attack Dagda from behind.

Piercing through his thick, armor-like skin, into his heart.

Yet Dagda did not fall like Dian Cecht. It was clear that he was in pain but he did not die even after having his most vital organ punctured.

Rather than a god, he was a true monster.

Most likely there was an easier way to overcome Dagda, rather than brute strength. However Soumee was enraged, she did not wish to take the easy way out, she challenged him full on, strength for strength.

She pushed harder than ever, as did Dagda.

The clash of the two forces powerful enough to create even their own gravity. Rocks and rubble started to float up.

“This is fun! I admit! But I think I should end this!”

Dagda backed off, or more aptly he flew off using his large wings.

Suspended in mid air, Dagda gathered kinetic energy from around him. His next attack was telegraphed extremely blatantly. Surrounding him a strange and malicious black aura.

Soumee activated [divine shield] one more time preparing herself to take the attack head on and come out victorious.

She raised her shield to the air.

With incredible speed Dagda dropped down at her.

In that moment, Soumee who was blinded by rage, was pushed away by Lugh.

A large explosion soon followed as a gigantic hole appeared through the ornate marble floors.

As the smoke cleared the victor was determined.

Through Dagda’s face, a large silver sword lodged within him.

However it wasn’t all a happy end. Lugh himself was near death. he bled from his mouth and nose, even his ears.

Surrounding his body was a faint black miasma.

“Lugh!”

Soumee rushed to her husband.

Cough, is he dead?”

“Yes, but stop talking I’ll heal you.”

As Soumee tried to activate a healing spell, it did not go through.

Cough, it’s useless. That last attack was meant as a certain death skill. Cough, healing won’t have an effect.”

“No! Stay with me! Don’t leave me too! Please!”

Tears came running down her face.

“Sorry. I couldn’t keep my promise of staying by your side forever, but at least I fulfilled my duty to his grace, to keep you safe.”

“No!”

Lugh slowly lifted his arms towards Soumee. She grabbed his hands tightly in return.

“My final gift to you. I hope this will help you.”

A white aura surrounded them both. Soumee felt a wave of power overcome her.

“Lugh?!”

“My divinity, if I die here, the gate will open, and take my sword, the [Brionac] will most definitely be of use to you. Be safe Soumee. I, love, you.”

“No! Get up! Lugh, please don’t leave me!”

With those last words, Lugh too met his end.

A brief moment passed as she hung on tightly to Lugh’s hands as it grew colder. The tears would not stop flowing from her face.

Various memories came flooding to her.

From the time she was young to now. The hardships and experience that they had gone through together. The fun and happy times they shared.

As she tried to regain her composure, Soumee stood up.

She stumbled a bit, even falling a few times.

She walked a few centimeters before falling flat on her face from exhaustion both mentally and physically.

Cough!

Unexpectedly a cough came from the front.

Soumee, still laying on the floor, struggling to gather herself turned to who it was.

Laying there, with just barely enough breath was Dian Cecht. He weakly raised his hands to the sky.

“I, I present… my last… tribute to you, Lord… Nodens.”

As he did the crystal that hovered in the air containing Elly’s trapped body started to crack.

“!”

Soumee could only watch in horror.

Elly’s crystal along with her physical body started to glow and shatter.

“Mama!”

A small voice came from within the crystal.

“No! Stop!”

“Hahahaha! With this it will all end!”

Dian Cecht’s hand fell to the floor, once again lifeless.

Everything was covered in a bright golden light.

The from the entire city, an enormous ray of light shot up into the sky towards [Akashia] connecting the two worlds.

A gate between the two had finally opened. If viewed from space it would seem as though the blue moon and the home planet was connected by a golden chain.

PART EIGHT

-500 Years ago- [Soumee: age 24]

After briefly losing consciousness for a moment Soumee awoke to find herself on a plain grass field. Surrounding the grassy plains were golden structures not dissimilar to the ones in Vertloch.

This too was a city, but unlike Vertloch it was bright as day.

The [City of the Gods]. This place was most likely that which was only listed in legends.

She stood up, still injured and devastated.

Fumbling around she scanned her surroundings. A great pain in her head rang through, her tears could no longer flow, as much as she wished to. Everyone she knew and loved were now dead.

Her father.

Lorelei.

Lugh.

And Elly.

In the span of only a few hours everything was lost.

She fell on her knees, no longer having the conviction or purpose to go on. Only silently weeping in her heart.

“I applaud you for making it this far. Welcome to Tara, the Capital city of the heaven continent.”

A charismatic voice, the likes of which she had never heard appeared from behind her crouching figure.

It was not a voice she knew but a voice she realized.

“… Nodens.”

“Indeed.”

She glanced behind from over her shoulders.

Magnificent golden hair, and deep blue eyes. His stature wasn’t too large, nor too small, just the perfect amount of balance. Adorned in a decorative and marvellous golden plate metal suit, designed for one specific man.

Behind him, a large white wing half covered in golden armor.

His mere presence demanded worship. As though the grass and trees, even the sky had obeyed his will, they were blown loudly by a strong gust of wind with Nodens at the epicentre.

A distinguishing detail of the supreme being was an oddly out of place, a prosthetic silver arm attached from his shoulders. This was no real handicap, he was able to move it just as well as any ordinary arm, it merely served as a reminder to him.

“Nodens! Because of you!”

Finding motivation once more in revenge, Soumee stood up with all her strength and even without a weapon she charged at him with reckless abandon.

her punches were easily stopped and grabbed by Nodens’ own hands. She tried worm around trying to get free, but it was fruitless.

“Hmph, impudent, you have failed in slaying the demon lord as I had asked, but that is of no consequence, I will do it myself.”

“As if I’d let you!”

With a sudden burst of strength Soumee escaped the tight grasp of the supreme being and once more tried to assault him. Yet once more it was fruitless.

Nodens was not too terribly patient, she immediately replied with a telekinetic pulse that sent her flying. Magic? Perhaps, it was not a skill that Soumee had witnessed ever, thus it caught her by surprise.

Soumee flew landed flat on her face. She tried to get up but her head was pushed down by a metal boot. Suppressed, she was unable to get up.

“Khh!”

“Pathetic worm, as did your father, you till go against me. Then I shall show you the true meaning of overwhelming power.”

Nodens stepped back and held his hands forward.

From the sky a large glowing spear hovered before Soumee’s exhausted figure.

“Behold, the [Claiomh Solais]. The ultimate weapon.”

Not even giving Soumee time to ‘behold’ it struck down at her killing her instantly. It was now all over.

PART NINE

-500 Years ago- [Soumee: age 24]

Nodens stared at Soumee’s corpse. A large hole ripped through her abdomen, blood gushing out.

She was dead.

To him it was as though he had just crushed a bug. It did not escape his mind that he had just killed the princess of the empire he had put great efforts into creating, but that was of no consequence now.

As he was about to step back and ready his forces for the invasion of [Eternis], three more figure appeared to impair his path.

“…”

The figure that Nodens had truly thought he didn’t want to meet at the current moment.

Standing before him were Partholon, Ciocal and Balor.

“It’s been a while, your highness.”

Ciocal greeted sarcastically with his usual false grin.

“…”

Nodens was not amused in their arrival.

Partholon and Balor moved towards Soumee’s body.

“Poor thing.”

Partholon spoke.

Nodens simply watched from behind, sooner or later he would have to fight them. Though he was confident that even with all three of them combined he could overwhelm them.

“What do you think?”

Partholon spoke to Balor.

“I can restore her, but…”

“Foolish! Even if she has died, she has still received divinity, to revive her means you will die.”

Frantically Nodens shouted.

“My, my. Could it be that your highness is feeling threatened? Unlike the three of us, Soumee has ascended to divinity. The only force capable of taking you down.”

“Kh.”

Grumbling under his breath, Nodens took a few steps, but was contested by Partholon, aiming his bow straight towards him.

“I’m afraid I can’t let you interrupt them.”

Without warning, Nodens unleashed a powerful blast of magic towards the two. It wasn’t any element in particular, if one had to say then it would be classified as [holy] type magic.

To counter it, Ciocal erected a darkened shield. A type of magic that was considered the opposite of [holy], the [necromantic] element.

A great gust of wind was conjured up when the two opposing elements collided, almost creating a space of void in-between the two.

Nodens quickly summoned his ultimate weapon once more, the [Claiomh Solais]. It shun brightly in the sky poised to attack.

The spear swung down and in doing so created a large crater in the middle of the grassy plains. Of course, the condition of the terrain was the least of Nodens’ worries.

Unlike Soumee who was already exhausted, the two were able bodied, thus the attack had missed.

The major weakness of the [Claiomh Solais] was how telegraphed it was.

From seemingly out of nowhere, three arrow missiles had flown towards Nodens. However they were easily destroy by a flick of his wrists.

Thinking that he had perfectly deflected the attack, he had lowered his guard, but that wasn’t the end of it. The missiles that had been destroyed exploded shortly.

[Enchanted Arrows]. A skill that only Partholon himself could use due to his ability for magic and archery. They are arrows coated with the three basic elements and would detonate on impact.

Thanks to the miraculous golden armor that he wore, Nodens came out of the blast relatively unscathed.

Having become fed up with the situation Nodens raised his hands once more and conjured up the [Claiomh Solais]. This time rather than the blue hue that it had, it was a burning red, much more sinister in its design it was targeted at the only non mobile target.

The demon lord and Soumee who were going through a ritual to revive her.

“Tch.”

Ciocal stood in front of them and erected the darkened shield once more, this time with more emphasis on defense.

From the side, Partholon did his best to disrupt Nodens’ concentration by continuously firing magic enhanced missiles. Yet even the enhanced missiles were not strong enough to penetrate the armor worn by Nodens.

As he was ready Nodens unleashed the full power of his weapon upon them.

It was doubtful that Ciocal himself would be able to deflect a second tier version of the [Claiomh Solais].

Having no choice, Partholon ripped the emerald from his forehead and threw it towards Ciocal’s barrier, strengthening the shield 10 folds.

A large scale explosion had taken place, the once green meadow was now only dirt and smoke.

However one patch of grass remained, within Ciocal’s barrier.

Nodens got fell down to one of his knees. Even for him, using such a tremendous amount of power would exhaust him. He needed a moment to recover his stamina, which also meant giving his opponents time to recover.

“Partholon!”

Ciocal shouted.

Partholon slowly edged his way towards his allies. Without the emerald that was keeping him alive, it wouldn’t much more until he dies.

“H, how’s Soumee?”

“They’re about done.”

“Good, I’ll do something from this end to destroy the portal, your job is to do it from down below.”

“What? But you’ll-”

“I’m already dead, think of it as my last wish, we both know that we don’t have enough power to defeat him, the only chance is to delay him until someone else gains enough strength, I’ll put my money on Soumee.”

“… I understand.”

PART TEN

-500 Years ago- [Soumee: age 24]

A mysterious feeling swelled up within Soumee’s soul. A euphoric feeling of freedom, the likes of which she had never felt before. She was free from all emotions, the pain of loss would never haunt her again.

At the same time, ethereal chains clamped her down, dragging her back into her body.

She fought and fought against the current. She rejected the idea, she did not wish to return to that unpleasant state, she knew that once she returns and opens her eyes she would once again feel distraught.

For a moment, Soumee had thought she had won, the chains disappeared.

However something else, appeared in its place.

“You must return. The battle has not yet concluded, your power is required for the next cycle.”

An eye patched demon appeared before her.

[Balor of the Evil Eye]. In truth the [evil eye] was an ability to see into the great beyond and interact with the dead, in some cases even bringing them back to life.

Each generation of demon lords had a unique ability. For this generation it was the [evil eye]. In the far future, an ability to see people’s fates would be held by Balor’s great granddaughter, [Astaroth].

“I don’t want to.”

Soumee spoke, refusing to return to life.

“I cannot force you to return, but is that really the extent of your love for your companions?”

“What?”

“Can the feelings you hold for your companions so easily be discarded?”

“…”

“They may have gone but you can still return, you can live for their sake. You can honor their memories.”

“I… I’m scared.”

“I know, I do understand what it must feel like. I have been told in great detail by Partholon and Ciocal. They too had the entirety of their lives taken away from them. They too had to go through such laborious methods simply to extend the lease on their lives. For the sake of preserving the memories of their loved ones and to avenge their deaths. You are no different from them, you can also brave through the pain, become the sword that will correct the death of those betrayed by Nodens.”

“…”

“Even if I return alive, I will still be human, I do not have enough power to fight against the supreme being. There is not enough time on my life to wait till the next cycle.”

“If it is that matter, then I have a proposition, one that can only work because you have died.”

“…?”

“To give up your humanity, I can turn you into a homunculus, an infinite life is available to you. Will you walk that path?”

“…”

“You have the courage and will to do this, the world requires your assistance, march forward, Soumee, as the last child of the empire of Arune.”

“… I understand.”

Soumee closed her eyes and braced herself.

Once more the ethereal chains had grabbed hold of her. She was violently pulled down and as she was about the hit the floor she opened her eyes.

The first thing that had entered her vision was Balor’s fatigued figure. The divine energy that she received from Lugh was incompatible with Balor’s ability the [evil eye].

“You have my gratitude.”

Soumee briefly sat upright, feeling slightly confused as to what had just happened.

As she dropped her head, her long hair had also flown down. To her surprise it was no longer black, but a glamorous silvery, white.

A trait shared by all homunculi was that their hair would also be white.

She knew from that that she was no longer human.

Regrouping, Balor and Soumee joined Partholon and Ciocal who were relatively exhausted.

“Welcome back, it’s about time to end this for real now. We’re going to close the portal, you and Ciocal will go back down to Eternis and close the gate from that side.”

“Your gem…”

Noticing the absence of a certain jewel on Partholon’s head she spoke out.

“It was a price I had to pay to end this. Don’t worry I don’t regret doing so.”

“…”

Partholon looked towards Balor.

“Are you ready?”

“Of course, it is for our continued future after all.”

“What are you?”

“Honor their will Soumee. They will stay behind to give us a change to descend back to Eternis.”

“What? But that’s!”

“Soumee, you will take Partholon’s place. When the time comes you must gathered formidable allies and fight Nodens once more. That is your duty.”

Soumee gave a small nod. She averted her gaze.

“You think I’ll let you get away?!”

Nodens having recovered dashed at them with great force, only to be blocked by Balor. Being held back, it gave Ciocal and Soumee the chance to escape the heaven continent.

A large portal that had been open for quite some time was their ticket out of the situation.

Having a final look back at the battle taking place between Nodens and her allies, she offered them a silent prayer.

“Let’s go.”

Soumee nodded.

Upon arrival back at the destroyed throne room, a small crystal was powering the portal. It was the remnants of the crystal that encased Elly. Soumee averted her gaze in pain.

“Once we destroy this, it will all be over.”

“… Sorry, could you do it? I do not wish to be here anymore.”

“I understand. Leave it to me.”

PART TEN

-Present day-

“And then Soumee and Ciocal escaped from the heaven continent and closed the portal. The end.”

“What?”

Lorelei had finished telling her story in the most annoying way possible.

Actually, this brings up a very important question that I need to know.

“So…”

“Yes?”

Lorelei replied with a large grin. It’s not like I don’t understand where her self confidence comes from after listening to that story, but isn’t she a little to chipper? Considering near the end of her life she was so depressed.

Anyway I need to know this.

“So, how did you know about the parts you weren’t actually there for? It just doesn’t make sense.”

“A lady has her secrets you know!”

“You’re not a lady, you’re a ghost.”

“How mean!”

“Just tell me.”

“Hmph, fine. Ciocal told me afterwards. This was a few hundred years ago but even though I was a ghost and he was a necromancer he could see me.”

“Ugh. That’s hard to take in but whatever, let’s just go with that for now.”

[Nodens]. [Ciocal Gricenchos]. [Partholon]. [Ragnarok]. [Lugh]. [Ethniu]. [Balor]. [Cessair]. [Nemedians]. [Dian Cecht]. [Dagda].

I repeated those names that came up. Those are all names that I have knowledge of. Though it is a bit mixed up, they’re figures from Celtic and Norse mythologies. Though I admit, the name [Nodens] is a bit off, if I recall correctly, his name should be [Nuada] so why’s he called Nodens here?

Still, I now have some deeper context behind why my village was attacked. So the whole process is repeating itself then.

So that’s how it was.

“King Lear, Act 4, Scene 2.”

“What?”

Seemingly at random, I blurted out something which understandably confused Miko.

“As flies are to wanton boy, are we to the gods. They kill us for their sport.”

“…”

Miko and Lorelei simply stared at me, blurting out random Shakespeare lines like a madman.

“I suppose it’s rather pointless now to idle around; knowing that [Ragnarok] is on the horizon, it has become necessary to move to the second step.”

“Second step?”

Miko asked, perplex at what I was talking about. I wasn’t really talking to them, I was just monologue-ing. Just trying to organize all the information in my head.

“If I am to come face to face with those who look down on us from up high, then it is vital I take the next step.”

“What are you talking about?”

What am I talking about? Isn’t it obvious, when one wants to come face to face with a greater power, it is necessary to both be on the same level.

“Ascension.”

END REPORT

[Status Menu]

Soumee. Level 97

PALADIN/HOMUNCULUS/HALF-DEITY

Strength: 355

Dexterity: 55

Intelligence: 5

Insight: 150

[Status point: 0]

[Skill Menu]

-TBD-


(So extremely sorry for the very long delay in writing this chapter. it may sound like an excuse but I actually injured my and was in hospital for a bit getting it fixed. Admittedly I could’ve written with an injured leg but it was pretty painful just to sit down so I was just lying around in bed waiting for it to be healed. So I guess the real reason is procrastination?)

Ascension Rebirth - The Arune Inquisition (Chapter 22)
Ascension Rebirth - The princess' intermission (Chapter 24)
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