Ascension Rebirth – To face myself (Chapter 19)

Ascension Rebirth – To face myself

Chapter XIX

PART ONE

-MORGANT FALLON’S SIDE-

[Eternum Calendar Year 496]

Waking up I found myself trapped within an unfamiliar white void. It wasn’t exactly blinding but everything around me was dyed pure white.

I felt as though if I kept my eyes open any longer it would eventually drive me into insanity, more so than I already was right now.

Up, down, left or right, it didn’t matter. Everywhere was the same scenery as far as the eye could see.

Amidst that white void there was a single figure standing before me.

Dressed in a black business suit, his slick black hair was gelled back and the thin framed glasses resting on his nose made his sharp gaze even more keen.

He pulled up his red tie as he waited for me to register his presence.

As I ceased looking around to figure out where I was he pushed up his glasses and began speaking to me with a nostalgic voice.

“What do you think you’re doing?”

I know this man. His face is one that I’ve known for many years. There was no way I could ever forget.

Because this man was me.

Not as [Morgant Fallon] but the true [Kyousuke Hiyama].

“‘What am I doing’ you ask? As if I’d know that.”

In the presence of this man I dropped all pretext. I did not feel inclined to be mindful or respectful to this man.

Because… this man was me.

“You’re acting like a spoilt child; causing trouble to the people around you, but most importantly you’re letting down the trust of all the people who have come to know you. How do you justify yourself?”

“I Don’t know, why don’t you tell me?”

It hurts.

The words he spoke only hurt that much more with his voice.

Deep down inside I knew. I knew that what I was doing was a waste of time, only bringing trouble to the people around me and causing grief.

How could I not? As much as I would love to lose my mind and go insane, I could not. I had some semblance of self-awareness.

However in spite of that, I will not yield. I will not answer to my own actions to this man.

Because this man was me!

He pushes up his glasses once more and gives me a disappointed look. It was painful to be given that kind of expression, especially from myself.

He shakes his head.

“You’ve changed. You’ve become much more pathetic. You’ve stolen the lives of people yet you do not feel an inkling of remorse. Do you truly not feel anything for the people around you and for what you have done?”

“If there is anything I feel, it is simply apathy.”

Perhaps he is right.

Perhaps I have become more pathetic.

Perhaps I really wasn’t thinking about my own actions and the effects that they leave behind.

Perhaps I couldn’t deal with my own situation anymore and have simply given up.

Perhaps…

But why do I have to take this from myself?

It’s useless to tell me that I’ve changed! I already know that!

This man should also know this very well.

Because this man is me!

“What do you want from me?! Why have you only showed up now?! Where were you when I needed you?!”

I run up to him and grab his trousers.

Tears started to run down my face.

It’s not like I wanted this. It’s not like I wanted to be like this.

I want everything to return to how they used to!

Rio! Mardoc! Ada! Lina! Lena! Sebastian!

They’re all gone!

What do you want from me now?!

Wallowing in my own sadness I could do nothing but continue to cry while clinging onto his legs. He stared down at me, but he did not give me a cold look but one filled with sympathy, as though he were looking at a child who was lost.

Even though he’s me. That bastard, why does he seem so big?

PART TWO

“Wake up, Morgant! It’s morning!”

Accompanying the annoying chirps of the early birds a certain high-pitched voice had tried to wake me up by violently shaking the bed.

Seeing how that didn’t exactly work out very well the owner of the voice moved onto plan B.

They opened the curtains to let in the hated sunlight. It burned through my eyelids preventing me from getting anymore sleep.

Giving into the threat of being woken up by further force by the owner of the voice I decided to get up of my own volition.

I woke up again.

This wasn’t the first time that this had happened. My usual late night expeditions into the forest are supposed to be a one way thing. However I’ve constantly found myself waking up back in bed by the next morning.

It’s a rather irritating phenomenon.

I do have some ideas of what could be happening but in my usual state after my bouts with the forest monsters I usually end up unconscious so I can’t say for certain.

Why aren’t you waking up? Wake up Morgant!”

Then there’s this little bug.

Seeing as I was just sitting still, lost in contemplation, the owner of the voice reminds me like an alarm that a brand new days has started.

Turning my gaze to the side I met with the glare of the owner of this broken record, I mean ‘innocent voice’. She was a child no older than 5. Long, silky blonde hair and azure eyes, shining brilliant with both life and hope; a stark contrast to my own.

I would describe her as ‘cute’ but I’ve yet to see a 5 year old that wasn’t cute, besides myself I mean.

Well, I guess she’s a certain kind of ‘cute’. She’s just precious.

Anyway in response I give her a smile.

“Sorry, I’m up right now. Please stop hitting the blanket.”

“Okay. Hmm? What’s this?”

She reaches her hand under the blanket and feels around.

What she took out was a bunch of dirt. Must’ve been from the forest.

“Dirt?”

“Sorry, I must’ve used magic in my sleep.”

“You should fix that habit.”

“Sorry boss, I’ll get it done by Monday.”

“Monday?”

“It’s nothing, I’ll work on it from now on.”

“Anyway, breakfast is ready so hurry up, get dressed and come down.”

‘Breakfast is ready’ huh. I was half in hopes that this was just an illusory dream I was having in the afterlife or purgatory, or wherever the dead venture after life.

If you’re annoyed that I’m being such a downer today, then I’m sorry. I’ll try to rectify as soon as possible so for the meanwhile please try to understand I’ve been in a bad mood these past few months.

Well regardless. I guess I should start with a report on how things have progressed in the past few months or so, huh?

If it hadn’t already occurred to you, no, I’m not actually dead and this isn’t purgatory or hell.

I know, what a bummer right?

With such thoughts I drag my body up to the open window from before and peer out.

What enters my vision is a city of concrete and stone blanketed by a gentle, white snow. Temperatures exceeding negative digits could easily be noticed by the slight fog that appears as I breathe.

Even know, it’s lightly snowing.

It’s always snowing here. [The city of perpetual snow] as they call it.

When I observe the streets down below I see many mixtures of unique races all hurrying about to their daily business.

The most interesting part of this city is the fact that most of them are non-human. In fact [humans] are the rarest race in this entire continent.

There are a multitude of different races here, the most common being the [elves], proceeded closely by the [demon folk], [beastmen] and then [fairies].

At times there are also those from the [Titan] and [Dwarven] races that come down here to do trade.

This is the Northern Continent, [Vertloch].

This city itself is known as the [Vertloch Snowdown] for obvious reasons.

As I’ve observed, there are many differences in culture compared to the center continent of [Ariadyne]. From clothing and food to the political climate.

Incidentally, care to guess who the leader of this continent is?

Hint: she’s a certain loli demoness with blazing hair and eyes.

Correct! You’ve probably guessed [Astaroth De Signa], if you didn’t then. I don’t know what to say.

[Astaroth] is the queen of this entire continent.

As for why such an important figurehead was in some backwards town in Ariadyne is beyond me. Maybe she was just taking a walk and got lost somehow, I really don’t know.

Or maybe it was just destiny, she could see people’s destiny so maybe she came for me specifically.

It’s a comforting thought isn’t it? Being welcomed into a new world by the demon lord.

Usually that’s a flag for the [bad end] route; a sign that this character will eventually turn into the hero’s nemesis at some point in the storyline.

I wonder if they actually exist. [Heroes] I mean.

There’s a [Demon lord] so why not a [hero]?

That being said, she isn’t really the typically evil, ‘take over the world’ kind of demon lord either. She also doesn’t really seem to do anything related to actually governing the country. Not even close.

The various states and cities of this continent are vastly self-determined.

For the most part it works out relatively well. There may be some fractures in the system from time to time but overall it’s peaceful. The continent also doesn’t have a system of nobility, meaning that everyone is a commoner, thus there is no real discrimination based on classism.

Astaroth herself lives in the capital city known as the [Vertloch Skyreach].

Just as this snow is called [The city of perpetual snow] that place is known as [The city of perpetual night]. How that works is beyond me but in this fantasy world I suppose anything can be possible.

As for how I ended up here, I honestly wouldn’t be able to tell you. It’s as much a mystery to as it is for you. If I had to hazard a guess it would have to do something with that [Teleportation artefact] that the [Red knight commander] was holding onto before he died.

Along with me using [Soul Gambit] there may have been a glitch in the system somewhere and as a result teleported me to here.

Or at least that’s the story I’m going with until I can figure out the real reason.

Well anyway, you’ve probably already guessed but the place I’m staying at is an orphanage. Every time I say that the reality of the situation comes back and hits me like a truck.

There are some 40-odd children living here. Each one of them having lost their families due to some incident. I could only wryly smile at how pathetic I’ve been when compared to these children.

At the very least I have my adult mentality I could fall back on but these are truly just children, so when I remember myself throwing a tantrum about my own state of affairs when they’re going through the same thing with a brave face, I can only feel my own stupidity.

Regardless, the children are supervised by two caretakers.

The first is a young woman of the [were-wolf] tribe. She has an odd anomaly that gives her three tails instead of just the usual one. I believe she was cast out of her home because of that very reason, other than that I don’t know much about her history.

I do remember seeing her stats though.

[Miko. Level 36, shaman]

I’m not entirely sure on what kind of class a [shaman] is. From my memories of pop culture it could be a magic based one. I really couldn’t say since I haven’t played many games in my previous life.

Anyway she’s a silver furred were-wolf who’s a tad bit reliant on violence to solve most of her problems. A short tempered wolf is just a perfect combination if you ask me.

I try my best to avoid her as much as possible.

The second caretaker is a complete 180 from Miko.

Her name is [Diana], a fair skinned woman with long, silk-like blonde hair.

She usually wears a white variant of the nun’s uniform, complete with the hood.

Personality-wise she’s extremely nice and caring. A motherly figure to all of the orphans living here; at first I was surprised such a selfless person could exist but lo and behold she does.

She’s a deceptive picture-esque beauty; she looks fragile but I’ll have you know she’s the furthest thing from it. In fact she’s super strong, but I don’t think anyone else has noticed that.

I’ve only found out because I could see her stats.

[Diana. Level 44, Templar Knight].

Not to mention she’s also a human.

If you ask me [Templar Knights] and [Paladins] kind of overlap in themes but if the [Custom Editor] is showing them as different then I suppose there’s enough of a reason to believe that they are.

At first when I arrived I was understandably confused.

Finding myself in the Northern Continent, not knowing where everything was, the one who took me in was Diana. She gave me a place to stay and even offer me food and shelter.

She really is a nice person, I’ll someday make it up to her.

For the past few months nothing major really happened, other than my constant visits to the forest at night.

Other than that, there’s always three children hanging around near me. They were ‘smart’ enough to approach me even though I had a ‘do not approach’ sign plastered all over my face.

The first is the girl from just now. Her name is [Alice].

Did she fit in with your preconception of how an [Alice] is supposed to look? If so, then great.

The other one is an elven boy named [Ren].

And then there’s a quiet girl from the [Lamia] race named [Celina].

You’ll probably see them later so I’ll get to them then.

Now, I bet you’re dying to know how much I’ve progressed in the past few months.

Then let me bring it up for you.

[Status Menu]

Morgant Fallon. Level 37

NECROMANCER/DEMON GENERAL

Strength: 185 (155+30)

Dexterity: 35 (5+30)

Intelligence: 35 (5+30)

Insight: 75 (45+30)

[Status point: 0]

[Skill menu]

(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 7

(PASSIVE) [Lord of Ghosts]: Level 12

(ACTIVE) [Phantasmal Maelstrom]: Level 17

As you can see, I’ve levelled up a considerable amount. Admittedly most of it is the result of my mindless expeditions into the forest. Soon I’ll probably be too powerful for anything in the forest to even graze me.

So first things first. You’ve probably noticed the massive addition into my [strength] stat. I wish I could tell you that there was a specific reason for doing that.

Alas there were none.

I only thought to add it to get the maximum impact from my punches, literally.

You would not understand the rush of ecstasy and satisfaction you get when things burst into pieces from a single punch. It’s a relieving and meditative feel.

What can I say? I have the aesthetic sensibilities of an 8 year old, I like to see things explode on impact. Maybe I’m going through a bit of a rebellious phase.

Interestingly there were some unexpected benefits from increasing my [strength] stat this much.

The first is the effect it had on the projectile speeds of my [obsidian lance] and [obsidian shield]. More [strength] = fly faster = more impact.

Even though it worked on a psychokinetic level, it still somehow made it fly faster. Magic I guess.

The second effect is that it increased the attack power and movement speed of my [skeleton knight].

Also, I could crush boulders now. Like in the land of anime.

The next thing you may have noticed is the addition of three shiny new skills.

I guess I should start explaining.

The first skill.

[Enchanting Voice]: it’s a skill I developed when people around me started to annoy me. When I lashed out at them a bothersome, transparent UI box popped up telling me I’ve developed a new skill.

Anyway, it’s pretty self explanatory right?

It’s a sort of temporarily mind control. It allows me to give orders to the people around me.

The effectiveness of this skill and the complexity of the orders I can give out depends on the skill’s level.

Right now I’m only able to give simple orders like ‘leave me alone’, or ‘stop talking’.

There isn’t any limit on the number of times I can use the spell on a single target. I can continue to issue a second command as long as the first command has been completed.

This isn’t some all powerful mind control skill, the effect disappears after a temporary amount of time, until the command has been accomplished or if the distance between the target and myself are too great.

So yeah, it wasn’t like a permanent thing where I could order a king to give me all his powers. The effects will wear off.

I also can’t command people who’s level are higher than mine.

The second skill, [Lord of Ghosts] is a passive skill that I obtained when fighting [ghost] type enemies like [ghost armours] or [banshees].

It allows me to take command of all ghost type enemies within my vicinity. You might be thinking that this skill overlaps with my [enchanting voice], but my [enchanting voice] only works on targets that are alive.

So really this skill is just a sort of patch for the previous skill, so it works on ghosts.

Similar with the aforementioned skill, this skill is only temporary, and will not work on monsters who’s level is higher than mine.

It’s a pretty standard [necromancer] skill, if you ask me.

Finally we have my bread and butter fun-time skill.

[Phantasmal Maelstrom]

It’s a skill that targets a specific area and once used continues to damage everything within its vicinity.

All I need to do is point at a specific location and a black vortex kind of thing opens up and then ghastly green winds form around it to cut up everything stupid enough to stay within the area.

The amount of damage dealt will increase as you get closer to the center of the vortex.

I’ve determined what increasing the level of this skill does.

1. It increases the suction speed, making it harder to escape from at higher levels.

2. Increases the damage of the ghastly winds surrounding it.

3. Increases the area of impact.

For now, the area of impact is only about three meters in diameter.

Closing off my thoughts I decided to get dressed in proper attire. I was given a sort of semi-uniform to wear, a short black vest with grey shorts, accompanied by a blue tie.

It wasn’t really a bad design.

Walking down the stairs to get to the dining room I’m met by a familiar angry expression. Just how many times have I seen this on her face.

It’s the orphanage’s caretaker, [Miko] of the were-wolf tribe.

Seeing her furious face, it must’ve been about last night. Usually I like to play innocent.

“Good morning Miko. How is your day?”

“Ah~?! How is my day? I don’t know, why don’t you tell me you little brat.”

“I’m sorry, whatever do you mean? I’ve only just recently got up and-”

“Cut the crap you little brat, I know you went out at night again.”

I’m interrupted but I continue on with my fake smile.

“I’m sorry, I’ve really no idea what you mean by that.”

“Are you taking me for a fool? I-”

“Now, now, Miko. Why don’t you leave it at that. If Morgant left at night I’m sure he must’ve had good reason to do so.”

From behind us a very feminine voice had intervened and saved me from a lengthy lecture. It was Diana.

Her blonde hair was tied down in a braid reaching past her shoulders. Her white nun’s gown gave off the imagery of a ‘pure’ maiden.

Even her figure was picture perfect, not to voluptuous and not to skinny. Just perfect.

She was truly a work of art, almost as if god had sent down an angel amongst us mere mortals.

“Diana, but this brat.”

Diana crouched down and met me on the eye level.

She placed her hand on my head and gave me a soft, pure smile.

“Morgant, we can’t stop you from leaving at night if that’s really what you want to do but please promise me that you won’t do anything too dangerous.”

In reply I give and equally innocent smile and lie through my teeth.

“Yes, of course. I promise.”

“Thank you. Then shall we go have breakfast?”

“Sure!”

PART THREE

Life in the orphanage isn’t too bad.

Most of the children’s ages vary from 1 ~ 14.

In this world 15 is when you’re considered an adult so it’s natural that once you hit that age you leave the orphanage. Some of the children who grew up here and left have occasionally sent money to aid the financial aspects of it.

As for me, even though I’m a 5 year old I do help out around the place, only out of a sense of repayment.

During the day Diana and Miko teach the children various life skills that they may need once they graduate from this place.

Most children after graduation take up an apprenticeship from the people around town, or merchants that come down or become adventurers and soldiers.

Diana would teach the children who are looking for an apprenticeship basic math and linguistic skills.

Miko would teach the children who are looking to go into combat oriented fields how to fight.

Since I try to avoid Miko as much as possible I tend to help around with Diana. Since I’m more knowledgeable than the average person in this world, things like math and language I can tutor as well.

At first Diana was surprised but ever since, I have become like an apprentice tutor.

Interestingly, Alice wanted to learn under Miko. Though she doesn’t look like it, she’s pretty hyperactive and runs around more than most of the boys.

As for Ren, he prefers to tinker with machinery.

I haven’t mentioned it before but the [Elven] race in this world is a bit different from the one I remember from pop culture. Unlike the ones in my previous world where they were a nature-dwelling, magic type race, in this world they more technologically literate.

They prefer to tinker with machinery and create tools.

Of course not all elves are like that, just most.

I’m sure there’s a back story somewhere about this phenomenon but I haven’t heard of it yet so I couldn’t tell you why this was.

Because of this, the [elven] and [dwarven] races actually have a very close knit society. Dwarves are good with metal work and often provide the elves with raw material and in return the elves would create tools from them.

Such a symbiotic relationship was pretty amusing to hear about.

Which begs the question: where do [dark elves] fit into the setting?

Usually in pop culture the dark elves and normal elves have a cat and mouse relationship. However in this world the demons aren’t treated like some monster and have a pretty good presence in the world.

The dark elves are also formally part of the demon race so I doubt they have such a negative relationship like in my preconception.

Well anyway back to my original thought, I’m helping out with the studying of the other children. Even children who are a few years older than me are in the mix.

“Mmmm~ I don’t get it.”

From besides me a small struggling voice resounded cutely. Next to me sat Celina who was doing her utmost to figure out the problems handed by Diana. Since I was the teacher’s aide it was my duty to help her.

“What’s wrong Celina.”

She places her hand on her smooth pink hair, trying to rack her brain for answers.

“Morgant, I don’t get this question.”

She slides her paper across the table.

It’s a mathematics problem.

She’s only five so it isn’t too surprising she would have trouble.

“Let’s see, what is 5 + 8?”

“I don’t know.”

She drops her head in submission to the question.

“It’s okay, then let’s go through it together. So why don’t we try counting with our fingers.”

She tried doing what I suggested and started flipping her fingers. Once she realized that she didn’t have enough fingers she reached for mine.

I gave a bemused smile watching her play with my fingers trying to figure out the answer. It was a very cute scene.

“Umm, is it 13?”

“That’s correct. Good girl, well done.”

I stroke her head as a reward. It seems the Lamia race likes physical contact.

“Ehehe. Thanks!”

In that manner our afternoon continued on. Watching the scene of children trying their utmost to learn and experience new things really did touch me, but whether it was enough to thaw my frozen heart was a different story all together.

After studying we were given some free time to play around however we wanted.

Alice, Ren, Celina and I were gathered behind the orphanage as our usual hang out.

“Watch this Morgant! I learnt a new move!”

Alice brings out her wooden sword and shows me a flashy movement, she moved around so much that she flashed her underwear at times.

I didn’t really comment on it, nor was I interested in the underwear of children but it was cute nonetheless.

“That’s amazing.”

I smile and clap.

“I know, right!”

She has a triumphant pose.

“Could be any more active?”

Sitting towards the side and messing with some sort of gadget was Ren. His blue hair an orange eyes really did stand out even amongst us.

“What’s with you? You’re always so boring!”

“What was that?!”

“I said you’re boring!”

“Why, you-”

“Now, now. Let’s stop fighting. It isn’t very nice.”

“Hmph!” x2

The two of them averted their eyes from each other. Their usual relationship wasn’t too bad but sometimes Alice does say some insensitive things, but she’s only 5 so it couldn’t be helped.

[Alice. Level 5, apprentice swordswoman]

[Ren. Level 4, apprentice tinkerer]

[Celina. Level 4, apprentice cleric]

I thought you might have wanted to know their stats so I brought it up.

“Anyway, did you guys know about the haunted mansion in the southern part of the town?”

Alice resumed our conversation with an ‘I’m going to start telling a scary story’ expression.

“You mean that abandoned building near at the bottom of town?”

Celina seemed to have some sort of knowledge about it, I couldn’t say the same for myself. This was the first time I’ve even heard about it to be honest.

Actually, when it comes to this town there is a lot of things I don’t know, I haven’t really taken my time to figure it out.

I guess I haven’t been motivated to do so since I live most of my days like it’s my last. That’s the assumption I go with everyday when I wake up. It’s half the reason why I can still give fake smiles and talk properly, without it I couldn’t drag myself further.

Come night and I’ll find myself in that forest again, having a large scale altercation with the forest’s natives.

“Yeah, they say a ghost lives in there.”

“A, a g, ghost?!”

For a half-serpent, half-maiden, she was afraid of a lot of things. In that manner she was a fairly normal child.

Actually, I’ve always wondered how Celina lives in this sort of climate, I mean aren’t snakes exothermic creatures?

The northern continent was usually harsh when it came to weather but this city in particular was enough to be named [the city of perpetual snow]. Is she really alright?

Or does it cancel out because she has the human half?

I guess racking up my brain wouldn’t give me any answers. I doubt even Celina herself knows the answer so it’d be a waste to even ask.

“Yeah! And we’re going to go explore tomorrow during our free period!”

“Eh?! W, w, why do we have to do such a thing?!”

“What, Celina, don’t tell me you’re scared?”

“N, n, no but, it’s far, isn’t it? We’d just be wasting our time anyway.”

“It’s fine, we’re just going to explore.”

“B, but-”

“Alright! It’s decided then.”

Sigh, there you go again making decisions without even thinking about us.”

Ren interjected, it also seems like he’s disturbed about going to the haunted house.

As for me, well I’ve been fighting ghosts practically every night so it doesn’t really phase me. Even if a ghost were to appear I have my [Lord of Ghosts] passive ability.

“You don’t have to come, Ren, I know you’re scared.”

“What was that?!”

Ren stood up with clear intentions on fighting in his gaze.

“I said, you don’t have to come since you’re a scaredy cat.”

“You!”

“Now, now, let’s all calm down. Take a few deep breaths and calm down. We can discuss this tomorrow and we’ll decide with a majority vote.”

Once again I interjected to stop them from breaking into a bigger fight. Sometimes I worry about their future, though I suppose I’m not in any position to say something like that.

After calming down the two averted their gazes from one another.

“Okay, we’ll do as Morgant says.”

Alice complies with my decision, the other two also give me a silent nod.

PART FOUR

Night had fallen and I was about to leave for the forest when I once again found myself in the pale white void.

Every once in a while I’m brought to this place.

Of course waiting for me was the smug bastard as always. He pushes up to correct the position of his glasses using his two fingers.

He then asks.

“Where do you think you’re going?”

“Where do you think, genius?”

“You better stop that now.”

“Who’s going to stop me? Me? Haha… ha. No, I won’t stop.”

Why does he always insist on getting in my way? What have I ever done to him to warrant this?

So I have a few of his memories and will, but as far as I can tell, he and I are two completely different people.

Let’s set the record straight. I am [Morgant Fallon] and he is [Kyousuke Hiyama].

“You will only cause more grief to the people around you. Or have you fallen so far that you don’t even care?”

“Care? That’s funny, I thought dead men were incapable of feeling anything. You should know, I’ve already died once.”

“How long do you intend to continue with this little tantrum of yours? I’m getting annoyed just looking at you.”

“And how long do you intend on haunting me, dead man? I’m also getting annoyed by your presence.”

Struggling to fight against the white void I concentrate to the best of my abilities to escape.

When I come to I’m back in a familiar room of the orphanage. I could feel sweat dropping down the side of my face.

I roll my hands up into a fist. Seeing his face enrages me. Everything about him annoys me: his voice, his looks, that smug attitude.

They’re all familiar traits of mine.

Unconsciously I draw my index and middle finger up to the bridge of my nose as if to imitate pushing up my glasses. Then I stop.

That was always a habit I had in my previous life. I would push up my glasses whenever I felt annoyed at something.

“Haha… ha.”

That bastard was really annoyed, huh?

Don’t worry you bastard, I don’t plan on continuing with this ‘tantrum’ any further. Today it will end.

Getting off my bead I change into more suitable clothes for my nightly expedition. It doesn’t really matter since I won’t be returning but at least in my last moments I want to wear something comfortable.

After getting dressed I stare up at the red moon, looming high up in the sky, as though to taunt us mere mortals that will never reach it.

Every night I gaze up at the moon before leaving. This night was no exception.

For a red moon that almost seemed to drive people mad if they stared too long, the name [pandemonium] seemed to be a perfect fit.

Planning to leave, I open the door but I am stopped half way.

“M, Morgant?”

Rubbing her eyes, it was Alice who spoke out to me. She usually sleeps in the bed next to mine. The sound of the opening door must’ve awoken her.

“Alice, shouldn’t you be sleeping?”

“Mmm… where are you going Morgant? Are… are you going to leave too?”

I could see tear drop from the side of her cheeks. Glistened by the red moon it almost seemed to resemble blood in its appearance.

I walk up to Alice and hold her by the shoulders and whisper sweetly while staring at her.

Her large blue eyes filled with fear that I’ll leave collides with her usual innocence in my mind.

Alice, you should go to sleep.”

I apply [Enchanting voice] into my words.

“O, okay.”

Quietly she goes back to sleep. Within moments she is fully asleep.

I once again found myself touching the bridge of my nose with my index and middle finger. My current actions are not the ones I want to take. That’s blatantly obvious, but it is something I must do.

I don’t know why, I just feel like the need to do so.

PART FIVE

Standing at the entrance of the forest I sigh to myself.

I reinforce my resolution and decide to enter the forest, however I am once again stopped by a familiar voice.

“Where do you think you’re going?”

I slightly turn my head.

Waiting for me at the edge of the forest and leaning against a tree was Miko. In her hands was a staff used for combat. She seems intent on stopping me even if she has to resort to violence.

“Where I go is none of your concern.”

She has a rather stunned expression as her ears twitch.

Unlike my daytime personality who is usually carefree and friendly, my current personality is much darker and selfish.

Even then she’s still keen on confronting me.

“Of course it is, you’re a child of the orphanage. You think I’ll let a child like you go into this deadly forest?”

“I have neither need nor asked for your permission. Please step aside.”

“No.”

She stands in front of me holding her staff tightly.

Leave.”

Using [Enchanting voice] I command her.

Her level is lower than mine so I shouldn’t have any problems.

“Wha-?”

Her eyes glow gold as she fights against her own body to stop her from moving.

She’s resisting my commands. This was not the first time I’ve seen such a phenomenon; people with a strong will or high mental resistance will sometimes fight my orders.

It doesn’t matter even if she does struggle against my commands. I’ll just walk past her while she’s distracted.

I take a few steps but after successfully fighting against my commands she stands in front of me again; obstructing my way into the forests.

“I, I won’t let you.”

“Tch, you’re annoying. Is it a fight you’re looking for?”

“Hah, you shitty little brat. I don’t know what strange magic you just used but you’re 10 years too early to be fighting against me.”

Even though she tried to act tough, I could clearly see drops of sweat forming from her forehead.

“I wonder.”

Miko readies her staff and points it towards me.

I tap on the floor twice with my foot and as I do a large obsidian shield bursts out from the ground.

“?!”

Not expecting that, Miko has become distracted.

I fling my [obsidian shield] in her direction pushing her back a few meters. This amount of damage won’t be enough to kill a level 36.

Thinking that she was recovering I decide to proceed into the forest.

Of course, things never go my way as Miko, after regaining composure, comes at me with her staff. Relative to my level, my [insight] stat is not enough to completely foresee or dodge her attacks.

I am hit a few times directly, but due to my [physical damage resistance] it isn’t more than a small annoyance. At most since my mass is low, I am pushed back a meter or two.

Regaining my composure I begin to cast [obsidian shield] multiple times.

Hovering above me were 8 or so black shields.

One by one I started hurling them at Miko’s general direction.

“Why? Why won’t you leave me alone? What happens to me is none of your business.”

In defense Miko raises up an opaque, white barrier. It successfully blocks the shield’s damage as they shatter leaving behind pieces of obsidian.

I continue to summon more shields but she successfully navigates around them and manages to close the gap between us. Once more she strikes me with her staff pushing me back.

“Of course it’s my business! You’re a child of the orphanage!”

In response I continue to summon more shields in vain. I don’t know why I keep using a skill I know won’t work against her. Perhaps I’m holding back in fear that I would hurt her.

“Then I’ll leave! If I’m no longer a part of the orphanage there should be no reason for you to intervene with my business!”

I follow the same pattern of attack and only the same thing happens. She deflects the projectile shields and closes the gap.

Then I am struck one more time.

“You think you can just cut off ties that easily? Once you’re part of the orphanage you’ll forever be a part of the family! If you’re family then I will do my utmost to bring you back safely!”

At the word ‘family’ I am frozen in place.

I slowly bite my lower lip until it starts bleeding.

Realizing my hesitation, Miko goes in for another strike. As I was unguarded due to my distraction I am sent flying back and land on top of the soft snow.

Snow slowly falls from the sky, dyed red by the moon.

“Why can’t you understand that?! You’re a part of this family! So stop being such a baby and accept that! If you’re feeling down then tell me! If you’re feeling scared then come to me! If you’re feeling frustrated then rely on me!”

Silently I can feel tears running down the side of my face.

I had only lost consciousness for a moment but I am brought once more to a familiar white void.

Waiting patiently with his hands in his pockets is [Kyousuke Hiyama].

“Are you done being a child?”

“…”

“Do you understand? Not every burden has to be shouldered alone.”

“…”

“There are people you can rely on.”

“No, it’s you who doesn’t understand.”

“?”

“Even though you’re me, why don’t you understand?!”

I walk up and grab him by his trousers once more.

“I can’t! Even if I wanted to, I can’t! Why can’t you see that?!”

“…”

It was now him who became silent.

“Everyone I’ve ever loved is gone! Don’t you see? It’s a curse! It doesn’t matter who they are, they will all just be taken away from me in the end. If that’s going to be the case then I’d rather be alone. I’d rather let all this end, I don’t want to continue on.”

“…”

“They may be a little sad that I’m gone but soon they will get over it, but I can’t. You know this as well as I, that I am weak!”

“…”

“I may pretend to be strong. I may act like the hero. I may help people who are in need. But that’s just a way for me to run away from myself! In the end, I am just a weakling! It’s because I’m weak that I can’t continue on with this any longer! You’re me dammit! Realize this already!”

As I screamed my heart out the white void vanished and I was now back lying on the snow covered ground.

Before I had noticed it, Miko was letting me rest my head on her lap. She was gently stroking my hair.

As I looked up I saw eyes of sympathy and kindness.

Even though Miko and I never get along very well, I know that deep down inside she is a nice person. She may not be the best at articulating herself and that she’s prone to solving things with violence, deep down she’s a gentle person.

Unlike me she’s strong. Even though she was cast out from her tribe due to her abnormality, she stayed strong and even helps the children who are going through hardship.

Even to a coward and weakling like me she tries very hard to bring me back.

I cannot thank her enough.

It’s because she’s such a person that I don’t want her to get herself involved with me anymore. I’m not worth the trouble; I’ll only end up causing a lot more grief than I already am.

“Are you awake?”

She asks me in a gentle voice.

I slowly get up.

“Yes.”

She offers me her hand.

“Shall we return to the orphanage?”

I shake my head.

“You-”

I take her hand and after a while she starts to wobble around for a bit.

[Life drain].

Since my [life drain] was at its maximum rank I could easily take a lot of life force from her. However I did not take too much; it would be bad if she died here.

I only took enough to lower her guard and resistances.

“What, did you …”

She places her hands on her head in a slight bout of pain.

Please return to the orphanage, it’s getting late and it’s time for you to sleep. Sorry and thank you for everything.”

[Enchanting Voice].

With her resistances lowered due to [life drain] she instantly obeys my commands and starts to walk in the opposite direction.

When she finally disappears from my vision I give one last bow.

With that I enter the forest. Alone this time.

PART SIX

I took a deep breath as I arrived at the center of the forest.

The place that should have been destroyed from yesterday’s activities has gone back to normal state. It’s almost as though the fight yesterday never actually took place.

It’s dark in here.

Even the snow couldn’t penetrate the thick canopy of the forest.

Now that I think about it, I haven’t really figured out a way to see through the darkness. I’ve only been able to navigate through the forest and see the monsters with [Life force sensory] and the occasional flashes from my spells.

Today was no exception.

Monsters were gathering about.

Like every night, they were weary of me.

I could sense that they didn’t want me here. I couldn’t blame them.

However I was a coward, I couldn’t kill myself. That was too scary.

I wanted to let the pain rush away and die as I lose consciousness. I offer my most sincere apologies to the forest monsters before I start my usual bouts of destruction.

One by one the monsters reveal themselves to me. This time I didn’t even have to say anything.

It’s almost become routine.

A give myself a wry laugh.

[White dire wolf. Level 32]

[Ogre Warrior. Level 35]

[Minotaur. Level 36]

[Ghost Armour. Level 33]

[Banshee. Level 29].

The monsters in this forest isn’t something to look down on. They’re at least multiple times stronger than the average adventurer or soldier.

It’s because I’ve been coming here so many times to fight such monsters that I’ve been able to level up so fast.

“Hopefully this will be the last time with you guys.”

The monsters start growling at me.

Of course they don’t understand. The biggest difference between a demon and a monster is their level of intelligence. If a monster can get smart enough they will become a demon.

Such was the case with Cedric.

Ordinary slimes were a monster but he’s a demon.

Well it was useless to think about that now.

The monsters didn’t even wait for me to become ready. They leapt at me once they saw I was lowering my guard.

The first was the minotaur. It’s always the minotaur, they’re fairly short tempered after all.

He swings his axes towards my direction but I successfully counter by summoning my [obsidian shield]. Summoning these were as easy as breathing now.

After countering and seeing the minotaur lose balance I flung the shield along with him, crashing them into a group of mobs.

The other demons started to go into a frenzy.

White dire wolves especially, they were fast and large. They were at least twice as big as a fully grown adult.

Such a monster was doing its utmost to kill me. In some ways I felt a little honoured.

However a monster was still just a monster.

I impaled it with [obsidian lances] along with any other attacking demons.

Even seeing their comrades die they did not relent in their attacks. More and more piled onto, I just was barely keeping up with their numbers.

[Summon Skeleton Knight].

[Strike + [Life Drain]/[Decay]].

[Phantasmal Maelstrom].

[Soul Gambit].

[Obsidian Lance].

[Obsidian Shield].

Within the next few hours I threw out all of my offensive skills. I continued to fight and fight until I could feel my hands go numb.

As the struggle continued I could feel my legs giving up. I fell to my knees.

Seeing that chance the monsters all dashed at me to finish what I had started.

At that moment I closed my eyes to accept my fate.

Yet I was not given such an end.

A pink light had enveloped around me, prevented the monsters from getting closer.

Like an angel to my rescue, from the sky a winged figure descended.

She had short red hair and horns that protruded forward.

Her entire attire was fairly revealing.

She picked me up and carried me in a bridal position. I was too exhausted to comment on the situation, she must also have thought that I lost consciousness.

Soon she flew up into the sky carrying my along.

From up above I could see the city blanketed by the night and the sky. We were returning back to the orphanage.

Ah, I see, she must’ve been the one that always rescued me from death.

“Please, let me down.”

“Eh? You’re awake?!”

“Yes, please let me down.”

Complying with my request we landed on a small snowy, but open area. We were still a bit outside of the city’s vicinity.

She let me down gently.

“Why, why did you save me?”

“Eh? That’s, um, because.”

“Why are all of you so selfish?”

“Eh?”

“Why won’t any of you just let me be?”

From the beginning everything was denied from me, even death. Never did things go the way I had intended the moment I arrived in this world.

“You can’t!”

Suddenly the winged demon screamed out catching me off guard.

“You can’t die!”

“Why?”

“Y, you. You just can’t!”

She grabbed onto my hands tightly. Her hands were cold, she must’ve been waiting for me every night to save me from my fate.

Every night in the cold, just waiting.

“You’re too selfish.”

“I, I’m sorry. But please, you can’t die.”

“Why?”

“B, because. I need you!”

“What. Do you mean by that?”

“Um. I. I want to serve you.”

“Serve me? What are you talking about?”

“As a General of the Demon army. I want to serve under you.”

“…”

“I’ve always wished to serve under a demon general, and just when I thought I found someone, you can’t just die!”

“It doesn’t have to be me, does it? There are plenty of other demon generals. Please ask them, I’m sure a nice girl like you will be easily accepted.”

When I say, she looks down in grief.

She shakes her head.

“I, I can’t. they won’t let me because I’m a failure.”

“Failure?”

She doesn’t speak.

We stay like that for a few more minutes. Simply sitting on the snow without exchanging a single word or dialogue.

Finally, I stood up and started walking back in the direction of the forest.

“P, please wait!”

“Stop getting in my way.”

“I can’t! I will stop you! Because you have to be strong!”

“Strong?”

“Yes, you can’t let your grief over take you. You have to be stronger than that. There are many people who want to live but can’t. So you who can live needs to live.”

“I think you’re mistaken. I’m not strong at all, I’m weak. As you said, there are people who want to live but can’t. I’m one of them, because I’m weak I can’t live.”

“N, no!”

She tugs my arms.

“Would you let go already?!”

I don’t know how much strength she had but she was easily thrown the side with my base 155 [strength].

“You can’t! Please! You must live! I need you to live!”

Crawling on the snow she shouts at me but I’ve already decided to ignore her.

Before I could take one step further someone else falls from the sky and stands to confront me.

Looking up my eyes grow wide.

It was Miko.

She had bags under her eyes, she must’ve been considerably tired but she came out regardless.

“You. You shitty brat, did you think I’d let you get away?”

“N, no. please, no more. Please just let me go!”

I couldn’t face her any longer. If I continue to talk to her I fear my heart will collapse on itself. I tried run past her but she didn’t let me.

“Let me go! Let me go right now! I said, let me g-!”

Before I could finish my sentence I was slapped across the face. I felt a pain unlike any other. It wasn’t a physical pain, it was one that resounded through my heart.

I could feel my heart breaking into pieces.

Tears fell down my face once more. I was a wreck today. Just how many times had I shed tears in the past few hours?

Following that, I was embraced.

Embracing me with all her might, Miko dragged my closer to her chest.

I couldn’t resist.

This woman had dragged her fatigued body just to bring me back.

I felt that I couldn’t continue on with my current actions. She’s just too troublesome that it’s not worth it.

I gave in.

I stopped trying to die.

And I cried.

I let it all out.

Miko simply embraced me and stroke my hair.

I apologized and cried.

PART SEVEN

It wasn’t even a surprise that I found myself in the familiar white void.

Standing there, waiting for me, was a suited man. He had an elegant appearance. Out of the iterations I’ve seen of him, this time was a little different.

He didn’t have a frown and he wasn’t pushing up his glasses.

This time, he had a smile.

He looked relieved for some reason.

“You finally understood.”

I averted my gaze.

“Maybe.”

“I see you’re still not honest with yourself, but that’s a start.”

“…”

“Sometimes life can be hard. I understand that as well as you do, but there are times when you just have to grit your teeth and struggle forward. Because we are human. Because you are human you can definitely brave through any challenges life gives you. That’s what it means to be alive.”

“When did you become a philosophy major?”

Reaching down, he messed with my hair.

“You brat.”

I felt uncomfortable being told that by myself.

Still, perhaps he was right.

“Hey.”

“?”

“I’m sorry. You must’ve been disappointed with me.”

“Yeah.”

“Not even pulling punches are you?”

“Why would I? You’re me, and I’m you after all.”

“Yeah.”

He nods.

“Will I ever see you again?”

I ask.

“Perhaps. If the time comes, you will see me one day.”

“I see. Thanks. For everything.”

He doesn’t answer but gives me a thumbs up.

I could only wryly smile in return.

PART EIGHT

“Wake up, Morgant! It’s morning!”

Alice shouted at me from the top of her lungs.

Seeing as how I wasn’t waking up she moved onto her usual plan B.

An intense burst of sunlight came in, blinding me through my eyelids. It was a different kind of pain. An intense agonizing pain of annoyance.

Like a fly just buzzing near your ear. You can slap it away as many times as you want but it will always come back and start buzzing again.

It will haunt you.

Much like this sunlight. No matter how hard I try to close my eyes the light still seeps in.

Giving into the threat of being woken up by further force I decided to get up of my own volition.

I woke up again.

It was the same.

But this time I didn’t hate it. I felt a large load was off my shoulders.

“Sorry Alice.”

She didn’t say anything and reached out for under my blanket. This child really has no regard for sexual harassment laws.

She pulls out her hand and gives me a smile.

“No dirt today. So you fixed it.”

“Yeah, I guess.”

I smile back.

“Anyway, come down, breakfast is ready.”

Alice headed down before me as I finished dressing up.

Knock, Knock.

“Come in.”

It was Miko.

She still had a small amount of bags under her eyes but she looked relatively healthy nonetheless.

“So? How are you holding up?”

“I’m fine. Sorry about yesterday.”

“It’s fine. It’s my duty to help all the members of the family.”

“Of course. Thank you for everything.”

“Now, don’t talk like you’re about to go somewhere.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll stay here as long as I can.”

“Good. Then let’s go down, food’s ready.”

When we went down Diana was waiting for us with a refreshing smile on her face. I didn’t really know if she was told about what happened yesterday but she seemed to have noticed everything resolved itself.

I could only give a smile in return.

An honest one this time.

PART NINE

“We’re here!”

Alice screamed out.

Standing before me was a rundown house at the end of town. Windows were broken and some of the walls were covered in vine or coming apart.

It really did seem like a ghost would appear at any moment.

In the end it was decided by a 3:1 vote that we would come to the ‘haunted mansion’.

By the way, surprising I was the only one who voted not to come.

I just don’t understand children.

Celina was grabbing onto the hem of my shirt while shaking. If you didn’t want to come that badly, then why did you decide to vote to come?

Alice was the only one in high spirits.

By the way, we aren’t actually supposed to leave the orphanage’s vicinity during free period, Alice just opted to sneak out and we followed.

“Let’s go!”

Alice dashed into the house.

Begrudgingly the rest of us followed.

The house was big.

Lavishing stairways covered by a red carpet. Chandeliers hanging by the ceiling.

Of course everything was covered in dust and pieces of the house were damaged or missing.

I drew my index and middle finger to the bridge of my nose.

Ah, looks like I’ve started back on this habit.

As soon as we entered the house the doors suddenly closed shut by itself.

“What?!”

Celina screamed as she clung onto me.

“M, maybe it was just the wind?”

Ren replied, obviously shaken up.

“What are you guys doing? Let’s go? Hmm? Morgant? What’s wrong?”

Noticing that I wasn’t moving Alice called out to me.

The others also started to look at me.

“Morgant?”

Celina called out, still clinging onto me.

It seems that the others couldn’t see what I was seeing.

Most likely because I was a [necromancer] I could see what I was seeing right now.

A ghost?

Perhaps.

What stood at the door way was a young woman. Perhaps around the age of 23?

She had short brown hair and green eyes, much like my own.

She wore a robe suited for magicians, which also had a lot of belts around it. In her hands was a long staff with a green jewel encrusted on the tip.

“Who are you?”

I called out.

“Eh?!” x3

The other three looked at me in surprised.

You can see me?”

I nodded.

I see, this is the first time someone could see me.”

“Morgant? Who are you talking to?”

Alice asked but I ignored her.

It is a pleasure to meet you. I am the Magician Hero from 500 years ago who was betrayed by the Gods: Lorelei.”

I could only stand still while I was just introduced to someone amazing.

END REPORT

[Status Menu]

Morgant Fallon. Level 37

NECROMANCER/DEMON GENERAL

Strength: 185 (155+30)

Dexterity: 35 (5+30)

Intelligence: 35 (5+30)

Insight: 75 (45+30)

[Status point: 0]

[Skill menu]

(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

Ascension Rebirth - Countermeasure (Chapter 18)
Ascension Rebirth - The hero's journey (PART 1) (Chapter 20)
Posted in Ascension Rebirth

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Table of Contents