Somewhere on the snow-covered lands inside the Human Continent, Myriad, a certain landscape was changed..
Some distance away from the village known as “Glimmer Village”, a deep, round, scorched crater was evident..
It contrasted the sight of the never-ending fall of snowflakes touching the ground, creating pure white fluff..
The dark, barren wasteland stretched until about 500 meters outward in the shape of a circular hole..
Some might think that a meteor must have collided with the ground, as it was the only plausible and logical reason given the monstrous destruction at the center of the calm snowfields..
Of course, the people of this world had no knowledge of meteors, but still, it looked as if it was an aftermath of a horrible disaster. One would wonder how the crater came to be, and how to prevent this from happening to them in the future if they saw the spectacle..
The once moist, soft, and pure white snow was no more. In it’s place was black, dry earth, akin to desert sand dunes and its ground scorched with the highest temperature..
There was no trace of anything living within the wide area..
Well, of course, not considering the one who caused it..
In the very center of the circle was an entity covered in a black veil of magic with purple flames being released from time to time. This entity was an embodiment of rage, deeply breathing in and out the cold air of the atmosphere..
With two different colored eyes, blazing two clashing flames, the purple-haired youth wearing clothes that were as black as the night itself. Standing alone with an angry look on his face..
His very visage was likened to a demon, no, a horrifying disaster that destroys with reckless abandon..
There was no other word to describe him except, monster..
After a few minutes, the youth realized that the deed was done, and there was no danger around him. So, he calmed down soon after, retracting the veil of darkness and reverting to his normal, strange appearance..
He clicked his tongue and looked around once more before departing..
With his hands balled up into fists, and his eyebrows scrunched up in irritation, he turned around and flickered away..
Like he was an ethereal existence, he disappeared from the place as fast as when he arrived..
When the silence of night covered the disaster zone, and no presences could be felt, a voice resounded..
“How long are you going to play dead, Xander?” – ???
As clear as crystal, the voice of a woman was heard, and a young woman with voluptuous features covered with a revealing toga, flesh-colored hair, and bright golden eyes appeared from the darkness..
“Honestly, I was disappointed in that fight, I should have fought that kid, Alex, grrr..” – ???
While spitting out condescending words in a spiteful manner, a man with bulging muscles, all covered with dark-grey fur, had long wolf ears on the top his head, golden eyes, and a long swaying tail..
A short silence was heard for a few seconds..
“Shut up, he was surprisingly too strong, is all.” – ???
A gathering of light particles formed the shape of a man, and a magic circle appeared out of thin air on the ground where the light particles were converging. There stood a tall man with blonde hair and golden eyes, who wore a confident smile on his face, showing a dignified appearance filled with pride..
“Honestly, you always show that irritating expression even when you had your most humiliating loss yet. Well, I guess it’s to be expected from the one known as “Alexander the Great”and the “Conqueror”, still how could you lose even with my help?” – ???
“Easy for you to say, Cassandra, you haven’t been fighting him face to face. Even with your future sight, I could barely keep up with that monster. Heck, I had to go a little serious. But that backfired, since the sword broke..” – Alexander
“So that’s why you lost. I guess [Hephaestus’ Clear Sword] wasn’t enough to hold your immense strength..” – Cassandra
“That’s why I said to not rely on petty tricks, just show your raw strength and it will be fine. But you can’t even do that, can you? grrr…” – ???
“Yeah yeah, I don’t want to hear your yammering, you muscle-brained mutt..” – Alexander
“What. did. you. just. call. me? grrr..” – ???
A large power suddenly erupted from the growling man..
“Hou, you want to go at it right now? I’m fine with it..” – Alexander
I release my innate energy, and it was just as big as his, if not bigger..
But suddenly, our powers retracted into our bodies in an instant..
With a hand in both of our faces, Cassandra boldly stated..
“Now, now, don’t be stupid, Xander, Fenrir, what if “he” senses your presence and comes back?” – Cassandra
Ah, that’s right, I had no intention to fight that kid again, at least, not yet..
But it seemed the mutt had a different idea in mind..
“Hmph, so what if he comes, I’ll make sure to drive it into him my overwhelming strength! grrr…” – Fenrir
Ah, he’s done it now..
“Hmm? Did I hear right? Do you want to anger Master? Do you have a death wish? Tell me, Fenrir…” – Cassandra
With an upturned smile, but a dark demeanor to go with it, she threatens*cough* I mean, asks Fenrir..
The mutt was sweating now, when being glared at by the frightening woman, serves you right..
“Ah, you know, I mean, if you say it like that, I don’t want to trouble master after all, yes, I’m sorry, I was wrong, I will not be stupid anymore, Cassandra. Please let me go…guu” – Fenrir
The mutt was instantly turned into a meek puppy in front of Cassandra gripping his shoulder, almost breaking it..
His shoulder was then released from her iron grip, tch..
“Oh, that’s great then. Now, let’s talk about why the sword didn’t work on the boy, shall we?”
She instantly changed into her bright, inquisitive attitude in a heartbeat. What a frightening woman..
This woman had the power to see the future, and change most of it. A very useful ability when she was supporting you. On the other hand, it makes her unbeatable as an enemy when she has allies..
Ah, yes, I have to answer. I forgot myself due to being disgusted and frightened at the same time..
“No, the sword Hephaestus gave me was fine. I could tell that it worked, judging from the time I attacked the youth. But who would have thought that that wasn’t his real strength..” – Alexander
I was sure I felt my strength rising from the sword’s power when I first tried to strike at that monster..
[Hephaestus’ Clear Sword] was a weapon forged by our blacksmith, who made various divine weapons since he was, of course, considered a god of the forge…
It had the ability to adapt to the opponent’s strength and strengthen the user to match it. Sometimes even surpass it..
A frightful ability that copies the enemy’s strength and transfers it into mine..
I was surprised at how much power was added at first, but I felt like it didn’t matter at the time..
Also, he brought out strange weapons that shot endless volleys of condensed magic power that I was barely able to dodge in point blank range, this was true even if I was slightly further away..
All I knew is, that when that human noble ordered the archer to shoot the kid, the youth suddenly gotten stronger..
At an immeasurable level at that. I couldn’t help shivering in the face of overwhelming power..
But, I was no coward. I was shivering in delight, to the fact that I was facing an opponent who might be stronger than master or myself. I was trembling in excitement..
It was a fierce battle, mostly him overpowering me, every step of the way. I could slightly predict his movements due to Cassandra’s help, but alas, that was almost nothing in the face of that pure, indomitable strength of his..
When seen from another perspective, it looked like a one-sided massacre..
He brought out strange weapons one after another relentlessly, shooting projectile bombs time after time..
Some were large, some were small, other times they would be as fast as the wind, sometimes even faster..
Sadly, when I was back into a corner, I tried to bring out my power and covered my sword with it, only to have it break when faced with his barrage of fists and swipe kicks..
Honestly, there was no technique evident in his movements when he changed, just pure rage and raw strength..
Well, I can’t make excuses, since I was pummeled into oblivion, whilst being drilled with countless holes..
“*Sigh* Just be glad Master gave us the power to revive using his magic power, or you’d be left without even so much as ash as your mark on this world..” – Cassandra
“Of course, I serve master with all my life, I would always be forever grateful..” – Alexander
I declare in a confident voice, talking about my one and only master, Kaito. The one who summoned us all here..
“Ha, when we report to master later, you are so gonna be hated for losing. grrr..” – Fenrir
I hate to admit it, but he’s right. Master can get quite angry sometimes. I swallow my saliva in response to the provocation of the muscle-brain. Just thinking about what my punishment will be, fills me with dread..
“Well, now that we’ve established your failure, let’s find Master and report about the boy, and Xander, you go back to the royal capital and continue your mission. It is imperative that the plan goes smoothly..” – Cassandra
“I still get to remain here? Why don’t I go with you guys?” – Alexander
I was reluctant on keeping up this act of obeying the weaklings here..
“Are you defying orders? Do you want to experience agony?” – Cassandra
“Ah, no, no, understood. I will remain here, and report to the capital about this incident..” – Alexander
“Good, now let us be off, Fenrir..” – Cassandra
That was a close call, I almost got killed twice in one day..
With those words, the two disappeared using [God Speed]..
I really don’t want to do this mission any more than I have to, but it’s much better here than facing her wrath..
Thinking idly, I look back into the direction of the village..
“They’re probably all dead, huh. I wish I could fight with that guy again in the future..” – Alexander
To be frank, I could never imagine winning against that monster, but I was always looking for a challenge…
It’s in my blood, the only reason to live is fighting people stronger than yourself..
While looking at the destroyed surroundings with a mischievous grin, I invoke [Legend Movement] and ran towards the capital due eastward..
I opened my eyes, only to see a bright, blinding light..
When my perception got better, I could see that I was in a large white room..
Where am I?
Lets see, the last thing I remember was..
“Lute, Anna, everyone…”
They were all destroyed by Gaziel-san, no, Mastema, and Mephisto disguising himself as Raizel-san..
What happened to them?
Are they safe somehow?
I cling to that hopeful idea..
After that, I was talking with someone..
He looked exactly like the me from Earth..
In fact, he said he was me, no, he was the original Suzuya Junichiro..
It’s hard to accept it, but some part of me is thinking that he didn’t lie about that part..
Then, who am I, exactly?
Am I a fake existence created just to fill in for the original’s life?
Does that mean my entire life, up until now, was a lie?
I have so many questions and no one to answer them..
Well, first, since there was no one here except me, let’s get out..
I move towards the door that was located at the center of the right wall. When I held the knob, it felt strange..
But this was the only door in the room no matter how you looked at it. Plus, there was no key to be found anywhere I looked, there was only pure white walls, that looked like it was trying to suffocate me..
Wait a minute, this reminded me of something..
This was just like that time with the many doors..
Could I still use aura magic like that time? Only one way to find out..
I moved my aura to my hand, and held the door knob..
After I twisted it, the door flew open and let me out..
What greeted me was a nostalgic but complex labyrinth of doors..
I finally remembered where I was..
I’m in my subconscious aren’t I?
I think to myself looking around, reminiscing the time when I was trapped here before I met Master..
If I remember correctly, one of these doors lead to the outside but..
I had to use my [Aura Eyes] to tell which is which out of these array of doorways..
“Ah, this is going to take a while..(sigh)”
I mutter to myself in the dark labyrinth..
Hey, no matter how you look at it, wasn’t this taking too long?
It’s been hours since I started finding the exit with my skill but there was no door that glowed like the last time I was here, while at the same time, all the doors I found were locked..
Even if I unlocked them, when I went through every one, I just ended up at the entrance..
What the heck is going on?
As I was going to give up without even a day passing, like the easily discouraged guy that I am, I noticed something..
How strange, was this always here?
I was looking at a strange entrance that somehow looked like an elevator..
Normally, I would question my sanity when an elevator suddenly appears in front of you but..
I was currently inside the elevator..
Don’t look at me with those eyes, I was curious!
Valid excuse? Ha, who do you think you’re talking to?
Alright, that’s enough of that..
Instead, let’s find out why the door already closed but there were no buttons to press…
Ah, is this a premise to a horror movie? Is that it?
Oh, there was something else on the wall instead..
It looked like one of those scanners you see in movies where secret agents were the only ones who could use it..
No, this wasn’t the time to be admiring spy movies..
I unreservedly placed my hand on the scanner..
Hey, is this broken? It’s been a few minutes you know?
Wasn’t this the inside of my head? Does that mean that my head was broken?
No, I’m jumping to conclusions again, remember that this was another world, different from mine..
Even so, what should I do..
Am I stuck here now? Do I have to live out my days inside an elevator alone?
Hey, can someone tell me? I beg of you..
Oh, it seemed I activated a skill by mistake and the scanner glowed..
It was [Depressing Aura] but if I retort I will lose..
So, let’s move on..
After the scanner glowed in an ominous light, the elevator suddenly started moving down..
I was just hoping there wasn’t a mad serial killer wearing a hockey mask waiting for me when I stop..
While I was wishing for stupid things like that, the elevator suddenly stopped with a “ding”, and I walked out..
After I entered a dark hallway illuminated with modern fluorescent lamps, the elevator closed behind me..
When I turned around to check, it was gone. I was scared..
This was bad, wasn’t this exactly like that hospital movie with the killer underground I used to watch?
Yes, I watched movies alone too, so no need to comment on that..
Well, there wasn’t any point to keep standing around, so I reluctantly walked through the corridor..
After what seemed to be long hours of nerve-wracking suspense watching out for voices and unknown assailants coming after my life or the lingering spirits of the dead with regrets, I reached an entrance..
By the way, I got scared for nothing, since it was all quiet even until I reached here..
But I will never admint that I was scared, no. I was just being cautious..
Yes, let’s go with that..
While reaffirming my pride, I applied aura to the large door handle, and went inside easily..
I wasn’t that stupid. Of course I would have noticed that most things here were unlocked with aura..
When I entered the dark room, the lights suddenly flickered, and shone brightly soon after..
Illuminating the room and at the same time, blinding my eyes for a good few seconds, was the large lamp like it was from one of those Japanese inns, fully equipped with a night light..
What greeted my eyes was a sight for sore eyes..
A television, a real honest-to-goodness television..
The last time I saw one of these, was when I was still watching every anime show I could think of..
Good times, good times..
Ah, now that I noticed it, there was also a long, sleek couch opposite of the television, separated by a stylish coffee table in the middle with a strange object on it..
No, it wasn’t strange..
Could it be?
One of the objects that I guaranteed that I held in my hand most of the time when I was back on earth..
No, it wasn’t a phone. I wasn’t popular, remember?
It was a mouse I used when browsing the internet..
But why was it on the table when there wasn’t a monitor? Heck there wasn’t even a keyboard..
Still, there wasn’t anything else in this room, so I naturally sat down on the couch and looked for the remote..
Alas, this was a cruel joke. The remote was nowhere to be found, and I found a slight sting in my right eye..
No, I wasn’t crying..
This was just sweat coming from my eyes. Yes, that’s it..
I don’t know why I was making excuses to myself, but I know it would only bring me down more..
So, I picked up the mouse to hold it one more time because there was nothing else here except for this..
But the mouse didn’t do anything either..
Ah, that’s it! Let’s try using aura again..
When I was releasing aura from my hand that was holding the mouse, the television suddenly turned on by itself..
The screeching sound of static and the grey squiggles were showing on the screen..
“Please no little man wearing a creepy mask”
“Please no little man wearing a creepy mask”
“Please no little man wearing a creepy mask”
“Please no little man wearing a creepy mask”
I chanted this like I was praying to someone like a cultist..
But when the static settled, I was surprised to see a blue window instead..
|Aura Detected: Identifying..
Identify Complete: Confirmed Identity..
User: Orion (2nd Persona)
[API] is beginning to boot up..
Please wait a moment..
What is this? Am I in the future?
While being dumbfounded after reading the words written in Japanese, I wait for the television to change..
|Welcome to Aura Persona Interactive [ API ]
|User: Orion ( 2nd )
|– Browse Memories –
|– Spectator Mode –
|– Transmit Thoughts –
|– Request Interchanging Of Persona –
|:Other Options Are Currently Locked:
I didn’t understand fully what happened, but this suddenly turned game-like..
For now, let’s try an option that is less likely to be dangerous..
Okay, I have decided!
I move the mouse over to the option, – Transmit Thoughts – , and clicked it..
The next moment, a pair of headphones suddenly appeared out of thin air..
As I was an avid gamer, I placed the headphones on my head without a hint of hesitation..
Don’t underestimate those who have delved into the world of gaming because real life can be cruel..
I judged that the microphone attached to the headphones would be used to transmit my thoughts..
It was just like those chat calls I used to do with my team mates back on Earth..
People online were somewhat easier to interact with than real people back then, so I naturally grew accustomed to setting up my microphone and placed it near my mouth..
I wondered who I was transmitting to, but let’s try it out for now. Nothing could go wrong right?
As I reassure myself that I was not raising a flag, I watched the television screen change into the words..
|[ API ] Connection Established
After clearing my throat once, I begin to part my lips..
This was terrible..
I just felt two of my [Archdevils] were killed..
The proof of that, was the large surge of power that returned to me..
I concluded the ones who have fallen were Mastema, and Mephisto..
Which meant that the mission I gave them in “Myriad” failed..
Judging on how my wisdom and strength returned, they must have been truly vanquished..
Well, if their souls were still lingering, Polaris-sama could revive them, but the problem was the person in question..
I could not very well ask the busy “Demon Goddess” to revive failed minions since she had better things to do anyway..
But even so, they were minions, but they were certainly not weak..
In fact, they ranked top when compared to the rest of the demon race, special existences, who were given life by Polaris-sama using my genes and enormous magic power..
Even if I was the “Demon Lord”, the four of them together could give me a decent fight..
Which begs the question, who was the one who killed them?
They could never have a human that strong that could match them except the hero..
But even the hero couldn’t have took them both on, and I had information that the hero was preparing for war..
Naturally, I was sure that they were defeated separately, and with cunning tricks..
They must have been sealed, or couldn’t use their power for some reason..
Yes, humans were tricky creatures, using their gathered wisdom and numbers to fight..
But there was rarely a time when they would separate from each other..
No, no, this must have all been taken into account, this was just bad luck and timing. A fluke if you wish..
Naturally, I was mad but I had to keep up my composure as a ruler..
It was regrettable that the plans were hindered, but I had to move on..
The others were still alive and carrying out the plans in both the east and west continents..
It was only a matter of time..
So, since I wanted to investigate what exactly happened, I sent spies to move to “Myriad” and find out..
While looking over my territory, I couldn’t relax because I had a murky feeling within me..
The soft morning breeze blew through my hair..
Sunlight was seeping through the cracks of daybreak..
Illuminating the village houses and the trees, reflecting different colors of the prism..
Signifying the start of a brand new day..
But, the bitterness of yesterday cannot be glossed over that easily..
I was currently standing with Germundo at my side, watching a little boy in front of a large white stone..
While clenching my fist till I was nearly bleeding, I was mocking my own hubris in silent rage..
At the back of the village chief’s house, I was staring at the shaking back of a little boy with wolf ears and a drooping tail, trying his best not to show tears in our presence while he was twitching from time to time..
It seemed he was saying something to the grave, his mom’s grave while not realizing he had tears flowing down his cheeks like a waterfall, which I did not say out loud..
I was still regretting the fact that I wasn’t cautious that time, and trusted that Jin wouldn’t be in any danger..
What strength? Wasn’t I just an arrogant bastard that thought that I could do anything?
All that talk, and for what? When the time came, I couldn’t shake that guy off..
I had to watch a mother sacrifice her own life to protect her son who was just trying to save her…
I couldn’t forgive myself..
Did I realize my own strength was my own unbecoming?
Don’t mess around with me..
I was regretting my own incompetence and going back on last night, finding what I could have done instead of that stupid plan of splitting up and attacking blindly. If I took a different route back then, this wouldn’t have happened..
What happened after I invoked my skill, [Aura of Wrath] was..
I materialized a minigun with my creation skill, and shot every single enemy on sight..
Starting from the archer that shot the arrow, all the way to the arrogant noble..
The knight was still dodging but he moved slower than before, so I grazed him most of the time..
It ended in a few seconds, I drilled them with holes that made their bodies unrecognizable..
The only one who was left standing was the strange knight with broken armor, wielding a sword that had no trace of being chipped or rusted, reflecting the moonlight with its gleam..
So, I kicked it up a notch and used [Aura Flash] to drag the knight to the outskirts of the village..
This was to avoid casualties and unneeded destruction..
Not that I cared that much, but I still retained a little of my reason in this state, albeit hard to do..
When I was outside, I released my skills and fought using my instincts with my body moving by itself..
The [Aura of Wrath] skill was dangerous since it moves the body automatically in order to completely annihilate the target regardless of the means. So I decided to study more on this in the future..
It was taking a bit more time than expected since he could still dodge and adapt for a while but when his sword suddenly broke, the victor was decided..
There was no trace of his corpse left after I regained my calm..
When I confirmed that there was no enemies left, I hurriedly went back to the village..
I cleaned up the remaining lackeys who were secretly retreating using the map and made it back to the square..
When I saw the elderly woman with wolf ears and tail, I immediately rushed towards her and the crying Jin, using my recovery skills, but no matter how much I tried regenerating her body, she didn’t get any better..
After she told me that it was fine, I stopped and concluded that it was too late..
The reason was glaringly clear. The arrow was coated in poison, a lethal one at that..
Since my aura could only regenerate and not cure, there was no helping it..
Even if I created a new skill, it wouldn’t work since regeneration would shorten your lifespan little by little..
I found out that the woman was already ill and kept it from Jin and Germundo even before she came to the village..
The disease was an incurable one that [Beastman] contracted. It will gradually take years off of your life the more it is left untreated. And because it was incurable, it was no different from a death sentence..
Her lifespan was shortening day by day at a rapid rate but still, she chose to live freely..
Such admirable spirit, although it was detrimental in the current situation..
The disease was alien to anything I had ever known..
I had no way to cure it..
I was powerless..
There was nothing I could do except wait..
When she knew her time came, she said her last words to Jin that I politely tuned out for privacy..
Surprisingly, she said to me..
What? What were you thanking me for…
I couldn’t do anything to help you..
Why was she gently smiling to me, a total stranger..
I would never know..
Since soon after, she took a slender sword out of thin air which could only be called beautiful, and gave it to Jin..
Just before she slowly closed her eyes for good..
And now, I was lamenting my decisions and wanted to go back..
I didn’t want this..
I didn’t want to get involved with others, but I didn’t want to hurt the innocent either..
I disappointed Jin, that little kid who easily believed that I was a person to look up to..
I didn’t know what to do except stand here looking at the back of Jin from afar, who was unsheathing the sword his mother gave him, a memento that he was currently holding like it was precious..
Maybe I should say my farewells to this place now..
With me here, he would always be reminded of my lies, and I would always be reminded of my helplessness..
At that moment, when I motioned to turn around..
I heard a familiar voice that sounded nervous..
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