Battlefield Restart: Mortal God
He believed everything I said. Even if he had reasons to not trust me, he HAD to believe me.
It wasn't like I was trying to trick him. Most of what I said wasn't a lie, and other parts were white lies.
That said, nothing I said was truthful.
After seeing his memories, manipulating his mindset was easier than he gave me credit for.
He was a simple person, after all.
You only needed a few nudges to get him on the right track. This 'eldest brother' of ours was…
The sounds of mirrors shattering resounded when someone broke into my dimension as a true 'God'.
"Where did you hide him?!" A feminine voice resounded along with the wizzing of flying swords.
Five coloured blades of the elements surrounded me, but I didn't resist this 'intruder' whatsoever.
There was no reason to…
"Calm down." Was the first words I'd spoken to the woman dressed like a female God of Olympus.
Though her true nature wasn't really that different.
She a sibling of mine: Life Goddess, The One Who Governs Order… Her name was already decided.
As the embodiment of the Inherited Wills of both Divine Swords, her name spoke of that equilibrium.
"Enigma!" She roared at me. Her red eyes seemed ferocious enough to actually be willing to kill me.
However, she was able to control her emotions.
Those dangerous eyes slowly returned to their composed state, and she lowered her hand.
Crossing her arms commandingly, she looked at me with a gaze that seemed to be judgmental.
Like I had always been on her bad side…
"Harmony, what brings you here?" My voice didn't tremble despite being washed in her killing intent.
The sickly and dreadful feeling her emotions bore into me… I'd never felt this feeling before.
Perhaps it was only because she was 'Life'.
The embodiment of what it meant to live and dominate over others. The maker of peace.
If she really wanted to kill me, I would be dead…
"Where is 'his' soul?" The five elemental swords of heavenly light inched closer after she spoke.
Death was almost close enough to experience.
"I won't lie to you… I'd given him another life. His soul is on Gaia. Isn't that what we all wanted?"
"Then why can't I feel his existence?"
"So cold… If you're going to kill me anyway, I might not talk. Anyway, why are you looking for him?"
"YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHY!!!"
"Sheesh… Yeah, our eldest is important. I also get why you're like this, but let him relax a little."
"Do you think we have time to relax…? Do you think I'm the only one looking for him?" It was a question I'd already predicted she'd speak. There was no way any of us could ignore the outside world.
This dimension of light and darkness was being handled by me, and it had many useful functions.
One of them being the surveillance of Gaia.
The Gods of Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, Lightning, Wood, Blood, Metal, and Death were our foes.
Their 'children' were searching for our eldest.
So long as he existed, they could never rest in peace. He was a threat, but not the only one.
In fact, there was another more looming threat.
The Gods feared that the existence of our eldest sibling would awaken the threat even they feared.
The ancient shadow of antiquity…
However, that was just baseless worries.
"True, but if we can't find him… then in this world no one can." That was a fact she couldn't deny.
A tiny glow couldn't be spotted amongst the countless stars. Even a 'Life Goddess' like her had no way of figuring out where our eldest was amongst the myriad creatures of Gaia.
"You think no one could find him?" Her face began to distort, but quickly regained its prior tranquility.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"So you don't know?"
"Don't answer with a question."
"Oh my… Have you forgotten what position you're in already? Do you think those swords have value?"
"…" She looked down to see the weapons I'd originally pulled out, and was silently looking at.
These were the empty Divine Swords that had lost their energy. Both of them were cracked in places.
In fact, these swords even had a fragment missing each. In terms of quality, they were just trash.
"I'll just reforge then later."
"Divine Sword of Confined Karma. Divine Sword of Miraculous Eclipse. Those will be the names."
"…You're preparing as well, huh? No wonder you're so calm. What? Are you going to kill me too?"
"I'm not that cruel."
"…" She chuckled, as if I'd said a funny joke. I was glad she was able to feel amused about it all.
Still, she controlled herself and refrained from killing me. The words I'd said were crossing a line.
Harmony spoke with a dignified tone: "Have you gone crazy? A top hat doesn't make a gentleman."
"That's right. So go take care of Chaos. We wouldn't want our second youngest to die because us middle siblings didn't take care of him." My words made her bite her lips. The swords around me were trembling; tempted to abide her will.
If she did kill me, then she'd have to balance her focus between Gaia's predicament and the 'godly sibling' of ours, who was in a coma. I wasn't going to assume it's gender yet. 'It' was still undecided.
If Harmony was the fusion of Divine Wills once held by the swords I held, then Chaos was 'Mortal Wills'.
A part of the consciousness of those who'd contracted the swords were left inside the blades.
Once broken, those wills amalgamated and gained a divinity. This was why Chaos had no fixed form.
Depending on the consciousness that won the battle of wills within it, Chaos will be different.
However, I'd already knew the outcome.
Since there were three to five of the same 'Mortal Will' of one particular person, the result was decided. 'It' would definitely become a 'he', and might even gain a personality similar to 'him'.
I wonder how our eldest would meet Chaos after coming back here later on. A lifetime was short.
Still, Harmony didn't seem to want to release her hold over me. She kept the swords were they were.
Still hovering around my neck…
"Funny… You think you control destiny?" She gave a laugh to my calm and composed demeanour.
"…What are you suggesting?"
"There's one person who can find him. No matter where he goes, he can't escape fate."
"What 'fate'? I'm the one who governs karma."
"No, you only stole that divinity from our youngest." Her voice trembled momentarily.
"She wasn't a proper sibling anyway."
"Then what about you!? I'm the fusion of two Divine Wills… Chaos is the amalgamation of the Mortal Wills contracted to the Divine Swords. Even our youngest was once a part of 'us' in nature."
"So what…? Aren't I the second oldest even still? I helped stabilise all of you when you were weak."
This was the key reason she was holding back.
Even if she hated me, she couldn't help but show gratitude towards the saviour of her own life.
I was like a parent to all of these Godly Siblings.
"True… but how were you so 'stable' anyway. It's almost like you were already complete when-"
"Don't think too much."
"Pretty brave of you to talk like that."
"If you going to kill me anyway, just do it now."
"Fine… but don't get full of yourself."
"…I won't." She was just barking now. Maybe she was willing to kill me earlier, but all that vanished.
Her killing intent has waned over time.
Despite us being in the same situation, the power dynamic between us wasn't unequal anymore.
Both of us had our own reasons for being here.
"Our youngest, Void, only hates you because of your betrayal. She's probably next to 'him' now…"
"He should be able to deal with her. Even if his memories are sealed, it shouldn't be a problem."
"You say it like you don't know… so I'm going to remind you again: She isn't weak nor foolish."
"She's just our youngest. Without her divinity or powers, she should be helpless to her destiny."
"Wrong. As a former Goddess, even if she loses her memories, she will always be unfathomable."
"You praise her too much…" Void wouldn't do anything. After all, she was only 'Emotions'.
A half-baked Karma Goddess.
When the Divine Swords were stained with the blood of warriors, their lingering regrets tainted the Divine Swords permanently. Not even Holy Water could wash away the grudge of so many warriors.
'Void' was a being formed by that mass of lingering resentment and regrets. She was 'evil' in nature.
At least, that's how I'd persuaded Harmony.
Leaving the power to control karma in the hands of someone born from resentment wasn't 'correct'.
It's so nice Harmony was so young and naive….
"It's only you who looks down on her. I'm not sure what you did, but if our eldest meets her without regaining his powers first… then he'll be in for trouble." A somber look appeared in her dull eyes.
Wisdom wasn't without a pint of intelligence, and intelligence wasn't without a pint of wisdom.
Perhaps I was looking down on that girl.
Still, she shouldn't have any memories anymore. A god without memories or divinity was only mortal.
What could a mortal do to a God like him?
Even if she still retained some of her grudges, she shouldn't have any towards our eldest sibling.
Nor did he have anything she could take from him.
It was with that firm belief that I was at ease. There was nothing a Goddess without affiliation could do.
She was just human.
"Still… She wouldn't kill him." I tried to get my thoughts across as seriously as I possibly could.
"You really think so…?"
"Umm…" Why was she still unsure?
"What about the war between us Gods? Even though we're counterfeits… 'Fakes'… we are still part of Gaia. Without us, this world will be ruined without salvation. I just wanted to tell him this."
"That's exactly why I didn't let you meet."
"…What?" Looking at her confused face, my heart felt a different type of terror about this naive girl.
It was the fear of another's ignorance.
How dare she say that…?
With a slight tremble of my wrist, the swords around my neck were thrown away in an instant.
The power of destruction covered my body…
"You heard me right. I don't want him to learn of war again. He doesn't deserve it. He won't be able to handle any more suffering. Isn't that why we agreed to seal his memories in the first place?"
It had been so hard reverting him back to a 'human' after altering his memories. Taking so much effort…
Maybe it would have been easier if he was 'normal' from the beginning, but his heart was always dead.
He was the least human 'human' I'd ever met!
A proud logic being that was more like a computer than anything else. It was tiring giving him a heart.
Nuance couldn't be understood by someone who had cut away his emotions and ruined his mind.
How dare she act naive?!
I knew well how my 'father' would have reacted if he'd heard about being drafted for war again.
His mind, which I'd barely recovered with subtle suggestions and sealing away lifetimes of memories, would collapse once again. He'd let himself fall spiralling down an abyss of no return.
She knew all of this! She knew this well!!!
Still, Harmony tired to justify herself:
"No buts! War ruins the solders, the people, and the nations involved. We have to avoid 'war'!"
I won't let Gaia become a battlefield!
"…We have no choice." She spoke in a voice so soft that it was barely a whimper. A last act of defiance.
But I pulled away her mask of self-deception.
"A politician could declare that war was an inevitability. A soldier would say otherwise."
"He's tough. Tougher than you give him credit for."
"Talent isn't the same as 'toughness'. Cutting out your emotions isn't the same as coping with them."
"That was his own choice."
"What 'choice'?! He'd never the choice to mature and grow. Independence isn't only about a salary."
"Isn't that good for us?"
"For you… For the 'Fake Gods'… but not for me."
"Then I'll leave it be. We won't include him in our plans. He can just live a normal life. Happy?"
"…Thank you." I realised that I'd lost my composure as well. Some words I said… weren't good to say.
I hope she hadn't noticed anything.
With that being said, I turned around as if to shoo her away. There was nothing left to talk about.
Chaos still needed her by his side.
She didn't leave immediately, scarily saying:
"I've wanted to about it before. Me, Void, Chaos… and 'Him'. The four of us… 'siblings', are the real deal. So who are you?" She drew a clear line between the two of us. As if I was just a stranger.
Being treated like this hurt the most…
Maybe I could tell her a believable lie, but she wouldn't be convinced. I needed to show sincerity.
A sigh escaped me, and I said one sentence:
"Someone older than you."
How much she understood from these words was up to her deductive skills. I wouldn't say anymore.
She finally left…
Secretly, my eyes looked at a mirror that was reformed after she left. Only to see his 'confession'.
I'd severely underestimated that girl…