Chapter 24:

Unknown Enigma- The Betrayer (1)

Battlefield Restart: Mortal God

He believed everything I said. Even if he had reasons to not trust me, he HAD to believe me.Bookmark here

Well… Good.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

That said, nothing I said was truthful.Bookmark here

After seeing his memories, manipulating his mindset was easier than he gave me credit for.Bookmark here

He was a simple person, after all.Bookmark here

You only needed a few nudges to get him on the right track. This 'eldest brother' of ours was…Bookmark here

*Crash!*Bookmark here

The sounds of mirrors shattering resounded when someone broke into my dimension as a true 'God'.Bookmark here

"Where did you hide him?!" A feminine voice resounded along with the wizzing of flying swords.Bookmark here

Five coloured blades of the elements surrounded me, but I didn't resist this 'intruder' whatsoever.Bookmark here

There was no reason to…Bookmark here

"Calm down." Was the first words I'd spoken to the woman dressed like a female God of Olympus.Bookmark here

Though her true nature wasn't really that different.Bookmark here

She a sibling of mine: Life Goddess, The One Who Governs Order… Her name was already decided.Bookmark here

As the embodiment of the Inherited Wills of both Divine Swords, her name spoke of that equilibrium.Bookmark here

"Enigma!" She roared at me. Her red eyes seemed ferocious enough to actually be willing to kill me.Bookmark here

However, she was able to control her emotions.Bookmark here

Those dangerous eyes slowly returned to their composed state, and she lowered her hand.Bookmark here

Crossing her arms commandingly, she looked at me with a gaze that seemed to be judgmental.Bookmark here

Like I had always been on her bad side…Bookmark here

"Harmony, what brings you here?" My voice didn't tremble despite being washed in her killing intent.Bookmark here

The sickly and dreadful feeling her emotions bore into me… I'd never felt this feeling before.Bookmark here

Perhaps it was only because she was 'Life'.Bookmark here

The embodiment of what it meant to live and dominate over others. The maker of peace.Bookmark here

If she really wanted to kill me, I would be dead…Bookmark here

"Where is 'his' soul?" The five elemental swords of heavenly light inched closer after she spoke.Bookmark here

Death was almost close enough to experience.Bookmark here

"I won't lie to you… I'd given him another life. His soul is on Gaia. Isn't that what we all wanted?"Bookmark here

"Then why can't I feel his existence?"Bookmark here

"So cold… If you're going to kill me anyway, I might not talk. Anyway, why are you looking for him?"Bookmark here

"YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHY!!!"Bookmark here

"Sheesh… Yeah, our eldest is important. I also get why you're like this, but let him relax a little."Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

This dimension of light and darkness was being handled by me, and it had many useful functions.Bookmark here

One of them being the surveillance of Gaia.Bookmark here

The Gods of Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, Lightning, Wood, Blood, Metal, and Death were our foes.Bookmark here

Their 'children' were searching for our eldest.Bookmark here

So long as he existed, they could never rest in peace. He was a threat, but not the only one.Bookmark here

In fact, there was another more looming threat.Bookmark here

The Gods feared that the existence of our eldest sibling would awaken the threat even they feared.Bookmark here

The ancient shadow of antiquity…Bookmark here

However, that was just baseless worries.Bookmark here

"True, but if we can't find him… then in this world no one can." That was a fact she couldn't deny.Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

"You think no one could find him?" Her face began to distort, but quickly regained its prior tranquility.Bookmark here

"What's that supposed to mean?"Bookmark here

"So you don't know?"Bookmark here

"Don't answer with a question."Bookmark here

"Oh my… Have you forgotten what position you're in already? Do you think those swords have value?"Bookmark here

"…" She looked down to see the weapons I'd originally pulled out, and was silently looking at.Bookmark here

These were the empty Divine Swords that had lost their energy. Both of them were cracked in places.Bookmark here

In fact, these swords even had a fragment missing each. In terms of quality, they were just trash.Bookmark here

"I'll just reforge then later."Bookmark here

"Into what?"Bookmark here

"Divine Sword of Confined Karma. Divine Sword of Miraculous Eclipse. Those will be the names."Bookmark here

"…You're preparing as well, huh? No wonder you're so calm. What? Are you going to kill me too?"Bookmark here

"Nonsense…"Bookmark here

"Is it?"Bookmark here

"I'm not that cruel."Bookmark here

"…" She chuckled, as if I'd said a funny joke. I was glad she was able to feel amused about it all.Bookmark here

Still, she controlled herself and refrained from killing me. The words I'd said were crossing a line.Bookmark here

Harmony spoke with a dignified tone: "Have you gone crazy? A top hat doesn't make a gentleman."Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

If Harmony was the fusion of Divine Wills once held by the swords I held, then Chaos was 'Mortal Wills'.Bookmark here

A part of the consciousness of those who'd contracted the swords were left inside the blades.Bookmark here

Once broken, those wills amalgamated and gained a divinity. This was why Chaos had no fixed form.Bookmark here

Depending on the consciousness that won the battle of wills within it, Chaos will be different.Bookmark here

However, I'd already knew the outcome.Bookmark here

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'.Bookmark here

I wonder how our eldest would meet Chaos after coming back here later on. A lifetime was short.Bookmark here

Still, Harmony didn't seem to want to release her hold over me. She kept the swords were they were.Bookmark here

Still hovering around my neck…Bookmark here

"Funny… You think you control destiny?" She gave a laugh to my calm and composed demeanour.Bookmark here

"…What are you suggesting?"Bookmark here

"There's one person who can find him. No matter where he goes, he can't escape fate."Bookmark here

"What 'fate'? I'm the one who governs karma."Bookmark here

"No, you only stole that divinity from our youngest." Her voice trembled momentarily.Bookmark here

"She wasn't a proper sibling anyway."Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

"So what…? Aren't I the second oldest even still? I helped stabilise all of you when you were weak."Bookmark here

This was the key reason she was holding back.Bookmark here

Even if she hated me, she couldn't help but show gratitude towards the saviour of her own life.Bookmark here

I was like a parent to all of these Godly Siblings.Bookmark here

"True… but how were you so 'stable' anyway. It's almost like you were already complete when-"Bookmark here

"Don't think too much."Bookmark here

"Pretty brave of you to talk like that."Bookmark here

"If you going to kill me anyway, just do it now."Bookmark here

"Fine… but don't get full of yourself."Bookmark here

"…I won't." She was just barking now. Maybe she was willing to kill me earlier, but all that vanished.Bookmark here

Her killing intent has waned over time.Bookmark here

Despite us being in the same situation, the power dynamic between us wasn't unequal anymore.Bookmark here

Both of us had our own reasons for being here.Bookmark here

"Our youngest, Void, only hates you because of your betrayal. She's probably next to 'him' now…"Bookmark here

"He should be able to deal with her. Even if his memories are sealed, it shouldn't be a problem."Bookmark here

"You say it like you don't know… so I'm going to remind you again: She isn't weak nor foolish."Bookmark here

"She's just our youngest. Without her divinity or powers, she should be helpless to her destiny."Bookmark here

"Wrong. As a former Goddess, even if she loses her memories, she will always be unfathomable."Bookmark here

"You praise her too much…" Void wouldn't do anything. After all, she was only 'Emotions'.Bookmark here

A half-baked Karma Goddess. Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

'Void' was a being formed by that mass of lingering resentment and regrets. She was 'evil' in nature.Bookmark here

At least, that's how I'd persuaded Harmony.Bookmark here

Leaving the power to control karma in the hands of someone born from resentment wasn't 'correct'.Bookmark here

It's so nice Harmony was so young and naive….Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

Wisdom wasn't without a pint of intelligence, and intelligence wasn't without a pint of wisdom.Bookmark here

Perhaps I was looking down on that girl.Bookmark here

Still, she shouldn't have any memories anymore. A god without memories or divinity was only mortal.Bookmark here

What could a mortal do to a God like him?Bookmark here

Even if she still retained some of her grudges, she shouldn't have any towards our eldest sibling.Bookmark here

Nor did he have anything she could take from him.Bookmark here

It was with that firm belief that I was at ease. There was nothing a Goddess without affiliation could do.Bookmark here

She was just human.Bookmark here

"Still… She wouldn't kill him." I tried to get my thoughts across as seriously as I possibly could.Bookmark here

"You really think so…?"Bookmark here

"Umm…" Why was she still unsure?Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

"That's exactly why I didn't let you meet."Bookmark here

"…What?" Looking at her confused face, my heart felt a different type of terror about this naive girl.Bookmark here

It was the fear of another's ignorance.Bookmark here

How dare she say that…?Bookmark here

With a slight tremble of my wrist, the swords around my neck were thrown away in an instant.Bookmark here

The power of destruction covered my body…Bookmark here

"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?"Bookmark here

It had been so hard reverting him back to a 'human' after altering his memories. Taking so much effort…Bookmark here

Maybe it would have been easier if he was 'normal' from the beginning, but his heart was always dead.Bookmark here

He was the least human 'human' I'd ever met!Bookmark here

A proud logic being that was more like a computer than anything else. It was tiring giving him a heart.Bookmark here

Nuance couldn't be understood by someone who had cut away his emotions and ruined his mind.Bookmark here

How dare she act naive?!Bookmark here

I knew well how my 'father' would have reacted if he'd heard about being drafted for war again.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

She knew all of this! She knew this well!!!Bookmark here

Still, Harmony tired to justify herself:Bookmark here

"But… he-"Bookmark here

"No buts! War ruins the solders, the people, and the nations involved. We have to avoid 'war'!"Bookmark here

I won't let Gaia become a battlefield!Bookmark here

"…We have no choice." She spoke in a voice so soft that it was barely a whimper. A last act of defiance.Bookmark here

But I pulled away her mask of self-deception.Bookmark here

"A politician could declare that war was an inevitability. A soldier would say otherwise."Bookmark here

"He's tough. Tougher than you give him credit for."Bookmark here

"Talent isn't the same as 'toughness'. Cutting out your emotions isn't the same as coping with them."Bookmark here

"That was his own choice."Bookmark here

"What 'choice'?! He'd never the choice to mature and grow. Independence isn't only about a salary."Bookmark here

"Isn't that good for us?"Bookmark here

"For you… For the 'Fake Gods'… but not for me."Bookmark here

"Then I'll leave it be. We won't include him in our plans. He can just live a normal life. Happy?"Bookmark here

"…Thank you." I realised that I'd lost my composure as well. Some words I said… weren't good to say.Bookmark here

I hope she hadn't noticed anything.Bookmark here

With that being said, I turned around as if to shoo her away. There was nothing left to talk about.Bookmark here

Chaos still needed her by his side.Bookmark here

She didn't leave immediately, scarily saying:Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

Being treated like this hurt the most…Bookmark here

Maybe I could tell her a believable lie, but she wouldn't be convinced. I needed to show sincerity.Bookmark here

A sigh escaped me, and I said one sentence:Bookmark here

"Someone older than you." Bookmark here

How much she understood from these words was up to her deductive skills. I wouldn't say anymore.Bookmark here

She finally left…Bookmark here

Secretly, my eyes looked at a mirror that was reformed after she left. Only to see his 'confession'.Bookmark here

I'd severely underestimated that girl…Bookmark here

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