The Great Mage Returns after 4000 Years – Chapter 105 – Lord (4)
Editors: Ana_Banana, Yahiko
Lord said they would have to wait a little longer for the other Demigods to gather.
Then, he ordered the Apostles to leave because he wanted to discuss something with the Apocalypses.
There was no way they could disobey him, so the five Apostles headed down to the basement of the castle.
Frey was the one who acted as the guide, which was natural since Frey and Riki were the ones who got there first.
The basement was quite large, but since it had been used to house slaves, it was quite dreary and filthy.
Frey and Riki didn’t bother cleaning it up since they only stayed in the upper floors.
Thanks to that, the entire room was filled with a horrid stench.
However, none of the Apostles seemed to be bothered by it.
Even Letia, the Lady of the Blake family, grabbed an old wooden chair and planted her buttocks on it without hesitation. (TL: author’s words…not mine…)
The rest were the same.
They each found a corner to sit quietly in.
“Do you have anything to eat?”
It was the Demon who asked this question in a deep voice.
Frey glanced at him for a moment before answering.
“I have bread.”
“What about to drink?”
Frey then went upstairs to the food storehouse and brought back four servings of bread and beer to give to everyone.
Letia was the only one who didn’t accept it.
Frey also didn’t eat anything.
He wasn’t hungry, and he didn’t want to take the mask off his face.
After the short meal, Jenta approached Frey, who was sitting in a corner.
“Take off your mask.”
It was clearly an order.
Frey wasn’t surprised. Rather, he expected something like this to happen.
They were bound to be dissatisfied at Frey who didn’t reveal his face like everyone else.
“What if I don’t?”
Of course, he didn’t have to respond, but Frey chose to provoke him.
“Do you intend to take it off by force?”
“I don’t see why not.”
It wasn’t Frey who said that.
It was the Demon who was tearing into the bread viciously.
He had red skin and pupilless eyes, and it seemed he had no intention of hiding behind a mask.
Jenta and the Phoenix had both eaten their bread while trying to keep their faces as covered as possible.
“Quit it? Aren’t you curious about this guy’s identity?”
“Of course I’m curious. But that’s not something we have to worry about.”
“You can’t do much about your curiosity. Especially when the Demigods are nearby.”
Jenta didn’t say anything further. He simply turned around, walked back to his corner and sat down.
Frey sighed inwardly before turning to the Demon.
Sensing his gaze, the Demon also turned to look at Frey.
Besides that, there was also another gaze that was locked on to Frey.
She was also looking at him.
Frey turned his head and met her gaze, but everyone remained quiet.
‘It’s so frustrating not being able to use Telepathy.’
He wondered how exactly she’d become Agni’s Apostle and what exactly was on her mind at that moment.
One good thing was that he did not sense any suspicion or hostility in her gaze.
Otherwise, she would have already revealed his identity.
Frey had sincerely hoped to have a happy reunion with her. However, this was quite a contrast to the reunion he had envisioned.
For now, he decided not to think about that.
* * *
[That’s all I have to say for now.]
When Lord said that, the other Demigods nodded.
[The rest of you may leave. Riki, I’d like to talk to you for a moment.]
‘There’s something coming.’
This thought floated in Riki’s head as the other Demigods slowly left the room.
As Ananta passed by, he shot Riki a mocking look.
He was certain that Lord would now pay close attention to Riki.
Before long, only Lord and Riki remained in the hall.
Lord shook his hand slightly.
The room was suddenly covered by layers of barriers.
Riki’s expression hardened as he felt the power of the barriers.
He was certain that he wouldn’t be able to escape it unless he used his full power.
[There’s no need to feel nervous, Riki.]
Lord spoke softly.
Riki then realised that he had subconsciously put his hand on the hilt of his sword.
[I just didn’t want anyone to hear our conversation. You know that Nozdog and Ananta currently don’t have any positive feelings towards you. Leyrin doesn’t seem to be suspicious… but she’s definitely curious.]
There was certainly a chance that they would’ve tried to eavesdrop on this conversation.
But now that Lord had erected multiple layers of barriers, they wouldn’t be able to.
“What do you want to talk about?”
[Riki, my oldest brother, I still remember the joy I felt when I saw you for the first time.]
It was an unexpected statement, but Lord’s voice was so filled with nostalgia that he didn’t question him.
Lord pondered for a moment.
He couldn’t even remember how long ago it had been.
In the old days, humans and the other mortal creatures hadn’t even learned to use proper tools yet, Dragons had simply been large monsters, and the continent’s terrain had been completely different.
That was when Lord had broken off. A small, broken fragment that had detached from the will of the world.
It had taken hundreds of years for him to gain sentience.
At that time, it didn’t take long for Lord to realise that he was stronger than every other being alive, that he was superior to every other race.
He felt that even if all of these beings worked together to fight against him, he would still be able to win without difficulty.
But that fact didn’t impress Lord.
What did it matter?
He didn’t even know why he had such absolute power.
He had the power to rule the world, but he had no purpose.
He didn’t even know why he existed in the first place. So as time went by, he slowly became consumed by a deep sense of loneliness.
Then, another piece fell from the will of the world.
[You wouldn’t understand the sheer joy I felt to finally find another person in this world who was like me.]
He was finally not alone.
That fact alone suddenly gave Lord the will to live.
Then he’d just have to make one.
He had the power to do whatever he wanted after all.
That wasn’t all.
After Riki’s appearance, more Demigods began appearing one after another.
They, like him, were confused at first.
They experienced the same loneliness and confusion that he’d felt.
That was when Lord realised what his purpose was.
He was to be their leader.
The leader who would guide these people who did not know how to control their transcendent powers.
The reason why he had gained consciousness before the others was because there would always be a pioneer who had to suffer for his kind.
Since then, Lord had been leading the Demigods superbly.
“Why are you telling me this?”
[Riki, I want to treat all of my kind fairly, and I’m trying to do that. But… I feel that there is some truth to Nozdog’s complaint.]
[As he said, I’m too soft towards you. I’ve let you get away with things that the other Demigods wouldn’t even dare to do. Not meeting your quota, not managing your territory, ignoring my requests…]
As he fell silent, eyes appeared on Lord’s face.
He turned these eyes to look at Riki.
[Killing our kind.]
Riki didn’t look surprised.
Instead, he’d expected this.
He had suspected that Lord knew he was the traitor.
But when Lord asked them to reveal their Apostles to the others, he had been certain.
So he went a step further.
Frey might not have understood why he’d acted in such a way, but he needed to create a situation that would prevent Lord from being soft once again.
He didn’t know where he had slipped up or when Lord had found out, but Riki knew he wouldn’t know every little detail.
With his insight, Lord would have been able to notice even the most minute details.
Lord’s voice sounded once again.
[Killing our people is unforgivable, Riki.]
[I want to ask. Why did you betray us? You weren’t like this before. You understood me better than anyone else and agreed with my goal.]
“That’s obvious, Lord.”
Riki looked at Lord with a firm gaze.
“It’s because I realised at the time that we were in the wrong.”
[So you’re saying you’re in the right now?]
Lord sighed emotionally.
His piercing eyes disappeared once again.
Lord’s features only changed when there was a significant change to his emotions.
It seemed he had regained his composure.
[Perhaps, this is all my fault.]
[4,000 years ago. I’ve never seen you as angry as after I killed that Knight.]
He couldn’t deny it.
That was because that had been the first time that a negative thought towards Lord had appeared in his mind.
That was the beginning of everything.
That negative view towards Lord changed his way of thinking and started making him question the existence of the Demigods.
And he began to feel repulsed by what they were doing.
Are our actions really correct?
[Then let’s pretend this never happened.]
That was completely unexpected.
Riki looked at him in suspicion.
However, it was impossible to read Lord’s intentions when he was in a featureless state.
The only way to catch a glimpse of his emotions was through his voice, but even that had fallen to a monotone.
[I’m going to forgive you, Riki. Because this is as much my fault as it is yours.]
“You would forgive me for killing our kind?”
Riki had not expected such an outcome, but he knew that Lord wasn’t trying to deceive him.
The words he was saying now were truly sincere.
Lord was willing to forgive him even though he had killed so many of their people.
“Will the other Demigods accept something like that?”
[That’s right. Therefore… it’s unfortunate, but we’ll have to trick them.]
[Because I promised to find the traitor unconditionally. The others might not say anything, but Nozdog and Ananta will not be convinced.]
Or rather, it felt like he was smiling.
[I’ve picked a suitable candidate from the Demigods that are coming to this meeting. There will be no suspicion, and everything will go smoothly. You will have nothing to worry about.]
Those words made Riki speechless.
He stared at Lord in disbelief.
“…you’re going to falsely accuse an innocent Demigod and kill them?”
[It is unfortunate, but it can’t be helped. Because you are more important than they are.]
Riki’s pulse froze at that moment.
He wasn’t the only one who had changed over the years.
If it had been the Lord of the past, he would not have made such a suggestion.
No matter how much he cared for Riki, he would never falsely accuse and execute an innocent member of his own race.
[Of course, it will also take some acting on your part.]
[It’s nothing much. Just kill your Apostle with your own hands.]
[Then you will fall into hibernation. Maybe for 100 years. That’s not a very long time for us, so just take it as a long nap. In the meantime, I will protect you. And when you wake up, I assure you. There would be nothing left for you to worry about.]
If he were to fall into hibernation, it would clear Ananta and Nozdog’s suspicion.
It was clear that Lord had thought of everything to ensure the plan would go smoothly.
Maybe even the Demigod who would be framed would be convinced.
[The Demigod who will take the blame for you will be ‘Ur’. It’ll take a few more days for him to get here. Kill your Apostle right after he arrives. I will handle the rest.]
Lord got up from his seat.
[That’s all I wanted to say, Riki. Keep in mind, if you choose to accept this, we can start over. Just like how the ground will harden after the rain, we can build a stronger relationship with more trust than before.]
He then tapped Riki on the shoulder and left the room.
By that time, the barriers had already disappeared.
‘…can they really change? Lord, the Demigods?’
Since he had changed, there was nothing preventing the others from changing as well.
Then would he still need to kill them?
Couldn’t he work together with Lord to change the Demigods from within?
…If that was possible, then it would be much more logical than trying to fight against the Demigods on his own.
Even after thinking for a long time, the answer didn’t come easily.
Riki stood as though he was nailed to that spot.
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