The Great Mage Returns after 4000 Years – Chapter 73 – Ivan (4)
Editors: Ana_Banana, Yahiko
“If you kill an Apostle, it forces the Demigod who created them into hibernation. And at that time, they are completely defenseless. For instance.”
A small fruit knife appeared in Riki’s hand.
Where did it come from?
Riki continued speaking as though it was nothing special.
“You could even kill them with this practically harmless fruit knife. Just by stabbing them in the nape of their neck.”
For a moment the room fell into silence.
This was because Frey and Ivan were staring at Riki with shocked expressions on their faces.
Did he really just say that they could kill a Demigod, who could destroy a city with one hand, with just a fruit knife?
Didn’t that mean that a hibernating Demigod was as weak and harmless as a child?
It was hard to believe, but if this was true, then it was an extraordinary piece of information that they might not have gotten even with all the effort in the world.
The problem was Riki’s attitude.
As he’d spoken in a very nonchalant manner, it was hard for them to ascertain whether he was speaking the truth or not.
Ivan couldn’t help but ask.
“That’s unbelievable. In that case, why do the Demigods create Apostles in the first place?”
“Is that a problem?”
Frey decided to pick up after Ivan who stumbled after the unexpected question.
“Of course it’s a problem. The power that the Apostles have at their disposal is only a drop of water in comparison to the ocean of power the Demigods have. Isn’t it too risky to create a subordinate who can only wield that bit of power?”
Frey’s question was reasonable.
Although he wasn’t sure about the average power of the Apostles, he had still been able to Lukes, the former Deputy Tower Master of the 3rd Magic Tower soon after he’d reached 7 stars.
If all the Apostles were at a similar level, then even if he only managed to reach 8 stars, he could easily get rid of all the Apostles in the world.
So was it worth it for the Demigods to risk hibernation for such weak underlings?
That was like digging their own graves.
Frey knew that Demigods would never make high-risk/low-reward decisions like that.
They were arrogant and childish sure, but they were not stupid.
Riki responded in the same casual tone.
“They don’t have a choice. If they don’t do it then they might very well get erased.”
“Erase the Demigods? Is there any being in this world who could actually accomplish something like that?”
Riki looked at Ivan and Frey’s faces for a moment before answering.
The silence was many times heavier than before.
Frey looked at Riki with a solemn expression as Ivan asked another question with a blank one.
“…I don’t think you’d waste your time telling us nonsense. Are you serious?”
“Oh my God. I’m an atheist. I hope the temperature of hellfire is lukewarm…”
“It doesn’t matter. It is another being’s job to judge souls after their death. The one I am referring to, rather than being God…it might be more accurate to refer to him as the ‘Great Law’.”
“What do you mean?”
“It is an absolute mass of energy that maintains the balance of the world. It is the power that creates transcendental phenomena in both creation and destruction as long as certain conditions are met. Demigods are pieces that fell off from that mass of energy and gained self awareness.”
Frey had never imagined that he would learn the origins of the Demigods in this shabby hut.
There was once a time when he had considered the existence of God. This was natural since the name of the enemy he had been fighting his whole life was Demi ‘God’.
However, even the oldest Dragon in the world did not know the answer to that question.
Riki looked at Frey’s complicated expression for a while before continuing.
“We Demigods have ended countless lives in the past thousands of years. Lord doesn’t think so, but I believe that we are being punished for our actions.”
“Punishment? Do you mean that a Demigod has died already?”
He lamented that fact. It would have been great if the Demigods’ numbers had been reduced, even by one.
However, Riki’s next words shocked him greatly. (TL: We can only assume ‘he’ in this instance is Ivan.)
“The last time I checked, the total number of Demigods who were destroyed was twenty.”
“After that, Lord had no choice but to pay attention. In order to stop any more from disappearing. For us, death means the destruction of our souls and the end of everything, that is why they are desperate.”
Ivan was dumbfounded.
Everything that he’d heard so far was a secret that the Circle would be willing to do anything to obtain.
No, apart from that.
Why was Riki suddenly telling all of this information to Frey who had just appeared as though he had been waiting?
Riki scratched his head.
“Hmm. I told you more than I intended. Well, it doesn’t matter.”
“…Riki, may I ask why you betrayed the Demigods?”
“I have no intention of talking about that. You should be satisfied with the information you just obtained.”
It was a firm rejection.
Frey looked at Riki and was sure that regardless of how much he pressed, he would never receive an answer to that question.
“I need to organize my thoughts…for a moment.”
“Sure. Ivan, come here and give me a detailed report about the undead.”
“Who are you talking to like that?”
Although Ivan said those words in a rather rude tone, he still approached Riki without any hesitation. The social ladder between them had long been established.
Frey took the time to gather his thoughts.
Each of the things that Ricky had spoken so nonchalantly about was incredibly sensitive and valuable information.
Of course, he didn’t believe it completely. However, dismissing all of it as lies was also incredibly foolish.
Therefore, he slowly went through everything to see if there was anything strange about what he was told.
First of all, if an Apostle was killed, then their Demigod master would be forced into a hibernative state and become completely defenseless.
This corresponded to what he had learned from Mikel while they were fighting against Lukes.
He’d said that killing the Apostle did affect the Demigod in some way, and now, according to Riki, that way was forced hibernation.
‘There should be some credibility in that statement…’
He had no choice but to admit that the two facts corresponded naturally.
The only problem was that he didn’t know how long they hibernated/
If he asked, would Riki tell him?
In any case, he believed that the time was much longer than he first expected.
Otherwise, the Circle would have noticed if the Demigod had created another Apostle after their reawakening.
‘It should be at least decades. Maybe more.’
Next was the information about God.
Frey was also an atheist, and after learning about the existence of Demigods, he had developed an even more antagonistic view toward God.
However, since he didn’t believe in God, Riki’s words seemed plausible.
That the God who existed did not have its own consciousness but was instead a simple existence consisting of the rules of the world.
If so, then it was understandable why God remained unresponsive when hundreds and thousands of races suffered at the hands of the Demigods.
They must also have a firm understanding of the laws and balance of the world, making it easy for them to bend them according to their needs.
Perhaps that was the reason they created the Apostles.
The killings they committed did not have any effect on the Demigods. The only thing that was important to them was God’s punishment.
‘If there really is punishment from God, it would also explain why the Demigods haven’t been able to exert complete control over the continent.’
In fact, if they really wanted to, they would easily be able to control the entire continent and even if every race combined, they would not be able to stop them.
Frey didn’t call them transcendental for nothing.
Nevertheless, Demigods rarely revealed their power.
It was the same 4,000 years ago and it was the same now.
And punishment from God seemed like a perfectly reasonable excuse.
After he thought this, he came to a conclusion.
Either Riki was a great, amazing liar, or he had been telling the truth.
…and at that moment, Frey felt that the latter was more likely.
“You must be finished thinking.”
Frey nodded at Riki’s words.
“But why are you telling me all of this?”
“Because I can’t get rid of all of the Demigods by myself.”
Did he really need the power of two humans?
Frey tilted his head slightly as he looked at Riki with confusion.
“I asked the wrong question. Do you expect me to believe you? I could take everything you said as nonsense.”
“My eyes are not that bad. And it doesn’t matter even if that was the case.”
Riki didn’t give a reason for this and Frey felt that it might be safer not to ask why.
Ivan scratched his head in frustration for a moment.
“That’s enough of that. What should I do now? I already hunted all the undead in this forest.”
“That’s a bit strange. Ivan, my request was to bring me the Apostle’s head, not play with undead.”
Ignoring Frey’s curious look, Ivan kept talking.
“That request didn’t make sense in the first place.”
“Why didn’t it make sense?”
“I couldn’t get in no matter how hard I tried. There is no spell or barrier, instead, it’s as though the forest itself is driving outsiders away.”
Ivan shot a dirty look at Riki.
“I was going to break a few trees to enter but then I remembered you said not to do that.”
“If you want to become the enemy of all the Elves and Spirits in the Great Forest, I won’t stop you.”
It seemed the Apostle had disappeared into the Great Forest.
Personally, Frey hoped for this outcome the most. He felt that it would be much easier that way.
Frey was known for their hospitable treatment to their allies, and there were many circles among them.
Therefore, if he revealed his identity as a circle member and requested their cooperation, things would probably go smoothly.
However this time, the case wasn’t so simple.
Riki took a piece of paper from his pocket and spread it out for them to see.
It was someone’s portrait.
It was an incredibly handsome man.
Among the men that Frey had encountered since his return, Peran could be considered the most handsome, and the man in this portrait was just as good looking.
He also had the characteristic long ears. This man was an elf.
“This man is Oydin Predickwood. He is a High Elf, and at the same time…an Apostle.”
This caused the situation to become extremely complicated.
High Elves could be considered royalty among the Elven Race. If they attacked him without conclusive evidence, they would become the enemies of the entire Elven Race.
“Aren’t there Circle members among the Elves? They would be able to sense Divine Power. How is this man able to hide his?”
“There is someone who can conceal the Apostles’ Divine Power. He is one of the most powerful Demigods, and is considered to be just under Lord, a being that the Circle refers to as an ‘Apocalypse’.”
“…then that guy named Oydin.”
“He is the Apostle of Nozdog, the Demigod who controls the power of death.”
It was worse than he’d expected.
Then Riki sighed, revealing his feelings for the first time.
“Our last chance was two months ago. There was a moment when he left the Great Forest without an escort. But we missed it because Ivan was taking a nap.”
When Frey glanced over at him, Ivan shamelessly said.
“…the night before, I felt the moonlight was beautiful, perfect for some alcohol. I will tell you now, I don’t regret it. In any case, since it’s already past, what can we do about it?”
“Can’t you kill the Apostles yourself?”
“If that was possible, I would’ve killed most of the Apostles with my own hands and then handled the Demigods right away. If I were to do it, it would leave a trace since the Apostles are connected to the Demigods. My betrayal would be revealed immediately.”
It was true.
If the Apostle managed to get even a slight glimpse of Riki’s figure or aura before they died, that information would be sent directly to their Demigod.
“…You don’t mind killing a Demigod right away?”
Frey thought for a moment before saying.
“Not so long ago, I killed an Apostle who used lightning. As you said, the Demigod that he followed should be hibernating.”
Riki’s eyes shined at those words.
“…lightning. Hmm. Is it Indra? If your words are true…that would be very useful information.”
After pondering for a while, Riki spoke again.
“Can you prove that you killed Indra’s Apostle?”
“No. I already used the cryst…”
At that moment, Frey recalled the lightning elixir that Adelia had given to him together with the mana elixir.
He immediately took it out of his bag and showed it to Riki.
“Would this suffice? It contains the lightning energy that was stored in the crystal…”
“…that should be Indra’s lightning. That energy can only be obtained from killing his Apostle. It is enough.”
A cold smile blossomed on Riki’s face.
“Give me a moment.”
Riki grabbed the sword beside him before disappearing.
Frey once again wondered whether Riki had the power of space while Ivan grumbled.
“I’ve already experienced it several times, but whenever he appears or disappears like that it also surprises me. And if I actually don’t get surprised, he smacks me at the back of my head.”
At that moment, Ricky’s figure reappeared. His appearance causing Ivan and Frey to narrow their eyes.
Ricky was covered in blood but he did not have any visible wounds.
He was holding a bloody sword in his right hand and something else in his left hand, both of which he placed on the table in front of him with his characteristic nonchalance.
It was someone’s head.
The head of a man with blond hair and a beard.
There was only one thing that Ivan and Frey were curious about.
“Who is this?”
Riki gave them a casual answer.
Ivan’s jaw dropped.
“Do you understand? We will work like this in the future.”
Riki sheathed his sword with a solemn expression.
“You guys kill the Apostles. Then I will get rid of the hibernating Demigods myself.”