Chapter 43: Reasons Not to Die
The Imperial Capital had a huge castle on a hill top that proudly conveyed the prosperity of the Empire and the dignity of the Warlord Emperor. A strong-looking gate that served as the entrance of the castle was widely opened by the guards as we approached.
「You came. 」
As soon as we entered the castle, Rosalie, who was wearing an indigo-colored dress, greeted us. We followed Rosalie as we walked on a red carpet. After opening the doors, we arrived in a designated room. However, the Emperor was not inside. I spotted a large rectangular table with chairs arranged around it.
「There’s something I want to tell you. But before that… 」
Rosalie was staring at Seiya with alarming eyes.
「You are wearing the same platinum vests from before. What happened to the legendary armor?」
「A big turtle ate it. 」
「Hey. You have to be kidding me. 」
「I’m not kidding. I would be wearing it if I got it. But when we went to get the armor, we found out that it was already destroyed by the demons. 」
「What did you say…! 」
Rosalie shook her head from side to side after she was at a loss of words.
「There’s nothing we can do about that armor now. So, what do you want to tell us?」
「Ah, yes…First, sit down. 」
Rosalie invited us to sit down. She sat down on the chair that enabled her to face everyone sitting in the table. She started to talk slowly with a very serious expression.
「The Warlord Emperor Wolks Rosgard pacified the Cyclops rebellion that occurred three decades ago. And fifteen years ago, he destroyed the Lion King Dorfreah that ruled over the devilish Hades country. He turned eighty years old this year, and yet, he didn’t listen to the words of his advisors and went to Alfreis continent alone. He went to defeat the Demon King that was living in the colder northern part of that continent. Well…It seems that he became stupid on his way and our army rescued him on the border of Alfreis continent.」
「What on earth are you trying to say? 」
Eventually, Rosalie opened her mouth with a heartbreaking look.
「My father…won’t live much longer. The royal physician of the castle says that the recent eccentricities and his old age may be the main factors for his health decline.」
During that time, Rosalie’s usual dangerous face changed to a tenderly face of a daughter that cared deeply about her father.
「My father was not only strong. He was also kind. He always stroke my head gently when he returned from his battles. For me the Emperor is…No. He is the pride of Rosgard’s citizens. That’s why I wanted him to live the rest of his remaining life in peace.」
Rosalie looked at Seiya with unusual and unappealing eyes.
「If my father tells us that he wants to fight the Demon King with you; I would like you to protest against it.」
Seiya spoke without much care.
「Even if you didn’t tell me this, I would refuse if he brought up that proposition anyways. I don’t want to be bothered by an idiotic grandpa. 」
Rosalie nodded quietly.
「Thank you, I’ll entrust it to you. Also…Don’t you dare say “idiotic grandpa”…!」
After the audience with Rosalie, we met the Emperor, who sat on his throne with dignity. When we approached him, I noticed that he looked a little bit ashamed.
「I do not remember much after I defeated the last of the Four General Kings…I must’ve been rude. I heard it from Rosalie…It seems that sometimes I lose my consciousness.」
「Did you lose it now too? 」
The Emperor distorted his face when he heard Seiya’s words.
「I am okay now as you can see. It will be a long while until it happens again because I lost my senses not too long ago. More importantly, hero. With the Four General Kings gone, are you going to attack the main stronghold of the Demon King?」
「Yeah. But, I don’t need your power. 」
The Emperor was taken aback by Seiya’s abrupt words. He stood silent for a moment. Yet, after that, he started to laugh cheerfully.
「*laughs* Of course! Even if you don’t borrow the power of this old man, the world will be saved if you people are there!」
Rosalie agreed immediately with the Emperor.
「Yes! My father bravely beat down the last of the Four General Kings! He already exercised too much active energy! All we have to do is leave it to the hero!」
「That’s right, that’s right! Originally, all I wanted to do was to talk with the Lady goddess!」
The Warlord Emperor smiled at me after laughing extremely high.
「I am planning to show the proud Cathedral of this city to the Lady goddess!」
「That’s wonderful, father! I’m sure the goddess will rejoice after she sees the stunning sacred Cathedral!」
On that precise instant. The doors of the audience room opened and a soldier with a strange complexion came running inside. Rosalie yelled furiously.
「Hey!! We are in the midst of a private audience now!! 」
「Excuse me for my rude behavior! But we’ve got a report! A report to deliver! The remnants of demons with swords are attacking a town near the Imperial Capital! 」
「What did you say!! 」
Whether the sense of justice was high, or whether the blood was boiling with hatred. But the Emperor stood up from the throne straightaway.
「I will not stand by!! 」
On the other hand, Rosalie looked at Seiya with eyes that signaled something. Seiya puffed out a small sigh after he noticed her signs.
「I’ll be the one to go there. You are the king. You should remain here and protect the Imperial Capital.」
「Don’t worry. I will take care of it immediately. As you mentioned earlier, you should show the proud Cathedral to the goddess.」
I was actually prepared to follow Seiya to the battlefield. However, I looked at Seiya with surprise after what he said to the Emperor. I felt really angry before, but those frustrating feelings were no longer inside my heart.
Seiya turned his gaze to Mash and Elle.
「You both have my luggage. Follow me. 」
「Ah, yeah… 」
Both of them looked at me before they left the audience room. Even Rosalie glanced back while walking away…Seiya was the only one who did not look behind as if he didn’t care much about me.
The Cathedral was located in the premises of the Imperial Castle. When we arrived, I noticed that the doors were solemn but with detailed structures not inferior to the castle’s decoration. The Emperor, who was wearing a golden armor, slowly opened the doors. The Emperor told me 「I have to be dressed respectfully to enter this place 」, so he changed cloths before coming here.
When the heavy doors closed, I was surprised to see that the interior was much wider than I expected it to be. A stone statue of a winged goddess was placed far in the distance, and behind it was a beautiful glass that transmitted a seven-colored light from the outside. The space was quite large because there weren’t any chairs available for worship. The Emperor and I were the only ones walking inside the Cathedral.
「A few decades ago…I heard a legend about a goddess who would appear in front of the person who was fated to save the world. I longed for it, so I built this Cathedral. Well, I wasn’t the one to bear such a big responsibility in the end.」
The Emperor stopped in front of the statue and his laugh sounded lonely.
「But if I kept living, I was sure that the day would come when I could invite the real goddess to this place. I, Wolks Rosgard, feel deeply honored to have you here today.」
I was feeling down because of Seiya. But, when the Emperor bowed deeply his head as if I were a Buddha, I felt even worse. Somehow, I managed to respond with a bright voice.
「Ah well, it’s really a wonderful Cathedral! It is not only beautiful, but also well-built…It’s completely different from ordinary cathedrals!」
The Emperor smiled when I expressed my thoughts.
「As expected of Lady goddess. You noticed the difference. Actually, it was not by chance that this Cathedral was built with stronger structures. I wanted it to be used as a temporarily shelter in case the city got attacked by demons.」
「I see! So, His Majesty thought of your people when this place was built! Really, I wanted that cold-hearted hero to be more considerate like you! 」
「Lady goddess. I noticed earlier that something happened between you two…I was wondering if you are not getting along well with Sir hero? 」
I finally let lose my accumulated frustration when I was asked about it.
「Nothing goes well! Seiya completely ignores me! No, actually it’s been like this since I first met him! He always says to me that I’m “useless”! Sometimes he rejects me by saying “I don’t want it”! He always makes me feel like a fool, always…At the end of the day, he will always say to me that I’m a filthy goddess…Ah! I got angrier now because I remembered it!」
In contrast to my resentment, the Warlord Emperor fully smiled at me.
「*laughs* The more talented he is, the more distorted his character will be.」
However, the old man in front of me was not only talented, but his character was wonderful as well. Maybe he got wiser and kind with age…Ah, I wished my hero was a responsible person with a similar character like the Emperor’s!
「Either way, the Lady goddess is a high-ranking deity that lives an eternal life. So, this kind of frustration will only stay for a moment. Humans, who are busy living this short life, won’t even have the time to contemplate over these sort of feelings. So, don’t worry too much. 」
「Ah, yes. That’s probably right if you say so. 」
The Emperor murmured as he looked closely at the statue in the Cathedral.
「By the way, Lady goddess. Why gods can live an eternal time without dying…? Do you know the reason why?」
「I…I don’t think I do. 」
「I heard many stories and theories about that for these long years I’ve lived on this world. Well, I don’t know if it’s true or not, but if you don’t mind, I would like you to hear a version of the story.」
The Emperor began to speak as his voice echoed throughout the vast space of the Cathedral.
「You are able to descend to this world Geabrande in the form of a human being. Right now, the soul that you have in your human body is a “temporarily soul” called Astral Soul. Your “original soul”…is called Divine Soul and is stored in a stationary room in the heavenly world. So even if you die in this world, your Astral Soul, that is the temporarily soul, will be the only one to perish. As long as your Divine Soul is kept in the stationary room, you will be able to live forever without dying…That’s the reason why.」
E…Eh!! I didn’t know any of this!! So, that was the real reason for not dying!?
「Besides, the summoned hero’s soul has the same principle. If the hero is killed in this world, he will return to where he came from. The hero’s real soul is currently on his original world. Therefore, if he dies here, he will return to that world.」
「I…I see! 」
「Well, as I said earlier, it’s just a story I heard before. So, I don’t know if it’s true or not.」
「No…I think that this story is probably true. 」
「I wonder about that. 」 The Emperor spoke with a gentle laugh. However, I heard from Aria before that the God’s realm had a “room that stopped time”, and that the Great Goddess Isister was responsible for that special room. I was wondering why the Great Goddess Isister kept going to that room back then. But now that I heard the Emperor’s story, I became convinced about it.
「Even so, you know the details of that story really well! 」
「*laughs* I hope you enjoyed it. Okay, then let’s talk about a magical device on this story.」
「Magical device…you say? 」
「Yes. In fact, there is a magical device called “Chain Destruction” somewhere in the three-dimensional world. In other words, it’s a horrifying magical device that will destroy the Astral Soul, and it will also destroy the Divine Soul in the process, because that original soul is connected to the temporarily soul through that destructive chain. 」
「If that’s the case…then that means that Seiya and I will die!? 」
「That’s right. There is a rumor that the Demon King staying in Geabrande already got his hands on this magical device…」
The Emperor looked at me with a face that came from a ghost story. My spine froze in terror.
「Ple…Please, stop it! That’s a very scary story! 」
「I apologize if I scared you. However, the Demon King remains in his castle without getting out because he is awaiting earnestly for the hero to arrive. The Chain Destruction has been already activated in the Devil Castle. If you die in there, neither the hero nor the goddess will be revived…This is just a rumor though.」
「It’s…It’s just a rumor, right? First, the Chain Destruction story is a bit unrealistic! There is no way that such magical device exists in an earthly world! 」
I raised my voice to dispel the anxiety that spread rapidly on my heart.
「I wonder if that story is true… 」
The Emperor slowly went behind the goddess’ statue. When he reappeared, the Emperor held a scabbard on his hand.
「The Demon King has already completed the Chain Destruction by torturing thousands of clergy people. He used the negative aura that generated from the cruel murders. That device rests in the Devil Castle. Furthermore, the demonic power of the Demon King does not stop here. He has created weapons with terrible magical powers that can be connected with the Chain Destruction…」
Soon, the expression of a good kind-hearted man disappeared from the Emperor’s face. The Warlord Emperor drew his black sword and directed it at me.
「This blade is associated with the Chain Destruction. It will be able to destroy the hero’s soul and kill the goddess. This is the “God Eater”.」
Shit’s about to go down!
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