I was dumbfounded by the nasal moans she was making; it seemed as if they were going to go all the way. The two of them were out of their minds -- Human and angel alike, gold-haired and silver-haired alike.
They were complete nutcases.
'He's not someone I can trust and follow.'
The Sixth Prince was a handsome boy -- top class even among all the men I've ever seen before. Also, he was more beautiful than any ordinary woman. But, no matter how many times I looked at him, I felt he was truly out of his mind. He wanted me to be his subordinate now, but I couldn't imagine what he would do if I did something that aggravated him. The bigger problem was what would happen in the off chance that he found out about my secret. His disposition as well as circumstances was different from Celestia, so there was no way he would keep my secret.
'And most of all...'
I lifted my head slightly and stared at Cheong Won who was standing confidently within an arm's reach.
'This bastard is dangerous.'
Cheong Won was bound by his mission and couldn't kill me, but he had the ability and will to do so; he had actually tried to do so several times. And I have to be on the same side as the bastard who is showing such obvious bloodlust towards me? Furthermore, if things panned out well, Cheong Won might even be the next Emperor of the Leonhardt Empire.
I tried to ever so naturally grab the key that was hanging on my neck. It was impossible in the first place to try and secretly do something against enemies who had transcendental cognitive abilities. The only way was to hope that just like with Morne, they wouldn't be able to do anything much to me and to take advantage of that carelessness.
However, the moment I tried to touch Cheong Won's shoulder with my hand that was holding the key, his figure disappeared.
I clenched my teeth inwardly at the deep voice I heard. I realized that his voice clearly contained vigilance. Disregarding the fact if I could easily deal with him, he was already wary of every single movement I made.
"What do you mean?"
"That necklace... no, that key. It doesn't look like an ordinary item. Where did you get it?"
His tone turned serious. Needless to say, since the situation had come to this point, it was completely impossible to use the key on him. I wasn't even certain if there would be any effect if I used the key on an opponent who possessed an intermediate-rank Status of God. There wouldn't be anything to expect if I couldn't even insert the key into him in the first place.
I can't even get close to him.'
Both powers were beyond common logic -- my commanding right over machines and the key which was assumed to be a Transcendence Weapon. However, they weren't so user-friendly that I could exercise these powers indiscriminately. To use my commanding authority, my voice must reach the target and can't be used through communication channels. As for the key that could even seal the abilities of a transcendent, its sole limitation was that I had to directly insert it into the target's body. If I succeeded in inserting the key in one go, I could even intercept the target's powers for a far distance. However, the key was nothing more than a piece of iron if it had no contact with the target.
Needless to say, with my physical ability, it was impossible to insert the key into a transcendental being aka Cheong Won unless he had his guard down.
"I don't have any obligation to tell you that."
I took the key back as calmly as possible. I acted like I hung it back on my neck hoping that he might no longer be wary of the key. I had actually hidden the key in one hand in the off chance that he dropped his guard and exposed an opening. However, Cheong Won's eyes never left me.
Haaaaahh-! Kyaaahhhh ♡ Haaaaaaaaa-!
"...Ermm, excuse me? Sixth Imperial Prince?"
While we were having a staring contest, this wretched lustful kid was still messing around with the angel. The angel's pure white dress was already somewhat stripped down and revealed her milky white skin.
'I'm grateful he's stalling the time... But this isn't some sort of porn appreciation event.'
I grumbled and checked the amount of energy remaining. It had been quite a while since the connection began, so it had risen to thirty percent.
'But... there's no way the Sixth Imperial Prince wouldn't know this.'
It was an undeniable fact that that kid was a nutcase, but he wasn't a fool. No, rather, every time I looked at his eyes that glistened from time to time... I felt that they were conveying a snake-like cunningness and malicious wisdom. He most probably had a clear purpose for displaying his current actions -- hugging the angel in front of me.
'Of course, I can't deny the fact that he's a madman for choosing to do this sort of thing.'
The Sixth Imperial Prince kept flirting and feeling up the angel (I still didn't know her name) for quite some time before he turned to look at me again. Perhaps because they were both pretty excited, his face was flushed as red as a beetroot.
Have you made up your mind?
At his refreshing attitude as if nothing had happened, I asked him first, "What will happen to the rest of the people if I surrender? The people who were guarding me and..."
They're all going to have to die.
He spoke conclusively even before I could finish my question, and I was taken aback.
"...All of them?"
That's right, all of them.
"Then I can't surrender."
Is that so?
He laughed and disconnected the communication. I looked at the screen that had gone black. I found it so ridiculous.
Just then, Cheong Won said, "Hmmm. Is that so? My god, what a mischievous personality he has."
"...What is he going to do?"
"I'm not obligated to tell you that. I'll be on my way."
As soon as he completed his sentence, Cheong Won disappeared into thin air. He had an astonishing teleportation ability that allowed him to move through space regardless of his location. Just then, Napoleon screamed.
Along with Napoleon's scream, a strong Spiritual Pressure began to rise from Goldrian that was shown on the screen. It wasn't an attack directed at me. I sensed an energy that was of a totally different level as compared to the wave-type attacks that he fired several times so far.
"What is this? What is he trying to do?"
It's a Transcendence Skill!
I doubted the voice that just butt in. As he had always done, Ares seemed to have connected with us via the Eye of Ares and he shouted desperately.
Fall out of the front line immediately and hide in Great Sky! This is the only chance!
Because those bastards…
As Ares spoke, Goldrian's hand was filled with a blazing heat wave.
No, upon closer inspection, it wasn't just an ordinary heat wave. The charging heat wave in the pitch-black universe was shaped like a huge sword.
Because they summoned Uriel's sword.
The huge sword of fire left Goldrian's hand and began to cut across the space. Its speed wasn't that fast but that wouldn't be a problem since its target was a huge battleship that couldn't even move properly.
A white shield popped up at the front of the Albatross ship. It was Major General Chun Hyun-il's Transcendence Skill -- Shield of White Cross that I had seen a few times before. However, the moment the slowly advancing Flaming Sword collided with the shield...
A crack formed on the shield instantly.
"Oh my God."
I groaned because I was at a loss for words. The attack wasn't even fired from the Rising Storm but from Goldrian. Yet, it was able to break through the Transcendence Skill of a battleship controlled by a transcendent. It was absurd but Ares wasn't surprised and explained.
Let me just say again, that's a Transcendence Skill too. And he also used it while he was in a good physical condition. So, it's natural that the exhausted Major General Chun Hyun-il wasn't able to stop it.
"The Sixth Imperial Prince is a transcendent?"
Ares had appeared before me in Astral state; he shook his head in response.
However... The Sixth Imperial Prince and the angel together can create a shockwave equivalent to the power of a transcendent. I don't know the principle behind it, but it's safe to say that if the two of them co-act as the pilot, they can be considered a transcendent.
"Damn it. I was wondering why the two of them were sitting together in the cockpit, so that was why..."
In other words, Goldrian's strangely large power reserves was a result of the piloting duo. It was ridiculous that a transcendent-grade pilot could contribute to such mammothly large power reserves that it could even be used to power a Transcendence Skill.
Ares saw my dejected expression and shouted.
Anyways, this is not the time for you to be staring blankly! Get out of here quickly!
"No, you idiot... What good would it be to run away alone when Albatross is on the verge of being destroyed?"
Even if it was possible to run away from the battlefield right away, I would end up dead in this vast universe eventually if there wasn't a battleship to return to. Of course, Napoleon was a strong Gigas but it was difficult for Napoleon to travel between planets, let alone between stars. In the first place, it wasn't created with long distance travel in mind. So even if I successfully ran away from here, I would just be wandering around in the universe and then end up dead.
However, Ares shook his head unexpectedly.
I'm on the way.
"You're on the way?"
Yes, I know it's a tad bit too late... At the very least, I can use it to get you out of here.
His deep voice reminded me of the command I gave him some time ago.
-Manifest into your complete state before me now!
Right, it was an order that I tried as an experiment. It was an order I issued because I was curious about the limits of my commands.
But it was actually carried out?
"The commanding authority can even ignore the laws of physics and allow the target to travel through space?"
Ares shook his head when he heard my bewildered tone.
It's not like that. Even if my parts are separated, they can still activate Astral Drive. So from the very beginning, it was possible for them to cross the galactic system by themselves. Rather, what's more amazing is that your voice was able to reach my body parts that were spread all across the Universe.
The moment Ares finished talking, the Shield of White Cross was smashed to pieces and the Flaming Sword landed a direct hit on the Albatross ship. The barrier managed to stop the Flaming Sword, but to our surprise, the barrier caught on fire.
The Flaming Sword was stuck in the right wing of the bird-shaped Albatross ship. There was a huge explosion that could be seen even from afar.
I couldn't even begin to surmise how many were killed in that one attack. I tried hard not to kill the crew members of Rising Storm in my own way, but the Sixth Imperial Prince seemed to have no intention of doing the same.
"Wait. Wait a minute. How long will it take for your parts to arrive here?"
Even the closest part to us are tens of light years away. Of course, considering the distance travelled, they're basically all almost here… But it'll take at least 13 hours for them to gather.
"Haha. Oh my God. 13 hours..."
I let out a vain laugh because I was dumbfounded. For a moment, I thought there was hope, but I realized that I had only avoided the worst of the worst.
If Ares was here at this very moment and if I rode on him... That's right. I would be able to resolve this situation then. I would be able to suppress the goddamn Sixth Imperial Prince by myself and render the Rising Storm completely motionless. If I rode on Ares and infiltrated the ship, I would be able to exercise my commanding authority and it would even be possible for me to capture the ship. Of course, there was the saying that only transcendents could ride on a God-rank Gigas. However Ares had helped me all these while so he wouldn't reject me from piloting him after coming this far.
'But after 13 hours.'
If that was the case… there wouldn't be a single survivor left on Albatross. This battle right now was a battle to the death.
This war began because the Sixth Imperial Prince wanted to destroy all evidence that would expose his dealings with Cheong Won. Unlike the demi-humans who attacked us, he didn't have the need to invade Albatross, and above all, he had no intention of capturing prisoners. Let alone 13 hours, everything might already be over in an hour.
It's too late for them anyways. Hurry...
"Hurry and what? Hurry and escape?"
Of course, that could be a logical judgment. The odds would be low, but if I succeeded in running away and met up with Ares, I would have the means to survive.
Unlike the Human-rank Gigas, Napoleon, interstellar travel was as simple as breathing to a God-rank Gigas. In actual fact, weren't Ares' body parts flying across the galactic system to reach where we were despite being in less than top-notch condition?
But, after that, what? Do we have to run away again?
Again… Do I have to sit by and watch someone die again?
-Father, Master. My creator.
-I love you. I love you, Father.
My heart was about to burst. Of course I knew this was not my memory. In fact, I didn't feel any longing or happiness when I met Hawa, the person directly involved in this memory. However... it was also true that these memories I had experienced since I was a child had become the basis of my ego and they also influenced my personality and virtues.
I didn't want to run away. I didn't want to see those I hold dear die.
Have you made up your mind now?
"Sixth Imperial Prince…"
Goldrian spread his huge wings made of light and came face to face with Napoleon. Ares groaned because Goldrian was so close that I could touch him just by extending my hands.
He's too close…
That's right. He was too close. Even I would find it impossible to escape with Goldrian at such a close distance. The reason being, Goldrian was currently controlled by the Sixth Imperial Prince and the angel; the two of them together could exhibit the ability of a transcendent-grade pilot.
Answer quickly. I don't have time for this.
I clenched my teeth upon hearing his cheerful voice that was the same as ever.
Well, that's a shame. Don't blame me for what's about to happen.
I saw the Sixth Imperial Prince on the screen and he was raising his hand with a smile. Then, Goldrian moved along with his gestures. Particles of light imbued with an enormous amount of soul energy gathered.
Then, see you again in 'heaven'!
Without a hint of hesitation, the light burst forward and I was blinded.
However, I couldn't feel any pain.
As I came to my senses, I saw Napoleon set ablaze with white flames.
I called out loud, but I couldn't hear my own voice. I realized then that I was floating alone in the empty space.
It had been pretty fun, Partner.
I could hear Napoleon's voice in my head. The burning Napoleon turned his head slightly and gave me a thumbs up.
The word impossible doesn't exist in my dictionary.
Napoleon's body exploded.
Floating along in darkness, I could only stand by and watched as it happened before my eyes. I was utterly powerless. There was nothing I could do.
Dae-ha! Are you okay?
I started to wonder after seeing Ares next to me. Ares is fine because he is in Astral State… So, putting that aside, how am I floating in space without any protective gears?
Just then, my heart pounded. I wasn't referring to my actual heart that sent blood throughout my whole body.
That's right… It was the essence of Napoleon who died for my sake. His Iron Heart was in me.
"The word impossible doesn't exist in my dictionary…"
I recited the last words that Napoleon said -- it was his will. Then, Ares came next to me.
Are you all right? No, that aside, that soul energy is…
"Come, Ares. Come here right now."
I injected Aura into my words.
However, Ares shook his head.
I'm doing my best to come here. It's impossible to reach any faster than this.
"No, it's possible."
I raised my right hand — it held the key I had hidden after I failed to seal Cheong Won. I stuck the key into my right temple.
Just like that, I released the seal on me.
I heard weird sounds of turning gears resounding from somewhere. Light gushed from behind my back. I knew then. It was an Afterglow; it was proof of the Divine Spirit that resided within me.
This is… Hey Dae-ha? You're… No way!?
I ordered Ares again regardless of his flustered reaction.
I said in a conclusive tone. He could do it. Because I ordered him to.
"Come, Ares."Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Wait what? 0.0 I didn't expect that he would think of "unsealing" himself with the key.