Chapter 226 - Old Revenants (4)
"In truth, I am feeling conflicted. Why..."
Saibein hesitated for a brief moment before he asked his question.
"Why are you opposing my father?"
"I know your personality too well to question that answer."
"However, my father has the same goal as before. Only his method of achieving his goal has changed."
Reygus was firm in denying Saibein's words.
Reygus was a being that didn't believe in the idea of good and evil. Most in nature lived according to their instinct. The concept of good and evil wasn't something that could be applied to them. For example, carnivores weren't evil for eating herbivores.
However, free will was innate. It was a given right that allowed one to defy fate. It didn't matter what species one was born to.
This was Reygus' belief.
During the Dragon Demon war, he had served Atein as his king. Reygus had observed the tragedies and turbulence caused by humanity. He had reasonably assumed that this was a byproduct of human nature.
Atein had wanted to break this hellish death spiral caused by humans. He wanted to create a utopia. Reygus willingly gave his life to the cause. He thought it was something worth attempting.
One had to believe in the concept of evil rather than good if one wanted people to be respectful towards each other. Atein thought a system where everyone feared an outsider would make people respect each other. He thought it would make the humans act more virtuous and moral.
Atein's answer for the world had a foundation based on this concept.
Saibein was at a loss for words for a brief moment. He just stared at Reygus. He was impressed by the content of Reygus' words, but it wasn't the sole reason for his reaction.
"…somehow, you don't sound like yourself, sir Reygus."
"No, I didn't mean it like that….."
"You spoke about it with my father?"
Reygus asked a question as he stroked his Soul Hammer.
"I made a compact with Albatan-nim. I cannot interfere. It doesn't matter what happens in the outside world."
Saibein's expression crumpled. He looked tormented.
The fact that he was able to reunite with his daughter was a miracle in itself. His heart ached when he found out about the life his daughter had led. He felt guilty for abandoning his daughter, but….
He was just happy that she was alive, and he was able to reunite with her.
Niberis didn't blame him. However, complex emotions had developed between the two. It was creating difficulties between the father and daughter. A good amount of time had passed after she arrived here. However, there was an awkwardness between the two of them every time they crossed path.
Reygus scratched at his cheek.
"No. It is a problem that I have to own up to."
Saibien let out a sigh as he looked up at the sky. However, the feeling of gloominess didn't abate at all.
Kayalia didn't hide anything when she told her story.
She talked about how she died during the Dragon Demon war. She talked about what kind of existence she was right now….
Her true nature was very surprising. Her true self was placed within the Great Darkness, and she was able to project herself to any point in the world.
-There are a lot of restrictions. This became especially true once I decided to go against Atein….
The Great Darkness was too big of a system for one being to monopolize.
Of course, Atein possessed the highest administrator privilege even if he couldn't do as he wished with the entirety of the Great Darkness.
For example, Atein could only watch as Reygus defected from his side. Atein had given Reygus the Soul hammer, the ability to transform and other powers. He couldn't take those gifts back from Reygus.
It was the same for Kayalia. If Atein wanted to eliminate the two of them, he would have to physically fight them.
-However, he could restrict my actions to a certain degree. Reygus oppa was given his body, so he was unaffected. However, I'm still within the Great Darkness, and I have to project myself into the world. That is why I've run into various problems.
Until Kayalia decided to oppose Atein, she was able to use the magical energy of the Great Darkness. There had been no restriction. Currently, there was a constraint on how much magical energy could be used by Kaylia.
-Also, I was restricted from viewing the information that were being sent into the Great Darkness. The only information I'm privy to is the one I gather by projecting my image. That is why my movement has been restricted too.
She could immediately project herself to any place on this continent, so spatial restriction had been meaningless to her. She had almost limitless power to do anything she wanted. The where and when hadn't mattered. She had been an absolute being.
This was true until Atein revoked her access to those powers.
Currently, Kayalia needed reference points to project herself. It was akin to humans having to swivel their head to see where they were. Moreover, she had to gather all her magical energy in order to project her image. If she were to be attacked, her image would be destroyed.
After hearing her out, Azell queried her.
"Why are you revealing your weak point to us?"
-I think it is necessary.
"Do you think I'll accept you, because you told us about your weak point? Everything you told me might be a lie. Even if you did tell me the truth, it isn't grounds for me to accept you."
-I guess that's true.
When Kayalia just accepted his words, it somehow drained the energy out of Azell. He had put in great efforts for his arguments, yet she just accepted everything he said. What was she trying to pull?
-Then I have only one card left. If this doesn't work, I'll go back to Reygus oppa.
"What is it?"
Azell's expression turned cold. Did she think he'll gloss over everything, because she called him oppa? It was a ridiculous notion.
-You told me not to call you by ahjussi.
"When did I say that?"
-People treated me with contempt for being cursed, but I was told that I had a unique constitution that would allow me to become a good magician. I was told not to care about the opinions of other people, and that I should live.
Kayalia ignored Azell's reply. His expression was full of surprise.
He had spoken those words to someone before. He had met countless people over the years. He had saved some, and he had watched others die. However, there was one memory that had left a deep impression in him.
-Even if it wasn't me, I'm sure there were others willing to wipe your face when it became dirty, right? Azell oppa has always been popular.
"…are you playing with me?"
He had been looking at her with a stupefied expression on his face. In a flash, Azell revealed his anger. It felt as if she had dirtied a precious memory of his. How did she know about that incident? How can she speak as if it was a firsthand experience?
Kayalia had a sad smile on her face as she spoke.
-It happened a very long time ago. There was a tribe of Dragon Demon that had been revered as gods by the humans.
It was a story of a magician that wanted to exist forever.
She hadn't been satisfied with her long life. She had been afraid of her life coming to an end. It was a story about her trying to transcend life and death.
At the same time, it was a story about a girl.
It was about a girl that believed in hope when she was saved by one person. However, she had died in the end as she felt despair towards humanity.
Kayalia spoke about the story she had told Reygus. She told Azell about her life. In the distant past, she had created a reincarnation technique. She also told him about how a first generation Dragon Demon became the Dragon Demon King's third wife. She told him about the very long process in between.
She told him about the last link leading up to everything...
Azell asked his question as if he was in disbelief.
"…you were that child?"
Kayalia nodded her head.
-A knight named Azell saved me, and that is why I was able to live on.
She was the girl that had been save by Azell. She was able to enter into an institution that trained magicians for the human alliance. It was done through Azell's backing.
In that place, she was no longer persecuted. She was no longer called the cursed child. It was as Azell had said. Everything had occurred, because she had the potential to become a magician.
She had worked hard. She was an orphan, so there was no one she could lean on. Each day was arduous, yet she worked to become an excellent magician.
'I want to help him someday.'
If it was Azell, he would be able to survive the brutal battlefields. It was a baseless belief, yet she had armored herself with it. She wanted to become a respectable magician. It would allow her to help Azell. It was a simple dream.
However, her dream was broken into pieces by her cruel fate.
When surrounded by the Dragon Demon King's army, the despairing humans had turned on each other. They showed their ugly nature, and the girl had been pushed towards her death.
Azell was at a loss for words. The girl he had saved suffered such a horrible death?
Azell became aghast, but Kayalia spoke to him.
-Don't be sad.
-My story was all too common during that era. The world was overflowing with tragedies, and mine was just one of many.
It was an era overflowing with tragedy. At times, humans were pushed into an extreme situation, and their mettle was tested. Most of these tests ended in tragedies. This was the norm.
-The fact that I suffered such a death, and the fact that I became the enemy of humanity as the third queen of the Dragon Demon King…. It isn't your fault.
Azell swayed in place.
He felt faint. After awaking in this era, this was the first time he felt such a powerful wave of doubt.
He knew it. It was as she said. It wasn't his fault.
Azell wasn't a god. The only thing he could do was give hope to a despairing girl.
Her life had ended with a tragedy, but that was the territory of fate. It couldn't be helped.
Despite knowing this, he felt part of his heart break. He had treasured this memory, and it felt as if his belief towards the world was trampled. The proof was standing in front of him.
-At such times as this, I really hate that I am dead.
Kayalia extended her hand towards Azell's face. However, he couldn't feel her touch. Her hand would pass through him even if she tried.
-At the very least, I wanted to hug you.
-I know nothing has changed.
Kayalia let out a shy laughter. Then she spoke with a bright voice.
-It doesn't matter what past we shared. I was the third queen to the Dragon Demon King. I killed countless people with my hands. I am Kayalia of the Dragon Demon King's army, who fought against you.
-I'm not asking for forgiveness, and I won't say I'll atone for my actions. I won't purposefully say something that I do not believe in to make myself feel better. I won't do something so revolting.
At the end of her life, she felt doubt. However, she didn't feel doubt, because she felt the ideals of the Dragon Demon King's army was wrong.
She had become tired of the continuous war and slaughter. Above all else, she hated the fact that she had to fight Azell, who had saved her before. At the time, she had been tormented. She couldn't stand that they had to try to hurt and kill each other.
-You can hate me. You can denounce and insult me. I don't mind.
Kayalia spoke the exact opposite of what she was feeling. She spoke as if it didn't bother her, but the girl from the distant past was part of her. The girl, who was saved by Azell, was crying within her.
'Please don't hate me. I don't want to be hated by you. I can no longer stand being hated by you.'
- I just wanted to talk to you about the situation we find ourselves in.
She had a lot she wanted to talk with him. She wanted to talk about her life after she parted ways with Azell. They could stay up all night, and it wouldn't be enough.
-I oppose what Atein is trying to achieve in this era. Please believe me when I say I want to fight on your side.
She had a dream. She had a dream of walking by his side.
If she worked hard, would she be able to change her fate? What would have happened if she had been able to become a respectable mage? Would that have prevented her from dying by his hands?
She knew it was fruitless to have these idle thoughts.
Despite her knowing this, she kept imagining it. What if that incident never happened? Would it have prevented her from developing hatred for humans?
She was constantly having these thought. She couldn't stand humans, but at times, she wondered if she could see aspects of herself with the humans. Whenever she had this thought, his face came into mind.
She really hated them, but in the end, she couldn't hate them. She couldn't stand this contradiction.
-Will you accept me?
Kayalia buried her true feeling as she asked the question. Azell looked tormented. He answered her with a hoarse voice.