Published at 21st of November 2020 09:27:14 PM
Editors: Ana_Banana, Yahiko
She was looking at the scene in front of her with a trembling face.
There were not many things that could agitate a Demigod who had lived for thousands of years.
This was because the experience that they accumulated over the years allowed them to handle almost any situation.
But at that moment, Leyrin couldn’t help it.
This was because Riki, the Demigod who Lord cared for most, was now laying on the floor in an incredibly miserable state.
His right arm was severely burned, his left arm was inflicted with deadly poison, his right leg was filled with death energy and his left leg had been torn apart by fierce winds.
It was clear who thought of this method of punishment.
Lord lowered his finger.
[Can you feel the pain of your kind, Riki?]
Riki, like a doll, showed absolutely no reaction to Lord’s torture.
Being a Demigod didn’t mean that they didn’t feel pain, nor did it mean it was quickly alleviated.
Instead, Demigods were actually more susceptible to pain because it was something they rarely felt.
Nevertheless, Riki didn’t even frown.
Instead, he spoke in a calm voice.
Lord looked at him for a moment before turning around without a word.
[…I’m leaving. Leyrin, take care of Ananta, Agni, and Nozdog.]
[They suffered fatal injuries and need to be treated urgently. I’m going to travel around the continent for the time being and prepare the necessary items. So take care of them until I return.]
“W, wait. What about Riki?”
Lord glanced at Riki before walking away without another word.
Leyrin watched him leave with a dazed expression.
“What in the world am I supposed to do…?”
Her gaze then landed on Riki.
He had been fatally injured.
Not even a Demigod would be able to survive with such injuries.
Even if she left him as he was, she was certain he would die.
After all, there was no one who knew the anatomy of a Demigod better than her.
Nothing could save him now. Riki’s death was a foregone conclusion.
Leyrin raised her hand, and a violent gale wrapped around it.
In his current weakened state, even this much was enough to easily finish Riki off. His body would be shredded.
But Leyrin couldn’t do it.
The gale disappeared.
“…you should regret until the moment you die, Riki. I don’t know how you could be so stupid.”
“The only reason I won’t kill you now is because I don’t want to see the miserable end of someone I once considered a brother.”
Riki didn’t respond.
Leyrin bit her lip.
“Go somewhere else. Somewhere my eyes wouldn’t reach. And die there.”
With those words, Leyrin disappeared.
Following Lord’s instructions, she had probably gone to help the ones Riki had injured.
Riki slowly got to his feet.
Then he slowly staggered away, his shattered sword held tightly in his hand.
* * *
Frey was alone in the cave once again, a sudden sense of helplessness striking him clearly.
‘…if it wasn’t for Iris’ help, I would’ve died here.’
The fact that his opponent had been the strongest among the Demigods wasn’t a good enough excuse.
After all, he came back in the first place to kill that very being.
But as he remembered his pathetic state not so long ago…
Frey bit his lip so hard it bled.
He was weak.
If anyone else heard that, they would have given him a scornful look.
He had reached 8 stars, signed a contract with Asura, the ruler of the Slaughter Hell, and now, he could even control divine power, yet he called himself weak.
However, in a way, this was inevitable.
Because his opponents were Demigods. Transcendental beings that mortals could not do anything against.
But could he really convince himself with such an excuse?
Wasn’t it his determination to fight them that helped him return in the first place?
‘…I’m sorry for showing you such a shameful sight, Lucid.’
He had displayed such an unsightly scene in front of his friend’s grave.
He glanced at the sword that had been stuck into the grave.
Even though 4,000 years had passed, Diukid’s edge had not dulled at all.
“…tell me, Lucid. What exactly did you do to Riki?”
What caused that man to betray his kind?
The answer came from behind him.
“…he gave me… an admonition.”
Frey turned around.
However, he was immediately lost for words.
Riki was standing there in a miserable state.
Frey had never seen someone who could still move after sustaining such injuries.
There were places that were burned, places that were purple from poison, places that seemed to have been sliced apart by some kind of blade, and places where the skin had completely discoloured and died.
He was so badly injured that it was incredible that he was even able to stand.
As he said that, Riki began walking forward with slow footsteps.
Discoloured blood dripped down with every step.
He collapsed after a few steps.
However, even when he collapsed heavily onto the ground, a pained expression didn’t appear on his face.
In fact, it was almost as if his face and body belonged to two separate entities.
He only frowned slightly as he said.
“…I’m sorry, but can you give me a hand?”
Frey never thought there would be a day when he’d hear such a request from a Demigod.
After a brief silence, Frey approached Riki and supported him.
Riki seemed to want to lean against Lucid’s tombstone, so Frey did just that.
Riki took a deep breath before saying.
“…it seems Lord was here.”
“It’s my fault. Huhu. I thought I had an opportunity, but it turns out he came here. He wasn’t supposed to know about this place.”
Riki laughed self-deprecatingly before coughing up a mouthful of blood.
He didn’t even bother wiping the blood from his chin as he asked.
“How did you survive?”
“…well. That’s not very important right now.”
Then, Frey’s expression stiffened.
Riki’s left arm, which had been filled with deadly poison, fell to the floor.
Riki only glanced at his left arm before saying.
“I bought you a year.”
“Right. Ananta, Agni and Nozdog have been severely injured. Especially Nozdog… that one is fatal. It’ll take at least a year for them to heal. Until then, they won’t be able to make any moves.”
“What about Lord?”
“He will help them together with Leyrin. If he leaves them as they are, they might die.”
“…are you saying you beat the other four on your own?”
Riki didn’t deny it.
He looked exhausted.
It was a very strange sight. His body was filled with horrible wounds, yet Riki didn’t even groan once.
‘He’s beyond saving.’
Frey, who had killed several Demigods, could immediately tell that Riki had received many fatal injuries.
Riki, the Sword Apocalypse, was dying.
Under normal circumstances, this was something that he would’ve welcomed with open arms.
But Frey couldn’t be happy at this moment.
Instead, his heart felt heavy.
“…why did you betray the Demigods?”
He asked the question he’d held inside from the first day they met.
Riki turned his head to look at Frey.
Looking closely, his left eye was already half closed.
“…4,000 years ago… I fought a man.”
Frey knew who that man was.
“Sword King Lucid.”
“Right. He was an amazing man. His physical abilities were great, but his willpower was absolutely outstanding. He had a strong, unshakeable conviction that couldn’t be swayed by anything.”
Riki calmly recalled his battle with Lucid.
The memories flowed through his mind as if it had been just yesterday.
Among them, it was Lucid’s words that had left a particularly strong impression on him.
It wouldn’t have been an exaggeration to say that those words had changed everything about him.
“A sword without conviction is just a piece of metal.”
Frey trembled slightly.
That was because, at that moment, he saw Lucid’s face overlap with Riki’s as he recited those words.
“At first, I thought it was just nonsense. Conviction is conviction, and violence is violence. I always believed the strong didn’t need a purpose. But… the more I learned his swordsmanship, the more I understood his thoughts.”
It was a mysterious experience that could never be repeated.
At that time, Riki hadn’t gone all out. This was because he wanted to steal Lucid’s sword techniques.
For him to completely control the power of the sword, there was a need for him to witness and master many different types of swordsmanship.
And Lucid’s Dreadment was the most perfect swordsmanship he’d ever encountered.
But it wasn’t just that.
Lucid’s will was firm. It never wavered.
It seemed he would be able to stand firm even if his sword was destroyed and his heart was pierced.
At that moment, Riki had understood.
That it was Lucid’s faith in his sword.
But when he looked down at his sword, he felt nothing.
“What I held in my hand was just a piece of metal. I realised then just how ridiculous I was. When it came to pure sword ability, without the power of sword that I was born with… I couldn’t even scratch at Lucid’s toes.”
He wanted to learn more.
He felt that this mysterious hunger that filled him would be sated if he kept fighting against this man.
However, his wish didn’t come true.
“Lord killed Lucid.” (TL: so I misinterpreted this before and thought Lord forced Riki to kill Lucid, probably due to my own preconception. I’ll fix it in the chapter it was initially mentioned, sorry for the mistake.)
It had happened in an instant.
Lord had appeared from a space crack and immediately killed Lucid.
His match had been interrupted.
Riki had never felt so angry.
“I attacked Lord at that time, but he tried to gently soothe me. He even apologized. He said ‘that was your prey, I’m sorry.’”
What did he mean by prey?
It wasn’t like that.
Lucid wasn’t his prey.
Riki had only realised at that time.
What kind of being Lord was.
Riki looked at Frey with only one eye still open.
He had something to tell him.
For himself, for Frey, for every species on the continent and even for the Demigods.
“Listen, Frey. In Lord’s world… there are only Demigods.”
If there was a flaw in Lord, who appeared to be an absolute existence, then it was this. For Lord, the Demigods were everything.
That was his only weakness.
But Riki wasn’t comfortable talking about it. Because he felt that it was just as much his fault as Lord’s.
He had agreed with that ideal. He had believed it was right.
He had thought that the continent was meant to belong to the Demigods.
But it wasn’t.
How could that be the case when there were countless beings living on the vast continent?
How could all of it belong to the Demigods whose number hadn’t even reached a hundred?
“We… weren’t meant to exist in the first place.”
Fragments of energy that had broken off from the laws of the world who had gained sentience and could exert its power.
It was something that was never supposed to happen.
Riki had pondered that fact for a long time.
Then what should he do?
If everything continued to progress at the same rate, then it was only a matter of time till the Demigods were truly the only absolute existence on the continent who would rule over it until the end of time.
Their only rival, the Dragons, were almost extinct.
The other transcendental beings from other worlds who were comparable to the Demigods could not exert their full power on the continent and weren’t even interested.
Then there was only one option left.
He would have to end it with his own hands.
But Riki had failed.
“…! Your leg…”
Riki’s toes turned to ash and scattered into the air.
Frey was shocked, but Riki was as calm as ever.
He spoke in his normal, blunt tone.
“…go to the Blake family. They should have some clues about the Illuminium. If the Demigods manage to mass produce it, it’ll all be over. You have to stop them somehow.”
Frey could only nod.
Hesitation bloomed on his face.
He didn’t know how to react to Riki dying before him.
Should he console him?
Should he make a promise?
Neither one made sense.
Not only was there nothing he could do, Riki wouldn’t want him to do anything, either.
“In the Frozen Lands in the north… there is a Demigod named Elliah…”
“…She’s a weirdo who doesn’t care about the Demigods or the Circle. Even Lord has given up trying to get her to do anything… if there is any Demigod who would help you… it would be her.”
His voice was gradually fading.
“For Snow… tell her I’m sorry… and that she has nothing to worry about. Even if I die, it won’t affect her…”
Riki’s vision was becoming increasingly blurry.
He knew he was at his limit.
Death for Demigods was different for other beings.
It meant the collapse of their consciousnesses and an end to their eternal lives.
He wasn’t afraid of it, but he couldn’t help but think it was a bit regrettable
“Lucid… if you saw me now… and if we fought…”
What would he say?
He could only wonder.
It was regrettable that he would never hear the answer, but it wasn’t something he could help.
It was then.
“It was great swordsmanship.”
Riki looked at Frey, and Frey continued speaking without avoiding his gaze.
“If you had fought right now, that is what Lucid would say.”
“You… who are you…?”
Frey was silent for a moment.
However, he didn’t take too long to answer.
Complex emotions were visible in Riki’s eye.
He looked at Frey for a long time before finally closing his eyes.
“I see… you… huhu. I’m relieved…”
“Thank you, Lukas…”
Then he gave a satisfied smile that stretched across his face.
In time, his entire body became ashes.
The Demigod with the power of the sword, the Sword Apocalypse, Riki.
For any errors and issues contact me through discord:- https://discord.gg/Q3dStgu