Vol. 5 – Chapter 52
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Hi guys! Emperor93 here!
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***(Xalan's POV)***

"*Fuuu* Absurd... don’t you think so, my friend?"

"*Sigh* Absurd to put it mildly." he said taking his forehead and sighing heavily "But the most absurd thing is that you brought me the head of your deceased pupil."

“Hahaha. How else could you have believed my story otherwise?"

"*Hmpf* I can't deny it."

Once I returned from the world supervised by little Aphy, I immediately took action to make sure that Shidor's death remained hidden until I spoke to Fiemis. After all, Shidor was highly respected and admired by the younger Gods of War, partly due to the way he cared for them and partly because he was my pupil and protégé. If these reckless young men had unleashed that mortal's wrath again, I don't know if that world would hold up, and above all, we would suffer a huge blow regarding the gods devoted to the hunt for the Fallens. Ultimately, the death of a single God of War is a pity but it is replaceable, but if we lose five or ten of them in one day, then it would be a disaster.

So, I headed to the divine palace Eliagarth to meet the King of the Gods Fiemis so that I could report the stupidity of my late pupil to him and see how to deal with Graeval.

Despite the short notice, he still granted me an audience given my position as Exarch of the Warriors. In private, and with the head as proof, I told him everything that had happened. To say he was worried was an understatement.

"*Sigh* That Aphy does nothing but cause trouble whatever she does."

"Hohoho, I wonder where she gets it from~"

"Certainly not from me." he stated as he served himself a glass of wine "She only took some physical traits from me."

Aphy and Daneas are Fiemis' daughters, so it could be said that they are princesses. He too was young and in love and sometimes he forgets that he caused trouble too. Come to think of it, the engagement between Shidor and Aphy happened for reasons not very different from those that led to the engagement between Fiemis and Aphy's mother. Since her wife put him back in line, he must have thought that by doing the same, Aphy would fix her head too.

"Anyway, I never thought your pupil had such a personality."

"I was surprised too." I said taking a puff "*Fuuu* Before coming here I did some quick investigations and it seems that my idiot pupil had... 'argued' with many Gods who had fallen victim to your daughter's advances, hoping to have a chance with her."

"Define 'argued' please."

“They were traumatized to the point that they locked themselves in their offices and barricaded every entrance. This for several years."

"........."

"Yeah. It was a real surprise for me too."

Fiemis sighed again before pouring a glass for me too and giving it to me. I'm sure he's having a headache right now.

"This mortal... Graeval right?" he asked and I nodded at the question "Is he that dangerous?"

"...... He was able to keep up with me, but let it be clear that beyond the limitations imposed on us when we descend on the mortal plane, I was not yet completely serious, on the other hand, I faced him that he was weakened by the clash with Shidor." I began "From what your daughter Daneas later told me, apparently he was fighting not very seriously."

"Not very seriously?"

“I got that impression too. When I confronted him, instinct told me that I shouldn't take my eyes off him if I wanted to get out alive." I said taking a sip of wine "I don't know if that's really the case or it's just my impression... but I think he faced me and my student at 60% of his actual strength."

"I hope you are joking."

"I'll be honest... that's what I've hoped for since I faced him."

A shiver went up to my spine as soon as I said it... and my best friend's worried expression certainly doesn't help.

"How can a mortal be able to possess and use all that power."

"I don't know either and Daneas doesn't know why either, however, she has a theory, and apparently, Graeval's power still comes with a price."

"What price?"

“Even though he possesses such power, his mortal body is still too weak to use it to the full for long periods. It is something that I was able to see with my own eyes during our fight."

The blood on Graeval’s body was largely his and I am sure that only a part comes from the wounds that Shidor and I have inflicted on him. When we started the fight, evidently his body was already starting to suffer from the side effects of his powers.

"So he's able to use them to the fullest of his abilities, but not for extended periods."

"I think when he uses his strength 100%, we won't even know he was really serious."

"*Sigh* I understand." he said while taking another sip, "So what do you think is the best way to act."

"Do nothing, let him live his life, and prevent anyone who crossed his mind from avenging Shidor to provoke him."

"You're telling me to ignore him."

“From what Aphy said, he just needs to be left alone. We ignore him and his family, and he will ignore us." I said taking another sip of wine. “Also, I advise you not to target his family. After all, Shidor made him serious because he indirectly threatened to kill his beloved; besides, if Aphy hadn't gone to take her wife to calm him down, I think at this moment you would have come to see me in some hospital room."

"I got the hint." he started bringing the glass to his mouth again. “Now that I think about it, you told me earlier that Daneas had a theory about why he is so powerful. What would it be?"

“Well… put simply, she thinks that when Graeval was reincarnated in Aphy's world, somehow his already absurd powers doubled because he kept the memories of his previous life… or it could be part of what has influenced him anyway."

"Wait up!" he exclaimed turning suddenly "What do you mean 'reincarnated'?!"

“Well... your daughter Aphy has been in love with him since he was still walking in the world of Daneas and so she begged her to reincarnate him in her world. It was love at first sight."

"Oh, I see." he stated taking a sip to spit it out immediately after with eyes wide open with surprise “Pffffft! WHAT DID YOU SAY?!!!"

"You're a little late for that sketch."

"Who cares! More important! Are you telling me that my daughters unintentionally created that monster, because Aphy fell in love at first sight and Daneas couldn't tell her no?"

"As a summary, I think it fits perfectly."

"*SIIIIIIGH!*" Fiemis sighed again and heavily

Even though I felt like giggling at his reactions, it was still understandable. But the worst thing is that we have not yet started discussing the problems that are related to this incident.

***(Cordelia's POV)***

"Come! Come to your mother." I encouraged Gelon

He was standing leaning against a wall and when I called him, he turned to me. With an expression that expressed cheerfulness and happiness, he slowly separates from the wall and began to walk towards me trying to maintain that little balance. I wasn't very far away, but despite his best efforts, he fell into a sitting position. And he ends up looking at me with a startled look.

Seeing him, I heard the maids giggling softly as I approached and picked him up. By now he has passed the year but Gelon is still struggling to walk, but every day he manages to take a few more steps.

"Let's go to daddy."

Before leaving the room the maids greeted me with a bow and then I headed to my husband's study. In front of the door, I knocked

"Come." Jack answered from the other side

When I went in, I saw that he had some piles of documents on his desk that he most likely had to or had overhauled. But right now, his attention was on a piece of paper he was holding. When he looked up and saw me holding our son, he smiled sweetly and after getting up from his chair, he walked over to me

"How are my treasures?" he asked kissing our son on the forehead

"We're both fine." I said kissing him on the lips "Gelon was almost able to reach me walking."

"Oh~!" Jack exclaimed happily "Good job my champion!" he affirmed smiling and gently stroking Gelon's head

Although he showed a joyful expression, I saw in his eyes that there was something deeply troubling him.

"Something wrong honey?"

"Why do you think so Cordelia?"

"Fufufu. Feminine intuition." I said giggling

"... Then it's something I can't underestimate."

After that statement, he rang a bell that he keeps on the table and a short time later, a waitress entered.

"Can you take Gelon to his brothers?" he asked the waitress "my wife and I have to talk in private."

Although I was a little shocked by his statement, I entrusted Gelon to the maid and after she left, my husband locked the door. He sat down on the couch and patted the seat next to him as if he were inviting me to sit down. As soon as I got comfortable, I felt my husband encircle my shoulder and gently squeeze me to him.

"J-Jack?!" I called him surprised and a little embarrassed "T-this is not the place for certain things!"

"Forgive me..." he affirmed smiling "is that I feel the need to hold you at this moment... and not just you. But also Ridel, Emilyn, Sarity... I feel the need to be comforted by the people I love."

If I was shocked before, now I am completely surprised. Where does all this insecurity come from?!

"Why? What happened?"

"Do you remember that frightening feeling of some time ago?" I nodded to the question How can I forget it "You see..."

From there, Jack told me that Graeval was the cause of that horrible feeling that was felt by everyone. That thirst for blood was so intense that it seemed to want to wipe us off the face of the planet. Everyone who was in this house and even my family in Cudding had sensed it, but no one understood what was happening... at least until now for me.

Although he hadn't seen it firsthand, my blood ran cold when he told me that Graeval fought seriously for the first time, moreover against a deity, and came out victorious... wounded but victorious. Since it had happened while they were in Fago, Lilith asked Sarity for help to heal her husband... wounds that were not at all slight and above all, caused by the extensive use of his powers.

"Think... after greeting us as if nothing had happened, he fell to the ground unconscious."

"What can I say... as one would expect from him?"

"Fufufu. You are the King's daughter." he said giggling and stroking my cheek "Your surprised and at the same time terrified expression is the same."

Well, it was clear that the first one he reported to was my father... but other than that, there was one thing that wasn't explained anyway.

"What are you worried about Jack?"

"......What are we fighting against?" he asked "Or rather... what is Graeval facing?"

As much as I wanted to give him an answer to that question, I didn't know it. I wanted to brush off his worry... but I think nothing could have given him an iota of comfort. He would only have been more worried.

"What do you think about it?" I asked him

"Sincerely? I do not know." he said disconsolately "I have a hypothesis, but I have no way to confirm it."

"Don't worry and express your thoughts."

"......... What if it was this divinity that caused everything that happened in this world?" he asked “What if he was the mastermind behind the war against demons? What if he was the one who supplied the Mornfiend to that demon?"

If you think about it... his theory has some validity. If it was this deity who triggered all these negative events, then it would make sense that he was targeting Graeval. Although he wasn't always intentional, Graeval always intervened in these latest events that could have led to a conflict or a catastrophic future. And he fought with him to keep him from intruding further on his plans, whatever they might have been. However...

"What if this God was also a pawn?"

"Do you mean that he too was manipulated by this external influence?"

"Well... since the cause of the clash between Graeval and this deity was for the mighty Aphy, if we can put it in that way, this manipulator could have leveraged the feelings of this God pushing him to the clash... as it could also be a lie created to hide his true intentions"

"*Sigh* Whatever the truth is..." Jack began with a sigh, "we have no way of confirming this as Graeval killed the only one who knew the answer. But... this mess makes my adventure to kill the Demon Queen look like a walk in the park."

"Fufufu. I can’t blame you for that thought." I chuckled "How is Graeval?"

"He woke up... but it's been 4 days since he fainted." he stated with a troubled expression on his face “However he still has a hard time moving. It seems that his body still has limits when he uses his powers to the fullest. Based on what told Sarity, it will take him another 2 days before he can fully recover."

"Well... if nothing else it's good news."

"......Yeah."

***(?????'s POV)***

In that darkness, a sphere of white light came up and landed on my shoulder. Approaching my ear, it told me what it had seen, and hearing it, I came up with only one word: Interesting.

"So even that God in love couldn't do anything against him." I said aloud “What a pity. He could have been a good pawn but anyway..."

I had to admit that I was a little disappointed with that result, but at the same time, I wasn't even that surprised. I mean, that strange mortal prevented the war from starting, killed one of my experiments, and now he also eliminated one of my biggest threats... Well... I might as well thank him for that.

I know that that mortal interfered with my plans only because the mortals I... 'commissioned' to carry them out to bring me results foolishly got in the way of someone who was related to him; it's not entirely his fault that my experiments failed, but in part, I have to thank him for getting some pretty interesting data. Especially in his confrontation with subject 137.

"Oh well... let's let it go." I said stretching myself “The 10'432/bis experiment will start soon. I better get ready to collect the information I need~"

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