Chapter 426 - Volume 3
Chapter 205 – I anoint you as king
“Mother Marsha……” The people around Brendel finally spoke aloud.
It was a primeval Fire Seed that had been sleeping for several millennia. The dim glowing runes emitted a slight warmth, almost as if there was a goddess extending out her hand with a gentle smile, beckoning her children to come closer.
Every one was struck with wonder.
The goddess did not abandon her children. The flaming runes burned silently throughout the ages despite the constant corruption in this area, waiting in the darkness till her children came again to ignite the Fire Seed. It was a lighthouse waiting to shine with a gentle but brilliant power.
Brendel showed a solemn expression as he looked up. The predecessors had protected this place in order to hand it to their successors. After numerous generations, the Fire Seed would ignite the flames of civilization once again.
The honor of lighting it was now converted into inexpressible emotions running through everyone’s veins. A divine mission that every sentient race yearned for; to bring forth the flames of order and light.
Promanthano was the person who lit the first Fire Seed in the dark Wilderness. Civilization took its first step out of its primitive ways and began its unending journey to seek a world of light.
Brendel took a deep breath and looked at the others. Mephisto nodded at him, while Scarlett had a pair of fretful hands on her chest and looked worriedly at the youth. Sifrid was a little bewildered at everyone’s reactions.
The person who was going to follow Promanthano’s footsteps to bring light and order was Brendel.
“Then I’m going off to bring light to this forest,” Brendel said.
“Go.” Mephisto had an earnest expression when he looked at the platform that housed the Fire Seed.
The youth turned around and started to ascend the platform that led to the Fire Seed. With every single step that he took, the Fire Seed became brighter, and particles of light seemed to materialize on Brendel.
Mephisto’s eyes widened when he saw robes forming on Brendel’s shoulders.
“This is the scene in the Kirrlutz’s Poem of Skies…… Child, I grant you the wings made from light, and thus, I shall anoint you as king.”
Even though his mind thought that it was nonsense made up by zealots, Mephisto felt his heart pounding in acknowledgment.
Mother Marsha was going to appear and place a crown on the youth’s head with her own hands.
The light emitting from the Fire Seed was almost blinding when Brendel stood before it within arm’s reach. He stretched out his hand to touch the crystal with a deep frown and spoke with a weary sigh:
“Mother Marsha, after thousands of years, your children have come before you—”
Brendel suddenly withdrew his hand and nearly stumbled down the steps. Something warm had touched his hand gently. A voice responded in his ears in an ancient language:
“Indeed, it has been a very long time. My child, this journey must have been impossibly difficult for you.”
“W-what?” Brendel’s mind completely blanked out.
[The Goddess Marsha? She exists in this world? That Holy Mother that everyone praises in this world!? How can this be possible!]
His mind was shutting down.
The Era of the Gods was over. None of the old gods had appeared in the game’s future timeline, or this world’s past after the War of the Holy Saints. Everyone in this world believed that only the Laws were left behind and Mother Marsha was gone. But it seemed like the divine goddess was still watching over this particular Fire Seed and silently waited for its successor.
“My child, even though I am very far away from you and the others, I can still sense your beliefs for a brighter future. I have seen your predecessors walk out from the protections of the gods to traverse the land of darkness. They cut down the obstacles in their path, slowly made their way into the Wilderness and founded a land of their own. I believe that you would be able to conquer every hurdle that comes your way and achieve victory.”
Did she know the truth that he hid from the others?
He was unable to repress his burning emotions and a trail of tears flowed down when he heard her gentle voice. Her warmth felt like it was the embrace of a mother that he had not felt for thousands of years, and he was experiencing it once again.
“It seems like dust has entered my eyes,” Brendel said with a little embarrassment.
“Cry not, my child. Even though I wish for your success, the roads ahead of you are filled with difficulty. Are you truly prepared to light this Fire Seed and follow your predecessors? Each time an attempt is made to progress beyond the twilight, countless sacrifices would be made, but even if they fall, another person who follows their beliefs would walk in their footsteps. This history is in truth a poem filled with bravery and incredible sadness—”
Marsha appeared within the crystal as she spoke. She shook her head slowly.
“This is a game that is meant for heroes, and every participant would become a part of this epic poem. My child, are you truly certain that you are prepared for this?”
[Lighting a Fire Seed should be an automated process. But the goddess of this world appeared before me and said all these things. Is she saying that I will never have the chance to return my original world? But if I refuse and instead try to find a way back, then would happen to Aouine?]
“…… Naturally, I am prepared,” he finally answered.
Marsha looked at him for a while before she spoke again: “My child, would you permit me to ask you a few questions.”
[Questions? Wait, I’m assuming too many things. Does the goddess truly know that I took over this body and I’m just here to save Aouine? What did she say just a few seconds earlier….. Progress beyond the twilight? Maybe she expects me to do some kind of crazy stunts that the ‘predecessors’ did, like slaying the Twilight Dragon or something? …… Hmm, I have no clue as to what she wants, but it’s best that I nod my head here.]
The goddess’s warmth was difficult for anyone to reject her.
“My child, what are your beliefs?”
“Do you seek the Fire Seed for glory? Power? Or perhaps to survive? This thought could be considered a belief as well. If you have a goal, civilization would be able to progress.”
[She doesn’t know what I have done to come here if she has to ask me this question. What was I expecting here…..]
Brendel said: “Probably…… fulfilling my wish could be considered as a belief.”
Marsha placed a crown of light on Brendel’s head, her hand gently caressing his forehead amidst a field of white light: “My child, do you understand the meaning of a crown?”
[The symbol of authority— is obviously the wrong answer. The person who becomes king is meaningless to a divine being.]
Brendel shook his head.
“The person who wears a crown is called a king. Your predecessors became king and were always ahead of everyone. It is because of this act, that their citizens could see their backs. As long as someone is in front of them, these citizens would become strong and gain the courage to continue walking forward. Do you understand it? As a king, you must radiate light and warmth so that everyone would be able to see you in the dark. You must bring them to clear the obstacles that are in front of you, to bring the light in this endless chasm of darkness. Only when you surmount all these hurdles, would it be declared as a King’s Devotion.”
“Devotion…… of a king?” Brendel could feel the heavy crown that the goddess had placed on his head, and his heart started racing.
“What do you think of the word ‘devotion’?”
Brendel was unable to see the goddess’s appearance clearly. She had been wearing a smile ever since she appeared in the crystal, but he thought she was expecting something from him in her eyes. He gathered his courage and replied with the desire that he always had in his heart.
“I believe devotion is to accomplish something that would satisfy my heart, and to do it without any regret or blame.”
“Do you have something that you wish to accomplish, my child?”
“Yes,” Brendel answered simply.
The greatest regret in his memories of the game was the burning white tree in that palace. If there was something that he had to change, this would be it. Perhaps it was the reason why he came to this world.
The youth understood this point when Marsha asked him this question.
But pain flashed through his mind as soon his reply left his lips.
[Should I ask if there’s a way back to my previous world? Or the secrets as to why some of the ancient languages match my world’s? If I don’t return, then what about my family and friends…… Am I not going to see her ever again?]
The goddess’s expectations in her eyes turned to approval when she heard his answer, failing to see the youth’s hands balling up into fists.
“Some are fated to be different from others. As long as light continues to originate in one’s heart, bringing along unwavering determination to change this world, regardless of success or failure, the wings of light that extend from their backs will make everyone feel safe.”
Light converged in the goddess’s hand.
“Such a person would be deemed a hero in history. My child, your answer has made me very satisfied. I shall present you with a gift and hope that it allows you to fulfill your beliefs.”
– System Notification: The destiny of the ‘Chosen One’ has been acquired.
[D-destiny? Another? Didn’t I get the destiny of the ‘Fool’ from the Dragon of Darkness? Shit, is there a bug in the system? It sounds nice and all but I feel this is a great trap! Look at how that dragon threatened me!]
Brendel was upset.
With great luck came great misfortune. He was certain that he had to do some impossible task that Marsha wanted.
[And why is it ‘Chosen one’? Isn’t Marsha’s Legacy supposed to be ‘Marsha’s Child’?]
Marsha seemed like she saw through what he was thinking and spoke with a smile:
“Indeed. I did not present you my true Legacy, but I have placed my expectations on you. My child, I presented you the wings of light as foretold in the ancient prophecies, and thus anoint you as king. I hope that you continue to act according to your will, and I can attain honor because of you.”
“Attain honor because of me?” Brendel was utterly baffled at her strange words.
But the goddess did not explain herself. Her eyes seemed like she was looking past countless veils and darkness was becoming clear in her vision. Finally, she spoke again:
“Come, let us witness this moment again. Light shall return once more to this place.”
She raised her hand.
A pillar of light pierced through the Dark Forest’s trees. Everything froze in that single instant.
All men and beasts trembled at the same time. The Laws within the area were gone. The immense Mana Wave that affected the Dark Forest completely disappeared.
Those who witnessed the phenomenon thought it was impossible, and when they followed that pillar of light, they discovered that it originated from the Loop of Trade Wind’s center. It had pierced through the heavens as though it was breaking out of a shell.
The Fire Seed was ignited.