Rain poured from the dark sky as lighting rumbled in the distance.
A group of 12 dirty-looking armed men approached the village gates, knocking twice with a heavy pounding. The elderly gatekeeper stumbled carrying keys, opening the viewing slide, and seeing the men wearing the Franzia Kingdoms insignia, instantly let them in.
He didn want to upset the countrys knights; being a small gatekeeper in a small border village, he worried because his children were now old enough to be conscripted into the army.
With a reluctant smile, he fumbled with the keys to open the gate.
Once the man settled the doors lock, the men laughed and smiled at each other. The poor gatekeeper didn notice as a spear flashed through the slide piercing his head and dying instantly.
Silently the men were able to infiltrate the small village. Its guards were merely ageing militia as most young men had left to become knights, soldiers or dungeon explorers.
The group of dirty-looking men approached several houses west of the village. Behind them were several dead men with their throats slit, unable even to call out the names of their loved ones one last time.
What happened next was a scene only described as hell on Altera. The small village of Celom is now filled with corpses of the poor males who tried to fight back and the ugly older women.
Screams could be heard from the tiny house away from the main village. A young boy awoke from his sleep curious at the sounds of wailing and begging so loud he could hear them from several hundred metres away.
A rugged hand filled with scars and hard skin stroked his broken horn, brushing his black hair backwards.
”Don worry, Asmodea. Ill go check out whats going on. ”
”No matter what, you stay inside your secret room till Im back, okay? ”
”But why dad? Is there something bad happening!? What about Lumia! ” The milky voice rang, leading the handsome middle-aged man to frown before giving the small pale boy a tight hug to reassure him.
”Ill make sure shes safe. Don worry, listen to my words! ”
After hearing his fathers stern words, Asmodea nodded before walking quickly towards the corner of the room. A rune flashed. It was demonic language for My dear son. As a trapdoor opened, revealing a small room with a cool temperature. After the boy entered the room, the trapdoor sealed and disappeared completely.
”Im sorry, Asmodea… I hope you can forgive this old man you graced calling me father. ”
With a serious face, the man with a sizeable greying beard and grey eyes leaving the house, his mana-infused eyes could see the horrific scenes in the village, young maidens lay covered in white fluids, and several headless males knelt as if theyd watched the scenes.
Kent recognised them all, David the butcher and his wife kelly, Marianne and her lover Harris. Despite his heavily scarred body and carrying a demon child, they had accepted Kent, the former adventurer.
He felt remorse. The house away from the village delayed his ability to sense the tragedy. Kent drew his sword, taking slow, heavy steps whilst the tears forming within his eyes evaporated from the extreme heat produced by his body in rage.
”You chased me this far, Harris Beltova? I had already given you the throne, dearest brother! ”
These dirty-looking men were neither bandits nor knights of Franzia. They were the Dark Paladins of Beltova, who worked directly for the Beltovian Royal family committing their darkest deeds, from assassination to espionage.
His face becoming fierce, Kent forced his tired body, already crumbling from the pressure of mana with his damaged core. Kent flew towards a paladin, his sword pierced directly through his throat, gurgling with blood oozing down his chest.
Several paladins saw this, throwing aside the violated women, quickly stuffing themselves back inside and charging toward kent with a flurry of sword swings.
Kent could evade one blade with an upwards stroke, dodging to the left to avoid anothers stab. However, his waist was slashed by the third paladins dagger, causing him to step back several steps holding his palm towards the Paladins as burning flames shot forwards, melting their flesh and bones until nothing remained.
”Hah… hah.. hah… ”
Now only 8 Paladins remained. Their leader just stood wearing a thick black armour watching Kents desperate battle, lifting his foot and crushing a persons head underneath, killing her as his eyes met with Kent.
”Marrisa! Noooo! ”
Kent lost himself in rage, ignoring the cracks that formed on his body. As a former S class Knight, hed learned to ignore and limit pain. Mana filled his feet with a flash of green light, his speed now several times greater as he carved two more paladins into half, their screams music to his ears.
”Go, dad, go! ” Asmodea screamed whilst sitting inside the basement space.
Unknown to Kent, Asmodea could use scouting techniques by mimicking his fathers words and actions. In front of him was a small screen that displayed his fathers fight vividly.
”No, dad! watch out!! ”
A large golden spear pierced through Kents thighs, leaving him half kneeling. He felt as if his son was calling out to him desperately, which made him smile despite the horrific situation.
”Ah, Asmodea, finding you was my greatest joy. My son, I fight for you! ”
Kent gained a second wind, the hole in his leg sealed superficially once again, holding his sword across his chest as his body began to glow.
”My body for Centura, My spirit for Anturios and my Life for Asmodea! ”
With his final mana, a brilliant white light surrounded the encompassing area. When the leader realised the phenomenon, he desperately tried to flee, but it was too late.
”Divine Judgement! ”
The entire area exploded with holy mana, and the paladins who were about to pierce through Kent instantly vapourised, returning to the world as sacred mana. The leaders eyes filled with remorse and regret reached towards the pendant that flew from his neck containing a picture of a beautiful woman and a little girl.
”So… Karma exists. ”
With a final flash of light, all that remained was the villagers now cleaned and restored to their perfect form. However, the dead remained dead. Kent only offered them the chance to bury them with respect.
Kent tried to turn around, only for his left leg to begin crumbling into dust. The payment for using a gods judgment was beyond what he, who wasn a believer nor a paladin, could handle. He could feel the insides of his body failing, breathing became difficult and painful, and his eyes blurred as his vision fell diagonally.
”NO! DAD! LET ME OUT! ”
Asmodea banged onto the black stone wall, his tiny hands covered in blood, unable to shut off the image of his father slowly turning into dust due to his distress.
”Please… God… Anybody help my dad! ”
His small body fell to the ground. The door never did appear until his father had chosen to open it during previous bandit raids.
”Ill give you anything… p-please. ”
His face covered in tears, the boy fell to the ground, his left hand reaching out to his father on display.
A gentle voice rang out from the pendant around his neck. It sounded comforting, like a mother with deep concern and sorrow.
”Are you sure? If I help you… Youll learn the truth of this world? ”
The boy, with tears filling his face, looked around desperately for the voice. After all, nobody was supposed to be able to enter here. With a voice slightly horse from crying.
”I will… Who cares about the truth as long as you help my dad! ”
The woman had confirmed his will with one last sigh, wishing it was just a dream. She restored the boys demonic blood, the process would be quick, and by the time he woke up, he would never be the same.
The boy began moaning in pain, dirty black sludge leaking from his body along with small amounts of blood.
”Since youve paid the price, Ill help him survive a little longer. ”
A shadowy figure appeared of a woman with six horns curled around her neck and head and crimson hair that touched the floor. She approached the trap door and vanished.
Kent was lying on the floor. The woman and remaining men still hadn recovered from what happened to them, traumatised by the horrific events, just praying they were having a nightmare.
A beautiful woman with a blurred figure appeared with a flicker of electricity. Several people believed her to be the goddess Centrua who was depicted to have many horns as they began praying in their hearts.
Her weightless steps arrived before Kent. A small ball of white mana appeared on her palm as she blew it towards him.
Upon contact, the white mana began to repair his crumbling body. It wouldn allow him to fight. However, it restored his mortal body, enabling him to spend the natural last years with Asmodea, hopefully teaching him how to protect himself.
After using her powers, the woman felt pain within her soul fading from vision and returning to the pendant around Asmodeas neck.
Now the villagers were even more convinced she was the aspect of the goddess Centura, offering their silent prayers as the excess light also healed many of the injured men. In the distance, the sound of galloping horses and clanging armour began to sound as the true Franzia kingdom knights arrived.
Several hours had passed. The dirt that Asmodea had excreted was burnt away by the woman within the necklace as she watched him with deep concern seeing his veins bulging with his blood a black colour.
The process hadn finished yet as his muscles continuously contracted, tearing apart, regenerating and repeating the process over and over until reaching perfection.
Within his dreams, Asmodea experienced his life repeated many times.
His father would die in the bandit raid, only for the knights to arrive late. Ethan was with his father, and they settled into the village. Later Ethan would awaken as a hero, then go on a journey taking Luma, who awakened as a saintess.
Asmodea would join them, too weak to follow their lead. He would carry their bags and take care of their day-to-day life. He and Lumina were lovers at this point.
Then everything would change. Lumina would suddenly change from a single conversation with the Hero. Hed be expelled from the party and live a miserable life with only brothels and bars to comfort his broken heart.
Their lives changed sometimes, but the constant was always the same. Ethan becomes a hero, and Lumina chooses to be with him. As the harem around Ethan grew, Asmodea became unnecessary and dispelled for various reasons.
Asmodeas eyes began to flicker, opening slightly. His eyes were now pure black with a dazzling golden iris. On the current screen, the young Ethan was standing away from the knights with sparkling eyes.
”No way!? Is this the game I was playing at home? Haha, this scene was stupid. Why did that old geezer nearly die for the stupid villagers? They
e only mobs except for Lumina anyway. ”
Ethan kicked a few corpses making them roll over. He seemed extremely curious.
e so realistic. I might puke! But still reborn in a game world as the Hero, what could be better!? Fuck those normies who called me a disgusting creep. Now I will have a harem of more than 10 women! ”
Asmodeas mana ran out, causing the panel to fizzle, his eyes again filled with tears, but this time they were made of blood. His struggles in his dreams felt like several lifetimes, living without his father and watching his beloved leave him.
He realised what he had lost was no longer the pure, innocent child. However, his love for his father was even greater no matter how many lives he experienced. His father never betrayed him and gave his life for him.
”Its all just a game? ”
”Don joke with me! ”
”You take everything away from me just for your entertainment? ”
”My world isn your game! ”
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