~ Chapter 78: Broken faith or not? (Part 2) ~
“Then try to stop me if you can.” I held my shield up, unsheathed my sword and stepped forward.
The priests all trembled in their spots when they saw me.
“Least I remind you that I am still a Supreme? Above all, I am a Supreme wielding a Divine Artifact, Melkuth's Shield! Dare to stop me in my quest, and I am willing to turn you into blood splatters on the walls!” I threatened them with killing intent emanating from my body.
“B-But... you are... if you are an Apostle, such a thing...” one of them said, but I refused to listen to their incoherent babbling and stepped forward.
“You shall not pa... AGYA!!!”
An elderly priest tried to stop me by putting himself in front of my shield. That was a bold yet incredibly stupid move to do. I immediately released a wave of Magic Energy, and the priest, alongside several others, were sent flying back with a weird scream.
There was no reason to hesitate. My determination, my resolution, my path was clear. I was not going to let anyone stop me!
Thus, I forcefully entered Melkuth's temple and made my way to the prayer room. There, I laid my shield against the door to stop any of them from entering and also set up a small barrier around myself to keep me safe.
Once I was done, I began to pray.
“Oh great Melkuth, God of War, please lend me your wisdom! Listen to the prayers of this Apostle of yours!”
A moment later, I was pulled up by a white light and appeared before my god. Immediately, I knelt in front of him.
“My god.” I said.
“You sure have guts to come back here... Why?” he asked me while releasing a terrible pressure.
He's angry... I thought.
“I came because I wish to tell you that I had not abandoned your path.” I told him.
“Bold words to say, but those are nothing but a shameless lie!” he shouted, throwing me back with an invisible force.
“No, that is the truth...” I declared as I got up.
The god then waved a finger and a terrible force crushed me on the floor.
“My god...” I said as I tried to resist it.
“How can you lie to me like this, Zoreya? After everything I have done for you?!” he was angry.
“I do not...” I managed to look up at him, but in my eyes, he would see only my conviction and determination.
There was not even the smallest shadow of doubt and if one tried to make its way inside of me, then I would immediately banish it.
“You lie, Zoreya... While you do hold me in your heart, I am not the only one. Frankly speaking, I can't even start to understand how and when you began to love that man!” he said.
“True, yet I still did not lie. I love Illsyore as a man, maybe it's only a foolish feeling as of now. Maybe it's my own foolish misunderstanding... Maybe it's a curse, but I know one thing though, that I love you, Melkuth, as my god... even more.” I declared.
“Do you expect me to believe you?” he glared at me.
“Yes... because I know you can... and I, your loyal follower, know the god I love. As your Apostle, I may have been forbidden to take into my heart the love for another man, but I am not one to waver between them... My love for my god is my love for my god... but the love I have for Illsy is of another kind.” I declared.
He listened to my words and then the pressure was released bit by bit until I could finally resume my kneeling position. Melkuth didn't say a single word during that time, he merely looked at me as if trying to determine whether I spoke the truth or not. Meanwhile, I waited patiently even if I was well aware that I didn't have any more time to idle around.
“You wish to save Illsyore, the man you love?” he asked me.
“Yes.” I replied.
“You know that what your heart feels right now might not be the truth, right?” he let out a sigh.
“Yes, but if I don't do anything to confirm whether this is all just my misunderstanding or not, then I won't be able to move forward. I won't be true to myself. As such, I will not be able to be the true warrior you request me to be, my god.” I declared without even the smallest sign of doubt in my voice.
Melkuth let out another sigh and rubbed his forehead with two fingers.
“You...” he said and looked up.
Another moment passed as he gathered his thoughts.
“Among all of my Apostles you were the best... But just as it happened with you, in the past there were others... When they fell in love with another man, each and one of them willingly removed themselves from my side, yet you claim you wish to stay? Won't being my Apostle go against your love with that man?” he asked me.
“If that love comes to be true, then he will accept me as I am as your Apostle. If he doesn't... then I shall be thankful for the time he offered me, but until he can, I will stay away from him. For me, it's more important to be your Apostle, my god, than it is to be his devoted wife who blindly listens to him.” I declared with a firm resolution.
“And you expect a Dungeon Lord to do so?” he asked raising an eyebrow.
“I expect the human soul reincarnated as a Dungeon Lord to do so.” I bowed my head.
“What?” Melkuth looked surprised and even got up from his chair. “What did you just say?” he asked.
“My god, did you not know?” I asked surprised.
“No, please repeat.” he told me.
“Illsyore was originally a human man who died and had his soul reincarnated in the body of the Dungeon Lord created by the human High Mage Tuberculus.” I explained.
“A human... then...” he looked down while leaning on his arms on the desk.
“He told me he remembers his past life, that's why he was so different than the other Dungeon Lord.” I told him.
“If that's so, then... this...” he looked back at me. “Zoreya, do you actually love this mortal? Do you feel romantically attracted to him?” he asked me as if to make sure.
“Yes, my god. At first, I did not believe it was so, but after what Shanteya told me, and what I myself experienced in the past few weeks, I can only say that somehow, someway, the spark of love for this man named Illsyore bloomed in my heart.” I answered honestly.
“I see... then that's why... It was his human charm that attracted you. It was is soul... If you two are... no, if all of them are... or if he is a soul of... Yes, that could be it...” he said rubbing his chin.
“My god?” I was quite confused by his words.
“Zoreya, for now... I offer you my blessing to go and help Illsyore. Unfortunately, my decision to remove you as my Apostle, for now, still remains. It's the condition set in... Your status as an Apostle automatically gets revoked the moment you admit to love another man. This means you will exponentially grow weaker and older with each passing day until you reach your actual age... I will have to change several laws to accept you again, but it can't be done right now. Not if I want to have a backup plan in case you fail... That's why, I am going to offer you some of my Divine Energy to give you a small boost to help you combat The Darkness.” he declared and stepped away from his desk.
“I understand, my god.” I bowed my head.
In the next moment, he was in front of me and raised my chin up.
“I really hate losing such a wonderful Apostle to a mortal, but I will promise you this. If you keep your word about loving me as your god no matter what, then I will take you by my side no matter when you will meet your end or how. The same reward offered to my Apostles is granted to you as well... I swear this in my name!” he declared and then... he kissed me.
The moment was surprising... and strange. That was my first kiss... and it felt exhilarating, exiting, and incredible in a way no words could possibly describe, but that was also most likely due to the powerful Divine Energy flowing into my body, granting me the strength I needed to confront The Darkness. Yet, this was the kiss of my god, not of my lover... Two different things in my heart, yet remarkably similar and close to each other.
“At the very least, I stole your first kiss from that man! I am a selfish god, what can I say?” Melkuth said with a playful smirk.
“My god?” I asked bewildered.
“Do not worry about it...” he sighed and then walked back to his desk.
“Thank you, my god! I shall not fail you!” I declared while my cheeks were burning red.
“Yes, yes, good luck!” he waved me off, and I was returned to the mortal world.
With a gulp, I touched my lips when I returned.
Ah~ I am shameful woman, aren't I? To receive a kiss from my god and still yearn for Illsy's. I thought and then giggled softly.
It wasn't that bad, but with all things decided, I had a new job to attend to. I was to hunt down The Darkness and save my beloved from its grasp... somehow.
[The God of War's office]
“You are red like a tomato... What an innocent god you are.” said the senile old fool.
“Shut up...” groaned Melkuth.
“Hm? It couldn't be that was your first kiss as well?!” he acted surprised.
“Like hell that was!” he tossed a lightning bolt at the God of Big Boobs' face.
“AGYA!” he screamed as he fell down.
“Ugh... I just can't believe that I... A GOD... lost to a mortal, and a human at that!” Melkuth groaned and slumped down in his chair.
“That's what's bothering you, you harem gathering god!” shouted the senile old fool.
“But to think Illsyore was actually a reincarnated Human. Why didn't we know that?” he shook his head.
“You mean why didn't YOU knew that?” the god grinned.
“How did YOU find out then?” Melkuth squinted his eyes at him.
“Technically speaking, I am HIS god. That means, I am allowed to have a bit more background info on him? Right?” he smiled.
“Sigh... even so... to lose Zoreya to a human... I, a god... lost to a mortal. Sooo embarrassing!” he let out a depressing sigh.
“Cheer up, my friend! Let's see if your Apostle can truly change this world's fate or not! After all... to think SHE of all people would fall for Illsyore... I know she has the knowledge and ability to convince him to fight against The Darkness, but... this... yes... Unexpected. See! Oracles of all kind can only spout nonsense! None of them predicted this maiden's change of heart!” he declared and then laughed broadly.
“Sigh... to lose to a mortal... I failed as a god.” said Melkuth while ignoring the senile old fool.
Note from the author: Thank you for reading this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it! Oh, and be sure to check out my other stories too!
Zoreya is off to fight The Darkness! Finally some good news?
Anyway, the updates for this story on other website like Aho-Updates, Reddit/noveltranslations have been non-existent since chapter 69 of MA. I'll put a request on Aho-Updates to change the feed link (again), and if anyone would be kind enough to link the missing chapters on reddit as well, it would be awesome (I think the 100 Luck ones are missing too, unless you guys are actually waiting for the end of the Arcs, that's good too)!
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