Book 2: Chapter 488
A shabby wooden chair.
A skeleton wrapped in black cloth sat cross legged in a place completely engulfed in darkness. At first glance, it was so still that it looked like a corpse, but the eye sockets of the skeleton carried proof that this skeleton couldn’t be considered a corpse.
The green ghostly fire flickered like will o’ wisps, but from a different perspective, they looked like people burning in the dark.
What was clear, was that there was clearly magical power contained within those will o’ wisps.
[What is the difference between a god and a man?]
It was a low but loud voice that was unpleasant to listen to, like the condensed screams of evil spirits.
[The god I’m referring to isn’t the unique and omnipotent being. Every Absolute that is capable of travelling between universes can be classified as gods. Of course, that is just my personal classification, but… what is the reason? It’s nothing much. It’s simply because they all have the power to destroy a large number of universes.]
Diablo waved his hand, causing pitch black fog to billow out and begin taking a shape. At that, most of those in the audience breathed heavily.
[The Demigod Lord, a being that could easily destroy our universe. I’m not sure anyone here has forgotten the despair that man caused you to feel. However, even the weakest Absolute is more powerful than Lord. How about it? Don’t you think beings like that it’s accurate to call such beings gods?]
There was no answer.
Without paying any attention to his audience’s unresponsiveness, Diablo continued.
[Then what’s the difference between them and humans?]
And once again, he returned to the original question.
[It is easy to understand when they’re called humans and gods, but if you classify them a bit more clearly, it would be more appropriate to refer to them as mortals and Absolutes. Then does that mean that it is simply the difference in power that divides them? That’s not it. Although it’s extremely rare, there are some people who, while still being mortal, have the power to stand against an Absolute.]
After saying that, Diablo turned his gaze to the Black Knight standing on his right.
[Here’s what I think. I’ll share the mission with them.]
After saying that, he paused for a while, but there was still no response.
[Every being possesses a mission… even if they themselves might not realise it, our destiny is surrounded by countless missions. And Absolutes are beings who are bound by those missions. They can never turn away from their mission. Instead, they continue to complete their missions precisely and perfectly like machines. In that case, then what about humans, what about mortals?]
Diablo spread his boney hands then clenched them passionately.
[Of course, we are also beings who have missions. However, our missions are never permanent. Is there any human who could take on a mission from the moment they are born and adhere to it till the moment they die? No!”
The voice gradually grew louder.
[There is none. Without a doubt.]
After saying that, Diablo rose from his seat.
[Our missions change constantly! It might even be better to call them desires! Standing on two feet for the first time, proving your worth, making money, finding a good spouse, supporting your parents, caring for your children until they grow up… because life is continuous, the missions are also continuous. Isn’t it wonderful? Isn’t it beautiful?]
The sight of an undead with a skeletal body clamouring about the beauty of life was strange in its own right. However, as had been the case until now, no one in the audience found fault with it.
[And each mission must have a full stop at the end. Otherwise, if they couldn’t be accomplished in the end, how would the missions be any different from curses? However, they, the Absolutes, seem to not know such a simple thing. As if they had been brainwashed, they continue to repeat their actions, as if they were bound by missions that can never be completed… It’s quite tragic. How is it that they haven’t yet realised that they are stuck in an inescapable trap despite the fact that there hasn’t yet been an Absolute who managed to accomplish their mission?]
One thing was clear.
The lack of response didn’t mean the audience weren’t paying to Diablo’s words. While not everyone there were enchanted by Diablo’s words, it was clear that they were all at least paying attention to his speech.
[…And the Absolute born from this universe is no exception to this. I’m talking about the Wizard who became an Absolute even though he was a human.]
When he said those words, the vigour in Diablo’s voice was clearly disturbed.
[Whether only those who can complete unachievable missions can become Absolutes, or whether Absolutes are contradictory beings who struggle to complete unachievable missions. I don’t know that much. However, it is clear that their actions are as meaningless as pouring water into the sea. Isn’t it natural? Even after one task is completed, there are thousands of things occurring in other universes that need to be resolved.]
Diablo’s voice gradually became filled with emotion. It felt like he genuinely felt sympathy for the Absolutes.
[What they need is an end* and rest. The same could be said for the ‘entire multiverse’. And I will be the agent of Death…](*: In this case referring to a ‘true end’ e.g. death)
That was the end of the speech.
The people that filled the hall could all be called some of the strongest on the entire continent, and all of them were also those who had successfully passed Diablo’s ‘strict screening’.
Those who had the right to know the truth about the ‘world outside’.
Those who had enough power.
Among them was Snow, whose life Diablo himself had tried to take. She had lost both eyes, but there were no issues with her ears. In other words, this meant that she was able to remain calm even while listening to Diablo’s voice.
What was the reason for this?
Was it because she felt that what he was saying was worth listening to? Was it simply because she couldn’t defeat him with a body that was unable to see? Or…
…She couldn’t tell.
Iris wasn’t close enough to be able to guess Snow’s inner thoughts. However, she could tell that her hostility towards Diablo, which could be clearly felt, had faded noticeably.
Diablo’s speech that day wasn’t his first. As far as Iris knew, there were ten of them that she had been present to, not to mention the ones that she hadn’t attended or didn’t know about.
At first, it was certainly semi-forced. But as the number increased, more and more people began to listen to the speeches voluntarily, and naturally, more and more people began to empathise with Diablo’s opinion.
And Diablo’s speech that day was the last.
This was because he probably believed that everyone who could be convinced had already been convinced. This judgement was accurate.
In the end, there were only three people who hadn’t been influenced by Diablo.
* * *
Lukas realised that he was visibly agitated. It must have been clearly displayed on his face.
On the other hand, Iris raised her eyes for a moment at Lukas’ appearance, but that was it. Her face soon became expressionless once more. She then took a few steps back to create some distance from Lukas before snapping her fingers.
Ttak. A beam of light fell upon the dark space. Only then did the outline of their surroundings become clear.
It was a library.
There were several rows of bookshelves that were high enough to reach the sky, and every inch of space was filled with books.
The extremely large library gave off a feeling of a ‘mysterious world that had been naturally formed like this’, but instead of being overwhelmed by the scenery, Lukas had a different opinion.
The first impression that he’d had when he first entered about this being small was not wrong.
This place was an incredibly small universe. At first glance, the library seemed huge, but it was still not enough to be considered a world. Of course, it was probably still bigger than most planets.
“…why are you here?”
It was only then that Lukas finally spoke. Iris didn’t immediately respond. Instead, she picked up a few books nearby that had fallen and returned all but one to the bookshelves.
Then, opening the book in her hands, she said.
“That’s a strange thing to say.”
Iris’ voice was emotionless.
“A strange thing to say…?”
“Why I’m here. That’s what you said. As if you know who I am, and where I am.”
“You. You seem to know me. I know about who you are too.”
Her black eyes turned to look at Lukas once more.
She was just saying his name, but Lukas felt as though cold fingers were touching his neck.
“However, I still don’t know you. I merely learned about you after coming to this place.”
“Do you not know where this is despite being an Absolute? This place is the Void Records.”
Lukas’ expression changed at those words.
The Void Records, the Akashic Records.
Wasn’t this God’s library where all the information in the universe was recorded? IT seemed that it was more stereotypical than he’d expected.
“The scenery seems to change depending on the ideas of the visitor. The appearance of the Void Records that I envisioned was a place filled with an endless line of bookshelves that reached the sky.”
“I also saw your life story here.”
Tak. Iris closed the book she was holding and showed him the cover.
[The Great Mage Returns after 4000 Years, Chapter 214]
Lukas remained silent.
“To summarise what I heard from Diablo and the Great Medium, the memories that I had before were all overwritten and falsified, and that the things that were written in this were real, that is to say, the real history.”
“And that you are the hero who saved our world, and yet you are the tragic figure who was forgotten by everyone. That your life afterward was all about sacrifice. That you threw yourself into an endless battle to save humans in order to return to your home world.”
…When he’d returned to his home universe.
He had realised that he’d become a forgotten being that had disappeared even from the memories of his closest acquaintances. At that time, he had a thought. He’d hoped that they would one day remember him once more. He’d hoped that the memory of the man named ‘Lukas Trowman’ would return.
That had now been achieved. With none other than the woman he’d promised to return to. The woman who had sacrificed 4,000 years for Lukas had learned about him.
And yet, he wasn’t happy. He couldn’t be happy.
Instead, he felt a throbbing pain in his chest.
“I will admit it now, when I first saw you, I didn’t have a strange feeling that it didn’t feel like our first meeting. Yes. I was strangely concerned about you and my attention stayed on you. It was an unfamiliar feeling that I’d never felt before.”
“—but isn’t it amazing? Despite coming here and reading all the stories about you, my head amazingly grew cold.”
Iris continued with an expressionless face.
“I respect you. I commend your amazing achievements. And I thank you. For protecting our universe. However…”
She hesitated for a moment.
But soon afterward, she opened her mouth with a determined expression.
“However, I can not think of you as an acquaintance at all. To me, you are simply ‘Lukas Trowman’, a character from a myth, or a historic hero.”
“I can understand the feelings of the ‘Iris’ written here, but I cannot recognise her as ‘me’.”
After saying that, Iris Peacefinder lowered her head.
“I just wanted to make this clear before we started talking. I’m sorry.”
(3/3 – This is the end of the owed chapters. Sorry for the delay)