Chapter 807: Reaping Benefits, An Overdue Conversation
Although they were unable to discover the purpose of the black lake, they sealed it off just in case anything unforeseen occurred.
As for the mortals, they had been safely escorted to a safe distance away from where the battle took place.
Now, it was finally time for the group to resume their path towards the Pillar of the West, Ourami’s stronghold. But, before that…
“I hereby declare the winner of this bet, Izroth. If there is anyone who does not agree with the results, feel free to speak up now.” Astratis announced.
However, there was no one who spoke up. In fact, many of the celestials seemed somewhat ashamed that they had been swept into the bet and looked down on Izroth as someone arrogant.
“A bet is a bet. It’s our loss.” Tox sighed as he was the first one to speak up.
He then walked in front of Izroth, stopping one meter away from him.
Tox bowed and said in a sincere tone, “I, Tox, admit defeat. You have opened my eyes. I will accept this humility and use it to grow from my ignorance.”
A carefree smile formed on Izroth’s face as he placed his hand on Tox’s shoulder and replied, “Stand tall. As long as you are willing to use this opportunity to grow and not repeat past mistakes, then we can move forward on a new path.”
Izroth did not hold a grudge against Tox. In the end, their methods were a bit rough, but they meant no real harm. After all, it was not as if he requested a bet with their lives on the line.
Since Tox was man enough to admit his faults and open his mind, Izroth was willing to overlook his past comments.
Argosima and Neri also expressed their apologies for looking down on Izroth. They even went as far as apologizing to Sychia after considering her dead weight who would only drag them down.
With Tox, Argosima, and Neri taking the initiative, the other celestials followed their actions and voiced their apologies. They could not just sit back and let those three place all the blame onto themselves. Otherwise, how could they ever hold their heads high as celestials?
Astratis gave a small nod as a satisfied looked appeared on his face. He found it to be a good lesson for all those involved. This would serve as a way to help them expand their horizons so that hopefully, in the future, they would look and think twice before they leaped.
“Then, since there is no one who objects—Izroth, I believe this belongs to you,” Astratis said as he snapped his fingers.
The next moment, a bundle of items appeared in front of Izroth’s feet.
Herbs, mysterious stones, materials from ancient races, books—each of these items was worth no less than that of the Young Wing of the Ambrosia Tree.
Of course, these were the items wagered by the celestials.
Without hesitation, Izroth swept the items up into his inventory. With this, in terms of quality, Izroth was certain that even the hidden storages of those top guilds could not compare to what he had just obtained!
“Now that everything is settled, we should get moving—at least, that’s what I’d like to do. But, first… I see you brought some new friends.” Astratis said as his gaze landed behind Izroth.
Currently, standing in an imposing manner behind Izroth were the Lightning Soldiers, Storm Commander Sagarus, and Hakros.
There was still a decent amount of time remaining before the Great Lightning Army went on cooldown; therefore, the Lightning Soldiers and Storm Commander Sagarus had not yet disappeared.
As for Hakros, naturally, he was keeping his promise to Izroth.
“There is a strong lightning element that I have not seen before contained within these beings. But, this shouldn’t be possible. That man should also be a mortal, but… Does there exist a mortal that exudes this kind of natural fighting aura?” Astratis thought to himself as he observed the warriors made of lightning and Hakros.
Astratis knew that Izroth was holding something back; however, seeing as how Izroth was his benefactor, he did not push for answers. But, this time was different as it may directly affect their mission.
‘I suppose it’s a conversation that’s long overdue.’
Initially, Izroth planned on clearly telling Astratis everything at some point; however, Zouren, Luxia, and Agromin’s actions changed things.
‘If those three met with the Pillar of the West, then it’s likely he already knows about the existence of the Mortal Realm.’
Judging from the way Astratis spoke of the pillars, given their arrogance and sense of superiority, how could they have been willing to entrust mere “mortals” with any task?
There was no doubt in Izroth’s mind that the Pillar of the West was told about the Mortal Realm. Unfortunately, Izroth did not know what collateral effects this would have.
The amount of information surrounding Secret Realms was infinitesimal compared to things like dungeons or raids.
It was well known that monsters who resided within the confines of a dungeon or raid could never leave that zone. However, that did mean that these rules necessarily applied for Secret Realms.
Was it possible for residents of a Secret Realm to use the return portal that would appear to cross over into the Mortal Realm? If so, wouldn’t the situation in the Mortal Realm become increasingly complex and chaotic? There were too many unknown variables to take into account.
In the end, Izroth decided that the best-case scenario was to clear things up and hopefully solidify Astratis’ and the celestials’ stance as an ally.
“I have a few things to say. Are you willing to hear me out?” Izroth inquired with a carefree smile.
“This request—how can I turn it down?” Astratis grinned.
He had asked Izroth the same thing not long after he recovered his strength. Not hearing Izroth out would be the same as calling himself a hypocrite.
A few moments later…
Izroth walked at the head of the group with Astratis as he explained everything in clear terms to the Son of Thunder.
Without Izroth even having to make a request, Astratis had the Celestial of the Periphery, Isylo, set up a boundary around them to ensure that the conversation would stay between him and Izroth. And, the more Izroth talked, the more Astratis could see why he always chose his words so carefully. This kind of secret was enough to shake the very foundations of the world—their world, that is!
“To think there are other worlds out there… I admit, I still have a difficult time believing you, but… It would explain why those without Ethos can exert that much power. Mana and energy, is it? I did not think there existed another worldly source outside the Ethos and Primordial Code.” Astratis said with furrowed brows.
Izroth revealed to Astratis the existence of the Mortal Realm and that he, along with Sychia and Hakros were from there. In addition, Izroth also explained the two main sources of power in the Mortal Realm, mana, and energy.
Izroth did not go into too many details such as the ongoing war. After all, this world was currently in a war of its own. But, he made sure to clarify the main points.
“Oh? I thought Ethos was the only energy source in this world.” Izroth commented.
“This… Well, it wouldn’t be entirely wrong to think this way. There are less than ten forces in this world that are capable of employing the Primordial Code. And, every one of those forces is a part of the Protogenos—our primordial ancestors from which everything in the world originates.” Astratis explained.
‘Primordial Code… Is it a high-level Source or Divine Power? From the sound of things, it has to be the latter. Creating a world… If it isn’t just a legend of this Secret Realm that has been handed down, then it’s possible this place has existed since the beginning of RML’s history—before the Divine Realm was established.’
According to RML history, long ago, there was no such thing as the Divine Realm that separated those below the firmament from those above. This resulted in multiple worlds being destroyed and generated constant power struggles that would make the current war in the Mortal Realm look like a squabble between infants.
If this Secret Realm was one such world where a few divine beings foresaw the chaos and cut themselves off from everything, then what Astratis would make perfect sense.
But, of course, this was only Izroth’s speculation. Nevertheless, the possibility alone was amazing.
‘This Secret Realm has many mysteries. If I have the chance, I’d like to learn more about this world and just how far back its history goes.’
As they progressed on their journey, Izroth and Astratis carried on their conversation. Each of them was eager to learn more about one another’s worlds and how the two differed. While doing so, time flew by and, in the blink of an eye, the group finally arrived at their destination.
〈System Alert: You have discovered a hidden area of the «Secret Realm: Era of Titans».〉
〈System Alert: You have entered «Fourth Heart of the World».〉