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Chapter 99: [99] Throne of Chaos

"I don't really like basking in the sun, because it's too easy to get lost in its warmth, always making me feel like I'm in a fleeting dream."

"You've always been someone's sun, even if it's a black, cold sun, you are their light."

Time seemed to lose its meaning.

The waves along the Ionian coast gently caressed the rocks, eventually dissipating. It was like old friends who hadn't seen each other in a long time, being reunited only to part again.

Splish... Splash...

Two silver-haired youths built sandcastles on the beach, laughing and joking like children, which left Kratos somewhat entranced.

"It's nostalgic, isn't it?"

Standing beside Kratos, Alvin smiled.

"These warm memories are what drive you forward."

Saying so.

As if sensing a familiar sound.

The silver-haired youth slowly turned his gaze towards the training ground beside the beach.

A burly, silver-haired old man wielding a wooden sword effortlessly blocked the attacks of a young man.

Noticing his son's improved swordsmanship.

The old man's eyes were filled with both pride and sorrow.

Vortigern raised his gaze and looked towards the silver-haired youth, slowly forcing a smile from the corners of his mouth.

"You've grown up, Alvin."

"..."

The silver-haired youth lowered his eyelids, remaining silent.

Kratos gazed at his father's aging face.

Vortigern remained sturdy and towering, his figure seeming to uphold both the Britannia's land and sky. The light-devour dragon looked at his grown son, a hint of nostalgia in his expression.

His figure slowly dissipated.

Hand in hand, the silver-haired youth and the black-haired youth strolled leisurely along the coastline of Sparta.

The sea breeze was gentle.

The waves surged.

Dante and Vergil frolicked and played by their side.

Leonidas watched with satisfaction as his three brothers practiced their martial arts.

The red-haired maiden, childhood friend, stood by, tenderly holding a handkerchief in her delicate hands, ready to wipe the sweat from the youth's face.

And so it was.

They walked from the shores of Ionia to the castle of Londinium.

Vortigern and Morgan were bickering in the hall.

Morgan turned her gaze towards the two strolling figures, beginning to beckon them for dinner, her blue eyes slightly narrowed, intoxicated as ever.

They walked from the royal court of Londinium to the outskirts of Essex County.

Artoria stood amidst the golden sea, her flowing golden hair swaying in the wind like the wheat fields.

Seeing the two approach, the golden-haired girl lifted her wooden sword, assuming a serious stance.

However, when she noticed Kay beckoning her for dinner, Artoria immediately dropped the sword, calling out the names of the youth and young man while devouring grilled fish.

They walked from the outskirts of Essex to the royal court of Sparta.

Amidst the blooming flowers in the courtyard, Caenis embroidered a handkerchief in distress, Atalanta meticulously tended to the garden, Medea held a grimoire in contemplation, and Hecate stood behind her disciple, guiding her.

Seeing the arrival of the young king, they all paused, their gazes wavering, their expressions tinged with embarrassment, gathering in sudden embarrassment.

"Kratos, watch us build sandcastles!"

"Alvin, in terms of swordsmanship, there's not much more I can teach you..."

"Kratos, take care of Dante and Vergil. They don't understand yet. As their older brother, you should set a good example."

"Sir Alvin, what are people really living for?"

"Your Highness, don't overexert yourself. Let me hold you."

"..."

Hand in hand with Alvin.

Kratos walked slowly.

Slowly walking through these most beautiful memories.

Dante and Vergil playing and frolicking by his side.

Vortigern and Leonidas practice martial arts with him.

Morgan held his face gently, lightly kissing his lips.

Artoria raised her wooden sword, as if to challenge him, then shaking her head and putting it down.

Caenis, Atalanta, Medea, Hecate...

His wives standing gracefully amidst the chaos of the courtyard, their faces radiant with smiles.

Gradually.

The gentle waves lapped against the rocks, and all the figures dissipated.

Only on the beach, Dante and Vergil ran and played, frolicking.

Slowly.

The young man lowered his deep crimson eyes and uttered a faint, ethereal voice.

"These bonds are indeed what sustain me.

"This is my spirit... I'm very clear about it.

"So why show me these things?

"Is it to keep me, Alvin?"

He lifted his gaze and stared directly at the silver-haired youth's face.

"Is it to, want me to live well?"

"Is it to..."

Alvin replied.

"Make you understand yourself."

"Myself?"

Kratos looked puzzled.

"Do I not understand myself?"

The silver-haired youth shook his head, holding the hand of the black-haired youth, he smiled and said.

"You've been on this journey for too long, Kratos, perhaps causing you to forget some things... do you remember who you are?"

"I am..." Kratos gave an answer without hesitation, "...Reinhard."

"And who is Kratos?"

"Kratos is me, Reinhard is also me." Kratos stared into Alvin's eyes. "Alvin, you're also me."

Kratos wouldn't hesitate to answer such a question because he had never been lost... he could distinguish, he never doubted his own nature.

So, why did Alvin want him to understand himself?

Could it be that he himself didn't understand himself?

"You are Reinhard, indeed, but then who is Reinhard?"

Alvin chuckled.

"Is Reinhard the socially good young man, an innocent traveler through dimensions?

Is Reinhard the Son of the White Dragon, the one who pierced through the inner sea of the planet, the Lord of Cinder?

Or is Reinhard the young King of Sparta, the feared and revered godslayer of Greece?"

"What exactly are you trying to say?" Kratos squinted at Alvin, not used to this cryptic side of him, he had always been more hands-on and straightforward.

"When you use the word 'I', who do you mean, Kratos?"

Alvin raised his gaze, gazing out into the endless azure sea.

"You think your expression is clear... 'Who am I'... perhaps this is the clearest question in everyone's life. But, when we say these three words, we often focus on 'who' rather than the concept of 'I', which is self-evident.

You are Kratos, Alvin, and yourself. But... do you truly understand your essence?"

"What are you trying to imply with these riddles, Alvin?" Kratos paused. "If you keep this up, I'll turn you into a cat in my mind, playing with a fat mouse."

"Hahaha..." The silver-haired youth couldn't help but burst into laughter. "As expected of you. Alright, alright... let's make our conversation more direct."

"What do you think, Kratos, is your essence? Is it your body? Your brain? Your spirit? Or is it that thing called the soul?"

Kratos pondered for a moment, then slowly gave his answer.

"It should be... memory."

The black-haired youth tapped his temple.

"My thoughts, my will, my emotions, and personality... all come from my memory."

"So, in your view..." Alvin nodded knowingly.

"...A person's essence is like a hard drive, carrying the data called memory, right?"

"That's correct."

"So, Kratos, if I were to perfectly transfer all your memories to another person, and that person displayed your thoughts, your will, your emotions, and personality, then... is that person you?"

As Alvin's voice fell silent,

Kratos couldn't help but furrow his brow.

"Are you referring to... simulations?" Each simulation he initiated, whether Alvin or Kratos... both were himself, yet fundamentally different in their life experiences.

Alvin smiled mysteriously, "Focus on my question first."

"If memories are transferred to another person, and I still identify that as myself, then he undoubtedly becomes me."

Yes.

Just as Alvin was Reinhard, Kratos was also Reinhard.

Alvin and Kratos were merely different facets of Reinhard.

The so-called soul transference in the traveling through dimension was just that.

If one didn't regard oneself as 'oneself,' then nothing made sense.

Hearing Kratos's answer, Alvin nodded as if expecting it, then posed the next question.

"So, if I were to copy your memories hundreds or thousands of times, implanting them into hundreds or thousands of bodies, do you think these people would all be you?"

"...That, perhaps, would only be considered as my replicas?" Kratos furrowed his brow. "I can admit they possess the same consciousness and personality as me, but they shouldn't be me."

"Why?" Alvin asked with interest.

"Clearly, when memories are transferred to another person, you can recognize that as yourself.

"However, these replica individuals, with the same memories as you, possessing the same spirit and personality, even their bodies and material compositions are identical.

"Yet, you believe they are not yourself.

"In that case, can I assume...

"...In this split-off process, there seems to be something 'important' lost.

"Is that lost thing, your essence?"

Kratos could understand his logic but didn't know what Alvin wanted to express.

Nevertheless, he answered seriously.

"Shouldn't 'I' only refer to me?"

"So, do you think that for the essence of a person, uniqueness is important... only your original personality and memories can be considered as part of you?"

"That's right."

Kratos thought he had found the key point.

He had personally experienced the lives of Alvin and Kratos, so he could consider them part of himself. If he hadn't had those experiences, he wouldn't be able to count them as part of himself.

"So if I cut off one of your fingers and let it regrow exactly the same, are you still you?"

Kratos hesitated for a moment. "Of course."

"What if I removed your brain and let you grow an identical one, are you still you?"

Kratos frowned.

Alvin tapped his temple and continued his interrogation.

"If, according to the proportion of the replacement, I start to change all the parts of your body, and only 1% is you, then 10% is still you... then, what about 50% or even 90%? At what percentage of replacement do you cease to be you?"

The silver-haired youth asked word by word.

"If at some point you cease to be yourself, then what important thing does that critical 1% contain?"

Kratos naturally wasn't led astray by him and answered without hesitation.

"As long as I'm alive, then I am me."

"So, if I use these original parts of you to assemble a replica of your body and infuse it with your memories and personality... as you've said, this is just a copy of you... then what's the difference between him and you? Can you answer that?"

"..."

He seemed to understand what Alvin wanted to express.

"You're constantly renewing your body's cells, renewing the atoms in your body."

Alvin looked directly into the boy's deep red eyes.

"Can you then say... you won't be you tomorrow?"

"So, what you're trying to say is..."

Kratos said word by word.

"Cogito ergo sum.

"Deciding whether I am truly myself, the key is the continuity... not the body, not memory, not even will or what's called the soul, but it's my... continuity, isn't it?"

"That's right, the only thing eternal in this world is change."

Alvin smiled.

"I am you, so do you understand what your essence is now?

"You are not a means, but an end.

"You are not just a single point, but a continuous line.

"You are not withering leaves on a branch, but a tree constantly growing and flourishing.

"You are not data stored in a hard drive, but a set of instructions that tell your memories how to assemble and operate.

"You are not a specific tool, but an abstract piece of music, a script, a novel.

"You are neither in the real world nor in the mental realm.

"You are a question constantly evolving and changing, dwelling on chaos.

"You are a story still being written, still being experienced.

"This... is your essence, Kratos."

Kratos fell silent for a moment.

"Why are you telling me all this?"

"Because you're about to face a choice... I am you, this is your own heart, reminding yourself."

The silver-haired youth smiled.

"Your bonds make you, your emotions make you, everything you cherish makes up your past, your present, and your future.

"One proof leads to eternal proof, and causality comes to an end.

"You foolishly try to turn the causes of destruction and disaster into a beautiful and happy outcome... into what you've always pursued, a life of peace and tranquility.

"This pursuit of possibilities is your enemy.

"You are on your way, proving your own path.

"On this difficult journey, you will be tired, you will suffer, you will despair.

"But, above all... do not forget your purpose, Kratos.

"Ascend... ascend to the Throne of Chaos that belongs to you."

With that smile.

The silver-haired youth raised his hand and rubbed the head of the black-haired youth.

"Why are you rubbing my head like I'm a kid?"

"I can't rub my own head?"

With this response.

Alvin couldn't help but laugh, smiling happily and brightly.

"Farewell, Kratos."

"Farewell, Alvin."

The figure of the silver-haired youth collapsed into a deep shadow amidst the layered waves, merging into the body of the black-haired youth.

The sea breeze was gentle.

The waves surged.

Kratos slowly turned his head, looking at Dante and Vergil playing on the beach.

He raised his hand, wiping away the traces of moisture from his eyes, and slowly walked towards his brothers.

Slowly walking towards the bright and clear sunlight.

[You have reconciled with your own malice, accepting with equanimity the desire to live within your heart... you understand who you truly are, and thus, you will no longer shy away from or resist everything you cherish.]

[You have acquired the talent: Chaos's Chosen.]

[Chaos's Chosen: EX]

[Neither white nor black, but rather gray... indeed, the color of chaos.]

[Neither god nor devil, but rather humanity in between, possessing both the sanctity of divinity and the corruption of devilhood.]

[As the god-slayer not remembered by humans, you will ascend not to the throne of heroes, but to the throne of chaos.]

[Goodness will no longer tug at you, only making you more steadfast. Despair will no longer crush you, only serving as your driving force forward.]

[Henceforth, whether mercy or sanctity, whether desire or malice, all will become an inseparable part of you.]

[Embraced by it, upon the throne known as the throne of chaos, you shall reign as a god.]

...

The radiant sunlight filtered through, cascading down upon the Olympus mountain range, dispersing the lingering veils of gray clouds, dissipating into oblivion.

Cradled in the arms of the lunar goddess, the black-haired youth slowly opened his deep russet eyes, gazing at the tear-streaked, delicate visage of Hecate before him.

Gods... can they also weep?

The tears of the goddess fell upon Kratos's cheeks, leaving a warm and sticky sensation.

Kratos raised his hand, gently wiping away the tears from the corners of her eyes.

"Teacher." He smiled, "I'm back."

Her embrace was soft and vast, suddenly enveloping the young man with a force as if attempting to meld him into her own body.

Kratos tenderly stroked Hecate's back, though he was the one being held, it seemed he was consoling the lunar goddess.

Standing nearby, the other gods exchanged glances, wearing expressions akin to silent mourning, slowly drawing closer.

"Kratos..."

Zeus spoke solemnly, "How do you feel?"

All the grotesque flesh on the youth's body had faded away.

Kratos, he had actually suppressed the devilization...

Incredible.

Yet, the dire cost...

Those two brothers did not return.

The goddess released him from her embrace, finally separating.

Taking Hecate's hand, Kratos slowly stood up, the radiant sunlight now adorning his bare body, then he looked around.

The figures of the Olympian gods were all standing here, their bodies covered with various marks of disarray and damage.

...It seemed to be extremely miserable.

Oh, it was caused by himself, wasn't it?

Ares even had swollen tear marks around his eyes...

Was he crying?

Hmm, he didn't think he was that harsh...

Seeing such a gathering of gods surrounding him, a feeling of bitter amusement crept onto Kratos's face.

Though his memories of the present were somewhat hazy, making it difficult for him to remember exactly what had happened...

Yet, seeing the gods not intervening, but instead acting as bystanders, it was quite obvious what the situation was now.

Kratos glanced at Hecate's charming face.

"Teacher, did you spill the beans?"

"Guh?!"

The lunar goddess pursed her lips, guiltily averting her gaze. Sensing her disciple's piercing gaze, she stuttered and began to justify herself.

"I... don't expect me to keep a secret, Kratos! You, you've come to this!"

"I already guessed."

"Eh..."

"The words of the King of Gods, Zeus, you didn't listen to them." The black-haired youth smiled, "How could you listen to the words of your disciple?"

The silver-haired old man's dignified expression froze for a moment, then slowly turned his gaze towards Hecate's face.

"...You?"

Zeus had entrusted Kratos to Hecate, expressly instructing the lunar goddess to keep the secrets of the gods.

"You should have taught Kratos well." Zeus shook his head, "At the very least, you should have stopped his tantrums."

He now understood why Kratos had changed like this.

The gods wanted to save humanity.

And the young man wanted to save the gods.

Hecate blushed, her figure suddenly shrinking, transforming into a soft and black-haired girl.

"I... what else could I do?" She weakly argued, "He kept pressing me!"

"You have a good son, I have to beg him every day to fill me up! How could I bear to stop him, and how could I even stop him?!"

Zeus shook his head gently.

Though that might be the case.

But now, it was too late to say all of this.

Kratos closed his eyes, sensing the positions of the people around him, then raised his hand, casually opening a rift leading to Sparta.

In the royal court, everyone was anxious, feeling the ripple of space, then abruptly turned their gaze.

They didn't have the ability for large-scale teleportation. Thus, after Hecate revealed all the truths, they couldn't cross thousands of kilometers to reach Mount Olympus and could only wait anxiously in Sparta for the outcome.

At this moment, seeing Kratos's smiling face, Caenis, Atalanta, and Medea rushed out one after another, embracing him, burying him in their vast bosoms.

"Your Highness."

"Your Highness..."

"Your Highness!"

Calls of joy mixed with crystal-clear and warm tears, wetting Kratos's neck.

Hecate, in her black-haired girl form, was squeezed to the side, her expression freezing, then her figure suddenly expanded, transforming into a plump and beautiful woman.

Jason shrank back a bit, feeling somewhat intimidated by the gathering of gods. But his concern for Kratos overshadowed everything else.

Asclepius stepped out of the rift, exchanged a glance with his father Apollo, then quickly averted his gaze, hiding where Apollo couldn't see him.

Alcides came out boldly, not even sparing a glance for the gods, but giving the young man an extremely enthusiastic hug.

"Kratos, you've suffered..."

The great hero tried hard to smile, but being not good at expressing emotions, he could only awkwardly pat the boy's shoulder.

"It's good that you're safe."

Alcides sincerely reflected on the tortuous development, Kratos's experience, which was even more convoluted than his twelve labors, a journey that pierced through hell and divine mountains.

The gods witnessed this reunion scene, and the solemn atmosphere on the battlefield seemed to relax, presenting a tender moment that was somewhat intoxicating.

Such is eternity, how wonderful it should be.

However...

Patting Kratos's shoulder, the great hero looked around.

"Where are Dante and Vergil? They've reached you first."

As Alcides uttered these words.

The expressions of the gods all froze for a moment, and they looked at each other, revealing expressions of sorrow.

Kratos momentarily stunned.

He turned his gaze away somewhat dazedly, slowly scanning the crowd.

Everyone was there...

But Dante and Vergil's figures were conspicuously absent.

"...?"

His gaze landed on the solemn faces of the gods, and a buzzing sound seemed to resonate in his mind, tightening like a taut string.

In the oppressive silence.

Everyone seemed to understand something.

People looked at the gods in astonishment.

In this heavy atmosphere.

"Dante and Vergil..."

Kratos tried to open his mouth, wanting to ask that question.

However... he couldn't ask.

Because the answer had already surfaced in his mind.

Ah, so that's it...

Why was he able to break free from Alvin's embrace?

Why did Dante and Vergil appear in his mental space?

The black-haired youth clenched his lips suddenly, guessing the answer in an instant... his heart seemed to spasm and ache violently.

"Aatrox, why..."

"I offer my condolences, Kratos."

The bloodthirsty demonic sword trembled, and Aatrox's hoarse voice resounded in the battlefield.

"It's their own choice."

"..."

In this heavy and silent moment.

Everyone, as if they understood something.

Warm regards to the gods.

The gods gazed at the young man in mourning.

"Sorry, there's nothing we can do to help you, Kratos." Zeus said softly. "But your brothers... they were people who loved you. They were right... they sacrificed themselves to bear your contamination."

"No..." Kratos murmured to himself. "They didn't sacrifice themselves. I can feel it... they're still here."

Kratos lifted his gaze, somewhat dazed. By the side of the crowd, two silver-haired youths, taller than him by a head, stood in the clear and bright sunlight, smiling at him.

"Their hearts are in my heart."

In the stillness between humans and gods, Kratos spoke softly, word by word. "...I want to find them."

"What are you saying?"

"Dante and Vergil aren't from this world. They came from another world from the void rift into this world... so, they're waiting for me in some other world."

Humans and gods exchanged glances.

"Why do you know such things, Kratos?"

Because... I am too.

"They told me themselves."

Kratos lifted the bloodthirsty demonic sword, standing slowly. The young man raised his eyes, looking at the majestic King of the Gods before him.

"I would like to ask you, Zeus, for a favor."

Kratos's request was spoken word by word.

In the ethereal voice of the youth.

The expressions of humans and gods gradually froze.

The contamination had not been dissipated, hell still existed, and devils continued to emerge from the River Styx.

But now, Kratos had become powerful enough to withstand the malice of the entire land.

With the support of Dante and Vergil.

Kratos approached the end of the Godslayer.

He would bear the evil of Greece, and strike down Chaos looming beyond the heavens.

"So, Your Highness, are you saying goodbye to us?!"

Standing on the ruined Olympus temple, Caenis grabbed the boy's hand. The joy of reunion was instantly crushed by the impending pain once again, making her almost collapse.

"No... this isn't goodbye."

Kratos smiled gently, gently stroking the face of the silver-haired woman, which was tainted with the fierce battlefield.

"I will come back.

"Believe me."

These powerful words made Caenis tremble and release his hand.

Caenis, Atalanta, and Medea...

Gave them indulgent kisses.

Kratos looked at Hecate's smiling face with a bitter smile, then leaned in, kissing the moon goddess, in the surprised gaze of Medea.

"Sorry, teacher."

Hecate suddenly pressed his lips hard.

After savoring the taste of the boy thoroughly, the moon goddess finally reluctantly released her vermilion lips.

Standing in the temple, Zeus gazed at Hecate with a stunned expression, seeming to say, "Is this how you taught my son?"

Hecate couldn't be bothered with this useless old man, obediently tidying up Kratos's collar.

"You never listen to me, Kratos, what can I do with you?" She sighed, a faint breeze brushing the young man, making him slightly itchy. "You troublemaker."

Kratos shook his head with a smile, wiping away the tears from her eyes.

"I told you, I'll come back."

"...I'll trust you once."

Finally convincing his comrades-in-arms and wives, Kratos breathed a sigh of relief.

But...

"Why, Kratos... we were all prepared to initiate the self-destruct sequence."

Ares looked at the black-haired youth before him in disbelief.

"Are you an idiot? A fool? We've barely restored your sanity! Are you still going to cling to your foolish plan?!"

"It has nothing to do with Chaos. Resolving the contamination is just an excuse. The more important thing is... I need to find Dante and Vergil. I need to bring them back."

"So, you're going to abandon everything in Greece?!"

Ares trembled, pointing to the people he cherished by Kratos's side.

"Do you see their eyes? Dante and Vergil worked hard to save you. Are you going to selfishly sacrifice them like this?!"

Facing the anger of the black-haired woman before him, Kratos raised his hand and gently cupped her face, causing a subtle blush to appear on her cheeks.

"You... what are you doing-"

"So, are you happy to self-destruct, Ares?"

The black-haired youth laughed, pinching her soft cheeks.

"Stubborn God of War, just live properly."

"Cough! You're the one who's not living properly! You're the biggest idiot!"

"Yes, I'm not living properly, I'm an idiot." Kratos shook his head helplessly. "I've said it, I'll come back."

"That's Chaos, our civilization's celestial sphere type space-time fortress! The Dyson sphere that covers the stars! How are you going to come back?!"

Ares became angry at the mention of this topic.

"Am I stupid for having feelings for you?" She pointed to Caenis, who had raised her eyes. "Like one of those brainless bimbos you associate with?"

"I'm not lying to you." Kratos said. "When have I ever lied to you?"

"You said you'd use my head as an ona-"

Ares's words suddenly stopped.

It seemed like she felt that this vocabulary was too shameful even for a god.

She bit her lip, shyly looking away.

"Anyway, you're just all talk and no action!"

"Hey hey... I can't just ignore the term brainless bimbo, Ares."

Grabbing her by the nape of her neck, Hecate dragged the useless god of war over to the midst of four brainless bimbos and began to subject her to Greek-style bullying.

"Who's a brainless bimbo?!"

"You haven't been used enough as a flashlight, have you?!"

"You're the most useless god of war!"

Watching this peaceful, noisy, and reassuring atmosphere,

Kratos turned his gaze to the sturdy silver-haired old man before him.

Zeus smiled bitterly and shook his head.

"Can I refuse, Kratos...?"

"You don't have the luxury of refusal."

Kratos smiled.

"Because, right now, the entire Olympus can't even defeat me."

...

Boom!

The deafening explosion echoed once again through the mountains of Olympus, sending shivers down the spines of countless people on the Greek earth.

The battle between gods and devils was not over yet.

Above the sky, facing the entire landmass, the projection broadcast was cast over the skies of various city-states.

As expected, that terrifying figure, which sent shivers down one's spine, once again emerged at the center of the frame.

Within the deep crater, a bloody face slowly lifted its gaze, revealing an incredibly sinister smile to the people of this land.

The god king Zeus was bathed in blood, like a weak quail, held in the hands of that devilish figure.

"It's over, Greece. From now on, I will stand above Olympus."

"Don't be too arrogant... Kratos!"

The sturdy silver-haired old man roared, and like a reflection, his entire body was filled with flashing thunder. Suddenly, a dazzling brilliance burst forth, shattering the projected frame covering Greece.

Above the sky, the interstellar combat-purpose annihilation type mobile fortress flagship slowly descended, and Zeus seemed to exert his full power.

Layers of rocks were torn apart, one mountain after another collapsed, numerous craters and indentations dotted the mountains. Even though the image in the sky had dissipated, people could still perceive the ferocity of the battle through the distant turmoil around the Olympus mountains.

After several hours of such tremors that shook the earth, it gradually subsided, eventually becoming eerily quiet.

Is it finally over?

Has Zeus also been defeated?

Who, between Zeus, the king of the gods, and the devil Kratos, would emerge victorious?

People anxiously awaited the outcome, fear and despair shrouding everyone's hearts.

A continuous, intense rumbling came from the direction of Mount Olympus, but it didn't seem like a battle. Instead, it was a strange, fast-moving explosion of flames, burning with a molten-like color on the towering mountain.

Soon...

A horrifying scene slowly emerged in the sight of everyone looking towards Mount Olympus.

The Olympus mountain began to collapse incessantly.

With the collapse of the rock layers, a circle seemed to gradually emerge.

A massive, irregular circle was engraved on the mountains of Olympus.

No... at the moment when it was completed, people realized in horror that it was not a circle at all.

It was a symbol, the emblem of Sparta: Ω.

A Ω symbol, which the terrifying devil used as his canvas on the sprawling mountain range, silently and desolately declared his ultimate victory.

...

The eleven machine gods stood atop distant peaks, gazing in astonishment as their temple was completely destroyed, the giant Ω symbol carved into Olympus.

Although they had mentally prepared themselves, the sight before them still filled the gods with immense shock.

Indeed.

Nothing could shake one's soul more than the sight of that enormous symbol that could be seen with just a lift of the eyes.

Though no one saw Zeus being killed, the defeat of the god king seemed to have become an established fact, wiping away the last traces of fear from the gods and converging them all onto Kratos.

At the peak of Mount Olympus.

The silver-haired old man was covered in blood, sitting weakly in front of the collapsed temple, wearing a bitter smile.

"Kratos... Is there really no other way?"

"You've worked hard." Kratos gently shook his head. "After I leave, please lead everyone in rebuilding the temple."

"You've destroyed all of Olympus."

"What I destroyed was Olympus. What does that have to do with Olympians?"

Zeus shook his head, a smile of mixed emotions on his face.

The gods, asking a mortal for salvation.

This... was the shame of the gods.

The cores of the twelve machine gods were now all in Kratos's hands, and with the permission of the terminal, he communicated with all of them.

Supported by the endless power from the River Styx, he suddenly filled and activated the sequence of their machine cores.

Boom!

A dazzling rainbow of twelve colors shot into the sky, sweeping away the clouds over Greece.

It seemed like a moment.

And yet it felt like a long time.

In the void, ripples slowly spread out.

A huge vertical pupil, embedded with a golden cross, slowly opened, tearing open a brilliant rift in the sky above Greece.

Facing Chaos, the gaze from four light-years away.

Kratos gently placed the cores of the machine gods into Zeus's hands.

"Sorry, there's one more thing I'd like to ask of you."

He reached into his chest, gripping the eyeball of Aatrox, and slowly pulled it out of his body.

"Take care of it for me, but actually, it's okay if you don't, after all, Aatrox tends to annoy people."

"Huh?!"

Realizing he was being kicked out of the team.

Aatrox trembled violently.

"You motherfucker, Kratos! I'm the world ender, and you're kicking me out now?! Fukc off! You shit! Fuck! I trusted you so much! Are you even lying to me?! Didn't you say you'd take me with you to kill Chaos?! Fuck you! I'll never forgive you in my life!"

"...Sorry, I don't need your permission anymore."

Kratos gently caressed it.

"I'll come back for you in two thousand and five hundred years, Aatrox."

Two thousand five hundred years.

Contemplating this timeframe, Zeus felt as though his son contained infinite and wondrous secrets within him.

"Will you really come back, Kratos?"

In Zeus' gaze, the black-haired youth smiled, leaving behind his final words.

"Yes, just like your thunder, I shall return like lightning.

"Goodbye, Father."

Hearing this address.

The lips of the silver-haired old man trembled, buzzing as if he wanted to say something, but in the end, he couldn't.

"Goodbye, Kratos."

The body of the black-haired youth was covered in countless blood streaks, transforming into a crimson armor all over his body.

Facing Chaos's gaze in the sky.

Kratos opened his arms and slowly ascended.

His black, abyssal hair, composed of magic, drifted gently in the void behind him, transforming into a brilliant silver hair emitting intense light.

The Crest of the Wandering Star within him operated at full power. The energy of the entire River Styx was crazily absorbed and filled, without the need to purify even the malice within it.

The Godslayer.

Taking his first step toward Chaos in the sky.

Boom!

The bursting blood light pierced the sky and rushed into the rift in the sky, the wide-open void.

Seemingly near yet infinitely far.

In the void rift opened by the golden pupil, time and space seemed to stretch endlessly.

However, under such violent force, amidst the malevolence gathered from the entire land, space was torn apart inch by inch, and time gradually stagnated under his magic.

Like this.

Step by step.

Kratos broke free from the shackles of time and space, approaching the essence of Chaos.

The golden cross pupil gazed indifferently at the approaching blood-colored devil.

As Kratos stood face to face with the now near and gigantic Chaos, distorted ripples of time and space swirled in its eyes.

Kratos raised his hands, gripping the two ends of the golden cross, and a burst of blood-colored flames suddenly erupted, tearing open layers of cracks in space.

Crack.

It was as if something was completely shattered.

A towering crimson titan stood above the sky of Greece, raised its palm, grasped the golden eye of Chaos spanning kilometers, and extinguished it in its hand like snuffing out a candle, which caused the space and matter around him to perish.

Accompanied by the sound of the void breaking, the entire sky of Greece suddenly rippled with a golden halo.

The void rift was shattered.

However... the essence of Chaos did not cease.

In the chaotic time and space, everything seemed to be shattered into chaos.

Before Kratos, a brilliant golden cross floated.

In a daze.

A familiar feeling suddenly rose in his heart.

The golden cross, radiating with blazing light.

It was like... an open door.

The aura of another world continuously blew from beyond the door, as if accompanied by some anticipation and calling.

After a moment of silence.

Kratos took a firm step forward and stepped into it without hesitation.

...

[You're... dead?]

[This simulation has ended.]

[You have unlocked the ending: The Story of a Common Godslayer]

[Humans pray to the gods for mercy, but who will show mercy to the gods?]

[As a mortal, yet you redeemed the gods, this is the story of Kratos, the godslayer.]

[You died, yet it seems you have not truly died.]

[In the depths of that unknown chaos, your story continues.]

[Goodness follows you, evil admires you. Light longs for you, darkness desires you. You are the existence surpassing chaos, the color painted by the icy sun for all things.]

[From this moment, perhaps, the journey of the godslayer has only just begun.]

[Evil Alignment Score: ???]

[You have obtained the simulation reward: Godslayer Token]

[Godslayer Token: A sinister eye known as the Mystic Eyes of Bloodthirsty. It records the will of the godslayer, Kratos Sparta. Holding it, you can inherit some of Kratos Sparta's characteristics.]

[Current synchronization rate: 1%]

...

The sky was veiled in gloomy, somber clouds, casting a pall over the entire expanse.

Withered branches and leaves, thin mist permeated the air, carrying a scent that seemed to speak of the decay and impending death of the entire world.

Pushing aside the heavy slab, the young man with black hair slowly rose from the coffin.

Gazing at the desolate wilderness around him, and the clusters of graves scattered throughout, he shook off the dust from his body, squinting slightly.

"The Ashen Graveyard?"

"No, that's not it... I'm supposed to... go somewhere else."

Muttering to himself in this manner, the young man raised his gaze somewhat bewildered.

"Where... am I supposed to go?"

...

The flickering candlelight cast a dim glow, wavering faintly.

The hanging wrought iron thorn chandelier swayed gently overhead.

Rubbing his throbbing temples, the young man with black hair slowly sat up from the icy, hard operating table.

A room resembling a study or a clinic, with bloodstained furnishings, suddenly came into view.

"Is this... the Iosefka's Clinic? In the hospitable Yharnam?"

"It seems like the first blood ministration has just been completed..."

"Wait... why am I in Yharnam?"

"You're saying it was my own request?"

"I seem to have forgotten... something very important. Iosefka, do you remember?"

"You... don't remember either?"

...

The damp dungeon floor was covered in mottled moss.

Snowflakes drifted down, mingling with the pristine moonlight pouring into the courtyard, carrying a subtle yet palpable sense of foreboding.

The young man with black hair slowly opened his eyes, exhaling a breath of frost-like mist. He slowly sat up, picking up the elegantly written letter from the ground.

"Sure enough, it's Sekiro...

"...Why did I say 'sure enough'?"

"It seems like someone is waiting for me...

"Who is waiting for me to return to a certain place?"

...

The deserted chapel was draped in cobwebs.

Faint calls seemed to echo in the ears of the faded one.

The grand and majestic epics appeared to quietly fade away into the realm of dreams and the ever-turning winds.

"Oh, my favorite, Elder Ring."

The young man with black hair opened his eyes, lowering his gaze to the club in his hand.

Clad only in a simple loincloth, he couldn't help but feel a sense of nostalgia.

"Starting like this... feels right.

"If I can't find it... I'll search through the worlds, one by one. It's okay.

"Just having you to talk to is enough for me.

"I have a feeling.

"They're getting closer to me."

...

As dusk settled, shadows lengthened.

Before the square of Sparta, the Gates of Hell had been leveled, and the statue of the revered king had been rebuilt.

Sunlight cast heavy shadows upon the earth.

An orange-haired woman, cradling her adorable daughter, approached the statue slowly, placing a bouquet of flowers at its base.

They stood there for a while.

The black-haired little girl slowly lifted her head, gazing at the chiseled face.

"Is this... Father?"

"Yes."

The orange-haired woman gently caressed her daughter's face.

"This is your father."

"Will Father, who went far away, come back?"

"He will, he promised."

"Is he very strong?"

"He's the strongest person in this world."

"Come with me, praise your father, Pandora."

...

High above the firmament.

Beyond the records.

In the unknown chaos of the void, there lies a land of black suns hanging high, shrouded in deep and scorching heat.

Vibrant life and lush greenery entwine around a throne of black, profound darkness.

The silver-haired youth, clad in blackened armor, sits upon the verdant throne, quietly closing his eyes as if taking a rest.

Suddenly.

Beside him.

The scorched earth cracks inch by inch.

Thick blood slowly seeps from the cracked ground.

Countless grotesque flesh rises from the ground, devils' ferocious skulls rolling out from the crevices, forming a bloody throne akin to a gruesome spectacle.

Enveloped in verdant life, the silver-haired youth slowly opens his iron-gray eyes.

He gazes at his other self, clad in crimson armor, emerging from the radiant and profound chaos border.

Iron-gray and deep russet eyes meet.

The God of Vitality and Preservation, Alvin.

The God of Courage and Victory, Kratos.

"There are two more..." The silver-haired youth says.

"It won't be long." The black-haired youth replies.

The two deities exchange silent glances.

Because with their understanding, no more words are needed.

Alvin nods gently, a knowing smile appearing towards Kratos.

Then, the black-haired youth, adorned in blood-colored armor, slowly ascends to his throne.

It's not the Throne of Heroes.

It is... the Throne of Chaos.

Seated upon the bloody skulls.

The godslayer gently closes his eyes.

--- Volume Two: END


CREATORS' THOUGHTS
XElenea XElenea

If you're interested in reading more, feel free to visit my pa treon :

https://www.pa treon. com/XElenea

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