"The One Who Possesses Hundreds of Faces, Yet is Invisible."
You want to live.
Your unquenchable thirst has made your tongue and eyes as dry as paper. You angrily stamp your feet, but they only move limply, like withered branches.
Begrudgingly, you think about Pandemonium and the whistling noise that your back used to make as it heaved to inhale the meager energy that the world had to offer.
That world was inhabited by pathetic creatures that became scared of the sound of their own breath after night fell.
Faces from that part of your past flash across your mind. They remind you of the title, Apostle. Back then, that word felt like a wet leaf stuck to the bottom of your foot. And then, her face.
You can't suppress your anger. You scream.
The coppery taste of blood fills your mouth.
Its scent attracts worms. Slowly, your breathing comes back to normal.
You want to live.
You're tired of these stupid gnats that keep coming at you, no matter how hard you swat at them. You think, I'm going to wipe them out today, once and for all.
You listen. There are several pairs of feet wandering about inside the cave. You sit down, coiling like a snake. Actually, you scatter. Like smoke, and sweeping the cave ceiling.
Not even a tendril of light can slip into this merciless place. You claw at the stone wall. Your nails are peeled back, pushing into your skin.
You know you're going to die today.
But still, you want to live. You've been wandering, searching for the perfect vessel for your spirit for a long time. You continue to wander,
thinking, One day, I'll reclaim everything I lost. And I'll pay back everything she gave me.
Because you're intangible, you can be tangible again. You'll exist across time and space.
Whenever you feel sorry for yourself, you think of her face.
The Apostles can't kill each other. That sounds like a dream. You've been picturing her face streaked with tears as she begs you for her life. It was the only thing that kept you going.
And finally, you've found the seven.
At last, it was within your grasp. For it, you can happily destroy every obstacle in your path.
You'll rise as tall as a raging storm, unleashing your flowing power, letting it explode skyward.
You'll wake up! To let those cowards behold your majestic form.
You'll sweep! You'll climb the spine of this world all the way up to the oasis like you've always dreamed.
And you'll drink every drop of water it has to offer!
And then, you will take root through the sky beneath the ocean!
Once, you just wanted to live. But now, you want more.
Worms that have smelled your flower start climbing the stem, tickling you and making you smile
in spite of yourself.
I gently put my head down on the arm of my memories.
Soon, warm energy starts tickling me between my toes.
I stretch my legs, all the way into the dream, and they become roots,
greedily sucking on the power of the star into my pulsating veins, awakening my senses.
Once I quench this burning thirst in my throat, I'll be more relaxed.
I'll thrust my arms deep into the ground and grow branches. Farther, deeper, deeper...
Until I reach the windpipe of the star that's as hazy as fog and as warm as the inside of the mouth, filled with angry energy.
There, I'll unwind myself. And there, I'll finally be able to forget myself and come into bloom!
Suddenly, a cold wind whips at my back,
startling me awake.
The ground underneath me feels as cold as ice. The dream's gone, and my memories have scattered.
I sigh deeply, letting go of the jumbled memories of the past.
I raise my knees and put my head between them, thinking about the place that's been fading away from my memory, where I came from.
I may not be able to go back, but I can dream about it.
My home, Zualabadon, the world of transformation
I saw you in the midst of my scattered memories.
You killed and slaughtered. You took and stole. You desired and coveted.
Your obsession with life and desire for power had twisted my residual memories,
turning them into abominations that were too ugly to be my children.
Once, I thought you were innocent, just another scapegoat of her schemes.
Then, I saw you slaughter other living things and act as if you were doing the world a favor.
You committed atrocities while calling yourselves heroes and me a villain.
So, that changed things.
You thought you were patching things up; you were only making them worse.
You preened while those you let live thanked you fervently.
You weren't afraid; you'd already dealt with several other Apostles.
You probably even looked forward to this battle with another one.
Let me get this straight first.
You're not justice—you're murder.
You're just as monstrous as I am. You don't belong in this world.
I have no real quarrel with you. I think you're pathetic, but that's all.
So, don't get me wrong. The only reason I've decided to kill you is...
because I can.
Out of the seven vessels, the Apostle emerged, and that was the beginning of everything.
The Apostle beheld her seven vessels and recalled her journey that led her to them. She told the seven spirits,
"I would like to reward you for your sacrifice. Tell me the bad things you did in life. I will swallow and use them to empower myself."
The one who cultivated life next to death stepped forward and said, "My sin is
my foolishness. Instead of defying the prophecy like I wanted, I let myself become part of it."
The Apostle held out her hand and touched him as she said, "I will let you have wisdom." Immediately, he vanished except for his head.
The one who filled the furrows of death saw this and stepped forward. "I couldn't protect anything.
I stayed alive while everyone else I knew died. I even harvested the life of a daughter that I never had."
The Apostle nodded and said, "I will let you have the power to protect." Immediately, horns grew out of his forehead.
The one who dug up the earth to find death hurriedly stepped forward and said, "I was killed by my own friend. He told me lies with his eyes and made me bleed, soaking his hands with my blood."
The Apostle pondered and said, "I shall take away your freedom." Immediately, a house was formed inside his belly.
The others also confessed their sins, pleasing the Apostle and filling her with energy. But the one who was branded by death remained silent.
Bristling, the Apostle asked, "Why you don't confess your sins? Are you so innocent?"
The one branded by death said, "If anyone has sinned, that's you Apostles."
The Apostle asked, "Are you not afraid of me?" She answered, "No. You can destroy my body, but not my spirit."
The Apostle stood up and announced in front of everyone, "Okay, then you will remain silent.
You will live hiding in the dark without light. While hiding, you will cry yourself to death."
The Apostle then ordered the group to scatter and started climbing the tower to carry out the rest of her plans.
"Was that gate there before?"
The Imperial soldiers that had been guarding the entrance to the Sky Tower didn't know what to do about this shut gate.
This gate, faintly outlined by the light of the burning purple flames,
looked as imposing as the Apostle that was once the owner of the Tower.
There was no real need to be afraid of this.
The said Apostle was killed, and the other Apostle that's lurking behind this gate will soon be cut down by the Empire.
"Let's report to Her Highness for now."
They'd chosen their instinct for survival over their loyalty toward their country.
But the moment they turned against the gate and hastily took a step forward, the ground shook and the gate opened its eyes.
"Who dares intrude the Sky Tower?"
I can feel the energy of strong warriors climbing the Sky Tower.
Chills of excitement, unlike what I experienced in the Tower of Despair, run down my spine.
I've changed since I accepted Apostle Sirocco's power.
My senses are razor-sharp, my legs strong.
My heart races, pulsing blood through my veins as I breathe.
And my instincts.
What I want now isn't training. It's prey.
As the black tortoise, which has developed an insatiable hunger for energy, grumbles its displeasure
and hungrily glances at my exposed neck,
I remind myself
of the power I need to become the king of all beasts.
Come. I'll throw your bodies to my black tortoise and protect the resurrected Apostle.
The Prophecy will lose its way in the midst of howling beasts and screaming men.
"Hah hah hah! Just hang in there for a little longer. I'll show you a good time."
Currently, I'm in the Sky Tower
to create the pentacles to collect the scattered energy of the Apostle.
It's not an easy feat. Not just because of the allied forces that were determined to catch the Apostle.
My real enemy is something else entirely.
I first saw it in the end room on the fourth floor of the Tower.
I was in that room, hiding behind a column, to find out why the pentacle there kept being damaged.
After a while, the culprit showed up. It was a cloud.
Anyone else who saw that floating cluster of purple energy would also have thought it was a cloud.
I think it came off the Apostle, and wouldn't stop head-butting the pentacle, no matter how hard I tried to stop.
Now, taking care of this thing also became part of my duty.
I don't think it's sentient, but it looks as if it wants to escape the Tower.
Well, I'm sure it'll disappear once the Apostle recovers her strength. I won't have to deal with it for too long.
Oh, by the way, how are you doing, Soldoros? Have you reached Pandemonium safely?
- A letter from a Grim Seeker that came down the Despair
Tana, look. Some people have come.
Who are they? They don't look familiar. If they're humans...
Who cares? They look interesting. Let's go play with them!
But... she won't be happy.
She won't know if we just play for a little while.
What if she tears us apart like the last time?
We can keep them with us, so she won't know.
You mean, keep them from getting close to the flower.
Or keeping her company.
Tra, you don't trust them, do you?
Don't worry. I'll blow them up the moment they try something stupid.
That, I can help you with.
Alright, then it's settled. Tramontana, onward!
Wait! Be careful! Come with me!
The path he treads is one of law and the truth.
He was the only guiding light in the despair. He's our long-cherished wish.
If I can help make it come true, I'll become his bullet and die happily.
I live for my faith. I'll throw myself into the Abyss without hesitation.
Sometimes, the sweet whispers of the snake in the Abyss stir up turmoil in me,
but that's fine. So long as I can stall even a fraction of a second,
I'll let the snake toy with me. I'll endure the claws of beasts to protect him along his path.
My bullets imbued with the Abyss cleave the darkness and pierce the wanderers through their hearts.
I ignore my sense of guilt as it only holds me back from following him to the truth.
I don't hesitate to pull the trigger at anyone who tries to get in the way.
My bullets are his sword, his battle cry that echoes through the world.
I hope every bullet I fire will illuminate the path that Soldoros is on.
The power that took away my golden body has given me legs to walk with.
The power that took away my freedom has given me a weapon to wield.
The power that has occupied the Sky Tower has given me mana to command.
But the power that has really awakened me is in my heart that once was so red.
Anger. Self-pity. Resentment. Hatred.
Thing that rendered me helpless have hardened, filling the void inside me.
When the power of the Tower vanished, I was left to starve and turn into an empty husk.
But now I'm filled with the burning emotions inside me that shield me like armor.
Now I destroy.
Intruders of my tower,
you'll regret ever underestimating me.
Welcome. I've been waiting for you.
Look at me. I know you want to.
You've been wondering about my sweet scent that started ticking your nose
since you crossed the Border of Phantasm.
Be honest with me. Is that the only thing you want to know?
Is that the only thing you want to do?
If you want to know who I am, come here and dance with me.
Swirl in the air with me. Feel the rapture!
It's okay to want more. I can give you as much as you want.
The Apostle you're looking for isn't here.
Don't worry. This isn't a dream.
But if you want, I can make it a dream.
Come on, forget everything and stay with me.
At this illusive dawn where the sun never rises.
Ah, I've never been so surprised or terrified!
Yesterday, I went to catch Gurumis and encountered something worse!
Oh, Gurumis are the entities that I told you about in my last letter.
Because those round clusters of energy reminded me of clouds—
Well, that's not important.
This thing I met this time is ruthless.
It usually disguises itself as a Gurumi, and only shows its true colors when prey comes near.
I almost soiled myself when I faced its real form stretching out of its gaping mouth!
Thank the gods, I was able to run away before it grabbed and swallowed me whole.
Apostles are so powerful that even their discharged energy can create such monsters like that.
You'd better be careful out there. Pandemonium is home for all the Apostles.
Oh, right—you already met one of them, didn't you?
Who was it?
- A letter from a Grim Seeker that came down the Despair
No, it can't be true.
I can't have been defeated on that pathetic patch of land that came off a destroyed planet.
I can't have been fooled by a wench with a knife hidden in her mouth, or thrown into a cold underground tunnel somewhere by her.
I can't have been brought to ruin by such insignificant creatures like humans. I can't have been shattered!
Ah, my anger pricks me like a thousand needles!
I can't believe they talk about me as if I'm a bygone legend—a silly myth!
They say I've been wandering like dust, amorphous, having been torn into pieces.
That can't be true—that can't be me!
No, it can't be.
This has to be a dream.
Yes, it has to be.
Uninvited guests in the middle of the night. Darkness darker than night. A world that can only be seen behind shut eyelids. Warp in the fabric of reality. Contradiction—fallacy!
You dared set foot inside me. Now, come see it for yourselves.
My true form that I've envisioned inside my head.
Hush, little baby.
Forget your nightmares, and come here and sleep.
Don't be afraid.
I can see you.
This is an artificial world of immateriality.
Its dense net will tighten around you, the more you thrash.
Baby, she's here.
She'll watch you scream in fear,
writhe in futile attempts to escape,
and slowly exhaust yourself to death.
Hush, little baby. Just close your eyes. I'll cry for you.
I'll let my tears sweep away the tragedy that's been following you.
So, hush. Be still.
Listen to that sound of
eternal rest that's been prepared for you.
Yes, Death is coming for you.
this smell, this energy. The sticky, metallic smell of blood mixed with rust on your sword.
You're still alive. Good job!
If you got yourself killed in the short time I was away, I was going to find your corpse.
Then, I could grind your rotting flesh and bones and feed them to your offspring.
Thank you for saving me the trouble by coming to me.
Let me give you a thank-you gift.
That day, you left something behind you.
The girl whom you completely forgot about, even though she gave up her life for you.
Look at her now. You moved on with your life as if nothing happened while she suffered, forced to walk the earth even after death!
Ah, poor girl!
Her spirit is bound to a place she doesn't even know, to get killed over and over again because she loved someone who doesn't even remember her face or name.
I'll give you a chance to put an end to this. Use your sword that you once swung at me to pierce her through her heart.
If you can't do this, you can always give up your own heart instead. Let her take your heart, and I'll free her spirit.
So, choose while you can,
while I'm feeling generous.
In the veiling fog of the Abyss, I heard a voice.
It came through the layers of memories that blanketed me, waking me up.
He's calling me again.
My master. War incarnate. The symbol of inferno. The king of all dragons.
He's looking for me again.
This tremendous energy that's sweeping me back and forth has to be his.
But... how come he looks so fuzzy like he's hidden behind fog?
Why does his voice sound distorted like he's underwater?
Yes, I'm the keeper of the Sky Tower.
I want to fulfill my duty.
I want to fulfill my duty, so when his will finally reaches the earth, and then the heavens,
I can go back to where I truly belong.
One who came to the Sky Tower,
I'll never let you reach the top of the Tower unless my body and soul are completely ripped apart.
I was ripped apart by Sirocco.
I lamented for my pathetic ending in the Screaming Cavern, and I blamed Fate for it.
But when I opened my eyes again, what lay in front of me looked nothing like the Heaven and Hell that I heard about.
It was just... darkness. Complete darkness. Is this what Hell looks like?
I wondered if I was still inside the Screaming Cavern.
Swinging my sword, I cut my way through the silent darkness that lay in front of me that seemed darker than it was ever before.
I had this vague hope that I'd eventually reach the end of this darkness if I kept walking.
I walked and wandered endlessly, trying desperately to escape the darkness.
I was completely alone in the darkness that was deeper than the Abyss.
It slowly encroached upon me, blinding my eyes and confusing my mind.
Now, I don't know where my real memories end and illusions begin.
I cut down everything that came at me. I made sure nothing even got close to me.
Fighting was the only thing I could do in the cold Abyss.
I am life, born and blooming out of the Abyss.
I am death, despairing and drowning in the Abyss.
We are in this intangible space, presiding over life and death.
We are also the ruler of the space.
We are one, and yet permanently separated
for we are of the same origin, but as disparate as light and darkness.
Anyone who wants to reach the intangible sky must choose before our scales of life and death.
Those who wander through intangibility shall be cursed to live
and wander this world of the eternal abyss.
Those who dare try to reach the sky shall be sentenced to death.
A fitting end for desperate and miserable wretches like you.
And you all shall forget arrogance and agonize in the face of the life and death.
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