43 CHAPTER 43(Backlash)

Please read the author's notes. (Examples and explanation of moves and appearance+ Monster Sources)

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---The City of Orario, Tower of Babel...

Within the Denatus room, every god within Orario can be seen gathered. Some with scowls on their faces such as Demeter whilst others have indifferent expressions, whether from their lack of concern or ignorance, only they would know.

Unlike the regular Denatus, even Ouranos is in attendance at the head of the room, sitting on an ornate throne. Standing at his left side is the imposing figure currently receiving all the scowls and glares the gods could muster short of using their arcanum, Orcus stands tall with a bored expression on his face as if to dare the gods to release their divinity.

Nothing in this room makes sense, this trend continues further as likely the last person anyone would usually expect begins the hostilities, setting the trend for the day. Standing with the best scowl she could muster and balled fists at her side, regal as even in her light pink dress, the verbal battle begins.


Orcus: "Hmm, you still ask stupid questions, you know what this is."

Miach: "Your challenge is completely unnecessary Orcus, recall it."

Orcus: "Denied."

Demeter: "YOU CAN'T DO THIS!"

Apollo: "How dare you take from me."

Ganesha: "I AM GANESHA!"

Freya: "Agreed, recall your challenge, this isn't needed in this age."

As Freya speaks she earns herself a short glare from Orcus, Loki, and Hermes before Ouranos takes the room's attention onto himself.

Ouranos: "Unfortunately Orcus has every right to impose this challenge onto mortals. This was used to create warriors capable of entering the dungeon before many gods descended, before familias were properly established. The practice is ancient, but clearly not forgotten."

Hephaestus: "But why now?"

Loki: "Yeah eyepatch is right, why wait almost a millennia."

Orcus: "This world bores me, it lacks real warriors, there haven't been any since the days of the strongest families." he says while casting a small glance between Loki and Freya, "So before I leave, I will make at least 1."

Ishtar: "Hmm, making a mess then leaving, I suppose that's the kind of MAN you are."

Orcus: "I have no need to explain myself further," he says while casually walking out the door.

Miach: "Ouranos, surely you won't just let this happen right, a deathmatch between adventurers isn't necessary, familias make adventurers stronger, we don't need this."

Ouranos: "I've already taken precautions, I couldn't abolish his request but I did bend it for the current times, the age of the Orcus challenge is long past. I assure your children do not NEED to die nor shed blood during this. You will notice your executives have also been excused."

As Ouranos draws this point, Loki finally understands what Hermes was talking about. 'So that's what he meant by make her an executive, he was looking out for Lefiya, crafty little shit'

Loki: "Then what's going to happen."

Ouranos: "The details are hidden from me to protect the sanctity of the challenge."

Apollo: "Hm, sanctity my foot."

Ouranos: "However, the rules have been shifted, instead of taking the opponents Falna by killing them, knocking out the opponent will disqualify them and not remove their Falna. As a parting gift, Orcus has wagered his 'Chaos Blessing' as the prize."

As the prize was revealed the scowling faces of the gods turned to shock. For the first time in millennia the 'Chaos Blessing' would be bestowed upon a mortal, to many gods, this is worth throwing their adventurers into a meat grinder for a chance at taking it.

Hephaestus: "Talk about going out with a bang. You said they 'Can' get knocked out, never said they can't die."

Ouranos: "Correct."

Hephaestus: "And if they decide not to compete."

Ouranos: "As punishment for shirking his invitation, the Falna shall be sealed for one year by his mark."

Hephaestus: "Damn it," 'No adventuring for a year or competing in a death game, why do I get the feeling if Yang got an invite I know which stupid choice he's gonna make'

Unlike Hephaestus however, gods with more reasonable children cheered up a bit at this revelation. This at least provided a safe alternative.

Loki: "We've been in here like what, 3 times in the last 2 months, let's get this over with already."

Ouranos: "Agreed..."

---Later that night, Twilight Manor, Loki's office...

Loki: "So those are the options we have, I'm not letting anyone compete in this crap, it's not worth it honestly. Especially not with who he chose from us."

Sitting across from her, her executives can be seen as well as Raul Norde and Elfy Colette, both with clear invitation marks on their left hand.

Raul: "I'm only level 2 and we don't know who got picked from other familias. I'm out. This is way too much for me. I'm sorry Loki."

Loki: "It's the smart choice really, go get some rest. You've had a long day, you'll be moved to a support role until your Falna is available again in 1 year."

Raul: "Thank you Loki, have a good night everyone."

As Raul silently exits the office all eyes then fall onto the other marked adventurer in their familia. Elfy sat between Lefiya and Riveria squeezing onto Lefiya's hand as if her life depended on it. After some tense moments she finally musters up the courage to speak her mind.

Elfy: "I'm going to compete."

Silence permeates the room.

After some long, tense moments Riveria finally breaks the silence.

Riveria: "No!"

Elfy: "I,I have to."

Finn: "You don't have to do anything. This challenge isn't safe and like Raul said we don't know who else will be there."

Elfy: "I... I can't just sit here anymore and fall behind. That's why I have to do this."

Loki: "I see, but are you absolutely sure about this, if your Falna gets locked then you can just act as a desk worker until it's available again, there's no shame in that. This isn't safe and people likely will die in there."

Elfy: "I..I, I have to do this." Squeezing Lefiya's hand she gathers her courage before continuing, "You're my best friend and I know you're worried, but I have to do this, I want to protect you and all of our familia. Whatever this 'Chaos Blessing' is. If I get it then I can do that, then people won't need to save me all the time."

Lefiya: "This, this is too much, this isn't worth it. Riveria tell her, make her stop!"

Riveria: "I agree with Lefiya, this is too much. I'd rather have you here and safe than hurt or worse because of this challenge."

Elfy: "I understand, but I want to do this, I have to do this." Locking her gaze with Lefiya she continues, ". I need my friends to trust me, and help me prepare."

Lefiya: "I don't like this, but if you think you can do it. Then I'll help you, whatever way I can." She says with watery eyes.

Elfy: "Thank you!" Wrapping Lefiya in a tight hug, "Hehehe I'm just glad we don't have to fight each other you know."

Lefiya: "Haha yeah me too, then there's no way I would have entered."

Loki: "That would have been impossible, no executives can be chosen."

Lefiya: "Huh?"

Finn: "You were promoted before we entered the dungeon for our last expedition."

This new shocks all but Loki and Riveria as they both knew already.

Lefiya: "What, why?! I mean, thank you Loki, I won't let you down."

Loki: "I see some potential in you, we all do, figured might as well get it over with."

Lefiya: "Thank you. I won't let you down!"

Loki: "Good, now how about you and Elfy go catch up, there are some things I need to discuss with the others. I'll check your stats first thing tomorrow so come by when you're ready."

Lefiya & Elfy: "Goodnight everyone!"

As both the roommates exit the office, a lull in the conversation falls across the room before anyone speaks.

Finn: "So anyone strong got the mark Loki?"

Loki: "Mm, 1 memeber of the Freya familia, Van. Level 4. No word from Apollo or Hermes but they've probably got at least 1 judging by their reactions in the meeting. Demeter and Miach are probably gonna order their members to take the penalty and not enter. Hephaestus told me one of her smiths got the invitation as well."

Gareth: "Hm, just a smith?"

Loki: "Well, the little prodigy is still in the dungeon so as of now, just the smith."

Finn: "Wait he's in there? Riveria?"

Riveria: "I didn't feel his magic on the way back up."

Tione: "What do you mean 'Feel' his magic?"

Riveria: "His magic is, wild, it's wasteful and unfocused. When he walks it trickles off him in the wind. In the dungeon when he uses magic it permeates the environment as it overflows from within his body. His high magic capacity causes this. There was none of that on the way up."

Finn: "Well I doubt he'd go to the lower floors so, hmmm, no..."

Bete: "What is it?"

Finn: "Well, we left him at the water city, and when we came back up, there was something new at the water city."

Tiona: "What the volcano... oh."

Bete: "And it had the scent of burnt flesh. But there wasn't any magic which means he must of gotten to the surface right."

Riveria: "Most likely, he was probably hurt and is with his familia healing."

Loki: "Yeah Hephaestus probably wouldn't tell me if HE got an invitation."

Finn: "True. He's likely healing in the tower somewhere before the challenge."

Gareth: "That means our chances of winning aren't looking great already."

Finn: "Yes but that's 1 person we can trust not to hurt Elfy, at least from what we've seen."

Bete: "True, that's good for us."

Loki: "Well either way we've got 1 week before the challenge. I doubt I have to tell any of you but don't share information about who is competing from our familia, and try to gather information on other familias. This meeting is dismissed, and I need a drink, care to join me Ais?"

Ais: "No..."

Loki: "Aweee," she whines.

---Meanwhile in The Tower of Babel...

Standing in a dark room with only the light of the moon peeking through the window, Hephaestus holds her hand up to her face. The familiar message ring on her finger near her mouth as she tries for what feels like the hundredth time to contact her latest talent.

Hephaestus: "C'mon kid just pick up already, this isn't the time for one of your solo stunts."

However, to her dismay, her words are once more met with no response from the other side.

With the paired ring, however, a charred body can be seen with whisps of flame dancing around it. At the feet of this body wielding a greatsword wielding massive man can be seen observing the body floating in the hole now filled with the still pouring rain.


I HATE EDITING, but my damn writing style took a big leap ahead around chapter 52+ and I had to go back to edit all the chapters to make the shift less abrupt and more subtle. Thankfully the new fic doesn't need this much editing because the writing there is much better from all the exp I have from writing dozens of chapters of this.

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