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Pathless Origin: Bane of the Gods

Chapter 9- I Need Power

 

Early on in the morning, Artillian woke up, bathed, and was taken to Eden’s tent, where the young general was already having a lavish breakfast. Artillian resisted the urge to curse at the lavishness of it all, from the expensive-looking robe adorning Eden’s body to the shiny armor the guards were wearing. Nevertheless, while he could control his mouth, his facial muscles escaped his grasp.

“Artillian, good morning. Why the sad face?”

“There is a difference between sad and unhappy you retard…” scoffed Artillian as he sat down at the table to eat.

The time I have is too short, better enjoy myself while I still can. Something tells me that this bastard will make my life difficult…

“Relax, I was only joking. You don’t seem to take well to humor do you?” said Eden as he stuffed his face with a piece of meat Artillian could not identify.

“Humor is shown when one hears something funny. I have to admit general, I was tempted to laugh at you, for saying such a bad joke. Besides, I thought nobility were supposed to eat with manners, the way you are eating makes pigs seem regal.”

Artillian put no effort into hiding his disgust at Eden’s manner of eating. In response, Eden only giggled a little and continued eating up a storm without a care in the world. The duo had a battle of wits at the breakfast table, trading insults here and there, all in an attempt to understand the other person.

Eden was a noble, so this sort of tomfoolery was his niche. Naturally, he came out on top plenty of times, much to Artillian’s dissatisfaction.

“Tell me, Artillian… why do you hate yourself?”

Artillian was surprised by the nature of the question and almost choked on his food. He looked at Eden with a confused look on his face, trying to mask the fact that Eden’s question had been spot-on.

“Despite what you might think, there are many nobles who despise their lives and wish to kill themselves, each with his or her own reasons. I can tell that you hate yourself and you hate the fact that you are alive, so tell me…” a sharp glint flashed by Eden’s pupils “Why are you still breathing.?”

Artillian was gobsmacked: he had never taken Eden as being such a sharp person. Artillian wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but he still had some pride left in his ability to lie, yet this young man had seen right through him! Artillian was too lazy to continue the game of wits, so he decided to simply tell the truth. Artillian knew all he needed to know about Eden: he was dangerous.

“There is something I must do before I die. To do that, I need power.”

Eden couldn’t help but raise a brow: he had never heard such words from one who looked so young. Not to mention a pair of eye like Artiallian’s own…

His eyes, they look empty, as if he has no purpose, so I assumed he wanted to kill himself, but he clearly has a desire. If one has a desire, then shouldn’t one be motivated? He has no will left to live, yet he forces himself to live on… why?

Eden wanted to know the purpose, but he knew when to stop prying, he knew all he needed to know about Artillian… for now.

“Power. To gain such a thing, one needs many other: talent, potential, fortune, the list goes on. However, there is nothing more important than a good teacher. I know you have… ‘something’ strong inside you. And I know you can’t control it either.”

Eden’s words impressed Artillian.

This guy is sharper than he looks. He knows which buttons to press and when to press them. I really don’t like fuckers like him who don’t act their age…

If Eden had known Artillian’s thoughts, then he would have most likely burst into laughter, for both men shared that in common. They both had such a thought: that the other did not act his age.

After noticing that he had Artillian’s attention, Eden continued, “I can help you gain power, for whatever reason you may want it, but in return… I need you to do something for me.”

Eden wiped his mouth and stood up, ready to leave the room.

“Right now you are not qualified to know what I want you to do, but very soon, if you pay attention, and if you work hard enough, you will become strong. How strong-”

‘…You become is entirely dependent on your efforts young man blah blah blah’, get to the point general.”

Eden laughed at Artillian’s timely interruption, he had said this speech to quite a few younger people, but they all had stars in their eyes and listened diligently without a shred of worry. However Artillian was different: he roughly understood that Eden wanted to use him.

This one is sharp… according to the information I have on him he should only be a village boy, yet why does he look so wise? No, wise is not the right word. A wise man would not want to kill themselves like this… Yes, that’s it! He looks devious. Pretends to be an idiot only to catch me off guard, I have to be even more wary with him! It seems I have to take the frank approach and prod him a little bit…

Eden normally judged people correctly, but this time he was off, by a long shot. Normally, people who exhibited Artillian’s behaviour would be cunning people, but Artillian’s display was merely a combination of laziness and knowledge from earth.

Anyone with a decent head on their shoulders would have realized what Eden was about to say if they were from earth. After all, how many TV shows, songs, novels and movies had Artillian seen? No normal person who grew up sharing Artillian’s circumstances would not have been able to react that way.

Dude, I am giving you one more chance: if you say one more cheesy line i’m out of here!

“Alright, you seem pretty sharp, but you see-”

“General, sorry to interrupt but I have an urgent report from the sentries!”

A messenger came running into the room and knelt in front of the table, Eden frowned slightly but waved his hand,  the messenger stood up and went to Eden, whispering to his ears. Apprehension flashed on the young general’s eyes and he sighed, seemingly powerles.

“I’m sorry Artillian, it seems we have to cut our discussion short: our enemies, it seems, haven’t given up!”

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