Countless courageous nobles perished on the frontlines with the continuation of the war between Gods and Demons. The shortage of men meant warriors were getting younger. Upon his father’s death in combat, Nathaniel succeeded his father’s baronage. Although he was responsible solely for assembling troops and delivering orders, the soldiers still prepared a proper ceremony for his ennoblement.
In the gardens of Holylight City, Nathaniel accepted the blessing of Eostre. She requested that the baron make an offering to the light elements to demonstrate his loyalty to Holylight —
Baron Nathaniel: Goddess of Spring, please accept this offering of illumination.
Eostre, Goddess of Spring: Glory shall belong to the courageous. Please accept this blessing of life.
Baron Nathaniel: Under the guidance of your radiance, I will——
Eostre, Goddess of Spring: Hehe!
Baron Nathaniel: Sorry!Did I do something wrong?
Eostre, Goddess of Spring: No, it’s just that you are very cute.
Eostre, Goddess of Spring: Take control of your life, young baron.
Eostre, Goddess of Spring: Even if others point you in a certain direction,
Eostre, Goddess of Spring: it is the light in your heart that you should truly follow.
Nathaniel stood upon a hilltop,overlooking the corpse-filled battlefield. Soldiers and priests paced nearby, tending to the affairs of the deceased.
Earl Nathaniel: ‘— purpose for leading these troops.’
His soldiers toiled for the entire afternoon, but still, they were unable to recover all of the martyred men. A soldier reported to him that their continued stay would mean a setback to the deployment schedule. Nathaniel admonished the soldier:
Earl Nathaniel: If you die in combat, would you really want me to——
Dark Mage Endor: I would simply discard your corpse,
The chanting of a young woman was heard from the side. A priestess in a long robe was praying for the dead.
Dark Mage Endor: Because no matter where you are, your soul would remain tranquil.
Dark Mage Endor: I would take in your anxiety, fear, and all concerns.
Dark Mage Endor: If you retain your inherent goodness,
Dark Mage Endor: your soul would be passed down in accordance to the laws......
Earl Nathaniel: Have you heard of such a religion?
Nathaniel asked a soldier who responded with a shaking of his head. He edged closer, but suddenly, ghostly lights arose all around the priestess. Countless spirits rushed out from the bodies——
Earl Nathaniel: Pull back, priestess!
Dark Mage Endor: No, pacifying them is my purpose......
Earl Nathaniel: Darn it!
Later on, the priest was challenged by many and if not for the joint efforts of Nathaniel and Duncan, she would have likely been deemed as a cult member and faced peril at the hands of the Saintly soldiers. Yet, Nathaniel disregarded criticism and kept her within his forces......
After a certain battle, Nathaniel ordered his soldiers to move some of the bodies aside and with reverence. They removed parts of a dismembered soldier from the corpses of the Demons. These were laid neatly on the ground. When Endor wanted to approach from behind Nathaniel, he told her - without turning:
Earl Nathaniel: No, Endor. Thank you, but it would not be necessary this time.
Under his orders, the body was sewn back together by the medic and dressed in a new set of armor. The bemused Endor asked Sean who happened to be standing beside her, but his only response was that the deceased was a warrior worthy of respect. Endor had wanted to ask for more details, but was halted by Duncan.
Druid Duncan: We offer prayer in this manner
Druid Duncan: because we are unable to connect with the world of the dead.
Dark Archmage Endor: Prayer?
Druid Duncan: A wish that all spirits of the deceased would find a safe refuge.
They silently mourned the death of the lieutenant. Soldiers, busy with other duties, could not participate and only passed by silently. The group of five mourned together until nightfall. None of their companions that were present from the first battles remained. Standing on the traumatic battlefield, Nathaniel turned to his four companions and said:
Earl Nathaniel: The war must end and I am willing to sacrifice everything for this goal...
Earl Nathaniel: Would you be willing to swear an oath with me?
Nods were all around. The group raised their weapons. Nathaniel laid out his sword horizontally and the tip of Duncan’s spear lightly placed onto the Nathaniel’s blade. Without hesitation, Sean also laid down his sword and Molly placed her wand beside it. Even Endor took out the skull she used for worship.
Earl Nathaniel: With equal glory,
Druid Duncan: On the same earth,
Blazing Swordsman Sean: Together on the battlefield,
Aqua Sorceress Molly: With power from the same source,
Necromancer Endor: And a death at the same place.
Sean: For the glory of each king and every soldier! This is our pact!
‘For the glory of each king and every soldier! This is our pact!’ In the past, Nathaniel the Earl had made a pact with the delicate sorceress, the reckless swordsman, the young Druid and the reticent beguine, that they would spend their whole lives fighting chaos, even if ending the war meant their final sacrifices. Although armed conflict did eventually arise between them, their aspiration held steadfast.
Standing before the Ocean of Gates, Nathaniel made up his mind to open the seal and enter heaven to seek divine intervention. Only through the Gods’ power can the Demons be completely expelled. What Nathaniel strived for was a peace that could only be brought about by lasting stability rather than a brief reprieve. But Molly, his companion, felt different and she struck him down with her spells of elemental magic.
After he was defeated by Molly, his body was consumed by the elements. Michael guided his spirit,allowing Nathaniel to reside within the runestones where he could meet with summoners. Yet, in this strange land of illusions projected by the power of the elements, the past would be replayed and sometimes, there might be alternative results......
Aqua Elementalist Molly: I cannot accept this! How can you expand the war?
Aqua Elementalist Molly: By opening the source of chaos,
Aqua Elementalist Molly: wouldn’t you simply necessitate more sacrifice!
Marquess Nathaniel: We must bring lasting peace, and not a temporary one!
Aqua Elementalist Molly: You cannot decide this on their behalf!
Marquess Nathaniel: I can! As long as you do not get in my way, we can——
Aqua Elementalist Molly: If I could have stopped someone, it would first be that fool, Sean!
Marquess Nathaniel: Exactly! It was him who got us here before the Gates.
Marquess Nathaniel: I simply cannot let his sacrifice be in vain.
Aqua Elementalist Molly: I will not let this happen!
Aqua Elementalist Molly: You think your actions are just.
Aqua Elementalist Molly: But in reality, you’ve never understood the wishes of those around you!
Marquess Nathaniel: Molly, have you forgotten? All of this is done for the peace and our agreement!
Nobleman: ‘The love and vanity in your heart must be trodden underfoot.’
Baron Nathaniel: ‘Father, I —’
Noble Elder: ‘You need to suppress your rage for the foolish or ungrateful people,’
Noble Elder: ‘and perhaps be generous to them instead.’
Viscount Nathaniel: ‘But uncle —’
Noble Elder: ‘Being criticized for doing good is part of being a noble.’
Earl Nathaniel: ‘But —’
Soldier: ‘There is no time to hesitate, Marquis!’
Marquess Nathaniel: ‘Alright! We will be counting on you!’
Marquess Nathaniel: ‘Quickly! Sean, come into the tower —’
Deathwhisperer Endor: This...These memories; all of this,
Deathwhisperer Endor: What actually is...
Michael - Lucifer: ‘This is still not the time.’
After myriad summonings, Nathaniel had merged with the power of the runestones. The ancient power within showed Nathaniel a non-existent future. After victories against Molly and the angel, he successfully entered the corridor.
However, the selfish Gods would not enter the conflict rendering Nathaniel’s existence from youth to elderly one of constant circulation amongst the different godly factions. He was subsequently manipulated by the fallen angel and suffered severe repercussions from Gods as a result.
The battle between the Gods and Demons did reach an equilibrium with the entrance of the angels. However, they would only defend to gate to their home. The lives of humans remained hard. The elderly Nathaniel was seen as a hero for his imprisonment within heaven. Perhaps in the future, a warrior would end his eternal suffering. Yet, Nathaniel no longer had the heart to watch on — he closed his eyes, ending his perpetual future.
Duke Nathaniel: Is it ‘still not the time’......
A bitter smile hung on Nathaniel’s face before his confident expression returned.
Duke Nathaniel: Yet, you cannot question yourself on every action with questions like:
Duke Nathaniel: ‘Is this course of action correct?’
Duke Nathaniel: ‘Where would my chosen path lead?’
Duke Nathaniel: That would accomplish nothing.
Duke Nathaniel: In the past, soldiers have always commended my resolve.
Duke Nathaniel: The present circumstances remain alright in my view.
Duke Nathaniel: The Saintly Goddess had wanted me to take control of my own wife
Duke Nathaniel: and not follow in the footsteps of others.
Duke Nathaniel: So, don’t be affected by what happened to me.
Duke Nathaniel: Keep climbing! I will answer your summons,
Duke Nathaniel: Fight to end this ceaseless war! For glory and our pact!