Lagaope looked at three of them treacherously climbing up the mountain. They helped each other overcome the pain as they climbed slowly.
‘Please… you have to go back down!’
He knew what lived on the mountain and how arrogant the evil beings were. Pheriknoa spoke.
“Whew… we should stop here. We can’t bear it and I don’t think we’ll find anything. I’m sorry.”
Pheriknoa spoke disappointingly as he glanced around. Kenorod and Seriana nodded. They had reached their limits.
‘Good, good. Go back now!’
Lagaope was terrified for them. It seemed like they were going down before anything happened. Lagaope wished his former self to live happily. It was surprising that there were happy times in his life.
<I was wondering how far you would go, but it seems like that’s your limit. But it’s enough. It’s you two.>
Three of them felt a huge wave of energy being sent into their heads. Then a great power exploded out from within. Three of them knew the level of the power.
A powerful being that did not exist in the human race. If there were no Broxians, humans would have gone extinct by now. But the number of Alphas on the mountain top was not just one. At least ten of them sent their power out and a golden figure came up to him.
<Haha… I sense that you have the present for our <Ra>…>
Pheriknoa fainted before he could even protest. His resistance was futile against an Alpha. Then Lagaope became confused as all three of them were captured.
‘Why all three?’
As far as he knew, they only needed to read one person’s memory. But they were capturing all three of them alive.
<Are you awake?>
Pheriknoa woke up and realized he was trapped within a small crystal cell. It was a small cell just enough for one man to stand. There was a small screen in front of it. The crystal was opaque so he couldn’t see anything else.
The being on the screen spoke to Pheriknoa. It was the golden figure he saw before he fainted.
“Who are you?! Where are my friends?!”
The figure laughed.
<I did choose the right one. It will be a fun game.>
The figure nodded.
<Yes. We are terribly bored because we can’t leave this mountain. You three should entertain us. I will let those two live if you do. I just need to present one to <Ra>…>
He couldn’t understand what the figure meant by present, but they were playing with their lives. Pheriknoa then realized what they meant by choosing two.
“Under what standards will you pick out two? What will entertain you?”
The figure answered.
<Simple. One of you needs to step out to die. We’ll let other two live. Simple as that.>
Pheriknoa gritted his teeth as he looked upon the golden figure. It was evil. The figure then continued explaining.
<I won’t start now… we’ll give you time to discuss. When you are finished, the one who wishes to die should press on the screen. I will see who presses it faster. Oh, and don’t think you all will go out alive if you all decide to not press the screen. It will result in… the exact opposite.>
The figure disappeared and another screen showed up. It was Seriana and Kenorod.
They all fell silent. Pheriknoa clenched his fist and tried to speak. He was going to say he will die. They were dragged in because of his greed. He needed to take up the responsibility. Besides, he couldn’t bear to lose his lover and his best friend. But someone spoke before him.
<Pheriknoa. Do you love me?>
Pheriknoa flinched but nodded. He loved her so much that he would die in her place. Seriana then continued,
<Then die for me.>
Pheriknoa couldn’t understand what he had heard. He did intend to do that, but it wasn’t something he expected to hear. Then Kenorod also spoke to him calmly.
<Yes. We can’t die yet. If you consider me as a friend… please.>
Kenorod then flinched, sighed, and glanced at Seriana. Lagaope was shocked as he soon saw the events unfold.
‘Were those two having an affair?’
And it seemed like Pheriknoa was thinking of the same thing. But he sighed in relief and asked again. His thought to die to save them had dissipated already. Instead, it was being replaced with murky feelings.
<Why do I need to die?>
Seriana spoke emotionlessly.
<We were dragged in because of you. You need to take responsibility.>
<Yes. But is there any other reason?>
<There’s no other reason.>
Pheriknoa became silent. Kenorod then became frantic and shouted,
<Dammit! You will kill us all! You brought this upon us!>
Pheriknoa then looked at Kenorod without any emotions.
<Why would we all die?>
<Because I won’t press the screen. I’m not dying alone.>
<Hahaha… it’s all very amusing so I would want to see more… but it would be more fun with less time. I will count five.>
The golden figure reappeared and spoke. Seriana and Kenorod began yelling frantically.
<Dammit, you bastard!>
<Kenorod and I need to live! We can’t die here!>
Pheriknoa’s eyes turned cold as he looked upon them. But soon, their faces disappeared and the screen turned red with an image of a palm appearing from it. It seemed he would volunteer to die if he laid his hand on it.
Pheriknoa glared at the crystal, but he slowly put his hands on the screen. They were still his lover and friend. They just lost their minds at the fear of death.
Pheriknoa felt everything he had done had been proven to be worthless.
‘How will I die?’
Pheriknoa looked upon the screen and the golden figure came back up.
He narrowed his eyes. The figure certainly seemed very disappointed. He spoke uncomfortably.
<That was not as entertaining… you fool. Didn’t I say it’s by turns?>
Pheriknoa couldn’t understand what it was saying. The golden figure sighed and spoke.
<It’s unfortunate that I can’t stand up to my promise. I said I would let two live but the two pressed on the screen together. I’ll have you talk to them for not letting me keep my promise.>
The figure disappeared and Seriana and Kenorod came back up on the screen. It seemed they had given up.
<So it was only Pheriknoa who didn’t realize it.>
<Haha, Kenorod. You can’t fool me with that.>
<Right. You have quick hands. But I was sure I was going to press it faster.>
<I’m an Editor, you know? I work with my hands.>
<…what are you two talking about?> Pheriknoa asked with a frown. It seemed like the situation was getting worse. Kenorod grinned as he spoke.
<Didn’t I always tell you are too gullible? At least we got you alive. Dammit, it’s a shame that we’re weak. I wish I could be reborn with the name of a War God.>
Kenorod sighed as he thought about the War God’s might if he’d seen that he had been captured.
<You should dream big. I’m going to born again as a God’s daughter next time.>
<Haha, isn’t it better to be a son of God?>
Kenorod spoke but Seriana looked at Pheriknoa and spoke sadly.
<There’s no point if I come back as a son. Orinon Pheriknoa. You should stay alive until I come back. Don’t you ever die.>
As Pheriknoa became confused, the crystal that encased the two became covered in intense heat, just like that of an incinerator. Two of them felt the heat and smiled. Then they turned to Pheriknoa.
-You must live. Please.-
With the same words, their crystals were covered in lights.