Vol 2 Chapter 17

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[Well, well. A ring for an offering.]

 

Aphrodite’s clear voice rang out from the statue.

 

[It’s beautiful, but isn’t it too soon for a proposal?]

“I’m married.”

[Then, shouldn’t you keep your vows for a century?!]

 

Ian was surprised that Aphrodite had a…personality. It was much better than everyone acting like that analyst. He took the ring out of the bowl to see how she would react.

 

“I will come back if you do not like my offering.”

[Oh, have you come to your senses?]

“I just do not like your misunderstanding, as I love my wife and daughter more than anything.”

Ian’s voice was firm, as the only reason he had come here was for his friends and family.

 

“I will see you next time.”

[Wait! Place that ring in the bowl!]

 

It seemed Aphrodite liked the ring very much. She had peculiar taste, as the ring was simple.

 

“Will you understand me now?”

[I felt your love for your family well, so please put your offering down…]

 

When Ian placed the ring back in the bowl again, the statue emitted a bright light. Not only that, but the ring disappeared in a ray of light.

 

[I like simple things because I decorate items more than they decorate me. What do you think?]

“I agree with you on that point, even if I cannot see you.”

[How can you be so sure?]

“My wife is like that.”

 

Aphrodite’s laughter rang the hall.

 

[That is a very good answer. People are too flattering and too obvious nowadays.]

“I understand that point.”

 

Ian had been subject to such flattery as well.

 

[I knew you’d understand.]

 

Aphrodite kept on talking, which was a plus for Ian.

 

[So, why does a faithful husband, unlike someone I know, make this offering?]

 

While Ian was curious who someone was, now was not the time.

 

“I want to take on the task.”

 

While Ian’s memories told him that the rulers welcomed people who would do their chores, Aphrodite’s reaction was strange.

 

[Why would a faithful husband like you want to kill yourself over the twelve tasks?]

 

Ian thought for a while before answering.

 

“I feel that simply caring is not enough, and wish to be a better husband and father through the task.”

[Umm…]

“My success will secure my family’s future, and that is why I want to risk my life for your twelve tasks.”
[There is some… truth in that. Completing a single task will increase your status, which will enable you to have more choices…]

 

Aphrodite thought for a while before murmuring.

 

[I understand your reasons.]

“That means…”

[I have something to ask of you, but you will probably die.]

“…That is something I would need to see for myself.”

 

Ian had no intention of backing away and kneeling on one knee, which was the gesture the task executioner took.

 

[I have no choice then.]

 

Aphrodite did not hesitate, as the task was important enough that she would have done it herself sooner or later.

 

[Go to Titan’s lands as soon as you prepare, and do so in secret.]

 

Titans were the only race that maintained their individual freedom and was said to float in the northern end of this world. They were from the same root as the Gigantes but were different giants. They both came from Gaia, the former ruler. However, while Gigantes became one of the Superians, the Titans still worshipped Gaia.

Why there? Ian’s memories warned him that there was much danger.

 

[Go and kill Aeos, the woman who seeks another’s belonging. Show her the price of trying to take what’s mine, and if you do, I will give you the most powerful blessing I have in store.]

 

It took a long time for Aphrodite to calm down, and she spoke to Ian again.

 

[What is your name, executioner?]

[…It is Patega. Ain Patega.]

 

Ian could not say his real name, so he had to make one up to avoid suspicion.

 

**

Aeos was the former ruler of dawn and was of Gaia’s bloodline. She had committed infidelity with Aphrodite’s husband, Ares, another high ruler of the Olympus. While Ian was irritated at such a commonplace reason, these internal passions meant they were numb to the outside world. Ian would build his powers while blind and then cause an explosion.

It was then a small kid stopped Ian mid-path.

 

[Stop, executioner. I am a messenger for Ares, the ruler of battle.]

“Messenger?”

[Hear Ares’s message that is delivered specially for you!]

 

The messenger was like a child in form and voice. There was something inexperienced about him despite his efforts to preserve his dignity.

 

[I know what task Aphrodite has given you, but it means certain death. Even rulers cannot come out of Titan’s territory alive.]

“I know that.”

[Then why are you… never mind. Ares has given you a certain gift for your will to fight.]

 

The messenger then handed Ian a necklace with a jewel as big as his finger.

 

[Going into Titan’s territory is your own task, but you cannot kill Aeos with your weak power. So give that gift to her, and she will let you live if you say it is from Ares.]

“……”

[Not only that, but since Aeos is aware of the situation, she will give you a symbol of her death, which will complete the task, and you will remain alive.]

 

Ian could see what Ares was getting at, but…

 

“I refuse.”

[Why?]

“Aphrodite will definitely know that Aeos is alive, and I cannot face the consequences.”

[Do not worry about that. The Titans who die in their own land are revived after a while, and Aphrodite knows this. This is just an act of spite.]

 

Ian’s memories told him this was true, which meant there was room for negotiation.

 

“However, doesn’t this mean I will be deceiving Aphrodite?”

[Ares has spoken that he will give you a simple task within reason when you undergo his task.]

 

While this was favorable, it was still not enough.

 

[Also, this.]

 

The messenger handed Ian a ring.

 

[This is Nibelung’s ring, which Ares got from fighting the Asgards for over a thousand years.]

 

Ian held the ring and immediately noticed the immense amount of mana within this artifact. Even an artisan could not make this.

 

[He has said that this item will be yours, which will help you in the future.]

“…On one condition. This began because Ares has threatened this weak executioner.”

[What?!]

“I’m saying, let’s say it happened this way as I need an excuse.”

[…Ares has agreed to the conditions.]

“One more.”

[One more?]

“If things come to be, I may have to kill Aeos.”
[What? You think that’s possible?!]

“We will have to see. The important thing is that I would not return this ring if I had to kill Aeos. These are my conditions, and I will not accept your proposal any other way.”

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