The moment Sol came back to his room after a rather interesting date with Isis, the first thing that greeted him was the stench of alcohol that permeated the room from every corner.
Smelling this, Sol couldn’t help but frown. After all, while Nent was a drinker, she wasn’t like Hathor. She only drank occasionally in order to fit the mood.
Looking at the woman laying down while curled into herself, Sol couldn’t help but feel a pang of pain pierce his heart.
Over the few weeks he had spent with Nent, he had come to appreciate the qualities of this woman even though she was filled with flaws.
Even when she had cursed the power of Fate over this world, she had never shown such a despondent appearance. Showing such weakness now…
A part of him wondered if this was all a scheme made in order to make him lower his guard in front of her.
Another part of him felt sadness and wished for nothing more than to comfort her and protect her.
In the end, he decided that it was more important to be sure of her current state than anything.
“How was your date?”
Surprisingly, as he walked up to her, the first one to strike up the conversation was none other than Nent herself.
Raising up, she gathered her feet under her while she sat on the bed. In order to keep her pride intact, Sol did not comment on her puffy eyes and answered.
“It was quite alright. I believe the two of us are now closer than before. At this rate, I will soon be able to form a contract with her.”
“I see. All you would need then would be to win the contest.”
Sol shrugged, he honestly had no fear about the challenge itself. He doubted that there were any dukes at the level of Nabu outside of perhaps the four dragon princes. Even then, for all he knew, Nabu was still stronger.
Seeing this, Nent sighed.
“Most dragons won’t be a match for you. But Kaiser and Nidhogg are different. Even if they cannot win, they can surely make you suffer quite a bit or even defeat you if you are careless.”
She proceeded to explain.
“I don’t know much about them but I do know Fafnir and Hydra. Since those two are the most compatible descendants, then they should have used the same base for their Zone.”
“Oh?” Sol’s interest was piqued, after all, it was always good to have intel.
“Fafnir’s Zone is called <<Ten Fortress>>. A Zone born from his overwhelming desire to protect. During the war, Fafnir’s army always had the least casualties since his Zone is a conceptual one that brings the concept of near-absolute defense.”
Nent smiled but there was something she didn’t say. As the eldest son, and the one most expected to take after Tiamat, the fact that he wasn’t born a Chaos Dragon had always been a torn in his heart.
Nent believed that the Zone of Fafnir was more born from a desire to create a form of defense even stronger than what the Chaos physique could give.
Of course, there was no denying that he was a man who really took care of his loved ones.
“I don’t know if Kaiser’s Zone will take the same concept but it should be close. Then when added with his Emperor Eye that allows him to see a short moment in the future, you can say that he is one of the worst enemies in a prolonged battle.”
“Indeed…what about Nidhogg? I heard her poison is quite powerful.”
“Hydra poison is something no one aside from him and some special skill such as Nirvana can hope to heal. I don’t think Nidhogg would use such poison on you but you never know what could happen.”
Like this, the two of them continued to discuss how the challenge might go but the two of them knew clearly they were just trying to ignore the elephant in the room.
In the end, Sol was once again about to ask what happened, Nent threw herself at him and kissed him on the lips.
“Please, I don’t want to talk.”
“I beg you. Just for tonight.”
Sol closed his mouth and released a sigh before pushing Nent away.
The pain in her eyes as she thought she was being rejected was unmistakable but Sol hardened his heart and refused to let her use sex to drown whatever she was going through.
Shaking his head, he hugged her tightly and asked,
“Would you tell me what happened?”
It was a simple and gentle question asked with a soothing voice.
Nent hesitated a little and began to explain her story.
While listening to her, Sol said nothing and showed no expression on his face.
He was used to dealing with slightly troublesome women and knew that what they needed now wasn’t sex or him giving him advice, but simply listening to her story in silence would be enough.
Nent did not go in detail, but simply after she became obsessed with evolution and bloodlines, Nent began to experiment with different possible situations as she developed her ideology.
One such idea was the birth of a offspring between two divine beasts, not through mating but through energy fusion and infusion.
Goddesses were pure energy beings, then wouldn’t the creation of a pure energy divine beast be equal to a god? Or at least a false god?
For this Nent had hesitated many times to find the best partner possible. For divine beasts, melding their energies was no different from having sex itself so Nent couldn’t realistically make her choice without deep thought.
For one, her partner would need to be at the same level as her, King Rank, to make the melding more equilibrated.
Furthermore, it should be another divine beast.
Finally, it had to be someone pleasing to her eyes.
Back then, the only choice Nent logically came was none other than Kiyohime.
Sol’s lips twitched a little at the knowledge that his aunt and his current lover used to be in a relationship but there was nothing he could do aside from listening.
At first, everything was alright.
Kiyohime loved Nent and Nent had a good feeling about Kiyohime. But the problem was that the experiment was a complete failure.
It was impossible to give birth to another being in such a way.
This should have been obvious. After all, if it was possible, there would have already been such an example after so many times.
But for Nent who was still mentally unstable and had climbed on the hope of easy success, this failure came as a blow that broke her down.
“Hahaha. I became completely hysterical and said words that could never be taken back.”
Nent searched for no excuse for herself as she told her story, but even so, she couldn’t help but occasionally throw a look at Sol’s expression to see how he was taking her confession.
When Nent thought back to this period, she could only feel an overwhelming amount of disgust and self-loathing.
It was after the events with Kiyohime that Nent swore to herself to never force anyone to follow her goal and dream.
At the same time, losing Kiyohime after losing Hansel and Gretel made her become colder and more recluse, with only her goal and dream to sustain herself.
The number of times she came to think about ending herself was immeasurable. But every time such a thought came, she would feel deep indignation from the very depth of her being.
The simple thought of giving up and losing to this world made her so revulsed she would physically throw up.
She wanted to win, she wanted to show the world that she, or rather, her friends weren’t wrong. She wanted to smile and say that all the sacrifices she made and all the things she lost had been a necessary price for a greater gain.
“At the end of the day, I was just a sore loser. But…”
Strength came back to her eyes as she thought about Nefertiti and the awakening of her True Name, “I wasn’t wrong.”
Sol frowned and bonked her head with his fist.
Nent exclaimed in surprise. Even though the hit itself was not painful, it was the meaning behind it that mattered.
Taking a deep breath Sol answered,
“Firstly, you were really an abusive piece of shit and for Kiyohime, leaving you was undoubtedly the best decision ever. I had to get this out of my chest.”
Nent winced as she felt an arrow pierce her heart but didn’t refute his words. Not like she could refute even if she could.
“But I won’t comment on this. What really astounded me is how you simply went with a sorry and hoped to be forgiven.”
Nent felt a second arrow but once again couldn’t refute his words. She had indeed been a little too reckless.
She thought that because Kiyohime didn’t act aggressively against her from the start, there were chances of being forgiven. However, of course, she had been wrong.
Sol gazed deeply at Nent, “You remind me of someone very dear to me. That person also lied to me, though in that case, it was for my own good. Still, I have learned something very important from this…An apology without changes is just manipulation.”
Sol sighed, “I don’t know you long enough to know whether you are really sorry or not. But when it comes to apologizing, words alone will never be enough. The most important isn’t what you say, but what you do and what you did there, was looking down on Kiyohime by acting like her accepting your apologies was a matter of course.
Honestly, it’s a miracle she didn’t outright attack you. I know I would have if I was in her place.”
“I…What do you think I should do?”
Nent felt humiliated at the thought of asking advice from someone so much younger than her. But, she had to admit that while Sol lacked her wisdom in some matters, when it came to relationships, he was overwhelmingly superior to her.
“No matter what you do, there is nothing you can do to repair your relationship as it was. Even becoming friends again is a dream hard to realize. Simply apologizing is useless and will only make her even angrier. Simply be honest and forthright. Tell her what was on your heart and your mind.
Honesty is the first step.”
“There is no then.”
Sol shook his head, “You hurt her deeply, more than I can ever imagine to be honest. In the first place, forgiving you is her prerogative, not yours. You should be ready for months; years or most likely decades of showing through your actions that you are indeed sorry.”
“Of course, all of this hangs on whether you really want to show that you are sorry. The choice is yours.”
Nent closed her eyes and thought deeply about everything Kiyohime meant for her. In the end, she opened her eyes and looked at Sol with a gentle smile full of gratitude.
Sol gently caressed her head, “The same way that ‘sorry’ isn’t enough. ‘Thank you’ alone isn’t enough. How do you plan to show me how grateful you are?”
His playful tone left no doubt about what he meant.
Letting out a bell-like laugher, Nent bent down towards his crotch while licking her lips seductively.
…The night was still young.
(AN: Lol; this chapter should have been smut but it ended up being a moral lesson. Just to be clear, I am not patronizing anyone. Anyway, the small interlude is coming to an end.)
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