Goddess of Honour.”

“Oh.”

Evan gazed out into the snowless night sky.

The bright moon shone in his eyes.

He stared into the dark night for a moment, then moved his gauntlets to form a strong fist.

His gauntlets echoed with the sound of metal against metal as he clenched his fist.

“Fleeing for my life, I was trapped in a small cave, calling out the name of the Goddess endlessly.”

“…Yes.”

“The gods never answer the call of mortals.
The only ones who care about the weak are the otherworldly gods who want to take over this world.”

An evil god looking down on their world.

The image of the massive presence that looked down on earth during rituals flashed through Peter’s mind.

There was always only one god he faced.

A being with gigantic eyes, greedy for earthly offerings.

And the one who sent Euthenia to devour Peter’s village.

It was something from another dimension, something no mere mortal would ever be able to defeat.

And yet the great gods, worshiped by all the continent’s peoples, had not stepped forward.

All they could do was carve a crude mark on Peter’s arm.


“Even if it was a paladin, no answer came from the goddess.”

Grind.

The sound of grinding teeth echoed around him.

In contrast to the calm voice, the look in his eyes was one of malice.

Facing the sky, Evan raised his gauntleted hand into the air.

It looked like he was grasping for something.

Reaching for the sky, Evan called out the name of the Divine Artifact in a strong voice.

” –Astrape.”

The moment Evan utters the name.

A blue flash began to spread out from Evan’s grasp.

Krik-! Krik-!

Sparks burst from the metal in his hand, gradually increasing in size.

Over time, the spark in Evan’s hand took on the shape of a giant spear.

A glow strong enough to illuminate the surroundings.

Carrying the heavy spear of thunder, Evan angled it and pointed it at the sky.

“Those who do not look down, have no right to reign above.”

As if in response to his words, the thunderbolt in Evan’s hand quivered.

With that, he threw it up into the air.

Whoosh!

The spear of lightning that flew out of Evan’s hand pierced through the clouds in the sky.

At the same time as the blue trajectory pierced the clouds, the clouds pierced by the thunderbolt began to shoot out lightning.

Boom! Crackle!

The thunderclouds in the sky rained down thunderbolts towards the ground.

Peter’s jaw dropped as he watched the lightning strike the ground.

As the rain of lightning continued, thunder rumbled in Peter’s ears.

“…”

The air shuddered.

And a torrential downpour of lightning below.

At the sight before him, Peter understood what Evan was trying to say.

It was a warning.

A warning from Evan, the apostle of an evil god, to Peter, the man who bore the marks of a hero, and the goddess.

The lightning bolts that filled his vision were not an attack that a human body could withstand.


The moment Peter escaped the Church’s line of sight completely, Evan’s attack from earlier in the day would come flying at him.

“Do you understand what I’m thinking now?”

“……I feel like I understand a little bit.”

“Good.
I’m going to take them down with my own hands.”

A declaration of war to the heavens.

With a declaration of supremacy, Evan stretched his gauntleted hand into the air.

Crackle.

A blue thunderbolt burst from the gauntlet.

Staring at the gauntlet, bathed in light, Peter turned to Evan.

“Is that really… possible?”

“You don’t think it’s possible?”

“I mean…”

“I rolled in the mud and crawled on the floor.
Drinking muddy water and holding my stomach in pain, yet never once did I stop calling out the name of God.”

Evan’s shabby appearance resurfaced in Peter’s mind.

Evan’s appearance when he was led by Euthenia was so different from the first time.

Gone was the proud paladin of the first day, and in his place was a raggedy man, worn down by hunger and thirst.

With such hardships in his time, it was understandable why Evan was so broken.

“‘I gripped my sword and prayed,’ he said, ‘and I tried to keep myself together, even though I was constantly doubting my faith.

“…”

“If not today, then tomorrow.
If not tomorrow, then the next.
I believed that one day, salvation would come.”

Still, the paladin’s hopes were crushed.

For it was not the goddess he worshiped who reached him, but an otherworldly malevolence that had been watching him.

Crushed.
Broken.

He fell through the abyss, crushed by the darkness.

His faith crumbled, and what emerged from the other side was a human malice that knew no bounds.

“And yet, to think that the only thing that came back was this joke-!”

Evan’s red, bloodshot eyes glared at Peter.

He was smiling, a smile that didn’t match his previous stern demeanor.

A twisted smile that felt out of place.

With that smile, Evan turned to the being who had marked Peter and declared.

“Now it’s time to pay for that long leap of faith.”

Boom!

A bolt of blue lightning landed behind Evan’s shoulder as he stared at Peter.

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