At night I entered the dream world and I saw the same huge dragon-like, possible amphibian, Leviathan, levitating in front of me like a huge mountainous chain.
“A special relationship with a mental demon? Is that even logical?”
I asked with a dumbfounded face
.[‘Logic’ for us, spirits, is what thee people call ‘impossible’ since millennia already. Everything has a reason. Nothing occurs from nothing and teh laws are always working.]
The Leviathan explained. After this week he seemed to open up a little, talking more than before with me.
Am I suddenly getting friendly with a ‘millions of years old huge guardian lizard’?
I asked myself while feeling a little bit ridiculous.
“Hmm. Then I’ll see what he wants from me. I wish he won’t ask for my body like the others.”[Luck be with thee, mortal.]
In the next morning I felt normal, nothing strange happened. No weird thoughts, no negative feelings or desires.
“Huh?! No random thoughts or weird feelings in my heart?! What’s happening?”[Stop playing around and come here, we have to talk.]
A powerful voice, just like the one from when I fought with Wrath, boomed in my head like an imperial order.
“…Listen up, you’ve been talking like some big s*** since a while back now. It’s quite annoying, you know? Wait there, don’t you move until I’m there.”
I entered the mental realm and saw another me but bigger. He was 2,50 m tall and stood with an imposing aura, looking down at all and everything.[You came… We finally have time to talk again.]
Pride made a throne of gold right in front of him. He sat there with his legs crossed while supporting his head on 3 fingers, looking like a bored emperor.[Sit]
He commanded me again while gazing at me with sharp and imposing eyes.
“…You little s***, you really love showing off.”
I made a stone chair with Celtic sculpting on it. I didn’t really care how it looked like, but I still felt like adding some elements which made it more unique. I sat down with almost the same position as Pride, but I wasn’t supporting my head but had my fingers entangled while supporting my elbows on the arm-chairs. I looked back with the same gaze at Pride and asked with the same tone.
“So? What do you need?”[I’m here to remind you of our contract.]
I was shocked by the news but didn’t show it. I simply rose an eyebrow and asked.
“Contract? Have I made a contract with you in this or another life? Either way, I can’t recall it.”[No. It was when you were still in a spiritual form. I saw your character growing more imposing, life after life you lived. You tried to control the pride inside you by giving yourself all kinds of disdainful destinies. But nothing worked and your pride only grew. You even became a lowly slave who was made to lick the boots of its master. Truly laughable, but in the end, you revolved and took over his home. In the end, you were able to get away from your life of a slave by going against your own destiny, making your pride only grow more powerful the more victories you achieved. Because of this, you became more frustrated.
In the spirit world, you are a high general, defending the universe of ‘Trinity’ from the other ‘essences’. While fighting, you found yourself more and more arrogant, fighting Great Gods and powerful spatial monsters or devils on your own. Because you almost brought your own destruction by fighting dozens of fallen gods, with only 2 other spirits like you, you asked for me to control the pride inside of you. Your overbearing look and imposing manners were exactly what I wished, your everything was exactly like the perfect creation of mine. I wanted you. We ended up agreeing with the terms of you letting me consume the overgrowing pride inside you and research your character and structure, helping both of us to grow more powerful. Then You accepted the pride and now you’re using it for your own good in every life from that point forth.]
I was completely stunned by the information. A contract with a demonic element, I was a high general, fought Great Gods and spatial monsters, accepted pride inside me… All this information made my head spin for a second.
“I know what you’re telling me is completely true… but just hearing this makes me a little dizzy… So, you just wanted to tell me this?”[No. I want you to remember how to use the pride inside of you. I’ll give some questions. For one wrong answer, I’ll cut you in half.]
“…A ridiculous penalty, but I’ll accept.”[First. You lose at something, how do you take this problem?]
He’s Pride so I need to put it in a prideful way I suppose… What the hell? Psychological questions now?
“I won’t give a s*** about that. I’m way above some little games from this carnal life. I don’t mind it, losing or winning is the same for me.”[Good. Second: You are forced to do something by the surroundings. How will you react?]
“Hm… Can you give me an example?”[Do you really need one?]
Pride asked with sharp eyes.
“… No. First of all, I will analyze the problem. If is favorable for me, I would do it without a care. If is not, then I would search for another way. If I can’t do that either, I would at least try to turn this ‘something’ into a benefit.”[And what will you do if your actions are labeled as ‘evil’?]
All the questions seemed to be asked at ranodm, but they had a much deeper meaning behind them than I thought at first.
Being a demonic essence, Pride didn’t care about things like “good or evil”, but he created his questions based on the morality of the world, placing me in different hypostases. Being inside the mental world, everything spoken here was the truth. And if I “believe” that something will happen in the future as I said but the future will show otherwise, I would still be able to feel it. In the mental world, the intuition is much stronger than when awake, making it have almost the same effects as a premonition. Pride took all of this into a count and created questions which would subconsciously show me the true reactions I would have, knowing exactly if my words are true or not, based especially on this intuition which will work with or against me at this point.
“You know me too well. There is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’. There is only ‘beneficial’ or ‘useless’. If is good or bad, that matter less as long as is useful for me.”[Quite unnecessary long, but is acceptable. Next: A weakling with a pure soul comes at you, he’s asking for your help in fighting a superior enemy. What do you do?]
“The pure soul is valuable in the spiritual world, right? By getting his gratitude, I could achieve some benefits in my next life. I will help, of course.”[I said ‘fighting against a superior enemy’.]
“There is no such thing as ‘superior’ in front of me, with the exception of the All-Father. The rest are at most equals, but no superiors.”[Good. Your pride gets wounded by someone in a direct way. He suddenly insults or does something improper to you. By the law, you have no rights to touch him. What will you do?]
“If the idiot insults me, then I won’t even look at him. I don’t need to care about some insects. And if they dare punch, I’ll punch back, no matter how many there are, if they spit on me, I’ll bash their faces! If there will be someone scolding me for that, I won’t even look at him. An idiot who tells me to stay put and do nothing while others are harassing me must be dead in the head, not worthy of my attention.”[Mmm, you will soon observe that it won’t be so easy. But for now, this answer is to my liking. After this one there will be one more: If a loved one betrays you, what will you do?]
“… Betrayed?… Then that’s that. May their legs send them on the other side of the planet. If someone actually betrayed me, then that means they are not worthy of my attention any longer. Their path, since that moment onwards, has been separated from mine.”
I said with a cold voice and heart. Thinking that someone close to me would betray me, for whatever reason, I won’t wish to have anything to do with such persons from then on no matter what. The idea of “revenge” disgusts me because that means I would only show them unnecessary attention, something that would only waste my time and energy.
This is no more about pride. Is he putting my morals to a test? Is he my mother?
I thought with some annoyance at the ridiculous questions.[Now the last one: Between a king and a hermit, which one would you prefer?]
” Oh, something that actually has something to do with ‘Pride’. My answer is the hermit, of course. Being a king equals with being trapped inside a huge stone cage from which you need to work your ass off for millions of people, if not, they’ll kill you. You can also choose to become a tyrant, but only lowlifes would choose that method repetitively. A hermit can travel the world without a care, can study all he wants and do whatever he wishes. He has the word ‘Freedom’ imprinted on his every step and, not only is he a king over one country but over the world itself.”[As a king, you have all the riches you wish for.]
“Yes. And that’s also all you have. Just riches. If I wish for sparkling stuff then I can get a bowl of water and put in under the sun then look at it till I fall asleep. If I wish for women then I won’t even be myself anymore. Discipline and elevation is what I need to find in this world. Giving in to my own desires… I might as well return to the life of a slave. The only difference is that the slave’s master is physical, while the one who gives in to his desires has more and they’re mental, making it thousands of times more difficult of getting rid of them.”
Pride looked at me unfazed for a moment then he made a slight nod, approving of my answers.[You did well. You can still use the Pride inside you for your own good, redirecting it in the direction you want it to go, not being controlled by it. This test is over. Accept your pride and use it for your own good…]
Pride then turned into a black smoke which was absorbed inside me, making me stronger and feeling much more overbearing.[Well done, mortal. I judge thee as a finisher of mine test. Tee first test has concluded with thus: Free access to the forbidden knowledge. May thy use it wisely.]
After I absorbed Pride’s element, I heard the Leviathan’s voice booming inside my head with the same ancient feeling.
“Phew~… finally. Let’s wish Ryu has it just as easy as me.”
After I woke up from meditation, I still found myself chained by the huge chain and 9 sets of new handcuffs were restricting my mana and chi circulation.
With a harumph, the chains broke in pieces and the handcuffs became dust. It seems I grew again to Adept Saint. I stood there with an imposing air looking down at the broken chains and cracked walls of the room.
Feeling myself a little bit different, I thought of opening the long-forgotten status window.
—– START OF STATS —–
« General Information »
Class: Spirit Fighter
Primary Element: Earth
« Skill Points »
Avg Attack Power: 1,670 (AP)
Soul’s rank: golden (awoken)
Pride’s might (awoken)
One of the Seven Deadly Sins. Essence used by gods against gods.
—– END OF STATS —–
Ho~? It doesn’t say if it’s a curse or a bless… Even though it helped me in ranking up and offered more AP, let’s just wish it won’t drag me down in the future.
I commanded with the ‘word power’ from the ‘One with the Universe’ set, and the chain pieces reassembled themselves in the air. The complete huge chain showed one of the ends my way like a snake waiting for orders, undulating as if being alive. The walls started to repair by themselves, looking like new.
I commanded the chain to follow me when I walked outside the room. The chain levitated and moved like a huge snake behind me, looking as if it was swimming in the air. Everyone stared with wide open eyes when they saw me outside, with a huge chain flying behind me. Even though hundreds of eyes were locking me in, my mind was completely elsewhere.
Ryu should have finished by now with his second strongest sin. I wonder if he’s just as frustrated as I was.
On Ryu’s part, things were just as severe as for my Wrath’s test.
Ryu was suddenly kicked and sent flying backward for more than 20m. His enemy was already transformed into Dragonic Materialization with strong scales and sharp claws. In comparison with Greed, this one was bigger. He had 2,50 m and looked at everything with disdain and superiority.
“Give it up, weakling. You have no chance.” → Pride
Pride said with disgust in his voice, making a face as if he was stepping on dog-sh*t.
Ryu’s Pride and my Pride are two different mental demons. They might come from the same demonic energy but they are two different entities, making them ‘Ryu’s Pride’ and ‘Shen’s Pride’ respectively.
Ugh… this damn bastard… I need to finish this, but how? I already ‘died’ for more than 5 times and my mind is starting to get blurry…
Ryu asked himself what he could do, searching through his memories when:
“Oy trash. How much longer are you going to make me wait?”
Pride moved so fast, he appeared in front of Ryu with a blink. He wasn’t even able to move a finger when Pride made yet another move.
“S***-” → Ryu
Ryu couldn’t do anything and got stepped on the head, making the ground crack under both of them.
“Come on, don’t waste my time like this and just give your body to me!” → Pride
He stepped with some more power and cracking noises resounded from Ryu’s skull.
“Ugh!” → Ryu
Ryu’s head started to crack, bloody lines appearing on his forehead.
“Hah! Haha! Are you so desperate for my body? I prefer women, you maggot!” → Ryu
He shouted out while trying to rise Pride’s foot from his head. His blood was boiling more and more while the pain started to numb.
Maybe I can do it if I try.