A Not So Evil God In Fate/Grand Order Volume 4: Sealed Ends of the Four Seas: Okeanos Chapter 96 - Future...Or Past? (1)
Altera's eyes widened after receiving a kiss from him. It was so out of the blue that she didn't have time to react. However, before she could comprehend what was happening, Seth separated his lips from hers. When he did so, a tattoo-like mark with a shape resembling his animal form appeared on her right arm.
"With this, everything is complete. Welcome to the family, I suppose—Hm?" As he was speaking to the white-haired girl, he noticed how she was just staring blankly at him. She didn't react even when he waved his hand in front of her.
'Something to note for the future if I to do this another time.' Seth thought while shaking his head. He then exited the lake and summoned his clothes back again. Sitting down and resting his back against a tree, the black-haired man decided to wait for Altera to come back from her state of stupor.
He didn't plan to waste time, though. Now that there was nothing particularly important to do, he could focus on getting some information from Stargazer. So, without delay, he accessed his inner world.
What he didn't expect after entering, however, was the sight currently in front of him. Who he presumed to be Stargazer in an entirely new form he hadn't seen before, and Olga in a cat maid costume. If this was a joke, it was not a funny one. Not to mention, his taste was incredibly cliche.
"Oh? Look who decided to visit. You were having so much fun; I thought it would take you more time." Mr. Jokester was sitting on his throne and enjoying a massage on his shoulders by an Olga whose face conveyed how much she wanted to die out of embarrassment.
"Care to explain to me what is this? And what's with that appearance? Don't you get tired of using me as a model for everything?" The Egyptian God asked with raised eyebrows. This situation was certainly not what he had in mind when he brought the noisy kid here.
"Just the usual, you know? My charisma always had attracted the masses. After spending a bit of time together, she had sworn absolute loyalty to me." "Who did that?!" The Director interrupted Stargazer mid-speech with an indignation-filled shout, something that did not please him at all, proven by the malicious smile he was directing at her.
"Did you say something, little maid?" A threat more than a question, and depending on the answer, her outcome would change.
"N-No...I did not." The last thing she wanted was to make him angry. That memory still brought her nightmares to this day. Just remembering was enough to make her tremble.
"Is that so? Anyway, as I was saying, we both have a new integrant in our family! Clap, clap! You have a new follower, and I have a loyal maid. Our plan to take over the world is becoming a reality with each passing day!" He said as he extended his hands into the air to give a more dramatic effect to his words.
Releasing a sigh, Seth held the bridge of his nose in a clear sign of frustration. "Can't you be serious for once? I didn't come here to hear your nonsense. And you still haven't answered what's the deal with that new look of yours."
There was one word to describe Stargazer's new appearance, and that was demonic. Long, black horns and skin of the same color that lightened in his bare chest area, where a fiery red, cross-like scar that resembled lava was present. He had long, white, wild hair that reached his knee in a twin-tail sort of way. He also had bandages covering both his forearms and dark, loose pants resembling those of a samurai. Lastly, he had a black "crotch flap" that looked to be eternally burning.
"All right, all right. No need to take it out on me just because you don't know how to enjoy life. The thing you see here is how I truly look. I was born from you, so of course, we would have similarities. But that's no the reason you came here for, is it?" As per usual with him, his attitude took a 180 degree turn out of nowhere. Snapping his fingers, Olga, who was behind him, fainted. Without even bothering to catch her, Stargazer put his full attention on Seth.
"Of course not. I wanted to know if "that" is truly here. This place is enormous, and I don't have the time to look exhaustively everywhere. Not to mention, there are other creatures like that octopus out there. Usually, using that thing's body, I wouldn't have any trouble. The problem arises when the Mana is not enough to sustain it, like what happened before.' He was still a bit unhappy about that incident, but there was nothing he could do.
"When have I been wrong? I would appreciate it if you could trust my divination abilities a bit more. It is certainly here. What's more, it is on an island. Your original thinking was not wrong, but this Ark is different, or better said, special." He paused slightly to make sure Seth was paying attention before continuing.
"It's not one buried and lost in time, but one that appears when its "guardian" does. Similarly, it disappears when he does too. You will have to find a way to take it for yourself before that happens." To Seth's surprise, Stargazer was able to give him a great deal of useful information. Well, if he looked at it from the Black Demon's perspective, it did make sense. After all, Jokester's growth was directly proportional to his.
"The fact that you haven't been wrong up until now doesn't mean you won't be in the future. Still, I can work better with that. So, what else do you've got?" The Egyptian God asked. While it was true he had been right in everything he had said, Seth didn't want to bet everything on it.
"Hey, hey. Don't you think you are overreliant on me? Knowing your future is not always a good thing, you know?" His playfulness and the teasing in his voice was, as always, mildly irritating.
"I am not interested in knowing my future; there is no meaning in doing so. What I want to know is if there is something else that would help me with what is to come." The future could always change; it was just a matter of having the necessary tools to do so.
"Oh? Why do you want to know if the answer is already in your grasp? You just don't want to take the easy route, that's all." Stargazer shrugged his shoulders as if it was not his problem.
Seth furrowed his brows, hearing what he said. "And then what? You are just solving a problem with another problem. That's not a viable solution. If you are going to propose something, then make sure it's something I can use without, or with the least amount of repercussions possible."
"Don't speak like that to me, Seth. You know I am right. You are just scared the past will repeat itself. No matter how much you tell yourself there is no way it will happen again, inside you, you are not so sure about that. Even with my reassurance that everything is going to go well and that your fears are unfounded, you still choose to run away from it." Stargazer's tone reflected how much displeased and unamused he was by what the black-haired man said.
"So what? That's something for me to decide whether to do or not. If I had to do it as a last resort, then I will happily do so, but that's not the case. My hunt for Anti-Evil artifacts is proof enough that not everything reduces itself to that alternative." Similar to the Black Demon, he wasn't exactly thrilled by the other party's words.
"Are you stupid? Or being with those humans made you dumb? Apophis explicitly told you he was going to be your enemy. What? Do you feel strong enough to beat him? Should I remind you that you only managed to kill him because he let you do so?! What last resort bullshit are you trying to sell me?! YOU.DO.NOT.HAVE.A.F.U.C.K.I.N.G.OPTION!" As he was speaking, he stood up from his throne and began walking toward Seth until he was just centimeters away from him.
"...We will see about that. It's not like I am without options when it comes to him. I created the World series in case a situation like this were to occur." He was well aware even without Stargazer telling him that the chances of victory were slim. Even so, it didn't mean they were zero.
"Didn't you want something with the least repercussions? If you use the fake versions, it won't be enough, and if you use the true ones, it will cost you dearly. You, as the creator, should know their names are not decoration. Something like that won't just end with you having something as trivial as a fever." He may act like a clown sometimes, but that didn't mean he was stupid. He was very well aware of the implications of having to use the pure might of those techniques.
"And I also told you that as a last resort, I would use everything at my disposal, no matter what it is. Same as Apophis decided to die for my sake, I'm willing to sacrifice something for him." No matter what he did, he couldn't repay what his real father figure did for him, but trying was free.
Shaking his head, Stargazer turned around and went to sit on his throne again. Talking to Seth was becoming as frustrating as talking to a wall and expecting a response. "You are one hell of a stubborn guy, did you know that? My job is getting more complicated, thanks to you."
"What are you saying? Our journey was not an easy one from the beginning." Seth released a short laugh of amus.e.m.e.nt, and Stargazer did the same. It was true, but that was what made it more enjoyable.
"I am limited in how much I can help you as I have to focus my whole attention on the important things, but I can at least give you a piece of advice." The Black Demon said as he turned to look at the dark world outside through the window.
"An advice as someone who knows the future?" Seth asked with raised eyebrows.
"Nope. Well, partially. Some people you have met in your reincarnations have already appeared. However, they won't be the lasts to do so. There will be people who you loved and people who loved you. There will also be people you hated and people who hated you. Regardless of that, you must use them like the tools they are. I know being a human for so many lives left a mark on you, but don't let that cloud your judgment at the moment of truth. If there is something to be gained from their sacrifices, then, by all means, sacrifice them. But if their value resides in them being "alive," make sure they stay that way." Whether or not he took his advice, it was up to him.
"You know as well as I do that I don't consider those lives to be mine. I just see them as long, unending dreams, ones where I woke up from, only to return to them soon after. To me, they are just fake people I met while asleep." Fortunately for him, that dream was over at last.
"Hmm...That might be true for some of them, but it won't be the same with others. What do you think will happen when someone you gave your life for appears? Or someone you chased your whole life for vengeance does? I am sure it won't shake your core, but those strong emotions will, for sure, affect your vision of things, if only slightly. Love may fade away with time; hate may do so too. Regret, however, that stays for a long while. You, better than anyone, should know that."
"..." Seth stayed silent for a bit. It was not like he didn't consider that possibility. But that brought some doubts to him. If those lives contained such strong emotions, why didn't he remember them? 'Unless...'