15-27. Divine Punishment
Satou's here. The term Divine Punishment reminds me of the Bible, but the sayings; god's wrath, or [hit by retribution] and various allegories exist in Japan.
I've never suffered from divine punishment and god's wrath firsthand though.
Intimidating voices descended from the sky three times.
Oracle skill was added to my Skill Column.
Apparently, those are divine messages from the Gods.
Several words--nay, a word that had several meanings reached my mind directly.
Apparently, Gods hold a conversation not through voices but by notifying a lot of people directly.
After a moment of silence, the main subject begins--.
Not just one, several Gods seemed to announce it together.
How do I say this, it feels like a hysteric person who can't explain well because they're overcome by their emotion.
Or maybe it's like listening to a badly tuned crossed radio?
Voices of agony leaked from the people.
It seems the intense chains of images are tormenting them.
Yet, none stands up, every one of them is enduring the pain.
It probably means that their awe toward the Gods are just that strong.
I'm a bit intrigued as to why I am fine.
The toll of the bell stopped before long, and the torrential images that came along with the Gods' divine messages ended.
Some words I don't quite understand were mixed in but I think there's no mistake that it's generally, "Divine punishment will befall Weasel Empire that has violated the taboo."
However, the way it was told intrigues me.
The Unknown little girl I met in my fight with the Dog-head before was able to converse normally.
--Perhaps, the ones earlier were not Gods, but something that pretended to be Gods?
Many people have fainted, while the stout-hearted ones begin to stand up unsteadily.
I'm a bit hesitant to leave behind Kei, miss Shelmina and the others, but please let me off with just sprinkling healing magic here.
I move to where Liza and Zena-san are staying in Weasel Empire using Unit Arrangement.
"Sa-Satou-san, this is terrible!"
"Oh good, you two are safe."
Liza and Zena-san who noticed me came rushing.
They seem to be fine thanks to their high levels, but all the maids in the building have fainted.
For now, I'll secure their safety first before grasping the information in Weasel Empire.
I go back to the solitary island palace with the two.
"Welcome back nanodesu."
The youth troupe welcomed us immediately once we got back to the solitary island palace.
Arisa's carefree look seems odd to me.
"Did the Gods' divine message not reach here?"
"Hoe? What's that--"
Arisa who looked dumbfounded dropped the rice cracker in her mouth midway.
Apparently it didn't.
To think it can even prevent the Gods' interference, asking Yuika to set up the barrier was the right choice.
"--Don't tell me, the divine punishment for Weasel Empire was carried out?"
Please do something about the rice cracker crumbs around your mouth before putting on your serious face.
I affirm it, wipe Arisa's mouth and take everyone to the living room.
And then, an urgent call from Echigoya Firm came.
I use [Tactic Call] to connect Manager and Tifaliza.
『I already know about the Gods' divine messages. If there's any problem in our branch offices and the areas around Shiga Kingdom, report to me through the Urgent Call at your discretion.』
『Then we will begin to gather intelligence and the analysis.』
Manager asked me to hold when I was going to cut off the call.
『Kuro-sama, I have a request. I'd like to grant the right for the branch managers of Echigoya branch offices to provide the accumulated goods. Will it be alright?』
『Of course. I give you the full privilege of the whole Echigoya Firm. I'm counting on you Elterina.』
『Y-yes! Kuro-sama!! I will do my utmost to meet your expectations!』
Manager replied powerfully at my slightly irresponsible lines of leaving it all to her.
Entrusting Echigoya Firm to her and Tifaliza should be fine.
I remember one thing and reconnect to Tifaliza.
『Tifaliza, I forgot something. Record the branch offices which reported the divine messages.』
Am I imagining things or Tifaliza seemed a bit sullen or rather, astounded.
Well, it's probably not a big deal, I'll go see her directly when I find some time.
I cut the call and sit on one of the chair in the living room.
All regular members of the solitary island palace are already here.
Along with the irregular members, demon lord Shizuka and the brownie maids.
"Somethings that seem to be Gods' divine messages came in Makiwa Kingdom earlier."
"Gods' divine messages? It's not an oracle received by Miko?"
Sera asked as I began to talk.
"Yea, voices came descending from the cloud."
Of course, I checked the cloud and above it but found no one there.
At least according to the map.
"Why is it Makiwa Kingdom? Didn't Satou-sama go to Weasel Empire?"
"I got a report saying that Kei the former fake apostle was able to use God Zaikuon's holy magic, so I went there to check on her."
I answered the princess's question.
"Wasn't God Zaikuon killed by Dragon God-sama 30 years ago? Isn't the revival too fast no matter how look at it?"
"The reason why it's so fast is unclear. I saw Kei using God Zaikuon's holy magic with my own eyes. The revival is probably true."
I look at everyone while replying Hikaru.
Is there no more question?
"And, what were the divine messages about?"
"Aa, it was not in a common spoken language, I guess it was like images accompanied by words?"
Arisa urged me to go ahead so I got back to the real issue.
I told the words I heard back then as accurately as possible to everyone.
Mainly for Sera.
"Is there any difference to when Sera-san received an oracle?"
"Besides the parts about several overlapping voices and for someone aside from Oracle Miko being able to hear it, it's mostly the same."
Sera answered after pondering a bit.
I got [Oracle] skill when those divine messages fell from the sky, but I don't plan to put skill points and activate it.
However, it looks useful when I need to negotiate with Gods in the future.
If I just grasp the God World, the sub space where they live during our conversation, it also seems possible for me to go there and talk directly.
"So the divine punishment will fall on Weasel Empire right?"
"That's probably correct."
There are other problems besides that.
I can't help but think that the [Execution], [Depravity], and [Retribution] parts in the divine messages refer to the surrounding countries that have left the Weasel Empire alone.
The [Faith], [Incite], and [Peace] after those come off as, "Peace will come if you pray to the gods begging for forgiveness."
If that's true, then it's possible there are also calamities that require, [prayers to the gods].
"Is it, my fault?"
Sera looks at me as if relying on me.
Judging from the timing, I don't think the reason is because of Sera's visit to the Weasel Empire's amusement park.
If someone with the Oracle skill can unconditionally reach the Gods, then the little girl who was already living in the slum should be the trigger instead.
"Isn't it Weasel Empire's own fault?"
"But still, for the common people to be judged together with the emperor...."
Sera shook her head at Arisa's follow up.
"It's alright. I will help the people."
Arisa and Hikaru stood up in shock to hear me.
"Wait! You're going to fight Gods?"
"That's impossible Ichirou-nii! No matter how strong you are, against god is no good."
Do I look that belligerent?
Also, Hikaru was too surprised she called my name in the solitary island palace by mistake.
"I'm not going to fight Gods okay."
Sera openly looks relieved after I said that.
Of course, that applies to Arisa and the others too.
"If the divine punishment looks like it'll mass slaughter the people, I'm going to evacuate them to the subspace using the forbidden spell."
The magic power I've stocked in the holy swords look like it'll be all used up cause I'll probably need to use a humongous amount of MP, but I can just recharge it at the Ether Vein in the Void Sky.
I've been only consuming magic power lately, the bill from neglecting to replenish the supply comes biting.
I cut off my words and look at everyone.
Now then, I've told them the situations and my plans.
"Now then, about what we're going to do here on--Sera-san."
"Could Sera-san go to Tenion temple in the Duchy Capital and once again receive an oracle regarding this matter?"
"I understand. I'll go ask Head Miko-sama--apprentice miko Lili for the permission to use the Sanctuary."
I'm sending Zena-san and Lady Karina to guard Sera.
This means Zena-san would be traveling again, but she accepted it heartily.
"Princess Shistina, Hikaru and Team Pendragon are to stand by in the solitary island palace. I think the call for dispatch will come suddenly, so please relax as much as possible."
It was quite an unreasonable order, but everyone consented without complaining.
I'm planning to give Hikaru, Arisa and demon lord Shizuka a reason to stay in the palace even in this emergency.
There's the information about how people with God's Fragment are unable to go against Gods after all.
While thinking and pigeonholing myself, demon lord Shizuka ask me.
"Do I need to do something?"
"Yeah, I'm sorry but please stay here in the solitary island palace for a while."
"Yeah, that's right. I might ask you to help me like I did recently."
I asked demon lord Shizuka.
There's a lot of reincarnated people in Weasel Empire.
It's possible that there are some among them who have overused their Unique Skills and on the verge of becoming a demon lord.
In case that happens, her ability to remove Unique Skill from her familiar will be essential.
"Alright, then let's do a relaxing sea fishing contest!"
"Aye aye sir~?"
"Pochi will definitely catch parrot fish today nodesu!"
"Then I will catch some black-tailed gull."
Everyone harmoniously left the room per Arisa's command.
Arisa peeked her face on the door.
"『Protect your life』 okay!"
This time, Hikaru peeked behind Arisa.
"Don't forget about 『Don't be rash』 too okay."
I don't think there's any need to use Japanese language there, still I answer them, "Of course" and move away with Unit Arrangement.
The destination is Weasel Empire--.
In order to confirm the execution of the divine punishment and to browse the slates.