15-30. Divine Punishment (4) Basis
Satou's here. There are people who, "know themselves worst.", and people who, "Know themselves best."
But, aren't the most numerous ones the people who make use of either case depending on the situation?
"What's wrong? Don't tell me you never thought that your true identity would be found out."
Tactician Touya is pointing at me with a triumphant look on his face.
"I'm not a God--You won't believe me even if I tell you that right?"
Tactician Touya is full of confidence.
"Could you tell me what's your basis for thinking that I'm a God?"
After I said that, tactician Touya grins and begins to talk.
"There are too many mysteries surrounding you."
Tactician Touya calmly speaks as if he's a stage actor.
However, I'd like to be spared from his slightly narcissistic strange pose.
I somehow feel that his preferences will match with Dog-head's.
"The first entry about you in the slates is about your fight with the black greater demon in Seryuu city."
That's certainly the case.
Of course, I'm written as [Silver Masked Hero] in the slates.
"Someone with a single-digit level couldn't have possibly won against a greater demon."
Un, I forgot to change my level in the Exchange Column at that time.
"You must be possessing some kind of concealment-type artifact. Or so we thought, thus we had to investigate your identity."
After saying that, tactician Touya peers into my eyes as if checking my reaction.
"However, even the most skilled people couldn't find any trace about you before you appeared in Seryuu City. Yes, so perfect we couldn't help but thought it was as if you suddenly came together with the 『Stars Fall』."
No no, I think I was transported at that time, so the suddenly appearing part is true.
"We played it safe and absolutely made sure to chase your whereabouts to prevent contact. And with each reports, we couldn't help but question the sanity of our informer."
Tactician Touya slowly shakes his head with his finger on his forehead.
That gesture pisses me off somehow.
"Slaughtering senior greater demons one after another, and even easily beating the Golden Wild Boar King whose strength was famous among successive generations and the great monstrous fish Tovkezeera."
The one who defeated Tovkezeera was Hero Nanashi, there was no information about me being the same person as Hero Nanashi in the slates.
"Let alone them, you even defeated the strongest 『Ancient King Dog Head』-dono who was called the evil god and the offshoots of Demon God-sama."
--Nn? What's this?
I sensed something odd just now.
That sense of oddness disappeared before I could say it, but another question appeared instead.
"Isn't it said that no one besides Dragon God and Demon God have ever defeated Dog-head?"
When I pointed that out, tactician Touya looked a bit disgruntled.
Looks like he vaguely noticed that too.
"Hmph, it's most likely because it happened right after 『Ancient King Dog-Head』-dono had just revived so he was in a weakened state."
The Dog-head beating was written humorously in the slates, but the detail as to how I actually defeated him wasn't depicted, and mysteriously, the little girl who intruded in my fight with the dog-head wasn't written at all.
"And, even though you had the power to defeat Doghead-dono, as weakened as he was, you bafflingly hid all of your achievements and continued your journey as a common man. You could have gained any kind of glory and fame if you just made it public, yet you only repeated your pleasure jaunts and philanthropic works."
Cause my main purpose is going on trips in another world.
"We racked our brains at your mysterious acts. However, everything came to light once we confirmed a certain phenomenon."
Tactician Touya's reasoning feels familiar to me somehow.
A deja vu of having your conjecture proven wrong.
"And? What is that phenomenon?"
I know that he's surely mistaken, but laughing at him would be too sad so I urged him to continue.
This is not because I pity him as a fellow sufferer of mistakes. Absolutely not.
"You can chantlessly teleport an impossible amount of things to an impossible distance away. However, that's fine and all. We thought that you were just hiding such a Unique Skill."
Is he talking about Unit Arrangement?
Since I can teleport considerably far away with space magic, wonder which one is it?
"However, it doesn't seem like you pay the compensation for it. Not magic power, not your soul, nothing!"
He shouldn't be able to know my magic power consumption, maybe he's referring to me teleporting way outside the limit without replenishment?
"Such a thing is not possible for someone who's been given god's fragment, someone who is just given a portion of the authority. Someone that can freely command such an absurdity at will is an existence outside the principle. In other words, only a God."
I see, so Unit Arrangement is that much of an absurd ability.
Come to think of it, when I experimented to see the limit, I could repeat it ad infinitum it stopped being funny, and I was also able to escape from the center of gravity many times.
"We also have other basis."
"And that is?"
Might as well listen to it all.
Did I miss him speaking again?
"Are you still playing dumb? It has only been 30 years since you were defeated and killed by Dragon God!"
Tactician Touya shouted irritatedly.
His fangs are about to reach a dangerous level, please calm down.
He seems to refer to God Zaikuon reviving even though it has only been 30 years since his dead.
"It's certainly strange. Please tell me the reason if you know why."
"Hmph, you're not going to admit that you're God Zaikuon until the end huh."
I mean, that's wrong.
"There's a true meaning in you not only piling up achievements as a fake hero but also hiding your philanthropic works."
With a [zubi] sound effect, tactician Touya points his finger at me while taking a pose like he's leaning his back.
I almost impulsively shouted, "What'd you say!" out loud, but I held back.
I had a feeling that he'd snap and turn into demon lord if I teased him like that.
"I have a proper hero title y'know?"
I let him to cool down by pointing out his mistake a bit.
"Yes, a true meaning!"
Tactician Touya completely ignored me and continued on.
Can't be helped, I'll hear it till the end without doing unnecessary interruptions.
"I'll only be preaching to the choir, but very well I'll have you hear it."
For now, I urged him to continue.
"The period of revival for a god that has died is fixed."
The weasel emperor is calmly glaring at me to not miss any of my gestures.
Unlike tactician Touya, it doesn't seem like he's entirely convinced that I'm God Zaikuon.
"However, there's also a way to shorten that."
Judging from the oracle I heard before going here, is it prayers?
"In order to shorten that, the most effective way is people's genuine prayers and devout piety. Awe and reverence can also shorten the revival period but it is not as effective."
Such a detailed explanation isn't written on the slates.
Looks like tactician Touya has another source of information besides the slates.
"You should understand that playing dumb after this far is meaningless!"
Thin purple hair begins to grow on the bald head of tactician Touya.
Apparently, he only shaved his head.
"In summary, what you want to say is--I gathered prayers and piety from the people by acting as Satou and Nanashi in order to hasten God Zaikuon's revival?"
Swoosh, tactician Touya's hair lengthened into a straight long hair to his waist.
"You are the mortal frame of God Zaikuon. A split Mitama!"
I begin to think that my identity might really be God Zaikuon after this much of a grand declaration.
Of course that's a misdirected wrong deduction.
If what he said is the truth, then that means a split Mitama of God Zaikuon that's not even the main body defeated Dog-head and the Demon God's offshoots.
It doesn't seem like I can get any more useful information, guess I'll stop keeping his nonsense company and leave here?
"Or perhaps you don't remember?"
Tactician Touya spoke with a slightly different mood when I was waiting for the right timing to leave.
He might have sensed that I didn't believe his deduction.
His tone somehow changes into that of a persuasion.
"Have you ever thought that your memories are inconsistent? Did it get cut off?"
I can't deny that.
My memories were interrupted between the time I fell asleep and awoke in younger body in the [Dragon's Valley].
The reason for my rejuvenation is unknown, who was the one who teleported me is also unknown.
"Don't you ever feel that your thought is being manipulated by someone?"
Although I can't confidently say that it has, I can't really recall the time when Hikaru disappeared.
Why did I think that her disappearance at the time was not a problem, and how I didn't think of Hikaru let alone worry about her until our reunion was also strange.
"Have you ever forgotten things that you intended to do before you realized?"
After being reunited with Hikaru I forgot to pursue that doubt further in spite of having it in my mind.
"Looks like I've hit the nail on the head."
Tactician's Touya triumphant look is infuriating.
However, the more I denied that impossibility, the more I doubt that maybe even that thought is an influence from an outside force.
Tactician Touya pursues further at my shaken heart.
"Admit it! Split Mitama of God Zaikuon!"
However, my heart is swaying, unable to intelligently deny like earlier.
The thought of my own memories and thought being manipulated brings anxiety and stress that have never arisen before in my heart.
Is that--really the case?
『There's no way that's true isn't it?』
I heard a familiar voice in my ears.
That obviously disgusted-sounding voice had the power to blow away my worry in an instant.
『Calm down. My hero.』
Two small hands hug my neck together with a fleeting light snowfall-like sensation.
Those of the little girl who was in the painting.
--The little girl in the painting.
A mysterious being who appeared in the painting inside Duke Oyugock's castle and when I was being misled by Dog-head Demon Lord.
Dog-head Demon Lord called her [God Parion], she's shown as [UNKNOWN] like the Demon God's Offshoots on my AR reading.
"Who are you?"
『Me? I'm your princess. You're my hero. We're two birds who share a body and a pair of wings walking the eternity together--』 <TLN: An expression for 'a happily married couple'.>
Her clear comfortable voice similar to Lulu almost robs me of my consciousness.
I forgot how she evaded my question and ended up immersing myself in the sound of her words.
"Who are you talking to?"
Tactician Touya looks around at the surroundings suspiciously.
It seems the other people can't see her existence.
Since Dog-head demon lord could, she seems to be able to choose who can see her.
"Did you manipulate my--"
She puts her little finger on my mouth midway.
『I only do what you desire. I will be there as you wish. If you cannot remember it, that means it's something the current you don't need. It will be naturally released when you really need it.』
Normally those sounded unbelievable, but for some reason, I felt like believing her without a doubt.
『Are you convinced?』
I nodded back at the girl.
The smiling little girl's body is becoming transparent.
Right, maybe she knows about it.
"Do you know the reason why God Zaikoun revived faster?"
I asked her that while feeling slightly impatient.
『Reason? Maybe the kids who didn't want the civilization to advance united? Because Divine Punishment can't happen unless all the seven Gods who arrived riding on the world trees assembled.』
--Huh? I felt something odd again.
『Look, my hero.』
A yellow light is spreading at the ground where the little girl pointed at.
That was the place where a demon lord was fighting an apostle.
『A big battle-loving idiot has appeared.』
The yellow light becomes a huge person shape.
I think it's at least 100 meter tall?
The information of the person shape shown on my AR is the same as the little girl's--[UNKNOWN].
The same as the apostle, but it's clearly different.
Warnings from Crisis Perception is alarming enough to tighten my heart even though it's so far apart.
"That's, don't tell me--"
『It is. You can tell the other big idiots over there too.』
The little girl who was looking at the yellow person shape turned at me.
『Tell them, that's the Zaikuon you seek.』
"That's, God Zaikuon?"
"W-what'd you say!"
Tactician Touya heard my muttering.
"What do you want me to do?"
The little girl gently smiles.
Her expression is like a mother, unsuited for her age.
『Do as you like, my hero. Do anything you like anytime you want.』
After saying that, the little girl disappeared in the air.
Her parting words sounded like an invitation from a devil or a dark god, but I felt a deep affection for me in them.
I think that she's probably the one who summoned me to the [Dragon's Valley].
"Say it! Who was here! No, what was here!"
Tactician Touya grasped my shoulder and forcibly turned me around.
And just when I was soaking in the lingering sensation, what a cruel guy.
"An unknown little girl."
"Little girl? --God Parion!"
Like I said, unknown.
"Touya. Whether he's a split body of God Zaikuon or not is trivial now."
The emperor pointed at the yellow person shape--God Zaikuon with his line of sight.
"My fragments given by God are aching. There's no mistake that's a God--"
Is it just my imagination or is the weasel emperor swelling.
The yellow light that makes up God Zaikuon is pulsing.
Heavy sense along with awe arrived directly in my brain.
The Imperial Capital and the special tank corps outside turned into salt, swallowed by white tsunami and disappeared.
"The Imperial Capital is turning white?"
"That's the divine punishment."
The Imperial Capital is turning white starting from the edge of the city.
Several purple pillars of light appeared in the slums.
Looks like several reincarnated people had turned into demon lords.
Even though I should have carried all the reincarnated people and [Brains] when I kidnapped the capital's people earlier, just where were they hiding....
"It seems demon lords don't turn into salt."
"Of course. That only works on the 『Being with Predestined Live (Mortal)』. It has no effect on the followers of Demon God, demon lords who are 『Immortal Beings』."
The weasel emperor looks at me.
"Hero Nanashi, it appears God's power is mightier than we expected. It is very likely that the people won't be protected from the divine punishment by merely hiding underground. Please carry them out if you have a shred of sympathy for our people."
"I left the people in the imperial castle, but I've saved the populace already."
"Is that right.... My gratitude, Hero Nanashi."
The emperor looked relieved when I told him that.
"What are you two going to do?"
Perhaps because of I saw that, I asked the weasel emperor and tactician Touya such a thing.
"It's good as long as the people are safe. However, I want to protect the underground burial mound. Protect it from the Gods' hands."
"Okay. I'll blockade it with a strong barrier."
It's not because I'm asked by martyr-like clear eyes.
I'm going to protect it since it's an important facility for me too.
"We will defeat the God."
The emperor who's wrapped in purple light easily stands up from the throne.
"As the great demon lord of this generation, I will challenge and slaughter the God."
The emperor presses both his hands on the ground and transforms into a purple beast.
"If I become a beast who's lost his reasoning after destroying the God, I'd like you to kill me with that anomalous strength of yours."
Looks like the emperor's determination is firm.
"Thank you. Hero Nanashi."
The emperor who has turned into a beast becomes huge and breaks through the tall ceiling of the throne room.
"We will defeat the God."
Without cheering or stopping him, I see the emperor off.
"Are you not going?"
"My turn will be for the last. The role of this body is to raise the final big firework called Imperial Castle."
Tactician Touya replied me with some antique words midway.
He probably wants to draw a line for the rise of standard in their revolt against Gods.
"Explosion is romance. And there is no bigger romance than an explosion that drags a God with it don't you think?"
That reminds me, he's this kind of guy.
"Yeah, damn I am."
While looking at the fight between demon lords and the yellow person shape in the distant, tactician Touya laughs like he's yawning.
I felt insanity in his dark expression, sending chill down my spine.
There should be no need for me to see it until the end.
I should just come again once everything is over.
The bureaucrats and the court ladies who had stayed in the castle seemed to have left the capital using an escape VTOL.
The Temple Knights and soldiers are still fighting against the apostles even now.
Muttering a good bye word that's unlike me, I go toward the seal of the burial mound.
I, who have finished all of my roles, leave the whitening dying Imperial Capital behind.