Satou's here. The scene of the detective main protagonist splendidly untying the case in a mystery series, fully loading the catharsis, is really wonderful. It's just that, the feeling of bitterness from having all of your wrong reasoning shot down is the only real flaw isn't it.
"Hou? Well done figuring that out. Correct."
I thought he would play dumb, but he easily admitted it instead.
Tactician Touya--No, Sage Trazayuya lowers his hood and takes off the mask.
I could see flame-like swaying light in his purple eyes.
On the other hand, there's no eyebrow on his cleanly shaved head and the pointed end of his ears are smoothed over too.
That reminds me, I remember reading, "My life will run out soon", in a document I found in [Trazayuya Maze].
Wonder why he's fine?
Asking, "Didn't you die?" would be too rude, I can't do that.
"However, Touya the elf has died. I'll have you understand that the one here is Touya the tactician of Weasel Empire."
"What do you mean?"
Does he want to erase his Sage persona?
"I was saved by His Majesty when I was foolishly turning into a demon lord. Thus my life as an elf ended at that time."
Sage Trazayuya--Tactician Touya smirked as if mocking himself.
Although I can't know for sure, he probably used too much of his Unique Skills in order to create the [Maze].
Nevertheless, I'm surprised that the weasel emperor would go to such a distant place even if it was years ago.
At that time, he might have been a willful crown prince, or perhaps a prince whose succession right was low in the order.
"Did you build the empire as a repayment of the favor?"
Tactician Touya looked puzzled.
"Is it not?"
"I helped build the ideal empire because the weaselkin offered me the 『Dungeon Seed』 they found in a ruin as a compensation."
I recalled the labyrinth in Seryuu City when I heard that unfamiliar term.
I wonder if that labyrinth was also created using that Dungeon Seed thing?
"Let us end the reminiscence there."
The emperor who were left behind, corrected the subject on track.
"Sorry, Tarou. I said something unnecessary."
"Add 'emperor' there. The subordinates can hear us here."
"I'll be careful, Emperor Tarou."
He's speaking familiarly with the emperor using his name even though he was calling him [His Majesty] earlier.
I still can't quite grasp the relationship between tactician Touya and the emperor.
Right, I've to confirm several thing before we get to the main subject--.
"I want to confirm some things first. Why did you do acts of terrorism in Shiga Kingdom?"
At first I didn't ask about it since I thought it was only natural for the emperor of the Weasel Empire to cause disturbances behind the back if they regarded Shiga Kingdom as their enemy, but if it was an instruction from Sage Trazayuya who should have had a favorable relationship with Shiga Kingdom, I'd like to know his intention.
"Acts of terrorism?"
Rather than feigning ignorance, it feels more like he doesn't understand what I'm talking about.
"You guys were the one who gave the Reborn Seeds to the spies of Holy State Parion right?"
"You're not completely wrong, but it's not correct either."
Tactician Touya corrected me in a roundabout way.
"Us giving the Reborn Seeds to the spies of Holy State Parion is the truth, however we did that in order to escalate the revolt on the western part of the continent to attract the gods' attention there. We also never expected that the spies of Holy State Parion would ignore the war and do acts of terrorism in Shiga Kingdom."
I stare at tactician Touya's eyes.
There's neither wavering nor impurity there.
I see--Looks like he's not lying.
The ones behind the illicit manufacturing of the Fiend Drug in Selbira Labyrinth's underground were the demons after all.
"Touya, tell him about the god's taboo."
"I do not mind, but wouldn't it better for him to check the document himself?"
"It would be impossible to read 20.000 years worth of record wouldn't it? It's not like he's connected to a search engine."
I can search just fine if I put them in my Storage, but I'd better not tell them about it.
"I'll read the document later. Please tell me the summary."
"The things that are treated as God's taboo are 『Reincarnated person and transported person teaching the way to make integrated circuit (LSI)』, 『Means of permanent mass transportation』, 『Easy means of communication between cities』, 『Mass production through factory modernization』, and lastly 『Printing』."
I see, Mukuro's railroad was the second and the communication tower fell under the third huh.
Sailing boats and airships probably barely miss the second criteria.
Space magic and communications through city cores are probably in the clear since they don't meet the condition of [easily] for the third one.
But, the fourth one is a close call.
I was going to start doing that with Echigoya Firm.
However, the first one, integrated circuit should be pretty similar to the golem creation process using [Philosopher's Stones] and magic cores--no, I'm the only one who know how to do that besides the elf.
That means, revealing that technology to outside world is dangerous huh....
I feel that it should be safe since it's a magical technology, but there's no need to tread on thin ice.
--Wait, there's something amiss.
"『Treated』 as taboo?"
When I repeated tactician Touya's word, the emperor grinned an evil smile.
"That's right. The gods never distinctively said 『This is a taboo』. They simply gave Divine Punishment to a country and then they gave a notification through the oracle miko that the country had violated the taboo."
That's quite awful.
It's like executing someone and then later said that, "That's a crime so you get to be punished."
"The time difference between the time a taboo was violated until the Divine Punishment is quite wide on each case, you'll see if you read the document later. There are cases where it happened the next day at the earliest and 10 years at the longest."
That means Weasel Empire hasn't triggered the divine punishment for longer than the one in that record huh....
"Do you know what are the differences?"
Taking the tactician Touya's place, the emperor asked me.
"Is it the existence of people who have Oracle skill or perhaps holy magic skills?"
I answered while remembering the time I met Lady Liedill.
Adding up the isolation of the parishes, this answer must be right.
The emperor floated a carnivorous smile on his face when he heard my answer.
"We obtained the conclusive evidence by testing it in a small country."
"Hereditary skills (Gifts) the like of God Urion's 『Eyes of Condemnation』 do not appear to trigger the divine punishment. People with low level holy magic also won't reach the Gods."
From the story I heard from the captain of tank unit I captured in Makiwa Kingdom, that country wasn't destroyed even after violating the taboo, but judging from the emperor's way of talking....
"What happened to that small country?"
I couldn't help but asked even though I already knew the result.
"Of course, it was destroyed--"
Hypocritical anger is rising in me from hearing the way he calmly said it like a researcher who merely reported the result of the experiment.
The destruction of a country with no acquaintance of mine should have nothing to do with me, yet I can't help but empathize.
"Suppress your anger. The one who destroyed it was not us."
The emperor told me that the king of that country was the one who happily introduced the technology brought by his spies in the country.
He only let the spies to be caught on purpose.
"Tarou, humans cannot think as logically as weaselkin. That applies to the hero too--nay, precisely because he's a hero, he dislikes seeing the weak being unilaterally exploited."
"Fumu, either way. I'm going to annihilate any country who bares their fang on my country without leaving anyone alive you know?"
"Even in spite of that."
I take a deep breath to calm my mind while listening to tactician Touya reprimanding the emperor.
Thanks to the maxed out MND stat, calmness comes back to me as if a switch was turned.
I should feel thankful for this convenient body, but it makes me feel weird at myself somehow.
"If I must take their life anyway, giving meaning to their death is--"
"Forget about it. I don't want to break my promise."
I interrupted the emperor and unilaterally told him.
I've promised that I [won't do destructive acts] in exchange for the information after all.
"--Finding someone who can think logically is harder than searching for a star fragment in a dessert."
The emperor lamented something, so I turn at tactician Touya.
I still have something I need to ask him.
"I've heard from the crown prince. The way to oppose the gods is 『something that anyone knows, therefore no one arrives at the answer』--."
"That guy is talkative, contrary to my expectation."
Tactician Touya sighed at my question.
"You've seen the rocket in development at Brains haven't you?"
"The answer is space."
--Huh? That's surprisingly normal.
"The known range of the Gods of this world is from the ground to the low orbit at most. If we just build facilities that inherit the scientific technology on the back of the moon, those guys can't do anything about it."
I see--I don't think it's that simple, but it fits with the things the emperor asked me.
For an instant, really only an instant, the emperor's expression twitched.
I'm not saying that what these two talked about are all lies, but it seems there's more to it.
I probably won't get an answer asking them here anyway, so I'll keep it in the corner of my mind for now.
"Touya, the 『Philoshoper's Stone』 and the 『Dark Crystal』 that you want are finally available in sight."
"Excellent. Now we don't need to search for the undersea city in the souther sea whose existence itself is doubtful."
The emperor and tactician Touya had that conversation while I was pondering.
Apparently, the thing they were looking for in Nenerie the undersea city was not the floating engine in the central part of the city, but the Darkness Crystal which should be used in the core of the floating engine.
"So, when are they going to be available?"
"That's up to him."
The emperor jerked his chin at me.
"I'll give them to you now."
I took out a 『Piloshoper's Stone』 and a 『Darkness Crystal』 from my storage and handed them over to Touya.
"As expected of Hero. Infinite Inventory has no limit so you can carry your item at all time."
Tactician Touya muttered enviously.
According to Arisa, it seems there are some reincarnated people who have Infinite Inventory, but I've yet to meet one.
The emperor nods satisfyingly and then he calls the masked people with a bell in his hand.
"Kuro. I will fulfill my promise. You can read the slates in the storage of the Record of The Sage all you want, however you are not allowed to take them away."
After saying that, the emperor called a masked person with graceful body line.
I can't see her look but according to AR reading, she seems to be a 120cm tall female spriggan.
"Looking for tens of hundred millions slates without a guide will be painful. Follow this librarian. Use her as you like."
After thanking the emperor, I follow the librarian to the slate storage.
Tactician Touya has already returned to the surface, the emperor is riding the elevator back to the audience hall.
When the librarian touched the door of the slate storage, it lit up and I could hear the sound of a key opening.
"This place is the Infinite Bookshelves."
"I can see that it's a kind of spacial expansion.... This is amazing."
I saw bookshelves that extended everywhere without limit the moment I entered the slate storage.
"Lead me to the oldest slates."
"Yes, please over here. Please do not be separated from me. People who do not wear this mask won't be able to leave once they get lost here."
The librarian told me threateningly.
I can easily get out here whenever with Unit Arrangement, but coming back here would be troublesome so I'll make sure not to get separated.
We've just walked for a few steps but I already can't see the door behind and the bookshelves around us have changed to ones that look quite old.
The fantasy sensation is quite nice.
"These are the oldest slates from approximately 20000 years ago."
Each slate only has around 128 words, but reading all of the hundreds millions slates normally would take too much time.
Guess I'll have to use my trump card here.
"I'll be reading them using a special kind of method. Make sure not to get surprised."
"Special? Please do not damage the slates--"
"Of course, I promise you that there won't even be a chip on them."
I interrupted the librarian, extended [Magic Hands] to pick around 100 slates and put them into my Storage.
The slates reappeared faster than the librarian could finish her surprise.
Of course at their original locations.
The contents of the slates stowed in the Storage are saved as picture data.
I originally wanted to use the advanced magic [Copy Storage] used to preserve old books.
Pasting them into paper would take time, but it can be done in an instant if it's into image files.
"Let's steadily go at it."
I urge the librarian and copy the slates one after another.
I wanted to quicken the pace, but copying 1000 of them at the same time was my limit so I used the Parallel Thinking skill to read the saved contents while continuing copying more.
According to the records on the slates, floating castles like the Shadow Castle in the eastern Rumooku Kingdom that were in active service 20000 years ago were the oldest.
The record began when the troll demon lord was defeated by the Dog Head Ancient King and sealed in this burial mound.
"--These are all just troll demon lord's grumbles."
For 100 years after he had been sealed, many of the records were of the troll demon lord bad mouthing Dog-head.
The next most numerous ones were complaints about the Gods and an ancient magic empire.
If the troll demon lord is to be believed, it seems the ancient magic empire at that time got the support of the God blessing and cruelly and tyrannically oppressed the vassal kingdoms on the ground.
Dog-head and troll demon lord raised a revolt against the gods for the sake of liberating the kingdoms on the ground from the ancient magic empire's rule.
However, Dog-head gradually went on rampages and started destroying the kingdoms on the ground which should have been the ones he was intending to save so the troll demon lord became hostile at the Dog-head but he was defeated and got sealed away.
There's also a record about the Dog-head and his manservant getting defeated by the gods and god apostles soon after.
Though it seems Dog-head had been reviving himself every hundreds to a thousand year using Selbira's Labyrinth as the seedbed.
Most of the demon lords stopped reviving once they revived themselves a few times, but the Dog-head was especially obstinate and continued to revive himself.
Every time that happened, ancient dragons and heavenly dragons who were easily provoked had a revenge match against the Dog-head and got themselves beaten, and then the Gods entreated the Dragon God to defeat the Dog-head.
Looking at the records, it seems there was only a few which got sealed like the troll demon lord.
Surprisingly enough, the most dangerous one, the Demon God was sealed by the Gods.
It seems the Demon God is sealed in the moon, though the source of the information is [Oracle Miko] so I don't know if I should really believe it.
Looks like the Demon God was sealed when it was exhausted from its fight against the Dragon God.
If this is all true, then while being sealed the Demon God might be--no, it's not like I have a proof that the Demon God knows about that.
Let's stop putting guesses on top of guesses.
I see that the weasel emperor spoke the truth, at least from the records I've read so far.
However, I couldn't really find any proof about how reincarnated and transported people aren't able to defy the Gods.
Indeed, there were records of some baffling behaviors like a hero who didn't act like a hero at all ending up losing his blessing and got killed by a demon lord, or a hero who suddenly assassinated a demon lord the moment he reconciled with that demon lord.
There were also cases where a demon lord who was reigning its kingdom in peace suddenly destroyed the kingdom with its own hand, and a reincarnated person who was allying himself with a hero killed the hero during the triumphal return from their demon lord subjugation, but I think those aren't enough to insist that they were manipulated by the Gods.
There were several records of reincarnated people and heroes challenging the Gods and the god's apostles, but none was victorious.
Some demon lords defeated the god's apostles, but none was able to gain victory against the Gods. Even that Dog-head was only able to end it in a draw in several occasions.
I think tactician Touya and his cohorts found the way to win against the Gods from these cases, but I couldn't understand how.
The only way to overcome Gods that I can think of is by having them fight against another God.
The only successful example of threatening the Gods was Corpse.
Other than him, every one who did was destroyed.
"--This one is finally at 600 years ago huh. Just a bit more."
I turned at the librarian who had been quiet since a while ago, she was sinking on the floor while looking like her soul had escaped her mouth.
I check the clock on the menu in a glance.
Yup, I got way too absorbed.
It's just a little bit more, I want to read all of them before going back, but she's already at her limit.
I'll go ask for another librarian.
I carry the girl and [Teleport] to the entrance with space magic.
One question appeared in my mind while I was opening the door.
--If their aim is to build a base in space, then what are they keeping the nuclear weapon for?
Judging from the documented slates, I don't think physical attacks work on Gods.
Right at that time, the ringtone from the space magic [World Phone] rang in my mind.
『Master, is it alright to call you now?』
『Yea, no problem. Is there any trouble?』
Arisa hesitated at my question.
Looking at everyone's condition on the marker column, it doesn't seem to be a life-threatening trouble.
『No, well rather than trouble, it's』
Quite an indecisive attitude for Arisa.
『W-wait, Nana. I said you can't, this isn't Tactic Talk, so your voice won't reach. 』
Looks like something is happening with Nana.
While still being connected to Arisa's call, I connect a call to Nana with [Telephone].
『Master! Affair is wrong so I tell! The only one who is allowed to call Master, Master, is me--calling familiarly is prohibited so I tell.』
<TLN: Nana calls Satou 'Masuta' for Master in Japanese. Others call him 'Goshujinsama' also for Master.>
It became even more incomprehensible.
It seems Nana is talking with someone over there.
I'd better go back to the solitary island palace for now.
Family crisis over world crisis.
I open the menu and glide my finger to the Unit Arrangement.
『Ugeeh, you serious!』
Dangerous words came from Arisa.
--I can't delay anymore.
I return to the solitary island palace with Unit Arrangement.
A little girl with snow-like white long straight hair jumped at me.
Err, who are you?
I couldn't issue that question at the girl who looked like a kitten who had found her mother.
I glanced at Arisa for help.