17-7. Reason Behind the Taboo
Satou here. There's usually a reason behind banned stuff. The problem is when a ban remains even after the reason for that ban has been renounced. Like irrational regulations in middle schools.
"Ceremony of Oracle shall now begin."
As God Heraruon finished making that declaration, silver lights converged between me and the gods, and then a complex frail-looking structure that seemed to be an old man showed up there.
An orange colored light, similar to that of God Heraruon, is shining in the core of said structure.
"By will of my great master, this Laluloluliluheaph shall preside over this ceremony. O human who has passed God's Trials, you have been given permission to profess your wish now."
Even though these gods are right in front of me, apparently the Old Structure will act as a messenger to convey my words to them.
These gods aren't much different than those in higher positions like nobles.
"Insolent fool. I see that you wish to have your soul be erased here!"
The Old Structure sent out scolding words along with a scathing heatwave at me.
A torrent of raging flame swallowed my astral body whole. I don't feel any pain, but it's blinding and tingling.
Words in this world, particularly those with strong emotions appear to carry physical--or rather, astral shock wave or raging flames with them.
My thoughts would leak out if I let my mind wandered off during the God Mingles when I was taking on the God's Trials back then, I've gotta be careful here.
"Please pardon me."
"Unscathed after getting a direct hit of my divine punishment?!"
That was a divine punishment huh.
Guess this Old Structure is a familiar of god?
"Laluloluliluheaph, we're going in circle, just leave it at that."
God Tenion shut the Old Structure out.
Gods' words are apparently absolute, the Old Structure turns toward me again without looking disgruntled in the least.
"--Profess your wish."
The Old Structure said haughtily.
I don't really get their gestures, but there's no doubt he's holding his head up high while looking down on me right now.
"I wish to know the reasons behind the taboo that resulted in divine punishments being handed down unto ancient Genma Empire and Weasel Empire."
I ask the main reason I came here.
By the way, Genma Empire was the name of a country that King Mummy, Corpse of the Labyrinth's lower layer once ruled over.
The Old Structure translates my words and conveys them to the gods.
"It is not a matter men ought to be privy of."
God Heraruon brushed it off in one sentence.
The Old Structure's translation was way too long so I ignored him.
"In other words, you would not tell me the reason for the taboo?"
Like I'd let him end it with that one sentence after I went the trouble of clearing all those annoying trials.
"You've got an objection to God's Decisions?!"
God Zaikuon roared while scattering psychedelic yellow lights around.
The nymphs who seem to be his familiars are frantically trying to soothe and stop him from jumping out of the spot where the gods sit.
"Oh isn't it fine to tell him."
God Tenion whispered as her green aura fashioned like a hagoromo of a celestial maiden blinked.
"He has passed our trials for this occasion after all, I think it's fair to tell him that much, is it not?"
God Tenion advocated for me while facing the dissatisfied looking God Zaikuon.
"Granting one wish we can grant to those who have passed our trials. That's what we have agreed upon. We ought to upkeep the agreement. Karion said so as well."
"I didn't. But I'm in agreement with what Urion said."
God Urion and God Karion advocated for me as well.
"See, Karion said so as well."
"No. Urion, you should learn about chronological orders."
These two gods sure get along well.
"--It cannot be helped."
God Heraruon reluctantly gave his approval, and then he turns toward God Garleon and God Parion who have been keeping silent while ignoring the shocked god Zaikuon.
"Garleon, Parion, any objection?"
"Do as you like."
God Garleon gave his agreement displeasedly, while God Parion made a gesture like she was nodding lightly in silent.
After confirming that, God Heraruon turned toward me.
"It is for the sake of world peace."
--That's it? That's the reason?
What a shitty explanation!!
"You insolent fool!!!"
The Old Structure shot out a tsunami of crimson flame along with reprimanding words at me.
Whoops. I had reflexively let loose of my mind's shackles since his reply was just too much.
God Parion who had been keeping silent appeared to find the flow of events funny, she burst into laughter with a small, small voice. I'm not sure about these gods' expressions, but she has this cuteness like that of a small animal.
"Parion just laughed."
"Parion's smiles really are the best."
"It's been awhile since I last saw Parion smiling. Karion should laugh together with her."
"I won't. That sounds a bit fun, but I won't laugh just because Urion told me to."
The other gods were surprised to see Parion laughing as well.
"In honor of Parion, I shall forgive your discourtesy."
Once the gods calmed down, God Heraruon forgave my gaffe.
"Be grateful for the vastness of God Heraruon's mercy."
But I can't let this over yet, I should press them a bit more.
"I understand that the reason behind the taboo is for world peace, but as someone unenlightened, I am unable to connect the dots that lead to those. Could you please tell me what those dots are?"
I can't even start with negotiations if I don't at least get that part, and I have no idea how lenient or strict the taboo is.
"Truly indeed. What fools humans are. Asking for answers without even attempting to find out themselves. Trying to grope out the depth of god's generosity, their impudence truly knows no bound."
The Old Structure followed after God Heraruon's disparagement.
I ignore him since he's starting a rally about the ugliness of humans or something.
"Can I go back now?"
"No. You too Heraruon, you should stop dodging the question by throwing unnecessary abuses. Tenion, we leave the rest to you."
God Karion who had gotten tired of the grumbling fluttered as she tried to leave the place, but God Urion stopped her.
"--Me? Is that fine with you, Heraruon?"
God Tenion asked for God Heraruon's approval even while seemingly startled by God Urion's irresponsible remark.
"Very well. Enlighten that fool."
God Heraruon gave his generous permission.
God Tenion's [Is that fine] was for [Is that fine to tell him], it appears.
Looking at the course of events, God Heraruon seems to be soft against God Tenion and God Parion.
"You sure Heraruon?!"
God Garleon unpleasantly slapped the roaring God Zaikuon with words.
Like, he literally slapped using words as God Zaikuon's body shook.
"I never asked you!"
"Who would. Why don't you understand that's precisely why everyone is making a fool out of you."
Since words carry effects with these gods, I'm not sure if they're quarreling or just having an argument.
"Shut up? Won't you two."
Rebuked by God Karion who kept her own pace, God Zaikuon and God Garleon fell silent awkwardly.
"Satou of man, I shall answer your question."
After surveying the surroundings once, God Tenion began talking after her hagoromo-like aura changed shapes.
That may be the gesture signifying her fixing her sitting posture and clearing her throat.
"If you humans 『Science』 civilization sees a progress, people's faiths will see a degradation."
God Tenion's calmly narrates.
I could only nod at this since earth has similar history.
"And if faiths were to lessen, the barrier that protects the world shall be weakened as well."
"What kind of science would lessen faiths?"
Some terms intrigued me, but since this was my chance to get to the point, I asked her about the exact sciences that would violate the taboo.
"Generally speaking, it would be the likes of constant personal and immediate means of communication between individuals, mass transports, mass manufactures through industrializations, and mass consumptions, I think?"
Just as I expected--no wait, it's a bit different.
It may have been included already in one of the stuff God Tenion mentioned last, but I should ask just in case.
"Is there no prohibition on printing technology?"
"Yes, we did not prohibit it."
God Tenion said it clearly.
Then why hasn't printing spread through all over the world?
"Is that all you want to ask?"
"No, I have one more question."
I pressed on like the protagonist of a long-lasting police drama.
"I forgot to ask before, you said [World Peace] would be in danger if the barrier got weakened, what is this thing that endangers [World Peace]?"
This is the thing that intrigued me earlier.
God Tenion peered at God Heraruon instead of promptly answering my question.
The number of halo rings and intensity of lights on God Heraruon's back increased.
Looks like he's going to give me the answer in God Tenion's place.
"It's the Outsiders."
You mean like Outer Gods?
A sanity check-required horror mythology crossed my mind.
"The Unending, Invaders from a Foreign World, World-Eroding Monsters."
God Karion told me several aliases as I muttered.
Guess they're like otherworld invaders?
"You don't get it?"
"It is outside comprehension of mere humans after all."
God Heraruon disparaged me followed by God Garleon when I fell silent to think it through.
"Is it the same as parasitic bizarre creatures that live off the World Tree?"
The jellyfish are ordinary stuff, but the squids and the asteroid-scale black octopuses that predate on them are quite a menace.
Hence I asked but--Oh?
The outer structures of the gods stir about, their fractal patterns have stopped changing.
--Huh? I got it right?
"...Those are the tips of the tips, they are but mere shadows. If we suppose 『Outsiders』 as dragons, then those parasitic jellyfish are nothing more than skink lizards at most."
God Garleon affirmed my question using an analogy.
"Would you lift off the ban on scientific development if I were to eradicate those 『Outsiders』?"
It's a piece of cake if that's all I need to do.
"Don't get cocky, you human!"
God Heraruon and God Zaikuon disparaged me.
"Those creatures are mighty. They posses size as vast as the ground you live on along with dreadful speed. No weapons or magic you mere humans possess work on them."
Yup, the jellyfish ones managed to dodge my attacks, and the octopus ones regenerated themselves when they were damaged and even absorbed my magic.
"I understand however--"
"You don't. Fool."
I got unexpectedly disparaged by god Karion.
"It's just as Karion said. Demon God said the same thing once, went to challenge them and came back in a mess. The world faced a light crisis back then. You must not act recklessly."
God Urion deciphered God Karion's expletive.
Unexpectedly enough, the demon god who seem to be an upgraded version of me was no match for those Outsiders.
Apparently there's a lot more of those creatures more powerful than the Black Octopus lurking in the depth.
"After all, those things get more powerful the more you attack them. If your attacks work on them today, tomorrow they will posses a different ability. Getting rid only a few would only prolong the battle forever."
Looks like those things excel in self-evolution.
They're the bothersome type where if you don't beat the entirely of them, they will keep getting stronger endlessly.
I guess that's why?
The gods won't touch the parasitic jellyfish living off World Trees needed to circulate mana in the entire world, it's to prevent them from learning gods' powers.
I've beaten those jellyfish twice and did not see any change in their ability though?
I don't believe they're evolving instantaneously anyway, I should prepare weapons or spell arts powerful enough to eradicate those bizarre creatures all at once.
"Satou of man. Your eyes tell me that you have not given up, have you?"
God Tenion completely saw through me.
"I will tell you an old tale."
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
The world began to be filled with living creatures 100 million years ago.
People were thriving in a prosperous world incomparable to that of present.
(I listen carefully to God Tenion's words.)
Have you ever tried tracing back human history?
Have you ever seen history from before 30,000 years ago?
(History only traced back to Lalakie Dynasty 30,000 years ago at most.)
It's only natural that you don't.
As the world had been destroyed once before that.
There were problem children that found excitement in challenging the [Outsiders] who came from a foreign world. The Dragon God and dragons.
(Ah, I can just picture the images in my head.)
Dragon God destroyed the ringleader of Outsiders and returned.
Then it fell into a deep, deep slumber at the [Dragon's Valley] to heal the wounds it suffered in the battle.
However, [Outsiders] had not perished.
A new ringleader made its entrance, seized the powers of dragons, and even more gigantic [Outsiders] came raiding.
They easily pierced through the barrier we Gods put up and infringed upon the land.
Were Heraruon who had realized our disadvantage did not instruct Karion and Parion to shelter World Trees in the Realm of Gods, we would have abandoned this world and departed to another world.
The Dragon God woke up and exterminated [Outsiders] that had polluted the world down to the last one.
However, only the dragons and a group of Mythical Beasts remained on the ground by the time it was over.
(I see, the Dragon God unleashed about as much or even more destructions than the [Outsiders].)
With our divinity, we covered the whole world with a barrier, a cocoon that makes it invisible to the [Outsiders]. To prevent that tragedy to befall on the world once again.
Those [Outsiders] are still spreading out their fingers over a vast area, seeking a rich land to be sacrificed.
If our powers were to weaken, their fingers would slip through the cracks of the weakened barrier.
(God Tenion must be using fingers to express the parasitic jellyfish preying upon the World Trees.)
This is the truth of the world.
The reason we hand out grave punishments to those who cannot protect the taboo, for the sake of the world peace.
"Human, go back at once."
"Human, refrain from acting out."
After listening to God Tenion's old tale, I was carried to the God Ark by God Urion's and God Tenion's familiars, the nymphs, and was forced out of this place.
I asked the gods about a way to ascend to godhood before I left the place, but that seemed to have been a bad move.
The gods including God Karion and Urion disparaged me and even God Tenion felt like she was rebuking me for being conceited.
God Parion was the only one who didn't say anything, but the gaze she was giving like she was looking at a problem child was a bit painful.
Due to that, I missed the chance to ask them about the [Demon God's Seal] and the Purple Mounds.
I probably have more shots at this later, gotta carefully select the questions next time.
"Satou of human!"
High elf Sillmufuze-san was waiting for me at the waters of Realm of Gods.
She seems panicked somehow.
"This is bad, Satou of human! The body you should get back into has disappeared!"
Sillmufuze-san approached rapidly like she was about to bump on me.
"It's my fault as a guide. I should have been more careful when the nymphs who hate lower world asked me to show them the way to the 『World of Rift』."
Not sure which god they belong to, but it seems there's a god who's trying to take my body hostage.
The mysterious little girl's advices were for this situation.
"You cannot return to the lower world with just your soul. As such--"
Sillmufuze-san is looking at me sorrowfully.
"I will give up my body to you to make up for it."
"Although the fact that it's a different gender and race may be an inconvenient, you'll be young forever, and you'll have a plenty of mana."
"I understand. I'm fully aware that it's not a substitute for your original body. But this is the least I could do."
I'm amazed by the fact that you can swap bodies, but there's no need for that.
If it were a male body, I would gladly take up the offer since I could marry Aze-san then, but saying that here would make things messy so I refrain myself.
"I see, so you're fine with my body!"
Sillmufuze-san went and said something that could lead to a huge misunderstanding.
"Not that. There's no need to take your body."
"I'm saying that my body has not actually disappeared, you see."
We went down the light waterfall and headed to the place we left our bodies.
I wanted to test out many things on my way back, but she'd surely get super mad if I did that in this situation.
I touch the bed where my body was with my astral hand and took my body out of Storage.
"Your body showed up!"
Sillmufuze clapped her hands in delight.
Sillmufuze-san looked a bit displeased when I told her that I was hiding my body just in case, but she quickly cheered up since that act ended up keeping my body safe from pranks.
We got back to our bodies and treaded on the path back.
Arisa's familiar link reached me.
She sounds really worked up somewhat.
『Bad news! The purple mounds--』
Those things ended up being a source of trouble after all.
Good thing it's just right as I got back from the Realm of Gods.
※ Next update is planned for 3/24