※We're going back a bit in time.
『Looks like I got caught in God Zaikuon's trap for a bit.』
That's not a bit!
I threw a quip in my mind when I heard Master through Familiar Link.
『Okay, we really should be going there.』
『It's fine. I'm not into getting caught in the same trap twice.』
Familiar Link got called off while we were still conversing.
『Ah hey! Master! I'm not done talking to you yet, Master!』
I kept shouting, but there was no sound at all coming from Master.
Even though Familiar Link hasn't been severed, it's as if my words are getting blocked by some sort of thin film.
"Did something happen to Satou?"
Mia and Mito are looking at me with worried expressions.
Right after Master called Aze-tan's name and teleported away, I went and brought Mia with me back to the capital's mansion and joined with Mito who had gone back ahead of us.
Since Liza-san and the girls have gone to a sub-space created specifically for training by Master's Unique Skill, I asked Nana to go fetch them through Solitary Island Palace. She's probably about to join up with them now.
"Master is currently fighting God Zaikuon. He declined when I suggested us going there to help though."
Geez, he's just way too overprotective.
"Even after reaching level 99, I guess we still look like children prone to danger from Satou's point of view."
"You tell me, wish he would rely on us more."
I sigh together with Mia and Mito.
Well, guess there's no helping it since that's just how Master is.
"Arisa, how about Aze?"
"Master didn't mention anything about Aze-tan, but considering he sounded like his usual self, I believe think she didn't have any major injury or something."
I narrated my conjecture based on Master's voice to Mia who was worrying about Aze-tan.
I nodded to Mia who sighed in relief and proceeded to the next preparation.
We moved to Duchess Mito Mitsukuni's mansion and transported out a large airship out of the space created from space magic [Garage] to the mansion's huge yard.
Even though I don't believe the neighboring mansions could see here since the duchess mansion is surrounded by thick hedge-like outer walls, I've put up [Camouflage Field] just in case.
Apparently Master developed this airship as a light aircraft carrier to launch Liza-san and the girls in their Powered Exoskeleton suits with catapults.
I've been pestering Master to make it so my and Mia's Wand Warships, Lulu's Gunboat and Nana's Shield Ship can combine into one, but I'm yet to succeed getting his approval even now.
Wish Master would see the romance in these combinations.
"Arisa, what are you gonna do taking out this big thing here?"
"This is the only ship fitted with an access point to the man-made satellites, you see."
I concisely answered Mito's question.
I'm sure the satellites launched to monitor jellyfish for the elves can also be used to survey the ground.
Since the resolution of those satellites telephoto lenses aren't too good, they can't resolve images of people on the ground well, but it should suffice to find big accidents happening on the ground.
Master has given me this ship when I wanted wide-area searching capabilities without relying on him, this is the time to make use of it.
I mean, even Tina-sama's Drone Golems' search areas are limited to a few cities at most.
We need Mia's authentication to access the satellites.
"Let me help with something too."
"Unn, Mito, help me check the monitors please."
I can't possibly check all of those by myself.
A vermilion gale blew past as we were about to board the airship.
"Arisa! What about Master?!"
"Emergency sortie nanodesu!"
"Arisa, requesting status update."
Tama, Pochi, Nana joined a moment later.
As for the silver members, Zena-san came flying first, followed by Karina who leaped down here with the help of Raka's reinforcement, and Tina-sama on board of a flying golem.
"You're all here, everybody. Master is currently locked in a fight against God Zaikuon."
The looks on everyone's face changed.
There are those who are simply surprised, those trembling in excitement before battle, and those anxious but the majority are concerned about Master's safety.
"There's nothing to worry about. Cuz Master is fine, okay."
The anxiety on everyone's faces thinned a bit after I said that.
"The reason why I called everyone here is to look for any accident happening in the world and deal with it accordingly while Master is busy. Please change to your hidden equipment and get ready to sortie out."
Afterward, everyone rushed toward the locker room.
Nana, Liza and the girls were going to change in the courtyard, but they got scolded by Zena-tan and Sera before getting dragged away.
Since Mia and I have already changed, we head to the light aircraft carrier's bridge ahead of them.
"Nowhere to be seen."
I observe the many images shown on the front main panel while asking Mito who had stayed behind at the bridge.
Unluckily for us, there's a lot of areas covered by clouds.
"Oh no, oh no~"
Tama came out of the shadow below me and pointed outside.
Looks like she jumped here in the middle of changing, she hasn't finished wearing her golden armor.
But, I'll postpone straightening her out for later.
Gotta check out outside first.
Mito who peered outside first muttered.
Public Channel is a magic tool by the king to send announcements, usually used for new year's greeting, formal greetings and emergency announcements.
"Three dimensional images in the sky?"
What's shown is a deep dark purple figure.
The face is indistinguishable. It looks like a silhouette--.
"That's the demon god."
It's exactly how Master described demon god is like.
I tried to contact Master through Familiar Link to inform him this, but I still couldn't connect to him.
"What is he trying to do showing up now?"
"No clue here."
I turned on the external mic to pick up external sounds.
『My dear people living in this world. I shall now impart upon you the truth.』
Demon god's voice resounded.
Mito's face is turning pale.
"His voice sounds just like Ichirou-nii's."
"Really? But Master sounds higher pitched and clearer though?"
That shota voice is so precious.
"No, I mean--"
『The Seven Pillar Gods bear no love for you. No, they only see you as mere crops or livestocks.』
Mito's voice got drowned in demon god's speech.
I don't get what's bugging her, but that can't possibly be Master anyway, and we need to prioritize in dealing with demon god's scheme now.
『As a proof allow me to show you the folly of gods.』
A screen appeared next to demon god, showing a figure of person emitting yellow lights and Master in his Nanashi form.
Everyone sighed in relief when they saw Master safe. So do I.
『Let me show you the forbidden power!』
Just as the yellow-light figure screamed, the sky inside the screen darkened. It's a solar eclipse.
I looked up at the sky, there was no eclipse. Looks like the eclipse only occurred in the area where Master is due to god Zaikuon's power.
It's a phenomena that completely turned science on its head, but this isn't the time to give retorts on that.
"Geh, what's that thing?"
Shown on the screen, black sludge fell off the black moon that was hiding the sun, and then got caught inside a golden chalice Zaikuon was carrying.
At this point, I thought, "This video must have been tampered" since the sense of distance was just too weird, but the fact that it was not a live broadcast but an edit compiled by demon god never crossed my mind. I only learned that after reuniting with Master.
『The yellow light persona fighting Hero Nanashi is God Zaikuon. The forbidden power he referred to is a combination of Miasma and Divinity, force of destruction that will destroy this world--a power that the Dragon God and I, Demon God, have sealed in the moon. Me being sealed in the moon is nothing more than a fabrication spread by gods. As a proof, I'm here as you can see for yourself.』
While demon god was saying his pieces, god Zaikuon who was covered in black sludge roared toward the sky.
Yellow lights that seemed to be god Zaikuon's familiars were also covered in black sludge, and knocked master down.
My vision turned white from anger and worry.
『Arisa, let's hurry and go to Master's rescue.』
Zena-tan and Liza-san were panicking and shouted, but Tama and Mia pointed at the fact that Master's clothes weren't torn, indicating his safety.
I see, he was just pretending to have been done in.
I secretly canceled [Over Boost] which I had inadvertently activated.
The screen displayed a city somewhere, then a moment later, black balloons-like things floating in the sky burst open assaulting the city.
The city turned into a mountain of rubble in an instant, gardens, laundries, storefronts and merchandises got turned into dust.
God Zaikuon and his familiars were laughing loudly.
『Gods hand down harsh punishment to those who slight their feelings. Surely you have learned of the destruction of Weasel Empire for violating the gods' taboos. Gods teach not what those taboos are to people and destroy those who violate them with nary an explanation nor leeway. That is how gods do things.』
Images of the destroyed city panned over behind the demon god as he denunciated.
Ruins of people's daily lives and burning broken puppets were shown. It's a cunning direction often used in TV and movies, but I believe it must be immensely effective in this world where the people are not used to media.
"T-that can't be true! Tenion-sama preaches about loves to people!"
Sera, a miko of god Tenion shouted toward demon god.
Priests all over the world probably have done the same.
"I don't see any dead body."
Tina-sama pointed out the fact that there was no dead body on the screen.
"It's only natural cuz Master is there nanodesu!"
Unn, I think so too.
<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.>
『You fools! Stop killing lower people so recklessly!』
We could hear god Zaikuon rebuking his familiars.
『Why, can't we kill 'em?』
『Is it cuz their lives are important?』
『Is it cuz it's bad?』
『What an obvious question! Why would I care about the lives of lower people!』
God Zaikuon made a declaration when asked by his familiars.
『Senselessly killing those unenlightened masses would lessen divinity harvested from them!!』
『So the important thing is just divinity~?』
『Not the lower people's lives?』
『Of course! Those ignorant masses are nothing but tools to produce our divinity!』
『You don't love 'em huh~』
The conversation between god Zaikuon and his familiars echoed in the sky.
"The way they phrased it sounded weird."
"Yes, it's almost like they were inducing God Zaikuon."
Sera nodded to me.
"But it's strange, why would the gods allow this theatrical by demon god?"
It hit me when Mito said that.
She's right, it's weird.
Why did they allow him do this broadcast that would definitely lower people's faith to them.
"Maybe they're preoccupied on something else?"
"It's obviously because the shifty demon god is hiding from gods' eyes!"
She probably had no basis in that, but it's very much possible that demon god is preventing the gods from getting in his way.
『What you heard is how gods truly feel about you. To gods, you are nothing more than objects to harvest faith from.』
The voices in the screen disappeared, replaced by demon god's.
『There must be some among you who are saying, "I don't believe what demon god says", or "It's a false image fabricated by demon god." But try to look back at the annals of history. Was the world at peace before monsters and demons came into existence?』
Demon god made his speech.
『--The answer is nay. The world was full of wars and poverties. All for the sake of gods collecting prayers from people. Falling into despair from profound misery, people's negative emotions turned into miasma that then filled the entire world.』
I'm not sure how much of that is the truth, but I think I've read the first half in books from Lalakie Era Master has.
『The ever increasing miasma violated people, transforming some into grotesque beings. --Demons. I hid those poor souls, and devised a way to collect miasma, so that those tragedies won't repeat. And the living things I managed to complete at the end of my research were monsters. Monsters would gather miasma inside their body, converting it into mana through an organ they posses called magic stone.』
Did he get the idea from some insect-infested rotten forest from somewhere or something?
But the story differs a bit from the one we heard at the Sage Tower back then.
Kind of feels like he's glossing over things to make him look good.
『People would fear the grotesque demons and monsters, and prayed to gods to escape from those fears. Delivering faith, not dissimilar to one caused by war and famine, to gods. Satisfied by prayers they obtained without any labor, gods gave me an order. [Maintain people faith by regularly inflicting fears upon them]. That which came to be the [Seasons of Demon Lords], the very existence of Demon Lords themselves.』
As someone who got turned into a demon lord, I'd like to say, 'Screw that!'
『O people, cast away those false gods. Live your live under the guidance of wise kings without relying on gods. You are not gods' puppets. Now is exactly the time to regain your [Freedom].』
Once demon god was done with his incitement, the screen behind him became active again, showing god Zaikuon and his familiars' voices.
It's kinda looking bad over there.
『Weren't you saying you wouldn't indiscriminately kill people?』
It's Master's voice.
『Now that I have this mighty power in my grasp, slightly fewer places to collect Divinity pose no problem. These humans will multiply on their own left to their own device anyway.』
Looking closer, you can see tattoo-like things on god Zaikuon's body now.
『...I see. That's it. Humans multiply. Then there is no need to hold back. They may not be as enriching as nymphs, but country-wide amount of lives should serve as a nourishment to strengthen me. I shall destroy outside invaders when I get stronger. No need for deceptions nor trickeries. For I am fit to be the Gods' Top Seat. If I just get stronger.... stronger, even stronger, and for that sake the world must--<<PERISH>>』』
God Zaikuon was wrapped in a jet black aura inside the screen.
Doesn't it kinda look like he's falling to the dark side?
The screen turned pure white.
Images reappeared moment later, blinding lights and soul-shaking vibrations infringed upon the lands and the skies far and wide. The earth had been gouged greatly, earth and sand were blown upward forming black bulky clouds.
The dark clouds turned into a whirlpool, fiercely raging winds blew away the rubbles on earth.
--What is that?
It's like dozens, no, hundreds time the power of my Mythology Down.
"So this is a god..."
"It appears that we have misjudged gods' powers."
I nod to Liza and the girls.
Perhaps they dispatched some poor quality avatars to pinch on divinity during the Divine Punishment.
They could unleash such an incredible attack with the divinity they got from Purple Towers huh.
『It appears those merciless gods have decided upon your annihilation. For the sake of saving you from ruins, I will bet all the power I hold and resist those evil gods. Do not pray to the seven pillar gods if you do not wish for ruins. Head to towers if you choose to fight alongside me. I shall bestow you my Divine Protections.』
The footage on the screen changed into demon god's purple shield blocking the mighty attack God Zaikuon unleashed toward a city.
It's 100% an act, or rather it's most definitely a made-up footage, but it must look real to the people of this foreign world.
"Arisa, is master safe?"
"Un, I think he's fine."
At the very least, my Familiar Link is still intact.
"My link to master has been reconnected!"
The film-like thing that was obstructing Familiar Link is gone.
My voice should reach Master now.
『Master, it's terrible! Demon god in the sky!』
I shout toward Master.
Judging from the footage earlier, I don't believe it ever got to Master.
『Got it! Be right there!』
Right just as he said that, Master appeared in front of me.
I have no idea what demon god's real objective is, but it's our victory now.
※ Next update is planned for 7/28
I've got to take a break next week since the manuscript for the published version is nearing its deadline.
<TLN: that's the author's word.>