My attack stat… – V10 Chap 310 – Faith and Science

After being roped into karaoke for the night, Katalina and I spent the remaining day of vacation leisurely combing through the streets of Sanshiro. On the surface, the ambiance of its culture remained the same as when we lived here a while back, but many of the goods that now flourished in the world’s economy were now blending in with the environment.

Even Sanshiro couldn’t bury progress with tradition, but they didn’t need to. This country had its own pride, adapting the techniques of mana enhancement and control with every invention brought forth.

Magic tools easily flowed between the borders, a stark change of opinion from before, when ‘magic’ was thought to be a cop-out discipline when one should train the body instead. Now, arrangements were made for the warriors of Sanshiro and magic knights of Sistina to hold training sessions, each adapting to the unique strengths and weaknesses of each style.

The war with the demons had united the people’s goals and made them see that no one method brought about total and certain victory. Humankind had to progress, and the only way to do that was to discard any misconceptions that were held about each other.

Katalina and I found our walk nostalgic, giving light pokes at each other as we could see the impact that we made on virtually every shiny new thing being used.

Vendors with their compact stands, pulling ingredients and tools out of dimensional space.

Children playing laser tag while doing flips on levi-boards.

Even, holographic screens that allowed for people to play ‘Battleship’, complete with magical pyrotechnics upon sinking an enemy force.

Even outside of Sistina, the declaration of the Age of Miracles trickled to the other nations. People weren’t willing to be left behind, not if they could see what paradise was before them.

And for that reason, I wanted to protect it all.

“So… you don’t mind if we cut our vacation a bit short? Really?” I asked Katalina. We were sitting on a bench at the park, simply enjoying each other’s company.

“Not if it really bothers you. I can tell. You’re anxious about it. And when you worry, it shows. How long have I watched you? It doesn’t take a scientist to formulate a solid guess as to why.”

Katalina brought her hand up and stroked my cheek. I reached up to pet it, turning my head to kiss her palm. Katalina was always patient and caring, so I didn’t want to impose upon her kindness too often. Yet, the dreams continued to bother me.

The night before, it happened again. I was stuck in some apocalyptic scenario, with my friends all slain. Each time I used the divine powers that resided in my core, the scene became more and more clear. And it wasn’t until two nights ago that I saw the horrible conclusion to that dream. There was only a vague sense of worry before, but fear gripped me starting at that moment. I had to know why I was seeing this. Recurring dreams were rarely a coincidence.

We got up and walked to the castle, which sat isolated from the rest of the city, guarded by a moat. The castle guards, seeing familiar faces for the first time in a while, greeted us at the entryway with a warm smile.

“Well, well. What’s the King and Queen of Sistina doing so casually strolling up to our base? I suppose that it’s a friendly visit, given your state of dress. I’m sure the Holy Oracle would love the company.”

“That’s right. Just a little off-duty visit, like old times sake. Though it feels like every time I pay a visit, some kind of trouble eventually follows,” I said in jest. However, there was some truth to my statement, as I had been here for the Thunder Phoenix Clan’s coup, and then, the demon attack.

“As they say, trouble follows the great ones. Best get going now. The public visitation hours will be up if you don’t hurry. We’ll take care of any ‘problems’ that follow.”

Katalina and I walked through the gates and past the courtyard, reminiscing the times we walked through here on normal days. I shivered as I recalled the mapo tofu incident, and Katalina chuckled as she made remarks about training Chrys with magic guns. The evidence of that was long gone, patched over and melted into the cobblestone. But the memories were still fresh.

It was also here where we became lifelong friends with the castle inhabitants. Our willingness to foil a coup and protect the highest seat in the nation cementing our bonds going forward. Our strong alliance was born out of conflict and continued to be forged by such occurrences. My faith grew as we walked down the halls, knowing that whatever happened, we would all face it together.

Finally, the doors to the throne room were before us. Giving a nod to the doormen, one of them slipped inside for a moment before coming back out. The two of them opened the doors wide to grant us an audience.

A dark-haired woman sat elegantly upon her chair, wearing a robe that bore the sun and the moon on either side. Her inviting eyes emitted a gentle aura, not that of a ruler, but one that welcomed one to offer a prayer. Lady Kaguya was the Oracle of Sanshiro after all, with the special gift to call upon the heavens. And that was the very reason I came to her for help.

“Greetings, rulers of Sistina, what brings you before me today?”

Kaguya’s opening statement was more of a formality than anything, as I had already contacted her via communicator prior to this. But nonetheless, we played along.

“I stand before you today, not as a ruler of a domain, but merely a friend with an earnest request. If you could please oblige me with some of your time, I would be most grateful,” I said with a slight bow of the head and an arm crossed over my chest. Katalina followed suit, offering her gratitude as well for the audience.

“Very well, let us dispense with such formalities then.” Kaguya looked at her guards and dismissed them with a wave of her hand. Afterward, she stood up and walked down from her throne to greet us.

“I hear that you have difficulty sleeping at night. The missus keeping you up?” Kaguya teased, once her guards had left the room.

“Ha ha. Do you think that such things will embarrass me anymore?” I replied, the air between us now casual.

“True, especially since you seek the lap of another woman for comfort. Such a naughty man you’ve turned out to be.”

“Oh, don’t worry. He has my permission to indulge in the whims of another, as long as he returns to me with a healthier vigor than otherwise,” Katalina interjected, all smiles.

“A little give and take would do well for a healthy relationship. It’s not good to keep your boys waiting for their turn. Maybe a nice massage would light the fires to tackle both of them? I know just the spot to touch that will keep them at it for hours.”

Kaguya’s face went pink at that. She could distinctly recall the technique I showed off once. Though she thought it would be fun to share affections with the twins at the same time, the idea of a four-hour long session gave her cold feet.

“Now, that’s not fair! The two of you are ganging up on me now with no one here to redirect such teasings!” she said, covering her face with a baggy sleeve. A shift of her gaze suddenly cooled the jovial atmosphere. “Anyways, on to business. I believe that you wish to consult me about your strange dreams?”

“Yeah. Honestly, they’ve been creeping me out. There were times when I had strange dreams, and it seems like they were fragments of some long-lost past. But these seem to involve those that we know, and some dark future or something.”

“And as much as I’ve tried, I’m unable to invent anything that can clearly record these dreams,” Katalina said. “However, analyzing Claude’s body this morning seemed to show remnants of divine power after such an event. I would hypothesize that the Gods and their bestowed powers may have something to do with it.”

“This dream, tell me everything that you recall of it. Perhaps, it is a message from the Gods. They rarely speak to those not attuned to them spiritually. But the fact that you Electi have met with such beings without the aid of my power suggests that the link is strong enough to channel their intent.”

I told Lady Kaguya of the grim world that I stood before, and how the bodies of many others had fallen before me. It seemed like we had waged a fierce battle that left casualties, but against what, I had no idea. The feeling of helplessness that gripped me was unforgettable.

And it seemed like whoever was responsible, it targeted all of the Electi and their Masters. To think that any existence could take us all on and win – that was a chilling possibility. But more than anything, the ‘clear as day’ statement that came down from the heavens made it all seem like a warning.

“Change the world.”

Lady Kaguya went back to her throne, sitting down while pondering the details. After several moments, she spoke, the words from her lips carefully measured.

“How strange… a ruined future. That has always been the end of the prophecy that I spoke to you long ago. Do you recall?”

“Ah… but I thought we had settled everything about it? I mean, the war and the Demon. That should have been the end of it, should it not?” I scratched my head, trying to recall what she once proclaimed.

Katalina pulled out a contraption from her Item Box, hitting a switch on it. Immediately, a holographic screen popped up, with the words from the recorded prophecy appearing.


The fortunate demon, shielded by those foreign of our ways.

The blade of tongue shall cleave the unreachable sun and moon.

Without one or the other, towns will fall, and evils rise.

Together, they shall walk into the flames of disaster, undaunted by catastrophe.

But beware, though their bellies may be fed, the rages of war lie ahead.

Let not your companions be consumed, lest the inner flame drive you to oblivion.

Lost ones – seek the goddess and open thine eyes to truth.

An insurmountable courage is required to overcome the trickster’s will.

But let thy power be constrained, lest He shall awaken.

His grasp envelops the world, its future crumbling into ruins.


Line by line, we compared the text with the events in the past.

The initial meeting and battle with the Sun twins. Chrys and I facing off against the Demon in Engelberg. The war with the Empire and losing Eryn and Cornelius for a time. The ascension of the Electi after overcoming our inner conflicts. And finally, the defeat of the Demon, the vigilante God that had claimed Eryn’s body who was most likely the ‘trickster’.

The events of recent history fell eerily along the lines of the prophecy, and not until I stared at it did it seem strange.

“Has our future been decided already?” I asked with a hint of anxiety, to which Lady Kaguya shook her head.

“I believe that it is more that we heeded this prophecy’s warnings, subconsciously steering the future toward such an outcome. Even without the words memorized, surely, your heart has felt the gravity of this message.”

“But despite this prediction, the God of Life did awaken in Eryn’s body. I ended up fighting and killing it. So shouldn’t that be the end of it? No ruined future without the ‘trickster’, right?”

“But Claude,” Katalina spoke up, “haven’t you been purposefully holding back your divine powers because of these dreams? You said that they pop up whenever you use them. This is just a hypothesis, but what if the last lines don’t involve the trickster, but someone else entirely? In the first place, the text is vague enough that we cannot presume that it has been fulfilled already.”

“Someone else? Like who even…?”

“Another god, perhaps? The ‘He shall awaken’ sound suspicious, like the coming of a great being-”

“It would pain me as the Oracle to suspect the Gods of wishing harm upon our people!” Kaguya shouted with wide eyes, before becoming meek from her outburst with her head down. “I-, I-… do not wish to believe that the faith I have put my entire life into, that my country’s very foundation is built from, was done so under false pretenses….”

“Maybe we’re looking too deep into things. Let’s not have wild assumptions grip us before we can gain some measure of confirmation. Hold our beliefs steadfast and let the science prove otherwise. Right, you two?”

In contrast to Lady Kaguya’s faith in the divine, Katalina held faith in reason. I looked between the two rulers, hoping that their polar differences would see eye to eye. They approached one another, arms outstretched and holding hands with a look of conviction upon their faces.

“I shall do what I can, seeking answers from the Gods.”

“I shall do what I can, using science to pave a path forward.”

They both faced me suddenly.

“Claude, to the chamber!”

“Time to take out my tools!”

I merely blinked at them, feeling ever more like a guinea pig in their pursuit of the truth.

My attack stat… – V10 Chap 309 - Idling with Idols
My attack stat… – V10 Chap 311 - That Nightmare Within a Dream