My attack stat… – V10 Chap 323 – A Plan from Ancient Times (1)

“Waves in the south and east districts, all clear! Two hovering behind the building on your right, Claude!”

Katalina’s voice directed the flow of battle as we continued to take down the flying golems. Turning the corner, a beam of energy crashed into me, but I was ready for it. Putting my abundant reservoir of mana into the barrier around my body, it felt like nothing more than a jet of water from a hose. It couldn’t stop me from making my next move.

“Soul Rending Slash!”

The energy from my knife collided with the beam, splitting it down the middle before extinguishing it. By the time the golem reacted to its canceled attack, I was two steps before it. A swing of the blade bisected the golem in two, the halves falling lifelessly to the ground.

A set of arms came forward to attack me, but my knife curved around and sliced them clean off, adding a quick kick for good measure. The golem froze, looking down at the torso where I just hit. And then, cracks spiraled around the impact, spreading outward until its body no longer could keep itself together. It crumbled and fell to the ground.

“What about the north? How are they faring?” I asked Katalina, not needing to stop for a rest.

“12 in their district but dropping quickly.”

Several waves had already arrived and been slain. According to Rika, they were not only coming from this set of ruins, but from other sites as well, hence the lag time between waves. I had taken down tens of them myself already, and likely, the others had done so as well. Yet, the alarms still rang across the city, signaling that our enemies were not ready to give up.

Even if they kept coming, I wouldn’t have any trouble. My mana and life reserves regenerated faster than they were reduced, so these golems were nothing more than mobs.

However, the sinking feeling in my stomach never left.

‘But what about the others?’

Unlike mine, their energy wasn’t unlimited. They could only take so many hits and use so much mana before they became spent. I was only tethered to Eryn, who I could continue to loan out as much mana as needed for her spells.

“If only I could have made an entire Sentai team like the twins…”

Even though I could supply energy for power suits through Resonance Stones, there was no guarantee that I had enough to supply all the Electi and Masters present. They burned through mana at a far greater pace than normal people. Still, it would have put my mind at ease if we had that trump card.

The dread of that bleak future felt closer and closer as the battle wore on, my heart leaping at possibilities as to what might do us all in. I clicked my tongue in annoyance.

“There better not be something stupid like 9999 waves of this bullshit! The Gods better not be trolling us like that one mecha VN game!”

My limitless reservoir would leave me the last man standing, purely because of impossible numbers. I would rather some super boss come out and test our worth instead. Combining our strengths together against one goal to divert any possible destruction was a better way to go.

But then, the alarms all stopped just as Katalina confirmed that the wave in the northern district was defeated. It was so sudden that it made me even more skeptical.

Minutes passed by as we trotted back towards the terminal, and yet, no other signs of attacks popped up again. I felt a hand on my shoulder.

“Glad it wasn’t the scenario that had you spooked, right?” Eryn comforted me, seeing the disbelief on my face.

Everyone had been expecting it too. After I told them about my dream, the fact that we were all gathered here meant that there was a high possibility of this moment being that time. But rather than shying away to keep it from possibly triggering, they had decided to face it together.

No matter what ruined landscape was next to explore, we would do it together. It wouldn’t not happen just because one of us decided to skip out.

Meeting back up at the terminal, there was a collective sigh of relief that we had done our jobs protecting this place. Saki, in particular, looked a lot better. Likely, beating back the golems so easily showed how far she had come since that time in the past. But she had far more help than just Rika. An entire circle of friends as strong as her pitched in to claim victory.

With the danger over, our attention turned back to the thing that caused the alarms in the first place – the file called ‘Operation Godfall’. Displaying it had opened a can of worms, so our guards were up as Katalina went to display it.

Immediately, screens of text popped up all over. Diagrams of the Electi showed up, each depicted with a white glow that emitted from their bodies.

“That is our Ascended forms, is it not?” Wen Lu commented.

No one could deny that it wasn’t the case. Every one of us had reached an Ascended state. Even Cornelius, who had somehow been summoned with it unlocked to begin with. This was the first instance of any record of it.

“Aw mannnnn. You mean that we didn’t just morph into these states out of our own will?”

“It seems not, Wen Zhi. Even in Sanshiro’s several hundred-year long history, there are no recorded events of this. But that is not to say that it didn’t exist before that. Merely, our ancestors had no way to pass it on.” Kaguya had a melancholic look on her face. “Not even the divine will shares everything to the oracles, not when it is not ours to know.”

“For it to be the same name as that dubious ritual that Lamps Magellan used. He must have accessed these records somehow without setting off the alarm,” I added, wondering if that was why it tripped the defenses. Having the power to call upon the Gods seemed like a dangerous ability.

“He didn’t need to. The terminal in Bryansk held some research notes that happened to contain the term ‘Godfall’.” Katalina brought out her own device, revealing that she had copied over the important documents from the other terminal. “But if we look at these notes and compare, the ones that Lamps had access to feels more incomplete.”

Certainly, the volume of documents that Katalina brought out from her device paled in comparison to what was held in the Tokyo terminal. Still, it was amazing that Lamps had managed to figure out enough to actually call down the God of Mana into his own body.

With so much data to filter through, it would likely take us some time to figure out what the purpose of this ‘Operation Godfall’ was. But Katalina looked over to the broken robot girl off to the side with a cocked eyebrow.

“You wouldn’t happen to be able to save us the trouble, now would you?”

Rika shook her head.

“I was never given more than what was needed to complete my duty. Even the notification of Saki’s harvest was not revealed to me before it was time to do so. If I could help at all, then I would at this point.”

But then, Lady Kaguya stepped forward.

“I have seen… dreams of such things. Man mingling with the divine beings. Becoming their representatives, their champions. Whispers of ancient times where great battles were fought with the aid of higher powers.”

Lady Kaguya went up to one of the Electi models, energy flooding into them and bursting white like they powered up.

“But this… this feeling is completely different. Artificial… Forced… But why? When divine power is wielded all the same?”

More questions than answers popped up in our minds. This was far above most of our heads. Moments of silence passed by until Katalina grabbed one of the screens and brought it before us, seeming to have found something. We all crowded around, hoping that it would shed some light.

“The power of man isn’t enough to overcome that which we face. The lands outside lay fallow. The plague spreads to all but sites blessed by the divine. We cannot escape, but rather, we cling to the gods for help. And yet, they do not respond. Even their Apostles can do naught but flaunt unneeded power.

“We are trapped. Forever. Unless we take things into our own hands. Gods in the Divine Realm, we need your power. And if you do not provide, then we will come for you. Until you listen.”

Katalina looked up at us, reading the text that was recorded on the screen.

“This was a journal entry from a researcher named Sentaro Fujisaki, unknown date.”

“Journal entry? Weren’t all the people here besides the Electi artificial?” I asked, confused.

Rika chimed in at that point.

“Incorrect. There were once humans who lived upon this site, taking shelter from what they referred to as ‘the plague’. This is a phenomenon where the lands outside of these boundaries became devoid of any life, thus trapping them in isolation. But humans were wiped out not long after.”

“By… what?” All of us but Cornelius were afraid to ask

“Unknown. The city thus remained in operation, if only by the aid of artificial beings. Civilization had to continue regardless. The birth and care of Apostles had to continue regardless.”

We scoured through the other records. Sure enough, we found more journal entries by other people who lived here long ago. Details of a bleak future, full of desperation, dotted the writings. People poured everything into finding some breakthrough that would let them leave the city, that would save the world from decaying.

Yet, the countries that we lived in – Sistina, Sanshiro, and Macali – its people knew nothing about this ‘plague’. The Forbidden Lands where no one ventured to, were avoided for good reason. Thus, no one bothered to learn more about them. Ignorance grew over the long period of isolation.

Yet, there was a good example of a place where such an occurrence was slowly developing – Purnesia. The lands there were devoid of mana. We had believed that it was simply unlucky. But if the rest of the world, much larger than we knew of, had lost its mana, then Purnesia was a clear indication of what was next to come.

Whether it would take years or generations, there was no doubt that it would continue to spread. And our homes would eventually be hit by it. That was the conclusion we came to as we studied these records.

“We have to do something about this, don’t we? Koujiro said to Liruru. Macali was a land rich in mana. With how much they relied on it, their country would shut down if the source ever faded.

“All of us coming together. There has to be some meaning to this. For the sake of our futures, we have to come up with a way to reverse it.” I looked to Katalina, who had the same gaze of determination within her. The spirits of the researchers of the past begged her to continue their progress.

“If the gods have led us to this place, then there must be no other way. You will have my full support,” Lady Kaguya added. “But the question is, just what does this research have to do with saving the world? How would bringing about ‘Godfall’ achieve any hope of reversing this curse?”

Katalina parsed through the screens as they swirled around her, having copied the data into her device. Like magic, circles of light dotted upon them like they were being tagged for content. After a while, she looked at us, a realization dawning upon her.

“I have the answer… but it may not be one that you like….”

We shot her a look silently to continue, ready for anything.

“Operation Godfall’s goal was to bring down all the gods at once, to force them into avatars and exploit their power to fill the lands with divine energy.”

My attack stat… – V10 Chap 322 - Terminal Defense (2)
My attack stat… – V10 Chap 324 - A Plan from Ancient Times (2)