Another day another release and it’s quite a big one too.
Beware of the spider?
242 – The Devotion of the Fool
The location I have teleported to, is a huge room. The floor is entirely covered with a faint glitter, extending so far out as to cause an optical illusion that the horizon and sky can’t be distinguished. Inside this room that appears to extend infinitely, there is an enormous magic circle filling it that looks like a geometric pattern. And then, nesting amongst that magic circle like threads of a web, are countless small spiders. My clones.
The clones here are hacking the System. Here, in the heart of this world, serving as the management region of the System’s nexus, is the place where the Goddess is sealed away.
At the center of the magic circle, there she is, the Goddess. With half her body missing, the Goddess appears to have merged half-way into the floor of the room. As if chanting a curse, an incessant System message is being recited from her mouth.
『Proficiency requirements met』
『Proficiency requirements met』
『Proficiency requirements met』
She only has one mouth, so that voice is heard overlapping repeatedly. Before my apotheosis, I had heard that voice ad nauseam. I had provisionally called it the “Voice of Heaven”. Since it’s actually the case that it’s the voice of the Goddess, I wasn’t exactly wrong was I.
I approach the Goddess who is continuing to read out the messages with a vacant expression. Then, with my hand shaped like a blade I thrust it into the top remaining half of her body.
The Goddess has a look of anguish on her face. However, I disregard that and move the hand I had thrust in, penetrating the Goddess’s body.
『Error. Unexpected access from outside identified. Proceeding to eliminate. 』
The look of anguish disappeared from the Goddess’s expression, and simultaneously pain spreads through my hand. I ignore it. I pay no attention to the pain, carrying on to begin the hacking.
Minute spasms spread across the Goddess’s body. The Goddess manages the System’s nexus that has taken root in this world. I am directly interfering there, to temporarily intervene with the System.
What I’m intervening with is the effects of the Ruler skill that is about to be activated. Both the activator, and also the target of that skill. For both of them, I start interfering with the root cause known as the System.
The activator it goes without saying, is sensei. The target individual is, Natsume-kun. The skill’s effect is to offer up almost all of the soul’s power to the system, including skills, status values, skill points and so on. However, that effect was not originally something that could be used on others. Sensei is, forcibly changing that to exercise it on others.
When such an absurd thing is done, there is a heavy burden on the skill user. In the first place, to activate this skill is basically almost equivalent to suicide.
Via the system I inhibit the operation of the skill. Natsume-kun’s skills have gone, and his status values have gone down drastically. I don’t give a damn about that. The problem, is on sensei’s side. By forcibly activating the skill, sensei’s own skills are disappearing as a side effect. If that was all then no big deal, but because sensei is protecting Natsume-kun’s soul, sensei’s own soul is now on the brink of collapse.
I ain’t grumbling about something minor here. I somehow reconnect sensei’s collapsing soul, and start to regenerate it. I somehow manage to prevent the collapse. All the same, it’s not like there’s zero damage though.
I breathe again, and pull my hand out from the Goddess’s body. The wound on the Goddess vanishes in an instant, and she begins to mutter the System messages again as if nothing had happened.
Seriously. What a crazy thing to do. If she was unlucky, or rather, if I hadn’t intervened then sensei’s soul would have collapsed and she’d have died. In addition, for the soul to collapse, means that even reincarnation is not possible. Complete death. Really, that was absurd.
Through my clones I check on sensei and the others. Having his skills erased, Natsume-kun is thrown into confusion. Unable to comprehend the situation, Yamada-kun is in a daze. And finally, putting on a brave face with all her might while totally worn out, is sensei who is instructing Natsume-kun.
「This world does not belong to you. I advise you to reflect on this time and to live like a normal person from now on. Because even if you merely gain skills and become stronger, nothing good will come of it…」
Hm? She’s against gaining skills? Why? I don’t understand her doubts, nor her solution. It’s like the feeling of a small bone being stuck in your throat, my mood can’t relax at all. Well, whatever.
Sensei, either way, your actions this time will be in vain. Even if you steal Natsume-kun’s skills, in the end he still won’t change. Natsume-kun isn’t likely to reflect on his actions at all, and furthermore your skill isn’t perfect either. Even if you erase his skills, because you used it for a different purpose than originally intended, the end result is incomplete. In the case of Natsume-kun’s erased skills, for the part of the soul’s power used for those skills, half of that is still remaining in Natsume-kun.
A skill – that is something that shaped the power of the soul into a form that makes it easy to use in practice. As such, the power of the soul that is currently unused is customised by the power of the System into an easily accessible form. In short, so long as the power of the soul remains, it means that it is still possible to acquire another skill. For something easy to understand like skill points, it basically means putting on display the excess amount that can be used.
Natsume-kun has certainly lost his skills. However, he still possesses half the remaining energy from them. Then, it is apparent that his state will change back to how it was. All sensei has done, is to just briefly stop him in his tracks and nothing more. For the crazed Natsume-kun, I don’t think that is going to even stop him at all, let alone something improbable like him reforming himself. Humans, are not such noble creatures.
I look at the Goddess. Sensei for one, the Goddess for another, I wonder why they are trying to devote their lives to such pointless things? Scum will be scum. No matter how far you go they won’t be saved. Why don’t they get that? Also, why are they able to sacrifice themselves in order to try to save that lot? It’s incomprehensible.
Ah, I’m annoyed. What do they think of their own lives? Isn’t desperately struggling to stay alive what living creatures are supposed to be about? But they are doing nothing but going out of their way to waste their own lives. What makes me even angrier is that everyone I approve of does such things.
This is why everything is getting ruined. The Goddess’s devotion, Kuro’s anguish, the Demon King’s determination and sensei’s charity. All of that lumped together just brings ruin. What of the world? I don’t care. If it’s going to be destroyed then go be destroyed already. Rather than everyone I would rather save only those I approve of.
What sensei had activated, was the presentation skill. The result is, as the name suggests. To present the power of the soul that is comprised of one’s own skills to the world. Sensei forcibly made Natsume-kun present his skills and status. The end result, felt like it became half a success and half a failure though.
Skills are formed from the power of the soul. So then, what happens when the power of the soul is suddenly lost? Well, when the power that comprises the soul is abruptly lost, the soul obviously collapses. Sensei sacrificed her own soul, so that she could hold together Natsume-kun’s soul which would otherwise have collapsed. Then for sensei’s soul, it was me who held hers together. Because of that, even I’ve taken some damage you know.
Sigh. To prepare for conflict against Kuro, I had wanted to avoid wasting energy as much as possible too. Well, this time it couldn’t be avoided. However, I cannot allow sensei to take the same measures again. For me as a god it was merely concluded with the sense of having uselessly wasted a bit of energy, but in sensei’s case, her soul has taken an enormous amount of damage. If she does the same thing one more time, I don’t have any confidence that I can prevent a collapse again.
I have to control Natsume-kun’s activities as well. If I continue to just let him do as he pleases, I’m sure that nothing good will come of it.
Okay. I’ve decided. Originally I had intended to simply observe, but now I’m going to intervene with all my might.
“Presentation” is a skill that comes with the Ruler of Charity title – see chapter 163. It’s “presentation” as in “to present something to someone”.
Oka-chan’s words to Natsume in this chapter were all from S15.