Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s…
Decision Time ③
Author’s comments: Dustin’s (pope of the Divine Word Religion) point of view
Here at the headquarters of the Divine Word Religion in the Holy Country of Aleius, the government is even busier than usual. Everyone here with Distant Speech, the superior version of Telepathy, has been mobilised to get in contact with all the users of Distant Speech who had been previously dispatched to all sorts of places. The Divine Word Religion has used this method to spread its intelligence network throughout the whole world, so that if anything happens it can reach my ears, but this time it’s reversed. The objective is to spread information from here.
「Make use of whatever sophistry you can! Don’t be concerned about your appearance! Whatever it takes, get the populace to pray to Black Dragon-sama! In these circumstances use any and all forms of incitement available to you!」
A Distance Speech user is yelling with spit flying. This is all due to this World Quest thing. Though perhaps I should say “thanks to”. When Sequence 1 occurred, I was at my wits’ end that Taboo had been handed out to the entirety of humanity. If you know about Taboo then you can understand what the Divine Word Religion has been doing and why. If the people understand that, then public sentiment will separate from the Divine Word Religion.
All along, the eventual collapse of the Divine Word Religion’s authority has been taken into consideration. Disregarding the final state it will end up in, considering the reason the Divine Word Religion was founded and how it has operated, it was always a religion that would disappear someday. However, it is too early for that to happen now. It is still too early for me to lose my hands and feet known as the Divine Word Religion. At least until the conclusion of the battle between Black Dragon-sama and Shiro-sama can be verified, the Divine Word Religion must continue to exist.
World Quest Sequence 1 destroyed that plan all too soon. However, within the following World Quest Sequence 2, I could see hope. It is no longer possible to stop the downfall of the Divine Word Religion. However, the people are still confused. Until now, the believers of the Divine Word Religion have been able to trust in us based on our track record. The more time that goes by that more that trust will fade, but for now they will still listen to us.
It’s a battle against time. Before that trust fades, we shall get as many people as possible to pray to Black Dragon-sama. As time passes, and the confusion abates, the people will eventually become calm, and the Divine Word Religion will be criticised for their guidance, but that is something we always expected before our inevitable collapse. The only difference is that it will come a little earlier than expected. It’s hard to say that this is the “best” time to discard the valuable card known as the Divine Word Religion. However, it should at least be “better”.
A Distant Speech user who had just been talking rushes over with a grim face. I can tell from his expression that this is not good news.
「Is there a problem?」
「Yes. A church has been destroyed by someone, apparently.」
「……A region that would already take such actions has surfaced huh.」
I had expected it. When someone is betrayed by those they believed in, they develop a furious hatred. The stronger the affection is before it is overturned, the stronger the hatred is. That being the case, when people who trusted in a religion believe that they have been betrayed, what will happen? It’s simple to predict.
「No. Actually, it does not appear that the people have become violent.」
An unexpected response. Then, just what is it?
「A gigantic disc flying in the air passed by, and is said to have destroyed the church.」
「……She got us good huh.」
A flying saucer. There’s only one person who possesses such a thing. No, I should say, possessed such a thing. Potimas Hyphenath. It must be a weapon or something made by that man. Then, with that man having died, the only person who could seize such a weapon is Ariel-sama, the one who defeated Potimas. That being the case, it is natural to think that Ariel-sama also destroyed the church.
Another Distant Speech user speaks up.
「Do you also have a report that a flying saucer destroyed a church?」
Then, after having confirmed the locations of the destroyed churches, I check the positions on a map. While doing so, a large number of similar reports came up. It is moving fast. Just what you can expect of something made by Potimas. While it might be out of spite, I have to acknowledge that man’s brilliance.
「……So it’s heading straight for the Elro Great Labyrinth huh.」
The inferred path for the flying saucer, was straight towards the Elro Great Labyrinth. It appears to be destroying any churches spotted along the way. I got careless because we were geographically the closer ones. Instead it is now Ariel-sama and co who will arrive first at the Elro Great Labyrinth. Given that Black Dragon-sama had suppressed Shiro-sama for us, and she was the one who could freely use teleport, I had thought we could take things slowly and carefully, but it seems that was a mistake. I should have left before it was confirmed that Potimas was beaten. No… At that time, I still didn’t know what Ariel-sama and co’s plans were. Although I could make predictions, given that we were taking part in a joint operation to beat Potimas, I couldn’t take any actions that would be seen as betrayal. There’s no point in regretting that. It’s already definite that Ariel-sama and co will arrive first at the Elro Great Labyrinth, and take up a defensive position there. More importantly, I have something I must deal with now.
「What is the situation at the towns with destroyed churches?」
「It appears there are whispers of fear that perhaps it was actually divine punishment.」
As expected, that’s how they reacted huh. During such times, if a thing beyond human understanding came and destroyed a church, it can’t be helped that they would perceive it that way. This is Ariel-sama’s harassment – to accelerate distrust towards the Divine Word Religion.
「What should we do? At this rate……」
「……Have the local priests make statements that they believes in Shiro-sama.」
The Distant Speech users are dumbfounded. However, this is the only way. Even if I am cursed at for being unscrupulous, we have long passed the stage in which it is possible to choose our methods.
What would happen in a region where people’s trust in the Divine Word Religion is slipping, and a priest gives a statement saying he believes in Shiro-sama? Out of repulsion, there will also be those who offer up prayers to Black Dragon-sama instead.
「Have them give a speech that incites the people as much as possible. On top of that, refer to Shiro-sama by name.」
As for what will become of priests who give such a speech… Well, it has to be done. Perhaps they felt my determination, as the Distant Speech users began activating the skill. I’m sorry… All the responsibility lies with me. That is exactly why I have the obligation to carry out my duty.
If Ariel-sama arrives at the Elro Great Labyrinth first, then that’s fine. If we can’t go ahead, we’ll mobilise to make sure that as many prayers as possible are offered to Black Dragon-sama. After all, I am still the man who could control the election and become president in the distant past. I am well experienced in how to gather votes.