I’m back! Shiro’s back! All’s well with the world…
Informal Conference ⑨
At the end of the day, the weakening of the Goddess Religion as per the Divine Word Religion’s intentions, was a subject that couldn’t be avoided. While the Divine Word Religion wants skills and status to be raised for the sake of the System, at the same time it is spreading a network throughout the humans, and has been putting in efforts in order to stabilise the world. Reducing the damage to the whole of humanity as much as possible, simultaneously has the meaning of being a countermeasure towards the demons. That was a major reason why the demons struggled to conquer the humans, in spite of the demons having higher status values. Controlling them so that large-scale wars amongst the humans would not break out, their built-up stress was forced onto the demons instead. That is the sort of detailed manipulation of people’s opinions and information being deployed to manage the whole of humanity.
However, if the Goddess dies, that influence will collapse. Should the Voice of God actually change, for the Divine Word Religion that places that at the heart of its doctrine, that’s surely a huge problem that cannot be avoided. No matter what, it’s unavoidable for people’s faith to be shaken. If many humans then convert to the Goddess Religion, it would be possible for a reversal of fortunes to occur.
The Goddess Religion is not as skilled as the Divine Word Religion in dialogue capable of commanding public opinion, nor as skilled in managing information. If the Divine Word Religion sent a covert operative into the Goddess Religion, and then properly trained up a successor to the Divine Word Religion then that would probably be a different matter, but if they can put in that much time and effort, it would be easier to simply crush the Goddess Religion and allow the Divine Word Religion to continue. More than anything, the Goddess Religion does not understand the System. So installing the Goddess Religion in their place, is surely something that the pope could not countenance.
Originally, it was expected that the death of the Goddess would be much much further in the future. But then, because a certain someone used manipulation to cause a waste of MA Energy in an attack on that measly D, it caused a precipitous shortening of her lifespan. Most likely, the Divine Word Religion had intended to cause the gradual decline of the Goddess Religion, over many more months and years. Instead, there was a change in plans, as the situation had become severe enough that they had to quickly reduce the Goddess Religion’s power even if it meant war.
In advance of the death of the Goddess, the Divine Word Religion has been steadily advancing their preparations. Part of that has involved information manipulation. So that there won’t be chaos even if the System’s voice changes, they are already spreading rumours that indirectly suggest that the voice could change. Those rumours are steadily disseminating, and when they have spread through the population, those rumours will even be supplemented with legends to give them a trace of authenticity. For example, the Goddess has become pregnant and her husband is taking over her duties until childbirth. Anyhow, without making a statement on the Goddess of the Goddess Religion when doing so, I’m sure they’d make a declaration that the god of the Divine Word is the Goddess. There’s probably people who would notice that anyway.
Even if that isn’t the whole truth, there is no way for ordinary members of the public to verify that. If the Divine Word Religion are able to make the announcement in advance, then when the Voice of God does change it would give them credibility. Even with just that the collapsing of their authority would probably be considerably reduced.
However, in that case doesn’t that mean they have no reason to crush the Goddess Religion? Maybe, but it’s not so simple. Even within the Goddess Religion, there are those who regard the god of the Divine Word and the Goddess as having the same voice. Just with the voice changing like the pope said, there wouldn’t be many humans who make the leap of logic to the Goddess having died. So I think that there wouldn’t really be any humans who despair and lose the power to live from that. However, with regards to the god of the Divine Word and the Goddess as having the same voice, that presents an opportunity that is capable of causing the Goddess Religion’s authority to collapse instead. I’m sure this pope would be capable of doing that much. However, he wouldn’t do that. He wouldn’t have the time.
For the Goddess to have died, that means his back would already be to the wall after all. The reason why the Goddess Religion hasn’t been crushed yet despite having an inconvenient truth in its doctrine, is solely because it’s convenient as a hypothetical enemy. Or otherwise, maybe the pope has some kind of lingering sympathy for the Goddess. Making it painful to crush a religion that worships the Goddess.
Lumping all those expectations together, the death of the Goddess would involve the world in a major event. While there’s already not a moment to waste, there’s no spare time to deal with the political and ideological complications of the Goddess Religion. That’s why, he had to crush them during this time.
Even for the Divine Word Religion, it certainly must have been very difficult to accelerate the plan for the destruction of the Goddess Religion by several centuries. Then I, who at that time was seriously called the Nightmare of the Labyrinth, casually turned up and was used as a pretext to take advantage of the situation. Well, now that I think about it, I guess it couldn’t be helped huh. Back then even I didn’t really understand what the Divine Word Religion was about, and went around tearing up the battlefield in a fit of rage after all. So-o-o sorry!
According to the Divine Word Religion they are still going ahead with crushing the Goddess Religion. It wouldn’t be called a war, but in order to reduce the national power of the country of Sariera, they have been increasingly isolating them diplomatically. The current situation is that they’re waiting for the country of Sariera to lose patience and attack. When that happens they’ll be crushed right away, and even if they don’t then their ideology will be gradually rewritten. To achieve that, war orphans and the children of poor people are being adopted in secrecy, and being trained in the Divine Word Religion’s style.
While I think it’s dirty, the pope won’t change his chosen path. Even if he has to create 10,000 corpses, then so long as it will save 10,001 people, he will implement that without hesitation. That is the man known as Pope Dustin. Recognised even by the Demon King, the monster amongst the humans. In a sense, even more than Kuro or the Demon King.
It is not possible to force this man to change his will. Unless you thoroughly prepare a path of no return for his will, then negotiations themselves are impractical. The subject of the negotiations this time was the anti-elf collaboration. Therefore, the chances of him agreeing where high.
However, we ended up being obliged to surrender more of our intelligence than expected, and it had felt like the talks were deadlocked. Since it’s also painful for me to talk on and on, once we simply had an agreement on the collaboration towards the elves, just when I was about to scarper immediately, this time it was vampire girl who screwed up. I seriously thought she might knock the pope’s block off.
Well, if that’s the case then it would save me the effort of dealing with him in the future though, so for me that was all OK. The end result, was a KO loss for vampire girl. For a mere young girl who is wavering over how she should live her life, it was painfully obvious she would have no chance against this ojii-sama though. He’s a monster of ideology who could even be called the Will of Humanity you know.
「I have clearly witnessed your determination.」
Vampire girl has frozen, so I’ll redo that declaration to leave that failed just earlier.
「I hope we shall be able to develop a beneficial relationship going forwards. I shall come again another day.」
Allright! Let’s leave!
What da heck! Don’t stop me! I wanna go already!
「For the invasion of the demons, is that decided?」
「When abouts will it be?」
「As soon as the preparations are complete.」
「Very well. When do you expect to visit us again?」
「In ten days, at the same time.」
「Then, we shall prepare and wait in that regard. For making time in your schedule for today, you have my sincere gratitude.」
「Likewise, for your cordial reception in spite of our sudden arrival, thank you. Then…」
A bow of the head, and this time for sure teleportation is activated. Their barrier? It’s irrelevant!
I toss vampire girl and oni-kun into a suitable location in the mansion, and I teleport again. I’ve come to another dimension. Just for me, another dimension with nobody else.
I’m worn out. I’m totally worn out. I want to simply do nothing for a while here, without having to meet anybody. Or rather, I shall. When I think that I’ll have to go through the same thing again in ten days, it makes me so melancholic I could die. I feel like I want to spend the next ten days doing nothing here.
“So-o-o sorry!” – Shiro literally says “mengo mengo”, which is a corruption of saying “gomen gomen” (sorry sorry). Basically, a very insincere apology.
“KO loss” – just to be clear, this means a “knockout loss” – ie, if the verbal battle between Sophia and the pope was a boxing match, he would have totally dominated and won by a knockout.
“I have clearly witnessed your determination” – this line from Shiro to the pope might sound a bit strange but it’s a somewhat archaic turn of phrase in Japanese. It’s a bit like giving someone a pat on the head (as a compliment) but dressed up in noble language.
“What da heck!” – Shiro says “nanyanen” here (short for “nandeyanen”) which is a typical tsukkomi in the kansai dialect. “What the heck” is a pretty literal translation.