Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? Past Arc ㉔

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Power enabled. System boot.

Past Arc ㉔


「How do you do.」

The moment that Sariel stepped into the equipment, she realised that she had been isolated in another dimension due to someone’s interference. She also realised that the same someone was inside the darkness that was right in front of her. While Gyurie hadn’t been able to see through this darkness, Sariel was capable of piercing through it to the hidden truth. The one who had greeted her, was a girl. She appeared to be just one step short of being an adult, young enough that she could still properly be called a girl. However, that expressionless face did not fit her young appearance in the least. An expressionless face that makes one think of bottomless darkness, just the darkness surrounding her.

「Please call me D if you wish. Now then, with my self-introduction out of the way, let us proceed to the negotiation. Dispensing with the small-talk, I shall plainly state my business. Please come play with me.」

While it was an invitation to come play, it also sounded like a devil’s invitation. In fact, that impression wasn’t mistaken. While D spoke of playing and spoke of having fun, as if Sariel wasn’t involved at all, that expression showed absolutely no hint of joy or pleasure. If it had been someone other than Sariel in this place, that person would surely have felt terror at the something that had taken on the shape of a person and the eerie sense of it trying to imitate a person.

However, what Sariel was feeling was not terror, but a pure desire to fight. This thing that was in front of her, should not exist. Its very existence was a sin. While she might be a stray, Sariel is still an angel, and she instinctively felt that the existence in front of her would be harmful to the world. She felt that whatever the difference in combat potential between them, that even had she forgotten the mission she had adhered to for so long, this thing must be defeated at all costs even if they both die.

「Oh, I would rather that you do not consider trying to fight or refuse this. Otherwise, I will not be responsible for what happens to your precious children, okay?」

However, Sariel could not unleash her power. With those words that had no power by themselves, Sariel was constrained. Those words prevented Sariel from moving, more firmly that any binding magecraft could have. With just those words, Sariel was completely constrained. It had been called a negotiation, but it was in fact a threat.

「What do you desire?」
「Splendid. I shall have you become the core of the large-scale magecraft that I will then activate.」

Taking Sariel’s words as an acknowledgement, D projected an overview of that magecraft. It was something like a blueprint of the magecraft, such that a viewer looking over it would be able to understand what sort of magecraft it was. Unfortunately however, Sariel wasn’t able to understand the nature of the magecraft. Sariel was an angel optimised for battle. While she was specialised in destruction, she was poor at performing detailed analysis on the contents of magecraft.

「This is a technique in order to replenish the energy of this planet.」

Whether or not D knew that Sariel couldn’t understand the contents of the magecraft, D began to explain. Just from that first line, Sariel lost the means to respond. She couldn’t understand D’s objective. Considering the timing, it felt like D was trying to interfere with saving this planet, yet her presentation suggested the opposite. Like her very existence, D’s words and deeds couldn’t be understood either.

「Oh. I see you are making a face indicating that you do not understand. You are wondering why I am doing all this. It is simple enough. A certain young dragon petitioned me to save you. Out of kindness, I have come to try to grant that wish.」

Given the disclosed circumstances, Sariel again lost the means to respond. When D teased her by saying “It sure is nice to be young eh”, it went in one ear and out the other. The only question inside Sariel’s head was, “why?”. She thought of Gyurie as a friend. However, for Sariel to sacrifice herself to save this planet was the optimal solution. She couldn’t understand why Gyurie would want to overturn that. Sariel entirely failed to understand how others thought of her. Also, she didn’t consider her own life to be precious. So long as she could accomplish her mission, she would calmly give up her own life. Consequently, she failed to understand why Gyurie would want to do something uncertain like relying upon such a suspicious god for help.

「Really, you should not be expressing condemnation against that dragon you know. It is precisely because that dragon relied upon me that you will not be dying in vain.」
「Dying in vain?」

She herself wasn’t aware of it, but Sariel was quite confused. When she simply parroted D’s words, D gave an honest explanation.

「Do you not see that is highly unlikely that the developer of that equipment genuinely intended to pour your energy into the planet?」

Yet again, Sariel felt herself stiffen. In her encounter with D, every time she opened her mouth, Sariel would stiffen. Sariel had heard of Potimas’s bad reputation. Even so, everyone from the President on down had taken the maximum precautions, had proceeded carefully, and believed that it would work. Or rather, by making her think that, she failed to be suspicious of Potimas. The truth was flung before her.

「In the first place, such equipment is not capable of decomposing a god. The protective barrier that you unconsciously wrap around yourself will easily prevent that. If you try restraining that unconscious defence and allow yourself to be decomposed of your own free will then it would be a different matter though. Even then, should the decomposition actually succeed and that in addition you are able to avoid that developer’s dirty trick, it still would not be able restore the planet. Even if it is all called energy, there are many different kinds. Pouring the energy gained by decomposing a god into a planet, is like doing a blood transfusion without checking the blood type. And furthermore, for a different type of animal. That would never work out. There would obviously be a strong reaction against it. Not even knowing such a thing is why you muscle-brained angels are so troublesome.」

While D jabbers on in rapid succession, the shocking truth is revealed. Sariel’s brain freezes completely.

「And so, I have prepared a flawless plan. If you could acknowledge being bound as the nexus for this procedure, although it will take quite some time, it will then be possible to recover the energy for this planet. Will you acknowledge it?」

D held out her hand towards Sariel. There was a magecraft-like constraint activated in the palm of her hand. If Sariel takes that hand, some sort of contract will be established. In her dulled perception, Sariel reached out like clutching at straws. She grasped the hand in acknowledgement.

「The contract is established.」

If she was a devil, she surely would have shown a gloating smile on skillfully making the other party sign the contract. However, D’s expression did not change. In spite of the fact that, just now, she had successfully duped this stray angel holding the power of a high ranking god.

Chains of magecraft twine around Sariel’s body. Concealed from her, they prevent Sariel’s movement, suck out Sariel’s power, and finally they overthrow the planet. A single planet comes under the dominion of the laws that D prescribed. By the magecraft known as the System.


 

Translation notes:

“It sure is nice to be young eh” – In Japanese, this is a phrase typically used by older people to tease the foibles of younger people, particularly with regards to romance.

Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? Past Arc ㉓
Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? Past Arc ㉕