Beginning of Battle
‘The inner Weave is a convenient way for a god to channel faith towards them. It didn’t reject me using it, so it seems to be open… The basic requirement is that one is a demigod?’ Leylin looked lost in thought.
‘The innermost core of the Weave, as well as Karsus’ Avatar, the rank 12 spell…’ The thought of how difficult it was to release the conscients of the numerous Magi, even Leylin frowned. He had to get rid of the entire Weave to do so, which included the outer Weave that numerous wizards counted on and the inner Weave that the gods used as a channel for faith.
Would the gods willingly abandon such a convenient channel as the Weave? Regardless of their intellectual abilities, and their ability to count the number of worshippers in their divine kingdoms in an instant, the Weave was more than just an upgrade to their calculative abilities. It greatly reduced the cost of bestowing divine spells, and increased the convenience. Having become used to such a great advantage, could they still accept and tolerate more traditional methods?
‘Once I shatter the Weave, I’ll be going up against the entire World of Gods…’ Leylin looked grim, ‘It won’t just be true gods. All demigods, and even nature spirits or divine beings who can use the Weave will probably become my enemies as well…’
Only Leylin who was from a foreign world would have the guts to take on an entire world. However, even he had to consider his options carefully. While Distorted Shadow still had incomplete conscients in the outer world, he had not done much in tens of thousands of years. That was only to be expected.
‘I’m afraid I’ll have to push my agreement with Distorted Shadow back…’ Leylin stroked his chin, having made up his mind.
Now that he was a demigod, the injuries to his main body should have completely healed. Having taken over Debanks Island, the faith in him had greatly increased. It could even support his ascent to godhood. Time was definitely on his side.
If this dragged on, and both his bodies reached a higher realm, the terror that would be brought forth when they fused would be enough for him to take the plunge and challenge the world!
‘The spread of faith is one thing in ascending to godhood. Another is to guide my worshippers, forming my unique role as a god.’ Leylin was now aware of the relationship between faith, godfire, divine force, and a god’s roles.
Faith was the source, being transformed by the godfire into divine force. This was the root of all gods, and the power of faith wasn’t all the same. There were slight differences, and for example the soul energy radiated by great anger was completely different from that in extreme fear. The faith in a demigod was heterogeneous, so it took a lot of effort to transform it into divine force.
A god’s roles acted as a guide, planning for the soul energy of their worshippers in advance. If godfire was an engine that purified faith to provide a more stable source of power, a god’s roles were the key to separate the diesel from gasoline.
While in general the soul energy that could be absorbed after a god classified themselves would decrease, it would grow in purity. It reduced the burden on the divine, to the point that the amount of divine force left after the transformation was actually greater than before.
After all, which was easier— burning either diesel or gasoline, or both? Most probably would know the answer to that.
'A god's rule doesn't simply separate soul energy. It involves delving deeper into that domain, and acquiring even more terrifying might...' Leylin could now sense the faith from the pious worshippers and their tremendous soul energy. His godfire burned more vigorously than before, a few runes representing laws beginning to appear.
When it came down to it, a god's role was an embodiment of their laws. These runes indicated that he would soon form his own! Even the incomplete golden characters allowed Leylin to gain a better understanding of the World of Gods.
'The essence of the runes seem to tend to massacres and conquest, as well as sickness and healing. Will my first role as a deity be amongst these?' Leylin’s eyes flashed with the rays of the A.I. Chip, 'A.I. Chip, is it possible to record this script?'
Although these law runes were incomplete, they were very unique. They weren't three dimensional, instead perhaps near four-dimensional. The A.I. Chip of the past would have been powerless at this, but after the upgrade it's limits weren't defined yet. Leylin wanted to test what it could do.
[Beep! Mission established. Beginning scan…] the A.I. Chip loyally intoned, large amounts of blue data streaming past Leylin.
[Beep! Target scanned. Discovered high energy force field, attempting to break through. Successful, beginning to analyse the characters of laws. Recording... Beep! Target has the properties of a 4D image, discovered interference from spacetime radiation. Data partially lost...]
[Beep! Characters have been scanned. Records only 67.66% complete.]
The large paragraph caused Leylin to grin in glee. He looked at the database of the A.I. Chip, seeing a subdirectory under laws called 'godly role runes.' Within it were the characters that had just been scanned.
Although they seemed less complete than those in the godfire, they still had the distinct charm of the original. The A.I. Chip of the past would definitely have been unable to make this scan. That it could force a partial copy gave Leylin a pleasant surprise.
'If all these characters are analysed completely, the chances of even natives igniting their godfires to obtain godly roles should increase by 50%...' Leylin nodded in satisfaction, and then focused on the analysis of the characters.
'Massacre and conquest, sickness and healing?' The results of the A.I. Chip's preliminary scans were according to Leylin's expectations. This was indeed the image he gave the natives of Debanks Island.
The selection of a god's role could easily give rise to battles between gods. Based on the A.I. Chip's conclusions, Leylin sank into deep thought. 'The characters of laws show that most of my faith comes from massacre and sickness. They're the most likely way for me to become a god. There's less in terms of conquest; the natives don't really have a concept of races and culture, and there are many battles even between their tribes. Faith in healing is the least, huh.'
Pure faith would not lie, and Leylin could only laugh wryly. From the looks of it, even if his church bestowed holy water and helped with the sickness, the natives still treated him as a personification of massacres, sickness, and death.
'Well, faith arising from reverence is always more stable than that from love and respect...' The grin on Leylin’s face widened, 'Looks like I’m not fated to be in the good faction…'
Leylin had already decided to walk the path of massacres. With the power he held, he definitely wouldn't side with the good gods anyway.
“From the power of faith alone, massacre and sickness seem more stable...” Leylin had made his choice. He valued a domain in massacres more than one in sickness. Besides, few gods had grasped it, some of them being Cyric and Malar.
Although Cyric was a greater god, he was half-crazy, paying no mind to the administration of his mortal church. It had caused the priests of murder great distress. Things were different with sicknesses and plague. Leylin would rather fight against lunatics and beasts than the Goddess of Plagues who was clear-headed. He did not wish for there to be occasional plagues in his territories.
“And… Cyric?” Leylin lowered his face, ridiculing him with soundless laughter...
From the viewpoint of the gods, everything on Debanks Island was right before their eyes.
“Saintess, our vanguard has already taken over the two citadels in Ado City and Dole City. As long as we get Dul City as well, the capital of the empire shall be right before our eyes!” The troops of Hope Stronghold were proceeding smoothly along the massive lands.
The girl Leylin had conferred a title to, Saintess Barbara, had completed her routine prayers. She was now listening to the routine reports of a native army official.
Golden light flashed on her fair forehead, causing her to be bathed in a holy lustre. Aya and her little brother stood respectfully at her side, having become her maid and servant. Out of gratitude for their saviour, as well as the need for survival, the two of them now worked for her. The Saintess seemed to admire the great relationship of the pair, and had brought them with her.
“The capital?” Aya’s eyes lit up as if she had recalled something, but that quickly dimmed.
Barbara seemed to think of something, and she asked, “Aya! You came from near the capital, right?”
“Mm! I was once a clanswoman of Ado City's Juna Tribe. I escaped with the rest of my tribe once plague struck…” Aya spoke slowly, and her brother bowed his head as if he had recalled something terrible. Truth be told, most of the natives that had fled with them had died on the way. Sickness and famine were the greatest natural enemies of the commoners.
Less than one in ten had gotten across the mountains and waters, making it to Hope Stronghold.
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