Book 8, Chapter 47

Wavering Faith

As Runai blushed in awkward shame at the praise from the demon, it suddenly turned serious, “You puny little god, your tracks weren’t hidden well enough. Those who destroyed your kingdom are already at the Genesis, and they even seized the base of my servants.”

“W-What?” her voice trembled, “Then what do we do now?”

Seeing her break down, the demon laughed loudly, “Nothing, it doesn’t matter! As powerful as they are, these beings are barely legendary; they could never discover this place. They’ll find a few little toys and go away, but when I arrive this plane is mine anyway. Their discoveries don’t matter at all!”

Runai relaxed at the confidence in his tone, “Indeed! Those fucking mortals should be kneeling before us, but they still behave with such arrogance! The maggots will pay for their crimes; I will cut their hearts out and feed their limbs to my hounds!”

An endless stream of curses resonated throughout the hall, the hidden demon basking in the malicious ambience as it fuelled Runai’s wrath ever so often. The former goddess of time seemed to abandon all of her class after her fall, using the same vulgarities most deities looked down upon.

……

All the way above Faelor, the divine kingdoms of the three goddesses were slowly heading south, carrying Runai’s fallen kingdom between them. The land was crumbling apart without its barrier, but a shield of light kept the damage from being too severe while the three divine kingdoms slowly absorbed whatever did dislodge. The land all around still carried traces of Runai’s control, so it would take time for the goddesses to assimilate all of it.

An inexplicable emotion was flickering in the eyes of the three goddesses as they stared at Runai’s divine kingdom from upon their thrones. Their current means of dividing up the kingdom was almost stupidly slow and ineffective, and given their status it would make much more sense for them to focus on strengthening their faith in the mortal world, but only decades ago they had been on the verge of falling and were unable to respond to the prayers of their priests. This was an extremely long time for humans, but for beings like them it was only a short chapter that had changed their lives entirely. Still able to remember the traumatic experience of their kingdoms on the verge of collapse, they just couldn’t bring themselves to give up on Runai’s.

Bestial growls resounded through the halls of the Spring Water Goddess. As the strongest of the trio, she had formed a cage of divine force in her lands which trapped two massive servitors. A dozen rays of concentrated divinity were constantly whipping out from the walls of the cage, lashing into the bodies of these servitors and prompting them to attack the cage madly. However, these were beings that were barely stronger than demigods trying to break a cage from an intermediate deity; it would be impossible even in a thousand years.

The two servitors were the last and most powerful of Runai’s servants, and whenever they screamed loudly the eyes of the Forest Goddess and Goddess of the Hunt were drawn to their struggles. Eventually, the Forest Goddess spoke up, “Can we really do this? Richard clearly told us to destroy all of Runai’s followers.”

The Goddess of the Hunt replied, “Sister Spring’s divinity is already at the intermediate grade, she can destroy any traces of Runai’s power without issue. Until then, the most these servants can do is transmit a little divine grace to help Runai’s children and avatars last a little longer; she doesn’t have any avatars left, and even if she did her kingdom is gone; what is the threat?”

The Goddess of Spring Water looked at the two servitors with a conflicted expression herself, “If we were to rely on our own strength, it would take at least a century to gain such powerful servants. We need greater power. If we are strong enough… perhaps we could get ourselves out of this sticky situation.”

The Forest Goddess’s voice immediately cracked, “You want to go against Richard?”

A strange glint flickered in the eyes of the Goddess of Spring Water as she laughed bitterly, “Go against Richard? How are we supposed to do that? But ultimately, we’re all still deities of Faelor. Think about the time before we became divine beings…”

“But, isn’t Richard the reason for everything we have today?”

The Goddess of the Hunt sneered, “He’s only a mortal, even if he came from a powerful plane. How could he compare to us? Those who worship us have nothing to do with him. Have you forgotten all the times he’s disrespected us throughout these years? Now, he doesn’t even bother treating us as allies; he just orders us through our priests!”

The three goddesses went silent, the cries of the servitors filling the air.

……

After studying the energy gathering formation for a few days, Richard’s notebook had a fully annotated description of every single component array. A complete analysis only increased his admiration for the designer; this thing couldn’t have been created without a strong understanding of how laws worked in general.

Once he was done jotting down the last section, he tapped his workbench and projected an image of a different complicated spell formation, the one he had found powering defences for the Lady of the Night. The broodmother had spent some effort on analysing this one, finding that it could pull near-unlimited strength from the souls of one’s most devout believers. This energy was similar to the power of faith, but it was much more direct and pure, allowing a flow of much higher quantities of energy than any single worshipper could normally provide in a hundred years. It was uncertain how much longer it would have kept functioning without his intervention, and how much energy a single soul truly contained, but he just had no way to accurately estimate that.

Closing the two designs up, he sighed in annoyance. These two spell formations were most certainly his biggest gain from Faelor, giving him the ability to utilise a plane’s origin and a worshipper’s soul. They would ensure that he never had to worry about energy on any of his future expeditions as long as he could work on deciphering the plane’s laws, but it was still difficult to find a way to use them.

Within the past few days, the worker drones had made more progress in their excavation as well. They had found another pool of concentrated energy underground, the base of all the underground pipes that seemed to contain the real secrets of the Genesis. However, it still didn’t answer his biggest question. He was now certain that the formations he’d seen could only wipe out the energy within twenty kilometres, but the actual damage to the plane was far greater. Having spent what was now the majority of his life here, he knew just how much origin energy Faelor had; the actual discrepancy was enormous.

He walked to the edge of his platform and looked over the hall while deep in thought. Moments later, he summoned two brains and ordered them to have the workers dig further in until they found lava. Thousands of drones immediately headed straight for the centre of the mountain, digging deep in.

Once the workers set to task, the broodmother’s voice rang in his mind, “Master, do you have any use for the three skeletons?”

“Hmm? Good for sacrifices and magic materials, but nothing specific, no.”

“Then I’ll take them. Given the time, I can use them to build three giant war beasts.”

“Ooh? How strong?”

“A hundred units of divinity, and legendary.”

“Then they’re yours,” he nodded. The giant had possessed the power of a level 24 being, but three legendary war beasts wouldn’t be much weaker. The source of the giant’s power was the origin energy of the plane, and it had taken hundreds of years to even get it to half full, but the broodmother would certainly be much faster.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Gem

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA