Episode 2. Book 2: Planning – Chapter 2
Dite calmed her ragged breath. Her slightly frowned eyes were starting to fill with suspicion. In addition, her mind was bombarded with emotions of embarrassment and anger.
Dite couldn’t believe what was happening to herself.
The channels connecting her to the goddess were breaking down, and all the channels were forcibly ‘replaced’ with white noise. The power given to her by the goddess was also weakening, and her physical ‘body’ was also weakening. She was like a puppet that had its strings cut.
She lacked control over her own mouth, making her unable to speak as she wished. Her tongue felt twisted and sluggish as if she was drunk. No meaningful words could be voiced.
[If you try anything, you’ll die. Your splendid life will end here.] San’s ‘will’ was conveyed in what was originally the goddess’ channel.
[Are you ready for a serious conversation now?] Biyeon’s words, like that of the goddess’ when she communicated orders, came in thunderously.
[How do you know how to use god’s communication channel?] Dite screamed within the channel. In one part of her brain, the Goddess Diana’s ‘will’ struggled belatedly to retake control over her Apostle and the communication channel, but Dite sensed that she was growing farther away from the goddess.
Dite felt goosebumps form all over her body. Underneath her waist, she even felt a slight release of her bladder. She was struck with utter fear. This was the first time she felt exposed and powerless since she became the goddess’ Apostle. Dite looked at her opponents, her eyes sinking in and becoming dark. San and Biyeon were staring at her silently.
The other two wanted a real ‘human’ conversation. Also, they were directly demonstrating that they had the ability to forcefully carry out their ‘will’. Dite looked inside herself meticulously. One was controlling her five senses while the other was controlling her connection to Goddess Diana. Also, one was generating control over Dite’s body while the other was supporting that effort. In short, Dite’s own body wasn’t moving of her own free will. The degree of their synchronization was delicately interlocked, like a single person’s ‘will’.
San and Biyeon’s collaborative effort was still somewhat clumsy and weak, but… it was essentially the exact method used by the ‘gods’.
[There’s a lot we want to know. Our lives in this world are always filled with dangers. This means we have nothing more to lose. Thus, we’re prepared to choose our own destiny. So, if you want us to do something, the option to choose lies with us. Do you agree?] Biyeon expressed her will.
Dite nodded. At almost the same time, both of the restricting energies were quickly released. Dite felt her head clear. Diana’s ‘will’ was quickly bolstering her physical and mental functions once again.
[You both are exceptional. I heard that you were the ones that caused chaos in the Pian, but I didn’t expect your skills and abilities to be developed to this extent. The information I heard was lacking. Extremely lacking.]
Dite immediately restored her expression and laughed weakly.
The two people in front of her were waiting for a conversation with their eyes wide open as if nothing had happened previously. Dite’s eyes shone brightly in response.
The two had abandoned all of their precautionary actions and barriers. What were they so sure of?
She, no the goddess, admired these ‘humans.’
Their purity of trust came from a deep respect for each other. It was the perfect harmony of trust and respect, just like the relationship between God and an Apostle!
“Really… you both are scary.”
“Why don’t you stop talking like you're speaking to one of your audiences and take care of our surroundings first?” Biyeon said as she smiled and pointed at the people around the table. Eight eyes were looking at them without knowing what was going on. Dite, now the embodiment of Goddess Diana, nodded. The eyes of the three officers lost focus.
They would see and hear nothing now. They wouldn’t be able to remember what happened before either. Dongye stroked his chin and looked at the three.
“This fellow is already Awakened. I can’t help it,” Dite said before turning to Dongye. “If you wish and if these two allow it, you can be an observer of our conversation.” Her expression was very solemn.
Biyeon’s eyes shone colorfully as she awaited Dongye’s response.
“I’m willing to be an observer,” Dongye answered with a nod. He wanted to know everything. There were many things he wanted to know, so there was no reason to refuse.
“What you hear now should not be told to anyone, directly or indirectly. Are you willing to make a pledge?”
“I will. I will risk my name, honor, and life.”
“In the name of Goddess Diana, the oath has been made. Now, shall we have a serious conversation? You two ask one question and then I ask one. Would that be fair and acceptable?”
“Is it the gods who are chasing us now?” San asked straightforwardly. It was the most pressing question, to know who their enemy was.
“It’s not like that. You are already Awakened. Because an Awakened being believes in oneself, it is useless for a god to pursue an Awakener’s faith as food,” Dite responded briefly.
“Was it the nectar that awakened you? Or did you awaken in your own way?” asked Dite this time.
“You can say both. Thanks to the nectar’s regenerative power, we were able to try everything, even in situations that were life-threatening,” replied Biyeon. She then asked, “Are we being chased right now? If so, who is after us?”
“I don't know the answer to that. However, it is certain that you are very famous existences who are closely followed by all the transcendent beings of this world. You can be assured that the very mighty beings, including gods, care about your state of affairs and movements. For thousands of years since the spread of nectar, no humans have brought such shocking results as you both have,” replied Dite while giggling. Now it was her turn to ask a question.
“When was the Awakening achieved? And when did the second stage of awakening pass?”
“What state does Awakening mean? It took so many steps.”
“To escape from darkness. The level after ‘Dark Warrior’? Beyond the stage where the pain disappears. That would be the Awakened level. The second stage would mean the next step above that. A whole new sense would have opened up in the second stage.”
“Well… reaching the Awakened stage didn’t happen until 9 months since we came to this world. The next step, or second stage, was after we escaped what you call Pian. About a few months ago? It’s pretty tricky to know for sure. We’re also still trying to get used to this second stage…” San answered this time. His expression was dull as if he found these questions uninteresting.
Dite hardened her expression. Dongye was also looking at them with his mouth open. However, the reasons why the two were surprised were slightly different.
‘They’ve reached the 4th Stage of Acceleration, then that means they’ve reached the second stage as Awakeners… but how are they able to ‘talk with the world’? Dite, who was currently under the control of the Goddess Diana, thought.
‘Come to this world? Awakened in only 9 months, and now they’ve entered the second stage? Are you kidding me? Even 10 years wouldn’t be enough time. And, isn’t it weird? They’re giving respect to the Apostle and the Apostle is giving equal respect to them. They’re speaking to each other so naturally. Who are these guys…?” Dongye thought.
Dite and Dongye were both frowning.
They had a common expression of bewilderment as if they were being beaten by a stick made up of their own common sense, destroying their own logic and worldview. The lack of reality made them lose their words more than feel surprised. However, it was difficult to deny the reality because they directly experienced the two’s powers with their own bodies.
The clever Goddess of Hunting could now guess the reason why the fearsome beings of this universe, the Master and Dragon, paid special attention to these two. These two may possess the ‘key’ to clarify the mechanism of ‘Awakening.’ Even the almighty ‘Creator’ was said to have referred to the key when creating humans… In addition, these two may provide clues to how the gods could overcome the power of Sages and Awakeners to rebuild their faith among the humans and other beings within this universe.
“Let’s get to the main point. What do you want from us?” Biyeon asked with a light smile.
“Why do you think we want something? Would it be hard to believe that we were just curious?” Dite pursed her lips and asked.
“As I talk with you, various circumstances have now become resolved in my mind. We thought it was abnormal how calm and peaceful it was for us when we entered the forest. Since the Goddess of Hunting is said to be in charge of the forest, we should assume that you already knew of us when we moved through the forest, right? We had plenty of prey to hunt so long as we followed a set path that you created. Are we right up to here?”
“Please continue,” Dite said as she nodded with an interested expression.
“And you must have led us to Count Essen’s estate. The hunting festival is held there. It would provide us with an environment where we can blend in naturally with others. And then you exposed us to your priests. You made them state fraudulent remarks of heroes sent by the gods. However, it is said that gods live on faith, so gods cannot tell lies… if so, the prepared remarks by the gods must have been true and consensual amongst the gods. Are we right up to here?”
“Amazing! Please continue…” Dite was nervous now. Such wisdom! Biyeon’s conjecture continued, “I think the balance of the forest is going to break. After a little more time, the balance of the land where humans live will also be broken. Right?”
“Why do you think so?” Dite squinted and asked.
“All the beasts we hunted today, even the deadliest ones, were all female. All of them were hungry and flocking to this region for more than food. They were all carrying their offspring within their bellies as well. That’s definitely not natural. Then someone’s ‘will’ was imposed upon them to migrate. It doesn’t seem like the Goddess of Hunting would do something like this and break the delicate balance of nature, especially if it means losing your faithful followers. Shall I continue?”
“…” Dite was moving her lips, but no words came out.
“Who is it? Who’s sending the northern monsters down, especially in such an organized fashion? And why?” Biyeon asked. However, Dite was staring at her without saying a word in response.
“Hmm… that means the two black Hawks we killed earlier were sent by the being who's controlling the beasts from the north. That’s why you were present during the attack, positioning yourself in the center. You wanted us to take care of the Hawks while you observed. I thought it was weird,” said San.
“Phew- You two are too surprising. Even amid the chaos of battle and within this short amount of time, you’ve already understood the gist of what’s going on! You both are correct. Your conjectures are almost exactly correct. I’ve fallen into a difficult situation, as well as the other gods.”
“So, what do you want from us?” asked San again.
“Existences like us possess strong power. However, we lack the vessels to carry out our powers in the physical world. As we lack physical power, we’re not able to gain human faith and expand our powers and influence in this world. This is why we trade and have an agreement with the ‘Master’ in the north. We receive human vessels and nectar from the ‘Master.’”Previous Chapter Next Chapter