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Chapter: 786

Returning

My fists clenched as I watched the conclusion of the fight between Tsubaki, Scarlet, and the unidentified monster god. In truth, I could have gone down to help, but I was not sure that I would make it in time to be able to influence the final result.

Aside from the time needed to descend, I also had to locate the battlefield and teleport myself over to them. This could be taken care of with Aurivy’s help, but the other complication was far more pressing. Assuming that I made it in time, I would require a brief period to adjust my mental state and enter ‘battle mode’. Even Tsubaki and Scarlet had needed to do this prior to starting their fight, although the period that they used was far shorter than most.

In other words, by the time I was on the scene, I would only be a hindrance until I had finished preparing myself. With that in mind, I ultimately chose to trust my two subordinate deities, allowing Tsubaki unrestricted access to my domains. If Scarlet had asked for the same, I would have willingly obliged as well.

"Where did that creature even come from?" I couldn’t help but ask, glancing over towards Aurivy and Accalia. The two of them closed their eyes, taking their time to review the records left within the system.

Ultimately, it was Accalia that answered first. "Found it. It’s… actually from quite a long ways away. The same galaxy as Earth, but still… from what I can see, it came from an energy race that evolved in a highly magical environment, and is a form of natural ghost. After absorbing the relic of Devouring, it became extremely sensitive to divine energies, and…"

Aurivy nodded her head. "Once it found a monster God of Speed, the two battled, and the victor was obvious. That happened… a week ago, it looks like? Either way, once it had the Speed domain, its process of hunting down gods was able to hasten drastically. The reason that it appeared on Earth was because of the fact that the Earth has the largest concentration of gods in the galaxy after Sanctum left."

Thankfully it didn’t target Sanctum, then… I could only imagine what would happen if something like this were to appear on Sanctum, potentially devouring the entire world. I knew that there was an ultimate limit of nine domains, after which the creature would have inevitably self-destructed, but there was also the chance that it would be able to avoid that result through some means.

Shaking my head, I turned my attention back to the screen. It was a shame that Fafnir was lost, but… I had not particularly interacted with him much since taming him back in the day. Thus, it was hard for me to be too emotionally bonded to him.

The two goddesses in the air let out a deep breath, gradually sealing their battle intent as they had confirmed that the enemy was no more. "That was an interesting maze that you created." Scarlet praised, smiling at Tsubaki. "It’s hard to believe that you came up with it on the spot."

Taking into account Scarlet’s position, Tsubaki chose not to hide anything about this topic from her. "Some time ago, the Keeper asked me to compile a list of abilities he could use with three domains. The False Mirror Maze was one of the more recent abilities that I devised, though I did not expect that I would be the one using it."

Scarlet blinked in surprise at that, before nodding her head. Scarlet had theorized about the concept of a trinity for a long time. There were two reasons for this, though it could only be said that one was accurate. The first reason was due to the fact that all members of the Greater Pantheon possessed exactly three domains, leading her to believe that there was significance in this number.

In truth, that was because of how the system established the automatic unlocking of domains for companions, but that was not something that Scarlet could know. Additionally, Dale could have bought them more beyond simply three, but chose never to do so. It was the second reason that held more weight when properly examined.

The very first use of a ‘trinity’ had occurred long ago, long before Dale himself had brought up the concept. And it had been used in a situation where the process had been shown to the entire world. Back when the Greater Pantheon fought against the beast born in the sun, Ryone borrowed the domains of Gravity and Cold, combining them with her Magic domain to create a black hole.

It was in part this action which caused Scarlet to train Elisae into one who could obtain more domains in a similar manner. The feat of creating that black hole was perhaps the most memorable use of divinity that Scarlet had ever seen, and it had been strong enough to destroy a monster that threatened to scorch the world with its mere presence.

At the same time, however, Scarlet knew that it was not currently an option for her to obtain multiple domains. As things stood, she was the Goddess of Ki, and would be limited to that aspect for quite some time. Perhaps in the future, she would be able to obtain more domains for herself, but that was something to consider later.

"I see. Either way, it was quite impressive." Scarlet said with a faint smile. "You certainly live up to your reputation." Scarlet knew that she would have likely died if she fought this monster god alone. Although her ‘true body’ was hidden within a fold of space, it was too large and cumbersome to fight against a God of Speed.

Tsubaki responded with a curt nod, putting away her divine artifacts. Thankfully, she had not needed to activate the effects of her daggers… or rather she had never received the chance to do so. "As do you." She spoke up, her lips tugging upwards slightly. "I’m glad to see that my Keeper’s trust in you is well placed."

Scarlet’s eyes went faintly wider at that, her smile turning warmer at the praise. Simply knowing that her father trusted her was enough to make her feel a sense of pride. "If that is the case… pardon me, but I need to get back to my business. Hopefully the next time we meet will be under better circumstances." As she said that, a red ripple surrounded her body, causing her to vanish from her position.

With Scarlet gone, Tsubaki glanced down at the dissolving remains of Fafnir, clapping her hands together once in a silent farewell. Fafnir had been a member of the Keeper’s forces in his own way, so this was her method of showing respect for a fallen warrior.

"So, how did she do?" Scarlet asked, her mood far improved by the time that she returned to the roof of Elisae’s palace. She saw a butler constantly talking to Elisae, though the girl was still struggling to respond. When the butler saw Scarlet appear, he offered a weak smile.

"Her Highness is still able to continue a conversation, if only just…" The man said, to which Scarlet nodded.

"I’ll take it from here. Don’t worry, she’ll be ready to resume normal operation soon." That was not a baseless promise, as Scarlet was well aware of Elisae’s personality. With the proper push, it was not hard for her to overcome her normal limits. In this way, she truly had inherited something from her adoptive mother.

The butler offered a low bow, turning to leave the rooftop. Once they were alone, Elisae let out a faint groan, turning to glance at Scarlet. "You’re a real fiend, you know that?" She asked, though Scarlet knew that she spoke in jest.

The Empress of Bloodhaven merely kept her same smile, walking over and placing a hand on her friend’s shoulders. "This is the path you want to walk. The voices you hear are the wishes of your people. I won’t lie to you, they’ll only get stronger over time. Once the people know that you will actively grant their wishes, you can expect that the amount will multiply at least tenfold. Even so… do you still wish to pursue this path?"

Elisae clenched her teeth, offering a small nod. "I do. This is the path… that I have chosen… as the Queen of Hanbei. No matter what happens… I will see it through."

"That’s not what I asked." Scarlet said, her smile growing wider. "I said… Do you wish to?"

Elisae’s eyes went wide at that, realizing the hidden meaning in Scarlet’s words. "Yes… yes, I wish to pursue this path. I wish to be able to safely hear the words of my people and respond to them. I wish to be the queen that everyone needs."

Immediately, something shifted in Elisae’s divinity. The voices that she was hearing did not stop. If anything, they became more clear. However, Elisae found that her attention was now being properly divided to listen to each one. Scarlet nodded her head, seeing the tension ease from Elisae’s face. "Most of your divinity was reserved to grant your own wishes, remember. Until you have grown accustomed to the voices, it would be wise to use this method."

"Thank you." Elisae nodded her head deeply, still parsing through all of the voices that she was hearing. However, she now had the capacity to answer those prayers. She was able to individually judge which wishes were suitable, and which were born of a common selfish interest. It was amazing how many people simply wanted to marry a town idol…

"Don’t thank me. This is all the result of your hard work." Scarlet nodded as well, slowly standing up and helping Elisae to her feet. "Now, let us go to Sanctum. As the God-Queen of Hanbei, you should have a presence there, and we need to get your artifact crafted."

The two looked at each other with somewhat mirthful expressions as they recalled the command to travel released by Aurivy, before speaking in unison. "I wish to enter the Divine Realm."

Once Tsubaki returned to the Sky Citadel, she found herself quickly being tackled by a black-haired girl. "Tsuba! Where’d you go, what happened?!" Dana asked in nearly a panic, eyes wide. Lifre mentioned to her that Tsubaki had simply left in the middle of her report, and Dana knew that this was not how Tsubaki would normally behave. Not unless something urgent had required her immediate attention.

Tsubaki thought about it for a moment, but decided that there was no point in hiding the truth. "Fafnir was slain…" As she said that, she slowly stroked Dana’s hair. Out of all three members of the citadel, it was Dana that had the closest bond with the dragon.

Dana’s eyes went even wider, her mouth hanging open. "What? But… how? Who would even want to target him?"

Tsubaki let out a long sigh, taking her time to explain the situation that had just occurred while leading Dana back into the citadel. "It was another monster god… this one from far away. Moreover, it was incredibly strong. The First Blood and I had to work together to defeat it, and even then I could feel Irena’s grasp around my neck. Had we been careless, both of us could have fallen."

Dana froze at that, the thought of Tsubaki being killed tormenting her. She gripped tighter at Tsubaki’s dress, shaking her head. "No… take me with you next time, please. Don’t leave me alone…"

Tsubaki realized what she had said, her smile turning far warmer. "Don’t worry, Dana." She said, leaning down and hugging the girl that had practically become her little sister. "I won’t leave you."

"I’m here too, guys!" Lifre shouted, popping up right next to the pair with her arms spread. The two paused for a moment, glancing at her, and then each other, before both of them broke out in a sudden laugh. "What? Don’t leave me out of all the fun moments!"

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