Chapter 159 – X-Gate Online Used Explosion!

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Author: Firehead Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: TpstT English Source: Two More Free Thoughts
Editor(s): Vecna, Keii

The elven village survived. Correction, it was saved.

Afterwards, by distributing the elixirs around, the people who were ill were cured and Dina’s father managed to regain his health.

Additionally, the scorpion became attached to Ruphas and, after changing into a humanoid form, glued herself onto Ruphas’s arm.

Dina had a strange feeling thinking about how the scorpion had managed to become attached to Ruphas despite how violently it had been punched by her. But then again, the true nature of the scorpion was a magical beast, after all.

Perhaps it was attracted to the power that had overwhelmed her so much to the point where she was unable to retaliate against it.

But Dina did not have the leisure to be paying attention to such things.

That was because she was going through an existential crisis after what she had believed to be her identity had completely collapsed. She did not have room to be thinking about anything else.

She had been keeping a close watch on Ruphas, believing her to be a risk factor, yet she was helped out by her. In contrast, she could not help but admit that the Goddess, whom she had believed to be the same entity as herself up until this point, and her actual self had a fatal misalignment in their thought processes.

Now that things had gotten this far, she was convinced. No, she could not help but be convinced.

– Of the fact that she was not the same entity as the Goddess. She was merely… a separate individual who had inherited the Goddess’s memories and ego… She was just a doll.

At the very least, from the moment when the Goddess tried to kill Dina’s birth father and Dina tried to prevent that, the two of them had trodden upon completely separate paths.

However, in that case, who exactly was she? What exactly was she?

Whilst Dina was pondering such questions, her father, who was still resting on the ground, softly spoke with a weak voice.

“Ahh, Dina, you’re still safe… good, good.”

Something warm flowed out from her eyes.

She had thrown her mother away, thrown her father away, thrown her village away and left them all behind without a word.

Because of her assumption that she was the incarnation of the Goddess, she looked down on them. So much so that, even in regard to her mother’s death, she had just learnt of the fact.

Notwithstanding all of that, he was still the same. He still unconditionally loved that daughter of his. He still worried and cared for her.

Yeah, that’s right. Didn’t he always call her that in the past?

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From the first moment that she had been born, he had always called her that.

Not Alovenus, the borrowed name of someone else, but Dina.

Now, she understood. Now, she noticed.

That she was not Alovenus. Irrespective of the fact that she had inherited a part of the Goddess’s spirit, irrespective of the fact that she had been conferred her memories and ego… she was still different. She could never consider herself as Alovenus ever again.

After all, she loved them this much. She felt this much joy after finding out that he had been saved.

This feeling was hers alone. It was not the Goddess’s.

On that day, the young girl who should have been the Goddess’s avatar ceased to become her avatar. She turned from an avatar into a young girl, an individual by the name of Dina.

dina cry 1

Image from Light Novel Volume 7

*

“… By the looks of it, it’s checkmate. It seems we were a little too slow in noticing it.”

– A few years later.

The Black-Winged Ruler who had taken hold of essentially the entire world could be seen with her secret advisor who closely followed her like her own shadow.

The Tyrannical Thirteen Heavenly Stars’ Ophiuchus. That was the alias bestowed upon Dina.

Using her unique skill, she thinned her presence as if she was a shadow.

Using perception manipulation, she made it so that even her own allies could not detect her existence. Her presence itself was completely erased from the minds of others as if she was blending into the very background.

Amongst the Twelve Stars, only Taurus, Parthenos and Aquarius were aware that a thirteenth star actually existed.

And even for them, they did not know that her name was Dina. They could only barely sense that there was an enigmatic thirteenth star known as Ophiuchus, whose appearance they did not even know.

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“It isn’t a checkmate yet. If it’s you, it should very well be possible to completely turn the tables around and start all over again.”

Right now, the two of them were being cornered.

It would not be wrong to say that they were facing a crisis the likes of which they had never faced before.

After concluding that the Demon King would not be able to handle Ruphas, the Goddess manipulated Alioth and the rest by amplifying the insecurities and envy that they felt towards Ruphas, inducing them to feel antagonistic towards her.

Furthermore, even amongst the countless number of subordinates who followed her, over half of them had turned against her.

Those subordinates who had a strong loyalty towards her or those possessing strong mental strength were still on her side, but if there was a confrontation, it was clear which side would come out victorious… at least, under normal circumstances.

But Ruphas was not normal at all. Even if she was alone, she could overturn this unfavourable situation.

Dina had just pointed this out. However, Ruphas’s expression did not improve.

“Hmm, yeah, it’s possible. But you know, Ophiuchus… even assuming that I end up winning, what would happen then? Who exactly in their right minds do you think would end up following a ruler who massacres her own friends and allies? After all, a ruler who kills over half of her own subordinates is nothing but a tyrant. No one would recognise that individual. On top of that… once I do end up killing a lot of my allies and subordinates, even if I were to come out victorious, there’ll be nothing left in my hands. … Whether I win or not, I’ll only end up losing everything. From the moment it had gotten to this point, it was my loss.”

Victory could be achieved. If it was only victory, it could be achieved.

However, to make that come to fruition, she would lose her friends, have to burn down the country that she had needed to protect with her own hands and have to massacre her own people.

And that… was essentially no different from defeat.

“At the very least, the Twelve Stars will be left. And myself.”

“You’re right. I guess that’s the only silver lining.”

In response to Dina’s words, Ruphas showed a faint smile.

Ruphas collected her thoughts a little. Then, once she had composed her thoughts, she raised her head.

“… Looks like there’s no other way but to think of ‘a way to lose’.”

“A way to lose… did you say?”

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“Yeah. If what the people desire is for me to step down as ruler, then I shall answer by granting that to them. I will stage my own loss and investigate the one who caused all of that to happen in the meantime.”

“That’s…”

“For you, it will most likely be a painful and audacious road. If you want to defect from me, now is the perfect time, you know?”

Even if she were to leave, she would not be blamed.

The king was hinting this to her. However, in response, Dina merely smiled courageously.

“No thank you, Ruphas-sama. I have no intention of going back to being a doll. Until I met you, I was nothing more than a doll that didn’t possess an ego of my own… You were the one who turned me into ‘me’. In return for that, I’ll fool even the Goddess-sama herself.”

ruphas and dina 1

Image from Light Novel Volume 6

She was adept at fooling people.

After all, from the moment she had been born, she had been fooling people.

So she’d prove that she could do it.

She would successfully deceive the demons. She would successfully deceive the Twelve Heavenly Stars. She would successfully deceive the Seven Heroes. She would successfully deceive Ruphas. And she would prove that she could even successfully deceive the Goddess herself.

While slithering like a snake, she would prove that she could stir up every single faction from the inside, bringing about disorder and mayhem.

If, at the end of all of that, even if she would have to suffer from hate and disgust from her allies, even if she would have to bear the title of a traitor, she would not hesitate.

She would let the Goddess know. – This is me. This is the woman known as Dina.

“The Serpent Bearer”. What cruel irony it was for her master to bestow upon her such a title.

If anything, her master, who had created the forbidden fruit and pulled down all those who followed the Goddess onto earth only for her to add them into her own camp, was the real snake. In the truest sense, she was the king of devils who appeared in legends and myths.

But she was the Serpent Bearer. As such, she would have to lead even that very snake by the nose and reach the truth behind it all.

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“Alright. Then in that case, what you should do is…”

A few weeks later.

Dina was mixed amongst the traitors’ camp.

She stood on the side of the Seven Heroes who had rebelled against Ruphas and looked for a suitable target while moving around like a shadow.

Eventually, the individual that she found was a young elf.

Seeing him shivering on the ground, not even able to stand up after having experienced Ruphas’s Coercion, Dina smiled.

Excuse me for looking through your memories… hmm, I see, I see. You have some connections with the royal family, mmm. Not too bad as a target, I suppose.

Dina walked towards the young man who was shivering on the ground and manipulated his memories and perception.

Dina amplified his fear that he felt towards Ruphas, coaxing him to run away from the location. Additionally, she implanted a single order, deep in his subconsciousness.

And that order was to be carried out two hundred years from now. At that time, to oppose the threat of the Demon King, he would have no choice but to summon a hero. She implanted such a belief in him. Incidentally, she also bestowed him with the knowledge of how to use the skill X-Gate.

Moreover, she presented him with various pieces of knowledge and taught him how to use a few arcane magic spells. She then incited him to become an executive officer in some kingdom in the future.

In the battle which was about to occur, most of the high-level individuals would end up dead. As a consequence, even with his level of competence, given time, he should be able to become a central pillar in the country he ended up settling in.

Furthermore… whilst bestowing him with the method of how to use X-Gate, she included a fatal fault.

At the time they would attempt to summon a hero, instead of a person from another world, the summoning process would conclude a step prior… The method was rigged such that he would summon someone from the boundary between Midgard and another world.

With all these steps in place, he would eventually try and summon a hero. And when he did, he would mistakenly call upon Ruphas.

The one who would undertake the heavy responsibility of calling her master back to this world was this young man who seemed to have no redeeming features.

Not even the Goddess would be vigilant against someone like him.

After preparing a ticking time bomb on a pitiful young man, Dina moved to the battlefield. She then applied her hand to end a certain battle which was already in its climax.

At the same time Megrez tried to seal Ruphas with sealing arcane magic, she activated X-Gate.

Subsequently, she sent Ruphas away to subspace.

Needless to say, Ruphas was sent away without resistance. The prerequisite to X-Gate was the consent of the target – and because Ruphas had consented to this from the very beginning, there was no reason for her to not be sent away.

With this, everyone else would think that the great heroes had defeated Ruphas.

“Magnificent! Truly magnificent, heroes! You have done well to prove to me that you can surpass me. In the face of your courage and strength, I shall show my admiration from the bottom of my heart. But don’t forget, the darkness has not yet lifted. With this much solidarity between your party, you may even strike the Demon King down – however, know that should you lose that solidarity of yours, the world will be enveloped in far more darkness than it ever has been. Whether your future shall turn out to be bright or dim, I shall observe it from the depths of hell! Kuhahahahaha… HAAhahahahahahaha!!”

Despite how exactly things were developing, Dina felt that Ruphas was in too high of a spirit.

Could it be that she’s actually really enjoying this last boss roleplay??

Not to mention that she’s even warning them that “solidarity is important”.

Due to how frank Ruphas was being with all of this, Dina subconsciously leaked a weird chuckle.

However, the fact that Dina was distracted by all of this was a problem.

Feeling someone’s gaze on her, she turned to look towards the source. When she did, her eyes met with Pollux’s, who was firmly fixated on her.

– Oh ****.

This is definitely going to invite some misunderstandings.

From Pollux’s perspective, any woman who looked like a carbon copy of the Goddess and smiled shrewdly after sealing Ruphas, was clearly suspicious.

In all likelihood, even if Dina were to apply memory manipulation afterwards, Pollux was still likely to say something like, “She’s suspicious.”

Dina became flustered and quickly disappeared from the location, escaping from the battlefield.

Although Dina had made a small mistake, looking at things holistically, things were going well.

After leaving the battlefield behind, Dina headed to the space between space and reconvened with Ruphas.

“Ruphas-sama, what was that at the end!? Because of you, I couldn’t help but chuckle and ended up being seen by Pollux-sama!”

“What are you doing…? Of all people, you were seen by her…”

“Hey, that’s your fault, Ruphas-sama! It’s because you were in such high spirits roleplaying as the final boss!”

“Well, no, I just… felt joyful seeing everyone become strong.”

Alioth and the rest could not even have imagined what was happening.

Who would have thought that, in the backstage of that fateful battle, there was such silly conversation going on?

Ruphas and Dina enjoyed a small quarrel with one another, before switching back to the main topic at hand.

“Anyways… Now, I’ll wait for you to create an avatar. After you’re done with that, I’ll stop time and seal your real body in this subspace. The avatar that you create will be sent into the future to try and circumvent the Goddess-sama’s supervision. I’ll think of some method to feed information and knowledge from this world to you. And two hundred years from now, I’ll match the time of the summoning in order to bring Ruphas-sama back into this world. Is that alright with you?”

“Yeah. … Ahh, by the way, is it possible to change the avatar’s gender?”

“Eh? Well, I suppose so. I mean, you’re just implanting a fragment of your memories, ego and soul, so it’s possible… but are you planning to become a man?”

“No, I’m just wondering.”

Now that Dina reflected on it, she thought that she should have pursued this topic a little more back then.

How could Dina have predicted that Ruphas would actually make a male avatar?

As for why Ruphas had chosen a male avatar, in all likelihood, it was probably because Ruphas had wanted to objectively assess herself.

Considering that she went as far as changing the avatar’s gender, Dina thought that Ruphas had, no doubt, wanted to completely become “someone else” so that she would be able to accurately observe and assess the deeds of “Ruphas Mafahl” and determine why she ended up getting betrayed.

Of course, Dina thought that Ruphas may have had other reasons as well. For example, perhaps Ruphas had wanted to make it harder for the Goddess to notice the avatar by changing its gender. Or perhaps she even wanted to try and prevent the avatar from becoming too much like “Ruphas” by putting the avatar in a position as far away from how she was as possible.

Alternatively, perhaps she just wanted to use this opportunity to try and understand how the minds of men worked.

Whatever the reason, Ruphas was a master whom she could not read.

After their conversation, Dina extracted the fragment of Ruphas’s soul which would serve as the foundation for the avatar and stopped Ruphas’s time. Dina then travelled into the future, carrying that fragment with her before releasing that fragment.

As long as that fragment was released and allowed to roam free, it would eventually house itself in some random fetus which had yet to be born. No further attention was required from Dina.

After watching the fragment leave, Dina returned to the past once more. She then got around to laying down the necessary foundations so that she might properly provide that baby with the required information by the time it grew up.

Once Dina returned to the original time, she utilised memory and perception manipulation and integrated herself into Japanese society, establishing a company.

And around the time when Japan entered the Heisei era, she developed a game with similar features to the world of Midgard. In the beginning, she started selling the offline prototype game [X-Gate] publicly.

Then, without a moment of delay, she started creating the game [X-Gate TRPG] before completing the final product, [X-Gate Online], which was as faithful to the systems which existed on Midgard as possible.

There was no need for Dina to worry that Ruphas’s avatar would not play the game.

After all, the avatar would subconsciously remember its original world.

As such, the avatar would definitely be hooked onto the feel of the world. It should, no doubt, play the game with great interest.

However, because this game was matched with the original world that Dina came from, there was an issue with the game’s balance.

As a consequence, the reputation of the game was a little… no, very bad on the internet. With how things were turning out, it was charging right into termination of its services.

… It, it looks like it can’t be helped.

Regardless of whatever happened afterwards, she had to first get the avatar to play the game. And for that to happen, the game had to be popular enough.

As long as the avatar was aware of the game, Dina was sure that it would play it. However, if the game itself was too under the radar, there was a chance that the avatar would not even learn about its existence.

As a result, Dina cheated. She created a commercial and endowed it with her perception manipulation skill, forcibly inciting people to be interested in the game and creating a game with fake popularity.

This was the reason X-Gate Online was as popular as it was despite the fact that the game balance was so bad that it was known as a ****** game that was always moments before its services were shut down.

After Dina ascertained that Ruphas’s avatar had properly started playing the game, the next thing Dina did was recreate a situation as close to reality as possible.

Out of the countless players who played the game, Dina selected the players whose in-game avatars closely resembled the Seven Heroes. She further picked out the ones amongst them who logged in more frequently and implicitly “guided” them.

For example, those players might “luckily” acquire rare items which rarely dropped from monsters or they might “luckily” encounter rare monsters which gave a high amount of experience points… Subsequently, after they were led to become top players in the game, they were awarded with special character names such as “Alioth” or “Benetnash” from the admins.

In particular, for the would-be Alioth, he would be taught the existence of the hero class from an event quest that he coincidentally came across as well as a way to obtain it.

On top of all of this, she created a separate account for herself and mingled with the group Ruphas and the rest hung out with. She would then lead the conversation in the direction that she wanted and tried to incite them so that they would recreate historical events that she knew had happened.

Such as… It’s boring if there’s only one faction in the game, so let’s split up and have a big battle.

The reason such a ridiculous event that would have normally never happened even came to pass in the first place was because the administrators had the game in their hands.

After the fact, people wrote on the forum, “Things are going so smoothly, it’s as if the admins are helping out certain players.”

It was exactly as they had said… The administrators were, in fact, helping out certain players in the game.

After a while, Dina sensed a distortion in the space-time continuum. In other words, X-Gate was activated. When this happened, Dina electronically appeared in front of Ruphas’s avatar as the mascot of the game, “the Creation Goddess Alovenus”, then said some stuff and teleported back to Midgard.

In the process, she retrieved the fragment of Ruphas’s soul from the avatar who was playing the game then put him to sleep.

At that time, because the avatar fell forward on his face, she was unable to see what the avatar looked like.

As the clothing that the avatar was wearing could be worn by both genders, Dina never thought to question which gender the avatar was. As a consequence, Dina mistakenly thought the avatar was an androgynous young girl.

Digressing a little, after Dina left Earth, the perception-manipulation magic that had been casted on the people was undone. As a result, the game, X-Gate Online, suffered due to its horrible balance and quickly deteriorated. Very quickly, the game flopped and its services were terminated.



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