Chapter 167 – Libra Fled

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Author: Firehead Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Hands of Vecna English Source: Hands of Vecna
Editor(s): TpstT, Keii

It all started more than two hundred years ago.

It started when Ruphas Mafahl stormed into the Sanctuary of the Goddess and took the Selection Scales. The Selection Scales was originally prepared by the Goddess for the Gatekeeper of the Sanctuary, thus its original master was Alovenus. Yet it was modified and then used to build a new golem, Libra.

However, the scales already had a mission by the time it was taken. Its mission was to monitor Ruphas Mafahl…and reduce her combat power from within. Yes, there were two spies among the Tyrannical Thirteen Stars. One was Dina, the manifestation of the Goddess. The other was the emotionless doll, Libra. This mission was not lost even when Mizar rebuilt it.

This was only natural…After all, Mizar was already under the control of the Goddess when he returned from the Sanctuary. It had been deliberately left behind without being deleted. Even Mizar’s copy didn’t know about it. It was the original Mizar who built Libra. The copy was merely a spectator. Since he was just a copy, even he didn’t expect that his original self would do something so stupid.

After it was completed, it became the steel maid who was seemingly the most unwavering and most loyal to Ruphas among the Tyrannical Thirteen Stars. She was unwavering and unshakeable precisely because she was a doll without any emotions.

As a result, Libra had not wavered at all since the beginning. She had been faithfully and emotionlessly following the original mission given to her by her true master.

That had not changed after two hundred years.

She protected the royal tomb in order to prevent the humanoids from gaining powerful weapons. Her reason for killing the intruders was to reduce the combat power of the humanoids. After her reunion with Ruphas, she partially destroyed her own memory so that she could deceive herself into playing the role of a perfect subordinate. This had been possible because she was a golem.

However, she still did not forget her mission. Regardless of what Libra might have been thinking, her thought processes would always return to the completion of her mission. Libra didn’t question the apparent contradiction. After all, to her, it was correct.

She decapitated Jupiter so that Ruphas wouldn’t learn of any information she didn’t need to know. Even during that time when the Demon King was about to say something unnecessary, she purposefully interrupted him. However, not everything went well.

One of the two spies…Dina, who should have been the manifestation of the Goddess, was behaving strangely. At first glance, she seemed to be following the Goddess’ scenario, but it was her fault that the real scenario was being derailed.

Dina had directed Mars to move Aries, who eventually returned to Ruphas. It was the same with Scorpius and Aigokeros. If one were to trace the causes, they had returned due to Dina’s guidance. At Gjallarhorn, she deliberately misspoke and revealed herself as a spy for the demons at an early stage.

…What was she doing? What in the world was all of that for?

Libra had been suspicious of Dina from the start. Without even realizing it herself, she had suspected her of treachery. It was the same when the Demon King was conversing with Ruphas. The timing of Dina’s interruption was too late. When Libra thought about it now, wasn’t she just pretending to be on the side of the Goddess because she was being monitored by Libra?

Therefore, she had advised Ruphas many times to investigate Dina. She thought that if Ruphas suspected Dina and questioned or interrogated her, everything would come to light.

However, although Ruphas suspected Dina, she did not investigate further for some reason. The latter was allowed to do as she pleased. It was as if Ruphas was convinced that she was on her side…

What had happened? Did they have a private discussion without her noticing?

No, there had been no such evidence. She hadn’t picked up on any such conversation.

Instead, it was Libra who had messed up. When Dina revealed that she was a spy for the demons, Libra had to pretend that she knew nothing about it. Indeed, that conversation had been heard by Libra. She could pick up sounds from distant locations. There was no way that she would not have heard it.

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However, since both of them belonged to the Goddess’ faction, Libra wasn’t able to expose her pretense. This led to an unnatural situation where she had to pretend that she had not been listening to what she should have heard.

Later, when Libra became suspicious of Dina, she wanted to reveal the fact that she had heard their conversation, but it was meaningless to do so by then. After all, Ruphas was allowing Dina to do whatever she wanted despite knowing all of that. If she had revealed it, she would be exposing the fact that she had lied and risk casting suspicion on herself.

However, the act was over. Dina was no longer reliable.

Fortunately, there were only two people here—Taurus and Libra herself. There would be no witnesses. Therefore, she should just quickly kill Taurus and finish what the Earth Ouroboros’ avatar could not do. After that, she would assassinate the others one by one.

With her decision made, Libra aimed her cannon at Taurus.

“Goodbye…Taurus.”

“……!”

First, she would finish off one person. With this, the Tyrannical Twelve Stars would never be able to fully assemble.

“—Did you think that everything would proceed that smoothly?”

But suddenly, there was an unexpected voice. When she looked back, she saw the queen of fairies, surrounded by heroic spirits. Her brother, the strongest fairy, was on standby next to her. She cast a cold glance at Libra.

“You’ve finally shown your true colors, Libra. I was thinking that it would end up being something like this when you said that you wanted to go to Helheim alone…”

…I had already been exposed?

Libra remained expressionless, despite being somewhat surprised. However, she kept her cannon pointed at Taurus. She watched Pollux while trying to anticipate her next move.

“…When did you notice?”

“Almost from the very beginning.”

“From the very beginning?”

“Yes. Specifically, it was when I found out that you left the Goddess’ avatar alone.”

—Libra, you too! How is it that even though you’re with her, you allowed such a dumb thing to take place!?
—I’m in such a deep state of apology that I’m high above the mountains.
—You’re not repenting, are you!? Let alone being ‘deep’ in apology, you’re climbing high above the clouds!
—Soon, I’ll be leaving the atmosphere.
—You piece of metallic trash!

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She remembered that conversation from back then. Indeed, that was a mistake. It hadn’t seemed like it was a mistake before, but it was certainly a mistake to leave Dina alone after that. Furthermore, it could be said that this mistake had happened because of Dina. By casting doubt on herself, Dina brought Libra’s inconsistency, which should have been hidden in the shadows, to light.

“Even if you can fool Ruphas-sama, you can’t fool me. Don’t think you can get by with such poor acting. It’s not like you to leave such an obviously suspicious person alone…Rather, it should be impossible for you to do so. Yet you let the self-proclaimed adviser, the Goddess’ avatar, do as she pleased.”

“……”

“Then there is only one explanation. That you were her collaborator. …I wished I was just overthinking it though.”

Pollux crossed her arms and the heroic spirits responded to her fighting spirit and lined up in front of her. Castor had already drawn his weapon, while Taurus slowly lifted his axe.

There were heroic spirits in front and the bull behind. Libra had been completely pincered. Both advancing and retreating would be difficult for her. She could have wiped them out with Brachium, but she had already used it a while ago.

In other words, she was completely cut off. Her escape routes had been blocked.

…At least, normally, one would think so.

“I see…It seems that I’ve underestimated you. In that case, I’ll quietly retreat from here.”

“Will you be able to do that?”

“Pollux. You’re very clever, but your low combat power really is a weakness. Because of that, you’re bound by the same perspective as normal people.”

“Huh?”

Libra mocked her and simply flew up as if she didn’t care about the ceiling. No, in truth, it was no different from a ceiling not being in the way at all. After all, if Libra could break through walls, ceilings, and floors whenever she pleased…as if they were jelly.

Imagine this. A prisoner was locked in a jail, but the walls and ceiling were made of jelly. No matter how well it was locked, it wouldn’t be a perfectly sealed room if they were made of jelly. …That’s right. Even if it was enclosed by walls and a ceiling, it wouldn’t be considered a confinement area if they were so fragile.

In other words, even though it seemed as if the front, back, left, right, up, and down were all blocked, only the front and back were actually blocked.

Up, down, left, and right. This was a net that was full of holes, which allowed one to easily escape.

“Wa—Wait!”

Pollux shouted to stop Libra, who was digging through the ceiling and causing rubble to fall. Even though Castor managed to block them at the last moment, the ceiling continued to collapse.

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“We should also leave, now!”

If Castor and the heroic spirits were the only ones here, they could have smashed through the ceiling in pursuit without worrying about the collapsing rubble. Taurus would be buried alive, but he wasn’t so weak as to die from this. They could just dig him out later. It wouldn’t be a problem.

However, Pollux was different. She would actually die from this. Therefore, Castor had no choice but to escape in order to protect Pollux.

“Sorry, elder brother. It seems I’m just a burden…”

“Don’t worry about it.”

Castor carried Pollux, while the heroic spirits lifted Taurus.

And they left Helheim without being able to capture the treacherous Scales.

“I’ll be stopping here. The two of you, please return to Midgard on your own.”

After completing our errands on Earth, Dina suddenly stopped in between the two universes on our way back to Midgard. I actually predicted that this would happen, so I refrained from asking any questions for now.

“As soon as I return to Midgard, the Goddess will take control of me and wake the ouroboroses. So…I’m done here.”

“…I keep causing trouble for you every time.”

“Yes, indeed.”

Dina looked at me and laughed as if she had been troubled. But I didn’t see any intention of reprimanding me for it in her face.

“However, this is the path I have chosen. This is the path that I chose as Dina, and not as the Goddess’ proxy. I was like a doll until I met you…You have made me into a person, so I have no regrets. But…I can only serve you up until this point.”

As she said that, a smile appeared on Dina’s face. She knew the destiny that lay ahead of her. This was the end of the road. As the Goddess’ avatar, she was bound to the Goddess in a way that could not be compared to Pollux’s ties to the Goddess. The Goddess could take control of her consciousness and possess her whenever she wanted.

Furthermore, this couldn’t be prevented by any item or skill. Equipment that sealed skills would be meaningless. Therefore, there were only two options. One was to kill Dina.

“Ruphas-sama. If you kill me here, you’ll have some time before the next avatar is born. —Goodbye.”

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“……”

This was the script that Dina had decided on from the start. She would mess up the Goddess’ scenario and she herself would disappear in the end. By doing so, the entire scenario would be ruined and Ruphas could act freely until the next avatar was born.

This was definitely the best move. There were no better alternatives. But…

“At that time, don’t hesitate…That’s what you said.”

“Yes.”

“I know. Don’t hesitate…Ah. I have already decided—to defeat the Goddess and save you.”

Instead of choosing the best option here, I specifically opted to choose a better option.

The best move? I had no need for it.

I had always been a simple fool who pushed my way through with brute force. The choice of the wise would never have suited me from the beginning. I had already decided long ago to pick a fight with the divine. In that case, why shouldn’t I save my subordinate who had always been loyal until now?

“We have a promise. If you were to rouse the Goddess’ ire, I’ll do everything I can to protect you.”

When she heard my reply, the relieved Dina laughed in a funny way. A tear shone at the corner of her eye.

“…You’re really a fool.”

“You already knew that though, right?”

“No, I didn’t know. I had no idea that you’re a fool to this extent.”

“I see.”

Dina closed her eyes and pulled something from her bosom. It was a shiny key. Furthermore, it had immeasurable power.

“The Key to the Heavens…Simply put, it’s the GM’s authority. I’ll give this to you. I’ve already prepared the settings. Please activate it when the time comes.”

“Wasn’t this key supposed to have been in Castor’s hands?”

“That’s a fake, you know. To deceive the one who was monitoring me…Actually, since we’ve already gotten to this point, I suppose there’s no reason to be vague anymore. In order to deceive Libra-sama, I asked Orm to play along in order to feed false information. Therefore, the key that Orm now possesses is naturally also a fake. Well, wandering around in the Argo, which was loaded with heroic spirits, was like saying, ‘I have it here. Please come and rob me.’ I wouldn’t do something so silly.”

I wasn’t surprised by the name that Dina mentioned. Actually, I had considered that it might have been the case. Well, that’s true. When Dina said that she was a spy for the demons, she should have overheard it, yet she didn’t fly over.

Furthermore, when Libra killed Jupiter, his body vanished instantly. If I considered it now, that was evidence that she was actually on the Goddess’ side. Even if a demon died, its body would remain for a while…After all, I had slain so many demons and paraded their heads in the past. So there was no mistake.

However, when Libra killed Jupiter, his body disappeared on the spot. This was impossible unless it had been done by the power of the Goddess. …That’s right. When I had said that “that person” was exposing their true colors, I was referring to Libra.

Dina’s movement had been inefficient because she was being watched by the Goddess through Libra. That was why, when she was before Libra, she had to play the incomprehensible role of being the Goddess’ doll who was the demons’ spy that pretended to be Ruphas’ subordinate.

…Even I thought that I was imposing a really troublesome role on her. I honestly felt sorry for her. Nobody could have managed such a role, except for Dina.

“It’s hard to see what’s right under your nose…The Goddess won’t have thought that I was holding on to it all along. Also, the ‘Ark’ has been completed. It’s a product that I’m truly confident of, created by combining Midgard’s alchemy and modern science.”

“To think that you made it all by yourself, good work.”

“Hehe. Actually, I didn’t do it by myself. I was helped by a company that I founded…Actually, all of our employees are from Midgard. They are people who died over there long ago. Scorpius-sama did a good job of it.”

Dina’s words made me think of those people…no, that race. There was only one race that had died and was involved with Scorpius. I see…It was certainly strange now that she mentioned it.

Since Dina had been manipulating the demons from within, it would have been weird if she had just watched them be destroyed without doing anything. It wasn’t that Scorpius couldn’t be manipulated, but to think that this had been within her calculations as well…

Needless to say, Scorpius wouldn’t have made a blunder in finishing them off and would have properly put an end to their lives. No doubt, she would have even confirmed that they were really dead.

However, Dina could resurrect the dead, provided that they had been dead only for a short time. Furthermore, she could manipulate time itself, so it wasn’t impossible.

“Died over there…Scorpius…I see. Anything you’ve had a hand in was a job well-done.”

Indeed, she had been deceiving everyone for two hundred years. There was no reason for her to die when she had played out her role. She had worked hard enough. She had saved me. So now, it was my turn.

“I’ll seal myself in here. Even if the Goddess still manages to find me, it should at least buy you some time.”

“Ah, you can just sleep peacefully. It’s my fight from this point onwards. I’ll take the baton from here.”

“—…I’ll place my trust in you then.”

“Yeah, trust me.”

I spoke strongly as if I was speaking for myself to hear, and stroked Dina’s head. As I turned my back to her, I felt Dina stopping her own time.

Until the Goddess found her…Well, it wouldn’t even take a day. In the meantime, I had to be prepared. Otherwise, it wouldn’t even constitute a real challenge to the Goddess.

However, before that, there was still one final decision to be made.

…I’ve kept you waiting, Orm. I’m coming back right now.

We needed to settle who among us was better suited to challenge the Goddess.

bossv8p09 wn167

Image from Light Novel Volume 8.



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