Chapter 183 – Ruphas Blocked the Ball!

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

When the Goddess bestowed power upon another, she would first ensure that the person wanted power. This ensured that the person would naturally accept the power and freely use it.

Even if she didn’t do so, the Goddess could still control the person. It wasn’t impossible to forcibly make someone a puppet even if the person rejected her power…And the person must have a mental fortitude similar to that of Benetnash in order to resist it. In other words, the Goddess could control Sei whenever she wanted.

So why didn’t she do that? The reason was simple…It was because he would still be too weak. No matter how much its status was improved, a doll that couldn’t make its own decisions would be full of openings, so it wouldn’t be useful as a combat unit.

Because the Goddess was too powerful, she wouldn’t be aware of tiny events that were happening in the tiny world. For example, if someone was playing a game from the perspective of God, the player wouldn’t notice a tiny mosquito that came before the game character. This was because the character was too tiny.

This would be a fatal flaw in battle. It was almost like being defenseless. It might be manageable if there was an overwhelming difference between the combatants, but the opponent this time was Ruphas Mafahl. A hero who was full of openings wouldn’t be much of an opponent at all.

This was why, when she controlled Alioth and the others back then, she didn’t deprive them of their wills. Pollux was a special case, since she was completely a doll. She was weak to begin with, so there would be openings regardless. It was the Argonauts who would be fighting anyway.

Therefore, the awakening of the hero must follow the proper order by first having the hero become aware of his own powerlessness. The Goddess would then grant him power when he sought it out of his own volition.

However, the plan had completely fallen apart due to the betrayal of one person. Dina, who was her avatar, had gone astray. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to consider her as another Alovenus, since she had her personality and memories. Thus, her betrayal wasn’t expected by the Goddess. She was the culprit behind everything.

Dina was supposed to only give Ruphas a false personality, but she ended up giving Ruphas knowledge of the other world and returning her back to her actual self. The Twelve Stars, who had gone astray, were returned to Ruphas, while the demons were further weakened. By intentionally faking incompetence, she had even caused Libra to be exposed. The hero was completely ignored by her as well…When the Goddess finally realized it, the situation had already become like this.

An understanding had been reached between the hero and Ruphas. Both of them were now enemies of the Goddess. It shouldn’t have been like this. It wouldn’t be a story if the protagonist and the last boss were on amicable terms. Furthermore, it was based on an extremely unorthodox reason like “The author is annoying, so let’s beat her up together.”

But that was all there was to it. Now that the Goddess herself had taken action, the story would not be derailed further.

Convinced of her victory, the Goddess (Dina) smiled and used her thought-manipulation ability. Likewise, Ruphas smiled and watched without interrupting her as she was also certain of her victory.

Both of them had played their cards, but which one would end up victorious? Regardless, there was one thing in common. Regardless of who was expected to win, the curtains would fall by the hands of the hero.

Sei was confused. He remembered being in the Ark, persuading the people there. It could be argued whether it counted as persuasion, but he was currently looking at the scene outside.

Outside the Ark, he could see Virgo fighting desperately. Her opponent was the Wood Ouroboros. It was an abnormal monster that could crush planets. Virgo couldn’t possibly remain unharmed.

Sei could only look on without being able to do anything. After all, Virgo was strong, while he was weak. Instead of providing assistance, he would die just from being outside of the Ark.

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The planet had lost its original form, becoming swallowed by magma. Meteors continuously rained from the sky. The mountains were crushed and the ground had ripped apart. The seas had dried up, while thunder roared ceaselessly. Abnormal weather was occurring everywhere. It was no doubt the end of the world. It was the end times that were found in various myths.

It would be a lie if he said that he wasn’t feeling miserable. He couldn’t help but feel inferior. No, he had always felt miserable. Being a hero was a heavy burden. He was ashamed of his own weakness.

Helplessness had accompanied Sei like a neighbor who would not leave. Ever since he saw Ruphas in this world, it had been like a friend who constantly placed a hand on his shoulder. He had been disgusted with this friend since the very beginning. Even now, that feeling continued to grow.

He felt particularly helpless during the fight against Debris in Lægjarn. Seeing the difference between himself and Ruphas had made him give up in a sense. She was a natural disaster in humanoid form, so it couldn’t be helped if he couldn’t win.

There was no shame in running away from a falling meteor, not winning against a fighter jet armed with nuclear missiles, or surrendering to a fully mobilized army. If a rampaging giant monster came out of the screen from a monster movie, who would be able to fight it with a sword?

However, that time alone was different. Debris had been an opponent that Sei could have fought, but he had still lost. He was even taken hostage and became a burden for Virgo. In the end, everything had been resolved by the intrusion of Ruphas. Sei had never hated his own powerlessness as much as he had during that incident.

When he finally noticed it, he was squatting alone in the dark. A sense of helplessness took on Sei’s appearance and spoke to him.

“I’m so weak. I can’t protect anything or do anything. What kind of hero am I? Seriously, what a joke.”

Exactly.

Such a pitiful, useless hero would just be the object of scorn. As if it was going with the flow, his sense of inferiority took on the appearance of Debris and placed a hand on his shoulder.

“I envy those powerful people. I’m jealous of them. I can’t help but think…If only I have such power…”

Shut up and be quiet!

Sei murmured and weakly shook the hand off. However, the sense of helplessness persisted. His sense of inferiority didn’t disappear. Instead, his misery took on the appearance of a stranger (Mars) who pranced around in front of Sei.

“Hey, how are you feeling right now? How does it feel to be a hero who couldn’t do anything?”

Who the heck are you?

Sei got up and punched the stranger in the face before sitting down again.

Suddenly, a ray of light descended in front of him. When he raised his head, he saw a divine woman before him. She gently reached out her hand and spoke to Sei.

“It will be okay, Hero Sei. You’re not weak. Your power is simply dormant. Now, take my hand. You no longer need to feel helpless, inferior, or miserable. You can fly to the battlefield right now and be the one who saves everything.”

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Instantly, he saw a figure of his own powerful self playing out in his mind like a movie. He used the power that was surging within him to play an active role like a rampaging lion. Even when he fell into a predicament, the power that was dormant within him was conveniently awakened and allowed him to reverse the situation. Then, after becoming more and more active, cute girls fell in love with him for no real reason. When they realized the situation, they started fighting over him.

That was the flow of a typical story. It was a common development. It would be a lie to say that he didn’t yearn for it. It was at least much better than his current useless self. He had always wondered why he was even summoned to this world. He wouldn’t say that he never had any delusions of a future in which he was powerful and active.

But even then…

“…I see. You’re the Goddess, Alovenus, right?”

—This weakness is also part of me, Minami-Jyuji Sei.

No matter how bitter it was, he had no choice but to swallow it. No matter how he tried to look away, reality would still be there. People could never really escape reality.

“If I take your hand, I can certainly become stronger. But the cost of that would make me lose sight of something really important…Am I right?”

“…Do you not seek power?”

“I want it. Ah, damn. I really want it. I want it so badly that I’m almost willing to take your hand.”

Sei was different from Benetnash. Benetnash was strong. She was so strong that she didn’t need the help of the Goddess. She was proud of her own power. Although both of them craved power, they were the exact opposites of each other. Benetnash had never felt inferior until she met Ruphas. She had never felt helpless.

I’m strong. Since she can beat me, Mafahl must be stronger. In that case, I’ll become even stronger through my own power.

That was Benetnash’s train of thought. It was simple and stubborn. She never had the fragility of a weak person like Sei to begin with. She had abandoned it while she was in her mother’s womb.

However, Sei was different. He wasn’t strong. Instead, he was terribly delicate. If Benetnash’s heart was a superalloy steel plate with a ridiculous thickness of several meters, Sei’s heart would be like aluminum foil. It could be folded many times, leaving wrinkles behind. He was different from Benetnash, who didn’t even know what it meant to fold.

But even so…With his weak heart that was full of wrinkles, he rejected the hand of the Goddess.

“I…don’t need it. I’m weak. Honestly, it’s a very miserable feeling. But even so, there’s still one thing that a weakling like me can do. I…I won’t make the mistake of pointing the muzzle at the wrong person…I don’t want to make such a mistake.”

He wanted power. He really wanted it. He wanted it so much that he wanted to cry. Actually, he was still wavering over it right now. He had an urge to say that he wanted to take back everything he had just said.

But he couldn’t do that. If he did, he would no longer be Minami-Jyuji Sei. If he were to betray his own conscience to gain power, he would only become a gun that would fire without aiming. No matter how powerful it might be, a gun that would shoot people that it shouldn’t shoot from behind wasn’t worth anything.

“…Hehehehehe.”

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Faced with Sei’s attitude, the Goddess discarded her compassionate smile as her mouth distorted into the shape of a crescent moon. Then, she applauded him and grabbed him by the jaw.

“I see, I see. As expected of a hero. Such a wonderful state of mind. I applaud the strength of your heart. Yes, I don’t hate that at all. I rather like the attitude of wanting to walk on your own two feet. That’s why I pity you…Oh, what a poor child. Although you have such a strong belief, you don’t have the power. That’s really, really unfortunate.”

The Goddess didn’t seem to have heard Sei’s words, continuing her own monologue by herself. It wasn’t that she disliked Sei. She wasn’t angry at his rejection. In fact, it was the opposite. She really thought that he was a very courageous and wonderful child.

That’s right. People should be like this. They shouldn’t just wish for things to happen or look to their deity. Instead, they should keep walking with their own feet. That was the strength of humans. And it was beautiful.

That was why she pitied him. A young man like him deserved more power than anyone else, but he had rejected it. He needed to be saved. He should be saved. He must be saved. He cannot be left unsaved.

“Be at ease. I will not abandon you. You can be happy. You can be a bit more selfish. I’ll forgive you for it. I will save you from your helplessness.”

This was a forced salvation. She wasn’t even listening to his words. She would save him because she wanted to do so. He was wonderful. He was simply wonderful beyond measure. Therefore, he should be happy. She would make him happy.

At this moment, Sei understood. He had always thought that the Goddess Alovenus was a villain who was just messing around with the world.

But that was wrong…This Goddess…This ill-natured Goddess’ aim was merely off-target.

“Even if you don’t ask for it, I will grant you my power. It’ll be alright. By the time you wake up, it will all be over.”

She no longer cared about Sei’s intentions. A doll without an ego wouldn’t be that good in combat, but it would be fine if there was an overwhelming difference in status. By turning the ouroboroses into experience points, he could take in a portion of the universe and become an invincible powerhouse. He would be able to defeat Ruphas.

And so the Goddess lifted his chin further to force her salvation on him.

“I command you. Reject her if you wish to do so.”

Then, a different form of domination that was already inside Sei interrupted, allowing Sei to push the hand of the Goddess away. When Sei quickly turned around, he saw Ruphas. This was Sei’s mindscape, so Ruphas shouldn’t be here. However, she had already snuck her domination into Sei. Naturally, it wasn’t to control him. It was to protect him from being controlled by others.

“Wha—!? Ru—Ruphas!? Why are you here…?”

“Hmm. I thought that something like this would happen, Alovenus. As expected, you are trying to force your power onto him…Too bad, huh?”

“Wa—Wait a minute. Don’t tell me that you…used that without his permission?”

Ruphas had used it before Sei had gone inside the Ark. When she patted him1 on the shoulder, she had activated a skill.

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The name of that skill was Capture. It was a basic skill of a monster tamer. It would capture the target and put it under the tamer’s control. As evident from the fact that she had used it to capture Parthenos, it wasn’t a skill that was restricted only to magical beasts. If desired, it could be used to capture a human.

“I have already captured this young man called Sei. You can’t touch him unless you defeat me first.”

“What is this unorthodox method!?”

In Sei’s mindscape, the aspect of the Goddess cried out in anguish like a tree spirit. At the same time, all of the experience points (mana) that were heading towards Sei changed course and rushed towards Ruphas.

The hero had rejected the script, therefore the story would no longer be valid.

The curtains had been lowered.



References

  1. Chapter 172.
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