|Author: Firehead||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: Hands of Vecna||English Source: Hands of Vecna|
|Editor(s): TpstT, Keii|
The twilight of the gods had drawn to a close, and the sun rose once again over the land of Midgard. I squinted my eyes as I watched this ordinary scene from the Argo. Midgard should have been destroyed along with the universe back then, but the landscape seemed no different from yesterday, as if all that destruction had never happened.
After the battle with Alovenus, I had gotten her to rewind the cosmic time back to the moment before the twilight of the gods. If she was able to do that, it made me wonder why she didn’t just erase me. Honestly, I had been wondering about that too.
The reason was rather simple and dumb. The Goddess was too powerful for her own good, so she was bad at holding back. Actually, if one thought about it, the signs had always been there. The proof was the fact that she could barely intervene in Midgard because her existence was too powerful.
If Alovenus had rewinded time, it would have turned back to the moment before Midgard was created. In the worst case scenario, time might even turn all the way back to the Big Bang. Otherwise, she would have rewinded time to the moment before a bug like me was born.
This was the surprising weakness of the Goddess, who was supposed to be omnipotent. She was good at doing things on an unnecessarily large scale, but she was bad at fine-tuning things on a small scale. In the words of the Goddess herself, it was like “trying to rewind a movie a little bit, but accidently ending up going all the way back to the beginning.” I didn’t really understand the analogy.
Anyway, because I had released the mana that I had taken in order to regenerate the universe, I had returned to my original strength. Having said that, since I’ve gotten the hang of it, I was confident that if the Goddess did something stupid again, I could just go and smack her again right away.
“It’s over, right?”
Dina, who was standing next to me, asked briefly. Likewise, I replied in a brief manner. Although we only exchanged a few words, they were loaded with both of our emotions.
It was over… Indeed, it was finally over. Everything had only been about getting the Goddess to rewrite the script, but the road to actually achieving it had been so long. However, Midgard had finally left the hands of Alovenus. From now on, there would be no guidance from the Goddess. Honestly, it wasn’t really helpful anyway, so we would have to find our own way by ourselves.
“Ruphas-sama—! This mistress has always believed in you—!”
Scorpius threw herself at me with open arms, but her movement was stopped before she could reach me. Libra had grabbed her head and was keeping her subdued.
“Hey, what are you doing, you piece of trash!?”
“I merely took down a pervert who was getting close to my master. I’m not doing anything strange.”
“In what way am I a pervert!? I’m going to smash you!”
“Your presence makes it difficult to hold a conversation. I’ll send you to the moon first.”
While holding onto Scorpius, Libra’s forearms separated from her elbows and flew into the sky. As she had said, their destination was the moon. The moon appeared normal at first glance, but I had actually tinkered with it a little while I was restoring the universe. In fact, Mafahl Tower had been moved to the moon. The reason for that was because I intended to go to the moon and hide there for a while.
After all, I was still the personification of terror in Midgard. Furthermore, I had already destroyed the world once before. Even though it had been fixed, it was inevitable that people would fear me. That was why I considered withdrawing from the world, creating a country on the moon, and leisurely living there.
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While I was restoring the universe, I had created an environment on the moon so that living creatures could reside there. When viewed from Midgard, the moon appeared the same as it had before. However, this was merely an illusion created with arcane magic. There were seas and other natural features there.
In any case, it was still a new, undeveloped celestial body, so we would have to build a town and so on. Of course, if I was the official ruler, people would come to fear the moon as a symbol of misfortune. Thus, I decided to make it the celestial home of the Goddess, and pushed Dina to become the new Goddess.
In other words, Dina would be known as the Goddess of the Moon from now on. It seemed that she just kept getting more and more names and titles.
“And whose fault is it? Whose, I wonder?”
“Yes, it’s my fault.”
I gently responded to Dina’s complaint and looked at the ground.
After the people had alighted from the Ark, the Ark was hidden on the dark side of the moon. As usual, it was a peaceful scene. Some things were different though. People no longer had to be afraid of the demons.
Obviously, the demons couldn’t just return to the surface of Midgard. After all, they had been hostile towards the humanoids for too long. Therefore, they were sent to the moon as well. Since I was the personification of terror, it might seem like a joke for them to live in the same place as me. However, I wanted them to give up the thought in exchange for all the bad things they had done up until this point.
“But is this really alright? It isn’t impossible for my master to dominate the world once again.”
“It would certainly be easier now, but…I originally aimed to conquer the world because I wanted to create a peaceful world where the weak wouldn’t have to live in fear of the demons. However, the demons have been brought over here. In that case, we could say that my objective has been achieved.”
I waved my hand and gave a negative response to Libra’s suggestion. I didn’t want to conquer the world anymore. I had no reason to do so. My last job was to take in firebrands, such as the demons, who would cause trouble if they were left in Midgard.
Naturally, it wasn’t just the demons. We were also planning to relocate the demihuman settlements, individuals who exceeded Level 300 in this day and age, and some high-level magical beasts, which were obviously too dangerous to leave on Midgard. We were intending to bring them to the moon as well. Only the underwater kingdom ruled by Pisces would remain in Midgard and continue to protect the sea.
“Besides, I’m not really cut out to be a ruler. All I can do is suppress the people by force… My method of inducing obedience involves power and fear instead of understanding. In that case, even if I can be a tyrant, I cannot be an enlightened ruler. In times of turmoil, a tyrant might be necessary, but the future of Midgard doesn’t need a ruler like me. Furthermore, I’ve already disappeared from the stage once before. I don’t have any lingering attachments that would make me want to make a comeback this late in time. …The rest will be left to those who live in this moment.”
I wanted to make myself clear… In a peaceful world, I would be a rather incompetent ruler. After all, I was only good at various forms of violence, such as invasion, suppression, and annihilation by personally going to the front line. In a war-torn world, I might be an excellent ruler. If we were judging it on the basis of “the end justifies the means”, there would be nobody better than me except for the Goddess.
However, expanding one’s territory in times of war and governing a world at peace were completely different issues. Perhaps, my ability as a ruler was so low that it couldn’t even reach Megrez’s feet. Titles like Conqueror or Overlord might sound cool, but in the end, a person like that was merely an unstable ruler whose dignity could only be maintained by having an enemy to fight against.
I could only slaughter all the enemies until there was nothing left except for a mountain of corpses and a river of blood. I could only build peace when all the enemies were gone. But what could I do after peace was achieved? In a world without enemies, what should an incompetent ruler, whose dignity depended on having enemies, do?
Should I look for a new enemy? I would have to keep making enemies by simply repeating, “I don’t like them.” …In the end, I would surely be all alone. I could say this now. I was glad that I had lost to Alioth… Otherwise, I might have become a second Alovenus by now.
A peaceful world didn’t need a ruler like me. No, it shouldn’t need a ruler like me. This was my conclusion after I had left this world to gain the knowledge and learn the ways of the other world (Earth).
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“By the way, Ruphas-sama, what happened to the demons?”
“Oh, about that… It seems that there’s no way to change them into living creatures, since they’re personifications of magic. Well, if that could be done, the Goddess wouldn’t have brought living creatures from Earth over.”
I answered Dina’s question with a conclusion that was rather cruel to the demons. As expected, there seemed to be no way to make them into living creatures. Perhaps there might be a way, but if even the Goddess Alovenus couldn’t find one, then it was practically impossible.
But this was something that was expected. In the first place, Alovenus had to bring living creatures from Earth because she couldn’t create them. In other words, if arcane magic could exist as living creatures, Midgard would have a very different ecosystem.
But this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
“There’s no way to change the demons from arcane magic into living creatures… but that doesn’t mean we should be pessimistic about it. It’s considerably easy to change the nature of the magic.”
“The nature of it, huh?”
“Yes. Originally, the demons were an offensive magic targeting the humanoids… but their nature was changed by Alovenus, so they no longer have an urge to attack the humanoids. Furthermore, apparently the demons have something akin to souls, so it’s possible for them to reincarnate in the same way as creating an avatar by installing their souls into fetuses.”
Honestly, I wasn’t expecting this. I didn’t expect Alovenus to have such a remedy at hand. Although, based on what I had heard, it wasn’t really a remedy per se. It was simply a way for Alovenus to cut corners and reuse them since she found it troublesome to create them anew. She seemed to be treating them like recycled plastic or something. Regarding this matter, Alovenus had said to me in a surprised manner.
“Eh? Didn’t you notice? When I was manipulating Pollux before, I think I sent out a demon called Mars1 against you…”
That being said, it was certainly true. The Argonautai skill couldn’t summon something without a soul. Back then, Pollux had certainly summoned a strange fellow called Mars. I didn’t care about it at that time, but that seemed to be an oversight on my part. I didn’t think that the answer would be found in that place.
Therefore, the demons… Mercurius, who had previously died in Draupnir, should have already reincarnated as a heroic spirit. At this time, he was probably talking to Terra. But if there was someone who had returned, there must also be someone who had left.
I stopped looking at the rising sun and turned towards the deck of the Argo. There stood Alioth, Dubhe, Phecda, and Mizar. Meanwhile, the survivors—Benetnash, Megrez, and Merak—were watching from a short distance away. Just by looking at them, I understood their decisions.
“…You’re all going to leave?”
“Yeah. We’ve talked about it. We don’t think it’s a good idea for us to continue staying in this world.”
“We’re remnants of the past that should have already passed away, bear. We’ve decided to return gracefully, bear.”
“Hey, Dubhe. The ending of your sentences…”
“Oops, I made a mistake, medvezhyi.2 Well, don’t worry about it, arktos.”
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“You’re doing this on purpose!”
Alioth and Dubhe had a comical exchange, which felt really nostalgic to me. It was said that idiocy could only be cured by death, but it seemed that idiocy persisted even after death. It made me strangely happy. I couldn’t help but laugh.
“Our adventures are over. I don’t want to get in the way of the younger generations.”
“If I stay here, there would be two of me. It’s best for me to quietly return to the grave.”
Phecda spoke calmly, while Mizar spoke casually, as if he was going home.
These guys are so impatient, I thought.
Since they had returned to the world, they could have enjoyed their lives a little longer. After all, it was not like they were going to be punished for it. Even if there were punishments, all I had to do was complain to the Goddess. However, this might be their way of taking responsibility. In that case, I should just see them off without making a fuss about it. It felt somewhat lonely though.
“I’ve been able to watch you go through with your plans. I have no further regrets.”
“In the end, I was able to fight alongside you as a comrade. That’s more than enough for me.”
Alioth and Mizar spoke as if they had been relieved of their burdens. They must have been full of regrets regarding their past failures all this time. It felt a bit strange for me to say this, but if they were satisfied, then I guessed it was fine.
“I see… In that case, at least let us drink a toast before you go.”
I snapped my fingers, and Libra quickly gave a glass to each of us and poured wine for us. Her forearms should have gone to the moon with Scorpius, yet for some reason, they were now firmly attached. Some distance away, an armless mass-produced Libra unit was staring reproachfully at the original Libra. I figured Libra must have taken them from her sister unit. She had better return them to her later.
Anyway, this toast would be the final farewell I would be having with these guys. The Seven Heroes clinked their glasses with mine, and it reminded me of the past I had shared with them as if it had been only yesterday. I wondered how long had it been… since I met these seven people face-to-face and shared a drink together with such a calm feeling. I’d really liked to talk a bit more, but it would only make things worse if I dragged things out for too long.
“…Well then, Alioth, Dubhe, Phecda, and Mizar. We’ll never see you again.”
This was farewell forever. I knew there was a place in this world where souls moved on to after death, but it would be a long time before I went there. But by that time, Alioth and the others wouldn’t be there anymore. They would probably have new lives through reincarnation. Indeed, there was a cycle of souls. I didn’t know how it worked on Earth, but this was what would happen in Midgard. It was only natural if one thought about it. A goddess who would reuse the demons couldn’t possibly be bothered to produce new souls. That useless goddess was even recycling souls in Midgard. There should be a limit on how many corners she was allowed to cut.
Naturally, once reincarnated, Alioth and the rest would no longer be themselves nor would they retain any memories of their previous lives. In other words, even if we had the opportunity to have a reunion, we wouldn’t be able to recognize each other.
“To our encounters and the times we had spent together along the way.”
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We toasted and drank the wine in one go. There was no need for long conversations or reminiscences. This one drink was all that we needed. This final glass that washed away all the roots of our troubles was more than enough… We were satisfied.
I drank the wine while various memories passed through my mind—and Alioth and the other three departed.
A lot of things had happened to them, but there was still something I could say.
I’m glad to see you. I’m glad to have been able to meet you and have an adventure together.
That was what I thought from the bottom of my heart.
It was somewhat weird to say this to a dead person… But be in good health over there.
Image from Light Novel Volume 9.
- This happened in Chapter 134.
- Medvezhyi (Медвежьи) is the Russian word for “bear”. The Medvezhyi Islands, also called the Bear Islands, are the breeding ground for polar bears in the Eastern Siberian Sea.
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