Chapter 250 - Ominous Identity (3)
Theodore didn't think that Gluttony was exaggerating when it talked about the East Continent's empire. Masters like Theodore couldn't stand that temptation for a minute, so ordinary humans would fall with just one gesture.
Shim Samho must wear the cotton cloth to suppress that mind control. Or it might be a device to induce the opponent's carelessness, just like with Theodore. Either way, it was an insidious ability.
However, Theodore was more concerned with what Gluttony said.
'Shim Samho-no, Lust might've got her hands on this empire? Is she a grimoire that seeks power?'
-You are half right, half wrong. For Lust, power isn't a purpose but a means. She always takes control of the power base in order to carry out the purpose of her existence. I will describe it in detail later. Right now, I need to deal with her.
'...Okay, I'll leave it to you.'
A human couldn't intervene in the conversation between two of the Seven Sins. Just like how Pride had treated Theodore as a monkey in the past, there was no way that Lust wouldn't look down on humans.
Still, there was no need for Theodore to provoke her.
As such, Theodore remained silent, and Gluttony opened its mouth, -Your behavior doesn't seem to have changed from before. That female body is just a 'terminal?'
-Well, that's right. I can't use it anymore because of your host. Shim Samho-no, Lust giggled as she pointed to the hole in the middle of her upper body.
Her body had been damaged by the 7th Circle magic, Shock Bound. The shockwave which had struck from a short distance wasn't a power that could be sustained with human durability. A rock would've shattered, and a piece of iron would've been crushed. As such, the attack magic had certainly destroyed the woman's body.
Pride would've restored the injury in an instant, but Lust wasn't equipped with such ability.
However, Gluttony coldly shot down Lust's complaint, -Don't be condescending. It was a preemptive attack. Didn't you and I make a promise of non-aggression?
-Ah, that is true. I didn't think it was your host, so let's end it here. You know that I don't have any direct combat skills, right?
-Hmm. Gluttony fell silent for a moment at Lust's words. In any case, Lust's body wasn't here, and it was dangerous to be hostile to a person who had taken control of the middle kingdom.
Additionally, the Seven Sins had originally been designed not to be hostile to each other. Pride and Gluttony were inevitable because their natures were contradictory, but Lust usually maintained neutrality with all of the Seven Sins.
-This is the only time. Gluttony thought about the pros and cons and stepped back.
Lust received the answer, and her lips, which were as red as blood, twisted sexily. -Indeed, you understand quickly, Gluttony. But it is too bad. I thought I could finally get a decent seed after a long time.
"Uh!" Theodore felt a heat rising in him as Lust glanced at his lower body. To think that his body became filled with sexual desire with just a look...? The mental interference from a myth-grade existence was truly terrible. If someone other than Theodore had been tempted, they wouldn't have hesitated. Fortunately, it wasn't at the same level as before. However, the loss of his reason was a truly terrible feeling.
Lust asked Gluttony, -By the way, why have you come to the East Continent? Didn't you say that you gave up on shamanism?
-It was an accident.
-Accident? Lust asked with a bewildered expression.
Then Gluttony explained, -I was caught in a random space transition. I never imagined that I would be moved to the East Continent.
-Aha! I knew you wouldn't have come by yourself. Lust nodded a few times before looking down at her broken body.
It might've been controlled remotely, but Theodore's blow had stopped the body's life function and disconnected Lust from the body. The evidence of this was how the low-frequency voice was becoming increasingly weaker.
She shrugged and said to Gluttony, -I am reaching my limit. I'm sorry but please take care of this. I don't have any convenient features like destroying evidence.
-Are you going to come again?
-No, this person is your host, so I don't want to touch him. If you are thinking about coming to the capital, then I will meet you again, Gluttony. Human, if you change your mind, you can always contact me, Lust whispered coyly before Shim Samho's body collapsed like a broken puppet.
Once the connection with Lust's main body was cut off, it returned to being an ordinary body. Its life had been lost the moment Theodore's strike hit it. Due to the loss of connection with Lust, Shim Samho's dead body could no longer capture Theodore's eyes.
"Sigh..." He sighed as he looked around at the bloody room. "In the end, the cleaning up is left to me."
-I will start telling you the story as soon as you are done.
Why did Gluttony's words sound so spiteful...? There was the naked body of the woman on the floor, and blood covered the ceiling, making it look like a gruesome murder scene. It was impossible to call the servants to clean this up.
Theodore summoned flames on his palm with a weary face and got started.
* * *
After an hour, Theodore cleaned the room of all the bloodstains and stench, and sat down.
The cleaning didn't consume a great amount of magic power, but his fatigue was great due to his meeting with Lust. It was like when he used Umbra to the limit.
"Hah, I still can't stand against real monsters."
In the past, Pride had overwhelmed him with force, and now, Lust had just suppressed him mentally. The memory of his body trying to escape from Lust's control was terrible, and he didn't want to think about it again.
As if it knew Theodore's mind, Gluttony woke up as soon as the cleaning finished.
-User, are you ready to hear the story?
Theodore was tired but he had no intention of resting. At the very least, he wanted to know what power that Lust of the Seven Sins had.
As Theodore's blurred eyes became clear, Gluttony started to list Lust's information.
-The collection production type grimoire, Lust. You met her terminal so you know that she has no direct combat ability. She is a creature with a reproductive instinct that uses an irresistible mental dominance and places a subordinate instinct in her intercourse partner. She can be called a type of queen bee.
"She brainwashes them by having sex?"
-It is similar. The other person submits to Lust's command with their own will. He is loyal enough to devote his life, even if he knows he is being manipulated. Once applied, this brainwashing can't be released, so it is the highest level ability.
Theodore got goosebumps at these words. To think that even Gluttony, who had knowledge from the Age of Mythology, asserted that this brainwashing ability couldn't be lifted...
If Theodore hadn't been able to regain his sanity, he would've become Lust's slave. At this level, her lack of combat capability wasn't an obstacle at all. This was comparable to Pride's feeding evolution and Gluttony's predation.
Simultaneously, Theodore had a question. "Gluttony, I was wondering one thing."
"What is Lust's purpose? What is it trying to accomplish with these two functions-sexual intercourse and brainwashing?"
Pride tried to regenerate into the ultimate creature by eating all creatures and absorbing their qualities. Meanwhile, Gluttony's purpose was to collect magic knowledge with its predation ability, so it saved rare artifacts in its body to achieve this purpose. As such, the powers of the Seven Sins was directly linked to their purposes of existence.
If so, what were Lust's powers for?
Perhaps Theodore's question was unexpected. Gluttony paused for a moment before speaking again.
-It is within the acceptable range. To be as clear as possible, Lust's existence is to become the ultimate womb.
"...The ultimate womb?"
'The ultimate womb...' Theodore looked down at his left palm.
The tongue protruded and moved slowly. -Lust's ability to seduce and brainwash others through sexual intercourse is a by-product of reaching the end. It is possible for Lust to collect genetic information from an organism she has sex with and to store this separately.
"So, it is the same ability as Superbia."
-No, it is similar but significantly different, Gluttony denied it decisively. If Pride took on the characteristics of the creatures it fed on, then Lust took advantage of it through reproductive behavior. However, there was a big difference between the two abilities.
-The ultimate creature... As you say, two of the Seven Sins have the same goal, but the method is different. If Superbia wants to reach it with its own body, then Lust's purpose is to 'give birth.'
-It is to give birth to a child that is superior to the parents. This is Lust's ability and the purpose of her existence. I don't know how many generations it will take, but if this process keeps repeating, she will reach the goal someday. Lust is the incubator.
Despite the words Theodore didn't know, his brilliance meant he immediately understood Gluttony's explanation.
In some ways, Lust's goal was to make the ultimate hybrid.
In a species, it was easy to observe the difference in the quality of each individual. Among the same type of humans, some of them were inferior. Some had superior athletic abilities, while others had superior learning abilities.
The power of Lust was to analyze the genetic information, extract it, and give birth to a more advanced fetus. In other words, it was an ability that could be the origin of a divine human being.
-Lust's fetus will continue to progress with each generation. Physical, mental, and even the purity of the soul will keep rising until the end. In fact, some of the top species that existed in the Age of Mythology were her descendants.
Theodore heard Lust's purpose and realized the depth of the danger. In the ancient myths, there was a story about a marriage which had been ruined because of the prophecy that a child superior to the father would be born.
The process of evolution didn't take place overnight. It couldn't happen overnight. No, it was a miraculous phenomenon that would take place over hundreds, thousands of years. Yet Lust could artificially reproduce such a miracle.
Gluttony connected this power to its application in reality before Theodore did and muttered with a heavy voice, -It is dangerous.
Theodore's head was still confused by the mental interference, but the gears of Gluttony's mind rotated at a different speed to those of humans.
-User, do you remember the words of Abe no Seimei?
"Seimei? Why are you suddenly mentioning the Onmyōji-ah!" Theodore's eyes darkened as he was reminded of the forgotten advice.
[If you go to the East Continent, never approach the capital in the center. If you have to go, only try it after you have reached full transcendence.] Seimei's warning about not going to the middle kingdom echoed in Theodore's mind.
What had Lust said as she left here? That they would meet again if Theodore went to the capital?
"Seimei's warning, was it about Lust?"
-The possibility is high, Gluttony's voice flowed from Theodore's left hand as it trampled on the rest of his hopes. -According to the records, it has been a long time since Lust vanished from the West Continent. If Lust disappeared 2,000 years ago and repeatedly gave birth over the past thousands of years... The potential of that 'child' would already surpass the top species.
-It is as you think, User.
Both of them came to the same conclusion.
In contrast to the astonished Theodore, the grimoire Gluttony spoke its hypothesis in a somewhat interested voice, -The royal family of the Middle Kingdom, the family that has ruled over the East Continent for thousands of years... that is probably where the most likely candidate is.