TL Note: Sorry it's a few minutes late, but here it is! Enjoy~
CHAPTER 26: LEGEND
[Class] Duke; Horde Chief
[Possessed Skills] <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>
[Divine Protection] Goddess of the Underworld (Altesia)
[Attributes] Darkness; Death
[Subordinate Beasts] Kobold (Lv9)
[Abnormal Status] <>
Amongst the newly added horde of druids, 30 could be counted as warriors. Within that 30, 25 are able to actually use magic in combat.
I gave a name to the goblin rare leading that horde.
"I name you Gi Za," I said.
The goblin rare thanked me, but at the same time, he made a difficult face. This is the first time I've gotten this sort of response.
"What? Unsatisfied?" I asked.
"No... I just realized that there really is no such thing as a perfect man," shrugged Gi Za.
Well I'm sorry I have no taste!
The non-combatants from the new horde along with the combatants total to 50.
We took all those goblins along with us, and we returned back to the settlement.
With the druids added, we now number 142 goblins in total.
92 combatants, and 50 non-combatants that include the female, the elderly, and the larvae. We've become quite the big family now.
Gi Gu also fulfilled his task of protecting the village with no problem, and our hunting right now is proceeding favorably as well.
I reformed the three-man cells with the druids, then I showed them how we hunted, and the day ended.
The next day, I used the [Skill] <> to evaluate the goblins, picked out the promising goblins, and then had them form three-man cells under Gi Ga.
When the sun began to set, I led Gi Ga and his group to hunt the south. And when the sky began to turn dark, we took our spoils and went back to the village.
When I got back, I followed my usual schedule, and went over to Reshia's jail. But then I noticed that someone had gone ahead of me.
"Gi Za, what are you doing here?" I asked.
"Nothing in particular," he replied.
Gi Za seems to hunger for knowledge quite a bit. Even in our previous duel, it was for that reason that he had asked for Reshia to be his reward.
But because of that, it seems Reshia's come to hate him, and has been refusing to talk to him. Unfortunately for him, Reshia is the king's treasure, leaving him at a standstill, unable to do anything. It's quite rare actually, seeing this goblin make such a bitter smile.
It must be because his features resemble humans that his expression now strangely reeks of humanity.
"You got here at just the right time. I was just about to visit Reshia. Come," I said, to which Gi Za replied with a bow, saying, "Thanks."
A rather rare sight seeing this goblin bow. But then again, I wonder just how exactly you rejected this goblin, Reshia? For this overconfident goblin to be troubled so.
I'm actually more concerned about that than my discussion with Reshia.
As I entered the jail, Reshia saw me. Then quickly after, she saw Gi Za follow from right behind. Immediately, a deep valley bore through her forehead.
"Why is that goblin here?" she asked, visibly irritated.
"He wants to talk too, apparently," I replied.
"I'm talking because it's you. I don't want to talk with that goblin," bluntly replied Reshia.
"Oh, come on, don't say that. Consider it as a request from me," I said, trying to coax her to agree.
Reshia mumbled to herself, then replying in a faint voice, almost whispering, she said, "Fine... But only when you're around."
"Looks like I'm hated," shrugged Gi Za, bitterly smiling.
Ｗhat a persistent man, I thought. Then continuing, I said,
"Today I want to talk about the gods."
"You mean, their legend?" asked Reshia, curious.
"Yes, especially the story of the god who birthed the earth and his daughters... Hmm? What's the matter?"
For some reason, Reshia was frozen still, shocked, with a strange expression on her face.
"Ah, no... I was just a bit surprised. I didn't expect that you'd actually be interested in the pedigree of the gods," she replied.
I looked back towards Gi Za, and asked,
"Is it that strange?"
"Well... you'd normally ask for something more normal. Like the practical uses of magic for example," replied Gi Za.
Hearing that, I thought, Oh, so that's what he's after. Then I asked Reshia,
"Hmm... Reshia, do you also find the stories of the gods to be meaningless?"
"Ah, no. I don't think so at all. After all, to gain knowledge from the study of the history of the gods is the raison d'etre of us, apostles," replied Reshia.
The raison d'etre of apostles?
"That apostle of god of yours... is there some special meaning to it?" I asked.
"Yes. In our world, that is to say in the human world, there is something which we call, religion. Do you have something like that as well?" replied Reshia.
"Do we?" I asked, throwing the question to Gi Za.
"Nope," curtly replied Gi Za. "Our way of living is simple. Those with no power, die. Those with power, we obey. But of course, we do also have some hint of love for the gods that grant us their divine protection."
There are also cases like me though, where we don't find ourselves having any sort of attachment or gratefulness even after receiving divine protection like the one I got from Altesia. But then again, I'm probably in the extreme minority.
As I thought that to myself, Reshia said,
"I see. Then it might be difficult for you to understand, but amongst humans there are those that receive, and those that don't receive the favor of god."
Well this discussion has turned rather troublesome. Reshia doesn't look like she's planning on stopping any time soon either.
I feel like I've pressed a dangerous switch. Not good, I'm starting to regret bringing this topic up.
At that, I decided to interrupted Reshia. Hesitating, I said,
"... In other words- Yes? What is it?" said Reshia as she shot me a gaze that looked like it said, even though we were at such a good part!
"I know I don't understand religion well; that's not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the gods," I said.
"Sigh... Alright. Let's talk about religion some other time then," she replied, a little downhearted.
The ancestor god, Kutiarga.
It was he who created the world.
He created the land within the great sea in seven nights and eight days. Then he cut off a part of his body to create a new god that would watch over his creation.
The mother goddess, Deetna.
Kutiarga worked together with the mother goddess that was born of a part of his own flesh, Deetna, to create new life one after another.
The god of water, the god of forest, the god of wind, the god of land, the god of illusions, the god of dreams, the god of starfaring... many, many gods. For where there is life, there is a god ruling over it.
The world became filled with gods, and Kutiarga and Deetna were satisfied. But when the mother goddess gave birth to the god of fire, she was burned. That wound became the reason for her death, and her trip to the world of the dead.
Kutiarga was saddened.
After all, he had just lost the person he had created life with, his literal other-half.
In his grieving, he sank his body into this world, leaving only behind the order to create more life to his children. And his wish for him and Deetna to become a part of the world they had created together, came true.
Following his wishes, the remaining gods worked together to create new life.
The gods of forest and water created the elves after the mother goddess they had looked up to.
The gods of land and wind shaved ores to create the demihumans.
The gods of illusion and dreams weaved together the dreams and illusions, creating the dragons.
The gods of starfaring passed through the different stars, gathering resources. And with those, they created the giants.
All that remained was the god of fire.
It was because of him that the mother goddess who had given birth to him, died. All alone and the youngest, he was the only god who could not create new life. For the other gods knew that it was because of him that the father and mother gods had died.
And his brothers and sisters refused to work with him
The oldest amongst the gods, the god of water, felt pity for the god of fire. He called the other gods, and everyone gave what they had left over to the god of fire.
The god of forest gave a long vine. The god of water brought cold water. The god of land brought a lump of land... and so on. Each of the gods brought to the god of fire the parts that they could not use.
But the god of fire persevered.
With his clumsy hands, he mixed water with the lump of earth, and kneaded it. He wished with all of his heart to mix that with all of the excess things he had received.
He recalled the figure of his father that he had once seen in his younger days.
Please, he wished. Let me give birth to life just as my father had.
And so... the humans were born.
And the gods scattered the lifeforms that they had created all over the land that their father had created.
The elves were sent to the deep secrets of the forest. The demihumans to the windy meadows. The dragons to the colossal mountains whose heights were almost dreamlike. The giants to the ground beneath. And the humans to the small beach.
As the different lifeforms worked together, they prospered, and grew in number.
Satisfied, the gods gradually made more life.
Beasts, magical beasts, and even those that the gods thought to be a failure did the gods bring forth into the world.
But the god of fire was sad.
For the humans he had created were far too weak compared to the other races.
So the god of fire consulted the god of water.
What should I do, he asked. And the god of water spoke of the time their father created their mother.
The god of fire cried and complained to the god of water, saying, but no one wants to work with me.
And the god of water suggested, why don't you take half of your body and distribute it?
The god of fire was overjoyed.
Ahh, I see, he said. If I do that I won't be alone anymore.
And so the god of fire used his own legs, and created the two moons. He used his right arm, and he gave man the God of Knowledge. He used his left arm, and he created the spirits. Then he used his own head, and gave birth to the God Who Birthed the Earth. And lastly, he used his body and created the sun.
The spirits broke contact with the humans as soon as they were born.
They were saddened by the death of the fire god, so they changed their form, and melded into the earth to save their creator, giving birth to the volcanoes that would birth new land.
Then the gods born of the fire god's right arm and head came to be called the new gods.
The God Who Birthed Nations came to be known as Ativ. The Goddess of Wisdom, Hera.
The two gods wedded each other, and gave birth to the gods and goddesses that would guide humanity.
The eldest daughter, Altesia, took charge of valor. The eldest god, Gurdika, took charge of weapon and magic. The next daughter, Hekaterina, took charge of victory and glory. The third daughter, Liuryuna, ruled over destiny. And the fourth daughter was the goddess of healing, Zenobia.
They guided humanity. And Ativ and Hera worked together to create the concept of kingdoms.
But as the humans were developing, the gods' world were on the verge of destruction.
The gods who had birthed life thoughtlessly began to argue amongst themselves who's creation was the greatest.
Eventually the argument grew, and though the god of water, the eldest amongst them, tried to quell the fighting. Gradually, even the older amongst them were dragged into the fight.
Until eventually, the gods came up with an answer.
They told amongst themselves, let us find out whose creation is the strongest.
And so began a gruesome exchange of life and death.
The elves and the demihumans, the giants and the dragons, without mercy did the races kill each other. Yet within that chaos, that war of races, it was the humans protected by their gods that triumphed.
Clad within the valor of Altesia. The weapons and magic of Gurdika in their hands. The promise of victory and glory from Hekaterina. And through the guidance of the goddess of destiny, Liuryuna, humans known as heroes appeared to sacrifice themselves, saving humanity as Zenobia's love saved the wounded.
And before anyone knew it, the humans held the biggest land and influence. They burned the forest, they shaved the mountains, they dug the earth and gathered precious ores, expanding their dominion.
The other races hated each other just as their gods had willed, but they possessed no power to fight the humans.
The power of the new gods led by Ativ was simply that powerful.
One of the gods looked on at that in annoyance, and eventually, that god proposed to the gods an idea.
Let's have our mother, Deetna, return and bring peace to our world. Fighting is stupid after all, said the god.
The other gods agreed as even their power had fallen after all the killing.
And so the door to the world of the dead opened.
The gods prayed.
Mother goddess, Deetna, they prayed. Please guide us this one time.
But what greeted them from the other side was a den of snakes.
The snakes feasted upon the gods, and the world descended into darkness.
But the snakes were not the only ones to pass through the door. Magical beasts, monsters, and even the dead, all passed through.
The filthy and the corrupted beasts were released into the world.
The god of water who had somehow managed to survive along with the elder gods all felt fear at this crisis.
At this rate the world our father had created will be filled with death, they cried.
But the elves, demihumans, and giants that they had given birth to were powerless against the ceaseless forces of death.
It was then that a ray of light shot before them.
The humans that Ativ led, although only a little, were able to fight against the forces of death.
So the gods focused their powers towards the gods of the humans
And the demihumans, the dragons, the giants, the elves, and the humans were all unified under Ativ.
Ativ and Hera placed Altesia as the vanguard, allowing her to lead the coalition.
Show your courage!
Draw your weapon!
Believe in your destiny!
To victory and glory!
Altesia led the coalition, and with Gurdika, Liuryuna, and Hekaterina, they desperately fought the endless army of death.
Altesia was the vanguard, leading from the front with her sword brandished. Gurdika was at the center, creating weapon and magic one after another. Liuryuna would save those who would die from their destiny, and Hekaterina would sing praises of victory and glory, lifting everyone's spirits.
After a hundred years of fighting, they were finally able to drive back the army of death through the door they had come from.
As Altesia's sword pierced into the remains of Deetna's corpse on the other side, the battle ended.
The old gods thanked the new gods, and they all returned to their respected regions without arguing. And they decided to live onwards without choosing a path of conflict.
It was the same for the lives they had created as well.
The elves went to the deep secrets of the forest.
The demihumans to the meadows and forests.
The dragons to the high mountains.
The giants went beneath the ground.
It was the age of the new gods.
When distressed, Altesia would come. And Gurdika would solve problems with his magic and weapons. While Liuryuna would lead the destiny of the people, and Hekaterina would promise glory and victory.
But their age of prosperity would not last long.
For the God Who Birthed the Earth, Ativ, was charmed by the beauty of Zenobia.
The goddess of wisdom, Hera, changed her appearance at Ativ's change of heart, while Altesia burned in jealousy.
The weapons and magic Gurdika created eventually brought chaos to the world, and he stopped. Liuryuna who should be saving humans from death found herself intoxicated with the death of humans.
Hekaterina found herself in a dilemma in who to provide victory and glory to that she eventually forgot to bless anyone at all.
With the gods in that state, humanity gradually fell.
Depravity, putrefaction, and jealousy spread like the plague, and the humans grew to forget the pride they once carried with them as they grew fearful of sickness and death.
And Altesia continued to burn even more in jealousy.
The one who led the army, and drove away the army of death was her. Not anyone else, but her.
And yet, why is it only Zenobia? Why is it only her that is loved by Ativ?
The flames of jealousy burned within Altesia, and Ativ grew to become sick of her. So he handed to her the country of the dead for her to rule.
The country of the dead was left alone since the passing of Deetna, and was currently on the way to destruction.
At this rate, the country of the dead will be completely destroyed.
When their country is destroyed, they will leave theirs, and find themselves into the country of the humans again.
Altesia went to the country of the dead by herself, pulled Gurdika's blade from the corpse of Deetna, and slayed the snakes.
Her wrath was terrifying, and eventually she came to rule the country of the dead.
And this time, the one to attack the country of the humans was her.
In the blink of an eye, she conquered the human world.
Ativ who had forgotten everything because of his love for Zenobia.
The goddess, Hera, who had changed her form.
Gurdika who had already decided not to create any more magic or weapons.
Liuryuna who found herself amused toying with destiny.
Hekaterina who had forgotten to bless victory and glory to anyone.
It was only when they were pierced by Altesia's sword did they understand the depths of Altesia's anger and despair.
The gods awoke when half the world had been taken by Altesia, and they put their powers together, and fought Altesia.
Ativ remembered to work with the people.
Hera shone the light of knowledge upon man again.
Gurdika began to create weapons and magic once more.
Liuryuna began to weave the threads of destiny, guiding the "heroes".
Zenobia healed the wounded.
With the gods working together, they were able to fight against Altesia.
But there was no one who could fight against Altesia in the front lines.
The giant snake that would break the earth as it crawled. The black dragon that ruled the sky as it flew. The twin-headed snake that would rot the waters, and the snake that burned everything with its black flames.
With them, no one could stop Altesia.
Ativ was greatly perplexed; it was, after all, a disaster he had caused.
So he asked the old gods for help.
Many of them hesitated, but it was a fact that they owed him from the previous war.
So they joined the fight as Ativ's allies.
And together, they were able to push Altesia back to the country of the dead.
Ativ and the other gods then swore an oath not to interfere with the humans too much. And then in order to weaken Altesia's power, the gods went to sleep.
Here ends the age of the gods.
And the curtain on history is drawn.
It was bright already by the time the story ended.
The only ones awake were me and Reshia.
Even Gi Za and Lili, who should've already been used to this, were asleep.
"Do you understand?" asked Reshia.
"Yeah..." I replied.
There's just one thing that I absolutely have to confirm.
"Have you ever met Zenobia?" I asked.
"No? I've said it just now, but the gods hate to interfere with us," she replied.
"Is that the same with Altesia?"
"Of course. That's the very reason why the gods went into slumber."
So for the humans, this is nothing but a legend. Or is Altesia just generally uninhibited? In any case, she's not as distant as the humans say the gods are.
Which also goes to say that those heroes that I must kill might appear.
---Show your courage, huh?
Why is it when I hear those words, I can't help but see Altesia's dazzling, gallant figure clad in armor at the back of my head?
As I thought that, I felt an itch rise up from the coiled red snake on my right arm.
"...It was a good lesson," I said, thanking Reshia.
"Right?" replied Reshia with a smile as she went to sleep.
I need to remember to exercise enough caution when talking to Reshia.
Anyway, I better sleep...
Reshia-sense's lesson on the story of the gods.
The entire lecture lasted a total of 8 hours. As for breaks, they took 10 minute breaks every three hours.