I commited a sin.
The first sin that I -the Light Goddess, Inflation- committed; betraying the person that I love.
In the Genesis era, because of the birth of humans, the first friction between us Gods occurred.
The Dark God Entropy, who I love, adored the humans. On the other hand, the other Gods claimed that the humans should be ruled over like the other living beings.
At first, I didn’t really support any of the two opinions.
But, if it’s to make my beloved Entropy happy, I thought it wouldn’t be bad to raise the humans into living beings of higher-order along with him. That’s all I thought of this.
In this time, there was one God who threw mud into my heart.
“Entropy-sama seems to treasure the humans more than you. At this rate, all his love will be taken away by a lower lifeform, you know?”
For the first time as a God, these emotions called doubt and envy had surfaced.
He will choose the humans over me.
As if trying to fight against this doubt inside of me, I stood on the enemy side.
There was the need to subdue this friction between Gods. He will definitely avoid a fight against me. Knowing this, as long as we can reach a compromise with the other Gods…
I had such faint hopes.
Even with a despairing situation like 5 vs 1, he still fought.
Does he really love humans more than me?
Even against 5, even when I stood there, he still decided to take the side of humans and fought alone.
The fight ended, and in the moment I had to seal him with my own hands, for the first time in my life, I felt like my chest was going to burst open.
He definitely won’t forgive me.
I have perpetrated a sin that I wouldn’t be able to atone for even in an eternity. That’s how I thought at that time.
But…this was just the beginning of my true sin.
After the Dark God Entropy had been sealed, the four base element Gods began to act selfishly.
The Fire God Nova exercised atrocities at times towards the surface world; The Water God Coacervate induced falsehoods to the humans, stirred up conflicts, and enjoyed watching it; the Wind God Quasar vanished into his own side; and only the Mother Earth Mantle respected my will and obeyed me.
Within all of this, just how was I going to have Entropy forgive me? I was only thinking of this.
For the sake of humans, he fought a fight that he would inevitably lose.
He loved the humans that much. If I were to do something for the sake of these humans, when he comes back, won’t I be able to soothe him a bit?
Thinking this way, I decided on realizing that dream he was trying to accomplish.
By showing the humans the path of progress, I thought about supporting them.
But for the sake of that, I would have to tread with care. Because the opposition of the four Base Element Gods would be inevitable.
Even if I am one of the poles, I don’t have as much advantage against the four Base Elements as Entropy. On top of that, the seal on Entropy at that time was incredibly firm and couldn’t be released without the cooperation of all five Gods.
In order to welcome Entropy into this world again, I couldn’t displease the four Base Elements.
And so, instead of acting as a God, I decided to guide the humans as a human myself.
With a human vessel, I will reincarnate as a human and raise the humans within their own society. And then, the human me was named Izanami, and became the leader of a certain group of people.
We created techniques and arranged rules. My group of people was becoming visibly bigger with time and got wealthier.
Those were enriching days that I didn’t have in the Genesis era.
I felt like I slightly understood the feelings of him wanting to get involved with the humans.
And so, in the process of raising this community of people, I tested doing a playful thing.
I knew that this would be a valid method to unite the hearts of the people.
In order to put this method to practical use, I decided on uniting the people under one symbol.
The symbol I prepared for this was…the Dark God Entropy.
The humans will worship the Dark God, respect him, and with that common point, they would recognize each other as comrades.
When the seal is undone and Entropy returns to this world seeing all this people loving him and respecting him, he will definitely be surprised and be happy. That’s what I thought.
At first, I was incredibly motivated in putting this plan in track.
A part of what I did for this was conferring the ‘shadow’ power to humans.
As the Light Goddess, I can’t confer the dark power. But creating ‘shadow’ with light by using the body of humans as intermediary was a relatively easy technique.
I utilized this ‘shadow’ as a substitute for darkness and spread it to the humans as the blessing of the Dark God Entropy.
After learning to control the ‘shadow’ as if they were their arms and legs, the humans developed even more, and the community grew bigger and bigger.
The land that I ruled over as the Queen Izanami was at some point in time called the Underworld Country, and by the time my body was all wrinkles, it had already grown into a big nation that was equal to no other in this world.
But, I overdid it.
There’s no way a community of humans that had become so big wouldn’t fall in the eyes of the four Base Elements.
The human civilization that had developed heavily had been seen as arrogant by the Gods. On top of that, the fact that the Underworld Country worshipped the Dark God Entropy had angered them. Because Entropy had been defeated, they were under the impression that they were superior to Entropy.
Their anger attacked the Underworld Country in the form of divine punishment.
Locusts, plague, acid rain; on top of that, invaders from outside that were influenced by their will had pushed the Underworld Country into the verge of destruction.
Even when it had reached that state, I couldn’t return to being the Light Goddess Inflation to stop the foolish four Base Elements.
All of them were the key to unsealing Entropy.
If I were to injure any of the four Base Elements, the return of Entropy would be pushed to a length of time that’s almost like an eternity.
Rather than the humans I raised and guided, I ended up choosing Entropy.
That is my second sin. A sin that’s helplessly heavy.
But what made it even more unsalvageable was the fact that my sin didn’t end with just that.
…There was a young one named Doraha.
A person that was born in the Underworld Country, in the age when it had been officially established as a nation.
Since the time that person had grown aware, that person was filled with faith towards Entropy, and on top of being used to controlling the ‘shadow’, it was a level higher than the others.
By the time Doraha had grown into a healthy young one, there was no other person as good in utilizing the shadows in the Underworld Country, and I -the Queen Izanami- conferred this child the highest title of the guardians… I conferred her the title of hero.
And then, in the time the Underworld Country was heading towards destruction, the one who fought back the most, choked and cried the most…was Doraha.
She ran about in order to drive away the locusts, she embraced her family that was desecrated by the plague and cried, and even utilized her own body as a roof to protect the people from the acid rain.
She confronted the invaders that were send by the four Base Elements, refuted the insults hurled at the Dark God, and was enraged at this irrationality.
Even when I witnessed the figure of Doraha fighting bathed in blood and shedding her own, I didn’t lend her my help.
In time, Doraha’s hatred towards the Gods had increased so much that she was consumed by the ‘shadow’ and had become ‘shadow’ itself.
In that form, Doraha had become a dangerous existence.
The special trait of the ‘shadow’; absorbing light and making it its own power. Now that Doraha had become ‘shadow’ itself, this trait had lost all limiters. She began eating all light beginning with the sunlight itself, and had become a monster that would not stop growing bigger even if it were to cover the whole world.
At this rate, the world would be engulfed by Doraha.
At that time, I finally took off the body of the queen Izanami and returned to being the Light Goddess Inflation, utilized all my divine power, and sealed that child -to the very depths of the underground together with the Dark Underworld Country.
If it’s underground where light doesn’t reach, Doraha would not be able to get the light energy to increase her size.
In this way, I had send that child to an underground life of solitude, wandering around for several centuries.
This is…an unforgivable sin of mine.
- 83: Regret of the Goddess
“I am…the Dark God…Entropy.”
The fight between the shadow and I -Kuromiya Haine- was reaching its climax.
At first, I was agitated by its strangeness, but after dealing with it in a calm manner, those aren’t movements that I can’t keep up with.
In order to avoid Karen-san and Yorishiro from being attacked, I enclosed the both of us in a wall of dark matter, on top of that, I slowly reduced its scope to strangle its specialty which is its speed.
By nature, the light element should have an absolute advantage against the dark element, but because of the transformation of light into ‘shadow’, it looks like this advantage has been lost.
Every time it grazes the dark matter, it loses volume, and has already returned to the size we first met it with.
“I am…the Dark God…Entropy.”
I can mostly guess what this guy actually was.
It was a human. Moreover, a person that loved the Underworld Country deeply and fought fiercely to protect it.
Its homeland, that wrath towards this irrationality; I could understand it to the point of hurting when reading the writings of that monument.
The anger…and sorrow it felt to the point of changing itself into this. There’s not many humans who possess such intense emotions.
“That’s right. This child is actually…a child that possessed quite the rich emotions.”
By the time I noticed, Yorishiro was already standing right by my side.
She entered the dark matter sphere?!
“This shouldn’t be a surprise right, Haine-san? You already made it clear a while ago that darkness can’t win against light.” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro makes a mysterious smile.
Looking at the hole in the dark matter that connects to the outside, I could see that Karen-san had fallen completely unconscious.
“Don’t worry. I just had Karen-san sleep. She has become my friend, so she will definitely go against what I am about to do.” (Yorishiro)
“What are you planning on doing?” (Haine)
I immediately ask.
“I have understood most of everything. This person called the Queen Izanami that was said to have raised up the Underworld Country, that was you, right? A reincarnation that spanned before this current body of yours as Yorishiro. The one who spread the Entropy religion was also you; you are also the one who taught them the technique to change light divine power into ‘shadow’. Were you intending on creating an Utopia with me as the centre?” (Haine)
“As expected of Haine-san……No, my beloved Dark God Entropy. It looks like you have seen through everything-desu wa ne.” (Yorishiro)
Since she has brought that name, it must mean she intends to have a talk as Gods.
“Is this the sin you were speaking of?” (Haine)
“That’s right. In order to distract myself from the loneliness of losing you, I tried to guide the humans on your behalf. It was in the time when the history of humans was literally at its first steps.” (Yorishiro)
And the four Base Elements destroyed this.
The disasters that were written in that monument were truly the way those guys would mess up the world. Adding to that, the humans that attacked the Underworld Country must have become the foundation for the fire, earth, wind, and water churches.
“That shadow was originally a human living in the Underworld Country. A person that could be called virtuous. An orphan that was raised by my hands and got along quite well with her siblings that were in the same circumstances. After growing up, this child showed rare talent, and became strong enough to be bestowed the title of hero.” (Yorishiro)
“In other words, this shadow was the first hero in this world.” (Haine)
“But that way too strong ‘shadow’ power ended up harming that child. Engulfed by the ‘shadow’, this child became ‘shadow’ itself with the only thing in its mind being to eat light divine power. Fire, water, earth, and water won’t work either. The only way to defeat that child would be…Haine-san, the dark divine power of yours.” (Yorishiro)
“Are you telling me to kill it?” (Haine)
“You are the only one who can. At this rate, that child will escape from this place. If she manages to get under the sunlight, she will absorb the light and grow infinitely bigger. The world will be covered completely by this child. Not even a God would be able to stop that.” (Yorishiro)
This guy abandoned its humanity because of its desire to kill the evil Gods. If that power were not enough to match a God, it would be too saddening.
“So this was your objective from the very beginning?” (Haine)
“That’s right. Since the time I undid your seal, I wished for you to do this. If I were to spread the name of the Dark God Entropy, one day you or Karen-san would investigate it, and will eventually reach the Underworld Country, and then, you would meet this child. That’s what I hoped would happen.” (Yorishiro)
Since the time we found out the existence of the Underworld Country, the flow of events to reach here were way too smooth, which felt really out of place.
Now that I think about it, until we encountered the shadow, it felt too mechanical. The pieces were falling perfectly.
There’s no doubt that Yorishiro wanted to bring me to the Underworld Country as soon as possible.
But in that case…
“Why did you do it in such a roundabout way?” (Haine)
Wouldn’t it have been okay to request it the moment I was unsealed?
“I wanted you to kill this child the time you understood how this world works. Before you killed this child, I wanted you to know about the foolishness nesting in this world, its ridiculousness, and that this child is not a calamity but a victim. Without those, it would be way too pitiful.” (Yorishiro)
The gaze of Yorishiro was poured at that shadow.
Her profile was beautiful, but just like before, I felt the shadow of an old woman tired of living.
If it’s now, I can tell the identity of this feeling.
At that time, she wasn’t the Light Goddess Inflation or the Light Founder Yorishiro, but the queen of the Underworld Country, Izanami.
“I am…the Dark God…Entropy.”
It probably has already lost its ability to think and reason.
It simply moves with its hatred towards the Gods and the world; a flimsy shadow.
“I am sorry…for taking so long.” (Izanami)
Yorishiro…the Light Goddess Inflation… the queen of the Underworld Country, Izanami, spoke to this shadow.
“Being in such a gloomy place all alone must have been pretty lonely. But today will be the end of this. The Dark God Entropy you respected so much has finally come for you… in order to drop the curtains of your pain.” (Izanami)
“I am…the Dark God…Entropy.”
I don’t think the shadow understands her words.
These words were probably words of repentance.
“But rest assured. At least at your death, I will not let you feel lonely. I will accompany you.” (Izanami)
“This is the least I can do to atone. Sadly, I can’t die as a God. That’s why, at the very least, I will offer this body of Yorishiro to accompany this child. Haine-san, please, crush this child and I together with your dark matter.”
- 84: Extinguish and rebirth
A sound echoes in the pitch black underground city.
It was the sound of me slapping Yorishiro’s cheek real hard.
That must have been quite shocking for Yorishiro, she looks back at me dumbfounded while holding her slapped cheek.
“I will forgive you with this much!” (Haine)
I say this with a strained voice.
“You love me right? It must been been quite painful to have your loved one slapping you. That should serve as punishment. You have…already suffered plenty enough.” (Haine)
Also, the one who should really be punished is me.
There were people who worshipped the Dark God Entropy, and yet, as a God, I wasn’t by their side in their time of peril and was in deep sleep; I let them all die without helping them at all.
At this occasion, the problem is not that I didn’t know.
I probably…neglected my duty as a God.
“I am…the Dark God…Entropy.”
And in the time we were arguing, the shadow didn’t show any new movements and stayed nailed on the ground.
It has been exhausted to an extreme with all the fighting it has gone through. Having its shadow body shaved off by the dark matter, its size is already less than that of the first time we encountered it.
“…I am sorry.”
I face that shadow and say this.
“I am…the Dark God…Entropy.”
“You are not; you are a human. A human that can burn with anger for the sake of humans. That anger has changed you this much. The responsibility of this also lies in me. I am sorry.” (Haine)
At the very least…I should put an end to this as an atonement.
Dark matter overflows from my hands.
“I am…the Dark God…Entropy.”
“No, I am the Dark God Entropy.”
The dark matter released from my hands covered the shadow entirely.
Now that it has gotten as small as this, it can’t resist and escape anymore.
Being engulfed by the dark divine power that erases all divine power, the tragedy that was born from the dream of the Light Goddess…has now disappeared from this world.
* * *
“It is over now.” (Haine)
“Yes…thank you very much. I am truly sorry!!” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro was repeating over and over her thanks and apology while crying.
The dark matter is still forming a lump and eating away the shadow until it leaves nothing behind.
“Dark Underworld Country. The metropolis that you created for me huh.” (Haine)
I once again look around the ruins of it.
In the past when this city was still at the surface, in the era where it was still shone by the sunlight, just how many people were smiling and working here?
It is saddening that the only thing I can do now is imagine it.
“Were you the one who sunk this city deep underground?” (Haine)
“Yes, I had to seal this child in a place where there’s not a single ray of light after all. This child that can absorb the light divine power, and the fire, water, earth, and wind element doesn’t work on, this was the only method I could take. That woman…Mantle helped me with it.” (Yorishiro)
“Mantle did?” (Haine)
One of the four Base Element Gods. the Mother Earth Mantle huh.
“She was the only one who wasn’t proactive in destroying the Underworld Country. But because she was pressed by the other Base Elements, she had no choice. She has always been weak to pressure after all.” (Yorishiro)
It is true that when she took the side of Nova and Coacervate in the Genesis battle, it gave out that feeling.
How to call it, a woman that can’t say no.
“She reluctantly brought disaster upon the Underworld Country. That took the form of the desertification hex. The desertification was serious, but it proceeded in a slow manner, and honestly, in the Underworld Country that was already on its path towards destruction, this was not that big of a problem.” (Yorishiro)
And this actually turned into something beneficial in an unexpected way.
Because of the desertification, the ground softened and it was possible to sink the whole city underground to seal the shadow.
“…At first, I did it with light feelings.” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro says with a trembling voice.
“I wanted to atone for sealing you. The day when the seal was undone and you see that your loved humans have developed and are now worshipping you, I thought you would be quite happy…” (Yorishiro)
‘But, that was the beginning of my mistake…’, is what Yorishiro says.
“I myself became a human and understood something from interacting with them directly -the meaning of what you said. Humans are wonderful. Earnest, cheerful, and possess affection and hatred that surpasses that of Gods. I was able to learn that in the Underworld Country. And at the same time, I learned to love the humans like you.” (Yorishiro)
“That’s plenty enough.” (Haine)
Even if it took 1,600 years, I can now share this feeling with her.
The life in this land and the affection of the humans has opened the heart of a Goddess.
This is certainly a great achievement. Humans managed to move the heart of a God after all.
“But the other ones are beyond salvation.” (Haine)
The four Base Element Gods.
Learning about the past in this occasion, I understood it once again.
As I thought, Gods are existences that don’t bring anything good for humans.
With a reason that was practically a whim, they destroyed a whole nation, and not only that, even after several centuries, they still misunderstand themselves as some sort of higher existence, and try to make the humans their slaves…their toys.
“There’s the need of a plan to cut off the Gods from humans. And fast.” (Haine)
Right at that moment, the dark matter that was covering the entirety of the shadow was clearing up.
It must have eaten all the ‘shadow’ divine power.
After that, nothing will be left…
It looks like something is left.
…A human? Moreover, a girl.
A small girl of around 14-15 years old was lying completely naked. There’s no doubt that she is the one that was covered completely in the shadow.
In other words…
Yorishiro says with a strained voice.
“This is a lie, right? There’s no way… You are…!” (Yorishiro)
The girl opened her eyes before long, and when she raises her body, the first person that came into view must have been Yorishiro. Looking at her direction, she says this,
Yorishiro jumps and hugs her, and then, began to cry a river.
That means, this girl is…the real identity of that shadow.
The shadow hero that was living in the Underworld Country several centuries ago?