Part 3 – The Trampled World
Three days had passed since the Evil God Statue had begun its rampage.
In that time a great many nations had fallen into pandemonium about it. After all, the thing was the size of the damned temple, and it was running about doing whatever it liked.
If you think about it from the perspective of civilians without context, it’s little wonder they’d be frightened out of their minds.
Actually I’m pretty sure you’d be frightened even with the context.
『It just trampled down the castle ramparts in a kingdom to the east!』
The Pope was coordinating in the third floor of the Evil God Temple, receiving information from countless subordinates.
Sitting in the same room, each time a bit of info came in I shrank further into my seat.
In the centre of the large room was a fittingly large table. On top of it was a map of the world, centred on the Thearchy. We actually were kind of in the centre of the world though.
Various notes about the movements of the Evil God Statue were filled in on top of it. According to the information, the Statue was heading north-east from our country.
As for the report I heard earlier, thankfully it had just grazed the castle. The only serious damage was to the ramparts.
I let out a sigh of relief for the lack of casualties.
『It just passed through the mountains to the north!』
Apparently it had changed directions, and had made some sort of arc, mowing down all of the mountain towns in its wake, but again there weren’t casualties. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to feel thankful or not. At the very least though, I was feeling relieved that it was moving away from population centres.
It wasn’t clear if the lack of casualties was intentional on its part or if it was simply all a big coincidence, but what was clear was that we had to stop it before anything serious did happen.
『The Holy Statue is moving towards the Demon Territory!』
If you ignored the size, the statue was the spitting image of me. Meaning that if you knew who I was, and then you saw that damned statue, even an idiot would realise that I was somehow involved.
And the Demon Territory had plenty of people who knew me. If they were to see the statue…
Then, just as I expected, a black light suddenly flashed before my eyes, with a visual in the middle.
Somebody had contacted me through a communications magic channel.
Expecting what was to come next, I immediately clamped my hands on both my ears.
Tena and the other people in the room looked at me in confusion. Privately, I thought that if they had the time to look at me then it would be better spent blocking their ears as well.
roared the voice from the transmission.
A number of people crouched down with their ears covered as the voice seemed to shake the room. Thankfully I had the sense to minimise the damage.
The blurry visual began to come into focus. Sitting there was just who I expected. A friend who had once lived in this country with us, and was now living in the Demon Territory, Leonora.
Who would have thought we’d be seeing each other so soon after she left.
『I bet that statue was your doing, wasn’t it! What the hell are you even doing!?』
It couldn’t be helped that she realised. She had already known we were building a bronze statue, and that one in her country right now was obviously a statue of me, so.
And well, the one who enchanted the statue was obviously me too, so she had pretty much nailed it.
Still, I didn’t want her to think this was a weird plot or anything.
“Yes, I am the cause, but I didn’t mean it. Nobody could have seen this coming,” I made sure to emphasise, and then looked her straight in the eyes.
It felt like it had been a while since we had last looked at each other like this. It was only possible this time because my eyes didn’t have an affect on her through the screen.
We continued to stare at each other for a while, but she seemed to believe me after a while. She knew the kind of person I was, after all, and that it wasn’t my intention.
Having said that though, not being my intention meant that it wasn’t moving according to my intentions.
Asking me to stop it was pointless.
Leonora let out a sigh as she considered the trouble her future held.
“How bad is it over there?”
『Thankfully, no damage to the castle and towns. It trampled some nests which sent monsters beyond their habitats, but things calmed down. The problem is…』
I unconsciously held my breath as I waited for her to continue.
『With a statue of that size loitering around, it’s sure to catch attention. My entire country has been sent into a panic.』
I’m really sorry about that.
『They came to wake me just as I was going to bed. Since then I’ve been putting out fires all over.』
Looking carefully, she had bags under her eyes.
If they had gone to get her just as she was about to head to sleep, then she hadn’t slept at all.
I was sorry about that.
Worse yet, I had actually been sleeping just fine these days, reasoning to myself that I needed to be at my best to respond to emergencies.
『Well? Are you going to tell me how this happened?』
I began to tell her about the events leading up to it.
The Evil God Statue had just been completed, and the Pope showed it to me.
I realised that if you looked up from the foot of the statue, something family-unfriendly could be seen, which is why I panicked and quickly ordered them to build a fence at the base.
Since I was the one who ordered this, I decided to sit around and supervise, which is when I accidentally blessed it with divine protection. And that’s when it began to walk.
As I was telling the story, I had this odd feeling that Leonora was completely unimpressed with me, but surely it was just my imagination.
Looking back after recounting it, I once again reaffirmed that there was absolutely no way I could have seen this coming. Nobody could have.
“Nobody could have seen this coming.”
『Just… what… part!』
She got mad at me.
『All well and good if you just want to build a fence, but how exactly was enchanting a giant statue completely unavoidable!』
My excuse didn’t work on Leonora. She knew me too well.
In my defence though, the sunlight was just so nice and warm, so in a sense falling asleep there was unavoidable.
I actually blamed the sun for all this.
『You’re thinking something stupid again.』
Awfully sharp for the meathead of our group.
“What are you talking about? Also if you know which way it’s heading, tell me.”
Maybe the change in topic wasn’t as natural as it could have been, but I honestly did need to know.
Where the Evil God Statue was heading next was a very serious concern.
I guess she agreed because her expression turned serious.
『The Statue was coming in from our north-east. It changed directions to cut right through the middle of our territory. We haven’t received news on its latest location, but I suspect that it’s a little north of the Demon Territory’s centre. If I’m right, then by this time tomorrow it will have reached the Human Territories. Actually, it’ll probably be back in your Thearchy.』
So basically it’s been cutting an oval in an anti-clockwise direction in the northern part of the continent.
I was a little amazed at how fast it was going, but then I remembered how big it was. At that size, it could have been dawdling and it still would have been fast. It had really long legs.
In any case, if it was really coming back here then that would be my chance. I had to think of a way to stop it.
『Hanging up for now, if that’s all.』
I guess that was all she wanted to talk about.
Leonora scolded me but she also gave me valuable information.
“Yeah, got it. Thanks for contacting me. I’d appreciate it if you passed along any new info. I’ll do the same.”
With that, she cut the line.
Now then, it was time to sort out what I knew.
And then, just as I was about to stand up to update the map, everything turned dark.
◆ ◆ ◆
A moment later my vision came back, and I found myself in a completely different room.
This room was smaller than the previous one, but the ceiling was higher as well.
More importantly, there were three desks in front of me, reminding me uncomfortably of a courtroom.
I was standing on a dais right in the middle.
Sitting at each of the three desks was a different person; to my right was a blonde woman in full-plate armour, to my left was a red-cloaked man with long green hair, and to the front of me was a black-haired girl wearing a dress with the same black rose motif as mine.
Thanks to the heights of the desks, I ended up looking up at them.
Surrounded by the three of them looking down at me, I have to admit, it was not a place I’d like to be.
The four of us maintained a tense silence as we stared.
After a while, it was the girl who spoke first.
“We now begin the internal investigation.”