78 – Goddess From the Machine — Dea Ex Machina

“Hey there, Mr. President. What’s up?”

 

The kind-looking old man on the large screen faintly raised an eyebrow upon my candor.

The President. The person with the most executive power in this country, as well as the commander-in-chief of the military. Everyone knew of him. Even test subjects of human experiments who had had their official records erased, like me, knew of him.

 

“You bitch…!”

The irreverent greeting apparently didn’t sit very well with the commander of the compound. I leisurely stretched my hand toward him and squeezed. He spat out blood and collapsed on his knee, his organs suddenly sickly.

The man in his early fifties on the screen stayed implacable with his smile. He didn’t even blink at the supernatural sight.

 

“Hey yourself, cute little bunny lady. You’re No. 13, correct?”

“Close enough.”

While I might not care to be called by the human name that I’d long since abandoned, these people just kept using ‘No. 13’ all the time. Did they think that those in this country who no longer had a family register didn’t deserve a name? Or had they been seeing me as nothing more than a guinea pig from the very start?

The man slowly nodded. He clasped his hands on the table, fingers interlocked, and leaned deeply back on his chair.

 

“You don’t show up on digital footage, but you do on this screen, luckily. I’ve seen your battles. Just the damage reports alone were more than enough to tell me how amazing your power is.”

“Thanks for the compliment.”

 

What was his preamble leading up to? After a while, he began his talk with a politician’s smile, his motions exaggerated as if he was making a public speech.

 

“I’ll get straight to the point. I want you.”

“…”

“I believe we can work together. Join me, and I will give you everything you want. Status. Honor. Fame. Money. Or perhaps you’d like a date with a Hollywood star like girls your age? With my authority, I can give you any lover you want. If you have religious problems, then I can ask that country to issue you ‘indulgences’ by the dozens. And if you really need to fill your stomach, you can get death-row inmates on a regular schedule. Ah, but spare my wife and citizens, alright?” The man chuckled.

 

“…why would you offer so much?”

He seemed to have taken my response as me sitting down on the negotiations table, if only tentatively. He enthusiastically began his presentation as though he was talking to another world leader.

 

“You are the perfection we seek. With the use of mana, the infinite energy of the new world, and an Avatar incorporated abilities of paranormal humans, you have passed through evolutions after evolutions to become the ultimate weapon! The militarized monster avatars had been the greatest dream of the researchers ever since they knew of the existence of the new world and mana, and you are the ultimate conclusion! You are a goddess from the machine. You are Dea ex Machina!”

“…”

“Wield your extraordinary power! You shall play the part of the Dark Lady as you have done on Yggdrasia, and you will reign as the Evil of Earth. You will justify our nation’s conquest of the world. The eastern countries will inevitably oppose us, and you will annihilate them as the Dark Lady. You will lead an army of militarized monster avatars numbering tens of thousands, all controlled by the best of my soldiers! Your mother may have been an immigrant, but she is one of my people all the same. And even if you’re no longer officially a citizen of ours, your patriotism must surely still be alive! Come, join me! You are… you are…”

 

As the rapturous man stared at me, slowly, his expression transformed into one of shock.

Color receded from my white skin, turning it into an inhuman alabaster. Crimson escaped from my pupils to invade the whole of my eyes. Blood-red fangs grew to peek out from my lips. White miasma of biting cold overflowed from my body. The fear-paralyzed commander near me froze and rotted, himself still conscious throughout it all.

 

“…a Demon…”

The man on the screen whispered, his voice shivering.

He really underestimated me, I see… I could see the figures of several guards wearing black and some people who seemed to be his secretaries reflected in his wide-open eyes of shock.

I gently stretched out my hands toward the people I saw in his eyes and joined my fingers, enveloping them all in my palms, and I whispered.

 

“Causality Alteration, Dimensional Manipulation, parallel activation.”

 

Then my hands slammed against each other.

 

“—[Gospel]—”

 

In that instant, the man on-screen opened wide his eyes in surprise. The people in his sight crumbled as chunks of blood and meat, as all the healed afflictions of their lives suddenly relapsed in their terminal stages.

 

***

 

In his youth, he had once been in an apprenticeship to a secretary of his father who had still been a politician at the time, whose torch he would eventually take up for his own. Back then, his father had told him about a national secret: the discovery of a new world.

It had been a matter of utmost secrecy. Holders of the secret weren’t even allowed to tell their family. He had been grateful for the love his father had shown him in telling him, and at the same time, disappointed by the naivete his old man had displayed as a politician.

Ten years later, as a government official, he had earned the position to participate in the development project of the new world, Yggdrasia.

The new world had fascinated him. There were dragons, griffons, monsters of legend. There was the power of ‘magic’ that allowed mortal humans to create miracles. If such legends had remained even on Earth, then it was entirely possible an actual god could exist on Yggdrasia.

 

And now, as the President of this country, he had seen a Goddess, and she was a Demon.

Upon developing mana-based weaponry, it had been him who had proposed to use inhuman avatars in the form of monsters instead of creating weapons for human use.

He wanted to see a being that transcended humans. He wanted to see an existence that could absorb the lifeforce of their defeated enemies, gaining power without limits. Yet the test models of monster avatars were only somewhat more strategically useful than the current weapon technology. It hadn’t been what he was looking for.

But then, she appeared.

She was the ultimate perfection, the dream that he, that all his researchers shared.

She was the absolute weapon, the Goddess that proclaimed herself a Demon.

 

“…a Demon…” He unwittingly let loose a whisper upon the sight.

The girl of white with a pair of rabbit ears on the screen was being bleached of all colors, crimson eyes and growing blood-red fangs the only exceptions.

He was only looking at her through a screen, and yet he could not stop shivering. He felt as if he’d returned to being a baby.

Join me, he had said, and as if in response, she stretched out her own two arms and crushed something in her hands. He heard her whisper.

 

[Gospel]

 

In that instant, the secretaries and security staff in his office fell apart into nothing more than blood and flesh.

But that wasn’t all. The security system to report any unusual events within the building still detected nothing out of the ordinary, its lights green, while the terminal detecting life signals was displaying a red light for everywhere inside the building except him. Only him.

This was no Good News. This was the herald of a merciless demon.

They’d died. They’d died in a blink of an eye. Inside this building, this stronghold that could withstand even a nuclear attack, everyone beside him had turned into nothing but chunks of meat—

 

“Mr. President.”

 

His breath hitched. He was sure her sudden voice had come from the screen, yet he felt as if she was standing behind him, whispering right into his ear.

It was the voice of a young girl, light and airy… and he didn’t dare turn around. Cold sweat dripped from his whole body. His vision darkened.

Was she still there, on the other side of the screen? The presence he felt right behind him was terrifying his very soul. Waterfalls of sweat poured from all of him. He couldn’t even move his eyes from the fear.

 

“You said I was ‘perfection’ you seek, but I’m still not perfect.”

He gulped, feeling as though her sweet breaths were right on his skin.

“I’ll be stronger. Much stronger. Strong enough to defeat this country… no, to wipe out this whole world.”

He gasped.

“Do you want to protect this world?”

“…”

“Then you know what you should do, right? Even if this country was gone, some other one might still try to invade Yggdrasia. You will stop them. You’ll stop them even if you have to go to war with them. Even if you have to risk your own life.”

“…wha…what if…”

What if I can’t? He couldn’t finish his words, but it didn’t matter.

“If you can’t… then I’ll just break everything.”

 

Even if this country stopped its invasion, as long as its people still lived, then information would leak. Another country might just decide to take up the mantle.

The girl was saying that if they did, he would have to stop them however he needed to. With an economic war, or even with military force. He must, else he risked the end of this world by the hand of the Goddess.

The whole of humanity were her hostages.

 

“It’s a promise, then. A promise between you and me… and a Contract between the President of this country and a Demon.”

 

***

 

I sighed in relief. That was… stressful. I was still just eleven… maybe nearly twelve years old now. This wasn’t the kind of negotiation I should be doing at my age.

I already made my warning just in case, but I didn’t really trust this country that much.

Which was why I didn’t apply my Demon’s Contract to the individual, but instead the president of this country. Although in the worst case scenario, they might still decide to follow through with their plans even if they had to sacrifice their leader…

Well, whatever. If they follow through with their plans, then I’d just follow through with my threats.

 

The last thing I needed to do here was destroying the mana-collecting system. I’d listened to my emotions and let loose earlier, so I’d like a chance to refill a bit of my magic.

Besides, I also found a bit of curious info in the phone of that commander back then. An observer had been appointed to watch over the construction of the mana-gathering and mana-utilization system at this compound, and the name was Brian.

…I had no idea what sort of devil’s luck he had, to have apparently survived me twice. If he was here, then I needed to make sure he doesn’t live this time.

 

***

 

Quarancinq, the City of Magic, a large country situated on the Western Continent of Yggdrasia. Inside the great hall of the country’s Tower of Truth, hundreds of black-colored boards, each as large as the length of a man’s outstretched arms, were being set into a circular formation as part of the preparations for a new summoning circle.

 

“So this is what you call a ‘monitor screen’, is it?” Marlene the Sage, the Heroine of Magic, said, her fingers touching one of the black boards.

The ritual that she had developed in cooperation with Brian, the mastermind behind the dark pixie summoning incident, required them to be in correspondence with their assistants throughout the whole world through the use of these black boards.

Apparently, the black boards were described as ’communicable mirrors of clairvoyance’.

The magitool was so rare that the only people who could get a hand on them were nation leaders, and yet the Temple had prepared for them an inordinate amount just by Brian’s say-so. She felt as if she’d had a glimpse into the unfathomable depths of the man.

And at the same time, Marlene was exhilarated. She was a magician, a truth-seeker, and no magicians could possibly contain their excitement in front of the enormous, continent-spanning summoning circle, and the Fairy King that would be summoned by consuming an amount of mana equivalent to that possessed by ten Dark Lords.

Brian was working with one of the black boards, his hood pulled low to cover his eyes. He was making the final adjustments with the person on the screen, a young woman with a constantly-twitching face full of scars.

 

“Miss Salia, we’re starting on our end. You must be thrilled, aren’t you?”

“Indeed I am, sir Brian! Have no worries, this is practically my own garden.”

“Then I leave it to you.” He chuckled.

 

Apparently this young Salia woman used to be a noble of Touze Empire. No healing spells had been able to completely cure the frostbite she’d suffered to her face. Twitching nerves had turned her smile as demented as Brian’s own.

 

“So Brian, are you done preparing?” Marlene called out.

Brian hung up the call. He pulled back his hood, revealing pitch-black artificial eyes surrounded by strange scars, and he cheerfully smiled.

“I am, madam Marlene. We are ready to summon the Fairy King. Once we do, this world shall greet its new sovereign! The Dark Lady would surely fall by his hands!”

“…indeed. I look forward to it.” Marlene slowly nodded.

She was disquieted, a sense of dread settling in her upon seeing his exuberant grin. She convinced herself it was just his black-colored fake eyes, nothing more.


A/N: The President believed that all of his ordinary citizens were patriotic. He does think there are some politicians who weren’t acting in the interest of the nation, but the politics don’t really have anything to do with the story and it’ll just get really long, so I’m leaving that part out.

The typical protagonist would probably try to get the truth out about the consequences of the mana exploitation and give the human race a chance to make things right, but not Shedy. She’s already “given up on expecting goodness out of mankind”, so she’s just looking for the power to punish the transgressing humans.

The girl of the story is no longer a “human”, so she’s not going to hesitate to kill people in order to protect a baby animal.


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21 thoughts on “78 – Goddess From the Machine — Dea Ex Machina”

  1. So Shedy’s basically killing lots of people to save the world?

    Huh. That sounds a lot like Thanos. Fingers crossed for her very own Infinity Stones.

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    1. well.. yes. As a human living on earth, we really shouldn’t be rooting for her (though its just a novel haha) she is very willing to kill all we know and love.

      She is very much like Thanos. Here’s hoping there is something on earth that can stop her from carrying out her threat. Mana can’t be the end all be all of energy, you’d expect the other primal forces of the universe, such as electromagnetic and gravitational forces to be effective counters to the shield of mana. You can’t tell me in this futuristic world where virtual reality is accessible to millions that there hasn’t been research on military and defensive applications of those forces.

      In the end she is a pure destroyer, she has shown no ability to create. What is all her massive power worth when she cannot create canned food, when she cannot create life saving medications and delicious food (which she apparently enjoys). She can always be an undisputed emperor of dust and ash, but that would get mind breakingly boring, even for someone as inhuman as her after even a short couple eons.

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    1. She just did. If you’re not familiar with Yurushia, this is pretty much all she does for the contracts she does. Sometimes she does even less than this and still gets away with it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think this is going to happen, but I really want the “fairy king” to actually be a fairy queen: Yurushia. I feel like Yurushia would cause everything to go wrong for Brian and co. in the most hilariously casual way possible.

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  2. Fairy King? Pshaw how weak Shedy will destroy him, “the dark lady will surely fall by his hand”

    Oh please if you can’t even estimate her true power and your estimation is almost 60000 off then you stand no chance but hey keep on keeping on you do you

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  3. So one could say the government was warned and the president shitted his pants xD Hopefully he was brainwashed like the priest and that only leaves Brian as the remaining enemy from earth rigth?

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  4. Thanks for the chapter! Though the presidents term could only last aax of 8 years, assuming he just got the job, so I wonder what the plan would be after he has to leave office. Not that the story cares, but I’d be curious

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    1. She made a contract not with the man but with the office. Either the next president (and everyone after) complies or humanity ends.

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  5. So it is hinting that Brian will summon a very dangerous being who will most likely have a big battle with Shedy.

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  6. I know this will never reach the author, but… the family registry is a Japanese thing. Shedy, as a non-Japanese citizen, would not have had one to begin with, or even been likely to know what one is.

    As for the equivalence she draws… I guess she doesn’t care about sapience?

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