Saturday, July 9, 2022 @

Chapter 167 Old God and New God

 "I'm sorry to bother you so soon, but could you please tell me where they took Ryuna? We have to go after her right away!"
 Shakuna, who had lost her sister, complained impatiently.
 Rujanaga had kidnapped her to sacrifice her. There is no telling when the ritual will take place. It was an unpredictable situation.
 In contrast to Shakuna's impatience, however, Salomon looked optimistic. He sat on a chair with his legs crossed, fluttering his hands in the air as if he did not care about anything.
 "Don't worry, the ritual won't happen anytime soon. The ritual to resurrect the snake god Ilyanka Nobulnaga can only be done during the total solar eclipse."
 "Total solar eclipse...?"
 "Yes, 18 hours from now. The ceremony will take place tomorrow at exactly noon. That's plenty of time. Plenty of time."
 "...There won't be enough time. Not even a day."
 Astronomy is not so advanced in this world, and I don't know when the eclipse will occur. Nevertheless... King Salomon seems to know exactly when it will happen.
 Probably, Rujanaga knows it, too. Because there is not much time to spare, he must have summoned a demon with teleport ability to catch Ryuna.
 When I mentioned such a guess, Salomon nodded his head in affirmation.
 "There is a price to pay for summoning a demon. Even more so for a demon as high ranking as a knight of hell. Even for a genius like me... And for that old man, I think it was an extremely painful choice as if he were going to be cut down by his own body. His magic power must have been drained."
 "In other words... Rujanaga won't be much of a force to be reckoned with. The only trouble is Veinrun."
 "Also, there must be soldiers, priests, and nobles controlled by the guru. Though, they're nothing compared to that demon..."
 "Yeah... it's going to be tough with just the two of us. We'll need reinforcements."
 I glanced at Salomon's face.
 I don't know what his reasons are, but Salomon seems to be at odds with Rujanaga.
 It would be powerful if he would become our ally and fight with us...
 "That's impossible. I am only a spirit that resides in these ruins. I can remain in this world only on the condition that I do not leave."
 "What do you mean by 'on condition'? I heard that you've been captured by a demon and bound to the ruins?"
 Salomon's lips twitch as Shakuna tilts her head.
 "Who do you think I am? I'm not so stupid as to be captured by a demon I summoned. The reason I am staying in these ruins is to prepare for the resurrection of the evil god. I'm here to be a test to train warriors to fight against the evil god and his household."
 "What trials...?"
 "Well, I promised I'd tell you about them, didn't I? First, let's talk about the evil god Rujanaga is trying to resurrect, The snake god Ilyanka Noburunaga."
 Salomon folds his arms on the table and speaks in a calm tone.
 "Long ago, there was a being in this world called the 'Old God'. There was a snake so huge that it could cross the desert, an elephant that could drink the ocean dry, and a monkey whose head could pierce the edge of the sky. There were many such monstrous beings. And no one lived in the world except for the gods and their households, and if a creature was born, it was quickly consumed and vanished... Such was the chaos that ruled the world."
 "However, a 'new god' in human form appeared from the other world and sealed the old gods. And the order was born in a world that had been chaotic, like a muddle of oil and water. Sky and earth were divided, the earth was solidified, oceans sprang up, and ecosystems were born. Thus, the prototype of the world we live in was completed."
 Salomon stops speaking, looks up to the sky, and lets out a long breath.
 "But... some people don't like that. Some felt more at home in a world of chaos ruled by the old gods. These are the people who want to bring back the old gods. Rujanaga is one of them."
 "But he's supposed to be working for the Demon King... Is the Demon King related to the Old Gods?"
 "Well, I don't know. There was no such thing as a Demon King when I was alive. Of course, there were no demon clans either. However, the name seems to have something to do with 'demons'... but where did this guy come from?"
 "...Hmm, I don't know either."
 "Hmm? Anyway, that's not really important to think about right now. As for my relationship with Rujanaga... a thousand years ago he tried to resurrect the evil gods by sacrificing Priestess. With an army of his followers. However, If the old gods return, the world is doomed. So, using an army of demons I summoned, I defended the Priestess of the time and prevented the resurrection of the god. Rujanaga, who had lost most of his companions, ran away and was never seen again."
 Salomon looks apologetic for the first time and bows his head lightly.
 "I'm really sorry that I've forced you to deal with problems that my generation couldn't solve. I came before you because I wanted to help in any way I could to stop the resurrection of the evil god. Although I can't leave the ruins, I can offer you a few favors."
 "Then, first tell me the exact location of this 'altar of the snake god' or whatever it is. We can't stop the resurrection ceremony if we don't know where it is."
 "Yes, okay."
 Salomon waved his hand lightly and a piece of parchment appeared on the table.
 It was a map of Maafern Kingdom, with a red star marked on the east side of the 'Royal Tomb'.
 "It's about a six-hour walk from here to the altar, and there are 18 hours until the total eclipse of the sun, so you should have no problem just getting to the altar."
 "...But, the problem is after we reach the 'altar'. The question is whether or not we can defeat Veinrun and the rest of Rujanaga's minions after reaching the 'altar'."
 Since Salomon is stuck in the dungeon, there are only two of us, myself and Shakuna.
 We don't even know if we can beat Veinrun alone, and if we have to fight Rujanaga's men, our chances of victory are slim to none.
 "But... we still have to go to save Ryuna! No matter how dangerous it is, I'm going for sure!"
 "That's the same for me. I'll have to take revenge on that pervert demon..."
 "It's decided... let's go. Let's go to the Altar of the Snake God!"
 Shakuna gets up from her chair and pumps her fist in the air.
 I get up from my chair too and put my hand on Shakuna's shoulder.
 "No, I don't think so."
 A war I can't win is the same thing as a war I'm going to lose. So, why should I go into a battle I know I'm going to lose?
 Shakuna is hit with a cold shower of water at a critical moment, and she remains frozen in a pose with her fists raised above her head.
 Shakuna remained in the same position like a statue for a while... then her face turned red like a tomato.
 "So, what do we do then!? You're not going to abandon Ryuna, are you!?"
 "I didn't say that. And I already told you. I said I'd kill Rujanaga and the demon pervert. I told you we would save Ryuna. What we need to do is not go to the altar. Instead, we should be trying to figure out how we can turn a zero percent chance of winning into a hundred with 12 hours to spare."
 "You Idiots," I spat stupidly and sat down in my chair again, folding my arms. Then, I thought about a winning strategy.
 Now, if we go to the altar at this point, we will only be beaten back.
 It would be difficult to save Ryuna, let alone win against Veinrun.
 Then... we must have the trump card that will ensure our victory.
 "...Salomon, you said earlier that you'd make things easier for us. Are you sure you're telling the truth?"
 "Of course, a King never lies!"
 "Then... why don't you give us the reward for clearing this dungeon? The 60th and 70th floors. No...give me all the other rewards as well!"
 I said to Salomon, who was sitting in front of me, like a bandit trying to snatch a treasure.

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