Alda, the god of law and fate. The only god of creation still remaining in Lambda excluding the subordinate gods. The god who possessed the most power even including the evil gods.
The source of that power lay in the followers and servants who respected him and, most importantly, the number of believers who offered him their prayers.
He had suffered deep wounds during the battle against the Demon King and the one against Vida who was supposed to be his ally, but even so, Alda’s power was vast.
He was depicted as an austere-looking, white-haired old man holding a heavy book, a stern-eyed young man holding a large sickle of judgment in his left hand and a torch in his right, or as a shining moon. All of these were Alda’s forms, his symbols.
Alda had been worried about many things in the past few tens of thousands of years. What he was worried about, of course, was the future of the world of Lambda that he loved.
To be more precise, he had always been worrying. He had contemplated, listened to the voices of the people, thinking about how he could keep the world in the light, how to preserve its order, how to bring about and maintain peace, how to spread these ideals to the people and make them understand them. He was always thinking about these.
However, things had not gone favorably in the past few tens of thousands of years.
“I suppose this means it is time to revise the policy that has been in place up until now. It is truly irritating that I have no choice but to agree with the words of that god of reincarnation. However…” Alda whispered to himself, trying to gather his thoughts.
“Please wait,” said another voice. Curatos, the God of Records who was a subordinate god of Alda’s and his close aide, had appeared at his side.
Curatos was one of the servants (Equivalent to angels on Earth) created by Alda shortly after the birth of the world who had risen to become a god. He did not possess his own divinity; he was merely Alda’s close aide and this was symbolized by the book that he was holding in his hand.
“My lord, there is no need to pay any heed to the words of one such as Rodcorte,” Curatos advised. “The ‘development’ he speaks of is merely a pretense.”
“Calm yourself, Curatos,” said Alda, reassuring his servant. “It is not that I have acknowledged that there is a need for the ‘development’ of which Rodcorte speaks.”
Rodcorte had told Alda and the other gods many times that this world was inferior to other worlds and that ‘development’ was necessary.
However, these words did not ring true in the hearts of Alda and his companions; it was little more than a vague, meaningless complaint.
The development and passing on of culture and art, the stable continuation of a civilization. These are very wonderful things.
But for Alda and the other gods, these were not the things that needed to be prioritized the most.
For the god of law and fate Alda and his subordinate gods, the gods that supported him such as Yupeon, these were times of war. The Demon King and Vida had been defeated, but the evil gods were still making hidden movements while monsters and the races created by Vida were building their nests.
The first thing that needed to be prioritized was the battle against the evil gods, the monsters and the races created by Vida. What was the use in prioritizing the world’s ‘development’ over that?
And then Alda had realized the true intentions behind the ‘development’ that Rodcorte wished for. Rodcorte simply desired for the population of this world to increase. Because as the number of souls going around in the cycle of reincarnation increased, that god’s power would increase with it.
But in contrast, Alda did not particularly want for the population of people in this world to increase.
If the number of people increased too much, the number of resources required to sustain them would increase, many factions would form and new nations would be established. And then there would be conflict between them, making order more difficult to maintain.
It was already difficult to maintain with the current population of less than one hundred million; if Lambda’s total population were to increase to the multiple billions that Rodcorte was requesting, there was no telling what kind of disorder and chaos would be brought about. It was terrifying just to imagine.
“To begin with, ‘development’ is not needed for the preservation of the world,” said Alda. “It is absurd to use other worlds as an example.”
He admired science and technology that did not require the use of magic, but was that something that was necessary in Lambda?
Electricity, automobiles, gunpowder and dynamite, aircraft, computers, stock trading. The benefits brought about by these things were surely great, and it would certainly make the lives of the people more rich and convenient. But would this outweigh the disadvantages brought about by the existence of such things?
In fact, the existence of those things caused the destruction of nature for the sake of generating energy. Were they not also the causes of some wars and conflicts?
Automobiles caused tens of thousands of people to die in accidents every year; gunpowder, dynamite and aircraft were utilized in wars. Computers gave rise to new crimes while stock trading caused people to concern themselves over things with no physical form and bring themselves to ruin.
The most foolish thing of all was that in worlds where these things existed, there was still no complete system established to control the people who used them, and the systems that did exist were not followed.
Magic already existed in Lambda. There were drawbacks to its existence; people used it to kill one another.
So why should the seeds of disaster from other worlds be planted in this one to add to that?
That was why Rodcorte’s words made little impression on Alda. Alda would simply answer that each world had its own circumstances.
That was the consensus of opinion held by the other gods who supported him as well.
“Then what policy would you be revising?” asked Curatos. “The Demon King’s transmigration system and Vida’s transmigration system… Without their destruction, this world cannot possibly know peace, my lord.”
Alda’s objective was to destroy the transmigration systems of this world other than Rodcorte’s, bringing ruin to the evil gods, monsters and the races created by Vida.
The transmigration system that Rodcorte had created and was now ruling over, unlike Rodcorte himself, was perfect. However, the other two systems were problematic products.
The transmigration system created by the Demon King was still continuing to spawn monsters in this world. It was even used by the evil gods to willingly reincarnate themselves and be reborn.
It was making some contribution to the people in the form of Dungeons, but that was a matter of a single benefit in exchange for a hundred… no, a thousand disadvantages*. And souls were not needed for merely supplying Dungeons with monsters. It was not impossible for Dungeons to generate and arrange soulless puppets… though this would require Alda to wait for the revival of Ricklent, the genie of time and magic.
TLN*: There is a Japanese phrase that is something along the lines of “A hundred harms and not a single gain” that is something like “All pain, no gain” or “Having no redeeming features” in English. This is a variation of that saying where there is a single gain in exchange for the hundred harms, but then the alteration of “a hundred” to “a thousand” really emphasizes that the disadvantages are very significant.
And the system created by Vida was a very unstable product. As it was merely an imitation of an imitation of the original system, that was to be expected. It seemed that Vida had been thinking of moving the transmigration of every creature in this world to that system one day, but that would have been far too dangerous an endeavor.
Vida had mated with monsters to produce new races in order to stabilize her system and given birth to Vampires partially to have them assist it. Entrusting such an unstable system with the souls of the world’s people was unthinkable.
“Many brave souls have fought for your ideals,” said Curatos. “For their sake…”
He had ‘recorded’ all of history up until this point. Therefore, he was someone who used the past as a reference when making decisions on things.
Alda gave Curatos a bitter smile.
“I am certainly not considering giving up on putting an end to Vida’s folly,” he said. “I am thinking about whether I should revise the way I am doing things.”
Curatos let out a sigh of relief. And then he began trying to record Alda’s thoughts.
“How are you going to revise your methods?” asked Curatos.
The way Alda had done things up until now was to make his teachings clear and then leave the specific methods of putting them into practice up to the people.
Gods were those who guided the people, not rulers. This fact was one thing that Alda could agree with the gods of other worlds upon.
Alda’s teachings stated that the evil gods and members of the races created by Vida were to be exterminated alongside those who didn’t follow his doctrine, and that relying on knowledge that originated in other worlds such as the things left behind by Zakkart was forbidden.
He had delivered these teachings through a divine message to the more capable individuals among his believers.
However, the contents of his divine message had been twisted as it spread from those who received it, and there were many cases where they were not putting his teachings into practice correctly.
A recent example of this had occurred in the main Church of Alda in the Amid Empire. The extermination of Vida’s races and the knowledge that had been brought from other worlds had been prioritized too much over the extermination of the evil gods and their servants. And the Empire had been utilizing this in their politics too much.
Because of this, Hihiryushukaka, the Evil God of Joyful Life, was being allowed to extend his influence from the shadows.
“I will tell them precisely what needs to be prioritized,” said Alda. “Until now, I have been hoping that the people would make the correct decisions on their own, but it seems I have been wishing for things from the past for too long.”
“An unavoidable decision,” Curatos said in agreement. “Even you are far from omniscient and omnipotent after all, my lord.”
“Precisely. Even from this Divine Realm, there are many things I cannot see. That is the reason I had hoped that the people would put my divine message into practice in a way that is suitable for them. However…”
“Then what would you have them prioritize?” Curatos questioned Alda once more. “Should it be the extermination of the races spawned by Vida after all? Or perhaps you would limit their targets to the filthy creatures with monster blood mixed in their veins?”
The influence of the races created by Vida had decreased greatly over the past one hundred thousand years. There were few that possessed their own independent nations, and even those that did exist were on the scale of several thousand citizens. There were exceptions such as the Pure-breed Vampires, but they generally didn’t possess much gathered strength. Crushing each race individually to exterminate them all would be relatively simple.
That was likely why Curatos guessed that Alda would prioritize this.
“No, Curatos,” said Alda, however. “I am planning to tell the people that the battle against the evil gods should be prioritized.”
“My lord! There are still many who have preserved their strength, including the Evil God of Joyful Life. Bellwood-dono is still in a slumber after he and the Evil God of Sinful Chains defeated each other. Is this acceptable?”
As Curatos said, the evil gods had preserved their strength better than the races created by Vida had. Not only were there those such as the Evil God of Joyful Life who had spread their roots into the depths of society, there were those who had established great hordes of monsters who worshipped them and even those that had established their own nations of people who worshipped them on islands separate from the continents.
“I am sure that the battle against the evil gods will be fierce and harsh,” said Alda. “However, if the extermination of Vida’s races is prioritized, the evil gods will utilize that and take advantage of it. You have recorded the events that befell the Divine Spear of Ice, Mikhail, have you not?”
Mikhail, the Divine Spear of Ice, was a hero who had drawn Alda’s attention in recent times. He had been putting Alda’s doctrine and the champion* Bellwood’s teachings into practice. Alda had been planning to one day welcome him to join him at least as a heroic spirit servant, or depending on his achievements, a heroic god like Bellwood, but…
TLN*: I’ve just realized I’ve been translating two different words as “hero”. “英雄/eiyuu” refers to mortal heroes such as Mikhail and Borkus, and “勇者/yuusha” refers to the ones who were summoned from other worlds like Zakkart and Bellwood. From now on, the latter will be translated as “champion” (and I’ve made this change retrospectively to previous chapters as well).
“I have indeed,” replied Curatos. “That valuable individual was robbed from us by the darkness.”
Mikhail’s spirit had been stolen by something. It was likely the doing of the subordinates of the Evil God of Joyful Life or the subordinates of an evil god haunting the region beyond the Boundary Mountain Range.
“Whoever it was, those wicked gods utilized the conflict between Vida and myself in order to benefit from it,” said Alda. “With that being the case, the extermination of those gods should be prioritized over exterminating the weakened races created by Vida. Also, there are some among those races who have already established a position for themselves among the people.”
Among the races created by Vida, those such as Titans, Beast-men and Dark Elves had already established their existence among the people. Commoners, slaves, laborers, miners, prostitutes, adventurers, craftsmen. Most of them were in the lower positions of society, but there were also nobles and royalty among them.
As they were not evil in nature, there was no small number of countries who had accepted them as a part of their societies.
“Even if I instructed for them to be destroyed unsparingly, my true will would not be conveyed. The people cannot be told about the transmigration systems, after all.”
If Alda were to instruct the people to slay their virtuous neighbors simply for being members of races created by Vida, they would criticize him as an unjust god and many would oppose.
Alda expected that his followers would be able to make the other people understand, but it was still not a favorable choice.
“Therefore, the spearhead must be pointed towards the evil gods first,” Alda concluded. “During that time, we must support the people and build plans for destroying Vida’s races.”
“I see,” said Curatos. “However, would the people understand your intentions immediately, my lord?”
“That is where the problem lies.”
Even if Alda used a divine message to convey his will, he could not meet the people and talk to them directly. Information needed to be reduced so that the people could understand, and even then, his believers who received it would need to translate it into their own words. Only then could the will of a god be conveyed.
If a god’s brain was a supercomputer, the brain of an average person was an older-generation handheld console. That was why it was necessary for Alda to choose a powerful individual among the believers when delivering a divine message in order to ensure that he and the believer were on the same wavelength.
If he were to choose an unskillful individual, they might not understand the meaning of the divine message at all and could misinterpret it. In some cases, they might not even realize that they had heard a divine message.
That was why it was correct to send only short, simple-to-understand divine messages to chosen saints.
It would be different if Alda were to descend upon the earth like he did during the age of the gods or welcome the souls of heroes such as Mikhail into the Divine Realm after death.
“Would they accept your will even if it is conveyed?” asked Curatos. “We subordinate gods and servants have been condemning Vida’s races as evil up until now, after all.”
“As the people could be told about the transmigration system, the extermination of Vida’s races was justified as being in the name of great justice, but… it seems that this has backfired.”
Alda believed that the races that had been created through breeding with monsters were evil. There might be some good individuals among them, but with modes of life such as that of the Vampires, roots of evil would be left behind in the future. They were destroying much of the world’s current order.
The ways Vampires lived, as well as the appearances of Lamias and Scylla, greatly differed from those of the people. Because of this many of the people believed Alda’s words and treated them as targets to be exterminated.
However, as Alda had mentioned not long ago, there were some members of Vida’s races who had been accepted by society. That was why Curatos and Yupeon, the god of ice, had been declaring that those races were evil in Alda’s name – so that they would be destroyed.
Destroying a transmigration system would require the use of an ability to destroy the soul like the Demon King’s, or the elimination of the destinations for the reincarnated souls… the killing of every single individual living creature that the souls could reincarnate in. Exceptions could not be made because they were virtuous or because they were a part of society.
“Now then, how should I handle this?” Alda wondered aloud. His thoughts were hectic, but he was truly devoted to his work as a god.
He was spreading across the world of Lambda the light attribute that he ruled over and the life attribute that he had stolen from Vida.
Normally, Lambda would be operating with the support of the eight gods of the attributes and three other gods, Marduke, Zerno and Gangpaplio.
However, as a result of the war against the Demon King and the battle against Vida, Alda was the only one remaining. The flame and wind attributes were functioning through the remaining subordinate gods of Zantark and Shizarion sharing their management.
However, in order to take away Vida and her subordinate gods’ divinity and prevent them from being revived, Alda had stolen her authority over the life attribute.
Because of this, Alda now had to manage the life attribute that he was not specialized in. His subordinate gods were assisting him with it, but it was not his specialty, so it would not become a significant asset in battle.
This would be like requesting the members of a professional football team to produce favorable results as sumo wrestlers without any decrease in skill.
Increasing the number of subordinate gods proficient with the life attribute would solve the problem, but those possessing vessels worthy of ascending to godhood did not come by so often, and Alda could not monopolize prodigious individuals for himself. All attributes were suffering, after all.
“A certain solution would be to have Rodcorte manipulate his system and introduce us souls that are worthy of becoming subordinate gods,” said Alda. “However…”
Bringing individuals from other worlds to become gods temporarily and having them work for Alda, even if for only a few hundred years, would lessen the burden on Alda and his followers while increasing their strength to fight against the evil gods.
But Curatos shook his head.
“That god’s response would certainly be, ‘I cannot use my system in an arbitrary manner,’” said Curatos.
“There is no doubt about that,” Alda said in agreement.
Though Rodcorte had become quiet as of late, that did not mean that he had become cooperative. Seeking help from him would be futile.
“My lord, how about searching for new subordinate gods?” Curatos suggested. “There are three current candidates of at least heroic spirit status.” He opened the thick book in his hand and showed Alda the candidates to become subordinate gods in the records within.
The reason that they were mere candidates was because there was no telling how their vessels would turn out until the moment their lives ended. No matter how extraordinary they were, those who did not guide the people could not become gods and those who the people did not admire could not become heroic spirits.
At lamentable as it was, nameless heroes could not reach the Divine Realm.
Three was actually a large number of such candidates to exist at a single moment in time. The name of one of them… disappeared.
“My apologies,” said Curatos. “It appears that one of them has turned to Vida’s side.”
“… I see. He has likely either fallen to the temptation of the Vampires or stooped low enough to become a Demon.”
Methods of transforming existing people into members of Vida’s races were harmful to the real world.
“The other two are Bormack Gordan and Heinz, are they?” Alda knew of those two. Gordan was a zealous believer… a little too zealous at times, but he was a devout individual who continued to fight Vampires at the frontlines. His power as a hero was rather low, but he was top class in the fact that he was a shining exemplar for the people.
But the expedition into the Boundary Mountain Range that had recently begun was to be his last job; it seemed that he was planning to withdraw from the frontlines and focus on guiding the next generation after that.
He was simply wishing that during this expedition he would be able to slay the Dhampir that had escaped him before so that he could retire with a clear conscience.
… At this moment, Alda was still unaware that this Dhampir, Vandalieu, had been reincarnated in Lambda from another world. He had no method of gaining information about Rodcorte’s or Vida’s transmigration systems; he had no information other than that given to him through prayer by High Priest Gordan.
Though he was a little suspicious about the Dhampir, he was satisfied with the explanation that the Dhampir was a product of the twisted workings of Vida’s transmigration system.
When Alda and the other gods had summoned champions in the past, Rodcorte had made the unreasonable demand that the champions should be sent back immediately or exploited to their deaths. Considering that, even a god could never have imagined that Rodcorte would have sent humans from another world to this one with no warning, knowing full well that he had prohibited Alda and the other gods from doing so.
Alda ran his eyes over the recording data regarding Heinz.
Heinz was another of Alda’s followers, an individual who had become an A-class adventurer in less than ten years. He had more than enough power, but his achievements were a little lacking to be called a hero.
Perhaps it was best for Alda to bestow him a divine protection to assist him, but it seemed that he was wavering.
Wavering was fine. Both gods and people’s thoughts grew deeper through hesitation. A divine protection was merely something to assist the one it was bestowed upon, a reward for the things they had achieved. It could not become something that would bind the believer down.
It was likely that Alda would need to carefully observe Heinz, hoping that his hesitation would lead him to the correct answer.
But it was also necessary to make preparations in advance.
“Notify Rodcorte of these two,” Alda ordered.
For the conversion of a hero into the follower of a god after his death rather than creating a new servant through divine power, it was necessary for Rodcorte to be notified in advance. Even if he was a believer of Alda, it was not Alda who controlled the circle of transmigration, but Rodcorte. If Alda were to try anything too forceful on his own, it would cause defects in the system.
“As you wish,” said Curatos.
“Also, gather those who are not occupied in this place, including the subordinate gods of the gods of the other attributes. I would like to speak to them of what is going to happen from now on.”
“Yes, my lord.” Curatos disappeared with a bow. Knowing him, he would soon return after finishing the tasks that Alda had given him.
“It would be good if a second Bellwood would be born among the people…” Alda looked up at the sky of the Divine Realm and his thoughts turned to the distant past.
When Zuruwarn, the god of space and creation, suggested that champions should be summoned from other worlds in order to defeat the Demon King, Alda had been skeptical. He could not understand why champions who had come from another world like the Demon King would risk their lives and fight for the sake of this world. Was there not a risk that they would betray the gods and turn to the Demon King’s side?
However, Vida sided with Zuruwarn, saying that bold actions were needed to deal with the situation that they were faced with.
And because the god of reincarnation could not be relied upon for assistance, the opinions of Zuruwarn and Vida were supported by the others.
Zuruwarn opened a gate to another world and the other seven gods including Alda each chose and summoned a worthy champion.
The one Alda summoned was Suzuki Shouhei, who would later become the champion Bellwood. Vida had summoned Sakado Keisuke, who would later become the fallen champion Zakkart. Five other champions alongside them descended upon Lambda.
They were extraordinary saviors. They did have conflicting opinions, but they managed to have discussions that led to better solutions to problems.
Bellwood in particular was the ideal champion for Alda. Not only was he strong in battle, but he possessed great courage, fighting against large hordes of monsters on the frontlines. Most importantly, he understood Alda’s thoughts.
Bellwood grieved over Lambda’s history, culture and civilization that was lost as a result of the fierce battle against the Demon King, and even regretted that several components of civilizations from other worlds had to be accepted, including the language spoken by the people.
“Alda-sama, I love this world. This world that is so different from the world I lived in before, this wonderful world. After the Demon King is defeated and peace returns, this world will become a far better than the world I came from.” These had been Bellwood’s words.
It was quite possible that conflict was inevitable between the group of Bellwood and Alda and the group of Zakkart and Vida who asserted that the knowledge from other words should be proactively taken in by this one.
Now that I look back on it, that was a mistake.
Alda was deep in reminiscence. The ones who had survived the war against the Demon King were himself, Bellwood and two other heroes who were in agreement with his opinions, and Vida.
But at that point, Vida had already lost her trust in Alda. She likely could not forgive Bellwood for abandoning Zakkart during the battle, even if it was a necessary decision to be made to achieve victory.
No, it seemed that Vida suspected that Alda and the others had planned things in a way that Zakkart would fall.
The rift between Alda and Vida grew deeper, and though the Demon King had been torn into pieces and sealed away, the two surviving gods fought against each other.
I should have given deep thought to Vida’s words, acknowledged that there were parts that I could agree upon and given reasons for the parts that I could not.
This world’s normal state was to have multiple gods existing; even the gods themselves knew this. Alda and Vida in particular were two gods with very different senses of values.
In the past, Shizarion, Ricklent, Marduke, Ganpaplio and the others would step between them and remonstrate them. Zuruwarn and Peria would finalize decisions based on everyone’s opinions. However, they were all now slumbering or had been destroyed.
If trust had been preserved between us, perhaps Vida would not have done reckless things such as creating her own transmigration system and giving birth to new races, thought Alda. But he also thought that he would have only reconsidered which things should be prioritized; he would never have made large changes such as allowing things that he had previously forbidden.
Because if he were to make changes to his mistaken doctrine, that would mean that all of his believers who worshipped him had also been mistaken.
Most importantly, those who had been victimized up until now would not draw inspiration from such changes.
It was also for the sake of those who had been labeled as ‘evil’ and buried that Alda could not change the definition of what was ‘right’.
“My lord! This is a serious matter!”
At that moment, Curatos returned. However, his expression had changed. Alda had not seen such a look of dismay on his face since the battle against Vida.
“Somebody has destroyed the Artifact that was a clone of Yupeon, the god of ice!”
“W-what did you say?!” Alda showed deep unrest upon hearing Curatos’s report.
Because such a thing would only be possible for someone who possessed the ability to break souls like the Demon King.
“The Demon King has been resurrected, or perhaps a new Demon King has appeared… Either way, we must first find out who destroyed Yupeon’s clone,” said Alda.
Someone possessing the ability to break souls had to be destroyed, no matter who it was. The war could not be allowed to repeat itself.