Hero of Prophecies Heading to the Strongest World
Chapter V: Sanctuary for the Demi-Humans (3)
The Wolves Din. A rather animalistic name for a tavern. There were several places for us, just like this one for visitors to rest at, but out of all of the taverns, this seems to be the only one with open rooms. In this world, I discovered that Inn and Taverns are one and the same. You see, in the world where I come from, a Tavern is a place that offers you food and liquor, while an Inn may offer you those things along with a place to sleep.
However, in this world, every Tavern we have visited so far just so happens to operate more like an Inn than a Tavern. The Second Goats Pub, the Hateful Clam, and even the Parallel Tavern all operate in the same fashion that an Inn would. There seem to be no ordinary bars in this world.
”Am I booking for two? ”
”Yes please. ”
In front of me and the Goddess was a woman with blond hair and light-brown ears to match. She was the receptionist of this Tavern and behind her was a medium-sized board holding the keys to the Tavern rooms. ”Okay! I will book you into Room 12. Its just around the corner. ”
She pointed to the left of us, down the corridor just passed the sitting area hosting the entertainment of several adventurers. ”Thank you. ” The Goddess exclaimed as the beautiful receptionist handed her the keys. ”Would you be interested in the protection bundle? ” The receptionist asked with a smile.
”Protection bundle? ” The Goddess asked.
”For you and the boy. ” The receptionist said holding her smile.
The Goddess placed her index finger and thumb underneath her chin and began muttering to herself. ”…protection…? ” After thinking for a moment, she removed her hand from her chin and responded with a nonchalant ”…no thank you. ” and pulled me by my sleeve.
I didn feel the need to talk much. Im not sure how powerful these people are in this world—however, I am currently surrounded by humans with the added attributes of the beast. With power and speed, they most likely surpass humans in every way. If I were to be discovered, they would most likely tear me apart.
She pulled me deeper into the Tavern. We attracted the attention of some of the adventurers. The place was packed with them. In one corner was the usual set of adventurers: partying the night away with booze and laughter. In the seat closest to the entrance was an enormous boar-like beast in a set of metallic armor leaning back in his seat with a barrel of liquor in hand.
If you looked even further down, you would find the usual suspicious-looking party observing everyone who dared step past them.
Such a bothersome lot.
And—unfortunately for us, it feels that we attracted the nefarious bunch of adventurers.
From the moment we stepped foot into this Tavern it felt like we were under the pressure of a hundred watchful eyes. No, even before we entered the Tavern, I could feel it. All I have been feeling since entering this village was an awful sense of dread and worry. Im sure the Goddess must be doing worse than I am.
When we finally made it to room twelve—I found it to be unique compared to every other room in the Tavern. No, the next five rooms offer similar doors. In a Tavern made completely from wood, the doors for the next five rooms are metallic. Once we made it into the room, the Goddess tore her ears off and let out a sigh.
The Goddess then kneeled in front of the door and assumed a prayer position. She then clapped her hands three times before she held them together to perform the chant. In response to her low chanting—the door would burst into pure white light. From the light, little sparks would fly away from the source, lighting everything that it touched into a similar, but dimmer light. From the walls to the bathroom.
”That should do it. ”
The Goddess stood from the door and brushed past me as the light extinguished itself. ”What was that for, exactly? ” I asked the Goddess, pointing at the door behind me. She let out a sigh as her cat ears grew from her hair, ”I soundproofed the room. We wouldn want them overhearing our conversations, no, would we? ”
”That makes sense. But the bed and the bathroom? ”
”I have no say in where the smaller sparks land. I simply requested absolute privacy. ”
”…I see. ”
The Goddess occupied the bed near the window. So, I took the next bed that was near the bathroom wall. A nightstand separated me and the Goddesss bed. Above the nightstand was a glass lantern that held a heart-shaped candle inside. On the wall next to my bed was a wide mirror.
To be honest, the reflection shook me for a moment. What appeared was a man with a human body and ordinary street clothes but attached to that body was the odd-looking head of a hawk. I had the stereotypical parody anime eyes, which look even more unrealistic and creepy coming from the head of a hawk.
”Hey, Goddess. ”
”Yes? ” She said turning to me.
”Have I been looking like this the entire time? ”
”Like a hawk? Yes. ”
”Can you fix it? ”
”I can when we have more privacy, like on an adventure or something, but as of now… most likely not. The light would attract unnecessary attention. ”
It would be smarter to leave it be. I walked through town like this, Im sure some people like that old man could recognize my face. ”…wait a minute… were all those stares today— ”
”Yes. Because of your appearance. ” She interrupted.
I laid back on the bed with a sense of relief. It was the equivalent of resting my body on a bed of uneven rocks. Not to mention, the sheets were thin, and the cold could easily penetrate them. The Goddess eyes never broke from my direction. But when I turned to her, she averted her eyes and stared at her wrist.
”There are some things that I would like to talk to you about. ”
She took all of the jewelry from her arms and hands off and placed them into a bag. ”Could you tell me about your time dead? ” She asked me. An unexpected aura of gloom and anxiety formed around the room. And I could not tell if it was coming from her or me. ”My time dead? ”
”By now you should have reclaimed your memories of the afterlife. And you should have already held memories of your past life. Do you not? ” She shot me a concerned look. ”I have no memories of the afterlife or my past. The only things I can remember are basic stuff like my family and my name. ”
Hell, when I came to, I question if I even existed. My past is a complete blur to me, including my family. I don mind if it stayed that way, remembering them would only become a mental burden. But even then, I seem to be able to recall novel things that I experienced in my past, like SpongeBob for example.
”Yeah… thought so. ” The Goddess expressed.
She stood from her bed and approached mine. She sat at the end of my bed and wore a serious face. ”…well, I don how to put this… But I want to tell you that your soul and memories are held by another being. ”
”…My soul? ”
”You have been placed under divine protection, one that even I cannot break. This has led me to believe that your soul has been captured by some unknown God. To make matters worse, it may not be one God, but multiple of them even more powerful than myself. ”
She pushed strands of hair from her face and tucked them behind her normal ears. ”I am not sure who these Gods are, but not even the Primordial Gods can trace your soul back to them. It was a request of mine during our negotiation. I watched as all of them failed to reclaim your soul. Which led me to two possibilities on the matter. One, your soul is an extension of the Demon Kings, and you possess a pseudo-soul. Or two, your soul is resting in the Realm of Mu. ”
”The Realm of Nothingness? ” I asked her.
e familiar with the concept? ” She said in a surprised tone. ”Yes. ”
”But if thats the case… then shouldn my existence be in question? ”
In all honesty, I never believed in the concept of nothingness, simply because it never made sense to me. How can someone be reduced to nothing? What is nothingness? Even now, how can my existence be a thing? The Goddess let out a smile,
e only mortal, its understandable that you cannot comprehend the concept of nothingness… and because of that, it is impossible for your soul to exist in that realm alone. ”
She lifted her index finger and ignited a small white fire.
”Lets say that flame is the soul of a mortal. ” She brought the flame close to her mouth, and with a simple blow, extinguished the flame. ”The moment your soul enters the Realm of Mu, it will extinguish itself in mere seconds, and remain that way until the Supreme Ruler decides to ignite it once more. ”
”However, ” Igniting another flame on the opposite finger, she tried to blow the flame out the same way she did the other, ”The soul of a God can never be extinguished. ”
”In a sense… yes. However, a Gods soul is not the same as the soul of a mortal or demon. The Gods are the mere extension of the Supreme Rulers. For everything in existence was created by the Supreme Ruler, the nine realms, galaxies, stars and planets, even souls. It all leads back to the Supreme Ruler. ”
She then continued, ”From our basic knowledge, the Supreme Ruler created all of existence with an energy source known as Aether. For you mortals, you have a direct connection to the universe and can even draw power from it. But we Gods are different. Our souls are connected to the Supreme Ruler, and the only way for a God to perish is for the Supreme Ruler to absorb us back into its being. Aside from that, there is no possible way for a God to be killed. ”
”From our basic knowledge, the Supreme Ruler created everything with an energy source called Aether. This means that even a human could become as powerful as the known universe if they reconnected with it. But we Gods are not the same. Our souls can only be connected by the Supreme Ruler and thus leaving the Supreme Ruler to be capable of absorbing our souls back into him. That is the only way for a God to perish. ”
”If thats the case… then why do you Gods fear the Demon King so much? ”
”It may not be possible for the Demon King to kill or enslave us, however, that is not true for the other beings in existence. It is the sole duty of a deity to watch and guide every life in existence. Even now, I can only watch over you, battling a mortal is strictly forbidden and will result in punishment. To make matters worse, there has been an increase in mortals reaching levels of power similar to a God. Even you have the potential to reach that level… The Demon King may not be a direct threat to us, but he is an entity that has already surpassed the Gods. He is a threat to existence. ”
”If thats the case, then isn it wise for the Supreme Ruler to stop him. ”
The Goddess shook her head, ”By that question, you must be aware of the fact that the Supreme Ruler does not need to follow any of the rules set in place. However, the entire purpose of these rules in the first place was to further the concept of entertainment. ”
”You see… existence was created because the Supreme Ruler was bored. The Supreme Ruler is a being that exists everywhere. In every timeline, in every universe and dimension, it exists in the fictional world and the real world. The concept of nothing and everything. The creator of space and time. Everything that exists, was created out of simple boredom. Even now, the progress of mortals power and the existence of the Demon King… all of it must be the doing of the Supreme Ruler, to clinch its never-ending boredom. Anything or anyone who threatens the Supreme Rulers entertainment is punished. But the Demon King is a part of the Supreme Rulers entertainment. ”
She stared at me, ”Do you understand why I told you any of this? ”
”No, not exactly. ”
”Its because I believe that the Gods that possess your soul are within the realm of mu. ”
”That would explain your missing soul and your high affinity to this world. Its possible that your soul was created or altered to defeat the Demon King. ”
To defeat the Demon King, ”Hey… in retrospect to the Gods—how powerful is the Demon King? ”
”The Demon King…? Well… he is stronger than me. So, I guess that he compares to the Primordial Gods. ”
”…Why? ” The Goddess asked.
e telling me, a human to surpass the power of the Gods to defeat a person calling themselves Demon King… To be honest, this sounds a bit exhausting. ”
”It may sound exhausting to you now, but once its all over youll have a chance at eternal peace and happiness. Does that not sound enticing to you? ”
To tell the truth, eternal peace is part of the reason why I find this world to be troublesome. I don mind eternal peace but the way that I obtained it is an issue for me. ”Lets move on. How long do you think itll take to leave the sanctuary? ” I asked.
”To leave the sanctuary? We can leave by tomorrow. ” She spoke.
”But itll take us about a week to leave their territory. ” She finished.
”A week? ”
”Just outside of here, is a forest that stretches for 10 kilometers. And beyond that is a remote village of outcasted demi-humans and humans. So, considering necessities such as food, your training, and sleep, it should take us about a week to leave. ”
”I see… then Im going to bed. ”
Theres this sense of chaos that I have been feeling lately. I believe that it has something to do with this place… Does that affect me, or does it affect someone else?
The first day in another world. From my basic understanding, when we arrived on this planet, it was nighttime. At the time, there were only three suns and a decent amount of people outside. However, in comparison, there were two more suns, and the streets became overpopulated with children and adults.
The Goddess woke me up in a state of high spirits. She had a grin stretching up to her eyes and pulled me out of bed with the intention of training me this morning. ”Sir, could you point us towards the Bandish Trail? ” The Goddess requested. A lizard humanoid turned to us, ”You training to become an adventurer, pretty lady? ”
The Goddess held an innocent smile, ”No, not me of course, but this one is. ”
She pointed behind her to direct the attention to me. The lizard man looked at me, and his face became red and stiff, ”I see! ” He let out an unexpectedly loud laugh, ”Its just down the road, near that weapons stall. ” He pointed to the left of us and in the distance was one stall separated from the others.
”I see, thank you very much, ” the Goddess expressed, ”You were a ton of help! ”
The stall stood alone, the next stall being over sixty feet away from him. The man running the stall had a pair of tusks sticking out of his nose. The man was enormous, he stood tremendously with his arms crossed and a mindless smile. ”You two going up to the old Bandish Trail? ”
He directed his attention toward us. His stall had no name and inside of it were a number of weapons and an inventory full of an armory. He sat in a chair outside of his stall, as he stood the size difference between him and us was unexpected. He hovered over us by a couple of feet.
”Interested in buying anything? We sell potions, armor, weapons, and even enchanted items. Take your pick. ”
”Ill take three healing potions, one boost, and a dagger please. ”
The mans eyes widened, then he turned his gaze upon me. ”You plan on putting the poor sap through hell, huh? ” The man let out an explosive laugh. The ground beneath us shook like there was a small explosion in the distance. ”Understood, thatll be five golden coins. ”
The Goddess reached into a small white pouch that held the symbol of a circle on it. She pulled out five gold coins and handed them to the man. ”Yo, Stuart. ” A small man came from inside the stall, ”What the hell is it? You shook everything again you oversized buffoon. ”
A man that stood about a meter off the ground came from a cabinet in one of the stalls. The stall itself was quite spacious, enough to hold hundreds of weapons and armor while keeping them organized. The small man began pulling on his whiskers as the enormous man apologized, ”So what is it? ”
”I need three healing potions, one status boost, and a dagger from the back. ”
The man just down from the stall and scurried to the back of the stall. He spent a considerable amount of time back there, with the only signs of him searching being the sounds of glass and metal clacking together.
”Per request, four healing bottles, two status boosts, and one mid-tier dagger. ”
”Thatll do. ” The Goddess said with her hand up to her mouth.
”Wait a damn minute, she asked for five healing potions, didn she? ” The large man shouted.
”Are you telling me that I got the order wrong? Huh, you idiotic vessel of mass stupidity! ”
”The hell you say to me, you damn dwarf. ”
Those two bickered with each other, almost as if they had forgotten that we were here, or what they are fighting about in the first place. But the truth is, the Goddess requested three potions. Not four and definitely not five. The Goddess interrupted their argument, ”Its fine, I think five is an overkill anyway. ”
She then pulled me by the end of my shirt and took me into the forest. ”You only asked for three, right? They tried giving you way more than you asked for. ”
The Goddess remained silent with a stern smile on her face. ”We will be training there. ” The Goddess pointed ahead of us. At the end of the path led to an area of flat land. ”Do you know why this trail is called the Bandish Trail? ” She asked me. ”No. ” She turned to me, ”Its because those who are considered powerless, will fall into a deep sleep after hearing a wave of music. Can you hear the music, hero? ”
I stopped for a moment to listen. But it was the same as when we first entered the sanctuary. There was this eerie sense of silence. ”I was unaware of it when we first arrived, but the entrance we came in from, is also a part of the Bandish Trail. And you passed it with no effort. ”
She continued, ”You see, this does not gauge a person by power or intelligence, but instead by will and resistance. Your body and mind must have defended you by instinct. ”
The Goddess had a smile that was enough to touch the toughest man. She was different than before, a change that occurred overnight. Her neutral silent expressions became vibrant. I want to know why. What could have made this Goddess so happy in such a dire situation?
We stood at the top of the trail. The land was paved away from the grass and the trees surrounded us like an arena. ”Here. ” The Goddess handed me a ball of yarn. ”I need you to keep that in your hands until I tell you to let go. ” The Goddess stood in the center of the stadium.
The Goddess smiled, ”now then, ” she brushed the ends of her skirt and fluffed her fake ears. ”Your job is simple, attack me with that ball in your hand. You have six chances, and if anything happens to that ball, you have to restart. Your objective is to make me move from this spot. ”
The Goddess stood there with her guard down. She held this sense of cockiness to her. Almost as if she already assured herself that I could not complete the task. I gripped the ball and awaited the Goddesss words. She stood with her arms behind her back and her eyes closed. ”Start. ”
With no hesitation, I dashed forward. The Goddess kept her eyes closed as I closed the distance in an instant. I jumped several feet into the air and immediately lost my balance, tumbling onto the ground. Match over. The Goddess hovered over me with the ball of yarn in her hand.
”It seems you
e not used to your new capabilities yet. ”
A statement that I could not argue. At that moment, I moved faster than I anticipated and jumped higher than necessary. Without any need for a replay, I am aware that I moved at an inhuman rate. ”Yeah… I wasn expecting that. ” The Goddess tilted her head. ”Now what to do? ”
She stared at me for a while. ”Heroes tend to adapt to their bodies automatically. Its an instinctual capability that comes with the title. I mean, its normal for you to be surprised… but you lacked all control over your body. ” She stared at me for a bit longer, ”Perhaps it has something to do with your soul… ”
She stood tall with her hands resting on her hips, ”I made my decision. Im putting you through basic exercises. At the end of the day, Ill test your capabilities. ”
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