Chapter 263. < Image Breaking(Iconoclasm) (3) >
[Every race has learned the secret of their god!]
Have you ever seen the sunset in the forest?
[You have cleared the 39th Floor.]
When the sun fell below the horizon, all of the palm trees bent to watch the setting sun as if pulled by gravity. The sun didn’t look back at them. Thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of palm trees, all dyed in the pitch black shadows… In the world, only the sky and the river had ‘color’, with the black pillars left upright.
A world where darkness and color were clearly divided.
-That can’t be! Our god can’t be like this!
In this place, where nature aloofly played with colors, hundreds of thousands of people were in an uproar.
-Moreover, our god takes the form of the Great Puppy! So what are these, these images that keep flowing into my head…Rimu! That is clearly a human! It doesn’t make sense!
-Lord Kekerkker is so handsome.
-Well, being called the White Lion is not as exaggerated as the romance in a fire play.
-So it was a disguise? The gods intentionally took the forms of animals in order to approach us more easily. Not ordinary animals, but animals that were black, white, or unique in appearance. Thanks to that, we were able to serve them as gods, so didn’t it turn out well?
-It’s a scam!
-We are the believers of the Great Puppy, not some strange looking brat!
The Heretic Questioner, who was looking at the hologram with me, tilted his head to the side.
“Am I strange looking?”
The Black Dragon Master answered that question.
“You don’t look like a snail.”
“Is that so? I thought I looked quite snail-like.”
“What the hell are you… no, in any case, this is not the time to talk about that.”
That’s right. This was not the atmosphere to joke around.
The chaos in the hologram image was getting worse.
As we were in the dropout waiting room, we could do nothing but watch.
‘Even though the stage clear announcement was made…’
No one was happy about clearing the stage.
Anastasia, the Count, and the Crusader all stared at the hologram with nervous faces.
‘Because nothing has happened, yet.’
Instead, this should be called the beginning.
How the children would react after learning the truth.
The success or failure of this attack depended on that.
[Chain layers in progress.]
Was it trying to tell us that our hunches were correct?
The Tower immediately presented us with the next task.
[Forcibly entering the 40th Floor.]
[Since they have reached the 40th Floor, the dropouts will now regain the status of attackers once more.]
[The 40th Floor Quest will be shown!]
The era didn’t change.
It was just when the Energy Dragon’s body had been torn apart, and the children were in a state of chaos and agitation. A literal chain layer. Without the slightest gap, we encountered a new quest in this same moment.
[The Icon of the Snail Race]
Mission Objective: The Heretic Question helped the Snail Race.
Under your devoted care, the snails were able to become one of the most successful early civilizations! The territory of the Rime Empire was the same as the area currently covered by the goblin race. The snails distributed tasks according to the characteristics of each race, cultivating a highly integrated division of labor, and developing endlessly by using great cities as trade bases.
But when the light is strong, the shadows are dense.
In your empire, the other races were used as slaves. Eventually, these slaves rebelled, destroying your great empire, and the proud snail cities. After that, the snails became the public enemies of the entire continent, and were forced to move away from their homes.
The Heretic Questioner, you were the first to taste victory, and the first to taste defeat.
Now, the snails know about you. They realize that you are not a god. The glory and luxury that the snails themselves enjoyed, the yoke they had to bear, and the oppression they had to endure, all came from you.
Now, how will the snail race treat you?
Initiating the vote.
1. ‘I liked receiving your guidance’.
2. ‘I hated receiving your guidance’.
Try to get as many votes as possible. If option 1 receives more than half of the votes, then you will automatically clear the 40th Floor. But you cannot hand out bribes or make promises for a vote, you can only try to move the hearts of the snail race members through [conversation] or [personal communication].
※However, if you lose the vote, you must first exterminate every living member of the snail race on the continent before you can move on to the next stage.
Everyone in the waiting room fell silent.
Anastasia, the Count, the Crusader, and even I, kept our mouths closed.
Then, we slowly looked at the psycho who was selected as the main character of this quest.
“Ahaha, understood! Mm, I got it!”
The psychopath, who, for those born in this world, would rank in the top 5 list of parents that should never be met, laughed cheerfully.
“Looks like I’m the first hitter!”
“That’s a big deal…”
“What’s wrong with you? Isn’t the Heretic Questioner the first hitter?”
“Right. Ahh, I shouldn’t have fallen for Gong-ja’s sugar coating. At the very least, I should have figured out some kind of minimal safety protocol in advance. Perhaps make and distribute some kind of propaganda material to show how hard I worked for them, then arouse a sympathetic public opinion… shit, that’s one of my specialties.”
“That’s not revealing your secret, that’s brainwashing the truth.”
Anastasia, who is always calm, always gets flustered whenever she encounters something that she might consider [her own failure].
Being a perfectionist seemed tiring.
“It’s fine. Don’t worry too much.”
“What? What’s fine? Is it that the things we have done for those kids, the favors we’ve given them, have all been undone, and the seeds of their anger are growing? Or…”
Anastasia turned and pointed to the Heretic Questioner.
“Is this a situation where we all entrust our fates to that 100% pure psycho!?”
“He has to persuade those snail children! I can only imagine him tilting his head to the side and saying he doesn’t know what he did wrong!”
The Heretic Questioner just smiled brightly.
In the midst of that, the situation in the hologram continued to escalate.
-The deity who leads us is a dolphin with beautiful pink skin! Kiik, how can a human without gills or fins pretend to be our god!
-Uh, however, the one who can transform into a cat should be our god, right? Then it doesn’t seem that much of a problem. Our Cat God is a polymorph who can take the form of a human and wander around the world to play, and is also a regular subject in fire plays…
-The mining city we built, the children who were buried…
-It’s because of the god of the snail race that we were taken to the mines and lived like slaves for hundreds of years!
The sunset in the forest illuminated every face.
Half of their faces were black, resembling the shadow covered palm trees, and the other half was vivid red from the sun setting in the sky.
-Why did they do that?!
-They clearly regarded us as toy soldiers to play with!
-They didn’t. Look carefully at the video. The gods were just trying to take care of us…
-The problem is they are not gods, they are humans!
Those who opened their mouths in anger, those who were furious, those who confusedly held their heads in both hands, those who didn’t know what to do, those who were lost in thought with their hands on their chins, and those who occasionally went ‘ah, so that’s what it was…’ as they realized something.
-We must drag those gods from their false sanctuary!
-Didn’t it say they were human?!
-They always said that they cared for us, that they loved us, but in the end, it was just to achieve their own tasks. To climb the so called Tower and incorporate this stage into their territory!
Although they were still a minority.
Forces who felt betrayed and reacted violently at the fact that we were human began to appear one after the other. To them, it didn’t matter how hard we worked or what kind of life we lived.
[They’re not god].
That alone was enough for them to feel betrayed. And that sense of betrayal led them to curse the gods who had watched over them for thousands of years. Their curses were soon composed of cries to kill us.
-That’s right! Let’s drag the false gods down!
-Let us rebuke those false gods for the lives our ancestors received, and for everything!
-Bring down the false gods! Bring down the false gods!
Nevertheless, the vast majority of the races were either stunned or dazed. However, if left alone, the anger of the few would spread like an epidemic that would quickly engulf the forest.
“…not fine. Gong-ja. This is really, not fine.”
She had lived as the guild leader of the Black Dragon Guild. So she was more experienced than anyone else in matters of public opinion and incitement. Since she was the Black Dragon Master, she must be able to deeply feel how ominous the current situation was, and feel even more anxious at the fact that the Heretic Questioner was the one who had to put this situation to rest.
However, I kept cutting off Anastasia’s worries.
“When I said it’s fine, I didn’t mean that the situation right now was good. I’m not saying that the Heretic Questioner is reliable. Just that…”
I turned back to the hologram.
“Our children will be fine.”
It was at that moment.
The sound of a whip resounded in the forest. Whether it was those who were angry, those who were shouting, those who were worried, or those who were anxious, the sound of the whip pierced everyone’s ears. Startled, hundreds of thousands of people turned to look in the direction the sound came from.
-So noisy, rime.
The 629th Chairman of the Fire River Council.
Seimslam, the strongest warrior in the snail race.
-What? How can we not make noise when such an earth-shattering event occurred…
-From now on, I will put forward a bill in the name of the Chairman of the Fire River Council. The name of the bill will be [Those who want to say anything about the gods in this place have to first fight the Chairman of the Fire River Council. Every time you block or dodge an attack, you will be given one chance to speak.]
Once again, the Fire River Council has a unique custom.
Regardless of race or origin, anyone who was in the top 2000 strongest beings in this world could unconditionally join the Fire River Council. As soon as they joined, they were treated as a council member who could freely speak or vote in meetings that determined the fate of their species.
However, if they were to lose in a duel, they would have to yield their opinion.
As a result, [the person who was the best at fighting] was bound to become the Chairman, and the votes initiated by the Chairman had no choice but to be passed. Wasn’t it natural? If there were any objections, it was enough to challenge them to a duel and beat them up.
-All of the members of the Fire River Council are here. Rimu. If there is anyone who objects, just raise your hand.
Seimslam spoke coolly.
-No one will object anyway. Unanimity has long been the tradition and pride of our Fire River Council.
The warriors hesitated.
It was the first time in the history of the council that a non-goblin had become the Chairman. This fact alone proved that Seimslam was a crazy sword fighter. After all, there were many goblins who were not convinced, and it was said that thanks to that, the funeral industry at that time experienced a boom.
While all the other council members were silent, a goblin raised his hand. No. Now, it was right to call them an Asura, not a goblin.
Unlike a short while ago, the children’s skin was shining red. The red flesh on their muscular shoulders, chests, and abs, all glistened as if a layer of oil had been applied to them. The fangs protruding from their mouths in the shape of crescent moons were so sharp that they made anyone who looked at them nervous.
-I’m not particularly against the bill proposed by the Chairman… huh?
The fearsome Asura had a very polite attitude. Both of their hands were placed on their stomach, their head was bowed at a 45 degree angle, and they didn’t radiate even the slightest hint of aura or fighting spirit.
-If you don’t, then what is it?
-Ha-, haven’t our appearances changed a lot? Ugor. We’ve also grown a little bigger. Also, doesn’t it seem like our aura capacity has gone up a lot? It’s not just low level aura that has been piled up and expanded. This is the aura of the Energy Dragon who has been alive since the beginning of this world. Isn’t it amazing?
-What are you trying to say?
-That, Chairman. I think we are a little stronger now… Perhaps the position of Chairman will change from the 629th to the 630th today, and perhaps that person might be me…
-Are you requesting a duel?
-Ju-, just once.
No more words were needed.
Seimslam gripped a sword with her one remaining tentacle and rushed toward the challenger. There was a considerable distance between the two at the beginning, but Seimslam was able to cross this gap in one step.
However, the challenger was no beginner. He was a master who could shake his shoulders a bit in the Fire River Council. Clang! The Asura raised his ax and blocked the attack. His red palms tingled from the impact.
-You have one second to say whether you are on the brink of life or death(生死結) or the brink of life(生結)….
-The brink of life! The brink of life! I’m on the brink of life!
The challenger dropped his ax. Seimslam’s sword had already reached the challenger’s chin. Sweat beading on his red forehead, the challenger looked at the strongest being of his generation with disbelief filled yes.
-No… we… we evolved…
-Are you the only ones that can evolve? Rime. I also evolved. It seems that you think while you were absorbing the Energy Dragon’s aura, I was only sucking on the forest air.
-If the goblin race and the snail race were to separate into two groups and fight, the goblins would win by a landslide. Your evolution seems to have had a more dramatic effect. However, I am not just a snail. Rime.
Seimslam shook her sword.
-I am the strongest snail in this world.
As she said this, she looked around at the hundreds of thousands of people who had just watched her duel.
-Is there anyone else who opposes?
-If there is none, I hereby declare that the proposed bill has been passed. This place has become the temporary seat of the Fire River Council, and as far as the authority of the Fire River Council is concerned, anyone who sets foot in this place must follow our instructions. If anyone wants to open their mouths about the gods again, then you must at least block one sword from me. Just like the council member who just faced me.
Purhupup, Seimslam chuckled.
-This world is too beautiful to be stained by the excuses of weak bastards.
Unexpected events also began to occur in the dropout waiting room. Paaht! White light leaked from the sofa the Heretic Questioner was sitting on and slowly engulfed his body.
By the time we all looked over at what was going on, the Heretic Questioner spoke as if he had just realized something.
“Huh? Ah. Indeed. Persuading them through conversation or personal communication means [I have to go there and talk personally]! Ahaha. Well, it certainly is much more efficient than summoning members of the snail race here one person at a time!”
The light rapidly intensified. Perhaps after a few seconds, it would completely cover the Heretic Questioner and send him from this place to that world.
I had to warn him before that.
“Mr. Heretic Questioner!”
“Yes! My Master!”
“You are the parent of those children! A parent! Understand? You have to answer and talk to them with the feeling of being a parent… No, dammit, even if I say that, you wouldn’t understand!”
The Heretic Questioner smiled widely.
“Yes! I don’t understand!”
“Just try to think about and imagine the perspective of other people as much as possible! Understand?! If it’s difficult, ask the kids around you!”
Smiling, the Heretic Questioner saluted.
“I’ll try my best!”
The white light enveloped the Heretic Questioner’s entire body.
(TL: In a clear display of my luck this year, my pc broke, which set me back… well I won’t get into it. Next chapter tomorrow)
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