Chapter 266. < Family Discussion (3) >
The Heretic Questioner kneeled.
“It was my mistake, everyone.”
‘Huh’, ‘Hup’, ‘Huhh’, the members of the snail race, who were watching from a distance, sucked in breaths. Regardless of the truth that was revealed, the Heretic Questioner was the god whom they had worshiped for thousands of years. He was the transcendental being who had taken care of them from the beginning, the father who had given the snail race the taste of glory and honor.
This godly being was not kneeling before them.
“I am aware that I’m by no means a normal person. I think I’m normal, but for other people… especially if we’re not talking about the Death King, mm. I’m probably not. If that is the case then the term you used before, [psycho], might be more suitable!”
On behalf of the entire snail race, Seimslam opened her mouth.
-Why a psycho….
“It’s not that rare a story. When I was three years old, I was kidnapped by the mafia. I don’t know if I was taken away from my parents because they were unable to repay a debt, or if they picked up a useful child from an orphanage. I have already killed all of the people who could’ve told me that.”
“I was taught how to kill people, and how to keep them alive without killing them. I was taught how to cut down steel-like people into hundreds of pieces and make them my subordinates, and how to charm people. I picked up the process of making an organization collapse from the inside and the process of destroying it from the outside. I am a person who only knows these things. I can’t help it…”
The Heretic Questioner sighed.
Then, his expression brightened as he looked at Seimslam .
“I, didn’t think I should teach you all [things like that]!”
“Well. Those are the things I do best, and am the best at. Nevertheless, I didn’t want you all to live like me. It would be rather difficult if there were too many people like me in the Tower. For me, one me is enough.”
The Heretic Questioner smiled brightly.
“Of course… nevertheless, I couldn’t not teach you anything. Everyone. The world, this world is a formidable place. It’s a really scary place. If you just stay in one place, then maybe someday, you will get kidnapped too.”
“I had to raise you to be strong.”
The Heretic Questioner.
Had used all of his knowledge to cultivate the snail race’s civilization.
“There is no such thing in the world as someone who can be completely trusted. If there was, it would be just one. It would be a miracle that you could only encounter once in your life, and it would depend solely on your luck. So look down on them. Look down on others, and control them before they betray you.”
That’s why he captured all the other races and made them slaves.
He locked the slaves, divided and isolated, in hundreds of caves with watchtowers watching over them to prevent them from betraying them.
“Then, you would have nothing to be afraid of in this world.”
“Because I am a psycho. I’m sorry I, your father, is a psycho.”
There was a dark silence in the forest.
Seimslam slowly raised her head to look at the Heretic Questioner.
-Although you’re a psycho. Nevertheless, you tried to teach us the most moderate things, the most common sense things, and the most valuable things in your head.
-Father wanted to make the best house for us, even if it was a house with poor housekeeping, board walls, hammocks for roofing, unable to keep out the cold wind and rain, and seemed like it would collapse easily. Right?
-If that’s the case, then fine.
Seimslam stretched out her tentacle.
Then she wrapped it around the hilt of the greatsword stuck in the ground .
-You tried to teach us your best. You hid your worst from us and never asked us to understand. You just,
『I hope you all can become better people than me.』
-Did your best to take care of us.
-For me, a father like that… no matter how many shortcomings he might have, I don’t want to curse him and ask why he gave birth to us, or why he raised us.
Seimslam pulled the greatsword out of the ground and rested it on her shoulder, on her shell.
-I’m glad you are my Father.
Purbup, the first member of the snail race to reign as the Chairman of the Fire River Council and had done so for several decades, who was always expressionless and rarely smiled or laughed, raised her lips and smiled brightly.
-I might be a little happy right now.
-For telling me, us, sorry. Thank you.
-Thank you so much. Father.
[Beginning the Snail Race’s vote.]
[Option 1. I liked receiving your guidance.]
[Option 2. I hated receiving your guidance.]
Fireflies began to dance around the forest.
No, if you were to look closely, they weren’t fireflies.
Snails bent at the roots of the palm trees. Snails stuck to wooden pillars. Snails spread out along the treetops. Snails hiding in the shadowed places in the forest. They were all listening to the conversation between Seimslam and the Heretic Questioner.
[Vote counting in Progress.]
A bluish light emanated from the body of every single snail, these lights then separated from their bodies and floated into the air. From a distance, they looked like fireflies.
Hundreds. Thousands. Tens of thousands. Hundreds of thousands of fireflies swirled through the forest, circling around the palm trees before rising into the darkened sky. Countless fireflies glittered, and it felt like they were floating in the middle of the milky way, not in a forest.
[Vote counting completed.]
A voice rang out in the milky way forest.
Like the small peal of a bell.
[Option 2 Number of Votes: 22.5 percent]
[Option 1 Number of Votes: 77.5 percent]
[Please note that Option 1 received more than half of the votes.]
The Heretic Questioner gazed absentmindedly at the night sky.
In the dark sky, the milky way swirled blue and green.
『I’m glad you are my Father.』
Perhaps the words Seimslam just said stole everything from him.
Was something I could find out at any time after living with the Heretic Questioner.
[The 40th Floor Stage has been cleared!]
-That’s right. Money is best.
The elves shrugged.
Beside her, many elves enthusiastically expressed their agreement, saying things like ‘that’s right’, ‘life without money is awful’, ‘if we don’t have money we don’t have face’. If the elves before my regression were fanatics of the Flame Emperor, the elves of this life were fanatics of mammonism.
I was starting to have doubts about the elf race itself…
-Mother’s words are so profound that we cannot refute them. In all honesty, we just asked because we were curious. What you were thinking… why you raised us elves into scrooges who only care about money.
“I’m relieved since it seems I could satisfy your curiosity in ten minutes.”
The Count giggled.
“If you knew how much it costs to talk to me, your filial piety will naturally emerge. After all, for a merchant, every second and every minute are precious. Well, considering that I’ve been watching you as if raising my own children, let’s call it a parent discount service.”
-A discount service is good. We gratefully accept it.
The elves bowed their heads gracefully.
-Then, since we are receiving a service, I’d like to ask one more question.
“I don’t know who you got it from, but you’re pretty frugal. Well, ask.”
-Why are you still persistently making money?
The Count blinked.
The elf too, blinked.
“What do you mean?”
-Didn’t mother say that money makes it easy to do many things? You can learn music if you want to. Or even do something else if you want to. So that we can feel happy when contemplating our lives. We completely agree.
-How long do you intend to earn it?
The elf tilted his head.
-Mother, seems to have quite a bit of wealth already. Can’t you do what you want to do, have what you want to have, and contemplate what you want to contemplate? Don’t you think you can already have any life you want without needing to?
-Why earn more?
The elves opened their mouths.
-What would you do?
-What do you want to do?
-What would you contemplate?
The forest was dark.
So the whispers of the elves were like the sounds of the trees, branches, and leaves in the forest.
-What are you doing?
-What do you really want to do?
-What are you contemplating?
The Count squeezed her fan.
As the fan closed, the Count’s expression was revealed. The Hunter, who was ranked 5th in the Tower, stared straight ahead expressionlessly, her anger had been revealed for too long and too frequently, so all that all that was left were dregs.
This anger, which was only dregs, let off a bad smell,
“To change this world.”
After being filtered by the air, it was refined into a sentence.
“In this world, there is too much trash.”
Even after being filtered by the air, the voice was too disturbing for the elves to handle. Aura fluttered above the Count’s shoulders. Even the Count, who originally had trouble using aura, had grown somewhat accustomed to it after going through the previous stages.
With the aura that she was now accustomed to, the Count showed the color of her heart.
“Listen. There is one truth that I learned from being born in a trash mountain, growing up in a trash village, and moving to a trash city. It’s a really unique realization, and because of that realization, I regard being born in a trash can as luck.”
-…what is it?
“Trash that washed up from the sea, trash that fell from the sky, trash buried in the ground, and trash that rolled in, are all trash that are less dirty than [humans].”
The Count laughed strangely.
It was a scoff.
“Nevertheless, I have never seen a cleaning company that specialized in cleaning humans. So I thought. Since this market is such a blue ocean, why not take the lead first.”
“I will clean up all the trashy humans with money.”
Folding her arms, the Count smiled.
“Of course, I don’t think all humans are trash. Not at all! If anything, it’s contradictory. Certainly, there are many people who shine more beautifully than starlight. Although the distance between stars is very large, making it difficult to meet such beautiful people… it’s just hard. Because if looked at from a distance, there are countless stars decorating the night sky.”
Perhaps she was thinking about someone.
As if in a good mood, the corners of the Count’s lips curled upwards.
“A cleaner like me is needed to take care of them.”
-How do you mean?
An elf asked.
-Do you want to use money to save those that are shining?
-Do you want to use money to get rid of the bad guys?
The Count let out a laugh at the elves’ questions.
“Is that necessary?!”
It was a hearty laugh.
“There’s no need to be a hero. There’s no need to wear a bat cape and fly along the border of legal and illegal, spin a spider web between crimes to save poor victims, or hold up a large shield to block every attack, not at all .”
The Count’s voice was firm.
“Just spend money!”
“Just enable them to make money!”
The establishment of a proper economy.
“Good companies and bad companies. Good organizations and bad organizations. Good business and bad business. Good humans and bad humans… Right. There are many people who have trouble telling them apart. Those who wonder when and how the hell they can see [human nature]. Most of those who harbor such curiosity will artificially create environments or say things that would only be possible to encounter in [extreme situations], but that’s complete nonsense. Alright, listen carefully.”
And praise for the undistorted cycle.
“Let me tell you about human nature.”
Bad money drove out good money.
“It’s not something you can finally see [when you have nothing], it is only [when you have everything].”
The one who trusted people more than anyone else.
“If I sprinkle money, the good natured people would reveal their good nature, and the trash would give off their stench. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t change what I do! Spending money. Making money! Fattening them and making their meat fragrant. Until they begin to rot on their own, and commit crimes on their own, I will invest in them with my own money.”
Might be the smiling woman sitting on a rock in the middle of the forest.
“And if any human or company turns out to be rotten pieces of trash… well.”
Suddenly, a thought occurred to me.
“The heroes I sponsored with a lot of money will take care of them on their own.”
“So for that reason, I am, as you said, persistently making money. Well, occasionally, there are some scenarios in life that cannot be avoided. Which might call for some law evasion.”
The Sangryun Master grinned.
“That’s the reason why I make money.”
Without realizing it.
The elves were staring blankly at the Count.
Their gazes were a little more dazed than when they regarded and worshiped the Count as a god. From the beginning, the elves had not been very enthusiastic about religion. Rather than being faithful to god herself, they were faithful to god’s command to make money. Because of that, among the various races, the elves could be considered the most religious.
“That’s also why I raised you.”
Today was different.
There was something that was undoubtedly like faith seeping into the eyes of the elves who were looking up at the Count at that moment.
Adoration for the one above them. Respect for the one who had walked further than them. Reverence for the one who could point them further.
“You all are much more capable than the merchants working in my Tower. Naturally. They just live their lives and make money, you guys live your lives by making money. Understand? You all were merchants from birth.”
“I can’t wait for those like you to come to my Tower. Honestly. I’ve been anxiously awaiting it.”
The Count stood up.
The elves flinched.
Regardless of that, the Count got down from her perch and walked towards the elves surrounding her.
“Those who really know how to make money.”
“Those who can see the flow of capital and commodity.”
Every time the Count stepped in front of an elf, she raised her fan and gently lifted that elf’s chin with the tip. Then she made eye contact with that elf in front of her. As if seduced by the Count’s eyes, those elves never avoided her gaze.
“Those who find pleasure in making money, but at the same time find other pleasures. Those who can contemplate what the money is for. Those who find that contemplation pleasurable. In short…”
One by one, the Count raised the chins of dozens, looked into the eyes of hundreds, and whispered in the ears of tens of thousands.
“Those like me.”
The forest was dark.
So the whispers of the Count were like the sounds of the trees, branches, and leaves in the forest.
The Count spoke.
The elves’ breathing slowed.
“This continent is small. It is just a corner of a room in the universe. Even if you are familiar with the logistics of the corner of the room, and monopolize the things in it, what is the point? Follow me. Follow, climb the Tower, seize every stream of money flowing through all creation, tear apart and trample the wealth piled up in the universe, so that everything from an ounce of gold to a handful of wire that was thrown into the trash can, may flow unblocked.”
“I need you.”
Already, the gazes of the elves were blurred.
“I will love you.”
The breaths of the elves were hotter than their body temperatures.
“I am the Head of all merchants. I am the Master of the Sangryun. Be my children and join me in letting all the trash in the world be swept away by waves.”
Absent-mindedly, the elves looked at the woman who was once their god.
And was now their mother.
It didn’t take long for the lips of the elves to part.
In the dark forest.
The trees, branches, and leaves whispered.
[Beginning the Elf Race’s vote.]
[Vote counting completed.]
The Count smiled as brightly as the moon.
[Option 2 Number of Votes: 11.60 percent]
[Option 1 Number of Votes: 88.40 percent]
[Please note that Option 1 received more than half of the votes.]
As she unfolded her fan and covered the lower half of her face once again, the moon within her smile was split in half.
“Thank you everyone.”
The Count concealed the slanted half-moon smile on her lips.
“With me, let’s flush the toilet of the world.”
[The 41st Floor Stage has been cleared!]
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