Mother Earth Mantle.
She is one of the six Gods of Creation and the Goddess that rules over earth.
In my opinion, she is a comrade that worked together with us in order to create the world, but after that, we separated and fought against each other.
We reunited after 1,600 years, but another problem happened with her, and in the end, I had no choice but to erase her with my strongest destruction technique; the ultimate darkness, a black hole.
And just like that, the God that rules over the earth had been erased from this world.
“The black hole is my final measure as a Dark God.” (Haine)
This place is not Apollon City. It is a foreign desolated place faraway.
While advancing through a desolate land where there’s no one, I say this.
“And with that, I erased Mantle. If I want to erase a God, this is the only method there is.” (Haine)
“The sole power that can kill Gods huh. To think that you held such a power, as expected of the Dark God that stands at the summit of the six Gods of Creation.” (Shiva)
Shiva, who in the past was in awe of my strength and wanted to surpass it, said this.
We were riding flying machines and driving on the sand parallel to each other.
“Mantle wasn’t evil, but she was even more dangerous than that. More dangerous than even Nova and Coacervate who had clear animosity towards humans. I understand the feeling of Haine-san wanting to erase her.” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro was riding at the back of the flying machine I am driving, holding my back tightly.
Yorishiro, Shiva, and I; with these group, we were pressing forward on an untrodden land.
Two of the Founders that govern the Grand Churches of the world were out of their posts which is a big problem, but even if we have to be slightly pushy in this, we have to make this mission succeed.
It is in order to bring back to this world one of the six Gods of Creation that is missing; Mother Earth Mantle.
We had come to a place that’s far from Apollon City and Rudras Metropolis —the Nameless Desert.
“How long has it been since the last time we came here?” (Haine)
Sand as far as you can see. Due to the intense heat and dryness, this is a land of death that doesn’t allow anyone who steps into it to return alive.
A desertified area that takes up a good percent of the continent. That is the Nameless Desert.
Normally, no one would step into it. You would treasure your life that you wouldn’t do something like that. In the first place, there’s no kind of task that would require you to enter this sand-filled place.
And so, in this desert where no one would actually come to, I did actually have a task I had to perform.
The first time, it was to journey into the Underworld Country; and the second one…
“Seriously, why did we come to such a place?” (Shiva)
Shiva mutters this as he wipes the sweat off his forehead.
Because of the heat, he was irritated.
“I don’t mind the reviving of Mantle. She easily gets swayed, so as long as she gets revived, there’s plenty chance to have her cooperate. But why did we come to the Nameless Desert? Is there some sort of relation with her here?” (Shiva)
“What made this place into a desert was the divine power of Mantle.” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro’s statement made the eyes of Shiva go wide with an ‘eh?’.
“You must remember what happened here as well, right?” (Yorishiro)
“The Dark Underworld Country!!” (Shiva)
“That’s right. You four Base Elements destroyed that nation and a lone hero had crossed over a line that shouldn’t have been crossed. Going berserk with the power of shadows that is passed down in the Dark nation, she was about to engulf the whole world in shadows.” (Yorishiro)
In order to avoid that, Inflation sealed the shadow fiend with the whole Dark Underworld Country.
Now that I think about it, the one who helped in that was Mantle.
“By having Mantle make all this place into a desert, I had her help out in sinking the Underworld Country deep down. Since then, she has been pouring divine power into this desert for more than a millenia, and this place that was originally fertile, has been able to maintain its desertified state.” (Yorishiro)
She was doing something like that?!
“T-Then, the reason why Mantle used things like Golems to obtain more prayers than others was because she was being dried up by this?!” (Haine)
“In order to maintain this Nameless Desert, she had to utilize quite a good amount of divine power after all.” (Yorishiro)
Weren’t you the one who ordered her to do that, Yorishiro?!
With the order of the Light Goddess that is at a higher hierarchy from Mantle, she was made to utilize a large amount of divine power!
“But it was necessary to go to such lengths to seal the Underworld Country.” (Haine)
She not only literally sunk the city, but she also made the whole place into a desert so that no one would get close to it.
“But now that Mantle has been erased, it looks like this desert is slowly regaining its life.” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro has stepped down from the flying machine, and with her feet on the sand, she could feel the life in it.
“In a century more, the Nameless Desert will regain its lifeforce completely and will revive into a land filled with green. Just like the time when the Underworld Country was thriving.” (Yorishiro)
If that’s the case, it would be slightly problematic.
A lot of people would come here and it will end up with them seeing ‘it’.
“I understand that, but in the end, what does this have to do with reviving Mantle? With the explanation just now, I couldn’t pick up anything about that.” (Shiva)
Shiva was even more irritated as he wiped off his sweat.
Right, let’s enter the main topic.
“The reason we came to the Nameless Desert was because of this.” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro raised her hand at a place that at a glance had nothing and muttered something.
When she did that, cracks appeared in the space and broke just like that.
“It isn’t something to be surprised about, don’t you think. With my light divine power, I created a barrier that twisted the direction of the light. Thanks to this, humans and animals can’t detect this even when it is right before their eyes.” (Yorishiro)
With that barrier released, what was inside the barrier was now clear for us to see.
A dark sphere floating in this desolate desert.
“Could it be…! This is…!” (Shiva)
“Don’t carelessly get close to it, okay? If you get caught in its area of gravity pull, you would be swallowed along with your God soul and be unable to return.” (Haine)
That’s right. What was in this Nameless Desert was a black hole.
What I had created at the Earth capital, Ishtar Blaze. It is the exact same as the one that absorbed and erased Mother Earth Mantle and its subordinate Grandma Wood.
“After things had calmed down in Ishtar Blaze, I moved it all the way here.” (Haine)
The black hole that looked as if it had disappeared on its own had actually not disappeared. In reality, I made it look as if it had and moved it all the way here.
It took me my all to do that.
“If it is in this desert, no one would come here on a whim after all. Just in case, I asked Yorishiro to make an optical camouflage. Made in order to not have anyone get accidentally swallowed by it.” (Haine)
There was no more convenient place than this Nameless Desert where no one would come to.
“W-Why did you do that?!” (Shiva)
Shiva asked me with a pale face.
That question was natural, and I answered.
“Because I can’t erase it.” (Haine)
A black hole I have created once.
“I can’t erase it on my own will. That’s why I didn’t want to use it as much as possible. Because once it is created, it will be existing almost eternally.” (Haine)
- 254: God Scale
There’s a black hole floating in front of us.
The sand below it had already all been swallowed within the gravity range of it and formed a big gorge like that of a crater.
“It took me quite a lot of effort, you know. I had to bring it all the way from Ishtar Blaze to here.” (Haine)
Even now, this thing would grab anyone that enters its territory and would swallow it whole.
Whether it is an object or a living being; whether it has form or not.
A black hole doesn’t have likes or dislikes; it is the worst kind of glutton.
“This thing has continued to exist since the time Mantle was swallowed by it in Ishtar Blaze.” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro who was looking at the dark sphere like us said this.
“An attack that once it is done you can’t erase it… The divine power attacks of us four Base Elements and the Light Goddess would disappear on their own once they fulfill their purpose!” (Shiva)
“The Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Light can simply melt into the equal elements that are in nature after all. Even dark matter follows that rule. Darkness melts into darkness.” (Haine)
But the black hole is different.
That is something that is completely separate from darkness. It swallows everything -even darkness.
“The original purpose of the Black Hole is to erase the world. When the creator Entropy judges that ‘this world was a failure’, this is the reset switch that brings it all back to zero.” (Haine)
“By no means is it a method to destroy something specific.” (Haine)
The Black Hole is way too strong of a measure to use as an attack.
It would be like using a bomb to kill an insect running around your house. Doing that would create damage to the house itself.
“This Black Hole is a serious problem to the world. It will continue to exist, swallowing everything in this world after all.” (Haine)
“I-Is there really no way to erase it? Right, if it’s the light element that can negate the darkness element…!” (Shiva)
It can’t be helped that Shiva’s face would turn pale blue.
“It is impossible.” (Yorishiro)
The Light Goddess herself frankly states.
“In order to destroy the Black Hole with light element, there’s the need to hit the compressed dark matter that serves as the core with light divine power. But before that happens, the Black Hole will catch the light with its gravity and will imprison the light in its Schwarzschild radius.” (Yorishiro)
Thus, the light will fall into eternal movement.
“But well, this one was simply made to defeat Mantle without destroying the world, so it was created to its minimal capacity. Putting it in words, it would be like the weakest out of the weakest Black Holes. If it is on this level, I thought that maybe light divine power would manage to reach its dark matter core, but…” (Haine)
It didn’t work.
And in reality, I had brought Yorishiro here once and asked her to do it, but even with the highest output of Yorishiro, she couldn’t manage to break through the high gravity of the Black Hole and ended up being swallowed.
Because of that, I had no choice but to ask Yorishiro to create a camouflaging barrier.
In the end, even when it was the weakest Black Hole, there was no method to eliminate it.
“Then…this Black Hole will exist here for eternity?” (Shiva)
“Accurately speaking, it won’t be eternal though.” (Haine)
In order to give Shiva peace of mind, I decided on telling him the truth.
“The Black Hole will slowly disappear on its own after all. Humans and Gods can’t do anything about it, but there’s the possibility of time resolving it.” (Haine)
“Black Holes will disappear on their own after some time, you say… and, how long is that?” (Shiva)
Hm, if I calculate it with this size, it would be…
“At the very least, around 100,000 years, maybe.” (Haine)
“A hund—!” (Shiva)
For some reason, the face of Shiva got even paler.
“Haine-san, the only one who would think that that amount of time is nothing is you-desu wa.” (Yorishiro)
“I feel like I now understand why he wasn’t so angry for being sealed 1,600 years!” (Shiva)
Shiva wiped off the sweat that trickled down his chin, but it looks like that sweat wasn’t simply from the heat of the desert.
“Well, I think that you now understand that a Black Hole is extremely troublesome, but the problem comes from here on.” (Yorishiro)
“Indeed. Our objective for coming here is obviously not to do something about this Black Hole.” (Haine)
Mother Earth Mantle.
To bring back the Earth Goddess that was swallowed by this Black Hole.
“Honestly speaking, I don’t know what happened to Mantle who disappeared inside this thing.” (Haine)
Even as the very person that created it, I still don’t know what happens to the things that this Black Hole absorbs.
There’s three possibilities.
The first one; Mantle who was caught by the gravity pull of the Black Hole has been crushed all the way along with her soul and was erased completely.
Second one; the heavy gravity inside the Black Hole created a ripple in space-time and Mantle was thrown to a world that is completely different from our own.
Third one; because the gravity had been reduced to a minimum, she wasn’t erased nor thrown to a different world, but instead, was caught in the Schwarzschild radius like light and is in eternal movement.
“If it is the first and second one, we won’t be able to do anything, but if it is the third one, there might still be hope.” (Haine)
I say this while glaring straight at the black sphere I had created.
“By scooping out Mantle who might be caught in the circle of the Black Hole, we will bring her back to this world. By doing that, she can strengthen Sasae-chan and it should be possible to have an Earth God Hero.” (Haine)
The possibilities to go against the Demon Lords will increase.
In order to win the battle, this is a challenge that can’t be avoided.
“Yeah! And, what should we do to release Mantle?” (Shiva)
“I don’t know.” (Haine)
I honestly answer the question of Shiva.
“Even if Mantle is actually safe in the circle of the Black Hole, I can’t think of a way to bring her back to this world.” (Haine)
In the past, I said that I don’t have a way to seal a God.
Without a way to release the seal, would you even be able to call it sealing?
- 255: Mother Earth God rescue plan
And so, we all lost strength and were lying around.
The desert’s sun was hitting us as if it were hell, but Yorishiro took away the heat in the light and Shiva was dealing with the air conditioning, so even when we were in the middle of the desert, it was decently pleasant.
“…What do we do?” (Shiva)
Shiva was finally unable to endure and lets out a complaint.
“I heard that we would be bringing Mantle back, so I came all the way to this desert, and yet, don’t go saying you don’t have a way after we arrived! It was a completely useless trek then!!” (Shiva)
“You are noisy! That’s why I said that we will be betting on a 1% chance! I didn’t have the confidence that I would be able to explain it properly unless we were in the place! …Ah, don’t go further from there. You might get swallowed.” (Haine)
In reality, we are pretty close to the zone to the point that it might be dangerous.
“I brought you here thinking that with three Gods a good idea might pop out. You know, three heads are better than one.” (Haine)
“Like hell I would know. What kind of sage were you expecting by gathering three Gods?” (Shiva)
But in order to go against the Demon Lords, I would like the strength of Mother Earth Mantle.
Even if we fail, there’s no lost in challenging the impossible.
“I have thought this but…” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro didn’t get disheartened and gives out a proposition.
“How about I try shooting light divine power at my max output once again? If it reaches the dark matter that serves as its core, the Black Hole would be destroyed and it might release Mantle.” (Yorishiro)
“But we tried that once and it didn’t work… Right, how about making another Black Hole and make it collide with that other Black Hole?” (Haine)
“No no no no no no no!!” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro surprisingly gets agitated and stops me.
It is rare for her to get this agitated.
“Who knows what would happen when two Black Holes try to erase each other! It might even end up with the world being destroyed before even the Demon Lords do anything!” (Yorishiro)
It would be the easiest way to destroy the world huh…
Yeah, let’s not do it.
“But in that case, we have no routes to go. Is it really impossible to bring back Mantle from the Black Hole?” (Haine)
No matter how much we wring our brains out, we can’t find a way to breakthrough.
As expected of my ultimate technique…no, calling it an ultimate technique would be too lukewarm.
“…If the rescue of Mantle ends up being impossible, what would happen?” (Shiva)
Shiva questions and I had no choice but to answer with exactly what I had in my head.
“No choice but to give up. And then, we will head to Muspelheim to convince Nova.” (Haine)
“From the remaining Gods, the only one that has a chance to agree is Nova. It is safe to think that Coacervate is out of the question. In this current state where we don’t know when the Demon Lords will be making their move, we should think of time as more important than we normally feel it.” (Yorishiro)
Meaning that we can’t waste a single second.
We have to make a decision right this instant.
Will we stop here and make an attempt to revive Mantle, or should we immediately give up and head to where Nova is.
There’s no time to think.
The time from now on has to be used for action.
Now then, Mantle or Nova?
“Light will definitely win against darkness. That is the settled law.” (Shiva)
Shiva suddenly did one step towards the Black Hole.
Of course, he doesn’t advance any further. If he mistakenly gets too close, he will get pulled by the black sphere’s gravity.
“The reason why the Black Hole surpasses that law and wins against light is because there’s a gravity barrier before the dark matter and it twists the light divine power…right?” (Shiva)
But what do you plan on doing by confirming that, Shiva?
“It wouldn’t be a stretch to call the incarnation of the Light Goddess, Yorishiro, as the strongest light user of the world. If even Yorishiro doing her all cannot break through the gravity barrier of the Black Hole…!” (Shiva)
Shiva spreads both of his hands and begins to control his wind divine power.
“Shiva, what are you doing?!” (Haine)
I was flustered.
That’s because Shiva had his body turned into tatters after the fight with the Demon Lord Raphael and he can’t fight anymore.
If he forces himself to use divine power, his body might get destroyed from the backlash!
“Don’t underestimate me. It is true that I can’t release my full power anymore, but if I save my strength, I can still utilize a decent amount of divine power. Just like this…” (Shiva)
A thin glass board was created on top of Shiva’s hand. What is that?
“By using the distortion of wind, I created a lens. A lens used to intensify light, that is. If it is divine power control of this level, even my battered body can endure.” (Shiva)
“An air lens! I see. By concentrating all my divine power output onto the lens, it can increase the power even more, right?!” (Yorishiro)
If the strength increases, it could be possible to break through the gravity barrier and reach the core!
“Then I will do it as well!” (Haine)
I release dark matter and shape the pitch-black lump into a ring shape.
By doing that, the view from inside the ring began to distort.
“This is a gravity lens created from dark matter. The intensified light of Yorishiro that has passed through the air lens of Shiva will be amplified even more with this gravity lens. If we increase the concentration and the power goes up…” (Haine)
It might be possible to destroy the Black Hole.
By doing that, we might be able to release Mantle that’s possibly caught in the ring of the Black Hole!
“Fufufu…this is kind of amusing-desu wa ne.” (Yorishiro)
“What is?” (Haine)
I was confused by Yorishiro who had suddenly begun laughing.
“Because you know, joining strengths like this feels…like we are doing what Karen-san and the others do.” (Yorishiro)
Isn’t that fine.
Gods learning from humans.
Let’s learn from Karen-san and the others and cooperate between Gods to destroy the Black Hole.
“Well then, let’s try it! Haine, stand in front of me. Let’s line up the gravity lens and the air lens!” (Shiva)
“Roger that.” (Haine)
We line up right in between Yorishiro and the target. We were basically the barrel that guides the shell to its destination and accelerates it.
And Yorishiro who has the role of shooting the shell was standing at our back.
“Mantle…we are going this far to save you. It will trouble us if you don’t properly return and be of use-desu wa yo!” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro directs her pair up knife-hands at the black sphere -through the two lens that amplify the light.
“In order to pierce something, this technique is the most appropriate. I will be borrowing your technique, Karen-san. [Holy Light Line]!” (Yorishiro)
The sharp beam that was released from Yorishiro’s knife-hands entered the air lens and was made thinner, and then, it passed through my gravity lens and gets even thinner and sharper.
And like this, our plan to save Mantle had begun.
How to say it, it felt as if we were forcefully opening a vault that we had lost the keys to.
But obviously, the mission proved difficult and we ended up being nailed in the Nameless Desert for several days.
In that time, events advanced at a surprising speed.