(397) Spread of miasma
The space beyond the door – was not the Goddess Tet’s space that I knew.
After all, it didn’t have a mountain of books and her table.
Furthermore, I had a floating sensation. I could walk but I couldn’t tell which way was up and which way was down.
I first saw Alpha-san, the homunculus.
I ran up to her.
She was breathing but unconscious.
She seemed to have collapsed while trying to reach something far away with her hand.
Her symptoms looked the same as Pionia and Neete.
“Tet-sama – shit, she’s not here.”
“She should be here. Where can she be –”
Damn, if Haru was here she could chase after her scent.
Kin Summon – would be impossible. Pulling her over now would endanger Carol and more importantly, I was told that I won’t be able to reach the surface from here. That probably meant that I couldn’t summon her here as well.
Normally I would use Eagle Eye to look for people but it would be pointless in this place with nothing in it.
“Libra-sama, in this situation, let’s rely on Alpha-san’s loyalty.”
“… All right. Let’s move in the direction of where she is reaching out.”
Yeah. In any case, we didn’t have any other clue so we could only rely on that.
After we decided on that, golden sand appeared in Libra-sama’s hand and stretched out straight.
In a world with no landmarks, it would be difficult to walk in a straight line. I see, it would act as a good guide.
Libra-sama and I relied on the gold line and walked straight. That said, it felt as though I was swimming rather than walking.
In a huge body of water floating in space, we advanced with oxygen cylinders attached – perhaps it would be more difficult to understand with that analogy.
“Hn? That is –”
I don’t know how far we’ve traveled but unlike when we first came to this world, I saw some kind of black aura.
“It seems that her loyalty is without question.”
“Is that Tet-sama?”
“What is that darkness?”
“Miasma. Miasma dense enough to be visualized is flowing into the Goddess space … When Ichinojo-san and Kota-san used the Goddess Statue ability to absorb miasma to temporarily stop the incident in Mallegory, the dense miasma in Mallegory was channeled to her space in an instant.”
“It’s because of us …”
As a result of trying to protect the town, we ended up causing Tet-sama suffering?
Although I had no way of knowing it, I couldn’t help blaming myself.
If we can’t allow more miasma to gather at Tet-sama’s space, the plan to let Carol gather the monsters in the Advanced Dungeon would fail too.
After exterminating the monsters, they would return to miasma and it would be easier to purify.
But if we exterminate the monsters in front of the Advanced Dungeon, the resulting miasma would flow to Tet-sama’s place.
“It is not your fault. This is our duty as Goddesses – To avoid the same mistake as Metias, we placed Goddess Tet, the goddess positioned closest to her, the furthest away from the task of purifying miasma. If the miasma had flowed in to anywhere apart from where Goddess Tet is – even if it flowed to the Goddess of Laziness, Goddess Torerul, she would have been able to purify it.”
The same mistake as Metias.
I wonder what happened between Libra-sama and Metias-sama?
And why doesn’t Libra-sama refer to Metias-sama as a goddess too? Even though she makes sure to add ‘Goddess’ to the other Goddesses’ name.
“Koshmar-senpai and Setolance-senpai would easily deal with this amount.”
… Ah I was wrong. She only added ‘Goddess’ to Tet-sama, Minerva-sama, and Torerul-sama. I guess even the Goddesses have seniority.
I felt like I got a glimpse of the human – no, goddess relations between the Goddesses.
Setolance-sama surprisingly does things at her own pace, Torerul-sama is lazy, and Minerva-sama only thinks of dying. Koshmar-sama and Libra-sama have it tough.
As we approached the miasma, I fundamentally knew that it was not something humans could touch.
If I was a waterfowl, this black miasma would be tar.
If I touched it, I would never fly in the sky again – I felt that sense of danger.
“Libra-sama, are we able to do something about this?”
“That is why I came here.”
Libra-sama said and plunged her right hand into it.
Perhaps the miasma entered Libra-sama through her hand as the black miasma clung to her arm and her expression distorted in agony.
Even her clothes were dyed black.
“Ku – it’s stronger than I had thought.”
Libra visibly put more effort into it.
The black miasma wrapped around her arm thinned and her clothes returned to its original white color.
And a path within the miasma gradually formed from her arm.
“ … Fu, Ichinojo-san. Please come along. Try your best to not touch the miasma.”
“Understood. I won’t touch it even if you ask me to.”
I walked along the path that formed within the miasma.
There was plenty of space in the passage but I still felt a sense of uneasiness from the fear of touching the miasma.
“Um, can’t we use – Light Magic to purify it all in an instant?”
“The power of miasma is fundamentally different from the attribute of darkness so it would be meaningless.”
“ … I see.”
I have seen Miri’s Darkness Magic multiple times but I had never felt this unpleasant.
“Right – if you are still worried, the Barrier Magic – Holy Mirror that you can use might be able to prevent the erosion from miasma – miasma may not pass through but it would not reduce the miasma either.”
I had such a spell?
Thinking back, I somewhat recall learning Barrier Magic.
At that time, I was surprised by XXXX ranking up so I didn’t commit it to memory.
“Why don’t you remember your own spells?”
“Sorry, the kinds of spells I have increased too much …”
I had not gotten around managing them.
I’ll have to thoroughly organize my skills and spells.
“In that case, Holy Mirror!”
After chanting, a barrier sphere emitting faint light wrapped around Libra-sama and me.
However, as it doesn’t reduce the miasma, I felt the miasma pushing back against the barrier whenever it touches it.
I felt like a pinball.
I guess it was okay since I didn’t have to worry about touching the miasma.
“We can see it now – Goddess Tet should be there.”
At the end of the passage – there was a black cocoon-like object.
Tet-sama was inside that?
“Ichinojo-san, good work. Please wait in this barrier.”
Libra-sama said, approached the black cocoon, and tried to dispel the miasma like before.
It took longer than before.
Once, the miasma even encroached up to her shoulder.
I was clenching my teeth since I couldn’t help out.
“ – This should be … the end.”
After Libra-sama sighed and said that, the black cocoon-like miasma split into two and Tet-sama could be seen within.
But she looked strange.
“Libra-sama – Tet-sama’s hair – !?”
Goddess Tet-sama’s hair was originally brown like Miri. Despite that, her hair was currently dyed black.
A black that was similar to the miasma.
“She is being corroded by the miasma – I have to quickly suck it out.”
Libra-sama commented and placed her hand on Tet-sama’s head.
At that moment, sparks scattered along with a violent sound and Libra-sama’s body was wrapped in miasma and blown toward me.
She crossed through my barrier and I caught her body.
“Libra-sama, are you all right!?”
“Yes, I’m thankful for your barrier. Without it, I would have been eroded by the miasma and Ichinojo-san would have been in trouble too for catching me.”
The miasma wrapped around Libra-sama was left outside the barrier when she flew through it. It would have been dangerous without the barrier.
And then, Tet-sama who blew away Libra-sama slowly stood up and looked at me.
“Tet-sama! Get a hold of yourself!”
“She is being controlled by miasma – at this rate, she will turn out the same as Metias and – become a Demon God.”
I shouted – at that moment.
The world shook.
An earthquake happened even though the world didn’t have a surface.
“She is slowly losing her identity as a Goddess and there is no power to maintain this Goddess space. This world will collapse at any time. Ichinojo-san, leave at once.”
At this rate, she will – just as I was hesitating.
“I’m sorry for being late, Ichinosuke!”
I heard a female voice call my real name.
A spear of light fell from the sky and stabbed Tet.
The Goddess that appeared with the spear was the most reliable Goddess during a time like this – Goddess of War, Setolance-sama.