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Chapter 394 - Armageddon (6)

    Chapter 394 - Armageddon (6)

    Flap.

    Before explaining, Theodore spread open his hands, and a robe appeared out of nowhere, wrapping around his body. Space wasn't hot or cold, so this was a matter of atmosphere. Akashic saw through Theodore's actions and felt in awe of him. [Denial of nothing? Reversing the phase of existence and non-existence. It is different from the recorded 'Theodore Miller'.]

    The robe hadn't come from Theodore's inventory, nor had it been made using existing materials. Creation magic had literally created the robe from nothing. It was one step beyond the realm of ultimate magic. Interfering with matter and non-matter was a metaphysical concept.

    "It is pretty good for someone who just came back from the dead. Isn't that right?" Theodore answered with a wry smile.

    It would be difficult to catch a clue about this, even if he studied hard for more than a thousand years. The creation spell he used just now was just a minor amusement.

    Theodore's eyes widened as he stared at Akashic. "The throne of omnipotence... I didn't know why it was called this, but now I know better than anyone else. A collection of dimensional information? That is ridiculous nonsense. It is just gathered information. It is the self-consciousness that can wield infinite power."

    The origin of this mystery was denied by the source. However, Akashic didn't refute the remark. He just waited quietly without saying if this matter was true or false. In the face of omnipotence, no concept was absolute. Good and evil, justice and injustice, yin and yang...

    It was possible to end the universe at this moment and restore it at the next. Theodore was convinced when he saw the true Akashic Records.

    [So?] Akashic asked. [Who am I?]

    Theodore gave an answer that any scholar would give the rest of their lives to hear, "The Will of the Cosmos."

    There were intelligent beings who called a planet 'Earth.' That was a world which had developed at least four steps more than Theodore's material world. It was a place where scientific civilization had developed due to the absence of mana.

    Fractal cosmology was a delusion that some of the world's fools had come up with. It was some nonsense about the similarity between the body and natural phenomena, a fancy notion that this universe could be someone's body and that their body was made up of hundreds of universes.

    "It is a little different but you are the consciousness of this universe. You have no choice but to be omnipotent. All the laws that make up the universe are part of you. Magic, shamanism, aura, science, gods... No matter what path they choose, the investigator is the same. It is like saying that a river will lead to the sea and the stars to the galaxy."

    [Right.] Akashic nodded in confirmation for the first time. [Birth and death. The beginning and the end are the same. Destruction is also the same. You all come from me and will return to me.]

    It was the same as the reincarnation cycle in Buddhism.

    An investigator was a person who drowned in the power and wisdom they had longed for before meeting the end that would someday be met. They achieved this earnest desire by becoming one with Akashic, and they couldn't return to what they originally were.

    Therefore, Akashic requested from Theodore, [Answer me, Theodore Miller.]

    A figure who climbed back from the brink of infinity opened his mouth, "Now, where should I start..."

    The story wasn't long.

    *     *     *

    The moment he stepped into the Akashic Records, Theodore realized his own stupidity.

    0.1 seconds? 0.01 seconds? He couldn't maintain his ego in the vortex for that long. Gluttony's advice had been correct. Compared to the vastness of the universe, one planet was just a speck of dust. How light was the weight of the people living on it?

    The moment it entered the Akashic Records, Theodore's soul shattered and melted like butter in just a few seconds.

    ······.

    Theodore lost his ego and became a ghost, destined to wander for infinity.

    The throne of omnipotence-it was a place where one second felt like one year and one centimeter felt like a galaxy. A place where all concepts were established and scattered, and the boundaries were meaningless... It was a place that suited the word 'pāramitā.'

    [Idiot,] someone at the other side of the river shot at Theodore. [You couldn't even grasp the subject. I didn't realize the person who received my teachings was so stupid.]

    A person who had charred hair and eyes burning with indescribable wisdom gazed at the wreckage that was Theodore.

    90% contempt and 10% pity... With these conflicting emotions, the existence picked up the wreckage. Based on the size of the wreckage, Theodore must've been torn into thousands of pieces.

    The great man, Simon Magus, criticized Theodore coldly, [You would have gradually melted down in the normal way. Yet you rushed into the center, forcing your soul to be crushed. Just a few seconds would've been able to save the world.]

    Of course, that wouldn't have been possible. It had been less than 10 years since Theodore reached the 9th circle. His original talent was insignificant, and he had borrowed the power of the grimoire Gluttony. Nevertheless, Simon had passed down his teachings to Theodore.

    [...I can't admit it.]

    This loser was the one who had received his teachings? Simon Magus couldn't accept reality. Therefore, he raised his voice and cried out without hesitation, [I, Simon Magus, calls you! All investigators from the material world, please gather here!]

    Despite being fully assimilated into the Akashic Records, the investigators' souls protected their egos. There was no practical use, but they could be considered as single cells in an organism. Simon Magus could also be said to be a part of Akashic. Most of them hadn't been able to make this distinction and had melted down. However, some investigators had managed to maintain a degree of personality.

    [What? Is there something interesting?] A handsome man with a somewhat languid expression walked out from somewhere. He wore 10 rings on his fingers and was called Solomon.

    [What did you call me for, grand master?] Ahasverus, the great magician who had followed Simon Magus during his life, looked at Simon with a questioning expression.

    In addition to those two investigators, many other investigators gathered beside Simon. Simon had been at the forefront of the Age of Mythology when investigators had been the most common. He had been stronger than anyone else. It was the same inside the Akashic Records.

    Around 100 people gathered, then Simon opened his mouth.

    [I know the situation.]

    [Um...]

    [Ah.]

    [...Hoh.]

    They were all part of Akashic. The investigators shared their observations in real time and nodded.

    There was one person who spoke gruffly, [Yes, a crisis where our home will be crushed to pieces. So?]

    [Faust.]

    [What does it have to do with us when we are just dust in the universe? I have no interest in peace or the lives of the living.]

    It was half right, half wrong. Some people lived with a sense of justice. On the other hand, there were those who indulged in wealth, fame, and beauty. Investigators had weak ids and directions in life. Nothing could be done about the deaths of the living.

    [I am the same.] Rather than denying it, Simon Magus accepted it. [Everyone who is gathered here will know. Living things are born, become old, get sick, and die. Nations will rise and fall, repeat the ebb and flow. A planet isn't an exception.]

    [...I know. Then why have you gathered us?]

    [It is simple,] Simon Magus haughtily declared to the investigators with folded arms, [I don't like it.]

    [What?]

    [The fact that there is only one last investigator of this material world-I don't like it.]

    The investigators were stunned while Simon showed them the wreckage of Theodore on his palms. The life of the magician called Theodore Miller-his life was given to the investigators. Simon Magus told them his reasoning, [Can you stand it? The magician who defended the place you called home? He was ashamed to see his child and jumped into the Akashic Records.]

    [······.]

    [······.]

    [I don't know about you but I can't admit it. I, Simon Magus, dedicated hundreds of years to exploring the truth. I gave up the honor of a human and lived while only exploring magic. But in an instant, he reached a level higher than me! The driving force of one young man!]

    It was an end without any profit, but Theodore Miller had reached deeper into the Akashic Records than anyone else. The dumbfounded investigators suddenly opened their mouths.

    [P-Puhat, puhahahaha!] Solomon broke the silence with a loud laugh.

    [Ahahaha! What, are you jealous of that kid? You gathered us here to show us that?]

    [Right. Is this it?]

    [You gathered us together to motivate us?]

    The rest of the investigators nodded in agreement.

    Then Simon spat at them, [What do you know? I do this because I want to. I know that it isn't something I can do alone, but I will still try. Anyway, we are all garbage. We have just become cosmic voyeurs! I don't care if you aren't interested. I am Simon Magus! This fact won't change even if I become the dust of the universe!]

    [······.]

    [······.]

    This was different from the previous silence. After Simon's speech, the investigators started to think about it with different facial expressions. There was an investigator who came to a conclusion sooner than anyone else.

    [Okay, let's try it.] The king of wisdom, Solomon raised a hand with a smile. [In any case, he seems to be someone who has a relationship with me.]

    [Lemegeton.]

    [That is right, but I can't acknowledge him as my successor.]

    The second applicant appeared soon. It was a young man with a neutral type of beauty and a golden tail behind him. He was the transcendent born from a grimoire and great youkai-the strongest onmyōji in history, Abe no Seimei. [He is the one who granted my wishes. I will also help.]

    [Anything is fine. Anybody else?]

    At that moment, a strange old voice was heard, [...I would also like to participate. Is it okay?]

    [Huh?]

    The investigators turned their heads at the unfamiliar voice and saw an old man with an excellent physique. He had lost his life a few years ago and only recently regained his ego. The old man was Blundell Adruncus, a magician who had transcended the moment he breathed his last breath.

    [You are new. Isn't your ego still unstable? If things go wrong, you might not be able to regain your personality again.]

    [It doesn't matter. That rotten boy is giving me a great-grandchild.]

    [Indeed, then I won't refuse.]

    There were four of them. Even a transcendent person felt the instinct to go with the flow. There were those who were bored, those who were interested, or those who felt jealous like Simon. With the exception of a few pessimists, the investigators stepped forward. Faust grunted in an awkward manner because he had no choice but to cooperate.

    [I can't forgive anyone who knows the pain of a child.]

    [Go back and look after the child!]

    [Aren't you like a nagging wife? I bet that I'll be back in 10 years.]

    [...Weren't you poisoned to death while cheating?]

    [He is too young to end up this way.]

    The hundreds of people added their voices, making it hard to hear. This was a rebellion of the investigators, led by Simon Magus. No, since they were also part of Akashic, it was more of a 'deviation' than 'rebellion.' How far could the single cells go?

    Simon smiled on behalf of all investigators of the material world.

    [Okay, I will twist a finger.]

    Who knew? Simon Magus and the investigators were successful.

    *     *     *

    [······.] Akashic was speechless after hearing Theodore's story.  Was it checking the facts with its cells?  Just as Theodore had this thought...

    [Hah.] Akashic gave a small smile. [Interesting. There were movements inside me that I wasn't aware of. Based on your explanation, it wasn't you who destroyed Wrath.]

    "Yes."

    [It is mysterious. I didn't manage the investigators who make up a part of me. There was no reason or need for it. The investigators who became one with me aren't able to do anything. I didn't think hundreds of investigators would cooperate for 'another'.]

    The transcendents were monsters with their own ego. They did things for their own sake, like the grimoires. There was someone who changed a country for an experiment and someone else who sacrificed their kin. Even Simon Magus had been unable to make them move, until now.

    [This is the first time.]

    The investigators throughout the history of this planet had devoted themselves to one person and lent their strength. In retrospect, this had never happened before. Simon Magus was the one who had called for help, but the investigators were also part of the Akashic Records. It was possible to make 'Akashic' move if they gathered their strength. However, there was no case where this possibility had occurred.

    [I'm glad I didn't observe the future. This is so interesting I don't know if I can see it again in the future. Theodore Miller, I will take the part of me that you took as an admission fee.]

    "Yes, take it." There was no reason to argue, so Theodore nodded without hesitation and looked at the blue star far away.

    It was blue and green. A planet with an ecological environment like this material world was rare in the Akashic Records. The average planet's environment was said to vary because the atmosphere was so thin, and there were extreme temperature changes. Collisions with asteroids were also frequent.

    [Do you want to go back?]

    Theodore immediately nodded at Akashic's question, "Yes."

    [...There is no hesitation in your heart. Good. I will take it back. Before that, let me know one more thing,] Akashic opened his mouth with no expression. [When you became one with me, you were omnipotent. You would've realized it after the investigators restored your soul. Isn't that right?]

    "That's right."

    [How can you give up that power? There are some investigators who came to me after training for a long time and didn't lose consciousness for a while. But they were also attracted by the temptation of this omnipotence and became a part of 'me.' I'm sorry but it is hard to say that your mental strength is higher than theirs.]

    The pleasure born of being almighty was beyond imagination. They could go anywhere and do anything.

    It was more addictive than drugs. Theodore thought for a moment and answered without difficulty, "I wasn't looking for you or hoping for this."

    Akashic laughed and clapped for the first time. It was the answer he wanted to hear... that in this world, there was something more precious than omnipotence.

    [...Indeed, indeed! Those who are left in this world are more important than omnipotence! Good. Let's go back to your world, magician! I respect you for not choosing to sit on the omnipotent throne and return to dust again!] The jubilant Akashic said to Theodore. [A human has chosen to return to being a bug. Some people might say you are stupid but you did what no one else could. This spirit led to the investigators stepping forward. I will wait for our reunion one day, Theodore Miller!]

    "Then we will meet again. Farewell, Akashic."

    [Huhahahaha! This is the first time someone has said this to me. I will see you again at the end of your life. Then, goodbye!]

    There was a brilliant radiance, and Theodore closed his eyes.

    *     *     *

    "...Eh?" Theodore realized he was lying on the ground.
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