Arcana led me to the center of the Aebelast Anzeta, the divine academy.
It was a single room that was completely white.
It was a circular space with eight evenly spaced seating arrangements. The light pouring down from the ceiling there was like a veil, shining dazzlingly white.
There is one other seat with no light at all.
Behind the eight seats was a stairway of seats, like an observer's seat.
This is the Holy See Room.
Ahide walked up from behind him.
'The Holy Seat means the place where the Selectmen, those who are qualified to be God's representatives, sit. These eight seats are called the Holy See.
There are three seats with figures floating behind a veil of light that illuminates the Holy See. In the other four, there was no one or nothing to be seen.
Perhaps it's the effect of the veil of light, or maybe it's the effect of the magic eye, but even if you look hard enough, you can't see the faces of the people sitting on the seats, nor can you see their magic. It's a power close to the order of the gods.
''When the chosen one makes a pact with the gods, you will be qualified to sit on their Holy Seat. That vacant seat is yours. Nonconformist, Anos Voldigord.
Ahide pointed to the Holy Seat, which did not light up.
You are God's chosen one, even though you have not yet made the pact. Sit there and swear to Eques, the Almighty Gleam, that you will sit in the Selection Chamber. The Holy See will be illuminated by the Great Light.
I walked loosely to the Holy Seat.
I took one look at it, and without sitting down, I turned to Ahide.
'Unfortunately, I don't believe in Eques. I'm not interested in selective judges or God's representatives. Ask me what you want to ask, and I'll let you leave.
Ahide glares at me with murderous eyes.
'You have an awe-inspiring heretical air about you.
It was someone else who spoke up.
'Are you trying to undermine the sacred selection judges?'
Expressing his indignation was the man sitting on the Holy Seat.
Hidden by a veil of light, his true identity is not known, but he seems to be quite well built.
''I don't intend to do that. ＜You are free to believe in the existence of the Almighty Splendor Eques. I'm not denying that. It's just that I believe in something else.
As soon as he uttered it, the man shouted in a rage.
'That's what you call disgracing my God, you heretic!
With cold eyes I looked back at the figure.
'There's no point in talking about it. If you want to say something, at least show yourself before you do it. It's no more than the chirping of a little bird when you don't know who you are.
With a dunk, a figure rises to his feet.
As he swung to the side to cut his right hand, a veil of light was peeled away.
What was revealed was a muscular man with a skinhead.
He wore clothing similar to the vestments that Ahide wore, and he wore armor over it. There was an identical ring on his index finger.
I am Gazelle Apto Agueira. The holy knight of Geordal, the land of the gods and dragons, a selector of the eight gods, has been given the title of saint! Nonconformist Anos Voldigord. I'll give you the salvation of God.
I take a step forward as if I were stamping my feet and Gazelle glares at me.
'Hmm. You're in time for salvation, though?
I don't listen to heretics!
The gazelle holds up the ring. The next moment when the magic power gathered there, a single snow and moon flower fluttered down.
He looked at Arcana as he came to himself.
''Even in Aebelast Anzeta, there is an unwarranted pact between the Holy Zones.
This is not a battle, but a salvation.
'Son of the dragon. It's not just a matter of saying things differently. God is right, and He is looking at you.
Biting his back teeth just in time, Gazelle said.
''The Almighty Gleam, as Eques wills.
He sits back in his holy seat and gives me a condescending look.
'Ahide, please explain.'
He nodded at Arcana's words.
'Nonconformist, Anos Voldigord. Let me explain to you what you want to hear, the Selection Judge. If you do not wish to sit on the Holy Seat, then you may stand as you are.
Ahide calls out to the two remaining figures sitting in the Holy Seat.
'Would that be all right with you both?'
The figure nodded, as if he had no objection.
Apparently, there are only four half of the selectors here.
Ahide turned to me and spun his words with an air of solemnity.
'God is the order of this world, the saving hand extended by the Eques. But there comes a time when that God, that order, is lost. But it is nothing less than an opportunity for renewal. A representative of God will be chosen from all life on earth to fill the place of the lost God.
Hmm. So a representative is a substitute for a god that was destroyed?
The Almighty Eques has given all living beings the opportunity to come to God. It is none other than the light and salvation for us, the compassion of Eques.
Are you sure about that?
I'm not certain that the gods have shown mercy to people.
The order of destruction was lost when I turned Averniu, the god of destruction, into a delzogade.
Other gods made up for it, but the order was never fully restored.
What cannot be restored is order again, and because God is order, he can't manage it by himself alone.
Perhaps that is why he uses other than God to restore order.
The candidate for the representative is called the Eight Divine Selector. The eight selectors are chosen by the god of selection. The Chosen One will make a pact with the God.
Arcana held out her hand, and a piece of snow and moonflower fluttered down in front of me.
It glowed faintly and transformed into a certain gemstone.
A crystal-clear black stone. At the center of that black stone is a red stone, but it does not light up.
''It is called the selective paling stone. It is called the Bead of Selection. Since ancient times, the Bead of Selection has been a magical tool used when a person and a god made an agreement. The Meishu is the most special of these tools. Only the gods of selection are allowed to create it, and it can only be given to the eight gods of selection. When the pact with the god is concluded, the bead will be lit and will shine brightly.
I take the pact pearl in my hand.
It is attached to Ahide's ring, and it is glowing because the red stone in the center is lit?
''Is there any way to make a pact with a god?
The content of the covenant varies from God to God, but they all have one thing in common: they all believe in God. But they all have one thing in common: They all say they believe in God. God will take care of the rest.
Do you believe in God?
I wonder how often that happens.
"The Chosen People will have the power of God in their pact. And they will await with him the coming of the Holy Tribunal. That is the Selection Judgment. The Eight Chosen One will choose a representative worthy of becoming the order of the world.
''Hmm. One question I have is, which of the eight selection gods chose me to be the selector?
Ahide nodded at my question.
'But I've never met a god claiming to be a selection god, you know.
Every God is qualified to be the God of selection by choosing the selectors.
I see. I see.
'So the god who chose me was not yet the god of selection at that point in time?
'Yes, He chose you and became the God of selection for the first time. I do not know why He does not appear before you now, but He has a sublime thought for you. The fact that He has given you the title of Nonconformist could mean that you, as a heretic, have been put to the test to realize the greatness of God.
So, for example, if Militia had chosen me, she would be both a creator god and a selection god.
The question is, why doesn't the god who chose me show up?
Or he may not be on my side.
Or maybe he's trying to get me involved in the selection process and in the midst of the chaos, he's trying to destroy me.
Another reason is that my memory is not perfect.
I may have simply forgotten.
'At least it's true you were chosen by God. On that Holy Seat is inscribed your name and the title of Nonconformist bestowed by your chosen God.
My name is indeed engraved on the Holy Seat.
And the title of Nonconformist.
'A quarrel at the Selection Tribunal could destroy God. If order is lost, doesn't it matter?
The God of the Selective Judgment will not perish and therefore the order will not be lost. The selection bead will maintain that order by virtue of the pact.
I stare at the pearl in my hand.
It's quite an impressive piece of work, isn't it?
I get the general idea. But that doesn't mean I'm interested in the selection process. But I'm not interested in the selection process, and I'd rather not have a substitute for them. You have deprived this world of its order of destruction.
If I think about it that way, God may have dared to make me the selector to keep this selection judge from being destroyed.
If I destroy all those who are trying to become my representatives, I will be elevated to the position of representative.
When he realized that even the power of the gods could not destroy me, did he decide to make me a god?
'Whether you want it or not is irrelevant, Nonconformist Anos Voldigord. Now that you have been chosen, there are two paths you must take. Either you wait for the time of judgment and follow the path of faith. Or you can turn your back on God and perish.
You mean like this? God has chosen us, and we will not decline.
Ahide nodded solemnly.
'Exactly. God is the order of the world. No one is in charge of the world's order and no one is in charge of disobeying it. Your will is insignificant in the sight of God!
'You are a man, and yet you speak as if you were God.
I understand the broad outlines of the selection process.
Since a god is involved, nine out of ten bad things will not happen.
I'm not sure if it's just for this underground world, but I don't think this is the only reason for Ahide to infiltrate the heroic academy in order to contact me, the selector.
I'm not going to be the only one who has been selected to be a student at the heroic academy.
It is a good idea to have a good idea. You should not leave Gaelichaesta until you have found a god and made a pact with him. However, it would be better for you not to stay here in Aebelast Anzeta.
'In Aebelast Anzeta, the pact of non-warfare does not work, except in this Holy See room. For this is the place where the Selectmen will show their faith.
'You mean that as long as you are in Averast Anzeta, you may fight at any time, except in the Holy Seat Room?
'You have revealed your true face to the selectmen here. You have also revealed to them that you have not yet made a pact with God. Once you leave this holy city with an unwarranted pact, you'll be nothing but a perfect prey.
Every selector can summon a god with whom they have made a pact.
Does that mean it's easy to destroy me who hasn't made a pact with a god?
It's true that, according to the system of the selection judges, it's a given that you should crush your opponent before their strength is in order.
"Can't your head remember what happened just the other day? Who was it that got kicked out of me?
Ahide was unmoved and returned the words.
'If you have not made an alliance with the gods, then what happened the other day is easily explained. In other words, you have made an alliance with another selectee. So you were using the divine power of that selector's God.
You're saying that you can see it all through.
Well, it's inevitable.
It's more likely than not that there is someone with more power than God, because it's more likely than not that he's borrowing from God.
No one can think of anything other than their own common sense.
In fact, I had never even imagined that there was such a thing as a selection referee.
I'm not sure if your allies are here or not.
Ahide says as he checks the selectors sitting on the Holy Seat.
'However, now that the seed has been cracked, it is only natural that your allies should be cautious. I can't imagine that the selectors will lend you the power of God in this situation where they are keeping a close eye on you. I urge you to be very careful.
But that's kind of you.
You've explained so much to me, your enemy.
So this is God's judgment and not a battle?
But there is also the possibility that Ahide is just being foolishly honest.
I want to ask you one more question, when and how did this underground world come about?
'This is irrelevant to the selection tribunal. I have no right to answer to a heretic.
Hmm. Oh well. If you say this is an academic school, I'm sure there's a history book or two in here.
As he said this, Ahide indicated a fixed magic circle placed at the top of the western stairs.
''That magic circle leads to the thirteenth floor of this school building. That is the room of the stone monument that bequeathed memories of a bygone era. It describes the origins of this world.
'Is that an answer to a heretic?'
If that's an explanation for Averast Anzeta.
Hmm. That's troublesome.
'But outside of this Holy Seated Room, there can be no pact of non-warfare.
You mentioned that earlier. Let's go, Misha, Sasha.
They nodded dully.
I turned on my heel and climbed the stairs with the girls and got on the fixed magic circle.
As I put my magic into it, the landscape melted away.
The next moment, I saw a large room and a large number of stone monuments scattered across the room.
In front of the monument, there were figures in front of the monument, here and there, dressed in their uniforms.
They were probably students of this school.
They seemed to be in the middle of deciphering the inscriptions on the monument.
'Hmm. It's good if you know the character.
''Well I feel like it's unlikely. No matter how much our ancestors might be the same, it's a different culture from earth, right?
When Sasha uttered that, Misha was nodding his head next to her.
Anyway, I walked to the empty stone monument.
I looked down at it, and sure enough, it's an unfamiliar letter.
"-- How foolish and heretical of you to ignore the Cardinal's advice,
A voice rang out from behind me.
It was the skinheaded saintly gazelle who had just given me a cause for concern.
'Well, read some of them and you'll understand the law.
Or rather, the back. Can you just ignore them? That's saying something.
I'm not going to listen to a stranger with no sense of propriety.
As I said it, Gazelle grabbed me by the shoulders.
"God help you. You heretic!
Yeah, get out of the way. You're in the way.
Turning around, I lightly shake off Gazelle's hand.
''Nuh-uh.........! Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!
He blows backwards.
''Kyaaaaaah!'' screamed the students of the school district.
Even as he spat out blood, Gazelle made a face of rage.
''.........What a sinful person......! Beg God's forgiveness you heretic........
As I stagger to my feet, Gazelle turns his killing intent on me.
'You said gazelle. I don't mind if you do, though.
I take a few steps towards him and let my gaze fly.
'Get on with it and summon a god. You won't last a second on your own.