The Goddess of Chaos
I couldn’t help but stare at the woman that’d called herself the Goddess of Chaos.
Her claim was one that was a little bit more than a little bit hard to believe. The Goddess of Chaos was supposed to be the goddess that gave rise to dungeons, and thus, I’d expected her to be someone that exuded an air of magnificence, dignity, and grandeur.
The woman in front of me, however, gave off what was more or less the exact opposite impression. To me, she looked like an absurdly beautiful woman with tanned skin and silvery hair. The only air she gave off was one of an adult woman’s seductiveness; her outfit was composed of nothing more than just a few thin pieces of cloth.
However, she’d proven herself capable of stopping time for everyone but me, an act that should’ve been impossible for anything but a god. Realizing that caused my gut to promptly inform me that I’d gotten myself into something troublesome.
「Wow, troublesome? That’s mean of you.」
W-Wait, can she read my mind!?
『I-I’m so sorry!』
Aw fuck. I hope I didn’t piss her off. Angering her seems like a really bad idea given how divine retribution is apparently actually a thing here.
I’m sorry! I swear I don’t think of you as troublesome. In fact, I hold nothing but respect for you. I’m telling the truth here! Having the opportunity to meet someone as beautiful as yourself had totally moved me and thrown my thoughts into disarray!
「Kufufufufu. There’s no point trying to flatter me. I can tell exactly what you’re really feeling just by looking at your soul.」
『Awww shit. Uhh…』
「People like you are pretty rare. Most people have a bit more respect for the gods.」
『Oh come on. I do respect you! I swear I do!』
「I don’t particularly mind how you feel about me. I’m not petty enough to be angered by anything that insignificant.」
『S-so does that mean you’re not going give me divine retribution for being blasphemous or anything like that…?』
「Don’t worry about it.」
Oh thank fucking god! I’d totally expected the gods to be unreasonable tyrants because of the punishment they’d given to the Black Cat Tribe.
「I do have a more dignified appearance. I purposefully only ever send a part of myself into the human realm and mold its form so that it appears like that of a human. It can’t really be helped that I don’t appear all that god-like as I am now. Likewise, I also attempt to speak the same language as those I descend upon. Speaking of which, I think this is probably the most casual conversation I’ve had with a mortal to date.」
The fact that she’d only sent a part of herself to see me reminded me of something I’d heard back when I still lived on the Earth. I think people used to say something along the lines of “seeing god’s true form will make you lose both your sight and sanity.” That aside though, what was important was the fact that she’d only taken human form because she’d wanted to talk to me in particular.
「We’d never actually expected any faith from you in the first place, given that you were summoned from another world.」
『Huh? Wait, you guys knew that I was from another world?』
「Of course we did, but let’s leave that aside for now and maybe come back to it some other time. There’s something much more important I want to talk to you about.」
『I’m guessing you want to talk about Fran and how she’s evolved?』
「You got it.」
Hmm… Well, a goddess literally just went out of her way to talk to me, so, I guess that pretty much confirms that the Black Cat Tribe really is suffering from some sort of divine retribution.
「Exactly. The Black Cat Tribe has committed a mortal sin, and thus, we’ve made it more difficult for them to evolve.」
『So you’re here to talk about the method I used to make Fran evolve…?』
「Looks like you’ve gotten straight to the point. That’s right. The method you used was one we’d never accounted for. It’s outside all our predictions, and honestly speaking, quite problematic.」
I mean, I knew we kinda cheated the system, but I never would’ve thought what we did was bad enough to merit divine intervention. Wait, shit, does that mean Fran’s g-
「Don’t worry. I won’t do anything to harm her, nor will I revert her to her original state.」
W-whew. Well, I guess that means we’ve at least managed to dodge the bullet — not that we were actually totally scot-free just yet.
「So, have you figured out why I came to see you in particular?」
『Uhhhh… Because I cheated the system?』
「Nope. That isn’t the only issue I came to discuss with you.」
「I wouldn’t have bothered descending if that was all there was to it.」
Wait, what? What exactly was the issue then?
「Naturally, that isn’t to say that you cheating the system poses us no issues altogether, as it means that you’re defying the very principles the world runs on.」
『The world’s principles?』
「Would it be easier for you to understand me if I called the world’s principles the system on top of which it’s based? Consider, for example, if the entire world was operating within the framework of something like a computer program.」
Oh, so there’s like a big overarching system that everything else runs on? I guess that must be where the System Announcer comes from?
「Most beastkin typically learn the Awakening skill upon reaching their level cap. Using the skill allows them to awaken the power that lies within them and prompts them to evolve.」
I guess that means there’s actually 5 stages involved in the evolution process? It looks kinda like: Hit level cap -> Unlock Awakening -> Use Awakening -> Draw out latent potential -> Evolve?
「The Black Cat Tribe has been cursed, and thus, as I’m sure you know, its members need to do more than just reach their maximum levels.」
『Yeah, I’m following you since that’s kinda how things went with Fran.』
「She managed to bypass the principles set, obtain the Awakening skill, and evolve. It seemed that she was a rather talented individual as well, as she’d acquired the skill for herself with just a single use of it. What concerns me is that the exact same thing may continue to happen going forward.」
『Oh, I get it. So what you’re trying to say is that anyone could evolve so long as they just equipped me.』
「Yeah, and that’s exactly the problem. There would be no point in the divine retribution if equipping you allowed any and all to bypass it, and that’s simply not something I can overlook.」
The goddess stared right at me as she spoke.
Wait, doesn’t that kinda maybe mean that I might just be neck deep in shit?