“Really, what should I choose, here?” I muttered to myself, looking over the list of options available for Bella’s domain. Since she had specifically avoided training her divinity in any particular direction, there was a much larger list of ‘preferred options’ for her compared to anyone else that had ascended so far.
While the world below was paused so that I could consider this decision, I closed my eyes. Bihena? Could you come here for a moment?
As I was sitting in my bedroom at the time, it didn’t take long for Bihena to make her way in, pushing the door open. As opposed to her normal, armored look, she was currently wearing a light blue dress that went all the way down to her ankles. I could faintly see wavy patterns within the fabric that seemed to shift and roll as the fabric moved with each step.
“You wanted to see me?” She asked curiously, leaning against the doorway and crossing her arms in front of herself. “Guessing it’s about Bella?”
“Yeah.” While I was impressed with her choice of dress, there was something more important to discuss. “Since she is planning to be your subordinate in all but name, I wanted to have you help me pick something that would be suitable for her domain. I imagine you know more about her, and could help me pick something fitting.”
Bihena looked somewhat surprised at my request, her lips tugging up into a smile. Something about the way she looked at me shifted slightly, as if she was respecting me more for this decision. “I see. Well, Bella’s most notable traits are her unshakeable faith and devotion. However, I imagine it wouldn’t be fitting to have someone be the Goddess of Faith. You don’t have faith in faith itself, after all.”
“Despite my War domain, she has never engaged in a violent battle, always choosing to settle things peacefully or run away and seek help when she was not her opponent’s match. It’d be best not to give her anything like a weapon-related domain.”
“I’d say that the Waves domain might fit her, but it would restrict her potential too much with such a narrow focus.” Bihena shook her head at that. “And at the same time, making it Water would make her feel miserable as it is a higher form of my Ocean domain.”
“What about Weather?” I asked, looking over the various options. Weather was on the list, because apparently she had once used her power to calm a storm that was threatening to destroy the coastal city where the church was stationed.
Bihena fell into thought when I mentioned that domain. “Weather implies both the gentle wind and the violent hurricane. As strong as I think the domain would be for her, I don’t really think it matches her personality. She wouldn’t be able to use it to its full potential.”
I gave a small nod when I heard that. So, it’d be best to give her a domain more focused towards a support role, then. I looked through the list again, and one domain caught my eye. “Mercy…”
Bihena’s head jerked up slightly to look at me when she heard me mutter. “What was that?”
“Huh? Sorry.” Shaking my head, I spoke a bit louder. “The Mercy domain. It’s one of the ones closer to the top of her very long suggested list. She’s healed a number of people, or intervened to protect them from harm. Apparently, that qualified her for this domain as an option.”
“Mercy, mercy…” Bihena focused, mulling over the word. Most likely, she was going over all of its potential applications, and testing them against Bella’s personality. “Yeah… I think she’d like that. And it can be seen as a subordinate form of my own Peace domain, so it’s one she would appreciate, as well.”
Hearing that, I was relieved, selecting the option from the list. And with that, the Goddess of Mercy was born. The first truly independent deity born naturally aside from myself, despite her pledging herself to Bihena.
Bella gave a heaving breath as she lay on the floor. She had lost track of time, her mind truly going blank when she performed the merge between her divinity and her mana. She had slipped into unconsciousness from that moment, unaware how long it was before she awoke.
“I… did it?” She asked, as if unsure about her own results. Looking down at herself, she found her body bare. Her clothes had been destroyed when ascending her flesh, and so she created new ones with a tiny sliver of divine might.
You did it. Bihena’s voice spoke gently into Bella’s mind. Congratulations, oh Goddess of Mercy.
“Mercy..?” Bella mumbled the word to herself, looking at the achievement that had appeared in front of her. Sure enough, that was the domain that the world had granted her. A smile tugged at her lips, a gentle warmth washing over her. “I will continue to serve you in this way, my Goddess.”
Hey, you’re a Goddess now, too. Can’t you just call me Bihena now?
“I-I wouldn’t dare.” Bella’s cheeks flushed red at that, shaking her head heavily as she pulled herself to her feet. Despite her ascension, she found herself feeling incredibly weak. No doubt a result of rushing to finish her ascension without allowing her divinity to accumulate after the second step. Still, that could all come with time.
Bihena simply sighed within the back of Bella’s mind. Well, it was worth a shot. Anyways, you’ve been out for a while, so everyone’s waiting for you outside.
“Outside… how long?” Bella asked, turning to look at the door to the room she was in. She had noticed that she wasn’t disturbed when she woke up.
Two days. That’s what you get for rushing the finish like that.
Bella’s eyes went wide, and she rushed for the door. She felt guilty for making everyone wait and worry for that long. Once she opened the door, she saw more than half of the priests and priestesses of the church kneeling within the hall. Moreover, further down she saw other faces, the regular worshippers or priests from other cities.
“Congratulations on your ascension, Holy Mother.” Catarina spoke up first, her words soon echoed by the masses around her.
“Congratulations on your ascension, Holy Mother!” It was at that point that Bella remembered the arrangement that had been made when she started her path of ascension. The ranks that had been prepared in advance. While a Holy Sister would be regarded as the second in command of any church, still abiding by the rules set by its High Priestess, a Holy Mother was second only to the Goddess herself.
In a way, she had become the Saintess of the church. From that moment on, she would be Bihena’s voice within the mortal coil. The warmth she felt before surged forth again, and she could feel the faith of those gathered here. Not only did they believe in Bihena, but they now believed in her as well.
This caused a somewhat troubled feeling to emerge within her heart. She did not want to steal the power which should rightfully belong to Bihena. And so, she focused on that divinity being sent to her. Since she couldn’t cut it off, she included it within a prayer of her own, redirecting it.
When she found that this was possible, she felt relieved. As a Goddess, controlling divine energy was her very nature. Since she truly worshiped Bihena, she could send any amount of excess divinity towards her.
“Please, rise.” Bella spoke gently, looking to the crowd. Slowly, one by one they rose at her words. “I do not wish for any here to place me above Her. She shall always be the Goddess I serve, this I pledge. Keep this in your hearts, that it was only by Her grace that I have received this power.”
She saw the look of warmth on Catarina’s face as she once again swore her faith in Bihena. The High Priestess of the church nodded her head. “Thank you, Holy Mother.”
So, how is it? Dana’s voice echoed in Tsubaki’s mind as she stood within a frozen room, looking down at a large slab of solid stone.
“Just as we thought. We don’t have to register her again.” Tsubaki spoke in a somewhat relieved tone. The Divine Registry had continued to track Bella through her ascension process. And, when the news reported that the holy light had risen to the sky from the church, Tsubaki had come to confirm this feature.
‘Mercy Goddess Bella Wayver’ was now listed on the tablet, replacing her former entry. Somehow, Tsubaki was rather proud of this, of the fruits of her and Dana’s work showing at this moment. It would be… inconvenient, to say the very least, if they had to update the registry to fix this feature.
“How are things going on your end?” She spoke, her words traveling across their link to reach Dana, who sat alone at a workbench. In front of her were a variety of tools, ranging from hammers to knives, nails or swords.
Dana shook her head with a groan, leaning back in her seat. “Easier said than done. How am I supposed to prepare a tool for ‘everything’, after all? You gotta admit, even for you that’s a big request.”
Maybe slightly. Tsubaki’s voice answered back to her. But we have to do our best.
Dana grumbled in frustration, looking behind her at the shelves filled with various items. Armors for both men and women of every race, weapons of different variety. Then there were the shelves of smaller tools. Lockpicks, magnifying glasses, communication crystals, and things of that nature.
Most of it she had simply been able to buy from blacksmiths and shops around the world to save her time. They were all top-grade, forged by the best craftsmen available, but none of them had been specially prepared for this purpose. “Maybe clothes? No, why would he need that?”
For all the good that Dana’s storage space did by using the dimensium pulse, it failed in one very basic regard that even standard storage spaces adhered to. They weren’t able to pull items out at will, and had to physically enter the storage room. As such, Dana had been tasked with once again creating another item to fill this purpose. Only this time, it had come with the added request of filling the storage space with ‘anything he could ever need’.
Sadly, this included things that he might need to bestow on others. Hence the need to acquire armor not only for different body shapes, but for females as well. Dana was already feeling like this storage space might be a bit small for what Tsubaki was asking for. Then again, she knew that Tsubaki was also just making an impossible request.
It’d be great if we could just get one of those forges from the March, so it could craft items on demand for him. She thought to herself with a shake of her head. Naturally, she knew that Tubrock could create that for her, as he created the ones that the March themselves used. However, it was still not feasible.
In order to make it work properly, they would need a reliable supply of whatever materials were needed, and an intelligent system that was able to program the forge to produce the items that he wanted. Oddly, it was the intelligent system that was the easier part of this equation, as they had the reference of fourth tier magic books that could help them with that goal. The harder challenge was access to any and all materials that they required. Unlike Tubrock, they had to actually mine for their materials.