[Your party member <Gale Tempest> has awakened as <Flame Gunner>]
[Your party member <Aqua Marinus Elemens> has awakened as <Flame Sniper>]
“H-How is something without a shred of magic so powerful?!” Aqua pulled the trigger on her makeshift sniper rifle and shot down a line of zombies in the distance. When she did, she trembled and stared at her weapon with a mixture of terror and awe.
I walked around to pick up random scraps and said, “There’s a saying we have back at home: God created men, but Colt made them equal.”
Aqua turned to look at me with trembling eyes and said, “Your homeland has a transcendent that made humanity on a whole equal to your god?! Even the Founding Magi couldn’t accomplish such a feat!”
“You are fundamentally misunderstanding something, Aqua… But I guess it doesn’t really matter? Oh, and some variants are spawning. Blast them please.”
Aqua reloaded her rifle and then aimed it in the distance, setting her sights on a lumbering titan rushing towards us. “I’m scared! You’re scary! No wonder Father said to stay away from men who give sweet treats!”
“I mean, he wasn’t wrong. Though better the devil you know than the devil you don’t, right?”
“S-So you are a demon! Lady Elemens above, please forgive your humble follower for sinning…”
Freyr walked out from a burning building dragging a wagon of scraps and said, “Stop scaring Aqua, Husband. Most people can’t comprehend your sense of humor.”
I shrugged and started looking over the scraps for useful parts. “She’s just too easy to tease.”
Aqua looked at me between shooting at zombies and said, “You’re terrible! I want Gale back!”
“You can have Gale back when you’re strong enough to stay alive by yourself. Now, keep quiet and keep shooting until you master that <No-Scope> class skill.”
Aqua gave me a tearful expression and then stuffed some candy in her face before picking up her sniper rifle again with tears streaming down her face.
Freyr brushed off her sooty hands and said, “Where is Gale anyway, Husband?”
I picked up a few rusted pipes and circuit boards before saying, “He’s testing out his new abilities up ahead. It seems like he got a bit too into learning how to fight from range since he’s been a melee fighter his whole life.”
As if to emphasize my point, an explosion rocked the ground nearby and a building started to collapse.
I paused in the middle of making some spark plugs with <World Creator (Minor)> and let out a sigh. “…Probably wasn’t the best idea to hand off such overpowered guns to him though. Especially with infinite ammo.”
[The Flame Giant says that this is defiling his authority!]
[A Trickster God laughs and says that is what The Flame Giant gets for trying to kill Freyr.]
[The Flame Giant says that he just wanted to teach her a lesson, dammit!]
[Many gods are laughing at the scene from hell.]
[Many gods are cursing your name for creating such a dangerous situation for other Chosen.]
[The Angel of Justice frowns upon you.]
[The Inviolable Morning Star laughs, recalling a certain half-god.]
[The Elusive Planner offers to sponsor you.]
I flicked away the messages and took a quick look around.
After letting Gale blow up the block with his flaming glocks (heh). Anyway, after that, we waited a bit for the zombies to die out and then headed down to march through the ruins.
The fire should have been a bit dangerous, but…
[<Lesser Flames of Muspell> exercises its authority over fire and heat.]
…Yeah. I was a cheat.
Definitely wasn’t looking for the other shoe dropping though. We got lucky enough for the first scenario to be one where I could pull a lot of shenanigans since the world nulled most powers, but it definitely wouldn’t keep going like that.
I mean, I would love it if it did, but considering how many gods were pissed off with my smurfing, I could expect things to blow up in my face as soon as we got out of this scenario.
…Of course, I had a contingency in mind for that already by cribbing some notes from Kim Dokja, but hopefully things didn’t resort to that.
But anyway, we were making our way through the city bit by bit, making Gale and Aqua clear the way of zombies while Freyr helped me find useful materials.
Our objective to clear the scenario was pretty straightforward. Although a few other secondary objectives popped up as we made our way through the city, mostly in the form of slaying some mutated monster or something, our main objective of reaching the State Capitol hadn’t changed.
Unfortunately, I didn’t know where that was. There weren’t any maps nearby, cell phone reception was down, and electricity was out. Also, it had been way too long since I started planning anything for this story’s setting, so I didn’t know where that place was, or even what city we were in.
If we were even in a real city to begin with.
We were definitely somewhere in America judging from the license plates. Unfortunately, all of the state identifiers were conveniently melted, leaving just the numbers.
However, I had a perfect solution for resolving our current situation.
Grabbing a handful of circuitry, broken plastic, and various bits and pieces from the pile Freyr gathered, I muttered, "I made it once before from thin air, so it should be even easier with scraps, right?"
[You really have no shame, do you?]
I focused, watching as all the materials melted together to form a camera drone and a tablet. When it did, I smirked and started up the camera drone, sending it flying. "Of course not. I wouldn't be called Vain if I did."
A faint buzz echoed as the drone flew off and the tablet started flickering, revealing a bird's eye view of the surroundings.
[Many gods declare that you will suffer in the next scenario.]
[Many gods rage and accuse each other of being your supporter.]
[Many gods declare they will kill the one providing you such overt aid.]
[*snort* Good luck trying to do that, idiots.]
<Who's an idiot, Big Sis?>
[Don't worry, Lonnie. What do you want to watch next?]
<Ooh! Can we watch the movie about the moving toys?>
[Of course, Lonnie. Just let me go find the DVD.]
No. Let's not question why Alice has those or how they're watching things.
More important things to consider. Like clearing this scenario so I could start bootstrapping myself up to immortality to avoid the inevitable heavenly retribution for being Freyr's husband.
And for that...
I stared at the tablet screen and took a look at the area.
It was... definitely unfamiliar. There were tall buildings, zombies roaming around... Gale running like a certain devil hunter and switching between different styles as he gunned things down.
I saw knock-off versions of famous trademarks, like McDonalds and Starbucks... Here, McRonalds and Starbox.
But as for a capitol...
'It's probably that thing, huh?'
A gleaming white domed building in the distance, ten or so miles out.
...Maybe. I wasn't too good at estimating distances, but it was at least out of the range of my spreading flames.
I could also see some actual people gathering around there. Familiar people as well. Specifically, Sakura, Akira, Seol, and that Doe guy.
But I only saw it for a bit.
The moment they popped up on my screen, a black hand wrapped around the camera and crushed it, turning everything black.
"Tch." I sighed and chucked the tablet aside, letting it shatter back into pieces.
"Something frustrating happen, Husband?" Freyr's voice echoed from behind me, and shortly after she leaned against me, wrapping her arms around my shoulders. Peering at the broken pieces of the tablet, she said, "Is it bad?"
"Not really." I brushed off my hands and said, "Just a bit annoying. It seems like we're not the only one getting buffs."
Freyr laughed and then stepped away. "Well of course. Although you're incredible, Babel is a place where the Chosen among various dimensions gather. And now with the scenarios..." She paused for a moment, frowning. "...The powerful will grow even more so." She looked at me and said, "Um. Husband..."
I waved my hand and said, "Don't worry. We'll be good for at least this scenario. Afterwards might get a bit dicey... but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."
Freyr smiled and laced her hand around mine. "And I will help you every step of the way."
"Of course. And with my goddess of victory at my side, how can I lose?"
[You have charmed Freyr with your words.]
Freyr's cheeks tinged red and she stared at me, subconsciously licking her lips.
Seeing that, I poked her forehead and said, "Time and place, Wifey."
She blinked and then laughed. "My apologies, Husband-"
"WILL YOU TWO STOP FLIRTING AND HELP ME?!" Aqua glared at us and screamed. "MY ARMS ARE BURNING!"
She wasn't wrong. They were literally on fire- Ah wait. They were literally turning into flames, starting from her fingers.
[Through <Hero Creator>, your party member <Aqua Marinus Elemens> has awakened to the unique skill <Burning Arms of Envy>.]
...Are you making these system messages, Alice?
[Hm? No. Why?]
...Well, whoever's making them sure has a weird sense of humor.
"STOP STARING AND HELP!"