A <Throne>. Something like that apparently existed in the capitol here. And the objective of this scenario... or rather, subscenario, was basically to control it.
Capture the flag, so to speak.
Unlike in a certain webnovel though, we didn't have any flags or Kings.
"A throne..." Sakura thoughtfully tapped her chin and started looking around the room. "As a princess, I presume no one has any objections to my claim upon it?"
To back up her declaration, the ten people following her moved into formation, ready to act at any time.
Jon laughed and then stared at Sakura with cold eyes. "The Ruler is the strongest. Do you think you can last?"
With his words, the demons following Jon stepped forward.
Sakura glanced at Akira.
The Japanese high schooler waved his hands and said, "Count me out. I'd be a terrible king."
A beautiful blonde woman with golden eyes standing next to him clicked her tongue and said, "You would say that as the Primogenitor's chosen beloved?"
Akira looked at her and said, "Do you want to be Queen then?"
The blonde woman paused and looked at Sakura and Jon thoughtfully.
At that time, a random person from Seol's group spoke up. He was... vaguely familiar? I think the brown-haired swordsman who was originally in Freyr's group?
He drew his sword and said, "No way! Like Boss said, we're going to destroy the throne!" He grit his teeth and said, "We won't let you tyrants rule over us with that authority!"
Seol looked a bit offput by the guy stepping forward. Even so, Seol went along with it and said, "We all arrived in this Tower to fulfill our wishes. It's not right to let one person control the others."
Sakura hummed and said, "Well. If the others are weak enough to be cowed into submission, their opinion is worth less than salt, no?"
Jon nodded, grinning at the people behind Seol. "Yeah. And we should butcher those cows that are just taking up space."
"Ooh." Sakura looked at Jon and said, "Witty. I appreciate that." She narrowed her eyes and said, "But a vile thing like yourself is still going to be purged the moment my abilities are unsealed."
Jon laughed. "And I'm looking forward to eating you up, Pinky."
A tense situation. Multiple strong parties with different goals vying for control.
I could understand why. After all, the setup seemed to be one about creating a 'King' to lead the others in the following scenarios.
If that was the case, it was important to take the lead now and run with it to prevent being treated as slaves later.
Freyr lightly tugged my sleeve and whispered, "Husband? Should we not act?"
Right. This was a critical stage to lay out the power dynamics.
The other MC characters seemed to intuitively or expressly understand as they chimed in with their thoughts.
As someone with power ourselves, we should do the same. Especially Freyr. As a proper Goddess, if she wanted to save people in the future, she needed to lay the foundation for it.
And if I wanted to help her with that goal, I needed to show that I was a force to be reckoned with as well.
But it went all back to an 'if.'
That was only true 'if' this scenario was one about kingship.
I stared at the descriptions again.
'Claim the <Throne>'.
That was the main goal. But there was an alternative of surviving to sunrise.
Those weren't mutually exclusive.
Moreover, the 'Bonus Success' was a Unique Title based on actions. It also didn't say criteria, so it was likely that you could get that while not finding the throne.
But more importantly...
There wasn't a failure condition.
The others didn't seem to have noticed it, but the failure condition was missing.
Aqua clicked her tongue as she watched the MCs squabble and said, "Why are they wasting time?"
Gale nodded and then gave me a sidelong glance. "...Should we eliminate them?"
I watched the tensions grow between the groups. Weapons being drawn. Seeing that, I frowned.
Something was off here.
First of all, there wasn't a throne in sight. And if it was a proper throne, it wouldn't be tucked away in a random room. It would probably be in the center where we were at right now.
Second of all, the point of all this was to develop 'causality.' These scenarios were to create 'just cause' for what was happening next. Since that was the case, it wouldn't be something obvious. If it was, then there wouldn't be a need for the scenarios in the first place.
No, the point of these scenarios were to develop 'characters' who could take charge of the narrative.
One way would definitely be the big clash that looked about to happen in a few minutes.
But if the 'author' of these scenarios wanted to develop causality for later scenarios... then he probably wanted to introduce some plot points, Chekhov's guns, and MacGuffins. Character development wouldn't be enough.
I spun around and started walking away.
Aqua's eyes widened and she quickly followed. "V-Vain? What do you mean we're leaving?!"
Freyr let out a sigh of relief and then grabbed my right hand. "I believe that is the correct decision, Husband."
Gale seemed disappointed, but followed after me. "As you say, Sir Vain."
Arguments were in full force, so the others wouldn't have heard us talking.
But it would be impossible for them not to notice us walking away. And as expected-
"Hah!" Jon laughed and then called out to me. "Running with your tail tucked between your legs? I thought you were a hotshot after winning over that goddess, but you're just a weak simp after all, aren't you?"
Freyr tensed and started to turn around.
Before then, I pulled her close and gave her a quick peck on the lips.
Of course. In a situation like this, acting like that...
I was basically flirting with death.
But since I was a <Shameless Flirt> anyway...
I held up my free left hand without turning around and said, "Why be a king when I've got a goddess and my good friends at my side? You kids have fun while I find a place to hole up for the night."
Now, to make a quick escape-
[Many gods are awed at your cool response.]
[Many gods curse your name.]
[Many gods wonder what tricks you have up your sleeve.]
[A Trickster God cackles with anticipation.]
[An Anomaly from a Ruined Future glares at you.]
[You have generated causality from your actions.]
[Your archetype is 'Mysterious Overpowered Protagonist with his Own Agenda.']
[Your abilities have been unsealed.]
[<Hero Creator> unseals your companion's abilities.]
Oho? In that case...
[Restrictions have been removed by <No One's Story>!]
[You and your party will now be returned to a safe location.]
The surroundings blurred as we warped away. And when they came back, we were on the rooftop of a building far from the capitol.
Aqua reacted first and started wobbling. "Ugh... What the heck was that?!" She glared at me and said, "You didn't tell us you could use space magic!"
"It's not magic." I took a look around to get a better grasp of our location and said, "Even if it was, I just got it unlocked, so-"
[The scenario will be updated in difficulty.]
[Your access to the Sponsor System and Constellation System have been noted by The Overseer]
Wait, wait, wait.
[<Alice>'s race has temporarily changed to <Angel: Throne>.]
[Due to your excessive abilities, a counterbalance has activated.]
[Sponsors may now send their Chosen into your scenario as 'Bringers of the End']
[Local survivors and characters according to the setting will be generated.]
[Your death has been determined to be the victory condition of the generated characters.]
[To the generated characters, your role is <Demon Lord Seeking the World's Destruction>. This has been added as a Title to your status.]
[To the generated characters, the other Chosen are designated as <Benign Avatars Seeking the World's Salvation>.]
[Your party members have been designated as the <Demon Lord's Elite Four>]
[Updating Scenario... Complete.]
Goal: Destroy this Forsaken World and write a new page in the Apocalypse Eschatology.
Success: End of the First Scenario
Failure: Absolute Erasure for you and your allies
Reward: Establishment of your Constellation and Divine Epitaph
A flood of messages and information. Something that was happening with Gale, Aqua, and Freyr as well.
But not only that... a pair of lights appeared beside me before resolving into two unfamiliar forms.
The first was a young girl with light brown hair and blue eyes. One who looked almost like a child between me and Freyr.
The other was beautiful young woman with black hair and emerald eyes, appearing with a burst of glittering lights.
[<Alice> has been granted physical form in accordance with the scenario.]
[<Avalon> has been granted physical form in accordance with the scenario.]
[<The Bringer of Ragnarok: Loki Laufeyson> objects]
[<The Gentleman Cambrioleur: Arsene Lupin> states that the scenario has broken and should be concluded]
[<The Inviolable Morning Star> laughs and says that he is looking forward to your actions.]
[<The Elusive Planner> lets out a deep sigh and grumbles about having to resolve causality.]
"Papa? Mama?" The young girl blinked and slowly turned her hands around before letting out a bright smile. "I can hug you now!" The moment she said that, she rushed towards Freyr and latched onto her with a big hug.
Meanwhile, the beautiful young woman with black hair rushed towards me and pulled me up by my shirt. "Vain you godforsaken cheating idiotic son of a bitch! What the fuck have you done now?! Why am I here like this?!"
[<The Inviolable Morning Star> says that if you wish to sentence God to damnation, he is ready at any time.]
Name: Vain Glory
Age: 20 (Adjusted)
Race: Human (Heaven Defying)
Class: Shameless Flirt
Current Condition: Healthy
Constellation: Apocalypse Eschatology (Temporary Name)
Sponsor: Vain Glory
Divine Anathema - Those not only forsaken by their gods, but those who have killed their gods and constructed their own. Drastically reduces effectiveness of Divine Attacks. Minor probability of obtaining partial Divine Authority through analysis and perception. Greatly increased hostility by Divine Beings.
Man of a Thousand Faces (Can filter emotions and experience through personas)
Well-Read (Increased intelligence growth)
Self-Determined (Luck is treated as 100 for calculations)
Goddess's Beloved (You share a small portion of your Goddess's status)
The Protagonist <Temporary> (You are the focus of attention for all events in the scenario)
World Creator (Minor) - Allows construction of non-magical items through one's will
Hero Creator - Removes growth limitations on user and their allies. Rapidly accelerates growth of allies.
Demon Lord Seeking the World's Destruction - One whose power exceeds the bounds of the world. You are freed from world restrictions. However, your enemies are empowered by the world.
Strength: 34 (+32)
Agility: 41 (+32)
Vitality: 21 (+32)
Intelligence: 137 (+32)
Mana: 70 (+32)
Luck: 15  (+32)
Bonus Stat Points: -7
No One's Story - A gambit that defies the gods through sacrificing one's identity and very memory. All attempts to scry your status are denied. Removes skill requirements. Memory and visualization abilities are enhanced.
A Different Path - Direct interference with a hero's fate, granting him a new path and divergent futures. Allows reproduction of 'conceptual weapons' provided the requisite materials. Allows reproduction of 'sword skills' provided the requisite understanding.
Lesser Flames of Muspell - The flames that will harken the end in Ragnarok. A world-consuming fire that will burn even the divine. You are immune to all but absolute temperature changes. Even then, you can function normally in absolute temperature ranges. You can summon (Mana/10) square meters of flames. You can dominate all flames.
First Aid - A basic healing spell that stops bleeding and accelerates the body's natural regeneration.
Disengage - A skill that allows the user to immediately retreat from battle as well as return the user's condition to the state prior to engaging in combat. Can be used once per engagement per hostile opponent.
Loki's Blessing (Minor) - A blessing from the Trickster God, Loki. Can change and conceal one's appearance. Due to synergy with No One's Story, it is a flawless disguise, capable of fooling even Loki without intense scrutiny.
Item Box (Minor) - A skill that grants the user a small spatial pocket to store items. Time is slowed within the spatial pocket to 1/10th of the normal flow. Can hold approximately 1 cubic meter of items.
First Night: Slash (Fake) - An ability that embodies the concept of severing through striking at the inherent weaknesses within an existing object. Inflicts Strength as true damage.
Silver Tongue - A skill that aids in persuasion and manipulating the emotions of the target. Super effective against members of the opposite sex, or those interested in the user. Chance to instantly charm the opponent. (Extreme Synergy with <Well-Read> and <Man of a Thousand Faces>)
Rapport - A skill that builds rapport with the target. Passively increases general likability. Similar to <Charisma>, but the core of this skill is trust and empathy rather than admiration. With enough mastery, it is possible to create allies willing to throw their lives away for your sake. (Extreme Synergy with <Hero Creator> and <Well-Read>)