Dinner was great; being able to eat Mom's cooking again was very nostalgic. The foods back in Mirkaz were definitely amazing, but it lacks that homey feel to it. Especially the foods in the royal castle, it was super luxurious and way too fancy for my taste. I'm more into the street foods of various regions rather than exotic cuisine; I like the casual atmosphere of a back alley food stall. I would often sneak out alone from time to time to explore the marketplace looking for magic materials when I was a low-tier small-fry and would sometimes come across these secret back alley stalls then dine there for the night. Anyway…
After dinner, Mom got up to wash the dishes and I went to help her.
"It's been some years now since you last helped me wash dishes. What's with the sudden change?" Mom said and questioned me as she rinses off a sauce-covered plate.
"Can't I help out my hard-working mother without being questioned?" I countered back with a bitter smile on my face.
"I didn't know my son has become such a sweet talker, where did you learn it from I wonder?" Mom said and turned her gaze to Dad.
"I didn't teach him anything like that, okay!?" Dad exclaimed a little as he felt a chill run down his spine.
"Fufufu, I was just kidding Dear. But it looks like we'll be expecting him to bring a girl home soon" Mom giggles a little while giving me a sidelong glance with a bright smile on her face.
"Hah, like any girl would date him" Hana laughed and said coldly with a smug look on her face.
"Don't talk about your brother like that Hana. If it was before I would agree, but look at him. Now that he has gotten rid of his old hairstyle, he looks like the spitting image of your father when he was young" Mom scolded Hana while verbally taking jabs at me.
"Was the last part really necessary? I mean I agree, but still!" I retorted while thinking about my previous hairstyle.
'My hairstyle before was that of an edgy teen, you know long hair covering one eye. I decided to change it because I got roasted by Reiji and the others for it. I cut it short and swept it to the side, revealing my face. The others said it looked good on me, so I kept it that way since. I chose to use this hairstyle while creating this avatar too. Speaking of, they didn't mention anything about this sudden change of mine until now'
The night went on like this until it was 10 pm, Mitsuo started to feel sleepy so Mom took him to their room. Hana decided to head back to her room, leaving only me and Dad in the living room.
"You're going to be in high school soon, huh? Enjoy it while you can, you only get to be a high schooler for three years. But don't do anything crazy alright?" Dad said while sipping on some tea.
"I know I'm not that irresponsible" I answered then finished the rest of my tea before heading towards the sink to clean the cup.
"I'm going to bed, goodnight Dad" I said and headed towards the door.
"Goodnight, I'll stay up a bit longer" Dad said before taking another sip of his tea.
As I was halfway upstairs, I heard Dad muttering "They've finally found me" in a low tone that normal people wouldn't be able to hear. I could hear him clearly because of the Advance Skill [Heighten Senses], giving me the five senses of beasts.
I continued upstairs without reacting. I already know about Dad's situation, but I can't do anything until they make a move first.
I opened the door to my room and felt cold air coming out of it. This is one of the functions of the magic circle I set up; it keeps the room's temperature at a comfortable level using fire magic. I can also adjust the temperature of the room whatever way I want by rearranging some of the runes on the magic circle.
I stepped in, turned on the lights, and closed the door behind me; a refreshing scent reached my nose. This is another one of the magic circle's functions; it creates a flowery scent through the use of nature magic; the scent that I picked is of a fairly common flower from Mirkaz called Moonlit Rose. The flower has the appearance of a blue-colored rose and it only blooms under the moonlight, in which case it would release a fragrant smell that soothes the mind making you more focused.
I walked towards my bed and laid down on it, the bed was very clean and so was everything in the room. This is the work of the last function of the magic circle; it gathers any filth within the room into one spot using wind magic before a [Clean] spell activates and removes the filth from the room, this includes bugs too.
All these three functions combined keeps my room clean, comfortable, and nice smelling. I won't have to be bothered with cleaning or keeping it fresh and airy. This is the conveniences of magic, anything could be done with magic; you just need mana and magical knowledge to bring your ideas to life.
I pulled the blanket to cover myself and stared at the ceiling.
'Tomorrow is the day of the entrance ceremony; I better go to sleep before I start to think up some new modifications for the magic circle'
I cast [Magic Hand] and switched off the light before closing my eyes and drifted off to sleep. My conciseness started to drift off little by little, but suddenly a bright light flashed in my mind as I feel a strong force pulling my conciseness up.
I found myself standing in a white space, it stretched out several dozen meters in all directions. I stayed calm and scanned the entirety of the white space several times, but couldn't find anyone or anything for that matter. However, I didn't let my guard down; I cast several buff spells and activated all my mental skills. I braced myself to call upon my main body if things go south; I stayed standing there and kept my senses heighten, watching out for any changes.
The white space I found myself in right now was undoubtedly a Divine Realm; a place created by a divine being with a role in managing a small part of a world. Existences of that level have no reason to be on Earth; a world with no god ruling over it. This god came from another world, created a Divine Realm, and even called my conciseness to their Divine Realm; they definitely have some business with me. 'If this god tries anything funny, I'll call my main body and shatter this space to bits'
I suddenly sensed a presence behind me, so I half-turned towards this presence to see the figure of a small boy who looked just like Mitsuo.
『Hello there! My name is-』The small boy, who looks identical to Mitsuo tried to introduce himself but was interrupted by the sound of shattering glass.
A part of the white space cracked and shattered, revealing a black void. From the black void came the figure of a young man in a white robe holding a golden staff; he lightly waved his staff and a white ball of elemental energy appeared, the white ball has feint colors flickering on its surface.
This white ball is called a Pure Elemental Sphere; it is created by fusing all 14 elements. It's extremely difficult to create since you need to have an affinity for all the elements not to mention some elements clash with each other, so you'd need Demigod level mastery for all 14 elements and Demigod level mana control. The Pure Elemental Sphere is not a spell; it's just pure concentrated elemental energy. It has the power to break a god's Divine Barrier, one of the most powerful defensive techniques of a god.
So the moment the white ball appeared, the small boy turned pale immediately before he started to frantically wave his hands while pleading Ren to not do anything hasty.
『Let's not be too hasty here! We can talk this out like adults, can't we!?』
"You're the one that's going to be talking. If your explanations aren't satisfactory, this ball here will obliterate that avatar of yours and destroy this Divine Realm" The main body said while walking towards his avatar's conciseness.
The small boy that looks like Mitsuo is an avatar of this god. Avatars have power proportionate to how strong the main body is; his avatar only has the power of a Master-tier because his main body has power above Demigod-tier but still below God-tier. But the small boy has the power of a Saint-tier, meaning his main body has power equivalent to the Great Gods.
Even Ren's main body doesn't have the power to face a Great God, but fortunately, Great Gods cannot interfere with mortals like Ren using their main body. They can only send Angels or their avatar to do the work and those don't even hold a candle to Ren.
This Great God can't do anything to him, but he can easily destroy his avatar. Ren holds the advantages position here because he could just report this to the other Great Gods of Mirkaz and they will dish out a suitable punishment for this Great God if he came to another world without permission.
『Right right! I'll explain everything right away!』
The god took a deep breath before starting his explanation.
『My name is Arogal, I'm a Great God from Mirkaz. I rule over the Circle of Reincarnation as the Great God of Reincarnation and I've been given the task to watch over the growth of Earth by the other Great Gods』
Hearing this, Ren used his [Unique Skill - Divine Record] to confirm that Arogal is in fact the name of the Great God of Reincarnation. This confirms that he is speaking the truth; a Great God cannot lie and claim another Great God's name and Divine Authority as his own without severe repercussions. If he's telling the truth about his identity, he must be speaking the truth about the other thing. The Great God of Reincarnation has no reason to lie to him, so Ren dispersed the Pure Elemental Sphere.
"Why is it that you need to watch over Earth? It's just a godless world like many others out there in the Universe" Ren asked, as he doesn't understand what's special about Earth other than its enormous amount of mana.
『It was like any other godless world before, but after you reestablished the World Path between Earth and Mirkaz, it started to change little by little; we didn't notice it until you came to Earth. That was when Earth had a massive spike in its mana generation, it's generating 5 times the amount it was supposed to』Arogal explained the changes that have occurred on Earth.
"Why did this change happen? I haven't done anything that would warren such a massive change to a world" Ren questioned, a 5 times increase in mana generation is huge for a world like Earth that doesn't use a lot of mana.
『We had some conjectures but weren't too sure about them. But now that I'm face to face with you, I can definitely say that some are right and a few are off the mark. However, before we get into it, I need to repair the hole you made』Arogal said with a tired expression on his face while walking towards the hole in his Divine Realm.
"I'm not apologizing" Ren said blatantly.
『Wasn't expecting you to』Arogal said while he started repair on his Divine Realm.
"Can you also stop using my little brother's appearance? It's kind of weird…" Ren requested while watching the small figure of his little brother condensing mana to solid form and patching up the hole.
『I thought you wouldn't attack me if I had this appearance on, in hindsight that was some wishful thinking』Arogal told Ren about his thought process as he changed his appearance into that of an old man with long white hair and a long beard.
"That was a dumb idea, are you sure you're even cut out to by a god?" Ren criticized him and questioned his competency before averting his gaze and continued "Also, could you please cover yourself up with something? I'm getting quite uncomfortable here"
『I am covered up and it's rude to criticize your elder』Arogal said while turning around to reveal that he is in fact covered up in the important place, with his long beard.
"I'm not talking with a naked old man, you either cover up yourself or I'll make you do it" Ren said and wave his staff to summon colorful chains around Arogal. Those are Pure Elemental Chains, it could bind a Demigod for days; tying up a Saint-tier old man is child's play.
『Alright, alright! I'll put on some clothes, please stop creating Pure Elemental Energy!』Arogal exclaimed and conjured a long gray robe around his body with magic.
"That's better" Ren said while dispersing the Pure Elemental Chains.
『Let's talk over tea, there's a lot we need to talk about』Arogal walked past Ren to the center of the white space; there, a small table with some cushions to sit on appeared out of thin air along with a tea set atop the table.
While Arogal walked towards the table, Ren turned to look at his avatar's conciseness and cast a [Return Mind] spell, sending that part of his conciseness back to his avatar's body.
Ren joined Arogal at the table for some tea while he listened to Arogal's explanation of why Earth suddenly changed. Arogal took a sip of his tea before he started talking.
『You already know why Earth got frozen in time right?』Arogal posed this question.
Ren just nodded and took a sip of his tea, indicating for him to continue.
『Well, I'll explain it from the beginning anyway. Every few hundred years or so a Demon Lord is born, when a Demon Lord is born the thing that'll come to its mind is to "kill all the humans". Hence, every time a Demon Lord is born; the humans will do something called the Hero Summoning, summoning Heroes from another world. To give the Heroes a good head start, the world they were summoned from will slow down the process of its world law to save some World Power and use the excess World Power to grant the Heroes with powerful skills. This will intern slow down the passage of time in that world for several years, but when their world's Hero defeats the Demon Lord a huge amount of World Power will be sent back to that world; hastening its growth a little』
Arogal paused for a moment to sip some tea before continuing.
『However, this time the Hero Summoning did something that has never happened before. Summoning four people all at once and what's surprising is that all four of them came from the same world, but only one of them is a Hero. There are records of more than one person being summoned, but all of them came from different worlds and were all Heroes. Your case was very peculiar, us Great Gods kept a close eye on all of you and we also checked up on Earth, only to find out that the World Path to Earth was severed. We tried to peek in on Earth but only succeeded a year later and found out that the laws of the world here stopped working』
"And that's when I came into contact with Denyl and found out about the situation back on Earth" Ren cut in and confirmed his side of things.
『Yeah, you meeting Denyl was just a coincidence. We didn't think you would be this era's Sage; you guys set a new record for the fastest Hero party to defeat the Demon Lord』Arogal said while finishing the rest of his tea before pouring himself some more.
"Is that a contributing factor?" Ren asked, he knew that defeating the Demon Lord faster would mean that Earth would get more World Power, but that shouldn't be enough to even double Earth's mana generation not to mention quintupling it.
『It's one of them, but we haven't gotten to the main contributing factor yet. Let's talk about the World Path you created, you know that a World Path is a spiritual link between two worlds, right? That link is created and maintained with the use of soul power, hence why every World Path has an Orb of Soul Imprisonment at its core to continuously generate soul power. You had collected a lot of souls before you reestablished the World Path. Now tell me, how many souls were in your Orb of Soul Imprisonment?』 Arogal took another sip of his tea while staring at Ren with sharp eyes, waiting for his answer.
"I don't know, maybe 25 million? I was told that I needed an astronomical amount of souls, so I collected souls from all the monsters I killed ever since I got it; I also collected all the souls of the Demon Lord's army" Ren answered nonchalantly, he knew there was a five million souls requirement to establish and maintain a World Path but he went the extra miles for Earth because he didn't want its World Laws to stop working if something like Reiji's Hero Summoning were to occur again.
『You're about 5 million souls off, the Orb of Soul Imprisonment you used has a little over 30 million souls give or take. That is an absolutely ludicrous amount! What compelled you to make use of 30 million souls just for a World Path's core!? With the amount of soul power it generates you can keep a mountain floating indefinitely!』Arogal yelled out in frustration; the fact that 30 million souls were collected is already absurd enough, 30 million is around the number of people within the Kingdom of Victal. If that orb ever falls into the hand of a Black Mage, countries would start falling left and right and millions of undead would occupy the destroyed cities; creating a land filled with undead.
『Luckily, only us Great Gods know this fact but this piece of info will get out sooner or later. Fortunately, the orb is on the underground floor of your tower; you'd need to be a Demigod to even try to break through its defense, but it won't be able to defend against a god without you there.』Arogal explained while eyeing Ren intently.
"Alright, when I go back I'll put up a few more defensive arrays. I'll even summon an Ancient Dragon to defend it, is that good enough?" Ren proposed under Arogal's gaze.
『I'll accept it, for now, get some Guardians when you get stronger. Anyway, there's some excess soul power overflowing here and boosting Earth's growth now. In a few years, the time dilation between Earth and Mirkaz will be the same so you'll have more time when that happens』Arogal said before sipping on some tea.
"Wait, the time dilation between Earth and Mirkaz is shortening that fast? Isn't it already a 3:1 ratio, what is it at now?" Ren asked since he was quite puzzled about this revelation.
A 3:1 ratio means that 3 days in Mirkaz is 1 day on Earth, this time dilation can be considered good since only a few hundred worlds that are connected to Mirkaz has a smaller time dilation than 3:1. How fast time moves on a world depends on how strong the world is and its mana generation; since Earth now generates 5 times more mana and would keep growing, he expected it to start shrinking little by little and would hit a bottleneck at around 2:1 in a decade or so because Earth doesn't have a god. But Arogal said it would only take a few years to reach a 1:1 ratio, why wouldn't he be puzzled?
'Is Earth going to birth a new god?' This question was plaster on his puzzled face.
『Earth isn't creating a new god. The reason it's growing this fast is because of that staff of yours』Arogal told Ren while gazing at the golden staff that's been floating there since he started talking.
"The World Staff, I didn't know it could do that? It's only a Divine Artifact at the moment; it'll take another century before it can reach its full potential and become a World Class item" Ren looked at his staff, not understanding what Arogal meant.
World Class items have the power to warp the World Laws; all World Class items can drastically change a world. Although the World Staff has the power the warp the World Laws as well, that's only in a small area; it doesn't even have the power to fully influence Earth yet, not to mention forcefully help it grow.
『Didn't you put the purified soul of a Demon Lord in there? That is what's helping Earth grow faster; the soul of an existent that has the potential to go toe to toe with a Great God can definitely influence Earth in a major way. Because of the soul in your staff, Earth has now accepted you as its new Ruler』Arogal explained before finishing his tea and setting his empty cup down.
".....What!? I'm Earth's new Ruler now? How am I going to manage it? I don't know anything about managing a world!" Ren blanked for a second and started to freak out a little from this revelation but calmed down within a split second. Turning to Arogal, Ren asked "Are you going to help me manage Earth? Is this what you meant when you said you were here to 'watch over the growth of Earth'?"
『That was quick, I thought you were going to go on for a while longer. But, yes, that's what I am here to do. I'm here to manage Earth on your behalf until you can handle it on your own. Of course, I'm not working for free; I'll be taking half of the mana that Earth generates until you can manage on your own』Arogal confirmed Ren's guess and revealed his asking price.
"Half? That's quite a lot considering that the mana generated will keep growing and the time dilation is greatly shrinking. But it's not like I can use that much mana all by myself, so it's fine I guess. Speaking of, what is the time dilation now?" Ren thought out loud for a bit and accepted Arogal's asking price.
『2:1 last I checked. Let's get along from now on Ren』Arogal answered before extending out his hand towards Ren for a handshake.
"Likewise, as long as you keep your clothes on whenever I visit" Ren shook Arogal's hand while staring at him with sharp eyes.
『Hahaha…!』Arogal just laughed on, his laugh reverberating within that white space.
This is the start of Ren's new journey; he will become a key figure in the war of chaos that will soon descend upon Mirkaz, a war that will result in the destruction of thousands of gods. But that's still far off into the future; let's start at the very beginning first.
The mourning of Kurimo Academy's entrance ceremony, the start of three years of high school for a boy with black hair and dark blue eyes named Ishia Ren.