“Where am I?!”
I -Kuromiya Haine- was separated from the group and was feeling lonely.
We found an entrance to the underground at the middle of the desert. Advancing there, we encountered a mysterious shadow.
I was unexpectedly having a tough battle against this guy that is using my name without my permission, and fell down here with it, but…this place are the remains of an ancient city underground.
“It is okay to consider this the Dark Underworld Country, right?” (Haine)
Even if I call it a city, there’s already not a single person living here.
The buildings have crumbled, and because they have been buried deep underground, these ruins have barely managed to avoid weathering.
Just like in that poem, did they really fall into ruin because they worshipped the Dark God?
“Or more like, did they really worship me?” (Haine)
The Dark God that was sealed 1,600 years ago and hadn’t done anything at all?
But that shadow…this mysterious being that calls itself the Dark God Entropy has proved that it has some sort of connection with me and this city.
Until I solve what this connection is about in detail, I can’t just leave.
“What’s this feeling…as if I was told that a baby of mine had been born without me even knowing?” (Haine)
In reality, for a God, believers must be that kind of existence.
If I was told there were, I would feel my self-awareness as a God born inside of me.
“…Anyways, for now, I should prioritize regrouping with Karen-san and Yorishiro.” (Haine)
I ended up separating from them in the chaos of that fall after all.
I was jostling against that shadow in the middle of it, but it escaped.
And so, that’s how I am currently all by my lonesome self.
If I don’t regroup with Karen-san and Yorishiro soon, I might collapse from loneliness.
“But how should I look for the two of them?” (Haine)
From within my baggage, I take out something that looks like a short stick, and turn on the switch of it.
When I did that, it released a shining light.
It is a pocket light that functions with ethereal energy. Ethereal is an incredibly useful energy source. This flashlight apparently doesn’t need to be exchanged for a new one for at least 20 years.
In terms of lighting, I can rely on the hero and Founder of the Light Church, but I am truly glad that I actually brought it with me just in case.
It doesn’t hurt being prepared.
I choose whichever building is the highest among them and climb to the top of it, and from there, I swing around the flashlight here and there.
I feel like I might call something else at the same time though.
“I wonder if those two will come.” (Haine)
I feel like they won’t.
It was just my instincts talking here but, I was close to being sure that was the case.
In the first place, if they wanted to, they would have been able to release a light that’s several times stronger than this flashlight.
If they are not lighting up in this pitch black place -not even a firefly level of light- it must mean that they are trying to hide themselves.
—They are probably cautious of the shadow.
—They are not going to regroup with me until I defeat that shadow.
“They are really strict girls.” (Haine)
Then, I should continue using this flashlight.
The shadow eats light to get bigger, so it has the tendency of heading towards light craving for it.
The reason it was waiting for us at that hall must have been because it detected the light that Karen-san was releasing from the holy sword, and came rushing towards it.
And even if it’s an artificial light that has no divine power, there’s enough possibility that it will be lured by it and once again appear in front of me.
But, do I have to swing this flashlight the whole time until it comes?
‘That would tire my arm, what a pain’, is what I was thinking when…
My footing suddenly crumbled and, just like that, I make a direct drop.
The building that I was using as footing had collapsed. I slide down along with the rubble and was about to be buried alive.
“That was dangerous!” (Haine)
As expected of ruins that have deteriorated after several centuries without any humans living in it; once you get a bit rough on it, things like this occur.
“Or more like, am I not damaging a legacy here? I have harmed an asset of human history…” (Haine)
At the moment when I was fearing what I had done, something appeared that wasn’t destroyed when the building crumbled. It towered over its surroundings without breaking.
“What is that?” (Haine)
Was this something that was inside that building?
It was a single slab that seems to have fallen vertically and has a simple construction; it’s made of stone…no, it looks like a mineral of fine quality that has slight transparency.
What is this thing that is colorful in all its body and overwhelms anyone that looks at it?
“A monument?” (Haine)
I thought that way because of the writings carved at the surface of it.
Was the building something made to protect this monument from the wind and rain? Or was it to hide it from someone?
“…..I can read it.” (Haine)
I use the flashlight to check the surface of the monument, and trace it to the writings carved there.
The language utilized is -obviously- completely different from the one currently used, and yet, for some reason, the -how should I call it- soul that was carved together with that writing was telling me its meaning.
The soul that was filled with anger and hate.
What was carved in this monument was…the history of when the Underworld Country was created, and its fall.
- 79: Bellow
According to this monument, this whole place called ‘Nameless Desert’ was once a fertile land filled with water and green.
The people that lived the first period of humanity didn’t know about the techniques to go against nature and weren’t able to control nature either; it was truly a repetition of becoming one with nature by living and dying.
The one who brought change to this was the appearance of a single human.
The curves of human history have always been brought by the genius of a prominent individual.
Just like how it was in that time; that person had more knowledge than the others, and with that person’s wise decision making, many new techniques were created, rules were made, and created a group of people that were organized by leadership.
It didn’t take long for it to become the framework of society.
The place that had this completed framework was the Underworld Country.
It was probably the first nation in this world.
The Underworld Country, in order to bring together the heart of the people that live there, a certain measure was created.
Believe in the same God and worship it. With that common point, it created a sense of camaraderie between the people, made them cooperate with each other to win against difficulties, and had them share the fruits of that victory.
The God that was worshipped by the Underworld Country as their religion, that is the Dark God Entropy.
* * *
“It really is me?!” (Haine)
I couldn’t hold back my confusion after seeing my own name carved clearly on this monument.
So it was real. A Dark God actually existed in the history of humans.
But, I was sealed for 1,600 years and hadn’t done anything at all to show anyone of my existence so, how did they even learn of me?
Will that answer appear as I continue reading on?
* * *
At any rate, the Underworld Country was certainly primitive, but it still walked onto the path of a nation.
With the cut stones, they create houses, and secure a safe place to sleep in; by plowing the land in the surroundings, they can harvest crops from the cultivated land; resting one day out of the several days of work, they head to the church, offer their prayers to the Dark God, and confirm once again their own affiliation.
This living cycle that had been made distinct increased the efficiency, increased the productivity, increased the birthrate, and raised the worth of humans.
The wealth began to spread to other places, and the Underworld Country had grown into a huge community that was big enough to cover the whole ‘Nameless Desert’.
On top of that, according to this monument, this leap in progress was surprisingly accomplished in the time a single human was alive.
The prodigy that appeared at the origin of the Underworld Country.
A wondrous existence that appeared out of who-knows-where, provided them with techniques and principles, and boosted the humans, that were basically just one type of animal, into an intelligent form of life.
That human obviously became the representative of the Underworld Country, stood at the top of society, governed them, and led them.
The name of that human was Izanami.
Izanami was the queen of the Underworld Country.
She preached about the kindness of the Dark God Entropy that had created humans.
Darkness is abyss; from there, everything was born. The ruler of darkness Entropy is the one who created the whole world, and the humans are its children.
Entropy provided night and sleep for the sake of the humans, and advised them to rest whenever they are tired.
The people of the Underworld Country were grateful of Entropy, and offered their prayers.
They also were grateful for their queen Izanami and praised her.
The Dark God and the Wise Queen.
These two factors developed the Underworld Country without any grave errors, and it became an Utopia that would last for millenniums to come…..or at least that’s what it was supposed to be.
* * *
I continued reading the monument.
What was written next was about the end of the Underworld Country.
* * *
Invaders appeared in the peaceful Underworld Country.
The humans outside were jealous of the wealth of the Underworld Country, envied it, and went there to steal it.
Of course, the people of the Underworld Country fought in self-defense.
The ones defending were the current nation that had progressed the most in the world; even if they were called invaders, there was no way to lose against these group of people that were on the level of bandits that had barely grown.
But, the barbarians weren’t the only ones who attacked them.
Disasters that can’t be brought by humans…in other words, natural disasters were attacking the Underworld Country in succession.
As if conspiring with the attack of the barbarians.
The first were locusts; these insects that appeared from the sky were in the several thousands, and when they were right under the crops, they would fly towards it and eat it all.
Next, was a plague. This deathly disease that flowed in the city from the water had spread in the blink of an eye from people to people, killing old people and the children, and also robbing away the life force of the young ones.
On top of that, acid rain fell. It was different from normal rain. These fire rain that smelled rotten melted the stone-made buildings and devastated the once beautiful cityscape.
And in the end, the earth slowly turned into sand, and the once fertile land of the Underworld Country was slowly eroded.
Many disasters befell the Underworld Country, the people and wealth was laid waste, and there was already nothing to steal from them, and yet, the barbarians continued attacking the Underworld Country.
Along with the swinging of axes, jeers rang on.
‘This is the just retribution of God. You heretics that revered an evil God will now fall’, is what they shouted.
The locusts, disease, acid rain, and the desert; was this all a punishment brought by God?
Don’t joke around.
A God wouldn’t do something like that. A God would only watch over the humans in silence. Deciding just and evil on their own convenience and handing down punishment on their whim, that’s not the deed of a God.
You barbarians; the God that you guys worship is the actual evil God.
Interfering with the living of humans, defeating the ones who should win, have the ones that should lose win, distorting the course of history; that’s exactly what an evil God is.
Therefore, I will destroy all of you, and also the four evil Gods that you serve for.
Our God, the Dark God Entropy, wouldn’t put its hands in a fight of humans as the authentic God it is.
But, if you are not going to hand down any punishment against these four evil Gods that have broken this law…
I will become the Dark God Entropy.
And erase all evil.
* * *
This is where the writings on the monument end.
But at the last parts, the several lines at the end, were not shown visually; they were probably made from the raging emotions of the person that created the inscriptions in this monument and were stored just like that in it.
The person that created this monument probably made it at the destruction of the Underworld Country, in order to show their existence.
Not long after, everyone was killed, and the Underworld Country turned into dust and disappeared from history. But, if someone were to transmit the contents of this monument as evidence and understands it, it will serve as proof that they certainly did exist in the past.
This is probably the reason why it was hidden in a building that would soon crumble. The invaders that attacked the Underworld Country will eventually erase the history of the defeated and destroy the monument. In order to avoid that, this was the desperate measure taken in order to hide it from the eyes of the invaders.
“So this is the rise and fall of the Underworld Country…” (Haine)
It was a grander history than I expected.
But, even with this, what occurred in this land was not told in its entirety.