My friends and I were at the usual bar which served Merle's favorite drink.
"It seems that making armor out of the exoskeleton of the magical beast is still possible."
Sophie was relieved.
Beside her, Formar nodded emphatically.
Not long ago, we had heard from the Spirit God Rosen that the Fire Goddess Freya had been robbed of her Divine Artifact.
With the loss of the Divine Artifact, the power of Freya, the Fire Goddess, gradually lost its reach in the world.
And after a few years, the power would be so low that we would only be able to process iron into weapons.
The Demon King's army wouldn't have to fight.
Within a matter of years, the entire continent would be massacred by magical beasts.
I asked how far and to whom I was allowed to tell the information that the Fire Goddess was robbed of her Divine Artifact.
The Spirit God only told me that if I did not blow the whistle, he would leave it to me.
For the Spirit God Rosen, the most important thing was the peace of the elves.
He felt very strongly about that.
I learnt and thought of something during the war in Rosenheim.
I found out that the exoskeleton of more than a million B-rank or higher Insect-type magical beasts was light and strong and could be used for armor.
Bones and tendons from the Dragons could be used for bows, and fangs could be used for arrowheads.
I told the Queen of Rosenheim that I wanted the materials from the huge amount of magical beasts we had defeated to be processed.
Even though the reconstruction of Rosenheim had not yet been completed, she readily agreed to give priority to the project.
I also asked Viscount Granvelle to investigate and find Armored Ants' Nests.
I was glad that I hadn't annihilated the Armored Ants.
This Armored Ant armor could also be processed into sturdy armor.
An investigation was underway to determine how many Nests contained Armored Ant Queens, which were prolific and could produce large numbers of Armored Ants in a short period of time.
The Emperor of the Giamut Empire on the Central Continent via Helmios was informed and asked to develop a national countermeasure.
With the world's largest population of several hundred million, the Giamut Empire could make big moves.
Helmios had sent a servant of his with a letter to the Emperor of the Giamut Empire.
I was sure that those efforts would extend the lives of many people around the world.
However, it was impossible to predict how many years their lives would extend by.
(It's just a life-prolonging measure.
We need to come up with a solution.)
What we needed was not a life-prolonging measure, but a radical solution to the problem.
The solution to the problem, in my opinion, was to get the Divine Artifact back from the hands of the Demon King's army.
I had thus far found solutions to my problems based on my memories of my previous life and games.
However, what I learned from the recent incident with the Divine Artifact being stolen, was that the Demon King's Army had been meticulously planning and acting for decades.
The invasion of the Demon King's army, which had 10 million troops, was only one of their strategies.
I was late to start with so if I didn't do anything then I would always be one step behind.
If I were to ignore the Demon King and focus solely on leveling up, as I did in the games I used to play, the world would be destroyed.
But we couldn't fight against the Demon King's army without leveling up and equipping ourselves.
"Can we afford to stand here without doing anything"
Kiel asked me anxiously.
(For Kiel, no, it's not.
Everyone has a family, including me.
No wonder he is anxious.)
Keil was the head of his family.
He had not been calm since we heard the story of the Fire Goddess's Divine Artifact being stolen.
He must have been thinking of his sister and servants in the Carnel territory when he heard that the world might be destroyed in less than a few years.
"Yes, there is much to be done.
But nothing will happen with us being impatient.
We need to rest when we need to rest.
That said, there is still a lot that has to be done, so help me."
"Oh! Do you have a plan Of course you do!"
My plan was to do several things in parallel from then on.
But that didn't change what we had to do at that moment by much.
We still had to conquer the S-class dungeon.
The reason we had originally come to the S-class dungeon was to change Talents and equip ourselves with the best equipment available.
And also to receive the reward for conquering the dungeon.
It made sense to go through the dungeon in order to break through the situation as we were still struggling against Demon Generals.
"Allen, you're amazing."
Hearing the conversation between me and Kiel, Helmios praised me.
We were having a meal at Helmios' party during that time.
"For putting together the party."
"No, more importantly, have you negotiated with Digragni about the special reward for being the first to conquer the dungeon"
"Oh, of course.
He readily agreed to give us a special reward for conquering the dungeon.
By the way, what do you have in mind for the reward, Allen"
"No, no, it's for the world.
Besides, we don't always get our rewards."
(Yes!!!! It's still good.)
There was a temple in the center of the 1st floor of the S-class dungeon.
And the dwarven priests who serve Digragni took care of him.
It was similar to how the elves served and took care of Spirit God Rosen.
No ordinary adventurer was allowed to meet Digragni, but Hero Helmios was not an ordinary adventurer.
But even without being a Hero, if one made a formal request to the temple, he/she could visit Digragni.
I then asked Digragni a favor.
The favor was to get a special reward if my party were the first one to conquer the dungeon.
Based on my memories of my previous life, I got the idea that we deserved something special for conquering the dungeon for the first time.
I had heard from Ur, the beastman, before that the S-class dungeon had never been conquered before, so I wanted something special as a reward for being the 1st one.
I then asked Helmios to ask Digragni to let me choose what he would give us as a reward.
Helmios told me that Digragni readily agreed to do so.
It was a lighthearted reply, without any change in emption apparently.
Digragni had no sense of dignity as a Dungeon Master.
"So, does Digragni also have a Divine Artifact"
"Yes, he has one.
He was very happy when he got one from Master Elmea.
He was glad that he worked so hard as a Dungeon Master."
The Spirit God's brow wrinkled at those words.
It was an unpleasant story for him, it seemed.
"Allen, what's the use of asking that"
If you don't know what a Divine Artifact is, there's no way to find it.
"Don't act like I know what you are talking about."
"For example, can Helmios become a God He is a Hero beloved by the entire Empire after all."
"What Hero and God"
What are you talking about, Cecile said.
"How about you, Helmios If the people in the Empire continue to deify you, do you think you can become a God in any way"
"No, it doesn't feel that way.
Allen, what's wrong"
"I think, and I've said this before, that a Divine Artifact is a vessel for gathering faith."
I had told the same story before in the workshop of Master Craftsman Habarak.
"Vessel of faith"
"Yes, it is.
I think that's the closest I can come to describing it."
I had been thinking about faith and God.
It was a long time ago but I still remembered when Sophie, when we were still at the Academy, talked about how faith begets God.
The Creator God Elmea probably distributed vessels of faith called Divine Artifacts to those who are qualified to become Gods.
Each of those who were handed out desperately gathered faith.
Rosen, Digragni and Freya all gathered faith.
Those who had gathered faith for a certain period of time or a certain amount of faith would become Demigod or God.
Even after becoming a God, they would have to work hard in their own way to keep the followers and gather faith.
I believed that the Gods of the world couldn't remain as Gods if they didn't do anything.
Even if someone is hailed as a Hero, or is thanked and praised as if they were a God, those who, like Helmios, had not received a Divine Artifact from the Creator God Elmea, could never become Gods.
Helmios looked at the Spirit God with conviction.
Spirit God Rosen remained without blinking.
He looked like a statue as what I had said might have been an absolute taboo that we were never supposed to know.
However, a kind of cold sweat was running like a waterfall from his whole body.
"But now it looks like Digragni has nothing to do with the Demon King's army."
"Well, from the beginning I knew there was nothing."
The dwarves' increasing faith in Digragni resulted in weakening of Fire Goddess Freya which ultimately led to her Divine Artifact being stolen.
For a moment, I thought that Digragni might have been under the control of the Demon King and had gathered the faith of the dwarves to weaken the Fire Goddess Freya, but I came to the conclusion that it was not the case.
To begin with, every God had to gather faith to keep being a God.
The Demon King's army, in my opinion, just took advantage of that rule.
If the Demon King's army just wanted a Divine Artifact, then every God out there had one.
Digragni also had one.
According to the Spirit God, the Divine Artifact of Fire Goddess Freya, one of the Four Great Gods was very valuable.
It was so powerful that it sustained the power of fire of a whole world.
"I get that, but so what"
Cecile didn't believe that the Fire Goddess's Divine Artifact was something that could be stolen just because the Demon King's army knew about it.
Everyone looked at me, wondering why I was talking about it.
"Yeah, I'm not sure yet, but with the current hypothesis, it's about time one possibility came along."
"What What's coming"
Cecile had no idea what I was talking about.
I always talked about thinking, but that day, Cecile thought that I was thinking more than ever.
I was fully utilizing my previous life experience to solve the problem.
(It's almost time, but he is late.)
I looked at the clock mounted on the wall.
I was supposed to meet Ur, the beastman, at the bar that day.
As I was looking at the clock, the door opened with a strong bang.
I looked toward the door and saw an enraged lion beastman standing there.
(Am I really popular that Prince Zew comes to meet me everytime)
I wondered if I was popular and if it was a trend for Prince Zew to open the door with all his vigor every time he passed through a door.
"Well, the rats are really here.
Move along, all of you."
The beastmen, who appeared to be under his command, grabbed their weapons and rushed into the store all at once.