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...incomparably deep pleasure, along with an equal amount of pain!
The pleasure came from evolution, while the pain came from sin.
In this instant… which seemed like so long... Sougo understood.
He understood himself as the Tendo Family's head, as a spiritual ability user, and as a human… his entire meaning to everything. He understood all cause and effects, the past, the present, karma, and the future… He learned and understood everything.
This was because he became a G.o.d!
And right at the moment that he became a G.o.d, Sougo Tendo was no longer human. His human reason and feelings all collapsed and sunk into chaos.
This was the truth.
This was fate.
This was the ending.
The moment that he understood everything, he also lost everything. The moment that he became a G.o.d, he also became a demon. The moment that he finished his evolution, he was no longer human…
These were his final words as a human.
Yet, n.o.body was around him to hear this.
The Tendo Family's sins?
"Are the Tendo Family's 'sins' referring to something specific?" Seiji asked Sayaka.
Sayaka remained silent for a moment.
"You could say yes, as well as no," she slowly spoke up. "What I felt at the time… when I was on the verge of death... is quite difficult to describe. If I had to say, I felt like the summoned white dragon was filled with endless rage and hatred towards the Tendo Family, and that it also shouldered endless pain… It felt almost as if it was a combined spiritual attack from countless spiritual ability users who hated the Tendo Family. The dragon seemed as if it was a physical materialization of hatred and pain. But, now that I think about it more carefully, I could also say that it was a tremendous amalgamation of negative energy… even though I don't believe that a term like 'negative energy' is sufficient to describe such an existence. This concept, or energy, whatever it is, is the foundational reason why something went wrong with the experiment."
What on earth? Seiji was somewhat confused.
"So, according to what you say, this gigantic white dragon that appeared… is actually retribution that the Tendo Family deserves?"
"That's an overly simplistic explanation, but you can also understand it as such." Sayaka nodded.
Sayaka mulled things over some more as she saw a strange expression on Seiji's face. She explained in greater detail.
Ten years ago, the failed experiment had been connected to the Tendo Family's Dragon Vein's power.
The so-called Dragon Vein was also the Tendo Family's inherited Spirit Vein pa.s.sed down through the generations. Although the Dragon Vein was only a name, it also might have the power to create that white dragon in its dragon form.
Setting aside the reason for the white dragon's form, when looking at everything objectively, this experiment which was connected to the Dragon Vein had gone out of control due to the interference of some mysterious negative energy that summoned the powerful dragon, or the Catastrophe G.o.ddess.
Sayaka Tendo, the person in charge of this experiment, felt a sensation as if this negative energy's true ident.i.ty was "the sins of the Tendo Family" as she was on the verge of death.
Since she was on the verge of death back then, her memories were rather hazy. Now, she was only a remnant soul, so there were also many holes in her memory, and she could only say that she "felt" this way rather than give any concrete confirmation as to the dragon's ident.i.ty.
If this negative energy could be called the "power of sins", then how was it created?
Sayaka believed that this energy came from the Dragon Vein, having been created from the Tendo's modifications applied to certain humans over the years by using the Dragon Vein's power, along with the Tendo Family's negative influence on the Dragon Vein.
Going deeper down this topic would involve what exactly a Spirit Vein was and how it worked.
However, Sayaka didn't know this.
All she knew was that the Dragon Vein was somehow related to the Tendo Family members' spiritual abilities, bloodline talents, and origin. She didn't know any more specifics about the Dragon Vein.
Back to the issue of sin energy.
"If my feelings and memories are correct, this is an incredibly important discovery," Sayaka stated in a serious tone. "A tremendous amount of negative energy is hidden within the Tendo Family's Dragon Vein. Under certain conditions, this energy might be activated with explosive, destructive, and catastrophic consequences. And, this energy was created by the negative influence of the spiritual ability users that the Spirit Vein supports. The more spiritual ability users are connected to a Spirit Vein, and the larger the amount of time that pa.s.ses, the more this negative energy will acc.u.mulate.
"Judging from this, not only will the Tendo Family have such an issue, the other six major families and any other faction with a longstanding inheritance will also have such hidden problems with their Spirit Veins."
A negative energy created from acc.u.mulated sins. A retribution caused by so many sinful actions over the years… This all sounded like a physical materialization of the phrase "evil will be punished".
Was this a good thing?
If this retribution only worked against the sinners or the sinning faction, then of course it would be a good thing. Seiji wouldn't care one bit about those b.a.s.t.a.r.ds' deaths.
However, that wasn't how things actually worked. The moment that the "retribution" occurred, it wouldn't care about the targets whatsoever!
A few people were committing evil deeds, but countless innocents would become victims as a result… That was just how messed up things were.
Seiji could only sigh after a long period of silence.
Although the details were still unclear, at least he now had an idea of how the Catastrophe G.o.ddess had been created.
The next problem was how to defeat her.
The first solution: defeat her directly.
"In my opinion, forcefully trying to defeat that existence will be nothing more than a temporary solution," Sayaka remarked. "According to my theory, that Catastrophe G.o.ddess's true ident.i.ty is the sins of the Tendo Family. Even if you can temporarily defeat her, she will always be reborn as long as the Tendo Family still exists. This would have still been fine if being reborn required a long period of time. But as you just told me, a special environment called the Realm of Cherry Blossoms has appeared. It seems likely that the Catastrophe G.o.ddess won't need very long to be reborn."
The second solution: expiate the Tendo Family's sins.
"Expiating the sins will be the foundational cure to the problem. However, since the Tendo Family's sins have acc.u.mulated to the extent of taking physical form, expiating the sins will doubtlessly be extremely difficult. And even if this is achievable, it will definitely require a tremendous sacrifice."
By a tremendous sacrifice, she basically meant that people would die.
The spiritual ability user hosting the expiation ritual would absolutely die for certain! This would be the same even if one of the strongest individuals in Sakura Island hosted the expiation ritual. It was also likely that many of the supporting spiritual ability users partic.i.p.ating in the ritual would also be sacrificed.
And even if there was a group of spiritual ability users that were all willing to sacrifice themselves to expiate the Tendo Family's sins in the form of the Catastrophe G.o.ddess, how to arrange and achieve such an expiation ritual would also be a problem. This was because the Catastrophe G.o.ddess definitely wouldn't obediently sit still and let others expiate her. Just limiting her movements alone would be incredibly difficult. This would be even more difficult than just defeating her.
In conclusion, expiating the Catastrophe G.o.ddess would be immensely difficult to the point of almost being impossible.
The third solution: sealing.
Just like defeating the Catastrophe G.o.ddess, this was another method that wouldn't deal with the foundational problem. This would be more difficult than defeating her, but less difficult than expiating. Still, it would be highly difficult.
And, there would still be a sacrifice required for sealing away the Catastrophe G.o.ddess.
"A jinchuriki. That's the solution the most likely to succeed as far as I can tell," Sayaka said in a soft voice.
"A jinchuriki…" Seiji instantly recalled this term from Naruto. "Could you be referring to…"
"Yes, a jinchuriki will use a host with high spiritual abilities to seal the Catastrophe G.o.ddess within that person's body. That person's soul will act as the lock sealing her away," Sayaka explained. "The host, or the jinchuriki, will suffer immense pain as well as bear the risk of death at any moment. The host will need to have incredibly powerful mental spirit and will, and since the Catastrophe G.o.ddess is the materialization of the Tendo Family's sins, the best host for it would be a member of the Tendo Family. For instance, that boy from before—the body that Kungo temporarily took over would make an excellent host. However, just him alone would probably be unable to completely seal away the Catastrophe G.o.ddess. Multiple additional Tendo Family members similar to him in terms of talent would probably all be required to act as the hosts."
Seiji was once again rendered speechless.
He couldn't help but recall Shigure Tendo's figure. That unlucky fellow had already lost one of his hands somehow in this incident, and now, it was being said that he had the potential to become a jinchuriki host… Was Shigure the main character of a dark-themed light novel!?