On a Godless Planet:Volume1A Chapter 15
Chapter 15: Dangerous Seed
My careless statement
Shakes the world for several more statements
“Oh,” I said to express my understanding for the umpteenth time today.
“So after the terraforming, the Shinto rules will be used to take the beings or ‘molds’ that performed the ‘creation’ of this planet and remake them into the Shinto gods?”
Once the talking screen explained, I actually understood what Senpai had been saying.
I stared into the distance to view the planet.
“Does that mean there’s a plan for what to do about this planet in the future?”
“Yes. We know what to do about the creation part once Shinto has covered this planet.”
<How about we review some things real quick?>
When the screen said that, the area around us went dark.
“Ahh! I’m afraid of the dark, so I want to bury my face in someone’s chest! Senpai, you’ll do nicely!”
“Senpai technically refers to me as well.”
“Same for meee.”
“Wow is that not what I wanted! Can I get a redo using the other options we have on hand!?”
“And Sumeragi-chan is a human female right now, so I think that counts as some light sexual harassment.”
<Anyway, this is not just darkness. This is outer space.>
Once the screen said that, I could tell it was true. There were stars scattered in every direction, including overhead and below my feet, and there was an especially bright ball of light that seemed somehow closer.
“A great ball of fire!”
<Not quite. That is this star system’s star. In other words, its sun. …This is a virtual recreation of its coordinates from a while back. The margin of error should be less than 0.000001%. Far below what an ape could notice.>
They insulted me, but I was tolerant enough to let it slide.
“I’m not going to forget that. You’ll pay later, okay?”
<Just watch for a bit!>
I saw something start to happen. No, it had already happened.
Something like a band of light began to appear around the sun and it formed a vortex.
I had not noticed earlier because we happened to be in a thinner portion of it, but…
<How about we get a higher viewpoint?>
We were lifted up all at once.
And there I saw…
“Is that a glowing cotton candy maker in the center?”
“Sort of. We were shown the same thing when it was our time. I asked if it was that thing you get when you drop an egg into the center of a thoroughly mixed pot of stew.”
“The gas and dust in the empty lot of outer space will catch on each other and gather together until they finally form a vortex. The center of rotation gains a high level of gravity and the compressed gas and dust solidifies to form a star.”
“Oh,” I said while opening the book I held. Senpai had been carrying it in her butt pocket, so it still had some of her butt temperature. I of course had to hug it to my chest.
“Yeah, that’s the stuff…”
<What are you even talking about, moron? This is covering about a million years every second, so please pay attention.>
Another change occurred while we spoke.
The rotation of the sun in the center caused the vortex to disappear like fading fog. And in its place…
“The vortex is turning into a few large chunks that are absorbing the rest?”
<The central star continues to grow as it absorbs the dust and whatnot, but beyond the reach of its gravity, the dust and gas collide in the rotating vortex to form a few astronomical bodies known as planetesimals. From there, they continue to collide and gradually grow. That is the initial phase of each planet.>
I could see it happening.
The masses that would later become planets were forming in their orbits.
Those masses were growing.
“So these become the star system’s planets? The habitable planets, I mean?”
“Logically speaking, that will not happen.”
“Why? Is it just an issue of literally astronomical odds or something?”
“There is that, but as things are here, that cannot happen.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well,” said Raidou-senpai.
“It’s about their distance from the sun.”
“Are you familiar with the fable of the North Wind and the Sun?”
“I am! The north wind and the sun see who’s better at stripping someone walking below them! The north wind sucked at it and couldn’t get anywhere, but the sun had some skills and got those clothes off! But the person was a guy, so who cares!”
“I feel like that’s technically right, but also completely wrong.”
“The sun heated the atmosphere, forcing the person to remove their coat.”
“Yeah, I know! That’s why I crank my heat up to 32 degrees during the winter to practice acting comfortable like that so any girl I have over won’t question the temperature and end up taking off some of her clothes! I passed out from dehydration doing that last Christmas!”
“Sumeragi-kun, your power bill…”
“Not to worry, Senpai! During the winter, you can use the wall we share as a heater! Oh, but don’t press your ear against the wall! You might hear someone making weird noises! …Hold on, Kuwajiri, why are you staring at me like I’m utter filth!?”
“You can be incredible in the most meaningless ways sometimes…”
“But anyway,” said Raidou-senpai while waving a hand in front of me.
“The sun sends out heat, so the closer planets are cooked and their volatile gas is blown away. On the other hand, the farther planets are too cold and their gas freezes. Earth-style planets have to be at the sweet spot in the center so they aren’t cooked by the sun and still have some gas left over. Also…”
“The vortex generally isn’t dense enough for more than one planet to form in the same orbit. That’s why it’s pretty much impossible for several Earth-style planets to form.”
“How many was it here again?”
<When humanity left Earth, there were 6 habitable planets and 2 semi-habitable planets. Some were actually in the same orbit and some in slightly shifted orbits. There were also 6 uninhabitable planets outside those orbits.>
“That’s a ton…”
<Yes, and we believe there is a good chance this is how the star system was created.>
Just as I wondered what they meant, something like an artillery shell flew toward the central sun.
Shifu whistled at the image she had seen before.
“Whew, here comes Nemesis.”
This came from outside the star system. Most likely, the star of another system had exploded and a fragment of one of its planets had gained enough thrust to fly here.
It was considerably smaller than the star and the still-forming sun managed to absorb it, but…
“A few things came out the other side?”
<The star’s core was not yet stable, so the propagation of force managed to shake it. As the force exited the other side, it split into a few different pieces.>
The rest was simple. It was on a huge scale, but…
“Four pieces of the star flew out. They were all about the same size and they were caught by the vortex’s current as they cooled. They then collided with the forming planets, broke them, and ended up in a nearby orbit.”
I watched the reproduced footage and saw exactly that happening.
A few different planets ended up in similar orbits. Some of them even had moons thanks to the planetary collisions and self-destruction. However…
“Was that a coincidence?”
<It was a powerful enemy.>
Raidou-senpai nodded at that strange and unexpected answer.
“It’s a myth.”
“Think of this as part of a mythology and tell us what happened, Sumeragi. Humanity created our myths, so you have the right to do so.”
Everyone was looking at me.
But before I could say anything, Kuwajiri raised her hand.
“Wait! Won’t his words create a definition!?”
What did that mean?
“A definition? Wait, do I have some kind of power? Come to think of it, I was wondering if I had some kind of latent power the other day and I wrote up some ideas about what it would be in my notebook. Was I right?”
“The other day? Not back in middle school?”
“I did that toooo! Yes! But it turrrrns out I have pretty much all of the powers already.”
Baldy was pretty great. But then Balancer tilted their head.
<Um, are you worried that if the ape describes the events here as a mythology, that will become the star system’s mythology?>
“Yes. Sumeragi might be utterly hopeless herself, but she is human. And she is the only human active in this star system. With so many gods here, the words of a human will define the mythology since that is something the gods cannot create.”
She took a breath before continuing.
“Isn’t it possible this idiot’s definition will establish that this star system has a leader-level god?”
<That will not be a problem.>
Balancer sounded confident.
“Eh!? You mean I don’t have a hidden 8th power!?”
<Oh, if only you did. Yes, if only.>
You could at least try to sound like you mean it!
But whatever this was about, the screen had more to say.
<Mythologies are made when the concept of the gods comes into being, their forms are described by their believers, and stories about them are created. But this moron is so focused on Senpai-san here that we do not need to worry about that.>
“Never mind then,” said Kuwajiri.
With her objection withdrawn, attention turned back toward me.
“Um,” I said while thinking back on what had happened. Meanwhile, Senpai discussed something with Balancer and then turned my way.
“Okay, Sumeragi-kun! We’ll put on a repeating playback of the footage Balancer showed you. So rewatch the star system form, the sun get kerpowed, the four pieces swoosh out, and everything harden up and use that to give us a mythological explanation!”
I wondered how Senpai knew that was going to happen, but Balancer had already divided the footage up into a few different screens lined up in chronological order.
I realized I just had to provide commentary on those.
And Kuwajiri’s earlier comment had led me to realize something, so I asked about it.
“What would happen if I described this star system’s mythology using Senpai as a base? Would she become the leader god of the star system?”
<You would only be describing the star system as if it were Senpai-san, so while her level would rise, it would be meaningless for the star system. The focus would be on her. And if you did describe the star system as if it was her while keeping the focus on the system…>
“Senpai is my god, so that won’t happen.”
“No, no, no, no, no, no. That’s just how Sumeragi-kun is.”
“How do girls manage to communicate in ultra-compressed language like that?”
For the time being, I took Senpai’s waving hands as encouragement and started speaking.
I described what I saw in each screen. First up was the complete darkness with no motion whatsoever. So…
“The world was darkness.”
All the space dust and stuff gathered to form the large vortex.
“Chaos was born from the darkness.”
The sun formed at the center of that, so…
“The sun was created from the chaos.”
Next, planets began to form in their orbits. But what were they? They were generally made from the same stuff as the sun, right? So…
“The sun gained many brothers and sisters.”
But this was where the story changed. An exterior fragment hit the sun.
“But one day, the sun…was shot?”
“Um…that’s a little too modern sounding. Why not say it accepted something from outside?”
Senpai was the best for giving an alternative when rejecting my idea! So that was what I went with.
“The sun married a planet from outside the system and had some children.”
Four fragments had come from the sun.
“The sun had four children.”
Those became habitable planets while they collided with and broke the planets that would have been the sun’s siblings.
So to describe that series of events…
“The sun’s siblings accepted the sun’s children. Those that accepted them became rich planets and those that did not were driven out and became frozen planets.”
That was it.
“That is this star system’s mythology.”
I looked back at the others.
I realized the replaying footage had vanished and we were surrounded by lava and land again.
But no one said a word. Even the talking screen had become just a screen after I finished my story. So…
“Um, did I screw something up? Did I, Senpai?”
“Eh? No, um, I think you did a good job!”
That was a relief. If Senpai thought I did a good job, then there was nothing to worry about. However…
“This is bad. Should I inform Omokane-senpai, Senpai-san?”
“Eh? Um, I’m not sure…”
What, what, what? Was there some further meaning to my poetic masterpiece?
“What I said doesn’t actually create this planet’s mythology, right?”
“Right. That isn’t going to happen. But…”
Raidou-Senpai looked to the others, exchanged nods and other forms of agreement, and then continued.
“This proves that this star system could have a mythology.”
“The DC is afraid of something. That would be why they sent inspectors at a time like this.”
Tenma looked up from the other side of the counter where she was reading Scarecrow’s suggested mystery novel with a 90s train schedule and a map of Japan. She had dragged a chair over to sit directly at the counter, but…
“The DC is afraid of something?”
“The DC is primarily made up of the gods from ancient mythologies. When discussing whether or not to use humans for the terraforming, they only agreed after weighing their pride against the possible benefit and choosing the latter, but they were still cautious. Well, they never said anything out loud, so perhaps I should say it seemed like they were still cautious.”
“What were they afraid of?”
“Yes, this might be difficult for you to understand, Tenma-kun. But you should have supplemented your knowledge enough by now. You were talking before about how women read books, but around a century after you died, women started doing something else, right?”
“Oh,” she realized.
What could you do with books other than read them? There was only one option.
“And what did women write?”
She knew this.
Before then, books had all contained academics, history, or records, but…
“Stories. About a hundred years after my time, the full-length novel was born in Japan.”
“Humans can create stories. Of course, gods can do that too. There are gods who create stories and there are gods who protect authors. But…”
“Only humans can create myths!”
“The creation of new myths would be a threat to the ancient gods who preserve their dignity by managing the terraforming!”
I spoke more loudly than necessary because I was excited to have found the answer. The air around me grew electrified and some memos appeared there. It was enough power for Scarecrow’s hair to gain a bit more volume. “Oops,” I said.
“S-sorry. Your hair is just so light, Scarecrow-senpai.”
“Tenma-kun, are you saying it’s too dry?”
“Well, yes, but isn’t that just how it is!?”
“Well, never mind that,” said my upperclassman while pushing up her glasses.
“They were worried about that possibility. They gave Sumeragi-kun a god as a partner because they wanted him to be a believer of a preexisting mythology. They hoped that would prevent him from creating a new mythology.”
“Then, um, was my guess wrong?”
“No, you were correct. You were wrong about what is gained from that, though.”
I considered it.
There was a human here.
But that human believed in the Shinto god currently known only as Senpai. That meant he could not create myths.
Then what would happen if he simply “told the story” of this star system’s unworshiped mythology?
I thought about it a bit more before arriving at an answer.
“It would prove the existence of a mythology. If a human like Sumeragi thinks of something as a myth, it might establish the existence of a myth there. In that case…it would highlight what this star system’s mold is.”
“And it would differ from what the gods like us think this star system’s mold is, right?”
“Yes. No matter how much we gods think about the molds of this star system and its planets – in other words, no matter how much we think up names and definitions for the unworshiped gods here – we will not create a myth here. We are only guessing.”
“If a human thinks those same things, it is possible those things really do exist. Gods are created when their mold is established by the human belief that defines them. And the ‘truth’ that humanity was created by the gods is born from the gods who were created from the humans’ belief. …So the unworshiped mythology thought up by a human could give us a view of our enemies in the terraforming process. Instead of the guesses made by us gods who cannot create myths, these would be proper theories from the humans who can create myths.”
And what would that mean?
“This has given a clear form to our enemy. Or it can. …This is a big deal for the terraforming. If we can define our enemy, we will know the effects and targets of their Auth Spells and authorities! We can make much more educated guesses from now on!”
“Yes, the DC is afraid of this, but they also think they can gain further power if they can claim it for themselves. That is why they did not ban it outright. And we have not set up Sumeragi-kun to prevent him from doing it either. After all, humanity has never been ‘set up’ by the gods. Humanity must be free. …Free enough to come up with their own myths anyway.”
“The inspectors are coming now. They will use the delays in the terraforming as an excuse to take control of our human to put him to better use. But in truth, they want control over Sumeragi-kun now that he knows enough to invent myths.”
“How long are we going to stay here in the library?”
“Omokane-san still hasn’t come back, so how about we leave without her?”
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