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[Ding! Congratulations! You have successfully activated the Epic Quest: Revival of the Mist.]
[Quest Requirements: Resolve the danger of the East Mist Communal Country being annexed or forced into being a subordinate country. Help the Winterwolf Country of Far North return—when faced with the Winterwolf True King, even Darsos is insignificant.]
[Quest Rewards: Obtain the G.o.d Equipment, Roland Sacred Sword, as well as a clue leading to the G.o.d Equipment Crown of Thorns. I know you really want to find this missing Mist G.o.d Equipment that’s a national treasure.]
[Quest Failure Punishment: You’ll be turned into a girl. I’m serious. Very serious. If you can’t even protect your own country, you might as well turn into a girl.]
It was similar to those absolutely ridiculous Epic Quests in the past. When I activated it this time, I immediately knew that this Quest wouldn’t be as simple as it sounded to complete it.
Resolve the danger of being annexed or forced into being a subordinate country? Just getting past the threat of Auland at the time was plenty to deal with. Was I supposed to make such a foundationally weak country into one at the level of a megempire to prevent it from being easily bullied or annexed?
Help the Winterwolf Country of Far North? If it was just the return of the Mist Kingdom, then changing the name wouldn’t matter that much. However, helping East Mist gain its independence probably counted as a Quest, and it would probably be perfectly completed if I was able to revive East Mist to the level of the former Mist Kingdom.
The Revival of the Mist? Yes, this was the foundation and the only important Quest goal. As long as the Mist Kingdom and the People of the Mist were revived, all the problems would naturally be solved on their own.
That was how I understood things when I received this Quest, and it was also how I went about carrying things out.
I had returned to the surface for a bit over a year. With the creation of the newly born Mist Alliance, there was now a large amount of progress in military affairs, politics, religion, and various other aspects. Perhaps the newly born Mist Alliance couldn’t be called mature yet, and there was still a long path to go before East Mist could reach the status of the past Mist Kingdom and rule over the entire Northlands, but, at the very least, it was no longer a squishy tomato that anyone could tread on.
Imperceptibly, the System had helped me out again. If it had decided to make its final calculations for the rewards back in Antuen when my plans for the Mist Alliance—including religious changes, the peaceful coexistence of multiple species and cultures, and other such political changes—hadn’t yet come into fruition, the final reward evaluation wouldn’t have been very high. Now all the foundations were complete. All that was needed was for things to develop on their own, and I would receive the results I wanted. Doubtlessly, this was the best time to calculate my rewards.
“Actually, even if I wanted to manage things, there’s not much I can do. So let the future generations decide the rest with time…
My insufferable System, do the calculations.”
After I gave the command, the entire world seemed to stop and quiet down. Countless gray lines, both vertical and horizontal, intersected across s.p.a.ce and collided with each other, forming knots. These lines of fate connected the myriad people and objects, rearranging the order of time and s.p.a.ce and giving birth to a power of fate that could twist reality and the future itself.
These lines of karma then trembled, as though invisible hands were plucking them, and were then pulled out of me. They rearranged in midair before returning to my body. In this soundless expanse, time and s.p.a.ce were meaningless. It seemed to be only an instant before these tossed-out threads and projectiles connected back to the untold number of people and objects, establis.h.i.+ng new relations.h.i.+ps of karma.
The heaven and earth had stood still. I, too, was unable to move and could only act as a witness to what was occurring. I was aware that if it weren’t for the fact that I was able to create my own world of Frigidwinter Earth, then I would have been just like the past me; my consciousness would be frozen the moment I told it to calculate, devoid of the power or right to observe such a scene.
“Lines of karma? The highest-level Concepts of Order, Time and s.p.a.ce? This is the true effect of Fate Points?”
Merely watching all this occur caused a chill to run down my back. I broke out in a cold sweat. This wasn’t fear or astonishment but an instinctive humbleness that any human would have upon witnessing a Creator’s ability firsthand. I could sense that although I, too, had reached the boundaries of this power, I was still lacking in comparison with its full might. It was akin to the difference between an ant and a ma.s.sive dragon; there was no comparison at all.
“If I hadn’t been able to ‘Create a World,’ I wouldn’t even have the right to understand these things? What exactly is my System? Why does it have the ability to control Time and s.p.a.ce, as well as twist karma?”
I faintly detected the foundational powers of my System for the first time, but I didn’t dare think any deeper about it.
[Do you see now? This is my power! That’s why you b.a.s.t.a.r.d must respect me more! Hehehe! In front of me, a novice like you is still a fresh greenhorn. It’d be fine, however, if you’re willing to become my disciple. As long as you remain in your Princess Peach form and look at yourself in the mirror every day, I shall consider it. Yep, yep! What a great idea! Why don’t you start with your favorite lace-maid attire tomorrow? Oh! (high-pitched) hehe~ Oh~~~~~~~ Hehehehe~ Oh (high-pitched)~~~~~~~ Hehehehehehehe!]
Just as I had started to respect it a little, everything vanished in bubbles together with my System’s shamelessness and cla.s.sical ‘female antagonist triple laugh.’
“Ptui! Dream on! That’ll never happen!”
However, the mechanical notification sound of messages appearing before me didn’t give me any time to think of this for any longer.
[Quest’s First Goal: Eliminate the danger of the East Mist Communal Country being annexed or forced into becoming a subordinate country. Calculating results…]
[Originally, there were five countries that had ambitions regarding the East Mist. Ranking from highest threat level to lowest, they were: Sleuweir Kingdom, the surface beastmen led by the Bloodaxe Tribe, the Ta.s.sel Elf Kingdom, Kasolan Kingdom, and Auland Empire.]
[These five factions no longer have the ability or ambition to annex or suppress East Mist. This Quest Requirement has been completed with a rating of ‘Excellent.’ You have been rewarded with 100,000 Fate Points and the Epic-ranked material Unyielding Jade. System Reminder: Tsk! You’re just a lucky blind cat that managed to catch a dead mouse.]
Alright then. This was a pitfall as well. The Auland Empire, which everyone considered the biggest threat, was actually the smallest threat, while the biggest threat was, in fact, the Sleuweir Kingdom. Yet thinking about it a little helped me understand. When talking about motives, the Sleuweir Kingdom had the same culture and species and hence had the most reason to invade. After all, any slightly ambitious ruler would want to complete the major achievement of reuniting the People of the Mist, which would definitely be an accolade left behind in the annals of history.
Perhaps Sleuweir had always been waiting for East Mist to weaken even further while secretly hoping to benefit. It was likely that if the Auland Empire had succeeded in forcibly suppressing East Mist, the first reaction or military invasion would have been from Sleuweir.
As for the beastmen on the surface and the Ta.s.sel Kingdom? Their actions already proved their ambitions towards East Mist and even the entire Northlands—they had both taken military action… As for the Kasolan Kingdom—fine, the San Antonio Empire—so you didn’t have any good intentions, either. Perhaps their target was the entire Northlands, and they already sent out their chess piece, Kasolan.
In comparison, the end result was naturally that the Auland Empire was the least threatening. They only wanted East Mist to be subordinate to them, and even if they were finally prepared to annex us, it would probably be an entire century later. I understood everything. Yep, the System was definitely the wisest, as nothing could escape its eyes.
“Wise!? I understood everything, the h.e.l.l! Just how bored are you? You actually pretended to be my own mental narration! Also, what’s with your reminder about how ‘even Darsos is insignificant?’ Was that supposed to be a hint of how I had enemies much harder to deal with than Darsos? Do you dare make me suffer any more than this? How can anyone guess at such a roundabout hint, one with more than ten twists?”
“What are you tsking for? Are you that unhappy if I’m not suffering? Are you that unhappy that you didn’t get to turn me into a girl? Is there any other System out there like you that’s always trying to think of ways to make its host suffer? Just look at all the other Systems in other stories, with protagonists learning martial arts at the age of two, business and economics at three, how to start a harem at four, becoming a n.o.ble at five…”
Alright, I was just making up things about other stories’ protagonists without any proper references, but I had suffered far too much. And it was impossible for me to get any revenge upon my System, so at the very least I had to complain a little in order to vent.
Yet, while saying all this, I wiped away some cold sweat. This System was far too insidious. If I had believed that only taking care of Auland was enough, then I probably would have received zero rewards in the end, as the completion rate wouldn’t have pa.s.sed even 20%.
[No, you can take revenge on me. As long as you go listen to Gria’s concerts every single day, or enjoy what the Gentlemen Alliance members’ personal lives are like, such as going to visit Omar’s exercise gyms, you can definitely have your revenge.]
“Do you really think I’m that much of an idiot? That I would listen to your advice which would kill us both? No, wait—at that time, you just have to shut off all your senses while I’ll definitely die by myself!”
[Quest’s Second Goal: Help the Northland’s ruler, the Winterwolf Country of Far North, return to power: the Sleuweir Kingdom, East Mist Communal Country, and Sharal Autonomous Region have all joined and become important parts of the newly born Mist Alliance, this represents the rebirth of the Winterwolf Country, and calculations can begin.]
Alright then, I opened my mouth wide agape in surprise but didn’t say anything in the end. Wasn’t it basically just a word game by my System? From the very start, this Quest included all the Descendants of the Mist, including the Sleuweir Kingdom. If I had only focused on East Mist, I would have received a 50% completion rate at most, no, perhaps even 33%.
The most insidious of all was that the System had laid a trap for me known as the Sharal Autonomous Region. These half-bloods indeed had half of their bloodline from the People of the Mist. It seemed that they counted as People of the Mist as well, and tossing them aside and not caring about them wouldn’t have been good.
“Just continue digging pitfalls for me. Sooner or later, they’ll get so ridiculous that you won’t know how to write this story anymore. Wouldn’t that be quite fun for you?”
I didn’t know what my System would think of my fourth wall-breaking retort, but I then heard the icy cold sound of my System reporting next to my ears.
[a.n.a.lysis on the Mist Alliance complete. The Mist Alliance is currently composed of six core countries. a.n.a.lyzing its future prospects for development… Potential future alliance members include: (You can use these as recommendations for strategic development)]
[The beastmen from the plateau. After the Underground beastmen finish their a.s.similation of the beastmen from the plateaus, and as long as you can suppress the influence of the beastmen from the plains on them, the likelihood will increase. And based on current projections, as long as there’s a sufficient amount of diplomacy, trade, and resources invested into them, the likelihood of this area joining the Mist Alliance is projected to be above 70% within the next twenty years.]
[The Underground World Union: This faction’s overall power is greater than the current Mist Alliance. Slowing down the process of them joining the Mist Alliance was a correct decision. Also, the Underground World Union has an overly complex internal structure, and will require a long and slow process of reorganization and rule before integration. You can consider having Sulfur Mountain City, Black Iron City, and other such Underground Cities that are particularly friendly towards the surface to join first. Based on current projections, the likelihood for this area to join the Mist Alliance is projected to be above 90% within the next fifty years. I recommend that you take extra steps to ensure the smoothness of this transition.]
[The other three Northlands elven kingdoms: The Ta.s.sel Elf Kingdom no longer exists, while the other three kingdoms are currently in chaos. They are afraid of revenge from the humans, and they hate the Elven G.o.ds even more for going back on their words and deceiving them. From all the possible choices, if you use Elf Queen Suana as your envoy and voluntarily reach out in friends.h.i.+p to them while simultaneously suppressing the enmity from non-northern elf kingdoms and the Elven G.o.ds, they are highly likely to join the Northlands’ largest faction—the Mist Alliance. System Reminder: They no longer have an environment where they are able to take care of themselves. Food, water, clothing and other such resources for them all depend on other countries now, and joining the Mist Alliance is a must for them to survive. You understand… If you treat them too badly, you’ll be stricken by thunder. With your typical shameless and limitless behavior, this area is projected to have a likelihood of joining at over 80%. The time that it joins the Mist Alliance is limited only by human factors (I’m talking about how shameless you are), so it is impossible to calculate a time projection.]
Just how was I supposed to retort? It kept telling on one hand me not to treat them too badly and to stop being so shameless, while on the other hand it was strongly recommending me to take advantage of their weakness to force them to join the Mist Alliance. Was this supposed to be a legendary example of a tsundere that couldn’t speak what she was thinking? I was so confused.
[The seven countries of the Northlands: Sleuweir Kingdom, East Mist Communal Country, and Rhodes Kingdom are all part of the Mist Alliance now. The Kasolan Kingdom is a complete subordinate country of the San Antonio Empire, and there is a lower than 1% chance of the Kasolan Kingdom joining the Mist Alliance, unless San Antonio collapses. The possibility of the Fengqi Kingdom and the Suya Kingdom joining the Mist Alliance will depend on the rate of the Mist Alliance’s growth and power, what benefits you offer to them, and many other factors. It is impossible to calculate the likelihood that they will join.]
[Based on the current composition of the Mist Alliance and probable future developments, calculating your Fate Point rewards…]
A screen with unknown purposes kept showing me various numbers, such as “Religion: Unified Church, +12,” “New military technology improvements, +7” and so on. These mysterious numbers kept acc.u.mulating, and when the numbers finally settled down, the final answer was ready.
Everything that the System was calculating was about the future—the future that was the most likely to occur due to all the relations.h.i.+ps of karma. However, even the current Mist Alliance was no longer a tiny country that could easily be crushed by others.
Our victorious battles and the fact that the changes here were evident were known to everyone, and the current East Mist of the Northlands was already being viewed as a miracle land by humanity. This place was the origin of many new technologies, a new political system, a new way of living, and was where a new Order G.o.d gained power.
In this poor and frigid land, religion, culture, politics, and technology began combining and influencing each other. The teachings of Wumianzhe presented the possibility of many species and cultures living together. This unique species makeup and cultural atmosphere helped create new technologies and revolutionize society. And the birth of these technologies would be reflected in military and political affairs as well. n.o.body would be able to predict the final product when all these factors mixed together in a chain reaction, but what people knew was that it had already attracted the attention of the entire world. Every day, countless visitors from other countries would come here to learn from us, and this poor and frigid land was now destined to no longer be as isolated and lonely as it was in the past.
Most importantly, the main headquarters of Wumianzhe’s Church of Law was stationed here, and the teachings of Law had already begun to spread and slowly change the way of living in this entire area. The teachings of the Holy Light had met its strongest challenger ever. This perhaps would take much time still, but it was capable of changing everything at its very foundations.
I felt many things as I watched these numbers continually increase. All along the way, bitter, difficult, and unfortunate events had been countless in number. Suffering was a part of my daily life, and the times I had made others suffer was something uncountable as well, and I seemed to have dug plenty of traps, deceived, stolen, and scammed—cough—no matter what, after all these difficulties, I was more than halfway to my overall goal.
At the current moment, the Holy Church’s reputation had successfully taken a huge blow, while the Law job cla.s.s members had received recognition from the entire world. I also had the newest technology for this new generation, and the Mist Kingdom had finally revived in a new form. The People of the Mist, which consisted of many cultures to begin with, now had new family members and cultural aspects, while we had a home of our own to fight for again.
I was no longer alone…
[Future Mist Alliance calculations: With Wumianzhe’s Church of Law as the national church, this Mist Alliance, which consists of many member countries, has the potential to reach and surpa.s.s a megempire’s strength. You have completed all parts of the Quest with a rating of ‘Perfect.’ You are rewarded with an additional 100,000 Fate Points, along with the mystical artifact Emblem of the Winter Wolf, and the SemiG.o.d Equipment, Bloodl.u.s.t Contract, which is a one-time-use consumable item…]
Although I had suffered quite greatly on the way, seeing these System Notifications, which were representations of my success, made me feel rewarded for my efforts. I was truly happy. My efforts hadn’t gone to waste.
“We finally have a home.”
With this, all the difficulties and suffering I had gone through were worth it.
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