A few hours later, after floating down from the eighth heaven to the first, Sol stood on a ship that apparently floated aimlessly on the sea.
The crew on the ship was entirely composed of puppets. He had asked Kiyohime, and she said that those puppets were created by one of the four current princesses. Though she didn’t explain any more.
During all the trips, what really intrigued Sol had been the name of their destination.
He had an inkling about what it was, since the name was pretty easy to recognize even for people who had little knowledge on myth. But, he wanted to be sure.
“Are you curious about our destination?”
Sol closed his mouth before nodding.
“Well, It’s a little complicated to explain, but in one word, it’s a prison, or a dungeon if you will.”
‘As I thought…’
“What kind of people are imprisoned in Tartarus?”
He really wondered what kind of crime one had to commit to be imprisoned in a prison with such a secret location.
As if she didn’t hear him, Kiyo continued.
“Most of the territories of divine beasts have a Tartarus in their core. The same goes for some powerful demi-god territories who aren’t divine beasts such as Anubis. As for what kind of criminals are imprisoned in Tartarus? There are only four types”
She scoffed, the light in her eyes turning cold.
“Titans, Giants, Chaos spawn and finally—Traitors.”
After her words, the two of them fell into silence, deep in their own thoughts, no one speaking a word.
The ship finally stopped after flying for a while more on the sea. It was a place without anything particular and Sol couldn’t help but wonder where the entrance was.
There, Kiyohime walked out of the ship and stood in the air before taking out a pendant.
“Open the gate.”
The pendant shone with crimson light as the roar of a dragon sounded in the air.
The sea quaked and space trembled. A gate that looked like the maws of a beast opened in front of Sol.
“Let’s go, Sol.”
Sol did not hesitate in following her. From the outside, it looked as though the two of them were devoured.
The moment Sol opened his eyes, he couldn’t help but groan in pain.
His eyes stung and his lungs could barely fill themselves with air. Each time he took a breath, it was as if someone was tearing away at him from within.
The ambient mana in the surroundings felt dirty and disgusting.
Sol had fought in a desert scorched by three suns, but compared to the grounds here, that desert looked like heaven.
He felt like he was completely being rejected by the environment itself as if he was the enemy of the world itself.
This wasn’t an environment suitable for living. Normal humans would have died just from standing here for one minute.
“Where is this?”
He couldn’t help but ask in bewilderment, but immediately regretted opening his mouth to speak.
‘Ugh! I feel like retching.’
“This is the first circle of hell.”
As she spoke, blue light emanated from her body before covering Sol.
*Huff* *Huff* *Huff*
Immediately, Sol felt like breathing became far easier. He couldn’t help but inhale deeply and greedily.
All this while, Kiyohime looked at him with a nod of approval. Generally, when young dragons entered this place the first time, they would be already on the ground, retching and bawling their eyes out.
This had nothing to do with power. This was nearly the same as a fish suddenly being thrown out of the water.
Sol was doing far better than she thought he would.
“Wha-What was that?”
Calming down, Sol’s chest continued to heave as he slowly got his breathing into order.
“This is Tartarus. The first floor of Tartarus, also known as the first circle of hell. There are a total of seven hells and each hell is harsher than the previous one because of the concentration of Chaotic mana.”
Sol managed to understand what Kiyohime was saying. But her next words made him pale a bit.
“Also….This—Will be your home for one month or two…I did say that you would curse and hate me, right?”
A bright smile filled her face as she opened her arms wide.
“Welcome, Sol…to your new home — To hell!”
Sitting on her throne, Tiamat opened her eyes wide as she wondered if she should intervene or not.
“I did tell her to make him stronger but this…”
For the first time in her life, Tiamat thought that she was not as ruthless as her daughter.
‘This was a future with a very low probability.’
Tartarus wasn’t just a prison made for the heck of it.
Why would Tiamat or any other demi-god keep dangerous prisoners alive when they were more useful dead?
The problem came from the difference between Chaos and Order.
The difference between the two mother goddesses stemmed from a difference in ideologies toward evolution.
Tiamat did not know why this problem came to be in the first place but basically, Order believed in systematic and careful growth.
She believed that everything in this world had a place and should stay there. Ants should stay ants, gods should stay gods. The weak would always be weak and the strong would always be strong. Even if people could grow, there was a clear limit that they could never surpass. It would be a perfect Eden.
She wished for an eternal kingdom where nothing would change.
Chaos saw things a little differently. For her, life was a struggle. The ants should grow to become a god by biting and eating everything on their path. For her, the existence of a limit placed on growth was a sin in itself.
Unfortunately, unlimited growth meant unlimited destruction. The world that Chaos envisioned was a world that could be sacrificed for the apparition of one ultimate being if it was necessary.
Because of this nature, once a place was tainted by Chaos, it was incredibly hard, if not impossible, to erase that stain.
In the stained place, chaos spawns would be regularly born, they were the equivalent of elemental spirits and would grow by devouring each other and growing constantly. It was simply too easy for a King ranked to appear in such a condition.
This was one of the reasons the goddesses created the fourteen divine beasts. After all, the forces of Chaos were too numerous.
At the end of the war, all the places that were stained were sealed into prisons called Tartarus.
‘Is she thinking of making him go down on all the hell until the end?’
The Tartarus in Tiamat territory was pretty special at the very last level. On the bottom of the 7th level were the remnants of someone special—Lucifer.
Tiamat tapped the arms of her throne. Even though she had looked at more than hundreds of different futures of Sol, very few of them had Sol entering the tower.
Generally, Kiyohime would choose to send him to hunt down pirates and gain more experience in the process.
‘In none of those futures did he manage to find Lucifer Inheritance.’
Tiamat frowned, ‘Should I help him?’
Even though Tiamat was created as a demigod, the Zone she had currently was not the one she was born with.
Be it her Zone or her Avatar, all of them had been changed after she found Lucifer’s inheritance and learned from it.
If Sol managed to get the approval, he would become far more powerful than if she simply trained him. After all, while Lucifer wasn’t necessarily more powerful than the current her, his mean and understanding of the world were something no divine beast could match.
Kiyohime of course did not know about this. It was merely a coincidence.
“*Sigh* So this time the torch-bearer, the ‘Morning Star’ has a chance to let the ‘Sun’ inherit.”
Tiamat closed her eyes and fell deep in thought, before opening her eyes again.
“I will not help.”
Even though Lucifer was long dead, his will was not totally eradicated. If she helped Sol, he would get nothing.
Normally speaking, Sol had no Fate with Lucifer. His Fate should have been to learn from her only.
So what would happen if Sol managed to succeed?
It would mean that he had used his original Fate to create a stronger Fate and grow stronger. It would also mean that he was well on his way to becoming a complete irregular.
‘Haha~I want to see the faces of those goddesses when it happens. So, please…Show me you have what it takes.’
She was already frustrated about seeing hundreds of futures she had prepared for vanish. How would Luxuria feel after witnessing a near-infinite amount of futures carefully thought of for millennia vanish under her powerless eyes?
It would be so hilarious.
The world was like a chessboard and people were nothing more than a chess piece moving under the whim of superior power.
In the shitty game that was the world, the only ones who could flip the table were the irregulars called Singularities.
She hoped that Sol would become one of the few people that could give the middle finger to the goddesses.
(AN: For those who remember, Nihil and Drei were imprisoned in Anubis’ territory. It was also a Tartarus. The next arc might be a long or short depending on how I will show his training. Hope you will like this arc. At the end of vol 8, Sol will become pretty OP. By the way, what do you think of the ideologies of the two mothers’ goddesses? Controlled but limited growth or uncontrollable and unlimited growth?)
*Edit: As of now, training in Tartarus already finished on Patreon.