After Alovenus went on the offensive, Ruphas and the others were forced to go on the defensive . However, their defense was ineffectual, and their recovery couldn’t keep up with the damage they were taking . Their attacks were meaningless . Even if they made full use of their skills, they would be immediately invalidated .
Compared to the beginning of the battle, Ruphas and the others had received a significant power-up . However, they still couldn’t catch up . Alovenus’ attacks were just too strange .
Alovenus created a universe that was transcended by another universe…and yet another universe that went beyond that . The current universe was like a cell . Likewise, the universe beyond was the same…The mind-boggling hundredfold repetition of this resulted in the multiverse .
She seemed to be using them like they were disposable bombs . She created one using a Big Bang and then destroyed it with a Big Crunch . She was just playing around . It was ridiculous . It was so over-inflated in scale that it was getting stale .
This was like a child selfishly playing and believing, “I’m stronger than you . ” This was basically the same thing but repeated on a larger scale . No matter what they did, it would be pushed aside by such a childish, unreasonable justification . It would be erased and blown away . All of their power, speed, and skills were rendered meaningless .
However, Ruphas laughed in the face of such a predicament . Indeed, she was certainly the strongest . She was beyond all rules . However, Alovenus had made a mistake somewhere . There was only one and it was somewhat trivial…However, it was an extremely important truth in this situation .
—I’m also the childish sort of person who hates losing .
“Alovenus . ”
“Hmm? What’s up? Are you surrendering?”
“No, no . You’ve been going on at great length concerning the reasoning of your power…Therefore, I’ll answer you thus . ”
Ruphas raised the corners of her mouth and laughed fiercely . She was overwhelmingly higher than her in terms of scale, but they were already standing on the same tier . Both of them were fighting in the realm of God, beyond their world . In that case, what remained was simply a battle of wills .
It’s pointless to think about useless things like the limit of power and my own strength . There’s only one thing that will push me forward here . There’s no need for any reasoning or theory .
“You’re indeed very strong, but I’m even stronger . ”
In that instant, Ruphas’ power exceeded the setting that had been put in place by Alovenus .
Multiverse? I don’t care about such things . Infinite status? Well, whatever . Subversion of the setting? So what?
“I’m stronger than all of them . ” Everything depends on this .
Strangely enough, as Alovenus herself had said, there was no concept of strength in a battle of this level anymore . Concepts, providences, laws, and even limits were all things that had been created by God . Therefore, there were no such things in the realm of God . They would just have to create their own based on their whims .
They were like trying to paint their own colors on a blank white canvas and enforce their own truths . Alovenus could do that, so there was no reason why they couldn’t do it themselves . After all, they were residents of the world that had been created by Alovenus . For the same reason, natural laws didn’t apply to them . In hindsight, this was probably why the laws of physics didn’t apply to them at all .
Even though certain things were impossible for the former deity who had been destroyed by Alovenus, they wouldn’t be impossible for us, who had inherited the power of Alovenus . Alovenus was indisputably the strongest . That was why only her own power could defeat her .
Then, from here on, it would be a matter of who had the greater ego and strength . Since the opponent insisted that she was stronger, then Ruphas would simply insist that she was even stronger . It was just a repetitive quarrel among children .
This was already the realm of God, therefore they could do anything that they wanted to . Ruphas’ status instantly changed to “∞” . Furthermore, the character ∞ repeated itself on the display indefinitely .
Infinite infinity . Once she had reached this point, it was just a matter of arm strength to get everything done . The multiverse would be reduced to dust just from its mere existence .
—A punch was made . An omnipresent and pure form of violence struck Alovenus, destroying and blowing away the invisible walls that protected her . This “awesome punch that could destroy any barrier” shattered “the barrier that could block any attack” . The punch’s shockwave reached everywhere in an instant, shattering everything that was in front of her . It even blew away one of Alovenus’ arms .
“…Oh, so you have indeed reached this realm as well . Yes, I somehow knew something like this was going to happen . ”
Alovenus instantaneously removed the damage and laughed almost to the point of tears .
She had thought that nobody could reach this place . She had thought that nobody could stand up to her . She had thought that all she could do was play with dolls by moving them around . She had thought that she would be alone in this place forever .
But what was going on here?
The people who were supposed to have been her dolls had come to this place .
“Seriously, you’re someone who never does what I expect you to . I wanted to make a doll that wouldn’t think for itself, but it turned out to be the complete opposite . Things really don’t go the way I want them to . It is exactly as you have said . I’m a deity who can’t get things to work properly no matter what I do . ”
“Is that really the case?”
“You really couldn’t get things to work out?”
Ruphas confidently asked that question, and Alovenus’ expression froze . Ruphas had always been thinking about this . Was Alovenus really the unthinking goddess that they had thought she was?
Alovenus had been too thoughtless, too stupid, and too childish . As a result, they had been able to get this far . They had been able to continue deceiving her . But perhaps, they had only managed to get this far because Alovenus herself actually wanted them to, somewhere within her heart .
“That’s wrong . That wasn’t what you wanted . If it was, then why did you go to such lengths to try and make someone like me into a doll? No matter how one looked at it, you had chosen the wrong person . What you wanted was the exact opposite of what you said, Alovenus . Despite having the power to make everything else go your way, it didn’t change the fact that you yourself were excluded from it all . You suffered from that .
You had no sense of reality . You were unable to feel alive . You were always all alone in this place . As you suffered from loneliness, it must have felt like you were playing with a doll alone in a room all this time . Therefore, you wanted someone to notice you and disobey you . That’s the reason you had raised me up . ”
Alovenus suddenly felt as if something was piercing her heart . But that was just her imagination . There was nothing there in that place . To begin with, she was immortal . She had given herself the setting that she couldn’t be killed by any means . Even if a god-slaying spear or sword were to stab her, she would feel no pain and suffer no wound .
In that case…what was this pain? Why did she feel a sense of fulfillment?
“You must have wanted someone who wouldn’t simply do whatever you desired, right? You must have wanted something that could jump out of the palm of your hand, right? You didn’t want to be omnipotent . You must have wanted something that’s beyond your power, even if it’s just one thing . You must have wanted someone, who wouldn’t just let you have your way, to be beside you .
…Rejoice, Alovenus . Your dream has come true . As you have wished, the punitive devil who would oppose you is here . That person, whom you have desired, now stands before you!”
“………Ah . ”
Alovenus let out a trembling voice as she tried to stop her emotions from showing on her face .
Oh yes, I remember this feeling…and this pain . It has been so long that I’ve forgotten this feeling . How many hundred millions, billions of years…or perhaps even tens of billions of years, have I forgotten about it? This is—Yes, this is delight .
She was lonely . Since the moment of her birth, she was far too different from everyone else and had been exempted from all natural laws . She couldn’t stand on the same stage as everyone else . While everyone else in the world was desperately struggling to live, she alone wasn’t . Therefore, she thought that she should save them . She thought that she could elevate everyone to a position as close to her as possible . Perhaps, that was what she truly desired… But she stood in a position that was too high up for her to realize that wish .
Instead of resolving the problem, her apotheosis only made it worse . Her ever-increasing power drove her further into loneliness . Although there were other people who had their own wills, she couldn’t join in their conversations . It was like watching characters speak to each other from the other side of the screen . When she turned around, she was still alone in this place .
She envied the little ones . She at least wanted to feel like she was a part of their story, so she wrote a script and moved the world along . Because she wanted to feel the satisfaction of making them happy, she ended up repeatedly missing the point of redemption .
But even though it was comforting, it wasn’t enough to fulfill her . The truth was that she had always wanted someone to stand before her and oppose her .
Why else would she place the forbidden fruit, which she had commanded them not to eat, in a place where they could reach? Now, she finally realized why she did what she did .
She didn’t want a faithful doll . She wanted people who could walk on their own feet, think for themselves, and even betray her to show that they were different from her…She wanted them to catch up to her, no matter what they had to do to reach where she was, since she couldn’t go back herself after becoming too strong and climbing too high .
—She wanted them to tell her that she wasn’t alone .
“Come, you poor girl who is trapped in the prison called omnipotence . You don’t need to save anyone anymore . Let me save you instead . ”
Alovenus covered her mouth with her hand as she issued forth a laugh . It sounded like she was laughing and crying at the same time…Certainly, it was the first joyful cry she had ever experienced in her life .
With her emotions no longer suppressed, the Goddess gave a loud laugh that echoed throughout all of space-time, causing space itself to fracture and collapse .
In a parallel world somewhere, the native dinosaurs died without ever knowing the cause as their universe shattered . In another timeline that might have existed, a civilization, which was unlike that of Earth’s and was even able to participate in space wars, was erased without being able to do anything . Time itself completely collapsed, causing Dina and the others who were still waiting for Ruphas to return to freeze in time .
The shockwaves from the Goddess’ laughter erased half of the extant universes in the Final Point .
Eventually, the Goddess removed her hand from her mouth and spoke in a calm voice .
“Hehehe…That’s a big claim to make . Can you really do it though? My tantrums are a little excessive in terms of scale, if I may say so myself . ”
“I don’t mind . ”
Ruphas beckoned with her hand and Benetnash, who had been waiting for Ruphas to finish her conversation, sighed in astonishment . Orm also smiled bitterly . The two of them looked at each other and nodded .
“I don’t feel like putting up with this . You can deal with this spoiled child by yourself . ”
“I agree…is what I’d like to say, but it seems even we cannot reach the world beyond . We’ll leave the rest to you . ”
Beyond this would be a battle in the realm of God where everything happened according to one’s thoughts . The current realm could already be considered a battle of the gods by most people . Indeed, Benetnash and Orm were powerful enough to fight in this realm .
However, they understood it after hearing her laughter . The Big Bangs and Big Crunches so far were just playful attacks by the Goddess, who was merely messing around . She hadn’t been fighting seriously .
But the next stage would be even higher . They would have to rise to the peak of infinity . It would be an endless struggle involving infinite multiples of infinity .
It might be a different matter if the opponent was Ruphas, but Benetnash wouldn’t have such a strong fighting spirit when her opponent was the Goddess . She would probably lose her momentum mid-way .
On the other hand, Orm didn’t have enough conviction that he was the strongest entity . Thus, that inconsistency would become noticeable along the way, casting a shadow on his ability to become the strongest . He would surely be left behind mid-way .
That wouldn’t do . One needed to be more selfish than anyone else to win this battle . One would need to hate losing more than anyone else . One had to hold fast to the belief that oneself was the strongest without a shadow of doubt…Only someone who could do so would be able to challenge the Goddess .
Therefore, there were only two people who could stand on this battlefield—Ruphas and Alovenus . Honestly, they were frustrated at the feeling of being left behind again . However, that was no reason for them to stay here and be a burden .
“I’m bored of this . I’ll be waiting for you . ”
As if she was hiding her frustration, she pouted and placed her hand on Ruphas’ shoulder . Then, she transferred all of her experience points (mana) to Ruphas . Having lost the right to stay in this realm, Benetnash was forcefully expelled from the Final Point .
“I’m sorry . I can’t fight with you to the end . ”
“Don’t worry about it . ”
Likewise, Orm transferred his experience points (mana) to Ruphas and vanished from this place . There were only two people left—Ruphas and Alovenus .
From here on, it would be a battle of wills over who was stronger . It had to be a one-versus-one match . If it were three-versus-one, Alovenus wouldn’t be convinced that she wasn’t the strongest, since she had room to make excuses . That wouldn’t be acceptable . This lonely Goddess wouldn’t stop until she completely admitted to losing .
“Now, Alovenus . It’s just the two of us . Don’t hesitate…Come!”
“Yes…Let’s get started!”
Ruphas and Alovenus held out their palms as they materialized and unleashed nameless destruction upon each other . There was no need for skill names anymore . It was just a hassle to come up with them . The power wielded by each of them was infinite . If the opponent’s infinity exceeded one’s own infinity, then one would simply have to go beyond that .
They were no longer using trivial attacks like Big Bang and Big Crunch . Those kinds of attacks were already meaningless at this point . There was no need to name the skills . They were just purely unleashing raw power .
I’m strong .
I’m stronger .
Then, I’m even stronger still .
Ruphas continued to accelerate . Her speed endlessly increased, as if it was being multiplied by the speed of light . However, Alovenus accelerated at a speed that left it far behind . In the next moment, Ruphas reciprocated by doing the same thing .
If Ruphas struck with a googolplex power value, Alovenus would counterattack with a power value of a googolplex multiplied by a googolplex . Then, Ruphas would attack again with a multiple of that .
If the opponent insisted that infinity was merely one before her, then all that was needed was to transcend to a higher realm . Using each other as a stepping stone, they tried to push through with their strongest settings .
Neither of them was thinking about how high they had reached in this conflict over offense and defense . They were simply not interested .
They went beyond the initial universe, and beyond, and beyond, and beyond, and beyond, and beyond—beyond the universe, beyond the multiverse, beyond the omniverse—!
…It didn’t matter anymore . There was no point in thinking about it . As long as it didn’t reach the opponent, it was meaningless .
Alovenus laughed innocently like a child and continued her vicious attacks without ceasing .
The ability to absolutely kill anything that existed within the same space, penetrating all resistances .
The ability to reflect all attacks received .
The ability to reverse time and make the opponent non-existent .
The ability to win regardless of the process .
The ability to inflict the defeat condition on the opponent .
The ability to erase everything with a glance .
The ability to nullify all abilities .
The ability to seal all attacks and render the opponent incapable of taking defensive actions .
The abilities of all the gods from various mythos .
The abilities that were made up in fiction somewhere .
—She was using everything that she could think of, but Ruphas still didn’t disappear . The latter just couldn’t be stopped . But she was having so much fun that she couldn't help it .
“That’s right…Enjoy it to your heart’s content, Alovenus . I’ll take everything you’ve got!”
Even though a smile could be seen on Ruphas’ face, all of her attacks were overkill .
Enough arm power to penetrate whatever abilities and kill the opponent .
Enough leg power to evade any petty tricks .
Enough eye power to see through the opponent’s next move and the move after that .
Enough willpower to overcome whatever the opponent did .
Controlling enough power to seize the opponent’s powers for oneself .
Enough mental power to insist that whatever the setting might be, it had nothing to do with herself .
—She used everything that she had, overcoming all oppositions in order to corner Alovenus .
A collision—The universe and the parallel worlds contained within one dimension were erased .
A collision—The higher dimensions, which had been created by fusing an infinite number of similar dimensions, couldn’t withstand the shockwaves and were blown away .
Another collision—Even the super-high dimensions, which included many higher dimensions, shattered without a word .
But not yet, it still wasn’t enough . Something like this wouldn’t be enough . The opponent was still full of vigor . She hadn’t taken any damage at all . Therefore, she must go higher, even higher, and beyond the end!
It wasn’t a fight anymore . It was a game that was possible only because these monsters existed in the same realm . They were playing with each other .
The Goddess and the rebel laughed at each other . In the aftermath of their collisions, countless existing worlds had disappeared .