It’s damn insane to have just the two of us do the work that was originally being done by five supervisors. She, who had originally been the human supervisor, cursed deep, deep down in her mind without showing even the slightest inkling of it on her face or in her emotions.
At the same time, having the reality that they should have been doing this originally thrust in front of her made her realize just how much they had forgotten their primary duty while amusing themselves by playing around.
To tell the unvarnished truth, this world should have collapsed by now. The exhaustion of the component referred to as resource, which was the foundation that formed the world and the beings on it, had already reached a point where saying it was too late would be an understatement.
From the start, resources were always decreasing little-by-little. They would continue to decrease in small amounts over many, many millions of years, and the moment they completely run dry would spell the end of a world’s lifespan.
However, there are exceptions to every rule, including this one. Whenever she thought about that matter now, the former human supervisor’s thoughts and feelings would nearly get drowned by the desire to just hold her head and scream to no end.
A world that formed the foundation, albeit only a part, of a universe branching out into infinity.
A world that could even destroy the other worlds connected to it as a chain reaction, if it broke down.
A world that could even affect ‘that’ master of hers who controlled every world.
A sheltered world that was set to not perish and was guaranteed a replenishment before it succumbed to a fatal shortage of resources.
The shock she suffered when she learned that all this referred to the world she was managing was beyond imagination.
Considering it logically, stationing five supervisors, who all held the same authority, in a single world was weird by all accounts. Normally, even deploying two and not just one supervisor with the same powers she had possessed to one world should already be a luxury.
Deploying multiple supervisors meant that the management of the world in question required that much more meticulous attention.
I guess I’ve been wrong for complaining to master for not having explained all that from the beginning, the former human supervisor judged.
After all there wouldn’t have been any issues, if they had followed their master’s advice and requested support early on, if only they had managed the world adequately. And yet, they amused themselves by toying around with this world, and ignored their master’s warnings as being just a hindrance to their game.
The outcome of that was the world’s current state.
Precisely because she now fully understood the consequences of their actions, she gritted her teeth and remained silent, using a part of her consciousness for countless processes that would whittle down her very existence.
“But, this is…”
She, who had been given more than ample ability to manage a fifth of the world, had been grumbling for a good while now. Even when she tried to keep the world running by using every trick at her disposal, even going as far as to freely use various emergency operations in a corner of her mind that would very likely burn its circuits, every last one of the processes kept failing.
“That means, no matter how much we struggle, it’s useless.”
The first one to throw in the towel was the former beastman supervisor who had been ordered to do the same job as her.
Maybe he was like this because of the beastmen, whom he had supervised, or maybe the beastmen race became like this because of their supervisor’s character; it was unclear which came first, but he was impulsive, had shallow thinking, and gave up too quickly.
“We’re absolutely lackin’ resources here. No matter how much we gloss it over or go ’round, if it were just a processing issue, we might be able to keep this goin’ somehow even though we’d end up vomiting blood, but we’ve got no means to deal with the lackin’ amount of resources.”
The former human supervisor was starting to get pissed off in her mind at the attitude of the former beastman supervisor who deliberately put something she completely understood into words, but she immediately switched her thought process, soothing her thoughts which were about to run rampant.
Right now it’s a waste of time to get angry at his attitude. However, I’m going to convey to him my feelings that he should just shut up and work in silence by sending a fitting glance his way.
Seemingly realizing the meaning behind the glare directed his way for an instant, the former beastman supervisor shrugged his shoulders, and immediately went back to focusing on the processing.
Even without the whole thing being spelt out by him, that fact had been plain as day for quite a while now. As long as the status quo remained the same, the limit would be reached, sooner or later, although even she didn’t know when that would happen since she currently didn’t have the leeway to spare thinking power to calculate the timing.
It wasn’t as though a breakthrough solution didn’t exist. Since it was a world designated to have its resources replenished to begin with, all would be fine as long as it could receive that refill. The preparations for that sake were already finished, and all that was left was for their master to infuse the resources.
As long as their master, who was an almighty being in their eyes, poured resources into this world, fixing it wouldn’t be that much of a problem.
In that case, the question would be why master hasn’t done so already.
When her thinking had reached that part, her expression distorted faintly, as if she had swallowed a bitter pill.
The reason is obvious. The elven and dragonoid supervisors have already died. Going by the situation, master is hesitating to refill the resources of this world because of the demon supervisor who has likely descended into the lower world.
Even the former human supervisor understood why her master couldn’t pour in the resources necessary to save the world in the current situation, where the whereabouts of the demon supervisor were unknown.
There was naturally no other method to resolve this situation other than to find out where the demon supervisor was hiding and what he was scheming, and then take him into custody. She had been using a small part of her thought capacity for that mission as well, but in the end there was a decisive discrepancy in faculties between her, who was continuously working on maintaining the world, and the demon supervisor who was likely using all his power to hide while neglecting that work.
Now that I recall, the game we had been playing originated from him. Assuming that he had already anticipated the current situation back then, I wonder exactly why he is defying master by abandoning his management domain, and where he is hiding right now and with what intentions.
As she was brooding over the matter, the former human supervisor was bothered about it as if it were an intense headache, which she shouldn’t be feeling normally, just like that of a normal human.
“Anyway, the highest priority right now is to maintain the status quo.”
It was a job that would definitely fail at some point. However, that didn’t mean that it wasn’t possible to delay the failure as far into the future as possible.
One means of doing this was the young human man sent into the world from another by their master who had grieved over the current state of affairs. Thanks to getting him, who had a large amount of resources attached to his soul, to aimlessly wander all over the world, his resources had been scattered around, albeit thinly, over a wide area, which had helped the former human manager maintain the world.
Moreover, she had decided to pick an option which she would have probably never selected under normal circumstances.
“Let’s abandon the maintanance of the demon territory.”
The former beastman supervisor obviously became flustered due to the former human supervisor’s words, which she had deliberately voiced out with a cold voice, but his protest was thwarted by her glare and further cold words.
“The highest priority is to avoid the destruction of the world. Just think of that. Bearing the demon supervisor’s conduct in mind, there’s no need for us to go out of our way to take care of the demon’s continent, is there?”
Even she felt sorry for the demons living in the world. If it had been a situation where they had some leeway with the resources available, she wouldn’t have chosen to openly forsake them. However, currently they didn’t have such leeway, and they couldn’t replenish their resources because of the demon supervisor. Moreover, although she was making full use of her abilities, even going above and beyond her limits, there were absolutely no signs of the situation improving in any way.
Hence the former human supervisor decided to abandon the maintenance of the demon territory, while having the demons understand that it was just bad luck that they were managed by such a supervisor. Due to this decision, the aggregate amount of resources needed for the world’s preservation would decrease, and moreover, it would result in some leeway because she wouldn’t have to assign any of her own power to the demons any longer.
“If they’re removed from our supervision with the supply of resources bein’ cut, the demons’ll easily go extinct, no matter how tough they might be.”
The former beastman supervisor’s opinion was reasonable. At this point, it wouldn’t be a matter of the race’s strength any more. No matter how much more powerful or sturdier than the other races the demons might be, if they fell out of supervision and were cut off from the resources supply, they would definitely perish, whether it be a quick or a slow process.
“I believe that they won’t actually perish, though.” The former human supervisor muttered while harboring something like a strange conviction.
Assuming that the current situation is within the range of the demon supervisor’s forecast, it’s not hard to anticipate that the resource supply and the ongoing management of the demons under his supervision would be stopped. I’m not sure how attached to the demons he is, but he probably isn’t so unprepared that he wouldn’t have any countermeasures at hand, she believed.
It could be expected that the current situation came to be precisely because he was weathering this, waiting for a specific moment while possessing some countermeasures. But, if asked how he planned to get through the current situation, the former human supervisor didn’t have an answer at hand either.
After all she wasn’t able to come up with any method other than to beg for forgiveness while prostrating herself when she found herself in the same situation.
Just how is that annoying demon supervisor planning to overcome this predicament?
She had a bizarrely, deep interest in the answer to this question, but since now wasn’t the time for this, she switched her line of thought, and immediately started to work on stopping the resource supply for the demon territory.
“I see…? Well, I don’t care since they’re not directly related to me anyway.”
The work itself wasn’t anything that difficult or time-consuming. Connecting a path was a fairly difficult task, but her current job was just to destroy existing paths. It should be easy to finish it without any problems at all. It followed the same logic as a road being easy to destroy even if it was hard work to build one.
The former human supervisor, who continued to thoroughly and artlessly sever every last path providing the demon territory with resources she could spot, heard the former beastman supervisor’s mutterings without actually listening to them.
“However, puttin’ aside the stuff he’s done, that guy’s really amazin’. It’s not somethin’ I could ever imitate, y’know? Why’s there so much of a difference between us even though we should be supervisors created by the same master with the same abilities?”
The dragonoid supervisor had been killed through some kind of technique. No one had witnessed the final moments of the elven supervisor, but going by the state of affairs and the fact that they couldn’t track his response anywhere, they believed that he had been killed in a similar way.
No supervisor was made inferior or superior to the others. After all, it would have been pointless to set it up like that. The five supervisors, who had been dispatched to this world, should have possessed the exact same set of abilities, albeit there might have been slight differences in their experiences and thought capacities.
When she had thought about it up to this point, the former human supervisor, who had been working, slowly decelerated her thinking. What started to rear its head in exchange was doubt.
The demon supervisor being able to kill two of his peers is very likely due to him launching a surprise attack or something similar against the two. However, would a being, who possessed the exact same abilities as himself, really get defeated one-sidedly, without any resistance, just by being taken by surprise.
“I’m pretty sure, that guy must have anticipated that stuff would turn out like this a long time ago, and gotten ready in some kinda way. Is it what you call foresight? It’s somethin’ I can’t really imagine, though.”
“W-Wait a moment. Prepared a long time ago…?”
He looked mystified at her, who finally stopped her work and inserted those words that sounded like a complaint, after prattling about something that was inconsequential to him.
“That’s what he did, aight? I mean, that’s not somethin’ you can prepare in a day, is it? Ah, your hands have stopped, y’know? Damn it, it was you who told me repeatedly that I shoulda move my hands before my mouth, wasn’t it?”
Seeing the state of the former human supervisor, the former beastman supervisor continued the work she had been doing while laughing and saying, “Can’t be helped then.”
She grabbed his shoulders in a panic, feeling that it would be wrong to allow him to keep going, while still looking as though she hadn’t completely gathered her thoughts yet.
“What is it? It ain’t anything difficult. Even I can handle this much, okay? It’s just severin’ the paths, you see.”
“That’s…that’s not it! Wait a moment!”
“You tellin’ me to work n’ stuff, but I’m already done, okay?”
He smiled at her, unable to understand her point.
While the two supervisors watched, the complete shutdown of the resources supply to the demon territory finished, and in the next instant, all information about the demon territory, which had been managed by them, blacked out.
“Huh? What happened? D-Did I break too much or somethin’?”
While listening to him, who had begun to investigate the current state in a fluster as he would get severely scolded when Giliel came back, she harbored the vague feeling that this was very likely yet another of the circumstances the demon supervisor had foreseen.
Anyone could have predicted that in the case of a critical drop of resources to maintain the world, the first supply chain to be cut off would be the one to the demon domain, which is clearly opposing master.
“A difference in abilities…game…resource shortage…preparations…” The former human supervisor mumbled that array of words.
What was reflected in her line of sight were the circumstances in the lower world, where some kind of abnormality had apparently taken place. The information about the whole demon territory, which had all its paths severed moments ago, was shown on the images and moreover by the data attached to the images.
“Damn it, just what the fuck happened here?”
“The entire demon territory has been isolated from the world.”
Even when they tried to examine the barrier, which had suddenly manifested, and its contents, the effort ended up being completely futile. The barrier’s interior repelled all interference, and not a single piece of information leaked to the outside.
“I’ve never seen such a tough barrier.”
“That means even cutting off the paths to his territory because of a lack of resources was completely within his plans.”
Unable to do anything about it, the two supervisors could only watch it happening. Contrary to the former beastman supervisor who looked dumbfounded, the former human supervisor roughly tore out her long hair while her expression distorted in rage.
“That guy had…anticipated it up to this point, and prepared long ago…”
“What preparations? That barrier, you mean?”
“Wrong. No, it’s not wrong, but that’s just a part of it. That guy has…”
Having reigned in her anger, her fingers pulled out several bundles of her hair with all her strength. Without even looking at the former beastman supervisor, who reflexively backed away from her due to her behavior, she squeezed out words with a low voice that contained traces of her suppressed trembling.
“He suggested a game to us, and pretended that the chaos resulting from it caused a resource shortage in the world…but in reality, he probably…snatched the resources that would have normally circulated, I think.”
He, who has lied to his master and his coworkers, has stolen resources for a very, very long time, all in preparation for this moment. I’m sure he has hid them away somewhere so that they won’t be found, she assessed. An embezzlement of such a staggering amount of resources that it might very well trigger the destruction of the world. If he has that many resources, it should be easy to continue maintaining the isolated territory for a while.
With her thoughts having reached that point, she couldn’t help but admit her own scandalous foolishness as she had been lured so easily into playing a game to stave off the boredom of a future where she would spend a long time working, and her own naive impression that someone, who would adopt the appalling measure of embezzling the components needed to maintain the world, couldn’t exist among those who had been assigned to the role of supervisor.
“For what reason?”
“There’s no way that I would fully grasp the extent of his plans. Ask that guy if you want to know his objectives!”
Now that she had thought of all that, the situation had already developed to what it currently is. Even if she were to try to consider his reasons, causes, and goals, they wouldn’t be able to do much. She was also fully aware that raising her voice here didn’t serve any purpose, but in the end she couldn’t stop her voice from taking on a fairly snappy tone.
“For now, get in touch with master and Giliel-sama!”
“S-Sure. What about you?”
“I will devote myself to maintaining the world while using the resources we have freed up just now. Things have already developed to a point where we won’t play much of a role anymore. We won’t have any choice but to obey the orders from above.”
Even if they were to pile up shame on top of shame at this point, it wasn’t as if they had anything to lose, but still, once she realized that they had been completely deceived, it was impossible for her to ignore it. Nevertheless, now that the situation had reached this point, she completely understood that it was not something they could handle by themselves.
While persuading herself that she couldn’t do anything now other than what she could definitely handle by herself, the former human supervisor concentrated her consciousness on the maintenance of the world once again, albeit partially against her own will.