Maiden Game Hard Mode – Chapter 77

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Chapter 77 – Ephemeral Memories

The universe repeats the Big Bang of expansion and the Big Crunch of contraction.

The fact that the universe caused the Big Bang is an event that is already certain, although not directly witnessed by mankind.

However, what will happen at the end of the Big Bang has not been certain for some time.

Would the universe continue to expand, would the force of attraction between the expansion and the gravity of objects be balanced, or would the force of attraction prevail and the universe start to contract?

Before the invention of the magic element engine, humankind considered the Big Freeze theory, in which the universe continues to expand.

The Big Freeze Theory, in which the universe continues to expand, claims that the universe will continue to expand because the power of the dark energy that expands the universe will prevail.

Humans at that time believed that the universe would be stretched by expansion, gradually diminished in density, hence eventually no new stars would be born, and old stars would reach the end of their lives and die out.

It was not until 2487 A.D., when mankind invented the magic element engine and was able to use dark energy as active energy, that they became convinced that the Big Freeze theory was wrong.

Dark energy is a finite resource that humans can use to power interstellar ships, suppressors and so on.

It is impossible for modern humans to fully consume the vast amount of dark energy that exists in the universe, but that is a different story after continuing to develop civilization in billions to hundreds of billions of years and expanding to the entire universe.

The energy that was expanding the universe will be depleted by human hands, and the universe will eventually turn to contraction.

But even with the disastrous future in sight, its use remains unrestricted.

Because if the universe expands and fades away, and the only available energy resource around it is dark energy, there are only two options: to do nothing and perish, or to use the energy to prolong life.

Besides, living organisms adapt to their environment.

The various organisms known to humanity have evolved in a wide variety to survive in a placed environment.

Even if humanity does not use dark energy, the numerous cosmic life forms that will arise in the universe will be able to use dark energy and will surely do so.

In order to force the cosmic life forms not to use dark energy, to which humanity’s rules do not apply, it is necessary to take physical measures with the energy.

These factors led humankind to revise its prevailing theory of the end of the universe from the Big Freeze theory, in which the universe continues to expand and lead to its destruction, to the Big Crunch theory, which leads to its contraction.

As dark energy diminishes, the universe changes from expansion to contraction, eventually causing the Big Crunch. This is because the force of the contraction, or dark matter, that pulls the universe into a state of contraction is greater than the dark energy that has been depleted through consumption.

If that happens, the universe will change from expansion to deceleration, and will eventually contract, as if the universe were rewinding back from the time when it was expanding.

Eventually, the entire universe will be drawn into a central black hole, and the entire universe will become one singularity, from which the next Big Bang will occur, and a new universe will be born. The phenomenon is known as the Big Bounce.

The universe repeats the Big Bang of expansion and the Big Crunch of contractions. This became the established theory for mankind.

After that, a man with a more elaborate way of thinking on the premise of the theory of contraction appeared in human society after a short time.

“Assuming that the universe repeats the Big Bounce, if this present universe isn’t the first, I wonder if all the life forms of the previous universe simply perished. Though I think it’s highly likely that they escaped into the multiverse or higher dimensional space.”

The name of the man who recalled the life form before the pre-universe is Joseph Kerman.

If there were several pre-universe events, it is very unlikely that they would have survived the Big Crunch as a species through the vastness of space and hundreds of billions of years.

In other words, Kerman believed that the existence of the pre-universe may have survived the Big Crunch.

And if there are pre-universe entities, they would want energy for their activities.

As for the energy required for living organisms, essential energy such as survival and gene inheritance has the highest priority, followed by non-essential surplus energy. Even if it is for entertainment, surplus energy is never wasted because it creates the possibility of evolution.

Assuming that there are transcendental beings that have overcome the Big Crunch, Kerman believed that they found some value in the present universe based on some of the out-of-place artifacts (OOPArt) that existed in the hands of humankind.

Kerman then attempted to communicate with them in various ways to convey his willingness to become their collaborator.

The act, which probably led many of his predecessors to suffer reasonable defeats against miniscule odds, came to fruition at Kerman’s timing.

Kerman, who succeeded in making contact with a higher-dimensional life form called a spirit, had the opportunity to come into contact with events that had been replaced by a form he could understand.

It was an event that happened only a short time ago for the Spirit God who contracted with Kerman.

The end had come for the universe.

The red light of the red shift due to expansion turned to the blue light of the blue shift due to contraction.

Numerous galaxies, drawn to the center of the universe, collide with each other, and the black holes that were the core of each galaxy merge with each other.

Huge gravitational waves were emitted around the sector where black holes fused together, shattering numerous planets and planetary-scale megastructures into pieces.

The initially moderate rate of contraction had already exceeded the speed of light as a result of the continued attraction and acceleration.

The numerous civilizations desperately fleeing from the central point of the universe were dragged into the singularity at the end of futile resistance commensurate with their respective technological capabilities, without being able to cross the barrier to a dimension high enough to be free of interference from this universe.

“…… didn’t work, did it?”

It was so simple, but… Zirke, after receiving the last of the miasma offered by the species she had led, looked over at the fading civilization with a tearful smile on her face.

In defense of the foolish civilization, the larger the scale of the Big Bounce, the lower the purity of the Big Bounce, and the lower the likelihood of life forms being able to cross the dimensional barrier. What was once easy for Zirke and her kin was becoming more difficult with each iteration.

It would be like the universe being reproduced in a degraded form.

At the core, however, Zirke and her kin must not help.

Even if they increase the number of mere guardians and share the energy that can be obtained, it will be a fetter for Zirke and her kin. They share a common understanding that this is impossible.

And, the civilization that Zirke watched over had reached the point where it is almost ready to cross the dimensional barrier.

A life form with outstanding talents emerged from among the race, and one of the many disciples raised by that individual reached the edge of the boundary and appeared to Zirke and the others beyond it.

If the entire race had cooperated, they would have reached a dimensional height where they could have avoided extinction.

Regrettably, Zirke put herself into the civilization of the diminutive lower dimensional life form called dwarves and wasted too much energy as a result.

As a result of consuming their own power to produce energy to protect them that spread throughout the universe, they lost the fight for energy with Daemons on this side.

The civilization they had risked so much to protect was eventually torn apart without being able to cross the dimensional barrier.

The crystal sword in Zirke’s hand, which had lost everything, was shattered, and the color of her hair, which had once been red, was now inverted and dyed a pale blue, as if it had changed from red-shifted to blue-shifted. There is no way for Zirke to get it back now.

“The only harvest was being able to salvage Mariel’s magical powers.”

Next to Zirke, whose presence had faded with the loss of her powers, a woman with equally faded blonde hair disheveled and eyes closed and unopened whispered softly.

Zirke, who turned a tearful smile on the woman standing next to her, apologized to her, who was close to ending up as a spirit as she was.

“I’m so sorry I pushed you too hard. Even Ebel is going to become a Daemon.”

The pale blonde woman turned her closed-eyed face in the direction of Zirke’s voice and shook her head with a gentle smile.

“No. Even if Zirke started it all, I got myself involved, so it can’t be helped. I also retrieved Theia.”

Even while Zirke apologized, the Spirits and Daemons swirled around the singularity, stirring the end universe and swallowing a lot of miasma.

Among them, a huge purple spiral extended its vortex in all directions, and forcibly sucked in miasma and Daemons that it touched.

While watching the situation, Zirke muttered vacantly.

“I don’t like the doctrine of efficiency.”

Even without giving a proper name, Ebel guessed who she was referring to from the flow of magical elements around her and added, as if to appease her.

“I hear Great Inanna wants to produce a black spirit.”

“Black, you mean to create a spirit that can generate magical elements?”

“It seems to be. It’s on the scale of a Spirit God as well.”

Zirke was stunned by Ebel’s affirmation.

As spirits, they each possess attributes as their essence.

It was represented by color, red for Zirke and gold for Ebel.

There is no superiority or inferiority in the attributes themselves, their nature are simply different, if one were to be more specific, it is said that purple, which is rampant in the singularity, has two attributes and is difficult to manifest.

In addition, black, which is an attribute of dark matter and dark energy, is a theoretical property, and Zirke has never actually seen it.

It is said that if black is created, it will be possible to create an infinitely circular box garden on the scale of a single universe. In other words, one stable universe can be created. The creature will surpass the creator.

Zirke was stunned by the purple Spirit God who strived toward such an unrealistic dream.

“What? You were a dreamer, not one for efficiency.”

Beyond Zirke’s gaze, toward the purple vortex that was unilaterally overrunning the surroundings, a slightly blue fog of white silver turned into a white dragon with many necks and approached.

“From now on, I shall have to call you Great Marlene, the Daemon God.”

“I’m sorry.”

Zirke apologizes, and Ebel shakes his head.

Far beyond their consciousness, numerous necks stretched into separate purple vortices, biting, and beginning to drag all their strengths at the singularity of the universe.

The universe squeaks and its death throes echoes.

“It looks like the interconversion has been balanced. Then, let’s meet in the next universe. Though it will be a universe with more expansion, less purity, and less potential.”

As she uttered her last words, Ebel’s entire body shattered as if to scatter what little gold sparkle remained.

The scattered golden radiance turns white and then gathers again to form the shape of a dagger. Around the dagger, a white woman in the form of Ebel, who had been a spirit until a moment ago, appeared vaguely in the air.

Ebel, who had been reborn, slowly opened her once-closed eyelid and opened his bright red eyes, grabbed the dagger, and her whole body blurred like a mist.

The misty Ebel swelled rapidly, eventually turned into a water dragon, and swam towards the singularity of the universe.

The water dragon, which is moving through the sector, took in the surrounding miasma, tore through the surrounding spirits, devoured them, and threw itself into the frenzied sector.

After witnessing the scene, Zirke closed her eyes and muttered to herself.

“Why did you interrupt Mariel? If it weren’t for that, we would have made it. We wouldn’t have perished. That’s why I hate low-dimensional life forms.”

In Zirke’s mind, the figure of a girl who crossed the boundary passed and disappeared. Immediately after, the crystal sword that Zirke was holding shattered.

The hilt of the sword in Zirke’s grasp grew, turned into a tin cane, and the crushed crystal clung to the tip of the cane.

Gripping the tin staff, Zirke was transformed into a faded-haired woman with reddish-purple eyes, wearing a white habit-like garment and a gray cloak and forehead ornament.

The reborn Daemon Emperor Zirke melted like fog, eventually becoming a serpentine dragon covered in scales and thorns, and began to swim quietly toward the singularity.

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2 thoughts on “Maiden Game Hard Mode – Chapter 77

  1. How should I put this… I guess it’s consistent that even the fairies and daemons have such a sci fi like explanation.

    Thanks for the chapter.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for chap
    …. Need to wrap my head around this one

    Now it’s even more confusing to which/what timeline this chap belongs to? Is it one before hart’s or is it hart’s one since there are dwarves?


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