424 Verification Of Intentions
Eva, Hikari, Zaine, and Roma all froze for a split second when they saw the other party lying there. However, Eva was the only one whose aura had remained unchanged.
Zaine seemed especially bothered. "Hoh? For such a big guest to come in person, how interesting~"
Roma's eyes flashed. "I can smell it on you. My whole body and soul emanate hatred towards your existence. I despise you like nothing else."
Hikari spoke with a sigh. "I have felt this many times before among my own family and friends to the point that I can tell it with my eyes closed."
Eva nodded. "And my own blood and soul resonate with yours, like two different variations of the exact same mold. Twin sisters seemingly perfectly similar, but still slightly different."
Despite the rambling of the Four Beauties, the woman on the couch with the huge breasts did not seem bothered. She simply giggled in a voice so pleasant it could make a listener moan from pleasure.
"I didn't think you'd be able to tell who I am with just a glance. What's the point of wearing this veil then if I can't surprise you?" She complained plaintively, yet there was no whine in her voice, just lament.
Eva nodded to her sister wives. "Let's take a seat and hear what she has to say."
Despite Zaine's discomfort, Roma's hostility, and Hikari's melancholy, they still obeyed Eva and sat down on the couches around the love seat where the mysterious woman continued to lay lazily.
Eva moved to sit right in front of her and observed the woman before her carefully. Her eyes were a bright blue and Eva was unable to pierce her veil to get a clear glimpse of her nose, lips, or jaw. Nevertheless, from what she could see above, everything indicated that this woman had to be a supreme beauty no less than Eva herself.
Eva took in the sight of her beautiful silver hair that could compete with Roma in terms of luster. She wore a dress similar to Hikari's, only much more revealing, something similar to what the ancient Greek women wore in various depictions.
It was mostly white, with a slight tint of blue near the hem. There was a white circlet around her temples that ended around her forehead, giving her a regal aura.
"So, I heard you wanted a Divine Skill?" The woman asked with a smile in her eyes.
Eva nodded. "I'm indeed looking for a Divine Skill. I don't know what game you're trying to play here, but I want to make it perfectly clear that I'm only interested in a trade and not get anything for free from you."
The woman waved her hands lazily. "Oh pish-posh. If I want to give you something out of the benevolence of my heart, is it wrong? Must there always be an equivalent exchange in all scenarios?"
Eva and her gang simply stared at the woman silently for a long time, neither agreeing nor disagreeing with her. Clearly troubled by their lack of cooperation, she eventually acquiesced.
"Fine, fine. My conditions are simple. I just need you to truthfully answer some questions for me, and the Divine skillbook shall be yours. Are you more satisfied that way?"
"Just some questions?" Eva asked again to be sure.
The woman nodded. "To you, these questions and their truthful answers may seem bland and meaningless, but to me, their value are inestimable. Hence, I believe it should count as a fair trade."
Eva was silent for a short while before requesting: "If you say so, then fine. But first, I'd like to see the skill in question and whether it would even be useful to me."
"Not a problem, take a look." The woman agreed calmly as she leisurely tossed over a skillbook that was glowing in the light of Divinity.
Eva caught it and inspected it quietly.
｢Element Regulation – Passive Skill (True Gods only)
Effect: Control the four basic elements of the world at will.
Note: Max Water, Earth, Fire, and Wind Mastery required.｣
All four ladies sucked in a deep breath. As expected, Divine Skills were truly unreasonable and did not care for balance or fairness. They broke through such boundaries and granted the user power beyond what should reasonably be allowed.
Even Local Lord, whose bloodline Inheritance enabled him to almost perfectly control all four elements, would have to kowtow in front of this skill! With this, Eva would become unbeatable, able to move the elements like a true Goddess.
Of course, it would require mana to control as it was a system skill and not a technique where she could rely on willpower or something else, but that wouldn't be a problem with Eva's high Spirit and Intelligence stats. Not only that, she could always rely on Hikari to refill her mana with White Light Healing.
Still, there were some other limitations to this skill, like elemental presence and conversion.
Elemental presence here meant the quantity and quality of elemental particles and energy in a place. For example, did anybody expect Eva to manipulate fire energy when she was underwater?
She could pull the heat from the water molecules, but that would cause reactions that would not benefit her, not to mention the strain would be far greater and costlier on her mana compared to being in a desert or hot area.
As for the elemental conversion, it was basically what one expected from this skill and was the only solution to the problem mentioned above. With the immense control granted by the Divine skill, she could take genuine water element energy and convert it to the fire element energy at a loss.
The only problem with that method would be the delay due to conversion and the associated mana cost to make the change.
Well, as a system skill, it was only natural that it was reliant on stats, so the higher the Intelligence, the better the speed of conversion and the resultant power.
Similarly, the higher the Spirit, the higher the mana, and the lower the cost for conversion. It was a good thing Eva prioritized these two thanks to her Light element skills.
Eva had realized that she and Draco were following different extremities. Draco's stats were most invested in the physical areas like Strength, Dexterity, Endurance, and Luck, while she had hers in Intelligence, Spirit, Charisma, and Luck.
This Divine skill would further reinforce that. Light Energy was already too powerful in Eva's hands, but with the ability to utilize the four elements at will, she would be equivalent to four mages in one.
Admittedly this wasn't really as good as Subjective Magic which boasted endless versatility and diversity, but it was definitely better than having to spend months learning the theory of magic which not everyone could do.
Eva breathed out lightly and placed the skillbook in between the mysterious woman and herself. After collecting herself for a bit, Eva spoke up: "Go ahead and ask your questions… Aphrodite."
The Goddess of Beauty herself ripped off her veil and displayed the rest of her perfect visage. She did look similar to Eva in a way, but that much was a given as beauty pursued to the extreme would bring one to a similar result.
However, anyone could tell that Eva was far better. Her aura and visage were unmatched in this world, though Aphrodite was a head-turner herself. Alas, the Goddess was just one of the lesser aspects of the Celestial Maiden Inheritance, one part of the whole which was Eva.
Aphrodite smacked her lips with dismay. "Such lackluster reactions… it's hard to compete with you, Riveting Night. Ugh, comparisons are odious."
Seeing that Eva continued being nonplussed, Aphrodite decided to stop playing around. "Well, let's get on with it then. My first question is… exactly what the hell are you? How can you possess the aura of true divinity without the Source Origin and State of Being to match?"
Eva understood this Goddess' - and probably every True God's - confusion around this matter. Well, putting aside the game's rules and mechanics separating mortality from divinity, Eva was basically the equivalent of the old Draco in terms of her predicament.
She was like an actual Goddess, but sealed beneath layers and layers of restrictions that rendered her no better than a mortal, also preventing her mobilizing an ounce of divine power, though she still radiated it.
"I am the Alpha of my world, the Celestial Prime. A foreign Goddess cannot exert full power outside of home." Eva answered simply.
It was a partial truth. Even on earth, it wouldn't be easy to mobilize Divinity because earth was barren of energy to facilitate such things, not to mention that their universe was not one managed by gods, but by science.
Still, Aphrodite nodded as if this answer made the most sense, and in a way, it did.
"My second question is: Why do you have more than two Divine Attributes? Sun, Light, and Beauty… hm, even Lust, Fertility and…Creation? What a line-up!" Aphrodite asked as she had only noticed the other three by being in close proximity to her.
"My aspects are many, but I only focus on one, the Sun. Not the 'Heat' aspect of the sun, but the 'Light' aspect of it." Eva replied calmly.
Aphrodite's eyes flashed as she digested Eva's answer. She felt like she had achieved what she came here for, but decided to be more direct in order to prevent confusion later on.
"My third and final question is... what aspect do you plan to carry into Divinity?"
Eva pondered this for a bit and understood what Aphrodite was trying to ask… no, even why this whole farce had occurred in the first place. Once she realized this, she gazed at the Goddess of Beauty who came off as playful in a new light.
"Like I said before, I only focus on the Light aspect of the Sun. Anything else is just a shadow cast by my light." Eva responded while folding her arms.
Aphrodite remained quiet for a minute or two before eventually sighing. "Poor Sunna. If she had only spent some time to chat with you instead of reacting first, she would have chosen a different path. But split milk cannot be recollected, so…"
Eva's eyes flashed. She understood what Aphrodite was trying to say. In fact, it was kind of obvious from the get-go. Sunna, who had been Eva's master under the Divine Heraldry, was the Goddess of the Sun, specifically of the Sun's heat.
There was a similarity between her and Eva's attributes overall, but the nuances between them actually meant that they would not conflict each other, instead they would have been able to complete and empower each other.
Eva's power would have doubled and so would Sunna's. Instead, the foolish Sun Goddess' actions created unresolvable enmity between two entities that should be as close as twins, all due to misconception and rashness.
However, the gauntlet had been thrown and there was no taking it back, which was what Aphrodite lamented. This was something that should never have happened, but was going to happen now anyway, so there was no use crying over it too much.
"Well, I hope you enjoyed our little trade, because I did. I got to learn something reassuring, yet disheartening, all for just a measly basic Divine skill… truly a good deal." Aphrodite exclaimed happily.
Eva's lips twitched. As Aphrodite said, comparisons are odious. Divine Skills were the pinnacle reward to a person like her, but this skill appeared to be entry-level to actual True Gods.
"I'm glad we are both happy with it. If you don't mind, we'll take our leave. Feel free to enjoy the rest of your stay here." Eva said cordially, getting up to go.
Aphrodite pouted. "Hey there, I just made it obvious that these types of skillbooks are nothing to me. Don't you want to get more?"
Eva turned to gaze at the Goddess of Beauty and answered decidedly: "No. I don't want any strings attached to your generosity. Even if I had something valuable to trade, I'm content with just one Divine Skill until I can increase my foundation."
"If you try to build an estate of fortresses on a cliff hanging over a large canyon, you will just doom yourself to a graveless death. I'd much prefer to construct the fortresses one by one, while also reinforcing the land it's built on slowly, in order to handle the weight."
With that, Eva left the VIP room with Hikari, Zaine, and Roma in tow, with only the fading form of a thoughtful Aphrodite shimmering out of existence.