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173 The Gods have Extreme Tastes

 Although the divine attribute would resist and grant immunity against the Rule of Skill, skills could still inflict damage if the target's defenses could be penetrated, and that was why the Players were not running away yet.

Indeed, as long as the revival mechanism was not stagnating, such a situation was merely an increase in difficulty for the Players... The feeling there would be like switching games from World of Warcraft to Monster Hunter back on Earth, with the Players cursing bad strategies on the forums at worst.

Being a social animal, many would indeed have such experiences: it was clearly the same boring event, but when a whole bunch of others were doing the same, it would somehow become interesting even if the content did not change at all.

This aspect wouldn't change even in an isekai.

It was true that the enemy was peerlessly powerful. Though a brush or a rub wouldn't lead to insta-kills, the Players would basically be left with bare minimum HP, whereas they would only deal some insignificant levels of damage despite piercing the monster's defenses.

But once they had assured that they had sufficient EXP and that their revival mechanism worked as intended, the Players were acting as if they were taking part in some bizarre festival. Not only were they showing no fear or inclination to withdraw, they were focusing body and spirit under the command of several elite Players as they did battle against the Marsh Drake, amidst an increasingly passionate atmosphere.

Xi Wei saw it all in his divine kingdom.

While he was satisfied with the Players' fighting spirit, he couldn't help feeling that something was unusual with that Marsh Drake.

Naturally, he wasn't worried about the Marsh Drake suddenly going Super Saiyan Dragon or something to instakill every Player... rules applied even in an otherworld. As long as it wasn't a god who could bend the rules, even Legendary champions would have a hard time creating objects out of thin air, let alone having three-stages of morphing.

The truth was that the Marsh Drake was exceedingly powerful for the Players, but that meant nothing.

If the Marsh Drake had six times the HP, even lasting three days and nights against the Players and pull them down by up to eight levels, they just might give up since they couldn't bear that cost on EXP. Now, however, with the Marsh Drake's HP already dropping down to less than half of what it was, the Players naturally were even more fired up.

What really left Xi Wei baffled was its divine attribute.

"It's been a while but the Players' skills aren't working-even the special buff skills are all basically resisted..." Xi Wei muttered, rubbing his own ball form with his own tentacle. "This shouldn't happen at all if it's just a normal divine creature..."

The divine attribute wasn't amongst the three vital essences (Divine Grace, Divine Fury, and Divine Order) of the gods. In fact, mortal creatures would occasionally gain certain levels of divinity should they share a relationship with certain gods.

The most common cases were believers of a deity whom they chose as their stewards, magical beasts that a deity saw as their pet, just like how popes or saintesses would obtain a certain level of divinity.

Having divinity, aside from having the passive 'divine special-attack' to deal tons of damage, one could also gain immunity against Chaos and Void, surviving for a certain period even if they were caught in Chaotic Space or the Void in the gap between different planes. Moreover, divinity protects wielders from certain rules that would make things inconvenient.

Naturally, the Rule of Skill that Xi Wei himself had created would be resisted by divinity too.

However, the question was that rules remain the essence of worlds. Though the gods could keep themselves completely immune from minor rules, creatures with divinity shouldn't be completely invulnerable!

And yet, the Marsh Drake was completely invulnerable! Moreover, it was so weak that it might lose to the Barren Giant in a one-on-one fight. In fact, if not for the jumbled and corrupted divine power that shrouds its body and it didn't actually have any divine energy, Xi Wei would have assumed that it was some god who had gained the power to escape the World Barrier, and descend upon the mortal realm to throw its weight around...

"That divine power is not pure at all... could it be that its predatory relationship with the swamp fishmen led to the swamp fishmen worshipping it, hence creating something like an artificial deity?"

Given the special nature of the God of Games' birth, Xi Wei imagined that the Marsh Drake was a god 'given birth' just like the former God of Games.

However, he soon refuted that hunch.

Because no god could be born in the mortal realm.

No matter how many individuals would worship a mortal creature it would only ever be an idol and not a god, because the mortal realm... or more precisely, any planes aside from the realm did not have the condition to develop 'divinity'!

And in this world, divinity-the three-in-one element of Divine Fury, Divine Grace, and Divine Order was the only aspect that absorbs divine energy and converts it into divine power! (Even the divine power that Xi Wei used Rotten Bones to store wasn't divine energy)!

"From the strength of that divine attribute, the Marsh Drake is neither a chosen one nor a saint, let alone divine kin..."

A being that stays completely invulnerable from the negative side of Rule of Skill, its divine attribute standing head and shoulders above those mentioned existences...

Aside from being an actual god that had descended upon the mortal realm, Xi Wei could only think of a single possibility.

It's a creature with divine attribute because it was born between a god who projected themselves upon the mortal realm with a mortal creature. In other words, a demigod!

That would be wrong, however-judging from how the Marsh Drake lived, abomination might be more appropriate...

"So, it's not a god's reptile pet, but the child of some dumb*ss god who banged a reptile?" In his divine kingdom, Xi Wei could not help putting on his colored glasses[1] as he studied the battered Marsh Drake anew, clicking his tongue in wonder. "What god could have such extreme tastes?"

However, considering that most gods weren't humanoids, and that there were some evil gods with outlandish appearance aside from beast form gods like Aslan, the Marsh Drake was quite beautiful in comparison... maybe?

Who knows? Maybe after some time, Xi Wei's believers would stumble upon some little lions that embodied the Justice divine attribute in the mortal realm...

But even as Xi Wei sinisterly guessed away about Aslan's tastes, he suddenly sensed another god approaching his divine kingdom.

After careful sensing of the other's divine attribute, Xi Wei realized that it actually was Aslan the Great Lion, and suddenly felt uncomfortable with the awkwardness of being caught when bad-mouthing someone.

That said, he shouldn't be locking Aslan out, and in the end had to open a gap to let the Great Lion into his divine kingdom.

Even as he watched Aslan's solemn and majestic lion face, Xi Wei promptly began to consider if he should whirl three-hundred-and-sixty degrees to apologize.

However, Aslan spoke before he could.

"Something terrible has happened!"

[1] Putting on 'colored glasses' () means to hold a prejudiced viewpoint.