And then, in the next day, at the live venue…
Just as announced, there’s a specially set up stage that floats on the sea. The audience had the extravagance of enjoying it all at the specially prepared seats on the sandy beach and the sightseeing boats.
So this is also all a boon of the ethereal civilization huh.
Receiving the shocking guests, the light hero and the fire hero, the venue is super filled with people. It is so successful that they are even taking advantage that it is a sea stage by selling ship seats.
“W-W-What should we do, Mirack-chan! I am beginning to get n-n-n-nervous!!” (Karen)
“C-C-Calm down, Karen! Heroes should show d-d-d-dignity!” (Mirack)
The two, who are beginners at this kind of things, were getting nervous as crazy with the thousands of eyes that will be directed at them soon.
On the other hand, the idol that is the lead in today’s performance, Celes-tan -water hero, Celestis- was already on the stage singing and dancing.
This side felt like she was already used to this and her moves were sharp.
After finishing one song, she received the cheers of the fans while returning to the backstage where we are.
“The start is going swimmingly! As I thought, the first song should always be ‘wash everything away with water’!” (Celestis)
That’s a song name, apparently.
“Thanks for your hard work.”
“Ooh, Germana……wait, eh? It is not Germana?” (Celestis)
The one who said that was me.
Celestis moves her head to both sides as if looking for someone.
“Assistant-chan, do you know where my Germana is? I think you met him yesterday…you know, his face is the only thing that is pointlessly good-looking, and that on the contrary makes him shady-looking…” (Celestis)
“If you are talking about your Manager-san, it seems like he has some business to attend to and will be arriving late.” (Haine)
Her manager, in other words, the Water God Coacervate who is taking the form of a human and mixing in with human society.
That guy is currently cautious of a surprise attack I might make and should be currently on standby above the Hydra Serpent.
“I see. That guy does those kind of things every now and then you know. Well, it is his job so it can’t be helped though.” (Celestis)
“Have you known him for long?” (Haine)
Celestis was in the middle of changing her costumes for the next song. I think she is taking off her clothes at this moment.
The reason why I said ‘think’ is because I am not watching. Karen-san is covering my eyes tightly to the point that it might crush my face after all.
“No, I haven’t. In the time my idol activities began, the Church introduced him to me. Well, he is supposed to be my overseer, but he is unexpectedly reliable. He has pretty good connections at the top, and gets me a variety of jobs after all. The sea stage this time was also his idea, you know?” (Celestis)
Coacervate chose this as the stage for the battle with the Great Sea Dragon after all.
“How did you begin thinking about doing this idol job? Since when did you think about being an idol while working as a hero?” (Haine)
“Hm? Well, that’s a question I am asked a lot in interviews. Even if I look like this, my starting point was as a person who desired to be a hero, you know. Entering the Water Church, training my divine power, and did my best with the mindset of ‘if I am going to do it, I will aim for the top’.” (Celestis)
But, one day, Celestis thought something: ‘Why should I suffer for the sake of that?’.
The training in the Church was strict, and if it’s for the sake of aiming at the top that’s a hero, more the case. The superiors that were instructing her said the training being painful was a given and that it is actually better if it is painful.
The Celestis in those days was unable to accept it.
Being a hero was a long dream of hers. Shouldn’t s dream be something that is fun and heart racing?
She thought that ‘if I am seriously chasing for that dream, shouldn’t I be having fun with all the painful training and dangerous combat?’.
And yet, she saw her training to become a hero as painful and difficult.
Is that because she herself didn’t have enough guts? Or is it because the hero she is aiming for isn’t the same as the one that the Church denotes? Is that why it is painful?
This sense of discomfort became doubt, and this doubt was steadily chipping away her motivation.
“But you see, one day, I thought this.” (Celestis)
“‘There’s no need to mind the eyes of others. It is fine to just become the hero that I envisioned’. Since the time I decided this, the hero training made a complete turn. Because I wanted to do flashy things, I practiced dancing. After defeating monsters, I even trained a finishing pose in order to show the people I saved and my comrades. My superiors were obviously angry at this, but I didn’t stop. Because everything was fun.” (Celestis)
And then, for some mysterious reason, she gained more strength to continue her usual hero training, showed visible signs of growing stronger, and her ability became top-class within the Water Church.
“Then, the previous hero retired, and a selection was made in order to choose the next one, but…it was a clean sweep. The other hero candidates were nothing to sing about. The hero selection that normally takes a few days, or even months, was over in an instant.” (Celestis)
And so, the hero Celestis was born.
“After that, the fighting continued. I didn’t want to become a straight-laced hero that was pushed around by the Church; I wanted to become a hero that would make everyone smile. That’s why I did a lot of things that had no precedents, and I troubled my surroundings too. And then, the goal I arrived at was an idol…… Assistant-chan.” (Celestis)
“I understand what you guys say. I understand that I am a strange hero. But you see, for me, this is the best and most fitting kind of hero. As a hero, it is a given to save people, but I don’t want to hold myself back for the sake of that. If I am going to do it, I have to make the people and myself happy, or it would be a lie.” (Celestis)
“That’s why, I don’t plan to stop being a hero or an idol. I will walk my own path. I have no intentions of handing it over.” (Celestis)
“I understa—” (Haine)
Celestis and I get surprised by the sudden third party that jumped into our conversation.
That was Karen-san.
Karen-san has been covering my eyes the whole time so that I don’t peek at Celestis changing, that’s why, it is obvious that the conversation would reach her ears as well.
“I also get it! I became a hero because I wanted to protect the people that were in trouble, but the Light Church only thinks about their own authority all the time… When I talk to those people, I lose confidence in whether what I am doing is correct! But it is okay, right?! It is okay to just do what you want to do, right?!” (Karen)
Celestis had both of her hands held by Karen-san and was flustered.
“I…understand now. Even if our directions are different, if we all see through it as the hero we want to be, the world will turn for the better! Celestis-san! Let’s do our best together!!” (Karen)
“T-Thanks…but, uhm…” (Celestis)
That’s right. Do you still remember?
Karen-san was covering my eyes in order to not show Celestis who was currently in the middle of changing for the next song.
And that Karen-san was currently holding Celestis’ hands with both of her hands.
And so…there’s nothing covering my eyes anymore.
In the opened field of vision, what was reflected in my eyes was the very figure of Celestis in her underwear.
Maybe because she sings and dances, the design was unexpectedly simple. And the color of that underwear was…
“Sky blue!” (Haine)
If the fans knew of this, I would definitely be killed, so I have to keep silent about this.
- 51: Muddy Water
“Everyone~~, sorry for the wait~~!! The next song will be ‘Water on a heated stone’!!” (Celestis)
As expected of an idol. Even after being peeked changing, she still manages to hide it with steel-like mentality.
And like this, the live had a little accident, but continued favourably, and the audience was incredibly satisfied.
Karen-san and Mirack appeared in the interval of the songs and properly did their guest talk.
And so, I who had shamed the water hero Celestis with my eyes had received the cobra twist punishment of Mirack at the backstage.
Cobra twist is a grappling technique that’s passed down in the Ignis Militant corps. They are an organization that’s supposed to fight with monsters, and yet, why are they learning grappling moves aimed for humans? Anyways, my back and sides hurt. Also, her boobs are hitting me.
The only moments I am released from this are when Mirack herself has to enter the stage.
The live had entered its final stage, and Karen-san and Mirack were called for the closure, so I was released after a good while.
While stretching my pained body, I watch over the three on the stage from faraway.
“Now then! The guests, Karen-chan and Mirack-chan! Please tell us your impressions of today!” (Celestis)
“Eh! U-Uhm…it was splendid! Please call me again!” (Karen)
“Thanks! Then, we will be having you challenge singing and dancing next time!!” (Celestis)
“Like hell we will!” (Mirack)
The audience gets heated up.
The live can be said to be a success, at the very least, until this point, that is.
“What’s left is the last event, right?”
At some point in time, a shadow was at my back.
A thin man whose attitude is so good that it actually makes him suspicious. The form of the Water God Coacervate mimicking a human.
“So you returned.” (Haine)
“Yeah, I thought it was time to. That thing is most likely close to the stage already?” (Coacervate)
“Now that we have come this far, I thought it would be best to stay at your side now, you see. You remember my request, right?” (Coacervate)
“I know. I won’t be getting in the way.” (Haine)
With this many people as hostages, I have no choice but to comply.
“…Is it okay to ask one thing?” (Haine)
“Oya, is it something that I can answer?” (Coacervate)
“I spoke with the water hero, Celestis, a while ago. What she is doing looks questionable at first glance, but I think she is a good girl that has a good head on her shoulders. She does her best in her role as a hero, moreover, she is trying to do it while having fun.” (Haine)
“Oya oya, did you become a Celes-tan fan too?” (Coacervate)
“It is not only Celestis. Karen-san and Mirack have their own image of a hero and are running towards that objective. This title called hero that is making them do their best, in a sense, might be something splendid.” (Haine)
At one point, I thought that heroes may be worthless.
It was in the time the Fire God Nova told me about the reality of this world.
In order to get back the faith that was growing thin, they created monsters themselves, had them attack people, and make the heroes save them. By doing this, the people will recover their reverence towards the hero, the Church that the hero is related to, and the God that is worshipped by the Church.
I thought that maybe heroes are just tools utilized to dance with that logic.
‘Aren’t heroes only pitiful humans that are dancing on the palm of the Gods?’, I couldn’t help but think this way.
But the earnest figure of these girls cleared away those thoughts.
“It doesn’t matter if it is on the palms of the Gods or whatever, those girls are doing their best living in the environment they are in. I think that figure of theirs is beautiful.” (Haine)
That’s what I wanted to say.
When I finished, a ‘kusukusukusu’ laugh came from my side as a response.
“Kukuku, seriously, you really intend to view humans as sacred no matter what. Well, I love humans too, you know? They are amusing after all.” (Coacervate)
“Yeah, that’s right. Just as you say, humans are earnest. Happiness, satisfaction; desiring those things, humans desperately struggle. That figure of theirs is truly…how to say it…fun? Amusing? Humorous? Pitiful? Pathetic?” (Coacervate)
“You bastard…” (Haine)
“It is the same for heroes as well, you know? They were simply catalysts in order to gather Prayer Energy from the humans, but my enjoyment ended up getting mixed in it too, you see? It isn’t only with Celestis; there were many water heroes before her, but they all worked earnestly without knowing that I was pulling the strings from the shadows, zealously fought, and won.” (Coacervate)
In the past, there must have been times where it was a completely fixed-game from him just like now.
A victory that was planned since the beginning was being given to them without them knowing.
“How laughable was that smile of theirs! Even though it was all part of my plan! Even though I had them win! Without knowing that, they misunderstand that it was because of their own power that they obtained victory. That proud figure of theirs as they bask in false glory, it is truly laughable! No matter how many times I do it, it just doesn’t get old. It is truly the best amusement!!” (Coacervate)
That’s the reason why this guy continues staying in the surface world.
For him, humans are not on the level of slaves, they are lower than that -they are toys.
He not only smears mud on the misfortune of people, he even does it on their happiness, taints it, and gloats himself in self-satisfaction.
Utilizing the ethereal movement in order to have the other Gods involved, created threats called monsters, and was making fun of the humans that were fighting them.
That’s all I wanted to hear from him.
I was able to reconfirm it.
As I thought, this guy is a piece of shit that plays around with humans.
“…Now then, let’s begin my enjoyment of today as well.” (Coacervate)
The venue began to get noisy.
At the sea surface faraway, someone had noticed that something was coming out from it. The unrest was spreading to all the spectator seats in the blink of an eye.
“Today’s event is even more extravagant than usual. After all, the sacrifice of two comrades will serve as the topping. I wonder if Celestis will cry in sadness? I wonder if she will be able to enjoy the taste of victory? That would be so funny and make it even better, don’t you think?” (Coacervate)
The unrest of the venue was beginning to change into chaos.
The identity of what was coming out of the sea…had been made clear after all.
Karen-san, Mirack, and Celestis who were at the stage had noticed this abnormal event, and not only that, they noticed the identity of this abnormality as well.
“Everyone! Everyone please calm down! Please don’t leave from your seats!” (Celestis)
“Mirack-chan, could that be…!” (Karen)
“Yeah, I didn’t expect a monster would come out in this timing!” (Mirack)
The appearance of a monster.
That truth had been confirmed and the venue falls into panic. But that only lasted for a second.
“Everyone, we are going for an encore!!” (Celestis)
The voice of Celestis reverberated through the whole venue and calmed down the fear and chaos of the people.
“An encore song has never been heard of before. Water hero, Celes-tan, monster destruction performance! Everyone, keep your eyes peeled from your seats, okay?!” (Celestis)
The words of Celestis that were casual yet strong covered the fear of the venue and turned it into heat that was totally opposite of before.
The people knew that, just as they thought, Celestis is indeed a hero.
No matter the danger, as long she is there, there’s no need to tremble. Because this is the city that the water hero protects, Hydra Ville.
Moreover, today there’s 2 who hold the same duty as her.
“Celestis-san! We will also help you out!” (Karen)
“Even if it’s not in our place of jurisdiction, having a monster right in front of us and not doing anything would be a disgrace of my name as a hero! I will be helping want it or not!” (Mirack)
“Fine. But this is my territory. I will be the center, and you girls will be the back dancers, understand?!” (Celestis)
“As long as the center doesn’t disappoint though. I will be witnessing with these eyes of mine whether or not your skills have dulled with all that singing and dancing of yours!” (Mirack)
The sea surface undulated and finally the Great Sea Dragon appears.
Its large body that can hold 8 heads was also breathtaking.
“Uhioooo! There’s so many!!” (Mirack)
“No, that’s not it! Look at it carefully! Those sea monsters are all connected to one body. All of those are one. It is a monster with multiple heads!!” (Karen)
Light, fire, water; the three heroes jump from the stage and head towards the enemy.
Until now, it has gone exactly as the scenario of Coacervate.
“Well then, Haine-san, please watch over them from here, okay? Just like you promised.” (Coacervate)
“Yeah, I won’t move. I won’t, that is.” (Haine)
It was at that moment…
At the sea, one other big black shadow appeared.