- 246: After-explanation
With the explanation that Yorishiro gave to me in her visit to my hospital room, I -Kuromiya Haine- learned about the many things that happened while I was lying unconscious due to my injuries.
It was today that I regained consciousness.
When I asked, I was told that it has already been four days since that incident happened, and that surprised me quite a lot. The other thing that surprised me were the details of the previous light hero Ates’ capture and escape.
I am currently being told this by Yorishiro, but…the more I hear, the more troublesome it became.
There’s a mountain of things I want to ask and hear about, but the first thing I want to ask about is…
“What is a God Hero?” (Haine)
It was a concept that was completely outside my knowledge.
I am the incarnation of one of the six Gods of Creation, the Dark God Entropy, and Yorishiro is the incarnation of the Light Goddess Inflation.
We are the very ones that created this world, and we should know all about this world, and yet, I don’t know about this —this thing called God Hero.
What is that?
“That is the trump card I thought of in order to go against the Demon Lords.” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro said straightforwardly.
As always, I can’t read this person.
“The monsters that the four Base Elements created have evolved to self-awareness, and the end of it are the Demon Lords that have cut off from the control of the Gods. Even if Haine-san and I were to use all our power to subjugate them, it would most likely bring about heavy damage to the human civilization.” (Yorishiro)
The scariest part of the Demon Lords is that they possess human levels of intelligence and move with a strategy in mind.
The Water, Earth, and Wind Demon Lords have their playful sides to them, but the one that seems to be their leader, the Fire Demon Lord Michael, felt completely different.
He saw the situation with a cool-head, and will achieve his objective by utilizing any means possible —for the sake of eradicating humanity.
“No matter how much of an ultimate power we hold, Haine-san is an individual. Even if we were to add me, it would only be two. The four Demon Lords can utilize their advantage in numbers, and if they were to move in a strategic manner, the battle between monsters and humans will be thrown into a muddy situation.” (Yorishiro)
“Even if we were to win that muddy battle, the human civilization will fall, and there’s the chance that they will receive permanent damage they won’t be able to recover from.” (Haine)
“And most of all, the peril of humanity must be resolved by the humans themselves. Therefore, I decided on trusting the heroes. In other words, my cute friend Karen-san.” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro places her hand on her chest.
“I believe in Karen-san and have entrusted a part of me to Karen-san.” (Yorishiro)
“And that’s…a portion of your God power?” (Haine)
“That’s right. The hero and the God become one.” (Yorishiro)
And thus, God Hero huh.
“I have given Karen-san the God ability of ‘growing stronger by receiving the prayers of humans’.” (Yorishiro)
“Oi, that’s…!!” (Haine)
Isn’t that the root of all evil?
Aside from me who was sealed for 1,600 years since the creation of the world, and Inflation who lived as the summit of the Gods in that time; the other Gods -the four Base Element Gods- drowned in the power of prayers and began to glorify themselves.
But because the four Base Elements had indulged so much in the prayer of humans, they in time grew unable to live without them, and they began to lose their power as the era developed and the prayers grew less.
For Gods, the prayers of humans are the very definition of a drug.
“You made Karen-san shoulder such a dangerous thing?!” (Haine)
“Due to the many battles that Karen-san has gone through, she has obtained a big reputation unheard of before. If she could change those emotions from the people, she can become a hero that could even surpass Demon Lords. Also…” (Yorishiro)
“Leaving aside me who is one of the two poles, the other four Base Elements have weakened quite a lot due to the drying up of those prayers. Even if we were to distribute that power, the heroes wouldn’t be able to defeat the Demon Lords.” (Yorishiro)
Could it be that she was not only going to do this with Karen-san but all the other heroes as well?
“Of course, I won’t let the heroes shoulder the burden themselves. The heart of humans that have good and evil in them, if there were to be a storm of several millions of emotions added to it, that would only serve to torment those girls. But by passing it through us Gods as a filter, we can decrease the burden to its bare minimum.” (Yorishiro)
The prayer energy that had led the four Base Element Gods into peril. By having only the God receive that demerit, the heroes will receive only the merits of it.
“But if you do something like that, you will also end up like the other Gods! You managed to not put your hands on the prayer energy to maintain your power, and yet…!” (Haine)
“I am a human, but as expected, I am still a God. What God would I be if I didn’t move for the sake of humans?” (Yorishiro)
Is what Yorishiro said as she smiled with dazzling resolve.
She is trying to have the humans overcome their own peril, and, as a God, she is providing them the method to achieve it, and will also join them in the fight as a fellow human.
“Because of this battle, I had to move the plan faster than expected, but the result was decent. The power that Karen-san displayed as a God Hero was something that had plenty enough power to confront the Demon Lords.” (Yorishiro)
“But the very person, Ates, that went against that crazy strong power…” (Haine)
And so, we go back to the beginning statement of our conversation.
“…She got away, didn’t she?” (Haine)
“Yes, she got away.” (Yorishiro)
Ates was overwhelmed by this power that was on par to that of the Demon Lords, and yet…
“She escaped.” (Yorishiro)
There’s no point then.
Even when using such a trump card, they couldn’t manage to finish her…..No, for a human to corner Yorishiro so much is already an abnormal situation.
“That means, Ates was…a more dangerous opponent than we thought huh.” (Haine)
“Yeah. Even against the technique that surpassed the ‘Holy Light Bisection’ of Karen-san, right after she was crushed by those pincers, she used the power of the shadow spear Abel to enter the shadows and, by crossing through the shadows of the rubble that were littering the place due to my ‘Holy Light Destruction’, she escaped to the outside.” (Yorishiro)
The search is still ongoing, but we don’t know her whereabouts at all.
“Ates and I had been acquainted since the moment we were born as sisters. Since we were the daughters of the Founder, we were of stature, and it was rare for us to play together. Even so, we knew of each other more than what we would know of a stranger…or so I thought.” (Yorishiro)
“But that woman had something that was far deeper than what anyone would be able to imagine.” (Haine)
In that case, Ates wanting to bring down Yorishiro to obtain the position of Founder and her trying to seduce me was not simply because she was hungry for political power, but because she had an objective that went further ahead from that.
But we still don’t know what this further objective she has though —along with her own identity.
- 247: True culprit
“Yorishiro, do you really not have a single inkling of the identity of Ates?” (Haine)
Since I was sleeping when all that happened, I myself am more clueless about the situation.
“The one thing I can understand is that she is the same existence as us. She spoke as if she knew my real identity.” (Yorishiro)
Is she talking about her identity as the Light Goddess Inflation?
“I think Ates-san is the same as us. That’s why she knows about my identity and she also knows Haine-san’s identity. Her being blood-related to me might not have been much of a coincidence…” (Yorishiro)
“But there’s only supposed to be six Gods that created this world!” (Haine)
The four Base Elements, and the two poles; a total of six Gods.
Mother Earth Mantle was erased, and the Water God Coacervate was recently beat up and his whereabouts are unknown, the Fire God Nova is leading the lazy life of eating and sleeping as a cow, the Wind God Quasar has a cooperative relationship with us as the Wind Founder Toreido Shiva, and then there’s the Light Goddess Inflation as Yorishiro, and I as the Dark God Entropy.
“There shouldn’t be any other Gods aside from us six! Yorishiro, are you saying that Ates is a seventh God we don’t know of?” (Haine)
“I don’t know. But we are currently about to face the threat that are the Demon Lords, and this means that we now have a new opponent that might be as much of a threat as them.” (Yorishiro)
Ates is on the same level as the Demon Lords huh.
That I can’t think of it as a joke makes my head hurt even more.
“The only thing that could be called a saving is that we managed to purge Ates-san from the Light Church quickly. That person used the Light Church’s authority and materials to plan many unsavory things. We managed to chase her away before all of those were finished. That can be said to be a blessing.” (Yorishiro)
“But it looks like you had to resort to quite a forceful method though.” (Haine)
I look at Yorishiro with a gaze of criticism.
The flow of the conversation changed again, and Yorishiro looked uncomfortable by this.
“From what I heard, I was the one who said that the main culprit of the terrorist incident was Ates.” (Haine)
The trigger to corner Ates was the terrorist incident that occurred in the Light Grand Library of Apollon City.
They attacked the library, and the terrorists that captured many hostages were actually the contra-reconciliation side that had lost their place to be.
Dobbe and the many other perpetrators now had a grudge on the Founder Yorishiro that served as the kernel for the reformation.
‘The one who was controlling this enmity was Ates’.
That’s what Dobbe told me before he exploded and I told Yorishiro after I regained consciousness.
That served as the trigger to actually move in order to apprehend Ates, but…
I am repeating myself here but, I regained consciousness this morning.
When Yorishiro and Karen-san were cooperating to fight Ates, I was out of commission.
How in the world would I be able to testify the crimes of Ates?
“Yorishiro, you…” (Haine)
“I simply took the most effective method.” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro said this while looking at the scenery outside the window.
In the first place, Dobbe didn’t say the name of Ates once in his moment of death. At the end, he was rambling about his hate towards me and didn’t say anything that would serve to resolve the incident. If he were such a key part in resolving this incident, he wouldn’t have fallen so low in the first place after all.
And most importantly…
“If Ates was truly the main culprit, why would she make Dobbe and the others attack the library?” (Haine)
The objective of Ates was to push down Yorishiro and take the spot of Founder for herself.
What kind of meaning did the terrorist actions of Dobbe and the others serve for?
By creating chaos in the Apollon City that Yorishiro is in charge of, it would create doubt towards Yorishiro’s guidance and it would lower the evaluation of her as a Founder?
Also, if Ates herself were to appear fast and resolve it quickly, her evaluation would increase, and the reputation might make a turnaround in the future.
I can’t say there’s no logic behind it, but it is so roundabout that I don’t feel like it is intelligent at all.
If she were truly aiming for the position of Founder and she could use Dobbe and the other idiots as disposable pawns, it would have been a lot better to just try to directly assassinate Yorishiro, and if it were to succeed, everything would go to her.
And yet, why did a cunning woman like Ates do something so unlike her? Why did she play a card that only feels as if it were way too roundabout?
If we think of it as the main culprit not being Ates…won’t it make more sense?
“Who was the one that profited the most out of the crime? If we think about it in that way, the culprit naturally comes out.” (Haine)
I feel I was told that saying somewhere before.
“The biggest thing that came out from that incident was the purge of Ates. The one who wished for that the most was you, Yorishiro.” (Haine)
Yorishiro didn’t say anything.
“And the terrorists were not only Dobbe and the people of the Light nation, but also from the Fire, Water, Earth, and Wind nations. They are probably the remnants of a rebel group. By gathering them all, you made them dig their own graves, and finished them off. With this, the rebels from the world will be wiped out, and the world will finally be able to unite as one against the Demon Lords.” (Haine)
And so, their sin was pinned to the most problematic and dangerous factor that is Ates. If the incident is used as the pretext to apprehend her…
“It would be perfect.” (Haine)
Of course, there’s rebel forces that Yorishiro and I can’t grasp and are moving in the shadows of society, however, the big failure of the terrorist act would make the shadows return to a more conservative posture and not act rashly.
All the perpetrators died after all. The people, that are planning something similar, will certainly be quite scared.
Adding to that, the weapons that the terrorists held were ethereal weapons that are prohibited. Circulating through the underground routes, those things, that will definitely be a headache for the powers of the world, were completely useless when the terrorists used it and served as nothing but trash.
If that fact is circulated as ‘the sold ethereal weapons are useless trash’ and the impression stays, it would serve as a big obstruction to the circulation of ethereal weapons.
An effect that wasn’t only two or three birds with one stone; that terrorist incident must have served as the best demonstration.
And so, we go back to the previous point. Who was the one that profited the most by eliminating the problematic political enemy that is Ates?
“…As expected, I am a cowardly woman.” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro didn’t turn her head towards me and simply spoke.
“I was so scared of being hated by Karen-san and you that I ended up pushing all the ugly parts of me to my sister.” (Yorishiro)
No matter what happens, I won’t hate Yorishiro.
That cowardly part of her might unexpectedly be the identity of Ates.
The fight has ended, and yet, it didn’t feel as if we have achieved something. Only the mysteries increased, and the unpleasant feeling of something stuck in between my throat remained.
If there’s nothing gained from the victory, it doesn’t feel as if we have won.
In the end, everything begins from here on.
Now that we have obtained the trump card that is the God Heroes, the real battle against the Demon Lords and the mystery shrouded Ates will truly begin.
- 248: A place to return to
But before that…
*Bam!*, the door of the hospital room was opened.
A shining holy woman rushed into the room.
Karen-san didn’t show a single bit of restrain as she hugged me.
“I am so glad! You really opened your eyes! I am so glad!” (Karen)
Is what Karen-san says while crying on my chest.
She was this worried about me huh.
“What a helpless one you are, Karen-san. You must have received quite the weight after having become a God Hero yourself.” (Yorishiro)
“Haha, my body still feels a bit jerky.” (Karen)
Karen-san makes a wry smile at the words of Yorishiro. But she pulled the sleeve of Yorishiro and hugged both me and her.
Yorishiro and I were both inside the arms of Karen-san.
I felt like I could feel the emotions of Karen-san being transmitted through her tight embrace.
“I…don’t want to destroy this relationship.” (Karen)
“I don’t want to lose Haine-san and Yorishiro-sama! I want it to stay like this forever!” (Karen)
I couldn’t say anything to those pleading words of Karen-san.
Humans are living beings that change. Living means change, and not being able to change for eternity is called ‘death’.
…But Karen-san had something that she wishes it wouldn’t change.
A small dark skinned girl nervously enters from the still opened hospital room; the shadow girl, Doraha.
She apparently was guarding me all the time I was unconscious.
“I am sorry. I was told not to let anyone in but…I couldn’t just say no to Karen-sama…” (Doraha)
“It is okay. We have finished our talk. Visits to Haine-san are now allowed.” (Yorishiro)
“Is that so?! In that case…” (Doraha)
Doraha seemed to be cheerful about something. She turned around and left the room.
“Everyone, visits are now allowed. It is okay to enter the room!” (Doraha)
The moment she said that…
A wave of people flowed into the room?!
What’s with this amount of people?!
There’s easily more than 50 people here!
The hospital room had already become like a bargain sale!!
“Haine! Kuromiya Haine, are you doing good?!”
“That voice, General Grades?!” (Haine)
Now that I look closely, from within the black tumult of people, there’s one spot that is not black —in other words, a bald spot.
“You are the pride of the light knights! Also, ouch ouch ouch! Who is the one that is pushing the place where I am hurt!” (Grades)
Even when he became the General, he is still the same. He is still bald and hot-blooded.
“Assistant Haine! Assistant Haine!” (Vesage)
“That voice, Captain Vesage!” (Haine)
“As a get-well present, I brought you a Celes-tan body pillow!! Go ahead and sleep at peace alongside it!!” (Vesage)
“Take it back!!” (Haine)
This person finally stopped hiding the fact that he is a Celestis fan!
Someone has to put a brake to him sometime soon!
The other people in here are the light knights that I had gotten along with; there’s also the people of the Church, and it looks like the hostages involved in the terrorist incident came here to give a word of gratitude.
“Yorishiro-sama, you have to return to the Grand Church. The delay in the paperwork is just…!” (Mina)
“Ara, Mina-san. You are right in time to get some Yorishiro love-desu wa.” (Yorishiro)
“Stop it! Please don’t hug me! The Ates component inside of me had finally come out, and yet, at this rate, I will end up getting addicted to Yorishiro-sama! Stop it! At least don’t fondle my breasts!! And my butt too!! Aaaaahh!!” (Mina)
Now that I watch it in this way, the amount of acquaintances I have in the Light Church has increased by quite a lot.
The first time I came here, everyone was a stranger to me.
There’s definitely a place for me in this world. Right here, and in many other places.
Seeing this scene, I once again felt that this is a blessing and something that I should be grateful for.