“Nice to meet you, child of Noah. I am the Water Goddess, Eir.”
That face and that voice is certainly that of Princess Sofia.
But what was there was an unnatural smile.
The blue eyes of Princess Sofia were shining golden.
The mana covering the Princess was overflowing and releasing light.
All the Spirits were gone.
A Holy God that rules this world.
The Goddess that rules over the water element, Eir-sama.
For someone like me who uses water magic, it is the Goddess I should never go against.
If I were to get on her bad side, I would lose my Water Magic Skill…apparently.
“You don’t need to get so nervous.” (Eir)
Eir-sama giggles with a smile that Princess Sofia has never shown before.
But the pressure that that body of hers is releasing doesn’t compare to any monster that I have fought.
The mana in the atmosphere is trembling.
This is the Goddess descending into the Oracle, huh…
“Goddess’s Descent?” (Makoto)
“There’s a famous story. The Oracles of the Goddesses can accept their Goddess’s in their body. Because of that, the Oracles must maintain their body’s purity.” (Fuji)
When I talked about what happened at the Highland Castle’s party and the episode with Noel-sama and the virginity part, Fuji-yan told me this.
“Then, that means the Goddesses can take over the bodies of Princess Noel and Princess Sofia?” (Makoto)
“I haven’t seen it myself, but…when they are doing oracles, the Goddess apparently descents.” (Fuji)
The words of the God that normally can only be heard by the Oracles and the Apostles, the people can also hear it through the Oracle.
Apparently that’s why the Oracles are such special existences.
“But Princess Noel told you this? You have gotten quite close to her.” (Fuji)
Fuji-yan says to me with an amazed expression.
“Even if she told me that, it would just be troubling, right?” (Makoto)
“That’s the fiance of Sakurai-dono-desu zo. Keep the getting along to a moderate degree. Princess Sofia is going to cry, you know.” (Fuji)
“Why would Princess Sofia cry at that…?” (Makoto)
“You are so dense…” (Fuji)
I now understand the meaning of that time’s conversation with Fuji-yan.
If he had just told me clearly…no, even if he did, I wouldn’t know what to do.
In any case, I have to deal with this situation.
“Water Goddess, Eir-sama, what business do you have with me today?” (Makoto)
I calm down my heart with [Clear Mind] and ask the Goddess in front of me.
“New Hero-san of Rozes, thank you very much for saving the capital of Horun the other day.” (Eir)
The difference to her usual expressions was discomforting.
“That was…just luck. Also, thanks to the advice of Noah-sama.” (Makoto)
If I hadn’t synchronized with Princess Sofia, I wouldn’t have been able to defeat the Taboo Giant.
“Even so, that was through your own strength. The Glacial Hero, Leo-kun, is still young after all. He is a young boy with overflowing talent as well, but…it seems that was still too much for him.” (Eir)
“Prince Leonard has it rough.” (Makoto)
That girl-like boy surfaces in my mind.
“Fufu, that’s why, please help out Leo-kun, okay?” (Eir)
She puts her hand on her lips and laughs as if having fun.
“Well, I will do what I can.” (Makoto)
It is sad that I can’t say ‘leave it to me!’ in a strong tone.
In the end, I am just an Apprentice Mage after all.
“Oh my. If you want to become stronger, how about I offer you a Gift Skill?” (Eir)
She slides her already close body towards me, and places her hand on my cheek.
“U-Uhm…you are close.” (Makoto)
“Hero Makoto-kun, if you become my believer, you can obtain [Water Magic: Saint Rank].” (Eir)
The Goddess-sama says nonchalantly.
Eh? What did she say just now?
One rank higher than Monarch Rank.
A Skill that only a few in this continent may or may not have.
I can get that?
“Uhm…just what…” (Makoto)
“I have heard about your hardships from Sofia-chan. You are making do with Water Elementary Magic and Spirit User but, it is hard, right?” (Eir)
Yes, I am having a hard time.
I can’t use magic if there’s no Spirits.
It would go out of control, and it takes time to actually be able to use magic.
Even so, I can’t defeat anything with my mana alone.
“If you become my believer, everything will be resolved, you know?” (Eir)
No, but the condition of that is…to convert to her religion.
You are telling me to betray Noah-sama?
“Your Water Proficiency is around 200. If you have Water Saint Magic, you will become the number one water mage of the continent. You will be stronger than the Great Sage-san in the Sun Country -in water magic alone, that is.” (Eir)
“…I-Is that so.” (Makoto)
The weakest element, water.
Even so, when the Goddess herself is telling me that I will become the number one of the continent…
“What will you do, Makoto-kun?” (Eir)
The unchanging smile of Eir-sama.
[Will you change your religion to the Water Goddess Eir, and accept the Gift Skill – Water Magic: Saint Rank?]
It is a scarily attractive choice.
A devil-like temptation.
“Oh my, I am a Goddess. If you call me devil-like, you will get divine retribution, you know?” (Eir)
“…Of course you can read minds.” (Makoto)
The same as Noah-sama, huh.
While I was thinking that, a memory of the past surfaces in my mind.
The day when I was transferred to this world and learned that I alone had the worst Status.
I had dicey Skills, but even so, I trained.
A bitter memory of being left behind all alone in the Water Temple.
Within that situation where not a single classmate was left, I passed my days scared of my short remaining lifespan.
Does that mean my time in this world will be rewarded?
…Water Magic: Saint Rank.
There won’t ever be another chance like this.
I took a deep breath and answered.
“Water Goddess, Eir-sama, I am the Apostle of Noah-sama. Now, and forever.” (Makoto)
I said this while looking at the golden eyes of the Goddess.
“Oh my, I have been rejected.” (Eir)
The Goddess was still smiling as if not minding it.
She snapped her fingers.
What was that for?
(You are still my believer? You haven’t been converted, right?! I-I’m so glaaaaaad!) (Noah)
It has been a while since I have heard Noah-sama speak in such a flustered manner.
(T-This damn Goddess! What are you telling my Makoto?!) (Noah)
“Oh my? I was being benevolent here and wanted to give a gift to the loved one of my cute Sofia-chan.” (Eir)
(What benevolence?! You have a lot of believers, so you should be okay! I only have Makoto!) (Noah)
It isn’t that scary.
“But the Water Hero 1,000 years ago was killed by your Apostle, Noah. Thanks to that, Rozes, which is a small country, had a hard time leaving descendants, you know?” (Eir)
(U-Ugh…I am sorry about that.) (Noah)
The matter about my former Apostle 1,000 years ago doing a whole lot of stuff, huh.
The legendary Hero Killer, was it?
He was called the Forbidden Dark Knight, or the Mad Hero.
“At any rate, this boy is incredible. Even when I looked at him with my charm eyes, he didn’t change his expression at all.” (Eir)
What? I was being charmed?
(What a fool. He wasn’t charmed even when looking at the number one beauty of the Divine Realm, Noah-sama, you know? There’s no way the heart of Makoto would be moved by something like that.) (Noah)
“…You showed yourself, Noah? And yet, he remained sane?” (Eir)
Eir-sama changed her smile into one of doubt for the first time.
“Is Makoto-kun really a human?” (Eir)
(Hmm, probably?) (Noah)
“Why are you doubting my humanity here?” (Makoto)
I had to retort to that.
(Anyways! From now on, it is prohibited to convince Makoto to convert!) (Noah)
“Makoto-kun~, if you want the Water Saint Magic, you can tell Sofia-chan anytime, okay?” (Eir)
(Are you listening here?!) (Noah)
“See you, Mako-kun~. Ah! Keep it a secret that I descended, okay?” (Eir)
She winks at me cheerfully.
Her majesty until now was gone and her attitude has gotten more frank.
Is that her actual personality?
And, a secret? Why?
She waved her hand, and then, Princess Sofia fell and leaned on me.
I hurriedly catch her by putting my hand around her shoulder, and the mouth of Princess Sofia opens.
That expression of hers is the same as her usual self.
“Princess Sofia?” (Makoto)
Princess Sofia rubs her eyes with a sleepy face.
“I’m sorry… Did I sleep for quite a long time? My body is feeling a lot better now.” (Sofia)
Princess Sofia stands and fixes her clothes and her hair.
“I had a weird dream. A dream where the Water Goddess, Eir-sama, descended. Even though there’s no way she would descend at a place like this.” (Sofia)
“I-Is that so.” (Makoto)
I was told to keep it a secret.
She may not be the one I follow, but going against the request of a Goddess is scary.
Let’s not tell her.
“Thank you. Thanks to you I was able to rest for a bit.” (Sofia)
“Have you slept enough? It is best to take care of your body, you know?” (Makoto)
I peeked at her face and she faced the other way.
“I-I’m okay! By the way…did I say something before I fell asleep?” (Sofia)
Was it at the time when she was half-asleep?
“I will stay in the Water Country forever.” (Makoto)
“I-I see. T-Thank you very much.” (Sofia)
Princess Sofia responds with a slightly trembling voice with her face still looking down.
“Next time, I will be the one inviting you to a meal.” (Makoto)
“…Yes, I will be waiting.” (Sofia)
Saying this, Princess Sofia heads to the Highland Castle.
I decided to return to the inn for now.
Princess Sofia is working that hard.
Is there something I can do?
While I was returning to the inn, the Glacial Hero, Prince Leonard, found me.
“What’s the matter? Or more like, what are you doing here, Prince Leonard?” (Makoto)
The Prince going around by himself is dangerous.
“That’s…I felt the Water Goddess Eir-sama descending. I hurriedly headed to where Sofia-neesama was, but the presence disappeared. Even though I certainly felt the presence of the Goddess…” (Leonard)
Prince Leonard creasing his eyebrows and falling into thought is as cute as ever.
I see. The Water Goddess that Prince Leonard follows as the Glacial Hero.
So he can notice when the Goddess descends.
“Did you notice something, Makoto-san?” (Leonard)
“The descent of Eir-sama is a big event on the national level. It is true that there’s no way it would happen on such a normal day…” (Leonard)
Prince Leonard seems to not be convinced, he was mumbling as he was thinking.
It may be a bit late, but this really does make me feel just how much of a big deal talking to a Goddess is.
I am talking with Noah-sama carefreely pretty often though.
“By the way! You had a meal with Sofia-neesama, right?!” (Leonard)
“How was it?!” (Leonard)
What is it? Prince Leonard is asking me with incredible vigor.
“The food was good. But Princess Sofia must have been tired, she fell asleep in the middle.” (Makoto)
“…Nee-sama fell asleep in the middle…? Really?” (Leonard)
Prince Leonard opens his eyes wide in shock.
Did I say something weird?
“Prince Leonard, was there anything weird with—” (Makoto)
“Heya, Takatsuki-kun, Prince Leonard.”
The one who cut into the conversation was the Light Hero, Sakurai-kun.
I raise my hand and respond with a ‘heya’.
Prince Leonard places a hand on his chest and greets him in noble style.
Sakurai-kun responds back to that.
Ooh, that’s cool.
I should learn that too.
“Sorry for interrupting you… Takatsuki, do you have time after?” (Sakurai)
He looked apologetic, and his face seemed to be fatigued.
I remember that Yokoyama-san asked me to help out Sakurai-kun.
“Alright, Sakurai-kun. What will you do, Prince Leonard?” (Makoto)
“Eh? I can go together with you?” (Leonard)
Hm? I just invited him just like that, but Prince Leonard is royalty.
Was that a bit rude?
“If that’s okay with you, Prince Leonard.” (Sakurai)
“If Makoto-san is going, I will too.” (Leonard)
We followed Sakurai-kun and arrived at the room of the Light Hero in the Highland Castle.
“So this is your room, Sakurai-kun…” (Makoto)
No, can it even be called a room…?
Isn’t this more than 165 square meters?
It is as big as the entrance of the Guild.
We sat around the big table inside the room.
“…Actually, I have something I want to consult you about regarding the Moon Oracle.” (Sakurai)
The tired Sakurai-kun begins talking.
The Moon Oracle.
Inheriting the blood of the royalty of the fallen country of Laphroaig, she is top of the Moon Goddess Naia’s religion.
But their authority has fallen down to the very bottom.
The Moon Oracle betrayed the humans and was colluding with the Great Demon Lord side 1,000 years ago.
In the end, the Savior Abel exposed her evils, but after the Great Demon Lord was defeated, the next to fall was the Moon Country mainly by the hands of the Sun Country which is the center of the sixth countries.
At that time, the Laphroaig royalty had been exterminated.
Except for the Moon Oracle.
“Why? Wouldn’t it normally be the opposite?” (Makoto)
Shouldn’t the one who betrayed humanity be the one who gets executed?
“At the same time as the Great Demon Lord perished, the Moon Oracle, the Calamity Witch disappeared. One assumption is that the Savior-sama defeated her.” (Leonard)
Prince Leonard tells me.
“After that, the Moon Oracle would appear on rare instances in history -as descendants of the fallen Laphroaig royalty. The Sun Knights captured one of those Moon Oracles.” (Sakurai)
Sakurai-kun said as if in pain.
What’s the matter?
“The Moon Oracle is gathering the devilkin in Laphroaig and scheming a revival. Because of that, I heard that she was subjugated by the Sun Knights. Sakurai-sama was in command of that.” (Leonard)
“Aah, Fuji-yan did tell me that.” (Makoto)
I was hearing about that while thinking Sakurai-kun must have it tough.
“But…the people living in Laphroaig were actually just people that were living peacefully.” (Sakurai)
I asked back unconsciously at the words of Sakurai.
“It was a demonstration to encourage the people that were in fear of the Great Demon Lord… It was actually the suppression of devilkins that were living peacefully…” (Sakurai)
“Light Hero-sama…” “Sakurai-kun…”
How to say it…that’s a really heavy story.
So Sakurai-kun was used without knowing anything.
“The reason why I was chosen to subjugate the Moon Oracle was because I have the [Abnormal Status Effect Immunity]. The Moon Oracle is a master of Destiny Magic, Dark Magic, and Curse Magic. She is specialized in magic that bewilders people. That’s why I was the one to capture her.” (Sakurai)
There isn’t the usual cheerfulness in the voice of Sakurai-kun.
“The Moon Oracle was cursing me as she was captured. Saying: ‘What’s so fun in bringing more pain to sinners that are living peacefully?’” (Sakurai)
This story makes me feel sick.
“But fortunately, she managed to escape. However, she apparently hasn’t escaped from Symphonia yet. This is actually not something I should be doing, but I want to let at least her escape…” (Sakurai)
After the words of Sakurai-kun, I looked at Prince Leonard.
“Makoto-san, what will you be doing?” (Leonard)
“If it is the request of Sakurai-kun, I would like to help, but can’t you use your subordinates in the Sun Knights?” (Makoto)
“…This action goes against the decision of the Sun Country. This is my personal selfishness.” (Sakurai)
“So, do you know where she is?” (Makoto)
“No…I am not good at gathering that type of information.” (Sakurai)
Sakurai-kun says apologetically.
Hmm, what to do.
In this kind of people searching tasks, Fuji-yan is the person to rely on.
By using the merchant network.
But Fuji-yan is currently busy.
Putting more on top of him wouldn’t feel right.
But I am also not good at information gathering.
If Prince Leonard could use his royalty authority, it would be one thing, but his personal ability probably wouldn’t be suited for this either.
This is troubling.
(The cemetery.) (Noah)
(Search for the cemetery of Symphonia.) (Noah)
That’s quite the specific advice.
Could it be that you are bothered by the fact that I got invited by Eir-sama?
(T-That’s not it!) (Noah)
Looks like I am right.
There’s no need to worry so much, you know.
I won’t betray you.
(……Is that so.) (Noah)
I heard a slightly happy voice.
“Sakurai-kun, the cemetery. The Moon Oracle is there.” (Makoto)
My sudden declaration made Sakurai-kun and Prince Leonard direct dumbfounded faces at me.
After convincing them, us 3 Heroes decided to head to the biggest cemetery of the capital.