“Uuuuugh, what’s with that strength…? My eyes hurt a lot…” I tried to wake up and see my surroundings, but my left eye couldn’t see clearly after being hit by her fist.
“Eh…? Was I unconcious for that long?? Where is everybody? Did they leave me here alone?!” The last thing I could remember was that I got knocked out and thrown away by her punch.
I could hear faint sounds of water with my ears. ‘Hmmm, it’s a wave’s sound… Eh? That’s the sea…, and under my feet is sands… Did she punch me until I got stranded on an insland??’ I couldn’t make sense of anything that just happened…
‘Ahahaha, what a funny guess…,’ a woman’s voice rang inside my mind.
“Who’s there???” I screamed and looked around, but strangely, I could see no one.
‘Come here!’ said the voice. It sounded somehow nostalgic.
Suddenly, a stair road was lit up by flying lanterns. The train of lanterns went up until behind the hill near the beach.
‘Just follow the light~~’ said the voice in my head.
I felt that something was wrong, but I got no choice than to follow the lanterns.
I climbed up the stairs for around 10 minutes before finally seeing a small wooden hut, which on its surrounding were several flower gardens, scattering sweet fragrances all around it.
I walked straight to the front door. But before I even started to knock on the door, a sound was heard from inside the hut, “Come in~ It’s not locked!”
Hearing that, I then turned the door knob and looked inside.
Then, it all finally make sense…
There, sitting lazily on a sofa, was the Holy Sword Goddess, eating cookies while watching a large mirror that was floating on top of a table in front of her. “Come here, look! She punched your face until you flew away and got stuck on the tree branches!! Ahahahahaha!!” she laughed while pointing her finger onto the mirror surface.
On the mirror, I saw myself getting punched by the mysterious girl. ‘Ouuchhh… How did she punch me until I flew like that?! It is good that my head is still intact! How come she is that strong?’ I rubbed my neck while remembering how strong that punch was.
“Of course she is strong, she has a little bit of my power you know~, come sit!” said the Goddess while pointing at a small couch beside the table.
“Eh? Goddess can read my mind? Wait! She got your power? Who is she? Why am I here?” There were so much things that I needed to retort here.
“Just sit first~ You want tea or coffee?” she asked. With a wave of her hand, the mirror was gone, and on top of the table, were a cup of coffee and tea.
I sat on the couch and thought, ‘Well she is a God after all… Every nonsense that happened, make sense when she did it…’ I just put my hand on the tea cup and sip it slowly.
“Correct~~~ I knew that you will understand it fast!” She flicked her finger and the coffee inside her cup turned into tea. “I, too, prefer tea with my cookies.”
“So, do you like my island?“ she asked me while smiling. The top half of her face was covered by her robe, so I didn’t really know how she exactly looked like.
“Well Goddess… it was certainly a nice island, but Goddess could just directly take me into this place, right? Why bother letting me walk that far?” I said to her while putting my finished tea down. Then, it was magically filled up by itself.
“Of course~~ But seeing you gasping for breath when climbing up the stairs, was more amusing, you know…? Ehehehe… And just call me Astraea, it’s my real name, or just use ‘you’. I don’t want to use too much formalities when I am lazing around the house…”
I sighed, and then asked her a question, which was floating inside my mind since the time I put my feet in this house, “Which one is the real you…? the Goddess that descends from the sky with haughty and lordly aura, or this Goddess that likes to peek on people while eating cookies…?”
“Ahahahaha…, I need to maintain my image when working you know~~~” she chuckled as she took another bite of the cookie on her hand.
“So, this is the real you… But why do you show it to me? Is there no rules against that? Will I be killed if I tell people about this?”
“Nope~ I am the only God in this world, why should there be rules for me? I can do what I want, and no one will stop me.”
“So what do you want? Destroy the world?” I asked her half jokingly.
“Why should I destroy the world I made?” She tilted her head and said, “Relaaax~~~ nothing bad will happen~”
“Oh you made this world? I thought you only protect this world?” I was shocked, she just told me one of the biggest secret of this world, and it was indeed contradicting with the truth the Holy Sword Church said to their people.
“Why should I tell my people what I did? Just let them believe what they want~~ ahaha…”
“Are all Gods so random like you?” I asked her.
I thought that if every God was like her then the world would end.
“No, not really…. For example, Tooru’s world, the ‘Earth’, has three Gods; the God of Creation that made the world and nurtures all its living beings, the God of Life that manages the reincarnation cycle of the living beings, and the God of Death that will end that world when the time comes. Well, when the time will come still depends on the three of them too, so yeah, they are indeed a little bit random after all, hahahaha…”
I sighed and said, ’Gods are sooo random…’
“I can’t disagree about that Zedediah. We Gods are immortal. So, no matter what happened to the world, we will still live. If this world is destroyed, then I just can make another one anew, with more interesting things to put inside it.”
“So, to you, when you see the people in this world is just the same as when I see the ants?”
“That’s where you are wrong. I saw my creation as a whole. I protected them, I nurtured them, and I keep the balance. You and the people inside my world have to depend on yourselves to survive. But when the balance is broken, of course, I will help.
For example, the Demon Emperor case, I summoned a man from the other world to keep the balance of power. I lent him the Holy Sword, and then he killed the Demon Emperor. Now, the peace will be kept for a while before another Demon Emperor rise again, maybe in 500 or 600 years, I don’t know, it all depends on the demon side now. Ahahahaha…,” she laughed merrily and then sipped her cup of tea again.
“So the Demon are your creation too?!!!” I shouted at her. ‘The Demon that killed my family…, no…, the demon that made me kill my family…’ I clenched my fist as I tried to calm myself down.
She put her cup down and stared straight into my eyes. She then said, “Yes, indeed. The Holy Sword Church said that the demons came from hell to destroy the humanity, but no, I made the Demons. I made them with the same reason I made the magical beasts, to keep the world in balance. I have my own way of thinking, and as how you want to think about it, I don’t care.” She then sipped her cup of tea again.
I sat down and began to ponder about what she said. ‘My family was dead because of the demon, lots of people was dead because of the demon, what part of it is balanced?’
“Think about it Zed, if there is no Demons and Magical Beasts, what will happen?”
“Then the people will live strongly, with no sadness, and no fear!” I was still angered by the fact that the creator of my enemies was sitting lazily in front of me.
She chuckled for a bit. But then, she sighed and said to me, ”Let me show you something…” She waved her hand, and then the mirror from before came out and floated in front of me. “Watch it carefully,” she said.
Over the mirror, I saw…
It was a fight, but not between humans and demons like in this world. It was a fight between humans. They sliced against each other with huge blades, and even though bloods were dripping down like a river, not a single tear was dropped. There were even laughters and roars all around. And from their eyes, one could see the ecstasy and delights, flashing crazily as they saw the flowing bloods.
Then the scene changed…
It was a child, together with her mother and father, and all other families, lined up in front of a bloody wall. Then, a tube like things, being held by countless soldier, were aimed at those people. DOOR DOOR DOOR, as countless thundering sound roared out, all the people, that were lined up, collapsed down. They were dead.
And then, the scene changed again…
A man pushed down a button. Suddenly, a giant metal tube was spitting out fire from below and began to fly. The tube flew far away through the clouds. Then, as it arrived over a city, it started to descend. And when it fell upon the city, which was full of people, it exploded, BOOM. A giant smoke that looked like a mushroom enveloped the whole city. And when the smoke started to fade away, There was nothingness. The city was gone, and all that was left, was countless scorched corpses and burnt rubbles….just like back then….
“ENOUGHHH!! PLEASE STOP IT!!” I screamed.
She waved her hand and the mirror faded away. “I am sorry about the last one, I didn’t think that it would affect you that much,” she apologized to me.
“Wh-what was all that?” I asked her while trembling.
“That was the ugly side of humanity,” she said slowly.
“How could that all happened? Wars is happening in this world too, but it was because of the Demons! People needs food to survive, people needs power to struggle! But that was…that was insanity!!!” I knew about the ugly side of humanity, I had seen them before, but that scenes were beyond my understanding.
“That was ‘Earth’, Tooru’s world…” she said to me after sipping down her tea.
“Are Tooru and the others still safe?!!” I panicked.
“Yes they are, Earth is relatively safe in the past few decades,” she answered.
I let out a relieved sigh. “Then, what was that all about?” I asked her again.
“Who do you think that shifts the balance in my world?”
I pondered for a while then answered, “Humans and Demons”
“Yes, the Humans hunt the Demons, together, because they are afraid of losing their homes, and the Demons retaliate, together, because they are afraid that they will get wiped out by the humans.” She gazed into the starry sky outside the window and then asked me, “Now, in Earth, who will the balance shift to?”
‘Humans fight the demon together in this world, and the demons fight the humans together too. So… who will the human fight in earth? Don’t tell me…that scenes…’
“Yes, indeed. The Humans there, have no enemies but themselves. They split into countless power and fight against each other to prove their superiority… Foolish indeed…,” she said.
“But why? Why won’t they just live peacefully if they have no enemies?” I just couldn’t think of a reason why they would fight each other, they are all humans, they still have the same flesh and blood.
“Why can human fight against the demons equally?” she asked me again.
“Because there is more humans than demons. Even though we are weaker in quality, we win over them in quantity.” It was common sense that was taught to the children in school.
“Now imagine; in Earth, the humans have no natural enemies like you with the demons, but their quantity will just grow bigger and bigger… You get it?”
“…they fight for food and place to live…?” I answered her.
“To make it simple, yes…, there is deeper meanings and reasons in their fights, but what you just said, is not wrong as well…,” she said to me as she sipped down her tea again.
I fell silent after hearing her reasoning. ‘She has kept the balance of this world for countless years…, my knowledge is nothing in comparison to hers…,’ I thought as I stared at her, ’as a god, she said that she doesn’t care about my way of thinking, but she still showed me lots of things… maybe, I should thank her for this…’
“No need, we Gods are fickle beings. We love interesting things, and speaking with you tonight has made this day fun enough for me,” she said that as she smiled at me.
But then, she spoke to me with a suprised tone, “Aahhhh…, we spoke too much about the Gods, that I forgot that you are here for another reason today, ahahahaha…”
I frowned, ‘Hmmm… Why am I here again…? I forgot…’ Then I realized and shouted, “Ah that girl!!!!”
“Yup! What do you think about her? Beautiful isn’t she? I gave you a bonus and summoned her naked for you~~” She grinned from ear to ear.
“She hit me because of that you know,” I retorted while pointing at my swollen blue eye.
She stuck her tongue out and mocked me, “Your fault for asking a naked girl that stupid question!”
“Well, I thought you were sending me a girlfriend like what I asked you two years ago…” I fell down from the couch, and orz-ed. Gloomy atmosphere spreaded and spun around my lonely self.
“Ahahahaha… I indeed could give you a girlfriend back then. I can even give you one right now. All I have to do is to transport a beatiful girl from somewhere in this world and brainwash her to fulfill all your wishes.
You did defeat the Demon Emperor, so I do owe you a wish. You still want me to give you an instant girlfriend right now?” She stood up and prepared to wave her robe.
“Wait wait wait!!! No, don’t!! I don’t want an instant girlfriend, I admit I was rash back then, I didn’t think it through, but you did gave me only 10 seconds to think. So that was your fault too!”
“Well, I was baking cookies back then, so I didn’t want it to get burnt. But it was still burnt because of you, so that makes us even,” she said straightforwardly.
“Heeey, that was rude, my cookies were made beatifully too!! And it was burnt because of you!!”
And now she is angry at me even though she said that we are even.
“Then my wish was void? And I fought the Demon Emperor for nothing?” I rolled over and over around the wooden hut’s floor.
“Fufufufufu…, of course not, what do you think I am?” she said while puffing her chest that were hidden under the robe.
A sound of a popped vein was heard. ‘Shit, I forgot that she can read mind!!’
The window, from which I could see the top of the hill, lit up brighter than the sun.
From there, I could see, that a giant tree, which stood on top of the hill, was blasted away without a trace. No, it was the top of the hill that was blasted away. All that was left was a crater, with smoke rising from it just like a volcano.
I was still staring at the top of the hill when I felt a cold aura coming from her direction. So, I turned my head slowly.
There, I saw her smiling coldly at me. She then said, “Now…now…Zedediaaah… I think I misheard something when you answered…, did you say ‘old hag’…, or was it my ear that was playing with me…? Fufufufufufu…, Okay… I asked you again now…who…do…you…think…I…AM…?” That question was without a doubt filled with killing intent.
“You are the most beautiful, the kindest, and the most benevolent Goddess in the world!!! Not even the moon and the starry night can compare to your beauty!!!” I stood straight and blabbered the sweetest words I could think of.
“Ohohohohohohohohohohoho!!!!” she laughed happily while sticking her chest out and pointing her chin to the sky. The aura around her, turned from hellish blizzard into flowery garden.
‘Damn! That was scarier than fighting against the Demon Emperor!!’ Cold sweats were already flooding over my back.
“This beautiful, kind, and benevolent Goddess found that your request two years ago was really interesting!! So I roamed from world to world to find the best candidate to be your girlfriend. I have looked at the demon girls, the beastman girls, the snake girls, the horse girls, and of course the human girls!!! But, you still have to win their heart by yourself though!!”
“Wait… I didn’t even knew half of those girls species and you want to take one of them to be my girlfriend??” I want a girfriend, but I still prefer a human one…
“Well, love knows no boundary you know~~ I too long ago fell in love with a human and we lived happily for a few moments,” she said that while staring at the starry sky outside the window. A sad smile could be seen from the side.
‘Wooooow…, I wonder how old she really is…?’ I started to count inside my head.
The sky turned cloudy and countless flash of lightning fell into the sea.
She turned her head to me, put both of her hands on my shoulders, and smiled. “Zedediah…, a Goddess age is forever 21, okay~~~” Eventhough her eyes were covered with her robe, I could still see them glowing bright blue.
I nodded over and over again.
She nodded once, and then said, “Good…good…” As the glow on her eyes went off, she put down her hands from my shoulder.
She sat down once again and sipped her tea. “Do you know why I chose her to be your girlfriend candidate?”
I thought for a while and then said, “Because she is beautiful?” She was indeed my type.
“Nope, I found countless girls that are far more beautiful than her, you know~, especially the snake girls with their bewitching eyes.”
“Whatever, she is beautiful enough for me.”
She laughed, “Well then, tell me what you found out about her.”
“You really love to do everything in roundabout manner.”
“The more complicated it is, the more interesting it is for me~.”
I tried to remember every detail about her that I had seen, ‘Her huge breasts…no… Her plumpy butt…hmm, I don’t think so… Her hairless…no,no,no, definitely not that…! Ahh I remembered!’
“Her slitted wrist, am I right? And her eyes looked somehow sad as well, but it was maybe just my imagination”
“BINGO~~,” she clapped her hand.
“What is ‘bingo’?” I tilted my head.
“That means correct!!” She put her thumbs up.
“So, you chose her because she suicided?”
“Yes and no… I won’t tell you about her story, so you have to ask her yourself, but be careful~”
“You really love to make it more complicated…”
She sipped her tea again and then said, “Well, all I can tell you is, her wound on the wrist means more or less the same as that wound on your right chest. Her case was slightly lighter though.”
I frowned after hearing her answer, ‘This wound always remind me of what I did that day…, what about hers…?’ I stroked the old wound on my right chest.
“Oh right, I lent her my holy sword and gave her a portion of my power. Teach her how to use them, okay?”
“Holy Sword? Why would you give it to her?” I asked her while lifting one of my brows.
“Well, there is no Demon Emperor right now, so that sword is not really needed for now. She can use it to adventure or something. I know that you are a master swordsman too, so it will be easy for you to teach her.”
“I really can’t hide anything from you,” I smiled bitterly.
She chuckled and said, “Hehe, I am your creator you know~~”
“Oh and about my power that I gave to her, it will just make her easier to learn magic and physically stronger too. Don’t worry, she won’t become a god. So teach her magic too okay~~”
“Do I really have no choice in this matter?” I frowned a little.
She fell silent and looked at me. She wasn’t smiling, but she wasn’t angry as well. “Please, help her… If you promised me to help her…, I will grant you another wish right here and now,” she said.
Hearing that, I was shocked, ‘She said ‘please’ to me? A god, asking a human for a favour?’
“Indeed I am asking you for a favour. I brought you a girl that will remind you of your painful past, with no guarantee that she will even become your girlfriend, and I am still asking you to teach her everything about this world, to help her to become stronger. I know that granting you a wish will not even cut it, but please help her,” said her to me softly, and then she bowed her head to me.
I gazed at her in disbelief and said, “Why? Why would you go that far to help her?”
She scratched her head and looked a bit embarassed. “Ehehe, you will find it funny, but she feels like a daughter that I never had and will never have….” There was a hint of loneliness in her tone.
I fell silent after hearing her ‘humanly’ words. Then I said, “Hmmm…, fickle beings indeed… Well, you can leave your ‘daughter’ to me, I will protect her for you.”
I stood up and gulped my tea in one breath. “Anything else you need?” I asked her while smiling.
“What about your second wish? What do you want?” she asked me as she tilted her head.
I thought for a while then said, “Well, if she and I really become a couple, I wish that you will give me your consent to marry her later…”
She laughed, “Ahahahahaha, you are indeed an interesting fellow…”
She crossed her arms in front of her chest, tilted her head, and said ,“You know what? If you and her can’t be together, maybe, just maybe I will be willing to be your girlfriend until I can find another replacement for you!”
“Don’t steal your ‘daughter’s boyfriend, or she will hate you, you know?” I said to her jokingly.
“Tch, don’t make fun of god!” She pinched my nose while laughing. “Well, you should go now! I will send you back there at the most suitable time!”
“Okay, I will leave it to you then! Oh wait, one last thing! What’s her name? So I can prove it to her that I am not a pervert! But the man that you sent!”
“But you really are a pervert, right? Don’t you remember when I told you to tell me about what you found about her? You imagined all those dangerous images, even when you know that I can read your mind~ Well you are a healthy boy, so I can understand…., but Sakura is still 16 years old you know~~ Now I am worried about leaving her to a pervert like you.”
“Not you too… I am not a pervert……” I wanted to cry…
“I am just kidding…, but even though you know her name, she will still think of you as a pervert!”
“Eh why??” I was shocked.
“Because I never told her that I sent her here to be your girlfriend candidate. I sent her here, to be happy. If being your girlfriend will make her happy, then I am content. If not, then she can still live here as an adventurer after you finished teaching her. I will then find a girlfriend replacement for you, don’t worry!”
“You care about her a lot, don’t you? But okay, I will try to win her heart too… I refuse to think that my luck with woman is really that bad!!” I smiled bitterly.
“After watching your journey to beat the Demon Emperor back then. I can guarantee, that you indeed have bad luck when it comes to woman! Well, you need to try harder this time! Good luck!” Then he flipped her robe in front of me.
Suddenly I felt a really strong pull to the front, but all I can see is a wall made of grass. ‘Why is there a wall of grass in front of me?’
Then I realized that I wasn’t pulled forward, but rather I was falling down toward the ground.
‘Owieeee, that pretty hurts…’
I stood up slowly. Then I saw Sakura standing above the carriage wearing my brown robe, while Alex, Harvey, and Bernardt were looking at her from below.
‘Oh, Astraea sent me back in time. I think it wasn’t long after I got stuck on that tree,’ I thought as I looked above me.
Then, I walked slowly to them while looking at Sakura.
‘So, she is the candidate to be my girlfriend… She really is my type…, but she still think of me as a pervert…. Well, they said that to win over a woman, you have to show her your brightest smile, let’s try it!’
So, I smiled brightly and said, “Sakura…”
Let’s catch her heart!