The Rift in the World caused by a Temporary Conclusion
Daniela and I pulled out our swords at the same time, and bright colored blood sprayed in the air. The torrents did not stop as they slowly turned the floor into a red lake.
Haidera’s knees were shaking as he stood there for a time. But even that was too much, and he eventually crumbled to his knees and then fell into the blood.
Well, it seemed like it was over now. Had I looked like this as I lay in a puddle of my own blood in that convenience store…?
“Well done. Now, kill him.”
The goddess demanded from behind us. …Something about her was really starting to bother me. Her views and emotions were just so different.
I looked to Daniela, and she nodded. So I took a step forward. The blood splashed under my feet as I made my way to Haidera. His eyes had been on the verge of closing, but he now looked up at me.
His voice was barely audible. But he was pleading. The serial killer was asking for mercy.
I didn’t know what to say to that. My mouth hung open like some kind of fish. My head was filled with so many emotions that it started to hurt.
“You…you’re the last person who should ask such a thing…”
Those were the words that finally came out. And I could no longer hold back the emotions within me.
“How many people pleaded with you when you murdered them!!”
“Don’t you dare…you…you of all people…are not allowed to say those words…!”
I raised my sword as my emotion took over. And then I glared at him. …But something stopped me from swinging.
Completely pointless things began to swirl around in my head. Things I shouldn’t be thinking. What had put him on this path. Did he have family and friends?
He had stabbed me. I suppose I was saved anyway, but I still hated him. And how many people hadn’t been saved? This wasn’t Japan. There would be no trial. Ending him here should be the best thing… Such thoughts filled my brain as Master of all Trades made calculations that I didn’t even ask it to make.
It happened just as the skill finished predicting it. He wasn’t really pleading for mercy. Even when pressed this far, he was looking for an opening.
A shockwave spread out from him all at once, causing the blood to splatter everywhere like an explosion. As I was launched into the air, the clouds of blood blocked my vision.
Thankfully, I could still see him with Eyes of the God Wolf. He was opening a door to the world of the gods. I see. So he hadn’t even needed the Nova to come here. Regardless, I was not going to let him finish.
“I’ll be seeing you again…Asagi. And you won’t escape death when I do… Yes, all witnesses must be eliminated…”
“No, you won’t see me again…!”
I unleashed more than a hundred Ice Arrows as I leapt forward with Legs of the God Wolf. But Haidera was wholly focused on defense now, and the shockwaves were strong. My attacks did not penetrate them.
With those parting words, he disappeared into the world of the gods. Nothing remained but blood.
He was gone. I let him get away.
Ridiculous emotions had ruined the best chance I had…
With rage and frustration, I swung down into the ground. The forest sword did not break, but sunk deep into the ground.
“…I’m sure he will be back.”
The goddess said. She didn’t need to tell me that. Of course, he would.
“The two of us manifesting ourselves here has caused this star to lose a great deal of its energy. It will take at least a hundred years before the core can fill the dragon veins again.”
“….So he won’t return for at least a hundred years.”
“Yes. Well, you both have plenty of time, as neither of you will age now. As long as you do the job when the time comes, all will be fine.”
…I see. So I was not going to age anymore. And it was the same with Daniela. But that didn’t mean that we couldn’t die. That danger remained.
However, it was not a bad thing to now be able to live alongside Daniela, who already had a long life.
“…Daniela. I’m sorry.”
“It is fine. I have said it before. Your enemies are my enemies. My life would have been long anyway. And it would be so much better if you are there beside me.”
Her hand felt warm as she gently touched my shoulder. The relief I suddenly felt caused my knees to bend under me.
“Haa… Haa… What…?”
“You did not notice? Asagi, you are covered in wounds.”
I looked down and saw that I was definitely bleeding in several areas. Seeing the platinum fur soaked in blood made me feel sick. And of course, the pain started to grow sharper. It was like feeling tired and suddenly realizing you had come down with a fever.
“Well, it won’t kill you or take that long to heal. I think I will leave now.”
The goddess said as she raised her arms. The air around her began to warp. She was going to leave just like Haidera had.
“I am Flenche Nerdorie, goddess of love. A deity for all those who love. It doesn’t matter if it is partial, casual, lustful, pure, obsessive, passionate, fraternal, desperate, deep-rooted, respectful, affectionate or romantic. I love all those who love.”
What was she going on about now? Was she also quite mad…?
“…Hmm. This must have been fate. I will visit you from time to time, and make sure this world does not end. Of course, it will be through voice, so that I will not consume this star’s power.”
She smiled slightly and then vanished.
It was suddenly very quiet. And I realized I had been feeling an odd pressure all of this time. Perhaps I had felt so tense because I was in the presence of gods…
I said, and the others nodded. Daniela lent me her shoulder as I stood up. Then Matsumoto rushed forward and supported me on the other side.
“Sorry. I seem to have no strength left.”
“You’re in tatters…and not even human anymore…”
“Why are you crying? …You’re too soft, Matsumoto.”
Well, then he wouldn’t mind if I leaned on him.
“You did it, Asagi.”
“Well, I tried harder than I ever did at the store.”
“What are you talking about? You were a good clerk.”
She slowly reached out and patted me on the head. And with a compassionate smile that one might expect from a sister or mother, she also petted my wolf ears. It tickled.
□ □ □ □
As we thought they might be useful, we retrieved all of the fallen swords and destroyed Automatas.
The others talked as they helped me retrace our steps, but I was unable to follow any of it.
After all, I could think of nothing but Haidera.
The conclusion of that fight and the goddess’s words were turned over in my mind again and again.
The gods required a great deal of energy to manifest and maintain themselves when coming here. In their world, the gods had their own power, and here they used magic energy. The problem was this magic was supplied through the dragon vein.
And that dragon vein drew energy from the planet’s core. It was like blood that coursed through the ground. But if it dried up, it would be an end to everything.
Haidera was fixated on me. Even if it took him a hundred years, he would return.
So this was just a temporary victory. But the fight had not finished.
“What is it Asagi? Are you in pain?”
“Yeah, my entire body. …But I was thinking about Haidera. About what I’m going to do when he comes back.”
“…Yes. Well, I hope you will let me get in a few hits too, when the time comes.”
Daniela laughed, and it all seemed very possible. Should we be worried…? Well, at least we had a hundred years of peace. And the matter of the Nova had been settled. No one else would be reincarnated.
Regardless, now that that was out of the way, a new problem had arisen.
“What should I do about these ears.”
The more pressing matter was how we were going to solve the issue of my great transformation.