This is something that happened a while back.
“Onii-sama, Onii-sama. Do you want to do a quiz?”
“Yes. A quiz to break the weird atmosphere between us siblings. It’ll be a fun and easy quiz,”
It was a few months ago. Kirishima Yuuki remembered that at the time, he was talking with his sister in his parent’s garden.
“That’s fine, but what do you mean by weird atmosphere? Isn’t this how it normally is between us?”
“Question number one!” She ignored him and continued with the question, “What is the one thing in the world that a girl wants the most?”
“What is it?”
“What iiiissss iiitttt?”
His sister was forceful like she usually was.
Avoiding her gaze, Yuuki stroked his chin, “Hmm… I wonder. Were the topics of quiz questions always so broad…?”
“Well, well, what is it ~? What is the answer ~?”
She sung a strange tune, while dancing, urging Yuuki on. Yuuki gave up as he sighed on the inside. Every once in a while, I should play along with my sister’s teasing.
“Then, eating sweet things?”
“Bu bu ~. That is incorrect.”
“Wearing cute and fashionable clothes.”
“Bu bu ~. That is incorrect.”
“To be given a lot of compliments.”
“Bu bu ~. That is incorrect.”
“…Ugh, isn’t this question impossible? More importantly, isn’t the question phrased weirdly?”
“By the way, if you answer one more time incorrectly, I’ll have you give me a hug while I sit on your lap as punishment~”
“Why? I don’t want to.”
“Ten seconds left. Nine. Eight. Seven…”
A merciless countdown began. While being amazed, Yuuki continued to think. What type of answer would she want? Maybe—
“Then… a kiss from the person they like? Maybe?”
“So close!” She holds her head and bends over, seemingly in pain, “Oh so very close! Very much a ‘near pin’ I would say! The difference between Onii-sama’s answer and the correct answer is like the difference between ordinary rice and sticky rice! Man~ you really are so close!”
“If it’s really that close then just give it to me.”
“Nope. This time a ‘hanamaru’ isn’t enough. This time, unless your answer is exactly correct, I won’t forgive you.” It suddenly became a question of whether or not she would forgive him. While groaning, Yuuki twists his neck in confusion, but then, “Bu bu~! Too bad, you’re out of time! Now, let me sit on your lap and give me a hug at once.”
“Wait. At least tell me the right answer. Otherwise, I can’t accept this.”
“It’s bad to be a sore loser, Onii-sama. Since when did you decide that you would be giving me a hug, patting me on the head, and kissing me on the cheek.”
“Stop increasing your demands so suddenly. Now, tell me quickly.”
“Fumun. It can’t be helped.” The sister flares out her nose, “The right answer is… jyajyajyan~! ‘A proposal from the person they like’ dondon pafupafu~!”
“For heaven’s sake Onii-sama is a blockhead isn’t he? It makes me sad as your little sister that you can’t answer this easy question correctly. The one dream that a girl has, the one eternal longing is to be proposed to by a wonderful prince. Isn’t that obvious.” (Sister)
“Because you are like this, you are still far from getting a girlfriend or a lover of any kind. Well, I intend to look after Onii-sama for the rest of your life so that is no problem. Why did you stand up from your seat!? Where are you going!? I haven’t finished talking yet!”
…Of course, Yuuki still appreciates his sister. If it wasn’t for the liveliness and brightness of his sister, Kirishima Yuuki’s life would have been much darker. His role as an offering was already decided before he was born, and for over ten years now, he has been thinking about what that actually meant. If there was a reason he recalled this moment at this time, it was probably because the answer to his sister’s mysterious quiz seemed to fit the current situation perfectly.
“…So that’s why you asked my Mistress to marry you?”
Her smile that didn’t even move one millimeter was scary.
It was someplace in the 24 wards of Tokyo, inside the drawing room outside of a certain god’s bedroom. There, the maid in front of me who takes care of the entire mansion, was preaching to Yuuki with an unchanging expression.
“Yeah… well…” Yuuki nods with cold sweat, “Of course, that is not the only reason.”
“If that isn’t all, what other reasons are there?”
“In other words…” Yuuki chose his words carefully, “I guess it was somewhat on a whim.”
“On a whim?”
“To be honest, I was feeling very nervous coming here today. For ten years now, I have known that I was going to be sacrificed, but I was given almost no information on whom I was going to be sacrificed to, you see.”
“I accept that that point is our fault.” Maid-san nodded, “It is true that I did not give you any information about my Mistress and invited you without prior notice while telling you to ‘fulfill your duty’ immediately. It is not hard to imagine the burden placed on you for following the rules that the Tsukumo Organization has set for so many years.”
“Considering that burden, it is understandable that you would take such a strange, thoughtless, and impulsive action.”
“I know right. I don’t know about the rules, but I would’ve wished for you to let me know a little more in advance in one way or another.”
With that said, Yuuki knew that he was forcefully trying to make excuses for himself. No matter how much of a whim it was, no one would ask a person they met for the first time for their hand in marriage. Even saying that it was due to her sister’s from earlier saying, “a proposal from the person they like”, was just another excuse.
“Then…” Well, what is done is done, Yuuki decided to move on, “Moving on to the next topic. It was wrong to ask for a proposal, wasn’t it? I probably should have thought of something better to ask for? Regarding the ‘wish’ that is.”
“No.” The maid shakes her head, “In return for giving up your freedom, you are given the right to ask for one wish. There is no need to take back your previous one. Technically speaking, you aren’t even allowed to.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Once you have said your wish you cannot take it back. Well, aren’t you a fine young man? A man would not take back his words, right? I wish my Mistress and you a long-lasting happiness.”
Maid-san smiled widely. Yuuki smiled back. Nono, Really? Are you kidding? Or so he thought, but it was not the mood where he could ask for a moment to think.
“Anyways…” He decided to change the topic, “To be honest, I am a little relieved.”
“No, you see…” Again, choosing his words carefully, “Before I was brought here, I thought it was going to be harsher. I was told to ‘Give my life to god in order to protect the world’, other than that, I was given almost no other information. I thought it was going to be a more awful job.”
“An awful job, you say?”
“Yeah. Doesn’t it sound like you’re betting your life away? I imagined that it was going to be more violent, so I was prepared to be covered in blood while feeling a lot pain.”
“For us, you are a very important person.” Maid-san smiled, “Your safety is a priority for us. Even if you suddenly propose to my Mistress and she hides in her room as a result, we will not torture or kill you. Though I wish to.”
He began to have cold sweat. Still, she doesn’t seem to be lying. For the moment, there is no need to wonder about living or dying, however, he’s still grateful for the safety that he has been given.
“It will be okay.” Maid-san glanced at the clock, “My Mistress should have reorganized herself by now. I leave the rest to you.”
“… you want me to go? Again?”
“Of course. Please don’t mess up this time. It’s your job now to keep my Mistress relaxed and her emotions calm.”
“Yeah, I understand. I will try my very best. However…”
“It’s a little embarrassing, but I’m a little scared of her. I mean, didn’t I anger her earlier?”
“I don’t know. I can’t say for sure.”
“If she is really mad, will she kill me? She is a god after all.”
“You don’t need to worry about that.” Maid-san gave her seal of approval. The smile on her face was the biggest smile of the day, “You have already left the realm of humanity. As such, there is no such thing as death.”
… This interaction with the maid was one that happened a few minutes ago. Now, Kirishima Yuuki was standing in front of a door. He was standing in front of the room of the god called Kanaruzawa Sekai, where, just a few hours ago, he made a marriage proposal for the first time in his life. Considering what happened last time, it couldn’t be helped that he would hesitate before he moved to knock on the door.
(I know I did something wrong, but…) Yuuki thought, (I was forced into an unknown situation. Then shouldn’t it be normal for something weird to happen? I wasn’t that much in the wrong, right?)
Besides, he never really understood what was going on. The path that he was forced to followed was foretold ten years ago. It was decided that he was to be a sacrifice to god, an underling to god, a slave more than anything else. He felt that he had accepted this as his future and prepared accordingly.
However, reality was very different from what he expected. Because it was the room of the god that protects the world, he thought that he would be greeted inside a grand and magnificent castle. Instead, he was shown to a damp and old mansion somewhere inside a residential area in Tokyo. Yuuki wasn’t greeted by a line of spiritual beings like he expected, but by a single maid who did not seem did not seem that much older than him. Since it was a meeting with god, an unreal being, there should have been many procedural steps taken before the meeting. At the very least, an explanation should be given before the actual meeting itself.
In the end, it was all such a letdown. Yuuki felt that the disappointment, was definitely a reason that he acted so weirdly.
(Well… it’s all still a bunch of excuses.)
From the start, he never thought that his duty would be easy. Although he was forced into it, he decided to suck it up and move forward.
(What happens, happens!)
He took a deep breath.
He knocked on the door.
Then, he held his breath as he opened the door.
“Nice to meet you. I am a god,” the girl said while holding a cigar.
She kept her eyes on the book on her lap, never looking at Kirishima Yuuki even once.
“My name is Kanaruzawa Sekai.” The girl blows out a puff of smoke while turning the page of the book, “As you know, you belong to me as of today.”
She was a beautiful girl. Beautiful beyond belief. With silver hair and red eyes, she had an otherworldly aura about her. This was Kirishima Yuuki’s “God”. She, alone, is the otherworldly existence that has and will continue to protect the world for thousands of years to come. Kirishima Yuuki is now the sacrifice that is being given to her.
“If you don’t like it, you can try to escape. You may even decide to take your own life.” The girl smiled coldly, “However, do not forget, that you are the ninth generation of your family. You have been chosen by the Tsukumo Organization to become—”
“…Nononono.” Yuuki finally came back to reality, “Wait a moment. Wait.”
He was shaking his head vigorously. While holding the bridge of his nose with his fingers, he said, “Eh, what? Is it just me? Or was that just a repeat of what happened earlier? Ummm, what is this?”
Sekai was shocked, her mouth open as if trying making out the last few sounds of her previous statement.
One second, two seconds… five seconds… ten seconds.
Within the silence, a strange atmosphere flowed. Sekai then coughed once and began to speak again.
“Nice to meet you. I am g—”
“I said that that’s enough already.”
Unintentionally, Yuuki made a retort. Mugu, the young girl held her mouth shut. An awkward silence comes between them again.
Tick, tock, tick, tock.
Inside, only the wall clock is echoed within the room. Even the slightest sound seemed to be sucked out by the snow outside the window.
Eh… what is with this situation? Yuuki thought. I was prepared to leave my fate up to change, but the current situation was unexpected. Something is seriously wrong with this situation. What should I do?
The silence continued.
As unbearable mood fills the air, he thought it would be better to think of the situation as one-time gag.
The young girl let out a sound. Looking at her, it was still the face of the girl that was smoking the cigar earlier, but looking closely it has been dyed a bright red. That wasn’t all, she covered her face with the book on her lap and curled up like a small hamster or something like that.
What is happening? Yuuki started to feel like he did something bad. Even so, when this happens to the person that he’s supposed to devote himself to, what is this situation? More importantly, what’s with her?
Is it that…
Is it because I wasn’t following along as she tried to restart from when they first met? Is that why her face turned red?
“Ah… do you want to start over from when I come in and open the door again? Like redoing the challenge from the start again?”
“… It’s alright.” While covering her face, the young girl shakes her head. The awkward silence came back once more. Just as Yuuki was thinking about how to follow up, she spoke again.
“It’s your fault.” The young girl murmured, her eyes peeking out slightly above the book, “It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Our first meeting was supposed to be more beautiful, cool. It would’ve been like a piece of art, where, after an elegant and brilliant exchange of words, you would sincerely express your respect for me, swear your life to me, and then we would both commemorate our first step together. And yet this happened.”
“Haa, I see…”
Is that so? That’s was what she was thinking about? Even though she’s a god? Even though she’s lived for a thousand years?
“I had been thinking about it for forever. The start of anything is important after all.”
“You were thinking? About what…?”
“It’s obvious. Our dialogue.”
“About how things were going to flow, about what we would say after you entered this room. I had simulated everything inside my head and was confident that I could handle anything that would happen.”
Slowly, the young girl spoke. Yuuki listened with a blank expression, “According to my assumptions, you should’ve been more afraid, at least that’s how it was supposed to be. I am an existence equal to god, the one who should’ve had the initiative, the one who was supposed to control you. Despite that, despite all of that, you…”
“It’s your fault. Everything, all of it, is your fault.”
“No, even if you put it that way…”
“It’s your fault.”
Yuuki became more and more frustrated. It wasn’t enough for Yuuki to just shrug his shoulder at this point. The resentment that has continuously built up for the whole day, no, for the past ten or so years, caused Yuuki to open his mouth and speak.
“That’s how you say it. However, didn’t you have a lot to do with the current situation as well?”
The young girl showed a bewildered expression at the sudden change in Yuuki’s tone. Ignoring it, Yuuki continued speaking,
“For me, I was brought here for a reason I didn’t even understand, was forced to meet you for a reason that I didn’t understand. Yet, you tell me with a condescending tone that ‘It’s all my fault’, I can’t accept that. Even if you’re a god, that’s just too high-handed.”
“… Ye… ah”
“It’s actually very bothersome. Besides, why was I brought here in the first place? I was told to become an offering, a sacrifice, what does that mean anyways? Who asked for this? Who decided this? Specifically, what am I supposed to be doing? If you don’t even tell me, how am I supposed to know what to do. After all this, I was told that everything was my fault, and I was supposed to take responsibility, that’s a joke right.”
“Actually, it didn’t just cause problems for me, even my family was bothered. Even now it’s at the point where they’ll only just barely be able manage somehow, just at the point before the family collapses. To be blunt, our family had collapsed at some point in the past. Destroyed in one fell swoop. Yeah, that’s the only way to put it.”
Yuuki stood up again. Then, as if everything was built up behind a dam, all of her emotions were let out in that one moment. Almost as if it was by reflex, she let out a cry. At first, there was just a small stream of tears, then, in the next moment,
She started crying. She’s a god that has lived for a thousand years. However, she started crying like a child.
“…eh? This can’t be real, right? Eh?”
“Uu… gusu… fueeeeeh…”
Yuuki started to panic. For a man, watching the figure of a crying girl was the worst feeling.
“It’s my fault. Actually, it’s a hundred percent my fault. You didn’t do anything wrong. That’s why, stop crying? Please?”
Yuuki didn’t know what to do. After a little hesitation, he pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket. The girl accepted the handkerchief carefully, as if caring for something precious, and wiped her tears. For Yuuki, he had already lost count of the amount of times that he has felt confused. What on earth is this situation? I really do not understand. Someone please help.
Suddenly, the girl spoke.
“Please marry me, you said.” Her nose kept on running as she continued on, “Isn’t your treatment of me also a little too harsh? My situation was not that much different from you. I was suddenly told a few days ago that someone was going to brought here as an offering to me, so I was very confused. I was very very confused. Adding on to that, I haven’t met a human from the outside world for a very long time, longer than I can remember.”
“…Eh. Is that so?”
That’s the first time Yuuki heard about that. He had never even thought that before. Both Yuuki and her were placed in the same circumstances, and maybe they had even more in common.
“For a while now, I have been looking forward to meeting you. After all, I have always been alone.”
“However, I am god, and you are an offering, that relationship cannot be called equal. But still, I wanted to get along with you. Yet, you exceeded my imagination. Really, s-suddenly asking me for marriage… what were you even thinking…”
Yuuki thought, while he continued to watch as the god’s tears kept falling.
I get it now.
There was another reason he didn’t see any problem with proposing to a stranger. The reason was Kanaruzawa Sekai’s beauty. She isn’t of this world, that is something that a lot of people would probably say about her, he thought. In terms of looks, she wouldn’t lose to anyone in terms of beauty, those words would not be an exaggeration.
Pure white skin.
Dazzling silver hair that couldn’t be compared to wigs or dyed hair.
And, last but not least, her shining red eyes.
Yuuki didn’t want to believe that he was such a simple minded person. He wanted to use what her sister once said as an excuse, but none of that mattered in the end. One look at her figure caused his heart to tighten, and next thing he knew, he was proposing to her, that was all.
—a little bit after that.
The young girl finally regains her composure,
“I do apologize. I couldn’t help myself.”
“No, it was my bad.”
The young girl gave a slight nod, as Yuuki lowered his head towards her. Just like before, both of them looked down, unwilling to have their eyes meet.
“…I” She raised her hand, during the heavy silence that dominated the situation. Then, as if she decided on something, she opened her mouth to speak, “I have something I want to ask you.”
“Something you want to ask?”
“Yeah. Something that I have to ask no matter what. It is something that I cannot let go no matter what.”
“Well then, I can’t do anything about it. I’ll answer if I can.”
“Y-yeah. I see,” Kohon kohon, she coughed to clear her throat. Kami-sama faced downwards and looked at Yuuki with upturned eyes, “You asked for marriage, and I accepted it. Of course, I did this because that was your wish as the offering and the wish of an offering must be granted; that is the price of becoming the offering.”
“Yes, I see.”
“So, when will we have our first night?”
Yuuki widened his eyes in disbelief. The young girl ignored Yuuki and continued, “The couple of the marriage must consummate the bond, entangle their bodies, and produce a child. That should be common sense in this world. It is naturally called the ‘first night’ because it is something that happens in the night. I’m assuming that it is usually better for it to be done sooner rather than later.”
“Nonono.” Yuuki held his brow, “Sorry, but, what you are trying to say? I don’t understand.”
“Just in case, I’ll explain it to you more clearly. The first night is a ritual where you’re supposed to turn me, your wife, into a woman for the first time.”
“N-no need to say it so clearly!”
“I—I’m sorry. Because it is important, I didn’t want there to be any misunderstandings. Also, you said that you didn’t understand what I was saying.”
“No, well, I did say that, …but, please wait. I do know what you mean, and I appreciate you explaining in a polite way, but even then, it’s still too early for that.”
“Ear… ly? I thought it was always like that… during the Heian and Muromachi period, something like that was completely normal.”
“What era are we talking about now!? More importantly, now, there are a bunch of things to do when you get married. I don’t know how it was in the past though.”
“I—Is that so? No, I guess that’s how it is, that’s right. That was careless of me.”
“Seriously. Please, give me a break.”
“Even if you say it like that, it’s not like I acted without thinking. I judged your personality to be an aggressive one, that’s why I thought that the earlier it was, the better. After all, you did propose to me, a god, the first time we have ever met…”
“Mugu. That was well…”
Somehow, she had a point.
“No, wait. Please wait a moment.” However, Yuuki continued to hang on. Struggling, he chose his words carefully, “Anyways, putting the part about the proposal aside, the two of us don’t know much about each other.”
“Of course it is like that. We have only met for the first time today after all. But we’ll get to know each other some more from now on, right?”
“By the way, I’m only sixteen…”
“As far as I’m concerned, the rules of the world don’t pertain to me. Age is not a problem.”
“Speaking of which, can you even get married? You are a god, right?”
“There isn’t a rule that says I can’t marry because I’m a god. It’s not that rare in other myths after all.”
“Well, that is true, but…”
Both Yuuki’s body and mind were getting heavier. What is this? This feeling of regret? This feeling of hopelessness? Every time I interact with this god, I can hear the sound of my expectations collapsing. Well, how should I put this. I was prepared for something serious, this is completely a love comedy.
“Do you…” Still, Yuuki did not stop resisting, “Do you not dislike it? Marrying someone you don’t know well, so suddenly.”
“I am only fulfilling your wish, that is all.”
“Because that is the rule set by the Tsukumo organization?”
“That’s one part of it. But, there are always ways to find loopholes in those types of things. It isn’t to say that the rule holds no influence, but it isn’t like I am completely restricted by it.”
“Even if you put it that way, if, after marrying, you found out that my personality was the absolute worse. What would you do then?”
“Do not worry about that. When I first met you, I was able to confirm it. You aren’t a bad person. After all, there is a bad atmosphere around people like that, and talking with you like this, I do not feel that way.”
She’s so naïve. One day she’ll be deceived. Or soYuuki thought, but he didn’t say it out loud. The god looked at Yuuki, however, he couldn’t look into her eyes due to the glittering, pure innocence in her gaze.
“Besides…” Kami-sama added, “You and I will be together forever anyways.”
Such a cheesy thing to say.
Still, it was her first memorable smile. It was a smile that warmed the heart, as if it could blow away the winter coldness, and melt the snow. It seemed to Yuuki, that it maybe wasn’t so bad to be devoting himself to her from now on.
(Ah… Dammit) He thought.
At the same time, (I guess I’ve already decided), he also thought.
Well, this is my one life, a life that was almost given up.
“Ummm… Then…” The speed at which he scratched his head became faster. Ah—Ah—Ah—, he adjusted his tone. He rolled his neck and shoulders in order to relax and dusted off his clothes. Kirishima Yuuki then spoke, “Again, nice to meet you. I’ll be in your care.”
And Kanaruzawa Sekai replied, “Likewise, I’ll be in your care.”
With all things said and done.
The both of them decided to get married.
- A Hanamaru is that swirly shape from Naruto, if any of you guys have watched it. The shape is generally used to tell students good job. It looks like this: