A long long time ago, there was a goddess.
Since the goddess was a goddess, she held a strange power. She made humans, built civilizations, and filled the planet’s surface with prosperity.
The goddess was respected and worshipped by many people.
She didn’t dislike that.
She loved humans, and she loved the world that she herself had built.
In return, humans developed various technologies and arts, foolishness and wisdom, ugliness and beauty; the world glittered like a kaleidoscope, delighting the goddess.
The world was overflowing.
Yet, “those times” have yet to come.
Yuuki was told that his daily life was, for the most part, guaranteed.
“We believe that Yuuki-sama is something that we must keep alive as long as possible. After all, it would be hard to find a replacements.”
Well, thank you for your kindness, or at least, that’s what Yuuki thought on the surface. However, his actual thoughts were of cows and pigs that were raised with affection so that they can be eaten later on.
“What do you mean by daily life?” Yuuki asked for confirmation. Chiyo-san was the name of the young maid from earlier and to that beautiful and scary person who took care of the goddess’s mansion, he asked, “What range or to what extent is it guaranteed?”
“Almost all of it, with a few exceptions.”
“Then, for example, can I live with my family?”
“There is no problem.”
“Am I free to go out whenever I want without curfew? Is going overseas, OK?”
“Feel free to do as you please.”
“Can I have my own romantic relationships?”
“Experiencing your youth should not be a problem.”
“Then, what if I tried to seduce you, Chiyo-san?”
“If you hold sexual frustrations, please do it anytime.”
Yuuki had intended it as a joke, but he got a nod and a smile in return.
It seems that he really could do anything. However, her smile was still scary.
“Then, or more importantly, I’m curious about what these ‘few exceptions’ are.”
“It’s not anything very demanding. Understand your role and respond to my mistress’s requests. Visit my mistress’s place at fixed times and days. That is all.”
“… Now that I’ve asked, the job sounds rather simple.”
“Please, give your feelings of gratitude to my mistress.” After answering Yuuki’s questions, the maid said, “As the sacrifice, you are allowed to do what you want, that is what our Mistress wishes. Since she has given you this amount of kindness, I ask of you not to make her sad, please? Danna-sama.”
“… And so, I got married.”
“Is that so. Heeeh~” Koiwai Kurumi nodded at Yuuki’s confession.
They were inside Murakumo Private High School, Second Year, Class A’s classroom.
While other classmates already left since it was after school, they, as class representatives, were busy organizing printouts.
“…eeh? Eeeh?” About ten seconds late in reacting, Koiwai Kurumi widened her eyes. “Wai… eh? What did you just say?”
“That’s right. I got married.” Yuuki repeated that as he stapled together the printouts.
“Umm…” His class representative partner made a dazed expression, “Umm… Sorry Yuuki-kun. I don’t understand what you mean by ‘And so’, but I did happen to hear the rest of it. Marriage? Really?”
“Yeah. Marriage. Really.” Yuuki sticks out his chest and flares out his nose in a smug way.
“Ma-ma-ma-marriage. Marriage. Mar-ri-age. M-a-r-r-i-a-g-e…”  On the other hand, Kurumi had wide eyes and was in a flustered state. “…Nono. Now that I think about it, there is no way that is possible. Stop it, don’t lie to me, because I end up trusting people very easily.”
“Yeah… that’s what you would think right.”
“More importantly, aren’t you the same age as me, 16? You can’t even marry.”
“Yeah… that’s exactly correct.”
“Yuuki-kun is such a bad person, you know, trying to trick me, who is weak, into believing you and then laughing at me. That’s basically a scam. This is what they call a marriage scam.”
Thinking that she said something clever, his classmate laughed, her hair waved around slightly as she shook.
“Besides, if Yuuki got married,” She changed out the staples in the stapler, “I wonder how your sister would react.”
“Let’s see, first, she would probably fall over. Next, she would foam at the mouth and faint. From there, she would revive like a zombie and curse at me. Finally, she would say, I really hate Onii-sama, and cry. Well, that should be how it would go.”
“Right… that sounds about right.”
“It would be nice if she doesn’t bring out the kitchen knives.”
“Yeah. Your sister is such a brocon.”
“Anyways…” Yuuki was checking a bunch of the completed prints. “From now on, for anyone who tries to make passes at me, it’ll be considered adultery. Playing with fire isn’t allowed, you know?”
“I don’t think that would be enough of a restraint to hold her back.”
“No. It’s just small talk.”
“More importantly, how long are you going to keep up? This setting about being married.”
“No idea. Actually, that’s what I would like to ask.”
“Fuun. Weird. I guess it’s normal for Yuuki-kun, though.”
“Well, to be honest…”
Being able to converse lightly like this, being able to live normally and go to school, he felt that this may be the last bit of joy that he could hang on to. To be honest, he never expected to have the chance to talk to Koiwai Kurumi like this today—the other day, when he was summoned by the Tsukumo organization without any prior notice, he had already thought that he would never be returning again.
He was aware that he still had no say, that he still had his role to fulfil, and he would still live on a daily basis according to the assumption that he would one day be unable to return… however, it was as if he was hit by a truck, seeing it happen to him while experiencing the sensations involved, except, he left that experience without any injury at all. That was definitely what Yuuki was feeling right now. He was lacking a feel for reality, to the point where even after a few days, he couldn’t quite put his feet on solid ground.
… He ended up explaining all of his feelings to Kurumi.
“I see.” She nodded. “I understand what you are getting at. The reason that is causing you to act weirdly for these past few days, I completely understand it.”
“… do you really understand? This is from my point of view, but if I were in Koiwai-san’s position, I definitely wouldn’t get it from just my explanation earlier.”
“I got it, for sure. Yuuki-kun is quite popular with girls after all, I can accept it.”
“What?” Yuuki made an expression that seemed to question what she was talking about.
On the other hand, Kurumi had an expression that seemed to say that she has seen through everything.
“Say, Yuuki-kun, don’t you say this sometimes? Just living is a profit, or something along those lines. It’s like you’re enlightened, like your mind has opened to something new… kind of like that.”
“I’m not that big of a deal. There’s a limit to exaggerating you know?”
“Maybe. But you know, most girls say what’s on the inside is more important than the outside. However, that isn’t exactly how it is in reality, how things look and the impression given is what is really important.”
“Fuun. Is that how it is?”
“A Yankee being popular is based on the same reasoning. Don’t you think their hair, dyed a bizarre color and stiffened into spikes is the same as male peacocks and their gorgeous feathers? Anyways, anyone who shows themselves to be good in some way is a winner.”
I see. I feel like I can understand that.
“Basically, girls are weak to dangerous men. What you see as a complicated creature are really very simple.”
“There are a lot of people that give off that feeling, just to seem cool, but that’s not how Yuuki-kun is. What seems to come from your body… is like the smell of death.”
“Fufu. So, there’s nothing to compliment about me?”
“Nono, there’s no way for that to be the case. After all, Yuuki-kun is a rich young master. If I put my mind to it I can think of a lot of great things? Ufufu.”
“Agh—! All girls are basically looking for money, then!”
“Love and money have about the same amount of importance. …Ah, there’s a mistake on the printout.”
“O.K. I’ll fix it.”
Such an exchange had started their afterschool session together.
“Well, see you tomorrow, Yuuki-kun.”
As usual, those were always her parting words. They’ve known each other for so long that she became the person that he had confided in about his current circumstances. That’s why to him, there was a meaning in the words, “see you tomorrow”, he thought.
Hopefully, there will still be a tomorrow.
Hopefully, the day after, and the day after that, and so on, would come to pass without any problems.
An opportunity to resume his meeting with Kanaruzawa Sekai was set for the next day.
(Still, this became quite a weird experience.) Katan koton. Katan koton. Yuuki thought while he stood, swaying, on the Sobu Line. (Who would have thought that I would marry a goddess… What will happen from now on?)
He got off at the subway at the station and passed through the ticket gates, and walked along a line of ginkgo trees.
This area was a quiet residential area in Tokyo and was also designated as a specially protected area, as such, there was not much development in this area of town. Here and there, quite a few western style buildings still remained from before the war, with people still living in them.
Yuuki walked down the main road opposite from the station and entered the residential area. The road was a series of slopes and stairs that winded like an old snake, and shortly thereafter, the building of his destination came into view.
This would be his second time visiting the goddess’s mansion.
“We have been waiting for you.” Standing in front of the blue and rusted gate, Chiyo welcomed Yuuki before he could press the doorbell. “Our mistress is waiting for you. Please come inside.”
“…Thank you. Excuse me.”
Yuuki couldn’t handle the maid very well.
She had a kind of gentle beauty to her and didn’t seem very far from in age. However, her smile had an oppressive feeling that made your stomach twist when you saw it.
“Meeting with my Mistress…” Chiyo-san asks as she leads him into the mansion. “Have you gotten used to it yet?”
“Well… I’ll manage I think.”
“Those words seem reliable, I am much obliged. For you to feel so confident, Yuuki-sama, did you make some sort of preparation?”
“There’s nothing like that. However, there is one thing that I have made up my mind on.”
“What is it?”
“It’s a secret.”
“… Very well. As long as there are results, I won’t ask for the means. Good luck, I hope things go well.”
They arrived in front of Kanaruzawa Sekai’s room. Chiyo-san gave a slight bow and disappeared back down the hall, leaving Yuuki alone.
“Now… let’s see.”
He confronted the door.
Although not as much as the first time, he was still a little bit nervous. They were now married and through that, they were technically husband and wife, but she was still an otherworldly existence.
How will he be greeted today?
Will she welcome Yuuki in a resolute and gracious way, befitting a high-ranking existence like a goddess?
It was like that originally … but façade was quickly torn down. Will it become another comedic performance again? Hopefully not, but they say that if there’s a second time for something there’s also a third.
(Well, whatever.) Yuuki stopped hesitating. There isn’t any point in thinking about it anymore. If it becomes like the second time, my heart is prepared. It won’t become like last time. (Okay, lets go!)
He took a few deep breaths to prepare himself.
After knocking, Yuuki opened the door.
Then, his eyes practically jumped. Sitting there was the figure of a goddess who had lived for a thousand years, naked with red ribbon wrapped all around her body.
“Welcome back, Da—ar—ling.”
Yuuki doubted what was in front of his eyes: Kanaruzawa Sekai sitting flatly on her bed, in a worrying pose.
“Do you want a meal? Or a bath? Or maybe you… want… me? Tehe.” She said.
His whole body turning completely white, dark vertical lines showing up around the forehead, and a single drop of blood coming from the end of the lips — this manga-like expression was definitely what described Yuuki at that moment.
“W-welcome back, darling.” Sekai attacks again, “Do you want a meal? Or a bath? Or maybe you… want… me? Tehe.”
Yuuki gently closed the door. He returned down the hall with quick steps to the reception room where the maid was waiting.
“Umm, Excuse me. Sorry, Chiyo-san.”
“Is something wrong?”
To the maid, who had calmly lifted a teacup to her lips, he said, “Ummm, well. Your master seems to be an idiot. What should I do?”
“Whether or not it’s a joke, you have quite a bit of nerve to be insulting my Mistress. Shall I give you a kick in the crotch with everything I have as a reward.”
“No, it’s not a joke. I really mean it.”
“There is only one thing I can say.” She said while adding jam to the teacup, “Please return to my Mistress. If you don’t want to, I’ll use my foot and kick you like a soccer ball all the way back down the hall if you want.”
“I am sorry, but I will have to decline.”
“I’m really good at dribbling, though? It can be compared to Maradona .”
“That’s an unnecessary concern.”
“Please try and do something about it, if your earlier words were just a lie to show off, I’ll hit you.”
“Nono, even if you say that…”
“Please turn back towards your right. If you don’t, I’ll actually start dribbling you.”
He was chased back. In the end, he has to go back along the same route.
(Well, guess it can’t get any worse?) He was still organizing his confused thoughts.
This goddess who has lived for thousands of years, who became his partner for life, had said things that made it seem like something was wrong with her head, all while being naked.
That’s all .
Aren’t those lines usually said while in a naked apron? That question had been blown away by the impact of the situation. What else could he have done except to softly close the door?
However, he couldn’t give up his mission. Going back again to the room where the tragedy had played out, he opened the door.
“Uuu… gusu…” She was crying her heart out. Kanaruzawa Sekai used her hands to wipe her tears, leaving the naked ribbon hanging around her, “That was rude. It was way too rude. Even though I had finally brought up my courage to do something like that there wasn’t even a reaction… what kind of person would just walk away after seeing something like that…”
“Ah, no, well. What is it? How should I put this…?”
“Was that not done the right way?”
“Well… it isn’t exactly normal.”
“Did you not have this kind of interest?”
“Isn’t there something else you should be asking before wondering whether I had an interest in it.”
“If pushed like this, what type of man wouldn’t give in?”
“How much misguided information do you have?”
“For old and short person like me, I guess you wouldn’t get worked up about me?”
“For someone who’s lived for a thousand years to talk about lifespan…”
“Ahh! I understand, I understand, so don’t cry. Please, don’t cry!” Nothing makes a guy feel worse than making a woman cry. “Ummm. How should I say this?”
He needed to at least find something to follow up with. Thinking desperately, his thoughts turned within his mind. “Look, it’s that. Basically, I couldn’t react because it was too amazing. Really. That’s why there’s no reason for you to cry.”
“Well… you… that, you know. You were so beautiful and cute, and even sexy, that I didn’t know what to do. That’s why I didn’t say anything and just closed the door softly.”
“Really really. Seriously.”
“I am beautiful, cute, and appealing?”
“Yeah. I guarantee it.”
“To you, I am an attractive existence?”
“Well… yeah? After all, I did propose to you the first time we met. Would I do that if I didn’t find the person to be attractive? Probably not, right?”
“… Fumun.” Zuzuzu, after she blew her nose, Kami-sama finally stopped crying. “I see. I am attractive. Fufu.”
She turned around and smiled in a good mood. At the same time. Her cheeks were blushing. Her cheeks were of such a bright color, that it was like the color of strawberry syrup mixed into milk.
“Ah.” Tears came to her eyes again as she hugged her chest with both arms tightly, “Please, don’t look at me. I’m so embarrassed that I could die.”
“… Now you’re saying that?”
“It’s just that I wanted to draw your attention.” She narrowed her lips, “I am aware that our meeting was a very weird occurrence. Because of that, I wanted to quickly shorten the distance between us, so I ended up acting boldly.”
“I’m happy for your thoughts, but it is still a little early for what you did.”
“Is that so? However, according to the book, both the naked ribbon and the naked apron were both written down as great techniques.”
“Please dispose of a book like that. Only lies are written in books like that.”
“By the way, that book was a recommendation from Chiyo…”
So this is what insects in a lion  means. It seems like there is a need to talk to her at least once. Depending on the reply, it might be Yuuki who would be doing the dribbling, not her.
“Anyways. No matter what you want to do, can you try take it in smaller steps? If you don’t, I won’t be able to keep up.”
“I understand. I’ll do that.”
“Also, do not trust that maid so easily.”
“I understand. I won’t.”
“Hekkuchu!” Kami-sama sneezes.
Two more times. It was such a cute sneeze.
“… Since your dressed like that, of course you would be cold. For now, change into clothes. I’ll be waiting outside.”
—Twenty minutes later.
Yuuki finally faced a properly dressed Kanaruzawa Sekai.
“Fuu. That feels better.” Pukapuka, the goddess smoked her cigar while giving a sigh of relief. “Nevertheless, there are many things in this world that I don’t know. I have realized that my common sense is not equal to the common sense of a normal person.”
“Is that so? That’s good.”
“Today’s experience has become a great lesson for the future. I am grateful to you, Yuuki. Because of you, I have gotten a little wiser.”
“Your welcome… By the way…” Sitting down in a chair for guests, Yuuki questions her. “If it is possible, would you mind turning around when you talk to me? For a while now, you have been facing away from me as you talk to me.”
“I refuse.” While sitting in the rocking chair and facing outside through the window, the goddess gives an adamant refusal. “At least for today, I have decided to not look at your face today. This is what I, as goddess, have decided.”
“…well, I understand how you feel, but…”
“In my thousand years of living, that was the most embarrassing thing that I have done.” She squeezed her shoulders while trembling, “Actually, there was probably something wrong with me. Now that I can calmly think about it, I was completely pulled along by Chiyo… it was all her fault.”
“That’s right. She’s the one at fault.”
“Therefore, I have done nothing wrong.”
“No. Normally, someone would still think you had some sort of responsibility in this.”
“So, please look this way. Otherwise, it’s too hard to talk to you. Actually, don’t you think it’s a bit rude? You are a goddess, and I belong to you, but I am still a guest of sorts.”
“Munu…” With a small cry of protest, the goddess becomes silent.
After a while, she turns around with great reluctance, “Towards the old and short me, aren’t you a bit too strict.”
“I don’t want to hear that from a person who has lived for a thousand years.”
“However, you have a point with what you have said. And so, I will turn around and speak to you. I will hold in my embarrassment.”
Unexpectedly, she was quite straightforward.
After seeing her like this, Yuuki ended up feeling more attracted to her. There was no way for him to hate her.
“Alright. Then, once again. Hello, Kami-sama.”
“Y-yeah. Hello, Kirishima Yuuki.”
“This is the first time we have been able properly speak to each other like this. As such, we can treat this like our first meeting, and open up with a reasonable pace.”
“Yeah. That is correct.”
“It’s such nice weather today. Last time it was snowing though.”
“Yeah. It’s warm and relaxing today.”
After she finished smoking one cigar, Sekai found and lit a new one. Her pace was fast. According to Yuuki’s abundant common sense, cigars should be enjoyed slowly over a somewhat long period of time… maybe they don’t last that long, or maybe she was just really nervous.
“For now, I have a few things I would like to ask.”
“Yeah. Please ask me anything.”
“Our relationship, what is it going to become?”
“I was offered to you as a sacrifice, and so I became your property. That is correct, right?”
“Yeah. That is correct.”
“However, I ended up proposing to you, and you accepted it. Therefore, we also have the relationship of husband and wife… what does this mean exactly? Which relationship takes precedence?”
“I am troubled even if you ask me.” The goddess said that without any hesitation. “About our relationship, neither Chiyo or the Tsukumo organization have said anything about it. Therefore, I can’t judge it, nor can I make a decision about it.”
“There’s no need to mind it. It’s fine to not think about things you don’t understand. It’s a waste of time. Nothing has been said to you about it, right?”
“Well, that’s true. Nothing has been said to me.”
“What else would you like to ask about?”
“Umm, well…that’s right, why was I chosen exactly? For what reason did I become your property?”
“I am troubled even if you ask me.” The goddess said that without any hesitation. “It is the job of the Tsukumo organization to pick the offering, I have no say in who it is. I am not even given a reason. As such, I have no idea about the reason you were chosen.”
“…no, well, even then…”
“Even though I am a goddess, I’m not an omnipotent and omniscient existence.” With a troubled expression, she said, “That’s why, I don’t know what I don’t know. I can’t tell you something I don’t know. If you do want to know, you should ask Chiyo. She should know what you want to find out about.”
“I guess it’s impossible, then. Even if I ask Chiyo-san, she won’t even tell me anything, that’s why I’m asking you.”
“I see. If it’s like that, then there’s nothing you can do. You give it up.”
“Nono. Since it’s important, you should be trying to follow up in some way. More importantly, since you’re a goddess, a person of great status, of higher status than Chiyo-san—”
“Such a weak thoughts. I thought it was explained pretty simply and clearly, but you still can’t understand. I hope not but maybe, you’re actually an idiot?”
She had on a very worried expression that gave Yuuki a very weird feeling.
“But I can say this I believe?” Seeing Yuuki like that, the goddess adds. “Me meeting you like this, and talking to you, is something I really looked forward to. And now, I am really enjoying it. For me, this is everything.”
“…Is that so. Thanks for that.”
Again, without any bad intentions, she seriously put that out there. Being shown such a straightforward attitude, Yuuki had nothing that he could say. It’s somewhat embarrassing.
“Roger. I understand.” He changed the topic. “More importantly, there’s something I wanted to say to you today.”
“Yeah. Let’s hear it.”
“First, before that, I want to know more about you. Technically, well, we’re a married couple now, right? That’s correct, right? However, we don’t really know much about each other. Let’s start by properly getting to know each other first.”
“I agree completely with you on that, Yuuki. I also want to know more about you. Everything should start from there—it makes me relieved as it seems like you aren’t actually an idiot.”
“Thank you very much for that. Ummm, then, I have a question right now.”
“Wait, wait. For a while now, you have done nothing but ask questions. Even I have a lot of things that I want to know about you. Now, it’s time for the old and short me to have her turn.”
“Well, I guess I have been pushing you quite a bit.” For now, he would bear with it. But where was he supposed to start.
“Let me hear about your past.” That was the goddess’s request.
“Talk about my past…” Yuuki scratched his head. “It might not be an interesting story, though?”
“I do not mind.”
“Moreover, it’s not something I really want to remember.”
The goddess was eager for it.
She was so focused, that she didn’t notice that the fire on the cigar had gone out. Apparently, there was no way out. In the end, Yuuki decided to say what he could.
It has been 16 years since Yuuki has been born. He was the born successor to Kirishima Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company that has stood for three generations already. His father married into the family but had a calm personality with an ambition that wasn’t small. On the other hand, his mother had a short temper and was quite spontaneous, but she was hardworking and kind.
The couple was well-educated and economically well off, so it can be said that Yuuki grew up in a “blessed” environment.
However, a little after he started going to elementary school, the winds changed. One day, a man, with a fake smile on his face and dressed in a salesman like outfit, came to visit the mansion of the Kirishima family. “Congratulations. We have found that your son will be the one to save this world. Therefore, at some point in the future, we will come to pick him up, at that time, please let him go.” Of course, at the beginning, no one took him seriously. The man’s words were rude, surprising, and seemed meaningless above all else. His father was shocked, his mother outraged, they chased out the man and sprinkled salt behind him. That was how that day went down.
But the man came again the next day.
The man came again the next day, and the day after that, and each time would say、 “Congratulations”. Of course, the man was prohibited from freely entering the premises of the mansion, and no one should be inviting him over, and yet, he would always enter from somewhere and end up suddenly at the front door with a fake smile plastered over his face.
Neither the police, the detectives, nor the security company were helpful in anyway. The man definitely had something up his sleeve, as the man would always be able to bypass the security and intrude the Kirishima family’s mansion. No one knew who he was, where he came from, or where he lived.
His parents, feeling disturbed, gave way and reluctantly allowed the man another chance to speak.
This time as well, the same things as before were said. That there was a goddess in this world and that this goddess protected this world. That Yuuki was chosen to be given to the goddess, or in other words, a sacrifice. This decision can not be overturned, and they were not given the right to refuse—
His parents were furious. Even his father, normally gentle, threatened the man with his face bright red.
“Retribution for talking to us like this will definitely come”, those words came pouring out in anger like hot oil. Both his father and mother stood fast and firmly refused the man.
I understand, the man nodded with his face still covered in a fake smile. I will come again someday to ask again, at that time, I expect a good reply.
At that, his parents snorted in laughter. The both of them were determined to not give way even one step. It was a confidence backed by real facts. After all, Kirishima Pharmaceuticals was a large global company. It had connections with politicians, the police, the mass media, and even within the military. They also had an abundance of wealth. With all these resources, if they couldn’t even protect their one and only son, how could they call themselves father and mother?
They could afford to do even more.
However, looking at the results, that confidence didn’t even last half a year.
First, their relationships with friends were targeted. The politicians, the police, the mass media, the military. Their friends broke relationships with them, and they were no longer invited to parties or other events, and even stopped talking to them over the phone. Even the neighborhood was affected, causing Yuuki to beaten in dark alleys and to be talked about behind his back. And slowly but surely, he became isolated at school.
The company was targeted next. A hostile takeover was attempted as someone tried to steal the seat of the company president, the stock price for the company crashed by due to some random gimmick, and all of the responsibility was pinned onto the parents of the founding family.
Adding on to that, the relationships with relatives were targeted. Although their relationship with relatives were not necessarily good, they were still connected by blood, but the relatives slowly distanced themselves from his family one by one and turned coat.
All of these things connected and flowed into a single muddy flow as they were swept away in one fell swoop. It became a scandal. Reporters for magazines came by every day. Politicians expressed concern and regret, the police took opportunities to hide and falsify evidence, the mass media repeatedly bashed them, and debt collectors attacked without mercy.
With this, his parent’s hearts quickly and completely crumbled.
In the end, they were one step away from commiting family homicide. Actually, it was attempted; however, just before it happened, the attempt was discovered and it ended as just an attempt. Even after all this, his parents refused to sacrifice their son.
The last push came from the young Yuuki himself. “It’s alright. I’ll go,” he said. He did not know what would happen when he’s sacrificed, however, he thought everything would be fine as long as he shouldered the burden himself. Moreover, him being a sacrifice would not be a waste. Nothing would happen immediately, but if he could really save the world, then there is nothing else better for him to do. His parents had tried for long enough already—
The man same man who came frequently before, with the same fake smile from before, returned and asked. “Well? What is your reply?”
His parents dropped their shoulders weakly and admitted defeat.
That was the moment that Kirishima Yuuki’s life changed completely, the moment when his life would never return back to the way it was before.
“They’re so scary. The Tsukumo Organization.” After talking for a long time, Yuuki was finally able to take a breather. “Our company was pretty big, you know? Large to the extent that our president was a major figure who was very profitable. Yet that company was driven to the point of bankruptcy in an instant. They really are so scary.”
“Is that so. That must have been a disaster.”
Sekai nods, while Yuuki continues to speak about the episode.
“That time, when my family attempted homicide, the reason it stopped so quickly was probably because the Tsukumo organization had a hand in it. After all, the timing that they had was too good… here, look at this.” Saying that, Yuuki pointed at part of his neck, “Unless you look closely you wouldn’t notice it but… Over here, there’s a scar from where they strangled me. It was made when my family attempted homicide. Since then, it hasn’t healed.”
His father and his mother, there were marks from each of their hands.
Yuuki remembered that moment very clearly. The hollow look in his parent’s eyes. The suffering from being unable to breathe. His conscious slowly fading—he had intended to throw away his memories of the event at the time, but he still painfully remembers it.
“I was suffocating, losing my breath, I had really felt like I was hanging on the verge of death. Like cornering someone into a bad position is OK, but actually pushing someone off a cliff is NG. At least that’s how it should be between close acquaintances. Well, in the end, there’s no meaning if I ended up dying.”
“Yeah. I would be troubled if you died.”
“It was like watching a soccer game where 100 points were taken in just the first half. The match was over pretty early on. That’s why, to be honest, I already given up very early on. But I couldn’t say it. If I did, I would’ve felt bad. For those people who just barely held on and tried their best.”
“Yeah. It’s not like I don’t understand that feeling.”
“As you expected though, ending it there didn’t end up helping very much. My relationship with the rest of the family never returned back to before. …by the way, after the incident, the company’s sales doubled. Relatives also came back, the relationship with neighbors improved, and connections with politicians and other people also returned. I guess, it was no lie when the man said that we would be given ‘guaranteed returns’.”
“Of course it’s like that. It should be natural that some sort of repayment would be made for something like that.”
“Well, that’s what happened. …But, my bad.”
“What are you apologizing for?”
“I still ended up making you cry.” Yuuki lowers his head in apology. “I knew it was a sad story, but I didn’t expect you to cry so much.”
“What are you saying—”
That was her limit.
The goddess had a stubbornly tried to hold it back, but eventually she began to cry. It was like a clear midsummers day suddenly being covered in clouds,
“Sorry, sorry Yuuki. You must have been so sad. It was probably hard on you as well. It was my fault. Sorry, sorry…”
“You don’t need to say that!” Flustered, Yuuki quickly brought out his handkerchief. “It’s alright. Don’t cry. It’s already in the past.”
“Uwaa…aaaaaaaaaa, Sorry, sorry, uaaaaa”
“It’s alright, I have already accepted what has happened. Actually, I’m quite grateful to you. The company did get bigger after all, and now there are a bunch of new workers with jobs instead of walking around with nothing to do.”
“But, everything is my—hikku, ueee”
“I don’t intend to push all the blame on to you. There was nothing you could do anyway, right? The people from the Tsukumo organization probably didn’t do it because they wanted to either. Even if it isn’t like that, it’s alright. That’s what I seriously think.” With that said, Yuuki crouched and adjusted his line of sight. The goddess, with watery red eyes filled with uneasiness, looked straight at him. Yuuki also looks back at her without blinking, “I am glad that I could meet you. It’s enough to make everything even. That’s how I feel. I have met you only two times now, and we’ve had strange conversations, but still… what do you think?”
“Me too.” The goddess smiled while crying. “I am the same. I’m glad that I met you.”
“Is that so. That’s good.” Yuuki also smiles. “By the way. I had something to tell you today.”
“Yeah. Let’s hear it.”
“I proposed to you, and you accepted the proposal. …But” Kohon, he coughed to clear his throat, “I ‘ve been thinking. Once we marry, what should we do. After all, when I did it, I did it without thinking, while going with the flow, and had no plan at all.”
“Yeah. Definitely done without any sense of planning at all.”
“Anyways, after thinking about it, I came up with one thought. Well, I talked about it with the Maid-san earlier for a little bit—it’s about what I need to do now that I have married you.” Kohon, he coughed to clear his throat again. “Kami-sama. I want to make you happy.”
“…make me happy?”
“Yeah. That’s what I have decided. No matter what happens, no matter what you do, I will make you happy. It doesn’t matter if the world turns against us. For the sake of your happiness, I will become especially selfish. That is the one absolute rule that I need to follow after proposing to you.” Yuuki strongly asserted that. The goddess, on the other hand, looked surprised. “…No. Sorry, it probably seems obvious in the first place. Actually, it probably should’ve been done in the opposite order, but don’t worry about it. I wonder, did I say too much? Yeah, that’s right, if something like this was said so suddenly, normally, one would—”
“No.” The goddess shakes her head. “It’s no problem. It’s very wonderful. Very very nice. I see, for the sake of making me happy. It doesn’t matter if the world becomes my enemy.” She nodded quietly. Closing her mouth tightly, she rolled her tongue as if trying to slowly savor the taste of something like wine. “Yeah. That makes me happy. Very happy. Fufu, thank you, Yuuki. I am very happy. I am thankful from the bottom of my heart.”
Then, she smiles. Like a flower that just bloomed, she smiled.
What is this, Yuuki thought. What is this dazzling smile?
“By the way,” The goddess spoke to Yuuki, whose thoughts were still a mess. “I also have something to say to you. Will you hear it?”
“Something you want to say?”
“That’s right. It’s very, very important. Just like you, I believe it’s something that should have been said first—”
Fuu, she took a deep breath.
Then, she corrected her posture.
“But if I don’t say it now, it will be impossible. After all, I am old and short. That’s why, you need to prepare yourself as I say this.”
“Ye…yeah.” Naturally, Yuuki straightens his back. “I don’t know what it is, but make sure you tell me clearly. Bring it on.”
“Is it alright? Are you prepared to take anything I say?”
“Well—probably. Most things are alright. I think.”
“If you listen half-heartedly and you end up regretting it, you won’t be able to take responsibility?”
“Hey, don’t try to scare me. What is it now?”
Slightly shivering, Yuuki braces himself.
Seeing him like that, the goddess makes a literally god-like expression.
“As goddess, as your wife, I order Kirishima Yuuki.”
“Ple—Please be easy on me.”
“I want you to call me by my name.”
“Name. My name. Kanaruzawa Sekai.” Her eyes were still red and swollen from tears. She showed her white teeth, “You still have yet to call me once by my name. This is strange since we’re husband and wife. So, from now on, call me properly by name. Do you understand?”
After she said that, she laid back in an arrogant manner.
…it was a new discovery. It seems that the goddess is surprisingly mischievous.
- She said marriage in different ways every single time. Once normally with kanji, hiragana, and katakana. I did my best to differentiate between all of them.
- Maradona is a famous soccer player known as one of the greatest of all time.
- I don’t know if this changes your impression, but this was said straight up in English.
- This is what is written literally. It is a Japanese idiom that basically means to be destroyed or defeated from the inside. Based off a story of a lion eating some bugs and getting eaten out from the inside.