The young man that the goddess chose to become the new god was a real hero.
Everyone around the young man praised him, because everyone knew what the new god would have to do in order to fulfill his duty.
He had accepted a duty where he would have to suffer harshly forever as long as the world continued to exist. He felt that if the world was saved, because he took on that suffering, then that would be good.
Everyone around him expressed tears at the young man’s determination and expressed their feelings of gratitude.
However, there was one person who couldn’t accept the young man’s decision.
That’s right. It was the person who the young man had promised to marry.
It was a little after the middle of March when he was called back again to the goddess’s mansion.
An out of season snow was dancing in the air. The weather was going to get colder around this time of year, so Yuuki had thought of doing what he was planning on doing earlier than planned.
Chiyo-san who greeted him at the front door had a smile like usual. It seemed like she had completely forgotten about what happened last time, or as if she was a completely different person as she didn’t show any difference in emotion even when she saw Yuuki.
However, Yuuki did not concern himself with her.
The person that he should be fighting was not this maid.
“… You came, Yuuki.” After entering the usual room, the owner of the room was reading with a chocolate cigarette in one hand. “Welcome. Feel free to make yourself at home.”
Yuuki used just his sight to observe the inside of the room. The smell of alcohol filled the room. A book that he didn’t really know was on her lap. A bottle of alcohol was placed on the desk, where a whiskey glass sat filled with amber-colored liquid. In other words, everything was like normal.
Bring it on.
“Are you planning on acting like nothing happened?” He started with a jab. “I’ve already heard most of it from Chiyo-san. I heard, and I also saw it in person. Your work, I know what it is now.”
“… That was unnecessary.” Sekai listlessly clicked her tongue. “Originally, you should not have known about it, nor was it something you needed to know. Yet, Chiyo did something that unnecessary… what exactly is she thinking?”
Annoyed, she swallowed her chocolate cigarette. “You should forget it. Nothing good will happen if you remember it.”
“No, I don’t want to.”
“I don’t intend to say that I completely understand what you are thinking.” She made a sigh, “However, I can imagine what you are thinking of doing from now on. That’s why, you should stop. There’s nothing you can do.”
“We won’t know unless I try.”
“Then, why don’t you tell me what you can possibly do?” She sneered. “I am a goddess. It is my job to protect this world and keep things as it should be. There is no other person who can accept this role. And, “that way”, is the only way for me to accomplish my work. In such a situation, what can anybody do?”
“Who knows. We won’t know unless we try after all.”
“If I throw away my role, this world will disappear, you know? You, your family, and even I will disappear without a trace. Will you still do it despite that?”
“That isn’t great. But the situation right now is also not so good, you know?”
“It is unavoidable.”
“Is it really like that?”
The wind outside grew. Gradually, the size of each grain of snow became larger. The clouds were thick so that even though it was noon, it seemed like it was dusk. Unfortunately, the current situation was not good.
The things planned ahead will surely be difficult.
“Well, this talk will get us nowhere.” Looking fed up, Sekai smoked a cigar. “I thought you were a man with more prudence. A man that was more of an adult than his age would suggest. But it seems that I was mistaken.”
“Heeh. That’s a coincidence.” Yuuki didn’t lose to her. He flared his nose and said, “I was also mistaken about you. You see, I thought you were a better child.”
“A better child… you say?”
“It’s great that you have the logic of an adult. It’s great that you can properly add and subtract, but something in this world can’t be accounted for based on just obligations. If you’re subject to something unfair you should say “No”. Clearly and in a loud voice. That’s what a proper person would say as long as they’re living with their own pride and dignity.”
“Don’t be mistaken, okay? It’s not like I can’t do normal calculations.” In the name of protecting this world, this planet—because Yuuki was told that he was the only one who could fulfill this role, he accepted such an unreasonable fate. Their levels was different, but their positions were the same. Kirishima Yuuki and Kanaruzawa Sekai. “If things are accounted for based only on obligations, there’s only one conclusion that can be made. If you are wrapped up in long and hard problem, the you can only rely on the shadow of large trees .”
“If that’s the case, then isn’t it fine?” Sekai refuted him. Looking at him from the corner of her eyes, she groaned, “Even based on your own logic earlier, wouldn’t the conclusion still be the same. If you properly take everything into account there is only one answer, right? It’s not better to be a good child, but rather, it’s better to properly act like an adult.”
“No, that’s wrong.”
“What is? Exactly what part of that is wrong?” Sekai bites her nails in frustration.
Yuuki proudly lifted his chest and announced. “It’s because you are my wife. That’s why it’s wrong.”
“We somehow got married for some random reason. However, we have still become a couple. I am the husband, and you are the wife. And, this creature that is called a husband, is one where, at the moment of marriage lives only for the sake of protecting his wife. Whatever it is, his highest priority is to protect his wife. That’s how this world his.”
“That’s stupid. That reasoning is only for humans.”
“Do you mean to say that because you are a goddess it doesn’t matter?”
“No, that’s also wrong. You are a human, Sekai. You are more like a human than anyone I know. You’re a crybaby and just a little bit pretentious, yet you still try hard to fulfill your own role. Despite being a crybaby, you don’t cry or say a single word of complaint for all of this. If that isn’t human, then what is?” Keh, he spoke venomously. With his middle finger standing straight up, he spat out. “That’s why I’ll say this. I’ll say it proudly with my chest out. The current situation is wrong. It’s so wrong that it makes me want to throw up. Pushing such a troublesome job on you, without even being aware of the fact that they are doing that and just living their lives obliviously every day, you don’t find anything wrong with that?”
“You’ve said enough already!” Don! Sekai pounds the table with her fist. “Are you trying to reject my duty? That’s the same as insulting me. Until now, I’ve held pride as I continued to do my duty. It’s been so long that I’ve even forgotten my own name doing this. If you are trying to throw mud on all that history, even if it’s you, I won’t forgive you…!”
“Insult you? Throw mud on it all? There’s no way that’s the case.” He shook his head, “I really do think that everything you’ve done is amazing. It’s fine to take pride in it. It’s even enough to make me want to bow down to you. I have a lot of respect for you.”
“If that’s the case—!”
“But this and that are a completely different story.” Yuuki continued to firmly make his assertions. “That’s why I say this. I say that what’s wrong is wrong. Even if no one else says so, I will say it. That’s why I can say things that other people won’t in this case.”
“You, what exactly are you—”
“Quit being a goddess.” He boldly declared it.
“Don’t endure it all by yourself. Such a world is wrong. So quit it. It’s time to cut things off with the people who live without knowing anything.” Just like he declared, he proudly held his chest high.
However, those words, those—
“You big idiot…!” Sekai’s curse almost turned into a scream. She grabbed at her hair and hit the table multiple times, “It’s fine if you just think that! However, actually saying it is another thing! That’s definitely not good! You know just by thinking about it that Chiyo-san, the Tsukumo organization, they won’t stay silent about this, right? Even before I—”
“Be quiet. Of course I know.” He quickly knocks down Sekai’s defense. “Listen to this. I say all of this knowing all of that, That when the time comes for you to quit your job, millions and millions of people, this whole world, will disappear without a trace. This includes the family and friends who take care of me. I understand all of that.”
“If that’s the case, then why!?”
“Hey hey. Understand it already. I’ve already said it multiple times, right? It’s because we are married. You are the wife. I am the husband. Besides this, what else is needed?”
Saying that, Yuuki took a step forward. Having the distance between them shorten, Sekai shook in surprise. However, Yuuki was merciless. He didn’t pull back one bit.
“So, tell me.” He walked until he was directly in front of her. Her red eyes, wet from anxiety were held still and captured. Captured and not let go. “If you wish it, I will do anything. Anything at all. I’m definitely always going to be your ally. No matter what it is, I’ll devote my strength to you. That’s why, you don’t have to endure it anymore—especially not alone. Please.”
“If I am someone who you trust, then please, rely on me. Please tell me your real feelings. Please cry and scream and show off your unhindered appearance. After all, no matter what happens, I’ll always be with you. I promise.”
Please tell me.
Whatever decision you make, I’ve already made up my mind.
Tell me with an uncensored voice.
With no lie or deception, just tell me the truth—
“… Just what I’ve remembered, it’s already passed a hundred times.”
How much time has passed?
At the end of it all, Sekai looked downwards.
She looked down and clenched both her hands on her lap.
Then, she squeezed out her voice.
“A long time has passed since I became a goddess. Useless things and precious things, I’ve already forgotten a lot. Still, I remember vaguely. A hundred times, two hundred times, or three hundred times—anyways, it’s been so many times that I’ve already stopped counting.”
“Times for what?”
“The amount of times that I’ve tried to end my life.”
“That’s about the amount of times that I have actually tried. The number of times that I wanted to die, wanted to disappear, I do not know the amount of times that I have just thought that. I mean, that’s about all I think about every day… however, I didn’t die. I’m a goddess after all. There’s no way I could die from just that.”
“Haha, it’s laughable, right? Of course I wouldn’t be able to die so easily. I have to fulfill an important role after all. There was no way I would die just by hanging myself or stabbing my heart. Still, despite all of it, I didn’t give up. I tried over and over again to kill myself, but I couldn’t actually die. Then, during all of this, something within me seemed break.”
It was blood curdling confession.
She stared at her hands which were pure white from how tight she was clenching her hands. She gave herself a scornful smile, blamed herself, and looked down upon herself. Yuuki recalled her words.
She smoked enough to shower in its smoke, drunk enough alcohol to make it seem endless—however she won’t die from that, she said. She said a lie. It’s not that she won’t die.
She couldn’t die.
It’s true. The moment Kanaruzawa Sekai dies, would also be the moment when the world ends. There’s no way she would be made in a way where she could die easily.
“My everyday duty is really harsh, you know?” Sekai lifted the ends of her lips slightly, “It isn’t a thing that humans can put into words. It is truly hopeless. Dark, uncomfortable, stuffy, and things of unfamiliar nature enter my body as they take up every corner of my body and rip my heart to shreds. After I’m done, I always end up scratching my body with my own two hands. Scratch until I’m covered in blood. If I don’t I wouldn’t be able to endure it.”
“Ah. Of course.”
“But you know, Yuuki? Ever since I met you, I stopped thinking about trying to kill myself. There were even times where I would think, ‘As if I can die’. You were a ray of light to me. You being there for me saved me. Really. It’s really strange. I was completely taken by you, who I had met for the first time and only really known for a short time.”
Sekai made a smile. It was not a sarcastic smile. But it was only for a moment as she continued.
“However, Yuuki, it became painful for me.” She muttered as she looked down and spread out her two hands. “Will I remain like this forever? From now on, will I have to continue to protect the world? Forever, alone, without anyone knowing. Surrounded by cigars and alcohol, must I live as long as this world continues?”
She shook her head. I do not want to believe it, I can’t believe it, she seemed to say.
“I would be great to not think any further of it. I wouldn’t need to feel any unnecessary suffering… but that’s not possible. I will continue being me, continue being a god, and willingly fulfill my duties from day to day. From now on, forever.” Haha, she laughed. “Of course, I’m prepared for it. It was a destiny that I chose to take on in the first place after all. However, it’s painful. Sad. Thinking that these days will continue on like this makes me unable to endure it.”
“Ah. Of course.”
“Yuuki. There’s something I want to say to those that live without knowing any of this. Who do you think makes sure that you can continue to live on? I want them to know a just a part of the other side of this world and just to give them a piece of my mind. However, I end up hating that part of myself. In the end, it’s just envy, it’s just a grudge. It isn’t something that they asked me to do, but something I accepted myself after all—aaah, what am I saying now?”
She shook her head again. Again and again. It was as if she was trying to shake off her hesitation. Or, as if she was trying to find a way to proceed.
“That’s right. It’s what I wished for. That’s why I can’t complain. I completely understand that, but still I end up thinking, I don’t like this. I don’t like the pain. I don’t want to live trembling every day. I don’t want to live being afraid of tomorrow. Most importantly, I don’t want to shoulder everything myself anymore. That’s why, that’s why—”
She covered her face. Tears spilled out from in between the gaps of both her hands. Then, she squeezed it out in a hoarse voice. Without wiping her red eyes that had become even redder. This is what she said.
“Please save me. Yuuki.”
… Her voice was as small and thin as the cry of a mosquito. To tell the truth, it barely even reached Yuuki’s ears. However, Yuuki smiled.
He smiled and nodded.
If you asked him why, he would answer like this. It was because, more than anything else, what reached him was Kanaruzawa Sekai’s unmistakably true intentions.
“Of course I would.” He then answered like this. “Making you happy is my job.”
He squatted down to Sekai’s knees and looked into her eyes. “Are you prepared?”
She smiled and cried while she asked in response. “How about you, are you ready?”
“Well, for the most part.”
“With such half-baked intentions it’ll quickly be game and set, you know?”
“I understand. Our opponent is those people after all.”
“I won’t be any help to you, you know? I’m just a person tasked to protect a world she knows nothing about after all.”
“Yeah. That’s not a problem.”
“Rather, I’ll probably be a hindrance, you know? I will surely be holding you back.”
“Moreover…” She lowered her eyelids and diverted her gaze, “Moreover, I already… can’t walk by myself, you know?”
“I already know.” Yuuki quickly nodded
Sekai’s eyes were colored in surprise. “You knew?”
“Yeah. I knew.”
“Almost from the start.”
“How did you notice? I thought I hid it pretty well.”
“It’s easy to understand just by looking. No matter how much of a shut-in or a goddess you are, it’s still weird if you think about it. I know that your body is more beat down than it looks. That’s why I can say that.”
“That’s why, Sekai. I already know all of it, you see. Don’t worry. I really do know it all—that’s why you should leave it to me. Everything, all of it.”
“Got it.” Gokuri, Sekai nodded. She nodded multiple times. “I’ll leave everything to you. So make sure to do everything perfectly.”
Yuuki made a playful bow. Then, he stood up and slowly picked Sekai up. “Close your eyes, hold your breath, and hold on as much as you can. The first is the most important.”
Sekai once again nodded as she did what she was told.
Then, Yuuki ran.
He crossed the room, jumped out the glass window into the garden, and rushed into the grey world of dancing snow. He ran through, seeing the red camellias out of the corner of his eye. He ran like the wind. Sekai, surprised by his speed wrapped her arms around his body as tightly as she could. Yuuki held her tightly in response to her delicate power. He passed through the gate and went out into the streets.
A moving car prepared in advance came screeching to a halt in front of the gate with perfect timing. They jumped into the car, and it started moving without waiting for the door to close.
Yuuki gave out a few orders, to which the driver responded with a silent nod. The engine made a loud noise as they were steered towards the high-rises of the city.
- Basically saying if you depend too much on others than you will not be able to stand on your own