An hour later.
Sekai and Yuuki were inside a residential house at the edge of Tokyo’s 24 wards.
“I-I thought I would die…” Sekai groaned as she was carried off in the truck by Yuuki. “From what I can tell, we switched to a different car five times… the speed of the cars were all fast, and they all shook so much…”
“It would be great if you could let that go for just a bit.” Yuuki said with a bitter smile, “They would probably be searching all along the main roads, so it served as a kind of countermeasure. Now, though, maybe things will go alright.”
“I also had my clothes taken from me in the middle of all that…”
“Yeah. We were afraid there would be a tracking device attached. Anyways, thanks for bearing with it.” Yuuki thanked her.
An hour had passed, just one hour. However, it was the longest hour that Yuuki had ever experienced.
To the point of it being annoying, they had used every means possible to avoid being seen by cameras placed around the city, avoid surveillance from satellite imaging, and avoid being seen by people walking around.
Their vehicle was changed many times, inside tunnels, underground parking lots, and narrow alleyways between buildings.
They tried to cover their tracks walking through crowded main streets, and even dared to travel through the sewers filled with rats. A number of hackers were also hired to give out fake information in order to shift the movement of the police and firefighters as much as possible. He used his money and connections to its fullest potential.
Thanks to that, they were able to arrive here safely. Their pursuers were nowhere to be seen.
When it was confirmed that Yuuki and Sekai had gotten off, the truck drove off and disappeared to who knows where. The veil of night had fallen and the sky was already dark.
“Still, we don’t have the luxury to rest, you know?” The garage to the house opened, as he warned Sekai, who had a pale face. “This place will quickly be discovered. That’s why, we should run as far away as possible before we are discovered.”
There was one bike prepared within the garage. It was a CB400 Super Four . There were also a number of winter jackets and pochettes with daily necessities prepared.
“Go on, get changed. We’ll be leaving immediately.”
“Uuu… we’re going to be moving again… no breaks at all…”
“Just think of it like a roller coaster ride at an amusement park. If you think about it that way, it’ll feel fun right?”
“You don’t like that?”
“…It’s not like that.” Furufuru, Sekai shakes her head. “I don’t dislike it. As long as I’m together with you I’ll go anywhere.”
“That’s a good answer.”
She quickly got changed and straddled the bike.
The snow steadily drew strength from his legs as it covered the sky in white. The snow was originally helpful for avoiding surveillance, but from here on out, it will be disadvantageous. It would draw the heat from their bodies and put the road into a dangerous condition.
Still, they will leave.
They must move on.
They could not back down now.
“This will be a little bit of a longer trip, okay? Can you endure it?”
“Yeah. I can.”
“Hold on tight. Don’t ever let go.”
“Got it. I definitely won’t let go.”
It was pretty weak, but Sekai grabbed on with everything she could.
The four-cylinder engine roared. Then, they headed off into the snowy night heading towards the west.
“Is it cold?”
Sekai’s voice came in through the radio headset of his helmet as she was sitting in the back seat. “It’s warm enough. I’m stuck super close to you after all.”
“That’s good. Feel free to cling on even more. The feeling of your chest is great after all.”
“Yuuki!?” A scream came up from behind him.
Hahaha, Yuuki laughed—in reality, it was just thick clothes on more thick clothing, with disposable warmers hear and there. There really wasn’t very much of a sensation at all.
The bike passed through the city area and entered a mountain pass. It carefully cleared the road that wound left and right. Every time the bike tilted to make a turn it seemed to slip a little bit on the asphalt, causing a few cries of “Wha~” and “Hya~” to come up from the back seat.
Slowly the number of cries began to decrease, and in return Sekai began to speak to him. She had probably started getting used to the situation.
“This is the first time I’ve seen so many different types of scenery like this. There’s mountains, forests, rivers—riding on a bike like this, all the sceneries seem to flow together.”
“If it was a more clear day, then it would look even more beautiful.”
“Yuuki. Are we able to get away like this?”
“Who knows. I wonder.”
“However, for the moment, would you say that we have gotten away?”
“Well, I did play much of my hand. Besides us, there are also a number of dummies running around as a distraction. Routes on trains, routes on busses, routes on ships, and routes on planes… of course, there are others that are taking routes that have them stay in Tokyo.”
“Regardless, it would be the combination of a highschool boy and a girl with white hair.”
“Yeah. They were also made to look alike you know? They even have the correct identification.”
“Haha. That’s some pretty good preparation.”
“Didn’t I say? Don’t underestimate a rich boy like me.”
Passing through the mountain pass they saw the sea; the sight of a black sea bordered by a cityline. In the bay that entered into the Pacific Ocean, the lights emitted by fishing boats dotted the sea.
“Wha!” Sekai cheered, “Yahoo!”
Yuuki gave his own cheer without losing to her. “It’s the sea, Sekai!”
“Umu, it’s the sea! But it’s completely black!”
“With this, we’re free!”
“That’s right! We’re free!”
“To hell with the Tsukumo organization!”
“That’s right! To hell with the Tsukumo organization!”
“They couldn’t chase us down! No matter what happens we would be able to easily escape from them! In the end, they’re only this much!”
“That’s right that’s right!”
“By the way, I think that Chiyo-san has a scary smile and I hate it!”
“Such a coincidence! I also don’t like her!”
The sounds of their laughter were drowned out by the sound of the wind and the roaring engine. Raising their fists, and expressing their discontent through their mouths, they continued to insult the world and those around them.
With the two of them like that, the driver in the parallel lane had to look at them twice with a strange face. It wasn’t that they didn’t notice him. In fact, they gave him a peace sign in return. The driver panicked and stepped on the brake as if trying to get away from them.
“Ahahah! That person is a cowardly man!”
“I know, right! He really is quite a chicken!”
They laughed alone together.
It was fun. It truly was fun.
The world, and everything in the world was currently owned by the two of them. If this wasn’t fun, then what else could be.
They dropped by a vending machine along the way. He bought two cans of cans of warm coffee. This would be the first time that Sekai has had it.
“Drink it. It’ll make your body warm.”
“Umu. Thank you.”
After Yuuki opened the lid and handed her the can, she blew on it.
Again and again.
“You had a cat’s tongue I see.”
“Fun. Is there anything wrong with that?”
“No, not really. I just thought it was cute.”
“… You really say things like that carelessly.”
“Your face is red, Sekai.”
“That’s not true. My face has not turned red.”
“Alright then, hurry up and drink it. It’ll be bad when it’s cold.”
Shortly after she was told that, Sekai put the can to her mouth.
“Well? Is it good?”
“… It has a very interesting taste.”
“Is it bad?”
“If I had to say it, then yes, it is.”
“Being unable to savor this taste, it shows that you are still an amateur.”
“Fun. What’s wrong with being an amateur.” Sekai sulked.
Seeing that, Yuuki chuckled, kukuku.
“… But, yeah.” After tasting the coffee a bit more, Sekai said. “It’s not tasty, but the taste really sinks into your body. Umu. It’s really good. It’s really warm, and really good.”
“It’s the most beautiful liquid that I have ever put in my mouth so far. But more than anything, I’m happy that I’m drinking this with you, Yuuki. I’m really happy because of that.”
Saying that, Sekai gave a expression of complete satisfaction. That smile was very beautiful and attractive, and this time, it was Yuuki’s turn to have his face turn red.
On the way, they rested at a bus stop in some remote area.
It was only a small hut with one fluorescent light. It barely had a roof and walls to hide from the rain and wind. However, for the two of them, that was enough.
They sat down on the bench. There was no sign of anyone at the bus stop this late into the night. The houses nearby were also sparse and lacked the presence of a person. The only thing moving in their vision was the dancing snowflakes falling down from the sky.
“Are you cold?
“It’s alright. It’s warm.”
Maybe it was because of the snow accumulating, but the surroundings were quiet. Only the fluorescent light above them made the smallest of sounds.
“Is it alright if I ask you something, Sekai?”
“It’s about your job.”
The things that Yuuki saw with his eyes that day.
He was led by Chiyo-san and entered the goddess’s world, and there, he finally understood the meaning in Kanaruzawa Sekai’s existence. He saw the sight her destroying her own body, and using her body to sustain the world.
At the time, Sekai repeatedly shouted.
You can’t look.
She shouted again and again.
It seemed desperate and painful. Was it because he committed a taboo by learning the truth of the world?
That was a possibility. But it wasn’t just that. Sekai seemed more desperate than that. It wasn’t that Yuuki had committed a taboo, she was afraid of something more than that.
“What was that?” Yuuki asked as he looked at the falling snow. “Why could you not let me see it? Why was I not allowed to look?”
“If I had to say it,” Her voice seemed to be surprised at why I asked such a thing. Sekai answered like this.“It’s obvious. It’s because you’ll become sick.”
Fuu, she sighs, “Yuuki, that was something that a normal human would not be able to endure. I wouldn’t have been surprised if your spirit were to collapse the moment you saw it. Rather, that’s how it should be normally. There was no way you should have returned safely. That’s what it means to experience something beyond human reasoning.”
She was still indignant, but Sekai showed a face of relief. “For you to still be fine after seeing that, it’s good.”
“…” Yuuki couldn’t say anything. In that situation, she was thinking of me. Even though she was taking on things that would feel painful just by watching. “Sekai.”
“You’re a fool.”
“Muu!? That’s not true. I’m not a fool. You always say this! Isn’t the person that calls another a fool, the real fool?”
Sekai’s movements stopped.
She became stiff like a small animal, but she able to resolve her nervousness and got close to Yuuki by herself. While looking watching over the snow, they were like this for a long time.
For a long time, they felt each other’s warmth and heartbeat.
Entering late into the night, they got onto the highway.
As they headed west, the snow became thinner and they even began to see places where there was no snow. The engine of the CB400 that they were on was also in good condition.
“The way going forward is still long, but keep it up, Sekai.”
“Yeah. I’ll try.”
He didn’t want her to suffer for long. With that in mind, Yuuki strongly grabbed the accelerator.
Crossing Shizuoka, pass through Nagoya, Osaka flew by on their right, and following along the Sanyou Highway, the sea of Setouchi spread out in front of them. Ten hours on the road. There was the destination that they were seeking.
Through the cold wind of midwinter, Yuuki had driven the bike without almost no break on their journey. Not a single cry or complaint came from his mouth. Further, further and further—with just those thoughts, the two of them continued to move on.
It was early morning the next day. The two of them arrived at a small port town.
When they arrived, there was a fishing boat arranged beforehand anchored there. Mixed in with the ships going out to fish, the two of them embarked into the dark sea. Their body heat, which had been stolen by the long journey, was relieved by the warm miso soup that the old boatman made. While Sekai and Yuuki snuggled up to each others, they tasted the warm liquid together.
“Yeah. It’s good.”
Slowly and steadily, the two of them drank the miso soup.
The dark ocean that seemed like spilled ink had fishing boats spread around as it had just entered fishing season.
The snow had already stopped. The splash of the sea danced every time the bowhead hit a wave. Every time, it would tickle the knows with the scent of salt. There was the odor of heavy oil from the shaking engine. And the eastern sky slowly whitened little by little.
With her eyes half closed, Sekai entrusted her body to Yuuki’s shoulder. Most likely, Yuuki would never forget this scenery. From now on it would be burned into his eyes, and never disappear from the back of his eyelids as he sleeps.
Eventually, the ship arrived at an island. It was a small uninhabited island less than 1000 meters around.
Past the pier a sandy beach spread out before them. Beyond that, there was a small hut with its roof fallen and no one living it. Inside the hut there were supplies prepared in advance. Supplies for survival like tents, sleeping bags, and cooking tools. There were many clothes and enough water and food.
“…Fufu. Your preparations are thorough, Yuuki.”
“If I couldn’t at least prepare this much, I wouldn’t have taken you and ran.”
Sekai got into the sleeping bag while he gathered the firewood and started a fire.
The bonfire burned. He put water into the pot and placed it above the fire. He could hear a thin voice coming from the sleeping bag.
“Yeah. I’m currently boiling the water. That way we can drink some good coffee in a bit. It’ll be way better than the one from the vending machine, you know? Or do you want some miso soup like earlier? If it’s the instant kind, I can make it right now.”
“Be quiet and sleep. It’s fine to take it easy and rest.”
Sekai became quiet.
Yuuki didn’t turn to her.
“At the very least we can stay for three or four months. If it’s longer maybe half a year.” Yuuki said while taking care of the bonfire. “We’re trying to live here for about as long as that. Please relax.”
“…Yeah. I see.”
“Besides this place, there are a number of other hiding spots prepared. When it comes to it, you’ll see them. Also, there are observers placed in places around here and in the port town just in case. If it seems bad, they’ll immediately let us know.”
“Yeah. I see.”
“When the Tsukumo organization can’t find us, and their surveillance becomes a little looser—from then on is the real part, you know? We can head overseas. Right now, that route is being restricted, so it’s not possible at the moment.”
“Once we get out of Japan, that’ll be it. We won’t be caught easily. At that time, we will definitely be free. We can really do anything we want. Ah, there’s no need to worry about daily necessities, you know? We have the money after all, and even more hiding spots prepared.”
Pachiri. Pachiri. The dry firewood makes sound as it burns.
“My little sister is an amazing person, so I’ll be leaving my family to her. For me, well, I’m their son, so I can ask them for some remittance. Man, I’m glad to be born into such a rich family. It is a little suspicious whether my little sister will accept it though… haha, she’s a serious brocon you see. As an older brother, I don’t know if I should be troubled or happy—it’s quite complicated.”
The sound of the waves. The sound of the wind. The smoke rose and tickled his nose.
“If we can afford it, let’s go on a trip. We’ll soon be able to go anywhere we want. You’ve already worked hard for so long already, that’s why it’s alright to get a little bit of a reward. We can go on a trip on the bike like today, or even it’s not that it’s fine. Anyways, let’s go somewhere. Let’s do that.”
He opened the coffee lid. He also cut the seal on the instant miso.
“Going around on a bus to various places is also fun, you know? You can’t go far, but in return you can look at things in more detail. A train is fine too. So-called railroad travel. I’ve kind of always wanted to do it. Getting on one of those sleeper trains, and looking out of the window at the scenery while eating inside the food car. It looked really good when I saw it on TV.”
He then cut the green tea bag. He also poured some of the whiskey which he had prepared for the goddess into a paper cup.
“We can even go to the sea. We only got to see a completely dark ocean today, so why don’t we head further south and go to a more beautiful ocean. It’s great, you know? It’s the so-called emerald ocean. The sky is sky blue with pure white clouds, and the sandy beach is pure white from end to end. There’s also a stupid number of fish swimming in the coral reefs.”
An assortment of nuts.
Canned fish, meat, and fruits.
Anything that could be prepared was prepared. Yuuki prepared so many different things, that it looked like he was trying to pray for something .
“Going to the mountain is also great. Mountains are great you know? The green color is beautiful, and even rivers that flow seem to turn green in color. It would be great to camp in a place like that. Having a barbeque, looking at the stars through a telescope at night… well, we’re planning on camping on this island here to the point where you might hate it. I guess you wouldn’t want to do it after we got off this island. Hahaha.”
“Yeah, the coffee is just about ready, alright? The miso soup as well just needs some hot water put into it for it to be done. Which one do you want? If you want we can do both.”
“It was a short time but thank you.” Yuuki’s hands stopped. However his hands quickly started moving again. “What about food? We have various types, you know? Well, it’s not like a convenience store where anything and everything is lined up, but we prepared quite a variety—”
“There’s already almost no time. What I want to say, a favor, will you listen to it?”
“…” Yuuki stopped his hands. This time, he couldn’t start moving his hands again.
“Yuuki.” He could hear his voice behind him. It was thin and weak. But it reached his ears clearly. “Please don’t blame anyone. Chiyo, the Tsukumo organization—it isn’t like anyone is in the wrong. This couldn’t have been helped. At least, I have accepted it. That’s why, Yuuki, please. I don’t want you to face your anger towards anyone.”
“… I see. If you say so, then there’s nothing that can be done.”
“One more thing, is it alright to ask for one more favor?”
“Of course. Bring it on.”
“Can you hold on to my hand.”
“It’s about time for me to lose feeling in my hand. Your warmth, I would like to feel it while I still have the chance.”
“Yeah. That’s easy.”
He held her hand as she wished. Still, he kept his back to her.
“When I think about it, it wasn’t that bad of a life, Yuuki.”
“I have lived for so long that I’ve already forgotten why I was living, for what that I became a goddess, but, at the very end, I got a reward. Fufu, it was fun. The time from when I met you was really fun.”
“Well, I was selfish to the end, but please forgive me for that. I have been working for this long, I can at least receive some form of retirement money.”
“If I had to say, I think I already received my retirement money… Yuuki, you were just that. Chiyo pulling us together like this, I think that’s what it was for. It’s just that, but I think it’s enough… fufu, I was being helped by Chiyo till the end—”
“Sekai.” Yuuki strengthened the grip on her hand and asked. No matter how hard he held it down, his voice shook. “You weren’t short and old, were you?”
There was no answer.
In exchange, Sekai said something else. “Yuuki, can I ask for one more thing?”
“You’ve only been asking for things for a while now.”
“Well, that’s fine isn’t it.”
“Bring it on. I’ll listen to anything.”
“Turn and face this way, and look into my eyes.”
His words were stuck.
A long time after she asked, Yuuki replied. “Do I have to face that way?”
“Yes. You must face this way.”
“No matter what?”
“No matter what.” Yuuki scratched his head. Then, he hit both of his cheeks and turned to face her.
There was a beautiful person. Even at a time like this, her beauty didn’t lose to anyone, in fact, it was shining more vividly than ever—then, she said.
“Yuuki, I love you.”
She said it with a smile.
She said it with a very clear voice.
He held back for bit.
He held back and then smiled. “What are you crying about?”
“I’m crying? Am I really crying?”
“You don’t even know yourself.”
Her eyes were shining.
Tears spilled out.
“It’s true. I am crying.” Sekai smiled slightly, “I’ve already cried so many times now. I’ve cried so many times I can’t count how many. And in the end, I didn’t even notice it myself. How weird.”
Tightly, she held onto Yuuki’s hand. Then she said it again, “How weird”, and then smiled.
That became her last words.
Kanaruzawa Sekai has died.
She won’t grip his hand anymore.
She won’t open her mouth anymore.
“Nono.” Yuuki shook his head. “This… this is weird.”
Heheh, he laughed. He asked while laughing. “With this timing? This suddenly? Nono. There’s no way. There’s no way that’s possible. No way.”
No one could answer him. The freezing wind blew before dawn.
“Wake up, Sekai. There’s still more from now on, right? There’s so many more fun things from now on. You’ve been holding back for all this time after all. That’s why it’s fine if you do this. You have to do this. Come on.”
There was no one to answer him. Only the sound of the waves on the beach reached him.
“Come on, you were super lively until just now. I won’t believe it, you know? It’s weird after all. At least, drink the coffee. Even the miso soup. I prepared it all for you. It’ll all go to waste now. What do with this now?”
There was no one to answer him.
A flock of seabirds crossed the sky while flapping their wings.
Of course, he knew. He noticed it. During the long journey away from Tokyo, her coloring had gotten worse, her speaking had also grown less and less. Most likely, she was an existence that couldn’t live after leaving that mansion. While understanding all that, she allowed him to bring her here.
She died. Her breathing had stopped.
She passed away smoothly.
She won’t ever return.
“———!” Yuuki raised his fist. He beat the ground.
“Dammit! Dammit! Dammit, this can’t be happening! Why did it become like this!?” He hit it. His bones creaked. His blood scattered. “She tried! She tried all by herself all this time! In the end, this is what she gets for trying so hard with everything she had! She shouldered everything herself! Because of that, she died!? It’s not funny, it really isn’t! Is it really fine like this!? Is it!?”
Dammit. Damn everything. More than anything, Yuuki blamed himself who could only take her and run.
His struggling and screams had no meaning. The only things that Yuuki could do held no meaning. He was less than trash.
“Why!?” He scattered his tears and screamed until his throat dried out.“Why did it become like this!? Why, how did it become like this!? Was there any other way to do this!? Was there another road!? If there was, I would have chosen that!”
His voice withered, he cried and screamed without anyone to hear. From his heart, his soul, he screamed.
“Why!? Someone answer me!”
The young man that the goddess had chosen had a fiancé. She was a beautiful young girl.
She had the reputation of being the most beautiful and smartest princess in the country.
The civilians, the girl and the young man—the hero who had saved her, the young man that was a hero was blessed to marry her. They were looking forward to it. Until the goddess picked the young man.
The nobles and the civilians all grieved.
However, it was something that couldn’t be helped.
After all, it was decided by the goddess. Things decided by the goddess were absolute.
Besides the young man was a real hero.
He had accepted his destiny without a word. There was only one path, and that road was considered the best after all.
He only had one regret, it was the young girl that he had been promised marriage to, but there was nothing that he could do so the young man gave up. He could only give it up.
Then, on the day they were to separate.
The last day for the young man and his fiancé.
She said this with a smile. “The importance of your role, I know more than anyone else. That’s why, please be relieved and fulfill your duty.”
The young man had worried about leaving the young girl more than anyone else, but those feelings were pretty much relieved by those words. She will most likely find another man and be happy—the young man was completely relieved, and could now think of welcoming the fated day.
However, the girl made a big lie.
The young man was outstanding.
The girl as well, did not intend to be an easy women who did nothing by his side.
Then, she made an appeal.
She said this to the goddess.
“Please, make me his replacement. Make me his replacement and take me instead.”
“——Have you just about settled down?” There was a voice. There was a voice on this island with no one on it, where he was supposed to be completely alone.
Yuuki turned towards the voice.
He bit his lip. He glared at that person.
“Have you already finished your work in bullying the earth, or so I asked. Did you not hear? Were you shocked so much that you can’t hear?”
The same unchanging smile and the strict behavior.
It was Chiyo-san.
“… Why are you here?”
“Was it within your prediction?” Chiyo-san noted lightly. “You don’t seem that surprised after seeing my face. Did you make some level of assumption beforehand already?”
“… Yeah, well, it isn’t like I didn’t think about this at all.”
He answered as he continued to glare at her. “If I had to say, I did think of it. I did prepare a lot to get here, but escaping there was too easy.”
But, still. He had confirmed beforehand that no one had landed on this island. Likewise, if a ship was to come, a notification should have arrived. In addition, there was only one beach on this island suitable for landing. In other words, as long as he was close to this beach, he would be able to grasp all the boats that came close.
Despite that, Chiyo was here alone. Moreover, she was in her maid clothes—as if this was just an extension of the work that she was in charge of in the goddess’s home.
So this is the Tsukumo organization, Yuuki clicked his tongue. They were people that you couldn’t understand their scale, from when they existed, and the types of power they held. As expected from a group that had made his mother and father nod without them being able to move even their hands and legs.
This was not within the human realm.
“… What are you, exactly—”
“Now, let’s get into the main problem.” Chiyo-san cutoff him off and ignored his question. “As you can see, my mistress has died. You took her out and did the impossible, and the little remaining life she had disappeared in an instant. Unfortunately, she died without any help. She can’t be revived. There is only one method left.”
“From the looks of it, it seems you have a slight understanding.” He ground his teeth quietly, as Chiyo-san calmly points out. “And it seems that you have recalled almost everything. If that’s the case, this will be fast. Please make a decision. Yes or no, pick whichever one you like. Everything is now left to you alone.”
I don’t understand anything you are saying—it wasn’t like that.
It was just as she pointed out. He had a light understanding. It was just as she said. He really did remember. The truth was already in reach of his outstretched hands.
“What is it?
“You said this right. “This world will soon be destroyed”.”
“Yes, I did say that.”
“Sekai, Kanaruzawa Sekai, has died. But as you can see, the world has not been destroyed. It’s still very much alive. What does this mean?”
She had said at the time. This world will be destroyed soon. And that it would disappear in an instant without a trace. Because of that, Yuuki understood that Kanaruzawa Sekai was nearing death.
Of course. If she, who was protecting the world were to disappear, there would be no one else protecting the world. It wouldn’t be weird if the world disappeared. That’s why, Yuuki took her and ran. For the small amount of time left, she could at least live as a human. He had sacrificed everything in order to prepare for this.
This is the result.
Sekai was dead, and the world was still alive. This is weird. The logic didn’t match. There’s something wrong.
“Yeah, it will be destroyed.” She nodded. “The moment you make a decision, this world will probably disappear without a trace. Without anyone knowing, without any warning—that’s rule that the goddess has made. It isn’t something suspicious, nor is it a temporary thing it is something a real goddess had decided as a rule.”
“Please remember and see. The things that happened before you met with my mistress three months ago.”
“The time when you proposed to my mistress. Did you think it was just a coincidence that marriage came to your mouth? She looked pretty to the eyes, so you were taken by the mood? Really? Something’s weird, did you not have any doubts like that?”
“It is quite easy. You had just unconsciously repeated it. Repeating without failing the same fate that you had brought upon yourself.”
The young girls proposal gave a blow to the goddess.
The goddess was largely omniscient and omnipotent, but sometimes there were things that she did not understand. The young girl’s proposal was one of those things.
Take me instead of my fiancé, I will shoulder everything myself!
To the goddess, this proposal was outside her expectations. This is why humans are interesting—and so the goddess accepted the young girl’s proposal.
However, at that time, and idea fell upon the goddess.
She noticed that there was a way to make this situation even more interesting.
The goddess said to the young man from before, the man who was honored by the civilians—normally, the story would have ended here. You’re fiancé would from now on, without the help of anyone else put the world on her back and with that sacrifice, harmony would be maintained.
As long as the human world continued to exist forever, this is how it will be.
Happily, ever after.
—That’s why, young man.
Don’t you think leaving it at just that is boring?
Is it really okay for you to have the woman you love sacrifice herself for you, with you only being able to point and watch?
Then, I’ll give you a chance.
The two of you will from now on, with different appearances, meet, again and again.
From now on, for how many thousands and thousands of years, you will continue to meet and reach the same fate.
However, young man.
You will be given a limitless number of chances.
If you really have true intentions, show me how you change your fate.
With your own strength and methods, turn down the destiny brought about by a goddess.
Would you like to play along with me?
… Ah, of course.
That’s why I answered in this way.
But I still took on the provocation.
Bring it on.
I’ll repeat this how many thousands and thousands of times, and show you that I can change this damn fate.
Don’t underestimate humans, alright?
I’ll definitely make you eat your words—I think I ended up saying something along those lines.
The goddess took on the fight.
She took it on in good humor.
Then, “that person” said.
The girl who was supposed to be tied with me—who had reversed this mad fate, that fool who had done something and replaced me said.
“However, we will meet again.”
… That’s what she said.
It was such a fragile smile—however her eyes were those that believe in me. That’s what she said—
“Do you remember now? Who you are exactly.” Chiyo-san asked Yuuki. “Let me add on to it. First of all, the fate that you and my mistress are subject to, is of the form that falls into the story genre that concerns loops.”
Disregarding Yuuki’s moan from the sudden influx of memory, Chiyo-san continued. “The fates that you and my mistress are subject to, are exceedingly similar, as they repeat over and over again. By doing this, the world can maintain its current appearance and continue to stand.”
He listened to her voice while barely maintaining his consciousness.
“As a result, you and my mistress both end up being reincarnated in many different forms, and relive it. However, your memory and my mistress’s memory are not allowed to remain. In addition, things cannot be reset without reaching a certain point. Without this, a proper loop would not be established, right?” Calmly, no coldly, she spoke. She had a tone that suggested that she was only conveying facts.“This is the type of situation that you and my mistress are put into.”
She accepted with Yuuki’s glare with a smile. ““It’s like arriving at the last boss at an extremely low level, and although it’s unlikely I can ever beat it, there is no way I can because the save data is only allowed halfway to the boss”… well, it’s something like that I think.”
“Once it’s become like that, nothing can be done. That is just how strictly the system specifications are. That’s why the only way to beat it is through some sort of unknown bug.”
“As such, Yuuki-sama. There are two paths that you can choose. Wish for a miracle and continue this impossible game. Or completely give up on this impossible game.”
“Do you understand?”
“…” Yuuki took a large breath. It wasn’t that he was losing himself to anger. If he thought about it. There was one best action in this situation. “I have a few things I would like to ask.”
“What is it?”
“How many times has it been.”
“It’s been 10122 times already.” Chiyo-san answered lightly. “Since the goddess has established these rules, every time, my mistress reached her body’s limits, every time, you tried to save her, and every time you have reached some sort of frustrating end. The number of times that that has happened has reached 10122. This time would be 10123.”
“I see. It’s only that much.” Yuuki took another large breath. He had mostly calmed down. He also finally organized his disorganized thoughts. “So, I can still continue the game, right?”
“Yes, as long as you wish for it.”
“In other words, Sekai can live again?”
“Yes.” Chiyo-san nodded nervously. “However, the current causes and effects will be rewritten. You and my mistress. Will be the same people, yet not the same. In that sense, you can start the game back from zero. But beating the game is impossible. ”
“… Quite a shitty game this is.”
“Therefore, you have the right to choose.”
“Will I quit, or continue? That isn’t really a right to choose. After all, if I choose to quit the game will be over, right?”
“Isn’t that also a completely valid choice?”
“Please don’t joke with me.”
“Isn’t it a lot better than just repeating useless struggles over and over?”
“No, it won’t repeat again. It will never be bad like this again. That’s why, the next time it will end. For sure.”
“By the way, “last time”, you said the same thing.”
Yuuki scratched his head. There are certainly a lot of things that he didn’t remember, but he definitely remembered saying that. The result of letting the person he loved die.
“It’s alright if you quit, you know?” She asked with a smile. “In fact, that’s what I would recommend. In that way, things will end nice and cleanly. Don’t you think that?”
“Let me ask this in return.” Yuuki laughed again and said. “Is there anyone who would quit here? Only a fool would quit here. So of course, I won’t quit. It’s still only been about 10000 times, right?”
“Well, I guess it’s as you say.”
The maid accepted it with a sigh as Yuuki continued to chase further. “There’s one more thing I would like to ask.”
“What is it?”
“Are you the “goddess”, Chiyo-san?”
“Please don’t joke.” She laughed and shook her head. This was the first time he saw her laugh. It wasn’t that she was bad at it, nor was it a completely out of place laugh. There was obvious self-deprecation and self-indignation in the laugh. “I am just “the lowest of the low”. I am just an existence that watches over you and my mistress, while managing and maintaining the rules of the game. Borrowing your words, I would just be called a bastard. A bitch who shouldn’t be allowed to live or breathe.”
“I see. I understand.”
Hearing that was enough. She isn’t an ally exactly. But neither is she an enemy.
If he had to say it, she would be a kindred spirit. A companion who wanted to hit the goddess who had such a bad interest, someone who was who was truly angry at the current situation—even if he didn’t know exactly who or what she was.
“With this, the game this time is over.” She gave a bow and said declared. “The 10123rd time ended with a bad end again. As of the current point, any of the causes and effects up to this point will be rewritten. I don’t know how it will be rewritten too—I do not have the authority for that after all. My role is only to spin the roulette at the appointed time to get random results.”
Everything became stagnant, fast forwarded at the same time, or rolled back. Everything lost meaning, or reversed itself. It was all rebuilt.
“This will be a short farewell. I wish you another good good cycle.”
After those words, the world changed.
1. A Honda motorcycle, considered the embodiment of a Universal Japanese motorcycle produced through the 1970s.
2. In Asian cultures, it is common for people to offer lots of food in prayers. Often times, in front of shrines, whether it’s relatives or the gods, people will place lots of food in hopes that they will eat them. It’s interesting in this context because Sekai is a god, and she is dying which makes this kind of imagery fit in both contexts.