Kanaruzawa Sekai was in a bad mood. An exceptionally bad one.
“What is it?”
“You are fired.” They were in the Kanaruzawa mansion’s reception room. Sitting upright with her legs together on the velvet covered sofa, the silver haired girl declared. “Gather up your things right now, and leave.”
Her legs were trembling, and the index finger that was placed on the arm rest was repeatedly tapping up and down. It was an appearance that did not do anything to hide her annoyance.
“Within the next five minutes. No, five seconds. And this time, this time for sure.”
“That’s how it is.” Cutting off her mistress who was shaking with anger, Chiyo made a smile, “You’ll have to excuse me, Yuuki-sama. I’ll leave everything afterwards to you, I wish you good luck.”
She then hurriedly left the room. Thanks to that, Yuuki noticed two things. That the rampant maid had revealed the fact that Kanaruzawa Sekai was a goddess of her own accord. And also, looking at how mad Kanaruzawa Sekai was, it seems that the talk about how she is a goddess is true.
“That damn maid…” Overcoming her anger, Sekai’s face became completely pale. “I definitely won’t forgive her… of all the people to tell,she told Yuuki… even the time before… no well, that’s fine now. It’s fine, but still…”
Despair. Embarrassment. Frustration. All those emotions were mixed in, as if Sekai’s expression was colored in an indescribable marble pattern. Before this, she had directed her anger at Chiyo many times, however, this time was different. It was like that time when she had declared the whole classroom as an enemy.
“Ummmm, Yuuki?” It was a voice that almost seemed like it would fade away. She was facing downwards a bit as she looked at him with upturned eyes. “Chiyo, you see. In truth, she’s a little bit unfortunate in the head sometimes.”
“As such, you can’t really trust her for something like that.”
“Rather than believe in what she says, you should believe in what I am going to say. That’s right, you need to believe in me. Yeah. Anyways, you see, what Chiyo said is a complete lie—”
Sekai was clearly afraid. Afraid of what? That, he did not know. No, he might have an idea, however, Yuuki wasn’t certain whether he understood it exactly. Even if he had the power to make Chiyo recognize him, he was still not a god. There was only one thing that was clear. She was afraid of something. Even if it was clearly obvious, it was something she was afraid of enough to lie about it.
Yuuki continued to stare at her. Straight at her. To ensure that none of the pressure that he was putting on her would escape.
Sekai stopped giving excuses, and began to fidget uncomfortably, “How should I say this?”
While scratching his cheeks, Yuuki spoke out, “First things first, I would like to say this.”
“W-what is it?”
“Bluntly speaking, all I want to know is your reply to my proposal.”
Pachikuri. Sekai’s eyes wavered a bit.
“Whether it’s a yes or no, I would like to at least hear it. It was left completely up in the air after all. That’s all I want to know right now, so anything else doesn’t really matter that much to me.”
“Doesn’t really matter…?” Sekai’s expression was frozen in a state that seemed to be painful yet sad.
Panicking a little, Yuuki followed up on his previous statement, “No, wait that’s quite easily misunderstood. When I say that it doesn’t really matter, it just means that I’m going to accept it all. That’s why, whether you’re a goddess or a devil, none of it really matters in the end, something like that?”
“You’ll accept it…?”
“Yeah. I mean, I like you, Kanaruzawa.”
With a poof, Sekai’s face turned red.
Yuuki who also was caught up in it, had his own face also turn red. “No, well sorry. I might have said it too directly. It’s a little bit of a bad habit of mine.”
“That’s why, if you wouldn’t panic and be so afraid that would be great. Let’s calm down for now, okay? There’s no need to be gasping for air like a goldfish on land. Come on, deep breaths, let’s do some deep breaths. Suuuu Haaaah Suuuu Haaaah… Look, try it yourself?”
“… Suuuu Haaaah. Suuuu Haaaah..”
Sekai followed along earnestly. Matching her breath with Yuuki, she inhaled and exhaled. The only sound that could be heard in the room was the rhythm of their breathing as they came together.
“Now then,” Yuuki then continued the conversation. “After expressing those feelings, I would like to change the conversation a bit.”
“You don’t really have to answer, but why wouldn’t you see me? You didn’t even come to school after all.
“… You’re one to say that?”
“I’m quite well aware of my own shortcomings but please forgive me there.”
Sekai slightly sharpened her lips. Seeing how she was right now, it seems that a bit of her composure has returned.
“To be honest,” She once again started fidgeting as she spoke, “I didn’t imagine that today would become like this. That’s why I haven’t prepared myself for meeting with you like this. If wasn’t for the damn maid then I would still be closed up all by myself right now.”
And then she turned her eyes to look upwards, “How much did you hear about it?”
“You must have heard some stuff from Chiyo. I want to know what and how much you heard about.”
“Ummmm, let’s see.”
Yuuki explained it to her with as much detail as possible. About the things that happened with the now fired maid before he had met Sekai face to face. About how she was a goddess. About how she had refused any interaction with the outside world in order to live in solitude. About how she had protected this world for over a thousand years. About how she had fulfilled her duty this whole time, causing her body to weaken.
… It was a hard story to believe, but he needed to believe it. Rather, there was nothing else that he could believe in.
There were many things about her that were off. An aura about her that made her seem inhuman when looked at. Her lack of communication skills. And after she leaves the mansion, she would become as moved as a small child seeing everything for the first time.
“As expected, she told you everything. That damn maid.” Sekai clicked her tongue. “Sorry, Yuuki. Truth is, I didn’t want you to know about any of this. I hope you will forgive me.”
“No, not at all. ” Yuuki shook his head, “Rather, it’s more like a confused kind of feeling. It should be fine for you to tell me about these things, right?”
“… You really speak too lightly.”
“It’s a little hard for me to keep up with this all, but,” He cut her off, “You are the goddess that protects this world alone, right? Then, of course there would be various things that are quite troublesome. It isn’t an easy job after all, and there’s probably a lot of different suspicious things that you would be wrapped up in. That’s why you have someone like Chiyo around, to protect you from all of it, right?”
“Well, yeah. That’s definitely true.”
“And, I said this earlier, right? Whether you are a goddess or a devil, you are you. I will accept everything about you.”
“… You still speak too lightly.”
“I’m sorry if it sounds that way. I’m someone who quite often works with the extremes.”
“Fumu.” Sekai smiled wryly. It was not a smile with a bad nuance. It was as if she was the owner of an undisciplined dog that had jumped on a visitor and licked them in the face. Or something like that. “It seems I’ve really lost my mind.”
Saying that, Sekai put her teacup to her mouth. It was the last earl grey the now fired maid had made… Well, it most likely won’t become her last one.
“Until today, I thought about a lot of things. Ever since you proposed to me, I really did think about a lot of things.”
“Yeah. Of course.” Yuuki nodded quietly.
“Is it really okay for it to be me? I thought. Isn’t the time we got to know each other too short? I thought.”
“Yeah. I get that.”
“Moreover, I’m a goddess. Is it alright for a goddess to marry? Going even further, you are still young, yet I’m already an old lady way past her prime. Thinking of all this, I end up hesitating. Maybe for you, though, that isn’t a problem at all.”
“Yeah. It really isn’t a problem.”
“And then, the more I thought about all of this, the more my head became confused, and I ended up caught between a rock and a hard place. I stopped being able to move. That is the reason I couldn’t meet you face to face.”
“Yeah. I see.”
“That is also one of the reasons that I stopped going to school. And well, there are other reasons as well.”
“Yeah. As I thought.”
While making his own interjections, Yuuki fidgeted around. The mood wasn’t bad. Sekai’s expression was soft. If anything, the feeling of hope and expectation were conveyed. However, if she really was a goddess, then the hurdle ends up elevating itself significantly. Problems would end up piling up into a mountain.
“Rather, how should we even start our married life together? Do we just build ourselves a house and live in it together? From then, do you have children and live happily forever? However, since I’m a goddess, I’m not really allowed to do whatever I want with my own body.”
“For things like that, we would discuss this more in the future—or something like that.”
That was his limit.
Scratching his head, he looked at the pattern on the ceiling, “Ummm, Kanaruzawa.”
“It’s going to be hard for me to wait any longer. It’s bad of me to rush you, so forgive me.”
“I was wondering, what your reply would end up being?”
“If you ask me, it’s quite tough to say. But you know, it’s about the proposal from before.”
Sekai completely blanked out.
Yuuki was the one who wanted to do that though. As expected, was I being a little bit too impatient? Did I say something weird in a rush? Nono, there’s no way. I didn’t say anything wrong, I believe?
“Reply?” Sekai asked him, confused. “The answer should have already been given by now.”
“I mean, isn’t it? I definitely remember saying it, ‘Yes. I’ll be in you care.’”
This time, it was Yuuki who blanked out. He quickly searched his own memory. Certainly, she really did say something like that. It was definitely a positive acceptance of Yuuki’s proposal. Yeah. It was definitely true, but…
“No. But you know, Kanaruzawa-san?”
“It’s true that that’s how it went, but at that time, it seemed that you were quite confused, and that you didn’t put any thought and just happened to say yes. That was quite troublesome. Was that not how it was?”
“Yeah. That is very true.”
“Moreover, right after that, you returned home as if you were running away.”
“Yeah. You have shown me that I did something wrong. I’m sorry about that.”
“… Since something like that happened, I ended up believing that I hadn’t really gotten an answer for my proposal yet.”
“But still, it’s not like I told you that I didn’t like it?”
“Ah. Yeah. That. Well, now that you mention it.”
Yuuki tilted his head.
Sekai tilted her head.
“It seems like a misunderstanding had been born between us. I just have that feeling.”
“Yeah. I think so as well.”
“By the way, I had been thinking that the reason that you came to see me, was to discuss how we would advance our marriage. However, as I said before, I am a goddess, one with a good amount of age to her, and I even have my own position to think about. I was worried about how much I could answer in terms of your wishes—”
“Eh? That’s what you were talking about?”
“Eh? You weren’t talking about that?”
Yuuki tilted his head.
Sekai tilted his head.
“What I should be wearing for my wedding dress, where we should go for our honeymoon trip, how many children we would have. I’ve been thinking about all those things.”
“I was even thinking that you would be asking for my body, and that I couldn’t find any reason to refuse. So, I was panicking quite a bit.”
“Were you not thinking about any of those things?”
“Yeah well. I didn’t think that I had received a reply yet for my proposal. In my mind that is.”
“If that’s the case,” Sekai’s expression remained blank as she threw out a light question. “Does that mean, I was the only one ahead of myself…?”
“No, it’s not your fault though.” Yuuki tried to follow up, “Originally, it was all my fault. I was an idiot to propose to you at that place and with that timing. And because of that, things became quite annoying. That’s why I think there’s no need for you to let it get to you. Really.”
His follow up ended in failure. Rather, it had the opposite effect.
Her blank expression was slowly dyed in color starting from her cheeks. You could see it change color in real time. Her skin color immediately disappeared, turning into an amber color like apples.
The blank expression fell apart. Just like that, Sekai sat on the sofa and grabbed her knees.
“So” A screaming voice came out from inside the blanket. “So embarrassing… way too embarrassing…”
“Ummm. Kanaruzawa? San?”
“It’s all over for me. There’s no way I can live on after making a mistake like that. I want to disappear just like this. I just want to turn into seaweed.”
That would be troubling, Yuuki thought. If she turns into seaweed, then his proposal will all be ruined.
“Alright. Then, let’s do this.”
Yuuki nodded by himself. Then, after putting his hands on the blanket, he pulled it off in one go.
Losing the barricade, a tear-strewn Sekai came into view. He held her as is.
She froze. Wrapped up within Yuuki, Kanaruzawa Sekai’s time stopped. Her eyes were wide, and she was so surprised, she didn’t move. No, she couldn’t move. Her already red cheeks surpassed their limit and became even redder.
Time moved. Her trembling lips were somehow able to let out a sound.
“Yu— Yu— Yu— Yu—Yuu—Yu—Yuu”
“Well,” Cutting her off, Yuuki explained. “If you disappear, it’ll be quite troubling. That’s why, if I do this, you won’t be able to leave.”
“No, sorry. Somehow, after saying that, it became quite embarrassing.” Yuuki’s face also gradually turned red. His expression was awkward, but he never let go of his arms that encased her. “I’ll say this just in case, but it’s not a joke. The proposal and everything.”
“I’m still a high school student, and it hasn’t been long since I first met you. However, I’m still serious. I don’t intend on withdrawing that statement.”
“I’ll also say this right now. I want to bet my life in order to protect you. I didn’t think about the wedding dress, the honeymoon trip, or the children, but I want you to live happily ever after.”
“Well, in terms of what to do specifically… I’m still quite young, so I haven’t properly thought about it yet. But that’s all included when I say I want to be with you.”
“All in all, I love you. It somehow became like that. To me, it’s still quite surprising though.”
Confirming that she had calmed down within his arms, Yuuki gently let go. Sekai was bright red as she looked at Yuuki in an amazed state. Those wet eyes were focused on him.
“As such, please let me say it again. —Kanaruzawa Sekai-san. Please marry me.”
She covered her face with both of her palms. And just like that, she shook her head left and right. Repeatedly.
“Ummm. Do you not want to?”
Sekai shook her head in an even more violent manner.
“I…” And then she squeezed out a tear-stricken voice. “I’m happy… too happy… happy beyond belief. Yuuki. I’m so happy I could die.”
“I see. That’s well… good. Yeah. Really.”
“I’ve lived all this time until now… but never have I imagined that I would ever become this happy… really, really… I never would have thought…”
Gusu. After blowing her nose once, Sekai sat up straight.
“Yuuki. I’ll answer once again.”
Her smile bloomed. Like a sweet baby’s breath, and at the same time, like a large rose.
“Yes. I’ll be in your care.”
Just like this, the two of them happily became married.
After that, there was a flurry of developments.
First, the maid that was fired was called back and returned to the current scene. With a leisurely expression, she gave her congratulations, listened to the scolding that rained down from her master, egging on and making fun of the couple that had happily gotten together, and didn’t forget to properly organize the situation in the midst of all of that.
An official legal marriage was impossible. However, in the current situation, an official legal marriage had no meaning. And so, Yuuki and Sekai’s relationship, became one where they gave each other their lives in exchange for the other’s support.
Questions about their future life together also came flying. Houndingover the sweetness between the Yuuki and Sekai, it became a defensive front for the two of them. However, there wasn’t really any choice to be resign themselves to their fate. After all, for Yuuki, he understood how reckless he had to be to get here and how unadvisable those actions were.
Still, in this sandbag like state, there was one bit of good news.
It came in the form of something completely unexpected.
“Yuuki,” Sekai came forward and spoke, looking somewhat apologetic. “My body. It somehow feels a little better.”
It wasn’t to the extent of just a little. Amazingly, she was able to stand in front of Yuuki, and even show herself walking a few steps. Without even a cane, it was as if she was a perfectly healthy person.
Chiyo explained to the wide-eyed Yuuki. Recently, Kanaruzawa Sekai had been spending a lot of time doing an extensive amount of rehabilitation. Without sparing any money on the best medical staff, and after putting in an excessive amount of effort, she was able to recover splendidly.
“That’s amazing. Rather, it makes me really happy.” Yuuki blessed her with his best smile. “If that’s the case, then you would be able to have a normal school life. You should be able to hang out with people normally, to enjoy your life normally… Ah, I see. If that’s the case, we can also think about the honeymoon trip ahead of time. Yeah. Let’s go on a honeymoon trip. Sometime soon. Definitely.”
Sekai, who had turned red from Yuuki’s insistence, threw out a kick in the shin towards him.
About the timing of the marriage, or rather engagement announcement, it all ended in a terrible fashion.
Kirishima Haruko, who was amazing and sharp for her age, ended up pursuing her brother, forcing him to confess after seeing her brother’s suspicious behavior. From that point on, the events became quite extreme, so the details will be left out.
His dispute with his sister was still ongoing. Yuuki not only had to make preparations for the marriage, but was also forced to cope with her pursuit.
And just like this, his timing was overlooked.
In the end, what is a goddess?
What type of existence is it? What does she do to protect this world?
Of course, he did ask. However, he was unable to get a response. The situation was too good, too busy, too peaceful for any of that. Without an answer, time continued to flow on happily.
As such, even though he said that he would give his life to protect her, for him to actually be driven to do that, he would have to wait until the coming winter.