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What is the Tsukumo organization exactly?
The first time Kirishima Haruko of this world was first aware of ‘them’ was a little after she had turned the age of one. As a precocious girl, she was quick to understand the rules of this world. She had a grasp on the overall size of the Tsukumo organization, how it supported the world from behind the scenes without anyone knowing, as such, it didn’t take long for her to associate them under the definition of an ‘ally of justice’.
“Onii-sama has been handpicked by such an organization.”
It was ten years ago.
Kirishima Haruko at the time had not yet awakened Kirishima Haruko. A messenger from the organization came from the and ended up scouting Kirishima Yuuki. “Would you please entrust your son to us?”
It was only a matter of time for Kirishima Yuuki to catch the eyes of the organization, with how accomplished a person he was, at least to Haruko. However, as expected, his parents were hesitant at first.
Of course that would be the case, it would be different if it was recruitment from a leader in industry, but this was a recruitment from a dubious organization.
Moreover, the organization is a complete mystery.
In addition, this organization proclaimed itself to have the goal of ‘saving this world’. It shouldn’t have been weird to have slammed the door shut on their request. And yet, after a few exchanges—her parents accepted the request.
There were a number of reasons. There was the fact that during negotiations, the Tsukumo organization exercised their wealth and economic power. There was also the fact that they were exerting all their power as a sacrifice towards the betterment of humanity. Moreover, there was no reason for their parents to refuse, if they were also to gain investments towards their company, Kirishima Pharmaceuticals.
Finally, most importantly, Yuuki himself had accepted it. At the age of only six, he understood the situation that he was placed in, and chose to give himself up for world peace.
“As expected of Onii-sama.”
Her brother’s actions were something to be proud of.
Her brother’s dignified devotion, and his virtuous mindset. It deserves a national honor, no, so priceless are his actions that it should be rewarded with the Nobel Peace Prize.
Truly a hero.
That is the man that Kirishima Haruko had fallen head over heels for.
—If she were to ever praise him like that, her brother would definitely give a wry smile, humbling himself after denying that he was anything that great. He should really learn that being overly humble can be offensive, so Haruko would think.
Still, his humility didn’t come without reason.
Even if he was devoting his body to saving the world, he would still be able to go to school like a normal person. Although there is strict information control in terms of confidentiality, he’s able to continue living normally in the Kirishima mansion. Neither were there any disturbances to any of the tea parties he has with Haruko. It can’t be said that there were no limits, but there’s still plenty of freedom.
In addition, there was a good amount of salary. There were even bonuses and benefits, and overall, it didn’t lose out to any top industry leaders.
“It’s kind of like being a part of volunteer firefighters in a village, or a young persons’ association.”
If told that, you could definitely see the comparison.
“Even then, it’s not like they’re a completely a goody two shoes type of organization.”
Haruko often thinks to herself. Does an ally of justice, always without fail, save everything? Of course, that was impossible when thinking about it logically.
Therefore, she must always be on the lookout for her brother. She constantly bears that in mind.
“I’m the only one that can act as Onii-sama’s support. I need to stay strong.”
Her beloved brother. Her respected brother.
Her brother, who after joining the Tsukumo organization has become more skillful in both the pen and sword, still continues to dote on his little sister.
That brother would now accept hardship and be forced upon a role that only he can fulfill.
“It’s a fiendish job.” Her brother said. “Completely improper and shameless, which would definitely result in going to hell after death. That’s the kind of job it is. But still, someone must do it. That’s why I’ll do it. I’ll happily do it.”
His tone was indifferent, but was filled with a silent sense of nervousness. As if he was just about to head out onto a battlefield, or rather, like he was about to stand at the gallows after being punished.
Kirishima Haruko thought.
She understands that her brother’s position is tough.
Just what type of job would force her brother to bring out so much willpower?
Haruko wasn’t omniscient. Even she couldn’t imagine what type of difficult work was laid out in front of her brother.
As such, the Tsukumo organization is treated as an organization with an unknown nature. What exactly were they making her brother do?
Counting only the ones that were remembered, it had already reached 30 cups. Even on the thirtieth cup, the contents of the glass were drained in a blink of an eye.
It all went down in one breath.
Really, Yuuki trembled in fright. She had only touched her lips to the first cup about an hour ago. In other words, she drained the contents at the rate of one cup every two minutes. Adding on to that, the contents of the cup were straight up scotch whiskey.
Truly a demonic pace.
Ironically, the identity of the existence draining each cup wasn’t a demon but a goddess.
“What’s wrong? It doesn’t seem like you’ve made any progress with your cup.”
The girl, who looked like an alcoholic, laughed mockingly at him with a flirtatious look.
While laughing she poured new liquid into the empty glass.
Tapu tapu tapu tapu. Tapu tapu tapu tapu tapu tapu tapu tapu.
How much is she going to put in there—as Yuuki shuddered, the glass was filled all the to the top with amber colored whiskey.
She downed it with a gulp.
Puhah, she let out a satisfied breath that stunk of alcohol.
That smell almost caused Yuuki to throw up something else. His stomach flipped, but he was barely able to keep it in by tightening his core muscles.
(Rather, what’s with this situation?)
Shaking his head, Yuuki muttered as he licked his own glass.
This was his first mission after accepting orders from the Tsukumo organization and beginning his new job. It was to have a drinking bout.
Drinking alcohol, while having a great time.
Moreover, it was one on one. Alone with the goddess that looked quite like a young girl.
“So weak willed.” Showing her white canines, the goddess snorted. “This job has never been taken up by a man so weak to alcohol. It seems the organization’s eyes have become clouded. I can’t fathom the reason they would choose you.”
“…I must deeply apologize. I’m still underaged. As such, I am not used to drinking.”
“When it comes to me and the things around me, the laws of this world do not hold.”
“That is true, but…”
“In the first place, you are already outside the limitations of a human being. The moment you were involved with the organization and involved with me, the laws of this world meant nothing. For you to continue to feel bound by rules of the past is just sheer stupidity.”
“It’s not about the rules. Rather, my liver wouldn’t last.”
“So weak.” The goddess looked at him in contempt, “I used to be human. And as you can see, quite the beauty. Aren’t you embarrassed leaving me to drink alone like this?”
“So you say, but you’re a goddess now.”
“Certainly, I’m not a human and have a stronger body than normal humans. Still, my body is fundamentally made of the same thing as all of you guys, you know? Considering the amount that you are drinking, it’s way too much of a handicap.”
Yuuki resolved himself. He then swallowed the contents of the cup that he gripped in his hand. The amber colored liquid burned his throat. His stomach let out a cry of protest.
“Kufufu! You can actually do it if you try!” The drunkard broke out into laughter. When she laughs like that, she looks unbelievably young for a goddess that has lived for a thousand years. “Now drink, drink more! It’s now enough yet with just this! If you don’t do enough to satisfy me, I won’t be able to do my ‘job’!”
…Why did it become like this? Yuuki thought, as he watched the cup fill to the brim with alcohol.
He thought he had understood his own role.
Kanaruzawa Sekai. The one person that has the ability to purify all impurities and maintain time and space.
To have her do her ‘job’—in other words, to protect this world. That should have been his duty.
At the very least, the reason for which he joined the Tsukumo organization, one which you could not grasp the full extent of it’s reach just by joining it, and trained to prepare for emergencies, was not to withstand such a limit exceeding amount of alcohol. Rather, if that’s how it was supposed to be, then he wished he was given that sort of training in the first place.
“You really grumble a lot.”
He heard the sound of someone laughing.
Yuuki turned his dizzy head and gazed at the goddess.
“You do understand exactly how it is that I fulfill my ‘duty’, right? Compared to that, the drunkenness that you are feeling right now cannot even compare.”
He does in fact know.
The goddess’s abode was located within the 24 prefectures of Tokyo, somewhere along the Sobu line. Located here were the goddess and other things that surpassed human knowledge.
It was located in an underground space, after following the stairs down, without being particularly concealed in any way. It was unknown when it came into existence or who had created that space, but it definitely was beyond human knowledge.
Beyond the gate was a completely different world that forced you to succumb to an unimaginable amount of hardships that a person could never withstand.
All of that was taken in and experienced by the goddess.
“It’s hell.” She spoke while twirling the glass. “It is definitely the perfect image of hell. Your body, no, your soul itself is subjected to all that pain and suffering. Cut, crushed, obliterated. Burned, bent, twisted. All types of pain. Do you really understand?”
“If it was just the physical pain, then it would be better. Yet, it forces you to experience every single type of negative emotion. Loneliness, suffering, despair, depression—that’s what it means to succumb with both body and mind. During all of this, you are unable to scream or even scratch at your chest. Can you imagine that?”
Aren’t you the one with a lot of complaints? He thought with his drunk mind. In lew of him voicing his opinion, he downed another glass of whiskey.
“Amazing!” She let out a shout of joy. After repeatedly clapping her hands, she mercilessly refilled Yuuki’s glass. “Now come on, it’s not enough. Not enough at all. Show me the depths of your power, oh dog of the Tsukumo organization! If you’re able to successfully pass the time with me, I’ll happily do just as you want and save this world!”
…Yuuki couldn’t hear the voice that continued its constant provocation. No, he was unable to hear it. The alcohol had already overtaken him, and he was unable to keep conscious without significant effort.
Within his mind that seemed to be on the verge of falling apart, Yuuki spoke to himself.
This can’t be. He hadn’t heard anything about this. The Tsukumo organization was one that disclosed very little information, but this pertains to the life and death of the world. Is this really something that he can accept?
No, but wait.
Now that he thought about it, it wasn’t that they didn’t tell him. The correct statement is probably that they couldn’t tell him.
That has to be the case.
“Kirishima Yuuki, your job is to win in a drinking competition with the goddess.”
If you think about it normally, there’s no way a superior would want to say something like that to their subordinate.
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