In the past, there was a mysterious city that worshipped the Dark God, the Underworld Country.
In order to go on a journey to search for this place, there was the need of around 1 week of preparation.
Most importantly, the Founder Yorishiro had to put in order a lot of tasks in order to take a leave from the Light capital, so there was the need for time to finish those.
The hero Karen-san also had those kind of duties, and while finishing them all, a whole week passed in the blink of an eye.
By the way, I thought the ‘Karen-san love love’ girl -also known as the fire hero, Mirack- would be desperate in trying to let her accompany us, but she went against my expectations and didn’t participate.
The reason is because she has to concentrate on the security of Muspelheim.
Looks like her constant visits to Karen-san have finally angered the Fire Church.
To show that she has reflected on this, it seems she won’t be able to visit Karen-san for a while.
The water hero Celestis is endeavouring in both her duties as a hero and an idol in Hydra Ville.
In that case, the members this time will only be us three…
* * *
“I like you, Haine-san.”
“I love you-desu wa, Haine-san.”
“Are you two seriously going to do this everyday?!”
In the day of our departure, I was immediately greeted with a double punch that was about to knock me out.
The light hero, Karen-san, and the Light Church Founder, Yorishiro.
In the several days after the event where the two confessed their love, their attacks have been aggressive. It was on a level that I felt I was being completely crushed flat.
Even in the middle of our duties at the Light Church, they would stick their bodies to me and whisper their love. For the body of a growing man, this was incredibly bad for my health.
“We can finally go, to our searching tour of the Dark Underworld Country!” (Karen)
“To think I would be able to have a journey with this lineup, it is like a honeymoon-desu wa.” (Yorishiro)
Is a honeymoon something that’s supposed to be done with three people?
When I am involved, these two become a pair that are just wishing to be retorted.
Weird rumors have already been spreading inside the church, and sadly, most of them are true… And in order to have those rumors cool down, this journey might be useful to make them ‘disappear’ from there.
I tried thinking about it for a bit but, as I thought, it won’t work. I can easily imagine that our absence will only invite speculation and the stories will get even more inflated.
“And so, Karen-san, are the preparations on your side done?” (Yorishiro)
“Of course, Founder! Please look!” (Karen)
Saying this, what Karen-san pointed at with a *bang!* was the flying machine that I am already familiar with.
It is a one-man ride that flies at high speeds powered with Ethereal energy, and thanks to this little one, the range of things the hero Karen-san can do have increased drastically.
It is a great machine that’s already on the level that it should be indispensable for a hero, but the one I am seeing today is a bit different from the one I am used to.
“I requested this from the manufacturers in the Flaptor company and had them remodel it in several areas. It has been painted with a special heat-resistant paint and closed up as many of the opened areas in the machine as possible to increase the airtight properties of it. It is in order to avoid sand from entering.” (Karen)
“That’s right. The destination this time seems like it will be a lot crueler than the places we have been until now, so we can’t lack in preparations.” (Karen)
Yeah, our journey this time is to search for the Underworld country, but the place we are heading to search in has already been established.
We have already poured light divine power to the ‘Needle of Guidance’ in order to have it point at our wished destination.
And then, after matching the direction with the map, we inferred the location we would arrive at.
Speaking of it in more detail, it is a big desert that is at the territory of the Earth capital, Ishtar Blaze. The people call it the ‘Nameless Desert’.
It is all sand without a single blade of grass growing, and it is said that everyone that has gone in there has died. And in reality, there have been reports of several people always ending up stranded there. It is a pretty dangerous place.
That’s why, there’s the need to be completely prepared.
…Well, in normal circumstances, it would be best to just not go there though.
“But it is exactly because it is such a dangerous place that people don’t get close to it, and it wouldn’t be strange if there were a city that people have not been able to discover there for several centuries. It might become the discovery of the century!” (Karen)
“Ufufu, it tingles your sense of adventure-desu wa ne.” (Yorishiro)
Why are these two holy women so hyped up?
“But I am still worried. Having you girls go to such a dangerous place is just…” (Haine)
“Please don’t look down on me, Haine-san. I am a hero. I have already learned the survival skills in order to fight against monsters in any kind of extreme situations.” (Karen)
After Karen-san, Yorishiro also speaks.
“What’s needed when stepping into an unknown land is careful preparation. As long as there’s that, there’s no need to fear more than necessary. Believe that the wisdom of humans can conquer nature.” (Yorishiro)
And so says the God…
In your case, it only means that you can just release your power as a Goddess and things will resolve somehow.
Well, that’s the same for me though.
In that sense, there’s most likely no need to worry?
“Well then, let’s go, Yorishiro-sama!” (Karen)
“Right, Karen-san. Finally, what we have been waiting for!” (Yorishiro)
“Our journey of love with Haine-san!” (Karen)
“An incognito trip where love and desire swirls!” (Yorishiro)
As I thought, maybe we should not go.
I am beginning to wonder what’s their actual objective.
- 71: At the Oasis
From the places we have gone to, this ‘Nameless Desert’ is the one who is the most harshest of them all.
It truly was sand from as far as you can see. There’s nothing that serves as a landmark, so the sense of direction gets disarrayed, and the sand is reflecting the sunlight making it quite hot.
It is exactly because of the flying machine that we were able to reach all the way here and allowed us to move fast even in a place like this, but if that wasn’t the case, we would have it quite rough.
“Haine-san, Haine-san!” (Karen)
Karen-san calls to me as she drives through the desert with her flying machine.
“Yorishiro-sama is in a dire state!” (Karen)
There was one girl that was having it hard.
When I look , the person that is clinging onto the back of Karen-san at the rear seat of the flying machine, Yorishiro, was having her life force shaved off by the heat and the sunlight’s radiance.
She had her tongue out and going *huff huff* like a summertime dog.
“Ah good grief. It is because you are normally at the Grand Church and rarely go out, and now you have suddenly gone to a rough place like this…” (Haine)
At this rate, the life force of Yorishiro will run out…
This is problematic. Even if we want to let her rest, there’s only sand all around us with no place to take it easy.
Yorishiro stayed silent with only her compass in hand. The needle was going in circles like crazy, and then, points at a set direction.
Looks like she doesn’t have anymore strength to say anything more.
What she has in her hands is the ‘Needle of Guidance’ that can point at the things you search for if you pour light divine power in it.
This thing that we have been using in order to search for the Underworld country has now changed its target to an oasis. In other words, a water source inside the desert.
What a crafty woman. And also, what a convenient item.
“Haine-san, let’s head to the oasis. At this rate, Yorishiro-sama will dry up.” (Karen)
“Yeah. Having the Light Founder dying from heatstroke would not be funny.” (Haine)
And so, Karen-san and I turn our flying machines to the oasis and drive our way there.
By the way, there’s currently two flying machines here; the one that Karen-san and Yorishiro are riding, and the one I am riding.
In this journey, I managed to ride on my own personal flying machine!
When we were about to depart for this journey, Yorishiro prepared this with her own pocket money.
She nonchalantly said: ‘I am giving this to you’, but I refused.
After all, when I was going to buy this flying machine myself, I learned that it was being sold at a terrifying price.
Since I become the hero’s assistant, I now have quite a decent wage, but I would have to throw a whole half a year worth of my pay in order to afford one.
Moreover, the cheapest one.
With less than half of that price, I would be able to buy a pretty decent house at Apollon City.
I was thinking of sending part of my pay to my parents at the village, so it made the price even more shocking.
Even if I am told nonchalantly by her that she would be ‘giving’ me the luxury I was unable to buy, I would be way too scared of what would happen after receiving it.
And so, right now, I am riding this only as a borrowed article from the Light Church, and only using it on official business.
I am suddenly already using it for private business, but if I think of it as using it to act as the bodyguard of the hero and the Founder, it can’t be considered 100% private business! …Probably.
If the Underworld country really does exist, it would be a world shaking discovery, so thinking of it in that way, it can’t be called private business! …Probably.
And in that way, as I was making excuses for myself, we found an area of green right in the middle of the desert.
There really was an oasis here.
* * *
Water welled up in the desert, and with that as a source, green grew thickly; an oasis, what a mysterious place.
With the vaporization of the water and the shadows that the vegetation creates, this place is a lot more fresh.
We took a break of around 1 hour there and Yorishiro finally regained her vitality.
“Aah, I am back~~! The blessing of nature is the best~~!” (Yorishiro)
In the end, humans can’t control nature.
“But the one that was saved was not only Yorishiro-sama. I was having it rough as well after all.” (Karen)
Karen-san says this as she wipes her face covered in sweat.
True, that applies to me as well.
We are tougher as fighters compared to Yorishiro, but that doesn’t mean we are completely fine in a harsh environment.
There’s plenty chance that we would get heat stroke as well if we were to wander too long in the sunlight of the desert.
“As I thought, it is way too reckless to move around the desert in the morning. Let’s rest in this oasis and wait for night to come.” (Haine)
Is what I say and…
“When the sun goes down and the temperature lowers, we will resume the search for the Underworld country, right? Then, there’s something I would like to do now that we are here.” (Karen)
What? Karen-san suddenly began fidgeting.
“I understand that feeling.” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro who was groggy jumped at that proposal.
“It is so hot and my whole body is covered in sweat, and even my underwear is soaking wet. On top of that, there’s sand inside my clothes, and if I don’t wash it, I will feel completely uncomfortable.” (Karen)
“And so, there’s an oasis here in good timing, and a spring…But you see, if we are going to take a bath, we would need to take off our clothes, and get naked, right?” (Yorishiro)
Hearing until that point, I understood what they wanted to say. It is true that they would be worried about the gaze of a man.
“Please peek, okay?” (Karen)
I almost agreed.
“Wait, Karen-san. Isn’t that the part where you say ‘please don’t peek’?” (Haine)
“In normal cases, yeah. But I love Haine-san. That’s why, it would trouble me if you don’t peek.” (Karen)
Since the time she confessed, her aggressiveness has been escalating!
“I understand that feeling, Karen-san. They would think: ‘is that gentleman seeing me as a woman?’, this is a life-or-death problem for a lady. And that’s how it is Haine-san, I will be taking a bath as well, so don’t hesitate to peek.” (Yorishiro)
“I will hesitate!” (Haine)
I am the human, Kuromiya Haine. And the boundary that separates humans from animals is reasoning. That’s why, I value reason. No matter the time and place.
“Are you not going to peek no matter what?” (Yorishiro)
“I-I won’t! There’s a code of conduct even in intimate relationships after all!” (Haine)
I assert this.
I hope that these two will give up with this.
“Can’t be helped-desu wa, Karen-san. Haine-san is not the cowardly type that would hide and peek on someone after all.” (Yorishiro)
“That’s right, Yorishiro-sama. Haine-san is not the kind of coward who would hide and do things sneakily. In other words, we bath together unreservedly!” (Karen)
Why is it getting deeper?!
“Uhm, Haine-san! I will wring out all of my courage to accompany you, so please!” (Karen)
“There’s no need for that courage! Please use that courage to fight against monsters!” (Haine)
When I tried to convince Karen-san, Yorishiro joins in.
“Haine-san, the courage of a hero and the courage of a woman are two different things. And to prove that, see? My legs are shaking. But, in order to become the woman of Haine-san officially, I will win against my fear!” (Yorishiro)
“Win against your fear for the sake of guiding your believers!” (Haine)
Convincing these two utilized more energy than when we were wandering in the desert.
- 72: Beautiful spring
“Ara, Karen-san, your skin is truly white. Moreover, it is so clear, it looks like polished white porcelain.” (Yorishiro)
“Oh come on, Yorishiro-sama, please don’t look so intently at my naked body. Yorishiro-sama, you yourself have a pretty well-developed body and…uhm…it is incredibly big.” (Karen)
They really went to take a bath.
The sounds of water splashing and the laughs that were like the chirping of birds.
All of those were entering my ears and stimulating the male part of Kuromiya Haine. And at the same time, the human part of Kuromiya Haine was cautioning: ‘this is not the time yet, don’t hurry things’.
A fierce struggle between reason and desire.
Of course, this is what those girls were aiming for.
“Eek! Yorishiro-sama, please don’t poke at weird places!” (Karen)
“Isn’t it fine? My body and your body are the personal feast of Haine-san. Sampling each other’s body will help in understanding what needs to be corrected-desu wa.” (Yorishiro)
“Eh? Then, is it okay for me to poke Yorishiro-sama as well?” (Karen)
“Of course. Go ahead and do it anywhere you want.” (Yorishiro)
That was the scream of my instincts.
They are saying those things while knowing. Purposely having me hear it, they are aiming to destroy my sense of reason with their ‘kya kya fufu’.
It is true that I said I won’t peek, and I also said I won’t bathe with them.
If I disappear from their view, the doubts that I might be peeking wouldn’t go away, so I went out of my way and turned my back at an area close to the spring and am currently sitting firmly there.
Because I have my back turned I can’t see, but I can clearly hear the sounds of the water and their lovely voices.
They know. If they continuously make me hear those voices, they can crack my reason and I would turn into an animal.
The tag team of these two is way too scary.
Both of them are extreme in their behavior, but whether it is Karen-san or Yorishiro, when they are on their own, they are girls that have a bit more reservation than this.
There’s also the eyes of the surroundings and they are intelligent girls to begin with, so they know that if they lose their sense of shame, it would be terrible.
But the brake that they place when they are on their own suddenly gets destroyed when there’s the two of them.
When one takes one step, the other will go: ‘ah, so it’s okay to go that far’, and does one step further than that. And then, the other side, seeing this, will go: ‘ah, so it’s okay to go that far’, and it will be a repeat of that as they dig themselves into a deeper hole.
By the time they notice, they are already at a far line that they shouldn’t have crossed.
Those are the kind of mistakes you end up regretting later.
Karen-san and Yorishiro; the two are actually quite similar, and that’s exactly why they are a dangerous type to mix together.
Being in between these two, the three of us are alone at an oasis in the middle of the desert that’s basically a deserted island.
Encountering someone here is close to zero. Because of various reasons, I have been unable to move for almost half of the day.
What’s with this impasse that had no opening? There’s no escape!
If this seduction continues until sunset, even I wouldn’t be able to protect my steel resolve!
What am I to do, Haine?!
What should I do about the beast inside of me?!
* * *
I managed to endure it.
Because the two holy women had tired themselves out after finishing their bath.
“Ufufu, she is sleeping soundly.” (Yorishiro)
Karen-san is making sleeping sounds, and Yorishiro, who had placed Karen-san’s head on her lap, was looking at her happily.
“She must have gotten tired after frolicking too much. This morning, she had a face that said she hadn’t slept at all because of her excitement. The pleasantness of the bath must have sooth her into sleep.” (Yorishiro)
“Ah, I’m saved~. That was close.” (Haine)
Thanks to Karen-san being asleep, the offensive has stopped.
If it continued just like that, my reason would have definitely crumbled, and a situation that can’t be shown to children would have happened.
“…Karen-san has truly become a lively girl. Since meeting with Haine-san, she has changed to a point that you wouldn’t be able to recognize her.” (Yorishiro)
“Eh? Really?” (Haine)
“That’s right. Her core as a zealous person has not changed, but in her inauguration as a hero, that zealousness was showing openly. By meeting Haine-san, she has become able to play around quite a lot.” (Yorishiro)
“Well, sorry for being an evil man that corrupts the hero.” (Haine)
“It is the contrary. The Karen-san before meeting you was, how to say it, overeager, or more like, stiffened up; at any rate, she didn’t have any flexibility. Her intentions were good, but she was sacrificing herself for that sake. Haine-san, you were the one who allowed her to loosen that unnecessary strength.” (Yorishiro)
“Is that a good thing?” (Haine)
“It is. As an assistant of the hero, you are properly caring for the mental health of the hero. As a Founder, I praise you.” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro dresses it up as a joke.
Now that I think about it, the Karen-san I met at my village gave me an impression that her shoulders and elbows were more stuck to the front.
I thought that was gone because she simply got more familiar with me, but I see, she was the one who changed.
“For a long time, I have thought I could be friends with her.” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro continues looking at the sleeping face of Karen-san.
“For a long time, I have thought that she is similar to me. She fell in love with the same person as me, so my intuition was spot on. Thanks to that, we have completely become good friends. But…” (Yorishiro)
“Haine-san will…definitely choose Karen-san.” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro said something unexpected.
In other words, that means Yorishiro is saying I will choose Karen-san as my girlfriend?
“What’s wrong so suddenly? Saying something that’s not like you.” (Haine)
“No well…you and I have a past after all. Even if we are inside human vessels now, you wouldn’t marry a woman that sealed you before, right?” (Yorishiro)
In the battle of Gods 1,600 years ago, in the battle where I was the Dark God Entropy and Yorishiro was the Light Goddess Inflation, I was defeated by her, and was sealed for a long time.
“What, you think I am holding a grudge on you?” (Haine)
“Just how long do you think that has been? 1,600 years. That’s way too far in the past. It is even hard to not forget the grudges I had just a day before. It would be way too tiring to hold a grudge that’s more than 1 year old.” (Haine)
“But… the other ones…” (Yorishiro)
“The reason why I beat up Nova and Coacervate was because those guys pissed me off in the present. If they are pieces of shit like in the past, even the grudges of the past would resurface, right?” (Haine)
But Yorishiro is different.
The Light Goddess Inflation in front of me is different.
“At the very least, I am fond of the Light Goddess Inflation as an equal God. We are comrades that cooperated to create the world. There’s no way I would hate you.” (Haine)
“Haine… Haine-san!!” (Yorishiro)
“But that’s only as the Dark God Entropy towards the Light Goddess Inflation. The human Haine towards Yorishiro…that would have to start from zero first—Uoo?!!” (Haine)
I looked at my side and get surprised.
Yorishiro is crying. Silently. But there’s an amount of tears that was enough to create strings flowing from both of her eyes.
“What’s wrong?! There’s no need to cry, right?” (Haine)
“Haine-san is at fault for saying something that would make me cry. I felt like the burden I had been shouldering for 1,600 years had fallen off.” (Yorishiro)
And so that’s why she is crying tears of happiness.
She has a lot more sweet parts than I thought.
“But that’s exactly why it is saddening. To the point that I would want to cry.” (Yorishiro)
“When you learn about the evils I have done in the time you weren’t there, you would definitely end up hating me.” (Yorishiro)