Volume 1 Chapter 13 – Unusual Trio


Lynett


“Y-You traitor!”

Ah… I want to go home already.  Why do I have to resolve the disputes of two Gods who are a thousand times older than me? I feel like a mother who has to put an end to a siblings’ fight… which is not entirely false actually. But seriously. Are those two really partially responsible of the World’s management? I hope all my Gods aren’t like this. Well, if they were, I’m pretty sure the world would have ended already.

“I asked for your help to retrieve my territory!” Yoko exclaimed. “Who the hell told you to steal it from me?!”

I sighed. “You guys don’t leave me the choice… If I don’t do something, this ridiculous fight will last for a while. You have drawn enough attention on yourselves like this, lately. If this keeps going, humans will retaliate.”

Yoko shrugged. “So what? I can deal with a few thousands of humans, you don’t have to worry about that!”

“… Yoko… It’s not for your safety that I’m worried about.”

She squinted her eyes before pinching her nose bridge, letting out a loud sigh.

“First Naia, and now you too… Seriously, what’s so special about them? Why do you guys want to protect humans so much?” She grunted.

“Well that was unexpected…!” Harri sneered. “I guess that means we have to leave?”

I shrugged. “Not really. You know, I don’t really care about all these territory issues and rules. To be honest, I have absolutely no interest in this land, but I can’t let you sow panic either. So now this place is mine. You can stay as long as you want, but no fights allowed. My territory, my rules. If you have something to say, go ahead, we’ll settle this right now.”

Harri chuckled. “Haha, no way. That’s fine by me! I’m not crazy enough to challenge the Creator in a duel! Besides, I’m a gentleman! I don’t fight ladies!”

…What about Yoko, then? Is she not a woman too?

“This one doesn’t count, it’s a fox.” He added, answering my unspoken thoughts.

“How did it come to this…” Yoko complained, placing her hand across her face. “I lost my territory and now I’ll have to cope with this idiot everyday.”

“Sorry about that.” I responded. “So I’m guessing that you’re fine with it?”

“Of course not.” She retorted. “But it’s not like if I had the choice, do I? The idiot over there is fine, I can handle him, but I’m not fighting the top dog. I don’t want to be treated like a pet again…”

Oh. Her pride must have taken a real blow back then. Sorry, I won’t do it again… probably.

“But why are you guys so determined to stay here?” I asked, changing the subject. “The two of you obviously can’t stand each other, yet none of you is willing to leave. I doubt this is just about pride. Is there something special here? Don’t Gods live isolated?”

“That depends on our personality.” Harri started to explain. “Take Naia for example, she is pretty fond of humans. She is living among them. On the other hand, there are those of us who are much less sociable, like the minx. Yoko is reclusive. She prefers seclusion and avoids humans’ territory… usually.”

Is that so? Then what is she doing here? I turned my gaze to Yoko, furrowing my forehead. “If you hate humans so much, how come you’ve settled here?”

She shrugged. “It’s not that I hate them, it’s just that I think they’re stupid and I’d rather not get myself involved with them. But well, I like it here. A few humans aren’t enough to make me leave.”

“Yeah, I understood that. But why?”

“I’m just following my guts. I felt like staying here, so I’m staying here.” She answered lazily.

…Huh? What an useless answer. So she has no good reasons to stay? It doesn’t seem right. She was ready to fight an army of humans and to destroy the forest for… nothing?

“Actually, it’s the same for me too.” Harri suddenly spoke up, with a nonchalant smile.”It’s hard to explain, but from our point of view, there is something really attractive around here. The aura, maybe? In any cases, it makes this place a first-class territory for a God, even if it’s so close to a human city.”

Yoko sighed, crossing her arms in front of her. “It’s the mana. This place is filled with mana and it only gets stronger over time. Mortals don’t care about that, I even doubt that they noticed it, but for us, divine beings, mana is like essence. It’s not just us actually. Any beings with a high affinity to magic like dragons or demons will be naturally drawn to places with a high amount of mana.”

“D-Dragons…?” I repeated, widening my eyes. “But I’ve never seen a dragon around here.”

“Of course not. What do you think my miasma is for? It’s a warning. It prevents any magical beasts to get close to this area.”

Oh… So if it wasn’t for her, the city would have been attacked long ago. In the end, she has a pretty good heart and she is not that irresponsible! …This is what I would like to say, but knowing her personality, she probably did it for herself, so that she won’t be bothered by any intruders. It wasn’t enough to stop Harri from coming, though.

“But if you’re staying here because of the mana, do you know why it’s like this?” I asked, returning to the main topic.

“I don’t. It started a few years ago, just a little before I arrived. I’m not sure what caused this, but I don’t really care. It’s only beneficial for me after all.”

So that’s why they were both so stubborn to stay here. Uhm…? Something isn’t right. It started around the same time she got here? She did say she was here for eleven years, right? What a timing… I arrived in this city twelve years ago. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Is it me? Could it be my fault? Did I do something again without noticing it…?

I remember now. Yoko said that by their presence alone, Gods could change their environment. She changed the valley into a forest, and Harri changed the forest into a meadow. And if both of their territory shared something in common, it’s the fact that they were infused with their mana.

… That’s totally my fault. Just by being here, I transformed this place into a Gods magnet. No, actually, I am the Gods magnet. I am the reason this conflict started in the first place. I must be cursed. Wherever I go, problems follow. I think I deserve a new title. [The Troublemaker], that would fit perfectly.

Wait, does this mean I’ll never have a peaceful life? That’s terrible… Can I cry now?

“If you weren’t so unwilling to share, we wouldn’t have that much problems!” Harri exclaimed, glaring at Yoko.

“No way. First-come, first-served. I was here first.” She grunted.

“Actually, I was here first…” I said with a small voice. As they both turned to me, raising an eyebrow, I continued. “You see, I moved here twelve years ago. And I think I’m probably the reason why the surroundings started to change…”

Yoko and Harri widened their eyes at my sudden revelation, glancing at each other. After staying silent for a while, Yoko spoke up.

“… So this territory was yours from the beginning? Ah… Now I can’t even complain anymore.” She muttered, with a defeated look on her face. “Still, that would explain a lot. You’re the Creator after all. But… Do you not know how to restrain yourself? I thought you wanted to hide. Why would you emit so much mana? It’s just like if you were sending invitations to any strong beings.”

Rubbing the back of my neck, a wry smile appeared on my face. “Well, I actually thought I was doing a pretty good job at controlling my mana… until now.”

“So you’re doing it unconsciously? You’re really weird.” Yoko bluntly said, her eyes squinted.

“Thanks… I hadn’t noticed.”

I hate the Gods. It must be fate. No matter which world is it, I just can’t seem to live as a normal girl. Well, I guess it was to be expected. Being reborn as the protagonist of my own story, there was no way I could lead a carefree life.

As my eyes drifted to the horizon, I noticed the sun falling behind and the darkness slowly taking over the sky.

“It’s getting late… I should probably go home.” I muttered.

“Sure. Let’s go!” Yoko and Harri both exclaimed.

Tilting my head to the side, I looked at them, my eyes tight and worried. “Uhm… You’re coming?” I asked, my voice full of apprehension.

“Of course I am. I’m your friend, remember?” Yoko responded, as if it was obvious.

What? What does this have to do with that? No wait… What exactly is her conception of “being friends” to begin with? She probably misunderstood something. Oh, well, it doesn’t really matter. But what about Harri? I slowly turned to him, narrowing my eyes.

“It’s a gentleman’s duty to escort the lady back home!” He said, as he probably guessed my thoughts.

Ah… Of course. That was to be expected. Whatever, I don’t care anymore. I guess it’s fine if they come, it’s not like if I could stop them but… I’m not sure it’s a good idea to bring two Gods in the town, especially considering their lack of common sense. Will it be fine? I can’t help but be a little worried.

As we were getting ready to go back, Harri suddenly spoke up.

“Yoko, sweetheart?”

“What?” Yoko growled, clenching her teeth. “And aren’t you going to stop with those cheesy nicknames? It’s giving me goose bumps…”

“You forgot your mortal.” He said with a mocking grin, pointing at Troy.

“Ah!” Yoko and I both exclaimed at the same time.

… Man… This guy has absolutely no presence at all. Even though he was the main reason –well, second main reason- why I came here, I keep forgetting about him. Please, manifest yourself. But well, I can’t really blame him. No one would really stand out when standing alongside two Gods –three if you include me.

Seeing Troy, still confused about the whole situation, Yoko let out an exasperated sigh.

On the other hand, Harri just smiled. He brought two fingers to his mouth and gave a soft blow, letting out a long whistle. A few seconds later, one of the unicorns that were grazing a little further approached. Its curly mane had a pinkish color and its big eyes were framed by long lashes. I-I’m at loss for words… It totally looks like Barbie’s horse, except that it has a horn. Harri mounted the unicorn with ease, and then, a broad smile appeared on his face as he extended his hand in front of me.

He’s not… expecting me to ride with him, right? No, no, no, absolutely not.

“No thanks. I’d rather go with Yoko…” I muttered, as I awkwardly averted my eyes.

“Heh?!” Harri exclaimed, clearly surprised by my refusal. “But it’s a gentleman’s duty to escort the Lady! Besides, riding this stupid fox can’t possibly be comfortable! She is as delicate as a dragon!”

Well, he isn’t wrong, but I am still not riding with him. I’m not playing the princess sitting behind the Prince charming. Besides, I like Yoko’s fluffy fur.

“If you want to escort a lady that much, just go with him.” Yoko bluntly said, annoyed by his remark, as she turned her gaze to Troy. “I’m not carrying him again. He’s such a crybaby…”

Seeing that I had no intention to change my mind, Harri let out a disappointed sigh. Riding a unicorn together with another man is probably not his ideal romantic journey. He looked at Troy, who was now as stiff as a stick, and then he sighed again. Poor Troy… Even though he didn’t ask to be here, no one wants to go with him. Wait, isn’t it my fault? Oh, well…

Since we weren’t leaving them the choice, Troy had to go with Harri. None of them were really happy about that and they spent the way home in silence. Me? I went with Yoko. Since it wasn’t the first time that I rode her in her fox form, it wasn’t as intense as before, but I still had to be careful in order not to fall off. I think she isn’t used to give a ride to others, since she tends to forget that I’m up there and runs as she pleases. I thought Harri and Troy would fall behind, but surprisingly, the unicorn was able to keep pace with Yoko. Well, it is a magical beast after all.

We arrived at the city within thirty minutes. We stopped at one kilometer from the gates to avoid creating panic. It’s not every day that you could see a Nine-Tailed fox and a unicorn after all. After dismounting it, Harri sent the unicorn back to the forest, while Yoko returned into her human form. I explained them that we needed to keep a low profile and not attract unnecessary attention. When I asked Yoko to hide her tails and her ears, she immediately threw a tantrum. I already knew that her tails were her pride, but it’s not like if I asked her to cut them off, right? In the end, we came into an agreement: she could keep the ears, and one tail. At least, this way, she would pass as a demi-human.

My plan was perfect. We will easily go unnoticed… or so I thought. I’m so stupid. There was no way we could blend in.

As soon as we arrived at the gates, I felt everyone’s gaze turning in our direction. For a moment, absolutely every single person there stopped what they were doing and stared at us, their eyes and their mouth wide open. That was to be expected. Thinking logically, they were two reasons why we attracted so much attention.

The first reason is Yoko. Even without her nine tails, she still appears as a demi-human to the others. In the capital, where rich households abounded, demi-humans slaves weren’t that rare. However, since Yoko didn’t wear a collar, it was clear that she wasn’t a slave but a free woman. And a demi-human walking freely around, that was uncommon.

The second reason is our appearance. Because of my inhuman appearance and my golden eyes, I’m used to attract a lot of attention. Eventually, I stopped caring, since at least, the others would try to be discrete when peeking at me. However, this time, since it wasn’t only me, they didn’t even bother to hide their surprise. There were also Yoko and Harri. From an outsider’s perspective, they would both appear as absolutely perfect, without any flaws.

No matter how you would see it, we were definitely an unusual trio –well, quartet if you count Troy, but because of us, no one noticed his presence.

Feeling so many gazes on me made me uncomfortable, but Yoko and Harri paid absolutely no mind to it. They just headed to the entrance, as I followed them from behind. When he saw us approaching, the gate guard quickly regained his professionalism. It was the same guard that allowed me out.

“Already back?” He said, as an awkward smile played on his lips. “You’ve brought friends with you this time! Then it will be one silver coin per person.”

Hearing this, Yoko immediately clicked her tongue. “You want to make us pay? You should be honored that we decided to visit your damn city, yet you want us to pay?”

Feeling her hostility, the guard’s smile disappeared. As he was about to reprimand her, I stepped forward.

“Sorry, she’s a foreigner, she doesn’t know about the rules.”

The guard let out a comprehensive sigh. I glared at Yoko, whispering in her ear.

“Are you seriously trying to pick a fight with a human? What is it that you don’t understand when I say that we need to keep a low profile?”

Without answering anything, she just rolled her eyes and clenched her teeth, clearly frustrated. Turning back to the guard, I apologized one more time.

“It’s fine, it happens!” He said. “So, it’s just the three of you, right? That will be three silver coins.”

“We’re four,” I corrected, as I handed him four silver coins.

“Is that so? Sorry, I hadn’t noticed…”

Poor Troy… Everyone forgets about him.

As we made our way through the city, the intense gazes in our direction did not subside. Quite the opposite, actually. Since they were more people inside than outside the gates, there were more eyes to stare at us. Moreover, the citizens were always eager to have something interesting to see, be it a brawl or a magic display. Since I wanted to avoid attracting the attention of influential people, I quickly headed to the Adventurers’ Guild where Axis would be waiting, as the others followed nonchalantly.

Entering the building, once again, everybody froze as they noticed us. Trying to pay no attention to it, I lead the group to the left, to a vacant table, situated in a remote corner. As we sat, the loud atmosphere of the Guild slowly came back and everyone returned to their occupation.

“So, what are we doing here?” Harri asked, inspecting the room.

“I told Axis to wait for me here, so if he went somewhere, he should be back soon.” I answered.

“Uhm… Did Axis really ask you to come to find me?” Troy finally asked, after staying silent for so long.

“Yeah, who else?”

Troy lowered his gaze, as he let out a loud sigh. “This boy… He really is stubborn. I told him not to.”

So he really went to the forest on his own… I wonder if Axis know about this, or if he simply misunderstood something? Either way, this guy clearly had something in mind. But well, that’s not my business. I only came here to complete a request, nothing more.

“Look who is already back!” An unknown voice suddenly exclaimed.

Turning in the direction of the voice, I noticed a man wearing a leather armor standing. It was one of the adventurers of the party to which Axis had asked for help, sooner.

“Are you already done chasing the monster of the Pine Forest?” He asked with a wry smile. “You didn’t get eaten?”

Uhm. Typical. Since he was clearly trying to provoke me, I decided to ignore him.

“Monster? Who the heck dares to call my majestic form a monster?” Yoko quietly grunted.

She had kept a low voice, so the adventurer did not understood what she had just said. However, it was loud enough for him to turn his attention to her. As he saw her, he widened his eyes, probably surprised in seeing a demi-human. Then, he started stroking his chin, inspecting her. After a while, a grin suddenly stretched in his lips.

Oh no… I know this face.

“Hey, mister!” The adventurer said, turning to Harri. “Is she your slave? How much to borrow her for the night?”

Ah… I knew it. This definitely deserves a double-facepalm. I can’t blame him for misunderstanding the situation though. I mean, Harri was wearing a royal jacket with an extravagant cape. From an outsiders’ perspective, he would definitely look like a young noble from some powerful household, while Yoko, a demi-human staying at his side, would appear to be his slave. But still, he had to say it in front of her… Giving a quick glance at Yoko, as I thought, her veins were popping out and a forced smile appeared on her face.

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“Haha… Did this lowly human just call me a slave? And Harri’s one on top of that? Haha… I think some heads are going to roll…”

“You want her?” Harri asked casually, ignoring Yoko. “You must not value your life very much. Well, go ahead if you want her, she’s not mine anyway. Good luck. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll manage to stay alive.”

For a few seconds, the adventurer furrowed his forehead, not understanding what he meant by that. But his confusion quickly subsided as he had obtained the master’s permission to play with his slave. On the other hand, Yoko stood up, as her lips lifted upward, showing off a broad smile. This is the smile of a child who is given a new toy, just before destroying it.

Uhm… I am not sure what I should do. Stopping Yoko from doing something really bad? Probably. But somehow, I don’t want to. I can’t help but feel absolutely no pity toward this kind of men, who use their money and power to force themselves on women, especially since the idiot noble tried to get my mother. But well, no matter how much of a douche he is, I don’t think he deserves to be tormented by Yoko.

“Does she look like a slave to you?”

As he heard me, the adventurer turned his gaze in my direction, narrowing his eyes.

“What’s up kiddo, you jealous? I’m usually not into kids, but I can do an exception for you! Want to join?” He asked, with a wry smile.

Uhm, as I thought, I might as well let Yoko do whatever she wants with him.

“Besides, slave or not, if the lady doesn’t mind, then there is no problem, right?” He added.

“Sure~! I don’t mind playing with you!” Yoko happily exclaimed.

“Yoko, low profile.” I reminded her, as I grabbed her hand.

She glared at me for a few seconds, before letting out a frustrated sigh. Then, she sat again before crossing her arms in front of her, sulking. “Fine… Whatever. You and your rules. You never know when to have fun, do you?”

“You heard her, no playing tonight.” I said, returning my attention to the adventurer.

His smile disappeared as he tightened his jaw, pulling his eyebrows down together.

“Young lady,” he spoke, as his expression turned sour, “I don’t know which family you are from, but even as a noble, you shouldn’t meddle in other people’s business. It will only get you in troubles, you know? No matter how powerful they may be, your people won’t always be here to back you up.”

Well, he is not wrong, but Yoko’s problems are my problems too, especially since I was the one who brought her here. Besides, I am not saving her, I am saving him. I don’t want his death on my conscience… And it is not like I planned to run to the Whitehearts if things went wrong either. Seeing the bland expression on my face probably annoyed him, as the adventurer turned to Harri.

“Mister, you should teach your sister some manners.” He grunted. “You, nobles, sure have it easy. Playing adventurers when you’re bored and meddling in others’ business as you please. Don’t you have anything better to do?”

Haha… Says the guy who clearly came here, picking a fight.

“Sister?” Harri repeated, seemingly as unconcerned as before about the situation. “This young girl isn’t my sister. More like my mother, actually.”

He said this so naturally that the adventurer’s face distorted in incomprehension. He didn’t get the joke –well, because there weren’t any. He tried to study Harri’s expression for a while, then he turned his gaze on me, and then on Yoko. However, none of us were laughing. Instead, we just looked at him with a bored expression.

“Bunch of crazy nobles…” He muttered. “You won’t feel so smug the day that arrogant attitude of yours will get you into troubles.”

Unwilling to pursue this meaningless dispute any longer, he left, giving us contemptuous glares. Still, I am glad he didn’t push it any further. Had we not been nobles, I am pretty sure it would have ended into a brawl. Having two mid Gods fighting in the middle of a human city is the last thing I want.

As the adventurer left, I noticed Yoko following him with her gaze, biting her lower lips. Uhm… It doesn’t seem like she has given up on the matter. I hope she won’t do something while I am not watching her…

“Yoko,” I called her out.

“I know, I know…” She answered. “Still, don’t you have any pride? You’re a Goddess, damn it. The creator on top of that. Do you always let humans disrespect you like this?”

I shrugged. “I’m a half, you know? I’m used on being looked down. Besides, there is no point on going on full revenge mode just because of a few words. Humans provoke each other all the time.”

She brought her hand to her forehead, bending backward her head. “I don’t get you…”

“DAD!” A childish voice suddenly called out.

Turning my head to the direction to the voice, I noticed the small figure of a boy running toward us. It was Axis. He immediately threw himself on Troy, grabbing his shirt, before looking up at him with his eyes tight and worried.

“You’re alive! Are you okay?! Did you get mistreated?” He asked, hastily.

The startled Troy quickly regained his composure, patting the boy’s head in order to calm him down. “I’m fine, don’t worry.”

A bright smile appeared on Axis’ face as he tightly hugged his father. After a few seconds, he turned to me, deeply bowing his head. “Thank you very much, big sis! I’ll never forget what you did! What happened to the God?”

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I gave a quick glance to Yoko, who was yawning of boredom. “She… went sightseeing…”

Axis tilted his head to the side, narrowing his eyes. “Is that so…?” He stayed silent for a while, probably trying to comprehend my words, and then, noticing Yoko and Harri, he gasped in surprise. “Are they your party members? They have golden eyes too… You guys must be really strong! Thank you very much in helping big sis finding my dad!”

A confused smile appeared on Harri’s face, as he clearly didn’t understand the situation, while Yoko simply rolled her eyes, without uttering a word.

After that, Axis stayed with us for a few minutes, eager to hear about our rescue mission. Giving him as little detail as possible, I simply told him an adventure story that I once saw in a game. I am not sure if it is because he is still young and naïve, or if it is because I became quite skilled at lying, but he seems to have bought it. While Yoko and Harri remained silent, seemingly unconcerned, Troy would sometimes nod or add a few comments, confirming my stupid story.

In the end, they left as the night began to fall. While Axis happily waved at us, Troy, on the other hand, let out a deep sigh, clearly unwilling to leave. Is his wife waiting home to beat him up or something? Oh well…

“I guess this problem has been settled! We should go home too.” I said with a satisfied smile.

Yoko and Harri suddenly stood up.

“Finally! I was getting tired of waiting!” Yoko exclaimed, stretching.

“I can’t wait to meet this human family you’re living with, Creator!” Harri added.

I knew it. They are totally planning in coming along. I guess something like this could have been expected, but I had hoped they’d return to their forest once they visited the city. I can think of at least ten reasons why it is not a good idea to bring them home, but I can’t really send them back now, can I? Placing my hands across my face, covering my eyes, I let out a long sigh. I don’t think I have sighed as much as today before.

“Is something wrong?” Yoko asked, seeing my expression.

“No… Let’s go.” I muttered.

Ah… I can see troubles coming. But… I have the feeling that I have forgotten something.

Oh, crap. Ivy…

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