In this world, beside me, there are three kinds of Gods: the High Gods, the Mid Gods and the Low Gods. I know the first two categories very well, since I was the one who created them.
The High Gods are the most powerful ones. Including the Goddess of Light Naia, there are six of them. The Gods of Elements. Like their name implies, each one of them control a specific element. But while their power over their respective element is absolute, they seriously lack in other attributes.
The Mid Gods are slightly weaker than the High Gods, but still shouldn’t be taken lightly. I based them off humans’ emotions and feelings, so there should be about twenty of them, maybe less. In contrary to the High Gods, they aren’t specialized in any magic attribute and are much more polyvalent.
And then there are the Low Gods. To be honest, I don’t know much about them. The reason is simple: I wasn’t the one who created them. The Low Gods were created by the other Gods, the High Gods to be precise. So, while they are much weaker than the Mid Gods and can’t give any blessings, they still belong to the Divine race and are generally stronger than mortals. I’m not sure how many they are, but there should be at least a hundred of them around the world.
If the boy says the truth, then I wonder what kind of god he saw… Well, in all cases, that’s sounds really interesting. After fourteen years in this world, this is actually the first chance I have to meet a fellow divine being. I’m definitely not letting this go. I might even be able to learn things. I decided: let’s meet a god!
“Hahahahahaha! Have you heard this, guys?” The adventurer burst out laughing. “First it’s a monster, now it’s a god!”
“That’s the truth! I saw it with my own eyes!” The boy shouted.
“Then there is something wrong with your eyes! Look, kid, I’m really sorry about your situation, but you shouldn’t lie like this. It’s not going to help.”
“I’m not lying!”
“So you’re saying that everything that happened was because of a god?” The adventurer asked, as he put his hand on the boy’s shoulder. “Well, that’s even more a reason for us not to do anything.”
He stayed silent for a while, and then he started laughing again, clearly not believing the boy’s story. The boy just looked at him, his face reddened in anger for not being taking seriously. I turned to him.
“So, what kind of god is it?” I asked.
The adventurer and his party members stopped laughing, and the boy looked up at me, widening his eyes. As he was about to say something, the adventurer spoke first.
“Hey, hey, young lady, don’t tell me you believe this kid’s words?”
I shrugged. “Why not? Why would he lie about this? Like you said, it’s not in his interest.”
He frowned. “Right… Brats are just brats after all… All the same, wanting to believe in things that don’t exist…”
Ignoring his remark, I turned my gaze to the boy a second time. “Why don’t you tell me more about this?”
The boy silently nodded, before leading me to a remote corner, away from any curious ears and eyes. For a short moment, he stayed quiet, seemingly thinking about something. Then, he looked up at me.
“Big sis, you believe me?” He asked.
“I don’t think you lied. But it doesn’t mean that I believe that what you saw is correct. That’s why you need to tell me more. How did you know it was a god?”
“…Its eyes… It had golden eyes…” He marked a pause. “Just like you, big sis…”
I narrowed my eyes. “That doesn’t make him a god. He could have been blessed, you know?”
The boy shook his head. “No it wasn’t. Because it wasn’t human. It was a beast. And one I’ve never seen before. Moreover it was talking.”
“A beast? You mean a beastman?”
“No, a real beast, nothing human like. Four legs, fangs, claws, and a white fur. It was also huge! Bigger than a house! Even when it was lying down, it was taller than me!”
Hum. That certainly does sound like a monster. I don’t think I’ve heard anything about a non-humanoid creature being blessed, so it should be a Divine. But if the boy says the truth, then it must be a Low God. I don’t think I created it. Because I was biased, I designed all my gods to be cool and beautiful. I never created anything like a monster among them.
Unless… He did mention a white fur, right?
“Did it look like a fox? A really large fox?” I asked.
“Well… Now that you mention it, kind of?” He answered, after hesitating a bit.
“Any particular features? Like… Maybe several tails?”
The boy widened his eyes and drew his head backward, in surprise. “T-That’s right !”
Eh~ So that’s how it is… I grinned.
“How do you know that, big sis? Could it be that you’ve seen it too?!”
I shook my head. “No, I’ve never seen it. But I do know who you’re talking about. And you’re indeed right! It is a god!”
For a few seconds, the boy looked at me, confused, as he was tilting his head to the side. Then, a new glimpse of hope appeared in his eyes.
“T-then, are you going to help me, big sis? You said you were a mage, right? Besides, you’re a chosen one, aren’t you? You have golden eyes! You must be really strong! So, are you going to kill him? Are you going to kill that god and save my father?!”
He spoke so fast I thought he was going to choke. I chuckled, amused.
“I don’t think killing a god is a good idea, you know? But I might be able to help.” As I said this, his face enlightened in relief. ”So, where did you last see that god?”
“The Pine Forest, next to the lake! That’s where I saw him. If you follow the giant cedar, you can’t miss it!”
For a few minutes, the boy explained me where I could find the god. Apparently, he was currently living in the center of the Pine forest, just beyond the walls of the Capital. Getting there would only take an hour. But even though it was so close to a human civilization, most of people did not go there. First of all, most of people avoided forests. But this one even more, since it emitted a strong miasma. The closer you got, the weaker you felt. Well, if there is a God living there, I guess it’s a given. No wonder the forest emitted so much mana. It was even reputed to be enchanted.
After finishing his explanation, the boy looked up at me with his eyes full of expectations.
“So, you’re going, right?” He asked.
I shrugged. “Yeah, I guess. Not like if I had anything better to do anyway. But first…” I presented my hand in front of me.
“What?” The boy inquired, completely clueless.
“Money. I want my money back.”
“W-what?!” He flinched. “You gave it to me! You can’t take it back!”
“I can. It was meant for your sick sister, who doesn’t exist. I understand that you needed money, but I’m still a little bitter by the fact that you tricked me… Twice… I wouldn’t want you to run away while I’m gone. Who knows? You could’ve lied again… Besides, I already accepted your request; you don’t need it anymore, right?” I said, as a huge grin appeared on my face.
“F-Fine! Take it back, you greedy noble!” He exclaimed, almost throwing the pouch full of coins at my face.
Chuckling a little, I picked it up. The boy was puffing his cheeks, clearly upset.
“By the way, what’s your name?” I asked, changing the subject.
“… Axis.” He answered with a low voice.
“Alright Axis. I’m Lynett, or Lyni, whatever you want. I’ll find your father, you’ll just have to meet me here. And forget about the reward, I don’t need it. The information you provided me are enough.”
“… Are you going now? Shouldn’t you find a party or something? I mean, it’s a God you’re dealing with, right…? He’s dangerous…” He said, his eyes tight and worried.
“No need. I’ll be fine by myself. Actually, it’s even better if I’m by myself”, I answered. “By the way, it’s not a ‘he’ but a ‘she’”, I added with a grin on my face.
At this moment, Axis’ face washed blank and his eyes widened in surprise. Leaving the shocked boy behind, I exited the building, forcing my way through the numerous adventurers.
It took me half an hour to reach the gates of the city. The entrance was flooded with people trying to get in or out the city. The merchants riding their carriages needed to go through a more complicated procedure, while people on foot only needed to pay a tax if they didn’t have an ID. Adding myself to the end of the line, I quietly waited for my turn to come. Maybe it was because of the rumors, but the guards seemed more careful inspecting the travelers, which is why the queue was longer than usual.
“Are you alone?” The entrance guard asked, as my turn came.
“Young Lady, you shouldn’t go outside the city alone. Haven’t you heard about the rumors? Some strange things are happening lately.” He told me, seemingly worried.
“I’ll be fine, thanks.”
Not insisting any longer, the guard sighed. “Do you have an ID? If not, it’ll be one silver coin to go out.”
I took out a silver coin from my pouch and handed it over. I actually do have an ID, but there is the Whiteheart’s name on it. I’d rather not be affiliated to them. If anything were to happen, it’ll be easier for me to disappear as a nameless girl rather than as a noble from one of the most powerful households. Besides, my uncle did forbid me to use the family name.
“Be careful out there. If something happened to you, I’d have to look for you”, the guard joked.
Politely bowing to him, I left the city, while the guard returned to his work. I almost immediately strayed from the highway, heading to the forest. Some people gave me disconcerted glances, unable to comprehend why a girl would head to that infamous place alone, but no one bothered to stop me.
Following Axis’ instruction, I ventured deep in the forest. The sun sank down beneath the tops of the pines, the light streaking through in both brilliant and shadowy beams, as a thick cloud of fog suspended in the air. Somehow, it reminded me of Romanian forests that I had seen on internet before. However, at some point, the scenery completely changed. Upon the forest floor were lying hundreds of trees, which were now lifeless sticks of charcoal. On the ground, there was no grass and no leaves, only dust and ashes.
Well, they did mention something like the God destroying half of the forest… I already knew that she was pretty irresponsible, but seeing it myself struck me hard. Thinking about it, if it really is her, then I might have some troubles dealing with her. She has to be one of the most troublesome gods I created.
The Nine Tailed Fox. A legendary creature that inspired many legends of Earth. Reputed to be wicked, manipulative and clever, they would often play tricks on wanderers. Narcissistic, they do not share human morality and only act in their self-interest. However, they’re also known to keep their promises and repay any favors.
Hum… Such a troublesome character… How am I going to deal with her? First, I have to find out what she did to all the people who disappeared.
I walked for a while before I noticed some movements. At some point, as I kept venturing to the center of the forest, I felt someone –or something- watching me. Is it her? I turned toward the direction where I could feel a slight trace of mana. After waiting without making a move, my stalker probably understood that there was no point in hiding anymore as he decided to come out.
The first thing I was a tiny white paw. Then, looking up at its owner, I noticed it belonged to a fox. An adorable white fox with two tails.
How disappointing… It’s definitely not a normal fox, since I can feel mana from it and it has two tails, but… Is this the legendary Nine-Tailed Fox I created? It’s so… small. Besides the two tails, appearance wise, it looked completely normal. Not even taller than a dog. Didn’t Axis say that it was bigger than a house? Did he lie again? Did I misunderstand? It can’t be her…
“Yoko…?” I asked, doubtful.
I did not receive an answer. Instead, the creature simply tilted its head to the side. Oooh…! So cute! Ahem… So it doesn’t speak… It’s not her after all… I guess it was a wrong lead… But is this adorable creature really responsible for all the troubles that happened lately?
As I stepped forward, the fox immediately ran away. Trying not to lose it, I chased after it, fraying myself a way among all the foliages and branching. But no matter how hard I tried to catch up, as I thought, I couldn’t match its speed or agility in the forest. However, each times I almost lost its track, the fox would come back and start running again. Obviously, it wants me to chase it. It seems to guide me somewhere.
After a while, the fox finally disappeared behind a bush. Following it from behind, I immediately noticed a man.
“Oh, there you were! Seriously… Disappearing like that… What will Her Holiness think about this?” The man said, as he picked up the fox.
As I was approaching, he finally turned his gaze and noticed me.
“W-Who are you?!” He inquired.
“Who are you?” I returned the question.
“What is a young girl such as you doing alone in this forest? How can you stand? Are you not affected by the miasma?”
I shrugged. “You seem fine too, why wouldn’t I?”
“… I am not the same as you… And you did not answer my question.” He said, as his tone aggravated. “Who are you and what are you doing in this Holy Place? Her Holiness will not accept your intrusion…”
Her Holiness? Is he a worshipper? My eyes fell upon the small fox he was carrying with carefulness. Is he worshipping the fox? He’s insane… I know it’s a legendary creature –at least it’s supposed to be- but seriously… look at this… I looked at the unknown man, my eyes full of pity. He probably guessed what I was thinking, as he immediately contradicted my thoughts.
“That is not Her Holiness! It’s Her pet!” He exclaimed.
Oh, makes sense… But who owns such a magical creature as a pet? As I thought, it must be her, right?
The man sighed. “Follow me, I’ll bring you to Her. I’m not sure how you got here, but I can’t let you leave now. Her Holiness will be the one to decide of your fate. Don’t even think about running away, it’s useless. I may not look like this, but I used to be a guard. I’ll kill you even before you manage to do anything.”
Is he trying to intimidate me? No need, sir. I’m not planning to run away. Quite the opposite actually, I came all the way to meet that “Holiness” of yours. I simply nodded at him, and he started to lead the way. He did not utter another word. Sometimes, he would give me a curious glance, probably trying to figure out my identity or my motives, and making sure I didn’t run away.
We walked for about a quarter of an hour, before we finally arrived in front of the huge entrance of a cave. It looks like the den of the Master of this forest. The man stopped and raised his hand before me.
“Wait here.” He ordered.
I nodded. Returning his attention to the cave, the man knelt down as the little fox he was carrying jumped out of his arms, heading to the cave.
“Your Holiness, I have returned.” He said. “I have brought you an offering.”
…Offering? Is he talking about me? How rude… I’m a Goddess, you know? Too busy being offended by the man’s words that I almost didn’t notice the creature slowly coming out of the cave.
Stepping out from the shadow, a large figure appeared in front of me. The creature was huge, with a long silver mane and immense pointy ears protruding upward into the sky. Robust, with very strong forelimbs and powerfully built jaws, it had retractable claws to slash at its intended preys. Its beautiful white fur shined under the sunlight and its golden eyes stared at me, giving off an aura of mockery and haughtiness. Last but not least, its most outstanding features: nine tails swaying rhythmically behind its back.
Axis didn’t lie. it is indeed huge. The sight of the creature would be enough to make anyone flee, yet it had a strange elegance that captivated people’s heart.
Holy crap… it really is her… The Nine-Tailed Fox I created…
“A mortal? Here?” The creature suddenly spoke up, with a displeased voice.
“Please forgive my carelessness, Your Holiness. Should I dispose of her?” The man asked, still kneeling.
The large fox didn’t say anything. Instead, it started to inspect me from head to toes. After a short moment, a grin crept onto its face, stretching from one side to the other. Well, I’m guessing it’s a grin, but in this fox form, hell, that’s scary. Anyone else but me would’ve faint seeing all those teeth.
“No… You… You’re not a mortal, are you?” The creature said. “Even if it’s faint, this aura of yours… and those eyes… Aren’t you a Divine?”
As he heard this, the man suddenly turned in my direction, looking at me in disbelief.
“A Divine? A young girl like her?!” He exclaimed.
“Silence. I’m not talking to you”, the giant Fox ordered with a cold voice.
Complying, the man lowered his head even more, cursing himself for upsetting the divine entity in front of him.
“Something like that, I guess…” I finally responded.
Upon hearing my answer, the Fox let out a small grunt as it stepped forward. Light suddenly erupted from its body, and the figure started to shrink, changing shape. Its huge paws became frail hands, its white fur became a porcelain skin, and its mane changed into hair.
In front of me now stands a young woman with a slender body, staring at me with her golden eyes, framed by long lashes. Her silky silver hair gently caressed its way down her neck, reaching to just below her shoulder blades. She wore a white gown that peppered her body with soft, sensual kisses. Her fluffy white ears still remained on her head and her nine tails were still oscillating in her back, but otherwise, she looked like a perfectly normal human. Except that she was absolutely flawless. Her gaze was so captivating that once you looked at her, you couldn’t look away.
That’s right. Exactly how I designed her. Beautiful and dangerous. An unpredictable Mid God based on one of the seven deadly sins. The Goddess of Lust and Mischief.
“I’ve never seen you before, child… Are you new?” She asked, as her full lips curled into a mischievous grin.
“… I guess? My apologizes, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Lyn- Ah, no…“
I slowly shook my head. Then, a small smile played on my lips, as my eyes crinkled at the edge.
“My name is Aileen.” I corrected myself. “Nice to finally meet you, Yoko.”