I know that writing ‘a kin’ sounds really weird, but please bear with me. Trying to decide on how to translate 眷属 was like the biggest headache ever, since it has connotations of ‘kin’, ‘retainer’, ‘subordinate god’ or ‘messenger’ in terms of a god, ‘offspring vampire’ in terms of a vampire… it’s just hard, you know?
Chapter 19 – The Evil God’s Temptation
When I came to, I was in a pitch dark place with not a single source of light.
Being a place that I had memory of, I checked my clothes in a fluster. …Thank goodness, I’m still wearing them.
The sound of clapping reached my ears, and when I turned that way, there stood the person I expected.
A boy with long black hair… The Evil God that sent me into this world.
“Yo, ‘s been a while.”
With his usual mocking smile, the Evil God spoke to me.
“What do you want?”
“So cold. Even though it’s our touching reunion.”
This isn’t a joke. At the very least, I’m not touched in the slightest. Thinking about it, all of the hardships I went through this year were mostly because of the Evil God in front of me. Truly a god of misfortune.
Being called into this place with this kind of timing gives me nothing but a bad feeling about this.
“Well whatever. The reason I called you here today was just as my earlier applause indicated – I wanted to offer my gratitude and reward for your achievements so far.”
“Gratitude and reward?”
Hearing these unexpected words, I accidentally asked him again. And what does he mean by achievements so far?
“First is my gratitude. It was terribly fun watching you do things. It was just a whim of an idea, but I’m really glad I sent you into this world.”
I had faintly noticed it, but it seems that I really am a toy to this Evil God.
“To begin with, why did you even send me there?”
“If you’re asking why I sent a servant in, then it was to make use of the floating faith to create a kin. As for why it was you, well, you seemed like you’d be interesting.”
“In other words, the fact that I joined the Divine Race was all predetermined?”
“Nah, you’re wrong. It’s true that I made it easier for you, but even I didn’t know if you would become one or not. I was actually pretty surprised you know? To think that you’d become a divine that quickly. Even I didn’t expect it.”
Hearing his reply, I felt a little relieved. If all my actions so far were just dancing on the palm of his hand, honestly speaking, it would have been a major shock.
“And, what would you have done if I hadn’t become a divine?”
“Nothing really? If that time came, then I was gunna think about it then. If you became one then great, I thought, but it’s not like I absolutely needed you to become one.”
I got treated pretty casually, but I’m not particularly angry.
“Is there some merit to creating kin?”
I have Tena and Imperial Death as kin, but they’re useful because they’re my allies. To the Evil God in front of me, I may be his kin, but I don’t intend on serving him, and I don’t intend on doing anything for him either.
Just what kind of merit would there be in creating a kin like me?
“The number of your kin and their quality is like a status symbol, you know. It’s better to have more than less, better to have divines than apostles, and better to have chief gods than stray gods. There’s more value that way. In that sense, given that you have the hegemony in this world, you’re pretty valuable.”
“Have the hegemony?”
Was he talking about the match with Sophia and Anbaal? I lost though.
“Well, there were some developments far beyond expectations, but in the end you gained a lot of 『Authorities』, so it’s fine to say you have the hegemony in this world. What’s important is the result, not the process, so I don’t care who you guys decided won and lost.”
It’s true that because I lost the match and had a lot of work pushed onto me, I had the most 『Authorities』 of us three gods.
“And so, since I saw you working so hard, I thought that I’d give you a little reward.”
“Like I said, reward?”
“Yep. So anyway, about the reward in question… if you want, I can turn you back into a human, and teleport you to Earth.”
Hearing these completely unexpected words, I caught my breath.
I can turn back into a human? And not just that, I can go back to my original world?
“Not a bad offer, right? Either way, it’d normally be an impossible reward. If you don’t take it now, there won’t be a second time, okay?”
The Evil God spoke as though pressing me for an answer, but my mind was in so much chaos that I couldn’t really comprehend his words. I tried desperately to calm myself down, and voiced my doubt.
“Even though your objective was to create a kin, is it okay for you to turn me back into a human?”
From our conversation just now, his goal was to create high quality kin, and I achieved that by turning into a divine. But now he was saying that he would turn me back into a human as a reward, and I could only see it as putting the cart before the horse.
“I say turning you back into a human, but strictly speaking it’s splitting your 『Divine Self』 and your 『Human Self』 I guess. Just leaving the 『Divine You』 is plenty as my kin.”
I have no idea how he’d even do something like that, but looking at how casually he said it, he probably really can.
I’ll be able to return to being a human…?
“If the 『Divine You』 stays in this world as my kin, I don’t really need the 『Human You』. Like I said earlier, if you want, I’ll teleport you to Earth.”
Not only returning to being a human, but I’ll even be able to return to my old world…
Up until now, I tried not to really think about it, but the moment I heard his words, it brought up the memories of my family and friends in my old world, and immediately the feelings of nostalgia and longing──
“However, it’ll be a one-way transfer of course. After I teleport you to Earth, I won’t accept you wanting to come back here.”
It felt like cold water had been poured over me.
“Of course, I can’t teleport anybody other than you to Earth. If you choose Earth, then you’ll be saying goodbye to the people here.”
If I return to my old world, then I won’t ever be able to see Tena, Leonora or Lili again. If I cross over to another world, you could call that much obvious, but that reality stabbed deeply into my heart.
My friends and family in my old world, or the people that I met in this world? If I chose one, I had to abandon the other.
I closed my eyes and in my mind I weighed the two on a scale.
The people I spent many months and years with in my old world, and the people I had a short, but meaningful time with in this world.
It was painful to choose either one, and I couldn’t come to a decision.
…That’s how it should have been.
But despite that, the scales in my heart tipped with unnatural ease in one direction.
It really is strange.
Even a while ago when I heard that I could go back to my old world, mysteriously the nostalgia didn’t gush out.
Something was weird. Something important and defining was wrong.
Right. I can’t just eat up this Evil God’s words. That was the mistake I made last time too.
I still don’t know if he intentionally misinterpreted my words, but everything began when he granted my wish in a warped way.
This time it was his suggestion, but there was plenty of risk that he meant something different than what I thought.
Now that I was calm, I thought back on the conversation thus far, and checked to see if there was anything weird.
“Now then, which world will you pick? Earth, or thi──”
Discovering what was wrong, I cut off his words.
“Why did you not say──
──『return you to your old world』, and say 『teleport you to Earth』 instead?”
The constant mocking smile from the Evil God’s face disappeared, and he turned expressionless.
Thinking about it, from the moment that we met, he never once mentioned taking me from somewhere else.
I had naturally thought that I had been taken right after the last memories of 『my old world』, so I hadn’t particularly noticed.
Also, I was supposed to have been suddenly taken away from my friends and family, and then sent to another world, so normally you’d expect that I’d want to return, but for some reason I never had that feeling, and even when I heard that I would be able to meet them, I didn’t feel any longing.
And there was one more thing. Right now, I was wearing clothes. Even though last time I was naked. I can’t imagine that the Evil God in front of me was the type who would go out of his way to strip me, so that naturally brings up the question of why I was naked the first time.
“Tell me one thing? Is the 『me』 in 『my old world』 doing well?”
When I questioned him, the expressionless Evil God suddenly roared with laughter.
“Ahahaha, I’m beat. It’s my loss. Good job noticing, hey? Even though plenty of the humans I’d met so far couldn’t accept it even if they noticed the possibility.”
Aah, his words just verified everything.
I wasn’t born in 『my old world』…
“Yeah, you’re a flesh and memory copy of a girl born in the 『old world』 that you call 『Earth』, and you were something that I created. It’s easier to create kin who end up as divines that way, you see. Incidentally, the girl that was your original is living life normally and doing just fine.”
The reason I was naked last time was because I was literally “naked as the day I was born”. It wasn’t that I was taken there, but that I was born there, so of course I had no clothes.
“In other words, even if I went to my 『old world』 …or rather, even if I went to Earth…”
“There wouldn’t be anywhere that you belonged, and nobody would be waiting for you either.”
My original on Earth was already there, so of course. Even if I went there, at best I’d just be treated as a doppelganger.
“If I hadn’t noticed and chose to 『teleport to Earth』, what would you have done?”
“I wouldn’t have cared, and would’ve 『teleported you to Earth』 just as you wanted.”
That was so close… I almost got trapped by an option that would turn out terribly no matter what.
“Why did you try and trap me like that?”
I asked the Evil God as I glared at him. Even if I glared at him, naturally the effect of my mystic eyes weren’t even a gentle breeze to him.
“Guess you could call it the final test before your reward.”
Is that thing still valid? But since I only just avoided that nasty trap, I can’t help but look at him with suspicious eyes.
“No, no, this time I’m serious.”
His level of credibility was already zero, but for now I decided to hear him out first before choosing, so I prompted him to continue.
“Having said that though, the reward is the same as before. The second half is gone though.”
What I heard earlier was “change me back to human, and teleport me to Earth”. If the second half was gone, then did he mean that he would grant me just “returning to a human”?
“Of course, it’s a reward so I won’t force you. I’ll give you the choice, so you can choose whatever you want.”
Certainly, it was a reward worth considering.
When I first became a divine it didn’t really feel real, and I tried not to think about it, but over the last year the difference between 『god』 and 『human』 has been getting big. Leaving the Apostle Race Tena aside, Leonora and Lili are both going to age, and eventually die, but only us two are going to be left behind.
If I said that I didn’t want to spend time together with everyone as a human, then it would be a lie.
But because of what happened just now, I couldn’t just simply nod either.
“Doesn’t it have any demerits?”
Leaving aside differences in interpretation aside, if I asked him questions he would answer, and up until now he had never lied before. I proactively questioned him to see if there was anything out of place in order to pick the better option.
“Demerits? Let’s see… Mn?”
The Evil God looked like he was thinking, but he seemed to notice something, because he turned his gaze to my side. I was lured by his reaction too, so I turned to face that way but in the darkness I didn’t see anyt… no, wait, just as I noticed a streak of light running vertically, a strong light suddenly shone in from there.
Getting a bad feeling, I reflexively moved my body away from the line of light.
And when I did, in the very next instant, a beam of light shot in from it, flying past me far into the distance.
“Anri! Are you all right!?”
“I thought I was going to die…”
Where the line of light used to be was a hole from which Sophia charged in with sword in hand. Honestly, I don’t even know what would have happened to me if I hadn’t evaded it.
“Ain’t ya doin’ just fine?”
“I almost got blown away.”
It’s true that I don’t have a single scratch though.
I replied to Anbaal who appeared next, but it seemed that he didn’t know what I was talking about.
“Anri-sama, are you all right!?”
“Are you okay!? …!?”
Next, Tena, Leonora, and Lili jumped into that dark space as well, but the moment they met eyes with the Evil God, Leonora immediately fell into a dogeza, and Lili hide behind Tena and clung to her. But well, if they can’t deal with my eyes, then it can’t be helped that they can’t deal with his.
“Though I am late, I hastened to your side. Please command me as you will.”
Last to appear was Imperial Death, clad in a jet black robe, and standing between the Evil God and I. His scythe was already in hand, and he was prepared for battle.
It seems that everybody ran here worried for me but… things were basically over already.
“Although you were pretty close, to think that you even chased her in here.”
For now I calmed everybody down, and we sat around a table the Evil God prepared to continue the conversation.
After explaining what happened so far to everyone, the Evil God let out that line.
“We had Anri’s kin Tena, so we were able to find this place by following the master-servant bond. After that was just a bet on whether or not we could open a hole though.”
“I handed my power over to that overly serious woman, and with two gods’ worth, we finally got in here.”
I’m glad that they did that much to reach me, but I wished that they would remember that following the link meant that I was at the other end of the hole.
“Leaving her friend and kin over there aside, to think that you two would go that far to save her.”
“Of course. It would be troubling for us without her.”
“We finally got a person to push- …to entrust the work to after all. If she suddenly disappeared, we’d be troubled, yanno.”
When they jumped in they seemed seriously worried for me, but although that wasn’t the only reason, let’s leave that all aside. I’m a little shy.
“About the thing earlier, if I turn back into a human, what’s going to happen to Tena and him as my kin?”
Tena turned into my kin from when I gave her the divine protection, but when I turned into a divine she turned into an apostle with me.
Imperial Death became my kin when I gave him my divine protection as the No Life King, but at the time he wasn’t this outstanding. I think he broke through the barrier when I turned into a divine too.
Both of them were affected my by change into a divine. In that case, what would happen if I returned to being a human?
“Your kin will end up choosing either the 『Divine You』 or the 『Human You』. If they picked the 『Divine You』, they stay as they are. If they pick the 『Human you』, they’ll probably return to from before you became a divine.”
“If I choose the 『Human Me』, will I lose my connection with the 『Divine Me』? What about the other way around?”
“They won’t be directly related, but it won’t change the fact that the 『Human You』 is a part of the 『Divine You』. Once your life as a human ends, your soul will unify with the 『Divine You』. In that sense, no matter which you pick, there won’t be much of a difference in a hundred years.”
In other words, it’s the difference between whether we continue to live as divine and apostle, or whether we live a lifetime as a human first?
From a glance there didn’t seem to be any demerits, but since he had zero credibility, I decided to ask the observers.
“Was everything he said true, Sophia?”
“I have never seen a precedent, but I believe the theory is correct. Normally becoming a human from a divine would be impossible, but as somebody who turned into a divine from a human, and who still retains their flesh body, you are an exception. If I were to add another comment, the 『Divine You』 separated from the 『Human You』 would become a purer existence as a divine. We don’t understand kin as being a status symbol, but having a purer kin should be more valuable for him.”
Hearing that and turning to the Evil God, he immediately averted his eyes.
It seems that he purposefully avoided mentioning the merits for himself, but if it was just that much, you couldn’t call it a demerit for me, so I guess it didn’t matter?
“If I choose to return to being a human, what will you two do?”
I asked Tena and Imperial Death. Tena seemed at a loss as to how to reply. I wanted to live with her, but I thought that it was something she should decide on herself.
“I think I really will choose the 『Human Anri-sama』 after all. I think that I would be useful in helping her with her everyday needs after all.”
“I see. What about you?”
After hearing Tena’s reply, I turned to Imperial Death next.
“I shall serve the 『Anri-sama as a God』. As an undead to begin with, I feel it would be better than serving by the side of the 『Anri-sama as a Human』.”
He replied unwaveringly. To begin with, he was somebody who worshipped the Evil God, so it was probably an obvious choice.
“Now then, guess that’s settled. It’s about to time to ask you what you’ve chosen. Are you going to live as a 『God』, or as a 『Human』?”
After hearing the wishes of my kin, I was asked for an answer by the Evil God.
Next up, the final chapter.
Also, it will not be a multi-choice ending. There is only one route.
TL: Odd God, or 『変神』 is read as ‘henjin’ – it sounds exactly the same as for the word 変人 (weirdo), so it’s basically the same as calling her a weirdo.