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I went to visit Hirume-san. I had been visiting the Grand Ise Shrine about once a month because of Sanya, but it’s been a while since we communicated because of this opponent.
Since she is a goddess who has taken care of me in many ways, it’s important to report back to her accurately.
After repeating the increasingly familiar scenario showcasing Canaan’s gluttony, I arrived at Grand Ise Shrine. After a fleeting sensation of floating, I appeared in front of the usual arbor.
I looked around, but surprisingly, Hirume-san was not around.
When I entered the arbor and sat down on a chair, the usual person appeared and offered me a cup of supreme tea.
“No Hirume-san today?”
“Please wait. Ohirumenomikoto-sama will be here soon.”
I had been to this arbor many times, but this might be the first time for me to exchange words with this person.
When I looked at her with [Detailed Appraisal], it’s just as garbled as the divine beast’s. Perhaps she realized that I used the [Detailed Appraisal], but she just smiled at me. It’s as if she’s telling me not to do anything useless.
After a few minutes of waiting alone with a cup of supreme tea, Hirume-san came into the arbor.
Whatever the reason, I could not detect any sign of others entering, whether it was Hirume-san or the deity who served me the tea earlier. While thinking that I’m still not ready, I greeted Hirume-san, who sat down before me.
“Long time no see.”
“Yes, it’s been a long time. I have been waiting for you.”
This felt like a thorn stuck in my side. Did she really want to see me this badly?
“Yes, I wanted to see Tsukuru-san.”
“Don’t read people’s minds as if it’s normal.”
“It’s a little late for that, isn’t it?”
“I guess so.”
Are you not even going to try and cover it up anymore, huh?
“So, why were you waiting for me? It wasn’t just to see me, was it?”
“Ufufufu. What if I told you that I just wanted to see you?”
“Nothing, but why?”
“Good grief, you should be a little happier about it.”
“No, you’re a goddess anyway.”
“Even gods can be in love, you know.”
“Is that so? It’s oddly human-like.”
“Ufufufu. Japanese gods are very human-like though.”
The Hirume-san today seemed kind of different from usual. I wondered after drinking the tea.
I stared at Hirume-san’s face.
There’s something wrong, isn’t there? Why won’t she tell me faster? I’m sure she knows that I hate things being so bothersome, right?
“That’s right. It’s about time…”
The pores in my body opened up, and a chill ran down my spine. I hurriedly stood up with my hand gripping Kurogiri’s hilt.
“Hou, what a good move.”
When I turned towards the voice, I saw a Western-looking man wearing white cloth standing there with a smirk on his face.
This guy is dangerous.
I was completely oblivious to Hirume-san’s presence, but this man had an overwhelming presence, with an aura like a sharp sword thrusting into my lungs.
Sweat gushed out from all over my body as the pressure I felt was incomparable to that of the Beast King Gervain.
“Tsukuru-san, please calm down. This person is not an enemy.”
“…Is he one of Hirume-san’s companions?”
“Gahahaha! Speaking of companions, we’re in the same boat.”
What’s with this guy? Even if he’s not an enemy, I can’t relax when someone who has this kind of presence.
“You don’t have to be so cautious like that, kid. Here, you should feel a lot better now.”
The atmosphere returned to normal. I took a deep breath and exhaled it in a long and thin breath.
Who the hell is this guy?
“I am Zeus, the patron god of Olympus. I want to hear your name, kid.”
Speaking of Zeus, isn’t Zeus a god from the Greek mythology? What does a guy like that want in Japan?
“My name is Tsukuru Sumeragi.”
“It seems that self-introductions are done, and both of you are here.”
Hirume-san was still looking as cool as ever.
Zeus sat down beside Hirume-san and beckoned me to join him, but another unexpected presence appeared.
He had three faces, or rather four faces and four hands.
Apart from the number of faces and hands, his bearded appearance was of Southeast Asian descent, which was different from that of Western or East Asian descent. His presence was also of a monstrous grade, comparable to Zeus.
What is going on today? What does Hirume-san want me to do with these monsters?
“You’re Tsukuru, right? I’m Brahma!”
He motioned to shake my hand with his four hands. What can I say? The atmosphere he’s wearing was quite intimidating, but he’s a friendly guy. I shook with only one of his hands.
“Brahma-dono, please join us here.”
Zeus was on the right side of Hirume-san, Brahma sat on the left, and I’m right in front of the three of them. From the outside, it looked like Hirume-san was in the host club, but neither Zeus nor Brahma had the image of a host because they were kind of burly.
Zeus was a big name in the world of the gods, and Brahma, if I remember correctly, was a high-ranking Hindu god. Even I knew the names of these two men, and they were right in front of me along with Hirume-san, who was at the pinnacle of Japanese gods.
This… must be quite the troublesome subject…
“It’s not that troublesome.”
Hirume-san, who was still reading my thoughts, smiled at me.
“What’s the story?”
Even if I don’t want to hear it, I will still have to listen to it, so let’s get on with it.
“There was another summoning the other day.”
Does this mean that the last summoning facility in the other world had been used…?
“That’s right. And this time it’s not just 10 or 100 people, but 15,000 people from all over the world who have been abducted.”
I couldn’t help but feel flabbergasted by the sheer number of summons. When this many were summoned, the space-time wall was… something like that. So that’s why all the big names were here.
But what are we doing in this meeting? Are they going to take out their anger on me?
“Certainly, the Earth’s gods are very angry at this incident, but we will not take our anger out on Tsukuru-san.”
“In other words?”
“The situation is bad. Even now, the gods are working day and night to repair the space-time wall.”
Fifteen thousand people had been abducted, and I’m sure the hole in the space-time wall was big enough.
“Yes. It’s so big that we’ve been occupied just with the respiration of the space-time wall for a while now.”
So what’s the purpose of all three of them acting together?
“There are certain things that even gods are prohibited from doing. That’s why I had avoided interfering with the other world until now. But this time, my patience has run out.”
An unbelievable amount of murderous intent was emitted from Hirume-san.
Not only me, but Zeus and Brahma on both sides of Hirume-san also contorted their faces as they received Hirume-san’s murderous intent.
“Ara, I’m sorry for what I did. Ufufufu.”
From her murderous intent just now, her smile felt terrifying. But from what I heard, it seemed that Hirume-san would try to interfere in the other world.
Is that why the three of them gathered here?
“Tsukuru-san is already getting close to the being who used the summoning facility. It’s great that you’re getting closer to the truth without our help.”
Hirume-san tried to talk to me with a lovely smile, trying to eliminate her earlier murderous intent.
It’s like an old person’s joke, but not because it was intended!
“I was getting close to the truth? That is…”
“The divine beasts. You need to collect the divine spheres, which can be obtained by defeating each of the divine beasts. Then you will be able to get to the root of all evil.”
“Are you saying that the entity who created the divine beasts is the mastermind behind this?”
“That’s right. That one is a god of that world. And even if it’s Tsukuru-san, the chances of you winning are almost zero.”
“So we decided to grant power to Tsukuru-san and your companions.”
Then Hirume-san looked at Zeus and Brahma.
“I have a present for the red-haired lass.”
Zeus pulled something out of somewhere and placed it on the desk.
It was a necklace with a large red gemstone. Upon closer inspection at the red gemstone, there was something like a flame dancing in the crimson ruby-like gemstone.
“This is the necklace of Hephaestus, the god of fire. It will enhance the power of the red-haired lass.”
It’s a necklace containing the overwhelming power of fire.
“This is from me.”
What Brahma brought out were a pair of earrings.
They look like pearls, but they have white and black spheres on it.
“This is Shiva’s earring. It contains the power of destruction and should be given to the girl called Sanya.”
“The girl has the soul of a Demon King. She will be able to utilize this power to the fullest. Or rather, this power was prepared for a Demon King.”
Demon King…? But right now Sanya doesn’t even remember the time when she was Ayumi. Is that okay?
“Don’t worry. Shiva’s earring will not take effect until she awakens the power of the Demon King.”
I nodded and accepted Shiva’s earring.
“And this is from me.”
What Hirume-san brought out was a kitchen knife.
“This is Toyouke-Ōmikami’s knife. Since Tsukuru-san is a chef, I thought the blessings from Toyouke-Ōmikami would be good for you, so I decided to give you this Toyouke-Ōmikami’s knife.”
Toyouke-Ōmikami was a goddess enshrined in the outer shrine of Grand Ise Shrine, right?
“Yes. I believe that Toyouke-Ōmikami is also famous as the goddess of food, so this would be a good fit for you, right, Tsukuru-san?”
“Yeah, I’m delighted to hear this, but… How does this help in combat? I have this Kurogiri as a weapon, though?”
“It helps with [Ultimate Cooking]. You recently developed a very interesting cooking effect, did you not? Try using that knife.”
She’s watching me closely—what a stalker.
Hirume-san then covered her mouth and laughed, “Ufufufu.”