Sorry for the late release! Enjoy!
(147) The Seventh Goddess
After retrieving Roo‧Kanga’s remains, the boxing glove, into my item bag, the back room — the door that led to the Goddess statue room opened with a heavy sound. Stella said that it was impossible to receive the labyrinth clear bonus here but it looked like I could still have an audience with the Goddess-sama without any problems.
I thought to myself but when I entered the back room, I unconsciously frowned a little.
” …… ”
I hesitated to say a word.
The Goddess statue was there. Certainly, no matter how I looked at it, it was a Goddess statue.
However, I didn’t know how to start. The sculpted Goddess Statue was a depiction of an intellectual woman wearing glasses.
She held a book in her hand and it unexpectedly resembled the Ninomiya Kinjiro statue. (TL: Ninomiya Kinjiro’s statue shows a child holding a book to study while carrying firewood on his back and is commonly found in front of elementary schools.)
I digress a little but the Ninomiya Kinjiro statues originally erected in front of all elementary schools had been removed. Due to reasons like encouraging smartphone use while walking or praising child labor. Now that I think about it, among the light novels I read while I was in Japan, there were also reincarnation stories where using smartphone while walking was the cause of death so it looked like it was regarded as a dangerous act.
At that time, Miri said ‘Is Onii against the decision to remove the Ninomiya Kinjiro statues? If that’s the case, I could try my best to contrive a ploy to reinstall the Ninomiya Kinjiro statues in all of the schools in Japan?’ with her hands spread open in a tone that didn’t sound like she was joking. She was expressing her intention to do so with both her hands.
After that, when I heard that in a certain school there was a statue of Ninomiya Kinjiro sitting while reading, I recalled commenting to Miri that I felt the changing era from his appearance and the topic on Ninomiya Kinjiro ended for our family. I dismissed her words at that time as a joke but I occasionally pondered if Miri was actually serious. Even though there’s no way she could be serious.
Why did I digress?
That’s because I was waiting for someone to say something.
” … Who … is she?”
“Yeah, like Haru said, who is she? There are six Goddesses and I have seen all the Goddess statues but this Goddess wasn’t among them?”
Koshmar-sama and Torerul-sama who gave me my growth cheat ability. Libra-sama who appeared in my world. Setolance-sama who granted Suzuki his blessing. And Goddess Minerva-sama who I heard of from Libra-sama. I don’t know the name of the remaining Goddess.
“Like master said, the Goddesses are Setolance-sama, Koshmar-sama, Torerul-sama, Minerva-sama, Crile-sama, Libra-sama.”
Haru always answers my doubts. It looked like the last remaining Goddess was called Crile-sama.
“This revered person’s name is Metias-sama. The Goddess of Future and Knowledge nya. It is said that Metias-sama was the one who granted the Cat Siths our knowledge and Cat Siths believes in monotheism toward Metias-sama in the Goddess faith nya.”
“Wait a minute, Metias-sama? She’s also a Goddess?”
“Then why isn’t it passed around?”
“I don’t know nya. But, Metias-sama certainly existed before seven hundred years ago nya. All academic Humes most likely also believed in her nya. Despite that, since seven hundred years ago, Humes and the other races forgot about Metias-sama nya.”
” … Did something happen seven hundred years ago that made the originally seven Goddess-sama become the six Goddess-sama now?”
“That’s wrong nya. Metias-sama was removed and Torerul-sama became the new Goddess nya. Almost all of Metias-sama’s labyrinths changed into Torerul-sama’s labyrinths nya.”
” … Then, why is Metias-sama’s Goddess statue in this labyrinth?”
“I don’t know nya. But, I do know that the Demon Lord was involved nya.”
“The Demon Lord?” “Demon Lord-sama?”
Haru and I spoke at the same time.
“That’s right nya.”
… The Demon Lord also influenced this place too huh?
Rather, Stella likely brought us here because it was related to the Demon Lord.
I was also curious about how Torerul-sama replaced Metias-sama but maybe I should ask her in person?
But I might not get an answer from that lazy Goddess-sama.
Then, Haru, Stella and I gave our prayers to that Metias-sama Goddess statue.
Naturally, there’s no way my prayer would reach —
Next thing I know, I was at the Goddess space. But Haru and Stella weren’t there.
Instead, there was a single girl.
Either she didn’t notice me, or she noticed but didn’t react, she gently stroked the Goddess statue of Metias-sama.
“What a pity, Goddess Metias … I didn’t expect this to be your end for a Goddess said to be the Goddess of Knowledge. Despite this, would you still say that you knew this would happen?”
The silvery long haired girl spoke to the Goddess statue of Metias-sama.
She was an extremely beautiful girl but for some reason, she also felt extremely familiar.
“According to your will, I have received your power. However — despite all that, it won’t appease my heart. What awaits me in the future is …”
She pulled her hand from Metias-sama’s statue and clenched her fist.
I couldn’t tell what she felt or thought at that time.
But, she smiled as if something was lifted.
It felt to me that … sorrow and kindness were shown in those eyes.
“But, I promised. I’ll properly protect those children. I stake it on my name Demon Lord Famiris‧Raritei …”
She said that as she flipped her jet-black mantle and left.
Then, without nobody around, I —
When I opened my eyes, the Goddess statue of Metias-sama was there.
” …… ”
To my sides, I saw that Haru and Stella were still praying.
I didn’t really know what that scene just now was.
However ― I was not as optimistic as to think that it was just a dream.
Perhaps … that scene I saw was something like Metias-sama’s lingering desires ― I suddenly felt dread after thinking that.
That’s why I once again placed my hands together.
( … Please enter Nirvana without regrets.)
Even I thought that I was being silly but if by any chance, Metias-sama read my heart and found that I was reciting ‘evil spirit begone’ in my heart, I might really be cursed.
I returned to the surface.
Then, the next day.
Events that made me think that I really was cursed by Metias-sama happened to us.