Chapter 79: Cinderella Breakdown
I made a sandwich for Seiya. Before I knew it, it was almost dusk. I rushed immediately to the Flower Garden of the God’s realm.
As I approached the area, I noticed that Seiya and Mariya were talking about something a few steps away from the Flower Garden.
「Hero. We’re done for today. 」
「I want to keep practicing. 」
「I told you that I’m only available until dusk. 」
「I don’t see any bad physical condition on you. Let’s continue. 」
「I…I can’t. 」
「Let’s do it. 」
「I refuse. 」
「Let’s practice for one more hour. 」
「That’s impossible. 」
「Let’s practice for 30 minutes then. 」
「Please give me a break… 」
So…So persistent!! He sounded like a salaryman trying to convince a hostess!!
Seiya didn’t stop trying in stipe of Mariya’s refusal. Suddenly…
Mariya put her hand on her mouth as if she was suffering from a kind of illness. I couldn’t watch it silently anymore. I ran to Mariya’s side and I opened my hands to cover her.
「Seiya!! You can’t go further than this!! Don’t you see that Lady Mariya is in pain!! 」
Then, I looked back at Mariya.
「Are…Are you all right, Lady Mariya? 」
On that moment.
「Stay away from me!! 」
I was surprised when Mariya shouted aggressively at me. She was not her usual kind-hearted self. When Mariya noticed that she lost her composure for a second, she immediately bowed to me in apology.
「I…I apologize. Excuse me, but it is enough for today. I’ll see you tomorrow… 」
While holding her hand on her mouth, she walked away instantly.
I was angry with Seiya after Mariya was gone.
「Hey, Seiya! You treated her terribly! Didn’t you promise that you would only practice with her until dusk?」
However, Seiya didn’t show any remorse for his actions. Instead, he was quite frustrated with the outcome.
「Oh. It just looked like indigestion. I wanted to continue practicing all day long… 」
And then, he sent a cold gaze on my direction.
「It can’t be helped. Lista. You should go first. I’ll do the practice independently from now on. I just need to focus on what I’ve learned of earth magic from the last two hours.」
「I…I got it… 」
He was a one of a kind hero. Still, it was necessary for him to learn that new earth magic skills in order to save Exfolia. I didn’t say any more unnecessary words and walked away from the Flower Garden.
The next day’s late morning.
As usual, I brought a lunch box for Seiya, who slept for a short moment at the summoning chamber. I reminded him of what happened yesterday.
「Listen. You won’t force Lady Mariya today, like you did yesterday right? 」
「No. I just want to practice straightaway. I have a lot to catch up today because of the time I lost yesterday. If everything goes smoothly, I’ll learn it by the end of the day.」
「I don’t know! If you start now, you’ll only have a few hours until dusk! Are you sure about this, Seiya…」
「Don’t fret. I have a plan. 」
「Wha…What is your plan? Se…Seiya? 」
I felt a huge anxiety in my heart when I heard the words of a confident hero that walked straight into the temple without talking too much.
「Go…Good morning… 」
Mariya was looking at Seiya with a skeptical look. She probably became like this because of Seiya. Yesterday, he forced her to stay longer against her will.
I thought that Seiya would say 「Let’s start the practice immediately 」. However, Seiya bowed his head in apology much to my surprise.
「I apologize for yesterday. Even though saving the world is extremely urgent, it seems that I was a bit too impatient. Let’s do it at your own pace today. I’ll respect the timing of your limit until dusk.」
Mariya and I were both surprised. It was rare to see a well-behaved Seiya. Well, it would be natural to call someone well-behaved…but, in Seiya’s case…
「Is…Is that so! I’m relieved to hear you say that! 」
「Yeah. I’ll be in your guidance until dusk. But, before that… 」
Seiya looked the surrounding area.
「I want to learn how to create rock monsters today. However, I don’t want to create destructive Golems to ruin this beautiful Flower Garden that has been carefully groomed.」
Then, Seiya approached Mariya and touched her shoulder slightly.
「…Cave Along. 」
Mariya and Seiya’s bodies gradually sank into the ground.
「Hey…Wait a minute, Seiya! 」
I rushed on Seiya’s direction and entered the Cave Along as well.
…I was shocked when I came inside of the Cave Along. The interior was not the usual narrowed-space. After the battle with the Grand Lion plus the training of yesterday, it was likely that Seiya’s earth magic got powered up. It was a huge space with a radius of about ten meters wide. While walking at the side, Seiya filled the muddy walls with magical stones. Thanks to those magical devices, the whole space became brighter.
「It will be okay to create rock monsters in here. 」
Nonetheless, Mariya had an uncomfortable expression on her face.
「I appreciate your care about the Flower Garden. However, hero…I must say that there’s no sun in here. Therefore, I won’t know how much time has passed on the surface… 」
「No worries. We have a clock on that wall… 」
Seiya moved the tip of his finger. Inside of the large cave, a round clock appeared on a wall.
…This…This seemed suspicious…
I doubted the effectiveness of that weird-looking clock based on Seiya’s personality. Nevertheless, Mariya was a pure goddess.
「All right. I don’t have anything to worry about! 」
She was showing an innocent smile.
The training began. Mariya created a golem that was more than 3 meters tall. It was a powerful monster with a full body made of rocks. Seiya tried to imitate her. Yet, he could only create a golem’s arm from the soil. It seemed that it wasn’t possible for him to create a whole body yet.
「It is a difficult process, but you made a great accomplishment. You managed to create a portion of the golem’s body so quickly.」
Mariya praised Seiya’s results. After that, he tried his best again and again, until he made a decent-looking golem…As soon as I thought that he finally made it, the golem collapsed on the ground. As Mariya said, rock-based monsters were the most difficult skill to master within the power of earth magic. It looked like Seiya won’t be able to master this skill immediately.
…How many times did he try to create golems without mistakes? Mariya started to feel restless about the passing time.
「Excuse me, hero. Is that the correct time? 」
Nonetheless, Seiya pointed to the muddy clock with an unreadable expression.
「Don’t worry. It’s still two o’clock. 」
The clock hands were past two o’clock. Mariya showed a relieved expression then.
「I see! Great! 」
…More time passed since then. Somehow, Seiya managed to create a reasonable golem. This time, however, he tried to create two golem bodies and three golem bodies. Even so, it seemed that mass production was quite difficult to achieve. He couldn’t increase his golems by more than two or three extra bodies.
Suddenly, Mariya asked Seiya the following.
「Hero. What time is it? 」
「Don’t worry. It’s still two o’clock. 」
It was true. When I looked closely at the clock hands, I saw that it wasn’t even half past two yet…It didn’t change that much since a while ago…
…No. Wasn’t this clock a little strange!?
I was sure that more than one hour has passed since we’ve arrived here! Yet, that clock was barely moving!
…I…I see!! A clock that moved slowly…That was Seiya’s strategy!! But, this was obvious!! Mariya will definitely notice this irregularity!!
「Hero. Are we okay with time? 」
「It’s still two o’clock. 」
「Hero. Can you tell me what time is it? 」
「Two o’clock. 」
「Ah, great! 」
Even though Seiya’s response was the same, Mariya didn’t notice that it’s been two o’clock for a very long time now.
「It is quite fun to teach the hero about earth magic! 」
Mariya looked a bit excited about practicing with Seiya. Well, in fact, Seiya absorbed everything that she taught him immediately. He had great memory as well since he always remembered what she said. He was a student worthy of teaching earth magic. She was so enthusiastic that she didn’t notice the passage of time.
…My “body clock” warned me that it was almost dusk in the surface. I secretly approached Seiya and whispered on his ear.
「Hey, listen. Is it okay to continue with practice? 」
「No problem. Right now, my top priority is to master earth magic. 」
「I need it if I want to save Exfolia. 」
…The training continued endlessly with the clock that didn’t move past two. Eventually, Seiya nodded positively when he saw that his golem managed to assemble fifty bodies. He looked pleased at this spectacular scene.
「All right. That was successful. This practice was very effective. 」
「Se…Seiya! Let’s go up to the surface now! 」
And then, Seiya deactivated Cave Along.
Seiya, Mariya and I raised up to the surface, and…I was dumbfounded.
Two beautiful moons stood above my head! The sky was full of shining stars!
My knees shuddered relentlessly as my face turned slowly on Mariya’s direction!
「Thi…Thi…This is!! It’s already night here!! 」
Seiya spoke to Mariya in a heartless way.
「Why did you have a time limit? I don’t see anything wrong with you. 」
Mariya’s face was pale like a ghost’s face…
I felt a sense of crankiness.
I couldn’t see everything well in the dark space of Cave Along. Except now. The brightness of the two moons of the God’s realm illuminated the night. Likewise, Mariya’s face became quite visible as well. That said, I could see something thick on Mariya’s face. That was…
「Mu…Mustache!? Lady Mariya has a mustache!? 」
I was so shocked that I shouted aloud. Mariya noticed my reaction and realized that her secret was exposed. Then…
「Don’t look…!! 」
She screamed with very thick voice coming from her bearded mouth.
「Wa…Wa…Wa…Wait a minute!! Do…Don’t tell me that Lady Mariya is a god! 」
「…A god? 」
She no longer tried to hide her bearded face. Mariya screamed at us with a robust voice of a strong man.
「You know what, I am a god and a goddess. I’m actually a new type of deity that doesn’t have a specific category…You could call me a “ONEE* deity”!!」
「ONEE deity!? 」
I lost my words after I heard the title of a deity that I’ve never heard existed in the God’s realm. Mariya muttered in manly voice while looking up at the night sky.
「Lady Isister is the only one that knows that I’m an ONEE deity. I’ve…been hiding it until now. I am hairy; therefore, I have to shave my face regularly. However, even if I shave my beard, it will turn blue after a few hours. That’s why I’ve been hiding it from everybody after dusk.」
Then…Then, why didn’t she shave her face one more time at dusk?…No…No! I didn’t have time to care about something meaningless like this! I had to leave this place quickly before it became too troublesome!
「Un…Understood! I appreciate that you taught Seiya about the next steps of earth magic! Well then, excuse us!」
I tried to leave hurryingly by pushing Seiya’s back, while showing her a smile.
「Wait right there, you damn two…!! 」
Mariya stood in front of us rapidly in such an aggressive manner.
「What are you doing? Are you trying to go home? You can’t leave now just by showing your “appreciation” with me!」
「I…I…I’m truly sorry!! I won’t tell anyone about your secret!! 」
「Not you. Seiya cutie** will be the one to take responsibility for exposing my secret. 」
「Seiya cutie!? 」
Mariya was pointing her finger towards Seiya.
「Seiya cutie is a human that knows the secret of a deity. If he knows everything about me, then he won’t be able to get out of this Flower Garden for the rest of his life! Since this is what happened…then, I shall say…let’s live together from now on!」
「You…You must be kidding me! Seiya has a mission to save Exfolia! 」
「I don’t know and don’t care about such a thing. 」
I trembled in fear after I saw the horrifying look of this ONEE deity’s eyes.
…This…This god was not that wonderful in the first place!! It…It was another strange god!! What the heck was going on with the God’s realm!?
However, Seiya didn’t move an inch and just looked directly at Mariya.
「Hey, “Blue Mustache”… 」
「Who’s the blue mustache, you weasel!! 」
「You are. Thank you for teaching me earth magic. But, Lista is correct. I have to save Exfolia. I have no time to play with you in the Flower Garden.」
Still, Mariya grinned sinisterly.
「Nope. I won’t let you get away from here. 」
As soon as she professed that ultimatum, the ground around us raised up! Suddenly, a huge rock wall emerged from the soil and surrounded us like a cage!
「This huge rock wall trapped us! What should we do, Seiya? 」
However! Seiya already rushed towards Mariya!
「Eh. So, you’re coming for me, the invoker of earth magic, instead of destroying the rock wall….I see. As expected of you, Seiya cutie. You have a good sense of things.」
Seiya approached Mariya! He tried to touch her shoulder!
…This…This was…! He was going to bury Mariya in the ground as he did with John Dae!
Even so, Mariya didn’t make a sight movement!
「Ah? Were you going to use earth magic against me, the Goddess of Earth? Too bad! I’m sorry to say this, but that’s a stupid move! I have MAX resistance to earth magic! Seiya cutie’s earth magic won’t work against me!」
「Oh. Okay, I’ll get a little serious with you then. 」
As soon as he touched Mariya’s shoulder…
While shouting aloud, Mariya’s ankles were buried in the ground!
「Wha…What the hell is this power!! You managed to fill part of my legs with soil even though I’m resistant to earth magic!!」
「Just release the rock wall that surround us. 」
Mariya grinned wickedly.
「I have to warn you that this Flower Garden is my territory!! My power has already been activated on the soil in all of this area!! You have no chance of winning, Seiya cutie!!」
Mariya didn’t even touch Seiya’s shoulders! And yet, Seiya’s ankles buried in the ground!
In the meantime, Mariya managed to pull her legs out of the ground.
「Our positions have reversed! 」
While the ONEE deity laughed triumphantly, she approached Seiya’s face, whose legs were still stuck in the soil.
「Eh, he! Seiya cutie’s earth “snake”…I wonder if I’ll lick it! 」
The…The worst!! Too vulgar!!
She was worse than Mithis! This devilish and cruel ONEE deity slowly approached Seiya’s lower body!
However, on this moment.
Mariya’s legs sank into the ground once again! In a second, Seiya used his fist against her head!
Mariya’s eyes became white for a brief moment…
「I…I won’t lose to you!! 」
She immediately took her feet out of the ground and went behind Seiya’s back, who couldn’t move yet!
「I won’t forgive you anymore!! I’ll “dig” you from behind!! Not with earth magic, but with my special ONEE divine sense!!」
…“Dig from behind”!? Wha…What the heck did she mean by that!? I didn’t want to know, because it sounded like something extremely obscene!!
Mariya lifted up her dress as she approached Seiya’s back. However, her movements stopped abruptly.
Seiya’s legs were still buried in the soil because of the power of Mariya’s earth magic. Nonetheless, Seiya managed to grab his sheath with his Platinum Sword. On that very moment, Seiya stretched his arms to his back and he used the sheath to hit Mariya’s brain! He hit her head several times like a hammer!
Mariya’s tights dip into the ground!
*continuously hammering sound*
Mariya’s waist dip into the ground!
Then, Seiya took a deep breath.
「…Here I go. Take my greatest magic force. 」
As soon as he muttered, he beat Mariya with his sheath by using the whole power from his body!
*huge hammering sound*
…Soon, Mariya disappeared from our sight completely! No…Actually, I noticed that only her forehead was at the surface!
I rushed to Seiya. He pulled his feet from the ground and removed the sand dust from his body.
「Se…Seiya!! Is Lady Mariya going to be all right!? Only her forehead is at the surface!! 」
「Like the undead, gods don’t die. It’s okay. 」
Seiya didn’t care one bit about Mariya. Instead, he looked at the palm of his hands.
「Hmm. I succeeded in the productions of mass rock rock monsters. Furthermore, my earth magic became proficient enough to bury an “enemy with strong resistance to earth magic”…」
「No, not an “enemy” per se!! 」
Then, Seiya stepped on top of Mariya’s head, who was slightly above the ground, when he walked a little further ahead. He stared at the beautiful moons of the God’s realm while he touched his glossy hair.
「Perfectly Ready. 」
「You’re stepping on her!! Seiya!! You’re really stepping on her head!! 」
*Not to be confused with “Onee-chan” (big sister). When shortened to “Onee”, it would mean someone who isn’t born female, but act like either flamboyant/queen/gay/trans. In other words, males who act outside of stereotypical masculinity.
**Mariya actually referred to Seiya as “Seiya-chan”. The word “chan” is one of the many honorific titles used after Japanese names. It is a form to refer to children and female family member and close friends. It can be referred to as “baby talk”, and is also used for adults who are considered to be kawaii (cute or lovable). NOTE: The editor and I decided not to use honorifics for This Hero in particular. We wanted to reach a wider audience; therefore, we chose a universal style of writing.
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