Chapter 84: Dialogue
The cave was filled with the high-pitched voice of the crying Killing Machine. I spoke to the Killing Machine using the earth snake microphone.
「Hey. Can you hear me? 」
「Ugh, Agh…Ah, Ye…Yes! 」
「I am Listarte. You can call me Lista. Do you have a name? 」
「No, I don’t. 」
「Okay, let’s see…You sound like a girl. Then, what about “Kiriko”? I could call you “Kiri”!* It’s a good name!」
On this instant…
The crying was getting louder and louder by the minute.
「So…Sorry!! You dislike that name, right!? I just said “Kiriko” because it’s an easy way to remember since it’s an abbreviated form of Killing Machine!!」
「Ugh…That’s not it…! I…I am so happy…! 」
「Because I never thought I’d have a name for myself…! It feels like a dream…! 」
Tha…Thank goodness! “She” seemed to be pleased with the name!
I told Kiriko to rest assured because those earth snakes around her body were harmless.
「…Okay. I have to go now. 」
「Miss Lista. You’re leaving already? I’m so lonely…Ugh… 」
She was going to cry again!! Hmm…What should I do…
「Kiri! Wait a second! 」
When I left the cave, I opened the portal that led to the Flower Garden of the God’s realm.
The Goddess of Earth was wearing a straw hat under the beautiful sky without clouds…Mariya, the ONEE deity, was watering some flowers with a water pot.
「Ah, excuse me, Lady Mariya. Hello… 」
This was the first time I’ve met with Mariya since the incident where Seiya buried her in the muddy ground and stepped on her head.
「Oh my. Hello there. 」
Mariya greeted me with a robust male voice. It seemed that she didn’t care to hide her secret from me anymore. But, when I saw Mariya’s face, I became even more surprised. There was a blue beard growing on her face. It looked as if she didn’t take care of her skin lately.
Mariya laughed slightly when she saw how stunned my eyes were.
「Rumors about me have spread since then. The other gods found out that I was an ONEE deity. I didn’t tell them myself, but somehow, it feels kinda strange and refreshing that all of them know about me now. That’s why I don’t resent Seiya cutie anymore.」
「Is…Is that so! I’m glad for you! 」
「Well, if I have the chance, I’d like to dig him from behind. 」
「Didn’t you just say that you don’t resent him anymore!?…By…By the way, Lady Mariya! I have a request to make…」
I pointed to the cute pink flowers that I spotted early on.
「Can I have those flowers? 」
「Oh my. That’s totally fine. I’ll put them on a beautiful and grand flowerpot so that it would be easy to carry them with pride.」
「No, please…Just give them to me on a normal flowerpot…! 」
After I received the flowers from Mariya, I went back to the cave where Kiriko was isolated.
「…Ugh. Ugh. 」
I could hear her sobs from all over the cave.
「Ah! Miss Lista! 」
I invoked the portal on the muddy wall to make a connection between my place and the cave where Kiriko was standing still. I just opened the portal’s door a little bit and…
I closed the portal immediately after throwing the flowers I’ve got from the God’s realm.
「Ah. Excuse me. Miss Lista? But, did the flowers just fly here with a great speed…? 」
That’s right. This was the only way to give the flowers to Kiriko without going through the portal.
I spoke through the earth snake microphone.
「Kiri! Those flowers are for you! 」
「For…For me? 」
「Yes! They’re beautiful, aren’t they? 」
「Ye…Yes! Extremely beautiful! And…I felt relieved to speak to you again! 」
「Okay. So, you won’t cry anymore? 」
「Yes! I’ll do my best! 」
I heard Kiriko’s voice from afar when I tried to leave the cave with the earth snake microphone.
「Miss Lista…Will you come to see me again? 」
「Yeah! Of course! 」
I responded to Kiriko with a smile.
The next day.
After I saw the whole area of Tarmine full of golems, I asked Seiya the following.
「It seems that the scenery didn’t change that much from yesterdays. How many golems did you create so far?」
I waited for a while, but there was no reply.
This hero was always quiet and secretive. But, today, Seiya was quieter than usual. I stared closely at him and I noticed that he was staring at a single point in the distance. He looked like a firm statue as if he didn’t have a beating heart. It was obviously strange.
「Hey, Seiya! 」
I shook his shoulders. Still, he didn’t answer me.
「Hey!? Are you okay!? 」
I became increasingly worried. Therefore, I shook his shoulders violently.
…I heard a dry sound as if something broke. On this moment, Seiya’s lower arm came off from his shoulder!
「*screams* I…I got your arm!? I…I’m truly sorry!!!!!! 」
I heard Seiya’s voice from afar while I was apologizing non-stop for breaking his arm.
「…What are you doing? 」
「Ah, Seiya!! You know, Seiya, I just touched Seiya’s arm and it suddenly fell from your shoulder…What…Ehhhhhh!?」
I became utterly confused to see two Seiyas, one that looked at me with piercing eyes, and the other one that I broke the arm.
「That’s my Shadow Warrior**. I created a muddy doll with earth magic. 」
「Ah…Is that so. I see. But, a Shadow Warrior!? Why do you need such a thing!? 」
「I can’t have a peaceful mind just because I’m in Tarmine. There might be people lurking around waiting for an opportunity to slice my neck.」
「Seiya, do you mean that the citizens of Tarmine might want to attack you!? The…There’s no way that…」
…“they’ll attack you.” That’s what I wanted to say. But, I couldn’t. I’ve seen many times how people here had a grudge against Seiya for not saving this world before.
「My biggest enemy may not be the Demon King, but rather a human being. 」
「That’s a big overstatement you know…! 」
At that time, a merchant-looking man came from behind Seiya’s back with a smile. This man carried a huge luggage with him and held medicinal herbs on one of his hands.
Seiya, who noticed the shadowy presence, looked back at a tremendous speed, and grabbed that man’s chest.
「Hey, you. Are you a thug? 」
「I…I’m not! I’m just a merchant! 」
「Who hired you? 」
「No…No one hired me! I just wondered if you’ll take these medicinal herbs… 」
It seemed that Seiya didn’t believe that man’s words at all. I tried to stand between them, and Seiya finally took his hand away from that man.
「Listen. Don’t sneak behind my back ever again. Next time…I’ll kill you. 」
「What kind of hero are you!! 」
I yelled at the hero who looked like a hitman. The merchant was just a mere merchant. Poor man, he immediately ran away while crying aloud.
After the outrage, Seiya walked away as if nothing happened at all.
「Hey, wait a moment! Where are you going? 」
「I’m going to a lookout tower. I originally wanted to go straightaway, but my time was delayed considerably because I’ve met you on the way there.」
「Tower? Why…Ah…C’mon! Wait for me! 」
I followed Seiya, who headed for the lookout tower. The Queen and John Dae were at the top of tower.
「Why did you call us to come to this place? 」
John Dae asked that question with a suspicious look. Apparently, Seiya called them in advance.
However, without answering, Seiya held his hands to the sky in silence. Then, he muttered the following words.
「…Iron Dome. 」
Then, a huge roar coming from the earth was heard everywhere. The Great Iron Wall, that surrounded Tarmine, began to extend towards the sky! After stretching for a while, the wall bent inward and changed its shape! It covered Tarmine like an umbrella!
「*everybody shouts* Wha…Wha…Wha…What!! 」
John Dae and I were taken aback with amazement. The walls extended from all directions in the sky. Soon, the sunlight was completely blocked by this dome.
Seiya spoke amidst the dark space.
「The walls will transform into a dome during air raids. It consumes my MP, but this method can completely prevent attacks from the sky.」
「You can’t do this without explaining to us first! It’s suddenly dark and the people are screaming!」
「That’s why I called you here. I want you to inform the people of Tarmine about this. They don’t need to panic when they see the dome during air raids. They can rest assured.」
Eventually, a rumbling sound was heard from above. It seemed that the dome was reverting and we gradually saw the blue sky once again. The stretched wall gradually shrunk back and returned to its original position.
「I will revert it back like this once the danger is gone. 」
「We…We don’t even know if the enemy really has a flying type. Why prepare this much for an air raid that won’t happen…right?」
John Dae whispered in indignation. But, the Queen just smiled.
「Well, better something than nothing. At least, everyone in Tarmine will be safe, right?」
After the Queen professed those words, Seiya walked away and opened the door of the room in the lookout tower. This was the room where the Queen was held prisoner before. I noticed that several buckets of water were lined up inside.
「Se…Seiya. What now? 」
When Seiya snapped his finger, the water reflected different sceneries from the landscape.
「The images that my earth snakes see are usually projected to my eyes. However, I thought of a way of allowing everybody to see what’s going on through the various places of Tarmine.」
Camera…The people on this world wouldn’t know about this. But, in fact, this was like a “surveillance camera”. With this, we were going to see the movement of the Imperial Machine Corps just like Seiya did once before.
…An iron wall that transformed into a dome during an air raid.
…Multiple surveillance cameras installed around the perimeter of Tarmine.
Tarmine became a high-tech fortress.
「Lista. Open the portal. I’m heading to Galvano right now. 」
「What are you going to do in Galvano? 」
「I expected that the second enemy would come here immediately. But, it seems that we still have some time. Therefore, I want to take advantage of the remaining free time to create in Galvano a similar degree of protection that I made in Tarmine…」
The following day.
Seiya went back and forth vigorously between Galvano and Tarmine to strengthen the defense mechanisms. At first, John Dae went to see the situation, but he got bored. So, he stopped accompanying Seiya on this quest. He remained by the Queen’s side in Tarmine afterwards.
I had free time to spend in Tarmine after I invoked the portal for Seiya to go to Galvano. I thought that he wouldn’t want me to tag along with him based on his mood. So, I didn’t go.
In my spare time, I spoke with the Queen. And then, I went to see how Kiriko was faring in the cave.
「*laughs*…The story of Mister Seiya is very interesting! 」
「You can laugh by hearing this story. But, you would get tired immediately if you were near him, you know?」
I spoke with Kiriko through the earth snake microphone. Even though she didn’t know who Seiya was, Kiriko laughed happily when she heard that Seiya made a dome to prepare against an attack from the sky.
Suddenly, I realized something and asked Kiriko the following.
「But, this talk sounds complicated for the both of us, right? After all, Kiri’s dad is the Machine Emperor Oxelio…」
「Ye…Yes. It would be ideal if my Father and Mister Hero were to become friends through some discussion.」
It was obvious that a peaceful relationship between a hero and a monster would be impossible to achieve. I changed the topic because my feelings became messy somehow.
「So, how about the flowers? 」
「Well…you see, they’re not feeling very well. 」
Kiriko took the flowers from a small pot and showed them to me from the wall between our caves. The flowers were wilting and the soil was dry.
「Ah!! Water!! I forgot to give you some water!! 」
「Water…? Does that mean that they don’t have enough nutrition? Then, how about I give them some of my machine oil?」
「No! They will wither 100% with oil! Wait a second! I’ll bring you some water now! 」
I hurriedly went back to the surface and I pumped water out of a well in Tarmine. I put the water on a bucket and rushed to the cave. I invoked the portal and entered Kiriko’s cave. Then, I immediately poured some water on the flowerpot. The soil was thirsty for some water that it absorbed it in a blink of an eye.
「Whoa…! I feel relieved now! 」
Then, I heard Kiriko’s voice behind me.
And, I noticed what happened just now! I entered Kiriko’s cave even though Seiya forbid me to enter!
…I…I did it!! Oh my god!! Seiya told me not to enter!! But, I entered the cave by impulse!! I didn’t even realized it!
「I finally…meet you face to face…Miss…Lista… 」
「Ki…Kiri? It can’t be…! You’re kidding, right…? 」
However, it was not Kiriko’s usual voice. Kiriko approached me and stretched her robotic arm on my direction.
I felt eminent danger, so I screamed extremely high. Nonetheless…Kiriko took my hand and waved up and down in a very exciting manner. She spoke with a vigorous voice.
「I meet Miss Lista for the first time! I am impressed! 」
「You’re wonderful! Your hair and face are so beautiful! I wished I could be like you! 」
「Is…Is that so? 」
Tha…Thank goodness! I knew that this child was not a bad monster!
「…But, it seems that the flowers aren’t energetic yet. 」
The flowers were still wilting even though I poured some water on them. I wondered if I were too late.
「Wait. I’ll try to save them myself. 」
I activated my healing powers to save the flowers. I tried to heal them by placing my hand on them as if I were curing an injured person.
Eventually…the dying flowers rose up and gained vitality.
「They’re fine now! 」
…But, actually, I did my best to cure mere wilted flowers. Seiya would call me a fool if he knew about this…
Although my heart was conflicted, Kiriko was excited that she even waved her arms repeatedly.
「It’s amazing! Miss Lista, it’s a miracle! 」
「No, well. You know, I’m a goddess after all. 」
「Goddesses are amazing! How delightful! It’s too great! 」
It’s has been a long time since I was praised this much. I felt like I was going to ascend to heaven myself.
「Yes! That’s right! I’m greater than Seiya, you know! 」
「Miss Lista! I respect you! 」
Ah…What a great feeling! Yes, that’s correct! I was a goddess that could perform miracles!
When I regained my dignity as a goddess…
The earth snake microphone that I put on my chest began to ring.
「Mi…Miss Lista!? What’s that!? 」
「Ah, this is an earth snake microphone. Kiri, be quiet for a moment. 」
I put the snakes’ tail to my ears and the head onto my mouth.
「Hello, Seiya? Are you in Galvano? Or did you return to Tarmine by now? 」
I heard a low voice from the earth snake microphone-turned phone.
『…Did you use the portal to enter the cave with the Killing Machine? 』
「Ehhhhh!? Ho…How do you know about that!? 」
『All of your actions are so predictable. 』
Seiya began to reprimand me without stopping. I kept bowing my head in apology.
「I’m really sorry…But, I wasn’t attacked…Ah…Yes…I know that’s not the problem here…I’m sorry…It’s just as you say…Yes…I’ll keep it in mind from now on…No, this time I really mean it…Eh…Yes…I’m sorry…You told me that before…Yes…I’m truly sorry…Yes…Okay…Excuse me…Yes…Bye…」
After the earth snake phone call was over…
「Mi…Miss Lista…Are you okay? 」
Somehow, I managed to show her thumbs up. However, my fingers were shaking, my face was pale white, and my magnificence of a goddess had completely disappeared.
*Killing in Japanese katakana is “Kiringu”. That’s why Lista decided to call the Killing Machine “Kiri” from “Kiringu”. Since it’s a name she chose, the editor and I decided to leave the original form “Kiri” instead of “Killi”. Moreover, the “ko” in “Kiriko” is commonly used in Japan at the end of female names (not always but it is frequent, example: Aiko, Michiko, Yuuko, Sakurako, Mako, among many others).
**Meaning Kagemusha (a body double employed for the purposes of disguising the death of a lord or to confuse the enemies).
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