“Dadda, we’re almost there.”
A comrade running beside him called out to him.
They were almost out of the forest. Then, there will be a gentle slope, and little cover. Once there, they were to take a look at the edge of the forest.
The trees parted.
The view opened.
The ‘poison storage’ appeared before Dadda. It was huge.
There were five plastered granaries, and they were being illuminated by the moonlight. There were fences around them and guards in various places around bonfires. There weren’t many guards. The gutter hadn’t been completed when he had come here to scout, but it was almost done. There were also horses tethered to the fences. Something was going to happen soon.
They needed to hurry.
He looked at his fifty comrades and nodded which conveyed to them that they should be prepared. Their hard life in the forest hadn’t been in vain.
They ran down the slope without a sound.
The soles of the werebears’ feet are soft so that they couldn’t make a sound and be noticed by their prey.
They approached the granaries in five groups of ten.
There was nothing blocking their way. Their enemy must be watching them.
Some of the guards began to move as if they were flustered.
But they were too late.
He sent a signal to his comrades.
Then, there was an ear-splitting roar.
It was the most powerful roar a werebear could make. Anyone who heard this would be taken by surprise and be frightened.
Dadda forcefully pulled down the thin fence with a yell of his own from his gut. The wooden fence was too weak to resist the might of a werebear.
He threw the barrel on his back against the plaster wall with all his might. The barrel was filled with oil.
One of the groups pulled out a tinderbox and lit it up.
The flame quickly spread as if it was looking down on the poison storage.
Dadda covered his mouth with a cloth. His comrades did the same, then they bent low to avoid inhaling the smoke. They knew that the poison would be released from the burning poison storage.
The other granaries were also on fire.
“Dadda, shyt, at the back!”
He ran for it when he heard his comrade’s voice.
The team that had set out for the furthest granary had failed.
Five teams, five granaries, they couldn’t fail.
They couldn’t fail, but there was the possibility. All the granaries had to be destroyed. Every one of them must be completely destroyed.
He received spare barrels from another group on his way to the back.
As he passed by a burning granary and about to evade the gutter, he saw something unbelievable.
(Fuck. The poison is already flowing.)
The liquid was so blue that it was still easily recognisable under the moonlight.
The vicious liquid slowly flowed down that the gutter that branched out from the furthest granary. A considerable amount must have already flowed away. He couldn’t see the end of the liquid.
The poison was flowing like a river in the darkness.
There was no hesitation.
Dadda hit the pillar supporting the gutter with all his might.
The wood whined and the wooden pegs that were holding the wood together popped off.
Once more. Again.
The pillar bent and the gutter tilted.
The pillar cracked when he hit it for the fourth time.
The gutter toppled.
Dadda definitely felt that he was covered in something gooey.
I was at a loss as I walked down the back streets of the Divine Realm.
I had promised Draco that I would definitely find him but how am I supposed to find a single Evil God in this wide, wide Divine Realm? I only grew more impatient.
Dusk was approaching and the lights were beginning to come on.
These places are anachronistic, and it seems that only low-profile gods hang around here. I wonder if they use electricity. Maybe they use miracles as a substitute.
I split up with Yoshinaga-san so we could cover more ground.
We were to meet at the yakitori restaurant where we had eaten skewers at before after sunset.
I am still looking for the werebear Evil God while walking to the yakitori restaurant. I was walking around at random, but I still couldn’t find him at all.
It wasn’t good that the Divine Realm was so wide. According to Yoshinaga-san, this Divine Realm was the largest Divine Realm in this world. There are a few smaller Divine Realms, but most of them were created and maintained by a very small group of close friends, or by eccentric gods who keep to themselves.
So, a large portion of gods who are in charge of the vast and spacious lower world, or in other worlds, the vast areas of the Demon Realm and Human World, live in this place. It’s no wonder it’s vast.
This meant that there is a high chance that the werebear Evil God is here.
The Divine Realm is roughly a square city block on top of a huge circular tray-like base.
At the centre of the block is a smaller square which is the central district. The huge temples, shrines, etc., which I saw when I first visited the Divine Realm are in that central district. They were so large that they could be seen from anywhere in the city.
I don’t like this structure.
The map is too neat. A geometrically beautiful map made only of straight lines does not give the sense of people living in it. On the other hand, the landscape is interesting since it’s made up of a lot of different things. The stores that are aligned side by side aren’t multinational, but rather multi-universal, and there is a street paved with a shocking pink asphalt. It hurts my eyes.
But my priority right now is to find a god. I don’t have the time for idle amusement right now.
What does he look like anyway?
It would have made all the difference if I had at least asked Draco about this, but I was careless.
Actually, I know his name. His name is Edward the <Left>. I went to the government office because I thought I would get a clue on him based on my experience in my previous life, so I went there to ask them about him and they told me his name, but I still don’t know what he looks like.
I also got promoted to Upper First Rank. Nothing has really changed.
They alley is full of gods at this time of the day.
They all looked tired as if they had spent the whole day playing around. Are they going for a drink after this?
I had to find Edward the <Left> among them.
I hope he hasn’t been spirited away. I felt a shiver run down my spine when I thought about it. I couldn’t be sure that I wouldn’t be spirited away either.
But as far as I can see, there is a god, a god, a bear, a god. It’s quite hard to find him.
… A bear? It’s a bear. That’s definitely a bear. It is, but…
A huge ‘stuffed’ animal, well over three metres long, is weaving through the crowd of gods. The white spots on his chest formed a crescent moon indicating that he is a moon bear.
He moved along lightly as if he was a trained businessman changing trains at rush hour.
“Ah, wait, please wait!”
I called out to him, but he didn’t hear me in the crowd.
He turned around a corner and disappeared from my sight. I rushed to catch up with him, but he was nowhere to be seen.
Did he enter a store?
I don’t know if he is Edward the <Left> or not, but he is a bear.
This seems promising.
“And that’s what happened.”
“I see. You were probably spot on.”
Yoshinaga-san turned over the contents of a brown JIS envelope on the bar table. A photograph came out of the envelope. The stuffed bear was on the photograph. There is no doubt this stuffed bear is the same one that I saw earlier.
“This is Edward the <Left’s> picture. He is the werebear’s Evil God, but he is currently appointed to a distant administrative post. His nickname is because his lefthanded.”
“Does being left-handed really give you a nickname?”
“In his case, yes.”
Yoshinaga-san said as she picked up a photo.
There stood a stuffed bear in a heroic pose.
“I know why he doesn’t go to the lower world now. This Edward-kun is the defending champion of the ‘Miracle Prohibited Indiscriminatory Martial Arts’ tournament. And he’s currently breaking the record for consecutive defences.”
“In other words, he’s a fighter. The best of the best.”
No wonder he could move that fast with his huge body, but this will be quick since we’ve found him.
“So, let’s go talk to him about going to the lower world.”
“That’s not going to happen.”
“Are you confident in your skills, Hirabon?”
“You know I’m not good at fighting, Yoshinaga-san.”
“I’m not very confident in that area either.”
“Why does my physical strength have to do with this?”
Yoshinaga-san skulled her beer mug which was filled to the brim in one gulp.
“He has sworn that he will not go to the lower world unless he is beaten by a challenger.”
Two seconds. The challenger in front of him was blown away in just two seconds. It was a swing to the right. The challenger didn’t fly away in a cartoonish parabolic manner, but rather, with a dull thud into the ring in a very vivid manner.
Edward the <Left>, the three-metre-long stuffed bear, is very strong; extremely so.
“I thought I would be able to come up with a way to beat him if I saw him fight, but this is impossible.”
“Master can’t beat him. Wasn’t that too overwhelming?”
Yoshinaga-san and I visited the arena to bring Edward the <Left>, the Evil God of the werebears down to the lower world.
I was wondering what the tournament will be like since it is called the Miracle Prohibited Indiscriminatory Martial Arts tournament, but the match was very simple. Edward roared in a ring which looked like it could be used for sumo or pro wrestling, and the people around him were completely bored. There was no applause. Well, it wouldn’t be fun if the defending champion won by a single blow.
“And he used his right hand, didn’t he?”
“Yeah. He didn’t use his ‘Golden Left Hand’. It’s not very fun to watch.”
Edward has the longest record for consecutive defences. He is probably too strong.
He will become less and less popular if he keeps having such overwhelming and underrated fights. Is he getting along well with the other fighters and management?
At the very least, I would like to see his famous left-hand blow or him letting a challenger practice with him or something.
I’m not telling him to have a fixed match, but he needs to know how to make the match more exciting.
I looked around at the audience.
We were the only two in the front row with a few people in the back.
A drunken old man, a yawning cat, and a flirting couple. The gods here are all different.
I bought a ticket here when I entered the arena. It was only a single ticket for an unreserve seat. There were other tickets in the past such as reserved S seats on the second floor, but it was crossed out with a horizontal line. I doubt anyone would pay 7000 karma for an S seat since this fight isn’t popular. That was a little too expensive.
“So, what are you going to do, Master? I believe it would be a little difficult to wait for Edward-kun to lose under these circumstances.”
“It would be impossible for him to lose like this. They don’t even have prize money to attract challengers.”
“Really? ‘I’ll challenge the champion because they are strong!’ It doesn’t feel like people are challenging him because he’s strong.”
“Yeah. I believe this event is probably a failure.”
It felt as if I was watching a weekday event of a shady local wrestling group.
Is there really any meaning to a championship title that is being continuously kept by the same person?
While I was thinking about this, an old man approached me from the other side.
He must be a manager or something from the way he was dressed.
“You two guests are watching Sir Ed’s match zealously. Are you two his fans?”
“Hmm, well, not exactly.”
“Well, I don’t really care if you are or not. I’m just wondering if you have any ideas on how to get him to lose.”