The evil god is awakening.
This shocking phrase took Nick completely by surprise, but Olivia looked at him and shrugged.
“Why are you looking at me like that? Do you realize the magnitude of what you just said?”
“No no, what did you think you were fighting? White Mask is a minion of those that worship the evil god. If something was done about the evil god and it was gone forever, they wouldn’t be working so openly.”
“I had no idea!”
“Hmm… I do write about it in our magazine occasionally, but apparently most people don’t know about the evil god’s resurrection.”
Olivia sat back with her pen between her nose and upper lip.
“Yes yes. The general public does tend to turn its eyes away from the truth.”
“I knew you’d understand your big sister.”
“What do you mean fufun…”
Nick was at his wits end, and Olivia tried to reassure him with a pat on the shoulder.
“Well, no need to worry. It’s not something we can deal with right now anyway. Nothing like a demon king type monster being born, or monster’s birth rates in a labyrinth exploding has happened. Plus, the fact that its agents are acting independently means that the evil god is still half sleeping.”
“That’s still pretty bad… Does the government or the temples know about this?”
“The higher ups know, but are concealing it. But it’s not that unusual for it to wake up a little and go back to sleep, when you look at it from the time frame of fifty or a hundred years.
Publicizing it every time it happened would harm the economy and actually have an adverse effect when it comes to fighting it, so I think that’s why they decided to conceal it.”
“There’s a lot to think about…”
“Well, a change in government can erase the knowledge on how to deal with it is gone, and some don’t think it’s a big deal too, since we’ve managed to defeat it every time.”
“That’s no good is it?”
“But if the time comes, myself, Bond, and all of you will be here. Right?”
“No, I mean, I’m not adventuring to defeat the evil god.”
Olivia looked at him as if she was thinking ‘seriously’.
“I mean, the scale of what you’re talking about is so huge I can’t even wrap my head around it.”
“What are you talking about!? Isn’t defeating the evil god the dream of every adventurer? It’s such a glory that it goes beyond being made a noble, it goes beyond any medal you could receive, and you could even take some land and build your own country if you wanted, and no one would complain!!”
“Now it’s getting fishy.”
“Eh… Are you really not interested? Let’s do it!”
“Don’t care don’t care… Oh alright, I’ll do it if I can.”
“That just means you’re 100% not going to do it!”
“We almost died fighting White mask, and he’s not only an underling, but he’s not even one of the top guys right? Even you were covered in wounds.”
“N-no no! I didn’t fight with all I had!”
“Why the hell not!?”
“W-wait! There are a lot of different rules, like how the amount of power I can use depends on the level of the threat, and how if humans are involved I can’t unlock my full abilities and instead have to prioritize saving them!”
Nick peeked at Bond, who nodded.
“I believe her ethics functions are more restrictive, since she has to interact with humans more than the other sacred swords.”
“I knew you’d understand. You get a prize.”
Nick flicked Bond on the forehead.
“What are you doing!?”
“We’re getting off track.”
“Anyway, what she says is true, you can trust me on that. White Mask is strong, but if the holder of a sacred sword fights a follower of the evil god, that sword will have to support that person. Other sacred swords have similar effects built-in.”
“Sounds like a hassle… I just remembered something else. Remember how he introduced himself with a weird name?”
Said Olivia, to which Nick nodded.
“The feeling that I get from that name is that it’s from a country that doesn’t exist anymore… Close to Nozomi, a southern country that existed back in the days of the ancient civilization. Ah, now that I think about it, that S rank Single Meal Fifth is a descendant of those southern people, isn’t he?”
“So basically, that’s all you know?”
“Well obviously I don’t know everything. And he said another very interesting thing, that his turn as White Mask was over. Does that mean someone else will take over the name? Was he using some kind of strange magic item? I guess I’ll have to look into it, it’s part of my job after all.”
Olivia started rotating her arms, implying that she was going to have a lot to do. As he watched this, Nick mumbled.
“…Can I ask something?”
“What is it?”
“You’re not going to write about the evil god and stuff like in this magazine, are you?”
Nick seemed reluctant to even ask, and Olivia answered with a cheerful smile.
“I’ll leave that to your imagination.”
After they were done talking, Nick exited Mysterious Terrane’s office, only to be called by Olivia again on the way out.
Olivia shouted while leaning out the window.
“I forgot to say something.”
And then, Olivia suddenly flung herself out the window.
Instead of falling like one would expect, Olivia stood vertically on the building’s wall.
“What do you mean!?”
“You’re not a lizard or anything… What kind of trick is this?”
“It’s not a big deal. You can do it too if you really want.”
Said Olivia as she walked on the wall, until she was at Nick’s eye level.
“It’s not Light Body is it…”
Light Body was magic that changed one’s body weight, but no matter how light one’s moves were, it was impossible to stand still in such a position that completely threw off one’s balance. Even worse, Olivia was walking on the wall. Nick looked at her while wracking his brain trying to understand it.
“That will be your homework.”
Olivia then put her hand on Nick’s chest, and an intense force pierced through his body and sent him flying back.
“It’s the same technique I used on White Mask, but weaker. When you’re able to do this, you’ll be able to at least hold your own against someone like him. And don’t neglect your training of combat skills. That’s the basis of the basics of All Martial Arts.”
“Now go before we start drawing attention. I’ll be away for a while!”
Olivia said before she started running up the building. As she picked up speed, she vanished from Nick’s sight.
“Good grief! Jerking us around like that!”
“But you still bought her magazine.”
“The author’s personality and her work are two different things.”
“I’m jealous of how self-interested you can be.”
Nick and Bond stopped by a bookstore on the way home. The plan was for Nick to buy a magazine about idols and Bond one about the occult, and read them as they leisurely made their way home. A typical sight for a lazy day off.
“Still, evil god… I can’t even wrap my mind around it.”
“Naturally. It is not a being your age is very familiar with.”
“And to you, what is it?”
Bond placed his hand on his chin and started thinking.
“It is not easy to put into words… It is a detestable enemy and a terrifying being. It goes beyond hate and anger, and brings about dread much like a natural disaster.”
“That much…? That White Mask guy felt more vulgar.”
“Let me ask you this then. Are priests that serve gods clean and pure?”
“No way… But when you put it like that, do people like White Mask see that evil god as their god?”
“Well, it is a more familiar being than the four gods that are worshiped, but it is not too far off. Fighting such a thing is something to be taken seriously. Olivia talks about it a little too lightly,
An exasperated Bond shrugged his shoulders, which Nick thought was amusing.
“Are you talking about all that talk of being heroes that save the world?”
“It is my hope that you will fill that role, and I do intend to guide you all in that direction.”
“But those feelings have to come naturally. Fighting the evil god is not something that should be done because you were told to, or because you were promised money or a better lifestyle…
You need the appropriate spirit and motivation to accomplish something you would not normally be able to, otherwise your heart or body will break.”
“So you can’t just ask or order someone to do it?”
“That is not the kind of hero I am looking for. Perhaps the Sword of Evolution would be happy with that, but I am not.”
Bond shrugged with a half smile on his face.
“Someone with the drive to protect something is a hero. Making someone with nothing to protect, or nothing they want to protect, a hero is nothing short of torture.”
“In the first place, I am a weapon. A sword. I help the person holding me, I do not rule over them with my power.”
“You do complain a lot though.”
“I make demands and offer guidance. Kukuku, but I do my best not to lie and trick.”
Nick thought Bond’s very purposeful way of speaking was odd.
“You’re pretty talkative aren’t you?”
“Mu… Am I?”
“Don’t worry about it.”
Said Nick as he pat Bond on the head.
“There are also people like Leon, who strayed off the right path, and people like Nargava, who ended up on a path of no return.”
“They didn’t have anyone around to stop them. I’m sure it felt right to them. To be honest, it’s not like I don’t understand them.
A single guy like me can’t understand how hard it was for Nargava, but I can picture that sort of situation where you just want to keep running and not look back.”
“But that’s not going to happen to us. We have too much we want and want to do to just throw everything away and run wildly.
Ah, I just remembered something. There’s an all star concert next month, and they’re going to do a raffle for advance sale tickets, so I’m going to need your help standing in line.”
“Hobbies are important.”
“Yes… But I am still not fully convinced.”
“Everyone’s the same. Have fun. Don’t you think it’s good to want to go somewhere, eat something, or like a boy or a girl?”
“All I hear is you talking about satiating your appetite… But I supposed that suits you all better.”
Said Bond as he walked towards an employee with a magazine in hand and a smile on his face.