Authors: Fujino Omori
Tags: #Fiction, #Fantasy
. She’s on her feet. Her eyes fill with hope and happiness as she gazes at me. But everything I just said, word for word, came from Eina, not me. That hurts a bit, right in the conscience.
But my goddess is happy. That’s all that matters.
She’s the one who took me, a country boy dreaming about a harem and whatnot who almost got crushed because of it, by the hand and encouraged me. She is very important to me.
I want to help her any way I can.
That was the first promise I ever made to myself. I wanted to help her when we first met, and that’s not about to change.
“I was so lucky to meet someone like you! Now, for our future, let’s update your status!”
The goddess kicks her legs as she jumps up off the sofa. Her impossibly large boobs jiggle as she moves. I saw the bounce, yes, but I looked away. And now I’m smiling again, too. I really have to try harder to keep my eyes off her chest.
Other gods called her “Loli Big Boobs,” making fun of her otherworldly bust. But what the heck does “Loli” mean?
“Alrighty, off with the shirt and into bed like usual!”
I walk toward the bed as I unhook my light adventurer’s armor and pull off my undershirt. I look over my shoulder into the full-length mirror at the end of the room.
My topless, pale-skinned reflection with hair as white as Gramps’s looks back at me. What really stands out is a clump of black markings on the small of my back.
All of them were engraved into my skin by Hestia. She said it’s called “Falna,” and it’s the mark of a blessing from a god or goddess.
“Lie down, lie down.”
I do as I’m told and crawl onto the bed.
As soon as my stomach hits the sheets, the goddess jumps on top of me and uses my butt as her own personal chair.
“You said earlier that you almost died today. What happened?”
“It’s a long story, but…”
She rubs my back as I talk. Going over the same spot once, twice, many times, she relaxes my skin.
… The goddess pulls out a long needle.
I look over my shoulder in time to see her prick her own finger with it. A drop of her blood falls onto my back.
The red drop literally sends waves through my body as it sinks in.
“You went into the deeper levels of the Dungeon… to meet girls? What strange fantasies are going through your head? There’s no way the ideal virgin you have in mind is going to be in such a dangerous place, now is there?”
“V-virgin??? B-but anyway, it’s not like that’s what I want! I have morals! Did you know that an elf won’t even touch someone who doesn’t meet their standards?”
“No need to get worked up. Yes, I know about the elves. But there are also groups like the Amazons. They want to have strong children so badly that women give themselves to men just because of their strength. I think you’re going to wear yourself out, that’s all.”
She looks down at me with an all-knowing glance after bringing that up. Meanwhile, she’s kneading the spot on my back where the
blood had landed, working down slowly from the left. She changes the markings.
These markings on my back are my status, my Falna.
A person’s abilities rise when a god’s blood is used to write hieroglyphs on their body. Only gods have this power.
There is also a thing called “excelia.” Simply put, excelia is experience.
Of course, it isn’t something that can be seen or used by “children” in any way. But it tells what path an individual has walked up to that point. Gods can read a person’s history in excelia. They will know if by some miracle you slew a monster, for example. Excelia also fuels a person’s growth through a blessing.
Everything you have accomplished, both the quality and amount, shows up in excelia.
The gods can see what you have done, your life story. Kind of like a big sign that says, “Has completed such difficult feats as: slaying a monster, etc.” Seems like something the ancients would do, if you ask me.
Gods update the hieroglyphs on their
’s members’ backs to match that person’s excelia. To put it another way: level up!
Gods and goddesses use this power to make their “children” stronger.
“And anyway, Aiz Wallenstein, was it? If she really is that pretty and insanely powerful, other men won’t leave her alone. She’s bound to have a few favorites by now.”
“Do you really think so…?”
“Yep. Listen up, Bell. This is a crush; you’ll get over it. You should move on and focus more on the girls around you. I am a hundred percent sure that there is a beautiful lady who will accept, hold, and support you in your life right now.”
Great, now I’m tearing up again. I don’t want to think about it. And she’s bashing Ms. Wallenstein. Why is she in such a bad mood? Did I step on a mine or something?
She keeps saying “someone closer to you,” but there aren’t any women other than her and Eina in my life right now. Eina is my
boss. Like hell she’d be interested in me. And then the goddess… Yeah, right. We’ve known each other for two weeks! And she’s a
Goddess, life is not that easy. Eina told me that, too.
“Besides, the girl Ms. Wallensomething is in
. You couldn’t marry her anyway.”
The final blow, right through the heart.
People almost always marry someone of the opposite gender who’s either in the same
or not in one at all. If two people from different
marry, which group do the kids belong to?
There are other reasons, too, but the important thing is that so many issues get in the way that people avoid inter-
relationships. Then there are the gods themselves. They may have come here for entertainment, but they take their
Also, not all of the gods are friends. If two of them are fighting, members of their
are instantly enemies. Members of each
don’t want to put their allies in danger.
Eina said it first. It would be difficult for me, the only member of
, to have a relationship with Ms. Wallenstein, a member of
“All done! And just forget about that girl and keep your eyes open. You will find someone as long as you keep looking closer to home!”
“You’re cruel, Goddess…”
No, I’m not giving up. I can’t give up without even trying!
We just met. There’s no telling what will happen.
I get out of the bed and pull on some normal clothes while trying to rebuild my confidence. The goddess reaches for a piece of paper to write down my new status. I can’t read the hieroglyphs myself; no one can. So the gods learned a bit of our written language to help us out.
Even if I could read their hieroglyphs, they’re on my back. Who could read something written there?
“Here, your new status.”
I take the paper from her lightly outstretched hand.
Strength: I-77 → I-82 Defense: I-13 Utility: I-93 → I-96
Agility: H-148 → H-172 Magic: I-0
This is the Falna on my back, my status.
There are five basic abilities: strength, defense, utility, agility, and magic. Each ability has one of ten ranks—S, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, and I—within each level. S is the strongest.
is the weakest… The number next to the rank shows our exact ability level: 0 to 99 is the
range, 100 to 199 is
, and so on. 999 is the absolute maximum. It gets harder to get points as we get stronger, or so I am told.
Level is the most important statistic in a status. Every one of the basic abilities gets a major boost when the level goes up. It wouldn’t be that much of a stretch to say a person evolves when they level up. There is a huge difference between Level One and Level Two.
Level Two is much,
The goddess calls it ranking up.
Let’s see… My “Strength,” “Utility,” and “Agility” went up this time… Wait a sec, what’s up with my “Agility”?! I went from H-148 to H-172! Up 24 points from yesterday?!
It must be because I got chased around for who knows how long by the Minotaur.
The excelia system is pretty simple. A person gains experience when they use a basic skill. For example, to gain Defense, I would
have to actually get hit by a monster in battle. But all I do is run and dodge, so my Defense almost never goes up.
Eina told me that armor and some weapons raise Defense just by equipping them, but I just run away, so what’s the point? Damn, this is embarrassing.
“Um, Goddess? When do you think I’ll be able to use magic?”
“Even I don’t know that. I hear people who can use magic have high intelligence in their excelia… You don’t read much, though, do you, Bell?”
Magic has to be the first thing people look forward to when they get a blessing.
Before the gods came to Gekai, only a few races could use very limited magic. But now that the gods give out blessings, anyone can learn to use it as long as they’re in a
A person can use up to three different kinds of magic. But knowing only one magic is pretty common. I’ve been told that adventurers who know two kinds of magic become anchors of their team.
Magic is that important. There’s a legend that long ago, an elf used wind magic to slice and dice one hundred humans. Magic is the ultimate trump card that can turn the tables in any situation.
Who could defeat someone who can cast “Sea of Flames” with only a sword? I know I can’t.
There is only one magic slot in my status. I guess that means I can only learn one… eh?
“Goddess, there seems to be something in my Skill slot. It looks like something was erased…”
“Hmm… Oh! Some ink got on my hand, and it got smudged. It’s still open like normal, don’t worry.”
“Just my luck…”
I won’t lie; I got my hopes up a bit.
Skills are completely separate from basic abilities. When activated, they either have an effect on battle or on the user’s body itself.
If the status shows improvement in ability, then skills are like a beneficial chemical reaction that tacks on something extra.
Skills may not be as flashy as magic, but they don’t cost as much to use… Though they do cost something…
I glance over my updated status one last time and look up at the clock on the wall. Then I turn to the goddess.
“Goddess, it’s already evening. Shall I get dinner ready? I know we’re going to have a potato snack party, but that won’t be enough to fill us up, right?”
“Sure, I’ll leave it to you, Bell.”
I turn from the goddess’s cute smile and go to the kitchen. I can only cook really easy stuff, but yeah. Eina told me I need to think more about money. I’ll start focusing on that. I should try to save as much as possible from now on.
I can feel the goddess staring at my back, but I have some ideas on how to rework my contract. Maybe I can get more money that way!
Hestia gave Bell a send-off to the kitchen as if she were seeing him off to war. Once he was there, she let out a quiet but heavy sigh.
She picked up his status sheet from the bed and compared it to the one written on his back.
Children change so fast… Completely different from us.
Even the slightest thing could change them and spread quickly.
It wasn’t desire or culture that defined the people of Gekai. Change did.
I hate this! He changed because of her, and it isn’t fair! I won’t accept it!
She held her head between her hands, scratching back and forth.
She took another look at Bell’s back.
Specifically, she looked at his Skill slot.
Strength: I-77 → I-82 Defense: I-13 Utility: I-93 → I-96
Agility H-148 → H-172 Magic: I-0
Continued desire results in continued growth
Stronger desire results in stronger growth
It was she who had found promising excelia and written that skill into him with her own hands. She regretted it more than anything.