“Netorare…” I let the words out in surprise as I saw her standing there for the first time looking genuinely angry.
The god, Cuckold, stared at her through his mask silently, watching her with interest. As for Mr. Fukumi, his eyes widened at the sudden appearance of another god, but then he smiled, retracting his hand casually.
“So, you must be one of the goddess sisters I’ve heard about. Cuckold has told me about you. He also mentions how you’ve shunned him all these years. He just… wants you to let him in. Is that so much? He is your close kin, after all.”
“Yet, he still won’t speak for himself?” Netorare sneered and then turned to me. “Cuckold is a coward. Don’t let their soft demeanor fool you, these guys are pushovers. You don’t want to work with anyone Cuckold chooses. It will only end badly. Let’s go, Hakaru.”
“Ah…” I looked at Mr. Fukumi one last time. “You really… won’t help your daughter?”
Mr. Fukumi put on a sad smile. “Only you can save my daughter, and I’ll just keep on watching. Help me, or don’t help me. You’re still going to have my wife. You’re still going to fight for my daughter. Points will come to me one way or another. Just think about it. I can passively earn points off you, or I can be the one used by you, and help you achieve your goals.”
“Come on, Hakaru!” Netorare grabbed my hand and pulled.
Mr. Fukumi didn’t stop me as I was dragged out the door. Soon, I was walking down the hallway with Netorare holding my hand. It was a little strange. She was wearing the school uniform, so it was likely she could be seen right now by other people. She was being seen with me, and anyone who saw us might think we were dating. After finding a spot free of people, she stopped and spun back to me.
“Hakaru, Cuckold isn’t really my brother. He’s just another god like my sisters and I. He wants to latch cuckoldry onto our great name, and use us for his own success. He’s a parasite. The man he chose is no better. They won’t propel you to greatness, they’ll hold you back.”
I scratched my head, “I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m not really sure I understand the difference between Cuckold and NTR anyway. You’re Netorare. Aren’t you just like Cuckold?”
Netorare gritted her teeth irritably, reaching out and pinching my arm while glaring at me. “How dare you compare me to that man!”
“S-sorry.” I shook my head. “Rather, it’s just that you two are often spoken of together!”
“Tsk!” She finally let go of my arm so I could rub it while wincing. “I am the goddess Netorare. I am the goddess of being cheated on and losing another. Netori is my counter, she believes in theft and taking what you want. Netorase is our balance, she believes in sharing. Our champions will reflect who we are. For example, I chose Jack because he was a boy who understood loss. He lost his mother when he was young, and came from a broken home. He wanted to take because he had suffered so much loss. Do you understand?”
I frowned. “I’m not sure. What is cuckoldry then?”
“Cuckold is giving up. It’s changing your world view to fetishize failure. It’s about losing everything, and pretending you like it! Just because I represent having someone taken away doesn’t mean I don’t want their company!” Netorare declared passionately. “Don’t you understand? I am an essential part of relationships. I allow those who wish to find someone better suited for them to do so. I allow those who fail to learn from the experience and become better.
“When it comes to Cuckold, there is no improvement. There is no better. You give up, and convince yourself that the pain you’re experiencing is actually something you enjoy. It’s the ultimate coward’s path!” As Netorare spoke, the disdain and disgust in her voice were readily apparent.
I had never thought about it all that much, but Netorare had a point. She may be the goddess of loss, but that also put a certain degree of sadness in her aura. I had always wondered why she picked a guy like Jack. In fact, Netori had picked a guy like me, who seemed like the last guy who personified stealing women. Picking a champion has to come down to something a bit more than your past. Maybe it was your driving force. Jack was all about making cheaters of every girl he met, whereas I preferred to play for keeps. Meanwhile, Mr. Fukumi was happy scrapping out what little points he could by apathy.
There was one major thing to take away from that meeting. Mr. Fukumi was not the one who was doing this to Kira. There was another who was keeping the vice-principal under his thumb. Would that be the coach? Was he also playing the game?
With those thoughts, the sight of seeing Kira like that came flooding back into me. My heart sank, and I felt a massive feeling of loss. Perhaps, it was because I was next to the embodiment of loss herself, but I suddenly felt an extreme connection with her. Seeing Kira like that, it had to be a kind of feeling which Netorase must have put up with all the time.
Suddenly, it all seemed to click in place. I looked at Netorare with new eyes. It started to make sense to me. How had I been so foolish all of this time?
“What’s with that look?” Netorare suddenly grew startled.
“Netorare…” I sighed, pulling her hand which was still absently holding my own and then hugging her tightly. “You’re mine now.”
“Wh-wh-wh-what are you on about!” Her entire face turned red as I held her tightly.
“Whatever losses you’ve had before. Whatever happens in the future, I absolutely won’t allow you to be lost. I’m Netori’s champion, but I’m yours as well, Okay? I won’t turn to Cuckhold. I’ve decided. I’m going to build a harem.”
Netorare jerked for a second, but then she looked at me with eyes as if she had never seen me before. “R-really?”
“I’m only one man. For a time, it felt odd to be with more women. I kept telling myself one more was enough. If I had Maria, then I wouldn’t need Akiko. If I had them, then I didn’t need Kira. I wanted to steal the girls, but I was afraid of loss. I don’t know why, but suddenly it doesn’t feel so scary anymore.”
“Y-you can still lose everything.” She whispered against my shoulder.
“Then I will take it back!” I said, shaking my head. “I get it now. You said it yourself. Netorare, loss, is about learning from your mistakes and growing. If I’m better than any other man, then I would never need to experience loss.”
“Hakaru…” She said breathily, her eyes starting to brighten for the first time since I had met her.
“I was just like Mr. Fukumi. I was just like Cuckold, right? I was settling to keep me happy. Saying I was just happy with Akiko or happy with Maria… or that I didn’t need to keep getting stronger. It was just another form of cowardice! Deep down, deep inside, I was scared of losing. I was scared of you!”
“Ah!” She made a surprised noise.
“That’s why Netori was pushing us together. She understood the lesson you could teach me. It just took seeing Cuckold… receiving that offer… until I truly understood what I must do.”
I grabbed Netorare tightly and smiled. “I’m going to win. This isn’t a game where you can take what you want and then leave peacefully. It’s all or nothing, and I’m in it for everything!”
Netorare broke into a smile, a subtle look of wonderment in her eyes. “You really do get it. Netori was right… maybe you can…”
Her voice drifted off, but she wasn’t pushing away from me. Rather, a smile floated on her face and she put her head on my chest, her soft hair pushing against me and a pleasing godly aroma drifting from her feminine body. I was reminded that this was a goddess after all. More than that, she looked just like Netori, a beauty I hadn’t touched since our first time together. I had slept with her once, but it had been somewhat rough and desperate. The thought of having Netorare in a more intimate encounter caused me to grow aroused.
“You know… you mentioned back there that I was your man.”
“Wh-what!” Her voice came out high pitched. “Th-that… I misspoke. I meant champion, you’re my champion.”
As she said this, she held me tighter, her eyes refusing to meet mine. I eventually reached out and grabbed her chin, forcing her to look up. The goddess didn’t resist at all. Her face was rosy with embarrassment, and it looked impossibly cute. Finally, her eyes looked at mine. They held a tinge of fear and confusion, but also of want and desire.
“I’ll be your man, as long as you accept there will be other girls who may steal my time.”
“I’m Netorare…” she said with watery eyes. “I’d be angry if I didn’t have to fight for your time.”
Our lips met, and we started to kiss. She tasted cool and sweet. Her lips were warm and plump, and her body was the perfect feel to it. Her small tongue darted out into my mouth, and I realized quickly that a goddess was a really good kisser. While Netori wanted me to learn some lessons from Netorare, perhaps becoming a better lover was also part of it. I was eager to allow Netorare to start teaching me at that moment.
“Ahem…” Someone cleared their throat behind us as we made out.
I pulled away and looked back and then made a noise. “Ah, Eiko?”
Eiko, my ex-girlfriend and the school slut, was standing behind the pair of us as we made out. Netorare used the excuse to pull away. She immediately straightened her outfit, even though her cheeks were still red.
“I’ll be going then.” Netorare turned and fled before I could stop her.
The second she turned the corner; I could no longer hear her footsteps. I was certain she had dissipated as soon as she was out of sight.
“Tonight…” I whispered under my breath as I turned to Eiko.
Somehow, I had a feeling that Netorare heard me. I felt a sense of anticipation in the air, or maybe it was just me. I finally turned to Eiko. I wasn’t excited to see her in the slightest. In fact, I wore a frown on my face. I still had a lot of resentment when it came to her. I may pity her, but that wasn’t anything close to caring about her.
“Hakaru…” She said, crossing her arms, an uncomfortable expression on her face. “This last weekend, I remember parts… you brought me home.”
I nodded shortly.
“I don’t know what you were doing in a place like that. It’s not suited for you.” She said.
“I had a friend I was trying to save. I thought you were them. It was simply that.”
Eiko nodded. “You’re speaking of Kira, aren’t you?”
I paused for a second, but not seeing any reason to lie, I nodded my head. “Yeah. It’s her.”
Eiko remained silent for a second, looking like she wanted to say something but was resisting. Eventually she just gritted her teeth and shot me a look.
“I… owe you for what you did. So, if you ever need a favor let me know. Also some advice. You need to stay out of it. This entire school… it’s… wrong.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Let’s just say… the corruption goes all the way to the top.” She said. “I won’t pretend I’m an angel. I have… a sex addiction. It’s why I left you. However, it’s also why I know there are a lot of people here who will take advantage of that…. And I’m not talking about students.”
“What are you saying? I asked, lowering my eyes.
“I’m saying, stop showing interest in Kira. She’s in a situation just like me. I’ve had boyfriends in the past who tried to bail me out, only to end up expelled, in prison, or worse. You won’t be able to save her. Just let sluts like us find whatever enjoyment we can out of it.”
Her words suddenly felt like Mr. Fukumi’s defense so much. In a way, Eiko was a coward too. She just fled, using sex as her means of retreat. She said it goes to the top. Wouldn’t that be the principal? The superintendent? The school board?
“Are you happy?” I asked instead.
Eiko blinked, and then lowered her head. “Of course… I’m not happy.”
“Then… neither is Kira.” I responded, shaking my head. “I’m bringing it down. I’m bringing it all down.”
“You…” Her eyes widened as if she was staring at a complete stranger. “Who are you?”
“Just watch…” I chuckled. “I’m the man who is going to take everything.”