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The remainder of the class was actually somewhat normal. She explained the history of women’s contributions and spoke a bit about morality and such. When we were finally done for the day, I felt a headache coming on. I dodged Tiana, not really wanting to deal with her after class was over. I ended up heading into town where I ended up at a café shop drinking coffee.

Feeling a little worried, I pulled out my cellphone and dialed my home phone number. I felt a bit of strangeness calling my Mother. The last time I had seen her, we had done some things a son and his mother shouldn’t do. Even now, thinking about it caused my heart to race and a strange feeling to spread through me.

“Hello?” She was the one who picked up the phone.

I wasn’t surprised. Maria would never pick up the phone. She had her own cellphone anyway.

“Hey, Mom. It’s Hakaru.”

“Hakaru?” Mom sounded sleepy like she couldn’t even remember my name. “Right… my baby… how are you doing?”

“Are you alright? You sound a little off.”

“Oh… don’t worry about it. I just haven’t been getting a lot of sleep lately… your father…”

“What about him?” I couldn’t keep some scorn and anger out of my voice.

“He got home yesterday. Since the accident, he’s managed to get out of work for a while. Naturally, with him home all the time, it’s been exhausting… I’ve even had to take off work myself.”

I could imagine. Father had always been a demanding guy. He probably had mom running around everywhere, opening his beers for him and fluffing his pillow.  

“I’m sorry… this is my fault.” I sighed.

“No… Hakaru… never think that. You’re my precious boy. I love you so much.”

“I love you too, mom,” I said, and then after thinking about it for a moment. “Is dad… does he remember?”

“Remember? No, your father doesn’t appear to remember.” She responded after a moment. “A-ah!”

“Mom?” I stood up as I heard her sudden gasp.

“N-nothing… Hakaru… I’ll call you back. I just dropped something is all. Your mother is a klutz.”

“Okay…”

“Please… come back to me.” She said suddenly. “Pl-“

The phone suddenly cut out. Frowning, I redialed the phone. This time, I called Maria.

“Brother?” She asked when she picked up the phone.

“Are you home?”

“Mm…”

“Can you check if Mom’s okay? She made a weird noise and the phone suddenly hung up.”

“Mother’s fine!” She said abruptly.

“Maria… you couldn’t have checked. There was no time.” I said, a strange sinking feeling appearing in my gut.

“Don’t be silly, Brother, I’m looking right at mother. She’s very healthy.”

“Ah… okay.” I responded, feeling like her voice is off.

“Is there anything else?” She asked.

“I missed you…”

“Hehe… don’t be silly. Even if I’m glad to hear it.”

“If there was something happening over there, you’d tell me, right?”

“Hah? What’s this about, I think it is Brother who is acting strange.”

“Yeah… maybe. Look, I got to go.”

“Mmhmm… bye, brother!” The phone clicked.

It felt like she was rushed, wanting to get me off the phone throughout the entire conversation. A feeling of discomfort and dread spread through me. Before I realized it, I was walking back to the train station. Even if I ended missing some school, the only way I could ease my heart was to find out if there was anything wrong at home. Maybe it was just me. From playing this game, I had become extremely paranoid when it came to these kinds of things. Something about the way my mother and Maria spoke though, it seemed off. When I reached the platform, I went to buy a ticket.

“Identification please.” The ticket master asked.

I showed him my ID. He handed it back to me and shook his head.

“Sorry, kid, I can’t sell you one.”

I blinked. “I’m sorry?”

“You’re going to that nearby academy, right? The one that recently went coed?”

“Yeah, something like that.” I frowned.

“Well, the Principal said that she had some students that were flight risks. She gave us a list a few days ago. You won’t be able to get a ticket. I wouldn’t bother with a taxi service either. She said to tell whoever tried to leave that you can’t leave until the experiment is over.”

My mouth fell open and I found it difficult to speak. That Principal Vienna really did think of everything. She completely isolated us from our families. What kind of conspiracy was this? I decided not to try to argue with the man anymore. Instead, I turned and left the station. Once I got out the door, I picked up my phone and dialed another number.

“I’ve missed you.” A pouty voice came over the phone. “I wanted to smell you, and I’m not even allowed that much. Hakaru is so cruel.”

I let out a breath. Akiko was the same girl she always was. I had worried that whatever had happened affected everyone. Actually, it was probably more worrisome that it was within my home. That’s because I could guess the cause. As to what that meant, I didn’t know.

“Akiko, I need you to do something for me… wait… what did you mean by saying you wanted to smell me?” I tried to cut straight to the chase, but Akiko went and said a strange thing again so I couldn’t help but address it.

“Only call me when you want something, typical!” She sniffed. “Ah… but why are you asking? You’re the one who said I couldn’t enter your home when you were gone? I tried to come roll around in your bed and perhaps smell your underwear and then your father answered the door and said you told him that I wasn’t allowed in since you were gone!”

I could only shake my head as she so blatantly spoke of sniffing my underwear. She could be so gross sometimes. However, then she said the second part, and that sense of dread started to build inside me again.

“Father said that?” I demanded forcefully.

“Y-yeah? Why, what’s going on?”

“Akiko… do me a favor.”

“I’d do anything for you, Hakaru. You know that.”

“Just… stay away from my house. Stay away from my father. Let Sasori note that too. I’ll handle this when I get home!”

“Ah… o-okay… is this about the game?”

“I don’t know…” I admitted. “However, I’m going to find out.”

“Then… shouldn’t I do surveillance? I can definitely help!”

“No!” I said. “Whatever is happening, I don’t want you to be hurt too.”

“Hakaru…” Her voice suddenly trembled for a second. “That’s so sweet.”

“Shut up! For that, you can’t touch yourself until I come home!”

“What!? So cruel! B-but…”

I hung up on her angrily, although the truth was I wasn’t angry at her. Rather, I was angry at my own helplessness. I stood there for a moment, taking deep breaths until I calmed myself down. Putting the phone away, I looked over my shoulder.

“Netori…”

“Yes… Hakaru…” Netori suddenly appeared exactly where I was looking.

“Be honest with me. No bullshit. My points…”

“They’re not increasing,” Netori explained. “No woman who is yours is cheating on you.”

I let out a breath of relief. I didn’t think Netori would lie to me about something like this. She had always been honest and open about such things.

“What’s going on at home?” I asked.

“I don’t know…” She responded.

I spun, anger forming on my face. “What do you mean, you don’t know?”

However, as soon as I saw her expression, my anger subsided. She looked extremely worried, and even slightly angry.

“Some god or goddess is blocking me. I can’t tell what is happening at your home, nor can I travel to it. I am just as shocked as you are. The only thing I can say for certain is that your points aren’t increasing. That means that Maria is not cheating on you.”

“And my mother?”

“She has a god’s blessing. She also shouldn’t be able to be affected by any unfair skills. She’ll be able to take care of herself.”

“That’s not what I am asking. Is Mother… is she…”

“Your Mother and your relationship aren’t to the extent where you’d get points if she slept around. She isn’t your woman…”

“You…”

“All I’m saying is that I don’t know. Someone is not simply screwing with you, but me as well. I don’t like to be screwed with!” Her expression was quite angry.

“Is my father a champion… or… a vessel?”

“I don’t know…” She responded with a sigh, “I really don’t know.”

I could tell by the tone of her voice she was being genuine. This wasn’t a situation where Netori was playing coy and trying to screw with me. She was just as frustrated as I was by the situation. Her acting that way actually made me feel a little better.

“Then, can you take me home?” I asked hopefully.

“What? You mean… like, fly you home?” She asked, her mouth twitching in an amused smile.

“Yes? Agh… I don’t know. Can’t you teleport? Netorase did it once. She sent me out of Kira’s house and to the street.”

“Expelling someone from a home is considerably different than teleporting a mortal across sixty miles of distance. I don’t have the power to do such a thing for mortals.”

“Tsk…” I made an annoyed noise with my tongue. “So what? I just have to wait until I get home?”

I had expected that answer, but I didn’t have to be happy about it.

“You must do what you came here to do, Hakaru. You must become stronger.”

“…”

“Hakaru…” She reached her arms out and wrapped them around me. “We will win.”

It was rare that she touched me, but for once I could feel her. She possessed a warmth and softness that conflicted with her usual ghostlike, floaty appearance.

“Netori…”

“No matter what happens. I’ll always be by your side.” She said gently. “Together, we will take everything. I swear it.”

I turned to find my lips only a few centimeters from her own. We kissed, gently at first, but then that kiss grew stronger and stronger. My hands reached out and grabbed onto her flesh. With that kiss, it was like a fire erupted inside me, and I pushed her down on the bench.

“Hakaru… we can’t…” She moaned, even while her hands held onto my body. “If we do this now… you’ll lose me.”

I froze stopping all of my actions. Netori was panting, looking up at me with affection.

“You must take my sister first. Then… then you can…” Her face started to turn red. “You know…”

I let out a laugh. Netori looked so adorable under me, that all the pressure and fear seemed to be relieved in an instant. I kissed her nose and then got up off of her.

“Y-you asshole!” She cursed. “Are you laughing at me!”

“Haha… you’re just so cute. How can I not want to push you down?”

“Hmph!” She floated away, “if you have time to tease this great goddess, then you have time to win that competition with my sister.”

“The competition?” I blinked.

“Didn’t she already say it? A goddess’s promise is her life. Netorase is yours if you beat the principal. If you beat the principal, you get my sister. If you get my sister, then you get… m-me…” She blushed, turning away. “Get to it!”

The last words were said from an empty space where she had disappeared from. I was alone, sitting on a bench in front of the train station. A few people were giving me looks. Netori had only been visible to me, even as I pushed her down. It probably looked weird to see me tonguing the air.

However, I didn’t feel the least bit embarrassed. I felt completely energized now. That was right. I had to win. I had two months, and then the goddesses would be mine. Getting up from my seat and dusting myself off, I quickly made my way to the dorms.

When I reached my room, I noticed a hat on the doorknob. I pulled it off and tossed it aside before barging into the room. As soon as I took one step into my room, my eyes locked on the scene there. I was completely shocked.

“Ahn… Ahn… Rose… harder!” She moaned.

Kira’s body was on her bed, completely naked, with another woman who was just as naked. They were in a crab-like position, but opposite of each other, and they were rubbing their genitals against each other aggressively. When the other woman turned to look at me with an expression that was just as surprised, I realized I recognized who she was. It was the redheaded girl from the class we were just attending. She was the very girl I had planned to seduce.

In short, Rose was fucking my target! I had only been gone for two hours since class, and she had already moved in and seduced this girl, turning her into a raging, horny lesbian! The girl let out a cry and then desperately tried to cover herself. As for Rose, she looked over at me and then stuck out her tongue. It was clearly an act of defiance. I had told her that I would seduce all the women and steal them. Now, Netorase stuck it to me by literally fucking the first girl I had glanced at. This was a declaration of war!

My eyes narrowed. It was time to start playing hard. I couldn’t let my own doubts hold me back any longer. I had to win because I could no longer afford to lose. It was becoming time where I had to take it all, or I would lose everything!

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