I was sitting at the computer naked in my room, filling out an application and email to the dean of Riphorn All-girls school. I considered changing my name to bypass the opportunity of Matt cockblocking me, but in the end, I worried there would be follow-up checks that would eventually disqualify me if I tried to get away with that kind of stuff. Thus, I did the application properly. It was night outside and other than the computer screen, there was no light in the room.
Akiko snorted before her breathing evened out and she returned to her deep sleep. She was lying on my bed, naked. The sheets were stained with sex and the room smelled a bit. It was certainly a situation I never would have seen myself in just a few months ago. If the me back then said I would be lying with my girlfriend like this now, I would have thought I was crazy. However, time had changed everything, including how I felt about Akiko. There was a time where she was everything that I wanted. Now, I wanted more.
I clicked send on my email and leaned back. It was done. The period of acceptance was actually quite small. It’d only be a week before we were introduced to the new school, and the entire event only took place for two months ending in December. Furthermore, our school should be back up and open in January, so it was a perfect timewaster while classes were out. As I was contemplating what I’d do next, a familiar feeling struck me.
“Netori, what do you want?” I asked.
A moment later, that feeling coalesced into the goddess herself. She was no longer dressed as a bored high school girl. Instead, she was back to the goddess I had come to know. A dark, contemplative, and mischievous woman who at times seemed like she had everything worked out and other times appeared to be winging it all. I glanced over at her apathetically. She was floating in the air, her hair hanging down past her shoulders like a dark waterfall.
“I didn’t make my presence known. How did you know I was here?” She asked suspiciously.
Of course, the answer was simply that I felt it, but I didn’t know how to voice that to Netori. Maybe, it was because of what Netorare did that I could do this now, or maybe I had just gotten used to the feel of her watching me. I didn’t really know. Instead, I decided to shrug with a deliberate non-answer.
“Netori, you came here for a reason…”
“Hakaru… you’re doing… good.”
I cocked my head, “Good?”
I rarely ever saw Netori look uncertain with herself. Her typically cocky manner had diminished somewhat.
“I’m sorry I’ve been distant of late, Hakaru. It has nothing to do with you.”
I finally broke away from my computer and turned around, crossing my arms. If she was finally opening up to me, I’d at least give her my entire attention. Lately, it seemed like I was more aggravated with her than enamored with her. Perhaps that was part of having a relationship too. If wanting a goddess was easy, then everyone would be dating one.
“Do you care to explain?”
Hakaru grimaced. “You defeated my sister, Netorare, and she has now devoted herself to you. Cuck has also left. I’ve heard a few others have been defeated as well. As for Netorase, although she remains elusive, I have it on good authority that she may come around once she’s finished with Kira. Suddenly, these plans I made have become all too real.”
“I suppose you have been planning this for a few years.”
Netori snorted. “A few years? No… I’ve been planning all of this for far longer than that. You could say that I have planned for this ever since the fall.”
The fall was likely what she called the point in which she broke up with the other two sisters. Netorare was more open to talking about this stuff. To find Netori in a moment like this where she was willing to speak of these things was especially rare. Of course, I wanted to take advantage of it immediately. I leaned forward and licked my lips.
“Why did you fall?” I asked the question I had been wondering the most since the beginning.
Netori jerked, and for a second the look on her face made me think she’d run away again. However, she remained in sight, taking a deep breath, even though there was a distant look of pain in her eyes as she recalled something unpleasant.
“Gods and goddesses aren’t like mortals, Hakaru. We live in the heavenly world, and many think that we rule the human world. As I am the goddess of NTR, then I am, in some way, responsible for NTR. You might think that I created it, that I’m responsible for it. Every time a man or woman cheats, you could lay that blame at me and my sister’s feet. This mortal way of thinking… is wrong.
“You see… we are simply a reflection of the mortal world. I am the embodiment of NTR because humans cheat. If they did not, I would not continue to exist. Likewise, my life coincides with the life of human beings. It is that way for every god and goddess.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Well, for example, a God of War might be strongest during Wars, but weakest during peacetime.”
“Wouldn’t that mean a God of War might be willing to start some wars in order to gain power?”
She smiled and shook her head. “Gods and Goddesses are typically forbidden from interacting in the world in that way. While yes, there are some ways to affect the world, such as when I made you my champion, a God of War couldn’t just cause a war. He might be able to use a Champion who went on to push for war, but it’s limited to the capability of that champion to spread his god’s will.
“Some think it’s about worship, and there are certain Gods who gain strength through worship. However, for most of us, it isn’t important to be worshiped. It’s important for a god to be practiced. The more people exhibit our will, the more powerful we become.”
“So, Hideko Tojo?”
“Of course, a Japanese might ask about him. Usually, the question is, was Hitler the champion of a war god?” Netori asked, slightly bemused. “That’s one of the most commonly asked questions, you know.”
I blushed, “I was just curious.”
“Who knows?” She shrugged. “It’s not like Gods and Goddesses need to report every action they take to each other. It very well could have been a god who influenced those men and called them to War. Or it could have been some other God. A god of conquest, or a god of genocide… perhaps even a unity of the gods?
Netori sighed. “I might as well tell you this much. Gods and Goddesses are the wills of the people, but heaven and earth are mirror images of each other. While what I said was true, the more people practice the will of a god, the stronger that god becomes, the opposite could be said to be equally true, the stronger a god becomes the more will they can exude over others. I actually couldn’t tell you which is true. Is it the chicken or the egg?
“That mirror image is also reflected in our relationships. Every will is a singular desire, but the reality is much more complex. Gods and Goddesses possess a unity between them, a wave of interconnected relationships which govern how we affect the world… or how the world affects us.”
“Like Cuckhold being your brother?”
She nodded. “Like Cuckhold… he wishes to support NTR, but he’s already so fetishized that allowing ourselves to grow closer to him would only weaken and fetishize ourselves. Our relationship with cuckold is reflected in the mortal world’s interpretation of Cuckholdry versus NTR. It is that kind of thing.”
I shook my head in confusion. “But what does all of this have to do with your fall?”
“Everything!” She sighed sadly. “My unity was strongest with a particular God. You could call him a boyfriend… or a lover, but he was more than that. Our destinies and desires were linked. We were together, and we needed each other to function.”
“He cheated?” I offered.
She rolled her eyes and chuckled. “Of course, he cheated! Why would I have it any other way? Of course, I suppressed my own nature as long as I could steal his heart back from any wench who thought she could have him, I was happy. Naturally, Netorase and Netorare were much stronger parts of my personality back then. No… what happened was something far worse…”
“He abandoned me. There was a woman… the Goddess of Matrimony. She forced him into a marriage with her, and declared that he could have no other women!” A flash of anger appeared in Netori’s eyes. “It was in his nature! He had to have other women! She denied him of that, and worst of all, he allowed it! He not only rejected me! He rejected himself! He caused the current state of things. The obsession with marriage. The monogamy of relationships! She is to blame for all of this!”
“So, you fell?” I asked.
She put on a bitter expression. “Not at first. However, Matrimony was always jealous of me. She made sure to use his name to give me a bad wrap. Eventually, I fell from grace. She borrowed his power at first, but as she grew stronger and I weaker, she eventually didn’t have to. She colluded with religious gods and morality gods and had me turned into a sin. Eventually, my nature was divided, and I broke into my three forms. The age of NTR had truly died.”
After she finished her story, silence dwindled for several moments. I was lost in thought, trying to wrap my head around what she was talking about. Of course, there was a time before monogamy was a thing. This predated most religions though. For some reason, in my mind, this fall always felt like something that happened a few years ago, like within my lifetime. When they said a long time ago, they meant it. Her fall appeared to be in the BCs. It might even predate the written word. I knew she was a goddess, but it was the first time I realized how old she really was.
“Enough of that talk.” Netori tried to force a mischievous smile on her face, wiping her red eyes even though they hadn’t quite come to tears. “Let’s talk about you. The reason I’ve shown up is because you’re at Level 5 now.”
“Netori…” I broke in before she continued on. “Before we get into that, I just have one more question.”
Breaking into my 5th level was exciting, but there was definitely something else I had been considering and I really was hoping for an answer. For some reason, it felt like the most important question I could ask at the moment. Deep down, I felt like the answer was tied to fate in some strange way.
“What is that?” Netori asked, raising an eyebrow.
“This God… the one who ended up abandoning you and binding with Matrimony… who is he? What is he the God of… I mean… what was his will?”
Netori looked at me blankly and then chuckled softly.
“That’s a secret!” She winked.
Although it was clear to me that she wouldn’t reveal the answer even if I kept asking, there was a feeling deep down that the answer to that question was very important for my future. An uneasiness seeped into me. At that exact moment, there was a beep on my computer. I glanced at it and made a noise of surprise.
“What is it?” Netori asked.
“It’s… 1 in the morning right now…” I muttered in disbelief. “Just how much time do they have on their hands.”
“Huh? What do you mean?”
The email I had just sent out less than fifteen minutes ago had already gotten a response. I had been accepted into the Riphorn boy/girls collaborative feminism coarse. For some reason, my unease only increased.