The numbness through my body decreased a little at a time. My awareness only started to return after what felt like an eternity. The first sound I heard was my own mouth letting out a low groan. Ever so slowly, I regained sensations. When my sight returned, I was initially blinded by a white light, but after some squinting, I was finally able to get a handle on the infinite white space around me.
“That hurt…” I muttered to myself, using all of my energy to bring myself into a sitting position. “So, I made it here after all.”
“You fool…” A familiar female voice came from behind me. “How could you do such a thing?”
I could hear sniffling, and I instinctively knew that Netori was crying behind me. I smiled to myself, although I didn’t turn around to look at her. Instead, I gave her time to compose herself, I knew Netori to be the type who didn’t like to have her weaknesses shown.
“It seemed like the quickest way to make it here.” I spoke, staring straight in front of me.
“When I saw your soul passing by, you scared me so much.” She said, her body suddenly pressing against my back in a hug. “I thought I’d lose you!”
“I’d do it again, to see you.”
“D-don’t act so cavalier with me! I’m the thief of hearts, y-you can’t so easily take mine!”
“How can I take what I already have?” I asked, grinning.
Netori pressed her forehead against my back. “You naughty child, when did you become so bold?”
“I had to lose everything, and fight for it back again.” I responded, lifting a hand and touching her own resting on my shoulder.
I finally turned around and looked at Netori. She was just as I remembered her, a dark-haired beauty with a tendency to ignore gravity. Even pressed against me, her lower half was hovering over the ground. Actually, there was no ground within the infinite whiteness. I felt something hard from which I was sitting on, but it had no physical difference I could see beyond what made up the walls and ceiling, or lack thereof.
“It’s good to see you.” I said, reaching out with my palm.
She pressed her cheek against it. “Thank you for everything, but why did you come?”
“I suppose you really can’t see what happened out there?” I asked.
“No, in fact, I don’t even know how much time has passed.”
“It’s been about three months.”
“Three…” she let out a sigh, closing her eyes. “That’s good.”
“Good? I really wouldn’t say that…”
“No… you don’t understand. Time passes differently here. While it has only been a few months for you, it has been hundreds of years for me.”
She giggled. “I’m a goddess who has lived since the dawn of man. A hundred years is nothing to me. However, I worried that you would have moved on without me. When I saw your soul, I first thought you had died from old age.”
“Truly…” Her smile then started to falter. “However, I’m not sure I can really help.”
“What? My girls are in trouble right now. It’s why I came.”
She sighed. “I’m too weak. The time where I could easily move between the heavenly realm and the mortal realm are gone. I’m trapped here because I don’t have the strength to leave it.”
“Is it because you’ve been giving your power to me?”
“That’s what this game is about, right? You’re trying to turn me into the Harem God’s replacement.”
“It’s not like that!” She responded defensively. “I mean, you’re right, I’m trying to turn you into a god, but it isn’t about Harem.”
“You should have told me the truth.”
She lowered her head. “Could you have accepted it? Before you’ve experienced everything you have, would you have accepted me telling you I wanted to make you a God? Remember, when I met you, you were ready to die.”
“I’m not angry…” I reached out and grabbed her chin, lifting her head. “I wanted to tell you that I’m in.”
Her eyes widened. “Wh-what?”
“You and me… I will become a god powerful enough to keep you all.”
“Hakaru…” She breathed, leaning forward as if to kiss me, before pulling her head out of my grasp. “You don’t get it. It’s too late for that. With all of my power, I might have just had enough, but now I’m trapped here. I can’t fulfill our plan.”
“Yes… we can get you out of here.”
“Hakaru, it’s impossible. I no longer have the power.”
“You’re right, you don’t.”
She frowned, looking up at me. “Are you making fun of me? I said it’s impossible, As I am, I can’t escape this world.”
“Who says I plan to leave you who you are?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.
She suddenly jerked, looking up at me with eyes even wider than before. “You don’t mean…”
“I’m here, and they rest inside me. We were going to do it eventually anyway, so let’s do it now. We can bring back NTR together.”
Netori once again had a flash of excitement that quickly dulled out. “You don’t understand, Hakaru. Things have to be done in a particular order.”
“What do you mean?”
“The NTR points… they’re a power within you. It’s my power, which I have been infusing in you. You must acquire enough of my power, and then select godless, cutting off that power within you. It’s like filling a tire with air. Every skill you have is like a hole in the tire leaking air. At first, it didn’t matter, because there was no air in the tire and nothing to leak. However, as you’ve become a higher and higher level, you’ve reached a stage where any more growth is just about impossible, unless we plug the holes. Only then, can I take the final plunge? That’s when we can finally… um… be together.” She blushed shyly for the first time.
“I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying.”
“My maidenhood, my body… it’s the final catalyst to ascend you to godhood. The same act that would put NTR back together would also make you a god. The combination of all three souls inside you would cause your body to cease to be mortal. However, you as you are right now are a vessel not quite full enough. You’re not ready. I only have one chance to give you my power, and then it won’t happen again.”
“Then… if we’re together…”
“If NTR comes now, my power will return, but you will never be able to become a god!” She winced. “I could leave this place, and I could resurrect you, but after that, it would be game over. You and I could never be together. A goddess can’t be with a mortal. This isn’t about age, immortality, or appropriateness. This was an edict set by the council of gods and goddesses. In the old days, gods frequently made half-gods. You’ve even heard the likes of the Greek gods and their children. That’s why this kind of thing is no longer allowed. That’s also why I avoided speaking about my true plans until now.”
“I’m sorry, there is no other way.”
“There might be.” A voice suddenly broke into our conversation.
Netori looked up, and then her expression turned dark. “You…”
“Hello, Netori. We meet again so soon.”
There was another woman standing just a bit away from us. At first, I had no recognition at all. She wore all white, and she had large breasts. Her skin was like milk, her hair was blond, and she was easily as beautiful as Netori. Except where Netori had dark hair, dark eyes, and dark clothing that accentuated her pale skin, this woman was clad in white to the point she almost seemed angelic. Then, certain features about her face started to become familiar, and I realized who it was.
“Mary? Is that you?”
She nodded. “Yes, Hakaru. This is my real form. Well, as a goddess, you could say I have no true form. On Earth, I pick that form because it is a form that I rather like, however, between the worlds, I thought it suiting to appear as I really am. Do you approve?”
She seemed slightly worried by my answer, but I couldn’t get anything out, as I was still stunned by her appearance. It was so different from her usual self, but also exactly the same woman. It was hard to describe. It was like when I saw Kira dressed up for prom the first time, but that effect times a hundred.
Netori glanced over to me. “Don’t believe anything this vile woman says! She’s a liar and a homewrecker.”
Mary bit her lip. “You’re the one who always told lies. You’ve always believed that emotions are what matter, that as long as the feelings are there, it doesn’t matter how they got there. I believe relationships must be open and honest to be real.”
“Don’t try to psychoanalyze me, Matrimony, or whatever the hell you call yourself now, I’ve been around thousands of years longer than you!”
“Well, part of you has.” Mary snickered while covering her mouth smugly.
“Bitch!” Netori stood up angrily.
“Mary, what are you doing here?” I demanded, grabbing Netori to keep her from lunging at the other woman.
“You have to ask…” She gave me a shy look. “After you shed this mortal coil so roughly, how could I not worry?”
“You came to check on me?” I blinked.
“Is that so hard to believe? I’ve already told you how I feel.” She gave me a pouty look, and then glanced over at Netori, a mocking expression on her face. “I thought Netori may pluck your soul in transit, but she’s let so many men slip through her fingers in her life, you can forgive me for needing to check.”
“See!” Netori pointed at her while shooting me a look. “You see how evil this bitch is! She should die!”
“You see how she treats me!” Mary looked at me with pleadful eyes. “Isn’t she completely dreadful!”
“Hakaru! She’s an ugly hag who has ruined my entire life!”
“Hakaru! She’s a malicious whore who doesn’t even value love or companionship!”
Both girls were bickering, and they seemed to want me to be the referee between them. It only took seeing them interact for a few moments before I was starting to realize the kind of relationship the pair had. Netori had painted Marriage as a dangerous foe, a person who came along and ruined everything, and acted malevolently against Netori. Mary acted like Netori was a liar and a thief. She was a troublemaker who deserved to be knocked down a peg or two.
Both women weren’t exactly wrong. The pair just happened to have a difference of opinion and how they went about things. They had a feud that went on for untold ages, and it had grown to a point where they both hated each other and didn’t even have a reason for it anymore. They were like squabbling neighbors, no, more like squabbling sisters. The way Netori argued with Mary wasn’t much different from the way she had fought with Netorare and Netorase, and they both were technically a part of Netori.
Hakaru let out a snort and then covered his mouth. Both women looked at him with identical aghast expressions.
“Hakaru! Tell Mary to get lost! You’re my champion! She can’t interfere!”
“No! Hakaru tell her about us! Tell her she can’t break apart our relationship!”
“There is no you two! You bitch! You always act so freaking nice, but now Hakaru knows the true you, so there is no way he’d be swayed by your giant cow tits!”
“Th-there not cow tits!” She covered her chest, but then once again a smug look appeared on her face, similar to whenever she had a comeback. “Although, they’re much bigger than your mosquito bites!”
“Se-see! It’s a lie! My tits are C’s! They’re the perfect size! A mosquito bite? You’ve finally been caught in a lie!”
“Hehee, I was talking relatively. I mean they are just mosquito bites compared to my magnificent bosom.”
“My breasts are the perfect size! They’re enough to fit a cock between, they jiggle when I jog, and they’re just enough to fill each hand!” The space between Netori and Mary had disappeared and the two women were yelling at each other. “Meanwhile, your cowtits are just wasted fat! A guy would suffocate in those things! Actually, they’re rather suiting for a succubus like you.”
“Th-they are soft and well formed, and men envy them, thank you very much!”
“Hakaru, touch my breasts! Tell her how much better they are!” Netori declared, pushing her chest toward me.
“No! Touch my breasts! Let her know that bigger is better!”
The girls were trying to use me to break the standstill between them, and now I was suddenly being offered the tits of two goddesses, literally. I wanted to appreciate the situation, but it wasn’t the time. I was still dead, and even if time didn’t move the same, I still felt a bit rushed.
“Will you both stop arguing for a moment!” I shouted, causing both girls to blink in surprise as if they forgot I was more than just a piece of property they were fighting over. “Rather, I wanted to go back to what you said when you came. You said there was another way!”
“Ah! That’s right!” Mary puffed up her chest. “Isn’t it obvious? I can bring you back to life! Then, I can help you ascend to godhood.”
“You can?” I blinked. “How?”
She blushed, “Ah… isn’t it the same way? Jeese, you have to be dense now and make me say such things. As long as you get Godless and patch those holes away, a night with me, and I’ll skyrocket you to godhood!”