“Don’t trust her! She definitely has ulterior motives!” Netori growled.
“Is what you’re saying the truth?”
She chuckled. “Of course it is? Once you’ve become a god, I can even help you expel that Netorase and Netorare’s power!”
“Wait? What? But I’m still putting NTR back together!”
“What?” She made a face. “Why bother? If you do that now, it’ll only weaken you. Just let her rot in purgatory!”
“Mary…” I made a bitter face.
“See, I told you!”
“I-it’s not my fault!” Mary shook her head. “I promised not to take Netori from purgatory. If I did so, I would be violating my word and would experience a horrible backlash. However, if you give up the power of Netorare and Netorase, then it will become that much harder for you to reach godhood! Even Netori would understand this much! I can return your soul to the mortal world and help you ascend to godhood. All Netori has to do is sacrifice the last bit of her power.”
“What are you saying?”
“The NTR sisters, they’ll be reborn, but you’ll be around to scoop them up, you’ll be immortal, after all.”
“You’re talking about killing them!”
“Goddesses don’t die. They’ll just get reborn. In twenty, thirty years, you’ll be able to interact with the sisters again.”
“That’s completely unacceptable!” I nearly shouted, my face growing furious.
“She’s right.” Netori’s voice came from behind, cutting through all of my anger like a knife.
I spun around, my eyes wide. “What are you saying?”
Netori’s expression had changed. Rather than angry or upset, she seemed to have grown peaceful and accepting.
“If I were to selfishly reform NTR, your path to godhood would be much harder. If I give you the power you need to use Godless, and she sleeps with you, then you will be able to ascend, and my sisters will return to the ether. It’s the best way, the safest way.”
“How can that be?” I demanded.
“You’re thinking like a mortal,” Mary explained. “Age and life don’t have the same meaning to immortals. Once you become a god, you will exist on another plane of existence. Sacrificing the three sisters would be a small price to pay.”
“Not to me!”
“Hakaru…” Netori’s eyes were watery, but she had a gentle, accepting smile on her face. “This is the best way. I’ve already waited a hundred years for you to save me. Another thirty is acceptable to me.”
“Why suddenly agree with her on this?” I demanded stubbornly, tears welling in my eyes. “She could lie! Once you’re destroyed, she might not help me.”
“She will…” Netori sighed, “As she said, she’s a lot of things, but her oath cannot be broken. Swear to me, Mary, swear to be on your very power that you will help him become a god.”
“I will!” Mary nodded. “I swear as a goddess, that I will do everything in my power to help Hakaru become a god!”
Something about those words gave a sense of finality to it. I realized that this was genuinely the two girl’s choices, and I didn’t have a say in the matter. I couldn’t bring NTR back without giving up Netorase and Netorare. If I gave them up, I couldn’t become a god. If I saved her, only to grow old and die as a mortal, then I’d never be able to claim Netori and fulfill my own promises. An immortal couldn’t be with a mortal. That wasn’t to say they couldn’t have sex, but they couldn’t be together emotionally.
“This is what you both want?” I asked, my head lowered.
“It is…” Netori nodded.
“Yes.” Mary agreed.
If it was something the two of them agreed on, then it was probably important. “Mary, can you give us some privacy for a bit?”
“Ah? Y-yes… of course.” She nodded, “Just say my name, and I will return.”
She disappeared just like that, and I was alone in the infinite whiteness with Netori. Netori looked at me with a gentle smile. She seemed to be at peace with what was about to happen. I really wished she was the same stubborn Netori she usually was. However, when it came to me, she suddenly no longer had any doubts.
“Your points? We should discuss them.” Netori responded with a slap of her hands.
The familiar smartphone appeared in her hand, and she started looking through it. It had been some time since I had dealt with such a thing. It seemed like the only thing of importance was Godless. I didn’t understand things too much, after all, I wasn’t a god, but the NTR points I had been earning were basically Netori’s power that she had been drip feeding me. I could execute her power, but that would be using it.
That system was designed both to hide her true goal of creating a god, and to help me grow acclimated to the power of a god. The final skill, Godless, was intended to patch up those leaks in power, and allow me to reach the apex of godhood.
“You’re already made it to level seven.” She said in surprise. “Once you have godless, sleeping with Mary will propel you to godhood. Your progress has been incredible.”
“Level 9 is godhood, right?”
“You should understand that the levels to immortality don’t stop once you become a god. My power as a goddess would be equivalent to a level 10. As a 9, you’d be about as weak as a god could be. Meanwhile, Marriage is closer to a 13, while depravity is 12. Some gods even reach as high as twenty. You will probably never deal with those gods. They deal with the fabric of reality, the immunities laws. The concept of gravity, for example, is far more powerful than the concept of love. We’re known as the personification gods, because we take after products of humanity, but technically anything can get a concept, do you understand?”
“That’s how my power was suppressed. Depravity is a higher level than you.”
She nodded. “Regrettably, a higher-powered god can suppress weaker level gods. If you end up a level 9, you will only just be immortal. Mary will have the power to suppress you.”
“You said she wouldn’t.”
She smiled bitterly, “I hope she won’t. However, she once suppressed Harem. Someone can’t stop their own nature. However, the benefit of using her is enough. For me to help you reach godhood, you’d have to reach level 8, and then using both my sisters and myself, our combination would be enough to bring you to level 9. However, because Marriage is more powerful, she’ll be able to bring you up from level 7 to 9 by burning up Netorase and Netorare. Once my sisters are gone, I’ll dissipate soon after.”
“What if she left them alone?” I asked, my brows furrowed angrily.
“She’d need you to be at least level 8. Even she can’t make a god so easily out of you.”
My hands clenched unconsciously on my own shirt. In the end, it was because I hadn’t done the things that Netori had asked me to do. If I had accepted Godless back then, perhaps none of this would have been possible. If I had taken my leveling seriously instead of acted like a coward, I might have already been a god. Now, Depravity was involved, Netori was trapped, and more and more gods and goddesses were starting to learn about her plan.
Rather than simply trying to piece herself back together, she was trying to make a god to fit a concept, rather than a concept that fit a god. I didn’t even understand it more than that. It was probably something a mortal mind couldn’t even understand. I was only starting to grasp the implications. For example, if immortals couldn’t form a relationship with mortals and have children, what would happen to my sister, Sasori, or Kira? That was something that she had deliberately not explained, because I was pretty sure I knew the answer. However, what she was telling me was already more than I could grasp.
“Why are you telling me all this?” I asked, feeling completely overwhelmed and helpless.
“Because, you need all of my knowledge, because once I give you the last of my power, I won’t be able to give you any more.”
I nodded slowly and hesitantly, an unhappy feeling welling deep inside me, “How many points do I have?”
“You’re at 25,000 points right now.” She sighed. “5,000 short of Godless. I will be able to transfer you my power, but it will be costly. Because the previous points were earned by you committing NTR, that power transferred easier.”
“Just 5,000 points?”
“My sisters have already given all their power to you. I’ve already given enough power to bring you up to level 7. Even calling me a level 9 goddess would be deceiving. There was a reason Depravity moved now. I was too weak to even resist when he tossed me into purgatory. Since then, my power has only dwindled more.”
“What if…” I licked my lips, “I leave, and then keep playing until I’m level 8, then come back and get you?”
“You’d have to cripple Depravity to gain that much power. Level 8 requires 45,000 more points. I don’t doubt you can reach it with some time, but we’re out of time. The other gods and goddesses are probably suspecting something now. What I’m doing hasn’t been forbidden, but some gods will certainly try to stop it if they knew we were doing this. You’ve seen how fast things progress in only six months. Imagine if it took another year? I’d be even weaker by then, and less able to help.”
She lowered her head sadly. “Perhaps, I was simply being too greedy. I wanted everything, without having to sacrifice anything. It’s impossible to get something for nothing. In the end, I’ll have to sacrifice myself so that Hakaru can finish his evolution. Please, take care of my sisters and I after our rebirth. We won’t remember our old lives, but it will still be us. Don’t let Mary have her way with us.”
She gave one last smile. “Hakaru.”
A dark smile erupted on my face. “I want everything.”
She blinked. “What?”
I reached out and grabbed her wrist. Unlike usual, she didn’t skillfully pull away or disappear and reappear somewhere else. In fact, her expression was filled with shock as I pulled her to me and wrapped my arms around her. Only as I embraced her did she weakly push on my chest, but there was no strength behind it.
“Netori, you’re mine. I said I’d have you one day.”
“N-no…” She turned away. “We can’t now. You can be with the new Netori, you just need to wait.”
“H-Hakaru… don’t tease me.” She said weakly. “I’ve already waited a hundred years for you.”
“Then why wait any longer.” I kissed her, my lips pressing tightly against hers.
After a moment, her lips finally loosened, and my tongue began to explore her mouth. She was just like her sisters, and nothing like them at the same time. While my tongue explored her mouth, her tongue darted out and attacked mine. She only knew how to be on the offensive. Her life had been a series of taking what she wanted. Never had she been given a thing.
She ripped her lips away from mine, gasping for air. “Hakaru… we can’t. It’s too much of a risk. You may never be…”
“This is what matters to me.” Hakaru responded unhesitantly, “I will have you every way I can.”
“But… there are too many dangers…”
“I will plow through them. I will defeat Depravity, and then I will reach level 8 on my own.”
“Mary… she may not be willing to help you reach godhood at that point, with my old self around. Part of the reason she is willing to do this is that it will get rid of me!”
“Then, I’ll steal her too!”
“H-Hakaru.” I put a finger on her lips, stopping her from saying anything more.
“I will take every girl, and I won’t settle for anything less.”
Her last bit of resistance melted away, and her shoulders loosened as she gave herself to my embrace. We fell to the floor, enjoying each other in a world of infinite whiteness.