“What if he has a hostage?” I asked.
“Everyone of importance is with you,” Mary assured me.
“What about my father?”
“We delayed his flight. He won’t be home until late tonight. Besides, you’ve already changed the locks and left a note for him. A lawyer is going to serve him with divorce papers as soon as he gets off the plane. Hakaru, we’ve prepared every eventuality.” NTR sighed.
“I know… I know…” I said, half to myself, as I paced back and forth. “It’s just, what if something goes wrong?”
“Then, you will take care of it.” Mary smiled. “You always do.”
“Hakaru, we’ve made these plans all week. We’ve checked and rechecked. The only thing for you now is to be bold and take the final step. Take care of Derek, and become the god that we know you deserve to be.” NTR nodded.
Just as she said that an alarm buzzed on my phone. “It’s time.”
“Remember, we’ll be waiting here for you.” Mary said blushing, “ I mean when you get back, you can have… that…”
“First, you must take Depravity’s offer. He’s got a harem of depraved women he has prepared as the award for ending this conflict. He cannot go back on it. We’ve even discussed this in person with him to make sure he sticks to the deal. We’ve left no room for error.” NTR continued.
“You want me… with… all of the women? And then come home and satisfy Mary too?”
“I-I’ll give you a break first!” Mary cried, and then blushed even more.
“Don’t forget, NTR Crush points work with multipliers and groups. You’re going to enjoy an orgy with all those women at once. So many first times, cheaters, and other multipliers, you may achieve godhood without the need for Mary at all!” NTR sounded very happy when she said that, which caused the blush on Mary’s cheeks to diminish as she shot the other woman a glare.
“Trying to box me out again! Hmph! Don’t think you can just throw me away. My heart is Hakaru’s and Hakaru’s alone.”
“Yes… yes… I’m very fond of Hakaru as well.” NTR responded flippantly. “I merely mean that if he’s able to achieve godhood without you, then your essence might help boost him even farther so he’s not so vulnerable.”
“Ah! That might be best. In that case, Hakaru, please earn as many points with those women as possible, even if it means doing degrading or disgusting acts you wouldn’t normally do!”
“You guys…” I shook my head and took another breath. “Then, I’m off.”
Mary and NTR looked at each other challengingly for a moment, but it was Mary who took a step back and gestured. NTR stepped forward and put a hand gently on my shoulder.
“We believe in you, Hakaru. If we didn’t think you were ready to face down War, then we definitely wouldn’t send you there on your own.”
“I know.” I smiled and touched her hand gently. “Plus, I’m not alone. I have my army.”
Since I might not have had the strength to leave that room on my own, and had already been dragging myself to that point, the two women in front of me faded away, leaving me alone in the room. I looked around one last time and then left.
“Brother! We’re going to be late!”
“I thought Master had given up.”
“Akiko, Hakaru would never give in.”
“Hakaru, are you sure you’re up to this?”
“He’s my son, of course, he can handle it!”
I was immediately met with the concerns of four beautiful women. They had dressed for war, which was to say they had worn their best, dressing up like they were going to the prom. They all wore dresses, had applied their best makeup, and even did their hair. It was like an event.
For all we knew, the form of the challenge would be something like a beauty pageant. That was what the girls predicted it might be. Each woman from both of our harems would be compared and given a score, and whoever collectively had the largest score would be the winner. That was only one of the possibilities we had considered though. War truly did have the upper hand in this respect. It was the only reason he had agreed to such a definitive battle. If he hadn’t been confident in his success, then he definitely wouldn’t have done it.
I looked over the beautiful women waiting on me with expressions of concern and worry. I did my best to give them a confident smile.
“We got this.”
Whether they believed me or not, they all relaxed. At this point, they all knew what was at stake. The realm of gods and goddesses might be impossible for them to truly wrap their heads around, but they trusted me and the things I said. In the end, they took this war as seriously as I did, and they wouldn’t hesitate to give it their all to help me win.
With my words, we headed out into Sasori’s van. When I closed the door to my house, I had an odd feeling like nothing would ever be the same again after this. When I returned, I’d be on a one-way track to godhood. Even I didn’t truly understand what that meant, but I understood the gravity of the situation.
The drive to the school was lively. I sat back and watched with a small smile on my face as the girls chatted about this or that. The subject they were discussing was cooking techniques. Maria, who had no cooking skill at all, and had always allowed mother or me to take over the cooking in her place, wore an expression of determination as if she wouldn’t lose out to the other women. Perhaps, she’d start taking classes after this. I wasn’t against a competitive spirit in my women.
Just as they finished discussing how to get the meat just perfectly juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside while frying a panko katsu, we pulled up in front of the high school. There was a large crowd of women there that instantly caught all of the girl’s interests. This was a part I hadn’t told them about yet.
As soon as the van parked, I got out and threw open my arms. The grouping of women all let out cries of excitement, running over to us. Every single girl was in high school, and they were all beauties in their own right.
“Hakaru! I’ve missed you; it’s been years!” Tiana cried out.
“It’s only been months…” Another girl laughed.
“Yeah… in normal years.” She rolled her eyes. “In sex years, months are like years!’
“What does that even mean?”
I ended up giving the girls a big group hug as they chatted excitedly. Most of them were trying to understand the concept of Tiana’s sex years, but few seemed to reach a mutual consensus. Kira, who was familiar with the group of women left from Riphorn’s All Girls academy approached with a gentle smile on her face. She wasn’t as familiar with these women as I was, but they were all very familiar with her. After all, as Netorase, she had personally seduced a good chunk of them, and they had become quite familiar with each other. That was a part of Netorase that Kira hadn’t inherited, but she did her best to remain accommodating and not show her unease.
The rest of the girls didn’t know about this group and approached with questioning looks or wry smiles. When I was done hugging the new group, I turned to my women.
“These are all close friends of mine,” I said. “I met them during my time at Riphorn.”
I kept it extremely simple, so as to not confuse anyone. However, the girls all had looks like they had jumped to the true nature of our relationships without me saying another word.
“More competition,” Maria said sourly.
“Ah… even more girls… Master truly is a demon.” Akiko added.
“All so young…” Sasori sighed.
“As expected of my son.” Mother said in a pleased voice, but it turned slightly sour. “It’d be nice if there weren’t so many foreigners in the batch.”
“Hah… mom…” I had expected such a comment, but I didn’t want anyone getting offended.
As I went to diffuse the situation, Tiana approached mom first. She was once a regular Japanese girl, but I had gotten a little heavy-handed with her. She had tanned skin, blonde-dyed hair, piercings, a slutty miniskirt, and blouse, and she even had a tattoo on her back. In short, she was the kind of woman my mother detested the most.
“You’re Hakaru’s Mother?” She asked.
I could already see the expression on my mother’s face souring. In a moment, the entire mood would be destroyed. Mother gave the slightest nod, but once again, before I could cut in, Tiana suddenly brought out an item from behind her. She did a perfect bow while holding out the item. It was a box that contained a Japanese Tea Ceremony kit.
“Wh-what is this?” Mom let out, caught off guard.
“Your son is very important to me. As his mother, I can only properly honor you! I was hoping that when all of this was done, I could perform a proper Japanese Tea Ceremony for you.”
“Y-you know how to do a Tea Ceremony?” Mother asked in surprise.
“I do! My mother has had me pouring since I was three! I even won a regional competition! The judges said that my tea is the most delicious they’ve experienced.”
“Oh… hoh…” I had never heard mom make such a pleased sound as she covered her mouth. “Then, I’ll have to inconvenience you when the time comes.”
With Mother accepting the new group, the tension melted away. The new girls chatted with the old, and we headed into the High School, entering toward the outer auditorium doors. No one would think that we were heading toward some battle that would decide the fates of the gods. Even I felt a bit lighter, that was until I entered the auditorium and found Derek standing there. Behind him was Mr. Smith, Depravity, and there were also groups of people in the stands, much like before.
They had their army, and I had my own. I hadn’t invited these girls so much to fight but to bear witness to what happened. They bulked up our number and would act as cheerleaders. If the results of this depended on something like how loud an audience could cheer, my girls would scream their heads off. At the very least, their presence eased my mind. The rest of my body couldn’t help but grow stressed and sweaty as I looked at the enemy and recalled why I was there.
I walked up with my five girls behind me like an honor guard. When we got within speaking range with Derek, I stopped and stood up straight.
“Where is War?” I asked.
“War is around,” Derek responded with a hateful glare that shot over me and my girls. “You don’t have to worry. He trusts in me to win in his name.”
“Depravity?” I looked at him, barely even acknowledging Derek’s answer.
“I’m a god of my word.” Depravity shrugged. “The games you and I have shared were fun, but I’m not purely a masochist. I won’t see everything I built go up in smoke trying to fight NTR and Mary. My involvement in this is impartial. Whoever wins, I will grant the rewards and step back. I’m giving much in the name of ending this battle that started on my doorstep. If it’s any consolation, I never had a desire to make an enemy out of you. Kira…”
Kira slinked back, and I reached out and squeezed her hand reassuringly.
“She was so close to reaching true depravity. It was a shame you managed to save her soul. She would have been a splendid work. However, I have others, and I will have more in the future.”
“And… what about your promises?”
He sighed, giving a wave. There was a side stage where speakers could stand, and the drawn curtain around the stage opened up. This revealed a group of fifty school girls. They all had strange expressions on their faces. They looked euphoric like they were under some kind of wonderful drug. They lazed around the stage, looking only half there. With another wave, the curtains closed.
“All fifty women have been corrupted by depravity. They all have boyfriends but are here of their own volition. I promised them a man who would help them achieve a true sexual high, and they are eagerly awaiting that promise. The winner can take them however he wants.
Fifty… I started to realize just how far I had to go. He casually could hand me fifty women. Gathering the twenty-some I had taken calling every girl. Had I tried to fight Depravity on an equal stage, I was beginning to realize there was no way I even had a chance to win. He was light years ahead of me, and his depraved women were more plentiful than I had ever imagined.
“Enough delay…” Derek declared. “It’s time to begin.”