“I’ll meet you at the house.”
“It’s okay, Maria. I won’t run off again.”
“It’s not that.” She frowned slightly. “You’re worried about what everyone else will say, aren’t you?”
It was true. I was a bit worried about coming home. Maria had convinced me to return. It was more like she had caused me to lose my job. After our incestuous display, I probably would struggle to get another hosting job period. The various lounges did talk, and I was sure my deeds spread throughout the entire district. It was best if I left that place and returned home.
However, I had abandoned my mother, my girlfriend, and even my sex toy, so it was hard to say how they’d feel about me coming home. Since I had last been with them, I had refined my flirtation and lovemaking to a criminal degree. I had no doubt I could smooth things over with any woman. Yet, when I thought about the women who I cared about most, I felt terrified to face them again. It was because of those pesky emotional attachments. They were my women, and that made all of the difference.
“I’ll be fine.” I gave her my best smile, and Maria reluctantly let me go.
Although I worried about heading home, there was one other stop I wanted to make. I pulled out a stained cocktail napkin from my wallet and then pulled out my cellphone. A few moments later, a girl picked up on the other line.
“Hmph… so soon? I was expecting you to take at least a decade or two.”
“Whatever, are you available?”
“The same spot as before.”
I hung up and then got a rideshare. He took me to a nearby bar that was open late into the night. I walked in and looked around. Sitting at the bar was a girl. She was pretty, with pigtails. She was wearing knee-high socks, a very short skirt, and a pretty top. She stood out in the bar and caught a lot of eyes. I let out a small sigh and then went to sit next to her.
“I see you’ve been experimenting with your look, War,” I muttered, glancing at the girl sitting next to me.
“Hakaru… do you know why Michelle decided to let me take over her body?” The girl asked while staring into her drink.
“Did she?” I responded flippantly, raising my hand and ordered my drink I had come to appreciate at the lounge.
“A bit fruity… isn’t it?” War glanced at the mixed drink the bartender placed in front of me.
“What about Michelle agreeing to let you take her body?” I ignored her condescending look and took a sip.
She shrugged as if it didn’t matter to her whether I was annoyed or not. “It’s true… all gods and goddesses, when we wish to remain on the mortal plane for a significant time, must find a body to possess. We call them our vessel or avatar.”
“I already know all that. NTR took her vessel when she abandoned me.” I pulled out the straw and tossed it aside and then took a gulp of the drink.
“That is true… she did. A mortal body can be taken to the immortal world, but the immortal body can’t exist directly in the mortal world. In the immortal world, their bodies will last many ages, but they do eventually get old and decay. Some gods and goddesses do it. It’s considered cruel though. You’re taking their lives away from them permanently, never letting them see the light of day again. And, when they get too old and the god wants to abandon them, they’ll be returned to a world that moved on without them. Plus, they’ll be far too old to start new. It might have been better just to kill them then.”
“Get on with whatever point you’re trying to make.” I snapped.
“Point? Right! Michelle!” War chuckled to herself.
“When you’re a goddess like me, we can be forgiven for forgetting some things.”
“Look, I’m looking for help. Before I left, you came to me in Michelle’s body and implied there might be a chance to save Marriage and NT… and stick it to Harem… or Procreation… or whatever the hell he wants to call himself these days.”
“Most know him as Harem, so it’s as good of a name as any, if not intentionally misleading,” War spoke as if she had all the time in the world.
“I don’t care. Will you help me?”
“Michelle loved you,” War said instead of answering me.
“What?” I asked incredulously.
“Michelle was Derek’s woman. However, after spending a single hour with you, she could see the compassion and the love in your heart, and she was won over. That’s why we lost that competition. After Derek spurned her and she fled, I approached her. I feared retaliation from NTR, so I wanted to change bodies quickly. I had just shed that guy, and Michelle was giving off the right feel. She was ready to go to war.”
“War for you… she knew that you had no love for her. She knew that she was going to have to fight for your affection. She’d have to get past your harem too and become a woman that you wanted. That’s why she gave me her body. I promised her I’d be able to get her close to you. For that, she was willing to give up anything.”
“Well, you’ll have to let her down slowly,” I responded bitterly.
She shrugged. “I am a goddess of honor, Hakaru. If you want my help, then Michelle would be the cost.”
“Mm…” She nodded. “You have to give her a chance. Well, I don’t mean right now. However, when I’m done using her body, you have to promise not to leave her behind.”
“Leave her behind?” I sneered. “I’m not going anywhere.”
“Are you so sure about that? Godhood might be more obtainable than you think.”
“You already told me that even if you were my incubator, I wouldn’t reach godhood.”
She nodded. “You’re right. I can’t make you a god.”
“Then, do you know someone who can? Do you have some method where you can turn me into a god?”
She shook her head. “I don’t have that either. I don’t know any method to turn you into a god.”
“Then what good are you!” I slapped my hand on the bar, causing a few drunks to glance over before turning back to their drinks.
She raised her hands in an exaggerated shrug. “You’re right. I don’t know how to fix your problem.”
“But… I might know how to contact someone who can.”
I bit my lip in irritation. “Well, who is it?”
“Okay, we’re done here.” I stood up to leave, but War seemed to be expecting this, and reached out, grabbing my shoulder and pulling me back down.
“I’m not wasting your time.”
“It sure seems like you are. Netori… along with Netorare and Netorase… they are no more. They are now just a part of NTR.”
“That’s not true… not entirely. When NTR broke into the three goddesses, it created a schism in her soul. You pieced her back together, but that soul of hers is still fragile in many ways. It should be possible to free a piece of her soul and summon it.”
I leaned toward her, much more intent now. “How? What do you do?”
“First things first, NTR can’t realize it’s happening.”
“So, what you’re saying is, it’s already impossible.”
“No… you may be an immortal, Hakaru, but I am a goddess. I can go see NTR. It’s possible I can distract her. I might be able to make it so that she doesn’t realize that a part of her soul was summoned to Earth. It’d only be a few minutes, but it is possible.”
I shook my head. “Wouldn’t that be dangerous? Why would you do something like that?”
“I’m a goddess!” She sniffed. “I have my reasons. First, I have high hopes for you. Second, I want to stick it to the current Harem. Third, I am the goddess of war, and what you want to bring right now is a war of love. You could say that your cause rings to my very being.”
“What hope? Even if I become a god, I’ll be a measly level 9, right? Harem and NTR could easily destroy me with a thought, just as they ended Depravity.”
“Not true!” She shook her head. “You see, there is a very rare opportunity going on. You were being raised and bred to be Harem’s replacement. However, there is no Harem. The man named Harem was hiding behind that name. He was truly the god, Procreation.”
“So… the god of procreation, by acting like the god of Harem, has created a gap which you could fill. He has been polluting the concept of harems for untold centuries. There is a reason so many Harem stories involve just mindless sex. A male protagonist just bangs woman after woman without meaning, and they call it a harem. You have a chance to change that. You have love, and care, and concern for the women. It’s what attracted Michelle to you, and it’s what has led to me wanting to help you. You can introduce a new Harem to the world, one of mutual respect and love, where a man treats his women with respect. If you do that, you’ll grow in strength extremely rapidly, but only if you embody Harem completely, and strip Procreation of the name.”
“You say that like it’s easy!”
“I don’t believe it will be easy, but I’m not the goddess of easy battles!”
I rubbed my forehead as I thought about what she was saying. “Even if I become Harem, Procreation would still be a stronger god.”
“Harem would be a strong enough god that Procreation wouldn’t be able to just make you disappear like Depravity. Furthermore, if you were able to… defeat Procreation, then he would have no choice but to reincarnate. His new form would hopefully be better than this one. Gods shouldn’t live as long as he has. They grow stale.”
“Okay…” I dropped my hands. “Fine. Let’s say I am willing to follow you on this crazy mission. You go up to heaven to distract NTR, then what?”
“Oh, that’s easy. You simply have to summon Netori back to her vessel. I can give you the spell.”
I let out a sigh. “Didn’t I already say it? NTR took the vessel with her. Harem accounted for that.”
“Harem to NTR’s vessel.”
“NTR and Netori were using the same vessel!” I growled.
She smirked. “True… but didn’t Netori have another vessel once?”
“What other… oh…” My eyes widened as I realized what she was saying.
She was right. Harem, for all he had done, had made one major mistake. Netori still had a vessel on Earth, and she was at the house right now!
“So, are you in?” War asked, putting out her hand.
“You’re the goddess of war…”
“Signing treaties, making alliances, these are a part of war as well.” She responded.
I reached out and grabbed her hand, and then we shook. It was time to have a conversation with Netori.