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“Not happening.”

“Hakaru, you aren’t in a position to be picky.” Mother warned.

“Yeah, no.”

“Hakaru…” Artemis made an awkward face. “I know she looks young, but believe me, she is extremely old compared to you.”

“I’m not interested.”

There were very few limits I had in this world, obviously, but they stopped at underaged girls. It didn’t matter what her true age was. She had the physical appearance of a small little girl. I wasn’t attracted to small, little girls. I wouldn’t sleep with a woman I wasn’t attracted to. It was as simple as that. It had nothing to do with right or wrong, but little girls had no sex appeal to me.

“You… a humanoid god… are rejecting me?” The little girl’s eyes flashed with coldness. “I’m older than your concept’s concept! How dare you! Who wants to be with an icky human anyway?”

“Who wants to be with a dwarf?” I shot back. “If you want me to be interested, grow some tits, and then we can talk!”

I snorted, looking at the other girls. Mother had a tight smile, and Artemis was feeling her breasts, clearly unhappy about their size.

“Your breasts are fine, Artemis!” I shot out defensively. “You’re a full woman! This girl doesn’t even belong here.”

“D-d-don’t belong?” Her eyes widened. “I’ll show you don’t belong!”

“Tenth, please relax…”

“He-he-he’s bullying me!” She suddenly wailed, having a tantrum exactly like a little girl.

“It’s okay…” Mother went to comfort Tenth, but when her eyes fell on the other woman’s giant bosom coming toward her, they narrowed.

“Stay away from me!” She shouted, backing away from everyone before her eyes fell on me. “You… this isn’t over! I’m going to send big sister to punish you!”

She spun around and ran out the door, slamming it on the way, just like a child. I let out a breath of relief. I felt like I had dodged a real landmine with that one. She was clearly unstable. I noticed Mother and Artemis staring at me.

“Wh-what? I have standards, okay?”

“I spend a lot of time with humans, but they surprise me time and time again.” Mother responded casually. “I brought you here to meet my sisters, but I have to say that I find you more interesting the more time I’ve interacted with you.”

“Mother, does that mean you’ll sleep with him?” Artemis asked, looking excited, not upset.

Mother let out a laugh. “Ara ara, maybe someday. For the moment, I must go. Now that you are here, Artemis. Show him to his room. He’ll naturally have your room.”

“My room? Ah… it’s not like I mind. We can sleep together.” Artemis’s eyes brightened and she looked at me.

“No, you must leave the palace once you’re done. I’ll need you.”

“You’re both leaving?” I asked with just a hint of panic.

“Y-you want me?”  Artemis looked excited for a moment, but then she looked over at me, reluctance in her eyes.

“There was a time when you would excitedly join me whenever I snapped my fingers.” Mother mused.

“S-sorry…” Artemis dropped her head, biting her lip.

“Don’t feel ashamed at all. It actually interests me. My little daughter has found something else that excites her. It’s good for you to find things that make you happy.”

“Yes, Mother.” Her expression brightened.

For a woman known for her hunting, Artemis definitely was a follower. She idolized Lilith, seemed to follow Mother around like a loyal dog, and also seemed to have some kind of relationship with this dreadful Beloved. I could only shake my head. At the end of it, she still felt hesitation and glanced over at me.

“It’s probably fine. I’ll figure things out.”

On the one hand, seducing women in front of other women was never my cup of tea. Thankfully, Netori usually didn’t get involved while I was putting on the moves. With Artemis, it’d be just as odd. On the other hand, I had no clue what I was going to do next. Although I said I would be fine, I was in a mysterious castle, with some kind of beloved master who could appear at any moment, and it seemed like most of the women here were openly hostile to me.

I suddenly felt just a tinge of regret turning Tenth down. She could have been my ally, but I foolishly shunned her. No, my principles were who I was. I wouldn’t bend on something like that. I gave a woman my heart when I accepted her into my bed. I wouldn’t be like Procreation, who emotionlessly banged anyone just to get his way. If I wasn’t into a girl, then it just wouldn’t happen.

With that, Mother left the room, and Artemis escorted me through the palace. She very briefly told me where a couple key places were. The celestial palace had just about anything. There appeared to be all kinds of godly devices. You could find answers to life’s questions in their extensive library, you could rejuvenate your body and go for a dip in the milky waters of their hot spring, or you could even get a map of the immortal realm and contact other gods and goddesses. I was interested in all of that, but I was particularly interested in that last one. Once I left this palace, I’d need to know where Procreation was held up if I wanted any hope of freeing my women.

At first, I had only come to this place with the idea that I was going to increase my level as a god. I realized I shouldn’t waste all my time on just that. This was also a good opportunity to learn more about being a god too. I was starting to understand why I needed those extra decades that Netori had given me. I had to get familiar with my power, contemplate my existence, and also learn a lot about the god realm. This was the perfect place to accomplish all of that.

Even if I didn’t seduce a single girl, I would probably gain a lot just being in this palace. I had to remind myself that Procreation had been in this palace once too. He had walked these halls and had ultimately left empty-handed. I definitely had to obtain something.

We finally ended up on a long stretch of hallway. At the very end was a large double-doored room. At the top of it was an emblem of a massive star. Then, there were various hallways leading out to other rooms which were smaller and less impressive than the main one. They were placed in the same order as the ranks of the women. Mars lived here, which meant the room she had been in before was not her bedroom but related to something else.

“That is Beloved’s room at the end of the hallway.” She pointed to the most impressive double-doored room. “Each wing is one of the goddesses. The room at the end of each wing is one of the goddess’s bedroom. The other rooms are reserved for their guests and servants. Our room is here.”

I wondered why I couldn’t just take another room on Mother’s hallway, but I quickly realized it was because she only had one. The rest of the hallways was vacant of any room. There was only Mother’s room at the end and then this single room about halfway down the hallways on the right. If anyone thought that made the hallways seemed bland or boring, it was far from the case.

On the way down, I had snuck a look down some of the other hallways. They had several rooms, and also a few decorations, paintings, or statues I couldn’t make out while I was just walking past. Comparatively, Mother’s hallway was extremely festive. The walls were filled with images from top to bottom. As for what those images contained. It was life. There were pictures of people, animals, plants, landscapes, and more. It wasn’t until I looked up that I realized the ceiling was similarly decorated.

“She really is the goddess of life,” I mumbled.

If I looked down the other hallways, would I be able to glean some understanding of what the other goddesses were as well? Before I could successfully seduce them, I needed to know more about each of them.

“Mm, Mother is!” Artemis giggled.

“And you’re her servant?”

“Guest! I’m her guest!” Artemis pouted her lips. “This isn’t really my place. I stayed with you in the forest of beginnings, remember? I move around a lot. I’m always on the hunt. This just happens to be a place I stay at when the mood strikes me, so don’t be afraid to make the place your own.”

“I see… so you’re not a servant, you just do whatever she wants when she wants it?”

“Exact-err…. Hakaru! Don’t make fun of me!” She slapped my shoulder while I chuckled and pulled her to me. “I’ll really miss you.”

She shivered, melting into my arms. “The last few years with you really have been like a dream. Remember, Hakaru. Even if you can’t see me, I’m always there for you.”

“I love you, Artemis.”

“I love you too. Please, try to get along with Mother’s sisters. I know they can all be a pain, but deep down, I think they all long for a human connection that they’ve been denied. I’ll try to talk you up to Mother, and encourage her to return quickly so we can check on your progress. Even if you don’t succeed, remember, you’ll always have Lilith and me. We’re your women, no matter what!”

“I understand.” I kissed her gently.

The moment passed too quickly, and soon I was alone. I wasn’t just alone in a room, but an entire palace. No, I was alone in the entire god realm! I wasn’t familiar with anything. I had never even taken a step outside of the forest of beginnings, and now I was in an unfamiliar place surrounded by gods and goddesses that could snuff me out with a thought. From now on, success or failure depended on me.

The bedroom was massive, and so was the bed. The clear thing about this palace was that everything was large. The hallways were large enough that a bus could drive through them, and this room that should have belonged to a servant was large enough for a master bedroom. The bed was larger than a king’s. It was certainly perfect for a harem protagonist like me. I’d want to have one like this that I could lay out my entire harem on.

Well, that was years from now. For the moment, I needed the strength to back up everything that I promised my girls. I promised them I’d be able to protect them. I promised them that they’d be safe to keep their hearts with me. Now, I needed to prove that.

Just as I was thinking about such things, the door opened and a woman burst in. She was a black woman, rather tall. I wasn’t the tallest as a Japanese man, but she was a bit taller. She had wide hips and a big, shapely behind. It was the kind of ass that there were songs about. Her hair was a light baby blue, and she wore a belt around her hip covered in rhinestones that only accentuated her butt even more.

She had open rage on her face, and she looked around the room before her eyes landed on me. When she saw me, her brows narrowed angrily.

“C-can I help you?” I asked, fearing that my confrontation with the girls earlier might have caused this.

Did that hot-tempered Second send a bodyguard to kick me out of the palace? She seemed pretty strong, so that was really a possibility. She pointed a finger at me.

“Are you the one who was bullying Tenth?” She demanded.

Oh, so it was that damn little loli that caused this! She did say she was going to sick big sister on me. Since I had already met most of the girls, Tenth’s threat didn’t register, but this must be her big sister. In truth, she wasn’t a giant like Sixth, but yeah, she was big enough to kick my ass, and she didn’t have the other girl’s shy demeanor!

“Who are you?” That’s all I got out before she had enough.

“I’m Eighth, and you’re dead!”

Well, I had a good run. It looks like I had reached my end. No, wait, I want to live! Just how the heck was I going to placate the angry goddess?

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