After we finished our breakfast, we walked down the street.
I was planning to travel with Ryuu to our destination. Unfortunately, he was on a trip with Eleanora. Our destination wasn’t far, it’s not bad to walk once in a while.
Only recently have I come to understand. A date is when a man and a woman walk side by side. Therefore, the current situation in which we are walking together side by side is definitely a date.
Too bad. From beneath my feet, I hear a voice interrupting such a lovey-dovey scene.
“This is the right way! We’ll reach that place without getting lost.”
“That’s good to hear.”
Remn lurks in my shadow once again, refusing to even walk.
The place where the God of Darkness’ faith was said to have been restored. The distance and direction provided by Remn lead to a farming village near the town.
It’s within walking distance. I never thought that a mysterious new religion was established so close to me….
We were already there before I could even think about it.
Amidst the vast wheat fields, there was a village.
This is the village? I remembered the last time I visited. At that time, it was tough because people were making a fuss about me being the mountain god.
When we stopped at the village, Remn peeked out from the shadows.
“Please come out. We’re in the right place, right?”
“For now, this village is the right place.”
“I mean, the faith in me seems to be radiating all over this area.”
“Are you saying that the God of Darkness faith is spreading beyond this village?”
Uh oh. Did a mysterious new force secretly expand its influence in the area?
When I entered the village, I first questioned the locals, but Remn was walking alone in another direction.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
“There’s a simple temple this way.”
They even have those things. I exchanged glances with Patrick in surprise and quickly followed him.
After walking halfway along the village’s outskirts, we moved towards the mountain on the opposite side of the road.
The mountain nested in the heart of Dolknes territory. It was a place that people rarely visit. If you venture too deep into the mountain, you’ll find yourself in the monster territory. Occasionally, a stray comes down to the village making it a dangerous place.
It was also a place where I used to hang out as a child.
There was indeed what looked like a small wayside shrine made of stone ahead.
It’s a small shrine but it was taller than Patrick. It was carved and covered with a wooden arc. It must have taken a lot of effort to build.
The village children were playing around the shrine. They made a scene when they saw me.
“Wow! It’s the mountain god!”
“You are wrong, it’s the Lord!”
“Woaaah, her hair is really dark!”
Eep, they still call me by that name?
When I was leveling up in the mountain as a child, I was sometimes spotted by the villagers and they thought I was a guardian deity who was protecting them by exterminating monsters.
After taking my mantle as a Lord, I was supposed to clear up the villagers’ misunderstanding….
Also, a nice opportunity. The children wouldn’t be able to keep a secret. I tried to remain calm and asked about the shrine.
“Hey, guys. This stone shrine is a shrine dedicated to the God of Darkness, right?”
“Isn’t it a shrine for the Mountain God?”
“Huh, but the Mountain God uses a dark attribute to defeat the monsters….”
They don’t seem to get the point. Coincidentally, the word for mountain and darkness in this world has the same pronunciation just like in Japanese. Maybe that’s why they’re confused.
Patrick, who was approaching the shrine by himself, said.
“The shrine has Mountain God engraved on it.”
Huh? Then, this isn’t a shrine for Remn?
I turned to Remn to see his reaction but he just tilted his head and didn’t say anything. The whole situation is fishy.
Not getting any answers, I started asking some more questions to the children.
“Is there any other place besides here where they worship God?”
“Oh— something like this shrine, where you can pray to the god.”
“There’s an altar for Sanon-sama at the village chief’s house.”
The one who looked the oldest answered me politely.
Sanonism, huh? The God of Light, Sanon, is a major religion that is widely followed here. The battle against the light barrier in the royal capital’s church was still fresh in my mind.
“No, that’s all.”
“Alright. Sorry for taking so much of your time.”
The children looked at each other with curious looks on their faces. We bowed before retreating back to the village.
Apparently, there isn’t any faith in the God of Darkness. Then why did Remn say that faith in his attribute had been restored?
“Can you please explain what you mean now?”
When I pressed Remn with a glare, he began to speak while looking embarrassed and fidgety.
“Maybe… the people’s faith in Onee-san also affects me.”
“Look, mountain and darkness have similar pronunciation, right? Moreover, Onee-san is using dark magic. The villagers believed in the Mountain God and at the same time believed in me, the God of Darkness… something like that. It makes sense that the power would reach me through Onee-san. That’s why I thought you were a Miko.”
What’s that? The similarity in the pronunciation and the fact that I use dark magic is the reason why the faith reached Remn?
He is a faith thief. I don’t want any believers… I would gladly give it all back to Remn.
“Eee… where’s the punch line?”
Time to go. After giving Patrick a warning look, I quickly started walking.
“I’m going. You’ll have to walk home by yourself.”
“W-wait, wait a minute!”
Following the road, I got some distance away from the village.
It was almost noon. The sun was high in the southern sky. This is when the shadows are at their smallest.
Remn was walking behind us, grumbling. When he approached us about to enter our shadow, we quickened our walking pace.
“Is this a good place?”
After receiving Patrick’s understanding, we both changed direction to the north at the same time.
This area is a wasteland. The only thing I could see was a few rocks and scattered weeds. There’s little ‘shadow’ here.
“Uhh, why are we going off the road?”
When Remn expressed his concern, Patrick and I looked back at each other.
No doubt he’s lying. We came all this way because Patrick and I noticed it.
“I thought I’d ask you to tell me the truth.”
“What are you talking about? I’ve been telling you nothing but the truth.”
“Didn’t you say that the faith in God of Darkness only recently was restored?”
“However, that belief was caused by the Mountain God… or me. I defeated the monsters and became known as Mountain God more than ten years ago. Isn’t it strange that at that time the faith in the God of Darkness hasn’t been restored?”
“…Haa, I made you so wary of me. Is this why we are doing this right now?”
That’s right. We are standing north and Remn was in the opposite direction. The shadow stretches north, leaving little danger of being taken advantage of by Remn.
The only ability we know about so far is his ability to travel through shadows. You can never be too careful because he might have something else up his sleeve.
“Don’t look so scary. Traveling through the shadows isn’t that convenient. You can only leave through the shadow you entered and there are quite a few restrictions.”
“That’s a lie.”
Patrick continued, convinced that he was lying.
“When Miss Eleanora came, Remn must have jumped into my shadow. But you can leave through Yumiela shadow after that.”
“I thought I was careful. That means I have been suspected from the beginning. Did Onee-san question about leveling up is also you pretending to get the information out of me?”
Patrick gave me a sideways glare, telling me not to lie. I reluctantly nodded.
“You attacked me with dark magic to figure out what would work.”
“And the reason you kicked me as soon as you saw me was to make sure physical attack works?”
Patrick looked at me in disbelief, but I didn’t care.
It is important to have a mental advantage in this kind of situation. Actually, it was my conditioned reflex that made me kick Remn, my instinct made me latch onto the leveling up bit and it was a mistake to attack him with dark magic.
“That’s why you ordered that maid not to listen to me.”
“Oh, I guess that’s true.”
At the time I was skeptical, but telling Rita was the right thing to do. This boy who called himself God was too suspicious.
Physical attack is effective, dark magic is ineffective and other attributes were unknown. It’s possible that he still has some hidden abilities.
Even though we were in a ready-for-battle position, Remn still had a relaxed smile on his face. No, his smile was a little tense. Despite his attitude, he might be overwhelmed.
But that still doesn’t mean we should let our guard down.
The silent pause lasted a few seconds.
Remn slowly raised his hands in surrender.
“I give up. There’s no way I could win against both of you. I’ll tell you the truth.”
“How do we know that you’re telling the truth?”
“Um… why don’t you ask her? She’s just arrived.”
He then pointed to an empty space on our left.
I was about to tell him to stop trying to distract me when something happened.
Out of nowhere, a dazzling light floods the place.
The feverish white light made me think of the sun.
“What the hell?!”
The light was blinding and I couldn’t help but cover my eyes. Patrick was probably in the same situation.
It only took a few seconds for the light to fade.
The first thing I checked was Remn. He’s still standing where he was and didn’t run away.
A girl was standing where the light appeared. She looked about the same age as me.
White hair, golden eyes. Dressed in a simple white dress, she radiated a divine aura.
Her waist-length white hair shone in the sunlight. Her bangs were parted in the middle revealing her wide forehead.
She looked around slowly at Remn, Patrick, and me before speaking up.
“I’m Sanon, the God of Light. And I’m going to eliminate you, Yumiela Dolknes.”
Her beautiful eyes looked straight at me.