𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟑𝟓: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐮𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐋𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐃𝐞𝐜𝐚𝐝𝐞
“Hey, please let me know when you get back. Welcome home.”
“. . . . . . You invited a man into the house when I wasn’t here.”
“It’s not a home, it’s a shop, right? And he’s the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, so we have to take care of him. Plus, Kami-sama, you were watching over us like a hawk, weren’t you? I found 34 of your snakes.”
“There were 41.”
“That’s just horrific.”
Kami-sama gathers up the snakes scattered around the room and looks at me with intense eyes. (This sight would be truly terrifying if you weren’t used to it.)
“If Charlene wanted to open a shop, you didn’t need to rely on that man.”
“That’s out of the blue.”
“I could have built you a shop in the busiest downtown area.”
“Well, I don’t need that. I’m not struggling for a living.”
“Then why work?”
“Well . . . . . . I just . . . . . . I just want to mimic what my Dad used to do.”
That’s something I wanted to do once I was free.
Like a kite whose string has been cut, my landing spot in life, after being given freedom, was to restart life from when I was 8 years old.
First, I want to mimic my father and have my own shop.
Herbal tea can be sold without a pharmacist’s license, and it can be sold more freely than official medicine. If I sell it with a little bit of my saintly abilities, I can make a business that helps people to a degree that doesn’t attract too much attention. I have knowledge and experience in herbal teas, not only from my father but also from the accumulated times when I worked as a saint.
I look around the shop.
The herbs hanging from the ceiling, the atmosphere of the shelves, everything ― I wanted to recreate, in my own way, the nostalgic place I had lost. The shop’s name is Hiraes, my father’s name.
When I became a saint, it was decided that it would be better if I had a surname. When I was about to be given a random house name, I reflexively said I liked Hiraes. Hiraes has no meaning in the language of this country. It’s my father’s name, who came from a foreign land, so no one opposed it.
By the way ―― after [the Second Coming], I was able to change my physical age as I liked.
Since the sacred relics were gone, Kami-sama became a land god unbound to the country.
At the same time, it seems the power of my soul has also increased. We’re like two halves of one Kami-sama, it seems.
I may be more than half not-human anymore.
I should be 20 years old, but sometimes I don’t even know what my real age should look like. Instead of finding it scary, I optimistically accept it as, “Well, that’s just how it is being Kami-sama’s wife.”
Well, that’s alright. There’s no use thinking too deeply about it.
So, normally I’m 10 years old. I’ve been aging as Charte-chan, regaining the time that was stolen from me in my own way. When I turn 18 as Charte―at that time, I plan to take a hard look at my life once again.
“. . . . . . Never mind.”
“Is that so?”
“What’s so funny?”
“Well. . . . . . It’s just, having someone there when you call, it’s a kind of happiness.”
The happiness of having someone respond when you call out. The ticklish feeling of being able to say “never mind,” it’s delightful.
“Well then, it’s about time to get back to the afternoon work.”
As I stretch my arms wide, I notice I’ve grown taller.
I’m 18. I turn around and complain to Kami-sama standing behind me. It’s Kami-sama’s doing.
“. . . . . . Kami-sama, don’t mess with my body all of a sudden, it’s shocking.”
“I just wanted to show my affection. You don’t like being touched when you’re 10, do you?”
“But don’t make me big all of a sudden, like, . . .”
“If Charlene dislikes it, I’ll stop.”
“. . . . . . That’s not fair, the way you put it.”
“Do you dislike expressions of human affection?”
“I don’t dislike them, that’s why I say it’s not fair.”
“I know. Charlene doesn’t let it happen when she truly dislikes it.”
“. . . . . . I would appreciate it if you could also remember the term ‘tact’, Kami-sama.”
――Kami-sama isn’t human, so He doesn’t do things that I dislike.
He doesn’t have any interest in me as a human male would.
Meaning, He understands what makes me happy, what I consider to be expressions of love, and does not encroach upon it, so. . .
“I love you, Charlene.”
“. . . .I get it, alright, I lose. . . .Just a little bit. . . .”
I’m weak for the dreamy eyes that smile. When He wraps around me like a snake and buries His face in my neck in an affectionate manner, I yearn for more of His body heat. Even if it’s a simulated warmth, pretending to be human-like. I surrender myself and close my eyes.
It’s strange and odd to think that the beautiful God who covers the sky would do such an ordinary man-like thing.
I wish I could escape from situations like this by claiming that I’m just a child and don’t understand.
“Mm. . . . .?”
“Don’t ever leave me again.”
“I know. . . .”
“I love you.”
“I want you to call me by my name.”
“. . . .It makes me feel shy, somehow.”
“It’s fine if you don’t let anyone else hear it.”
Kami-sama’s pitch-black eyes narrow to thin slits at close range, where His face is reflected. Along with the hair that’s like a curtain of night, even with my eyes open, it felt like my eyes were closed. Being swallowed by the blackness.
I was a superficial saint. Not a saint who came from another world. Even the appearance of Charte-chan was a lie.
But Kami-sama definitely loves the bare Charlene, stripped of everything.
I wrap my arms around His surprisingly broad back.
And in my heart, I whispered my love by calling the real name of my Kami-sama, who belongs only to me.”