After successfully gaining Miko Arian's cooperation, Shinji switches off his thoughts and touches Renka's shoulder, who is resting next to him. When Shinji touches her, Renka's gaze turns towards him. He puts his mouth to her ear and whispers in a low voice.
「The succubus on Hateyama is an enemy of the goddess. Renka, I need your help」
「I had a feeling this wasn't a normal situation... but I see. What are you going to do? We don't have the manpower for it, so we're sort of stuck」
Renka is surprised, but shook her head firmly. She knew Shinji isn't the type to launch a suicide mission with no chance of success, so she nudged him onward to listen to his idea.
「We'll borrow the Pegasus and the strength from the temple. We'll mount the horses and ride to the dragon, and have the high-ranking spirits set up barriers to prevent other monsters from interfering. After that, we can defeat the dragon」
「If we want to defeat it... do we have a chance? It's a dragon」
「The most terrifying thing about dragons is that they can fly. So, if we lock them up inside the barriers, they'll lose half their advantages. Alvin's new sword can kill a dragon too」
Shinji's plan is to use the same isolating strategy against dragons that he used against Himeno in the past, using protective barriers. Really, he didn't think that the information he had gathered on dragons in case of emergency would come in handy in such a situation and so he smiled. Then he continued to talk to Renka with a serious expression.
「Renka, as you said, if we continue like this, we won't just be stuck in a deadlock, but pushed to the brink. After all, the other side is a succubus that is clearly hostile to us. There's no doubt she'll keep sending more monsters. That's why we have to stop it」
「...Yeah, right. Then, are you going to tell Al and Mil?」
「Well, I can't ask them to do this without an explanation. So, I'll have to tell them about the apostles」
Shinji smiled resignedly, but he didn't think it would make much difference. Now that he's at a higher rank, there's no advantage to disbanding the party. Aside from the two requests from the temple, Alvin has been the main contributor to every other achievement, and it is no exaggeration to say that he has been able to reach Hateyama on his own thanks to his efforts.
「I'm sure Al will be fine. Shinji, tell him why you didn't tell him and he'll understand」
「I hope so. I'll go talk to him」
After telling Renka this, Shinji went to Alvin and Milis.
As Renka watched from a distance, she could see the three of them heading out of the hall together, saying a few words. Renka followed them, relieved that they are able to get to the place of discussion first.
◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇
The outside of the hall of the Hateyama branch is quiet, unlike the inside of the busy hall. Shinji, Alvin, and Milis walked to the corner of the less popular area. After a thorough check of the surroundings, Shinji turned to Alvin and Milis. Before Shinji can open his mouth, Alvin speaks up.
「Shinji, if you're talking about leaving this place, then no. We're not ready to give up yet. You're not ready to give up yet, are you?」
「Uh~... no. I mean, it's hard to talk about, but that's not the point」
「No? Shinji, I thought you are talking about playing it safe」
「That's true. That's what I would normally say」
Shinji chuckled at Alvin's words, showing a certain understanding. And feeling deeply moved by the fact that they have come to understand each other so well, Shinji opens his mouth again.
「It's rather the opposite. Alvin, Milis, I'd like you to accompany me riding a Pegasus to exterminate the dragon and the demon. Can you help me?」
「R-Ride a Pegasus? What are you talking about all of a sudden, Shinji? The Temple controls the Pegasus」
Alvin is confused by the suddenness of the conversation. It's the same for Milis. In fact, it is because she is a Priestess that she is even more confused. The serious expression on Shinji's face, which is different from his usual soft atmosphere and which he only shows when he is making a request, makes them understand that it is not a lie or a joke, but this makes them even more confused.
「I'm sorry for keeping it a secret from you. Actually, I'm an apostle of the Goddess. I've been asked by the Goddess to take down the demon on Hateyama. So, I need your help」
「You're the Goddess's Apostle!? Shinji!?」
「Shinji-san is an apostle...!?」
Alvin and Milis are astonished by the unexpected news. It's not easy to believe something like that. But Shinji has a way to prove it.
「There is no lie in Shinji's words. I guarantee it~noja」
「Flair is my chaperone. Actually, we don't even have a contract」
As a high-ranking spirit, Flair would never lie about the Goddess. That is a rule of spirits that everyone knows, and it proves that Shinji's words are true. Moreover, Flair is a high-ranking spirit who had not made a contract with him but she obeys him meekly, which only added to his credibility.
「I've been trying to keep quiet since I found out that Alvin was trying to rise on his own. But <Running Wolves> should not have been promoted by this discovery. After all, I had asked the Temple not to send out nomination requests for anything other than Apostle work. But I'm sorry for not telling you until now」
Shinji bowed deeply to Alvin. He kept bowing until Alvin called out to him.
「...I understand why. But I wish you had told me sooner, Shinji」
「I'm sorry. The goddess told me not to let anyone know. But this time, I thought it would be unreasonable not to tell you」
Shinji quietly mixes falsehoods and gives what seems like a good reason. When the name of the Goddess is mentioned, Alvin has no choice but to agree. Alvin is not angry at being kept in the dark. It seemed to him that Shinji had not been asked to do anything by the Temple, and that he would have done the same if the Goddess had told him to.
「Not at all. I'm a noble now, isn't Shinji supposed to be more important?」
「Apostles don't have any power... no, not really」
Alvin pushed Shinji with his elbow, and Shinji replied with a grim expression. The two of them started talking as usual, and Milis finally joined the conversation.
「Shinji-san. Renka-chan is...?」
「Of course, I know it」
「Well, Renka is Shinji-san's girlfriend」
Renka, who had been watching for people to come, joins the conversation. It's a huge bombshell, but Milis's heart is complicated when she found out that Renka had heard Shinji's secret beforehand, but she decided that it was unavoidable for them to be secret saffle.
「So, what do you think? If you two are willing to cooperate, I've made arrangements to have Miko-sama bring the Pegasus to us right away...」
Alvin looked at him as if to say, "Are you sure you don't have the power?" but Shinji only smiled back.
「Of course, I'll do it! It's the Goddess's choice! Since it is Shinji's plan, we have a chance to win, right?」
「I'll help you. I'm worried about Al-kun alone, and it's for Goddess' sake!」
「Thank you. It's my job to make sure we win. You can count on me」
Alvin smiles fearlessly, and Milis looks up at Alvin next to him. Shinji smiles confidently back at them.
- Shinji reveals his identity as an Apostle to Alvin and Milis.
- With their help, they start to fight back.
- Finally, this adventure arc is almost over.
- After the adventure, there will be more eroticism. For balance....
- There's a new project in the works. It's kind of Boku no Hero Academia, but with an adult twist. The table of contents can be found in here.