Volume 6 Chapter 8 Yukishiro Emily, Grass and Powder
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
Before I tell this sad story, there’s something I need to say! Apparently, a mere college girl like me is now the leader of some organization’s group. I… I mean, it’s completely beyond my comprehension… This is how things are unfolding now, and I’m going to talk about it!
I thought I was freeing girls from that asshole, but before I knew it, this cult-like organization called the Holy Aqua Religion had emerged.
I… I know you probably have no idea what I’m talking about, and honestly, I have no clue how this happened… Sigh, my head is about to explode. It’s not some shady cult or scam group. I’m involved in something much scarier.
In the heart of the capital of this country, within the circle… The headquarters of the Holy Aqua Religion, a suspicious and mysterious religious organization, had been established. Huh? Wait a second, how did it become so big all of a sudden? After the rumors about me spread on the bulletin board, I immediately quit my activities as a Sister. I thought that would calm things down. B-but, without my knowledge, enthusiastic believers or whatever they are, started spreading their teachings and the organization grew.
Well, yeah… I mean, even I couldn’t resist going back when I found out that I could get free food and snacks. Then, self-proclaimed executives started appearing, calling me the Saint and all that. Well, I couldn’t help but get carried away. So, it’s not my fault! If I say I’m not at fault, then I’m not at fault!
”We’ve been waiting for you, O Saint.”
As I entered the organization’s building, the president of the Fuji Zaibatsu, who apparently owns the building, was prostrating before me. Huh? Aren’t I a self-proclaimed something? For real? Wait, wait, it’s… it’s true… When I looked it up on my smartphone, my face was in a damn newspaper.
”Thanks to the Saint, my granddaughter was saved…”
Granddaughter? I looked up her granddaughter, and she’s only about elementary school age. Did I do something?
”She is the daughter of my second daughter, who married into the Akiyama family.”
Oh… yeah, yeah, got it. Even if she mentions the Akiyama family (Aqua’s mother friend), I have no idea who they are, but for now, I’ll just smile and nod to get through this.
”Saint, O Saint, thanks to you, my daughter, too, was saved.”
Wait, hold on, I’ve seen this person before. I think she was on TV, talking about some important national matters or something… Damn it, I don’t have a TV at home, so I have no idea. I only used the internet to find material, and lately, I’ve been using it only to peek at the bulletin board and exchange information with the verification team. While I was thinking about that, I was surrounded by several believers.
”Thanks to the Saint, we now pray to Aqua-sama every day.”
”We can never thank enough the Saint for introducing us to Aqua-sama.”
”Since meeting Aqua-sama, my illness has not only stopped progressing, but I am recovering… even the doctors were surprised.”
No, that’s not right! It’s simply that thanks to Aqua-sama, their lives have become more fulfilling and enriched! See, it’s like they gained new vitality and moisture in their lives! You know, diseases are mind over matter! Live a healthy life, get rid of stress, and have a life full of hope, and the disease will just disappear! Well, that might be what you call a miracle, but still! Ah, but I feel like Aqua-sama could perform miracles.
Anyway, let’s just say it’s thanks to Aqua-sama. Not me. Yes, definitely not me, but all thanks to Aqua-sama. It’s not about shifting the blame, okay?
”O Saint, thanks to joining the Holy Aqua Sect, I finally got a job after struggling with job hunting.”
”I also advanced in my career thanks to the Holy Aqua Religion.”
Absolutely not, it’s all thanks to that Fuji Zaibatsu grandma and the powerful people! Aqua-sama also has nothing to do with it! Or maybe, like I said before, it’s just that their lives have become more fulfilling and they worked hard in job hunting and their jobs. They should praise themselves for their efforts! Alright, if that’s how it is, then I’ll awaken these blind followers.
”It’s all thanks to your unwavering efforts. I did nothing… Please be kind to yourself and appreciate your own efforts.”
Phew… with that, everything should be alr—whaaat!? For some reason, the woman in front of me shed a tear. Seeing that, the women around her burst into tears too. Wait a minute, it wasn’t me, I didn’t make her cry!
”Uuuh… You truly are a kind Saint. It’s rare to see such a pure heart.”
Hey, hey, come on! Why is this happening? That’s not it at all!
Claire, who was next to me, suddenly looked unwell and clutched her stomach in pain. Ever since we shared our secret that day, she and I are partners in destiny. So I won’t let her escape! I grabbed Claire’s arm as she tried to run to the restroom. If she really had a stomachache, I wouldn’t do this, but she was clutching her stomach while saying her head hurt, so it must be a lie!
Damn it, what should I do? In fact, I feel like my stomach is hurting now… No, seriously, it hurts. Well, in this situation, we’ll go to the restroom together.
Yes, so that’s why we’re friends, relieving ourselves in the restroom together.
”This restroom is way too big. It’s clearly bigger and cleaner than my room. I wonder how much the rent is for this? It spans across three floors like a one-floor penthouse. It’s insane that the Holy Aqua Religion can afford it.”
”Stop… no, stop it, Blech… saying that is making me feel even worse.”
I patted Claire’s back as she looked really sick. Alright, it’s time to use that special something. I handed a grass from the pouch in my pocket to Claire.
”Here, smell this, relax a bit, take a deep breath and exhale, inhale-exhale. See, how do you feel now?”
”It’s somewhat better… but what’s this grass? It’s not something dangerous, right?”
Claire looked at the grass I handed her with a suspicious expression. H-hey, that’s rude! I wouldn’t do anything sketchy or borderline illegal like giving someone dangerous stuff!
”Don’t worry, it’s just a good-smelling ordinary weed I found near my house. I use it as a toilet freshener, and it can cover up any odors even if you haven’t taken a bath. That’s why I carry it with me.”
Claire distanced herself from me by a couple of steps. W-well, don’t worry, yesterday I took a bath properly, so I should be clean… I think.
”O Saint, how are you feeling?”
Ah… Since we’re in the restroom, I let my guard down, and some followers of the Holy Aqua Religion, a dangerous group, entered. Damn, they’re acting out of good intentions, but I can’t even relax and use the restroom like this.
”Oh… that grass?”
”Oh, no, this is… Mmm! A good-smelling herb I found nearby… It’s nothing, just a little herbal fragrance…”
Even though it’s a weed from the neighborhood, I can’t say that. So I’ll just brush it off.
”O Saint, if it’s alright with you, could we also be blessed with some of that grass?”
I had plenty in stock because I thought I could cover up the smell with it, so there’s still some left in my pouch. I reluctantly handed each of them a piece of the good-smelling weed.
”Thank you, O Saint.”
One week later, for some reason, this grass became a huge hit among the followers of the Holy Aqua Religion, claiming that it had a soothing effect for sleep, revitalized them, relieved their irritability, and that Aqua-sama even appeared in their dreams when they placed it by their pillows. To meet the needs of the believers, I kept plucking the good-smelling weed from the neighborhood, but I’m starting to worry if the supply will run out someday.
”Oh… if it’s that grass, it’s growing like crazy in the backyard.”
The old lady from the neighborhood who gave me eggplants said that there shouldn’t be a problem with the grass running out. While I was thinking about that, I heard that the Holy Aqua Religion has an underground floor where they used to cultivate vegetables, but now they are growing eggplants and breeding that weed. So there seems to be no worry about depletion.
”Hey, hey? Is it really okay to leave it like this?”
”W-well, for now, they don’t seem to be doing anything strange, so I guess it’s fine?”
As Claire and I were having that conversation in the cafeteria, one of the religion’s executives approached us.
”…Saint Emily-sama, and Bishop Claire-sama, it’s been a while.”
One of the Holy Aqua Religion’s executives, Rinon (Former Stars’ foreign mercenary force), usually does something, but today she came to the headquarters for regular communication. By the way, Claire is listed as one of the executives because she is always with me. In the Holy Aqua Religion, the Pope is absent, and the Saint, which is me, is at the top, followed by bishops like Claire or those who are fervent believers in Aqua-sama, so-called fanatics. Surprisingly, the chairman of Fuji Zaibatsu and famous politicians are just ordinary members, and it seems that hierarchy is not determined simply by power or money. Rinon, on the other hand, is a priest and holds authority below the bishop. Below that are assistants, and even further down are regular members.
”Aqua-sama… We thank you for graciously bestowing the wonderful food, Eggplant, upon us, your lost lambs, from the heavens. Arqua.”
Seeing Rinon offering a prayer before the meal, both Claire and I had to suppress our laughter. By the way, the last word is a pledge, and Arqua, as the name suggests, refers to Aqua-sama. There are also other pledge words to show respect to Aqua-sama’s mother, Shirogane Marin-san, called Merlin, and to praise Beryl, who brought Aqua-sama into the world, called Beryl. Well, whatever, it doesn’t really matter.
”Look… Emily-sama is eating raw eggplants again.”
”Well, as expected of Emily-sama. She’ll have three today. Wonderful!”
”A true person is different, indeed.”
”Yes, every day, consuming eggplants… truly a person of modesty, desu~wa.”
It’s just because I don’t have money! Hey, you! Claire right in front of me!! Don’t eat Western-style eggplant pasta while trembling with your shoulders! You’re definitely laughing at me in your mind now, right!
”Saint Emily-sama… wonderful.”
Ggggwaaah, Rinon’s gaze, pure and innocent, pierced through my body and soul. I felt like I was about to wobble even while sitting on the chair. At that moment, a transparent polybag fell from my Sister’s uniform pocket.
”Emily-sama… what is this?”
Ugh, my reaction was too slow, and by chance, Rinon was the one who picked it up. With the attention already on us, the surroundings were fixated on our actions. N-no way… no way! It’s just some powdered biscuits from Morinaga, nothing more!!
”T-th-this is, uh, a little bit of powder that, uh, if you lick it, it will make your body feel better.”
Aaaaahhh! I couldn’t come up with a better explanation on the spot! Claire, who was next to me, cluthed her head. W-well, I guess it can’t be helped. There’s no way I could have said that it’s just crushed biscuits!
”May I have a little bit to try?”
”Y-yes… please go ahead.”
After opening the polybag, Rinon placed a small amount of powder on her palm and slowly licked it.
Rinon, who is usually cool, had her face flushed and her expression contorted in a messy manner.
”Look, Priest Rinon-sama is showing such a figure.”
”W-what is that? What on earth is that powder?”
”It’s the powder that Saint Emily-sama brought. It can’t be something strange, desu~wa.”
”*gulp* … But Rinon-sama also seems to be somewhat happy.”
The skeptical gazes from those around us were painful.
”If, if you all want, would you like to try it too?”
In order to prove that this was not some suspicious powder, I offered it to the believers. The result was that, in order to preserve their dignity, I decided to take this secret to the grave. I never imagined that at my age, I would end up watching someone else mast***ating… I think I now understand just a little bit of what my mom felt when she saw me doing it. But, after that, my mom, who served red bean rice for dinner, was smiling, and I will never forgive her for that!! Well, the red bean rice was delicious, but, seriously, can we just pretend that never happened?
”Hey… isn’t this just crushed biscuits? But why does it have such an effect?”
”W-well, it’s just ordinary biscuits that have been crushed one by one, of course.”
What I later found out was that the reason they reacted like that to eating biscuits was very simple. As you can see from the bulletin board, normal people would get tired of eating biscuits. Yeah, well, I think that’s the general reaction of ordinary people. But… sorry, but this is not an ordinary place. Yeah. Especially among the main headquarters staff, there are a lot of crazy people.
The higher the rank, such as assistant, priest, and bishop, the more crazy they are. For example, there’s one of the bishops with the nickname “Powder Addict (Biscuit Junkie),” and apparently, all three of his meals consist of Morinaga’s Merry Biscuits. And even her snacks are biscuits… So, what I’m trying to say is that they’re so crazy that they go beyond struggling with eating biscuits that they’re tired of or feeling indifferent about it, and they actually enjoy it. It would be a normal reaction for people, but they’re completely enjoying it!!
”Something’s wrong with this…!”
”If you have time to complain, put your hands to work!”
Back at my house, Claire and I were manually crushing biscuits using a mortar. Honestly, my arms were swollen from the daily work. Seriously, can’t someone notice already? It’s just biscuits!!
”Damn, let’s just ask someone else to do it.”
”Who are you going to ask?”
”Oh, how about the orphanage where I used to live?”
Ah, come to think of it, there was an overseas orphanage that the Holy Aqua Religion sent biscuits to before. I remember Claire being there for study abroad at the time. Thanks to that connection, we ended up distributing a large amount of Morinaga’s biscuits to that orphanage through the Holy Aqua Religion.
”Yes, they seem to have excess inventory there, so why don’t we have them crush the ones sent there and import them back? The cost for that… well, we can ask the Holy Aqua Religion to cover it, right? The children and the orphanage will get money from it, and if it’s the sponsor of the Holy Aqua Religion, they should be happy to provide the money, right?”
”I-I wonder if that would work.”
We tried asking as a last resort, and surprisingly, the conversation went very smoothly. By the way, in order not to let them know that it’s crushed biscuits, I asked through Claire for the ones sent there to be crushed. So, we made it look like it was wheat flour, sugar, salt, etc., and sent it in cardboard boxes, so I don’t think they’ll suspect anything. However, this incident led us to face another problem.
”A foreign branch is a lie? Are you kidding me…?”
”Hey, isn’t it just a hut or a prefab or just a single apartment room if you say it’s a foreign branch?”
Claire, who had collapsed on the desk, silently handed me her tablet. I lowered my gaze to the image on the tablet.
”Wh-what… Holy Aqua Religion Stars Branch…”
Ackkk! At a glance, I knew this was a bad one. In the CG-generated completed image, there was a large building standing in contrast to the palace where Shumi lived. Wait, this can’t be true!
”…I heard that there are many followers in the Stars as well.”
Upon Rinon’s words, both Claire and I turned pale. Huh? What!? This can’t be true, right? Maybe this is another elaborate prank or something. Otherwise, what? Are grown adults really spending money like water and wielding power to play secret base games or evil organization games? It can’t be true, right? Please tell me it’s not true, Claire!
Oh no… She broke. Claire has broken down… It seems she couldn’t confront such an otherworldly reality. Okay! I’m going to quietly fade away now. Let’s just say that I and this religious organization have absolutely no connection!
And so, I sealed away my Sister’s outfit. On the other hand, Claire, despite feeling uneasy about leaving things as they are, said she was still staying with the Holy Aqua Religion… I am grateful to Claire, but until things cool down, I hid my identity as a Sister.
Is this country okay?
Powerful adults: “Holy Aqua Religionnn!”
Schools, workplaces: “Henshin!”
The rate of what they are doing is almost the same, I think.
By the way, in this year’s happiness index, this country ranked first in the world or something…
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.