Translator: imperfectluck Editor: Kurisu
After breakfast, Seiji broached the topic of drawing a picture of Chiaki and her mother together.
Chiaki was rather surprised to hear him make such an offer. After a momentary pause of surprise, she happily accepted.
What type of expression would her father have if she showed him a drawing that Seiji drew? Just imagining it amused Chiaki.
Chiaki then described her mother’s appearance to Seiji in his study. Seiji took detailed notes before starting to plan out his drawing.
The background scenery would be beautiful falling cherry blossoms. Chiaki and her mother would be together, walking intimately side by side. Both of them would have happy smiles and appear to be chatting about something. Chiaki would have a bright smile, while her mother would have a gentle smile, making others feel the warmth of family upon seeing this drawing…
After he finished planning out his drawing, Seiji started drawing seriously. He activated his new [Mother and Daughter Drawing] skill!
Chiaki remained by his side and quietly watched him draw. She then suddenly had a thought—that this was the evidence that her mother had existed.
‘If there was no evidence that my mother had existed, then he would create evidence… Seiji, is that what you thought?’
Chiaki wanted to ask her boyfriend this question while he was focusing on drawing. But then again, she felt like there was no need.
The answer wasn’t that important. What was important was what he was currently working on.
Chiaki felt warmed in her heart as she thought about what this meant.
After watching for quite a while, she secretly left quietly so as not to break his concentration.
Later that afternoon, everyone trained in Kazuko’s Domain.
A “vicious demon” level large snake demon appeared. Seiji instantly used his new [Ultimate Performance] ability to cast the “Tremendous Light” spell! This spell was a huge help in killing the snake demon.
Everyone else thought that Seiji had learned this spell through the Visualization experience as Seiji Kamijou.
While Seiji had indeed learned the “Tremendous Light” spell after that experience, he still needed some time to cultivate the spell through his system before truly learning it. This time, he was simply using [Ultimate Performance] to cast the spell “Tremendous Light” before he actually learned it. This was so that he could experiment and find out how powerful an [Ultimate Performance] spell would be.
As for his other new ability, [Character Roleplay], Seiji had already experimented earlier that morning. He found that the greater the difference between himself and the person he transformed into, the greater the amount of expended Mana and mental spirit.
Transforming felt rather subtle, as if he had truly changed bodies. Not only that, he was completely unable to tell that anything was fake when he looked at himself in a mirror, which seemed amazing. Furthermore, his transformed body would affect his base stats. For instance, if he changed himself to an ugly appearance, his [Charisma] stat would decrease significantly. He supposed that it could be considered a temporary debuff.
Seiji also wondered if he should try transforming into a girl, but decided against this idea in the end. He felt that if he really did so, he would lose something important (shame).
System: “You’ve already cosplayed as female before, so why are you hesitating? Bravely take your first step into a new world, young man!”
Seiji: “I refuse!”
Of course, the conversation above was only imagined by Seiji.
After the Domain training ended, everyone returned to Natsuya’s residence’s living room to rest.
“Let’s have a party,” Seiji suggested to all his companions.
Before the god’s trial battle had begun, Seiji Kamijou had promised to hold a party for everyone after the fight. Seiji wanted to keep this promise in reality.
This would be a celebratory party for having resolved Chiaki’s problem, as well as a motivational party before the major battle regarding the Realm of Cherry Blossoms.
Everyone agreed with the idea of having a party.
“Since the promise of having a party is still in effect, how about my promised payment?” Natsuya smiled while asking Seiji.
“Of course, that’s also effective… but like I said at that time, accompanying you doesn’t really count as payment. Why don’t you change it to something else?”
“But that’s all I want.”
“Same for me,” Mika immediately added.
Kaede hadn’t joined this time’s training; otherwise, she probably would have said the same thing.
“I…” Hoshi opened his mouth, but then closed it again without saying anything else. That was because he sensed that something subtly changed in the atmosphere when he tried to speak.
Yukari looked over between Natsuya and Mika while blinking.
As a girl, she was even more sensitive than Hoshi to the tension in the air. She felt like something invisible was tightly wound… could this be the legendary scene known as a shuraba 1 ?
No… that didn’t seem like it was the case. Things weren’t that severe… were they?
“Alright,” Seiji agreed after seeing how Natsuya and Mika insisted. “I had wanted to pay you with something material, but if that’s what you want, that’s what we’ll do.”
He could tell that both Natsuya and Mika were being a little emotional.
It wasn’t that they were unhappy about putting in so much effort for his third girlfriend Chiaki’s problem. It was just that they wanted him to accompany them a little more after this.
It wasn’t that Seiji didn’t want to accompany them. He just didn’t want to do it as a method of “payment.” However, both girls adamantly insisted, so he could only go along with them.
Seiji knew that such subtle situations would also likely arise again in the future. He would have to be cautious about dealing with everyone, and he would even save and load if it was necessary… This was all because he was a scumbag man who started a harem.
Seeing how her boyfriend had agreed, Natsuya happily sipped on her tea.
Mika also sipped on her tea. The twintailed girl and the student council president seemed oddly in sync.
What was going on?
Kaho and Kazuko, who also sensed the subtle atmosphere in the air, were filled with questions as they didn’t know what was going on.
Unlike Yukari, neither Kaho nor Kazuko knew about Seiji starting a harem. That was why they were unable to sense the currents flowing underneath the calm surface. They could only sense that something subtle was in the air.
‘If I want to touch that invisible tension, I could ask for the exact same form of payment. But, I feel like I can sense some hidden danger…’ Kazuko adjusted her eyeglasses.
But, it seemed like it would be rather fun. Should she behave recklessly here?
No… Kazuko decided to forget about it. She didn’t want to antagonize the student council president.
“Although I somewhat want the same type of payment, I think I’d better not. I’ll ask for something when I have something I want.” Kazuko listened to her instinct warning her of danger and went with a more conservative approach.
Seiji nodded at her.
“What about all of you?” He then looked at Yukari, Kaho, and Hoshi.
“I don’t have anything that I want, so I don’t need payment,” Yukari told him.
“Same for me,” Kaho agreed.
Hoshi also agreed with this.
“Then I’ll treat it as you all saving your payment for later.” Seiji smiled. “Just like Kazuko, feel free to tell me if there’s anything that you want.”
He then asked everyone for opinions on when and where to hold the party.
Later that night, it started raining again. It wasn’t too cold, but still rather chilly.
Seiji walked out into the rain and got onto Yui’s car.
Just like the last time, he reported to her about Kamitani and told her about the information he received as payment, the top-secret information from Soul Society.
This information basically said that Soul Society was unable to confirm the specific location that the Realm of Cherry Blossoms Spirit World #1 would descend upon. Nor was Soul Society going to evacuate the entire city, because that might cause the Realm of Cherry Blossoms to go out of control.
After everything was taken into consideration, Soul Society decided to initiate the realm’s descent instead! The price would be to sacrifice a minor portion of the city’s population in order to forcefully summon the Realm of Cherry Blossoms at a fixed location.
This “minor portion” was relative to the entire city’s population. But, the predicted civilian death count was more than three thousand!
This meant that Soul Society intended to sacrifice the lives of at least three thousand civilians in order to manipulate where the Realm of Cherry Blossoms would descend!
“Is this news real?” Seiji looked directly at Yui and spoke in a serious tone after he finished telling Kamitani’s information to Yui.
Yui responded with only silence.
This meant that the information was real. Seiji also fell silent.
Itskui Kamitani’s words, his little talk about the topic of “peace”, that “interesting” story, and his final question to Seiji… all of these kept echoing in Seiji’s mind.
“Is there truly no other way?” After a long silence, Seiji finally spoke up again. “A method where nobody will die.”
“There is, but it won’t be used,” Yui stated lightly.
Her expression and tone of voice didn’t express any emotion.
But when discussing this type of topic, no emotion was also a type of emotion.
“Because there will be too heavy a price to pay.”
“What price? What price is heavier than so many lives!?”
After saying this, Seiji knew that he was being so-called “unreasonable.”
Human lives were priceless. Anyone could say that.
However, the reality of the world was that human lives indeed had value that could be measured.
When sacrificing a portion of the city’s population could avoid even bigger losses, or if there were bigger benefits to be had, “Order” would operate in such a manner. That was just how Order was, from ancient times to the present.
Soul Society was a faction that represented “Order”. Anything that this faction wanted to do simply had to operate on cold logic as if the organization was a machine.
As long as the “logic” was clear that making a sacrifice a few thousand citizens would bring more benefits than losses, then any amount of sacrifice would always be considered “appropriate…” That was just how things were.
That was just how things were.