Meanwhile, after Ryouma left Shikumu Village, nine gods gathered together in a building within the divine realm. Eight of them sat in a circle, and the remaining god, Sereriputa, was sat on a stone seat at the center. A faint light emanated from the chains that bound him.
“…Hey, mind removing this? With so many of you surrounding me, there’s no way I’m going to try and run. Come on, now. Also, this chair is really hard and uncomfy.” [Sereriputa]
“At least endure that much! Do you realize what you’ve done!?” [Willieris]
“I know I broke the rules, but these things are useless. It would be one thing if there were just two gods here, but there are eight gods here. Even if I were to try to do something, you can easily put me down.” [Sereriputa]
“Well that’s true.” [Kirillel]
“That’s no reason to loosen those chains.” [Fernoberia]
The Goddess of War, Kirillel, found herself agreeing with Sereriputa’s unhappy remark, but the God of Magic and Knowledge, Fernoberia, shot the idea down.
“That aside, are Meltrize and Manoairoa not coming yet?” [Fernoberia]
“Hmm… I did call out to them but I guess they’re not coming after all.” [Gayn]
“Manoairoa is a moody person…” [Kirillel]
“And Meltrize is always asleep.” [Rurutia]
“There’s no point in waiting anymore. Let’s get this started already.” [Tekun]
Gayn the God of Creation looked at everyone’s faces.
“It would have been best if everyone were gathered, but I suppose we’ll just have to start like this. I trust you are all aware why we are here today. Sereriputa, one of our own, has laid a hand on Ryouma-kun’s soul; hence, our purpose here today is – none other than – to decide how he shall be dealt with. Let it be known that Willieris and Grimp witnessed the crime in the act, and Sereriputa himself as admitted to it. Anything amiss?” [Gayn]
“None at all.” [Willieris]
“…Everything is in order.” [Grimp]
“I did admit to it.” [Sereriputa]
“Well then… Dearly beloved, as I’m sure you’re all aware, manipulating the soul of a living creature is something that is very close to a taboo for us gods. One cannot simply be acquitted for transgressing it, though there is room to discuss how one should be punished. Does anyone wish to say anything? Is there anyone among us who would like to defend Sereriputa?” [Gayn]
The first to speak in response to that call was Kirillel.
“I do have something to say. First, I want to hear from the person himself why he did what he did. Sereriputa appearing on his own volition and being involved with a person is by itself an anomaly.” [Kirillel]
“You heard her.” [Gayn]
All eyes gathered on Sereriputa, but it was Kirillel’s unhappy gaze that made him talk.
“A reason, huh? Well, you guys have met Ryouma too, right? I just happened to have some interest in the guy. That’s all. I just fiddled with his soul because I wanted to investigate him. I mean there was talk going around that there were some abnormalities. Besides, while I may not have much interest in otherworlders, isn’t Fernoberia the same? I don’t think it’s really all that strange.” [Sereriputa]
“Indeed. But isn’t fiddling with a soul too much?” [Fernoberia]
“Hey, I was also just planning on reading the kid’s mind, but… I miscalculated a bit. To be honest, I think I’m in the wrong too, that’s why I’m actually reflecting on my actions.” [Sereriputa]
“You don’t look like you’re reflecting one bit. And what exactly did you ‘miscalculate’?” [Willieris]
“Haven’t I been telling you all this time? In various meanings, that is. As I said, I was just planning on asking the kid some questions and read his mind. So I made it easier for him to show his emotions, but he actually resisted, and in the end, he even neutralized my sleight of hand… Because of that he found out that I was manipulating his mind, and he became alert. He himself didn’t seem to be aware of what he did, so I had no choice but to investigate his soul directly.” [Sereriputa]
The gods were all greatly troubled upon hearing that. Wry smiles appeared on their faces, and though they showed different reactions, there was one thing they had in common – they were all ‘flabbergasted’. Sereriputa’s way of doing things really couldn’t be praised.
“He resisted the power of a god and even neutralized it. Are you telling me you wouldn’t have investigated a human’s soul after seeing one accomplish a feat like that?” [Sereriputa]
The gods hesitated a little.
After all, a human soul resisting the power of a god and even neutralizing it was unheard of.
“The souls that have come from Earth have all had some manner of abnormality to them. Ryouma’s abnormalities, however, are remarkably conspicuous. If his soul really can neutralize our powers, then leaving his soul without investigating it would in fact prove dangerous. Don’t you think?” [Sereriputa]
“Hmm. So you’re saying his soul might be capable of threatening us; hence, you took it upon yourself to forcefully investigate it?” [Gayn]
“I didn’t think it would be good to leave it alone. Besides, once a living creature dies, the soul it contains will – in time – be reborn as a new life-form… And the reason why manipulating souls is a taboo to us is because the souls we’ve fiddled with can no longer ‘reincarnate correctly’, correct?
Ryouma is an otherworlder. His soul has already been fiddled with the moment he came to this world, so his treatment after death has already been decided to be different. Although he may have suffered a lot because I handled him forcefully, I was still considerate enough to ensure that there would be no bad effects on him.
…In fact, if Willieris over there hadn’t jumped in like that, everything would have ended a lot safer.” [Sereriputa]
“What was that!?” [Willieris]
“Relax. Let’s all get along.” [Grimp]
A few unnecessary remarks caused Willieris the Goddess of the Land to react, but before anything could start, Grimp the God of Farming interjected.
“Ahem! Anyway, so you’re saying that you did what you did out of necessity and you’ve taken the necessary precautions?” [Gayn]
“Yeah. I acknowledge that I’m wrong for taking action on my own without contacting anyone, but at the same time, my relationship with you guys was really bad at the time and it wasn’t really the time to be asking others for permission either.” [Sereriputa]
“After fiddling with someone’s soul without permission, it’s only natural that you’d be treated that way when found out.”[Gayn]
“Well, yeah. But it couldn’t be helped—” [Sereriputa]
“Enough. What are you hiding?” [Gayn]