We have arrived.
“This is the Water capital, Hydra Ville. The city where the Water Church’s headquarters are located.”
What a beautiful scenery this city has.
There’s canals and waterways here and there in the city, and on top of that, there’s several tourist-looking people that have been passing by us on board of gondolas.
“Hydra Ville is a port city build on the sea. Because of it, within the five Churches, this is the wealthiest one.” (Karen)
“Since the time the ethereal technology developed, their amount of goods transportation and the scope of it has increased drastically, and its worth as a trade port has increased drastically as well. In those points, the Water Church dealt with it in a flexible manner. The tolerance of ethereal machines is number one in this place.” (Mirack)
“Cargo ships that run with ethereal energy have been created, so there’s no need for the assistance of the waves and wind anymore after all. But I like this city as a sightseeing city, you know. Those gondolas are incredibly cute.” (Karen)
“I have heard that the maintenance and the sightseeing places are mainly managed by the Water Church.” (Mirack)
Even if I compare it to the few places I have seen until now, I can tell that the Water capital, Hydra Ville, was build with a clear policy in mind.
But this sagaciousness…it smells a lot like that person…
Water God, Coacervate.
He was a cunning and clever God. In the Genesis era, the one who formed the network of five Gods and defeated me was him.
And this place is the Water Church’s headquarters, and the church that follows Coacervate.
Are the believers of the churches influenced by the God that they worship?
“…And so, we are going to go meet the water hero Celestis now but…how do you plan on meeting her?” (Haine)
“Let’s go to the headquarters of the Water Church, the water grand church. It is normal for the hero to be there, and even if she is not, we should be able to obtain some sort of clue.” (Karen)
“Just like in my case, you guys really like to charge in without making any appointments…” (Mirack)
Ignoring what Mirack said, I confirm the map in order to head to the Water Church’s headquarters.
“Hm, the shortest route would be to go straight here and…” (Haine)
“Ah, Haine-san, they say this viaduct is a famous place! Let’s go check it out!” (Karen)
“We aren’t here to sightsee, you know?” (Haine)
Is what I say when…
*Dondoko dondondokodon dondokodondondon*
*Dondoko dondondokodon dondokodondondon*
A strange noise was approaching from somewhere?
“What’s with this noise? A musical instrument… A drum?” (Mirack)
“Haine-san, at the canal!” (Karen)
Looking at the place Karen-san is pointing at, I could see a drum floating on the water…no, that’s not it. There were a lot of drums on top of a big ship, and these drums were being beaten by many men.
The ship was wide, enough to occupy half of the canal. The gondolas that were passing by its side were in a tight state. They might crash with a single mistake.
The ship’s height was also proportional to its width, and it was so high that even us who were looking at a slightly elevated area had to look up. And on top of it, there’s men beating drums.
*Dondoko dondondokodon dondokodondondon*
“What’s that?” (Haine)
“I don’t know.” (Karen)
“Like hell we would understand this!” (Mirack)
Not a single one of us understood what was going on.
And, without a single care about our confusion, the situation headed onto an even more confusing one.
“Everyone~! I will be intruding-nyaa~~!”
A loud voice, that felt as if it was pressing onto the inside of my head, pierced my eardrums.
In the middle of the men that were beating the drums, a part that we were unable to see from our position had lifted high up -probably by the use of some sort of mechanism- and became a stage, moreover, there was one girl standing on top of that stage…
“The water hero, Celestis?!” (Haine)
There was no difference from the poster. That’s why I could tell. Things like the sleeve and the skirt’s hem were fluttering about, and the places that must be concealed are dangerously open; a sly outfit.
With only slight movements, the outfit moves a lot which attracts the eyes. And as a finishing blow, that sparkling smile of hers, it was as if she was utilizing 100% of her face’s muscles.
“An announcement! I have come to announce the live that will be held tomorrow~~!” (Celestis)
*Dondoko dondondokodon dondokodondondon*
The drums were interluding in good tempo.
“Cleaning everyone’s gloom, the pure stream water songstress, hero Celestis and her many drummers-de~~su!!” (Celestis)
I don’t understand anything anymore.
“An additional public performance has been decided earlier, and from tomorrow on to three days, there will be live concerts!! This time’s venue is incredible, you know! The stage is floating on the sea! No doubt it will be become a specialty of Hydra Ville! If you don’t come see the sea stage, you will regret it for the rest of your life! If you don’t come…Celes-tan will smush you into soup!!” (Celestis)
Yup, not one word at all.
- 40: Emergency Announcement
A hellfire attacked the advertising ship mercilessly.
The culprit is, of course, this person that controls fire.
“Mirack-san?! What are you doing?! Are you an idiot?!” (Haine)
“Don’t blame me! You are also unable to take anymore of this odd atmosphere, right?!” (Mirack)
Well, that’s true but…even if that’s the case, turning into an arsonist because of that is questionable as a hero.
“Don’t worry. For her, this doesn’t even amount to a fart.” (Mirack)
When I look, the fire, that was supposed to be chaotically spreading in the place, was devoured by what seemed like an even bigger monster and was extinguished.
That giant monster that devoured this fire was…water.
The water below the canal rose up like a snake, lunged onto the fire, and devoured it completely.
“…What’s this, seriously… Even if you get incredibly excited, please don’t throw things to the stage, customer-sama…” (Celestis)
On top of the stage, the beautiful girl fluttered her blue garment.
“That garment, that looks like a dancing outfit at a glance, is actually the strongest divine relic of the Water Church, rivaling Karen’s holy sword Saint-George and my Fire Fist Barbarossa.” (Mirack)
“Naturally, looking at the affinities between our elements, that person is my worst opponent. Water extinguishes fire. For her who is the water hero, extinguishing that level of flames is nothing.” (Mirack)
Mirack looked as if she had snapped, but it seems she actually thought it out before attacking.
No, she wouldn’t have attacked if she didn’t snap in the first place. Well, it can’t be helped. Faced against such a mental corroding attack…
And so, this flashy fire and water clash gathered even more of the attention from the people, and it also drew attention to us.
“Oi, isn’t that… the ‘fire hero, Katack Mirack-sama’? And there’s even the ‘light hero-sama’ too. I am from Apollon City, so I know!”
The attention is increasing.
Now then, how do we calm this down. It is not on the level of Celestis, but Mirack and Karen-san can also be considered the face of their respective church.
I wouldn’t want to have us retreat in a way that would worsen the view the populace has on them.
“Everyone~~ the special guests have appeared~~!!” (Celestis)
Once again, the loud voice from the stage resounds.
“In this time’s live stage performance, we will have the other churches’ heroes appearing as a special event! I wanted to keep it a secret until the appointed day, but I can’t hold it any longer, so I will be spilling the beans~~~!!” (Celestis)
I wasn’t the only one surprised.
The surrounding local people, the tourists, and the general populace had their excitement rise.
“You kidding?!” “Seriously?!” “A collaboration work with 3 heroes?!” “I will definitely go see it! Can I get tickets now?!” “I was planning on returning today, but I will cancel my train and prolong it!” “Even if I have to work as a beverage seller there, I will definitely go there and see it!!”
The street corners of Hydra Ville had become the very definition of excitement.
Karen-san, Mirack, and I accompanied Celestis and arrived at the Water Church’s headquarters. If we stayed there, the ruckus would prolong who knows for how long.
This is supposed to be the office of the water hero, but just now, when we passed through the door, the room plate said ‘dressing room’…
“What are two heroes doing here in my island? If you came here to pick a fight, I call pass. I will soon be having a live performance after all.” (Celestis)
“…Your way of speaking is normal.” (Haine)
“Isn’t that obvious? If I don’t divide work and private life, my shoulders would grow stiff. If my body gets stiffer, it would affect my performance as well.” (Celestis)
I don’t know if she is serious about her job or she isn’t.
And Mirack, who was brought here without a single care of her opinion, was showing clear dissatisfaction.
“…Hmph, I have heard about your indecent side job for some time now, but I didn’t think it would be this indecent. Seeing it with my own eyes almost dislocated my jaw.” (Mirack)
“Then dislocate your jaw already. If you are able to do that, I can hire you as a comedian.” (Celestis)
“What did you say?!” (Mirack)
“Yes yes, fire hero-san that gets heated immediately. By the way, why are you together with the light hero? Didn’t you girls not get along?” (Celestis)
Those words of Celestis made Mirack shut up in an instant.
That’s right. Right now, you wouldn’t even be able to imagine it, but the relationship of Karen-san and Mirack was as bad as that of a cat and dog.
But well, it was all Mirack being the wild dog here though. Those words that made her remember this, made even Mirack falter.
“……W-We formed an alliance not that long ago.” (Mirack)
“Hah? Alliance? Seriously?! That’s incredible. So that means the light and fire churches have joined arms?” (Celestis)
“No, the churches are not involved. It was an arbitrary decision by Karen and I, but even so, we thought it would be effective in dealing with the monsters you see.” (Mirack)
“I see… But it is still incredible. In the current heroes, you guys were the ones who didn’t get along the most, and yet, from all the people, you girls formed an alliance.” (Celestis)
The continuous mention of ‘not getting along’ by Celestis, was making Mirack’s face sour.
The person herself doesn’t have any ill-intentions, but those words were like body blows that were stacking the damage.
“And so, the reason you came here was to give me this report?” (Celestis)
“About that…” (Karen)
Karen-san took over for Mirack who was quite weakened already.
Karen-san has been maintaining silence since the moment she entered the room. That, on the contrary, made me have a vague fear.
“Oh, Karen as well, it has been a while~. But well, even if I say so, this is our first time having a proper chat? The rumours of the good-girl hero at the light church have reached my ears as well though.” (Celestis)
“Yes. The reason I intruded on you today was because, Celestis-san, I have an important favor to ask of you.” (Karen)
“Please stop being an idol.” (Karen)
Mirack and I both exclaimed in unison.
- 41: An Idol’s pride
“Hah? What are you saying?” (Celestis)
The request of Karen-san was so straightforward that Celestis visibly frowned.
“Your activities are having a bad influence on our cities. I want you to stop them.” (Karen)
Karen-san didn’t change her expression and didn’t display her emotions.
On the other hand, Celestis’ reaction was clear.
“That’s why I have been asking, what is it you are saying! My songs are providing a bad influence?! That’s not possible! Even if I look like this, I am still a hero, you know! I won’t sing unless my fans are happy!” (Celestis)
“No no, you see…!” (Karen)
To think Celestis would be enraged in such a way. It looks like she has her own concerns regarding her activities as an idol, but at this rate, their thoughts will not connect at all.
I have no choice but to step in here. And then, I supplemented the parts that were lacking in the explanation of Karen-san.
About how the popularity of the idol Celestis was having a drastical rise, and with that, the proliferation of her fans in Apollon City and Muspelheim has exploded. This turned directly into most of them joining the Water Church.
This conflicts with the agreement of proselytizing prohibition that was formed between the churches.
“Ah, I see. So that’s how it is.” (Celestis)
After saying this much, Celestis finally reached an understanding.
“In other words, my popularity is on the verge of stealing your fans, so you came here to ask me to stop it. Plain girls have it tough huh.” (Celestis)
“That’s not it.” (Karen)
Karen-san firmly answers.
“I don’t mind your idol activities in itself. The problem is that it is connecting with proselytizing. That part is making this problem complicated. So, I think there’s the need to revise this situation. For the sake of that, the methods that can be taken are two.” (Karen)
“Stop being an idol, or stop being a hero. I see, so that’s what you mean by the ‘stop being an idol’ huh.” (Celestis)
Celestis says this as if lightly warding off the pressing of Karen-san.
On top of that, Mirack stands shoulder to shoulder with Karen-san and emphasizes the criticism.
“I am also of the same opinion. That’s why I am here. In the first place, Celestis, even when you are standing as a hero, you are doing a hobby like being an idol. Aren’t you ashamed? If you are a hero, you should devote yourself to your main job as a hero. If you want to devote yourself into being an idol, you should pass over the seat of hero to someone else. The current you can’t seat in both and are half-assed.” (Mirack)
The fire hero and the light hero; these two heroes were protesting together, so the water hero couldn’t ignore it.
That was the objective when both of them came here but, will that show any effectiveness?
“…Are you stupid? That’s quite the shallow thinking you have there.” (Celestis)
It had no effect.
“Then, I will ask you this as well. What is the job of a hero?” (Celestis)
“That’s…protecting the people from the threat of monsters…” (Karen)
“That’s correct, but that’s not all.” (Celestis)
Celestis smiles suggestively.
“Heroes…fight monsters as the representatives of the church. And then, with that, they show the power of the church to them. Heroes are the face of the church, the standard bearers. Seeing that all of the five current heroes are teenage girls around their 15 makes it clear, don’t you think?” (Celestis)
Eh, is that true?
The light, fire, and water heroes here are all girls, but well, now that she mentions it, if they are going to use someone as their face, rather than a man, it would be more appealing with a cute girl.
“You see, in order to serve my job as the church’s face, I am doing my very best. That’s what an idol is. Fortunately, my fans have accepted this, and my popularity has risen. My popularity reaching outside the Water capital just means that my efforts came at play there.” (Celestis)
“But then, the other churches—!” (Karen)
“If that troubles the fire and light, that just means you are lacking in effort. Conforming with just defeating monsters. You are lacking awareness as a representative of the church. You don’t have a clear policy and are simply working without a single thought as the face of the church. All of this just means that it is now biting you in the back, that’s all.” (Celestis)
Karen-san and Mirack were unable to say anything back.
That was akin to admitting that what Celestis said was correct.
“Celestis-san…you looked like a regular idiot, but you were actually thinking about things properly huh.” (Haine)
“What’s with this man, so rude on our first meeting! Or more like, seriously, who are you?” (Celestis)
I have been following along until now like normal, but it seems Celestis had not even acknowledged my presence.
With a small self-introduction, I advance the conversation.
“Then, Celestis-san won’t show self-restraint in your idol activities and won’t show consideration to the other churches, right?” (Haine)
“Of course. Why does a person who puts in the effort have to show consideration to people who don’t put the effort?” (Celestis)
I see. Understood.
“Then it can’t be helped. We are leaving!” (Haine)