LDM 553 – The hand of god

“…Wow, really?!”

“…Yes, really! Surprising, right?”

I could hear the lively conversation from the reception room. It seemed like two people were talking. But the voice belonged to just one person.

“Here goes nothing… eh? Soto, and… Soto? Wait a second. Why are there two Soto?”

When I opened the door, there were indeed two Soto. One was definitely my daughter, Soto. But the other one had orange eyes and looked very similar to my daughter.

“Ah, Papa! Look, it’s me, it’s me! I couldn’t help but come see her!”

“Ah, Papa! I’m Karinisoto. Please call me Soto-chan… or to avoid confusion, Kari-chan is fine too!”

Their smiling faces were identical. They could easily be mistaken for identical twins. And when I thought about it that way, the sense of unease in me settled down.

“…Karinisoto, so you’re my daughter too?”

“Yes, I am the Space-Time God Karinisoto. I am definitely Kehma Masuda’s daughter.”

As they said that, the two Soto held hands with a friendly smile. The Space-Time God… That means—

“You’re the future Soto?”

“You could say that, or you could say I’m not. Because I exist outside of time and space!”

“Uh-huh, I guess you’re still Soto then. I don’t quite understand, but you’ve grown splendidly.”

“Hehe, thank you.”

“Papa, she’s just like me! It’s amazing, right?”

Well, it’s hard to tell which one of them is talking at any given moment. When I looked at Rokuko, she seemed lost and unsure of what to do with this situation.

“Awawauu~~ What should we do, Kehma? There are two Soto! Does this mean our daughter is twice as cute?!”

“Calm down, Rokuko. Just think of them as twins.”

“Twins…? What are twins?”

“Like Niku and Toi. This one is Soto, and the Space-Time God is Kari. Think of it like that.”

“Oh. Oh, I see… Ah. That feeling of unease is gone.”

“Sorry for the confusion, Papa and Mama. I’m a bit unique.”

It seemed Rokuko had felt the same sense of unease as me. …I wonder if Niku is feeling this way too.

“What’s going on?”

“It’s hard to explain, but in addition to the paradox of having two of the same person, my presence as a higher god makes me an anomaly in this world. It’s like I cause a gagging sensation of unease because I can’t be properly swallowed.”

Haku said she could recognize Kari as a trustworthy acquaintance, but not as Soto. Niku seemed to be perceiving it as “there’s 1.5 Sotos.” The strong connection between the Dungeon Master and the Core left them unable to fully accept it, thus causing confusion. On the other hand, Soto herself seemed to have no sense of unease. Maybe it has something to do with herself being a Space-Time God.

“I can barely function by using someone else’s body as a vessel in this world.”

“Huh? A vessel? So that body isn’t yours—uh, Kari’s?”

“Yes! I’ve temporarily taken over someone, with their consent of course!”

…Well, as long as they’ve consented.     

“Ah, I’ll answer the question you wanted to know, Papa. As for the Hero skill, it’ll be safe if you leave it alone with one-year gap from now on. However, if you raise the level further within half a year, it’ll go out of control. What Leona said was a truth, so be careful.”

“Eh? Oh, okay.”

“Specifically, due to the contamination, you’ll become an abusive husband to Mama. Although Mama seemed happy about it in a way, there was a world where it escalated and you accidentally killed her, so I thought I should warn you.”

Woah, that’s something I definitely don’t want! But, what does it mean that Rokuko seems happy even in that situation? Is it that particular thing unique to wives who can’t leave their abusive husbands?

“Got it, I don’t want to end up as abusive husband, so I’ll be careful for a year. …I’m starting to grasp what kind of existence Kari is. Are you the watcher of worlds?”

“Actually, I’m more of a space-time guardian. Instead of ‘worlds,’ it might be more fitting to say ‘futures’ instead, even though I just eliminated one.”

Karinisoto, the space-time god, her existence seems to be a walking bundle of time paradoxes.

“Now, the reason I, who have the power to meddle with multiple futures, made an effort to be introduced by Aunt Haku is…”

“Right, of course you didn’t come just to warn me not to become an abusive husband?”

“Of course not. It’s not just about preventing you from becoming a violent husband. Though I must add, that Mama seemed strangely happy even if she got punched and said [I’m loved] in such a situation, but that’s not the point. I’m here on a mission from the Creator God.”

“Wait a minute Kari-chan! is that really what I’ll become? Are you serious, Kari-chan?”

The Creator God is the existence above the gods of darkness and light. Why is my daughter entrusted with a mission from such a being? Is it because she’s a space-time god?

Ignoring Rokuko’s words, the space-time god Karinisoto places a can of tea leaves on the table.

“When you decide to use the [Divine Beddings] to become a god, drink this tea to meet the Creator God. …Whether you use it or not is up to you Papa, still, I’ll leave it with you for now.”

“Okay, I’ll take care of it.”

Karinisoto then hands the tea leaves to Soto.

“Use it if you have no intention of becoming the next Creator God.”

Huh?

“Wait a minute. You said [if you have no intention], not [if you have?]”

“Yes. If you continue normally, you’ll become the next Creator God. I can’t tell you the details because it involves mental contamination, but – ah, I almost branch out the future just now. Great. My mission is accomplished! I should head back now!”

The space-time god Karinisoto suddenly stands up. …I want to ask for more details, but would knowing the truth of the world cause some sort of sanity check?

“That’s pretty sudden.”

“This already a lot considering that I’m using a top-notch vessel, but even then, my activity limit is approaching. The contract starts to expire once I fulfill my purpose.”

“Is that so?”

I don’t quite understand, but perhaps creating a branch was her goal. I shouldn’t speculate too much, as it might chip away at my sanity, but maybe the condition for branching was that higher gods, who normally can’t intervene in the world directly, had to do so.

“By the way, Papa, good luck with the present for Mama.”

“Eh?”

And then, the space-time god Karinisoto shone with light. When the light subsided, there stood a woman with black hair, red eyes, and a ponytail–

“Oh, Soto-chan, are you done already? …Hmm? Oh, Kehma, long time no see.”

–Leona, smiling brightly in front of us.

I should’ve expected this, it makes sense that an ordinary person couldn’t serve as a vessel for a higher god.

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