Last Embryo Volume 1 Chapter 9 Part 4
Katsushika, Shibamata Taishakuten’s main temple.
Izayoi, Tokuteru and Pritt were silently making their way through the temple grounds. They were crawling with a surprising amount of guards, with their level of skill they managed to outmanuever them all and safely reach the inner courtyard without being noticed by anyone. When they reached the main temple, Tokuteru touched the divine seal that has been placed on one of the floorboards, and by doing so, the entire building has been flooded by an intense, pale light. Tokuteru then heaved a long sigh, as if doing that one thing tired him out immensely.
「Such a small gate cannot hold a candle to my 『Touriten』, but it should be enough to make something as simple as a conversation possible. I will try to get in touch with one of Queen Halloween’s underlings, so you just sit tight and wait for now.」
Having nothing else to do, Izayoi just sat on the temple’s floor, cross-legged. This was his first time being inside Shibamata Taishakuten’s proper temple, so he tried to look around to see if anything in there was going to catch his attention. When his eyes rested on the Buddha’s statue at the main altar, he immediately glanced back towards Tokuteru in order to compare him, the real Indra in the flesh to his religious interpretation, and the result of his observations was…
(No resemblance at all.)
Even though Tokuteru Mikado was in the middle of his 30’s, he could still be considered young, or at least that’s what he liked to think about himself. If looks alone were to be considered, then at an extreme stretch he could pass for being in his late twenties. In comparison to the other Buddhist deities and their depictions, or even to the statue of the Big Buddha himself, the ones depicting Indra always made him look somewhat younger than the others. Maybe that was the reason why his appearances were so deceiving?
To begin with, Indra, the God of War was a Divine Spirit of impossibly high ranking, so much so in fact that no other Divine Spirit associated with him could even begin to compare themselves to him. Every mythology its own Gods dedicated to warfare and martial arts, but if you had to go and conduct a survey asking the people which one of them is the strongest and the most famous one, then the number one answer on the board would probably always be Indra.
God of Thunder, God of War, Heroic God, The King of the Gods, he had more titles than you could shake a stick at. Also, word on the streets is that the oldest of the Indian holy scriptures, 「Rigveda」, were mostly filled with the texts that glorified many if not all of his exploits. Nowadays, most of the people know him for being one of the Buddhist deities in general, but the truth is that he is one of the strongest of all the Gods, his Spiritual Status being second only to Zeus, the King of the Gods from Greek mythology and the monotheist Gods. He was truly someone who would have to be described with at least three 「Super」 words before his actual name and titles, and it was exactly because of that why Izayoi was sure that if any of his believers saw him right now, looking just like your regular-ass human, living in the human world and using a smartphone like any other human, he wouldn’t have been able to blame them if they thought that the world was ending right before their eyes.
「Hm? What’s up?」
「I tried to contact one of Queen Halloween’s lackeys, but the one to pick up was the Big Cheese herself, and guess what? It looks like Homura is with her as well. It would be pretty bad if she noticed that I had something to do with it, so you’re going to take one for the team and pick it up from here.」
Izayoi raised a loud voice in protest, but Tokuteru simply threw the phone his way without even looking at him and giving him any time to react. Izayoi was prepared to have a chat with the Queen, but he never expected that he will have to talk with Homura as well. His plan was to not come into contact with him or Suzuka again and only have a light-hearted goodbye when the entire matter would be settled for good, but alas, looks like it was not meant to be.
(Ah well, I probably shouldn’t get so worked-up about it.)
Izayoi put the phone to his ear and greeted Homura the same way he used to do when he was still living with them back at the orphanage.
「Yo. It’s been a while, hasn’t it, Homura?」
*Bi-doop* *Beep…* *Beep…* *Beep…*
Without exchanging even a single word, the call has been ended on Homura’s side.
「Well, that didn’t last long.」
He stared at the screen for full 30 seconds, waiting for something to happen, but It didn’t, so he picked the number from the list of incoming calls and called it again. As he did that, a voice whose emotions were difficult to pinpoint reluctantly called out to him from the other side.
「Ugh… It’s been a while, Big Bro Iza.」
「It wasn’t exactly all that long since we last saw each other, though.」
「That’s why I wasn’t commenting on that, in case you haven’t noticed. Learn to read between the lines a little, why don’t you?」
「So petty, aren’t we? Is that really how you’re supposed to talk t your elders? Then again, what am I expecting from a shitty brat who hangs up on people when they are trying to call him? If memory serves me correctly, you weren’t so ballsy 3 years ago. When did you grow a pair?」
「Having memory loss at such a young age? What a shame. Allow me to enlighten you then: that was 5 years ago, when I was still a little kid who played with Canaria-sensei and chased after you with Suzuka. Quite a lot has changed since then, but of course you wouldn’t know a thing about it, because you weren’t there!」
「My, my, look how does the time fly. Back in the good old days you were nothing but a whimpy kid, but seeing how you’ve grown up to be such a foul-mouthed killjoy, I can say that I almost miss that bland, boring self of yours from all those years ago.」
Izayoi teased him. On the other hand, Homura felt like something inside of him finally snapped. Gripping the phone so hard that it started making cracking noises, he continued his talk with Izayoi as more and more of his mental restraints were being forcefully ripped off of him, finally making him able to say all the things he wanted to say to Izayoi before, but couldn’t.
「So I am still a kid to you, huh? Well, takes one to know one, but at least I didn’t abandon my family like a deadbeat asshole that only cared about being 「cool」 all the time! So don’t you dare talking to me about being a kid when you’re the biggest man-child I’ve ever known! If you had enough balls to actually be responsible for once in your fucking life and tossed that useless pride of yours aside, then maybe things would not have gone the way they did, because ever since you’ve disappeared, it was one fuckup after another! Old man Ushimatsu kicked the bucket so suddenly that everyone didn’t know what to do! Investors fled one after the other! In order to keep the orphanage from being shut down I had to sell myself to Everything Company, and pledged my life to the daughter of their CEO! And don’t even get me started with that good-for-nothing geezer Tokuteru Mikado! I have a feeling that the two of you would get along just fine, because he’s also great at disappearing, especially when it comes to hiding from debt collectors after fucking up a supposedly simple job, forcing us to pay his dues for him! How about that, Big Bro Iza?! Sounds fun enough for you?!」
Hearing some interesting things, Izayoi looked at Tokuteru with a smug grimace, but he must have also heard their entire conversation, because he simply averted his eyes with a bitter expression.
You would think that after lashing out at Izayoi so much Homura would have calmed down, but no, he was only getting started. Right now he was like a dam that has been broken by too much water: nothing was going to stop him from letting his Big Bro know how much of a dick he considered him to be.
「All those years… all those years of wondering where have you gone off to, and what do I hear when I finally get an explanation? That you have skidaddled to another world, for fucks sake! I should have been surprised, dumbfounded even, but you know what? I took it all in stride because everything I heard just reeked of your style so much that it made me want to vomit! I mean seriously, going on adventures with a rabbit eared loli and a big-breasted giant white snake whom you have supposedly, and I quote, “shamed and humiliated on more than one occasion”, and devoting yourself to the development of the City of Water!? You know how it felt when I learned that you have abandoned us to go to such a bizarre place where you could just fool around and play all day?! IT FELT GREAT!!! AND BEFORE YOU ASK, NO, I AM NOT DISPLEASED, AND I AM CERTAINLY NOT DISSPOINTED OR JEALOUS, YOU IRRESPONSIBLE PIECE OF FLAMING SHIT!!!!!」
「What else, huh? WHAT ELSE HAVE YOU BEEN DOING FOR THOSE FIVE, LONG YEARS?!!!!!」
「Oh, you know, just some little pleasantries, like Griffon-riding or exterminating the Demon Lords… typical Tuesday afternoon stuff.」
「SHIT! FUCK! I AM JEALOUS AFTER ALL, GOD DAMNIIT!!!!!!」
At the other side of the phone, Homura was really going to the town with his verbal barrage. But while he was angry, and rightfully so, Izayoi had to admit that he was truly impressed with him.
Just like Izayoi said a moment ago, Saigo Homura was always a quiet kid who followed Izayoi all the time, so seeing that reserved kid grow up to be someone who not only shouldered the orphanage’s well being on his shoulders but also covered up the screw-ups of a good-for-nothing adult like Tokuteru made him feel something akin to… pride, perhaps? There is assaying that goes something like 「Time changes the man」, but it seemed to be especially true for Homura. It might have been only five years, but he grew up to be a damn fine young man.
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