On a Godless Planet:Volume1A Chapter 3

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Chapter 3: Paperboy 02[edit]

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How to study hard and play hard


She beat me pretty badly.

The place they called their “clubroom” was at the very end of the clubroom building right next to Building A, which contained the faculty room. They called their club the Game Club.

That seemed a little too on the nose to me, but I was a member too. Although I pretty much never showed up.

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“Sumeragi-chan, you’re so bad at fighting games. Tooru is stupid bad, but I remember how you stupid lost to him the day you joined the club. That’s when you stopped coming, isn’t it? You said you have some systems at home, right?”

That was the upperclassman named Saku. I had just learned her full name when I saw the nametag on the chest of her uniform. It said “Shifu Saku”.

Meanwhile, the upperclassman named Tooru was tall and had his long hair tied back.

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“What are you staring at me for, Sumeragi?”

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“Oh, nothing really…”

I’m sure you can tell just by looking at them, but he and Shifu were clearly an item. I could smell it. It was a unique scent that we unpopular folk were quite sensitive to.

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“Well, I was pretty sure I knew what was going on when you shared the food from the same convenience store bag.”

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“Yeah. I know you like big boobs, Sumeragi-chan, but these ones are off the market.”

She readily admitted it, but there was something I had to say to her comment.

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“It isn’t that I want them to myself. My love of big boobs is more of a conceptual thing.”

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“Did you hit your head?”

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“My head is just fine. Yes, if anything, my mind is a little too weak.”

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“You have some nerve claiming that.”

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“I’m a nervous person, what can I say? …Anyway, while I do want to touch and stare at big boobs, it’s worshiping and adoring them that really matters.”

“I see,” said Shifu-senpai as she passed me a convenience store sandwich.

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“You are quite the pervert…”

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“Oh, I’m not that high level yet.”

I took the sandwich and her partner tilted his head.

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“Hey, Sumeragi.”

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“What is it?”

He nodded and crossed his arms.

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“Shifu’s my wife, so that means I’m the bigger big boobs lover. Don’t try to claim otherwise, okay?”

It’s on now, I thought as I slowly stood up.

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“Let’s settle this once and for all.”

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“Don’t be dumb. You’re the underclassman and I’m the upperclassman. I win by default.”

Shifu-senpai was giving us quite a look, but we decided to ignore it.

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“Listen.”

He made the first move.

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“Prove to me it isn’t just boobs in general you love.”

Shifu thought to herself.

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They are the worst…

Was this really a conversation to have with a girl around? And something about Sumeragi must have gotten to her partner because it looked like he was about to attack the boy and then he started giving him some kind of test.

But it seemed harmless enough, so she decided to let it play out. However…

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“Very well.”

The underclassman idiot gave his response.

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“My love of boobs is a love of big boobs and not just boobs in general.”

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“Explain.”

The underclassman answered the upperclassman idiot.

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“The Japanese language includes the word ‘ippai’. It means ‘lots’ or ‘a large quantity’. Meanwhile, the word for boobs is ‘oppai’. When you look at the vowels, ‘o’ comes after ‘i’, so ‘oppai’ must mean ‘even more’ or ‘an even greater quantity’! Since I understand that logic, the concept of boobs and the concept of large size are inextricably attached in my mind. Thus, it is impossible for me to love boobs without it being a love of big boobs. Q.E.D.”

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“Can I just kick his ass?”

When she asked that, Tooru stepped forward and took a breath.

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“My brother…”

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“Brother…!”

The two idiots hugged, but that was a bad idea on such a hot and sweaty day.

Shifu saw the two of them move apart while looking about ready to puke.

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“Ugh, it’s way too hot today. I shouldn’t have gone for a full body joke when the air conditioning is so bad in here. Besides, you were just trying to force some laughs out of a not-so-great joke, weren't you?”

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“That’s my line! I love big boobs, not chests of any gender!”

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“Are you sure?”

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“Yes! You clearly don’t have boobs.”

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“Then give my chest a feel.”

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“Huh!? You dare challenge my concept of big boobs!? Fine, then! I’ll feel you up!”

He did so. And Tooru immediately threw the stupid underclassman to the floor.

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“You call that a caressssssssssssss!?”

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“Ow, ow, ow, ow! Wouldn’t it be worse if it did feel good!? I’m normal!”

Shifu felt like she should stop them soon.

“Well, it is pretty hot today,” said Shifu as she intervened.

I felt like I had gotten the short end of the stick what with being thrown to the floor and all, but he held out his hand.

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“The name’s Raidou Tooru. You can use either one you like.”

I took his hand and pressed it to my chest. Then I wrapped my hands around his and looked up at him.

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“Well? Do you like it? Do you? Hgwah!”

He threw me to the floor again, but Shifu-senpai gave a nod of understanding this time.

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“Well, there’s generally someone here and people from the other clubs often come here for fun, so there’s really no reason to join if you’re never gonna show up.”

I looked around the clubroom while Raidou-senpai said that.

I saw him, Shifu-senpai, and one other person.

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She’s not a target of my worship…

There was another girl. She wore an old style uniform, so she was probably in the same year as me.

She had come out on top during the Monopoly-style game we had just been playing. Shifu-senpai had been 2nd, Raidou-senpai 3rd, and me dead last.

Shifu-senpai laughed quietly when she saw me looking at the other girl.

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“That’s Kuwajiri Tsubomi. She’s incredible at intellectual games. She’s stupid good at games like that one we were playing.”

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“No, that was only a matter of knowledge.”

Kuwajiri pushed up her glasses and sounded a little troubled.

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“When I saw the in-game currency, I calculated out the total amount of assets and used that to estimate what the general market prices would be like. It’s my standard technique for games like this. With experience, the other players will get a feel for the market prices and how negotiations work, but I’m terrible at that part and I start to fall in the rankings.”

She talks really fast… I thought, but I did state my other impression out loud.

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“So you know the genre well enough to be untouchable on a first play through.”

My comment caused everyone to look my way. Kuwajiri immediately looked away and both Raidou-senpai and Shifu-senpai nodded. Then Shifu-senpai spoke up.

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“C’mon, Tsubomi-chan. That was a compliment.”

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“I don’t want a compliment for impermanent results…”

That must have been how she saw things. And I did have some experience with that. Yes, like in a fighting game when the environment-

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Huh?

Something felt off to me.

But it was a minor thing, like realizing you didn’t really have a point to make.

“But,” said Raidou-senpai.

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“Make sure you visit here as much as you can from now on.”

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“Eh? Do I look like I don’t have a life or something? You’re asking for a lot here since I’m actually pretty busy. Still, it sounds like I’m Mr. Popular around here.”

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“What are you busy with?”

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“Well, a good looking girl with big boobs just moved into the apartment next door, so I can earn the happy meal of life just by spending all my spare time bowing down toward that wall! Bet you’re jealous! Wait, Shifu-senpai, why are you putting my convenience store food back in the bag!? Give me one good reason!”

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“Look in the mirror, idiot.”

Since Kuwajiri nodded, the majority was against me. My only chance was a clever change of subject.

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“Why do you want me to visit here?”

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“Well, what the hell was that last night?”

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“Last night?”

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“You died immediately, remember?”

It came back to me when Kuwajiri glared at me.

That starry sky.

And they probably meant that part where a dragon made of lava charged at me.

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“—————”

Yup, I sure did die. And since those three knew about it…

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“You were in that game?”

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“We sure were.”

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“We were wondering where you would be since noobs tend to have trouble figuring out their coordinates, but you were a lot closer than we expected and you died right away.”

“Oh,” I said in newfound understanding.

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“So it’s that kind of game.”

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“What kind of game did you think it was?”

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“It just happened so suddenly I didn’t have time to figure anything out.”

“Yeah,” said Shifu-senpai while nodding several times.

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“Humans really are weak.”

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“Oh, you mean the character race.”

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“Right, right. That’s what I meant. And you can kind of blame us for that one.”

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“We asked you to do it. We got you involved.”

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“Do you need my help in that game?”

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“Really, that field is all about you.”

When Raidou-senpai said that, Kuwajiri reached across the table and hit him on the back.

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“Hey, no spoilers.”

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“Oh, right, yeah. …So what are you doing tonight?”

“Well,” I said. Shifu-senpai had returned my confiscated food. The convenience store rice ball was kombu flavor. I started to wonder if you could catch that in that sea of lava.

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“Okay, I’ll join you. I honestly don’t really get the game, so I’d appreciate your help.”

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“Actually, Sumeragi-chan, where is your god partner?”

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“Partner?”

Shifu-senpai and Raidou-senpai exchanged a glance.

Kuwajiri answered in their place.

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“A human character chooses a god as their partner.”

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“Really?”

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“You can’t start playing if you don’t. Well, you can, but you can’t do anything.”

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“Is that so?”

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“But I take it you don’t know who yours is.”

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“I kinda died immediately, if you recall. It’s like I took one step out the door and immediately keeled over.”

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“You small fry.”

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“Yeah, I am a small fry! I haven’t lived the kind of life that lets me have a busty girl standing by my side like you have! If the options are 0 or 1, then I’m a 0! Who can I go to to complain about this!?”

I realized something about my memories of last night as I said that.

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“I was sitting on some landd floating in teh lava, so was that some kind of dangerous mission?”

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“Of course it was. And if you remember that much, you did pretty good this time.”

Raidou-senpai placed a hand on his chin.

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“But in that case, I think we’ll stay out of tonight’s game session.”

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“Eh? Why!? I thought you were going to help me out! And you call yourselves upperclassmen!? I’m like a cute little lamb over here!”

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“Damn, I could really go for some lamb.”

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“I hope you like it bone in!”

I was being pretty ridiculous.

But what part of me could be seen as meat?

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“Fine, then! I'm willing to be meat!!”

I dropped my pants to my knees and pulled up my shirt to bare my stomach. Then I lay down on the table.

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“Coooooome and get it!!”

Shifu-senpai slapped my stomach so hard she left a handprint.

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“So anyway, you have a partner. They’re a god with enough power to let you walk on lava.”

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“Do you know what kind of god they are?”

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“It’s Shinto, so you chose and…”

He thought for a bit and tilted his head.

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“Well, that maybe explain it.”

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“Huh? I don’t get it.”

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“Simply put, you’re super weak, so the management may have given you a strong character.”

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“None of you know who it is?”

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“Oh, we’ve met them. Like when we put together the mission. We just don’t know their name.”

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“A nameless god? What’s that about?”

I could tell I was nothing but questions, but I couldn’t help it. I did remember dying last night. Apparently I needed the power of a god partner if I was going to avoid dying, but…

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“There are a lot of nameless gods. Shinto in particular has more than most religions.”

Kuwajiri explained it to me.

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“So if we show up, your partner might back off. In the worst case, they might decide to have nothing to do with you.”

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Hmm?

I had a little confused.

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“I have a god partner. Let’s just assume that’s true.”

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“What about it?”

Well…

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“You say that partner will decide not to show up if you’re nearby. Now, this whole discussion has nothing to do with my field of worship, but does that mean what I think it does?”

I stated my conclusion.

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“Are you all stronger than my god partner?”

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“It’s a pretty common thing.”

He readily admitted it. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, but…

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“You’re a small fry…or rather, you haven’t even begun, so your partner isn’t that great either. On the other hand, we’ve got a decent amount of experience from a different field.”

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“Without a partner?”

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“Yeah, because we started as gods instead of a human like you.”

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“No fair!”

I simply spoke my mind.

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“I can remake my character, right!? Right!? I wanna be a god too! I wanna be a god so I can barge into the women’s bath, transform into an animal to spy on the women’s bath, and transform into the wind to blow by above the women’s bath!”

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“There’s not really anything worth seeing in there.”

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“I don’t care! It’s a fantasy! A fantasy! It’s in a boy’s nature to peep on baths! So you can call it a ‘nature bath’ for short! And doesn’t a nature bath sound nice!? Well, whatever! If I don’t have that kind of freedom with my character, I want a new one!”

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“You say that, but playing a god character ain’t easy.”

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“How so?”

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“Sometimes when a human character is in trouble, you have to save them.”

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“Really!? Wow! You have to save losers like me!? Sucks to be you! I’d never be able to stand that! Okay, human it is!”

Kuwajiri gave me one hell of a glare, but I pretended I didn’t see it.

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“Now.”

I asked another question.

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“What kind of game is it?”

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“Well, you could call it a crafting game.”

Shifu-senpai answered my question.

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“Or terraforming. It’s about cultivating a planet.”

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“Terraforming?”

I crouched down, stood back up while mimicking robot noises, and struck a pose.

“Terra Forrrrm! Te-terra-terra! Do you transform the planet like that to cultivate it?”

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“Do that again.”

Kuwajiri asked, so I did.

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“Terra Forrrrm!”

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“I didn’t get a good look. Do it again.”

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“T-Terra Form.”

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“Oh, that seemed different from before. Try doing it again.”

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“T-Terra…okay, fine! I didn’t think it was funny either, dammit! Mad!? Well, are you!? Hmm!?”

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“I am extremely angry, but that just proves I am normal.”

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“Senpai! Senpai! Let go of me! I won’t be satisfied until I’ve spoken my mind to that girl! Senpai! My pride demands it, so let go of me! Ahh, wait, no, not there, gwah, that’s my weak point!”

Shifu sat in front of Kuwajiri while letting her partner calm down the rioter who was shouting nonsense.

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“Tsubomi-chan, nothing good comes from taking idiots seriously.”

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“Not you too, Shifu-senpai!”

Pipe down, you.

Then Kuwajiri sighed.

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“How should I put this? People like that are so foolish…”

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“Hmm, I think you’re a little young to be acting so world-weary, Tsubomi-chan.”

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“Actually, people don’t see me as mature as they see you…”

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“So you were just full of yourself? Wait, no, don’t take it that seriously.”

Meanwhile, the door opened. And…

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“Ohhhh, sounds like you’re having fuuun in here.”

A bald guy walked in.

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“Oh, it’s Yomoji-chan.”

Shifu-senpai’s comment clued me in to the new visitor’s presence. I was currently dangling 15cm above the floor thanks to Raidou-senpai’s right iron claw, but…

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“Oh, what’s this? You’re here, Shinsei?”

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“Eh? Who is it? Who, who? Is it a busty girl by any chance!?”

He released me by tossing me aside and I managed to strike three poses before coming to a stop. I was feeling woozy, but Shifu-senpai gave me some applause, so I deemed it a success.

And when I looked over, I saw a tall bald guy.

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“I’m going to be honest.”

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“Hold on.”

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“Is this bald guy really a student?”

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“You have guts. I’ll give you that.”

“Oh, I’m not that great,” I said while Shifu-senpai pointed at the guy with her can of coffee. He may have been even taller than Raidou-senpai, but he was even skinnier than me.

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“This is Yomoji Shinsei. He’s our club leader.”

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“Leader?”

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“Thaaat’s right. Oh, and Sumeragi-kuuun?”

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“Oh, yes. What is it?”

“Wellll,” said the club leader while stretching out the word, nodding, and spreading his arms.

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“I thought you miiiight be able to help last niiiight, but you died alllmost immediately. It was quiiiite a shock.”

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“Yeah, sorry. I’m not used to that game.”

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“IIII see. Hmm, not used to it? That iiiis true.”

The club leader made a suggestion.

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“Howwww about you try stuuuudying up on it?”


Interlude[edit]

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“Did anyone tell Sumeragi where the library is?”

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“He ran off yelling ‘librarian glasses girls are the best!’, so I think he’ll be fine.”


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