Chapter 33:

0.33. Not Without You

We Got 'Shipped' by the Goddess


<Avner Franc>

I opened my eyes.

It was a dark familiar ceiling. My home.

“Where.. I’m alive huh.”
Of course I’m alive. I’d better be otherwise I’d regret my whole life.

I tried to get up– to notice that there was a weight on my bare abdomen.

Bleu laid resting, her hair scattered all over my skin, breathing gently.

And on the other side of the bed was Pu’er, clinging to my arms.

Did I wake up in a parallel world? No right? Why I’m I naked from my torso up?

I tilted my head over to look at the time. 3 am.
I don’t feel like sleeping anymore.

Carefully, I move Bleu away. Oddly enough, she didn’t wake up. Normally, she’d react to the slightest sound– last time I tried to touch her she grabbed my hand. That gave me a real scare.

As for why I wanted to touch her.. come on, who doesn’t want to touch a beauty right?

Pervert? Call me whatever you want! Bleu is my mom!

After Bleu, I pried off Pu’er’s arm and got up.

I grabbed my phone and checked the date.

Wheewh. I only fell unconscious for several hours.

The sounds of the blankets shifting–

Moonlight gave her hair a wonderful glow–

Her crystal blue eyes faced me.

“Avner..”

“Pu’er.”
She shifted closer to my side and pulled me into her embrace.

She began sobbing.

I rubbed her back to soothe her.

“I’m sorry.. I’m sorry.. I’m sorry..”
She kept repeating over and over. Guilt gripped my heart.

“I’m sorry.. I.. killed so many people.. I.. hurt you.. I..”

“It’s okay Pu’er..”

“Hikh.. ”
I could feel her warm tears flow down my skin. The warmth of her body through the night clothes she wore.

We stayed together for a good ten minutes. Her breathing began to calm.

“So many people died because of me..”

“You didn’t do it on purpose.”

“Still.. I was the one who did the deed.. I never thought I could become such a cold person..”
“...”

And who was the one who wanted to throw me out of the office about a year ago?

“Hey Avner.. how are you feeling right now? No weird feeling in your body or anything like that?”

“I’m feeling alright.”

“I’m glad.. Bleu.. said she had to use a lot of energy to cure you..”

It was at this moment that I remembered what happened last night.

Victoria stabbed my back with the scepter. My body began to heat up and this usual pain began encroaching me. As if hot goo was traveling in my blood, wanting to attach itself to every organ, every part of me.
Seraphication– I thought back then.

“How did Bleu come in time? Wasn’t she away?”

“The diamond card was apparently a teleportation tool. You were lucky you managed to activate it.”

“I see..”

Pu’er’s arms tightened around me.

“I was so scared.”
I felt her small body tremble.
“I was so scared I was going to lose you..”

“...”
I held her shoulder and forced us to pull away from one another.

She was surprised by my actions. But before I gave her a chance to think, I leaned in and..

Sealed her lips.

Moist and soft. Her heated breaths brushed against my own.

I pulled away. The glistening of tears in her eyes.

“I love you Pu’er.”
Slowly, she leaned against my chest. I could hear the thumping of both our hearts.

“I love you too Master..”

===

“Did something happen to Bleu?” I asked Pu’er who was inside the closed bathroom.
She’s not waking up at all.

“I said before this morning didn’t I? She used up a lot of her energy.”
I walked up to my bed to observe her face.

She looked pale. Hm?

“Wait.. Pu’er.. Bleu’s ears..”

“Ah yes. I’ve been meaning to talk about that..”
Her voice resounded right behind me. I felt a shudder up my spine.

Bleu’s ears were rounded, the fake elf ear decoy had disappeared for some reason. Recalling how she used the word ‘she’ to address Bleu earlier in the morning, it seems Pu’er had realized that Bleu was a girl..

Oh no.

How am I supposed to deal with this?

I slowly turned around..

Gah! My eyes!

“Wear something can’t you!!”
She was standing naked with only her underwear! And lewd black ones too!

I covered my eyes with my hands.
“D-don't you like it.. w-we’re going to get married eventually r-right?”
“B-but we’re not married yet!”

“Hmph!”
What’s up with that reaction!

I heard the sound of clothes shuffling, blood rushed to my head. Does she know no shame? Ain’t she supposed to be an angel?!

“Master.”

She whispered into my ears. My heart jolted.

“I’m going to make sure your heart doesn’t change..”

She pressed her warm, steamy body against me. Fortunately she was already clothed.

I removed the blinders.

“I don’t mind you living with Bleu but.. I don’t want to lose either,” she said with a blush.

A warm, soft peck touched my cheeks.
“I really, really love you okay Master.”
Ah shoot.

Steam blew from my head.

===

“So that’s why?”
“Un..”

Sitting on the bed, Pu’er ran her fingers through Bleu’s hair.

What happened last night was that Bleu used her powers to destroy the ‘fire’ inside me.

I’m a demon so the Seraphication process is very likely going to cause my death. After all, angel stuff and demons don’t mix.

And as she’s said before, it takes a lot of energy to remove said ‘fire’, thus why she pushed for Pu’er’s metamorphosis instead of completely curing her. My case didn’t allow it so Bleu had no choice but to sacrifice all that energy.

The result of it is this.

A frail, pale looking Bleu deep in her sleep. That powerful aura around her is nowhere to be found.

Pu’er poked her cheeks.

“I can’t believe she lied to me,” she said with a puff of air.

The reason why Bleu took off her ears was because it would continue to sap at her energy if she had it on. So for the sake of conserving whatever she had left, she decided to stop using it.

As for the other reason why.. the fake ear has the purpose of preventing jealousy. And because now that Pu’er and I have confessed to each other, there’s no need for the disguised anymore..

Hold on. Did Bleu plan to ship the two of us on purpose?!

“Stop it..”

Bleu’s feeble voice echoed.

“S-sorry. I didn’t know you were awake,” Pu’er quickly retracted her fingers.
“It’s alright.. Avner, how do you feel?”

Despite how she calls herself selfish, in the end, she still puts others before herself.

“I’m good. You?”

“Fine..”

You don’t look fine at all.

“I’ll recover with some rest. Thank you for your concern..”

Bleu shifted her body and turned away from us. Pu’er and I looked at each other.

We could instantly tell each other’s intentions.

“I’ll stay back then.”
“No. Just go to work. I can handle myself,” Bleu rejected my suggestion.
“Why? You don’t..”
“I’m not a kid alright?”

“.. Alright then..”
“There’s some rice and miso you can take if you want it later.”
“Thank you Pu’er.”
Though Pu’er and I left for our job, we couldn’t help but be concerned about Bleu’s condition.

===

When we came back in the evening, Bleu was still in the bed. Placing the back of my palm on her forehead would indicate that she was having a fever.

I wasn’t sure if it’s a normal thing for a powerful Goddess like herself to have a fever.

Pu’er cooked some porridge and managed to persuade her to eat something at least.

Bleu nibbled on the spoon of congee in a daze.
“Here’s some paracetamol. Once you're done, take two tablets.”

I placed the strip on the table.

Bleu merely nodded.

“She really looks out of it..” Pu’er whispered.
“I know..”

And because of it, I could barely concentrate on work today.

“Avner, I think we’ll have to delay the plans for the ritual.”

Bleu began speaking.
“Ah? What?”
“Memory preservation ritual.”
“Oh.. of course that can wait. I’m not in any rush.”
“Sorry.”
“What’s there to be sorry for?”
“Nothing.”
Bleu’s really acting out of character.

“You know, Bleu, just rest up. I don’t mind if we’d have to spend an entire year just to find all the ingredients needed for.. ouch.”
“Hmph.”
“Hey..”

What’s up with that?

“Bleu. I don’t know how bad of a situation you’re in right now, but I don’t want to see you die. Is there anything we can help you with?” Pu’er asked in a serious countenance.
“I’m not sure. Through my many encounters in the past, respite is fleeting. The threats that you encountered yesterday night might come again in the future. I’ve already asked the authorities to crack down on it. As luck would have it, since I’ve already destroyed the artifact, I don’t think there will be any chance for another artificial Seraph to appear.”

So that scepter is the progenitor of Seraphs.

“Something like that.. continuing, this not the end. As I’ve mentioned.. for the crackdown, the angels will most probably take custody of all current artificial Seraphs that remain. And Pu’er, you’re one of them.”
“H-huh?”
“What do you mean?”
“Artificial Seraphs are a real threat to the balance of things. Based on hierarchy, only God’s lambs should be able to mobilize Seraphs. However, you, Avner, are Pu’er’s master.”

“So then..”
“I’ll have to negotiate with the other God’s lambs to spare you two.”

“...”
“...”

“I know how you feel.. this is just part of life.”

No. This isn’t part of life at all. It’s like we’re tittering on the edge of life and death. So much of these unrealistic developments happened since the day I met Bleu.. don’t tell me she’s the magnet..

“I’ll admit that I’m the cause of all these coincidences. To put it in other words, a problem magnet.”

Bleu placed the spoon to the side.

“If there’s anything that would help save me trouble, it’s that I ask you two not to leave me.”

She lowered her head.

“So I beg of you. No matter the challenges we will encounter, please stay with me.”

“Bleu..”

“Master..”

Does she seriously think of it like that? To think that she’d have to stoop so low to ask us for our cooperation..

“Alright. We’ll do our best to not leave.”
“If Master says so, I’ll do it as well.”

“Thank you.”
“Then.. we’ll be in your care Bleu.”

“Same here.”

The Goddess bowed once more then raised her head. Xe turned to Pu’er with a serious countenance.

“Pu’er, let me be frank to clear some of your doubts. I’m aware that you like Avner, but I hope you don’t let your feelings cloud your judgment. I support your relationship with Avner, but it’s only because of the convenience it brings. I need you to make sure that he’s safe.”

“Understood. I will protect my master with my utmost.”

The Goddess then turned to me.

For the first time in a while, she reinstated her resolve.
“And, Avner. Remember that you are my vessel. Your safety is my greatest priority. For the sake of my objective, I can’t move on to the next life yet.”

She paused and..

“Not without you.”