「 The presence of the God I recently reported to you in the forest has disappeared or is about to disappear. 」
Intanyu’s report was a bit ominous. That’s probably why she came here, though, as she deemed it urgent.
「 The God in the Forest is Cartia, isn’t it? I don’t think it’s even been two months since we last met. 」
「 That’s right. Today, I was taking another walk around the area. 」
「 That’s not even a walk, it’s an obvious stroll……. Well, that’s the kind of thing that would obviously be expected of a dog deity…… 」
「 You don’t need to say anything else! More than that, I’m not sure what to make of this. Her presence was always small, but it became more difficult to recognize. 」
「 So you want me to check it out. 」
「 Yes. I could have done it on my own, but she’s giving me the creeps, so I want you to come with me. 」
Sigh, she’s so small-minded when it comes to things like this.
But it’s the right decision, because it wouldn’t be good if something were to attack the other gods. There were people living here who didn’t think we guardian gods were very good.
「 Rione, I need to go now. 」
And with that, Intanyu and I headed towards the forest. It was night, and we didn’t invite anyone else to join us. It would be better to hurry, as there would be no shortage of hands between the two of us.
As we approached the forest, I understood what Intanyu had said.
「 She’s indeed getting weaker, to the point where I’m almost tempted to say she’s disappearing…… 」
She wasn’t strong to begin with, but even based on the last time, she wasn’t responding well. It would be better if she just moved out with from guy’s faith believed in her or something.
Then, as we approached the cabin in the woods, we found the cause.
The only man living alone in that forest had fallen asleep in his cabin.
「 Ugh …… Ugh ……. 」
He was sweating on his forehead while making a kind of moaning sound.
「 It’s a disease that’s endemic. You get it sometimes when you live in the forest. 」
「 Is this okay, ……? 」
「 If you take proper care of yourself, you will recover. But there is no one here to fetch water for him, is there? 」
It’s true that he’s sick, but he can’t just lie there all the time.
「 Huh? Where’s Cartia, anyway? 」
I said, and then I realized.
「 Oh right! The only person with faith for her is in critical condition, which means ……Cartia’s life is also in danger! 」
God can exist because of the faith from humans.
If that faith disappears, then the God will also disappear. If there are many statues and documents of that god left, there could be a possibility of resurrection, but Cartia doesn’t have such things.
「 She must be around here somewhere! We have to find her! 」
Intanyu sniffed like a dog and walked out of the hut.
「 Can you smell her? 」
「 It makes me feel like someone I can’t find, you know? 」
「 Are you thinking about her as if she’s made of nothing! 」
It was unlikely that Cartia was that far away. So we searched the nearby narrow forest.
「 Hey, Cartia! 」
We called aloud, but there was no answer.
You don’t think she’s just disappeared, do you? It was dark at night, so we couldn’t see much. I should have asked for more details about where and how they were living.
Then, I looked up to find an unnatural shadow in the moonlight.
Perched on a tree trunk, Cartia was in pain.
「 You live in such a strange place! 」
Too wild. I had no idea of a god being in a place like this.
「 Oh, oh …… it’s you or rather……. What are you doing here so late at night……? 」
「 We’re worried about you, that’s why we’re here. Come on, get down here! 」
「 Even if you tell me to come down, I can’t do it anymore…… 」
I had no choice. I took Cartia and carried her next to the hut. Her legs felt weird when I carried the tentacle god on my back, but I didn’t have time to complain about that.
Intanyu also came back. It wasn’t a large forest, so it was quick for us to regroup.
「 I’ve been feeling kind of weak for a few days now, ……. I knew right away that it was a problem with the guy who believes in me, but …… there’s nothing I can do about it. …… 」
「 Gods can bring salvation to those who believe in them, can’t they? There are many gods who don’t like to help people directly, but now is the time when you can’t turn your back on them. Forcefully cure him of his illness! That man doesn’t believe in us, so there’s nothing that I or Faltear can do! 」
「 That’s what I thought, but …… it seems that when he was weakened, my power was weakened as well. …… I’m not in any shape to do something like that……. 」
Cartia tried to move her tentacles with difficulty. Her movements seemed slower than when we had met before.
「 I see. ……. Since there’s only one believer, when that one gets weakened, the god gets weakened along with him. …… Then they’ll fall together. …… 」
We have to do something about it……
「 Falling together……. I think that’s a good idea, too…… If it wasn’t for that guy, I wouldn’t have come out either. I’m sure he’ll be happy to hear that. 」
Cartia said in a brisk tone.
「 You can’t be so negative! You have to try to live! 」
「 But you know, it’s that guy’s fault that I’m not feeling well. If being taken care of doesn’t change anything, then there’s nothing I can do. 」
Damn it……. What am I supposed to do?
Leave the God in front of me to die? I don’t want to do that.
I came up with an idea.
It’s pretty aggressive, but it doesn’t mean I can’t help her even if I turn a blind eye to it.
「 I’ll help you, I promise. Because it doesn’t sit well with me as a guardian deity to let a deity disappear so easily. 」
「 Faltear, is there anything I can do to help? 」
Intanyu asked anxiously.
「 There is. I’m returning to New Kathra now. You should come with me. 」