“Yes. I am Scala. Goddess of Destruction.”

“De-destruction!?”

The word ‘Destruction’ had quite the impact. Miki was surprised and Tenjouin gulped.

“I’m surprised you’re so open about that.”

“It would be stupid to hide when people already know of the existence of gods. Besides, you’re the one who asked.”

Tenjouin had assumed she would hide it, and so he was a little surprised.

“Now that you know, hurry up and give it to me.”

She was already irritated over having to come here.

Scala pointed at the sword angrily.

Now that he knew who she was and her demands, Tenjouin felt that she probably would leave quietly if he gave her the sword. And yet he did not.

He looked at Scala. He could not help but wonder about something, now that there was a god in front of him.

It seemed like a waste to have it end so simply.

“…Could I ask you something first?”

“Huh? What?”

Tenjouin was still sitting on the ground as he looked up at Scala.

“Would you fight me?”

―――――――――――――――――

He knew how it would end even before it began.

“Hah…ha…”

“What? Over already?”

But he hadn’t expected to be toyed with so much.

His hands and knees were on the ground as he tried to catch his breath. Tenjouin was overwhelmed by the difference in power.

Miki was the same. She stood in a corner and looked shocked.

“Hold yourself together. I haven’t even taken a single step.”

Scala said tauntingly as she folded her arms.

It was true. She had not taken a step since the beginning of the fight.

It wasn’t something they had decided on. She had just decided that there was no need for it.

He had used the sword from Korola, but it barely even mattered when the difference in power was so wide.

As evidence, Scala did not have a single scratch. She wasn’t even sweating.

So this was the power of a god…

As for gods, Tenjouin had only ever seen Korola and Metron up until now. And so it was a moment where he was reminded of just how great they were.

“I heard that you were from the same world as Yato and had high expectations. But no, someone like that is clearly rare.”

Scala said in a disappointed voice. Tenjouin twitched at the mention of the name Yato.

“You know Yato…Kamiya?”

“Yes. We even had a fight to the death once.”

It was a little confusing what she meant by that, but it had nothing to do with Tenjouin.

“So-so, who won?”

Tenjouin asked hesitantly. Scala muttered something and tried to remember.

“Well, someone got in the way and we never finished it. But had we continued, well, even I am not sure.”

She thought about it for a while and then said, ‘No, I would probably have won in the end. But Tenjouin didn’t hear her.

They fought and it was an even match?

If that was true, it meant Kamiya was as strong as a god, or even stronger…

This fact was the most shocking for Tenjouin.

He had thought that defeat was something that couldn’t be helped against a god, but the person who was his goal was in the same spot as the gods.

He had seen Kamiya’s level once, but had it been this high…?

“…Goddess of Destruction.”

“Hmm?”

“You may have the sword back. Thank you for fighting me.”

He said in a weak voice. Tenjouin then put the sword down in front of him.

“I shouldn’t be so surprised, seeing as you’re a god and all. I was completely defeated.”

Tenjouin closed his eyes and took in a deep breath as if he were surrendering.

This wasn’t just an enemy he could not beat.

He wasn’t even fit as a diversion for her. Had Kamiya thought the same about him?

“I will try to become stronger.”

He stood up and returned to his calm self.

This was what it felt like to give up…

They were going to defeat a demon lord, not a god or Yato.

Thankfully, there were no demon lords that were stronger than a god.

He could do it just as he was.

At this point, he had to admit it.

He would not be able to surpass Yato.

“…Well, if you’re really going to give it back.”

Scala seemed a little surprised at his sudden lack of spirit, but she picked up the sword anyway.

“Uh, how did you get so strong, Goddess of Destruction?”

Tenjouin suddenly asked as she picked up the sword.

He simply wanted to know how she had reached this point.

‘Ah, yes…’ Scala seemed to hesitate as she searched for an answer.

“I just kept fighting.”

That was her answer after much thought.

“What? That’s it?”

“What else could there be?”

Tenjouin had been sure that there was more to it. But Scala’s expression suggested it was the most obvious thing in the world.

He was confused at first, but then it dawned on him.

They were fundamentally different from him.

Like training with the sword or practicing with magic.

They were satisfied as long as they could train in a warm location. But these gods had different values.

They didn’t see danger as danger. They would do anything to get stronger.

That’s why they were so different.

“Yes, I could never do that.”

Tenjouin said with a weak laugh.

He might have had a chance when he was first summoned.

But now the gap was too wide to fill.

After all, even Yato was still growing stronger by the day.

The gap between us will never be filled now.

At least, in his current situation, there was nothing that would help elevate him.

It was as if the fiery spirit had started to die within him. His feelings were sinking. Scala just stared at him.

“You. You want to get stronger?”

She said suddenly.

“I do.”

He had worked so hard.

“Then you should become stronger.”

It was not that simple.

“I mean to.”

He could still defeat a demon lord.

He hadn’t given up becoming stronger. But he knew there were limits.

In the first place, it was only his own pride that led him to want to defeat Kamiya. There was no actual need for it.

He knew about this difference already.

It was not something he should feel bad about.

He told himself this. And then something came to him.

Why had he wanted to defeat Yato so bad?

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