We have an unusual guest today.
Or should I say he barged in on his own…
It’s Hermes, the God of Wisdom.
He makes regular visits to our farm, which is unusual for a celestial god.
The gods of the sea and earth are different, though.
So, what brings Hermes here today?
“Sorry to bother thee out of the blue, saint,” he says as he eats our farm-made pickles. “There’s an important rite I conducted in the celestial domain, but I deemed it best for both thee and Puffer to be present in its decision.”
Decide on what?
Surely, it’s not a world-level decision like judging whether a person is good or not?
Celestial gods are likely to come to a conclusion like that and cause a catastrophe, so I’m a little anxious.
And why Puffer?
What does he want from her, who is engaged to the merprince Arowana and is one of the Six Witches?
I don’t see how she’s related to this.
“Well, I desired to hear from one who hath not journeyed with her. Speaking of which, the lady herself is yet to make her presence known…”
Amidst my wonder, I heard a thunderous roar coming from somewhere.
It was a high-pitched sound that seemed to rip through space, and it sounded like it was approaching us.
Part of its high pitch must be caused by the Doppler effect.
The sound source got louder the closer it got, stopped above our heads, and gently landed.
“If it isn’t Songokufon.”
She was destroyed thousands of years ago, but I repaired and brought her back to life.
In this day and age, only she and Horkosfon are the only angels in existence.
Compared to Horkosfon, she is smaller in build and has the impression of a young girl.
“Whaddya want? Am really buzy, ya know? N’ besides, who are ya to summon moi?”
“Um, a god?”
She has a weird way of speaking, though.
I’m guessing the spotlight is on Songokufon today.
If so, it’d make sense to request Puffer’s presence. She used to travel with her, after all.
“…By the way, what have you been up to since your journey ended?”
“I wassun told anythin’ in particular, so I just flew around here n’ there.”
No wonder I don’t see her at the farm.
“Recently, Mista Alex invited me to be his dungeon’s mid-boss. Twas pretty refreshin’ mowin’ down them enemies!”
The god’s weapon that once nearly destroyed the world as a mid-boss?
She could even be the final boss with her power…
“I thought we couldst not let her be,” says Hermes. “Dost thou recall why I dispatched Songokufon along with Prince Arowana on his journey?”
“Um. No. You never told me anything…”
In fact, I heard about it way later.
Why was she traveling with them again?
“To maketh her learneth a thing or two about social etiquette! ‘Tis madness to let such a mighty creature, an angel no less, wander without sense or discretion! Should she unleash her full might on mere caprice, ‘twould spell doom for us all!”
That’s why he wanted to have role models to help her hone her social etiquette in the treasure trove of experience that is travel.
That’s a pretty respectable decision for a god.
If you disregard the trouble he put Prince Arowana and Puffer through, that is.
“I sought to gauge if she hath imbibed the courtesies I had hoped for, now that the prince’s journey hath concluded!”
“Why didn’t you do it right after it ended?”
“It did not slip my mind, just to clarify!”
So you did.
In any case, I wouldn’t live to see another day if a transcendent like Songokufon destroyed the world on impulse, so this test should be worthwhile.
I’ll humbly watch attentively.
“Very well, I shall proceed to query Songokufon! Let’s gauge her mettle various situations!”
“Imagine thee art walking down a street.”
“But I can fly. Why would I walk down a street?”
“It is but a simulation! Anyway, there is an unconscious sir lying on the street. Pray, what action would thou taketh?”
In this quiz that asks for common sense, the correct answer would be to nurse the person and carry them to a nearby house.
What’s Songokufon’s reply?
“I’ll deal with the bad guy who’s tormenting ‘em.”
“WHAAAAAAT?!” exclaim Hermes and me.
Why would you answer that?!
There’s no evildoers to be executed here; don’t expand the setting!
“I know. There are always bad guys behind people’s suffering. Like evil feudal lords and vampires.”
“Well, not in this simulation!”
“But if ya just help them, they’ll meet misfortune again. It is best to avert disaster by dealing with its very source. Das what the prince and Sis did.”
When I approached Puffer, she immediately looked away.
“What’s the meaning of this, Puffer?!”
“We’ve been to a lot of places on our travels. We met a Lifeless King, vampires, automatons, and an evil feudal lord.”
“Are you part of an all-star cast or something?!”
You sound like your journey was packed with adventure!
“In otha words, evil exists at the root of all suffering. So, if ya get rid of evil, everyone will be happy!”
“Isn’t that risky thinking?!”
The belief in solving problems by getting rid of the undesirable parts will only make matters worse.
“W-What should we do? The manners she has acquired during her travels are leaning towards the dangerous side!”
“Methinks I have chosen wrongly… Nay, I still has’t faith in her! Question two! I trust she will render a finer answer!”
Let’s put our hopes on the next question.
But this is also probably the final question. That’s how bad the answer to the first question was.
“Thee art thy wits end! To preserve the world, thou must weigh the lives of thine own comrades. Wilt thou choose the world or thine dearest friends?”
Oh, this is quite a common situational dilemma!
Do you prioritize peace for all the world, or do you save the people you consider family?
All or one? Everyone else or you? Logic or emotion?
These are the big-picture questions that will never overlap. Not everyone will be able to come to the same conclusion to the question without the absolute right answer.
How will Songokufon answer?
She said it without any hesitation.
“There is no victory to be gained by abandoning yer buds! Ya need buds to save the world! So I’ll never abandon mine!”
Great! That was pretty sensible!
The power of friendship!
That’s the most important thing you can cultivate on your journey!
Prince Arowana and Puffer also taught her this, right?
“Well… I guess…?” she says, shyly averting her gaze.
We were worried for nothing!
Songokufon has learned something important from her journey, after all!
“N’ then with the help of ma buds, we’ll beat up the enemy!”
“When we beat up the enemy, we do it together. Das the standard big bro n’ Sis taught me! Whenever the world is in trouble, there’s always a bad guy! But if we beat ‘em up, everythin’s A-OK!”
Her friends are important, but that’s so they can help her beat up the enemy.
And she keeps saying the only way to deal with the crisis is to eliminate the bad guys!
Is this answer correct?
The test is in a dicey place to determine whether or not Songokufon had gained good sense through her journey.