Worth the Trouble
I’ve often said that the gods in the Department of Wishes don’t interest me all that much, and of those, I have to say, Aigonorus was pretty much the one I found the least intriguing. I mean, he’s asleep, always, everywhere, even in everybody else’s story. Since he’s part of the second set of stories, I would have to choose him to protect me. Protect. How much protection can be afforded by someone who’s asleep all the time? Exactly. So I couldn’t possibly fathom how that should work. Obviously, neither can the other gods. But clearly, the King knows what he’s doing…
When our MC is accosted by demons who want to abduct her, the King sends his second set of Zodiac gods to protect her. He will give a reward to whoever succeeds in keeping her safe. While this greatly motivates the gods, it’s still up to the MC to choose which god she wants as a guardian. While Partheno and Tauxolouve fall over themselves trying to gain her approval, Krioff scowls, Karno smiles benevolently, and Zyglavis impatiently taps his foot. Only Aigonorus seems completely indifferent to the whole situation, which is why the MC decides on him. Everybody, including Aigonorus himself, is more than a little shocked by this choice. I mean, does he look like he would even try? But he assures them that, since the King commands it, keeping her safe is what he will do. And so it is decided.
While the gods feel it best to keep the MC at their mansion, she would much prefer to go home. Aigonorus relents and transports her to her apartment. He assures her that he will be able to safeguard her from afar, and leaves. In the morning, the MC is woken up by her frantic co-worker, Hiyori, because there’s a news crew outside the MC’s apartment. This, on account of all the goats.
Of course, these are no ordinary goats, but the divine heralds of the god of
alpine goats Capricorn. They are alarm system and bodyguards, all rolled into one. And yet, one of the Dark King’s minions manages to slip past them and almost succeeds in abducting the MC. It’s but for the timely intervention of Aigonorus, himself, that the situation can be resolved.
Before the two can process what has happened, a great light envelops them, and – connoisseuses of the series recognise this pattern – moments later, they find themselves in the King’s throne room in heaven.
The King is not happy. He had instructed Aigo to guard the former goddess, and Aigo has failed him. In order to a) make his displeasure known and b) force Aigo to do The One Job he was tasked with, the King resorts to a tried and true method for compliance: the dreaded Mark of Sin that Leon, Scorpio, and consorts know so well.
However, this mark works a bit differently than the last ones: it does not seal Aigo’s power away, but it will zap him every time the distance between him and the MC exceeds three yards – as demonstrated right there in the throne room. It is further decided that they should stay in the heavens for now. So, yet again, they find themselves confined to Aigonorus’ surprisingly cute and comfy room. And since they cannot be further apart than three yards (which really isn’t that much), they are forced to do everything together. Do I hear someone mentioning… baths?
Ladies and gentlemen, this MC, she cannot handle baths. I hasten to add, though, that this time, the fainting isn’t entirely her fault. It’s Aigo’s, who fell asleep in the water. And because he is impossible to wake up, and since she didn’t want him to get zapped, well, she opted to faint instead. Which then leads to the usual situations of embarrassment.
After being cooped up in Aigo’s room for several days, he tells the MC that they are going out. On their way to their actual destination, they come by the market, where much commotion ensues when Aigonorus is spotted; the gods of Wishes and Punishments are a big deal. The MC also overhears some goddesses gossiping about Aigo and what appears to be a former love affair of his: apparently, the woman in question suffered a dire fate. Of course, the MC cannot ask Aigo about it.
While the heavens are an endlessly beautiful place, the MC misses earth. Generously, Leon gives them permission to return to earth, since the mark makes it impossible for them to not be together. After a few days on earth, however, the MC notices that the mark has vanished. When she points this out, the emotional distance between them, that had all but disappeared, is back in an instant. This is, of course, the moment the agents of the Dark King had been waiting for…
For some reason, whenever the main story is finished, the characters go through several weeks of separation for no apparent reason. Usually it’s “work has been busy”. Such is the case here, and the MC idly wishes that she could see Aigonorus soon. Seeing as the man in question works at the Department of Wishes, he makes a prompt appearance on her balcony.
Aigo spends the night, but the next morning, the MC has to go to work, which he is unhappy about. Since his special power is, frankly, the most perfidious of all – he can control the minds of living beings – he makes her director think that he should grant the MC a leave of absence. When the MC finds out about the tampering, she is unhappy about it. For once, I get it; that’s just not a power to use lightly. The usual to and fro ensues, with a completely gratuitous robbery thrown in, but in the end, they make up and everything is peachy.
I cannot stress enough how relieved I am that neither bathtubs nor sex come up in this epilogue. See other epilogues for reference.
I have to hand it to Voltage, this story is a thing of beauty. While it might be downright… domestic in its approach, there is genuine warmth between the characters. Aigo is, of course, the Dark Mysterious type, but not on purpose, so to speak. When he is finally asked about his past, he tells her the whole story. When he makes a mistake, he apologises. His behaviour is that of an adult at all times, and damn, that’s refreshing. And he manages to be an adult without boring me silly, the way Karno did. The third act breakup that is necessary for the story is understandable, given how the characters have been acting around each other up to that point. Regrettable, but understandable.
The Love Meter
Solidly Blessed. It went all the way to the end of Blessed, but my last few decisions made it swing back a bit. I found it trickier than usual to get a good reading of the character, but it seems him and I would get along well enough.
I didn’t expect to, but I like Aigonorus. The story is unhurried, nothing really happens, which, given the premise, is surprising. When stuff does happen, it’s dealt with quickly, and I have to say, the encounter with the minions of the Dark King is somewhat anticlimactic, because they are dealt with very, very easily. But that’s not what this story is about at all.
I love the King’s meddling here; I usually have reservations, but sometimes, he does seem benevolent. All in all, I would call this a soft, quiet story, and after what some other characters have put me through, I appreciate the lack of excitement, so to speak. The sedate pace makes the characters and their feeling all the more credible.