The entire Hyoudou family won a vacation to Denmark. That was why Issei was here in the countryside of Denmark. The vacation stated that they will 'experience the humbleness and tranquility of the countryside" or something like that Issei didn't remember. And well, his family enjoyed it.
Currently, they were guided by the tour guide provided to them into the root of a big tree. Issei thought he had never seen tree bigger than this one in his entire life.
"This tree here is almost a hundred years old. There is actually nothing special about this tree. However, the village that we are staying has an annual tradition. The tradition is passed down from generations to generations."
His father asked the tour guide a question. "And what tradition is it, sir?"
"Every year, two men will settle their mettle by climbing the biggest tree in this village. And since the biggest tree is this one, until this tree died or cut down, the tradition will be carried here."
Issei raised his hand. "If I may ask, how did the tradition come to be? I am interested in the legend."
The tour guide smiled at him. "Well, this village has a legend. Whoever climbed the biggest tree, it is believed that they will have a beautiful wife. So the tradition kinds of honoring the legend."
"Can I climb the tree now?!" Issei excitedly shouted.
"It's not that easy, young man. Since almost every man wants to do it, the mayor of the village held an annual competition that spans from qualifiers to test your strength and endurance, until the final round where two men will race to the top. But you're in luck! The qualifiers is open this afternoon, and you still have time to register yourself! Do you want to?"
Issei nodded enthusiastically. "Can I, Mom? Dad?"
"Be careful, Ise." His Mother reminded him.
"We don't want anything bad happens."
And so Issei found himself in the middle of big crowds after he registered himself as a participant. He was a little nervous because he was the only Asian looking man while everyone else looked European. There was even some who looked at him strangely because he was there.
"Hey," someone greeted him in Japanese. "It's strange to see a foreigner in the competition."
The one who initiated a conversation with him was a handsome European-looking man with silver hair and a striking red eyes. The man looked at Issei with a friendly smile.
"Yeah, I just heard about this and it seems interesting to me. Name's Hyoudou Issei."
"You can call me Siegfried."
"Like, from the legend?"
"Yup. Don't worry. This is not my first time in this competition. But last year I didn't qualify for the final round."
"You watch until the final round? Did someone manage to finish climbing the tree? It is so big, unlike anything I've ever seen!"
"Yeah. Climbing the tree is the final round. For the qualifiers, it's not climbing the tree, but more like obstacle races. I believe you Japanese also have something like this, yes? A TV show, if I recall correctly."
"Ah, Ninja Warrior Sasuke! I love watching the rerun on TV!"
Siegfried gasped. "Don't tell me you secretly a winner of that show!"
"No, no," Issei denied. "I have never tried entering that show myself."
"Anyway, heads up. It seems the first qualifier will begin."
The crowds were shouting in excitement for the entrant.
Looking at Issei who was surprised at the atmosphere, Siegfried explained. "Almost everyone in this village knows the legend. From toddlers to the elders who live here in their entire life, this is an annual entertainment."
Issei saw how people failed at the qualifiers. He also saw how others succeeded at passing the qualifiers. He himself was surprisingly succeeded and went to the next qualifiers. In the second qualifiers, it was not the agility and endurance that was tested, but also strength. Luckily, Issei also passed this even though he spent quite a lot of energy here.
In the end, the top two entrants which held the right to climb the three were him and surprisingly Siegfried.
"Just so you know, Hyoudou Issei. I still don't believe when you said you are not a winner of the Ninja Warrior Sasuke show," Siegfried jokingly spoke out before the final round begin.
Both of them was told to prepare themselves on the opposite side of the big tree. The rules were simple. Climb. But you are forbidden from using any tools to help you. Drinks, foods, or communication devices were allowed. It was okay if you think you could not climb anymore. Just climb down and you will be praised. It was because, for the last twenty years since the competition moved from the former tree to this one, nobody had ever climbed to the top. That was what the mayor of the village said.
He also commented how in the last twenty years, he got the marriage invitations of the former entrants and all of them had beautiful brides. That elicited laughs all over the crowds.
Then the race began.
Far in the Asgard, Odin and his entourage were watching a certain competition on a big screen.
"Guahahaha! Both finalists this years are still teenagers!" Odin, the God of War loudly remarked.
"It is interesting, yes. Although I am curious whether they can finish the climb or not. Remember that in the last twenty years, nobody had finished it. Nonetheless, as the Goddess of Love, I still will give my blessing for both of them," Freya, the Goddess of Love stated. She was the one who blessed the last twenty years finalists even though they had not reach the tallest spot of the tree. "By the way, Odin. I can't see that one bodyguard of yours that always lamenting about love."
"Who? Ah, Rossweisse? She's doing something else, I think. For shame. When the others are also watching with us, she isn't here."
"Then what are you doing laughing at the screen, idiot?! Drag her here! You're her employer, aren't you?! You good for nothing old man!"
Lightning struck Odin's heart.
"It's not me!" Thor shouted to the auditorium where everyone watched the climbing race. "I may be the God of Thunder but Freya's words are painful to hear! Ow! Ow! Ow! Wh-What are you doing, Freya? Please tell your bodyguards to stop firing their beams at me!"
Freya just sighed. "That dense guy never learns."
"Anyway, Odin. Drag her here or I'll sic Waltraute on you."
"W-W-What?! Please don't! Not Waltraute! I am the head of Asgard! I will not let you abuse your position like that! At least give me someone more peaceful than the trigger-happy shota-loving Val-"
Odin couldn't finish his sentence because Odin was no more.
"My apologize. It's reflex."
The entire auditorium fell silent.
"Anyway, let's just continue watching, shall we. Waltraute, dear. Please fetch your junior here."
Waltraute nodded and left the auditorium.
Once Waltraute was out of the earshot, Odin restored himself using his godly power. "Seriously that shotacon is a bad health for me!"
The reason Waltraute getting the nickname shotacon was for a valid reason.
It began several hundred years ago when a boy fell in love in the first sight with a certain Valkyrie. The boy then proposed marriage to the Valkyrie. Unable to harshly refuse such a cute boy, Waltr- Ehem, the Valkyrie imposed an impossible task for the boy to climb the Sacred Tree Yggdrasil. Long story short, the boy failed to completely climbed it because of the machination of a certain God. However, the boy's determination managed to win the heart of the Valkyrie. She agreed to marry him. Then they lived happily ever after.
Except said Valkyrie got nicknamed shotacon even when the boy grew up to be a strong man that got himself added to the army of Einherjar.
That story inspired the bards to tell the tale of the brave man and the lovely Valkyrie. However, over time the story got twisted so much until the story became what it was today.
The people in the auditorium immersed themselves back to the competition. It seemed that the two finalists were evenly matched. The first, the local boy was using the strategy of slow and steady. He slowly climbed the big tree. The other one, the eastern foreigner was passionate but sloppy. None of them held the advantage over the other.
"Oooh! What is this, the eastern boy picks up his technique!"
The eastern-featured boy increased his speed and stopped getting sloppy.
But not long after, the local boy also picked up his pace.
"Local boy won't lose! Come on!"
It was to the sight of the Asgardians shouting and jeering that the Valkyrie Rossweisse entered the room.
"Rossweisse, here here," Freya gestured for Rossweisse to sit beside her.
"Lady Freya," Rossweisse acknowledge as she sat.
"Look, the race is about to finish. Surprisingly both of them are nearing the top."
Rossweisse looked at the big screen in front of her. The camera zoomed towards one of the finalists. It was a boy, still a teenager, looking towards the top with such a passion reflected on his eyes.
Rossweisse couldn't help but think the sight was so picturesque.
"Nooooo!" Many people shouted their disappointment when the other finalist stopped advancing further and backing down instead.
"Okay then, Siegfried. Like your namesake, you are a brave warrior to try this challenge. As the Goddess of Love. I bless you. May you find a beautiful girl to accompany you until the end."
Rossweisse heard Freya blessed the finalist. That was neat. She would like to be blessed by Freya too.
"Look, the other boy isn't backing down!"
The sole survivor of the challenge still didn't stop. He was still advancing further. But he didn't charge recklessly like before. Now he was advancing slowly and surely.
And then, ten minutes later, he reached the top.
"Somebody finished the challenge!"
"Been several years already!"
"It's a foreigner though."
"Attention, everyone!" Freya said out loud to catch the attention of the entire auditorium. "For the last twenty years, nobody has ever reached the top of the tree. But today, somebody finally does it!"
The crowds roared.
"As the Goddess of Love, I wanted to bless him a life full of beautiful girls. However, after looking around. I found someone whose heart was moved by the sheer determination of our winner!"
Now the crowds whispered amongst themselves. Who was it? One of Freya's powers as the Goddess of Love was to feel even the slightest change of hearts.
"Because of that, I have a genius thinking. Why don't we give Rossweisse here whose heart was moved to our winner?!"
W-What! Rossweisse almost spilled the drink she was carrying. A chorus of yes echoed in the auditorium as she became the attention of the entire auditorium.
"Isn't it nice, Rossweisse? Now you don't have to lament your loveless life anymore. And I get to present the winner with a beautiful girl. I'm such a genius!"
Odin also spoke up. "Besides, the legend of climbing the Yggdrasil to get a Valkyrie to marry you has been twisted so much into 'if you win this competition you will get a beautiful girl for a wife'. That's a no no! I'm the one who first shared the story to the bards at the bar! Let's reenact the legend of-"
Odin couldn't complete his sentence because Odin was no more.
"So you're the one who spread that I am a shotacon, huh?" Waltraute coldly asked the remain of Odin as she gathered it and left the auditorium.
The whole auditorium fell silent until Rossweisse broke it.
"W-W-What do you mean by that, Lady Freya!"
"I mean it, Rossweisse. I don't like to see someone so longing for love. I want to help you."
Rossweisse wanted to rebuke, but the pressure from being stared by the entirety of the auditorium made her resolve broke.
"F-Fine! I will try. Thank you, Lady Freya."
Hyoudou Issei woke up. He had a tiring day of winning the climbing competition. So he did not want to do anything but lazing around on his bed all day. Yes. That was what he would do.
Issei fell back to sleep as he hugged his body pillow.
Issei woke up.
The room that he sleeps did not have any body pillow. So what was this soft thing?
Issei opened his eyes to see a beautiful girl staring at him with red cheeks. He was pressing the girl's boobs onto his chest as he hugged the girl.
"Um, Good Morning."
A/N: So here's a short snip about how Issei got himself engaged to Rossweisse. This is a simple crossover with The Circumstances Leading to Waltraute's Marriage / Waltraute-san no Konkatsu Jijou. If you haven't read it already, read it. It's fucking awesome because it's written by Kazuma Kamachi. Also, totally unrelated but if you like my stories, consider to support me on my kofi page at (slash) kurobaraito