Chapter 40: Can't...hold on...much...LONGER!

And that's why he's called Cliff Hanger.

-Between the Lions

For as long as she could remember, all Tanya Von Degurechaff had wanted was to live in order and peace. She didn't want to be out, risking her life, fighting gods and superpowered beings. She wanted to retire to a quiet place somewhere with Visha and live a comfortable life. They had both fought through a dozen wars over the past two centuries, they had more than earned it.

Those who wished for peace, however, were well advised to prepare for war. One day, Tanya would have her peace. Once she had finally fulfilled her obligation to Ainz. She didn't share his particular hate for Aqua, but she was just as bad if not worse than most gods, if only because of her sheer stupidity. If Aqua was Ainz's being X, Tanya would help get rid of her. Then, she could finally retire.

And so, Tanya was preparing. Soon, she would be ready. To cleanse this world, just as she had so many others. It would be harder than most: Quirks were powerful, and worked entirely differently than the magic Tanya was used to. They needed new tactics, and new allies.

Which brought her to a remote mountain pass, watching a heavily armed police convoy through her binoculars as it wound its way towards her. She grinned. They didn't even have scouts. Pathetic. It was like they were inviting her in.

Tanya landed atop the armored police transport alone, coming to rest atop it lightly. She clicked her radio once to signal she was in position. A moment later, two clicks from Visha. Then, maddeningly. "Come on, let's just do this already, Tanya, we-"

"Code names only," she snapped into her line. "Maintain radio silence, Mädchen. Are you in position?"

There was a heavy sigh, followed by two clicks, then two more. Good. At least one of these damned Floor Guardians knew his business.

Tanya swung down into the cab of the transport, using a minor sonic spell to shatter the reinforced glass of the window. She fired two shots, one through the head of the driver, the other through the heart guard next to him. Then, swiftly taking the wheel, Tanya brought the vehicle to a halt on the side of the road. She felt slightly nostalgic to be back in a version of Japan, taking a brief moment to glance at a familiar looking road sign. She would almost regret bringing war to a people not so different from her country of origin.

But they were choosing to worship Aqua in increasing numbers. And it was irrational to pity the enemy.

Turning on the hazard lights, Tanya stepped out of the cab, using an illusion spell to disguise herself as the driver she'd just slain.

"What's going on?" an officer asked, jumping out of the escort car that had been leading the convoy. "Why did you-"

Tanya shot him, dashed to the car the policewoman had been in, then shot her partner even as she was picking up the radio. Quick, neat, efficient, quiet. All the hallmarks of a good operation. She looked behind her to see Aura Bella Fiora withdrawing her hand from the chest of an officer, a grin on her face.

"Alles ist in Ordnung?" Tanya demanded.

"Yeah, yeah, killed 'em quiet, they didn't get a call out. Don't know why we bother, could just do a smash and grab without much trouble," the dark elf child grumbled. Despite having known her for centuries, Tanya had never seen Mare or her brother age in the slightest. That was fine. Tanya had been physically a young adult for the same period.

Such were the benefits from drinking the blood of gods. Though at this point, Tanya was tired enough she wouldn't mind aging gracefully and going to her own rest. Provided Visha was safe.

"We do not wish to attract too much attention. Better if this goes quietly. See to your task," Tanya ordered. She didn't worry about Visha, who knew her business, nor Mare, who was a cold blooded bastard. Tanya approved of that. Aura was far too reckless and eager. Stain and his new recruits were performing under the eyes of some of her veteran gottjager. But they seemed to be working out just fine.

A simple spell opened the back of the armored police transport, revealing Tanya's prize. "Kai Chisaki? Alias Overhaul?"

The bound man looked up at her, blinking, a scowl on his lips. "Who wants to know? Why have we stopped?"

"You may call me Gelb," Tanya said, keeping her distance. Intel said this man's Quirk could destroy matter at a touch, hence why his hands were restrained in special glass cases and he was strapped to a frame that prevented nearly all movement. "The police are dead, but we have little time to chat. So, you must answer me honestly. Know that if you lie, I shall kill you."

"Fair enough," Chisaki answered, twitching slightly. "What is it you want to know?"

"What are your thoughts on gods?" Tanya demanded.

Chisaki let out a bark of laughter. "Now that's an unexpected question! I don't believe in fairy tales and nonsense. There are no gods. If there were, they would be capricious and cruel, to curse mankind with the abominations that are Quirks. The world should be neat, and orderly, and yet, it is in chaos! I would have remade the world in my own image, into one without Quirks! It is filthy! They are all filthy, tainted, and corrupted! They must be cleansed!" Froth speckled Chisaki's lips as he ranted, jerking against his restraints futility.

Ah. A mad dog then. But, a useful mad dog perhaps. "And what if I told you the gods were real, and that they played games with the lives of men?"

"Then I would say my first goal would be to kill them!" Chisaki snarled. "There should be no gods, only men! Why do you ask such foolish questions? Either free me, or kill me!"

"I have an offer for you, Kai Chisaki. I would offer you revenge against those who defeated you. Especially All Might, and the girl, Aqua. Swear yourself to my service, and I shall teach you to bring even gods to their knees. Serve well, and you shall escape the purge that is coming to this world when I bring war upon the fools who would follow hollow gods."

"Why should I serve you, little girl," Chisaki growled. "I am-"

Tanya reached out, putting a single finger on Chisaki's clammy forehead. She gave him a vision. A small one. A series of images and sensations of her battles, of her standing over the bloody corpses of a dozen deities. Of her putting nations to the sword. It lasted only moments, but conveyed lifetimes of conflict.

Chisaki's eyes rolled back in his head, and he gagged and wheezed as his mind was overloaded. Precious second sticked by, but he regained control of himself remarkably swiftly. Perhaps not as mad as Tanya had thought.

"Well. Is immortality on the table?" Chisaki asked, eyeing Tanya appraisingly now. "You couldn't have done all that in a single human lifetime. Especially not and still look like a young woman."

"Serve well, and you shall be rewarded. The blood of Aqua is claimed by my master. But there are other gods to hunt here. You are strong, from what I have heard. And we can always use new generals in my army."

"Then I swear to serve you, Tanya Von Degerachaff.I shall help you cleanse this world, and any others, of filth. Gods included," Chisaki promised. He let out a sudden gasp as a purple light escaped his mouth, streaming into a crystal Tanya had clutched in her left hand.

"Your word binds you. Betray me, and you shall die where you stand, your soul forfeit," Tanya informed him. "That will not end your to serve me, and I shall give you to another master. For those who serve the Great Tomb, death is no release."

She freed him then, and Chisaki rubbed at his arms and legs, hobbling slightly as he followed Tanya back to the road. The twins were there, and Visha, along with the eight men they had been looking for.

"They will serve," Visha informed Tanya. "Our ranks grow."

"Excellent. We return to base then. We need more recruits," Tanya said. "War is coming. And this time, Aqua shall not escape us."

They teleported away in a simple flash of light. It would be almost an hour before it was discovered what had happened to the convoy transporting Overhaul and the Eight Bullets of the Shie Hassaikai. By then, it was far too late to stop what would happen next.

"How are they?" All Might asked quietly.

The masked demon that called itself Vanir looked up from the paper ledgers he had been working on. "The foolish merchant and her child are both sleeping. It seems their fortunes have both been reversed by association with you, O titan who holds up the world on his back and smiles through the pain. When shall you rest, moi wonders?"

"When my work is finished," All Might said softly. "You shall keep an eye on them, then?"

"Moi? No. Moi's work is nearly done, and soon, moi shall depart. It is you who should watch over them, O lonely one. Is it not time for you to put down your burden, hmmm? That is why you sought out the green boy who grasps the sun, yes? To rest."

Speaking with Vanir always gave All Might a headache. He wasn't a stupid man, far from it, as you didn't become the Symbol of Peace by being unintelligent. But he was a very direct man, and Vanir's way of always speaking in riddles and half truths irritated him.

"Speak sense, Vanir. You're leaving? You can go back to Belzerg? How?"

"Oh no, moi has no need to go back to Belzerg. It is time. Moi was weary of life long before moi came to this world. Only for the softhearted woman of perpetual poverty did moi agree to remain on this plane of existence. Moi had but one condition that needed to be fulfilled before moi would seek the death that has been so long delayed. And it is nearly here."

All Might cocked his head to one side. "You're going to die? How? I thought demons were immortal."

"Gods are immortal," Vanir mused as he jotted down something in the ledger. "And yet, there are so few of them left in my realm. One may be immortal, but that does not mean one cannot die. Only that one will not die naturally. Do you know, man who carries the burdens of others yet neglects his own, that upon this world, you have three deities? They are an endangered species, now. Moi's sources tell moi that in all the worlds of Comedy, there are scarce two dozen left. Once, there were thousands. All across the universe, the lights are going out. Moi's food grows scarce. And thus, moi's time is at an end."

"Food? I thought you did not eat. What is it you require? I would be happy to help a friend of Wiz's, perhaps I can get you some."

Vanir chuckled, tapping his nose with a long gloved finger. "Why, you feed moi with your very presence. Indeed, thou art the very essence of despair, man who leads while he himself is lost." Vanir stood up, rolling his neck from side to side as it popped. "Moi is a demon. We, like the gods, feed upon you humans. Gods need prayer and devotion to sustain them. Demons desire something else. Succubi feed upon lust, and other breeds upon different sins. In moi's case, this is the sweetest, most succulent of human emotions: Despair. Moi has fed well indeed these past centuries."

"There is indeed no lack of despair in the world," All Might agreed. "So why do you say you must die?"

"As moi said, one grows weary of living. Moi cared for the scion of perpetual poverty, but moi could not give her what she desired above all else. Thus, moi agreed to delay sweet release until the day when one who loved without a heartbeat could attain what she wished."

"A child?" All Might guessed. "Wiz wished for a child? To live again?"

"In part, yes. But the lost lamb who has found her way home is but a part of the picture. Moi wonders how you humans manage to be so oblivious to what is right in front of your faces. In the case of the woman whose wallet holds less the harder she squeezes, it is understandable. It has been so long since she breathed that she did not recognize when another's blood quickens. Now, however, that cannot last, and her own flesh has ripened. Will you know when yours does?"

All Might shook his head. "I know I grow old. That is why I train Young Midoriya and the others. That they might take my place."

Vanir laughed, a deep belly laugh that had him clutching his sides. "Oh! Exquisite despair! Truly, moi does himself a disservice here! Moi could feast upon you, o man who tends the fields of others yet lets his own trough lay empty, for decades yet!" Then Vanir turned serious. "But moi's time grows short, and those of the flesh have little time indeed. So moi shall be blunt: Why do you come here, man of unfulfilled desires?"

"Why, because my students are here. I come to check on them, to ensure their safety. And to pay homage to Aqua, naturally. Ah, but who can forget the snacks! Truly, these are quite wonderful!" All Might said, taking a bag of black licorice and maple flavored sweets off of the shelf and holding them up.

"No, they are not. They are putrescent. Not even one whose brain has been rattled as many times as yours, o man whose blood rises even as we speak, can enjoy this dross as much as you claim, to visit twice daily."

"Well, if I'm getting angry with you, it's because you keep talking in circles," All Might growled, letting a bit of his frustration and tension through.

"Hmm. And it is not because thy loins have not known release by any hand save thine own in thirty years?" Vanir asked, his voice changing slightly, his words becoming even more baffling and archaic than normal. What was his game?

It was very, very hard for All Might not to punch a hole in the demon's face. He knew Vanir would be fine, but you didn't get to be the Number One without learning how to control your anger, even when you were enraged. "That," All Might growled, "is a very personal, and sensitive subject. Drop it."

"No. Moi does not have time for you humans to faff about as you are wont to do. Take a cue from thy students, who even know recline in the arms of their lovers not far from here," Vanir said with a low chuckle. "Love whilst thou has time, Son of Shonen. For thou art a man, and it is in thy blood to love and lust, to have and to hold. Even thy patron deity hast given thee over to mine own Ladies designs. Why not enjoy life while it lasts?"

"Talk sense!" All Might snapped, slamming his hand down on the counter before Vanir. He didn't put any juice into it, but even so his blow rattled the frame.

"Thou does not come to moi's establishment for moi's company, or even for the questionable repast moi sells. You, o man who is blinded by duty, come to see the lady who breathes once more. She is flesh again. Thou can take her, and bed her, ast thou desires. And, shouldst thou worry, as she desires as well."

That made All Might blink, and jerk back. "What? I, I don't know-"

"Give over, human. Thou might fool thy self, thou might even fool the one thee craves, but thou canst never fool moi. For too long have I seen into the minds and hearts of men. Thou do desire thy lady, doest thee not? Go unto her. The child yet sleeps. Take comfort in the pleasures of thy flesh, and give pleasure, as thou were designed to do. Would not thy Lady, the foolish goddess upon whom the fates of all rests, tell thee to love whilst thou can? Go, O foolish man."

All Might swallowed. "I don't-"

"I heard shouting, is everything alright?"

All Might's head whipped around to see Wiz emerge from the back, yawning and moving a strand of hair out of her face. She smiled at him, and even he could not deny that something stirred within him. "Oh, All Might! It's good to see you! Come to check on Eri? I'm afraid she's sleeping. But she's fine. The doctors say her quirk is gone; Aqua removed it. Perhaps that is for the best. Or did you need more snacks? You do eat a lot! Nearly as much as Midoriya, and he's a growing boy!"

"No, I…" All Might swallowed. Why was it suddenly hard to talk? Surely that damnable demon hadn't been speaking the truth. But he had come by here frequently of late. It had just been for the snacks, right? "I came to see you, Wiz."

That brought a smile to her face, and she beamed at him. "Oh, thank you! I am quite well! Come, would you care for some tea? It's late, but I'd be happy to share a pot with you."

"I'd like that," All Might agreed, and allowed Wiz to take him by the hand and lead him to the living quarters behind the shop. It was just a cup of tea, after all. He didn't have time for love, did he?

Vanir smiled and went back to scribbling in his ledger as the man was led by the woman to his doom. He'd likely enjoy it; humans usually did seem to do so.

"Well, my Lady, have I done as thou did wish?"

A form stepped out of the shadows, not unlike one of the mortals who ran about in those odd clothes they seemed to favor for their whelps here.

"You did good. How'd you figure it out?" Haruhi asked.

Vanir shrugged. "It did seem the sort of thing thou would do, my Lady. But come. Thou did not come here merely to see the fruits of thy scheme, for thou didst know that once her flesh did quicken, the woman would catch the man, as she always does. Thou hast come to me about my cousin?"

"Alucard is moving," Haruhi said quietly. "Strings are being pulled. I know he's doing something on this world, but I can't interfere directly. Neither can King Kai. We do, and he has all the excuse he needs to throw down with us personally. And if that happens, all bets are off."

"Yes. He seeks the same thing I do," Vanir said quietly. "To be true to his nature. To breed Horror, and feed upon it."

Haruhi shivered unconsciously. Vanir did not blame her. She was a young god. Younger than he, despite being his creator. Odd, how that worked. But time meant little to those who existed beyond and before and after it. "But why plunge my reality into chaos? Why not play with his own worlds! He has plenty of them! Is this because I tried to help make some of his people's lives a bit better?!"

"It is his nature to bring Horror, just as it is yours to bring Comedy, my lady. He can do naught else. He seeks to force thy hand, and the hands of other gods."

"So he's going to destroy everything because he's hungry," Haruhi growled. "Damn him."

"That is the idea. Shall you have your champions end him once they defeat the Tomb?" Vanir asked curiously.

"No. I… I couldn't do that," Haruhi said, shivering. "These kids, they need to laugh. Just like-wow. OK, that did not take long. Already? Sheesh. King Kai needs to learn to let his boys blow off a little steam more often. A healthy bit of romance does wonders for you," Haruhi said with a shake of her head.

Vanir chuckled, shaking his head as the waves of lust and passion emanating from the back room. He did give All Might and Wiz credit, they were trying to be discrete, but an empath always knew, even if this sort of thing was more appealing to succubi. They seemed to be keeping things discrete, but at least the two of them were doing those disgusting exchanges of saliva now. Vanir would have to stick around to make sure they went "all the way" so to speak, and hope it didn't take too long.

"And what of you, my lady? Does thou desire romance?" Vanir asked as Haruhi opened a bag of chips and sniffed at them.

"Man, I did too good a job at making Wiz's tastes funny and questionable," the Goddess muttered, making a face and rolling the bag shut. "Me? Nah. Gave it up. You know that. I let my subordinates have their fun, if they're willing to sacrifice for it. But for me? Nope. Not what I need anymore. I just need people to laugh."

Vanir nodded. He understood. He'd never desired the comforts of the flesh, nor would he ever. He had been fond of Wiz, even loved her. But he'd never felt the slightest inclination to take her as a lover, even had he been capable of such a thing. She had wanted him to, strange as it seemed to the demon. He was more of an "it" anyway, just like Haruhi, or even Aqua. It was just easier for these poor, foolish humans to think of him as a him, so he did the same. He'd lived among them for too long.

"Well, keep up the good work then," Haruhi said, dropping the bag of chips. It and the contents vanished before they hit the ground. "And, no killing yourself until we figure out how to stop Alucard, or at the very least, stop Ainz and Tanya."

"Moi shall do as thou biddest, my Lady," Vanir agreed, bowing. "For though I am a demon, I am a servant of God."

"Weird how that works. Guess I did alright when I made you. And… keep an eye on Aqua, alright? She's dumb, but…"

"She is your daughter," Vanir finished. "It shall be as you will."

"Of course. I'm God," Haruhi said with a shrug of her shoulders, and walked off into another reality.

Vanir shook his head. Oh, she was God. Just a very young one. He remembered other Gods, and not merely Alucard or King Kai. "Where hast thou gone, Q-Taro? I wonder, where do gods and demons go when we die? Do we sleep, at last?"

It wasn't something that lingered in Vanir's mind overly long. The children of Comedy were not well known for their self reflection. And like a good punchline, they knew when to land, and when to make an exit.

Several Months Earlier

Ristarte stepped out of the time portal alongside Seiya, cracking her knuckles. "Ooooo, Aqua's gonna get it now!"

"We are not here to punish Aqua, as much as she might deserve it," Seiya said. "We are here so to-"

"Be perfectly prepared to launch our counter offensive against the Tomb, yeah yeah," Ristarte muttered, sighing and walking forward. "I'd just like to teach that good for nothing bimbo a lesson or two. Why the Chief likes her so much, I'll never know."

Seiya shrugged, matching his pace to his wife's, despite his much longer legs. They did have time, though not enough to dilly dally. Director Aisahina had seen to that. "All that matters is defeating Tanya and Ainz once and for all."

"I can't believe those two have caused this many problems. They seemed so nice back when we knew them at that school!" Ristarte lamented.

"Back when you knew them at school," Seiya corrected. "I was still a mortal back then. I only remember what you've told me of the 'crossover experience.'"

"Too bad, really, it was kinda fun while it lasted," Ristarte mused as they approached the gate of the city they'd appeared near.

"Halt! Who goes there? Answer in the name of Kaiser Frederick!" a guard barked, lowering his spear.

His companion sighed and shook his head. "He's not the Kaiser anymore, remember? His father's alive again."

"Er, right. Kaiser Gustaf," the guard corrected himself. "Identify yourselves!"

"I am the god Seiya. This is my wife, the goddess Ristarte Sakido." Bless his heart, Seiya said it with a straight face, and no preamble.

"Listen," Ristarte said, putting herself between her husband and the two very confused mortals. "We know you've just been brought back to life this morning and things are very confusing. We're here to explain why your realm was rolled back. We know Aqua and her group came through here."

"More gods and goddesses?" the first guard said, taking off his helmet and scratching at his head.

"What are you doing?!" Seiya snapped. "You are on duty! To remove your helm is to show a complete disregard for proper preparedness! Have you forgotten the tenets of our religion so quickly after such a short time spent with that NEET Kazuma and his band of hooligans?"

"Hey, Lord Kazuma saved this city! Don't you dare talk badly about him or the goddesses!" The guards lowered their spears again, fury in their eyes.

Ristarte rubbed her forehead. She could feel the migraine coming on already. "Ugh, look, we just need to talk to your leaders. As much as I'd like to re-convert this city, we unfortunately need all of you still worshiping Aqua, and, I can't believe I'm saying this, Megumin."

"What about Lord Kazuma?" one of the guards asked suspiciously.

"He's not a god," Seiya growled. "Nor should he ever be. But knowing Aqua, she's probably recruiting him as we speak."

"Why don't you just take us to your priests, we can discuss theological matters with them, OK? Seiya will even give up his weapons," Ristarte promised.

There was a sharp intake of breath, and Seiya gaped at Ristarte, horrified.

"Oh come on, you know enough combat magic that that shouldn't be an issue here, and you can literally punch your way out of any problem we face!" Ristarte told him, planting her hands on her hips and glaring up at her husband.

Slowly, Seiya drew his sword, and passed it over to the guard, glaring at Ristarte. "...This is going to cost you."

"Yeah, well, I'm sure we'll be busy enough that I'll find another way to keep myself entertained," Ristarte sighed, then made a 'come on' gesture. "All of them, Seiya. We need to get moving."


The guards could only gape as Seiya laid out three broad swords, two long swords, a battle axe, five morning stars of differing lengths, a great maul, two daggers for dual wielding, a claymore (the explosive kind), five hand grenades, an uzi with a double magazine taped together for fast reloads, five knives of varying lengths, a black jack, two sets of mithril knuckles, and a deringer.

"I said all of them, Seiya," Ristarte snapped when he acted as though he were finished.

"See if you like sleeping alone tonight," Seiya muttered, and pulled out two colt .45 caliber pistols with extended magazines, and a greatsword. As if it were an afterthought, he also added a beamsaber. Where he had gotten that, Ristarte wasn't sure, as even she'd not known about it.

"As if you'd ever let yourself be parted from your healer for even five minutes," Ristarte sniffed. Then she smiled at the guards. "Well?"

"Lady Aqua preserve us, he really is Saint Yah," the guard captain, who had come out to observe the display, muttered. Then to Ristarte's irritation, he made Aqua's stupid water wheel sign. "Take them to the Kaiser straight away. More gods. Now we just have to pray the Lord of the Tomb doesn't return as well."

"That's what we're here to prevent," Ristarte said grimly, and followed their escort up the hill. They had a little time to get this realm whipped into shape.

Then, they would see if Aqua had succeeded. Ristarte personally prayed that Todoroki could talk some sense into the idiot goddess. Otherwise, she'd spend the entire time crying and playing video games.

Authors Note:

And on that note, it's time for a break again. Thus, this is the end of Season 2 of This Goddess Must be Crazy. The next season is the last one, where the final battle between Nazerick and UA will take place. You can expect that to land sometime early next year. I did have several chapters written, but I don't like where they went and need to do some re-writes to get this last part correct.

Either way, let me know what you thought of the story so far, and what you are hoping to see in the future. I have a feeling many of you want to see Animepocalypse, but if there are other relationships or matchups you'd like to see happen let me know. The poll for the interlude will also tell me what people are interested. I have a feeling we'll need at least a couple to set the stage, and you can expect those to bridge the gap between now and when the last part comes out.

As always, thanks for reading,