“Satou Kazuma-san, welcome to the after-life. Unfortunately, you have died. It might be short, but your life is over.”
Someone suddenly spoke to me in a pure white room.
The sudden turn of events confused me.
In the room was a set of office desk and chair, and the one who announced that my life was over sat in that chair.
If there was a goddess, she must be it.
Her beauty was beyond the idols shown on television, she had glamour that surpassed humans.
Her long blue hair looked silky smooth.
She seemed to be about my age.
She wasn’t too busty or too lacking. She had a light purple hagoromo draped over her clothes.
The beauty blinked her eyes which were the same aqua blue color of her hair, staring at me who didn’t know what was going on.
… I thought about what happened moments ago.
… It was rare for me who kept staying at home to go outside.
In order to purchase a limited first release version of a popular online game, I got up early to queue up.
Society addressed people like me as Hikikomori.
After buying the game, it was time to return home to play my heart out. I was in a great mood when I thought of that and prepared to return home, but at this moment…
A girl was looking down on her cell phone and walking before me.
From her uniform, she should be studying in the same school as me.
After seeing the lights turn green, the girl didn’t check the traffic and crossed the road directly.
A large shadow loomed towards her.
That must be a large truck heading towards her at high speed.
When I came to my senses, I had knocked that girl away.
… I asked the beauty before me with a mysteriously calm emotion:
“… Can I ask one thing?”
The beauty nodded in response to my question.
“Please go ahead.”
“… That girl… that was knocked away by me, is she still alive?”
That was the most important thing.
That was the first and last time
I did something worthy.
If I didn’t managed to save her in time despite betting my life, that would be so frustrating.
“She lives! But her injury was bad, she fractured her leg.”
I didn’t die in vain. I did something good at the very end…
Seeing me acting relieved, the beauty tilted her head and said:
“But, she would not had been hurt if you didn’t knocked her away.”
What did she say?
“That tractor would had stopped before hitting that girl. That was expected, it was just a slow tractor after all. That means your unnecessary meddling by acting like a hero made things worse… Pu he he!”
What is this, this was the first time I met this girl.
It might be rude, but I felt like beating her up.
… Wrong, hold it. I think I heard something that was more important than that.
“… What did you say?
Tractor? Not a truck?”
“That’s right, a tractor. If a truck was speeding towards that girl, she would had noticed and got away.”
“Eh? But what about me? Did I die after getting hit by the tractor?”
“No, you died from shock. You thought you were ran over by a truck and went into shock. I had been doing this for a long time, but you are the first to die so unnaturally!”
“Because of your close call with the tractor, you lost consciousness and control of your bowels and were sent to a nearby hospital. As the doctors and nurses were saying ‘What’s with this guy, how useless– (lol)’ amidst laughter, you did not regain consciousness and your heart failed…”
“Shut up–! I don’t want to hear it! I don’t want to hear something so cringy!”
The girl walked to my side as I cupped my ears and smiled deviously, leaning close to my ears:
“Your family had reached the hospital, but before they felt the sadness from their loss, they couldn’t help bursting into laughter after hearing your cause of death…”
“Shut up shut up! This can’t be real! How could there be such a useless way to die, this is unbelievable!”
Looking down at me squatting with my head in my arms, the girl covered her mouth and laughed.
“… Well, that ends my de-stressing session. First time we met, Satou Kazuma-san. My name is Aqua. I am a goddess that guides young people who die in Japan… Now, putting aside how funny your demise was, you have two options.”
… This fellow!
Forget it, getting worked up would just delay the progress of the conversation, I will just bear with it.
“First would be reincarnating and beginning a new life. The other option would be staying in a place sort of like heaven and live the life similar to an old folks home.”
What a lazy way to describe the options.
“Eh, well… How is the place that is sort of like heaven? More importantly, what do you mean by old folks home?”
“Heaven isn’t as great as you humans imagined. You don’t need to eat after dying and won’t be able to make anything naturally. There aren’t any ingredients or necessities for you to use anyway. I am sorry if I disappointed you, but there is nothing in heaven. No television, no manga and no games, there are only other people who died before you. And since you are dead, you can’t do anything kinky, you can’t since you don’t even have a body. The only thing you can do is bask in the sun with your
predecessors and chat. Forever.
No computer games and no entertainment. Instead of heaven it was closer to hell.
But to become a baby and restart my life…
No, that was the only option.
Looking at my disappointed face, the goddess smiled and said:
“Hey, you don’t want to go to a boring place like heaven right? But asking you to let go of all your memories and start again as a baby is the same as erasing your existence since your memories will be gone. And so! I have great news for you.”
For some reason, I was absolutely skeptical.
Aqua said to the wary me with a smile:
“Do you… like games?”
Aqua confidently explained her so called good news.
This was the gist of it; In a world different from where I was, there was another world with a demon king.
And with the attack of the demon king army, that world fell into crisis.
There were magic and monsters in that world.
To put it simply, it was a fantasy world similar to the famous games Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy.
“The people who died in that world were killed by the demon king army, and were very afraid, saying they don’t want to die like that again. And so almost all the people who died rejected reincarnating in that world again. More specifically, that world would end if this continued, since babies would cease to be born there. Hence, it could be solved by sending the dead from other worlds over right? That’s how it is.”
What a sloppy immigration policy.
“And since we are sending people over, we should find people who died young and still yearn to live, sending them over with their original body and memories. It would be meaningless if they died immediately after going over, so we will grant a privilege to all those who are going to that world, allowing them to take one thing they like to that world. It could be a powerful ability, an exceptional talent or god level weapons… What do you think? It might be another world, but you can live once more. For the people of that world, someone would appear who could fight immediately. How about it? Isn’t this great news?”
I see, it does sound great.
To be honest, this made me excited.
I knew I liked games, but I never imagined I could enter a world that was just like my favorite computer games.
But before that.
“Erm, I have a question, what about the language of that world? Can I speak the language of the other world?”
“This isn’t a problem. With the gentle aid of the gods, you will instantly learn the language directly in your brain the moment you head over to the other world. You will even be able to read! But there is a side effect, your brain might be wiped blank if you are unlucky… And so, all you need to do is to choose a powerful ability or weapon.”
“Hold on, I heard something important just now. Did you say my brain would be wiped blank if I am unlucky?”
“I didn’t say that.”
The tension from earlier was gone. I am speaking to a goddess, but my attitude was akin to speaking to an equal.
… But, that was an attractive proposition.
It was scary that there was a chance to wipe my brain blank. But I am not bragging when I say I am confident in my luck since I was young.
At this moment, Aqua showed me something like a catalogue.
“Please choose. I can grant you one and only one power that would match any person. It could be a powerful unique ability. For example, a legendary weapon. Come, it can be anything. You have the privilege to bring this one thing to the other world.”
After hearing Aqua’s explanation, I took the catalogue and started browsing it.
… On it were ‘unnatural strength’, ‘super magic’, ‘holy sword Arondight’, ‘demon sword Murasame’… And all sorts of names.
I got it, choosing an ability or weapon to be brought along.
How troubling, having too many choices made me indecisive.
Or rather, my gamer instincts told me these were cheat-like abilities and equipment.
How troubling how troubling…
Since I would be going to a world with magic, I really want to try using magic.
Hence, I should choose an ability based on magic…
“Nah~ hurry up~ it doesn’t matter which one you choose. I have no expectations of a hikikomori gaming nerd, can you just pick one and be on your way? Anything will do, hurry up~ Hurry up~
“I, I am not a nerd…! And I died outside, so I am not a hikkikomori…!”
I answered in a trembling voice, but Aqua simply toyed with the ends of her hair and told me disinterestedly:
“It doesn’t matter, just hurry up and choose~ there are still many dead souls waiting in line!”
Aqua sat in her chair as she’s spoke, munching her snacks without even looking at me…
… This fellow, mocking my causes of death even though it was the first time we met, acting so stuck up because she was pretty.
Aqua’s can’t be bothered attitude made me mad.
You wanted me to choose quickly right?
Then I will do just that.
‘Something’ I can bring to that world?
“… Okay, I choose you.”
I pointed at Aqua and said.
Aqua looked at me surprised for a moment and continued munching on her snacks.
“Yeah. Please don’t move away from the center of the magic circle…”
Aqua suddenly stopped talking.
“… What did you just say?”
And in the next moment.
“I understand. Well then, I will take over Aqua sama’s job from now on.”
With a flash of white light, a winged woman appeared out of nowhere.
… simply put, it was a woman that looked like an angel.
Under the feet of Aqua who squealed in surprise, as well as under my feet, a blue magic circle appeared.
Oh, what is this?
Am I really going to another world?
“Wait, huh, what is happening? Eh, you can’t be serious? No no, hold on, this is too weird! It is cheating to bring a goddess along! No count? This shouldn’t count! Wait! Wait okay?”
Aqua panicked with tears in her eyes; she was a mess.
The angel spoke while facing Aqua: “Bon voyage, Aqua sama. Pleases leave the rest to me. We will send envoys to welcome you back right after the demon king is defeated. Before you return, I will handle all your tasks.”
“Wait! Wait! As a goddess, I possess healing powers, not combat abilities! It is impossible for me to defeat the demon king!”
The angel who appeared suddenly ignored Aqua, who collapsed on the floor crying, and smiled gently at me.
“Satou Kazuma san. You will be heading to another world now and become one of the candidate heroes to defeat the demon king. You will receive a gift from the gods the moment you defeat the demon king.”
I asked by repeating what she said.
The angel smiled warmly at me.
“That’s right, a gift befitting a world savior… You will be granted a wish, it can be anything you want.”
That means I could wish to return to Japan if I grow tired of that world.
For example, returning to Japan after growing tired of that world, becoming rich and spending all day playing games while surrounded by ladies! Even such a decadent dream was possible!
“Wait! Giving that cool speech is my job!”
Aqua wailed on the floor after the angel took her job.
I was satisfied after seeing Aqua act this way.
And so, I pointed at Aqua and said:
“How does it feel to be companions with a man you look down on? Hey, you are the ‘thing’ chosen by me to be brought along. Since you are a goddess, use your godly powers to make my adventure a breeze!”
“No~! Going to another world with a man like this, no way~!”
“Hero! May you be victorious among the many hero candidates, and become the one to defeat the demon king… Well then, I bid you farewell!”
“Wahhh~! That’s my line~!”
And with the announcement from the angel.
A bright light surrounds the wailing Aqua and me…!