prologue 1

A lone man stood dazed in an empty room. Signs of fatigue could be seen on his face and gray streaks could be seen on his hair; he was most likely in his latter 40s, though his figure seemed to deny that.

The man was dressed for sleep, wearing only a simple shirt and a pair of shorts, making it easy to see his figure. Contrary to his aged look, his body was tempered, overflowing with muscles and vigor.

“Huh…? Where is this?” [???]

When the man uttered those words, three people appeared before him.

“Have you come to?” [Old Man]

“Is your mind clear now?” [Boy]

“You know it would be nice if you said something.” [Woman]

“Umm… Yes. Im alright now. You suddenly came out of nowhere, so I was taken back a bit. My apologies. Let me introduce myself. I am Ryouma Takebayashi.”

“Theres no need to be so formal. Lets talk over tea.” [Old Man]

The old man waved his hand, and all of the sudden, a tea table appeared, atop which were cups filled with tea and pillows to sit on along the sides.

“Come, take a seat.” [Woman]

“Thank you.” [Ryouma]

The young woman smiled and implored Ryouma to take a seat, which Ryouma promptly took. The others took their seats as well; the woman sat on the right, while the boy sat on the left, and the old man sat opposite Ryouma.

When they had all taken their seats, everyone, including Ryouma, took a sip of their tea.

“I hope you wont mind if I ask some questions.” [Ryouma]

“Of course not. Thats exactly what were here for. But I already have an idea what is you want to ask, so how about listening to our story first?” [Old Man]

“Well, alright.” [Ryouma]

After Ryouma nodded to show his agreement, the old man began.

“We are what you would callgods. I am Gayn, the God of Creation. The woman to your right is Rurutia, the Goddess of Love, and the boy to your left is the God of Life, Kufo. We are gods of a different world.

You might not know this, but last night, you died. When your soul left your body, we took it and brought it here to the divine realm.” [Gayn]

“I see. So thats what happened.” [Ryouma]

Ryouma matter-of-factly accepted Gayns explanation as he sipped his tea. The three gods were bewildered at his reaction, especially the youngest-looking of them all, Kufo.

“Umm, wait, is that it!? Shouldnt you be panicking a bit more and goingNo way!That cant be!Why did I die? or something?” [Kufo]

“You know… the others before you were all flustered when we talked to them.” [Gayn]

“Oh, dont get me wrong, I am surprised, though I do admit that none of this feels real to me right now. Besides, if all this is nothing more than a dream, then I would eventually wake up, but even if its not, well… everyone will pass away anyway.

And Ive already expected this to some extent. My work, you see, is really taxing. So taxing that many of my coworkers have had to retire early because their body broke down. Because of that Ive always believed I would die an early death. Being able to live up to 39 or 40, depending which way you count, is more than plenty, all things considered.

Not to mention, as embarrassing as it is to admit considering my age, Im a huge otaku of games and manga, so Im quite fond of stories like this. I dont have any family or relatives anyway, so this turn of events is a lot better than just burning away.” [Ryouma]

Ryouma was truly satisfied from the bottom of his heart, but that only caused the gods even more confusion.

“R-Really? Do humans really think like that? Hasnt anyone ever told you your way of thinking is odd?” [Kufo]

“I dont think its got anything to do with your hobbies either. There were plenty of people with similar hobbies as you, and they were all really flustered. So flustered, in fact, that some of them wouldnt even listen. Just meeting someone who wasnt gloomy was a feat in and of itself.” [Rurutia]

“Well, in any case, this makes things easier for us. Though this also leaves us with too much time on hand. Is there anything else you want to know?” [Gayn]

Ryouma became thoughtful for a moment before speaking.

“How did I die?” [Ryouma]

“Hmm? Youre starting there?” [Gayn]

“Yes. I dont think theres anything odd about my question though. After all, I dont have any memory of dying.” [Ryouma]

“Well, you did die like that, so of course you dont remember.” [Rurutia]

“You died from brain hemorrhage after hitting your head.” [Kufo]

“Huh!? Wasnt I just sleeping in my room?” [Ryouma]

“Yep, you sure were. But then you sneezed while you were sleeping… A lot, in fact.” [Rurutia]

“You sneezed four times. Each time your pillow slipped and your head slammed into the ground. Unfortunately, your futon was the cheap sort, so it was too thin to cushion your head.” [Gayn]

“The impact wasnt enough to wake you up though, so the internal bleeding just kept on going, and when dawn came, you passed.” [Kufo]

When he heard that, Ryoumas eyes fell to the ground and he mumbled to himself, then suddenly, he bitterly cried out.

“I cant accept it… Why? Why of all thing did I die from a sneeze!?” [Ryouma]

“Huh?” [Kufo, Gayn, Rurutia]

“Ive survived the beer bottles of my boss, the iron pipes of middle-aged men, and even the countless abuse under my dad, and yet after all that, the one thing to actually take my life is a sneeze!?” [Ryouma]

Filled with grief, Ryouma lost sight of his surroundings as mumbled to himself.

“Ah, hes depressed.” [Kufo]

“Even though he was perfectly fine after being told he was dead, what an odd kid.” [Rurutia]

“It seems hes quite proud of his body. Well, he was forcefully trained by his father from a young age and driven right at the edge of death day after day. Hmm… Kufo, Rurutia.” [Gayn]

“What?” [Rurutia]

“Is something the matter?” [Kufo]

“Theres something about this kid bothering me. Come help me out while we wait for him to calm down.” [Gayn]

Gayns expression quickly turned solemn as he spoke, while the other two gods, sensing that something was amiss, answered back in words that couldnt be heard by a human. Perhaps their efforts were wasted, however, as Ryouma was so depressed he couldnt hear anything.

“Ah, sorry… I lost myself for a moment there.” [Ryouma]

When Ryouma recovered himself and lifted up his face, the gods were still there drinking tea as calm as ever.

“Its fine. Were usually free, and we properly scheduled our time with you, so theres no rush. Moreover, were already used to people losing their minds after dying.

After all, human souls are connected to their bodies, so when you cut that connection off, a little bit of instability is to be expected. That instability usually results in ones emotions going wild.

Anyway, the point is we really dont mind, so dont sweat it.” [Gayn]

“Time flows differently here in the divine realm and souls dont starve. Having to wait four years before a human regains his sanity is pretty normal.” [Kufo]

“4 years!?” [Ryouma]

Ryouma was shocked.

“We cant interfere carelessly when humans are panicking, or they might just needlessly put their guards up. Some humans also go crazy while were talking, but regardless, we usually just wait until theyre able to calm themselves down. Waiting up to four years is normal, so youre still alright, Ryouma-kun.

Anyway, since youre back, I hope you wont mind if we continue.” [Gayn]

“Of course.” [Ryouma]

Gayn nodded.

“Right, well let me explain why we called your soul. If I were to sum up the reason in one word, it would be: Cliche. Do you understand?” [Gayn]

“Cliche? Ah… I believe I do. You wish for me to live in another world, yes? If so, will I be reincarnated or merely transmigrated?”

“You really are quick to pick up.” [Rurutia]

Rurutia was shocked to see Ryouma so easily understand what was going on, but Gayn ignored her and continued.

“Youll be transmigrated, in a sense. I will be creating a new body for you to inhabit in our world, so you wont have any parents.” [Gayn]

“Your new body will be much younger, so you could say its like being reincarnated. If you have any requests, I could alter your body as you please.” [Kufo]

“Exactly what age will my new body be?” [Ryouma]

“Youll be less than 10 years old. At that age, you should be fine even if you get lost in a forest. Youll look like a child to others, so they wont be as suspicious and youll be able to safely go into a city. Of course, well have some insurance too to ensure everything goes well.

Since youre going to be an orphan in the otherworld, well be sending you to a country thats relatively tolerant of social statuses. With that there shouldnt be any issues for you to live a normal life.” [Gayn]

“Thank you. For my appearance, just dont make it weird. Is there anything in particular I need to do in your world? A mission of some sort?” [Ryouma]

“Nope. If theres any, well, youve pretty much accomplished it the moment youre transmigrated, so theres technically none. You going to the otherworld is your only mission.” [Rurutia]

“Our goal is to transfer mana from your world into our world, which is currently very low on mana.” [Kufo]

Ryouma nodded upon understanding, but then it occurred to him.

“Cant you just transfer mana by itself?” [Ryouma]

“No. Putting it simply, there are walls between different worlds. Normally, mana cant go past thesewalls, so we have to create a hole first. The problem is that opening the hole and maintaining it both require energy, so if just do it normally, well run out of strength.

Fortunately, we have you! Youll be unconscious during the process, but by stuffing your soul – reinforced by our power – in between the hole, we can keep it from closing while we transfer mana from earth to our world.” [Kufo]

“Our world relies on magic. If mana dries up, the daily life of the people will be affected, the monsters who feed on magic will die out, and the ecosystem will be destroyed.

Earth, on the other hand, does not use magic. They dont have monsters either. Since theyre not using it, we figured wed take some of it.” [Rurutia]

“If theres no particular reason for mana to dry out, then could it be that the rate production of mana cant keep up with its usage?” [Ryouma]

“Yes, exactly. There are a lot of reasons for it, but humans, in particular, find it very convenient to rely on magic. Because of that magic has experienced a lot of development, and gradually, the consumption of mana is getting bigger and bigger.” [Kufo]

“Its not easy to reduce the consumption of mana. Moreover, if you use too much internal mana, your body will fall apart. So in the end its a lot easier to use mana from your surroundings. Its truly a sad thing.” [Gayn]

As the gods grumbled about the humans, Ryouma alone became excited.

“Umm… Can I also use magic?” [Ryouma]

“Of course.” [Gayn]

“You bet.” [Kufo]

“You can.” [Rurutia]

“Really! Ah, sorry.” [Ryouma]

“Its fine, its fine. When youre transmigrated, you will have the same body as the native humans, so youll also be able to use magic. Of course, everything will depend on your training.” [Gayn]

“Also, as I mentioned awhile ago, well be reinforcing your soul to keep the hole open, so as a result, some of that power will become a part of you. Even without any talent, youll be able to use magic. Im not sure about becoming the best mage in the world though.” [Kufo]

Ryouma felt his face grow hot as the gods looked at him with amused expressions, but regardless, he was happy to find that he would be able to use magic.

“As for what magic youll be able to use… Lets give you access to all the elemental magic.” [Gayn]

“Umm… Wouldnt that be a bit too conspicuous?” [Ryouma]

The three gods laughed when he said that.

“Heh, the humans who come here say that a lot. Especially, the ones who read a lot of light novels.” [Kufo]

“But the thing is, while its not that common, its also not that amazing.” [Rurutia]

“Really?” [Ryouma]

“Yes. The people born with the talent arent few, and with enough effort, anyone can become proficient in all elements. In fact, there are about 10 to 20 people in any countrys knight order born with the skill.

Theres also the fact that while you might have a lot of elements that you can use, unless you train them all, youre not going to get good at them. If you do train them all, the progress is pretty slow. Between someone who can cast elementary spells of all elements and someone who can cast advanced spells of a single element, which one do you think is more valued? The latter.” [Gayn]

“In other words, a jack of all trades and a master of none.” [Ryouma]

“Precisely.” [Gayn]

“Since there are no downsides to it, dont you think its a perfect fit for you who wants to play with magic?” [Rurutia]

“Then in that case, Ill take it.” [Ryouma]

After that Ryouma and the gods continued discussing about his would-be abilities.

“—Good, with this were done. But are you really sure youre alright with all your bonuses being magic-related? We can also give you some close-combat skills if you want. Being able to use a lot of magic is nice and all, but consequently, you wont be able to use strong magic right off the bat.” [Gayn]

“As long as I wont have any problems living, Im perfectly happy with what weve discussed.” [Ryouma]

“Alright. The most important thing is that youre satisfied. Lets move on to the last part.” [Gayn]

Sensing Ryoumas resolve, Gayn took out a wooden plank on top of which were a sheet of paper and a feather pen and handed it to Ryouma. On the sheet of paper were everything theyve discussed, and on the bottom-right was a blank space for Ryoumas name.

“Signing a contract after you die is a bit…” [Ryouma]

“Oh, you dont like it?” [Rurutia]

“Not that I dont like it. It just feels a bit… odd.” [Ryouma]

“Well, we can just do away with the contract if you want.” [Kufo]

“Huh?” [Ryouma]

Ryoumas hand paused when he heard Rurutia and Kufos remarks.

“Actually, were just making sure that youre fine with everything weve discussed and that you understand everything perfectly clear. The sign is just one method. If you dont want to sign, we can just do it orally.” [Gayn]

“Really?” [Ryouma]

“We adjust our methods depending on the person. Oral is usually for little kids, as its easier.” [Rurutia]

After being told that, Ryouma read the contract carefully, and when he was sure everything was ok, he signed.

—The moment he did, a faint light suddenly wrapped around him.

“!?” [Ryouma]

“Calm down. Thats just a sign that its starting. You wont get hurt.” [Rurutia]

“Unfortunately, these are the rules. After everythings been decided, you wont be able to stay long here.” [Kufo]

“Sigh… I wonder why the annoying ones stick around so long, but the nice ones always leave so quick.” [Gayn]

Hearing that, Ryouma understood that the time for farewells had come.

“I see… Thats unfortunate. But regardless, I wont forget this act of kindness for the rest of my life.” [Ryouma]

“Dont sweat it. Its your life, so just live as you please. Well do our best to send you to a safe forest, so rest assured.” [Gayn]

“Well always be watching over you. And you know… This is the last time, so you can be a bit more selfish. We wont mind.” [Rurutia]

“You really dont have to be so formal with your speech.” [Kufo]

“Wont you show us your real self?” [Gayn]

“…Right. Thanks for everything. I guess it really wasnt hard to see through someone when hes only going through the form.” [Ryouma]

“We are gods. Of course, wed notice. And there were times when you stumbled on your speech.” [Gayn]

“You could have just spoken informally from the start.” [Rurutia]

“I didnt think it would be polite to speak causally to gods.” [Ryouma]

“Of course, too much is bad, but youre alright. Besides, my heart is big. Im a goddess, after all.” [Rurutia]

“Right.” [Ryouma]

“Any plans once you arrive at our world?” [Gayn]

“If theres anything worrying you, just say it.” [Rurutia]

“Well listen.” [Kufo]

Ryouma appeared thoughtful for a moment, but not a lot of time passed before he naturally said.

“Actually… Im not good with people. I lived for 39 years, but I never got along well with others. Even if I go to the other world, Ill still be me. I dont really think that part of me would change after going to another world. Honestly, I find human relations are exhausting. Maybe Ill just live alone by myself.” [Ryouma]

“You can do that too if you want. Thats life.” [Gayn]

“I also think it would be a waste though. I mean it is an otherworld. It would a pity not to travel.” [Ryouma]

“Then why dont you live alone for a while, and then when you feel like it, travel?” [Kufo]

Ryouma asked if that was really alright.

“No matter what, the first place youll arrive in is a forest. If we just summoned you in the middle of a city, it would cause a huge commotion. So what you can do is to first live in the forest, and then afterwards go to the city. Besides, Im sure you want to mess around with your magic, right?” [Kufo]

“Ah, now that you mention it.” [Ryouma]

“Just take it slow. You look like the type to diligently go through all the paths laid out before you, but this time, try going through them one at a time. And if in the end, you dont go through them all, thats fine.” [Rurutia]

Youve already died once, so in one sense, you can really be reborn. You can live a life different from the life you lived on Earth. Especially since youll be a child in our world. Aside from things you need to do to protect yourself, you can just play and have fun.” [Rurutia]

“Oh, and lets not forget that youll most likely be fine even if you come across some bandits with your skills.” [Gayn]

“Just live as I please and go on my own pace, huh. Then in that case, I guess Ill stay in the forest for a while, and when Im feeling like it, go out. Thanks.” [Ryouma]

“If you do go to a city, make sure to visit the church. We wont be able to meet, but if you get the Oracle skill, well at least be able to talk for a short while. The higher the level, the longer and more frequent.” [kufo]

“Got it. Ill definitely drop by when I go to town. I dont know when, but I promise it.” [Ryouma]

“Good, well be waiting. When you drop by, well talk lots.” [Rurutia]

“We have a lot of free time, after all. Ho Ho ho!” [Gayn]

When Gayn laughed the light on Ryouma began expanding.

“…Its time.” [Kufo]

The light gradually grew stronger until it covered Ryoumas vision.

“…Everythings ready, it seems.” [Gayn]

“Farewell and live happily, alright?” [Rurutia]

“I will… Thank you… Thank you so much!!” [Ryouma]

“Now go! We cant keep the d

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