Chapter 001: Reincarnating after a Peaceful Death
There was a white sun in a deep blue sky with no clouds.A shadow walked slowly through the tranquil country road. A short boy stroked his stomach while singing.
【Sl~umber~, sl~umber~, O my ba~by boy ~~】
He sang Schubert’s lullaby a bit out of tune.
If someone had heard this song, they would probably be puzzled about where this song came from. It was a song that they would have never heard unless they understood a different language not of this world.
Nonetheless, the world was huge. Even though they would have never heard of the song, it could have been any song in a different language. No one paid heed to the child’s humming.
And there was no one on this country road besides the boy.
The boy’s name was Shiu and he had just left the countryside. There were no jobs to help or aid anyone in the countryside. The boy didn’t have any parents to support him and his future was uncertain. So, the only priest in town gave him some advice, “There are a lot of jobs at the Royal Capital, go there.” The boy was determined to leave town. This was a depopulated town and even the priests had left.
He managed to follow in the footsteps of an old lumberjack who was like a surrogate father. Most people in the countryside followed after their parents and the lumberjack had no family.
On the day before his eleventh birthday, however, the Goddess had told him in a dream, “Become an adventurer and enjoy life.” People wouldn’t normally believe that they’d met a Goddess in their dream, unless they believed that they had the power of a shrine maiden ――.
However, there was a reason why Shiu believed that the Goddess existed.
Shiu was a former 90 year old Japanese man named Shuutarou. He had died a peaceful death.
He died thinking, “What a peaceful death,” and then awoke to an amazing scene.
After calming himself down he looked around, but couldn’t find the Sanzu River 1). A voice called out to him while he was feeling disappointed that the Sanzu River was a lie.
He turned around and saw a little girl who was surrounded by a mysterious aura.
He had probably felt a sense of nostalgia because she looked Japanese. However, she was only wearing a simple white tunic. She was smiling but her eyes looked as empty as the abyss. The little girl didn’t have the aura of a living being. That’s why he felt that the girl in front of him was a Goddess.
There was still a part of him, however, that didn’t believe it. Shuutarou unintentionally spoke to her as if he was speaking to a child.
“Wow! You actually called me Ojou-san!”
He saw that the girl was happy and in high spirits as she put her hand to her cheeks. However, it looked as if she were acting. How strange, Shuutarou thought.
“…… You’re very calm, Shuutarou-san.”
She coughed lightly and her expression changed to a serious one. She acted, surprisingly, like a human.
“…… You don’t think I’m human, do you Shuutarou-san?”
She had guessed correctly. She really is a Goddess.
“I thought you were a Goddess because you’re very divine.”
She shook her head as if it were a trivial matter and continued speaking, “Let’s get to the point. You passed away peacefully at the age of 90. You have the chance to go to heaven because you are a person of merit and virtue. However, let’s leave the matter of you going to heaven as a 『Fairy』to the side for now. I’ve come to ask you about reincarnation.”
There was a word I couldn’t understand well. Well, as an old person, I at least knew what chance meant. I also knew what heaven meant. As someone who had lived as a Japanese person, I knew all the things related to the endless circle of life and death. But……
“Since when was I not a human but a fairy?”
“…… Oh. Apparently, I’ve immersed myself in Japanese culture too much recently!”
Shuutarou stared at the girl and she straightened her seated posture and coughed again.
“Shuutarou-san, you lived a sad life and died as a virgin. They call 90 year old virgins’ 『Fairies』in some places. In other words, I thought that it was very pitiful that even though you were born you didn’t have any children.”
Shuutarou definitely didn’t get married.
His body was weak and during the war, he couldn’t evacuate when the firebombs went off, so he received very bad burns on his face and body. During this time he lingered between life and death. He was the 3rd son of a wealthy merchant family, although he was an illegitimate child, but everything was lost during the air-raids. No woman would want to marry such a man, and he felt sorry for those who would become his bride through marriage interviews, so he refused them all.
“And yet, you still worked frantically, Shuutarou-san. You only quit when the company you worked at went bankrupt, yet you still continued working. You worked at many companies. All you did was work. You helped many people and was loved by everyone in town. But you were alone in the end……”
Commonly known as dying alone.
It was a peaceful death and he was glad that he didn’t suffer. He often suffered when he was younger from his burns and sickness, but he lived a long life because he took good care of himself.
He isolated himself from people but he thought that he had lived a good life.
“It was like you were going to become a hermit, Shuutarou-san.”
“No, I wouldn’t have became a hermit.”
“…… Shuutarou-san. Well, I’d hate to say this to the current you, but don’t you want to start your life over?”
“No, I ――.”
“Why don’t you try living a less isolated life this time around?”
He was too lonely. He was a quiet person, so he didn’t have any good friends to talk with. He liked children and animals but he scared them so he couldn’t talk to them or touch them.
“…… It was fun to guard the primary school. They even talked to me. Well, the first child cried.”
“It’s because of the burns on your face, isn’t it? But that child called you Shuu-jiichan afterwards and gave you a hug.”
“That’s right, he did.”
“He found your body, Shuutarou-san.”
“Time flows differently in here. It’s already been 10 days since you’ve passed away. He went to your apartment because he was worried about you and he discovered your body…… 『I should have come earlier』, he cried in regret.” The Goddess informed him and Shuutarou wept.
“He was worried about you even after he’d found employment. You isolated yourself too much, Shuutarou-san.”
He was overwhelmed by regret when she informed him that there were others who were worried about him too.
“So, why don’t you try to start life over?!” The little girl forcefully persuaded.
But, he was afraid that his current self would disappear if he’d reincarnated. “I won’t do it after all”, he refused.
“Okay, okay. You’ll be reincarnated as yourself!” She replied carefreely. The young people on TV nowadays were just like that.
“Then, what skill do you want? You want it right?!”
“What is a skill?”
“…… The opponent is a modern fossil.”
Shuutarou was puzzled. The girl showed him her palm and gave an exaggerated nodded like a foreigner.
“First, I thought about giving you an ability.”
“Isn’t abilities something you acquire yourself?”
“…… This is a gift from a Goddess, it’s a present from me! Ah, you know what a present is, don’t you? Anyway, you’re reincarnating from heaven, so I have to give you a gift. It’s the rule!”
The girl’s language usage was getting weirder and weirder and so Shuutarou smiled at her. It reminded him of the primary school students.
“*COUGH!* Let’s leave that for now. Anyway, you’ll receive a skill. What should I do? Ah, you’ll need a cheat too.”
“A cheat is ――.”
“It’s fine if you don’t tell anyone!”
Shuutarou had thought the Goddess would become overbearing, so he stayed quiet and nodded.
“I know what kind of person you were, but I don’t know what kind of person you want to become. So tell me your aspirations.”
“How do you want to live your next life?” The Goddess said and he thought about it.
It would be good if I had a healthy body.
He lost everything as he stood petrified in that burnt area. He remembered that feeling and didn’t want to lose anything ever again.
Marriage was all about compatibility so he didn’t care if he could get married or not, but he would be happy if he could get along with children and animals.
The girl Goddess, ―― he understood later that she appeared different to other people ――, gave Shuutarou an exaggerated explanation and gave him his skill.
It was an omnipotent cheat ability.
Shuutaro, however, didn’t learn this until a long time had passed since his reincarnation.
He couldn’t cut ties with fortunate people, thanks to the Goddess.
Nonetheless, he didn’t think it was a bad thing since he was blessed with a foster parent and could work under an artisan.
However, he wasn’t going to recover that easily since he was a shut-in that liked to isolate himself from people. In any case, the old woodcutter, who had raised him, confined himself in the mountains. Shiu, who he had raised, had inherited that trait, it was inevitable.