“It’s so hot!”
A man was heading to a business meeting with his suit jacket in his hand, complaining about the heat wave that still felt a little early.
The salesman was grumbling about how uptight his boss was to require him to wear a jacket in a world where “Cool Biz” was the norm.
In his other hand was a duralumin case, his own sales bag.
The handle of the case was almost slipping off due to sweat.
(I wonder if I should have come by car, even if I had to pay for gasoline from my own pocket.)
Since the place he was visiting was close to a train station, he would be required to take public transportation such as a train.
If he refused to take public transportation and used a car, it would mean that the expenses related to transportation and parking would not be reimbursed.
As the man was walking with a bit of regret, someone called out to him from behind.
“I found you!”
The man turned around, feeling strange at the sound of that voice.
But there was no one there…
“What, was that a ghost…?”
As he muttered this, feeling a shiver down his spine, the man was dragged into a black space, and his figure suddenly vanished.
(What the heck is this…)
Everything in front of me is black.
Am I standing? Am I floating?
I don’t even know whether I’m floating or not.
“Hi, nice to meet you.
Sorry for the unexpected intrusion.”
When I turn around to look at the voice, the world that is black instantly turns white, and there stands a boy with a brown acorn-like haircut.
He looks like he is about twelve years old.
He looks young, but his hands are folded behind his back, giving off an air of calmness.
I wondered if he had been there from the beginning, but my vision was blacked out, and I couldn’t see him, or if he simply appeared out of nowhere.
It suddenly crossed my mind, but more than that.
(What a terrible haircut…)
As I was thinking this inwardly, the boy in front of me blurted out, “That’s rude,” as he continued his words.
“Now I’m going to ask you to go to another world.”
I was too distracted by his haircut to register the meaning of what he mentioned.
But this scene, this statement.
I have an idea of what it might refer to.
(Is this a transfer to another world…?)
My work was extremely busy, or rather, I made myself busy, but even in such a work-oriented life, I sometimes read fantasy novels to pass the time while traveling.
That is why I had a sense of déjà vu, or at least a vague association with this unrealistic scene…
Oh, so the one in front of me is some kind of God.
But why not a goddess?
“By the way, am I dead? I only remember that I blacked out and here I am.”
“No, you’re not dead, okay? So, it’s not a reincarnation, but a transmigration, as you might imagine.”
Why me, though, since I’m neither dead nor about to die?”
I understood what he was saying, but I didn’t understand the reality of the situation, so I wanted information.
But the boy in front of me doesn’t answer the question, instead he smiles charmingly and speaks with his hands outstretched in a grand gesture.
“Where I want you to go is a fantasy world where civilization is behind the world you were from and where weapons, magic, and skills play an active role!”
“It’s a popular world, and there are many people who want to go there but can’t, so you’re in luck!”
Why is this boy talking as if it is already decided?
That part of the story I don’t understand, but still.
Let’s go over the most important items, just in case.
“If I go, what kind of cheat ability will I receive?”
After all, this is the important factor.
It is not an exaggeration to say that my fate will depend on the abilities I get, and since this is a super important factor, there is no way I can afford not to ask.
Whether I go or not is another matter!
I must be sure and negotiate.
But the words coming from the boy were far below my expectations.
“What are you talking about? I don’t have any ability to give it to you.
Of course, you can choose to leave.”
Is this boy, this acorn head, kidding?
People would at least receive garbage abilities, but I get nothing?
Under such conditions, who would want to leave behind the current reality and go to a world where swords, magic, and skills would kill them instantly?
Acorn-head is an idiot.
I suppose that’s how things are.
Then bring me back to my world.
I have a customer waiting for me.”
I’ll just forget about it and pretend I was dreaming.
If I told anyone at work about this, they might either laugh or take me to the hospital, and well, I would be too embarrassed to tell them in the first place.
I came to that conclusion, but then the boy with a serious expression on his face asked again, which was a complete change from the light-hearted atmosphere he had been in.
“Are you sure about this? I know that you are not satisfied with your current life, which is the only reason I now appear before you, you know?”
Please don’t delve into that part of me.
I know that I was in a position where shutting up seemed like the right thing to do, and I had no choice but to keep my mouth shut.
All I do is work, go home, and go to bed.
I make about as much money as anyone else, but I have absolutely no time to spend on other things and no room to spare.
I don’t even have time to play the games that I used to play when I was a student, and I can’t even spend an hour a day on my hobbies now.
I know that.
I know that very well.
Still, I won’t simply wish to end my life because of that harsh lifestyle.
Even if the reason for me to go was simply to survive, I should at least be able to have something, instead of going empty-handed and dying.
I’ve been trying my hardest to protect my life in my own no-good way.
So, I’m going to ask him one last time.
You can read minds, can’t you?
I don’t think it has to be me, but if he “found” me, then at least I must have met some of this God’s requirements.
So let me ask boldly.
“Are you sure I’m going there empty-handed? Do you really intend to let me, an ordinary person living in a world with no weapons, magic, or skills, go empty-handed?”
“With my body, which has lost all of its martial arts experience and has grown slack with age? You must be joking.
“It’s like throwing a child into a tiger cage.
Anyone who does that is sure to die.
I would never go there under those conditions.”
Can I pull it off with this or not?
I suppose it depends…
“Tiger? Ah, I see, that’s what you mean.
That’s very discreet, but…oh dear.
I suppose you’re not really going at this rate.”
Finally, did he give in?
Then, this will be the important part.
The boy in front of me responds, “Well, then”.
“I’ll at least make you younger than your physical age.
It’s going to be tough starting from the age of 32, after all.”
“I see…then I’ll start from the age of zero…I’ll start training magic from the age of zero!”
“No, no, no, this is not a reincarnation with a dependent, so I won’t do that.
What are you going to do if no one picks you up after I transfer you? I think it would be better to at least let your body grow enough to be able to move around.”
“Ugh…you’re right, that’s true.
Then I should be able to manage if I was at least at the age of 14, or maybe even 13.
So? What about skills? Will there be any special blessings or equipment?”
“You’re getting more and more brazen in tone and demand, you know! What kind of extravagance are you talking about?”
“Of course! Just because I’m young again doesn’t mean I’m strong!”
“That’s true, but… well, I’ll just give you something as a bonus, with this, you can always see your status screen in that world.
It’s my own creation, so it’s great, you know? Of course, I’ll make sure that you can see and understand how to use the status screen as well.”
“Oh, oh…and what else?”
“There’s nothing else!”
“What? There are no infinite boxes, transfer warps, heroic skills, and many more cheat-like things! Well, it is nice if I am able to see my status screen… but, that’s too normal, and I won’t get stronger with only that!”
“You’re being a bother already! Just go there!“
“Wait, wait, wait! I haven’t gotten one millimeter stronger at all! Also, I haven’t even decided whether I want to go there.
You’ve got to be kidding me…”
Coincidentally, this was actually a blessing for me.
Now then, how long will it be before I [break], [awaken], or [crumble]?
“You are free to do what you want in that place…”
The boy, uttering these words and not even saying his name until the very end, disappeared into the darkness, followed by my consciousness fading.
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