What he could remember was a shock running through his body, and the sensation of hard and soft stuff inside his body being crushed and jumbled together. While feeling something akin to heat rather than pain, his consciousness sank into deep darkness.
Without knowing what had happened, and while not being given the time to spare on mourning or regretting his end, Kazuya woke up inside some unknown space with a stone floor.
While lifting his body that seemed to have fallen down without him even knowing anything about it, Kazuya looked down at himself, confused by those sensations before he lost consciousness, but his body didn’t bear a single scratch, his clothes had not a single tear or crease, and he still wore the casual wear from before his fainting.
But, he completely lacked any memory about the place where he had collapsed. Cold, hard stone paving was to be found underneath him. Looking up, he couldn’t spot a ceiling, nor could he see any walls on the left or right. He couldn’t localize anything similar to a light source either, but the area around him was bright enough that he could see everything.
Kazuya slowly stood up while dusting off his clothes.
“The heck’s goin’ on? Just what happened to me?”
“I suppose I’ll answer that question for you.”
It wasn’t as though he had expected a reply in a space with no one else but him, and thus Kazuya got startled by the unforeseen answer to his muttering. When he quickly turned around in the direction of the voice, he found a single, young man standing there.
A graceful and refined black suit, and a skin so white that Kazuya wondered whether the man might be sick. The appearance of the man with his somewhat long, swaying, violet hair completely fit the description androgynous. He looked just like a model, but for some reason Kazuya harbored the impression that he was facing a clown from the atmosphere emanated by the man.
“Me? Let’s see. Since I don’t have a particular name, feel free to call me as you please. Going by the general concept of you humans, I think I’m equivalent to what you’d call a god.”
“Haah?” Kazuya returned involuntarily.
But that could only be called natural, seeing how the person, who suddenly appeared just when Kazuya fainted and then woke up in some strange place, introduced himself as a god.
But, his words have a certain degree of persuasiveness to them, Kazuya assessed.
After all, Kazuya should have also looked at the place, where the man was standing right now, when he scanned his vicinity at first. And Kazuya was sure that no one had been present then and there.
Hmm, you could say he suddenly stood there, without any indication of him having walked over from somewhere, let alone me sensing his presence as he appeared, Kazuya thought, But, if I assume him to be a god, it’d make sense.
“Kiyomizu Kazuya-kun, unfortunately you died in your previous world.”
In front of Kazuya, who was pondering about all this, the man with the violet hair threw those words at Kazuya while spreading his arms with a gesture that seemed slightly theatrical.
Although Kazuya had vaguely felt that it might be something akin to that, his face twisted over the fairly shocking news now that they were put into words, but without minding that, the self-proclaimed god continued speaking.
“I’m sure you must have wanted to live longer. You’ve also got to have things you wanted to do. Didn’t you have people you wanted to meet? Didn’t you desire a lover or some such? But, all of that has come to naught. You have died. It’s game over for you. You understand?”
“What is it you wanna tell me?”
The man kept talking as if sneering at Kazuya. While feeling irritated by his tone, Kazuya interjected when his long speech had come to an end. But this only caused the man to keep his mouth tightly shut, staying silent for a while as if brooding.
Just when Kazuya was about to speak up again as he got pissed off by that silence, the man forestalled him, saying, “You’re a truly lucky guy, you know?”
Although the man had yapped about him having died and everything being over moments ago, he suddenly made a complete turn with what he was saying, causing Kazuya to ask flabbergasted, but without paying any heed to that, the man kept going.
“You’re a truly lucky guy. I mean, look, am I not right? Usually everything would be over after you die. Anything and everything. You wouldn’t have any chance to start over. Your self would be disintegrated, becoming meaningless, and your soul would be cleaned, and then reused. Your very being would vanish.”
Kazuya felt slightly mad about the man speaking about all this indifferently as if it was someone else’s problem, but the instant he heard the man’s next words, his anger faded away like a fleeting dream.
“However, you can start over once more.”
“What do you…”
“Of course I’m not saying that it’ll be the former you in your former world, okay? After all, death is absolute, whichever world it might be. This is nothing I could overturn.”
“But,” as the man lowered his voice, Kazuya instinctively leaned forward to listen closely. While revealing a happy smile over Kazuya’s reaction, the man resumed, “things are different, if we’re talking about another world.”
“Another world, meaning…”
“Isekai, it’s an isekai, man. Shouldn’t you’ve seen or heard about isekai as someone of your age who lived in that world?”
If pushed to say, the boy called Kiyomizu Kazuya wasn’t one of those overly active, normal types. He preferred staying indoors over going outside, and he liked video games over sports. He remembered having encountered stories using such a theme among the entertainment novels he could read online for free, just as the man had said. To summarize it concisely, those were stories about boys without any outstanding, noteworthy talents who suddenly died one day after getting run over by a truck for example, were invited to a different world by a god who had coincidentally witnessed their death, were given some absurd powers in the process, and made an effort as heroes or adventurers, just to get married to a heroine in the end. There existed all kinds of variations, varying the numbers and types of heroines, the conditions, story course, used subjects, and the protagonist’s role in the story. The ones Kazuya liked were the orthodox stories.
For this very reason, Kazuya muttered in disbelief, “Me, in an isekai?”
“Indeed! I’m a god guarding a certain race in a certain world. That race has been cornered into a slightly bad situation. So, you see, this is about me asking you whether you wouldn’t be willing to save that race.”
“What’s that bad situation you’re talking about?”
“That is…oh right, I think it might be better for you to hear the details from someone concerned instead of me.”
With those words, the man snapped his fingers once in an exaggerated, theatrical manner. In response, something like a fog manifested next to the man, and within the time of breath, that fog cleared up, revealing a single woman.
Kazuya had his breath taken away by her appearance. A white skin without a single blemish while looking very healthy. Her flowing, blond hair looked just like gold. Her jet-black dress accentuated her obvious proportions and yet delicate figure. Her shapely face was dyed by grief as she put her hands, which were clad in gloves, reaching all the way up to her elbows, together at her chest as if offering a prayer.
Kazuya ended up thinking that the term perfect beauty must have been invented for this woman, but it was the woman’s chest that drew all his attention. It was voluptuous. Kazuya didn’t know how her world handled underwear, but those two boobs of hers, which conquered gravity with their youthful springiness and volume, stuck out to such a degree that Kazuya wondered whether they wouldn’t get in the way of her folding her arms.
Moreover, despite her boobs having such a volume, he didn’t feel the slightest mismatch when combining them with her slender body. Unclear whether she was aware of Kazuya’s eyes being pinned on her bulging chest, the girl slightly stepped forward in his direction while making sure to bend forward with a jerk, and began to spin entreating words with her mouth that looked like a thin line of pink.
“Oh, gentleman of another world, I am but a princess governing a race called demons in my world. Currently, my race finds its existence in jeopardy. Might you kind sir not be willing to lend us your strength to save us from peril?”
Kazuya, who didn’t have that many opportunities to get in contact with women so far, almost ended up nodding unconsciously after suddenly hearing the plead of a pretty girl he’d never be able to meet in his former world, but he immediately cleared his mind by shaking his head in a fluster, directed his eyes to the man next to her, and asked, “Hey, she said demons…”
“Yes, she’s a demon. And I’m the god who’s worshiped by those demons. I somehow get what you want to say. You probably want to ask whether demons are an evil race, right?”
“Isn’t that the case?”
“You can’t really describe judging something by its name as overly clever. I mean, didn’t something similar take place in your world as well? Stories about aboriginal gods and such being changed into devils because another religion intruded upon an area.”
That was something Kazuya had also read in books. The act of labeling aboriginal gods as heretic beings and lowering them to the level of devils had certainly occurred in Kazuya’s former world over the course of history.
“Well, as for the demons over here, it’s also a situation where you could say that they simply reap what they’ve sown. And you might as well say that I bear some of the responsibility as their god for things to have developed like this.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“It is a fact that the demons have done evil deeds against the world in the past.” The girl answered while sadly lowering her eyes.
Kazuya was almost swept away by her atmosphere again, but firmly enduring, he carefully listened to her words.
“We demons are a race which produced many beings called demon kings in ancient times. It is said that the demon kings caused great harm and ill to the other races in their attempts to conquer the world. But nowadays we loathe strife, and do not wish to trouble the other races. We have spanned a barrier around our territory so as to not get into contact with them, and are peacefully living within that enclosed space.”
“But you see, because they’re a race who committed such atrocities in the past, the opinion that they should be eradicated is firmly rooted within the minds of those outside the barrier. Right now they’re in a situation where the barrier has been penetrated at long last with assassins having been sent in to exterminate her people.”
“Are you saying they’re under attack at this very moment?”
Because neither of the two really looked like they were completely at their wits’ end after getting cornered, Kazuya believed that the situation couldn’t be that bad, but the situation, which Kazuya had guessed from the man’s words, was far more dire than Kazuya had expected.
“They destroyed the barrier which the demons put up to sever themselves from the world, and invaded the demon territory. It’s an extremely dangerous situation, but if there’s some salvation in this, it’d be me having been able to summon you to this place thanks to the barrier’s destruction.”
Kazuya wasn’t sure just how he could be of any help, but the man confidently nodded at Kazuya’s question, “Yes, you. You’re a being called Lost in this world. A being that can hold extremely powerful abilities when compared to the residents of our world. Usually, we’d have no choice but to wait for someone to fall into this world after crossing through the wall separating the worlds by chance, but thanks to the assassins having used mighty powers when breaking through the barrier, the wall separating our worlds thinned, allowing me to summon you.”
The man explained that if you named the destruction of the barrier protecting the demons a calamity, him being able to summon Kazuya to the world over here as a side effect brought about by that calamity could be called a blessing.
“Of course, I don’t intend to tell you something as irresponsible as you having to fight them all by yourself. There are other Losts who were summoned into this world at the same time as you. I plan to request the same from them as I’ve requested from you.”
“We simply want to live a peaceful life. We do not intend to repeat our past mistakes. I shall promise you that much. Oh Lost-sama, please save us.”
“The chances for success are…”
No matter who might be asking him, Kazuya had no intention to go along with something that was doomed to fail. Going along with something where he’d definitely get killed was nothing but hurrying towards death. Moreover, the assassins who were currently invading the demon territory possessed powers at a level allowing them to destroy the barrier the demons had put up to spend a peaceful life. Kazuya couldn’t believe that they’d be opponents he could fight as someone completely lacking any experience in combat.
“If you give me your consent, I can lend you a helping hand. I won’t promise you victory, but I think there’s a chance for you to be able to win.”
“You think I can handle it if I get power from you?”
The man shook his head at that question, “As you’re right now, it’s probably next to impossible. But, there’s a means to somehow fix that issue. Though, it’s a slightly forceful method.”
“Please, my hero, bring peace to our race.” The girl calling herself a princess fell on her knees while pleading, and bowed her head at Kazuya.
Kazuya showed a faint hint of hesitation at her frantic attitude, but before long, he tightly clenched his fists, and powerfully declared towards the man and the princess, “Okay, I’ll do it.”
“Thanks. You don’t know just how many citizens will be saved by your decision. Allow me to thank you as god of the demons.”
“Don’t mind it. There’s no time left, right? Hurry up and bestow power upon me.”
The assassins have already broken through the barrier protecting the demon domain and invaded their living space. If that piece of news is correct, it doesn’t sound as though there’s much time left, even when considering that I don’t know what means of transportation the assassins use, Kazuya was led to believe.
The demon god gravely nodded at Kazuya who hurried them along for this reason.
“Understood. I’ll grant you power. You just need to imagine the power you desire. Then a power should be chosen according to that wish of yours.”
Kazuya immediately closed his eyes after being told so by the man. It didn’t mean that he did so because he was told to do it, but because he genuinely believed that it’d be better if he did it.
Immediately thereupon, a huge amount of information streamed down in front of his inner eye. Kazuya was unable to understand even half of the information displayed, but he sensed how a single power eventually settled down within him.
He opened his eyes, and focused his consciousness on his right hand. What he imagined was one of the model guns he had been collecting as a hobby in his former world. It was a famous gun as it had made an appearance in a certain manga.
Light convened in Kazuya’s right hand. Then Kazuya felt the touch of the grip and its comfortable weight in his right hand. While his lips curved into a smile, he placed his index finger on the trigger.
“Colt Python 357 Magnum…”
While voicing the name of the gun, Kazuya set up the gun which had very likely manifested thanks to his new power. Because of its firepower, it was generally accepted that it wasn’t a gun one could hold up with just one hand, but for some reason, unconsciously, Kazuya was convinced that he’d be quite capable of handling it like that in his current state.
“Can you bring out some targets?”
“As you wish.”
Once the man snapped his fingers, two stone dolls rose from the ground which was supposed to be a stone paving. While believing that those two might be something similar to stone golems, if you were to describe them with what appeared in fantasy novels, Kazuya pointed the muzzle at one of the dolls, and squeezed the trigger twice, very casually.
The two thunderous roars were loud enough to burst one’s ear drums. Gunfire was spat out of the muzzle, and the two lead bullets penetrated the abdomen of the doll without missing their aim, greatly hollowing out the area of impact.
Because the doll was made out of stone, it probably felt no pain, but its movements became very sluggish thanks to the heavy damage to its abdomen. Two further shots aimed at that doll reverberated. Hit by the bullets, its head crumbled apart, and the stone doll collapsed to the ground.
Without even looking, Kazuya erased the handgun in his hand, and manifested another gun. It was a gun used for self-defense with a unique shape, known under the name P90. Kazuya held it as if carrying it in his arms. Once he took proper aim and pulled the trigger, the gun immediately blasted bullets out at a speed of 900 bullets per minute. The 50 bullets in the magazine were completely used up within a mere three seconds.
Originally it should be a gun with a highly concentrated magazine, but the bullets, which were sprayed suitably with a casual aiming, indiscriminately hollowed out the doll’s body. Receiving the strafing, the doll fell over while scattering countless fragments, and smashed to pieces after hitting the ground.
“What an amazing power!” The princess raised her voice in delight.
The man applauded towards Kazuya as if admiring him.
For an instant Kazuya looked bashful due to their reactions, but he immediately tightened his expression again.
“There’s no time to spare, right? At once, with this power…”
“Now, now. No need to hurry so much. Certainly, your power is terrifying, but the assassins are no ordinary opponents either. We must have you master that power to a certain degree first.”
“There’s no time for that, is there?”
“As a matter of fact, I can create a space with a different time flow. It’ll mostly feel like you’ll experience around one month inside that space while only one hour passes outside, but it’s necessary to have you familiarize yourself with your new power in there, Kazuya-kun.”
Kazuya didn’t know whether one hour would count as long or short. When he asked whether it’d be really alright to spend that much time on training, the man directed a gentle smile at Kazuya as if to soothe his worries.
“It’s okay. The demons are strong. Using that much time should pose no problem. You’ve obtained power without a doubt, but sending you out on the battlefield while not ready would only hurt the princess and me.”
“Please leave it to me. We are going to somehow hold back the enemy until your preparations are perfect!”
The color of determination was visible in the princess’ eyes as she declared so reassuringly. Kazuya nodded at that determination.
“Got it. Please send me into that space. I’ll definitely show you that I can master this power.”
“I am looking forward to it!”
“Okay, I’m sending you into that space then. You will find a teacher to show you how to use your power there, so learn all you can. Off you go.”
The man calmly smiled whereas the princess looked at Kazuya with eyes full of trust. Being seen off by those two, Kazuya was transferred into the space with the different time flow as mentioned by the god.
“…Pfft! Ahahaha! Oh my god, hahaha! I’ve never thought that it’d be this hard to hold back on laughing out loud!”
At the same time as Kazuya vanished, the man broke out into loud laughter. The body of the princess, who had looked at the man with a face that seemed to have become completely blank, devoid of any emotions, started to slowly fall apart, and transformed into many tentacles. Those tentacles, which had been growing out of the stone paving based on some kind of unknown principle, were pulled back underground as if performing some sleight of hand, and then a man with violet hair, who looked sullen, appeared from within the darkness.
“I know that it’s necessary, but you do have a rotten character.”
“Really? Weren’t you quite happily going along with it? I must admit, your acting skills are unexpectedly good. Wouldn’t this already qualify for you to receive a prize for best actress? Ah, no, I guess it’d be better to go with the best actor here, wouldn’t it? Right, demon king-sama?”
The man called the demon king snorted with a bored look. Seemingly believing that he had to say something to the man looking at him while grinning broadly, the demon king spoke up.
“As if I care. Was there actually any merit in me going along with a horseplay like this?”
“Of course there’s merit in this for you. Won’t you be able to use a Lost, beings that would be mighty combat assets even under normal circumstances, for your own goals thanks to this?”
The demon king’s eyebrows didn’t even twitch at that statement of the man who didn’t care an ounce about other people’s feelings. That reaction of the demon king triggered the man to look slightly displeased, but he immediately put his grin back on, and said, “Of course I don’t expect that to work against that man who’s outside any norm. That guy is a bit of a foul play. But, maybe, just maybe, he might prove useful to some extent, and even if not, he might be able to bring us some reasonable results in battle.”
The man treated others like pawns without even considering them to be people, but the demon king remained silent as he didn’t have anything to say about that attitude. After all, the other party was a god. Even if he didn’t treat people as people, he was someone where you’d think that it was only understandable for him to act like that. Not to mention that the demon king didn’t give a damn abot what would happen to the people of his world or some Losts from another world.
“With the woman I summoned earlier and the man just now, we have two Losts on our side.”
“Neither of them looks very promising. But so what! After all, the one I’m going to try summoning next will essentially be the real deal.”
“Just who the hell are you planning to summon? No matter whom you summon, with that absurd guy as an opponent, I’d be thankful if you could call even a single person who can handle him somehow.”
The self-alleged god laughed meaningfully at the demon king’s comment.
“Shouldn’t you counter absurdity with absurdity? I don’t think that there’s any other means than that, but what’s your take on it?”
The demon king wondered just what that man was talking about, but suddenly realizing a single possibility, he turned a surprised look at the man.
The man, who revealed a very satisfied look over having managed to startle the demon king, brushed his violet hair up while confidently announcing, “Well, just watch. Even though I look like this, I’m still a god who’s been managing this world from its creation up until now.”
He was a man who had certainly done something like that, but the demon king couldn’t believe that what the man was trying to do next would work out as well as it had with Kazuya.
If he summons something outside any common sense for the sake of fighting absurdity with absurdity, won’t it just end with simply increasing the number of people who can be considered aberrant?
Unrelated to the demon king’s worry, the man lifted both hands into the air, and cheerfully shouted, “Now then, I’ll take advantage of the world’s instability, and call him to this world! Just like my master did in the past!”
The self-alleged god immediately started on his work. And the demon king had no means to stop him.