Battlefield Restart: Mortal God
In my time of youth, well… umm… getting a job was definitely not the first thing that came to my mind.
Especially whenever I thought about what to do in the extremely large amount of free time I had…
Instead, the first thing I always thought about was how to effectively I could have wasted my time...!
I was too self-centred at the time, I saw the world through a filter. It was way worse than right now…
Maybe it was because of my twisted Primary School life, or perhaps it was due to my bad luck.
I was just a kid who was born with asthma and eczema.
It caused others to look at me with disgust.
My 'friendly' classmates bullied me openly.
Especially whenever one of the careless teachers left the classroom in order to do other tasks.
Again, and again, and again…
It was definitely the mental and physical torture they dished out in my youth that had affected my outlook on life, leading me grow up as a young child with low self-esteem and cowardice.
My parents and siblings tried to help me, my teachers tried their best to talk it out with their students, but that only made matters worse. You couldn't 'talk to' kids who worked on emotions.
Especially when it came to stopping them…
The bullying became more intense, to the point that those heartless beasts would start beating me whenever we arrived at the playground, but that didn't mean I didn't fight back. Because… I had to…
My low self-esteem and fickle personality became one that could easily be enraged with little effort.
A ticking time-bomb with sensitive triggers…
I didn't know at the time that my rage back then was fuelled by fear... It way a coping mechanism.
Many events unfolded and many people who were once my bullies turned into something close to my acquaintances. They realised their faults and admitted to their own wrongdoings before apologising for their actions in a polite way.
It was either that or…
…they just jointly decided to ignore the short-tempered and antisocial guy I became.
I learnt a lesson at that moment: There was a worth in apologies that went beyond that of mere words.
Giving someone the apology they deserved didn't change anything. Well… not anything really visible.
"Sorry about bullying you." They spoke in front of the adults as if they had done good enough…
…that just apologising was a big thing for them.
The atmosphere didn't seem right to reject their apology. Even if I did, what would be the point?
Rejecting it would've made my young self seem small-minded. That I was the one in the wrong.
People should forgive and forget.
Isn't that what parents tell their children, or what's told to those who already experienced injustice…?
I didn't know anymore…
Why was there a strong feeling of emptiness in my heart? I accepted their words, so what was wrong?
The whole in my heart couldn't be filled. School life continued even if I wasn't able to fully move on.
The seasons had changed…
…and the time for the final school exams arrived.
When the new terms started in secondary school, everything I knew from that point changed.
My classmates would still mess around like every other year. However, even as they did, all of them would take the time at home to catch up with schoolwork. They had no choice but to do so.
It was probably due to the pressure exerted by their strict parents. Everyone had lives to live.
I didn't understand what 'having dyslexia' meant at that time. Maybe my teachers didn't understand either, as they wouldn't let me learn with the others regardless of my will. It made me want to study.
Not the same things repeated in the tiny classroom meant for me and few others, but the brand new and interesting stuff in my original class. I said I could do it, so why did they have to hold me back?
It's sad… I wanted to achieve more, but I realised my limits. My young self wasn't able to leave the school with high marks despite my efforts, but still… my marks were enough for average results.
After that traumatising period of my life went by, I tried attending my new school with a blank slate.
The Secondary School I went to wasn't as good as my Primary School when it came to the quality of their facilities. However, it was still a good place to make a fresh start so I could forget my past.
It's too bad the younger me of that time was filled with paranoia, unable to put his trust in others and unable to hide the feelings that displayed on his face. A very awkward guy who tried and failed in his attempts make those things called 'friends'.
My breathing was always heavy enough to catch unwanted attention, and my skin was the same.
It felt like hard leather, yet one that easily ripped…
I knew first impressions were always important, but it's not like I seriously hadn't tried changing myself.
The results couldn't be avoided…
Bullied kids who didn't have much friends in Primary would still be awkward even in Secondary.
And incurable diseases needed supervision and control. Especially the younger you were with it.
I tried to make friends with this worthless body and mind. A part of me wanted others to fill the void…
This was despite me not even knowing what they were supposed to be... What were friends anyway?
My older brother had always been a delinquent. He had hung out with the wrong crowds and made types of many 'friends'. Those who never cared at all for his well-being, yet still stuck close to him.
He was a likable and social guy… to the point of earning my envy. How was he so good at handling people around him? I just couldn't understand why he chose to use his great skills in handling people and talking… to be nice to 'those kind' of guys...
Big Brother… Why…?
It would have been easy to categorise the people around me between who were friends and those who weren't if I had a good example to work with, but the fact my older sister had made 'normal' friends twisted my perception of 'friendship'...
What was a 'friend', and could I truly make one?
Who counted as a friend?
I knew a guy in the school library who would speak to me kindly... He always acted like we were close.
But can he be considered a friend of mine?
Even now I'm not quite sure...
He was… probably… a friend… I think?
I was already used to being treated badly. That's why getting to know new people who would treat me 'kindly' was a first for me after entering Secondary School... It was a new experience.
Though it made me confused...
Back then, I had a chance to start fresh and obtain the school life I always wanted. I could have easily made some friends if I went with the flow and joined those who reached out to me.
It's just too bad I was too afraid open my heart...
My early years as an outcast were engraved into my soul. Yeah… I wasn't at fault. It wasn't my fault.
Still… It's hard not blaming myself.
The result of these kind of paranoid actions made my Secondary School life nearly a copy of Primary School life, but with more secretive bullies. Maybe I should have been thankful beatings were rare.
Even though they still happened…
The 'me' of that time thought he was the most pitiful person in the world. Oh how wrong I was…
Inexperience clouded my judgment.
It's truly laughable that I thought that way, but it's the truth. I didn't think of the good people I met in my life, nor did I try to improve the relationships I had with others. My grades were merely passable and I never made an effort to improve myself.
The drive to study like in Primary was gone. I felt that after failing once, I wouldn't succeed again.
Well, at least my personality improved. The innate illnesses were gradually suppressed over time.
Then came College and University, the two most important educations needed for a high-paying job.
I decided to just whimsically pick anything I like…
…and barely passed an advanced science course at my College. Still, it was better than failing.
You could call it a good start to my life!
However, I didn't even have high enough scores to get into University after getting my results.
That younger self of mine was such an idiot!
I can't believe I tried to stay at home and live off my parents by always staying in my room. Even refusing to find work in order to have more time to waste reading Manga and watching Anime.
After my parents and siblings forced me into joining military, my job became that of a soldier that actually got sent to dangerous areas. The kind of work I had was almost enough to take my life!
As a newbie soldier, work was extremely hard to the point of exhaustion... especially those missions in Afghanistan. My paranoia saved me more times than I could count, my perceptiveness and sensitivity to danger sharpened over time.
I started to realise my own 'hidden talents'.
It was extremely hard, but I got through. Maybe the emptiness within me hungered for true validation.
I wanted someone to finally acknowledge me.
Most would say that living such a life was practically hell on Earth, and… Ahem… Well… it is a good thing I'm not 'most', my opinion was that those days spent with my 'brothers and sisters-in-arms' were essentially the best days I'd ever lived!
Hmm, did that sound pitiful…?
I found brotherhood with the comrades. Those who fought side-by-side with me… until the very end.
They were all comrades who would take a bullet for me and 'siblings' I could rely on, but it's just a shame that I wasn't the same. I was a coward that selfishly fought only for his own survival!
A shameless coward who could only leave those reliable comrades of mine to fend for myself.
The kind of guy who ran away from every dangerous encounter I faced without them...!
One of my brother-in-arms died right before me, and all I could do was mourn at his sacrifice...
Useless… Completely worthless… and sad.
Years passed, and I gained more experience with time.
However, the amount of brothers that were lost in battle increased as the rivers of time advanced.
After years of endless battles between life and death, the army finally allowed me to rest.
Well... You could call it retirement, or you could call it 'abandonment'… considering the delicate yet extremely high position I obtained. A peaceful life I had earned with my own blood, sweat, and tears!
I had become a hero of a century…
A fiendish demon to many outside the country, yet still a saintly hero to those of the nation I protected.
At least to the citizens…
The political world was a stormy sea and I was just one boat who hoping I wouldn't sink... It's a good thing there were still people helping me out behind the scenes, so I didn't fall into any political traps.
Sometimes I wondered if the decisions I made were worth the effort... No, I shouldn't think like that.
My comrades would have died in vain if I hadn't ended up earning at least a few years of peace for the nation. I truly wanted to believe their deaths weren't for nothing; that they had a purpose...
I feel 'old' now...
Now, as an eighty year old man, the regrets I felt when looking back at my life were extremely high.
Sadly, all I can do now is sit on this wooden armchair and lament about the past.
I had lived a life longer than the average person…
How ironic. Despite abusing my body constantly and getting scarred all over, I was able to live.
Though perhaps that took a toll larger than death…
The world around me slowly became grey and lifeless, or maybe it just my eyes playing tricks on my mind again...
Reality could sometimes look entirely different through a filter created by a person's own limited perspective of the world, but something seems strange. Could it be that I've finally become senile?
Well... I guess that doesn't matter anymore.
There's no longer anyone who would heavily scold me even if I HAD become strange with time.
Since that's the case: I guess it time for me to man up and accept reality. Time to resist my fatigue.
Guess it's time to try using an internal battle cry to wake myself up: 'ROOOOAAAAAR!!!'
Wow, I kinda feel tired after doing such a great amount of exercise in my own head.
No, that feeling only an illusion!
Wake the hell up!
Whew, that should do the trick…
I wonder if I should stretch as well?
Hah... Living for so long takes its tole on a person.
My senses are not as sharp as they used to be. My heart no longer had the composure I used to keep up in front of my fellow brothers... I still feel fatigued to the point of wanting eternal rest.
What was the point in my life anyway?
Am I really going to die?
I'd wasted so much time mastering many martial arts like a 'Collector'. After fully mastering one, I'd go off to search for a new one. It was because having them were useful if used correctly.
But now… everything will turn to dust?
Why do I feel like it's such a waste?
Oh well~ Hmmm, will those guys be on the 'other side'? Would I get to see them in the afterlife?
Meh... Who knows~? I'm still planning to live as long as I can… in case the afterlife doesn't exist.
The doctor said I had a kind of dementia. He was serious when he told me my condition, but… Ha!
Like hell I'd believe him!
There's no way a healthy guy like me. who had enhanced his body above normal human limits, could have such an illness!
I'm pretty sure it's probably just his imagination...
"O' please, Great Hero! O' Gaia, please hear and answer our calls. Bestow us a saviour!" A soft and gentle voice resounded in my ear. It was a jolt of stimulation that triggered my survival instincts.
I got up off my seat cautiously and looked around myself in fear. It was my choice not to answer the disembodied feminine voice out of reflex. A part of me felt that the world would cave if I'd done so...
"O' please, Great Hero. Please hear and answer our calls." The disembodied voice I heard in moments ago seemed to have multiplied somehow. This time accompanied with the voices of several others.
The aged voices of men along with the woman's soft voice resounded in my ear once more, yet this time… I felt a physical attractive force that seemed to distort the grey-coloured world around me.
I didn't know what to do in such circumstances, but a habit that was ingrained into me through many years as a soldier acted up. My quick response allowed me to quickly arm myself to be combat-ready for any incident that was to occur.
I readied myself for battle. First was a bulletproof vest, then a loaded rifle hid under my cushion.
A murderous intent radiated in my eyes. I was prepared to eliminate any suspicious individuals!
"Who the hell are you?" I asked the soft voices resounding in my head, only to realise that I'd made a irreversible mistake.
The world distorted, then felt my body suddenly being transported somewhere.
I was already inside a European-like Castle when I'd regained my senses. It was extremely elaborate!
My eyes dilated a few times…
In front of me was a middle-aged man dressed in luxurious gold ornaments. He sat on a big throne and looked down on me from above…. like a tyrant among men. The man asserted his dominance!
I was completely dumbfounded by the sudden change of scenery. Someone like me would've never thought that I'd be kidnapped from my own home. Events were happening way too fast!
I looked at the people around me more clearly and saw that everyone was dressed in strange outfits.
There's no way I'd call what they have on costumes because the metal swords that these 'Knights' had sheathed near their waists were more than just plastic toys... Even 'I', with my now dulled senses, could smell the faint smell of blood in the air.
These guys were dangerous...!
When my eyes glanced at the bright radiance below my feet, my old heart trembled violently.
An emotion of incomprehensible shock was written all over my face. I tried to calm down my violent emotions. Under my feet were glowing patterns and markings, and many old priest-looking men held their palms towards me with a look of worship.
"Who are you? And what do you want with me?" I quickly analysed my surroundings and reacted.
My rifle was immediately pointed at the most important person sitting on the throne above me.
The knight-like men in luxuriously crafted steel armour pulled out their swords like proper soldiers.
They surrounded me in response to my threat.
"Great Hero, slay the Fiend King and bring peace to the Heavenly Divine Sword Kingdom." The rich 'King' decreed with an aura of superiority, which was similar to that of true european royalty.
A King? Wait, why does this sound so familiar?
After my body was suddenly 'summoned' into this strange castle, I suddenly felt my mind grow a bit clearer, it was as if my body was somehow being rejuvenated by that sword… The sacred-looking blade was stabbed into the ground in front of me.
Time seemed to slow down. I quickly looked around for information before deciding how to respond. The luxurious and fat-covered pig watched me. Was he looking down on me? Me?!!
The man who claimed that he is from a foreign Kingdom, which I have never heard of, is now 'requesting' me to fight against enemies he claims are 'Fiends'? I feel like shooting him already...!
Why would I fight another man's war?!
I'm not some foolish youth who'd fall for such a vague explanation, nor was I an easy to exploit.
Judging from the fact that the man in front of me was wearing an excessive amount of gold accessories; the fact that not only him, but even the 'nobles' around him are as fat as pigs, and the fact that he seems to be relaxed on his throne:
…I can safely say that I was 'summoned' to another world to be some kind of advanced super-soldier.
And yes, I've completely accepted the fact that I was 'summoned'… after secretly pinching myself.
After letting out a deep and emotional sigh of understanding, I somehow I got myself caught up in a truly troublesome mess...
He wants me to be their Hero...? Like hell I will!
I'm already in enough trouble back on Earth.
However, just as I was about to voice my countless complaints, my body felt numb.
My arms started to turn to dust…
I could only watch on in horror. My body started to turn to dust in this foreign land after it had arrived.
I'm... dying...? This... doesn't make... sense...! What happened to the cliché development of forming a hero party and slaying the demon king? Am I really going to die so ridiculously? I can't accept this!!!
Using the last of the strength I had, my finger pulled the trigger of the murder weapon I had.
A loud gunshot resounded…
Hmph, the 'King' died without much resistance…
That's what he got for summoning me here. For kidnapping an innocent unlawfully and unjustly.
No amount of apologies could make up for this.
In fact, killing him was too easy…
Had he never seen a gun before? The knights were also slow to react. Good! You all deserve this!!!
That was the last thing I thought before most my body disintegrated. Only my head was left.
My eyes were filled with fear while 'fading'…
To be shown the hope of surviving old age. and then having that hope taken away from me…
Such a 'joke' only filled me with despair.
Even if I wasn't going to have a pleasant life in this world like the main characters from those 'another world' stories, I would've still benefited from surviving a bit longer. Who didn't want a long life?
A light flashed in my eyes. Everything from my youth going all the way to my current old age replayed in my head, my fading consciousness had re-experienced the battlefields of my past.
However, just before I died, it was to my surprise that I had somehow 'remembered' a foreign memory. As it couldn't possibly be my own, it should've been unfamiliar to me. But why wasn't it?
No, was the scenes I saw actually 'my' memory?
It was like a repeat of what just transpired, but my body was transported to a mountain that was surrounded by the beauties of nature instead of a large castle. The 'summoners' were also different.
Compared to the scheming 'King' that tried to trick me into doing free labour, this 'Emperor' (or Chief of all the Fiend Clans) that summoned me was a lot more straightforward. That was my opinion.
They called me their warrior and offered compensation for my services in this world.
My role was of their Clan Union's 'Sacred Totem'.
By 'Totem', it seemed like the strange people with animalistic features wanted to give me a position.
It was similar to that of a Hero. The only difference being that I had great influence and privileges.
Unlike the King I previously met, their 'Emperor' offered compensation for my troubles instead of trying to take advantage of me.
Be it in temperament or sincerity, the so-called 'Fiends' had a lot more of it compared to that fat king. It's too bad the throne made of humanoid skeletal bones ruined their image entirely.
Well, the difference between their way of welcoming me changed nothing… because I still died soon after being summoned. Though my bullet was blocked by the Emperor this time.
The scenes ended there…
But why can I remember this?
Why does my memory split into two sections after being summoned? Almost like I was split in two…
I guess I'll never get to know the answer...
My eyes looked at the King's corpse in front of me with unwilling eyes. My head rolled on the floor.
My body finally disintegrated into dust. That pile of ashes was then easily blown away by the wind...
It' was hard to believe my grave would be here in these lands… of a mysterious and magical world...!
Will this really be the end of my story?