Why Kill? When Witches Can Be Tentacled!
The cosmos greeted Snazzy once again, a sight not terribly unfamiliar. He felt hollow as he laid there among the stars, slowly coming to terms that he had died once again. He moved to get up, but there was no arm to prop him up.
No legs to stand on.
No mouth to even speak the words that he was thinking.
Ah, my body. It’s gone, isn’t it?
The last attack had obliterated his existence. At some point, taking in and expelling magic no longer worked. He should have known better that there was some limit. But that was his own fault. Overdoing things without realizing had been his forte. Simple neglect while trying to push himself to go beyond.
And now, he simply floated, like an empty soul with lingering thoughts scraping up to the light that shone in the distance. He knew what was coming. But that was fine, maybe it was destiny for him to fail once again. Maybe… it was time for him to stop fighting all together.
As he approached his judgment, the familiar Kami-sama loomed over the giant podium, somehow already waiting for him. He couldn’t forget the deity even if he tried. His strange, but rather short, experience as a magical jellyfish had all begin here.
And now, the old man was relaxing there, while sipping a cup of piping hot tea. How easy it must have been to direct souls wherever and watch as they floundered.
“Back so soon? I thought I’d at least be able to finish my tea before you came crawling back. But, I guess time works differently in the worlds down below. Hmph, always messes with the schedule.”
Snazzy couldn’t even feel annoyed by that. He simply felt… dejected. Like a child having disappointed a parent after given a simple task. Somehow, his thoughts erupted like he still had a voice.
“Yeah, yeah. I blew it. That divine power of yours was just sooo handy that I went overboard trying to use it. But that’s what happens when you feel a rush. One moment, you’re in the zone. You think everything is going your way, and then… poof! You’re taken out!”
Certainly, he wouldn’t be a popular streamer if he didn’t feel that high from being more and more connected with his followers. And that was what he felt when he helped out Maribell and Seraphina.
They were two Witches, lost in a world where people didn’t appreciate them for who they were. But he wanted to push them forward, to make it such that they had a place for themselves. Their success would be his own success. But his plan backfired.
He attracted too much attention. The enemies came out and retaliated. And once again, he became a casualty before he could really get anywhere. Snazzy had fallen into the same exact cycle that he hoped to correct the second time around.
Yet, Kami-sama stared at him, almost uninterested while sipping his tea. “And?”
“What do you mean, and? I failed. I died. What more is there to it?” After a long pause, all Snazzy could add to it was, “So, what now?”
Kami-sama put his cup down, so casually that it made the situation seem like it was nothing special. Snazzy could do nothing but listen to the words of the deity deciding his fate.
“Overthinking things a little, aren’t you? I get the feeling that you silly humans care so much about the surface that you fail to see the important things when the time comes. Look at yourself. What do you see?”
Snazzy tried to look around, but like before, he saw nothing. He had no limbs, nor a torso. He wondered how he could even see anything without a head either. He was just a sad existence that went overboard. A lingering thought that was waiting for the end.
“I see nothing. What am I supposed to see? I was freaking wrecked by an energy blast that was able to destroy an entire forest! What the heck is a jellyfish supposed to do against that?!”
Kami-sama rubbed his chin. “A what… did you call yourself?”
“A jellyfish! A freaking sea creature that you turned me into before sending me off to that world! What else do I mean?!”
Suddenly, Kami-sama rose from his podium and stepped to the side. But as he walked around the object that was nearly a building tall, his body shrank until he was the size of a normal human standing before Snazzy.
“My dear Snazzy-kun, the divine transformation that I gave you is not so simple of a thing. You call yourself a jellyfish, but is that really what you see yourself as? Perhaps, you are in need of a different perspective.”
Kami-sama waved his hand over Snazzy’s vision. It seemed like such a trivial thing, like what could that possibly even do?
“Care to take a gander around now? Surely, you’ll realize that you’ve misunderstood.” Kami-sama smiled.
“Misunderstood? About what?”
Snazzy turned to the side, knowing not what to expect. But suddenly, some glowing lights caught his attention. As he looked around more, it seemed like shiny threads were now all around him. A strange sight indeed, one he couldn’t understand. They looked ephemeral, like reaching out to touch them would yield nothing. Those thin, magical lines seemed so unimportant on its own, but together, they twirled into thicker strands. And those strands crowded around a central hub. That hub being him.
“W-What the hell is this around me? What’s going on?” For the first time since he arrived back here, something stirred within Snazzy. He could feel it. These lights… they were a part of him, but also, distinctly different. Unique from each other.
“Finally catching on, heh? The transformation spell turns you into the embodiment of whatever you consider yourself, the very definition of your existence. And… you thought that you were a jellyfish this entire time? Oh now, that’s a good chuckle right there.”
“But, but then, what is all this?! Why did I look kind of like a jellyfish? I mean, none of this makes any sense!”
“Think, Snazzy-kun. What did you value most in your original life? Was it not your connections? A lone man can only do so much by himself. Wasn’t that the very reason you sought others? The start of a long journey, solely to find yourself among a world of those like you. The way that you touched upon an ever-increasing amount of people, many of them who you would never see. Words that mere strands of data. Strikes upon a keyboard. But they existed, and they connected. To you, they were real.
Perhaps, it’s the mind of you humans that are strange. Always needing some kind of organic being to associate yourself with. But, doesn’t a jellyfish suit you then? Even if you lose sight of those that connect you, you can always reach out and rebuild them again. You may lose every part of your body, but as long as you don’t give up, you will reform. You live on, by giving up a piece of yourself to others. And collectively, you take on the form of all who shares in your beliefs.”
Snazzy nodded as he finally understood what Kami-sama meant. As a streamer, he had no way of knowing who was out there. Each and every name was simply a line of text, popping up to offer comments. Each voice of support was merely sound bites passing through the internet. Even if he lost them, he wouldn’t know. But that didn’t keep him from reaching out nonetheless. For who knew if others carried on his will, taking that part of him forward and using it to build their own life.
Even without him around, his ideas would persevere. And that was the very reason he pushed forward, without fear.
Still, Snazzy found it almost laughable that his mind had dumbed that all down to a cartoony jellyfish with seemingly magical abilities. How messed up in the head was he really to see himself like that subconsciously?
But despite that, he could feel it. Their emotion, their beliefs, and their spirits. They were the invisible people that walked the same path as him. Always there. Even if he couldn’t see it. Somehow, Kami-sama’s divine magic had drawn upon the strength of the support he had all along. His ties to his home world continued to live on.
“Then, this… they are lines that reach out to them, to everyone?” Snazzy wondered aloud.
“Snazzy-kun, what you are, what you’ve become… Kizuna Mono – a Being of Connections. One who constantly reaches out, who needs others to thrive. And the silly thing you have imagined yourself as is simply for the sake of convenience. Just because you have left your previous world does not mean your ties with them have broken. What I gave you is the very will to save the ones you want to save.”
“Then, those weird abilities that I could use… the healing, the absorbing of magic, the enhancing… those were-”
Kami-sama put up a finger up to silence him. “Those… were the powers born from your own soul, spawned from the miracles that you have inadvertently created. But the powers of divinity see all. Divine blessings do not have a definite shape. They are molded by those who possess them. They suit the will of their owners.
Have you not been the one to lead the way? The one who is willing to stand at the front and make way for others? It is only natural for them to give back in return.”
Snazzy’s memories poked at him. What he had done was the very definition of that.
He reached out to the insulted and bullied.
He took on naysayers and haters head on, fighting fire with fire with a head held high.
A symbol of empowerment, he was the flagbearer that charged forward into a war that they had no idea if they could win.
These powers he had, they were his courage, no matter how stupid the odds were. But it took the right kind of stupidity to ignore all the risks and the doubts, all so he could advance, pulling those behind him forward as well. Giving them a chance to shine.
Alone, he was foolish, stubborn, and always putting everything on himself. But that changed in the presence of others. He was their leader. Their hands chose to prop him up, to lend support, and empower him to go even further. That was a strength shared between all.
Right. It is said that one cannot kill a jellyfish. Even if you hack and slash it, every piece is its own, only the connections broken. And if one has the will to rejoin it all… what kind of being would come from it?
Kami-sama placed a hand on his head, giving him one last piece of encouragement.
“Snazzy-kun. Remember, you can’t avoid creating misunderstandings. They will happen, no matter what you do. It is human nature to misinterpret what is before you. Don’t let it discourage you. Don’t give in. It takes effort to break through that, but you have the strength to see it through. I’ve seen it already. Time and time again. Stand tall and tear down those misunderstandings. Make them see your point.”
Kami-sama gave him a bright smile, one filled with the wisdom of an ageless elder.
“Now that you get all that, go on. Run back to the world that you’re in. Well, what are you waiting for?” Kami-sama shooed him along like he had just patched a minor wound with a band-aid.
Knowing what he had to do now, Snazzy disappeared from the area, leaving the old deity alone to enjoy his tea once again.
“There’s a hard worker. Hard to find good ones these days…” Kami-sama slowly walked back to his podium, savoring the last bit of his break before the next guest showed up.