Otherworld Isekai Service
There were times when it was difficult to make a judgement based on the available data and testimony from the client. For those cases, Diesel ended up having to get to know more about the target in question. By essentially stalking the target, one could gather enough to judge whether he or she was suitable of undergoing 'service'.
As Diesel parked himself next to a bridge, he stared at a dirty, ragged man tucked in a crevice underneath the massive structure. The target had been a homeless man named Travis, who looked every bit as miserable as the client, Wayne, had described.
Surrounded by dingy cardboard and filthy clothes to keep warm, the one thing that stood out among this collection was a ragged full body pillow that showed traces of a 2D anime girl depicted on its surface. Age and the harsh living environment had caused the picture to essentially fade into an unrecognizable mess. Yet, the man clutched it closely to himself, muttering random noise to it, as if holding a conversation.
Wayne, describing himself as a former friend of Travis, had explained the situation and his desire to put Travis out of his misery.
Apparently, Travis had fallen victim to excessive spending, putting his money on any and everything imaginable in pursuit of his 2D waifu. That included merchandise and clothing with her depicted upon it. He built a shrine and celebrated the holidays with her. He included fictional events to imitate a relationship, aiming to go on dates and such with her as an imaginary person, which Wayne discovered through appointments drawn on a calendar.
When a mobile game came out featuring the anime she was in, he wouldn't stop pulling the lever until each iteration of his waifu in different outfits had been secured.
Obviously, this cost him a lot of money, money that he couldn't afford to spend. Though Wayne tried his best to temper his greed and possessiveness, ultimately, Travis would give in to his desires.
Finally spending every dime to his name, he was eventually kicked out of his living arrangements for defaulting on the rent. Even his parents had given up on him and started ignoring his requests for loans.
Wayne, of course, tried to help him out, even offering to foot the bill to get him the help needed to overcome his problems. Yet, every time he tried to drag Travis to the psychiatrist, he refused to come out. There was only so much he could do when Travis refused to cooperate.
As a result, Wayne's misery had led to a phone call to the Otherworld Isekai Service, asking if there was any way Travis could be sent to another world where he could live with his waifu.
Wayne realized that it was probably an unreasonable request and that it was near impossible for him to be reborn in a world with his waifu, especially since she didn't exist in the first place. However, he hoped that by being reborn into someplace like that, Travis could start off with a clean slate and find a different girl, one that embodied his dreams and could actually love him back.
"It's possible," said Kami-sama when Diesel consulted him. "Among the infinite number of worlds out there, someone of his liking could be waiting for a hero to show up."
Those sounded like convenient words meant to butter up the client. However, what use was it to deceive a client? It wasn't like Kami-sama profited off a completed job. There was no incentive to coerce or mislead them into requesting the 'service'. Kami-sama merely deployed Truck-kuns to right imbalances within the world. At least, that was what Diesel had come to understand as he continued to work by his side.
The old man seemed to tease Diesel a bit, but in the end, he seemed like a pretty nice guy…er, God.
Yet, Kami-sama didn't accept the request, nor did he reject it. Speaking to Diesel afterwards, there seemed to be a couple of strange points that Kami-sama couldn't figure out.
Though he was a God, he wasn't all powerful as what humans had been led to believe. Only the actions of the most importance, ones that defined a person, made its way to the divine realm. When asked why this was the case, Kami-sama shook his head.
"There simply is not enough energy to transmit such a large amount of information to be thorough for everyone in each of the worlds. Sure, we can focus on an individual and spy on every little detail, but that usually doesn't happen unless there is a need. And it doesn't work retroactively either."
When Kami-sama started looking into the man named Travis for the request, he came back with a specific task for Diesel.
"Mind going down and surveying him for a bit? There's something off about this."
"Uh…sure…not like I have anything else to do. A truck can only participate in so many hobbies, you know."
And so, Diesel was stuck watching the pitiful scene in front of him – a broken man, desperately clinging to some remnant of the fictional life he wanted to have.
Admittedly, there were certain anime characters that Diesel had a strong attraction to. He had to confess that there were posters and figurines of his favorite ones, so he could sympathize a bit with the man's obsession. However, it had not consumed his life, so it didn't feel proper to judge him.
Diesel couldn't imagine how difficult it would be to have all of his friends turn on him due to what they thought of was a 'silly obsession.' Who cared what the subject matter involved? An addiction by any other cause wouldn't be any less debilitating. He couldn't help but wonder, 'if it had involved something more 'normal', then people wouldn't have been so quick to abandon Travis.'
At least, Travis still had Wayne as a friend, who cared enough about him to agonize over his current situation. It honestly made Diesel want to fulfill the request. However, Kami-sama had the final word, and for now, he was just supposed to observe.
Still, Diesel wasn't sure how much longer he could watch this painful scene. He wanted to cover his nonexistent ears and muffle out the delusional babble of Travis's day to day interactions with his waifu. The man no longer had any awareness of his surroundings.
A few minutes later, the noise suddenly stopped. The abrupt change had caused Diesel's mind to stir, making him realize that his engine had cut off at some point. His consciousness had been idle for a short span of time.
Suddenly, he could hear soft whimpering coming from the bridge. A voice brimming with venom lingered in the air as if he had been cursing his existence. Diesel had to pull forward a bit to understand what he had been mumbling.
"Dammit Travis! Why, why won't you give up! Look what you did! Look what you did to us! I can't live like this! Please!" The whimpering continued as his words devolved into incoherent babble.
"Eh? But that sounds like Wayne?" Peering through the cardboard, Diesel scanned for other presences. However, he saw nothing but the same miserable man who was now cursing aloud.
"Kami-sama, can you see this? I don't understand what is going on." Diesel sent a message through his radio.
Several moments later, a portal appeared in which Kami-sama casually climbed out of. He tugged the hairs on his chin.
"It's as I expected. When I tried to spy on Travis to get a better understanding, there were moments where the feed just went dark. So, it was this after all…"
"Kami-sama, I don't understand what you mean." Diesel tried to cock his head to the side, but it tilted the entire truck body slightly.
"The man you see right now is Wayne. Whereas, the one you were watching a little while ago was Travis. They are of the same body. Two minds, fractured at some point."
Ack, so that was why Wayne had stuck with Travis the entire time. He didn't really have a choice. It made him feel even more sorry for the guy….er, both guys.
"Well, that complicates things." Kami-sama went over and gave Diesel a pat on the side. "But looks like I can accept the request now."
"Oh? Why so?" Diesel had no idea why this changed things.
"Well, what do you think would happen if you performed the service now?"
Diesel thought for a moment before realizing the answer. "Oh…they would both be isekai-ed?"
"Yes, and most likely, in the same body once again. Can you imagine how messed up it would be to have a hero with dual personalities? They'd just get in each other's way."
"So, what do we do?"
"It's nothing a bolt of lightning can't fix. Sure, I'll kill Wayne in his current form, but it's the only way to selectively target his side without impacting Travis. As such, Wayne will have a chance to live alone in another world. Just have to queue up the next one for Travis."
What the hell was up with that explanation? It made no sense to Diesel, but whatever. It sounded like Wayne would be happier to move on without being chained down by his other self.
With a gust of wind, Kami-sama blew the makeshift shelter away, causing Wayne to bolt up and check what was going on. The sudden coldness had woken up Wayne fully as he climbed out from under the bridge to look up at the sky.
"It seems that Wayne has total control of himself when fully awake. It's only when Wayne sleeps that Travis comes out to disrupt their life," Kami-sama concluded, raising his hand to summon the clouds in the sky.
A flash of light hit the ground, too bright to focus upon. After it disappeared, the slightly charred man standing before them had an empty expression. Moments later, life returned to his eyes before he started panicking.
"Pillow! Where are you, Pooky! I can't bear to be away from you!" The delirious man from before had returned.
"Wayne is no longer in this world. It's your turn now. I'll go set things up for the next transfer." Kami-sama brought up a picture of an anime girl. "I suppose you know what to do with this."
A little while later, Travis had found his pillow, but in a rather sad state. The wind had blown it into something sharp, causing the filling to spill out from a long tear. He mourned the sorry state of his pillow as he fell to the ground clutching it, the last memento that he possessed of his beloved.
A horn honked at him.
"Leave me alone! Why must the world do this to me?! Why can't I just be with the one I love?!"
The horn honked at him again.
"Shut up! What do you-" Travis turned around only to see the most wonderous sight – the girl of his dreams in vivid detail as decal on the front of a truck. Blessed by this fortunate meeting, Travis leapt to his feet and started running towards it. In response, the itasha-decorated truck accelerated forward to meet him.
"Pooky! Come here and give papa a hug!" Travis sprinted forward, arms wide open, ready to meet his destiny.
"Good luck, my friend. I hope you find the true girl of your dreams next time." The image in front of Travis seemed to say, as their bodies met.