Chapter 7:

Return of the Hero

Otherworld Isekai Service

Typically, Diesel freely roamed around the areas that he was sent to for his service assignments. There wasn't often a strict deadline when it came to completing the job, so it was nice to take in the sights.Bookmark here

He had never gotten the chance to travel; never had the money for it. This had started being one of the perks to his new life – being able to enjoy experiences that he had previously only seen displayed on a screen.Bookmark here

At the moment, Diesel was travelling through the streets of Shanghai, carefully dodging the swarms of people that traversed the streets. He had never seen so much foot traffic before. There was hardly any room for him to maneuver as people spilled onto the road, even as his compact size.Bookmark here

The cars behind him honked furiously that he wasn't moving forward, but he wasn't sure how to navigate through the seemingly endless stream of people. He honked his horn at them, but it seemed like they barely acknowledged him.Bookmark here

Getting nervous by the increasingly angry honking from behind, Diesel blew out a puff of smoke and crept forward.Bookmark here

To his surprise, the pedestrians nearby appeared to move away, making room for him. As if the river of people naturally parted to account for his presence, Diesel crept his way through. He looked for the landmark called 'People's Square', where his next target was certain to be at.Bookmark here

Though he was still stuck in traffic as he approached the public area designated as that landmark, a loud voice pierced through the air from a distance.Bookmark here

"Hear my story! How I, the great Lord Bottomus came to be!"Bookmark here

"A legend told and passed on for generations!"Bookmark here

"My adventures in a strange world that I call home! One of many!"Bookmark here

"Where I come from…How it has led to today! We are blind to much of reality!Bookmark here

"So, listen to my story…the story of my life!"Bookmark here

"From your enlightened one, Bottomus."Bookmark here

"This is definitely not a story told by the common man."Bookmark here

A man dressed in a peculiar outfit stood out in the square as he yelled out his proclamations on top of a step ladder.Bookmark here

Was he not embarrassed to be screaming out such language? Diesel certainly wouldn't be caught dead spouting off such words. Maybe if he had been suffering from 'eighth-grade syndrome,' but that had been over a decade ago in his previous life. Thankfully, he retained his previous mindset when reincarnated as a truck; that wasn't a phase that he wanted to revisit again.Bookmark here

On the other hand, a talking truck would be odd enough to begin with. It wouldn't matter what he said.Bookmark here

"Fellow Daoists, who walk on this earth beside me. I am the wisest in the world. For I have seen that we truly know nothing!"Bookmark here

"Remember one thing – Humans are strong! They have the power to change. To become better or worse. To dream and feel things that aren't apparent in this world."Bookmark here

"Let not the systems of this world dominate you! Join me to overcome and shake the heavens!"Bookmark here

People continued to walk through the square, trying their best to ignore him. They probably had good reason to, since Diesel was already starting to grow tired of his rambling. He watched as Bottomus tried to catch the attention of a random passerby, only to be given a sharp look of annoyance.Bookmark here

"Does it hurt to listen to my words? The words of truth? Then, I will destroy and cause pain to save the world!"Bookmark here

"We are but mere sheep in the grand scheme of things! Let us ascend to greater forms!"Bookmark here

Finally, rolling up to the excessively talkative person, Diesel couldn't take it anymore.Bookmark here

"The form of a truck is certainly better than any 'ascended' forms that you speak of," he joked, believing that he wouldn't be heard anyways.Bookmark here

But there were times that unexpected things happened. This was such a time.Bookmark here

The man named Bottomus abruptly stopped his dialogue, looking around like he had just been heckled. Finally, his eyes fixated in the direction of Diesel, in which he pointed.Bookmark here

"You! You have apparently been touched by the Gods! Oh, distinguished one before me!"Bookmark here

His words drew stares from the people around him. But as he jumped down from his step ladder and walked over to Diesel to place a hand on his hood, the crowd decided that Bottomus had just lost his marbles.Bookmark here

Diesel, on the other hand, started trembling in panic. How did that guy hear him? Why was he giving him a look of adoration? It seriously, seriously creeped him out.Bookmark here

Revving up his engine, he saw a brief gap in traffic and pulled away from Bottomus, screeching his tires in the process. After traveling a safe distance away, he radioed Kami-sama to tell him of the unexpected situation.Bookmark here

"What the hell just happened? Please tell me you have answer, Kami-sama!"Bookmark here

Over the radio, Diesel could hear the rustling of a few papers before Kami-sama spoke again.Bookmark here

"It seems like you encountered one who had already been isekai-ed and returned. Those that have experienced another world are more attuned to the supernatural."Bookmark here

"Wait! You mean that drivel that he was spouting was actually true?!" Diesel couldn't believe his ears. But thinking about it carefully, why couldn't that be the case? There was no clause that said that those that were sent to another world couldn't find their way back. Still, what experiences did he go through to end up like THAT?Bookmark here

"From his record, seems like a xianxia protagonist who spent countless years cultivating. All those years spent in mindless training must have crossed the signals in his brain function. Upon returning to this world, his cultivation abilities were lost, resulting in a mere shell of the previous hero he once was."Bookmark here

"Eh? Why did he lose his powers? Did he do something bad?"Bookmark here

"Nope, quite the opposite. He conquered the world. Bedded many women. Beat the snot out of every spoiled antagonist that could be found. You know, the typical result. But then, he chose to leave the world and return after everything was said and done. He simply got tired of being invincible."Bookmark here

"But then, how did he end up like this? Wouldn't he be conquering the world here, too?"Bookmark here

"Ohoho, that is exactly why he had lost his powers. It would be rather unfair to thrust someone who had mastered the levels of cultivation where such a concept did not exist. Why, the world would be torn asunder, so there were safety measure that kicked in! Not to mention that this world just doesn't have the spiritual ley lines or mystical deities to support such powers. Where do you think it all comes from?"Bookmark here

Diesel shook his head. Guess he wouldn't be taking along his magical truck abilities into the next life. He would be sad to see some of them go. But then again, he'd probably be too tempted to cause mischief with his wall penetrating vision. Could he trade some karma to gain perfect understanding of language though? It would be nice to watch anime and read novels without having to wait for translations.Bookmark here

In any case, now that he knew his back story, Diesel couldn't help but wonder.Bookmark here

"Who requested for him to be isekai-ed then?"Bookmark here

"Why, it was the community as a whole. They were simply too fed up with his absurd statements and wanted to be rid of him."Bookmark here

"Eh? That sounds kind of cynical, don't you think?"Bookmark here

"Well, when the world decides that one should be banned, then we are just the messengers carrying out that order."Bookmark here

"It's even above your pay grade?"Bookmark here

"I'm just a mod, Diesel-kun. Even Gods have their limits."Bookmark here

Diesel could say nothing further, despite having doubts still in his metallic, rattling heart. Just another job and another step closer to filling his karma.Bookmark here

Later that evening, Bottomus had wrapped up his talks for the day. Talking about the things that he learned was all he could do now. With no special abilities and mystical powers to shake the earth, the teachings of various gurus that he encountered on his journeys were all that he had brought with him. He wondered why he thought that returning to such a dull, uneducated world was a good idea. No one here would give him more than a moment's glance.Bookmark here

Just then, he spotted the familiar vehicle that he had met that afternoon. It was getting late, so the foot traffic had lessened quite a bit. Still, it seemed like there were much less people than normal walking around. Typically, one couldn't see a car from the next block over due to the density of pedestrians.Bookmark here

Maybe, the truck would spare him an enlightened conversation. After all, it had spoken up before.Bookmark here

As he stared at it, it suddenly started revving up its engine, like it was waiting for the start of a race. Mysteriously, the people in front of it started to part, leaving a clear pathway between the two.Bookmark here

Like a scene where people stood to the side as heroes gallantly approached their king, the truck rolled forward, picking up speed.Bookmark here

Bottomus suddenly knew what this meant. He had heard stories of it before. Legends of a magical method of being transported to another world. His heart jumped and his eyes widened as he realized that the truck was coming straight for him. He was the intended victim.Bookmark here

No, not victim. He was granted another chance. Another chance to ascend the world from the beginning. Another chance to fight beside the Gods. Another chance to be the man he once was. The world of mystical heroes and magical beings was where he belonged, no matter how boring and unchallenging his story seemed to be.Bookmark here

In the end, it was his life to live. Not for others to say how it 'should' be done.Bookmark here

Bottomus let out a final battle cry to the heavens, signaling his return. The return of a hero. The truck collided into him, sending his body into the air and his spirit into the new unknown.Bookmark here

Ana Fowl
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