Chapter 8:

Otherworld Truck Stop (1)

Otherworld Isekai Service

"Hey Boss, got any more service assignments?" Diesel radioed Kami-sama.Bookmark here

He had been lounging around the garage all day. Normally, Kami-sama would notify him of an assignment soon after he had completed the previous one, but for some reason, there had been nothing today.Bookmark here

Therefore, he had spent his idle time surfing the internet and playing games. He was rather amused that he could access and interact without the need of fingers. All that was accomplished purely through mental control, as was done when he did a live chat on a blog. When he asked Kami-sama if he could stream a movie, he was told that access to online features consumed his karma, so it probably wasn't worth it. In that case, Diesel had to be careful. Caps on karma usage didn't exist, and he couldn't set any notifications.Bookmark here

Of course, he could request to be sent somewhere for sightseeing, but he had already been doing that quite a bit already in between jobs. And it wasn't quite as fun traveling to new locations alone.Bookmark here

Rather, he was anxious to gather more karma and get closer to his eventual goal – reincarnating into a human again. Though it wasn't as bad as he thought living as a truck, there were several things that he missed.Bookmark here

One was delicious food. Even if he could travel the world, there was no way for him to sample the local cuisine. Seeing all the different dishes advertised only served to annoy him, as none of it was appropriate for consumption. Yet, the allure of appetizing aromas still made its way to him, despite the lack of a nose. This just became torture, making him wish that he didn't have some of the human senses and memories that he had before.Bookmark here

The only thing that he tasted were the different grades of gasoline during fill-up. Strangely, the reality of consuming liquid combustible fuels wasn't as repulsive as he thought it would be. Though he preferred a blend that didn't include ethanol; it just tasted a bit watered down.Bookmark here

Another thing was social connections. Being a magical truck, Diesel hardly spoke to anyone besides clients and Kami-sama. He understood that it was unnatural for a truck to be talking in the first place, but couldn't he be paired up with a rider or something? If he had to choose, then a gunslinger who didn't mind being chatty with vehicles and could protect him from danger would be nice. If that were the case, maybe being a 'motorrad' would suit him more.Bookmark here

After dwelling in the lulls of boredom, Kami-sama finally responded.Bookmark here

"Nope, all dried up for the moment. Come to think of it, I forgot to graduate you from your trial period…"Bookmark here

"There was a trial period? What would've happened if I failed?" Diesel didn't like were this was headed.Bookmark here

"Then, you would've likely been sent to the vast, open countryside of the U.S. of A, where you'd spend the rest of your days being sat on by some obese, overworked driver until he falls asleep and sends you both crashing off a bridge."Bookmark here

"That's…oddly specific." A chill ran down Diesel's frame. Could Kami-sama see that far into the future?Bookmark here

"That was a joke." A stifled chuckled was heard in the background.Bookmark here

"Oh." Should've expected as such, coming from him. "Anyways, how is it any different now?"Bookmark here

"Just one sec."Bookmark here

A portal opened with Kami-sama jumping out. Brushing himself off, he walked over to Diesel.Bookmark here

"Congratulations, you are now a full-fledged employee of the Otherworld Isekai Service."Bookmark here

"Thanks…I guess."Bookmark here

"You don't sound too thrilled, but I guess you just want to know the perks," Kami-sama said, as he patted the front grill of Diesel. "Head outside."Bookmark here

The two of them exited the garage, where there was endless white space all around.Bookmark here

"Okay…what am I looking for?" Diesel mumbled anxiously. Hopefully, it would be something interesting to stave off the boredom.Bookmark here

Kami-sama raised his hand and snapped his fingers. A pulse of magic was sent into the air, and moments later, a structure materialized in the distance.Bookmark here

It was like those RPGs where one's next destination magically became accessible on the map once the protagonist had reached a certain point. However, he wasn't some hero in a story going on an adventure; he was a truck.Bookmark here

There had to be something more to it than merely just another location that he could visit.Bookmark here

"What is that supposed to be, Kami-sama?" Diesel questioned, inwardly hoping that going to the next location would increase his karma growth, like how Exp gain was larger for later maps.Bookmark here

"Now that you are a regular employee, I figured that it was time for you to go meet and get along with your fellow coworkers."Bookmark here

'Oh, a central hub,' Diesel thought, slightly disappointed. That was the first time that Kami-sama had told him that there were other Truck-kuns providing services. But then again, it wouldn't be so much of a company if he weren't in charge of others besides him.Bookmark here

Now, Diesel was curious. If they were trucks like him, then that would solve one of the things that he was longing for. With a strong puff of smoke, Diesel rolled forward, wondering who would be there waiting for him.Bookmark here

Approaching the building in the distance, the first thing that came to mind was that it looked like a truck stop. Being a vehicle that ran on gasoline, that didn't bring him any sense of joy. During his service trips, he would go by a gas station to refuel his tank.Bookmark here

If one were to ask how it was possible for a truck to get gas on his own, then the answer was, of course, through magic. To be more specific, it was one of the numerous perks that came with being a magical truck.Bookmark here

Why was it so specific and convenient for the task in question? Blame Kami-sama for that. Diesel only found out about these convenient skills when he stumbled upon a situation and had to ask what to do about it. Quite simply, it made him wonder what other strange things a magical truck could do, but he guessed that he'd find out eventually. It's not like there was a convenient menu that listed all of his abilities. If it wasn't used much for the job, then most likely, he'd probably forget all about it.Bookmark here

Diesel sighed and rolled into the truck stop anyways. He had nothing else to do until Kami-sama came back with a job, and hopefully, there would be someone else there.Bookmark here

In fact, there was someone waiting next to the self-service pump.Bookmark here

"Hi?" Diesel tested the waters. Even though he was a truck himself, it felt strange to being talking to another one. Appearance-wise, he looked like the typical one that ran over people in an anime, but then again, trucks could morph so it probably gave off a hint of his personality. Diesel had adopted a bland design himself, especially after how strange it felt to be an itasha.Bookmark here

"Huh? Oh…hi there. I haven't seen you around. New truck?" It turned around to greet him. The only defining feature was a thick frame around the twin windowpanes that made up his windshield. It made it look like glasses had been donned.Bookmark here

"Yeah, Kami-sama told me that I 'graduated' to being a full-fledged employee." Diesel laughed at how it was defined.Bookmark here

"Congrats to you. As for me…my name's Tanaka. I've been isekai-ing people for God knows how long. Been…like 20 years now, I think?"Bookmark here

"20 years?! Why would you want to do that for so long?" Diesel couldn't help but show his surprise. Kami-sama had told him that it would only take a few years to gain enough karma to turn into a human. Had he lied to him?Bookmark here

"I kind of like doing it. Once I started, it was hard to stop. At this point, it feels like a nice hobby."Bookmark here

Diesel wasn't sure what to say. He was merely doing the 'service' to gain enough karma to reincarnate. But here, there was a truck who found it enjoyable enough to call it a hobby.Bookmark here

"Err…what exactly do you like about it?"Bookmark here

Tanaka rolled around and studied Diesel. "I'm guessing that you haven't been working long enough to let it all sink in. We exist to send people to other worlds. Sometimes, it's to correct a wrong within a world. Sometimes, it's to send someone capable to help turn the tide. Regardless, we serve to preserve the balance of the worlds. It's something that I am personally proud to be part of."Bookmark here

Diesel couldn't really see it that way, at least, not at the moment. He could perform his duty without hesitation, and frankly, some of them really deserved it. Still, it always left a slight bitter taste afterwards, a lingering regret caused by the feeling of killing a person. Maybe in time, he would learn to be less bothered by it.Bookmark here

"If you say so, Senpai."Bookmark here

"Trust me. You'll get used to it. And soon, you'll be trusted to figure out your targets on your own. Frankly, I get tired of all the edgelords that keep being requested by other worlds. Every so often, it just seems better to send a reasonable, down-to-earth guy that can think beyond cultivation and their libido for a change…sorry, if I'm rambling…if you haven't figure it out yet, I'm in charge of sending heroes to other worlds upon request."Bookmark here

Diesel stared blankly, or rather, he tried to, as his outward expression exhibited no change. He hadn't realized that there were Truck-kuns who specialized in something.Bookmark here

"Come on. You should come meet the rest of us. I think most everyone hangs out around here during their off time."Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.