Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? 315

After the bomb…

315 – Hoping to return home

Because of vampire girl dropping an extra-large bomb, the reincarnators are in uproar. Even vampire girl’s previous threats had no restraining effect of them, such is the buzz in the air. Surely that indicates just how sensational it would be for them to be able to return to Earth.

However, unfortunately I can’t do that. It’s certainly the case that I had previously asked vampire girl about returning to Earth. However, that was only in the context of after everything was settled. The context of after the System is destroyed. Not in the current context where the System is still going strong.

The reincarnators are not able to return to Earth. The reason for that, is they have the n%I=W skill.

Originally it was just a mysterious skill, but the effect of it is to link the reincarnators to the System in this world. The reincarnators are not originally inhabitants of this planet. Under normal circumstances the System on this planet would not have had any particular influence upon them after their original deaths and they would have returned to the normal cycle of reincarnation. Their souls were forcibly inserted into the System, and they were granted a second life. That is what the reincarnators are. So then, the thing that ties the souls of the reincarnators to the System, is the n%I=W skill.

Because they have this skill, despite being outsiders, the reincarnators are able to receive the blessings of the System in terms of skills and status values. At the same time, this skill prevents the System from having intimate and perfect control over them. If the reincarnators die, unlike the natural inhabitants of this planet, they are able to return to the normal cycle of reincarnation. Once the System has intimate control over your soul, you will be trapped into endlessly reincarnating inside this incessant hell from then on. To ensure that doesn’t happen, while the n%I=W skill grants the reincarnators the blessings of the System, it also manages them such that they aren’t completely brought into the System, basically. Ultimately, the reincarnators are simply temporary visitors from the perspective of the System and this world.

In short, the n%I=W skill is extremely important to the reincarnators, but in this instance the skill gets in the way. Skills are something that are attached to the soul. In addition, the n%I=W skill that is particularly essential to the reincarnators amongst all the skills, is firmly bound to their souls. In further addition, the n%I=W skill is the bridge that connects the reincarnators to the System. In other words, it’s tied to the System. It cannot be disconnected. In yet other words, the reincarnators cannot be taken out from this planet where the System is.

If the System is destroyed, then that bond will vanish. Therefore, in the context of that being done I had asked vampire girl and oni-kun whether or not they wanted to return to Earth. It seems like vampire girl took a broad interpretation of that, and misunderstood that it would be possible to return right away. In practice, I am already no longer under the influence of skills in general, so I can go to and from Earth. However, that it something I am able to do because I don’t have any skills, and to take the reincarnators from this planet it would be necessary to either destroy the System, or for them to have no skills like me.

There does exist a skill that enables getting rid of skills, after a fashion. A method to offer up the power of one’s skills. However, when sensei applied that on Natsume-kun and his skills were taken away, the n%I=W skill was the only one remaining. That’s just how important n%I=W is, and how difficult it is to remove it. Well, since it’s an interface for conveying the influence of the System, I’m sure it’s impossible to use the System’s power from the inside to detach it. That being the case, there’s no other method to detach it other than to become a god like me. What’s with this impossible video game? Nai wa.

Well then, as for the possibility of using my own power to detach n%I=W, it’s doubly impossible. After all, this is something made by that D you know? There’s just no way some meagre person like me can do something about it okay. Anything and everything concerned with the soul requires amazingly high level techniques. It’s not something a newbie god with only ten-odd years of experience can do anything about. If I forced myself to try something, I’d be scared of making the souls pop like a bubble.

And so, in conclusion, it’s impossible to return.

It’s like that but, now then, how shall I explain that? Ah, well anyway, it’s not like I gotta explain the whole theory in detail for a start – it would be enough to simply say it’s impossible you know. Starting with Kudou-san, a number of the reincarnators are looking at me with eyes replete with incredible anticipation. Maybe it would be bad to say “It’s impossible” in this atmosphere?

「Truly, can we return?」

Kudou-san seems so overcome with emotion that she’s moved to tears. Ahh. Yikes. Yeah, indeed, if you have lingering attachments to Earth then you’d want to return, right. Besides, since they have practically been living under house arrest in the elf village, from their perspective it has been a difficult life, so I guess it’s inevitable that they would become particularly homesick huh. Try thinking about my feelings since I gotta deny the possibility in this situation!

Dammit! That darn vampire girl! She really fucking dropped an unnecessary bomb!

The ones who quickly noticed that I appeared hesitant to speak, were vampire girl and oni-kun. Vampire girl inclined her head in doubt as if to say “Eh?” and oni-kun kept glancing at me repeatedly, avoiding my eyes. The two of them perceived the faint turmoil in me, and seemed to realise that it wasn’t possible.

Then, because of the reaction of those two, little by little the other reincarnators began to notice that something was off. The astonishment replete with the hope of returning, gradually turned into anxiety. Kudou-san, who had shown the most overt delight, somehow seemed to be staring at me with fawn-like eyes.

Ahh. Vampire girl, you really fucking dropped an unnecessary bomb on me. After all, if they’d never had hope about being able to actually return from the beginning, then they’d likely never think about such a thing. Without having the hope in the first place, they wouldn’t have despair either. Since their hope has been strangely brought out, when they understand that it is an illusion then their disappointment will be huge.

「It’s impossible.」

I resolve myself and simply speak that. Immediately following that, an indescribable atmosphere breaks out.

Vampire girl seemed to be just about to speak, so I activated my Evil Eyes and compelled her to be still. She was probably about to blurt out something like “Eh, but you had said before that we could return though?”, but I’d rather she doesn’t say anything further.

Certainly, in the case where the System is destroyed, it would be possible to return. However, I’m not intending to bother myself with what happens after the System is destroyed. My agreement with D doesn’t cover that either. Besides, as to whether or not I will be able to do it after the destruction of the System, there is no guarantee.

If it was just the pair of vampire girl and oni-kun, then if I made the preparations beforehand then I thought I might be able to manage it, which is why I had made that proposal before. However, I don’t have either enough time or raw energy to make the preparations for all the reincarnators. I can manage two or three people. What would happen if I was overly honest and revealed that now? Obviously there would be a scramble for the limited places. If it’s impossible to return everyone, then it’s better that everyone stays behind. At least that way, there won’t be any conflict in the scramble for the limited places and neither will there be any deep resentment from those who lost out.

The silence is so complete it’s painful. During that, Kudou-san sat down onto her chair with a thump. Or rather than sitting down, it’s might be more accurate to say that she lost strength and collapsed and the chair just happened to be there. That’s just how lifeless Kudou-san’s expression was. Without saying anything, she hung her head. In addition to Kudou-san, there were several others who couldn’t conceal the disappointment on their faces.

For unnecessarily stirring up hope, I’m sorry.

Even vampire girl felt uncomfortable in this atmosphere, and had an awkward expression. Seeing that, I cancelled the Evil Eye that I had activated on vampire girl.

「For today, let’s leave this matter here.」

I said that and stood up. There’s no longer any point in having a debriefing session with the mood like this. The reincarnators also need some time to think about things I’m sure. As if escaping from the frozen atmosphere in this place, I quickly moved to go outside. Somewhat flustered, vampire girl and oni-kun followed after me. Nobody tried to stop us as we left, and we departed the tree house. The closing door separated us from the reincarnators.

Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? 314
Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? S32