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After Story: Fake Saint Goes to Japan (8)
If you want, can we talk about things in a quieter place? If it is possible, for a whole day.
The place where Yamoto brought me to after saying that was an old hot spring inn near the station.
There was a luxurious business hotel nearby, but I guess she liked this old kind of place better.
After we checked in and entered the room, Yamoto relaxed her expression as she looked at me.
“Are you surprised? There’s this kind of accommodation in this world.
I did think about talking at my house, but my family would be surprised if I brought a person with such exotic and unearthly looks there, and it wouldn’t be calm either.
It would be a hassle to explain anyway, so I just chose this place instead.”
Yamoto had once been a turtle who had lived over a millennium in her past life, but she was now a human woman in her early twenties.
From what she said, it seemed she lived with her family.
Certainly, if I, who clearly wasn’t Japanese, were brought there without any explanation whatsoever, it would become troublesome.
Even so, Yamoto’s family, huh… no well, it was obvious she would have one since she reincarnated as a human, but it made me feel a little relieved.
It seemed she got along well with her family.
Her expression when she talked about her family was a gentle one.
“This inn is a little old-fashioned but it’s cheap and there is also a hot spring here.
We should enter it later.”
Hou… a hot spring, huh…!
That would obviously be a woman’s bath.
It has been awhile, so I guess I would enjoy some peeking time.
I reincarnated as a woman, but my heart’s Neo Armstrong Cyclone Jet Armstrong Cannon1 still exists.
By the way, even if I look at my own naked body, it didn’t arouse me at all, unfortunately. I guess that was obvious though.
Then we began to talk about the state of our respective worlds after the battle against the “Witch” came to a conclusion.
I had immediately stepped down from my position as a Saint, and was succeeded by Alfrea.
I talked about people like Vernell and Eterna and their lives after the battle… I also talked about a strange encounter with Emperor Sitnalta, whom I defeated easily…
Yamoto also talked about how she was confused at first when she reincarnated to this side while laughing.
“Well, at the beginning I thought it was some sort of joke. To think I, who lived for over a millennium, have to go to school while being surrounded by human children, after all that I went through.
On top of that, the academic standard here is different from Fiori’s, so I was taught to call a hatchling who has not even lived a tenth of what I lived in my previous life as a teacher… Well, that was a good experience.
But I see… as expected, you did slay that ghost of Sitnalta.
Well, I did expect it would turn out that way though.”
“Then as expected, Propheter is aware of his existence?”
“Yeah. But I thought it wasn’t important enough to tell you about it. At the very least, he was basically harmless if he’d been left alone inside the ocean.
I thought to tell you after everything was over, but unfortunately, I had no leisure to do so.”
As I expected, Yamoto was aware of Emperor Sinalta’s existence.
And the reason she didn’t tell me about it was also what I had surmised.
Although he might be the mastermind of what had happened in the present world, unless he personally rampaged, his subjugation priority was low, and there was no need to explain about Emperor Sitnalta’s existence when everyone was busy preparing to fight against Alexia back then.
Then I died right after the battle against Alexia concluded, and when I revived and defeated the “Witch,” Propheter died afterward.
Therefore, there was no time to tell me about it, that was all.
But it felt strange now that I thought about it.
I died in Japan and reincarnated in Fiori, while Propheter died in Fiori and reincarnated in Japan.
In other words, both of us could be considered dead people.
Yet here we were, alive and chatting with each other; it felt strange.
Rather… thinking about it some more, although it was a little to late to realize it at this point, it seemed neither of us had seen how the “afterlife” was.
“Propheter… I want to ask you one thing. Is this world considered the world after death from Fiori’s perspective?”
Back then, I believed in the existence of the afterlife in Fiori.
It was because the game had portrayed what the afterlife looked like through God’s perspective… It was because of my meta knowledge.
However, that game was based on what Yamoto saw in her past life, with several things not being facts but the products of Yamoto’s imagination.
That would mean my past thought process of thinking that “the afterlife surely exists” had been a dangerous one.
If things had gone wrong, I might have walked straight to my own death while expecting a non-existent afterlife.
“No, it is only a coincidence for me to reincarnate here.
Fiori has a proper place where the souls of the dead would eventually rest.
I was strongly aware of its existence during my time as Prophet.
Not just me, all generations of Saints surely felt it as well.
It was the Will of the World … I guess I could refer to it as that? That would tell us about it.
You will eventually be able to feel it yourself someday.”
The Prophet was a Spokesperson of the Will of the World.
Because such a thing existed, I could say for sure that the world known as Fiori possessed a will of its own.
And that Will had told Propheter and the Saints that “the Afterlife exists!”
This meant that Fiori did have an afterlife… but I couldn’t say for sure…
The Will of that world was slightly stupid.
Even if it did exist, it might not be the utopia I had in my mind where I could just live comfortably.
After all, when I looked back, I could only say that the Fiori’s Will of the World was a little stupid or sloppy… that kind of thing.
If it had done its duty properly from the beginning, the chain of tragedy that had lasted for a thousand years might never have happened, and the misery that the generations of Saints suffered was because the world had never fixed its defective system.
It first made Eve, then she went berserk. Well, we could consider that as Emperor Sitnalta’s fault.
Then, after Eve went crazy, it created a Saint as a countermeasure. That was good so far.
However, because the defect of “weakness to negative emotion” was never fixed, the Saint ended up being corrupted by darkness (to be exact, since the next Representative after Eve was Alfrea who got sealed, it was the Saint after that), and the trait had been repeated in all generations of Saints… of course it would never end! It never tried to improve for the next one!2
Because such a cycle kept iterating, it eventually produced a huge bug known as the “Witch,” and, on top of that, the World’s Will chose to use another bug, me who ended up on that side, before “Witch” was finally defeated for good.
Thinking back on it, it was really terrible.
In the game I knew of, the afterlife was portrayed as a field of flowers where everyone could live without worries.
However, that was from Propheter’s imagination.
On top of that, the game I knew about was based on the original history — in other words, based on the memories of the Propheter who lived in that Bad END world.
In that case, the possibility that the afterlife portrayed in that game had merely been based on Propheter’s hopes was high.
It was her wish that people could live happily in the afterlife, I couldn’t deny such things like that.
Rather, although it was a late realization, it was surely weird for me to believe that “since the afterlife exists, I could just peacefully live there” without reason. Had I been that that dumb back then…?
As expected, because my soul had been split in two, my intelligence had dropped quite a bit then.
It was something I knew now since I possessed the memories of both Fudou Niito and Elrise, but… even by my (Fudou Niito) standards, I (Elrise) was… how to say it. Something seemed off.
It was because I often missed obvious things that I would otherwise notice, after all…
Perhaps about 70% of my intelligence had remained with Fudou Niito back then…
Well, I couldn’t really say that I was smart now though.
“What is it? Thinking about something?”
“No, I just imagined what kind of place the afterlife is.”
“What kind of place, huh… it’s something we can’t find out unless we arrive there ourselves.
Rather than that, there is still some time until dinner, so how about we enter the hot spring?”
In the end, it was something I wouldn’t know until the time came.
Also, my current self was no longer thinking about finding an easy way out through my death.
I couldn’t exactly do that after I saw Leila’s howling as she cried when I died back then…
Therefore, the time for reflection is over! Now is the time to enjoy the hot spring.
I don’t need to die to enjoy paradise after all. Uhehehe.
There were only old women there, yep.
The young people were all staying in the luxurious hotel nearby. Paradise did not exist.
Yamoto, who entered with me, could be considered young, but I knew that on the inside she was a turtle that had lived over a millennium after all…
I couldn’t get aroused since her appearance in her previous life kept flickering in my mind.
In the end, I normally entered the hot spring and exited normally as well.
By the way, the hot spring felt normal… rather, it was very comfortable.
Perhaps I would go to search for a hot spring in Fiori and widen it.
After that, I would bring Alfrea and Eterna along when I entered.
“You look great in a yukata as expected. Rather, you look good no matter what you wear.”
“It also looks good on Propheter too.”
“Thanks for the praise. Well then, it’s almost time for dinner, so let’s return to the room.”
Once we were done with our bath, I changed into a yukata along with Yamoto.
Wearing a one piece in a Japanese-style inn would stand out as expected, so I would wear this during my stay here.
On our way back to my room, I passed through several people, and I was hit by the concentrated gaze of people. Yep, I was already used to it.
After that, it was dinner.
There were sashimi, tempura, pork hot plate grill, and chawanmushi. How to say this? It was the typical menu of an inn.
“How is it, surprised? You gotta eat raw fish here. Try to eat it first, I guarantee its safety. You can put wasabi on it according to your taste.”
Yamoto proudly said so and looked at how I would react to it.
Was she expecting an otherworlder-like reaction for me?
It was like in a novel where the food was bad. They come to eat Japanese food and react like “to think raw fish could be this delicious!” or something like that.
I did understand that. I also liked such things, and I made a cake while slightly motivated to see how Leila or Alfrea might react.
On top of that, Yamoto was a light novel scenario writer.
The reaction of a real otherworlder must be valuable to her.
As for Yamoto herself… she had been a turtle in her past life, after all. She already ate raw fish regularly back then.
But as expected, her taste for food from her previous life still remained even after reincarnating into a human.
Oh well. It was a Japanese sashimi after a long time.
First of all, the typical lean meat of tuna. Put a little wasabi then soak it in soy sauce before eating it.
…Perhaps I put too much wasabi? No, I guess my tongue was more childlike than my previous life. But it was delicious. I was even a little impressed.
By the way, I was the type of person who liked to eat with wasabi dissolved in soy sauce.
I heard that dissolving wasabi in a soy sauce was considered a breach of etiquette so I didn’t do it in front of people, but I still preferred to eat it that way.
If I ate the wasabi as it was, the spiciness would be acutely transmitted which would make me unable to focus on the flavour of the sashimi.
If it was light-tasting fish, it would be normal for it to lose to the taste of wasabi and soy sauce, which would be the only thing you could taste then.
On the other hand, the spiciness was suppressed by dissolving it, which allowed me to taste both the wasabi and the sashimi.
Well, it was a personal preference. I was aware it was not common practice.
By the way, the sashimi I liked the most was salmon. That sweetness within surely made me want more of it.
It felt the best when you added sour soy sauce on it to tighten the aftertaste of the wasabi.
“Hm… it sure is delicious.”
“Somehow, your reaction is normal… it feels lacking…”
“I have eaten sashimi in Japon before.”
“Aah, I see. There was such a nation there. You won’t be surprised then.”
There was an imitation of Japan in Fiori.
Their food culture was quite similar to Japan, and I was treated to tempura and sashimi when I went hunting for demons there.
Because of that, it wasn’t like there was no place to eat sashimi on the other side.
Rather… as expected in that nation, there had definitely been a reincarnator…
And it was the kind who was capable enough to develop soy sauce and miso.
“By the way, I was curious. Why can you speak Japanese normally? Did you learn it over here?”
“It’s something like that. I talked a lot to Fudou-san after all.”
I… didn’t exactly lie. Yup, it wasn’t a lie.
It was true that I did learn Japanese in this world (in my past life), and it was also true that I talked a lot with Fudou Niito.
I would likely get caught if we stayed on this topic, so I hurriedly put it to a stop and returned to my food.
The next thing on my chopsticks was tempura.
There were soup type and salt type tempuras, but I preferred the soup type.
The reason was because it was easier to eat. Salt type was also delicious, but it felt dry in my mouth due to the lack of water content.
However, that was only if I bought the tempura from the supermarket.
It couldn’t be helped, but most tempura you bought at supermarkets had been there for a long time so the skin felt a little dry.
To cover up the texture’s defects, it was best to eat it with soup.
Conversely, if I put freshly fried tempura into a soup, it would turn the crispy texture soggy, so it was better to eat it without it.
My favorite filling was shrimp like most people… which wasn’t really true. I preferred vegetable tempura like pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and eggplants.
Perhaps I love sweet food overall.
And the tempura in this inn was crispy so it was delicious. The taste would be completely different according to whether the texture was crispy or not.
Next was a pork hot plate grill.
As simple as it was, the meat was good.
Compared to Fiori’s meat, the difference was like heaven and earth.
The pigs on the other side were also edible, but there was no knowledge on what to feed them to produce the best taste.
They gave them whatever they could eat to fatten them, and ate them once the winter came. That was all there was to it.
We chewed on meat while thanking the pigs that were raised to be eaten. It sounded cruel, but it was still delicious. Thank you, pig.
As I was eating rice in between, I was slightly impressed by the taste.
There was rice in Fiori, but the difference in taste was clear.
The rice of this side, which farmers had improved over generations with their blood, sweat and tears, was exceptional.
I felt like I had eaten rice without ever giving it any thought in my past life, but after I reincarnated, I realized how much of a luxury it was.
Rice, super delicious.
Finally, I tightened my chopsticks and ate the gentle taste of chawanmushi.
I had gotten used to western food, but now that I was eating here again… Japanese food was just as delicious.
My past life-self preferred steak over sashimi, fried shrimp over shrimp tempura, pudding over chawanmushi, but I could feel their differences more clearly in this moment.
Neither of them was inferior to the other.
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