“It’s good that you understand that much.” [Sereriputa]
“This much isn’t really anything to speak of, though… Isn’t it common sense for anyone to become wary when acquiring something related to a great deal of wealth? In my past life too, people who won big at the lottery would also receive a warning from the bank.” [Ryouma]
“Pu, ahaha!” [Sererpitua]
Sere suddenly raised his voice and laughed at me. …Did I say something weird?
“Sorry, sorry. It’s just that… Are you really not self-aware? Or are you just playing the fool?” [Sereriputa]
“? Can you explain it in a way that’s easier to understand?” [Ryouma]
“Ahh, right. Let’s see… First of all, you said it was a ‘given’ to know that much, but it’s actually surprisingly hard to act properly in spite of that.
For example, in human society it’s a ‘given’ that one should greet someone when you meet them. It’s a ‘given’ to respect older people, right?
But there are actually a lot people who can’t do that ‘given’ thing and because of that people get mad at them, right?” [Sereriputa]
“…Right. I got told that a lot at my company too. I remember telling a kouhai of mine too.” [Ryouma]
“That’s right. It may be important, but people have a surprising inclination to be negligent in such obvious things. Even that lottery you were talking about earlier. The reason why the bank warns people is because a lot of people failed after winning the lottery, right? Well, people who fail even after being warned are bound to fail anyway.” [Sereriputa]
That’s true, but I still don’t get it.
Weren’t we originally talking about me believing in the survival of the fittest?
“That’s not really the point. The main point is wariness. When you realized that you could get a lot of money out of something, the first thing that came to your mind was to be wary of other people. Such wariness is crucial in a dog-eat-dog world. Living creatures without wariness can’t survive in the wild. They’ll be killed immediately.
Moreover, you hired two former assassins in your store, right? You noticed it before hiring them, right? They were hiding some weapons, so you thought something was off… The reason why doesn’t matter. The act of hiding that in such a way that others don’t notice is an indispensable skill to assassins. If a common person could easily see through them, then they would be nothing but a third-rate assassin. Are those two employees of yours that incompetent? The answer is no. In other words, that’s just how wary you are of other people.” [Sereriputa]
“The law of the jungle – that is the natural world. There may be people who believe that beasts don’t concern them, but as far as I’m concerned, humans are no different from beasts. They live in the same world, after all. They just do things differently.
For example…” [Sereriputa]
That last thing he muttered seemed frightfuly loud.
“You build and learn various things, right? Why?” [Sereriputa]
Another unrelated question.
But for some reason, my heart jumped when he asked it.
“Because I have experience working various jobs… And I’m the sort of person who would look up something whenever I become curious about it. There’s something really convenient called ‘internet’ back in my previous world, after all.” [Ryouma]
“So in other words, you jumped from one job to another.” [Sereriputa]
“The way you word it is a bit misleading, but yeah.” [Ryouma]
“Every time you changed jobs, you had to resign from your old job, right?” [Sereriputa]
“That’s right.” [Ryouma]
I wonder why. He’s just asking me some obvious questions. But for some reason I’m feeling anxious or restless. There are emotions swirling within me that I can’t put into words.
“You resigned from a lot of jobs. If I asked you why, I’m sure you have a lot of reasons to give. So I’ll just ask you this. Did you leave all of those companies on good terms?” [Sereriputa]
An emotion I can’t understand began to grow within me.
“There’s no way. After all, from what I’ve heard, humans need a good reason to resign from their work.” [Sereriputa]
It’s true that I didn’t leave all of them on good terms.
“A lot happened.” [Ryouma]
One time your relationship with a coworker and a boss turned sour and you were driven away.
One time you were charged with something you didn’t recall doing.
One time you were vilified for some reason you didn’t know.
One time you had to leave because it was convenient for your employer.
One time the company went bankrupt.
Every time his voice resounded, images from my past would flash through my mind.
It felt disgusting. It was as if I was being washed away by a muddy stream.
“Sorry. Looks like I made you remember a lot of painful things.” [Sereriputa]
As I endured that disgusting feeling, before I knew it, Sereriputa-sama was right in front of me and was hugging me. He whispered by my ears like someone comforting a child.
“But that is a part of you. Even if you’re strong physically, societally speaking, you are a weak human. And the things that you’ve experienced have undoubtedly been carved into your soul.
How many years has it been since you came to this world? You spent three years in the forest, so this should be your fourth. Just 4 years. The things you experienced aren’t something you can forget by living comfortably for 4 years.”
Strangely enough, his voice this time soothed me.
“How long do you think it would take to heal a human’s heart that has fallen sick? It varies depending on the person and the sickness, but there are people that never recover. If you think a heart can be healed after resting for just 3 years, you’re underestimating it. Even if the patient is none other than yourself… You need to treasure yourself more.
You were planning on spending this past four years in this world living as fun as you could to forget all of your worries, right? I get where you’re coming from. It’s also true that you’re having more fun compared to your previous life, but… That’s just you ignoring the problem. All it takes is for someone to poke you a little, and it will all come bursting forth.
I mean in the first place, even minor things can trigger your memories. It’s happened in your everyday life here, right?” [Sereriputa]
So that unpleasant feeling from before was me remembering my past life? Something is weird, but… It feels comfortable…
“…Actually, you know all of this already. Why don’t you try to remember it? What was the first thing you asked Gayn and the others? ’I want to live away from people.’ ‘I want to live freely in the wild.’ The one who asked for that was none other than ‘yourself’.” [Sereriputa]
…That’s true. There’s no doubt about it.
“That was the answer. You should have just lived away from people like that. If you did, then you would have become free in the truest sense, but Gayn and the others just had do a half-assed job picking out the location. Because of that you ended up back in human society before your heart could be healed.
“! Wait!?” [Ryouma]
“…Yes. Oh, but don’t get me wrong, the duke’s family don’t mean you bad. They just wanted to take care of a strange child they had no relation with. A human’s virtue. I know that.
But, in the end, you left them.” [Sereriputa]
That unpleasant feeling is coming back. Stronger and heavier than before… I want to refute his words, but the words won’t come out. This isn’t a conversation at all. But even then, he just keeps continuing.
“You refuse to make friends too. You meet people in your travels and get along with them, but the only ones always with you are your familiars. Even though there are so many people who want to be your friend after seeing how strong you are. Even though you could just talk with adventurers that you’ve already been acquainted with.
Even though you have a store now, you use training as an excuse to leave.
…You don’t seem to realize it yourself, so allow me to enlighten you.” [Sereriputa]
‘The truth is you want to be with others more than anything else, but you’re afraid of getting too close.’