Gayn was fed up with Sereriputa, his gaze boring into him.
That was true for the other gods too.
“How long do you think we’ve known each other?” [Grimp]
“As much as I hate it, the truth is we’ve spent more time with each other than I could count.” [Willieris]
“And you’ve been nothing but docile today.” [Kirillel]
“Just hearing the slightest bit of ‘sorry’ from your mouth gives me the creeps.” [Fernoberia]
“You’re not someone who would say something so admirable, after all.” [Rurutia]
“A sourpuss like you has never been one to apologize.” [Tekun]
“If anything, you’d act defiant and try to push the blame onto someone else.” [Kufo]
Grimp, Willieris, Kirillel, Fernoberia, Rurutia, Tekun, and Kufo… Before the merciless remarks of seven different gods, Sereriputa’s face could only cramp.
“You’re going that far?” [Sereriputa]
“It’s the truth.” [Grimp]
“Hurry up and spill the beans. What are you hiding?” [Kirillel]
“I haven’t been lying, though.” [Sereriputa]
“We’ll decide that after you spill everything.” [Fernoberia]
“Hopefully, it’s not for something stupid. Or else—” [Willieris]
“Ah, alright already! Sheesh! I’ll talk, I’ll talk…” [Sereriputa]
Sereriputa sighed, then started talking in a complaining manner.
“I don’t think there’d be any point even if I told you, though.” [Sereriputa]
“We’ll be the ones to decide that. Just answer what you’ve been asked.” [Fernoberia]
“…Fernoberia… I know it’s you we’re talking about, but don’t you think you’re being too rude? We may be equals, but I’m still much older than you! For someone who fancies himself to be an intellectual, I see you don’t know your manners.” [Sereriputa]
“Those aren’t the words of someone who broke the rules and is now awaiting his punishment. This is precisely why old people who’ve nothing going for them but their age are a problem—” [Fernoberia]
As the two gods started glaring at each other, Gayn’s loud voice resounded.
“Fernoberia, please calm yourself. And Sereriputa, don’t try to change the topic. Otherwise, this will never end.” [Gayn]
“Excuse me.” [Fernoberia]
“Sigh… I need to watch some idols live to heal my soul…” [Gayn]
Gayn was the one burdened with the task of ensuring this gathering went smoothly, so no one bothered to say anything to those few words that leaked out.
Sereriputa spoke once more.
“So I left out some things about Ryouma or more specifically about the God of Earth who sent Ryouma here. You see, after fiddling with Ryouma’s soul, I found out something about the Earth God. I found out that the guy has some really twisted hobbies..” [Sereriputa]
“Twisted hobbies?” [Gayn]
“From what I’ve heard from Gayn’s group, he seems to be trying out all sorts of things.” [Kirillel]
“Yeah, I think it’s related to those, but… Are you guys familiar with ‘Life Simulation Games’? It’s a game from Ryouma-kun’s world. Putting it briefly, information is inputted into a special machine to make it possible for humans to play with fake nonliving humans and animals.” [Sereriputa]
“Sounds like a game made after us. At least the part where we’re watching over humans, animals, and nature.” [Willieris]
“Oh, hey. We agree on something, you don’t see that often, but you’re exactly right. Just that in these life simulation games, the ‘target doesn’t have a life or a soul’. The only thing being reared in these games are lumps of information. No matter how closely they resemble the real things, they aren’t alive. And that’s exactly why, you can do anything with them.
A lifeless lump of data can be toyed with however one wishes, and in the end, everything could be reset back to square one. No matter what you’ve done, you can make everything seem as if they didn’t happen. That’s the difference between games and reality, but… To the God of Earth, that difference may as well not exist.” [Sereriputa]
“!!” [The rest of the gods]
“Are you saying that the God of Earth used real living people to enact a life simulation game in real life?” [Rurutia]
There was a quiet anger exuding from Rurutia’s voice, but Sereriputa just matter-of-factly answered her.
“At the very least, that seems to be the case with Ryouma. You were in charge of his transmigration in this world, so you know that he’s always had certain talents, right?” [Sereriputa]
“Yes, he’s been given several talents, but most of them appear to have gone to waste in his previous life.” [Rurutia]
“You see those talents are just one part of what he’s been given. In fact Ryouma has been given other talents, only they’ve been hidden so deep inside his soul that unless you directly peered into it, you would never be able to find them. In other words, the talents you noticed were nothing but a diversion meant to draw our eyes away.” [Sereriputa]
“Hey, I’m being honest, none of these is a lie.” [Sereriputa]
“There’s no reason to tell a lie like that anyway since it’ll easily be revealed if we just investigated Ryouma-kun’s soul. Moreover, we don’t directly investigate souls without a reason, so the depth of one’s soul indeed makes for a great hiding place.” [Kufo]
“But what talent could possibly necessitate being hidden that deeply?” [Fernoberia]
“!?” [The rest of the gods]
“That’s not all. There’s also burglary and larceny. In fact, pretty much anything you could think of when the word ‘crime’ pops up, he has a talent for. Oh, but he doesn’t have any talent in sexual crimes. That’s probably because it wouldn’t help further that god’s objective. There seemed to especially be a lot of that ‘Murder’ from earlier, though. There was even ‘Butchery’ and ‘Indiscriminate Killing’… Lots of killing-related specializations—” [Sereriputa]
“Wait just one moment! So what are you saying? Are you saying that the God of Earth tried to raise Ryouma to become a bloodthirsty killer?” [Gayn]
“…You know, I’m explaining here, so I’d appreciate if you could let me finish first, but… Fine, whatever.
My personal take is that Ryouma becoming the worst criminal possible was ‘convenient’ for the Earth God’s goal. He wanted to make him as unhappy as he could, keep all that pressure building up, until one day he goes, BOOM! Bloods spurt, heads start rolling… You know? The works. He wanted to push him to a point of no return.
And seeing how Ryouma specializes in old weapons like katanas and bows, but with no talent whatsoever for guns, though it seems the Earth God did make him have some interest for them… I think Ryouma was basically an experiment of ‘How far could an expert warrior from the olden times go against modern weapons?’ After all, if he were to become a criminal, the cops would have given him chase, and if he kept resisting, the special unit with gun training would have eventually been dispatched.
Of course, none of that ended up happening, though.” [Sereriputa]