Chapter 74 Chosen – Daichi (Part 1 of 2)
The instant that Daichi had been enveloped by the mist an indescribable pain overwhelmed him. Unable to withstand the pain he could barely keep his eyes opened as the last thing he saw was the mist swirling around him like a twister, instead of focusing on the pain he only thought “Well that’s strange… No wind.” before he lost consciousness.
It was only as his subconsciousness took over, that the mana formed mist resonated with Daichi’s mana. The mist moved him to the very center and began to heal and seal his body. Instead of healing Daichi’s wound… The mist was healing him around the wound. Sealing his entire body into a state of suspended animation to save his life.
The mist was sealing his body into a state in which it both existed and did not exist within the realm it was in. The mist enveloped his body until there was a fine sheen of mist completely surrounding his body like a layer of translucent mist-skin. Leaving Daichi’s body immobile and sealed in place.
Time moved forward. Never stopping for any one event. Eventually Daichi’s conscious mind woke up but he himself felt immobile. Unable to move his body. Stuck in place and unable to do a single. Before panic set in, Daichi tried to figure out what was happening to himself and his body.
“I am definitely still me… I’m still hurt but I’m not getting worse and the pain doesn’t seem to be bothering me either…I can’t move a single body part but I can still feel my mana. I can’t open my status screen… This is starting to feel all too familiar…” Daichi thought as he recalled the two previous scenarios that were all too similar.
“Well it is and it isn’t.” Daichi heard himself answer. Seeing as he didn’t mean to say it, or hadn’t realized he’d thought it he wondered what he himself meant.
“I must be going crazy already…” Daichi thought only to have himself reply instantly “Not so… Although I can tell this is going to be a very repetitive conversation if it keeps up the same way. I know what I would do and apparently I’m doing it.”
In the next moment Daichi felt himself open his eyes as he was floating in the air in a dimly lit sky with nothing in any direction. Daichi suddenly able to move, looked down at his hands and arms and felt his body all over checking to see if he was okay. Finding everything to be perfectly normal… A small suspicion started to arise as he still felt the pain of his injury but saw no evidence of it.
Staring into the vast expanse ahead of him, Daichi frowned as he looked around and found nothing in any direction. It was as if he was in a world with nothing but clouds with himself at the center.
Clouds in all directions and nothing else. In fact he wondered how there was even any light with no notable light source. Daichi moved a little closer to one of the clouds and just as he was about to reach out, he stopped himself as his instinct warned him to stop.
A sudden feeling of danger arose in his mind as he’d reached out to touch the cloud. It was only then that Daichi looked more closely and noticed the cloud was not a real cloud… It was a cloud of mist. All of these clouds were just imitations made of mist. The same mist he’d seen before.
Out of the mist a carbon copy of himself appeared before him. A mirror-like reflection of himself seemingly created from the mist itself.
They stared at one another with the same look, feelings and thoughts. Daichi wondered what was happening and whether he really was looking in a mirror
“I kind of led you here… Which seemed like a terrible idea… But after analyzing the stupid mistakes we’ve made in the past few days it really seemed like the only way.” The mist Daichi spoke.
Daichi simply stared at himself as he finally asked the only question that seemed to make sense “Are you my subconscious or something?”
“No. This is going to be a little confusing and hard to believe, but you needed answers we needed to give them to you… I am you… Except I’m not. *sigh* This is so tedious. Before you even ask a question, just listen to what I have to say and then think about you yourself having to give yourself this same speech and then tell me you aren’t annoyed by the inconvenience.” The second Daichi said while getting into a cross legged sitting position in mid-air and looking as if he was really sitting on air.
Bring his hand to rub his forehead, the second Daichi looked weary as he rubbed his temples and began his explanation about the gods. He recited everything that had happened with the previous God, what the gods had done to save the universe and keep it together. How a lesser being can become a god and the path and checkpoints needed to reach that level of enlightenment.
After giving Daichi a rudimentary explanation and making sure he understood, he finally allowed Daichi to ask only one question. Disappointingly to the mist Daichi, the first Daichi chose to ask him who and what he was.
Giving himself an annoyed look, “Of course that’s what you’d ask. I tell you all these marvelous things about the world. Enlightenment. Basically secrets of the universe that only a few lesser beings in the entire universe know and you ask something about yourself. Tch.” the mist Daichi seemed genuinely annoyed at himself.
“It’s almost ridiculous seeing myself from the outside. It’s like I know what my faults are but the second this me is gone, all that’ll be left is you. Ugh. I was God. I didn’t chose to kill myself either. I was just bored and finally done with the responsibilities of my title. It was a heavy burden, but mainly it was just really boring.
You’d be sad to hear that being God is actually fruitless. There is little to actually do with the gods in existence and only if I wanted to hurt and kill other gods, which is far less amusing than you might think would I have anything to do. All the power in the universe and nothing to do with it.” the second Daichi answered still rubbing his temples. He’d taken a break as he’d explained the story of the gods to Daichi but the more he spoke the more weary she seemed to become.
Gazing at Daichi with a reluctance to continue, “I know this is going to be hard to believe, but I was God… And now I’m you.”
Daichi merely gazed at himself as he thought how crazy all of this sounded. If the other Daichi had told him that he was a god and that he had chosen to take the same form as him to have this conversation he might have just found it ridiculous but believed it. Instead he said something incredulous and left him thinking “With that logic, then that means I am God right?”
Rolling his eyes, the other Daichi seemed to know almost exactly what Daichi was thinking before he even thought it “No. You aren’t. I said I am you and not that you are me… I chose to do what I did because I knew the other gods would save the universe as they had too in order to save themselves. I wanted them weak as they tried to fulfill the trials required in order to choose the next God…” pausing to look at Daichi from the corner of his eye, he continued.
“Only that way would I be safe from being inconvenienced by them… When I released my body and divinity, my soul resonated throughout this universe searching for the one other being that was similar almost exactly similar to myself. I actually did that several times until your soul appeared. That set things into motion as I finally had a soul, a living soul to reincarnate into. I didn’t want to die… I wanted to in some way re-experience everything. Everything I had gone through before becoming a God myself.” the second Daichi gazing off into emptiness as he reminisced about something beautiful.
“So… You reincarnated into my soul. What does that mean for me?” Daichi said with some agitation in his tone. Even if this was the most powerful being in the universe, there was something extremely perturbing about a superior being hijacking his body.
Instead of focusing on the vast expanse around, Daichi just couldn’t wrap his head around the other “him” sitting right int front of him. Floating around the other “him” Daichi gave a once over but couldn’t find any differences, not that he was really expecting too.
“Worth a shot I guess” Daichi figured as he sat down in front of the other him in the same cross legged position in mid-air.
The other Daichi merely watched Daichi circle him and sighed at how annoying he was finding the conversation. He knew this was going to happen and knew it had to happen. This was going to be a turning point in Daichi’s life. “Okay listen up.. When our souls resonated, I allowed my physical body to explode and my divinity to disperse. In doing so I fused an extremely small portion of my soul into yours. I did something only I was capable… Chosen living reincarnation. I picked you to become the new vessel for the smallest part of myself I wanted to survive… But I didn’t take over your body or anything ridiculous so don’t even think about it. In fact to make sure that I didn’t I made sure it was the smallest piece of my soul. If we were to quantify it, it’d be less than 0.0001%.”
Daichi listened and was a little blown away by that number. “How can you even choose such a small piece? Or even divide a soul into such a small piece? Why even choose such a small piece?”
Looking at Daichi with half-mass eyes, “Anything more and you would have become me rather than the other way around. Your soul is just that weak… hahaha”
Daichi considered the consequences of those words. “If he isn’t lying, then I am still me. Although that doesn’t explain for why I feel so different…” Daichi thought out loud assuming that the other him could just read his mind or something similar anyways, but didn’t direct his words at him or expect an answer to his thoughts. Daichi did on the other hand expect him to explain why he was laughing “Why are you laughing. Aren’t you technically laughing at yourself?”
Giving him a curious look “Yeah I am. That’s why I’m laughing. I’m looking at myself from the perspective I could possibly have if I reach the pinnacle of existence and seeing myself so weak is just… I’d rather find it funny instead of depressingly terrifying… You’ve “changed” because even with just the smallest piece of my soul being reincarnated into you, some of my traits were naturally fused into you.” the mist Daichi finally gave him a somber and almost apologetic look. He stared Daichi right in the eyes as he told him a truth “All gods as they get stronger go insane due to being overwhelmed by a desire or emotion… The others simply lose their emotions… It’s not a stretch to say that we all become psychopaths in order to reach the pinnacle of existence. How else could we watch slaughter and genocide and be so indifferent? Or participate ourselves in order to get stronger?”
Daichi stared at himself for a long time before asking the only question that mattered to him “If I’ve become a bit of what you were, but I am still myself. Will I be influenced by what you became and make decisions I wouldn’t have made if your soul didn’t affect me?”
“Obviously… Although it’s a moot point now. I am you. Your personality has been altered a little but your choices are your own. I am telling you this because of all the stupid decisions you’ve been making these past few days just to go against your own logic. Just to prove something to yourself you never had too. Do what you need too in order to become who you want to be, but be smart about it.” The other him waved his hand dismissively as he remembered the events of the past few days.
Daichi thought about his words as he realized he wasn’t going to get a better answer than that as he placed a hand under his chin and cheek and stared at himself wondering who he was and who he really wanted to be.
He knew he’d made some foolish decisions recently but he didn’t regret them. He’s attacked the bulls and that was a mistake on his part. One that if his mind wouldn’t have been so clouded he might not have made. “I knew too little and didn’t take that into consideration… I let my ego get the best of me and that is a mistake I shouldn’t have made.”
Then he’d chosen to come back and help the others… “I had to do that though. Even then I felt like it was a stupid decision where I was all but basically throwing my life away… But it’s a decision I don’t regret. If I had to make it again, I would it without hesitation. In this life and the next, I’ll be myself and only myself, and if I don’t know who that is or feel like I’m being manipulated… I’ll choose death.”
Finally he thought about his skirmish with Hannah… “I have no idea how she bested me. Then again… It wasn’t like what happened with the bulls. I knew nothing about them and I let my judgement get clouded by my ego. I knew Hannah. I watched her grow and develop her skills. I spent every day with her and I felt like I knew every one of her abilities. I don’t think I was overly confident… I still don’t know how she did what she did, it didn’t even feel like something she should have been able to do! Grr!”
Daichi felt annoyed by how things had played out with Hannah. Even anticipating what she would do he somehow still lost to her. Feeling wronged by a loss to someone far weaker than himself made Daichi lose his previous confidence as he realized the world was a very large place. It was one thing to lose to a divine beast, or some creature so strong he could tame them… But losing to someone weaker than himself in almost every category stung his pride.
Reminiscing on their travels, Daichi wondered how different things could have been if he hadn’t attacked the bulls. “Perhaps we’d all still be together. Tch. No point in wondering what-ifs though.”
The only thing that mattered to Daichi now would be what he would do next and where he would go from here. “So where are we anyways?” Daichi suddenly asked his mist-self.
Finally the other him gave him a grin before waving his hand again dismissively. “We’ll get to that later.”
Daichi’s entire body relaxed as he prepared to ignore the voice in front of him. “I won’t be your puppet. Either speak to me like an equal or this conversation is finished.”
Rolling his eyes the other him seemingly expected as much. “The entire mist covered area is a chaotic space. Very few beings can enter for any period of time and only someone with a chaotic body or mana can make it as far as you currently are. You are safe, but you are also trapped.”
An uneasy feeling spread through Daichi. He’d found it strange that he felt his wound but couldn’t see it. Daichi began trying to feel the mana in the area or some way to get out. The feeling of being trapped against his will immediately set a discomfort inside of him.
The other Daichi stared at the almost panicking Daichi and grinned at him, “You won’t be able to get out. I guided you here because you are weak. You are impulsive, weak and you are going to get yourself killed. Inside of this space you are trapped but you are also safe. Your body will be fine, in fact it will very slowly heal. The mana in the area will even nurse your own mana pool and have it grow, albeit very slowly. There is only one way to get out of here. Once you have a basic understanding of Chaos then you will be able to leave.”
“What the hell!” Daichi clenched his jaw but even in his discomfort at the idea of being stuck against his will, he still noticed the expression on the other him. There was no budging and if he was anything like himself…
The more he thought about it, the more Daichi realized that the other him was clearing leaving a few things out. There was probably more to where he was then he was letting on and getting out of here definitely wouldn’t be so simple.
“What does reaching a basic understanding on Chaos even mean? I thought I already had.” Daichi asked trying to contain his annoyance and discomfort.
The other him started laughing hysterically at him. Tears even pooled at the corners of his eyes. “You think you’ve gained even a smidgen of understanding into Chaos? That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. If any god heard you they’d laugh their asses off too! Chaos is so hard to gain an understanding of that I am the only one in the universe who had mastery of chaos. You’ll understand once you reach the basic level.”