“Outside… The outside…” (Hikaru)
I am saved.
I survived and got out of the forest.
According to the map, there’s still 15km before I reach the closest place with people.
The name of the location is already not Eastern Demonic Lands. It is now the north plains of the Rafeed Ward in the Ringpill Continent.
I walked unsteadily just like that, and went up a slightly elevated hill.
When I looked back, the way too vast forest that I was walking in until now…no, mostly ran my way out of, spread before my eyes.
“I got out… I survived…” (Hikaru)
Tears naturally came out from me.
It still isn’t over yet. My life in this parallel world is just beginning. That’s all there is to it.
But I managed to live.
I can begin.
It starts from here.
[Pin Pon Pan! It is time to announce the rankings for the total viewers of the Chosen!].
A voice suddenly resonated in my head.
The same voice as the time when I obtained that shining flower and when I learned Create Undead.
Total Viewers Ranking… There was such a thing?
[Congratulations, Chosen Number 1,000, Kurose Hikaru, you shone as the number 1 in the 1st Total Viewers Ranking! As a prize for winning, you have been awarded 3 Points!].
Even if I am told I am number 1, I could only think ‘figures’.
I did an adventure of life or death for 10 days.
I don’t know what the other Chosen are doing, but I am certain that I was having the roughest of times.
[And! From here on, you can get messages from the viewers on Earth! A mailbox has been added to the Status Board, so please confirm it.]
I thought I would have an astounding amount of messages since there’s a billion viewers, but it looks like God is choosing the ones with ‘strong emotions’, so it seems like it doesn’t end up being that many.
If used correctly, I could learn about the state of things over on Earth.
When I opened the Status Board, I certainly did get 3 Points.
If only this had come a bit faster… I did think that, but I am still alive here.
I see a fortress-like thing far off in the horizon.
There was nothing resembling monsters, and the wind felt good.
“Hm…? Mail is…wait, eeeh?” (Hikaru)
There was a ① on the mailbox, but the next instant I thought that…mails began to pour in with a ponponponpon sound, and they increased to several hundreds in an instant.
God should be filtering, and yet, since the denominator is high, the amount must be high as well.
Let’s see, what messages am I getting?
—I still have nightmares of this moment.
—I was feeling a sense of accomplishment. I had survived 370km of despair.
—I was number 1 in the total viewer count. Everyone is cheering for me.
—That’s…what I believed.
I opened the mail.
A peaceful scenery of a light green plain that stretched as far as the eye could see.
A blue sky and gentle sunlight.
A warm and dry wind.
In this relaxed atmosphere of this parallel world, what appeared there was a reality that I didn’t imagine.
<<He seems to be enjoying his isekai life even after killing his girlfriend. Just die already. What are you surviving for?>>
<<After killing his girlfriend’s family, he is going all OP isekai protagonist? I am ashamed to be japanese like him. HIKARU is currently trending on twitter throughout the whole world. This is a national disgrace. Give me a break.>>
<<Is the air of the isekai tasty after taking away the future of Nanami-chan and obtained power?>>
<<Drop to hell. No, hell would be lukewarm for you.>>
<<You should have been eaten alive.>>
<<Every time I see you desperately trying to live, I end up thinking that Nanami-chan must have wanted to live too. Why are you clinging to life so much, yet for others…moreover, the life of your girlfriend…why couldn’t you think about hers the same way as yours? You are a fiend. I hate you. Die already.>>
—I couldn’t even breathe.
All the mails were spitting out insult after insult of me.
Everyone was wishing for my death.
I couldn’t understand immediately what was going on here.
<<You apparently stabbed her several times on the stomach. I am impressed you can even do that. You are worse than a beast.>>
<<Even though you killed your childhood friend’s whole family, you really have the guts to enjoy your isekai life without showing any signs of doing such a heinous act. You are the worst monster out there.>>
Nanami was a childhood friend of mine that I grew up together with like a sibling, not my girlfriend, but that’s not what’s important here.
Right now, what I could gather from the opened messages was that…
Nanami is dead.
And for some reason, I am being treated as the one who killed her.
<<I am glad there’s a messaging system. I will be sending the other Chosen your way. I will definitely make sure you get punished. Sleep in fear.>>
<<If that were me, I would give up. How can you continue living on as if nothing?>>
<<I trust God to do a ranking for the most unpopular one too. The kind that properly gives a penalty to the highest ranked one, that is. Being sent straight to hell as the penalty sounds nice.>>
<<DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE. DIE AT ONCE ALREADY.>>
<<How do you feel being the most wanted dead in the whole world? You did something worth that, you know. Understand it. Understand it and kill yourself.>>
All the messages were overflowing with anger at me.
The hammer of justice towards a heinous killer they can’t get their hands on.
I couldn’t understand anything.
I thought there would at least be some people cheering for me.
I figured there would be some who would be watching in amusement, but I at least believed that they would be happy about me managing to survive.
“Nanami…died…? Just like that…? She didn’t come to this world…? Uncle…and auntie…died as well…?” (Hikaru)
I muttered this at no one in my disbelief.
I thought that just like how I am alive here despite dying, Nanami as well would be living here in this world.
That’s what I thought.
That’s what I wished.
In this parallel world where I know no one, my one sole objective was to reunite with Nanami.
The reason why uncle and auntie didn’t show up that day was because they were killed too?
…But I can tell from the messages.
I ended up understanding…
It should have been transmitted immediately that Nanami didn’t come to this world.
Something that can be found out as soon as they enter the house or call the police.
The bodies of Nanami and her parents were there.
Only my shoes were left at the entrance.
Did the real culprit manage to get away? He must have set it up in a way to pin the murder on me.
The contents in my stomach churned out.
Being exposed by direct animosity, discovering that Nanami and her parents are dead; those two realities were enough to shock me in my entirety.
I couldn’t even stay standing, and ended up falling in place.
I couldn’t even breathe properly.
I actually…knew it already.
That Nanami is dead.
I saw the lifeless Nanami after all.
But I wanted to believe it.
I couldn’t do anything but believe.
By believing that Nanami had come here, I managed to maintain the will to get out of the forest.
I myself was also too occupied with my current situation.
If I didn’t face forward, I wouldn’t have been able to move my feet.
<<Your parents and your twin sisters couldn’t stay in Japan anymore and moved out. Well, they will soon be found out even overseas. Don’t you think it should be better to die as an apology?>>
<<Your twin sisters are apparently super intelligent. Well, they ain’t got a future anymore though.>>
<<Your house was literally burning.>>
“Why… What’s with that…?! What the hell is going on here?!” (Hikaru)
My tears weren’t stopping.
I was so desperate to stay alive, I couldn’t even stop to think about what was happening on Earth.
But…what else could I have done?!
I was suddenly thrown to this world!
I was killed too!
Me being here alive is because of good luck, or maybe bad luck.
It is not like I am here because I wished to…!
There were a mountain of things I wanted to say.
But those words were not coming out from my mouth.
My emotions were overflowing, and they were being overwritten by a different emotion.
“Me, killing Nanami…? There’s no way I would do that…! She is my childhood friend…! She has been together with me since the day I was born… Why the hell would I kill her…! Me and Nanami were killed! I had no intention of coming here!” (Hikaru)
By the time I noticed, I was already shouting at who knows where.
“I went there to give my final farewells to Nanami…! When I did…I was stabbed by an unknown student of the same grade! Nanami was already killed by the time I got there…!” (Hikaru)
It was a pointless explanation.
There was a part of me that understood this.
I have seen flaming on the internet countless times.
There’s two methods to stop the flaming. Stop the fuel. What I am currently doing is basically like fueling the fire endlessly.
It will most likely just escalate.
“…My family…My family has nothing to do with this…! What did my family do…!?” (Hikaru)
In the end, this isekai transfer that the world was dragged into wasn’t unrelated to me.
My family, Nanami’s family; it destroyed both households.
The messages continued increasing.
Are there also messages from my parents and sisters within these?
I had no courage to open them.
“Damn it…” (Hikaru)
I wanted to disappear already.
But I can’t die here.
No matter how much hate I am exposed to, the reality of me surviving those 370km of despair wasn’t allowing me to choose death.
[Announcement from God. It seems there’s a number of Chosen who haven’t noticed the place where the item you brought to the parallel world is stored at. Please tap the Brought Item in the Status Board and materialize it. The things that haven’t been materialized will be erased, so please keep that in mind.]
An added announcement from God.
Now that they mention it, you can bring an item to the parallel world.
Mine was a sudden transfer, so I didn’t prepare anything. Of course, it must be empty.
And yet, I still opened that option…most likely because I had a feeling…
When I tapped Brought Item in the Status Board, a single album materialized and dropped coldly to the ground.
A pastel colored photo album.
What Nanami was holding in her chest till the very end…
And what I touched last…
I grabbed that with my trembling fingers…and opened the front cover.
“Nanami…you idiot… What were you planning on doing by bringing something like this to a parallel world…..?” (Hikaru)
A photo of the time when she and I were lined up together with our parents when we were in elementary school.
A photo of when I fell down a pond at Distiny Land.
A photo of when my sisters and Nanami fell asleep after playing themselves tired in a gaming competition.
A photo we took of when we lined up with our puffy uniforms at our entrance ceremony in middle school.
A photo we took jokingly while we were talking through the window.
A photo of the borrowing race where the borrowed thing that was asked of her was ‘childhood friend’.
A photo of when my parents went to check on her after hearing she had passed the entrance exam for high school.
The photos had Nanami smiling.
The photos had me smiling as well.
“Guh… Damn it…” (Hikaru)
By seeing these photos, that reality became ever more real.
Maybe everything that happened on Earth was a lie?
By being in a parallel world, a completely different world, I couldn’t help but think that way.
But the fact that the album that was originally in the hands of Nanami is here means that…Nanami is dead…and she didn’t come here.
Someone was laughing at me who was drowning in tears.
Gazes of curiosity.
Laughing at me, telling me to stop the fake crying, to stop pretending to be sad.
Laughing, telling me that I am the one who killed them.
Laughing at me, a mediocre high schooler that doesn’t have a single special trait.
The Nanami in the photos was smiling.
The me in the photos was smiling too.
Laughs directed at me were coming from somewhere far.
Laughs directed at me were echoing right by my ear.
—I must have broken at this time.
I began feeling gazes in bright places.
Gazes filled with animosity…hatred…and curiosity.
1 billion real time viewers.
1 billion people were directing animosity towards me on Earth.
They were waiting with anticipation, waiting for the moment I mess up.
The moment I fall to the ground pathetically and die a dog’s death…
I cut off those gazes with the darkness.
In this deep deep darkness, those gazes won’t reach.
I closed the Status Board and began walking.
I didn’t feel like heading to the fortress.
I wanted to sink…sink deeply into the very bottom of the darkness.
Let’s live in a place where no eyes will reach.
So that no one will be hurt anymore.