You are level 1 when you are born.
That is a law made to bring equality to all creatures born in this world.
Early stat values, growth rate, those kinds of things might be different for every race, but no matter what, their levels are always one when they are born.
The moment they are born, if they have the same race, a player and an NPC have the same total status.
However, there are some absolute differences between an NPC and a player.
One is skill.
And the other is the way they grow.
The players have these things called bonus points, giving them the ability to decide the path they wish to walk.
And, at the same time, they could change their equipped skills freely as they progressed.
However, the distribution of status for an NPC is different from that of a player.
It is mostly dependent on random distribution.
Their paths can be redirected a little bit, with much effort, but there are cases where they are forced to have talent in irrelevant areas.
The points they gather over the course of their lives with their own effort, they can only choose where to put about 60% of them.
And then, regarding their skills, those are the results of them putting in great effort, a crystallization of their blood, sweat, and tears.
They can’t easily switch them out like players can.
And because they are unable to freely select their growth rates, the way an NPC’s status will be distributed is up to chance.
A kijin who has points in their wisdom, or a human crafter that wants to advance but their dexterity isn’t growing at all.
In this cycle of unending sorrow, to comfort them, the best and fastest phrase was, it’s「fate.」If one says that it is natural for that to happen, then it’s natural.
Kohaku too is one of the NPCs that was played by fate.
「You see, Sukuna, about me.
I think that I was the most blessed.」
After drinking a mouthful of her favorite amber (kohaku)-colored brandy, Kohaku slowly started talking.
Kohaku had brought me to one of the back-alley bars.
It seemed that she was a regular here as we were immediately brought to a private room.
While snacking on a seemingly really expensive cheese-like side dish, I was waiting for her to start talking.
「Will you take a look at this?」
She took something out of her bag as she said that.
It was a hihiirokane ring.
And the stone at its center was probably modeled after a ground cherry.
This is the accessory that was given by the gods to the existence with the most strength in this world」
「That’s right, I am actually the number one most macho person in the world.」
Kohaku said it jokingly, but I couldn’t feel even a hint of pride from her statement.
She herself had concluded that it had no value.
「Of course, I’m nowhere near the Kishin-sama, though……..You see, Sukuna, until now I had been piling up the levels, and with just one exception, I had devoted all my talent to strength.
Ever since I was young, I was raised among the kijin being told I was the owner of outstanding talent.」
「All.」If I was to use a game term to express it, then a「pure build,」was it? (9: I forgot or actually don’t know the proper term, if anyone has an idea tell me)
I wondered just how much she was loved by fate to cause her status to be so biased?
Given to the person who had the highest strength in the world.
And that person was a being with enough power to destroy a castle’s ramparts head-on.
The oni called Kohaku, who was right before my eyes, was that kijin who was standing at the top.
What I could understand, looking at her, was that her strength must be a number beyond imagination.
And then there were the words, “with one exception” that she had emphasized.
That was the true origin of the emotions within her eyes.
「My family is of quite high standing among the kijin.
I was educated as well, and I have admired Kishin-sama since I was very young.
Along with the growth of my status and my talent for fighting, I believed that Kishin-sama was watching over me so I didn’t doubt that I would be the one blessed by Kishin-sama at all.」
“Just a foolish child.” Kohaku, saying that mockingly, took another drink of the brandy in her hand.
「Fuu….However, when I got my job,《Douji》, the blessing of Kishin-sama…..I had no aptitude for it.
That was probably several tens of years in the past…..at that time I raged and raged.
Though, seriously, I destroyed half of the village.」
That rather violent past, I couldn’t have imagined it from the carefree impression Kohaku gave off now.
My voice unintentionally leaked out.
Was she conscious of that contrast? Kohaku smiled at my reaction and continued her story.
「Fufu, you, who were born at the Place of Beginning, might not understand, but kijin are originally a race that gets easily worked up from their emotions.
And at that time, I was the strongest in the village.
There was such terrible damage, you know.
It was fortunate that there were no casualties.」
「Kohaku, you really are strong, aren’t you?」
「Is it unexpected?……Though, after that event, I was exiled from the kijin village.
As the kijin in the village generally kept to themselves, I ended up travelling the outside world like this.」
Looking at the points from Kohaku’s story, they certainly connected.
However, there was one thing that I was curious about.
「What about your relationship with the youko? You said that they get along with the kijin, but isn’t it hard to get connected to them while being exiled?」
「No, I am not exiled anymore, after all.」
「Ah, is that so….Sorry, I interrupted your story.」
It was a well-timed interlude to this dreary story.」
That was great news, as of right now, my path to get to Fujutsushi hadn’t been blocked.
Was she getting drunk? Her cheeks had gotten a bit red.
Kohaku completely shifted the gloomy atmosphere from earlier and started to let off a brighter air.
「After being driven away by the village, I researched various things.
As you might have already known, I found that for a kijin to become a 《Douji》, they needed to abandon all talent for magic.
And then at the same time, I learned that every kijin that was born to this world, without any exceptions, would have at least a little talent naturally distributed to their wisdom.」
「Just what the heck is that….」
「Was it the mischief of fate, or was it because the God of Creation wanted to keep Kishin-sama sealed……I don’t really understand it, but.
What I do know for sure is that this is true of every kijin born in the village–they will absolutely never be able to become a 《Douji》.
『By nature.』 Was there really such a tragic story?
When us players created characters, we could freely decide on what bonus points we used and where we would put them, but for NPC’s they were randomly distributed.
If the system was devised to only distribute a tiny part of it to their magical stats…that was quite messed up.
After all, the thing that Kohaku wanted the most was something she had been unable to achieve from the beginning.
No, it was not just Kohaku, it was the same for all the kijin of this world.
「According to the legends, to revive Kishin-sama, a 《Douji》 is required.
You see, being able to get the class is a blessing, and that itself is the《connection》.
With Kishin-sama being sealed by the God of Creation, preventing her from interfering in this world, she needs a《Douji》to act as an intermediary.
However, saddening as it is….the kijin of this world can’t become a 《Douji》.」
Based on the details in Kohaku’s story, if you asked what the meaning of this was, it was to set this as an extra quest exclusive to kijin players.
The motivation for the strict conditions behind 《Douji》, a job with huge shackles.
It was to stop any chances of the kijin born in this world reviving Kishin.
Though, even if you became a 《Douji》, if you were to say that you could definitely meet the Kishin -Shuten Douji- then all I could do was tilt my head.
I hadn’t seen any other《kijin》players I could ask about meeting the Kishin, and I also had no idea at all as to why I was even called to that place, after all.
「Even though I had accepted the fact that I couldn’t ever get the blessing, another bomb was dropped.
「My only connection to Kishin-sama has disappeared」, it was that fact.
Ever since Kishin-sama was sealed, there has been no one in the village that has ever become a 《Douji》, and ever since Kishin-sama’s dear sister passed, even that last remaining shadow of her disappeared.」
Taking a breather from talking, she sighed and then chugged down the rest of her glass.
「Even just a glance would be fine.
You see, even if it was just once, I want to see our god…….It’s quite mysterious, you know? The moment that I knew I couldn’t get what I wanted, the more I yearned for what I could never have.」
Hearing Kohaku’s story, I frantically put my head to work.
The kijin in WLO, I heard only a part of their history from Kohaku’s life story, but putting together all the details was still rather difficult.
Important piece of info number one.
Kohaku was an existence with the highest strength in this world.
Despite being the one closest to《Douji》, she wasn’t able to become one.
Important piece of info number two.
The kijin that are originally from this world will most likely never be able to become《Douji》.
Important piece of info number three.
The only ones that can come into contact with the Kishin were those existences,《Douji》, who were considered to have a connection with her.
Important piece of info number four.
At least at the kijin village, after the sealing of the Kishin, no one had become a 《Douji》.
After sorting through these facts to this point, a question suddenly popped out.
Since Kohaku’s story had reached a stopping point, I asked her a question.
Was Kishin-sama’s job《Douji》?」
「No, it was said that Kishin-sama has nothing like a job.
The job called 《Douji》was something created in her name after she ascended to godhood, after all.」
I see, what Kohaku said was about the same as I had suspected.
As I thought, the origin of《Douji》really was Shuten.
「Who was this dear sister?」
「It was Kishin-sama’s younger sister.
It was said that she was the only being that the carefree and wild Kishin-sama couldn’t go against.
She was cursed to be eternal, and up until her death, she had a youthful appearance…..」
「Eh, you met her?」
「Yeah, after all, she died only half a century ago.」
「Hoheee……then Kohaku is at least over fifty?」
「I’m still one of the young ones among the kijin, you know? Though, to kijins, what’s important is not one’s age but their strength and their achievements.」
Just based on her appearance, Kohaku looked to be in her early twenties and was a person beautiful enough to rival Rin-chan.
It was a shock to hear that she was already over fifty years old, and hearing her say that she was still young made me surprised at the average lifespan of the kijin.
Though still, Shuten’s younger sister had died, huh?
If she were to possibly revive, I wonder what Shuten would think? Would she feel sad?
For some reason, I felt that I kinda wanted to meet her once.
「It became a long story, but I truly have no lingering affection for the blessing and I don’t plan on forcing Sukuna to do anything.
It was just that I have to apologize for one thing I lied about…」
「I kinda understand what it is.
Kohaku, most likely even before I reached Dualis, you have been following me, right?」
When I interrupted and called out Kohaku, who had the serious face of someone about to confess something, she inadvertently made a surprised face.
「Once someone has departed from the Town of Beginning, there was no mistake that they would go to Dualis and choose their job.
You had probably been hearing about a lot of kijin being born at the Town of Beginning, so Kohaku had been marking the kijin for around three weeks, right? Maybe thinking that there would be someone who could become a《Douji》.」
While avoiding the word player as much as possible, I told Kohaku my thought process.
Since I didn’t know what NPC’s thought of the word player, I couldn’t just carelessly use that word, after all.
Kohaku said that she saw me at the teahouse and chased after me, but that was a weak reason for her to follow「me」.
After all, in the first wave of players there shouldn’t have been more than a few players aside from me that were kijin.
And her argument became more weak if she had deliberately selected me from all of them.
Even if she had seen through me being a《Douji》, she timed the use of such a precious item so late.
In the first place, it would have been much faster if she had just warned me up front.
Trying to check my ability, there was obviously some sort of aim.
Well, in the first place, it was weird to have someone as strong as Kohaku near Dualis.
「I don’t know how many《Douji》there were before me, but…..you probably called out to them, right?」
「…..There were eight of them.
Sukuna, before I met you, there were eight people.」
So there were only eight of them.
Even if you included me, a second-waver, in the count of Douji from the first wave, out of the entire first half of the ten thousand players there were only nine of us.
「I guess there is no longer any need for me to beat around the bush.
Sukuna, I don’t want to let go of any chances.
From now on, I don’t know how many 《Douji》are going to emerge from there.
And I don’t know how long I can live on.
「All I have to do is help out in reviving Kishin-sama, right? Sure.」
In the end, Kohaku’s proposal was getting long and drawn out, so I agreed decisively.
Well, c’mon, Kohaku had that personality where she would talk for a long time, after all….
I was sorry for cutting Kohaku off because she had such a serious expression, but in this situation, I was in a position where I should be the one begging for the opportunity.
Kohaku brightened up with a happy expression, but my next words totally froze her.
Sorry, I stayed quiet about it, but…..I, well, that is, I have already met Kishin-sama.」
And so it was beautifully done.
Just like a sculpture, not showing any signs of movement, Kohaku had completely frozen in place.
muttering: to be honest I planned on finishing kohaku’s story in just 3 chapters.
Kohaku’s bonus point had only 1 put on her wisdom, and the remaining was all put in her strength.
Right now it has lightly gone over 4 digits or something……..
There was a way to see the numerical value in the past in that world but, all kijin had at least one point in their wisdom when they were born, and they were under the impression that it was the beginning value.
The only exception was Shuten.
Finding in some sort of scripture where shuten’s beginning status was discovered, and Kohaku noticed that it was the mischief of the God of Creation.
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