“A-A favor?!” Jan, who was still on the floor, was startled.
“Yes, a favor,” Reio spoke calmly, but with an unwavering look in his eyes as he towered above Jan.
The latter looked even more confused, and deep down, even a bit more scared, but he had to ask, “Why would the Soul King want a favor from me?”
“You’re the key to everything that happened seventeen years ago, and since that day, I’ve been waiting for you to come to this place.”
“Seventeen years ago? That’s impossible, there must be a mistake… Seventeen years ago, I was just born!”
“Yes, it was on that night that everything changed. Since then, I have observed every move you took. But until I never understand how you could be related to those changes, not until you died.”
“You’re saying that you couldn’t understand it, but how can you be so sure that I’m related to whatever happened 17 years ago?!”
“If you had kids, wouldn’t you know which one is yours and which one isn’t?”
Jan’s heart almost skipped a beat when he heard this sentence, and he unconsciously glanced left and right, looking for a way to escape. He couldn’t help but feel in danger because it seemed like the Soul King knew what he truly was.
The Soul King noticed that and oddly smiled at Jan, “Don’t worry, you’re in no danger; I can’t really kill you here even if I wanted. Also if I wanted you dead, you wouldn’t have made it to this room.
You did a very good job hiding it from a man as sharp as Ichibe, but you wouldn’t think that you can trick me as well, would you?!”
As he said that, the Soul King sat down facing Jan, then sighed, “I don’t really mind having you here. When I first wanted to create this world, I never thought that something like this would occur; it wasn’t one of the possibilities. But it’s really a pleasant surprise to have someone from the outside living in my world. In a way, we’re really alike.”
“How are we alike?” Jan asked.
“We both don’t belong to this world,” Reio said calmly.
“You mean that because you existed before the world?” Jan said calmly.
“So your knowledge goes so far? You see that is what I don’t understand about you. I know that you’re an outsider, but I don’t really understand how you know all of this.”
“I think a better term is ‘reborn’. Well, with everything you know, I don’t really mind telling you how I know all of this. But, I don’t think you will like the answer.”
“I don’t think you could surprise me anymore,” Reio said indifferently
“Ohoho, I don’t know about that!” Jan felt like he was being challenged, “How would you feel if I told you that this world and everything that happened in it, is just a story told in my world? Ha!”
Reio’s eyes widened slightly, then he said, “I would be surprised.”
“Gotcha!” Jan said proudly.
“So that’s how it feels?” Reio said.
“What?” Jan asked.
“To feel surprised…” Reio pondered, “It’s a strange feeling, I’ve never truly experienced it before. Perhaps because I know everything, or maybe because no one talked to me this way before…”
Reio paused for a moment, and then continued: “Say, how is it, your old world? I would like to know more about it?”
“Really?!” Jan looked a bit confused.
“Yes, tell me!” Reio said calmly.
Jan began to talk about his previous life and world, and Reio listened, but he didn’t seem to be interested in powers or rulers. He only seemed interested in small details, like some types of animals, the evolution of men, and some bits of history and facts.
However, the two seemed to be bonding at some point. Jan even managed to crack a laugh out of Reio, when he told him about the ratings going down and how the studio stopped the airing of the anime.
“Jan, talking to you reminds me a lot of… Ichibe. I always ended up with more questions than answers when I talked to him.”
“Oh, tell me about it!” Jan seemed to be really frustrated.
“But you don’t need to worry about him,” Reio said calmly.
“But how will I explain any of this to him?” Jan seemed a bit worried.
“You don’t need to explain anything to him, I made it clear to him not to hurt you through his Oken so he won’t. Moreover, he’s the type of guy that wouldn’t care much anyway.”
“That’s a bit relieving to know.” Jan said, and then with a serious tone, he continued, “I’ve told you about my world. Now can you tell me what my appearance in this world changed?”
“The future,” Reio answered calmly.
“How?! I thought you can see the certain future?!” Jan was surprised to hear this.
Of course, he knew that his appearance in this world might have changed a few things here and there, but he never thought that it would change the entire future.
“You’re not wrong, but that wasn’t how it was before I took this form.”
“Your… kinda human form?”
“Yes. Once I came to life I lost my ability to see all the possibilities; it seems like that sole decision of choosing to live with humans had actually eliminated all possibilities of what could have been and limited where the world could go to only one path, which wasn’t a very pleasant thing for me.”
“Because you saw your end once you came to life…” Jan felt a bit sorry for him.
“Yes,” Reio said indifferently, “I tried to change it, but I couldn’t do it alone.”
“So what did you do?!”
“I gave up…”
“You gave up?!” Jan was puzzled.
“I had no choice. Ichibe refused to act, and I would have hated watching this world get destroyed before my eyes. I wanted it to survive, even if it meant not living in it myself!”
“I came to accept that fate, only because I knew that one day, this would be a better place for all my creations. But all changed on the night you were born, for your existence destroyed everything that I knew, and my ability to see the future.”
“What?! You can no longer see the future?!” Jan was startled.
“To be more precise, I can no longer see a certain future, nor numerous possibilities. I can see only two: One through Ichibe, and one through you!”