2 transition to another world

 I wake up and see a clear blue sky. I'm lying on my back. I sit up and look around me and see a dense forest. In the middle of it all, I seem to be lying in a sort of open field.
 At a glance, the forest is no different from Japan.

 But I know that this isn't even on earth, let alone Japan, and moreover, it's not that world anymore.

 This is an alien world.

 It all started when I was leaving the office after working overtime after overtime, when I saw a stray cat wandering about.
 I was on my way to the train station as much as the stray cat, when I saw the cat walking toward the middle of the road.

 From the other side of the road, a truck. It didn't seem to be slowing down at all, and the cat wouldn't even know it was there. Maybe I was tired or something, but the moment I saw it, I was running toward the cat.

 Every time I got closer to the cat, the truck got closer to the cat. It's pure competition. Who can get to the cat first, me or the truck.
 The truck wins the race for speed, of course, but I'm much closer.
 However, if I get too close and can't reach the cat, the truck is the lone winner (whatever that means).

 The space between me and the cat is closing in, and then my hand grabs the cat's body and throws it away. Immediately after that, my body flew through the air with a bang, and in my fading consciousness, I wondered if there was such a thing as the stupidity of a fireplace.

 I don't know how much time had passed. Was it soon, or was it quite a long time? I suddenly came to my senses.
 The reason I didn't wake up is because the place was pure white, and I couldn't see my body or anything.
 I'm sure that my consciousness is aware of something, but it's highly doubtful that it can be called "awake". You can say that you are conscious or fuzzy, but it's such an ambiguous state.

 Then there was a voice that spoke to me. It's a fairly young woman's voice.

"Hey, are you awake?

If you can call it that, then yeah. I'm awake.

 I responded simply with facts. This "voice" communication does not mean that the sound waves reach my ears and are clearly "heard," and on the contrary, I am not sending air out of my lungs and emitting sound waves by shaking my vocal cords.

 The best way to describe this feeling would be telepathy.
 I could feel that someone was trying to communicate with me in that way, and I was trying to communicate with someone else, which was a very far-fetched image of a 'conversation'.

It seems that there is no soul defect. There doesn't seem to be any soul deficiencies.

"Hmm. I don't know what you mean.

Well, to put it simply, you're dead in that world. Normally, in every world, not just that one, the souls of those who have died can be released and stored for a new time.
 Well, in your line of work, it's like freeing up some reserved memory. And I locked up the memory to keep it from being released, which is not something I'm allowed to do under my authority.

Okay, I understand the situation. So, what are we going to do?

 I was strangely calm. Despite the very important "you're dead" proclamation in plain English.

Good, you're calming down. I'm sorry to tweak your perceptions a bit to dilute your concept of death.
 Otherwise, your soul will break - in this analogy, the memory that should have been freed will now free itself like a garbage collector.
 If that happens, the data in it will be erased and the concept of you, body and soul will disappear.

"Hmm. . which I can now calmly understand.

"Yeah. Thank you. So you saved a stray cat before all this happened, right?

"Oh. That's for sure. I like cats.

 I'm a little over 40 years old, and I've been called "a complete yakuza" and "you don't look like a businessman even if you don't go that far," but I like cute things, and cats are my favorite.

 I think that the miraculous combination of all these factors (albeit in a completely wrong direction) made me act the way I did.
 When you get right down to it, it all boils down to one reason: "I like cats.

In conclusion, that's me, and I'm a 'watchdog'. But you wouldn't understand. Have you ever heard of the concept of parallel worlds?

Yes. I've been exposed to a lot of science fiction and fantasy and stuff like that.

I see. That makes it a little easier for me to understand. I'm supposed to walk through these parallel universes and keep an eye out for anything that might have a negative impact on other parallel universes.

 I could hear a bit of pride in his voice (not that he was saying that). Well, it's true that such a role can only be performed by a great person.

"Well, you're pretty good at it, aren't you?

 I complimented him honestly.

"Well, there's no two ways about it, and I'm on the short end of the stick.

 Apparently, I'd lost my praise.

But I hope you understand that it's not a role that can be taken on by just anyone. It would be terrible if we missed the signs of parallel world effects and went beyond the stage where we could actually do something about it.
 It's not my place to actually do anything about it, but now that you know what my role is, let's get back to the explanation.

 She (or what seemed to be her) straightened up and continued.

"In your world, I continued my role as a cat on guard. You saved me from a near-death experience when I screwed up.

 And by the way, this is a gap between worlds that guys like us are allowed to use,

"A guy who's supposed to be watching the world, only to get hit by a truck and die?

 I asked him what he thought naively. It seems to me that the system has a great deal of vulnerability that such an important role is no different from that of an ordinary creature.

For that matter, only my temporary body in that world will 'die' and my soul will live on forever. My temporary body will take the form of a normal creature in that world, and its physical strength will be the same.
 Otherwise, I might be recorded as a creature with high physical strength.

 And my temporary body's death won't affect the world much. I'm designed to keep my body out of that world, but in your case, even if my body dies, that's still a bit of a problem.

 The parallel universes we were talking about. Do you think there are many parallel universes that are only slightly different?

"Yeah. . at least to my knowledge, or at least to the works I've read and played with.

For example, if you think "I'll just have a drink and go home," and your train is late and you're going home too late, and you think "No, I'll just go straight home," then your world has branched off into a world where you didn't get caught in the train delays. That's the thing.


"In short, the world is not like that. Such minute differences do not exist in the world.
 If you decide to 'drink your way home', then that's the way the world works in harmony.

 In this case, if you go straight home and get home early without getting delayed, you'll cause problems in the world, big or small.

 For example, if you come home early and overhear a couple fighting in the neighborhood and call it in, the harmony of the family there is disrupted, resulting in an unborn person, and this causes damage to the world.
 There is no "if" in history. "There is no 'if' in history, though the meaning is different from the original.

 That's a confusing explanation. I prompted him to continue by shutting up.

"And we got too far off track. Anyway, that's the way the world works. Since the world doesn't branch off into smaller branches, there is only one "you," a world like this one. There is no one else.
 And you shouldn't have been dead at that point. You did this for me. This is an irregularity in the world, and it's the same story for you.

 And, of course, for me. Because all three of us were irregular, this world had to fill in for you.
 The best way for the world to make sense would be to pretend you didn't die miraculously unharmed, but I saved you and I saw you die.

 Now you can't completely unmask this. I'm supposed to "monitor and report the status of multiple worlds," and anything I see will be reported and recorded by multiple worlds.
 When that happens, you die in that world, no matter what the effect on that world is.

 I think the story is starting to go downhill.

So? It sounds like you're out of control, but why would you save my soul only in that state?

Yes, you will be replaced in this world and your presence will be inserted into another world.

Is it okay to do that? Considering what I've heard so far, it sounds pretty bad: ......

Hmmm, what can I say. In that world, without you, there's a balance to be maintained by either replacing you or making replacements, but I think the best way to describe it is that there are a few worlds where there's room for you as well.
 Well, I have to choose from among my worlds, so there are only a few.

"So you're saying you're going to do a kind of 'existence swap'?

"Oh, you're very perceptive. Thank you. Yes, if I put it all together very simply, yes. That way, the fact that you died in the original world doesn't change the fact that you'll continue to exist in the next world.

I see. Can I ask you a question?

Please come in.

What's your reason for doing so?

"Uh-huh. That's where I'm going to explain it to you. Simply put, I don't like waking up when a person dies in front of me because of my mistake.
 The rest, well, is just a matter of making up the world. Just know that we have good reason to do that.

Hmmm, if you ask me if I'm convinced, I'm not slightly convinced. But you don't have a choice anyway, do you?

"Yeah. I apologize for that. So I can give you the right to choose your world and give you some privileges in that world--a cheat, to put it bluntly.
 A cheat won't upset the balance of the world you're going to, or any other world in general, so you can feel free to make your request.

"Yes. ......

 I ponder. This is my second life and I don't want to waste it. If it's not out of balance, it won't be such a great ability.
 Then there's nothing to be ashamed of. I thought so and said my request.

I liked making things, so it would be nice to live in a world where I could make things for a living. So I want my abilities to match it. If I wanted to, I'd like to have the ability to live on my own.
 And as I mentioned earlier, I love cats, so I'd like to have a cat if possible. That's all I ask.

"Hmm. ......

 This time the woman's voice sounded more thoughtful.

"I think of a possible world to send it to, a so-called fantasy world of swords and sorcery, okay?

I don't mind.

"Then I'll give you the ability to make it work. There's a lot of things to make, but what do you want?

I've always been interested in sword smithing and such.

I'll prioritize the blacksmithing shop, not the tinkerer. ...... I'll give priority to language and production, and use the spare resources for combat and other things. You'll need to protect yourself.
 It's not essential for life, so I'll keep magic to a minimum, okay?

"Yeah, that's it.

What about the rest of ...... age? It doesn't matter how old you are, just tell me what age you want. I don't think I'd pick a teenager, but I'd be fine with a 70-something year old.

"Ummm. I'm not really attracted to being so young. ......

 Nevertheless, I would like to live a second life for a reasonable length of time. I've been thinking about it for an indistinct amount of time, whether long or short, and I've come to the conclusion that--