~ Chapter 5: Gifts ~
This was an unexpected turn of events. Initially, I thought they were just going to send me off to the after life without troubling themselves any further. Thinking about it, reincarnation or a straight ticket on the Heaven or Hell express was the only end for me given my current no-body situation. However, what truly came as a surprise was the gods telling me I was granted the power to customize my next life on top of receiving some blessings from them.
Thus, I began to seriously think about what I wanted them to offer me.
First off, there were many things I could wish for, but becoming an overpowered monster from the get go wasn't on my list. Reaching that point with time and effort was no problem, but being offered the power on a silver platter felt like I would end up with an extremely boring and episodic life.
Certainly, there would be countless humans who wouldn't hesitate to call out for the flight, indestructibility, super strength, super speed, super senses, and the laser beams shot from the eyes package, but not me... It was tempting, true, but having all of these would also most likely bring about a certain seclusion of myself from society.
When I was still living on Earth, my biggest problem was the fact that I wasn't able to socialize properly. People looked at me with fear, thinking I was bringing them bad luck. My friends moved away and my family pushed me away. In the end, I was spending my time alone, wandering from hospital to hospital, depending on where and when I had an accident. If I were to gain superhuman powers to that degree, I would definitely cause people to be frightened of me.
That was how most societies worked. If you were too different, you were placed in a corner and had a label stamped to your forehead. Even if the people themselves kept on worshiping the idea of equality and freedom, in the end, they were the very ones who took it from those they saw as different. There were laws against discrimination back on Earth, true, but those laws didn't prevent someone from thinking in a certain way. On paper, there was no discrimination, but the victim would always feel the stares being shot at his back.
If I was offered a new life, I wanted to be powerful, but not to the point where people end up cowering in fear when they saw me. If I ever reached that point, I wanted it to be through my effort and the results of my actions. I wanted to enjoy my time in this life and encounter a challenge or two, not keep on thinking: what can I do with my superhuman powers to keep people from hating me?
For me, a life with everything handed down on a silver platter, no challenge, no struggle, no bad luck from time to time, had no meaning... or rather, things would just end up extremely boring If I could defeat any and all villains out there with just one punch... as a baby.
This didn't mean that I was a masochist who enjoyed struggling in the dirt. No, I simply didn't want an ideal, perfect, no flaw life from the start. I wanted to reach such a point on my own. I wanted to have challenges, to struggle from time to time, to strike a bad luck or fail sometimes, but not constantly. I also didn't want for people to hate me or fear unless they were evil bastards who wanted to cause harm to those around them.
If I went down on the 'no challenge' path, I would have certainly ended up with the typical 'Daily Life of an OP Character' situation. Not saying it would be a bad thing, but not one I personally would choose.
No matter how difficult a challenge I faced, I wished to be able to somehow, someway solve it, not snap my finger and make it go away.
Yes, what I wished for, deep inside, was to be able to reach happy ends and most of the time be spent with a smile on my lips. I wished to push through every challenge, break every wall that appeared before me, but I wanted to FEEL how I did it.
I wanted an exciting life... that sort of thing maybe?
Letting out a sigh, I scratched the back of my head and thought about several other things I wanted as well as what sort of incredible world I wished to be reborn into.
Keeping an open mind, I was also expecting some of my choices to be seen as ridiculous from certain points of view. I wasn't a genius, and even then it would have been hard to guess what would mean to be overpowered and what wouldn't. After all, a monster in a world filled with monster can't be seen as such by his peers, only by his prey.
Some time later, after I thought really really well about what I wanted and what I didn't, I called out to the gods, who were playing various board games to pass the time. Well, some of them were napping, while others were immersed in their private hobbies, such as cursed figurine making.
“Have you reached a conclusion?” the one to ask was Sapherya.
“Sort of, but I will need your opinions about some things.” I replied while scratching the back of my head.
Basically, I planned to offer them a rough sketch of what I had in mind and let the gods decide if it was possible or not.
“We're all eyes and ears!” she said brimming with energy.
“Very well!” I nodded “First of all, I want the ability to fly and some form of super regeneration! I'm tired of spending time in hospitals. Then, I want magic and the ability to speak to other species, sapient ones not animals. Lastly...” I made a dramatic pause.
“Lastly?” the gods all asked at the same time as they looked at me in anticipation.
“Lastly, I don't want to trigger any death flags for myself, no matter how bad a situation. I want to be able to eventually solve my problems somehow or someway. I want to be happy in the end, that sort of situation!” I smiled satisfied with what I had picked.
Although, truth be told, I was still seriously debating whether or not I should give up on that flying ability, but meh... who doesn't enjoy the freedom of flying through the clouds?
“That's all?” Sapherya asked.
“Yes... is it too much?” I asked.
“Too much? Rather... it's remarkably modest... Depending on the world, those abilities are... How should I put this...” she scratched her left cheek while showing me a wry smile.
“The last one is given for free no matter the world, while the others are byproducts of other powers, or depending on the world, they are standard for humans.” one of the gods said.
“Oh?” I blinked surprised and then thought Did I by chance thought so hard on how NOT to be overpowered that I became underpowered instead?!
“At least you didn't ask a goddess' hand in marriage like certain dolts. Sigh, why do mortals want to marry gods so badly?” one of the male gods remarked.
I instinctively looked at Sapherya's chest.
“W-What?” she asked furrowing her brow.
“I think I get it now!” most of the male gods said at the same time.
“W-What? Get what? WHAT is it?” the goddess was confused, while the sexy one let out a sigh and shook her head.
“Nothing.” I looked away. “But no, that would have been too much even for me! Besides, I can't even imagine what the consequences would be of bringing a god down to the mortal world.” I shook my head.
“Not much. We all take vacations down in our worlds from time to time. It's not that big of a deal for us to disguise ourselves as mortals.” a brawny god said and shrugged like it was nothing.
In my mind, it could very well spell out all sorts of trouble.
“Anyway, it's good that you didn't wish for one of us to become your spouse because that's the ONE thing we can't do. Unlike others, we are the main gods and goddesses of our worlds. Once in a while it's fine for us to skip work for a day or two, but for the duration of a human's lifetime would be too much... All sorts of paperwork will get piled up when we return.” Sapherya explained and shivered.
“Hehe! Says the one who speaks from experience. A middle or lesser goddess wouldn't be a problem though.” a brawny male remarked.
Sapherya glared at him.
“Or one who isn't affiliated to that world.” another god pointed out.
They all seemed to have reached an agreement that I could ask for a goddess to become my wife if she was not of this world. However, I was going to politely give that a pass. I doubt I could handle a normal human woman let alone a goddess.
“Then, let us discuss in more detail about these abilities you desire AFTER you pick a world and type of life. But it's good you already know what you're aiming for. It will also be easier for us to bless you accordingly.” Sapherya told me with a gentle smile and then sneaked a peek at the goddess who accidentally blessed her male hero with the ability to make any man fall for him.
Yes, please spare me from that sort of situation! I don't want either form of harem! Well, if fate pushes me into that sort of direction, I'm not completely against it... but to be clear, I want WOMEN. I thought.
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