T/N: Here comes a series of 4 FAQ-styled chapters. Most of it is really just info-dump so you can skip ahead to Chapter 60 if you wish.
56. Questions for the Goddess Part 1 (General)
Now then, I have a ton of questions prepared.
Knowledge is power; that’s common sense for the modern person, after all.
This time, I plan to ask all I can without prudence.
First, I’ll start with what I’m most curious about.
“Hey, can I really be called Julia-kaasan and Alfred-tousan’s child?”
“I thought I already answered yes, but I do understand your worries.
Due to the issue of racial affinity, those two originally had trouble conceiving.
They can form an embryo at least, but the embryo is fastidious and ends up being particular about the soul that should reside inside it.
Among all of the souls that circulate in Marquekt, only one in a million would be compatible with their embryo.
You were the owner of the one compatible soul in that million.
The difference between you and normal children is that the memories of your previous life crossed over with you, but the basis of your dead soul joining the cycle of samsara did not change.
Although normal people would reincarnate without their memories, you reincarnated while retaining your memories――that is all.
Since the genetic characteristics of your body and mind were completely inherited from those two, and there is only the fact that the memories of your previous life were not removed from the soul, there’s no doubt that you are their child.”
“…I feel like I kind of understand and kind of don’t, but it must be so if you’re saying it.
By the way, is there a difference between the mind and soul?”
There is a difference.
Let’s see, to explain in an easy to understand manner, with the body as the hardware and the mind as the software, then the soul would be the user that is operating them both.
The soul can’t be created by any physical methods; even the gods aren’t able to, they can only recycle them.
By the way, in your world, there’s controversy about whether or not machines have an ego, but the answer is No.
Machines do not have souls dwelling inside them, so even if machines develop to the point where they can be said to have a mind, it’s impossible for them to possess an ego.
If I use my power as a god to lodge a soul in the machine though, then that’s a different story.
Humans possessing the power to reincarnate isn’t impossible either, but in science, souls theoretically cannot be perceived, so based on modern science, it’s unnatural.”
…Let’s organise that a little.
Dad and Mum were a couple that had trouble conceiving, so I was born because my otherworlder soul was compatible with their embryo.
Thus, it wasn’t that the soul of the child who was supposed to be born was overwritten, nor was it switched.
And every human reused the souls of former living humans, so it’s not like only my reincarnation was special… I suppose.
Of course, that’s excluding the fact that the memories of my previous life remained.
“Huh? But while Dad was with his previous wife, didn’t he have three children with her?
I thought his former wife was also a human but…”
“I don’t know anything about the things before your reincarnation, but it might be that they had some elf blood in their ancient ancestry.
The elven bloodline is special, because there’s quite a strict distinction between elves and non-elves.”
“So there’s not much hope of gaining a younger brother or sister in the future?”
Alfred-san has acquired the 《Attention of the War God》, has he not?
In one of Marquekt’s widespread myths, the God of War, Marslat, was also depicted in an anecdote as a lustful god who inseminated over a thousand women, forming an army composed of just his children.
Since he acquired the attention of that Marslat, he should have an easier time conceiving as a secondary effect.”
When I return, I’ll tell Alfred-tousan.
“In that case, would it make conceiving a boy easier?
I heard Julia-kaasan wants a girl though.”
“I wonder about that…?
I wouldn’t know the details unless I asked Marslat himself.
There aren’t any myths stating that he only has sons, so I think it should be fine.
Naturally, they are simply myths, but myths like those give gods their power.”
“Hm? Isn’t it because gods have the power that it turns into a myth?”
“Myths are not truths; in the end, they are tales created by mankind.
If that were not so, the divine beings descended from Marslat would end up flooding the land.”
It seems that there isn’t a great difference between the fictional tales in this world and the myths in my previous world.
“But that wasn’t written in [Appraisal]’s explanation though?”
“The gods’ blessings that appear in [Appraisal]’s information are merely one part… Well, I can’t really say that, but they are about half.
At any rate, [Appraisal] cannot completely analyse the portion that has no relation to conflict.
Unlike skills, blessing contents are somewhat fluid after all…”
“Speaking of which, I feel like the people of Marquekt don’t really understand when I talk about the matters of reincarnation, why is that?
Even though this world has you, a goddess governing over the cycle of death and rebirth.”
“The cycle of samsara in this world refers to the system of purifying souls and recycling them.
It’s an issue of having a more pragmatic system that’s different from the beliefs of rebirth in your former world.
Deceased creatures have their bodies decomposed by microbes which later becomes nourishment for plants, and those plants become nourishment for animals… It’s similar to that.
In other words, it’s not that the people in this world believe that their souls transition through the cycle of death and rebirth, they know it.
They think that being reborn with their memories is impossible.
This is to say nothing of the existence of a world other than Marquekt, with an otherworlder who lived in there reincarnating into this world; this is a situation that far surpasses the imagination of the people in this world.”
“So you’re saying that the cycle of samsara is common sense, but reincarnation is something of the occult.”
I just have one more thing to add.
Gods exist in this world, so the span of religions have naturally converged to a more narrow range.
I believe that’s why the concept of reincarnation is only known by experts of the very limited number of unique religions, even though the concept of heaven and hell may exist depending on the location.”
“I see… So it’s precisely because there is a god that the manner of believing in god is set.”
“Because there weren’t any gods in your former world, any religion could be established as long as there were believers.
It’s very paradoxical, but there is more liberty in the imaginative power of religion of your previous world where gods didn’t exist, rather than Marquekt where gods do exist.
That the religious ideology produced by that liberal power of imagination became a salvation for the emissaries of <Yatagarasu> who had lost their faith may be very ironic.
…This matter also made me feel very powerless.”
The goddess made a slightly gloomy face.
She might look at it that way, but the gods of this world that could properly observe happiness through Buddhism seem more incredible to me.
“Everyone in <Yatagarasu> raised their levels by hunting monsters, but isn’t that just an internecine struggle?”
“Ahh, because both monsters and villains enhance their statuses through Curses, right.
You can certainly see it that way as well, but concentrating the Curses on the stronger specimen is a standardised rationale.
By doing that, they’re able to prevent the Curses from being snatched away by those on the side of the benevolent gods.
Something similar would occur even in your former world, right?
Our company is utilising the management resources possessed by your company more efficiently to bring forth greater benefits, which is why our company should proceed with an acquisition of your company… something like that.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that the emissaries of <Yatagarasu> understand the significance of their own deeds.”
Survival of the fittest, huh.
“I’ve thought about this for a while now but why does the system of this world resemble that of the games in my previous life so much?”
“We’re not really imitating those games though?
Marquekt has had this system since long before electronic games were created in your former world.
I presume that someone felt that it was worth doing and probed along the lines of doing one’s best, and contrived a ‘game-like’ system as a result.”
“And the readings of the HP and MP systems?”
“If someone wanted to grasp their life force and mana as a numerical value, wouldn’t that naturally be one of the optimum solutions they would end up with?
If someone wanted to accurately know just how many more attacks someone could take and remain alright, and how much more magic they could use, they would try to grasp their life force and mana as a numerical value.”