Take on Another World with My Best Friend Vol. I Ch. 1
The clock is showing 7:49 PM on Akira's wristwatch, he quickly rushes down the stairs of his office.
"Shit. He's waiting. Better not keep him waiting any longer, or he'll be pissed"
Akira's phone lit up, he received a call from a familiar name. He's reluctant to answer it, but impulses got the better of him
"where the hell are you? are we on for tonight?"
"Be right there. The usual, right?"
"Yes. Hurry up. I booked a table already"
"On my way"
Akira hangs up and hails for a taxi. Going by train would take even longer
"Good evening sir, where shall I take you today?"
"Hakushoku Izakaya. I'm sorry but can you make it fast?"
"Thank you very much"
The taxi passenger door closes. The driver stepped on the gas.
The street light illuminates the dark interior of the taxi and Akira sat there with his phone in his hand. Checking his bank account.
Akira sighs lightly, knowing that his bank account will not last until the last of the month.
His mind drove away from him, thinking about how he got into this 1 billion yen debt left by his father before he passed away.
"How does this come to this? Dad, what have you gotten yourself into?"
The taxi slows down. Akira saw a frown from a familiar face, Shin's. His clothes are not by any way unusual, but rather tacky for a night outing. A red three-piece suit, black shirt, and a white scarf.
"That'll be 700 yen"
Akira opens his wallet and hands the taxi driver the money.
"Thank you. Good night"
The doors close and the taxi drives away.
"Where have you been? it's almost half an hour"
"Sorry. Boss is making me do his-"
"Nevermind that. Let's go inside first"
Akira and Shin went inside and sits at the cornermost table. Akira's expression caught Shin's eyes.
"Master. 2 bottles of golden rye beer, Please"
"Shin, wait. I cannot afford that"
"I'm paying, dude. Just relax. I know that's your favorite"
"I can't. It just... doesn't feel right for you to pay for everything"
"Hey, cut it. My company is profiting so money is not a problem. Besides. I have known you for a long time."
The master acknowledges the order and has the waiter bring the bottle. The waiter pours the first glass of beer and serves it to both of them.
Akira is hesitant but gulps the whole glass. Shin's follow suit
"Ahh. That hits the spot. Now would you mind telling me what's with the delay?
"You know why. The boss is making me do his work"
"Damn, man. I always knew that bastard was incompetent"
"That's why you quit right?"
"Yep. Saved enough money to start my own company. Best day of my life. Which is weird that no one audited that dickhead before. That company is not even a black company. The pay's good too. Speaking of which, why don't you work for me? You need the money, right?"
"Why do you even work, anyway? Your family is rich, your father has his own company and your mother is a leading professor at Tokyo University"
"I got disowned, remember? Compared to you, I'm the lucky one."
Shin's pours another to his glass and Akira's. The fizzling bubble of the golden cold beer is enough to tempt you to gulp it in one go
"Your mother died not long after your father ran away. You have to work your ass off day in and day out to pay the debt and make ends meet.
"Please stop, Shin."
"We should visit her grave, offer her a pray-"
Akira slams the table, spilling the remaining of Akira's and Shin's beer. Shin's dumbfounded and the other customer's attention was directed toward Akira's. The waiter is coming with a napkin to clean the spilled beer. Shin's apologizes to the master, waiter, and other customers. Shin's sat back down and looks at Akira
"What wrong, Akira?"
"Please. This is not the time"
Akira's expression went from teary to anger with a hint of regret
"I don't need God then, I don't need him now"
"I'm sorry man. I didn't mean to bring up a sensitive topic"
"No, no. I'm sorry. I should not have been angry. I know your intention is good"
The rest of the night passed in awkward silence. Shin's paid the bill and left with Akira. Outside, Akira looks up at the sky and lights up a cigarette.
"That's bad for you. C'mon man. Put it out."
"Shin. Have you ever wondered if there is another life for us? Y'know. Where we could be as happy as we can be?"
"You mean like those in Mangas and Light Novels?"
Shin's puts his hand on his face. Knowing that his best friend is not in the mood for his usual persona.
"For people like us, I doubt it. If there is, I know I wouldn't want to be anywhere but with you"
Shin's answer puts a smile on Akira's face.
"Now let's go home. It's late. I'll walk you home. You're drunk enough for me not to trust you walk alone"
"You're drunk too, dumbass"
"Damn right I am"
Akira giggles and put his hand on Shin's shoulder. They ramble aimlessly on their way home.
Nearing Akira's 1LDK, Akira lets his hand off Shin's shoulder.
"We're here. I can go by myself."
"Yeah. Thanks, buddy. Good night"
"You too, Akira"
Shin walks in the opposite direction from Akira's home when suddenly a beam of light shines down on Akira. The light is bright enough for Shin's to notice and The light lift Akira upward.
Shin's eyes widen in shock, desperately wobbling to Akira. He grabs Akira's leg, not letting go.
The beam pulls both of them into its source.
Moments later, they woke up in a room similar to an interrogation room, laying down on the floor.
"Where are we?"
"I dunno. Ow! My head is killing me."
"We are not at a police station, are we?"
The doorknob clicks and enters a beautiful man in a black suit with a curly blonde hair, holding 2 folders in his right hand and 2 bags of ice.
"Good. You're finally awake. Please, have a seat."
Akira and Shin stood up slowly and stare at the man.
"We are not in trouble, are we?"
The man in the suit puts the ice bag on the table.
"No, no. nothing of the sort. Please."
Akira and Shin sat down on the chairs.
"Before we proceed, I have questions. Who are you, where is this place, what's going o-"
"Please. One at a time. We're at Heaven Bureaucratic Order. I am St. Alexander. One of the Cherubim. A manager of world, if you like"
Akira is trying to process the information while Shin is addressing his hangover.
"Are you God?"
"I am a god. A lesser one. I answer to One True God, the director"
Akira's face turns red and stood up in anger, he speaks shakily
"You. You better have a good explanation why we're here"
St. Alexander looks up to Akira. Seems to understand his anger.
"I was getting to that part. Please sit"
"NO! ANSWER ME!"
Shin is shocked by his outburst but manages to persuade Akira to calm down.
"I understand your anger, Akira. But I am not a god of your world. I cannot interfere with other Cherub's departments"
"St. Alessia, my senior. She was fired due to inactivity."
"Where is she now?"
"That's not important right now. Take a look at this."
St. Alexander hand Shin and Akira the folder. On the front, there is a label with their name on it and "Earth" stamped on the folder. They read the content of the folder
"Akira Takahashi. 25 years old, hard worker, living with her mother until her death. Father ran away due to debt, which is inherited to you. You are loyal to your best friend. Now onto Shinnosuke Shimazu. Also 25 years old, son of a conglomerate, and a professor. Disowned due to disagreement with father which leads to physical contact. A stowaway, but we'll let it slide."
"How come?" Shin asked
"The director overhears your conversation in front of the Izakaya. He thought it was cool. He was there, you know?"
Shin looks at Akira and grin.
"So why we are here?"
"You want a shot in another life, right? You will be sent to the world I manage. Don't worry, there are no demon lords or anything at this time. But we do have monsters. It's a world with magic after all. Well, currently we have reincarnation and summon."
Shin is puzzled by the statement
"the difference being?"
"Reincarnation will move your soul to another body, which will make you reborn as a baby, so your body stays here and memory erased. Summon will make you as you are right now, memories intact. But the summon will be performed by a person so you would answer to a country."
The speakerphone of the room turns on. This startles Akira and Shin.
"Don't forget the third option, Alex"
"We don't have clearance for that"
A different voice answer St. Alexander. St. Alexander sigh lightly
"Who is that?" Shin asked
"That was the Director. No, you cannot meet him. Not now. Sorry. Strict protocol."
St. Alexander continues,
"The third option would be to send you down directly. Younger, your memories intact, with everything you brought. Phones, bags, and clothes off your back et cetera."
Akira looks at St. Alexander.
"What's the catch?"
"None. Well, just one. I'll tell you later. Please come with me."
St. Alexander gets out of the room with Akira and Shin following, greeted by very bright light. They see two doors at the end of the corridors. One door leads to a rough-looking white door made from feathers on the left and red velvet door that looks smooth.
"What's with that door?"
"Don't worry about it. Let's go"
They are greeted by a big monitor that displays the profile of Akira.
"Welcome to the Aptitude Bestowal room. Here, you could choose your ability for your new life in Terra"
"Yes. My World"
St. Alexander ushers both men to the monitor and inserts a paper into the Aptitude Bestowal Computer
"You first Akira. We will provide you with 3 starting abilities. Go ahead"
Akira sits down on the chair and picked the following:
"Exp Multiplier. Smart. You'll level up quickly. With this, you'll pick up other abilities in no time. But Craftmanship?"
"I always wanted to try making things myself. Could be used to make money and save money"
"If you say so. Then is this final?"
"Alright. Now Akira. Choose your occupation"
"Can I not choose?"
"I just want to do what I want to do. Whatever it is"
"If that is what you want, there is one for you then."
St. Alexander scrolls down the screen to the J Letter.
"Here you go. Jack-of-All-Trades. Leveling up would be harder with this. But since you have Exp Multiplier, you'll be fine"
"Alright then. Now Shin's turn."
Akira gets up and Shin sits down. St. Alexander retrieved Akira's paper from the computer and inserts Shin's paper
"Oh. I almost forgot you don't need to worry about luggage. Item box will be available for you both"
Considering that, Shin picks the following:
"Exp Multiplier too, eh? Nice. but why Appraisal?"
"I read manga back home. This will be useful."
"Then why not use Worldly Eyes?"
"A better appraisal. You could sense any danger, check the value of items, and you could see an overhead view of your vicinity."
"I'll take that then"
St. Alexander touches the screen and slides the screen to the left.
"For Shin, please choose your preferred occupation"
Shin looks through the occupation list. There are several occupations that catch his eyes
"I think I'll go with merchant"
"Alright. That's finished. Let's get you to Terra, shall we?"
Shin looks excited, but Akira feels uncomfortable, knowing he's forgetting something.
"Step on the Circle, here. We will send you down to a field near a city. There will be a weak monster there, but you'll be safe."
St. Alexander steps off the platform and points his palms in the direction of the circle and starts chanting
"In the name of myself, St. Alexander, I hereby declare you, the new human to be sent to the world that I oversee. Go forth and live your life freely and happily!"
The circle started glowing and spinning around Akira and Shin.
By then, Akira remember what he forgot
"Wait! What's the condition you mentioned before?"
With a smile, St. Alexander answers
"I just told you. Live your life freely and happily"
Akira and Shin vanish.
St. Alexander puts both papers in their respective folder and brings the folders back to his office. There, awaits an elderly, elegant male in a white suit and a long beard matching the color of his suit.
"Director. Would it be okay? sending those two to Terra, I mean."
"Alexander my boy. Don't worry too much. Those two lads will be just dandy."
"But why sending those two to Terra?"
"I created humans with free will so they could pray willingly as a manner of communication, no matter the religion. When the prayers were left unanswered, then what's the point of calling ourselves, gods?"
"Why those two anyway?"
"I'll let you figure that one out yourself"
The Director walks toward the door. He grabs the doorknob but St. Alexander calls out to him
"Wait! Did you forget something?"
"Hmm? Oh, that. It's under your work desk"
The Director points to St. Alexander's desk. It's 2 crates of beer.
"Golden Rye Beer. Your favorite"
"Thank you, Director"
"Don't mention it. For a job well done. Enjoy yourself there, Alexander."
The Director went out of St. Alexander's office and closes the door.
St. Alexander opens the cap of a bottle and raises his bottle.
"Good luck to you, gentlemen. May your second lives be interesting"