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All human lives eventually come to an end.
As humans grow, everyone comes to understand this inevitable fact. Some fight against this reality, while others embrace it, seeking to leave a mark during their short time.
I believe I was one of the lazier ones among such humans.
I chose my life’s path somewhat aimlessly, consistently scoring average or just below average grades. I landed a job in the same casual manner and worked without particular enthusiasm.
Continuing to do only what came easily, I expected to age in a daze, waiting for life’s end without leaving any notable legacy.
My name, Kushiki Minato, is a reflection of a life lived with an almost resigned acceptance of its transient nature.
Perhaps that’s why, when one of my few friends’ lives was threatened by an unknown assailant wielding a knife, I was able to instinctively shield him without hesitation.
Well, I’m not so kind-hearted that I’d just let myself be killed. The moment the assailant thrust the knife, I grabbed his hand and continued to punch his face until I lost consciousness.
Flooded with adrenaline, I kept on hitting him mindlessly. By the time I verified that the face of the unknown assailant was barely recognizable, I no longer felt resistance from him. Simultaneously, I could feel my consciousness fading away.
…Well, it was bound to happen.
With such thoughts, my consciousness faded, marking the mundane end of my life.
Or so I thought…
“Where is this…?”
Surprisingly, I regained consciousness. Before me, an endless starry sky and an immeasurable water surface, swaying like a lake.
At some point, I was dressed in patient-like robes. When I looked down, my bare feet stood on the water’s surface, sending ripples outwards from where I stood.
“It seems the afterlife is rather beautiful.”
Muttering to no one in particular,
“That’s indeed true.”
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A beautiful female voice responded from behind me. Turning in surprise, I saw a gorgeous woman, reminiscent of a figure from a painting, smiling warmly.
“This space was graciously prepared by my master.”
Her smile deepened as she spoke.
…Yikes. She’s definitely someone to be wary of.