Develop 217

Chapter 217 The Beginning of Everything, the Source of Everything

Edited by: Kanaa-senpai

 I’ve always wondered about it.

 At the same time, I had given up on ever knowing the reason.

 I never dreamed that it would become clear at a time like this.

 ”I heard the story from Red-san only once, at a celebration. I don’t know the details because Red-san only told me a part of it, but it seems that Red-san was feared as a monster (bakemono) in the world they were born in. Red-san got tired of being treated that way and left their birth world to search for someone in a similar situation. But…”


 ”Red-san’s power was too strong. They could meet people in the same situation as Red-san, but they couldn’t meet anyone as strong. They were feared as a monster, and no matter how many worlds they traveled, they couldn’t find someone equal to themselves. So Red-san gave up on searching.”

 ”Gave up on searching? Does that mean…”

 ”Yes, you guessed it. Red-san decided to create someone who was equal to themselves. They gave their own power, “Crimson”… but even that didn’t go well. There’s no one who can accept all of Red-san’s power from the beginning. Even a faint remnant of Red-san’s power is tremendously strong to ordinary people, and most of them couldn’t withstand it and died. And even if they could meet the criteria, they could never reach the level Red-san desired. But still, Red-san kept giving power, even if it was just a faint remnant, because without planting the seed, the sprout won’t grow.”

 Hey, she’s saying that they knowingly gave away power that would kill people just by giving it to them?

 I’m sorry, but at this point, my impression of Red-san wasn’t very good.

 Did Snow-san read my inner thoughts and make a correction?

 ”Of course, Red-san doesn’t randomly give power to people. Neil-san, have you ever had any major illnesses or injuries?”

 ”Illnesses or injuries?”

 The first thing that comes to mind is when I wandered between life and death for three days and three nights because of Natto, but it doesn’t matter now because I have Crimson.

 If we’re talking about before reincarnation, my mental state was terrible, but my physical body was surprisingly strong, and I never experienced any serious illnesses.

 ”No, I haven’t had any such experiences.”

 ”Then do you have any memories of being involved in an event or accident that could have killed you but you survived unharmed?”

 ”That is…”

 When Snow-san asked me, I hesitated for a moment.

 When I saw memories of my past life, I wondered if I also saw those memories together.

 It was a spot-on question. I did experience an accident in my past life, a really big one. I was just a preschooler at the time and I got hit by a car, then squished between the out-of-control car and a brick wall.

 My mother, who was with me at the time, apparently kept staring in shock as the car crashed into the wall, emitting black smoke from the engine room, saying “There’s no way to survive this.”

 But when the driver was rescued and the car was moved, it seemed that I emerged unharmed from under the car.

 It’s impossible to believe – being hit by a car and then crashing into a wall with it, but since the fact remains that I emerged unharmed from under the car, it must have been possible.

 Just to be sure, I went to the hospital for thorough tests, but they found no abnormalities. This incident a mysterious story that my mother became often told me about.

 Due to the shock of the accident, I hardly had any memories before or after it, and I had come to accept that as normal. However, when Snow-san asked me that question, my thoughts changed.

 ”Surviving a major accident is related to receiving Crimson?”

 ”Yes, Red-san can only give Crimson to someone who is critically injured or has just died. When Crimson is implanted in the soul, the body, which is the vessel of the soul, undergoes changes to adapt to Crimson. It’s like the body is reborn from scratch. If the process fails, death is inevitable, but if it succeeds, the body is completely resurrected.”

 ”So, does that mean I was able to survive the accident unscathed?”

 To be precise, I was just lucky to come out unharmed. I probably died at that moment.

 But then Red-san, who was looking for someone like me, happened to pass by and miraculously I was able to come back to life.

 At the same time, I understand that Red-san doesn’t randomly give out powers, and a disturbing thought starts to become clear.

 ”If I’m going to die anyway, it wouldn’t matter if they gave me power and I died, right?”


 Snow-san didn’t say anything in response to my words, but had a bitter expression on her face.

 Snow-san was asking about how to choose someone to give power to, directly from Red-san.

 She must have also asked why they did that, and the fact that she didn’t argue with me was proof that it was the right answer.

 ”…Red-san regretted whether they had hurt someone with their selfish actions. After confessing that fact to me, Red-san disappeared. So I thought, maybe Red-san went on a journey for atonement.”

 ”That’s why you came to me. Because I was the one who received Crimson from Red-san, maybe you visited me for the sake of atonement.”

 ”Yes… And if Red-san hasn’t come to you yet, I was hoping I could let them know that I’m looking for them… Oh, by the way,”

 Snow-san suddenly said, “Here,” and reached out her right hand towards me.

 On the palm of her hand was a keychain made from a white fluffy hair, cut to be larger than a brush’s hair.

 ”Um, what’s this?”

 ”It’s a keychain made from my own hair.”


 When I heard it was made from hair, I thought of something creepy at first. But when I looked closely, the hair seemed softer than regular hair, giving off a fluffy impression.

 ”Um, which hair did you use for this?”

 ”It’s from my tail! Hehe, it might sound weird, but I’ve received many compliments about how great my tail feels when touched! I’d like to give this to Neil-san.”

 ”Um, thank you very much…”

 Just a while ago, I was pushed into accepting a huge amount of analog games as a sign of getting to know each other, but this gift from Snow-san was completely different from the intention of sharing my favorite things with others. I was puzzled by Snow-san’s intentions.

 ”This is, like, a kind of lucky charm, right?”

 ”Yeah, if I had to say, it’s like a way of marking.”

 ”A marking?”

 ”Yes, so when I meet people who have an Origin like mine and they seem harmless, I give them this white fur keychain. It’s like a symbol of trust from me. So, if someone like me comes to see Neil in the future, and they have the white fur keychain, it means you can trust them. But if they have a black fur keychain, you need to be cautious.”

 ”So, if white is safe, does that mean black is dangerous?”

 ”No, if someone is really dangerous, they wouldn’t even be able to have a conversation or receive the keychain in the first place. People with black fur are cautious types, who are generally harmless but you need to be prepared for danger if you step on a landmine, so to speak.”

 ”So they’re like super dangerous people?”

 Basically, no matter how cheerful they may seem, the moment you step on a landmine, they’ll come to kill you.

 At that point, they’re definitely dangerous.

 ”Well, there are some dangerous parts, but they are not people who would harm others without reason!”

 ”Comparing them to murderers who take lives as their main focus, it’s like saying that robbers are still better…?”

 In some cases, even robbers take lives, so in the end, both are the same.

 ”By the way, how likely is it that someone like Snow-san would visit me? There are countless other worlds besides this one, right? I don’t think there are many people who would come from another world to visit me in this world.”

 ”Well… just so you know, I didn’t happen to stumble upon this world and learn about Neil-san’s existence. I visited this world by chance when I sensed Crimson’s presence while passing by. After that, I heard about Neil-san from the god who manages this world. So, I think there is definitely a possibility of people who are after Crimson visiting Neil-san. In the Azure World Tree, Crimson holds a meaning beyond just being an Origin, so if someone has business with Crimson, they wouldn’t overlook it, don’t you think?”

 ”What do you mean by a meaning beyond just being an Origin?”

 ”To explain that, I need to start by explaining what an Origin is. Are you okay with that?”

 ”I’m okay, in fact, I would like you to explain it.”

 I know that Crimson is one type of Origin, but I still don’t understand what Origin really is.

 I had two chances to ask about Origin before. The first time, I was about to be reincarnated and had other things to worry about, so I couldn’t ask.

 The second time was when I talked to the spirit tree in the elf village, but the topic of Origin came up towards the end, and I was cut off right after that, so all I got was the information about “poison for this world.”

 ”Origin is the ‘beginning’ of everything, and it’s the power that becomes the ‘source’ of everything. Water, land, living things, all the beings in the world, even the world itself and the gods who shaped it, are born and continually established by Origin. Without Origin, even the gods wouldn’t be able to exert their power. It may sound grand, but if you think of Origin as the very authority of the gods, it’s easy to understand.”


 ”Um, are you okay?”

 ”Um… yeah, I’m okay.”

 Well, I had expected it to be something quite grand, considering that even the gods would come to seek it from another world. However, it took me a little while to fully grasp the incredibly grand nature of the story, even more than I had imagined.

 ”I understand that it’s something very important for now. So, what does it mean to continue to establish its existence?”

 ”Origin is not only necessary at the time of birth, but also for the thing that is born to maintain its existence. So, if Origin were to run out, it would no longer be able to maintain its existence and would perish.”

 The word “perish” is quite ominous.

 But I’ve somewhat grasped the image of Origin, and at the same time, a certain matter is beginning to bother me.

 ”If the maintenance of existence is impossible without Origin, does that mean that Origin is something that all existence possesses?”

 ”Well… yes. At first, everyone thinks of Origin as something rare, but in reality, it’s a tangible force more common than air. However, while it’s true that all existence contains Origin, whether it can be described as possessing it is a delicate matter.”

 ”Why is that?”

 ”Let’s say we compare Origin to water. What kind of uses for water do you think of, Neil?”

 ”Uses for water? If it’s safe water, it can be used as drinking water, and even if it’s not, there are countless industrial uses that come to mind.”

 ”Now, what if there’s only a single drop of that water? What would you do? Even if it’s just a drop, water is still water, but can you do the things you thought of with that single drop?”

 It’s impossible to do so without thinking about it.

 Even with just a drop of water, it’s useless.

 ”So, does that mean most people don’t have enough Origin, which is like a drop of water, to use as their Origin?”

 ”Yes, most beings only have the minimum amount of Origin necessary to sustain their existence. To be more precise, it would be better to say that they are supplied with the necessary Origin from the world. So, it’s difficult for me to say that they “have” Origin in that sense.”

 It’s similar to how magicians are treated in this world.

 In this world, being a magician requires the ability to handle multiple types of magic, and simply being able to use magic doesn’t make one a magic user.

 Similarly, unless you have enough Origin to treat it as Origin, you can’t really say that you have Origin.

 ”Common power, but not something everyone can handle. Also an important power that supports the world. So, what about Azure and Crimson?”

 ”In Origin, each color has slightly different characteristics. Azure represents the ‘process,’ Crimson represents the ‘result,’ and gold represents ‘decline.’ Even though the colors are different, they all represent the power that constructs the world. The difference lies in the direction of the world created by the different colors.”

 ”The direction of the world?”

 ”For example, a world created by Crimson emphasizes the ‘result,’ often neglecting the ‘process’ and ‘decline’ that lead there. In simple terms, it becomes a world that naturally ends up that way.”

 ”Before you know it, it’s happening… Ah!”

 In the office, there was a pipe chair. And from somewhere, wooden boxes and game equipment appeared.

 Is this all because of what Crimson brought about as a “result”? Ignoring the process to get there and only obtaining the result, that is “Crimson”…

 ”That’s nonsense…”

 ”When you hear about getting only the result by skipping the process, it sounds really unfair, but in reality, it’s inflexible and harder to handle compared to Azure, okay?”

 ”…Is that so?”

 ”Obtaining the desired result for oneself means, on the contrary, that you can only obtain the result you desired. Let’s say you obtained the result of a ‘cooking knife that can cut any ingredient.’ What do you think would happen?”

 ”Since it’s a knife that can cut any ingredient, it would have an amazing sharpness when it comes to ingredients, but it would be just an ordinary knife for anything else, right?”

 ”Bubub! That’s incorrect. This knife is not designed for anything other than cutting ingredients, so it cannot cut anything other than food, even if it’s something more fragile than tofu. Furthermore, since there is no specification regarding the sharpness just by ‘cutting ingredients’ this time, it doesn’t have an exceptionally sharp edge, and you will feel the same resistance regardless of the hardness of the ingredients. Thanks to that, you can have a strange experience of cutting tofu that feels unusually hard.”

 ”Well… that’s certainly inflexible.”

 Wow, it’s like things go “as planned” in both good and bad ways.

 It means that it won’t go beyond what you expected, and it won’t work for anything else. If you think about cutting ingredients, that’s the only thing you can achieve.

 However, regardless of how convenient it is compared to Azure, the fact that it can do such a thing is an incredible power.

 The ability of Origin and the nature of Crimson, at least as basic knowledge, should be sufficient.

 I throw the question I couldn’t ask earlier back to Snow-san.

 ”So, in a world where Azure is the mainstream, what does Crimson mean?”

 ”There is compatibility between the three Origins, and they are in a rock-paper-scissors relationship. gold is strong against Crimson, Azure is strong against gold, and Crimson is strong against Azure. To explain it simply, let’s use the example of the knife from earlier. When you want to modify a knife that can only cut ingredients, you use Origin just like when you created it. Since there is a rule that always maintains a certain sharpness against the ingredients, sharpening the blade is meaningless. So , you need to overwrite that rule. And the crucial point is that in order to overwrite it, you need an Origin that has an equal or greater amount or quality to maintain it.”

 ”So it’s a battle between the Origin that tries to maintain its existence and the Origin that tries to rewrite its existence.”

 ”That’s right. If it’s the same color, it’s just a simple comparison of quantity and quality, but when another color comes into play, compatibility issues arise. When Crimson faces Azure, even if it is inferior in quantity or quality, it can overwrite it due to the difference in compatibility.”

 ”So in the world shaped by Azure, does that mean Crimson can stand in a considerably advantageous position?”

 ”Yes, I think even with the amount and quality of someone like Neil, it would be enough to interfere with the world and rewrite the principles. For example, you could make it rain gummy bears instead of rain.”

 ”It seems like a really fancy scene… Or rather, how much of a thing is my Crimson from Snow-san’s perspective?”

 ”What do you mean by ‘how much’?”

 ”For example, is the quantity on the higher side, or is the quality on the better side?”

 ”Ah… um…”

 ”Snow-san seems to find it difficult to put into words. She groans while twisting her neck, and occasionally her tail and ears twitch.

 I find her behavior amusing and want to keep watching, but I can’t keep troubling her with my questions.

 ”You don’t need to think so hard about making it understandable to me. Just say what you think, Snow-san, and it’ll be okay.”

 ”Oh, well, if that’s the case, there’s something that came to mind when you asked, but it’s not a very appropriate expression…”

 ”There’s no need for appropriateness when dealing with an amateur. It’s my fault for not understanding. Your words are fine, Snow-san. So, what is it?”

 ”A cupful of rainwater.”

 Ah, I see.

 If it’s a cupful, it’s not entirely useless. It might be a bit cloudy and difficult to use as is, though. Hmm…

 ”As a point of comparison, what about you, Snow-san?”

 ”A pure, clear stream flowing through the mountains, I suppose.”

 ”Oh, really?”

 ”No, I don’t mean any harm! There are no units on Origin, so it’s quite subjective when it comes to quantity!”

 ”I understand. I don’t think you have any ill intentions, Snow-san. It’s just that I thought the mystery of something would be resolved, and it would be very useful in solving the problem I’m facing now. But when I looked into it, it turned out to be not entirely unusable, and it’s just a delicate feeling. Oh, what am I saying in front of everyone?”

 Having come this far without any cheat ability, I thought I might finally be able to use some kind of power, but even though the ability was excellent, the quantity and quality required to utilize it were a bit questionable.

 I don’t know what kind of person I am to expect so much and then be disappointed, but after hearing something like that, I guess it can’t be helped.

 ”…Neil-san, let me say two things. First, it’s true that compared to other people I know, the Crimson you possess, Neil-san, has a lower quantity and quality. However, even so, you have enough power to make a mess of at least one world of azure. And secondly, I don’t think it’s good to rely on Origin for everything. Certainly, Origin is convenient and can easily solve problems that have been troubling you. But if you become completely dependent on Origin like that, I think you will eventually drown in that power and be destroyed. That’s why I try not to rely on Origin for important things and do my best to manage on my own. Even if I use it, it’s only to create an opportunity to solve a problem, so that I don’t become completely dependent on it.”

 ”But you use Origin too frequently, don’t you, Snow-san? Suddenly boxes appear, and pipe chairs are there as if it’s natural.”

 ”I said, ‘only for important things,’ didn’t I? I use it quite a bit for trivial things. Because they are trivial things, whether I rely on Origin or not, it doesn’t make a big difference in the results.”

 ”But then, what’s the meaning of the power we have worked so hard for――”


 Snow-san interrupted me with a strong voice and called my name.

 ”That way of thinking is dangerous. It’s not okay to use power as your main goal. It’s a common saying, but those who have power have a responsibility that comes with it, you know?”


 ”It’s okay. Just because you have strong power doesn’t mean you have to do something with it. Red doesn’t want that either. Power is power, and Neil is Neil. I don’t have the right to tell you not to use Origin, but if in the future, you feel the need to rely on Origin’s power, think carefully. Is it really necessary to use Origin?”

 ”…I understand.”

 I wasn’t completely convinced.

 Unspoken emotions swirled inside me. Still, Snow-san, who has the same Crimson as me and understands Crimson more than I do, had power in her words.

 As the conversation came to an end, an awkward silence filled the space between us.

 Just as the silence seemed to break, there was a knock on the window. It was strange because, according to Snow-san, we shouldn’t be recognizable to others right now. So, I wondered who could be knocking on the window. When I looked, it was Momoka.

 ”Um, what――”

 Snow-san was also surprised by the visitor and looked at the window. Her expression changed even more to one of astonishment as she gazed at Momoka without moving.

 It looked as if she was not surprised by the visitor, but rather by Momoka herself.

 As Snow-san stood still in front of us, I was about to speak, but just as I was opening my mouth, Snow-san spoke a moment sooner and called out a name.


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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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