Author’s Note: Well peeps, I got this chapter out faster than I thought I would. Anyway, this chapter took a major turn from what I had originally planned. And yes, the ending seems to be a rushed plot point. Just… read it for yourself? And remember, even harsh criticism is welcome.
I Reincarnated Too Many Times Chapter 02 – Destiny Clock
Who am I? That’s a question I ask myself a lot. When I look into my first Item Box, there’s two mementos from my first life. A long-dead smart phone and a Student ID that is so worn that you can’t even properly read it. Let alone recognize that there’s even a person in the photo. There were times where I thought I would use a forbidden time-reversal spell on them, but that wouldn’t be right. I know that if I could fully remember the names of my friends and family from my first life, I’d cry. Even if I could go back to Japan to the time where I first died, there’s no going back to that life. Other than the fact I’m in a different (and older) body, I’ve changed on the inside. I do remember something I’ve heard in most of my past lives, that soldiers usually end up leaving themselves back where they fought in a war. I don’t know when or where I left that student I once was, it’s been so long. So yeah, I couldn’t go back even if I used some kind of transformation magic to be that kid in Japan again. I don’t even remember my hometown.
All I know is that I’m on my last life. Once this is over, I’m completely gone. So remembering who I used to be won’t matter anymore. That is my fate, to disappear into nothingness. There’s a way to avoid that fate, but I don’t think it’s right. When I first met Aria, she offered the alternative. If I wanted, I could become her familiar. And from there, I could become a god. But… why would I want to become a god? I mean, I’ve lived longer than most of the lower tier gods in existence. I know that if I acquire godhood, then I could end up remembering all of my past lives. It’s more than my first life that I’ve forgotten over the many millennia my spirit has existed. I’ve had many friends, lovers, and families. I’ve also been many things. But for all those I’ve left behind to wait for me in the afterlife… becoming a god wouldn’t do any justice. I’m sure that a lot of them probably been there so long that they forgot about me. And others probably got reincarnated.
When I die, my body will still be here until it turns to dust. And when it turns to dust, nothing left of me will remain. I think it would be better that way. But before I die… I need to destroy just about everything I’ve collected. I have many items from many worlds. If I were to leave something conspicuous behind, it could alter this world’s fate. I don’t want to leave too big of a mess behind… again, I’ve done it before. Once I’ve taken advanced tech from a previous life and introduced it to a land of swords and magic. I was able to change many lives for the better. But… humanity will still be humanity. Greed, corruption, envy, jealousy, all that will still be a part of it. I remember a woman that could travel different worlds who called herself the Oracle once gave me a mouthful because how much I messed up a world when I left it behind. It was so messed up that it was destroyed. Ever since that time, I kept a better watch on what I try to introduce.
I’m thinking about making an underground vault. I have skills that can make dungeons, labyrinths, you name it. But in this vault will be the books about myself that I ended up gathering over the many lives I’ve spent. Though I won’t be around for it, the thought of someone trying to decipher the ones not in the local language is amusing. Due to meeting Sofia, I found out about “The Heroic Tales of Leon Gray”. I managed to get my hands on a copy… and some of it was wrong. For starters, I never slain a dragon with a tree branch. I beat it to death with my bare hands, the branch was thrown at it’s eye to get it’s attention. Then again, people like to over-exaggerate their heroes. I’ve seen similar lies written in the other books about me in my other lives. The problem is that the vault will end up becoming a library. Yeah… the person who is able to decipher all the other books and then connect the dots will think that I’m a narcissist.
I think of all this while eating some kind of bird stew. The flavor of the bird reminds me of chicken. Though the preparation is more like a beef stew… just replace anything beef with chicken. All I know is that it tastes good. Hey, going off into my own little world distracts me from the fact that Sofia’s at the next table and giving me stares. It was only a few days ago that those members of the church’s pro-human faction came to invade and I sent them on their way. Though… I did get some help from the goddess Aria. I don’t really want another event like that to happen so soon, Sofia will even be more hard pressed to get my help.
As I was about to finish the chicken stew, two figures arrived through the guild’s doorway. One was a guy with brownish blond hair and green eyes who was dressed in mostly black. However, his clothes told me that he’s not from this world. That’s because the black clothing were a long coat, then leather gloves, and boots. On his head he wore a brown stetson, or a cowboy hat as some people refer to them. He also wore a red paisley bandanna that covered the lower half of his face and a silver scarf on his neck. And at his waist, a belt with a six-shooter on each side. But the bracer on his left forearm, that was definitely something too high-tech for this world. I think I’ve seen one before… but I’m not sure. As for the woman with him, she had green hair that was almost silver with a shade of green and glowing green eyes. She had orange lipstick that matched the marking on her forehead and wore mostly royal blue. However, I recognized this woman with the long blue open robe that had chest armor under it. And the large sword on her back. I said her name when she made it to my table.
“My, if it isn’t the Oracle? I was thinking about you recently.”
“My dear Leon Gray, it’s been a while.” (Oracle)
I asked her and the man she was with to join me. I’ve met her quite a few times in my many lives, but I never known her to have a male companion. Especially one who wouldn’t look too far out of place in an old cowboy flick. She ordered a large ale for the both of them. I only glanced at Sofia long enough to see a look of surprise on her face. Rarely do I have guests with me at this table. And both guests were served dutifully by Neve. She may be like an overprotective daughter, but Neve would never be rude to people I invite to the table.
“So, what’s with the visit?”
“Oh, nothing much. My bodyguard and I happened to have business in this world, so I figured I’d see you one last time.” (Oracle)
“I’ve never known you to need a bodyguard.”
“I have my reasons, dear Leon. Also, I thought the two of you should meet one last time.” (Oracle)
“Wait… what!?” (bodyguard)
Both the bodyguard and I were confused. But I know I’ve heard someone way “Wait… what!?” like that before. Like the bracer on that man’s arm… I can’t put my finger on it.
“Abel, be a dear and introduce yourself. And please, remove the bandanna before drinking?” (Oracle)
“Damn it boss, I know that last part. Anyway, most people refer to me as Lost Justice. Just call me Lost, that’s basically what I am.” (Lost)
I wanted so badly to laugh at that chuuni-sounding name. But when he removed his bandanna… his face looked more familiar. I still couldn’t put my finger on it.
“Well, I’m Leon Gray. A man who’s much older than he looks.”
“What a coincidence, same here on that last part.” (Lost)
We shook hands right before Neve arrived with their drinks. Lost started on his when the Oracle started talking.
“I’m sure you probably remember him under his real name?” (Oracle)
“And that would be?”
“The name’s Abel Mechana.” (Lost)
He stopped drinking long enough to tell me. But… it hit me right there. I remember this man, he’s one of the two legendary Mechana twins from one of my many lives ago. I was reborn in that world in the country of Yamato. It was very similar to Japan, though the world it was in wasn’t exactly like Earth. Anyway, I worked for the Kaizaki Zanbatsu. However, Yamato was about to be annexed by a country named Communistan. I know, it sounds generic. But in order to protect his employees, my boss paid for all of his employees to move to Communistan’s rival super power; Libertonia. He moved the business and everything to protect us all. However, it came at a hefty cost. First, it cost him almost every bit of money from both his pocket and the company. Secondly, he had to make a deal with the Libertonian government to make robotic suits called Mech Armor for their military in order to migrate all of his employees and their families. In order to assure that he could still pay us, he made a deal with a firearm company for a merger. That company was Tex Mechana. However, the boss still believed in the old code of business ethics in Yamato. So for the merger, his daughter was to marry the heir of Tex Mechana. That heir was Abel Mechana, the man sitting at this table.
I couldn’t believe it, someone from one of my past lives was right here in front of me. One of the lives where I could freely be a mob, no magic or demon kings that needed fought. However… I left that world behind partially because of something I never thought I’d witness. An all-out nuclear war… something that would be considered a nightmare for a Japanese person.
“I remember you. But… I think I know how to make you remember me without telling you directly who I am?”
“Try it.” (Lost)
He started drinking his ale again. I smiled as I secretly pulled something out of one of my inventories. It was a black pair of sunglasses. I put them on and said…
“Mr. Mechana, shit has hit the fan.”
He immediately spat out his drink and started to choke. I assured the people looking that he’ll be alright before we could get back to talking. It was so worth it.
“You’re that man in black from back then?” (Lost)
“Why I’ll be… when did ya die?” (Lost)
“About ten years later. Has the Oracle told you about me?”
“Boss did mention that ya had been reincarnated too many times.” (Lost)
“Yeah, I forgot what life that was. However… even with my ability, I couldn’t stop the nukes if I wanted to. I’m powerful, not omnipotent.”
It’s true, I couldn’t stop the nukes even if I wanted to. I’ve thought about it after it happened. But even if I tried to stop them, I would’ve failed. That day, hell rained down on the world and nothing could stop it. I remember everything from that time. After the nukes fell, I started to use my abilities to help out the survivors. However… I got tired of it after ten years. Mainly due to the fact that people over-relied on me. Yeah, I could’ve ruled over them if I wanted to. But I wasn’t in the mood to rule over a world, especially if everyone still relied on me for everything. Because when I would leave after doing all that, things would’ve been even worse. I purposely let myself die in an ambush by Marauders. At least with me dead, the survivors would have to figure stuff out for themselves before it was too late.
“Hey, even I know that’s impossible.” (Lost)
“But… what happened in that bunker?”
I had to ask. It’s just… I’ve been curious about it for a long time. I did forget about it… but remembering that world made me remember. And then he told me everything. The Bunkers where mostly nothing more than experiments with the residents as guinea pigs. The one in Bunker Five-Thirty was with cryostasis, the residents forced into it to see how long humans could survive in it. However… something happened and he got out almost two-thousand years later. William Host, the guy who was considered an innovator had known about it and used it to his advantage. He reintroduced what was old tech for us into the world after it was reset by it’s new god the Deity. And out of spite for Abel, he kept Mizuki in cryostasis in order to keep Abel from touching him. Mizuki is both the daughter of my old boss in that world and Abel’s fiancée. My blood almost boiled from hearing that. Hey, it’s a side effect of old memories that pop up.
“And that’s about the gist of it.” (Lost)
“But… damn it. If only I had known…”
“Don’t bother thinking about it now. That was then and this is now. What would ya have done, forced yer way into every Bunker and tried to put a stop to everything? The residents wouldn’t have believed ya, even if ya had proof of what Bunk-Co. was doing. To them, safety from the horrors of the outside was more important. Besides, Libertonia’s government even meddled with a few of them without Bunk-Co. even knowing. So it was basically both a corrupt government and a corrupt corporation screwing over the people they were supposed to protect back and forth.” (Lost)
Lost had a point. I mean, could I have done anything about it? I knew how corrupt Libertonia really was. Instead of making bunkers for their citizens, they outsourced it to a company that specialized in doing so in order to focus on the preservation of it’s important people without properly investigating them. So it was better to not even think about it.
“Besides, there’s many possibilities of what could’ve happened. In another timeline, we ended up in a Bunker that actually did what Bunk-Co. advertised. Though the result wasn’t really that different.” (Lost)
“Wait… another timeline?”
This has my attention.
“Leon, it’s better to not think about it. And Abel, I thought I told you to not talk about that around others too much?” (Oracle)
“Sorry, boss.” (Lost)
“Wait, I want to know more.”
Just why did the Oracle have to stop this talk?
“My dear Leon, it’s something that doesn’t matter. Though you’ve been to every world out there, it’s no use to think about other possibilities. You’re on your last life after all.” (Oracle)
“Oh come on, it’s rare that I get to experience something new?”
“That may be true, but it would be better if you were to drop it.” (Oracle)
Just what is up with her?
“Boss just doesn’t feel comfortable with the subject of traveling through other timelines. Or around people with the ability to do so.” (Lost)
I’ve met the Oracle in many of my lives, but I’ve never seen her this flustered before. Normally she has the air of a cool beauty about her, the kind who never gets flustered over anything. But here she is, acting like a normal female when a guy teases her. Like kids who like each… wait!
“Why do I have the feeling that you two have a relationship that’s more than employee and employer?”
“Not it.” (Lost)
“Abel, did you really just do that here?” (Oracle)
“I already had to tell him of what happened when he left my world. It’s yer turn.” (Lost)
“Fine then. My dear Leon, I’m also Abel’s mistress. Approved by his wife of course.” (Oracle)
I took a drink of my own ale just to spit it out.
“You see, his wife Nagisa is… a yandere. However, I put her in her place the first time we met because she tried to attack me over Abel having my scent on him. Despite the fact he would never cheat on her, Nagisa had me become his mistress in order to prevent that from happening if he ever gets carnal urges. Originally I accepted just because I could. However… Abel was the first person to get mad for my sake. And in doing so I ended up remembering what it feels to be a woman for the first time in so long.” (Oracle)
That’s an expression that I had never seen on her face before. And Lost looks annoyed about it. I’ve lived many lives and there were times I’ve had harems whether I wanted them or not. And despite his mental age, he doesn’t look like the type who could handle having more than one lover. I have to say, I do respect him more than most of the Japanese high school students that got transferred that I’ve met in my past lives. At least he tried to decide on one woman.
“Mr. Mechana, you are more amazing than Robert Host right now.”
“As much as I hate getting compared to ol’ Billy Bob, I’ll take the compliment.” (Lost)
“Still… aren’t you going to get your revenge on him?”
“If yer talking about putting a bullet between his eyes, I gave up on that a long time ago. But I would like to rescue Mizuki if possible. It’s my fault that she’s still taking an ice nap after all.” (Lost)
I could see the regret on his face. But… it’s the same look I occasionally get when I look in the mirror. As in there’s more to his regret than what’s going on.
“Lost, I’ll be frank right now. There’s more than meets the eye at hand, as in there’s more to your regret. If you want, I’ll listen.”
I made the offer in hopes to ease the extra weight he seems to be carrying. And… to satisfy my own curiosity as well.
“Let’s just say that fate hates ya no matter what ya do? Like say a god gives your children a destiny that involves being taken from ya when they’re just a year old? And no matter how hard ya try, getting them back is impossible.” (Lost)
Okay… that’s a new one. Throughout my many lives, I’ve seen people try to defy fate and even the gods themselves. But this is the first time where I’ve witnessed a god make it so your children are taken away so young. Normally the children would have become orphans and made to become the survivors of their families. But rarely does a god do something like this? Who am I kidding, this isn’t the first case of children being separated from their parents due to the whims of a god. It’s even happened to me on a few of my reincarnations. Man, I’ve lived too many lives. However… I can only come up with a conclusion to a different question.
“You just answered a different question I was about to ask.”
“And that’d be?” (Lost)
“I was curious to why you’re traveling with the Oracle of all people. I can only come to one conclusion from hearing the story about your children. You want to learn how to defy a god, am I correct?”
To my own surprise, he didn’t look shocked.
“That’s right. But so far all I’ve learned is that they can die.” (Lost)
“Wait… does this mean you plan on killing a god?”
This was something I had to stop if I could. I mean fighting a god is just crazy, no matter how corrupt they are. I’ve seen what happens to those who try to kill gods or even succeed in doing so. And trust me, it’s not pretty. Even though Pauline decides the fate of the deceased, gods will sometimes torture the souls of those who try to defeat them until they’re broken. If I let Lost have that fate, I could never forgive myself. I didn’t almost sacrifice myself in that life for him to suffer like that.
“Not really. Besides, I’ve only killed two eighths of one.” (Lost)
“My dear Leon, it’s bad enough that I have to hear him say those words. But would you like me to explain?” (Oracle)
All I can do is nod. But as I heard the circumstances, I understood. What Lost has done so far was kill pieces of a rogue god, a god who defies the rules set by the Higher Gods. As this god Sigmund used the banned reincarnation program I’m on on three other souls, I could understand why no other gods are angry at Lost right now. Especially since Sigmund used a loophole to become a god again and ended up being responsible for the destruction of a world. Throughout all my lives, I’ve learned how gods think. Don’t get me wrong, some rogue gods have good intentions. But as I’ve heard back on Earth, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. Meaning that even the best of intentions will have some serious consequences.
“I see… that explains a lot.”
“But killing a rogue god is not our mission, my dear Leon.” (Oracle)
“Like the boss says, it’s more of a side job.” (Lost)
“So you only kill Sigmund’s fragments if it happens to coincide with your work?”
“That’d be about the gist of it.” (Lost)
To believe, that rich kid that I had to protect when he was engaged to the daughter of my employer is now killing gods on the side when traveling worlds? Or even learning how to defy a god in the first place? That’s something I never thought would happen.
“So, what business do you two have in this world?”
“Oh, that would be better left as a surprise. Something that you would not want to be involved with, my dear Leon. It would be troublesome after all.” (Oracle)
Okay, I REALLY wanna know.
“Please, for old times sake?”
“No, I couldn’t tell you in such a public place.” (Oracle)
Right then, I used some chant-less magic to make it so no one could hear us.
“What about now?”
“My, I have never known you to be this persistent. Well… I guess it wouldn’t hurt. We had some business with your friend Neve’s brother.” (Oracle)
“Wait… with Ghiaccio?”
“That’s right. You see, the war with the demons is about to restart.” (Oracle)
“What!? What about Neve!?”
“Leon, you shouldn’t shout even with a silencing barrier. People will think you’re crazy when you shout in front of them and they can’t hear you.” (Oracle)
She had me there. The one thing about her I don’t like, how she can get under my skin without even trying. No matter how many lives I’ve lived, I can never get enough experience to handle her.
“You’re right, I lost my cool.”
“I don’t blame you. Anyway, the only danger Neve should face would be ending up in the Hero’s harem. But that can be prevented as that’s not set in stone. As for Ghiaccio, he’s going to declare war after some humans bait him into it by destroying a few villages in the Demon Country. The normally neutral Beastman Kingdom will of course aid humanity as their princess is married to the empires second prince, which of course is thanks to you. Don’t even bother feeling any guilt, that was predetermined anyway. The remaining Heroes of Light will try to fight the demon king, but that would fail even if all seven of them were active. That’s when the empire will try summoning a hero with Aria’s blessing, the usual Japanese high school student troupe. And of course he’ll be trained and sent on a quest to fight the demon king, gather his harem, etc.” (Oracle)
Wait… this leaves to many questions. Maybe I was better off not knowing?
“But… how many lives will be lost?”
“On both sides, many.” (Oracle)
My emotions got the better of me and I got up from my seat. However, the Oracle tried to stop me.
“And what do you think you’re doing, Leon?” (Oracle)
“I have to go to the Demon Country.”
“I wouldn’t do that, I actually advise against doing so.” (Oracle)
“But why? Innocents are about to die and I know about it. I have to do something.”
“It doesn’t matter what you do, fate will always conquer in the end. Even you can’t be in too many places at once. And do you even know what would happen if you tried to do anything?” (Oracle)
“Someone somewhere will declare that you have taken a side. You forget your position in this world, my dear Leon. You’re a legendary existence comparable to the gods. Even if you don’t take a side, society will say otherwise. And even if Aria sends out her own oracles to say that you didn’t, there are corrupt people no matter what world you’re in. Even in the unity faction of the church there’s corruption. If you protect the demons, humanity will be in chaos due to how Aria has declared you her beloved. They will think Aria has abandoned them. The same goes with the Beastman Kingdom and the melting pot known as the Oceania Republic. Even more lives could be lost from the chaos than from the war. Since you know what’s about to happen and the other possibilities I just mentioned, which one can you live with?” (Oracle)
I hate these situations. It’s the whole “the needs of the few or the needs of the many” scenario, the situation I hate the most. There’s been many times that I tried to make it work out for everyone and failed. I once doomed a country in order to save one village before, one of my many regrets.
“Why did you have to tell me this? It’s worse than any curse ever.”
“Why? Because you were too persistent my dear Leon. Even though I tried to dissuade you, you still had to know. Now do you finally know why some things must not be known?” (Oracle)
She… she has me there. I was the one who wanted to know, and now I regret it. Many times throughout all my lives so far, I’ve heard that some secrets must not be known. Even the smallest secret can ruin a country if found out.
“Is there anything I can do?”
“Actually there is. But don’t get your hopes up, the best thing you can do is stay here in Vrede and enjoy you’re retirement.” (Oracle)
How can anyone enjoy their retirement when they know this much!?
“Just… how can you handle knowing all this stuff? How do you deal with it?”
“My dear Leon, things like this even makes me sick to my stomach. But sometimes destiny cannot be avoided. Even if I told Abel here before his children could’ve been taken away that it would happen, it would still have happened. Though his case is past-tensed. (Oracle)
“Hey, it doesn’t mean I can’t still get them back.” (Lost)
“True, but it’s still is after the fact. Anyway, back to you Leon. There are some forces at work that cannot be stopped. You can try to delay the war, but it will still happen eventually. That’s the thing with inevitability, you can fight as hard as you can but you cannot stop it from happening. So it’s inevitable that those villages will be destroyed. It’s something that has to be accepted.” (Oracle)
I tried to wrack my brain to figure out an alternative. I activated my ability “Destiny Clock”, it allows me to look into different fates of the world. However… even with “Parallel Thought” active, I couldn’t see a fate where everything worked out. The real reason I don’t use “Destiny Clock” is because I don’t like seeing the future. And now that I used it, the Oracle’s words are true. There’s no way I can prevent the war from happening.
“So the Order of Chaos are the ones pulling the strings?”
“Yes, they are. But even if you try to stop them–” (Oracle)
“I know, their agents are already at work. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were here to distract me?”
“Whether I was here for that reason or not, it started within moments of starting to tell you about it. So unless you activated Destiny Clock let’s say… this morning, you wouldn’t have been able to stop it.” (Oracle)
Yeah, I REALLY wish I didn’t want to know now. However, “Destiny Clock” did tell me one thing I would’ve jumped for joy from this morning. And that it’s Sophia will be leaving me tomorrow. However… I didn’t look further into it when I found out. She’s destined to accompany the Hero that’s about to be summoned. I didn’t look into him, so I don’t know who he is. However, the reason she accompanies him is because her father comes here to forcefully retrieve her. No matter what I do, it’s inevitable that I have to confront my past in this life. That being Edgar Swallow himself.
After Note: Yeah, I know it seems rushed that Leon has to confront Edgar Swallow already. However, it’s inevitable that it happens. To be honest, I almost made Edgar a fragment of Sigmund. But… that would’ve been giving him too much of a role. And yes, I planned on both the Oracle and Lost Justice appearing this soon. There’s more with them that I didn’t add this chapter, but it will be in the next one. Including a relation between Leon and a character that only Dark Jackel knows about.
Anywho, please attend tonight’s live stream? It’s more SoulCalibur VI like I put in that post. And the link will be on my twitter when I start streaming. Actually, I’m adding a link to my Twitch Channel in my “About Me” page along with my YouTube Channel.
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