I Became the Villain’s Mother

Spoiler Alert!

*yawn*

Looks like you fell asleep while reading your favorite novel again. The story escalated quickly when Prince Lucas and Ainspener started fighting over Elisha!

Hmm?

Whose bed is this? It’s so big and fancy!

Wait! Where ARE you?

Huh?

You look at your hands and your clothes. They aren’t yours!

Seriously, what happened?!

You see an elegant dressing table with a mirror in one corner of the room and dash towards it.

Who…?

!!

You know this face, but…you’ve seen it in the pictures of your novel!

Duchess Roselia Chaid!

The wicked stepmother of Ainspener Chaid, the novel’s villain, and the wife of Duke Cassius Chaid, the terror of the Empire!

How did this happen?!?

The last thing you remember was reading a novel in bed after another busy day at the children’s daycare center you work at.

You’ve read many stories about people waking up in another world, but…

Hold on! Alright, calm down now…

There’s a much bigger problem right now…

“Mother?”

A boy’s voice? Who…

An…angel?

Wait, you know him!

This is Ainspener Chaid himself! The ultimate villain!

The reason why he became such was that Roselia (that’s you!) abused him at every opportunity, from harassing him with dogs to humiliating him publicly at social events.

Was she crazy?!

Abuse this little angel?!

What’s worse is that Ain would eventually murder Roselia, according to the novel.

There’s only one thing to do…

Raise him with love and affection, thereby preventing him from becoming a villain!

You give your warmest smile.

He gives you a slightly bewildered stare.

Did you do something wrong?

As a daycare teacher, you know it’s important for the adult to make the first move.

“Ain, shall we have breakfast together?”, you ask.

“R-really?”

“Of course!”

Yes, family should spend time together and get to know each other better!

This is awful.

Why didn’t he say anything about his allergy to peaches?

He…he probably thinks you fed him peaches on purpose during yesterday’s breakfast!

“Why…why did you eat them?”

“I’m sorry…”

It’s like your good intentions have somehow turned into abuse!

You feel tears welling up in your eyes. Despite being allergic to peaches, the boy still ate them because he didn’t want to upset you!

“It won’t happen again, Ain.”, you sob.

“No, no! You’ve done nothing wrong, mother!”

You have to make sure it never happens again…

You will protect him!

I Became the Villain’s Mother (악당의 엄마가 되어버렸다, Agdang-ui Eommaga Doeeobeolyeossda) is a web novel and web comic written by Yulji (율지).

After falling asleep while reading her favorite novel, the 28-year old daycare teacher Haena Seo wakes up as Duchess Roselia Chaid, the abusive stepmother of Ainspener Chaid, the main villain of said novel. Upon seeing Ain as a child, the new Roselia’s motherly instincts overtake her and she resolves to give Ain the happy childhood he never had in the novel. She does this by talking to him daily, accompanying him at mealtimes, playing with him and occasionally taking him on outings. When Roselia learns that Ain takes minute doses of poison as part of his “training”, she becomes angry and rebukes her husband, Duke Cassius Chaid, and the household staff for such cruelty to a child.

She cannot make up her mind because her stepson would look cute in all those outfits!

Intrigued by his once-indifferent stepmother’s change of heart, the cold-hearted Ain now plays the part of an innocent, cheerful child whenever he is with her. At the same time, Cassius also feels the curious desire for the affection his wife gives to his son. Although Roselia is keen on spending every moment she has on Ain, she is much more hesitant to do so with Cassius, whom she sees as cruel and dominating man. Over time, Cassius learns to consider the feelings of his family and opens up to them, which is quite a feat since he had been taught to never show weakness since childhood. For her part, Roselia eventually realizes that her attitude towards Cassius is quite selfish and she learns to see her husband as a person instead of a story villain. Cassius and Ain, once distant to each other, develop a peculiar rivalry of sorts as they both compete for Roselia’s affection.

Unknown to Roselia, the Chaids are a family of assassins who have the secret duty of maintaining their Emperor’s rule by any means necessary. Among the Chaid family’s many enemies are a group of nobles, led by Premier Julien, who hope to usurp power from the Emperor himself. With Roselia warming the hearts of her once-distant husband and stepson, only time will tell what the future has in store for the Chaids.

Main Characters

Duchess Roselia Chaid, formerly Haena Seo (서해나, Seo Haena), Ainspener’s stepmother, Cassius’ second wife and a former daycare teacher. Compassionate, dedicated, kind and warm, she is devoted to giving Ainspener Chaid the happy childhood he never had in the original novel’s story. While the original Roselia was an ambitious socialite and an abusive stepmother to Ain, the current Roselia prefers a quiet life of doting on Ain, protecting him and caring for her family. However, she is naïve about the darker side of her stepson’s personality, having only seen the kind-hearted boy he presents himself as to her. Roselia gets uncomfortable with the affairs of state her husband deals with and tends to get bored when gossiping with other noble ladies. Many familiar with Roselia’s past behavior are bewildered by her now-caring attitude, but have gotten accustomed to it as time goes by.

She will never back down from protecting Ain. Never.

Ainspener Chaid, the young heir of the Chaid family. Cold-hearted, quiet, shrewd and a bit paranoid, he has been taught all his life to fight any and all weaknesses, as is the tradition of every child born to the Chaid family. Ain is gradually touched by Roselia’s love and becomes afraid whenever it appears to be directed elsewhere. As part of his noble education, Ain is familiar with economics, politics and courtly etiquette. He is a competent swordsman and is skilled in the ways of stealth. As part of his family training, he takes regular minute doses of poison to build up a natural immunity, but he now does this in secret since Roselia has forbidden him from doing so. Despite having an allergy to peaches, he still eats them sometimes in order to eventually overcome said allergy.

Despite his young age, Ain is far from innocent.

Duke Cassius Chaid, patriarch of the Chaid family. Cold-hearted, calculating, proud and ruthless, he is an adult version of his son in many ways. Intrigued by the sudden closeness between his son and his wife, he gradually finds himself wanting such affection as well. While Roselia is put off by Cassius’ intimidating nature at first, the two slowly become close as Cassius opens up to his wife. As a secret enforcer of the Emperor’s will, Cassius is a master assassin and torturer. He is also highly skilled in the use of poison and keeps the Empire’s largest collection of exotic poisons in his basement. Once a year, Cassius suffers inexplicable convulsions for a week. He goes to great lengths to hide this weakness from everyone, but he finally gains Roselia’s trust when she learns about this and looks after him.

Cassius interrogates a spy

Personal Thoughts

Suddenly thrust into an unloving noble family, a passionate daycare teacher now devotes her life to bringing love and care to it. It’s rather touching to see the hard-hearted Chaids, having once seen the entire world as their enemy, gradually open themselves up and find true happiness in caring for someone they love, especially someone who gives them love without expecting anything in return. On the flip side, the Chaids are a family of assassins who have done clandestine deeds for their government for generations. Feared locally and abroad, both father and son both are secretly dissatisfied with being the “villains” but they keep their vulnerabilities within the family.

Fighting back his desire to lash out, Cassius reaches out to his wife.

We all have flaws and weaknesses in body and character but we often hide them in public to maintain a mask of normalcy in polite society and not let others ridicule or take advantage of us. Someone who could accept us for who we truly are, strengths and flaws, is a rare person indeed. Having someone who would unconditionally love you and look out for you is truly wondrous. We usually only find such people in our families and even that’s not a guarantee! Such love should be appreciated and never taken for granted.

A beautiful moment

Affection and care are keys to growing up well as a person, but not everyone in the world can have them. We are all capable of being greedy and selfish, some more so than others! We must also keep in mind that no one is perfect, because all of us have limits. Our beliefs and personalities are dependent on our circumstances, but we all have the choice to become better people through determination. By giving care to others, we can also encourage people to be more selfless as well and understand that a certain kind of happiness can be found in caring for others.

Moral

We are only human, so it’s better to give than to receive.

Re:Monster

Spoiler Alert

You should get home quickly. Mayumi is still at your house, sleeping off from tonight’s drinking. Somehow, you didn’t feel like you’ve had enough, so you bought some beer at a convenience store.

Hmm?

Isn’t that…Aoi Kirimine? She’s been stalking you for years since the day you saved her from a bunch of punks. It’s a bit odd, but she’s like a little sister to you…

“Aoi-chan, is something wrong?”

She doesn’t respond.

Something feels off. Her usual cheery face isn’t there, replaced by an expressionless mask staring darkly at you.

“Aoi-chan?”

You step towards her.

?

Oww…

You look down and see Aoi plunging a knife into your stomach. With your enhanced strength, it doesn’t hurt that much but…what’s this tingle?

An…electric knife?

Before you can react, she kicks you onto the floor and gets on top of you.

AAH! AAGH! OWW! AUGH!

With every excruciating thrust into your body, you feel your muscles go numb.

Despite your psychic abilities, you can only watch as Aoi stabs you in a silent frenzy.

Is this…even happening?

So…weak…

!!

Huh?

A dream?

No…that was definitely painful.

Sleepy…

Who’s…that…? So green and…ugly…

“Here you go, little one.”

Did you eat something?

Still…sleepy…

*yawn*

Uhn…

You can’t move?

Where are you anyway?

Are these goblin babies? As in, goblins from roleplaying games?

Wait a minute…

Is this your hand?

So that explains why you can’t move. You were just born!

Might as well get some more sleep.

*yawn*

Morning alrea…

?!

You look yourself over.

You’re about the size of a 7-year old child. Weren’t you a baby yesterday?!

Is it because goblins have to grow up fast in the wild? Perhaps humans age more slowly because they don’t have natural enemies.

Anyway, you should go outside!

You spend the day running, jumping and play fighting in order to get accustomed to your new body. While it feels weaker than your previous human body, you definitely feel stronger compared to yesterday!

You’ve never felt so happy about being alive!

ALIVE!!!

At the end of the day, you collapse, exhausted, onto the crude stone floor of the cavern where all the newborn goblins sleep.

Alright, your mind is made up!

You must make the most of this second chance.

Yes, you must live your life to the fullest!

Re:Monster (リ モンスター, Ri Monsutā) is a web novel, light novel series and manga written by Kogitsune Kanekiru (金斬 児狐, Kanekiru Kogitsune). A strategy game app, Re:Monster Goblin Reincarnation (リ・モンスター 〜ゴブリン転生記〜, Ri Monsutā 〜 Goburin Tensei-ki 〜), developed by AlphaGames Co., Ltd., is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play for smartphones.

Born in the future, the 25-year old Kanata Tomokui was an ESPer, one of the rare few who possessed psychic powers. He himself possessed the rare ability Absorption, which allowed him to gain the abilities of other beings or objects by consuming them. No matter how hard or poisonous something is, he can render almost anything edible. As an ESPer, Kanata hunted monsters and evil ESPers on various planets for a living. His short, eventful life came to a violent end when Aoi Kirimine, a girl he saved years ago, stabbed him to death out of jealousy for bringing a female co-worker back to his apartment.

Kanata is reborn as the goblin Rou on another world, where monsters such as himself can evolve into stronger forms using the world’s Rank Up System. As a goblin, he matures rapidly and goes on his first hunt in the Kuuderun Great Forest three days after his birth. Retaining his memories from his previous life and his Absorption ability, Rou swiftly grows in power by consuming any monster or humanoid he kills, soon evolving into a hobgoblin and becoming his community’s leader. He also befriends several other goblins, such as Kichi, Mi and E, who join him on his hunting expeditions and evolve as well. Rou later saves five female human captives from being raped and makes use of their skills for his own plans.

A blacksmith, a fighter, two cooks and an alchemist. Little did they guess that they’d bear Rou’s children months later!

After the goblin community takes over and moves into a nearby mine, Rou organizes the goblins into a cohesive paramilitary force named Parabellum. After evolving into an ogre, Rou discovers the hidden treasury of the late magician Velvet and defends it from adventurers. The forest is soon engulfed in a battle between the local elves and two allied human kingdoms, the Sternbild Kingdom and the Kirika Empire. Allying with elves after rescuing their chieftain’s daughter, Rou and Parabellum devastate the human armies.

Rou battles the Insect Hero of the Kirika Empire

Following the battle, Rou splits his forces into several groups to explore the world outside the forest. At the town of Trient, he rescues Rubriria, Princess of the Sternbild Kingdom, who pays him to escort her to the Kingdom’s capital city of Osvel. During this time, Rou evolves into an Apostle Lord and starts receiving mysterious internal messages about “The Story of the Black Eclipse King”. He later helps Princess Rubriria prevent the overthrow of the Sternbild royal family by the kingdom’s more ambitious nobles. Meanwhile, Parabellum’s forces continue to swell in numbers, diversity and professions.

Princess Rubriria sitting on Rou’s shoulders during their journey to Osvel

Rou and Parabellum have climbed to amazing heights in the span of six months, but how far could they go?

Main Characters

Rou (朗), formerly Kanata Tomokui (伴杭 彼方, Tomokui Kanata), an ESPer and the commander of the Parabellum mercenary company (Race: Goblin > Hobgoblin > Ogre > Apostle Lord). Confident, cunning, patient, pragmatic and quick-witted, he is benevolent to his allies and ruthless to his enemies. Rou considers it his right to eat those who lose to him, both for practical purposes and as a point of honor. On the other hand, he never kills for its own sake and takes no joy in the suffering of others. His black skin is a blessing from the Great God of Origin and Demise. Rou has several mistresses, despite the fact that most of them were his captives, and is now the proud father of a few children. He also loves to drink alcohol.

Retaining his Absorption ability from his previous life, Rou has gained a virtual plethora of abilities from various monsters, humanoids and even magical objects on top of his prodigious natural abilities. After gaining the ability Synthesis from a chimera, he practices combining his existing abilities to create powerful new ones. Rou also carries two potent magical artifacts from Velvet’s treasure trove: the scarlet longspear, Kazikli Bey, and the silver prosthetic left arm, Airgeatlámh. He also retains the combat and martial arts skills he learned during his previous life, which he teaches to other members of Parabellum.

Kichi (吉), Rou’s best friend, rival and the leader of Anger, Parabellum’s heavy weapons division (Race: Goblin > Hobgoblin > Ogre > Minotaur). Aggressive, easygoing and simple-minded, he prefers to focus on fighting and leaves the planning to Rou and the others. Since becoming a gigantic minotaur, Kichi gained the ability to breathe both fire and lightning. He prefers to use a battleax and a shield when fighting and his favorite weapon is the Great Gleaming Axe of the Fire Emperor, a gift from the Demigod of Fire.

Kichi as a minotaur, with E as an Earth Lord behind him

Mi (美), Rou’s wife and the leader of Regret, Parabellum’s long-range strike division (Race: Goblin > Hobgoblin > Dhampir > Vampire Noble). Loyal and gentle, she often becomes dangerously violent whenever her husband’s life is threatened. As a vampire noble, Mi can control the minds of those who look into her eyes or whose blood she sucks. She can also use ice magic or summon undead. Her favorite weapon is Failnaught, a magical elven bow that generates its own arrows.

E (江, pronounced [ɛ]), Kichi’s girlfriend and the leader of Pleasure, Parabellum’s logistical support division (Race: Goblin > Hobgoblin > Half-Earth Lord > Earth Lord). Cheerful, easygoing and reliable, she is diligent at whatever task she is assigned to, such as fighting or mining. As an Earth Lord, E uses her massive strength and mining expertise to dig efficiently into the earth.

Personal Thoughts

Rou spends a tender moment with Mi in the night sky

On our world, there is a natural system called a food chain, which involves a series of entities each dependent on the next as food. An example of one such chain starts from a flower, to flies, to frogs, to snakes and finally to eagles. We humans are considered to be among the apex predators on Earth largely because no other native species has our sentience, intellect and advanced technology so far.

This story gives me the impression of an apex predator climbing to the top of the food chain, surpassing even humans and elves. By taking the abilities of anyone and anything he eats, Rou is well on his way to becoming the top predator of his world, just like a Demon King. In addition to this, he quickly outgrew his community and now leads it to improbable heights while making many unlikely allies along the way. At least one of Rou’s human allies joined him because nobles stymied his career progress due to his commoner background. By contrast, Parabellum’s leaders are selected purely through strength and personal merit, like how the strongest of a wolf pack are its leaders.

The leaders of Parabellum on the attack. It’s scary when you realize that they were once goblins!

The status quo of our world’s food chain is something that we all take for granted. This could easily change if something stronger and more capable were to appear. In a worst-case scenario, we could end up at the mercy of a more advanced species, as if we were the cattle! In fact, the saying for this is “There’s always a bigger fish.”

Another interesting point is how Rou isn’t a hero in the traditional sense. His complex character reminds me of historical conquerors such as Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and Napoleon Bonaparte, who all did great things on this world, good and bad.

Moral

There’s always something more capable, more intimidating or more powerful than you out there.

Reincarnated as a Sword

Spoiler Alert!

As a slave, you have no name.

The collar around your neck prevents you remembering it and leaves you completely at the command of the slave merchants.

If only you had…a sword…

“Can anyone hear me!?”

…?

Who said that?

Suddenly, you hear the flicking sound of horse reins as the wagon speeds up.

The wagon driver cries, “What the…? What IS that thing?!”

!!

You find yourself flying head over heels onto the hard forest floor.

Owww…

Fighting dizziness, you see everyone picking themselves up.

*CRASH!!*

?!!

The wagon is splintered to pieces as a towering, two-headed bear lumbers slowly towards you.

You hear a hoarse voice filled with desperate intent.

“Slaves! Stay still and keep that monster busy!!”

The magic in your collar compels you, despite your mind screaming at you to run.

Are you…going to die…like this…?

Huh?

You can…move?

You duck just as a gigantic paw passes the air where your torso was a second ago.

Run…run…RUN!!

If…only…if only…

“Pull me out! Hurry!”

It can speak?! Oh, right!

Gggnnngghh! Ugghnnh!

In your head, you hear, “Thanks! Now, concentrate and equip me! Act like I’m part of you!”

Equip…equip…part of me…

“Get ready! Here it comes!”

You open your eyes and charge the bear with all the strength and speed you can muster.

WOW! You feel far stronger and faster than you ever had in your life, as though you can slay a hundred monsters!

As you charge, you jump onto the bear’s chest and plunge the sword’s blade deep into it.

Instinctively, you somersault away and land on your feet as the bear collapses, dead.

Did THAT really happen?!

*pant* “Th-thank you, M-mr. S-sword”, you tell the sword between labored breaths. Now that you have a good look at it, it’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen…

“Don’t mention it!”

“HEY! You over there!”

One of the slave merchants strides up to you.

“You’re the only one left, huh? Hmm?”

He reaches for the weapon in your arms, but you keep it close to you.

The merchant slaps you violently across the cheek and yanks out a sheaf of papers from his shoulder bag, brandishing it at you.

“Filthy little BRAT! As long as I have this contract, you’ll always be a sla…”

A resounding voice in your mind echoes, “How dare you!”

It can…move?

Without warning, your neck and wrists feel a lot lighter. You look down and see your slave collar and manacles on the floor. It feels like a weight has been lifted from your mind as well.

It’s…coming back to you!

Your name is…is…

Reincarnated as a Sword (転生したら剣でした, Tensei Shitara Ken deshita) is a web novel, light novel series and manga written by Yuu Tanaka (棚架ユウ, Tanaka Yuu). There is also a spin-off manga titled Reincarnated as a Sword, Another Wish (転生したら剣でした Another Wish, Tensei Shitara Ken deshita Another Wish).

A little girl quickly grows in strength with the help of a magic sword

Killed in a traffic accident, a certain man regains consciousness as a sword in the middle of a strange wilderness and quickly discovers that he could move on his own using telekinesis. Over the next few weeks, the intelligent sword kills many monsters inhabiting the wilderness and gradually grows in power by consuming their mana crystals and absorbing their Skills. One day, he decides to explore a forest beyond the wilderness and is unable to move from the spot he embeds himself in. More than a month later, a beastkin girl slave finds the sword and pulls him out to slay a monstrous, two-headed bear pursuing her. After killing the girl’s owner, the sword forms a partnership with the girl, who names the sword Teacher and remembers that her name is Fran.

An extra set of eyes becomes useful when a Greater Demon attacks you from behind

Wanting to become stronger, Fran decides to become an adventurer. She and Teacher eventually reach Alessa, the northernmost city of the Kleinzell Kingdom, where Fran signs up with the Adventurer’s Guild. During their first quest, the pair discover a hidden dungeon. After returning with a cadre of adventurers, Teacher and Fran fight their way through an army of goblins and discover the dungeon’s master, a rare intelligent goblin, and a Greater Demon. After both monsters are killed, the dungeon is rendered inert. With this, Fran gains recognition among the other adventurers.

Even without Teacher, Fran is no slouch on her own.

Later, Fran is sent to the Spider Nest dungeon to collect magical ore, along with several adventuring groups. The Nest is found to be more dangerous than expected, with a Trickster Spider as its master and countless evolved giant spiders inhabiting the lower levels. Despite being separated for a while, Teacher and Fran both manage to survive, protect the other adventurers and eventually defeat the Trickster Spider. After returning to Alessa, they decide to travel to the western port city of Darth and travel south from there. During their journey to Darth, they encounter the devil necromancer Jean Dovy, who requests their aid in conquering a dungeon on a floating island. After getting there and fighting countless undead, the heroes confront the island’s master, a powerful lich. Despite the lich summoning many powerful undead monsters, Teacher, Fran and Jean eventually manage to defeat it in a titanic battle.

At Darth, Fran sees the ocean for the first time in her life!

What new adventures await the sentient sword and his partner?

Main Characters

Teacher (師匠, Shishō), a sentient sword. Caring, clever and thoughtful, he acts as Fran’s weapon, partner and guardian. While he aids and protects Fran on their quests, the sword also teaches her how to grow as both an adventurer and a person. He usually keeps his sentience hidden but occasionally gets discovered by those with powerful sight Skills. When he first awoke as a sentient sword, Teacher could use Telekinesis and Telepathy. He could also analyze creatures and objects (Appraisal), repair himself using his own magic (Self-Recovery), share his Skills with his wielder (Skill Sharing) and use magic to enhance his own striking power. By consuming monsters’ mana crystals, he can acquire their Skills and develop them for his own use. Some of Teacher’s most useful acquired Skills include Sword Technique (the use of various sword fighting techniques), Dimensional Storage (access to an extradimensional space of infinite volume), Fire Magic, Wind Magic, Recovery Magic (various healing spells), Cooking, Appraisal Block/Disguise (concealment of his own status) and Skill Taker (the ability to steal one Skill from a target, usable only once per target).

Despite it’s appearance, Fran’s magical custom armor is as strong as steel plate armor!

Fran, a 12-year old black cat beastkin adventurer. Brave, curious and quick-witted, she is determined to become stronger in order to someday free her race from oppression and to fulfill her late parents’ dream of seeing a black cat beastkin evolve like the other beastkin races. Fran can get reckless at times but Teacher usually persuades her to be more prudent or, at least, helps her fight her way out of trouble. As a result of spending four years as a nameless slave, Fran hates slavers with a passion and is somewhat wary of others besides Teacher. However, she reserves her greatest hatred for blue cat beastkin, a race said to have forced the black cats into slavery centuries ago. Under Teacher’s guidance, Fran is swiftly growing into a skilled fighter and adopting many of the sword’s Skills as her own. She has also collected several magic swords during the story, which she sometimes uses together with Teacher.

Urushi, a Darkness Wolf and Teacher’s loyal familiar. Originally summoned to locate Fran in the Spider Nest Dungeon, this huge wolf can use Dark Magic spells such as Dark Spear and Trap Detection. Urushi can also change its size to that of an ordinary wolf at will and hide in any shadow, usually Fran’s.

Urushi summoned for the first time by Teacher

Personal Thoughts

A heartening twist on the traditional isekai idea of an all-powerful protagonist. The main character is a weapon of limitless potential that acts as the guardian of an orphaned girl once doomed to a lifetime of slavery. Under her new friend’s protection, Fran gradually gains the strength, power and wisdom needed to fulfill her own dreams for the future. While Teacher is curious about the reasons behind his condition, this is second to his wish to protect the life and hopes of a little girl. It reminds me of how compassionate parents put their cares and hopes into their children, perhaps even leaving their own youthful dreams behind in the process. Such dedication to one’s own children should be respected.

Using Telekinesis and Airflow Manipulation, Teacher can fly with Fran riding him

There are times when Teacher holds back and lets Fran handle situations by herself, be it fighting monsters or handling people. In this way, she gains self-confidence and learns the skills she would need to survive on her own in the event that Teacher is not there to protect her. It’s similar to how parents have to know when to let children go out into the world to make their own decisions and live their own lives, since the parents cannot protect their children forever! Teacher will still protect Fran whenever needed, just like any other responsible guardian.

You wouldn’t guess that she was a helpless slave only weeks ago!

In conclusion, this story mixes a fantasy-style hero’s journey with the concept of a parent and a child travelling together. As the guardian and best friend, Teacher guides and protects his charge. As the child, Fran learns from her guardian and becomes strong in her own right, ready to face the world. They bring hope and incentive to each other.

Moral

Responsible parenthood is not to be taken lightly, but it can be a source of tremendous development and joy for both child and parent.

This Village Sim NPC Could Only Be Human

Spoiler Alert!

“When are you going to shape up and find yourself a job?”

*sigh*

“We’re making do right now, but what’ll happen when we pass on?”

You say, “Alright, already! I get it!”

“You keep saying that, but nothing comes out of it!”

“Aargh! I’ve lost my appetite now! Excuse me!”

You storm out of the dining room.

*sigh*

This doesn’t usually happen so early in the day…

*RING* *RING*

That’s the doorbell. You turn on the door intercom.

“Alright, I’ll be out in a moment.”

Huh. Maybe it’s another prize from a contest you won.

You open the front door and walk up to the deliveryman at the gate.

He gives you a startled stare. You also glance at a couple of women down the street staring at you as well.

Considering you’re the kind of person no one would expect to see at home in the middle of a weekday, it’s not really surprising.

You take the parcel and go back inside the house.

Your mother calls out, “Did you buy something suspicious?”

“No!”

You go up to your room and open the parcel.

Village of Fate? Is this some sort of game?

There’s a booklet inside as well. Might as well read it.

Congratulations, Yoshio! You have been chosen to participate in the alpha test of our latest game, which utilizes the latest in A.I. technology to replicate human behavior in its characters! As the game’s player, you bestow prophecies and miracles to villagers as the God who controls fate. Once per day, you can give an instruction to the villagers to guide the development of their village!

A town-building game?

Be sure to play this game while connected online. If all the villagers in this game die, you may not play this game again. Progress in the game will be automatically recorded on a single save file and can only be reloaded from this file.

There’s no way to save games yourself? That’s kind of harsh…

Please do not share any details about this game to anyone, even online. Failure to uphold this agreement will result in the immediate confiscation of this game. Further specifics about the game can be learned as you play.

Sounds a bit suspicious. You should use your older PC to play it.

Alright, the game download is finished.

Let’s start it up…

WHOA!

You’ve never seen such high-definition graphics before! The wagon, the horses and the driver all look so…real!

Are those goblins on warthogs chasing the wagon?

They each move to one side of the wagon and soon reach its front.

The driver fends off one goblin with his sword but the other is poised to strike the horses.

No!!

W-What’s that light?!

As it dims, you see the goblins turn and race away from the wagon.

Phew!

The driver looks into the wagon and several people come out of it.

Looks like this is where the game begins…

What should you do now?

This Village Sim NPC Could Only Be Human (村づくりゲームのNPCが生身の人間としか思えない, Murazukuri Game no NPC ga Namami no Ningen to Shika Omoe Nai) is a light novel series and manga written by Hirukuma (昼熊).

After graduating from university, the young Yoshio was repeatedly rejected at countless job interviews while his younger sister and his friends soon got jobs, with some of them even starting their own families. Over the next ten years, he grew more disappointed and he gradually settled into the life of an unemployed NEET (“Not in Education, Employment or Training”) still living at his parents’ home.

A proclamation from a god!

One day, Yoshio receives a parcel with a game CD titled “Village of Fate” and a booklet inside. When he starts up the game, it opens to a scene where a wagon racing through a forest is being chased by two goblins mounted on boars. Just as the goblins catch up, they are terrified by the sudden appearance of a bright light and retreat. The wagon’s five occupants, Gams, Chem, Rodis, Layla and Carol, all believe this event to be an act of salvation from their God of Fate. Yoshio types a message on his computer commanding them to build a settlement in the forest and it appears in Chem’s bible like a holy proclamation!

As the game’s God of Fate, Yoshio watches over the villagers and occasionally performs miracles to protect them, such as enabling a fortuitous event, such as a passing healer, or creating a familiar in the game to allow for direct intervention. In witnessing the characters’ struggles in the game and trying to help them in any way he can, Yoshio looks inward and gradually faces his own weaknesses. He instinctively changes his lifestyle as he works up the courage to earn money in order to perform greater miracles in “Village of Fate” by both selling his possessions and getting part-time jobs. In the game, the villagers periodically send offerings of food and other items that somehow make their way to Yoshio’s home! Best of all, Yoshio gradually rebuilds his relationships with his family.

What trials await the God of Fate and the village?

From left to right: Chem, Carol, Gams, Rodis, Layla, Yoshio

Main Characters

Yoshio (良夫), a 30-year old part-timer and the God of Fate. Anxious and moody, he hides his angst with escapism and a mask of apathy. When he was in high school, Yoshio was stabbed by a stalker who had been eyeing his sister. The trauma from that horrible moment haunts him to this day. Through acting as a god over a village, Yoshio learns how to act more responsibly and improves his own life step by step. Curiously, he does dumbbell training every day.

Gams, a 26-year old warrior and Chem’s older brother. Brave, responsible and somewhat strict, he acts as the leader and protector of the villagers. When Gams was a teenager, he took his sister away from their abusive, alcoholic father and raised her himself in another town. Before the events of the game, he fought to defend said town as it was ravaged by a horde of monsters, but he eventually had to flee with his sister and Rodis’ family. In addition to fighting, Gams is skilled in hunting and tracking, making him the villagers’ primary source of meat.

A passing healer cares for Gams after he is poisoned during a monster attack

Chem, a 19-year old novice priestess of the God of Fate and Gams’ younger sister. Gentle, pious and selfless, she is the villagers’ pillar of spiritual support. Having been raised by her brother, Chem is very protective of Gams and will discourage other women, including children, from getting close to him. She can use basic healing magic but is unskilled in fighting. Yoshio’s proclamations as the God of Fate appear in Chem’s bible whenever he writes them, making her his most direct link to influencing events within the game.

Rodis, a 33-year old former general store owner. Diligent, nervous and thoughtful, he is the most knowledgeable villager. Having once managed a store, Rodis is experienced in anticipating common problems such as the need for food and proper shelter and the preparation of lumber for construction. He handles the task of managing supplies for the villagers, as well as helping with various tasks.

Layla, a 30-year old housewife. Calm and confident, she is more outgoing than her husband Rodis. Layla handles most of the cleaning and cooking for the villagers and forages for food in the forest along with Chem and Carol.

Carol, the 7-year old daughter of Rodis and Layla. Cheerful, curious and energetic, she is relatively mature for her age. Carol enjoys helping her parents and the others however she can. She has a childish crush on Gams and enjoys teasing Chem over this sometimes.

An abandoned mine is a lot more comfortable than out in the forest!

Personal Thoughts

One of the most poignant yet hopeful isekai stories I’ve read so far! Traumatized in his youth, Yoshio took easy paths in life such as attending a mediocre university and using escapism to distract himself from his angst and disappointments. However, these choices proved costly in the long run because he didn’t have a way to support himself and his situation tried the patience of his family. In watching true-to-life villagers of a game soldier on despite their fears, Yoshio is inspired with courage and gradually takes on responsibilities to improve his life and theirs. Is this just a game or does this village really exist elsewhere?

Using a log from the Village of Fate, Yoshio practices carpentry with his father

NEETs often face criticism by both media and society in general as lazy and reluctant to work, but it’s more complicated than that. Nowadays, it’s common for most people to spend almost as much as they earn on essential living expenses and even high-end workers such as accountants, doctors and managers can’t save much money. Employment uncertainty, rising rents and several consecutive global economic recessions have made simple independent living a challenge in itself. Many people have also chosen to remain unmarried and childless to relieve themselves of further burdens. In the end, NEETs have some reasons to be afraid of the world around them.

His first job and a new beginning!

But nothing will happen if we do nothing. Yes, the world is a harsh place, but we can find good things in it too. There will be disappointments and hardships, but we can find it within ourselves to face them. In taking responsibilities, we can find fulfillment in easing the difficulties of our families and working with others towards a goal. This can involve learning useful skills, doing jobs to earn money and reducing expenses. In doing this, we can survive and build our lives into something we can be happy with.

Moral

The world is harsh place and we all have fears, but we must face them with courage and humility.

A Veterinarian in Another World

Spoiler Alert!

The other day at the pig farm was…unpleasant.

You can’t blame the farm manager for being angry, but if the culling didn’t happen, then the swine fever would have spread to other farms and the wholesale markets.

In a daze, you fill out the swine fever report at the office.

You feel a hand on your shoulder.

“It’s not your fault. You shouldn’t blame yourself just because you were in charge.”

Oh, it’s your sempai.

“No, I’m fine. I’m tougher than I look. What matters is ensuring that people are alright after I consider the options available. Textbooks and diagnoses can’t cover everything! Anyway, I have to go back to the pig farm now and continue my observations.”

***

Aaa-chooo!

You’ve just finished loading up the medicines and equipment, so you get behind the driver’s wheel and start the van.

*sigh*

People just don’t understand how many you’ve killed and how many you’ve saved. If only you could save more…

The tunnel’s up ahead…

Hmm? Was it always this dark?

You’ve been driving for some time but you still don’t see any light ahead.

You stop the van, get out and sound the van’s horn.

Nothing.

Should you try walking?

Wh-wh-HOOOOAAAA?!?

What happened to the floor!?

You fall for what seems like hours until you somehow land…somewhere on your feet.

Hrgghkkph!

Your stomach catches up with you and spills its contents.

Highness…?

What’s he talking ab…out?

The man continues to speak as your thoughts trail.

Where…?

Hmm? Did the man just speak Japanese?

“…you understand Japanese. I am Yuris Rawle Maguire, Crown Prince and Acting Prime Minister of my country, the Austra Kingdom. May I ask your name?”

“I…it’s Shingo…Kazami.”

“I’ll get to point, Master Shingo Kazami. Would you lend us your strength for the sake of this country?”

…what?

A Veterinarian in Another World (獣医さんのお仕事 in 異世界, Jūi-san no Oshigoto in Isekai) is a light novel series and manga written by Choco Aozora (蒼空 チョコ, Aozora Choco).

While driving to a farm, the young veterinarian Shingo Kazami is suddenly transported to another world where a prince asks him, an exalted one, for his help in saving the Austra Kingdom from the ills afflicting the kingdom such as diseases and starvation. Despite his reservations, Shingo accepts the request on the condition that he is able to return to Earth at the earliest opportunity. A priestess of the local Hadoria Church, Chloe, is assigned to educate the vet about the ways of her world and protect him from its dangers. He is also assigned two bodyguards, Liz and Nora.

A gryphon feeding on a furball rabbit

When investigating the growing number of mysterious deaths among the gryphons of the Austra Kingdom’s army, Shingo concluded that the deaths are likely due to poisoning and traces the source to oleander, a plant used to feed the furball rabbits raised as food sources for the gryphons. To solve the problem, he proposes reorganizing the rabbit pastures to keep them free of oleander if they are to be used as gryphon food.

The barely-alive hydra beneath the city of Hydra

Later, Shingo is sent to the city of Hydra to investigate an epidemic of ghoul fever, a terrible disease that gradually turns victims into ravenous, violent undead. The vet discovers germs in a captured ghoul’s body similar to those that cause rabies. Afterwards, Shingo injects ghoul fever germs into a cow with leukemia, using the cow’s excess white blood cells to gradually create a vaccine for the fever. In the caverns beneath Hydra, Shingo and the others discover a one-headed hydra in hibernation, the source of the fever. The team manages to kill the hydra in a fierce battle, but Nora is killed by one of the creature’s poisonous magic blasts. Shingo is splattered with the hydra’s blood, so he places himself in quarantine for two weeks.

During his quarantine, Shingo realizes that he is only serving the Austra Kingdom’s national interests while its citizens are generally neglected. Feeling guilty over Nora’s death and wanting to use his skills to improve the world for everyone, the vet decides to earn money to commence his own venture by performing missions and selling his own chemicals.

Liz skillfully kills a fire rat before it can explode

After he is released, Shingo and his team join a hunt for fire rats in the town of Murament. Because fire rats can explode at will, Shingo adds a blood anticoagulant to the grain the rats eat so that they bleed to death instead. Knowing that there was a reason why the fire rats left their natural habitat to attack a town, the vet follows their trail to a mountain basin where a young Earth dragon has taken up residence. With some difficulty and to the amazement of his friends, Shingo befriends the dragon, whom he names Tama.

Meanwhile, word has spread to the neighboring kingdoms about the appearance of an exalted one and some of them will stop at nothing to enlist his services for their exclusive use.

Main Characters

Shingo Kazami (風見 心悟, Kazami Shingo), a 26-year old civil veterinarian and an “exalted one”. Although compassionate and level-headed, he is not naïve and is unafraid of being somewhat ruthless if the end goal is to save more lives. Shingo is very passionate about improving medicine, sanitation and health awareness in his new world, but he knows that this undertaking will be challenging. For this reason, he is willing to deal with those more selfish than him since these people have access to resources that he himself would need. As a vet, Shingo is very knowledgeable about medicines and animal behavior, allowing him to work out why sick animals behave the way they do and using that knowledge to devise innovative solutions with a minimum of fuss. He can also produce modern-day chemicals needed for his work such as disinfectants and painkillers. Because he is an exalted one from another world, Shingo has a limited immunity to the fantasy world’s Laws (magic) and the fantasy world’s beasts are more friendly to him. He has also taken up archery to support his friends in battle.

Sometimes, even a dragon just wants some comfort

Liz Vert Sarvy, a 16-year old wolf-beastkin slave knight captain and a bodyguard to the exalted one. Cynical, laid-back and reserved, she has a rather apathetic attitude towards her own life due to living at the beck and call of others for many years. When off-duty, Liz enjoys sleeping and poking fun at others. While working as Shingo’s bodyguard, she gradually learns to relax herself and freely express her feelings. As a slave knight, she was magically bound to Doni, Lord of Hydra, until she was purchased by Shingo himself, who prefers to treat her as a friend. Liz is a highly skilled swordswoman and carries her own longsword Hotarumaru, which has a silver magic stone in its pommel. Her Law is Earth, giving her the ability to manipulate stones and soil for various effects such as creating missiles and walls. Like many of her race, Liz has excellent senses of hearing and smell.

Chloe Lizst Welch, a 15-year old priestess of the Hadoria Church and the chosen protector of the exalted one. Cheerful, kind, patient, well-educated and somewhat naïve, she is completely devoted to protecting her charge. Although well-meaning, Chloe’s faith in the exalted one borders on blind fanaticism at times and her idealism occasionally conflicts with Shingo’s more pragmatic decisions. Hoping to get the veterinarian to stay in her world, Chloe has tried several times to start a romantic relationship with him. As the exalted one’s protector, she wears ornate white robes denoting her honored position and is knowledgeable in the literary and military arts of her world, which she teaches to Shingo as much as possible. When she fights, Chloe uses metal gauntlets studded with blue dragon scales. Her Law is Light, so she can use magic to heal, strengthen and protect others.

Is she serious?!

Gura and Guri, a baby furball rabbit and a baby gryphon respectively who accompany Shingo on his travels.

Personal Thoughts

Modern-day concepts of animal biology such as germs, vaccines, infections and behavior are exemplified and explained in this story. While a veterinarian’s job is to provide health care for animals, this story shows how the consequences of health and sanitation can be far-reaching for animals and people alike.  Not giving animals proper care could lead to an overall reduction of meat and fish and a higher risk of communicable diseases. Sometimes vets have the unpleasant job of recommending a culling in order to save more lives overall, both animal and human. Since human sentience is generally self-centered, we often tend to forget that there’s life beyond our own species and many of us place value only on human life. Animals play an important part of our lives whether we see it or not, from the food we eat to the pets we befriend.

Caring for a harpy is not that different from caring for a bird!

The fact is that we depend more on the Earth’s ecosystem than we might realize. We actually all live in a very specific environment where we must have certain kinds of nutrition, breathable air, temperature ranges and social interactions. Everything on Earth, from animals and plants to minerals and water, is part of a relatively delicate ecosystem that must be maintained to sustain everything in it. Veterinarians play a small but important part in maintaining this balance by caring for animals and using their knowledge to improve our livelihoods. Animals have things in common with us, such as families, emotions and the need to eat, so who can say if we don’t all belong to a common ancestor in the distant past? In any case, we certainly aren’t the only entities on this world!

Moral

Many creatures, including us, live on this world and depend on each other in more ways than we realize.