I gently floated in the grey ocean. Well, it being grey is just how I describe it. To be more precise, the ocean’s more a spiral of black and white threads, all coiled together. In any case, I was floating in this unfamiliar sea.
“Hmmmm. This time it’s a middle-aged man, huh,” a voice mused.
A boy’s voice reverberated inside my head.
“Who are you?” I asked.
Though I felt a bit relieved that I could speak, I searched for the owner of the voice in my head, where, at the end of my gaze, I saw a distorted figure in the shape of a human. I knit my eyebrows at the sight of countless white particles wriggling around like maggots, taking the form of a human.
“You’re looking at me but, that reaction. . . You’re a strange one indeed,” it said.
I observed a slight bewilderment from that white thing’s voice. Hm, his reaction though. My eyes certainly aren’t going bad. If so, the candidates for this sure are narrowing down.
“Can we start yet?” I asked.
“Uhm, hello.” it complained. ” You’re throwing me off my game.”
I don’t have any more time to waste than this, I thought, so I changed my tone and asked to start once again.
“. . . Okay. I’m. . . let’s see,” it began. “You can think of me as a maritime pilot,”
A maritime pilot is someone who guides ships though danger so that they can safely reach their destination. Which means a bunch of candidates just failed.
“Where do you take people?” I asked.
“To a different world called Alteria,” it answered.
“Hm, I have several questions but, if that’s the case please show the way,” I said.
The pilot clammed up.
“It’s quite rude to suddenly become quiet in the middle of the conversation,” I reprimanded. “You should be careful about that.”
“You’re definitely a weird one,” It said.
The white, human figure raised his voice as if he had seen a ghost in broad daylight.
“That’s also not right. Jeez, it looks like youngsters these days don’t know a thing or two about proper etiquette,” I said.
Shocked at its manners, I slowly shook my head left and right a few times.
“You know, I’m much, much older than you,” it said.
“In that case it’s even more of a problem. Side note, hurry up and continue what you were saying. Unlike you, I’m a busy man,” I said.
“You’re really. . . really, throwing me off my game,” it once again complained.
While I was spitting out complaints, with a snap, a board and pen lined up in front of me. When I touched it, characters appeared on the board.
“What is this?” I enquired.
“Those are questions. Your growth rate and gift are determined on how many you get right. Do as best as you can. Well, no matter how much a human struggles, it won’t be able to answer these questions,” it mocked.
The source of that thorny voice, this child (or rather, man?) seemed to purse its lips. But, no matter how you look at it there’s no way a child’s inside there.
“So there’s 20 questions. Fine by me,” I declared.
In the end, it’s just a childish past time, but this kind of game isn’t so bad every once in a while. I pick up the board and race my pen across it.
“The test is complete. Sagami Shirabe, you got 100% of the questions correct,” a robotic female voice stated.
“You’re kidding, right?” it gasped like a flustered child.
“I mean, you say that, but I won’t accept any cowardly claims that I was cheating. In the first place, I’m the one who’s playing along with your childish trick of a game. You should be thanking me,” I said.
“Childish. . . game?” it asked, bewildered.
“Aah. Should I instead say that they were boring questions that only an intellectual youngster filled with absolute confidence such as you would create,” I said.
I will admit, though, the last question was actually quite interesting.
“Sagami Shirabe will be given special bonuses.” The robotic voice called out.
“Gift —《Magic Blueprint》acquired.
Gift — 《 Analyze Environment 》acquired.
Gift — 《 Infinite Item Box 》acquired.
Gift — 《 Warp Point 》acquired.
The title 《 Brain monster 》which has been given to Sagami Shirabe due to his perfect score will affect his race. From『Human』to 『All ??? who ??? 』
Going with the above, the reincarnation ritual form Sagami Shirabe will now begin.”
“I can’t believe it,” it whispered.
I glanced at the white child-shaped figure who was even now clutching his head, babbling in a shaky voice. The gap between that and the robotic voice of the woman who seemed almost as if it were just another day in the office was surreal.
“Now then, please enjoy《Alteria》to its fullest,” the robotic voice bid farewell.
Right when she finished her sentence, the spiral band of black and white blended into a muddy stream and instantly devoured me.
TRANSLATOR NOTE: Hey, I’m TastefulSardine/kilreff45, translator of The Adventure of a Boy with the Mind of a Middle-aged Man I’ve been learning Japanese formally for about three years and have basically gotten my degree by now. I like to play Tetris/other games and read LN/WN in my free time and have always wanted to put something out there of my own. I strive for high quality releases and write in a style more akin to something you would see in an actual book, but I still use honorifics so no worries about the Mr. and Miss (I abhor that kind of writing.) It’s my first time translating a WN so I’ll be learning as I go. Hope you enjoy my translations
EDITOR NOTE: Greetings fellow Earthlings! I am thy holy’eth SmugCrusader! I just recently started working as an editor for a light novel. Tadashi! I have spent over a 4rth of my life on anime related stuff like anime, manga, light novels, visual novels, games, Gundam and Tamriel according to a rough estimate. I live on the biggest planet on Earth called Jupiter (jk. But seriously. Search up “the biggest planet…” and you’ll see the “Biggest planet on Earth” pop up). Anyways, I now spend most of my time reading LN, manga and doing work related stuff.