Discovering one’s own talent has never been easy.
Even in a world where talents are clearly expressed in the form of skills, it didn’t take away its difficulty.
And when talent blooms, it usually happens all so sudden without any form of warning.
[Nee, nee~ Ganpaaa~]
[What is it, Marill?]
[Look, look, I found a beetle!]
[Hohohoho, that is not a beetle, though..]
An old man and a girl are having a friendly conversation in a run-down house in a rural village of Jiga Kingdom.
The old man’s name is Dill, the oldest old man in the village. He’s already over sixty and doesn’t want anything else in life but to pamper his grandchild.
The girl who then turns around from the old man’s direction to stare at the bug on the ground was Marill. She is Dill’s granddaughter and is quite well known around the village as its cutest and loveliest kid.
Instead of his son working hard on the farms, Dill would take care of Marill until the sun went down.
Dill thinks of himself but nothing as a burden that he is now old and weak so if he could be of help by accompanying his granddaughter, then it’s better than being useless until he takes his last breath. As ashamed as he was of himself, Marill’s smile brings a little bit of comfort to the elder’s usually depressing days.
Such thought runs in Dill’s head as he observes his young granddaughter who’s still at the age of having troubles in pronouncing.
[Maril, that’s not a kamakiri (long horned beetle), it’s a kamikiri (praying mantis).]
Then, Dill, who just spoke to correct his granddaughter, suddenly inadvertently closed his eyes due to a sudden burst of light.
[…are you ‘kay, ganpa?]
[…it felt like something sparkled just now..?]
[Could it be that kamikiri?]
[Like I said, that isn’t a kamikiri… oh, there’s sparkles again.”
Dill succumbs to his thoughts for a moment before he tries to mumble the word again. And surely, another round of light sparkled once again. It seems the word ‘kamikiri’ triggers the lights to appear.
Now, Dill is certain what’s actually happening.
[… Who would have thought that I would awaken a skill at this age…]
“Skills” are special talents that can only be used by certain people. Skills are completely innate, and are fundamentally different from magic that increases in power through effort. Its form varies from being able to think clearly or photographic memory to gaining superhuman strength that can even break rocks and buildings.
It is believed that all humans have one skill. However, in reality, only one out of several dozen people could actually use it. The conditions under which it manifests differ from person to person, with some being able to use it since they were babies, and others only being able to understand how to use it just before their death. That being the case, awakening at the age of sixty isn’t that bad of a deal.
[However, I have never heard of the skill『kamikiri』……]
Dill stared at the praying mantis and saw the little bug swinging the scythe in its arms as it went up and down. Then, as if everything had stopped, the flow of time slowed down, and the idea of how to respond to the mantis’ swings naturally flowed to his mind. The praying mantis is currently standing at a distance though so there is no actual need for him to react based on what flowed in his head. However, this moment told him enough of what his skill is all about.
[I see. So the skill isn’t about long horned beetles (kamikiri) , but foresight (見切り: kamikiri).]
And at the same time that the skill was activated, information about what kind of ability it is flows into his head.
Foresight seems to be a skill that allows him to instinctively know how to deal with an opponent’s attack.
Furthermore, it seems that his ability allows him to get some time and composure when faced by an attack by slowing down his perception of time.
‘It definitely is a wonderful and useful skill… No questions about it. But…’
However, there is a flaw that is much bigger regardless of the usefulness of his abilities.
[I’m way too old for this now though…]
Perhaps if he’s 40 years younger, he would have been able to fully utilize his skill and be a renowned person through combat.
But he is now over 60 years old. His joints are at the point where it creaks when he moves and it’s been a while since the last time he was able to raise his hands over his arms.
This skill was clearly too ill suited for his body.
[Ganpa, what’s wrong? You ‘kay?]
[Don’t worry, grandpa was just a little surprised.]
As cute and lively the child Maril is, their household doesn’t have the luxury to provide her enough food to fill her to the brim with proper nutrition nor the leeway to give her toys and accessories girls her age want to play with.
‘If I leave… Perhaps she’ll be able to live much more comfortably and easier….’
Originally, he was thinking of living deep in the mountains in case their village suffered a famine.
‘Perhaps I could use this opportunity…’
As to why he’s thinking about moving out in case hunger strikes them, it’s because he wants to at least experience such a journey as he looks for a place to wither away and die without bothering Marill and their family… Considering the effectiveness of his skill though, he thought it may be possible for him to make a living out of it.
[I’m home, Father.]
[Oh Thor, you’re just in time. I’m just about to leave home and step onto the battlefield.]
[My skill has awakened. My body’s practically already itching for battles.]
Dill hurriedly took out what little savings he had and made his way to his door before his son, Thor, could discern his true intentions. His son is just too kind to allow him to just leave even more if Thor knew his real reasons.
[Are you really serious right now, Father!?]
[Yeah. I’m more serious than I could ever be.]
[… Don’t tell me you’re just worried about our finances…]
Thor, who’s getting flustered, frustrated, and confused about his father’s surprising decision, wasn’t able to vent out any further as Marill stops him.
[You see, men… have moments where they need to step up and fight, you know. And today is ganpa’s moment.]
[… Well, It’s as Marill says. Don’t worry too much about me. I’ve got combat skill, y’know.]
[How could you still say some nonsense at your age, Father…]
Thor, as much as he doesn’t want to let go of his Father, tries to grab Dill’s thin measly arm.
However, Foresight activated and Dill’s body predicted his son’s movement and immediately devised a way to counter it.
Dill takes half a step forward and then pokes the heel of Thor’s hind leg. Thus, his son, who was much larger than him, tumbles to the ground.
[W-what… That hurt… no way, really…?]
[Well, that’s how it is. I’ll be back from time to time, so I hope you won’t close your door for me when the time comes.]
Dill opens the rugged wooden door and begins to walk slowly as he watches the sky while bathing in its orange sunset.
He continues forward as his son can only watch behind him, dumbfounded.
[Let’s play again soon, ganpa!!]
[Of course! Also, that bug is not a kamikiri, it’s a kamakiri.]
[Okay! Thank you!!]
Dill feels the weight off his shoulders and his steps lightens a little.
With this, if the family only has to share their own food amongst the three of them, they’d be able to eat a little more. With such thoughts in his head, the tightness in his heart became considerably lighter, along with his steps.
[Well then, let’s start… even if it’s to become an adventurer.]
‘Who would have thought that I’d need to live a second time considering my age…’
Dill, who muttered such a complaint in his heart, actually has a bright smile on his face.
- Hi! I’m back with a new series! 🙂 As to why — hmmm, there are chances that I’d be translating full time this year. Hehehehehehehe and the so I’m calling dibs on this one. Hopefully no one will steal it T.T
I’d be really thankful if you’d buy me a coffee if you like this translation of Washi Jiji! 🙂 Photo not mine! Credits to the rightful owner.