“Other World’s Pincer Master”
This is the title of the annual first ranked novel.
In order to continue this novel, I first have to gain a thorough understanding of it.
The protagonist is a 28-year old salaryman by the name of Hirata.
At the beginning, he dies from overwork.
He then awakens and finds himself standing in a spotlessly white temple.
In his surroundings are the silhouettes of countless people.
While everyone is confused by the circumstances, a goddess descends from heaven.
The goddess begins explaining things to the ones gathered in that place.
It went something along the lines of, this was a punishment.
In their arrogance they disrespected god, and for that, judgement would be inflicted.
That punishment was to be reincarnated in a world where monsters swaggered about.
The goddess read out each person’s crimes one by one and condemned them to the other world.
Hirata’s crime was “destroying a shrine and erecting a condominium in its place.”
It was the assignment Hirata was working on just before his death.
However, it was the duty of the company rather than Hirata’s own responsibility.
He argued that he was just doing as he was told, but the goddess didn’t listen.
He was dropped into the other world…and as faded away, an insect flew by.
When Hirata was young, he had found a dying stag beetle and helped it.
In fact, that stag beetle was a hero who had averted a world crisis and was inducted into the ranks of the divinities for its merits.
Seeing its former benefactor in a pinch, the stag beetle came flying.
The stag beetle was a god. However, it sat near the bottom of the lower ranked gods.
Therefore, it could not circumvent Hirata’s punishment of being dropped into the other world.
However, it could bestow its divine protection.
Even for the condemned, powers could be granted based on the merits they achieved in life.
And thus Hirata, with the power of the stag beetle, began his adventures in the other world.
That’s the summary of “Other World’s Pincer Master.”
Although it was the power of a god, that god was, after all, only a stag beetle.
At first, the power was very weak.
However, after defeating monsters and gaining experience, it becomes stronger and stronger.
Later, as Hirata travels around the world, he gains more and more companions.
With wings like those of butterflies, the Fairy priestess Ageha.
Manipulating thunder, the Titan mage Brontes.
Possessing the scales and tail of a lizard, the female warrior Pyrite.
As the story goes on, it’s revealed that the many races have split into two opposing camps.
At the same time, there arises an existence that opposes Hirata.
Similar to Hirata, it was the former NEET “Clover” who received power from the fly god.
Clover is the story’s second protagonist.
In the middle of the novel, when it becomes apparent the gods are fighting, it switches from Hirata’s to Clover’s POV.
In contrast to innately good Hirata, who attracts companions through his kindness and compassion, Clover radiates a dark charisma born of violence and malice.
Unlike Hirata’s predominantly beautiful story, Clover’s story pits violence against greater violence, malice against greater malice.
In short, pitted against gut-wrenchingly evil foes, Clover prevails by employing even more sinister means.
Although it differed considerably from the first half, Clover’s section perfectly embodies “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth,” providing a refreshingly new feel to the novel.
Along the way, Clover also gains attractive companions.
With a body like stone, the Golem magician Rosina.
Covering one eye with an eyepatch, the savage Hornet Sugare.
Possessing three faces and six arms, the Skeleton Asura.
Though he’s a darker character, the writing narrowly manages to portray him as someone who isn’t a villain.
The good Hirata, the evil Clover.
Both reincarnated with the power of different gods, they gain the recognition of the surrounding races using different methods, but ultimately resemble each other.
The two of them meet in the middle of everything and naturally collide.
Then, as rivals, the two continue to struggle against each other across the land.
However, as the story goes on, the two begin to notice a strange feeling.
There’s something suspicious about this war…
And it’s at this point that my stock runs out.
I have to continue from there.
I guess the next part will take a look at what’s odd about the situation.
Of course, whatever it is, it hasn’t been spelled out.
I’ve got no idea what the ending will be like.
I thought about the ending for nearly three months.
I picked apart and linked together the elements and hints, trying to find connections to guide me.
The mind-mapping processor and the outline processor were useful in that regard.
It was like they were made exactly for that purpose.
In the process, I came to understand something.
Take the scene in foreign dramas where the characters link photographs and newspaper articles to uncover the truth behind an event.
Each of the “items” on the board represent a specific incident.
By linking them together, they attempt to find a common element which reveals the criminal.
However, this work has not been completed.
On the contrary, it stops in the middle.
No matter how many “items” are linked, the truth will not come into view.
However, there’s no need to find the truth.
After all, it’s literary work.
The criminal, the incidents, the commonalities, the ending; all are products of the author.
Of course, I know that I don’t possess that right.
This work doesn’t belong to me.
Originally, it would be the obligation of the author to create those things.
But now wasn’t a time to talk about rights or obligations.
Because if I didn’t do it, I couldn’t leave.
While I made that excuse, I came up with three theories about the conclusion.
In other words, I came up with three possible endings.
The cause of the war was a monster concealed deep within the world.
Monsters are born from malice and hatred, so the races were manipulated into war in order to constantly produce new monsters.
Hirata defeats the evil Clover or persuades him to become a friend, and in order to defeat the monster they travel to a large hole at the center of the world (There’s a large hole in the center of the world, for some reason).
The monster is a powerful enemy, but the goddess lends her power to Hirata despite his sin in order to save the world.
Upon defeating the monster, all monsters in the world disappear; their disappearance means that the various races no longer have a reason to fight and peace prevails.
The war was concocted by the leaders of the two countries.
Their purpose is to become the rulers of the world.
By reducing the power of the various tribes through war and preserving the power of their own race, they aim to become the ultimate winners (the leaders are of the same race).
Hirata and Clover discover the plot, but too late, the leaders have completed their preparations and begun an invasion against all the other races.
The war destroys the various tribes, but Hirata and Clover join hands to defeat the two leaders in a great battle and world peace prevails.
God is evil.
This world was a prison created by God; the war is designed to exist in perpetuity.
Hirata and Clover find some way to break the world’s boundary and challenge the goddess.
The goddess is a powerful enemy, but the stag beetle and the fly god who gave Hirata and Clover their powers help power them up again.
The two kill the goddess and world peace prevails.
Personally, I prefer Scenarios 1 and 3.
God really only comes up in the prologue, even in the middle the name doesn’t show up.
If it came up again at the end, it would be a pretty long foreshadow.
It’s a common pattern, but one of the most elegant.
Looking between 1 and 3, the difference is only whether the goddess is an enemy or a friend.
Hell, the way to get to the goddess in Scenario 3 could very well be jumping into a hole in the center of the world.
On the other hand, Scenario 2 that will develop from the middle section and lead up to the climax.
Hirata and Clover have spent a lot of time gaining companions of various races and building up combat strength.
Although they didn’t become permanent companions, there were also members of many other races introduced.
All of them can gather together to form an army. That way, all the time the protagonists spent sightseeing and adventuring wasn’t wasted.
It’s easily understood.
Regardless, I won’t be the one to decide which is best.
Write everything, post everything.
Then, whichever one takes the most points will become the “true” ending.
I commenced writing.
First up, Scenario 1.
It’s quite difficult to mimic the style of others.
He is also a so-called “amateur writer.”
The style varies drastically between the beginning and the current end of the work.
My natural writing is closest to his middle stage; that period is the easiest to read in my opinion, but the goal is to mimic him.
When I spend the whole day writing, it makes me feel as if I’m no longer in this world.
Suddenly, I’m struck by a feeling of isolation; suddenly, I’m struck by an urge to meet people.
Anyone’s fine, I just want to converse.
As I am now, I’d be glad to listen even if they were hurling abuse at me.
Well, I’d still be a little shocked to hear it…
In the midst of my isolation, I continue to unwillingly write about people.
If this wasn’t a featureless room and time didn’t loop, I’d have surely thrown it all away by now.
Otherwise, if I could have visited any other site using the browser, perhaps I’d be viewing that site all the time.
Writing a scene about eating in the middle of the novel, I had a voracious urge to consume something.
I am not hungry.
However, I wanted to eat something.
Anything’s fine. It’s fine if it’s absolutely disgusting.
What’s the most disgusting thing I’ve had in my life?
Ah, that’s it. That’s the one. During my college years, my acquaintances had a barbecue and everyone brought vegetables or meat.
Among the offerings was some frozen meat bought at the neighborhood supermarket.
It was a beef round steak.
It made a clinking noise as I put the frozen steak on the grill, and moisture started beading out and it made a tasty sizzling noise.
However, it was only the sound that was tasty.
The scent was oddly fishy.
Still, I thought the meat would be delicious, and I ate it.
I nearly threw up.
The supermarket wasn’t selling rotten meat.
The method of thawing was incorrect.
However, now, that’d be fine.
I want to stuff my face with rubbery, fishy meat.
Fill my nostrils with the scent.
It’s better than the legs of my desk and my pillow.
Eating the cotton in my pillow makes my mouth sore.
After the pillow’s gone, my shoulder blades hurt while sleeping.
I had a nightmare where I was attacked by a monster.
But there’s an upside.
With the nightmare as inspiration, I was able to flesh out the monster.
Sleeping in the bowels of the earth, a horrific demon.
In the past, the goddess sealed him, but the seal consumed an enormous amount of power.
Such enormous energy can only be gained by people clinging to life, struggling to survive at death’s door.
The candle burns brightly just before it extinguishes.
That sort of concept.
Because of that, the goddess kept sending sinners to that world.
There was no way around it.
If she didn’t, the demon would escape and devastate the world.
130 chapters in total.
It’s not perfect, but I did as best I could.
Next up, Scenario 2.
Before that, loop time.
Battle scenes can be reused.
The enemies are different, but their abilities are the same; the allies are different but their roles are the same.
There’s no harm in doing it this way.
The different Scenarios will never be posted at the same time.
The confrontation between Hirata and Clover exists in all scenarios, so it can be copied without needing to change anything.
It’s the same after peace is achieved.
I just need to slightly change the characters’ dialogue.
I’m writing two distinct scenarios, but the fundamental structure doesn’t change a whole lot.
Many scenes could be repurposed from one to the other.
I just needed to change the connections, reasoning, and explanations.
Before I knew it, Scenario 2 was quickly taking shape.
There’s something wrong with this war. There must be a mastermind!
The mastermind is….that guy! DUN DUN DUN!
There isn’t a need to fight each other, we should team up against our common enemy!
If you want to work together, defeat me! BANG! Defeated! But no hard feelings. Friends!
Now, the great evil is starting to act, but there’s obstacles in the way!
How will we get past the obstacles?! Companions we’ve helped up this point will lend their power!
The obstacles have been removed, now we’ve gotten to the source of the great evil! We’ve reached the final battle!
The opponent is too powerful, we can’t win! But at this time, the last piece comes into play. Somebody lends us strength……Victory!
Yay! The world is at peace! Happy ending!
Is this too played out?
I didn’t think about it when I wrote Scenario 1, but isn’t this a little childish?
Could it be that’s it’s not interesting?
Naturally, it’s not very interesting.
I’m an amateur, after all.
Compared to the original author’s work, the quality has fallen.
Yeah, that’s right.
Right now, I don’t need “the most interesting novel.”
The goal is to take cumulative first place.
Anything more is unnecessary.
The “continuation” and “Completion Boost” are necessary to gain points.
So it’s fine if I’m not interesting.
With what I’ve read up till now, without going off on any wild tangents, I’ll cleanly wrap up the plot threads and finish safely.
I don’t care if it’s disappointing.
In “Let’s Write a Novel,” there are many people who give points because the novel is interesting, but few who will then take them away if it’s then boring.
So it’s fine.
Without any unnecessary thoughts, let’s quickly write Scenario 3.
It was a little clogged with descriptions of flies.
What was the shape of a fly, again?
I didn’t look at it very often, so I’m starting to forget.
I’ve got a clear image of the stag beetle, but what’s a fly like?
I’d like a reference…
I created my description by referring to works that were fly-themed.
In “Let’s Write a Novel,” there are many works that can’t be considered “novels” so much as “cluttered infodumps.”
I don’t know how credible the information is, but I can only trust that it’s true.
Reading it, I see if my gut feels like it’s true…
But why use stag beetles and flies?
Wouldn’t it have worked to have used a stag beetle and another beetle?
No, there’s no evil connotations to beetles.
Flies are associated with Beelzebub and evil.
It’s hard to associate stag beetles and righteousness, though….
Sometimes, stag beetles are called “black diamonds”, but….Wouldn’t beetles be more suited to justice?
I also finished writing Scenario 3.
I finished the last scenario rather quickly…Well, I reused the battle scenes and ending scenes.
It didn’t take much effort, but I had a stressful feeling writing the same things three times.
A voice in my heart told me that the first two scenarios would be enough, that I should first see how a single scenario did before making another, but I endured it.
Every scenario was around 130 chapters.
With the original work, this came out to around 400 chapters.
I just have to post so it’ll be finished around the 350th day.
I chose the 350th day because the Completion Boost might last several days.
In the past year, there was a novel on the cumulative ranking that reached completion.
I was watching their point increase, and it didn’t finish in a day.
It took around 5 days until saturation was reached.
I don’t know how much “Other World’s Pincer Master” will reach, but that will give me two weeks to spare.
How much will it grow?
I’m begging you.
I want to leave this room as soon as possible.
With that thought, I pushed the reset button.
 Loop 22 skipped in the raws.
Maybe that time they tested the shorter-term loop made last chapter Loop 21 and 22?
 Title is literally 異界のハサミ使い (Ikai no Hasami Tsukai), which perhaps more naturally translates to “Other World’s Scissor User.” I chose “Master” over “User” as a reference to the novel Konjiki no Moji Tsukai (“Moji Tsukai” being translated to “Word Master”) seeing as the whole story seems to be a shout-out to various isekai tropes. ハサミ translates to “scissors,” however, it can be used to refer to the mandibles of certain insects.
 Karōshi; I’m sure most readers are familiar with the concept, but it’s a relatively common phenomenon for Japanese salarymen to die from causes related to overwork.
 Fun fact, “Hirata” can also refer to a stag beetle (Dorcus titanus).
 The Japanese name for swallow-tailed butterflies (genus Papilio).
 クロバ can refer to the bamboo moth (Artona martini). Incidentally, Hirata and Clover are the names of two large Japanese manufacturing companies….which one might say “oppose” each other….
 The name is a reference to Vespula flaviceps, a type of wasp commonly eaten in Japan.
 A kabutomushi (beetle) and a kuwagatamushi (stag beetle).