After walking for a long while and not being sure of the destination, Kosuke started to feel uneasy. Horun noticed his restlessness and showed her concern, Kosuke managed to calm down with the knowledge that he wasn’t alone.
Kosuke wanted to protect his honor and didn’t want to be seen as useless.
But his uneasiness had been seen through already, so hiding it at this point was a useless endeavor.
[If I had a younger brother it would probably feel like this.]
While seeing Kosuke who was trying hard, Horun laughed when that thought crossed her mind.
After walking for a while, they felt hungry.
Horun went and searched for fruits in the forest, and to show Kosuke that they were safe to eat she would take a bite first.
Since there were no animals to eat anything in the forest, a lot of the food was rotting away.
When they were thirsty they went and looked for a stream, and Kosuke couldn’t help but be impressed about the purity of the water.
To Horun it was natural, so she couldn’t understand him.
When they were tired they took a break and if they met trouble on the way Horun dealt with it.
Just like that, 7 hours passed since they departed and they discovered a village at the foot of a mountain.
Kosuke finally eased up a little and went in the direction of the village to ask for shelter for the night, but he was stopped by Horun.
Kosuke looked back and saw a troubled expression on Horun for the first time.
Horun pulled on Kosuke’s sleeve, indicating they should pass around the village. He obediently followed her.
One could vaguely figure out that she didn’t want to go to the village. The two of them continued to walk.
After walking a long distance the mountain behind them looked really small, and the sun had set.
Tonight the moon was shining brightly in the night sky.
If they had been moving on the plains instead of in a forest they would have been able to see quite well, that’s how bright the moonlight was.
Horun was concerned about the lack of light in the forest so she used illumination magic, which spawned small light particles that floated around them and lit their path.
After seeing Kosuke’s reaction to magic Horun couldn’t help but laugh quietly, since she didn’t think that he would be so happy to see magic.
Seeing Kosuke trying to poke the light particles, Horun relaxed.
Even though she had an obligation to protect him, seeing his childlike excitement gave her the feeling of wanting to protecting him of her own will.
After walking a while they found a small spring and Horun decided to camp there.
They both collected dry branches.
Horun placed down the branches, and Kosuke followed suit.
‘Just like a child imitating their parent’, Horun couldn’t help but to laugh quietly again.
Using the leaves that were on the dry branches as kindling to light a fire, they added the branches on top to create a bonfire.
This was the first time that Horun had to sleep outside overnight so she wasn’t sure what to do, but she knew that lighting a fire was appropriate so she did it.
She wasn’t aware that wild animals avoid the fire or that the temperature drops at night in the forest, she merely lit the fire to feel at ease.
Dinner was the fruits which were picked from the forest.
Although it didn’t taste good, it filled their stomach.
After finishing their meal, Horun stood up. She wanted to clean off the sweat and dirt that got on her body, but since she couldn’t have a proper bath she wanted to at least wipe herself off.
Horun saw Kosuke’s glance, wondering what she wanted to do.
Horun tried to tell him that she wanted to wipe her body by moving her hand like she was using a sponge.
Even if the other person was her savior, she would be embarrassed if her naked body were seen, so she indicated with her hand that Kosuke should stay here.
Not being able to communicate and seeing Horun’s expression, Kosuke thought that he did something bad so he revealed a worried expression.
Knowing that she had been misunderstood, Horun went over to Kosuke. Since she couldn’t explain properly, she could only pat his head or smile to ease his concern.
At the same time she felt that not being able to communicate with each other is really inconvenient.
[Bringing him to the spring and doing the motion of cleaning myself should probably get him to understand what I want to do?]
So Horun took his hand and went to the spring.
She soaked her handkerchief and wiped her arm.
Then in front of Kosuke she imitated the movement of undressing, showing that she want to wipe herself.
Seeing Kosuke tilt his head, Horun let out a defeated sigh, not knowing what to do after understanding that her plan failed.
But then suddenly Kosuke’s face got bright red and he turned around and walked away. Seeing that, Horun was relieved.
After wiping off the sweat and dirt, Horun went back to the campfire feeling refreshed. Kosuke made a unclear gesture nervously while blushing.
Kosuke was trying to apologize, but this time it was Horun’s turn of not being able to understand him, so it took her a while to figure out what he meant.
The time just passed by quietly with neither party having anything to do.
If they could understand each other then they would have chatted the whole time.
Since they had a mountain of questions to ask each other.
If it wasn’t for the fact that they couldn’t understand each other, they would have talked through the night.
Since that wasn’t possible they could only remain silent.
Horun listened to the crackle of the campfire and the sound of insects, while her eyelids slowly got heavier and heavier.
She had already been lacking on sleep before this, and combining that with her use of anti-fatigue magic she was spent both physically and mentally.
If not for that magic, Horun wouldn’t have been able to walk that distance with her stamina.
Kosuke, on the other hand, thought she was a very energetic girl, seeing her walk the whole way without complaining.
Seeing Horun sleep while sitting, Kosuke thought she would have a rough time getting proper rest. He moved her head silently to his lap.
(TN: Lap pillow reverse^^)
“She should be able to sleep more comfortably now. I thought she was pretty tough, but it seems like she was just pushing herself. I owe her a lot for her kindness. This lap pillow I’m giving her doesn’t make us even, but I think it’s the thought that counts.”
Kosuke muttered silently, fearing that he would wake her up.
Kosuke lied down flat on the ground and looked at the sky though the gaps between the branches. Although Kosuke had never seen such a beautiful night sky, he unfortunately wasn’t in the mood to appreciate this splendid view.
“But really, where am I? While I can’t exclude the possibility that this is another world, there couldn’t be such a coincidence, right? I can only hope that this is an unknown place on Earth and I somehow ended up here. Although I wouldn’t enjoy that either, it’s better than being transported into another world.”
(TN: Sorry Kosuke but you are in another world.)
Kosuke let out a long sigh.
“It seems this girl has a problem, otherwise we probably would have gone into the village for lodging…where would someone who can’t enter a village go instead? I’m afraid it’ll be somewhere dangerous. But right now I can only rely on this girl in front of me. She doesn’t seem like a person with bad intentions, and travelling with her isn’t unpleasant either.”
Then Kosuke let out another sigh.
“And it seems my body got a bit strange since coming here. There is no way I have this much strength or stamina. Walking continuously for several hours is possible, but how come I don’t even feel the slightest bit tired? Can anyone explain why my body is like this?”
Kosuke felt depressed.
But naturally no one responded. He didn’t expect an answer anyway.
After Kosuke released his pent up stress he fell asleep and his breathing levelled out.
While asleep, Kosuke’s closed eye shed a tear.
The intense anxiety and confusion had him unconsciously shedding a tear.
Horun woke up about 2 hours after the fire went out. The temperature had dropped considerably.
Immediately after Horun woke up she noticed that she was on Kosuke’s lap.
Her original intention was to thank Kosuke, but looking at his face she discovered tears.
“Do you also have some problems?” muttered Horun while stroking his head.
The two were completely defenseless right now, any monster that approached would have a meal out of them. But none came at them.
It was not like they feared the fire, the reason was a object that they carried.
Those monsters didn’t have the courage to go near a place which had the smell of a dragon.
Only humans are unable distinguish dangerous creatures through smell, but fortunately this area didn’t have bandits.
So the souvenir also became a talisman which protected those two.
On the fourth day after descending from the mountain, they had reached the house of the witch Alice by noon.
Although Kosuke looked quite dirty, he showed no sign of fatigue.
On the other hand, Horun was in an extremely exhausted state.
In order to avoid other people, they didn’t use the road but walked through the forest.
Plus the shoes that she wore were not suited for walking but were rather fancy shoes.
Even though Kosuke proposed that he would carry her with a gesture, since they weren’t able to communicate with each other Horun never nodded.
In actuality, Horun never accepted it because it would be too embarrassing for her and she didn’t want to show the younger boy her worthless side.
Horun knocked on the door, but nobody responded.
She didn’t give up and continued to knock several times. One could suddenly hear someone moving in the house.
Shortly after that, loud footsteps came from behind the door.
“That’s annoying! Who is it?”
From the open door, a woman of about 25 years old came out.
Her black hair was messy and uncombed, her eyes which were usually full of intellect were rather bland right now, and at a glance it seems her clothes were just thrown on.
Her rough attitude made her appear unapproachable, but she had beautiful facial features. If she worked a bit on her appearance and attitude, she would transform into a stunner.
After hearing the footsteps, Horun had immediately stepped back.
“We haven’t seen each other for 15 days, Alice.”
Alice looked stunned at the smiling Horun, but her attitude instantly disappeared and her face relaxed.
“… Horun? How come…why are you here?”
“Where else would I go besides here?”
“My life was saved.”
Listening to Horun, Alice had a confused expression.
“Your life was saved? Well whatever, it’s great that you’re safe and sound! Now that I take a closer look at you, you seem to be in bad shape. Come in!”
“Thank you. I knew Alice wouldn’t drive me away, Kosuke.”
Horun turned around at the confused Kosuke who wasn’t able to understand anything which was said just now, and he walked forward.
After seeing Horun waving, Alice just noticed Kosuke’s existence.
“Who is that?”
Hearing this from Horun, Alice woke up immediately. She couldn’t help but stare at him.
Being looked at like he was being observed, Kosuke felt uncomfortable.
He could feel a fearsome aura from her.
“You, come in as well. We’ll talk inside.”
“Kosuke doesn’t understand our language.”
“Is that so? Then how did you two decide to come here together?”
“With hand gestures.”
“To be able to travel here using only that kind of method, not bad.”
“It was a bit challenging, but he’s not a bad child.”
“Child, huh? Well at best he is about fourteen years old, so I guess to you who’s only nineteen he would be like a child.”
Kosuke looked like an average seventeen year old teen in the eyes of a Japanese person, but to Horun he looked much younger.
It’s this way for most of the Japanese, they look younger than they actually are to most Europeans and Americans.
However, standing in the front of the door was not an option so they accepted the invitation and went inside the house.
“The house got quite dirty…”
That was the first sentence Horun said after stepping into the house.
What she said was the truth. However the house wasn’t covered in trash, rather there were things chaotically scattered everywhere.
Kosuke was shocked as he walked in since he thought a burglar had hit the place recently.
When Horun had visited 15 days ago the house was still clean. It wasn’t like Alice didn’t know how to clean.
She had built up a lot of frustration and anger due to not being able to protect Horun and this mess was the aftermath of her venting it all. She had just left it laying around.
“Wait a moment. I will clean it up.”
“No, that’s unnecessary. I’ll have it all cleaned up upon Borudosu’s return.”
“We will probably be staying here for a while, so let me help.”
“Is…that so? Then I’ll accept.”
The three of them avoided the things scattered around and went to the living room.
After Alice had taken out the tea and snacks, Horun and Kosuke were relieved to eat warm food. They didn’t have any cookware while travelling.
Warmth spread inside of them, ‘This is what civilized people should eat.’ thought Kosuke.
“Can you tell me what happened?”
“Before explaining everything, can you use interpreter magic? If I remember right you can use it, correct?”
“Ah, yes we should definitely do that.”
Alice stood up and walked over to Kosuke.
Stretching out her index finger to Kosuke’s forehead, she began to use magic.
Horun held Kosuke’s hand when he appeared to be feeling unsure and smiled to calm him down.
Kosuke uneasiness was swept away by Horun’s smile and he sat there obediently. A warm feeling suddenly flowed inside of his head.
“So that should do it. Can you understand what I’m saying?”
“I understand…I understand what you are saying!”
Horun smiled at Kosuke who was jumping around and saying “I can understand you!”.
Alice who couldn’t stand it hit him on his head.
“Why did you do that?”
“Because of your jumping the dust is flying around now. What will you do if the dust gets in the tea?”
Kosuke was frightened by Alice’s sharp eyes and immediately apologized.
“Just this extent is enough to scare you…are you really the Dragonslayer?”
“The Black Dragon is definitely dead and Kosuke was next to it. Also, not only was the Dragon injured but Kosuke as well. The best evidence is that I and the country are still safe. On top of that, here are some scales.”
Horun put the scales on the table.
“Those are the scales of that monster?”
“Can I touch it?”
“Feel free. Originally I wanted to present them to you.”
Alice picked out one of the scales.
It was a black scale about 10 cm long, 6cm wide, and 3cm thick.
After checking that the color and sharpness matched the scales of the dragon in her memories, she tapped on it to check the hardness and then she used fire which came from her fingertip to try and burn it.
Seeing that the scale didn’t react in any way, Alice threw it onto the table.
“It seems like it really is a scale from that terrible monster. If it wasn’t dead, you wouldn’t have so many of these scales. Your name was Kosuke, right? Can you tell me how you killed the dragon?”
“I don’t know how to explain it since I don’t know what happened. So that black thing which was lying next to me was a dragon?”
Kosuke who was ignorant about the situation could only answer like that.
Upon hearing that Horun and Alice looked at each other.
The Black Dragon is a famous existence for the residents of this country.
Even if one hadn’t seen it personally, one would have heard about its appearance.
That was the one and only Black scaled Dragon in the world, how is it possible that someone doesn’t know about it?
“It seems like we came to a conclusion prematurely. We should start from scratch since we can communicate properly now. You said your name was Kosuke, right?”
“My name is Eliciel, my friends call me Alice. You can call me by whichever name you want.”
This was the first time Alice let someone call her by her nickname after their first meeting.
She didn’t know why she allowed it this time either.
“Then let me call you Miss Alice.”
“My name is Horun. Horun Kosuberu Sutorachi. Finally I can introduce myself formally.”
“I’m Watase Kosuke. Watase is my surname and Kosuke is my name. Thank you for your help on our journey.”
“No, you don’t need to thank me. Rather I should be thanking you. But anyways, if your surname is in front of your name could you possibly be from the Niexinge continent? There are some countries on that continent where the people have their surname in front of their name just like you.”
(TN: will change the name after I found what the name is in the japanese version.)
“My native country is a place called Japan.”
After hearing the name of the continent, Kosuke was sure that he came to another world.
He already had an inkling of doubt that he was still on Earth, but hearing this confirmed his worries and he became frustrated.
Horun and Alice had never heard of a country named Japan before. “What kind of country is that? Can you tell me about it, perhaps I will remember something.”
Although Kosuke had already came to a conclusion, perhaps there was someone like him in the past who came to this world so he told them about Japan.
…But even after Kosuke told them about Japan, neither could think about any country which suited that description.
“Vertically shaped island that experiences four seasons, next to it is the mainland, it boasts high security, and it has a high standing in the world. If we are talking about an island country, my first thought was the Lielie Island, but that country is not known by that name.”
“Could Japan be a name that only the inhabitants call the island?”
“Even if it was like that, there isn’t another country that fits the conditions. Maybe…”
Alice suddenly came up with an idea. To test her hypothesis she asked Kosuke a question.
“Sai Fuxi Ke, Kaer Huode, Aisen Biya and Henie Xinge. Do you remember something?”
“A Leilu, Pula Le, Tie Lisidun. How about that?”
Horun couldn’t help but to be astonished.
The 3 names which Alice had just spoken were the higher Gods of this world.
Even a child should have heard of those names in their bedtime stories.
It’s impossible for someone to be unaware of those names. From Kosuke’s answer, she became sure of something.
“It seems like Kosuke is a ‘World-Traveler’”
Feeling unfamiliar with this word, Horun tilted her head while Kosuke could roughly understand what it meant.
Alice remembered a book she had read in the past, and she explained it to Kosuke.
“A ‘World-Traveler’ refers to a person that came from another world. The legends say that there have been two of them in the past. They had knowledge and skills unknown to us which brought either prosper or chaos. So with this in mind, it’s natural that we didn’t understand Kosuke before since he was using a language which isn’t in our world. That also explains why he didn’t know the names of the continents or the Gods since they are words from our world.”
“Those two people that you mentioned, did they return to their original world?”
“It seems that they spent the rest of their lives here in this world.”
“…Is there no way back?”
(TN: Poor Kosuke)
“Unfortunately that’s not something I would know.”
Alice had an apologetic expression while looking at Kosuke.
“Since this world has magic, could there possibly be something like Return magic?”
“Even with the vast knowledge of magic that I have, I sadly have never heard of magic that can send a person into another world…”
“Alice is a famous magic user, known in the whole continent. If she doesn’t know about it, there is probably no magic which can send you back.”
“Uh…could there possibly be another way?”
Kosuke had a helpless expression on his face while he lowered his head to the two women.
“I’m sorry, there is nothing we can do.”
Kosuke gave up and became dejected.
If he had cried now, Alice would have understood. But Kosuke didn’t shed a tear.
It didn’t mean that Kosuke had a strong mentality.
He really was feeling depressed, but what the two women hadn’t known was that he was actually okay with being stuck in this world and unable to return to Japan. He was able to hold his tears in due to this.
Alice actually did have an idea on how to return Kosuke, but the success rate of this method was so low that it would probably be a waste of time.
The method she thought of was asking God for help.
Unlike on Earth, God certainly existed in this world.
Alice’s method was personally asking the Gods to send him back.
The problem was that she didn’t know where to find the Gods, or if they could even send Kosuke back.
She thought about telling him this method, but she imagined him exhausting himself to find the Gods and failing to return…remaining silent seemed like the better option.
This also was out of goodwill.
“Sleeping outside should have exhausted you two, so take a break okay? After you’ve rested enough we’ll take our time and think about things.”
Continuing this now wouldn’t get them very far, so Alice made that proposal and Horun nodded her head in agreement.
“Can you take Kosuke to the guest room? I’ll heat up the bath water.”
After Horun thanked her, she led Kosuke to one of the rooms.
Kosuke laid down on the bed and began to think about what he should do, but laying on a comfortable bed for the first time in a while made him lose consciousness quickly.
Kosuke had a dream. The same one as before.
He found himself in the hospital again.
Talking with that familiar girl.
Unlike his previous dream, the girl spoke with a less painful expression this time.
She would sometimes smile happily…that kind of dream.
After finish her bath, Horun came to look for him. She silently opened the door and saw him sleeping peacefully, so she closed the door just as quietly as she had opened it.
Horun went straight to her room after that.
Not even a minute passed before she fell asleep due to the accumulated fatigue.
Even though Alice stayed quiet as to not disturb the sleep of Horun and Kosuke, she was immersed in joy knowing Horun was still alive.