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Chapter of the week: 1/2
Editor: Kenny Stryker
uuuh, hey, this is reizenchuu,.
it turns out that I am so good at messing things up when I try to play smart. so yeah, not gonna happen again. you know what I’m talking about.
Amidst of summer, when the buzzing locusts could be found anywhere in the surrounding. Everyone around here was trying to get used to this hot weather, and many were looking for the sightseeing spots, as they were full of tourists and travelers. Most of the sightseeing spots were fully packed, there was not a single place which was readily available. And, oh! I almost forgot to tell you. I’m going on a trip today.
The car swayed after stumbling upon something on the way, leading me to stumble on my elbow and wake up from my nap.
“We’re almost there.”
My dad announced while looking happy, and singing a silly song on the way. Upon hearing his voice, I slightly rubbed my eyes, and looked out of the window, as I was still feeling sleepy. The scenery outside was awfully different from the one I’m used to seeing back in the city. The area was surrounded by rice fields, grasses, and a river. Dragonflies could be seen flying and the buzzing of cicadas was reaching my ears.
So, this place didn’t change at all.
Even from two years ago when I last visited this place, I could hardly notice any difference from back then and now. Despite that, I still remember this place being a countryside, but there was nothing much here. In fact, this is my mom’s hometown. Despite how she looks, she was born in this area, but later decided to shift to Tokyo with an aim to learn about cooking and become a master chef. The place we are heading to is undoubtedly my maternal grandparent’s house; my mom’s original home.
“Welcome here, everyone.”
“You did well coming here.”
As we entered from the entrance, my grandfather and grandmother gave us a warm welcome.
“Long time no see, mom and dad.”
“It has been a while. We will be in your care.”
While my mom replied with a casual greeting, dad greeted them while bowing in respect. Apparently, he felt the need to act humble because they’re the parents of his beloved wife. Well, either way, he has been way too respectful.
“Yato-kun, Karen-chan, welcome back.”
Karen and I replied with a light greeting. Both of them looked somewhat young for their age which should soon reach their seventies. Only a handful of wrinkles could be seen on their faces, and for my grandmother, not a single white hair could be seen on her head. She acted cheerfully and energetically exactly like my mom. By the way, the reason I don’t call her grandmother but grandma was because I don’t think she looks old enough to be called grandmother. I feel like calling her that way would make her sad, so I don’t want to hurt her feelings.
(TL-note: so you know. Because of many ‘japanese reasons’, ‘Obaachan’ and ‘Baachan’ are slightly different in their nuance. Calling your grandmother ‘baachan’ is like implying that she is old. So he called her Baachan. Don’t bother looking for the difference because it doesn’t really exist. At least if you are not Japanese.)
“It has been a few years since the last time you visited.”
“2 years, was it?”
My grandfather spoke with a faintly low and hoarse tone. His character was as a quiet and impassive as always, as he was quite similar to Karen. This was the first time I thought that Karen inherited his genes. In the past, when both he and Karen used to gaze at each other without speaking a word, I doubted that they were using some sort of telepathy skill to communicate.
My grandmother and grandfather; two people with totally opposite traits and personality. Although my parents died in an accident long ago, and I was later taken into this family, my deceased mom and my current mom were sisters, which makes me blood-related with my grandparents. I think that this is also the reason they treated me kindly at that time.
“Let’s get inside instead of standing around here talking.”
As my grandmother suggested, we took off our shoes and entered the house.
As we finished our conversation with our grandparents in the living room, I went to a different room to get some rest. Since we’re going to stay here for 3 days, this room will be my personal sleeping space for this period of time. There wasn’t any tatami room back home, so sleeping on tatami like this has its own particular pleasant scent. A gentle breeze reached me from the balcony and the wind made a weak sound as it swayed back and forth with the air pressure. This is what I call the summer ambiance.
This house looks old from the outside, but ridiculously spacious. It doesn’t have the second floor, however, its width is vast enough that each one of us here could sleep in their own room. I could finally understand as to why my grandmother was sad over her house, as it’s way too spacious for just two people to live in.
“This place is quite empty, Desu.”
“Well, that’s the kind of place we’re in right now.”
I replied to Meru on my phone while still lying down on the tatami. I leaned the phone against the wall when I entered the room because she told me that she wanted to see the scenery and now she finally realized that there is nothing to see in the first place. As I continued to move sluggishly while still lying down, I suddenly heard some footsteps coming my way.
“I knew you’d be sleeping.”
It was Karen who spoke with her usual expressionless face.
“You need something?”
“No, I’m just bored.”
She replied to my question in a nonchalant manner. I doubt there is anything for me to do if she told me that she was bored with that impassive expression of hers. I couldn’t even tell from her excessively brief answer about what she wants me to do and kept glaring at her silently.
“… I’m bored.”
“I heard you.”
She said the same thing again, as I stood up, took a seat and addressed her.
“Listen here, even if you tell me that, there is nothing I can to do for you…”
“Go out with me for a walk.”
Eventually, she spoke about her intent, while looking at the ground, and blushing at the same time. I wonder why is she blushing. Anyway, couldn’t she just ask me to go out on a walk her with her from the very start? There was no need to ridicule me about going on a walk. I believe, she was probably waiting for me to guess the situation, and take the initiative to ask her out for a walk. Despite having all those skills of mine, I can’t read someone’s mind.[ED: He still has his Dense Protagonist skill activated, lol.]
“I want to see the outside too, Desu.”
Meru, who was listening to our conversation, became interested in going out for a walk too and raised her small hand while speaking from within the phone. Apparently, she got bored from gazing at the same place for too long. It seems I don’t have anything productive to do now anyway, so I guess I should go out for a walk with Karen and Meru.
“Alright, let’s go then.”
I suddenly got back on my feet and headed towards the entrance door with Karen and Meru. I informed my mom about our plan to go for a walk, I grabbed my shoes from the shoe rack and wore them before taking out a small device from my pocket.
“What is that?”
“Earphone shaped camera.”
Karen looked at the camera when I took it out of my pocket with a suspicious look on her face. It looked like a normal wireless earphone, however, it had a small camera attached to it. Last time when I was shopping, they were selling the camera at a very cheap price, so I ended up buying one in the end. So, the time has come to test it. When I told Karen about the features of this special earphone, she gazed at me with doubting eyes.
“… So, are you going to peep on someone?”
“No, why would I do that?”
There is not a single soul in this area to peep anyway. Moreover, even if there were someone, I would never peep on them. I hurriedly denied her allegations, and when I was about to explain myself to clear away all the potential misunderstandings, Meru interrupted me with an objection of hers.
“Master would never do something like that! Besides, if he wanted to peep on someone he could do that without even using a mere camera! Desu!”
Her first sentence was fine, but the second one was not so much. I can only reveal an awkward smile from watching her bragging about me being able to peep at people. Karen, who heard Meru bragging about me, hurriedly took a step back and gazed at me with a totally disgusted glance. However, I couldn’t allow it to continue and cleared the misunderstanding in a haste before it could get worse. You can already guess what might have happened next.
“Ah, that was a strange misunderstanding you got there.”
“Yeah, yeah, I was kind of careless to jump to conclusions.”
I let out a faint sight while walking with Karen who was apologizing while it did not look like that she was sorry at all. I wonder if she was really sorry. As I started doubting Karen’s attitude, Meru let out a thrilled voice from watching the scenery unfolding before her eyes.
“There are so many trees! It is amazing, Desu!”
The place we were walking in was a slope near mountains covered by trees like an arch. The naturally beautiful scenery and the cleansed air in this place is something that can’t be experienced in the populated cities. The trees blocked the hot sunlight from reaching the ground and making the place refreshing and covered by shades. I actually started to like it in here.
“This place hasn’t changed a bit.”
I agreed with Karen’s remark with a calm tone. Everything here still looks the same way as it did 2 years ago. We used to visit this countryside every summer and winter holidays. The reason we didn’t visit it last year was because of what happened to me on the occasion where I obtained my new abilities. But despite not coming here for two years, nothing has changed. It was quite nostalgic.
I continued walking on the mountain road while still being lost in my own thoughts. I remember walking on these mountain roads when I was still in the grade school. I also used to get excited from being in the strange places. As we continued strolling, a small shrine entered into our field of vision.
“Oh, this shrine is still the same as well.”
In a calm and happy mood, I walked towards the small shrine and bowed down. How nostalgic. I remember praying here all the time when I was still a kid. As I placed my hand on its roof while reminiscing about the past, Karen gazed at the small shrine with the same nostalgic feelings that I had.
“I know right.”
Karen and I knew this place very well, as we used to visit it all the time. This place was historically rich, as some parts of it indicate its prehistoric nature and its robustness as it was still not damaged or rusted or collapsed all this time. It still looks young as always. As I kept on gazing at the small shrine for a while, Meru came to report to me about something she found.
“Master, there is something moving behind that small shrine, Desu.”
I quickly got on my feet, and took a glance in the direction where Meru was pointing. I noticed a certain creature lurking from behind the shrine, and I was surprised to see it.
“It’s a fox?”
I didn’t know that foxes existed in this mountain. I was honestly confused by realizing that a fox was hiding in such a place but then, I noticed that it was hurt and approached it in haste. It looked as if he were hurt in his leg. Fortunately, the wound was not anything of serious.
“What is it? Did you find something?”
“I found a fox. I wonder what it’s doing in this place.”
She asked in a curious time while I answered Karen in calm tone who was approaching the shrine to take a glance as well. For some reason, she looked confused in a different way than how I did and then, she asked.
“A fox? … Where?”
I let out a ridiculous sound after hearing Karen’s totally unexpected answer, but Karen didn’t pay me a mind and continued to look for the fox while tilting her head. It didn’t seem that I’m standing on her way; the fox was standing directly in front of her. Then why isn’t she able to see it? Just to make sure, I pointed at the fox and asked her if she still can’t see it.
“Are you really not seeing it?”
“Not at all.”
It looked like she couldn’t see it for real. What is going on here? I started sensing the eccentricity of the situation and turned to look at the fox again. It had a muddy yellow fur, its forefeet was wounded and it had two tails.
… Huh? Wait.
If I remember right, a fox only has a single tail, usually. I fixed my gaze on the fox’s tails while controlling my bewilderment. Is it a new new breed of foxes or something? As I was trying to come up with a rational explanation, Meru shocked me with the stunning truth.
“Master, this is most likely a monster, Desu.”
“Meru, do you ever sleep?”
“I do have a sleep mode, however I can function perfectly even without using it, Desu.”
“What do you do when you’re not sleeping then? Internet?”
“Yes. I recently started writing, Desu.”
“Writing? Writing what?”
“Blogs regarding topics like ‘How to Raise A Boring Girlfriend’ or ‘Top 10 Secrets to Get Popular with Girls.’”
“Can’t you like, do something better than that?”
Next Update: Thursday, May 10, 2018
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.