“This is awesome. I wonder how it works”, Kazura murmured, with one side of his face in the tatami-matted room and the other in the stone passage.
Incidentally, he had spread a tarp in the tatami-matted space bordering the stone passage so he can walk with his shoes on.
What was currently seen by Kazura’s eyes were the somewhat strange scene of the stone-paved passage in his left eye and the tatami-matted room in his right.
He relished in the new sensation for a while, but his brain became confused and made him feel nauseous, so he went into the stone-paved passage.
“I wonder what’s inside. It’s so bright, though.”
Looking onto the passage, there was a turn in the path about 30 meters away. Light was shining in from beyond so it’s clearly visible.
The passage itself was brightly illuminated by some kind of luminous moss.
“I’m pretty sure luminous moss is a protected species, should I contact the government?”, Kazura thought as he walked towards the light. As he turned the corner he saw a strange something.
“Hm? What’s this…. Guh!”
Looking at it closely, it seemed to be a human skeleton wearing weathered and tattered Japanese clothes.
“You have got to be kidding me… whose bones are these. Rather, the bones are bleached and the clothes are tattered, it must have been here for a while.”
He took a step back from the skeleton, grumbling “I thought I’d finally found a quiet place at last, but in the end I had to ask for the cops” as he took out his cell phone to call the police.
“Huh? I’m out of range?”
When he reached the residence he was sure his signal indicator showed three bars, but here it somehow was out of range.
He thought that maybe it was because he was in this passage, so he tried turning the corner to go outside. Right as he turned the corner there was a grove of trees and he was immediately outside.
He tried checking his cell phone again there, but it was still showing the out of range indicator.
“That’s weird, why am I out of range.”
Kazura tilted his head in doubt, and trying to find a place where the signal could reach, he looked around to find where his car was parked.
“….. where’s my car. Actually, where’s the house. Come to think of it, there weren’t any groves of trees near the house, just bamboo forest.”
With his phone in one hand, Kazura looked around but saw nothing besides the entrance to the stone passage and the grove of trees.
From inside the house out to here, Kazura had moved only 50 meters at most.
If you think about it rationally, there’s no way that the scenery could change this much just by going that far.
“…could this be…”, Kazura murmured with a serious face and ran back toward the stone paved passage.
On the way he greeted the skeleton saying “sorry, passing through a bit.”
“……. I thought so.”
He went back to the tatami-floored room and checked the signal indicator again, it proudly displayed three bars.
“Now I’m sure this door connects to somewhere far away. No wonder it was padlocked and sealed away.”
Understanding that after a while, his mind became filled with excitement, “this is an amazing supernatural phenomenon!”, and he picked up the travel bag he left at the entrance and once again crossed the threshold toward the grove of trees.
His greetings for the skeleton aside, he went on to satisfy his adventurous spirit.
“Speaking of supernatural phenomena around the world, I’ve heard one where they instantly went from one end of America to the other. It’s possible this goes somewhere outside of Japan.”
Putting a mark on the tree where he came out with a stone so he doesn’t lose his way, Kazura walked, and after 5 minutes the grove of trees gave way for some farmland.
Beyond the fields, there were some simple and plain wooden buildings, appearing to be some kind of village, there was also the sight of several villagers working the fields.
“Oooh, first villager spotted. …. From the blonde hair, I’m guessing this is Europe or America.”
The words “illegal immigrant” instantly popped into Kazura’s mind, but he was optimistic that by pretending to be a tourist he wouldn’t be quickly found out.
Then when Kazura was about to take a picture with his camera, the villager seemed to have noticed him and looked his way while saying something to the nearby villagers.
Because Kazura thought it would be too much trouble if they thought he was a suspicious person, he decided to take the initiative and talk before they reported him.
Holding a travelling bag, he does look like a tourist.
“Haro-! Aimu tsaarisuto! Aimu Japaniizu!”
Kazura put on a smile and waved his hand as he walked along the path between the fields toward them. The blonde short-haired strangely skinny man who was saying something to the others…
“Eh? What was that!?”
… replied in perfect Japanese.
Kazura’s hand that was being waved fell down as if it withered.
“Goddammit…. I thought it was some foreign country but it turned out to be some foreigner village like the Netherlander villages in Nagasaki or American villages in Aomori”, he said dejectedly, but somewhat relieved that he was still in Japan.
“I came here for sightseeing. I’m wondering where the nearest station is?”
He trotted toward the villager and talked to him, trying to confirm his location. The villager that answered earlier looked troubled and exchanged looks with the other villagers, but all of the villagers also looked troubled.
“Umm, we don’t really get what you’re saying, but…. are you one of Narson-sama’s messengers?” «TN: Naruson»
This time, Kazura was the one bewildered by the man’s response.
He doesn’t understand why the villagers said “what are you talking about” when he asked about the station.
Actually, who the hell is this “Narson-sama”.
“Aah, I was looking for the station where I can ride a train….” «TN: he said train, ride, and station in English»
“….. Our deepest apologies. We really don’t understand what you are talking about”.
Hearing the somewhat tensed up man’s words, Kazura folded his arms and groaned, “Humm…”
He thought the word “train station” was not in their vocabulary, so he immediately used what little macaronic language he knew, but it seems the idea didn’t get through at all. «TN: macaronic language – use of mixed languages in speech or text»
In fact, by the fact that they could speak Japanese so fluently, there’s just no way they don’t know of the word “station”.
“(…. their reaction was as if they were hearing the word “station” itself for the first time)”.
The moment that thought entered his mind, Kazura was taken aback and raising his face, he once again surveyed his surroundings.
What he saw were all simple wooden one-story houses, with something that looked like straw on top for roofs, you really couldn’t say they were proper houses, not even as a compliment.
Also, what the villagers in front of him were wearing, although he didn’t know what they’re made of, they were plain and roughly sewn.
Looking at the field, the hoes that were left there had handles and blades made of wood and didn’t look easy to use at all.
Then, the villagers that had been talking to Kazura looked very thin, and were clearly showing signs of malnutrition.
“(Is this really Japan? Isn’t this another world altogether?)”
There were also the padlock that vanished in front of his eyes and the doorway where the space changes just by crossing it.
It is very possible that this place is an entirely different world.
Kazura thought that even if they were only doing some period acting as part of some event and laughing at him, he decided to “interact with them as if they were not acting”.
“Ah, sorry. My local dialect came out. I’m a travelling merchant, Kazura’s the name. I was looking for a place to spend the night”.
Kazura unfolded his arms and putting on a businesslike smile, he smoothly made up a cover story.
Presumably, this world…. or maybe at least this area, had a rather low level of culture.
He could be able to pass himself off as a merchant just using what’s in the travel bag hanging from his right hand.
“A merchant you say? So far there’s never been a merchant that came to our village, but….”
“Oh, is that true. I got lost along the way and suddenly chanced upon this village, so I’m the first merchant to ever come to this village. Though it’s just a coincidence, it would be my honour”.
Kazura showed a friendly smile, and the man and the other villagers seemed to loosen up.
They probably mistook Kazura for a retainer or something of this local bigwig Narson.
“As a mark for our new acquaintanceship, I would like to give you a part of my commodities to the village. How about salt, or maybe some medicine to relieve pain?”
“Eh, salt?…. salt you say!? And medicine!?”
Seeing the surprised man, Kazura chuckled inwardly.
“Yes, salt and medicine. As a mark of friendship, I will give you, though there’s just a little of it”, he smiled.
If Kazura’s memory serves him correctly, in ancient times just by saying salt and medicine they would understand they were valuable stuff.
Salt aside, for the commoners before him, medicine would be something they’d never had their hands on.
“Wa, wait while I call the village chief…. No, I’ll take you to the chief’s residence, come along please”.
Kazura, smiling, said “all right” to the confused man that invited him along, while muttering “hell yeah” inside.
Then, if he could make a good impression on the village chief, he might be able to use this village as base to explore this new world.
After walking for 10 minutes, led by the man into the village.
He reached a more sturdy-looking house when compared to the other houses.
The man said to Kazura, “please wait a moment”, and knocked strongly on the house’s sliding door.
“Valletta-san, it’s Roselou! I’m bringing along a travelling merchant! Says he’ll give us some salt and medicine!” «TN: Baretta, Rozuruu»
The man who brought Kazura along—seems his name was Roselou—waited after knocking on the door.
After 10 seconds the door opened, and a thin young girl came out.
“Ah, Roselou-san…. I thought I heard you say medicine…”
There were deep bags under the girl’s eyes, and her limbs were thin as sticks.
No matter where you take her, you can unashamedly say she was the very image of malnutrition and overwork.
Coupled with a stature that is one head shorter than Kazura, who was 170 cm tall, she gives off a fleeting impression.
The girl’s shoulder-length blonde hair was tied in a ponytail behind her head, but because of malnutrition it lacked moisture and seemed dry.
“(If she took proper rest and nourishment, she’d be really cute)”.
Despite being thin from malnutrition, by Kazura’s judgement she had the features that would count as cute.
Putting aside Kazura who was wrapped up in his impression of the girl, Roselou started talking excitedly.
“Yes! With Kazura-san’s medicine we might be able to cure the chief’s illness!”
“Eh, is that true!? Can father’s life really be saved!? Thank you very much!”
Hearing the word “medicine”, the fatigued face of the girl, Valletta, lighted up, and looking at Kazura she bowed her head with tears in her eyes”.
“Eh? Wa, wait a minute. Is your father afflicted by an illness?”
The way the conversation is going, Kazura was going to be the savior of the father of the girl in front of him.
If it’s just cold or stomach medicine he had some with him, but if it was tuberculosis or cancer there was little he could do.
“Yes, he was confined to bed since 5 days ago, his fever had been high the whole time, I wanted to give him some nourishment but we don’t have proper food…. If we had money I would have called for a doctor, but people like us have very little money… I, was halfway into giving up”.
It seems like her father had a serious illness.
Then somehow they thought that the medicine Kazura was going to give them would be able to cure the chiefs illness.
Even though he never really did say what kind of medicine he had.
“(I did say medicine, but it’s just antacids and a little bit of painkiller the doctor prescribed me earlier, oh and some Lipo-D”. «TN: Lipovitan-D, an energy drink»
Recalling what medicines he had in the bag, Kazura’s mood became gloomy.
In the worst case, if the chief’s illness turned out to be some incurable disease, the medicine he brought could do nothing, and since he was not a trained medical professional, Kazura believed he could not give a proper diagnosis.
He had thought that there might be some villagers whose legs hurt from working on the fields too much, and he had painkillers so he could give some to them, but that was to naïve of him.
“I don’t know whether the medicine I have would be effective or not, but anyway, may I look at the chief-san’s condition for now?”
Seeing Valletta bow to him so vigorously, Kazura prayed “please let it be some back pain or malnutrition”, and he entered the residence, guided by Valletta.
“Father, this man has some medicine! Everything will be all right!”
“Chief! It’ll all be all right!”
“Uu…., me… dicine…?”
“(….. hee ….)”
He went in and the moment he saw Valletta’s father, Kazura thought that he clearly should be bringing some condolence gifts instead.
“How is he, Kazura-san? Can Father be cured?”
While still holding her father’s hand, she looked up with teary eyes at Kazura, who was standing up.
“Is there a funeral house nearby?”, Kazura thought the unspeakable, but for the moment he sat down beside Valletta’s father and looked at his condition.
“Whoa, that’s a terrible fever. His eyes are also sunk and unfocused, and he’s also shivering all over, he’s….. all right! He can be healed!!”
Even seen with untrained eyes his condition was clearly terrible, and Kazura was about to give his honest thoughts, but the moment he saw tears about to spill from Valletta’s eyes he immediately changed his words.
Though he immediately thought “aww, crap!” afterwards.
“Really!? ….I’m so glad”.
“Ah, no, rather than heal, I’d say he’ll soon be released from his suffering…”
Gripping Kazura’s hand, the teary-eyed Valletta thanked him again and again. Kazura started to feel cold sweat dripping out.
The final blow for Kazura came from Roselou.
“Is that true! Then I’ll be reporting this to the other villagers!”
As he said that, he ignored Kazura trying to stop him in confusion and flew out of the residence.