I hate myself for being too eager to help.
Honestly I kind of expected this kind of development so I was going to shrug it off, but departing on the very same day was too much.
Luckily I was attending a boarding school, and also, my parents are pretty lax.
Simply by saying “I’m not coming home this year” is enough for them.
I then started preparing but when I looked at the clock, there was only one hour left until the promised time.
In order to travel we needed the wormhole called the ‘travel gate’, but the times it could be opened is severely restricted.
Fantasy had already encroached on my reality.
They told me I had to strictly observe the time for that reason, but just what kind of preparations do you do before going to another world, anyway?
First of all I packed a torch, smartphone, a change of clothes… Aaah, whatever, I don’t care!
Along the way I got irritated and just packed at random and left the dorm just in time for the departure.
“We~ll then Yuu-kun. You know about RPGs, don’t you?”
Once I arrived at the Sakurai house, the mother, Emiko-san, started a crash course before departure.
She made to have an intellectual impression by wearing narrow glasses and a suit, but despite her going for the college professor look, well, her appearance feels more like a female teacher.
She looked so young she doesn’t seem like she had a 17 year old daughter.
“Well, it would be much stranger if I didn’t know, right?”
When I heard that it had something like a ‘travel gate’ I imagined a more dungeon-like house, but it turned out to be a normal 2-storied detached house.
When I entered high school I started living in the dorms, but I heard the single-mother Sakurai family just moved in in their entirety. This is the first time I stepped in their house since I came here.
“Rather, I thought I could hear more about Arina being a Hero.”
“The world you’re going to go to resembles the fantasy worlds inside RPGs a lot.”
“So your stance is to not take any questions, huh”
“I’m sorry, we really don’t have much time.”
Emiko-san, with her wavy hair swinging and her lips colored with lipstick, apologized. The scent of some quality perfume lightly floated about.
… Just how did this ero-beauty give birth to a plain child like that.
“Yuu-kun, have you ever cleared a fantasy-style RPG?”
“One or two big-name ones when I was a kid.”
“Okay. So I won’t need to explain much about the genre. Can you lend me your smartphone?”
Emiko-san took my smartphone, then attached a cable onto it and connected it to a PC. She seems to be installing some app into it.
Even though I didn’t really want to tamper with it since it’s not an ordinary smartphone, but a school-provided tool called an ‘E:ID’ containing my electronic student ID, among other things.
“Then, never mind the Hero Arina, do you know what you should do first when you’re suddenly thrown into a fantasy world?”
While doing that, Emiko-san continued talking.
“No, not at all.”
“Of course, right. So what about RPGs?”
Emiko-san disconnected the phone from the cord and continued her customizations with a previously prepared component and screwdriver.
“… Don’t break that please”, I said to her in worry.
“Answer the question please” was her reply, half-ignoring me.
“Umm. Beginning from the starting village, defeat low-level enemies to gather EXP… I think.”
“Bingo, correct. That’s the theory. Even if you don’t have the ability to explore a fantasy world, you do have one to clear RPGs.”
“Though I don’t get what you’re trying to say from the beginning.”
“It’s about Yuu-kun roughly answering how he was going to live in a fantasy world. … here you go, it’s done.”
As she was saying that she handed back my smartphone.
The smartphone was put into a strange case and became one size bigger.
When I touched it, it made a ‘bo-n’ sound, and a semi-transparent screen appeared before my eyes.
The terminal screen was displayed to me in 3D, it was a truly futuristic thing.
“Cool, what’s this!”
I unintentionally blurted out.
“A chance to experiment for my research. I’m glad you liked it♪”
The words [Elixir-Replica System] was displayed on the terminal screen.
“Eluks?” «TN: Elixir-Replica System was written in the Latin alphabet, which he apparently can’t read»
“It’s read as Elixir-Replica System.”
“Waa, that’s really a fantasy-ish name. It’s really got the mood going!”
“Huhuhu, It’s to early to be happy~”
Emiko-san touched the screen, and more windows appeared.
They were all commands like ones you’d see in RPGs.
“Yuu-kun, take this.”
I put on the wristband she handed over.
Then I pressed [Status].
Name: Shimoyama Yuuki, Job: High School Student
HP: 100, MP: 100%
STR: 5, AGI: 5, INT:3, LUK: 0
Just like that, my status was out in the open.
“Uwaa, it’s really like an RPG! I’m worried about the zero LUK, though.”
“This is the answer from before. If Yuu-kun is going to live in a fantasy world, it’s better to represent reality as a RPG system. It’s putting this world’s [common sense] into a world lacking in one.”
Okay, I don’t get it.
For the time being, I simply nodded.
“I’ve been analyzing Arina’s power for some time now and developed this system. The numbers appearing here denote your own abilities.”
“Eh? but MP? Can I use magic too?”
“If I had to say then this is something like the remaining battery power, I think. This remodeled smartphone takes in the ‘mana’ existing in the air automatically as a replacement for electrical power. Then using this…”
Emiko-san then pressed the button labeled [Skills].
[Salamander Cannon 60%]
Those words appeared.
“… a special move?”, I asked, and Emiko-san giggled in affirmation.
“Use that when you’re in a pinch, okay♪”, she said.
She selected [Item] → [Store] and a laser beam came out from the edge of my smartphone. She pointed it at my backpack and after several seconds the backpack disappeared.
This time it’s the 4D P●cket feature. The difference is that this one seems to have a weight limit.
The [Items] display now shows [Backpack], [Change of Clothes], and [Chocolate].
“I was in a hurry, seems to have gotten in by mistake.”
Strapping the smartphone on the wristband makes for a simple adventuring set.
“All preparations are finished, then♪”, she said that and looked at her watch.
“… Oh my, look at the time. I have a very important meeting to go to today.”
She paled and started the preparations in a hurry.
“You said there was no time but it was because of your personal business!?”
“That’s right, professors are busy you know.”
“Eh. You’re not going to see your daughter off!?”
“She’ll be fine, Yuu-kun is coming along after all.”
… the smartphone and all, it looks like this mother-daughter pair went with the premise that I’ll be coming along.
“Huh, that reminds me, where’s Arina? She’s not here.”
Normally she’d be in the background and not noticeable.
While we’re having this conversation, the lead actor Arina wasn’t present.
“Arina would be getting ready in her room. Girls take a lot of time to prepare. Ah, you’re not allowed to peek, okay?”
Are you dumb or what.
We’re not going out shopping you know.
“Well then, as for Arina, I’m Coun Ting On You, okay! Ciao☆”
Lightly waving her hand, Emiko-san rushed outside.
No, really, she looks young for a mother.
Being single for such a long time, she must be clearly putting her guard up, huh.
She had a much more mature image the last time I saw her long ago, too…
Well, it was probably too much for a little boy to understand a woman’s charm.
Now that I think of it, she was dazzling me with ultra high-tech items and left off the essential parts of the story.
Like what the Demon King actually was, or if there were things like monsters, or how we’re going to actually depart to begin with…
While I was thinking this and that, the second floor became very noisy.
The Hero-sama appeared, tumbling down the staircase.
Her mother said she was getting ready, but she’s still wearing the circlet and sailor uniform.
What about the preparations?
“I, I’m sorry! I overslept!!”
I’m so angry I think I’m popping blood vessels on my head!
“Stop fooling around, you! Just whose departure do you think I’m coming along with!?”
“I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry! I was enjoying my birthday too much yesterday I couldn’t get much sleep. I, I’ll lick your shoes and all so please forgive me.”
“Don’t lick them! It’s half your own hobby anyway, isn’t it!”
“Noo! Saying it’s a hobby is… ――――ahー.”
It looks like I made her realize her own inclinations.
“I’ve never heard of a Hero waking up to her masochism right before setting off, you know. Seriously, you.”
“N, nono, that’s not true! I’m just saying that I don’t mind any treatment from Yuu-kun! Even if Yuu-kun kicks me or hits me I won’t mind.”
“Oi cut it out!! ENOUGH!!”
My anxiety for this journey just grew like a snowball.
“T, ttttttt that’s right, we don’t have time! Get your shoes and follow me to the basement!”
With that Arina took my hand and led me down to the basement.
“… Arina, are you wearing perfume?”
“Eh? I’m not wearing any.”
“Well, you smell like Emiko-san.”
“Eh? Eh? … Mother’s always hugging me, so maybe the scent rubbed off on me? I, is perfume-scented Arina, d, digusting?”
“No, well, it’s just a faint scent so it’ll be fine…”
Arina sniffed on her sleeves for a little while, but finally abandoned the thought.
“A, anyway, w, we have to hurry.”
She ran down to the basement.
In the basement, there is an egg-shaped ‘mechanism’ somewhat larger than me.
It is wired together with pipes and cables, and there is a monitor to its side that is continuously spewing letters, digits, and symbols.
*Wham*, *wham*, it sounded of heavy moving parts.
It seems that it had a machine room underneath.
The surface of the egg is marked with the letters [A・R・N].
It was probably some kind of initials.
“I, is this the ‘travel gate’?”
“Yeah. Sorry, it’s something like this.”
It looked like a SF machine you probably won’t see outside of a certain well-known theme park, it only made my worries grow.
“Can we make it work.”
“Don’t worry. Mother taught me how.”
“Umm…”, Arina said, fumbling with the keyboard.
If possible I wanted Emiko-san herself to do it.
“I’ve confirmed the coordinates, ‘Ivan Castle Town’… N, now we’ll be able to meet with the King before the day is over.”
I guess the procedures for adventuring are the same everywhere, huh.
Pi… PiPi… *gakon*
The surface of the egg opened wide vertically.
Then, from behind it came a brilliant light.
Uwaa, what’s this…
“N, now the preparations are complete! It’s finally finished.”
Arina puffed out her chest, revealing her enthusiasm.
“Are we going to jump into this?”
“Y, yes, that’s right!”
Uwaa, no way.
I don’t want Arina to find out, but jumping into a dubious machine is this scary, you know.
“Yosh! Let’s go!”
“U, uh huh.”
“…, let’s go!”
“U, uh huh.”
“U, uh huh.”
I replied with nothing but noncommittal responses, so Arina gazed at me.
“Might you actually be, scared?”
“…… N …NOT A CHANCE!”
“That’s right isn’t it. I, if it’s Yuu-kun, you won’t be scared of something like this, right!
Yuu-kun getting scared is…
A, Arina is stupid huh.
S, sorry, okay!
B, because Arina is stupid…!”
Despite deprecating herself this girl is good at concocting situations I can’t run away from!
Dammit, I guess I have to do it.
“Come with meeeeeeeeeeee!”
Blue sky and refreshing wind.
A large grassy plain and a scenery overflowing with idyllic calmness.
A clear flowing stream, and a rolling water wheel powered by that stream.
Here and there there were small sheds dotting the place, I could catch glimpses of people working.
I can hear goats bleating, *baa~*
… In this 100% absolute boondocks of a village entrance, I asked Arina.
“Oi. Just what part of this is a castle town?”
“A, aaaaaaaaaah, uhmmm, ummm…”
Arina turned pale and started to tremble, clattering audibly.
“I’ll lick your shoes so please forgive me!”
As I thought. She did get her coordinates wrong.
My strength drained because of the Hero-sama who immediately made an epic fail, and sat down on the spot.
Our journey began just like this.
Firstly, this place is Occa village.
It was immediately after this that we heard rumors of repeated kidnapping incidents on the highway to Ivan Castle.