Monster No Goshujin-sama - Volume 2 - Chapter 16.2
As I raised my head and collected my thoughts, Lily quickly stood up.
’’I'm coming!’’ (Lily)
Ayame jumped and hid under Lily's clothes in her belly. I rolled up the bandage on my left hand to conceal Asarina.
After making sure everything was in order, Lily opened the lock and peeped through gap of the door.
’’Yes, you are?’’ (Lily)
While making sure the visitor couldn't see me, Lily responded cautiously. However, as a result I too, couldn't see who the visitor was. Just as I expected, seems like the man had come here as the preparations to welcome us were finished.
’’Wh-, wha?’’ (???)
I heard a disarrayed voice. It seems the visitor was a male, to be precise the voice was young like a boy's. Possibly one of the students.... no.... this was...
’’I heard that Takahiro's room was here, but why is Mizushima-san here?’’ (???->Boy)
’’That ... is, Oh? If am I'm not mistaken, you are ...?’’ (Lily)
Feeling something was off, I stood up. The voice was very familiar. I rushed to the door and threw it wide open, surprising Lily in the process. The visiting student turned and faced me.
A bit shorter than me yet built solidly, the boy wore our school uniform. His unkempt uncouth hair was ruffled. His eyes met with mine through his glasses.
He was an acquaintance.
If I had to say more, he was a classmate and a friend.
’’Oh, Takahiro. It's been a while.’’ (Boy->Mikihiko)
Laughing with a smile plastered on his face, the boy raised his hand. It appeared that I hadn't mistaken him for someone else.
’’Everything else aside, all that matters is that Takahiro is safe. I had thought that I would never be able to meet my acquaintances again Tahaha~. The clearing difficulty of this world is too damn high. Or is there a mistake in the difficulty setting just for us? I feel like life in this castle is in hard mode.’’ (Mikihiko)
’’Is this a game?’’ (Majima)
Although I retorted, I did feel his proposal 『seemed』 to be true. Because, I had no clue about cheats, fantasy, or metastasis/transmigration into a parallel world, but my friend, Shumoku Mikihiko, being an otaku was well informed about it. He would talk enthusiastically about stuff like this after coming to this parallel world.
He was left behind with the Stay Behind Group in the colony as he didn't have a cheat ability. I had assumed he died on the day the colony collapsed however...
’’Nah... but, it's been a while, really.’’ (Mikihiko)
’’......yeah. It really has been a while.’’ (Majima)
His optimistic tone indeed did match my memories of him so I'm sure that he's definitely not an impersonator or a ghost. As I grew nostalgic, Mikihiko spoke
’’Everything said, Takihiro. I'd like to ask you one thing. Why is Mizushima-san here?’’ (Mikihiko)
’’......for what reason?’’ (Majima)
’’Isn't this place Takahiro's room? I came here assuming that was the case.’’ (Mikihiko)
I felt it was rude to put it so bluntly however, it was a good question nonetheless, and Mikihiko's expression was serious. As we silently stared at each other, I sighed deeply. Then with exaggerated gestures I looked at the sky and dropped my shoulders.
’’Perhaps, it's that sort of thing? It's like that, isn't it? If it is as I think then I am somewhat shocked.’’ (Mikihiko)
’’Ahaha. You're still the same, Shumuko-kun.’’ (Lily)
Lily seemed to check out what kind of personality the person in front of her had from Miho Mizushima's memory, and bitterly smiled as she spoke.
’’Oh, Mizushima-san, do you know about me? You never talked to me, did you?’’ (Mikihiko)
’’It wouldn't be difficult to know about you if you're making noise all the time. ’’ (Lily)
’’Aitatata! That serious expression doesn't suit your face, Mizushima-san.’’ (Mikihiko)
Mikihiko hit his head as he joked around. I unconsciously revealed a wry smile.
’’You really haven't changed......’’ (Majima)
He really didn't change. For a moment I almost forgot that we were in a different world in a fortress in the middle of a dangerous forest with risk of being attacked by monsters.ᴬ
I felt glad that I was able to talk with a friend I thought I would never meet again. Moreover, that cheerful side of him had not changed.
’’Yeah? I hope that's true. That part of Takahiro has changed a little bit.’’ (Mikihiko)
’’Is that so. I didn't properly realize it myself.’’ (Majima)
’’I don't know how to put it, fearless? You've become manly? A feeling like that or something.’’ (Mikihiko)
Mikihiko laughed as I touched my face with my hand.
’’Mizushima-san has become a more beautiful woman than before. Both of you have become mature......hey, what kind of profound relationship is attached to you two!’’ (Mikihiko)
’’......What are you saying?’’ (Majima)
Although, it was true that Lily and I are in that sort of relationship, so what Mikihiko wasn't wrong. Only if you exclude the part of Lily being mistaken for Miho Mizushima, however.
’’Don't say absurd things, well, come inside.’’ (Majima)
I gave him the long awaited 'come in'. It was difficult to stand around whilst talking so I invited Mikihiko into my room. To that, Mikihiko waved his hand.
’’Ah, no. I came here to call Takahiro. The preparations to welcome us were finished. I heard that you were here so that's why I came’’ (Mikihiko)¹
’’Ah. So, it was like that.’’ (Majima)
’’Follow me, I'll guide you.’’ (Mikihiko)
There was no reason to refuse. I obediently followed Mikihiko as he guided me. We left the room and advanced through the brick passageway. Mikihiko lead us while half-stepping, and Lily and I followed his figure.
While walking I noticed on Mikihiko's waist, there were two daggers each on his left and right sides with the same design as the one knights use. The scabbards made a clink clink sound as they hit each other. On my friend's unchanged outfit, that was the only difference from before.
’’Walking with your shoulders together and walking close in general are things that a pair of lovers do, damn it. Are you two that close? Tch, I had a feeling when there weren't any traces of one of the beds being used when I glanced at them a while ago, so this is why.’’ (Mikihiko)
’’Don't keep an eye on the minute details, you......’’ (Majima)
I let out a sigh while being amazed and refocused my mind, throwing a remark at Mikihiko as I walked between him and Lily.
’’You were amongst the survivors that came out from the forest before us, weren't you Mikihiko?’’ (Majima)
’’Ah, you realized it.’’ (Mikihiko)
’’Well, it was just hunch.’’ (Majima)
Mikihiko wasn't amongst the students that had been protected by Silane and the other knights, but on the other hand, he wasn't a member of the 'Scouting Corps' either. From that, the possibilities were narrowed down.
Nonetheless, the possibility itself was hard to believe in suddenly.
’’You properly survived.’’ (Majima)
Although unintended but my tone was that of admiration and respect.
Surviving the chaos of the colony, walking through and leaving the forest with rampaging monsters wasn't something you could do half-heartedly. Certainly, he was lucky too but even if he only continued to walk through the forest without giving up, that will-power alone deserved praise.
He wasn't a man who was only screwing around.
’’Well, I was close to dying a countless number of times. But it was the same for you, wasn't it?’’ (Mikihiko)²
’’......I guess so.’’ (Majima)
’’Besides, I wasn't alone up till now.’’ (Mikihiko)
My reply was delayed and somewhat strained, but luckily, it seems Mikihiko didn't notice it.
’’It was like that;I was running away from the colony while in a state of confusion. When I thought I would seriously die in vain soon, I was picked up by leader-san of the alliance of knights.’’ (Mikihiko)
’’We are somewhat similar. It was the vice chief for us.’’ (Majima)
’’Ah, Silane-san. She said she wanted to talk us later. She promised to explain in depth after she got back to the fortress for Takahiro. ’’ (Mikihiko)
’’Now that you mention it, she did say something like that.’’ (Majima)
I felt such things should be left to her subordinates, but she did give a dutiful impression that matched her actions.
’’I heard that she wants to discuss something right now.’’ (Majima)
’’Yup. This time, she should be talking about the rescue operation of the surviving students.’’ (Mikihiko)
He nodded with a nod, and Mikihiko opened his mouth.³
This time Silane-san group only visited a limited number of locations. Protecting a lot of students in the woodlands for extended period was dangerous wasn't it. That's why Silane-san was now discussing with second group how to continue. I think since the scouting corps has returned, the imperial knights will take their place’’ (Mikihiko)
’’Wai-, wait a minute, Mikihiko.’’ (Majima)
I stopped Mikihiko from talking so I could gather my thoughts. This part of him had not changed......or rather, it seems like he didn't fix it.
’’I'm sorry, but I wasn't able to follow the pace of the conversation. Could Could you explain from start to finish?’’ (Majima)
’’Is that so? You and others haven't heard the entire story yet. Alright, I'll summarize it, but don't be so concerned.’’ (Mikihiko)
It seems that Mikihiko who arrived at this fort Slightly earlier than us, was apparently well informed of the situation. This was a chance. I listened to Mikihiko's story.
According to Mikihiko's story, the first 'Scouting Corps' were in another fort towards the east――they reached Fortress Ebenus, and it appeared that it had been about 10 days since then.
And around that time, the 'Scouting Corps' were brought a report about the colony's collapse.
Mikihiko didn't know about the detailed circumstances that surrounded this, but there were talks that Miho Mizushima's childhood friend, Takaya Jun, went towards the east to request help from the 'Scouting Corps'.⁴ There was either another person going east, or perhaps it was the case that Takaya Jun had rushed in with the news of the emergency.
After that, in almost no time, a message was brought here to Fort Tilia.
There was a considerable distance between the two forts, but the way to get in contact between distant places had been prepared for cases like this. It seemed to be a method that utilized magic, but Mikihiko didn't know the details behind it.
Soon after contact had been brought to Fort Tilia like that, it became a major issue where dozens of members led by Silane from the Third Order of the Alliance of Knights left the fortress for rescuing the students.
But at the same time, the 'Scouting Corps' picked out a few people who specialized in speed and dispatched them, and they arrived at the fortress two days ago. The reason was because Silane didn't know about the arrival of the 'Scouting Corps' team until they reached the fortress.
’’That is the whole story up until here. Nevertheless, the plans for after this are, the second group will depart while waiting for the Alliance of Knights and Silane-san to come back, and those guys from the 'Scouting Corps' themselves intend to participate with the rescue. The second group is the Imperial Knights. Well, that's just my prediction.’’ (Mikihiko)
As of now, the Southern Empire's army was in Fort Tilia, the 2nd order of Imperial Knights, and then, the three stationed organizations were called the 3rd order of the Alliance of Knights.
It was evident there was a mixture of different military organizations, but it appeared there were several different reasons for that.
’’Takahiro, didn't you wonder why there is a fortress in such a forest? Fortresses are for preparing for foreign enemies. However, it's unlikely for human settlements to be inside the forest beyond this place.’’ (Mikihiko)
’’That is, in other words......’’ (Majima)
’’Yeah. Mankind lives beyond the forest, and Fort Tilia was constructed with the purpose of protecting people from the threat of the monsters living in the Sea of Trees. In other words, this fortress spearheads the fight against mankind's common enemies.ᴮ Nevertheless, the empire and the alliance are in a relationship of dependency and suzerain state, so to speak. If I was to accurately express the circumstances of this fortress, I wonder if it would be the form of『the military facilities of the empire are within an allied territory that faces the Sea of Trees, and allied troops are being dispatched』.’’ (Mikihiko)
’’......It's a complex story.’’ (Majima)⁵
In any case, whatever the circumstances over there were, if it's to the extent of the whole country having to oppose, it's a fact that monsters were a large threat in this world.
In relation to the story that said the Order of Knights responded to the appeal for aid from the 'Scouting Corps', there was some understanding as for having heard such circumstances. In short, the reason was the question of gains.
I didn't know to what degree the combat abilities were of the knights and soldiers in this world. However, thinking back to the situation where the knights were confronting the green caterpillars, the people possessing combat abilities will be separated from other cheat ability users, there's no questioning that.
We were dragged into a random metastasis into another world, guaranteed to be irregular existences. We didn't have any connections in this world, therefore, it was only natural there wasn't an organization to help us.
However, cheat ability users possessed the strength to lightly kick and disperse monsters here in the Sea of Trees and were extraordinarily were extraordinarily useful and capable people in this world. The residents of another world knew their strength and the value of using them, and even if convenience was in mind, it wouldn't be odd.
’’And.......we have arrived.’’ (Mikihiko)
Mikihiko muttered so. He was still in the middle of talking, but it appeared we had arrived at our destination. We were brought to a room that was similar in size to a classroom. There were signs of a commotion in some people.
’’Sorry Mikihiko, it turned into a consultation.’’ (Majima)
There were things I wanted to hear still, but there should be another chance for that. It was a short period time, but I managed to obtain useful information.
We stopped talking and walked into the room.
Practically every student had gathered in the room, including the 'Scouting Corps'. As we had come here while we talked, it seemed that we had arrived a little late.
You could say it was a warm reception, but it appeared to be a party in a buffet style. Various cuisines were lined up on a long table.
From what I saw, it appeared that the world's eating habits didn't differ much from ours. There was bread, there was soup, and splendid meat dishes were lined up. There wasn't the custom of fish dishes. There was slightly less fruit and leafy vegetables, but there appeared to be a lot of root crops in exchange.
Seeing the decent cooking after a long time, the students appeared to be waiting impatiently. Even so, I didn't change around this. My throat resounded, and Lily, who was next to me, laughed with a giggle.
In addition to the students, there were several elderly men in the room. There weren't tables prepared for us, but it seemed like the interior of the room was arranged for some reason.
Although they weren't wearing helmets or armor on their bodies, there was a weird uniqueness in their demeanor. They were most likely remarkable troops or knights. Vividly colored military uniforms covered their robust bodies that had yet to age.
Before very long, one person's eyesight accidentally met with mine.
I felt pressure pointed at me through his gaze. I unintentionally looked back at the man's eyes.
There wasn't a reason for me to be stared at. On the other hand, it wasn't to evaluate me either. Despite that, there was a curious zeal in his gaze.
I wonder what this is. It wasn't affiliated with evil intent in any way. And yet, it somehow felt more severe than mere good intentions. Emotions that hadn't been pointed towards me during my life were included in that gaze.
......It was uncomfortable. I turned my line of sight away from him.
I realized it when I looked around again.
The rest of the men were the same. When they look at the other students as well as me, their gazes were filled with a curious passion. It was like turning towards devout belief in a religious painting or picture or something......
What was stranger was that even though such a gaze was pointed towards them, the other students didn't seem to think anything of it except for us.
They were extremely relaxed, exchanging words with their friends next to them. Nobody was aware of the questioning gazes that were occasionally appearing and disappearing......it shouldn't be like that. Despite this, they didn't seem to mind it.
Upon noticing it, the sensation of『slippage』that I had forgotten until just now, had seized my body from the tips of my feet again.
’’You seem to have gathered.’’ (???)
It seems we were judged as having come in suitable time. An elderly man, who was one of the people from this parallel world, called out to everyone gathered in the room.
’’I am called Jaylass＝Green, and I'm the person who is responsible for this fortress.’’ (Jaylass)
He appeared to be the number one senior most person in this fortress.
He bowed deeply and put his hand on his chest. I opened my eyes wide in astonishment. He must have a high social status, and the man also had a lot of months and years piled up on top of us, but he was displaying the highest respect to us who were several years younger.
It seemed he wasn't merely being polite, it could be guessed from his tone of voice. In the man's voice, there was slight tension and intoxication, and an unmistaken feeling of respect.
’’Welcome to our Fort Tilia, 『Heroes who descended from another world』-sama. I am world』-sama. I am honored to meet you.’’ (Jaylass)
......what was that?
What I had just thought was my honest impression.
My thoughts had completely stopped, no thoughts came to mind except for that frank thought. I was staring in blank amazement at the man as a result, and the man raised his head which had been lowered for a long time.
’’If it was as usual, you would have been invited to the imperial capital normally, as it's a custom to be given hospitality by His Majesty personally, but at any rate, this fortress appears to be within this thick forest. Please give me your forgiveness for being able to do nothing but this crude hospitality.’’ (Jaylass)
’’Don't be, since we had our request accepted and granted. We are, for sure, very thankful that you are helping rescue our friends. If we have everyone's help, I believe that we will be able to safely reunite with everyone for sure.’’ (???)
A large-built man from the 'Scouting Corps' opened his mouth and responded to the man's words in a cross-like manner.
There wasn't a thing to be scared about with his unreserved cross manner that informed of his gratitude. Even as he was floating a smile on his fearless face, he seemed to accept the respect from the man in front of his eyes as a natural thing, to the extent where he even appeared bigger than his large build.
It's like a protagonist inside of stories, like the hero admired in legends......it seemed like it was his behavior as a『Hero』.
It was a serious farce. Everyone had misunderstanding, but I instinctively didn't get it.⁶
We weren't heroes. We were nothing, but worthless teenage brats found anywhere who had been caught up in an unexpected event like a metastasis to a parallel world.
With all the events since we had come to this parallel world, we should've realized such an obvious truth.
Have you forgotten the mayhem and the shameful scene on the day the colony collapsed? That helplessness, that wretchedness;you shouldn't be viewing this as a dream like being a hero if that was remembered.
It should be like that, but even then. It seemed that only I was thinking of such things.
The students who had come along up to this place had been protected by the Order of Knights, they were looking at this farce in front of their eyes without thinking of any problems with this. There was even aspiration remaining in their gazes, and their facial expressions had the look of admiration.
I didn't understand.
Saying nothing of the residents of this different world, my brain shook with an indecisive and uncomfortable feeling like a space alien slipping inside of someone.ᶜ
It seems that the only one who felt something out of place from this situation, except for me, was only Lily who was next to me――
――well then, it wasn't that.
As it was a really small mutter, it shouldn't have been heard except by me who was nearby.
However, he had surely said that. More than anything, the cold gaze he viewed the situation in the room with from behind his glasses, had eloquently told me the true feelings of my friend. Mikihiko's eyes reflected my figure being confused.
’’That's good, Takahiro is normal.’’ (Mikihiko)
With his lips abruptly opening, Mikihiko had said that.
’’The meal is about to begin, so we should chat a little. Come with me.’’ (Mikihiko)
The rest is coming soon......
(P3 10%) (P4 0%)
¹- The last part of the sentence made no sense to me, but the editor changed it a bit.
²- Yeah, I mean, he almost died a couple of times. Of course, he had girls taking care of him afterwards....but other than that, yeeeep.
³- This sentence is kind of awkward because of how the sound effect ’’こくり/kokuri’’ is a sound effect for nodding.
⁴ - Oh boy, this was a long time ago. For those who need context, the man who was guarding Kayo and Miho in the cabin, before rape happened, left them in the cabin to go east to find the 'Scouting Corps' and ask them for help when the colony collapsed. Kayo or Lily, I can't remember who exactly, told the MC about this, and that brings us to that detail.
⁵ - MC is 100% right here. I've had to go back and fix a lot of sentences......
⁶ - I'm not too sure about the latter half of this sentence......