Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
Chapter 5 – The mob, the master, and I
“Kill! Kill! Kill!”
“Burn him! Burn him to death!”
“Humans must die!”
Yes, this is everyone’s idol, Kosuke. I’ve been guided to the village by a woman, and the fans are cheering for me all over the place now.
I mean, I’m super scared. It’s the first time in my life that I’ve ever had bare malice, or even murderous intent, directed at me. People are looking at me with bloodshot eyes and telling me to die. My legs are trembling under that kind of murderous intent. Or rather, I feel like I’m going to wet myself. I haven’t wet myself yet, but it’s only a matter of time before I do.
There’s a wounded guy with beast ears growing out of his head, a woman with wings instead of hands, a guy with a face like a lizard that I can’t tell if it’s a man or a woman, a woman with a giant snake on her bottom half, and all sorts of other people who look like humans but aren’t human. They’re all cursing me out and directing their murderous intent at me. No one is throwing stones at me at the moment, but it’s only a matter of time before they do too.
My heart beats fast. My vision narrows with fear. My throat is parched with tension. How could this happen? Why did I have to go through this?
The woman had led me into the village. She exchanged a few words with the male elf who guarded the entrance, and then she left me with the man and walked into the village. Soon after that, the male soldier took me inside the village and kicked me down in the middle of the square. That’s when I remember the look the elven male soldier gave me. That wasn’t the same kind of eye that would look at the same human. No, it’s natural because he’s not a human. He’s an elf, anyway.
I can’t get my thoughts together. Am I going to be beaten to death by the mob? What in the world did I do to deserve this? Shit, I shouldn’t have followed him.
Finally, some guy with sticks and stones in his hands started showing up. No, I don’t want to die. If I have to die, I want to die quickly and painlessly. But now, I’ll probably have to suffer for a long time before I die. If I’m going to die anyway, then should I be as violent as I can be? Made enough clay brick blocks for construction to last for a while. Putting them all around to make a mess, I wonder if I could somehow get through the enclosure.
I mean, I’m starting to get pissed off. Why do I have to go through this? I don’t want to be accused of something I don’t remember doing, and I don’t want to be beaten and killed for it, straight up. I’m going to do it. I’m going to do it!
“What are you doing?”
There’s a roar, and the wind blew. No, it wasn’t a blow; it was an explosion. It wasn’t a strong wind or anything like that, but a blast that blew me away. It also blew out the people who surrounded me.
I rolled around helplessly, and something stomped on my back. I remember the feeling of this foot.
“This is what I picked up. Who permitted you to hurt him?”
“Ouch, ouch, ouch, it hurts, it hurts!”
A sturdy boot that seems to be made of leather steps on my back pressing me down. It hurts so much. Could you just take it a little easier on me? I mean, seriously, it hurts; it’s creaking!
“I’m the only one who can do what I want with my things. Is that clear?”
The mob seemed unable to say anything to the woman’s implicit declaration. Or rather, I feel like they are looking at me in a subtle, sympathetic way. Wait a minute, you guys were trying to kill me a moment ago, right? And how can you give me that look? Is she a very dangerous person? Hey?
“Tsk, that stupid Nate… he dares to do this!”
And the woman is then cursing someone. But maybe Nate is the name of the male elf soldier who took me out into this square and kicked me down. Apparently, he and this woman don’t get along.
“Well, that’s fine. I’ve got things under control before the worst happens. Get up; let’s go.”
The woman gestures at me and kicks me, urging me to stand up. Ouch, it hurts, I say, it hurts!
“Damn it… you’re literally stepped and kicked me.”
“Yeah, and you should put this collar on.”
Then the woman held out a leather collar to me. Pardon? You want me to wear a collar? And isn’t that one of those things? Isn’t that a so-called slave collar or something of that sort?
“If you don’t put it on, it’ll be like that again. Should we test it again next time?”
I can’t turn my back on that. If something goes wrong, I can just stick the collar in my inventory and hope for the best. That’s fine, let’s put the collar on; it’s just a collar. It’s not like a cursed collar or anything.
But being a slave to a beautiful elf like this is kinda turn me on. Won’t it? No, I’m not an M. Yes, really. I’m not!
“Kuku… nice look.”
“I’m not happy even you say that… Hey, I don’t need to wear a chain, too, right?”
“You should have a collar and a chain for your dog, right? Besides, when walking, the owner needs to pull the dog properly.”
“I’ll remember this…”
A brown elf woman pulled me in chains and made me walk from one corner of the village to the other. Thanks to her, I now know exactly where and what’s in the village now!
The village is roughly divided into five zones. The outermost zone is a development zone where some sturdy buildings are being built. Inside, it is a zone for non-elven residents. There is an open space like a buffer zone beyond that, and when you pass through it, you will find a zone for the elves’ magic field. When you exit the magic field, you will find the elves’ workshop area, and past that, in the village’s center, is the residential area for the elves.
She said that all the village inhabitants, except for the elves, are refugees fleeing from the war. Yeah, I thought that was probably true. The architectural style is so varied, or, let’s just say, the buildings were all shabby.
And the most surprising thing I saw was the magic field. The Elf’s field was like a multi-storied parking garage, like a hydroponics facility filled with magical light. I’ve never seen or heard of a large-scale hydroponics facility in Japan. Maybe the farming in this world’s elves surpasses that of Japan in some ways.
I didn’t get to see the inside of a workshop or anything like that, so I didn’t know much about it. I didn’t get to see the inside of the elves’ residential area either. By the way, an expansion zone is literally an area where some kind of facility is currently under construction. I didn’t know what they were building, but it was a sturdy looking building.
“Alright, this is my home.”
It was quite a fine elven-style residence. Now that I’ve had a chance to look around the village, I can say with certainty that it is one of the most magnificent elven-style residences in the village. It’s like a lively log cabin, if I may say so. It looks like a house made of intertwined living trees. The house is merely big.
I was invited into the house. What stimulated me the moment I entered the woman’s house was the sense of smell. It smells somewhat cool and refreshing. Should I call it the scent of the forest? When I take a deep breath, I feel refreshed.
“What a great hobby to take a deep breath as soon as you enter a woman’s house, huh?”
“I’m not trying to be a jerk. Is that an incense smell or something?”
“There’s nothing; I’m not burning that kind of stuff.”
The woman pulls the chain, and I follow her lead. It seems to be a living room. There’s a lot of furniture that looks like it’s made out of woven rattan. I sat down on the couch as the woman let go of the chain and walked to the back of the room. But still, when will she take this collar and chain off?
“I won’t take them off outside. But, yeah, you can take the chain off in the house.”
“Thank you, Master… are you satisfied?”
“You could use a little more cuteness, though.”
I remove the chains and put them away in my inventory. Is there anything crafted more by putting the chains in? I was fiddling with the crafting menu when the woman came back from the back of the room. She’s holding two steamy wooden cups in her hand.
“Don’t ask a man to be cute.”
“Better to have them than not, of course. You’ll be able to buy your master’s hospitality.”
“I won’t buy your hospitality… but I’ll think about it.”
“Kuku… You should do that. And you’re not as nervous as I thought you would be?”
“That much is obvious. An idiot would have noticed.”
I don’t even need to think about the intentions of putting a collar on me and walking all the way around the village with a chain in tow. This is my property, and I will destroy it if someone touches it, is the message from this woman.
It’s impossible for me to live in this village as a resident. The elves and the refugees only see humans as enemies. If I were to arrive here without anyone’s backing, I would be missing the next morning. Either I’ll be killed and buried in the middle of the night, or I’ll become monster bait. And no one cares. It’s not even a case. If someone wonders, “Oh, that one, I think he left because he didn’t feel comfortable here,” and that’s it.
So should I live without relying on this village? That’s impossible. If I had spent time in the forest, I would have eventually come into contact with the inhabitants of this village. If I did, there’s a good chance that we would have killed each other on the spot.
Even if I won on the spot, the village would be searching for me sooner or later. If that’s how they find me, it’s still unlikely to have a bright future. To begin with, it is difficult to survive on my own. Sooner or later, I would have died in the wild.
So is it right to leave the forest? The answer is obvious. No. I cannot, in my current state, walk through the Great Wilderness by myself. I don’t have enough water, food, equipment, technology, information, or anything else. Either I’ll fail, or I’ll be eaten by a monster, and that’s the future waiting for me.
It’s a miracle that I’m in the present situation. If this person isn’t interested in me, there’s a good chance I’ll be stuck in this mess no matter what. It’s a miracle that this person found me, a miracle that I was able to manage the discussion, a miracle that this person was a strong figure in this village, a miracle that this person came to me before I was killed, all these miracles added up to make me the person I am today.
“Have you been thinking?”
“Yeah, well. I’m just toasting the miracle of meeting you.”
“Ooh? That’s a pretty cute thing to say. But it might be the only time you can say that, right?”
“The time is right, isn’t it?”
I can only say that it’s really the right time. I don’t know what this person’s purpose is right now, but since she’s still keeping me alive, which she could have killed many times if she had wanted to, she must have some kind of purpose. There is of course the possibility that she will eventually abandon me and throw me to the curb, so I’m just going to make the best preparations I can to survive no matter what happens in the future.
“I mean, it’s time to stop being so speculative. Let’s keep it simple.”
“Well, that’s better since we’re going to be living together. Well, where should I begin?”
“Your name. I haven’t heard your name.”
The woman made a frown at my words and then began to laugh in amusement. What, she can also make a normal expression? It’s an amazing gap for a woman who was only showing a dangerous gaze and expression to show that kind of expression unexpectedly.
“That’s right! You were right! I’m sorry, not many people around here don’t know my name. I’d completely forgotten the custom of telling you my name.”
The woman laughs, even with tears in the corner of her eyes; what was so funny about it. Yeah, what a great thing to laugh so innocently like this. Was it something that made people speechless when they saw something too beautiful?
“My name is Sylphiel, one of the guardians of the Black Forest. I hear humans call me the Witch of the Black Forest.” [T/n: シルフィエル = Shirufieru.]
“Sylphiel… That is a pretty name.”
It’s an honest impression. When I hear her name alone, she’s kind of a fine, pure maiden. In reality, she’s a nice buddy brown elf (looks like she has killed a few people).
“What’s with that delicate face?”
“To be honest, just hearing your name makes you sound like a maiden.”
“Hmph, I was a pure maiden once, too. I’m still a maiden, though; it’s just my body… What’s with your eyes? Do you want to check it out?”
“I’d love to do that, by all means, but I’m afraid of what happens afterward, so I’ll pass.”
If I get too carried away, she’ll break my neck.
“What is it? You’re so boring. What should I call you?”
“You can call me Kosuke. Should I call you Sylphy? Or is it master?” [T/n: シルフィ = Shirufi.]
“When we’re alone, I’m fine with Sylphy, but on the outside, I think the master would be a better choice.”
“That’s true. Basically, I’ll just call you master, then.”
Sylphy gives me a strange look when I easily accepted the call her master.
“You have such low pride, don’t you?”
“You fool, I’m not that low. I know you and I had a bad encounter, but I understand that I would have been a corpse that night. You saved my life. I don’t know if you had a purpose in doing that, but I’m pretty sure you saved my life. Then I would at least consider the position of the person who protected me.”
“…I see. What an admirable guy.”
Sylphy smiles. Hey, stop, don’t give me that look. You haven’t been feminine lately, and I’ve been experiencing some pretty normal survival situations where I’m aware of my own death, so I’m in some trouble. Consider that.
“Uh, hmm… I think it’s time to ask what’s the purpose of having me around?”
“No particular reason. If I had to answer that question, I’d say it was for fun.”
“That smells like bullshit.”
“That’s a shame; I’m not going to lie to you. I’m interested in who you are, your circumstances, your abilities, your knowledge, that sort of thing. The rest is just a matter of intuition.”
“I see… could it be that this kind of thing is sometimes happening in this world? Someone like me that wandered in from some other world?”
“Ooh, how did you come up with that?”
Sylphy raises one eyebrow and smirks. “Yes, I think that is more like you,” she says.
“There’s a story about that in my world for entertainment… It’s not something that actually happened; it’s just a fantasy made into a story. Oh, no, I can tell you that there is something similar to that in the old stories, too.”
In a sense, Urashima Taro is some kind of otherworldly transfer thing. Momotaro and Kintaro also look like reincarnation stuff, depending on how you look at it. The stories about being spirited away also have a different world transition feel about them.
“Hmm, I see. In conclusion, such stories do exist. In the Holy Kingdom, it’s said that the chief god Adol sometimes sends apostles from the divine world, and there are similar stories in the Empire. It is said that among the elves, through the spirit world, there are rare occasions when a wanderer appears from the other world. Such ones, they say, appear at the boundary between the forest and the outside world.”
“Oh, I see?”
The place I was standing when I came to this world; that’s the very “border between the forest and the outside world.”
“What kind of being is a lost person in the elven tradition?”
“They say they come to the distressed forests to bring victory to the forest people. Wouldn’t it be nice if Kosuke had that kind of power?”
“Eeh… I don’t want people to expect that from me.”
I’m just a civilian who likes to play games for a bit. Isn’t that kind of thing the job of the military or academics or politicians?
“But you have some mysterious power, don’t you? It would be a pleasure for me to know that.”
“That being said, this one is my lifeline…”
I think desperately about it while holding back. I can either open it all up, or I can disclose only some of my abilities. Not disclosing at all is not an option. If I don’t show a certain amount of self-worth and cooperation here, I could lose her protection. If that happens, there is no way for me to survive.
I glanced at Sylphy’s condition. Sylphy was grinning with a generous smile. Shit, this woman is really like to tease.
“Let me think some more about revealing everything to the public.”
“Fumu. Are you saying that I cannot cooperate? Should you return me the favor?”
“I’m not saying that. I’m grateful to you, and I owe you a debt of gratitude. But I still don’t know who you are, what you think, what you want. What I know, what I’m capable of, is probably very dangerous, depending on how I use it. I don’t even know how far I, as an outsider, can meddle in this world. I can’t leave everything to you under those circumstances.”
“Your mouth works very well. It’s a shame I can’t block it up.”
“You’re more than welcome to cover it with your lips.”
“That’s a good idea. I’ll try it later.”
I couldn’t help but swallow my breath when I saw Sylphy with a bewitching smile on her face. It can’t be helped; I like her a lot.
“But you do have a point. It’s good to be thoughtful. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to say, does it?”
“Of course. First, let me introduce you to this ability.”
I pull out the chains, stone spear, stone ax, and hammock I mentioned earlier and show them to her from my inventory.
“The inventory is my ability. It’s a special storage space where you can store a variety of things. Weapons, materials, food and water, and other bulky or heavy items can be stored in this space. I’m still testing how much and how big and heavy I can fit in there. I’ve only been using it since I arrived in this world, and I’ve only been using it for three days.”
“Hou… that’s a handy ability.”
There is a dangerous light in Sylphy’s eyes. Stop with those eyes; your beauty is ruined. As I was thinking about this, Sylphy took the stone spear I produced.
“Fumu… crude spear, but it’s sharp enough to kill a living thing. Did you make it yourself?”
“Hmm? And this stone ax? That took a lot of work, didn’t it?”
“…Well, you’re right.”
I told her to some extent when we first discussed how I lived in my former world. Can a man who has been living peacefully in a safe environment, surrounded by useful tools, make a beautifully crafted stone spear in just three days? Without any tools, and that’s exactly what I did, only wood and stone. I don’t need to think about that. No.
“Kuku… I think that’s enough of the pursuit. You should be a little more cautious.”
“Thank you very much.”
Yikes! I’m totally exposed. I should have gotten the rocks and grass out, too! I’m really a fool! I don’t know how far Sylphy understood it, but I think she guessed that I was capable of making these kinds of processed products easily in some way.
“I know you’re going to be a good luggage carrier. That’s enough for now. It’s not easy to carry a big catch on a hunt anyway.”
“Ah, the prey of the hunt… Hmm, how much help can I be?”
“What do you mean?”
“I hunted one lizard called Lizarf or something like that, which is like a lizard and a wolf divided by two. I don’t know if I could put an entire animal carcass in my inventory because I didn’t put it in my inventory intact. Part of the inventory function is to dismantle the prey, and in the case of the Lizarf, I took the meat, bones, and skin out of the animal and stored it. When I took it all out, all that was left was a puddle of blood.”
“Err, a puddle of blood, huh?”
Apparently, Sylphy had found the pool of blood I had left behind. Could it be that she found me by following that trail? I guess an amateur cover-up might not fool the professionals, after all.
“How much did you get? Let me see.”
“Okay, but I can’t just throw the meat out there. If I held it with my bare hands, it’d get damaged pretty quick.”
“So that’s it. Wait a minute.”
I watch as Sylphy goes to get some dishes or something to put the meat on. I really have a platter of processed wood in my inventory or something, but I don’t want to show too much of my skills deliberately. I feel like it’s already too late, though.
“Put it out on top of this.”
I toss the Lizarf meat onto the wooden platter that Sylphy brought with her. That’s about four kilograms of meat in total.
“Is that all of it?”
“I ate some, but that’s all of it. And these all the bones and skin.”
I’m not going to tell her that I used bone, skin, and tendon for the composite bow. That is my trump card.
“Fumu… no internal organs? That’s a little more meat for it, but… where is the other part?”
“I don’t know. All I know is that it’s all the Lizarf meat.”
Yeah, I was just going through it too, I think, that’s it. When I get the meat from the disassembly function, it’s stored in my inventory as a chunk of meat, about five hundred grams apiece. I ate two pieces, so I got roughly five kilograms of meat from the Lizarf. But each piece of meat looks about the same. Is it automatically molded into a piece of meat? No, it seems kind of like loin-like meat.
“Well, it looks like a slice of easy meat to eat… Let’s try this one today.”
“It’s fine. How many pieces do you want to use?”
“Two pieces should be more than enough. So, is this all the bones and skin you have?”
Isn’t that a small amount for a single one, not to mention? Sylphy asks me. Yeah, she’s sharp.
“I did spend some of it, yeah. I want to keep it quiet about what I spent it on.”
“…Well, that’s all right. We’re going hunting tomorrow. All right?”
“Aye aye, ma’am. I’m hungry, by the way.”
I’m hungry because I walked to the village without eating breakfast. I don’t know what time it is because I can’t just take out my phone to check the time in front of Sylphy, but it’s almost noon. The tea has quenched my thirst, but my hunger isn’t so good.
“Well, let’s try it right away. I’ll take care of it.”
Naturally, Sylphy said that and sat down on what looked like a wicker couch. Right, I’m a pathetic slave, right? It’s impossible for a master to cook for a slave, isn’t it? I understand.
“…Master, could you please teach this poor slave how to use the cooking utensils and spices?”
“Well, I guess I have no choice. Learn it all in one session, okay?”
The kind master let out a sigh and got up from the couch.