It was an uninteresting life.
Home, family, school, classmates, and friends.
They were being reflected in monochrome.
I couldn’t help but be bored of those things.
I didn’t like the ‘me’ who could do everything. When people started talking about what they wanted to do in the future, I would be envious. Since I could do everything, I lacked the motivation and the passion… Everyone else had dreams that they could earnestly pursue.
I liked to read fiction, fantasy, and sci-fi… My heart would throb with excitement whenever I imagined myself as the protagonist living in a fantasy world. Romance, suspense, and history… I wasn’t excited because of these elements in a novel, but rather, I simply liked the fact that these stories were very far apart from reality.
Basically, I was someone who was charmed by things that didn’t exist in reality.
Because of my parent’s expectations, my little brother’s jealousy, and other people’s envy, I directed all of that stress towards novels as if I was escaping from everything.
I thought doing so would sever my ties with society, even if only for a bit.
“Someone like Nee-san, it would be better if you didn’t exist!!”
Those were the words from my one and only little brother.
While his eyes were overflowing with tears, his voice kept trembling as he shouted hurtful words to me.
Normally, as the older sister, I should be able to get along better with him.
I wonder if I made a mistake somewhere.
No, that was just an excuse. There was definitely something.
At almost every opportunity, my parents would use me as a reference and compare me with my little brother. As he was constantly being compared to me, his mind steadily started wearing down.
I knew my parents didn’t mean any harm. But it was because my little brother knew that my parents had no malice behind their words that they were able to get through to him.
My little brother wanted love from our parents. He was yelling at me simply because I was the one receiving that love. That was all there was to it.
That’s right, everything was my fault.
I just pretended that I didn’t notice it, and this was why the current situation became like this… My outward appearance, something like that, it’d be good if it vanished or went somewhere far away……
I just ended up seeing an unpleasant dream.
Although my languid body had a sense of discomfort, I tried to raise myself up. Shortly after, I realized it was because my clothes were drenched.
Examining my surroundings, there were overgrown trees and a river with a gentle stream.
Just how did I end up in a place like this? If I remember correctly, Usato-kun and I went out of the kingdom for training early in the morning, then we encountered bandits, then monsters attacked…….
“That’s right! Usato-kun!!”
Having finally remembered everything, my face went pale and I searched for Usato-kun who protected me.
“Thank god……. You’re here…..”
Usato-kun was just next to me; he was unconscious and lying down with his face buried in the ground.
He had countless wounds etched onto his body within his tattered clothes. We were launched up in the skies together because he covered me from the monster’s direct attacks. I couldn’t remember anything after that but I assumed that afterwards we fell into a river and drifted all the way here.
If that was the case—
“Usato-kun, you carried me all the way here didn’t you…”
Following the river with my eyes, I could see that there was a large waterfall about 20 meters in height that was separating the upper and lower streams.
It must’ve been difficult to carry me all the way here.
For now, I should search for a safe place———
While I lifted Usato-kun’s body, I placed him on my back.
“I’m a woman who repays her gratitude without exception….”
To begin with, it was originally my fault that he ended up in this world.
Which was why I definitely couldn’t let him die.
Hold on Usato-kun!
“Inukami-senpai. It’s alright. I woke up just now.”
“Don’t you wake up a little too fast…”
My determination was wasted now you know.
Usato-kun got off my back and checked on his injuries. He seemed to have used healing magic as his whole body was now wrapped in a thin green aura. But you know Usato-kun, I still didn’t know what I should do with all this determination. I felt like an extremely embarrassing side of mine was seen by you too.
“Are you alright, Inukami-senpai?”
“That’s what I should be asking you know…”
“I’m okay. I’m used to it that’s why.”
I don’t think it was something you should get used to.
Still, this was awkward.
I’m talking about how Usato-kun protected me from those monsters, thinking about it, I just ended up being constantly saved.
I felt that I wasn’t very useful.
“…….Inukami-senpai, for now, I should explain about our situation.”
“Eh……. Ah, aah.”
Usato-kun showed a serious expression as he explained the current state of affairs. From his explanation, Usato-kun and I were launched into this forest because of the wild boars, known as Fall Boars. After landing, we fell into a river and drifted ashore here.
Due to these events, it seemed Usato-kun accumulated a lot of fatigue and ended up fainting……
It was just as I expected but still, a lot of burden was placed onto Usato-kun.
“You don’t need to apologize. It was something I did on my own accord. Apart from that, I still have to explain what kind of place we’re in right now.”
Even so, I still minded it.
But I couldn’t keep feeling down so I did my best to look composed on the surface.
“This forest was where I did my survival training for 10 days. It’s also known as Dark Lyngle.”
“This is the place where you stayed before…”
If so, wasn’t this a considerably dangerous spot?
I’m really thankful for the fact that we didn’t get attacked by monsters when we were still unconscious.
“Then, we should quickly get out of here…”
“It’s dangerous. If you look at the sky, it looks like it’ll turn dark soon. No matter how strong Senpai is, wouldn’t it be unreasonable to fight monsters that could pop out from anywhere?”
It was certainly impossible for the current me to fight against monsters in the dark.
“Which is why we should be walking while it’s still bright.”
“But it’ll get dark soon…”
“I’ve gotten used to climbing on top of trees and using them to move around, I will know immediately if there’s a monster nearby by looking on top. Are you able to climb trees, Senpai?”
“I’ve never done something like tree climbing so I don’t have much confidence…”
I was never able to play like that before as a kid after all.
It was different for Usato-kun since he was used to climbing on trees, it was possible I might die just from the fall.
Usato-kun looked troubled because of my words as he crossed both of his arms in deep thought.
After some lengthy consideration, the answer that came out was—
“Then, let’s just stay here.”
That was Usato-kun’s answer as he pointed towards the ground.
Wouldn’t there be a lot of monsters at night?
“This place is close to water and we might be attacked by monsters anyways if we went out of our way and tried to find another location.”
“…..C-Certainly, that’s true too.”
“It’s decided then.”
After saying so, Usato-kun started gathering leaves from tree branches; he seemed to be very familiar with this process. After a while, a large pile was created… Just what was Usato-kun doing? I didn’t know anything about camping out so I couldn’t really help him out.
“Inukami-senpai, could you make a fire with your magic? If we have a fire, most monsters would be afraid and won’t come near us.”
“Ah, I see. I understand.”
Acting in accordance with Usato-kun’s words, I used my lightning magic to start a fire.
The air around us started getting warmer and a large fire was created with smoke rising towards the skies.
I held both my hands near the fire to warm up since my clothes were still drenched.
“Senpai, how are your belongings?”
“Aah, I still have my rucksack and sword.”
Fortunately, I had spare clothes inside my bag too so I could change.
Other than that, I had a knife and a map. The map couldn’t be used but the knife would be helpful. Looking closer inside the rucksack, it seemed to be dry… Was it because all the water went into my spare clothes and dried already or did no water enter in the first place?
“Thank god. Nothing is wet inside.”
“How about changing into your spare clothes for now? My clothes dry fast so you don’t have to mind me and should change into them.”
“Alright. Ah, before that…. I should probably leave my sword and knife here.”
Leaving them with Usato-kun, I took my belongings and started walking to another spot.
Of course, with it being this kind of situation, I said a cliché line to Usato-kun.
“Don’t peek, okay?”
I was a little hurt from that reaction just now.
The clothes I brought with me were jerseys, similar to ones I wore at school. I still wasn’t too used to wearing something like this but I didn’t have a problem with wearing them.
After all, Usato-kun’s clothes were still wet and he was putting up with it.
The surroundings were getting darker with only a faint source of light coming from the fire. I could also hear cries similar to a beast’s coming from within the forest… They were most likely monsters and I couldn’t help but be a little scared of being attacked by them. It was hard to imagine that Usato-kun stayed in this forest for 10 days.
“……My stomach is a bit empty.”
“Actually, I didn’t eat anything this morning you know.”
Well, we had to leave the Kingdom early in the morning so that’s expected.
The food that we brought was with the two guards as well. Searching for food right now wasn’t an option either since it was so dark. I suspect that if we tried, rather than obtaining food, we’d become food for the monsters.
As I feeling unsure of what to do, I noticed that Usato-kun was looking at me.
“……W-What is it, Usato-kun?”
“Senpai…… There’s a river here right?”
Eh? Why did you bring that up?
I entered the river and could hear the thunderous sounds of the waterfall.
While both my hands were dipped in water, I turned to face Usato-kun who was behind me.
“Is this okay?”
“Yeah, I’ve already taken shelter. Whenever you’re ready, you can begin.”
Taking shelter huh…. Well, whatever.
Closing my eyes, I felt the magical power within my body and directed it towards my hands. I won’t release it immediately. Once I’ve accumulated enough, I’ll fire it all at once.
Changing the accumulated power to lightning magic, I released it from my hands that were submerged in water.
After a few moments of something similar to an electrical discharge, fish started rising up and floating on the river.
…….To think I’d be using magic from this world to catch fish. Although I felt a little dumbfounded, I quickly recovered and looked towards Usato-kun again.
“But really, thank god Senpai is here with me…”
He was praising me a lot. Or rather, he was deeply moved.
It didn’t feel bad. It didn’t feel bad but… I couldn’t seem to accept it honestly for some reason.
Afterwards, we prepared and ate about two small animal’s worth of fish. We only cooked it over a fire which is why there wasn’t much taste but it helped to suppress our hunger.
Once we finished eating, Usato-kun suddenly started a conversation with me.
“But really, it’s just so different with Inukami-senpai here you know.”
“No no, you’re exaggerating too much.”
“With Inukami-senpai, it’s possible to survive for 3 months here.”
“Eh? I-Is that so?”
That’s a bit embarrassing.
But as expected, being with someone else was better than being alone. However Usato-kun, you’re a little too direct you know.
Normally, people would be embarrassed saying things like that.
“Yeah, for sure. After all, you can make a fire and catch fish. You remind me of some of the convenient machines back in our home world.”
“Am I supposed to be an electrical appliance!?”
I take back what I thought before about him being direct.
Certainly, I could use lightning magic but I never would have thought he would compare me to an electrical appliance.
However, to be toyed with by my Kouhai… I felt like I needed to show my dignity as the Senpai here.
“That’s cruel, Usato-kun. Just what do you think of me as?”
“……A weird person?”
They were my own words but to think they would be returned back to me like that! What kind of image of me has been painted in your mind Usato-kun!? But the frustrating part was that my actions up till now couldn’t deny his words! Still, having these words being told to me so directly causes a great deal of damage!
After some time passed and while still feeling down due to Usato-kun labeling me as a ‘weird person’, Usato-kun who had been watching the fire till now started to speak,
“It’s already pretty dark so, I think it’s time to sleep soon. Just leave it to me to look after the fire.”
“No no, I can’t leave everything to only Usato-kun, right? I should…”
“……Then, let’s do rotations. When it seems to be a suitable time, I’ll wake you up. Please have a good rest till then.”
If you say it like that, I guess I should just accept it.
But, I won’t be tricked. You were probably just saying that to get me to sleep. You’re not going to wake me up till its morning. That kindness has the opposite effect on me. I would only feel troubled due to feelings of guilt.
However, I really did feel tired. Once I rested enough, I’ll wake up on my own and switch with him.
“Aah, then I guess I’ll rest for a bit…. Don’t assault me, okay?”
“…..No chance of that happening.”
You don’t have to say it like that…..
Lying down, I closed my eyes. I’ll only sleep for a bit… only a bit. I don’t intend to sleep for long. While constantly think so, my conscious gradually started fading away, until I was finally asleep—————
“Inukami-senpai, it’s time to switch.”
“……..You’re a man who completely exceeds my expectations huh.”
My surroundings were still dark. He was waking me up normally.