Chapter 357: Undesired Return
Raphtalia is here.
I look around the area once more.
Yep, this isn’t another world. It’s the library of my reality.
“Um, Naofumi-sama?” (Raphtalia)
“Shh! This is a place where you have to be quiet. I don’t get what’s going on either, so let me think for a second.”
I tell Raphtalia as such, and look through the Four Holy Weapon’s Manual again.
… I notice the pages that were once blank start to revise themselves.
—Having the Hero of the Sword, Spear and Shield, as well as the Hammer Vassal defeated left the Hero of the Bow and his party in despair.
In the end of the battle, they all faced utmost defeat.
While the battle raged on, Medea raised a high laugh as she withdrew her forces, who destroyed in the name of fun.
By the whim of the enemy, their lives had been spared, but those left behind were unable to feel any joy at this fact.
The losses they faced had been too great.
It seems that Goddess showed off her advantage by drawing back.
I wonder what sort of vile development awaits.
It’s a truly unpleasant feeling. Having that annoying face pop up in my head makes my want to punch something.
“Oy, what does this mean?” (Naofumi)
I try talking to the book.
But the book shows absolutely no signs of action.
Ku… what should I do?
The book and the bracelet showed no reaction. I tried fiddling with them, but nothing happened.
Perhaps if I continue doing this in silence, nothing will activate.
“We won’t be able to talk much here. Let’s move. Follow me. I’ll explain where we are on the way.” (Naofumi)
… How should I explain Raphtalia’s tail and ears?
Well, I guess I can just say it’s cosplay… right?
I take the Four Holy Weapons’ Manual in hand, and lead Raphtala to the reception desk.
Wait a second, can I even borrow this book in the first place?
I lift the cover, and check all around it.
Yep, there isn’t a security chip embedded anywhere in it.
But still, should I try?
I take out my library card, as well as a random book that was close, before placing them both on the counter. I silently pass them over to the receptionist.
“Um… this book is…?”
The receptionist looks all over the book before tilting his head.
It seems it’s not anything registered to this library.
“Ah, I’m sorry. I forgot I brought that one from home.” (Naofumi)
I casually take the book back, and successfully finish the borrowing procedure.
After that, I shoved it into the bag I had brought to the library with me, with all of the other books I borrowed. I led Raphtalia out of the building by the hand.
After leaving the Library, Raphtalia observes the area with wide eyes.
The building was in a relatively urban area, so there are many bars and department stores around.
What’s more, cars and traffic lights… there are plenty of things she wouldn’t have seen over there. Her reaction is natural.
“Naofumi-sama, where exactly are we?” (Raphtalia)
“Yeah, it seems… we’re in my world.” (Naofumi)
What was reflected in my eyes was the usual cityscape surrounding the library.
Is it just my imagination that the quality of air seems to have gotten worse?
I guess the air over there was clearer.
It’s the familiar world I longed for, but…
“For some reason, Raphtalia, I’ve returned to this world with you. In order to organize the situation, please just quietly follow me.” (Naofumi)
“Y-yes! So this is Naofumi-sama’s world.” (Raphtalia)
She restlessly looks around as she walks behind me.
Random passersby are taking quick glances at her.
So her ears and tail really do stand out?
No, more importantly, Raphtlaia’s face may be what they’re focusing on.
That’s Japan’s good point. Even if something looks strange, they just let it pass.
(TL: You can pretty much explain anything away by, ‘Because Japan’)
As I think that, I notice my stomach is empty.
… There’s money in my wallet.
I crave Junk Food.
I’ve heard that once you go overseas, you begin to crave the taste of home, but perhaps this is the same.
It’s because the food over there didn’t have much taste.
I used to prefer foods with thick flavor, but I simply didn’t have the necessary spices.
Let’s go to a restaurant.
I drag Raphtalia along with me as I step into a family restaurant.
Perhaps I should have taken her to the ones in the mall to see her reaction.
This time, I just brought us to a Chain Restaurant called Storm.
“Welcome, how many will we be serving today?”
“Two, is it? Then this way please.”
The host leads us, and we take our seats.
Raphtalia seems to be restless, but she doesn’t seem all too shocked.
“Um, what sort of store is this?” (Raphtalia)
“Can’t you tell?” (Naofumi)
“No, I understand it’s a show that sells food, but you told me to silently follow you, and it ended up being for lunch…” (Raphtalia)
“That’s right… even so, I need time to think. I’m also hungry, so I thought we would stop by for food.” (Naofumi)
“Understood. I’d like to try the food of your world.” (Raphtalia)
“Then here’s a menu. Order whatever you want.” (Naofumi)
“Ah, yes! Wow, is there a slim projection crystal stuck onto it?” (Raphtalia)
Fumu… now that I think about it, that world had quite strange technological advancements.
Projection Crystals would be equated to something like 3D Holograms here, right?
Well, the immobile ones are just pictures, so… no, perhaps a painting?
“You won’t call it a simple drawing?” (Naofumi)
“Hmm? But isn’t it really detailed? There was a painter among the Lemos, but I feel there’s something fundamentally different about this one…” (Raphtalia)
Ah, so it’s like that.
In that world there were oil and water based paints, as well as magic ways of coloring. There were plenty of ways to make an image.
It’s not as if they didn’t have a realist movement, but those weren’t that high in numbers…
More than a painting, it’s quicker to just call it a photo. And for that purpose, a Projection Crystal fits best.
“Then this one.” (Raphtalia)
“Can you read the name?” (Naofumi)
So she can’t read the language.
Spoken words will get taken care of through her vassal, but writing is a bit…
And wait, if that was possible, I wouldn’t have had so much trouble in that world.
I press the button to call the waiter, and make my order.
“You just pushed a button to call him, right? Is this a high class eatery?” (Raphtalia)
If you think about it, Raphtalia’s been to local restaurants countless times in that world, so she isn’t giving that much of a reaction.
And it’s not like there weren’t any places where you had to ring a bell to call the server.
Though we rarely ever went into restaurants of that high a class.
“This is normal, even for my world’s commoners.” (Naofumi)
“Is that so? T-that’s quite amazing…” (Raphtalia)
Well, I wonder if Raphtalia’s reaction is wrong.
“Outside, cars like the ones in Faubley are going at speeds faster than Firo.” (Raphtalia)
Raphtalia expresses her thoughts as she gazes at the street outside the window.
Well, it’s true that a car’s speed is faster than Firo.
But that bird’s full speed is much higher.
When she’s boosted with Aura, it goes even further, and on curved and uneven roads, she can continue without dropping speed.
In that sense, the bird is more versatile than the car.
We should install one Filo Rial Queen per house.
“The bigger ones can even carry more things than her.” (Naofumi)
“Well, it’s a matter of carrying capacity, so if we do something about the size, Firo should be able to carry it.” (Naofumi)
And while we were engaging in pointless conversation, the food came.
That was fast.
No… here, this was normal.
Raphtalia was also startled at the speed of the food.
“Thank you for waiting~.”
The waiter puts the items we ordered on the table.
What’s laid out before me is the nostalgic taste of my world.
Ah… just how many times have you appeared in my dreams? I begin eating with knife and fork.
“Thank you for the food. Um, I believe the food Naofumi-sama makes is better.” (Raphtalia)
“I don’t need the flattery.” (Naofumi)
“That’s not what I meant… I think that this food is tasty, but the flavor is too deep.” (Raphtalia)
I mean, it’s not like I used to many spices in that world.
I’ve been told that foods with unfamiliar tastes are good.
But there was nothing I could do about the simple flavor.
In truth, I hear that many of the younger generation of this world cares not for nutrition.
But for me, that’s irrelevant.
As I think upon those lines, the taste of hamburger fills my mouth.
To be honest, it wasn’t really that good.
But for some reason, the first hamburger steak I had in half a year was the best I’d ever tasted.
We finish filling our stomachs, and leave.
… As I was leaving the family restaurant, a burger joint caught my eye.
“Okay, let’s go there too.” (Naofumi)
“You plan to eat more?” (Raphtalia)
“I’m just savoring the taste of my home.” (Naofumi)
I was full, but the nostalgia whetted my appetite.
And with ¥500, you can eat quite a bit.
Right now’s not the time to think about my financial situation, and if it’s just that much, I can spend it.
“Now onwards, Raphtalia!” (Naofumi)
And so I ate burgers, and whatever looked interesting until I was satisfied…
I ate too much… I feel sick.
“So this is the taste of Naofumi-sama’s home town.” (Raphtalia)
“Pretty much.” (Naofumi)
Raphtalia would say it was tasty every time, but in the end, she concluded the taste was too thick.
I don’t think there’s anything I can do about it, but is it really that bad?
My saving grace came in the fact that there were many things Raphtalia said she liked in what we ordered.
She’ll have to get used to the culinary culture over here, so if there isn’t anything she likes, it will be rough.
Well, take out having a thick flavor is something natural.
I randomly select a park bench to lower myself onto, before taking the Four Holy Weapons’ Manual out of my Knapsack, and look at it again.
“Is that the book you read before you were summoned?” (Raphtalia)
“Yeah, I just flipped through it earlier, but what we’ve done is recorded as well.” (Naofumi)
… But nothing was written after what I read before leaving the library.
It seems the enemy retreated, but in that world, the only Legendary Hero left is Itsuki.
There’s Trash, and the other Vassals, as well as Glass, but this will be a hard battle.
The last scene I saw in that world flashes back in my head.
No… Even if we remained there, winning would be difficult.
Honestly, I can’t imagine a scenario where we would stand triumphantly above them.
Because even now, I don’t understand what it was that caused my loss.
Even so, I can’t get a grasp of what I should do now.
I never thought I would find it strange that my status wasn’t in my field of vision.
And wait, when I had felt something was off earlier, it was the feel of the air. Something’s different.
It’s like… something that was supposed to be there naturally had completely vanished.
What should I compare it to? I can only say it’s a peculiarity in that world’s air.
Raphtalia’s looking at me with a worried expression.
In order to prevent her from standing out, her clothing consists of a shirt and jeans.
You can call it boyish if you want.
Raphtalia’s hair is long, and her figure isn’t bad, so I think she looks good in them.
“I don’t have the slightest idea of what the cause was, but we lost. No, it’s more accurate to say we died. By the time I noticed it, we woke up here, in the world I originated from.” (Naofumi)
I show Raphtalia my Shield, which had been converted into a simple strap.
And in return, Raphtalia showed me her strap-turned hammer.
“A possibility is that the Hammer and Shield let us escape here as an emergency measure.” (Naofumi)
“But that doesn’t sound correct.” (Raphtalia)
Raphtalia flicks the strap on her arm as she answers.
Right. It hasn’t been giving any sort of reaction.
“Well, there’s no point in worrying about it, so let’s continue the conversation. We’ve come to my world, and I don’t know any way to get back.” (Naofumi)
“Yes… because we lost…” (Raphtalia)
“Yes, it annoys me to no end that we went out like that. So here is a single problem.” (Naofumi)
“What is it?” (Raphtalia)
“Raphtalia, it’s about your life here. I told you that living in my world would be troublesome, right?” (Naofumi)
I mean, she is an otherworlder here.
She doesn’t have an entry in the family registry, and she’ll have problems finding a place to live.
No matter what happens, I’ll shelter her, but I don’t know how long I’ll be able to do that.
“Also, it doesn’t seem like anybody said anything about your tail and ears, but if they get found out, it may be dangerous.” (Naofumi)
If they figure out she’s from another world, they may bring her in for investigation.
I doubt they’ll just go Oh, how wonderful~~. There’s a high chance she’ll be shipped to some research facility somewhere.
We’ll have to avoid that as best we can.
“Oh, right. Can you use magic? Try to conceal them as best you can.” (Naofumi)
I concentrate my mind, and test to see if I can still use magic.
… I think Revelation will be impossible.
『I, The Hero of the Shield, who has understood the origin of power command. Let the legend be read forth once more, and grant all unto him』
Oh? Aura activated.
A target floats faintly in my field of vision.
Raphtalia also tries.
『I, who has understood the origin of power command. Let the truth be read forth once more, let balls of light come forth』
In Raphtalia’s outstretched hand, a faint ball of light appeared.
But it was quite a feeble light. It looked as if it would go out at any moment.
With this, a lighter from the ¥100 would be more reliable.
“Uu… how should I put it, controlling it has become really difficult.” (Raphtalia)
The light immediately vanished.
Fumu… I can’t use the Dragon Pulse Order at all, and normal magic’s effect is faint.
It would be quite romantic to be able to use the magic of another world, but the output is really low.
It’s probably because the magic power comes from within our bodies, so we can use a little of it. That sounds possible.
I don’t know if I’ll be able to replenish our internal magic in the first place.
But mulling over it doesn’t accomplish anything.
“Anyways, for now…”
Just think about it.
There’s nothing I can do. Neither the Four Holy Weapons’ Manual nor the Shield react to my words.
Just what do you want me to do?
“Let’s go to my house.” (Naofumi)
“Naofumi-sama’s house?” (Raphtalia)
“Naofumi-sama? What’s wrong?” (Raphtalia)
For a bishojo to be adding –sama to my name… isn’t this a bit bad?
She said it again and again in the restaurant, but now that I think about it, it’s embarrassing.
I guess this is the proof that we’ve returned to the world of my reality.
“Raphtalia, while we’re in this world, please don’t call me –sama.” (Naofumi)
“Huh? U-understood.” (Raphtalia)
“N-Naofumi… sa–” (Raphtalia)
She suddenly cuts herself off as her face is died a deep red.
“Yep, that’s fine. Next, it’s about you…” (Naofumi)
It would be nice if people thought of Raphtalia-san as her nickname, or pen name, or something…
What sort of name should I… I glance over at Raphtalia.
Her face make seems quite foreign, and her hair is brown.
Is she within the range where I can talk people into thinking she’s Japanese?
No, it’s not like saying she’s a half won’t work, but it’ll be a bit tricky.
“Should I call you by a fake name, Shigaraki Tanuko, or something?” (Naofumi)
“Are you sure you’re alright with calling me that?” (Raphtalia)
Alright with that name? Me?
Of course not.
In the first place, Shigaraki just comes from the fact that she’s a Tanuki girl.
And wait, Tanuko is insulting, isn’t it?
Though I’m the one who proposed it.
Ponko, Rafuko… there’s already a Raph-chan.
“If we get troubled, we’ll think of one. Right now, I think Raphtalia’s fine. Then let’s go.” (Naofumi)
We walk through the town before arriving at my house.