Chapter 3: An Encounter with a Fairy
Inside of the forest, the air was clear nicely warm. When Kitsune tried scouting the area, there wasn’t anything that could really be considered an obstacle. In an environment like that, Kitsune held the knife in one hand as he started the first day of his survival life.
The first action he took was to take care of the necessities to sustain a human lifestyle. The highest priority was placed on securing food.
To his luck, in one of the books he had read in his 6th year of elementary school, was a list of various edible plant life. Kitsune began using that info to its fullest, and he carefully perused the various plants growing at his feet as he proceeded forward.
(TL: Japanese Elementary is 1-6, Middle is 7-9, and High is 10-12)
“…? This is strange. After going this far in a place surrounded by nature, it’s strange to have not found one or two edible plants by now…”
He whispered to himself.
Even more baffling, was that from what he could see, there wasn’t a single plant he was familiar with. There weren’t even any of those weeds that could be found any and everywhere. It’s more like there was only vegetation he had never seen before.
With an unpleasant premonition, he tried working his brain out a bit, but still he didn’t figure anything out. Thus, he decided to put those unproductive thoughts aside.
Of the necessities of life, it seems that food would have to be gained through trial and error of whatever looked safe. But, he didn’t have the courage to test them, so until night fell, Kitsune continued to search for a place he could find shelter.
“A cave… is standard in the realm of stories, but there’s the possibility a bear or lion has already made a home there, so… approaching them carelessly would be foolish.”
To remember the information from some old book, he repeated the contents to himself and reaffirmed it. The places that would make for the best shelter would be by the waterside, with elements to let him hide himself, and furnishings to protect from the wind and rain. Even if there was no food, various lifeforms depend on water to live. Even if this was a place, land, country, or world unknown to Kitsune, that shouldn’t change.
Therefore, there should be some source of water nearby, some lake, pond, or river, and Kitsune made searching for it his first course of action.
I walked a considerable distance. I kept my direction with the light of the sun and the shadow below my feet. Anyways, the first direction I headed was south. There wasn’t really any reason, I just kinda thought the word south carried a bit of a watery impression. Yep, kinda… The same reason I was bullied, a reason appropriate for a pubescent young man like me.
When finding water, I think the first thing you have to do is look at the trees and soil.
The trees live by taking water from the earth. The closer they are to water, the amount of water they take in changes in regards to their proximity to a water source.
Next, the earth is observed for similar reasons. Before overflowing, water travels through the ground. The closer one is to a water source, the higher the moisture level of the dirt in the area, and you should be able to tell, to some extent, by touch, or by observing growths related to moisture levels. Apparently.
Yeah, that sounds a tad bit obvious. Even if I read it in a book, it’s something I would have probably thought up even without the book.
“But even I’m finding this strange… I don’t see any plants I recall as edible, and even the weeds are ones I’ve never seen before. What’s more, Japan shouldn’t have an expanse of forest like this. Most importantly, I should be dead.”
The fact that I’m alive is baffling in itself, and the wounds I have received have vanished with not a trace left behind. Something impossible is happening to me in an impossible fashion. Could it be, that there’s a slight possibility that a possibility that I don’t want to think about is…
This isn’t the world I lived in…?
“… Otherworldly reincarnation? Ahaha, what sort of story development is that? How idiotic.”
Ahaha, nope, not happening. Impossible, no chance. That stuff’s only permissible in cheap fiction. Or in Chuuni fantasies. Let’s just say that I was transported to some other country in some shape or form.
“… For reals?”
I had just reached satisfaction with an answer, but that possibility was destroyed in an instant. When I turned around, there was a single beast. No, more than a beast, that’s a monster, isn’t it?
Its appearance was that of a black haired, wolf-like creature, but its size was polar bear level. It had blood-shot red eyes, and I saw sleek fangs in its growling mouth, and most importantly, something impossible for a normal lifeform… there’s fire overflowing from its throat.
“Ahaha, yep. It’s another world.”
But this isn’t something to be startled about. It’s nothing different from the normal imaginative delusions I occasionally daydream, and I do fine in those. Well, never thought it’d actually happen though.
Even so, another world… I guess I’ll have to accept it. This situation, and all the other otherworldly-ish factors. I can’t deny them.
Even if I say that, the first thing I’ll have to do is get out of this situation, right? As a weapon, I have the knife which is more or less just mental support. I don’t get the feeling this toy would be able to take down that monster. This is too short, isn’t it? The moment I get within four paces of it, it’ll have moved, and that large frame… I’ll bet it has quite a bit of power. I get the feeling that one hit from it will kill me.
“Okay, let’s run. I don’t really want to die.”
I turn and immediately start running.
Wow, I heard the sound of it kicking off the ground behind me. God dammit, he’s totally following me, isn’t he. What’s more, he’s definitely closing the distance. I’m not that athletic to begin with, and there’s no way I can beat a high spec beast meant to have abilities exceeding humanity.
A black shadow passes by me at a frightening pace, as that beast circles in front of me. This is quite bad. At this time, in a story… a Hero, or a Rival, or some legendary adventurer would come help, or the protagonist would awaken some latent ability, but that’s impossible.
Reality is non-fiction. Such optimistic situations don’t come about that easily.
But I promised… when I return, we’re going on an amusement park date. So I won’t die, or at the very least, one death is more than enough.
One knife. No fighting experience. No will to fight. But…
… I guess I’ll give it a shot. As long as there’s the slightest chance of victory, I won’t give up!
I could say something cool like that.
“Come at me, damn beast.”
I’ll give it a go… I don’t want to become a man who can’t fulfill a single promise.
◇ ◇ ◇
Kitsune and the monster. Of the two, the monster definitely had the faster movements. Its four legs nimbly kicked the ground, as it drew near the boy. It brandished its claws and swiped at Kitsune’s neck.
But Kitsune was somehow able to keep up with that move, and block the claws with his knife.
However, his arm didn’t have the strength to contain the impact. Kitsune was sent flying, knife and all. His legs left the ground as he flew sideways. He collided with a nearby tree.
“Gu… Owow… just how much power does that thing have?”
The knife had cleanly snapped in two from the hilt. His only weapon was immediately destroyed. He no longer had any means of opposition.
“So I get game over on my first day of survival… there’s a limit to unfairness…”
Kitsune talked to himself as he leaned against the tree he had forcefully become acquainted with, and squatted. He had used the knife to defend, but it didn’t really do anything. His back had made some ominous sounds upon colliding, and a single high-school student who didn’t even lift wouldn’t be able to stand any more attacks like that.
Just what sort of bodies do those manga and anime protagonists have? Kitsune pondered this as he looked at the beast.
“Good grief… I may be strong against pain, but there should be a limit to the amount of damage he deals out…”
Kitsune tried to crack jokes to put himself at ease, but the monster’s roar make him swallow his words. He thought he would rely on the slight chance of victory, but impossible things remain impossible. He couldn’t even ward off the first attack. There was no way a frail human would be able to beat a monster like this.
“But still……! I can’t really… give up yet…!”
He stood up on his unstable legs. He dropped the knife’s hilt and raised his hands. This was merely desperation. He expected a miracle to come in the very end and tried to go on without giving up. But that was the best decision he could make.
“If you think you can kill me, just try it.”
To the end, only his aura of authority was top notch. The beast leisurely walked up to him and lifted its large claws. Kitsune didn’t close his eyes and didn’t look away. He didn’t give up on life.
It was at that moment.
In front of Kitsune and the monster, something flashed. Both of their visions were clouded by pure white light, and the beast’s lowering arm was shot down.
The beast raised a loud cry and took a large leap backwards. Seeing black smoke rising from its own front leg, it kept vigil to the light as it… retreated.
As the beast disappeared from view, Kitsune let out a sigh of relief, as his behind dropped to the ground. He no longer had the power to stand.
“… And what was that light? … I would be screwed if it were an enemy…”
Kitsune stared at a glimmering object in the sky overhead, as he muttered it in a daze. The glowing object lowered itself all the way to his eye level.
It burst, and from within, the doll-sized form of a human accompanied by a child’s voice emerged.
Long black hair and flaxen eyes. Sea-blue garments, and on its small back were a pair of half-transparent wings.
Fairy, was the only word that could be used to describe it. Its appearance was like that of a small Shinozaki Shiori.
Kitsune was dumb-founded, but the fairy continued to approach without a hint of wariness. And after circling in the air a few times, she let out a pure smile.
“Hello, how do you do!? What’s your name?”
The fairy continued on despite his injuries. It was definitely out of place, and the fairy continued to fail to read the mood. Kitsune stared at the fairy, or more specifically, at its nostalgic form. He opened his eyes wide.
“Hmm? Huh? What’s wrong? Did I say something strange?”
“Ah… no, that’s not it, but…”
It doesn’t really matter, I guess, thought Kitsune. It seems that the fairy had a short attention span. For now, since his name was asked, he decided to answer. A fairy appeared. Could this get any more otherworldly? He thought as he opened his mouth.
“My name is Naginata Kitsune… it would be nice if you called me Kitsune-san.”
“Interesting name! Kitsune-san, right! Nice ta meetcha!”
The fairy spoke before letting off a pure smile once more.