Translator: Haruchin Editor: JackOFallTrades
How did this happen?
All I did was turn back, but the landscape became totally unfamiliar.
It’s the middle of a mountain.
Still got a bag on my shoulder, the silver colored picnic sheet under my arm and a cooler in my other hand.
I had turned around after getting them out of the car trunk. My older sis and her friends were just behind me, but now they’re gone. And I was in the middle of a mountain.
Supposedly, the fireworks festival was held at some company’s construction site, but the venue had completely transformed into the middle of the mountain.
If this was not a dream, then maybe I had some kind of dissociative identity and had been living as a different person all along, but now, I returned to my original persona… nah, too far fetched, right. I’m still carrying these stuff, after all.
Was it because I wanted to go camping? My buddies did invite me to join a mountain stream camp. I was tempted by the prospect of joining a high-level outdoor activity, but Sis selfishly made me reserve spots for her and her friends at the fireworks festival. I ended up being their errand boy.
I regretted turning my friends down a bit so I went overboard watching several survival programs on the net, but it was just half-hearted, mind you. Just a form of escapism from my tyrant sis.
I glanced at my smartphone.
Out of range.
No use freezing up. If this was a dream, then what was I supposed to do again?
Fire, water, food, and a cot — the sequence depended on the circumstances, but I need to secure them all. It didn’t seem like it would rain anytime soon though, I think? Weather’s okay – not hot, not cold.
I tried to pull off some of the things I saw in those survival programs, but after failing a bunch of times, I thought it might be a better use of my time to just go look for a water source while doing some exploring around here, instead.
There’s water, tea and cola inside the cooler box, plus four bentos, so there’s still a bit of a leeway, I guess. Well, supposedly.
I kept on walking, hoping this continued on to a road ー it would be great if I exit into a city, too.
It was quite steep. Carrying all these stuff was hard, but imagine if I left them lying there and then ended up losing them ー that’s way more terrifying. Wished I owned something like a four-dimensional pocket, one that wasn’t bulky and had time frozen in it. That would be awesome.
I treated this as a dream to keep my thoughts in check, but I could feel a panic attack coming up. How I wish I could keep calm and chill.
Finally reached a river. Alright, the water was okay but I’m not brave enough to drink it as is, though.
Reached the sea ー great, could do some fishing now but I don’t have a fishing rod on me.
…….What a very island-ish place.
Didn’t see any palm trees while strolling by the sea side, but there were rocky areas, so maybe I could catch some fish there. Some shells looked like barnacles, too. The black, murky sea stretched on, so unlike the clear waters of the southern sea. It was supposedly the end of summer, but it’s colder than what one would expect. The bright sun was beating down on me but the sea breeze was refreshingly cool, probably because the water’s temperature was low.
The fireworks festival was held by the riverside so it could get pretty chilly at night, that’s why I had my ultralight down jacket with me. The air was comfortably warm enough here, though. It was easier to pass the time.
There’s a precipice after reaching the end of the shore, and a few islands were visible from afar.
Really, this place’s a total island.
How should I say this.. Nothing else was here but driftwood. Was there still a place not littered with plastic trash nowadays?
Took a break to eat my bento, then returned to the road leading back to my starting point. Gotta prepare for the night soon.
The path that led to the river and sea was steep, but the place I was in earlier was reasonably open; there’s a huge rock, too.
I should go back there. Maybe I would be able to return if I was in the same place.
When I made it back to where I came from, I set the dry wood that I gathered along the way down on the ground before rummaging through my bag to find something to light a fire. Didn’t smoke ー I was no delinquent ー so definitely no lighter.
I tried making a hearth board by shaving the sides of a cedar branch — that’s what the tree seemed to be ー then grinded some circular indents on the board by spinning a random stick on it. I sharpened the end of that stick into a triangular shape for greater friction, then did lots and lots of grinding. I threw some leaves under, then grind, grind, grind some more.
It was not the first time I became a spot-finder, so I had all sorts of stuff with me. A thin picnic sheet aside from the silver one, a small hammer to secure the eyelets on the ground with stakes, a cutter for cutting boxes and bags, and a nokogiri for cutting the shinodake bamboos at the embankment spot I had staked-out. People would be there so I opted to bring a nokogiri instead of the nata as it could be dangerous.
I should’ve brought that nata, or even a hatchet would be nice at this point.
So unlucky that Sis’ friends got the sake and the snacks, too.
Finally started the fire, thank goodness.
It took an awful lot of time; my palms ached and my arms were like jelly.
Didn’t want to do it again, so I decided to maintain the fire. Stronger body, powerful arms — wished I had those right now . No, being able to do anything with magic would be infinitely better.
…I could somehow move, but my mind’s totally blanked out, it’s the perfect state for forgetting this reality, huh.
I fed the dried fallen branches that I managed to gather along with the easily combustible firewood to the fire. The pieces of firewood were thick so they were harder to burn, but they would probably smolder before long. In that case, even if the bonfire went out – pretty unlikely, though – I could still keep the coals. Probably.
I leaned against the huge rock and watched over the fire. Would it be better if I made a wind-block? Sunset was approaching, so I gathered some stones and piled them around the bonfire in the fading light.
It’s too dark to move around now, so I tidied my place while resting, instead. After taking out all those pebbles so the ground would be flatter, I set the aluminum foil mat, wore my ultralight down jacket, and finally lay down.
Were there enough bonfire branches to last me until morning? How long would they last, anyway?
Dog-tired, no appetite. My lower half’s cold, so I used the vinyl picnic sheet as a cover while lying down. This wouldn’t do; I should make wind-blocks, not only for the bonfire but for my sleeping place, too.
I’d leave it for tomorrow. A hot bath would be oh so niceー
A bird’s piercing cry woke me up.
T/N: Hello guys, Haruchin here, hope you enjoy reading this chapter. Here’s our glossary for this chapter 🙂
Nokogiri- Japanese saw
Bento – packed food
Shinodake – a species of bamboo