We left Ermia and we were going away from Shuria’s hometown, we were travelling towards the next destination. The sun had just set so it was about time to prepare for camp.
In the town of Ermia I borrowed various tools besides the equipment from Eumis’s mansion. We also borrowed monster repellent and barriers to hide our biological signals, so now we don’t have to drink that stinky Fuzzy Drink like some sort of punishment game just so we can stand guard at night.
「Umm….. Excuse me, Master?」
「Hmm? What’s wrong?」
「Ah, no, it’s nothing.」
Minnalis was about to say something but she closes her mouth. These days, this type of conversation has increased in frequency. I knew the reason.
It’s because I don’t talk about Glenn, no, to be more precise, it’s because I don’t talk about Leticia.
Even if she doesn’t have my full memory, Minnalis has a fragment of my knowledge in regards to Glenn and Leticia, but the memories shared with her are predominantly memories related to my anger and revenge.
For the time being, a certain level of information should have been transmitted. Conversely most of the memory in regards to Leticia is a positive memory of me; laughing heartily from the bottom of my heart. In other words, it would seem that most of the positive memories are hardly being transmitted to her.
I haven’t really been hiding it from them, so they both know that I care a lot about Leticia and although they know they are accomplices to my revenge, they are also quite independent girls.
Both Minnalis and Shuria were pure, they are really good girls, so it makes me hesitant to talk about Leticia who I haven’t even been involved with in this second world.
Nevertheless, it is still important to share certain information that may prove useful for our future revenge, otherwise, this kind of awkward situation will keep occurring with Minnalis.
It’s partly because I am embarrassed to talk about it and I don’t really know where to start.
I don’t want to sound like a loser, but talking about the girl I like… No talking about my meeting with the girl I like is really embarrassing. Moreover, it’s not like we were a married couple or even lovers back then.
In addition to that, if she is not the one asking me about the matter and I suddenly speak out, how awkward would that be? Not only that, even if I think she likes me, we only reached the level of a kiss so…
Seriously, it’s really embarrassing to talk about this.
…… Ah, it’s not true, I’m not a loser!! It’s just that the timing was really bad, before I could progress the relationship various things happened to stop me, it’s not my fault!!
「I would like to eat some warm stew today. If I get to eat plenty of meat I’ll be so happy.」
I couldn’t just rant on about something like this to get it off my chest but I did want to change the current atmosphere…… Well, regardless of the case, it’s probably about time.
「That’s true. We may as well use the 『Grateful Boar』meat we hunted as ingredients for our stew, I will make us dinner for today, what do you say?」
「Eh? M-Master is going to make it? If you would allow me, I can make it? Eh, o-or perhaps my cooking is inadequate for your tastes…?」
「No, it’s not like I want to take away Minnalis’s role as the chef, so don’t look so teary eyed please… It’s just that, I want to make this dish.」
Minnalis’s eyes were becoming a little watery so I patted her head.
Minnalis is really proud of her identity as the chef of our party. Well I do think that Minnalis’s cooking is delicious so I don’t see anything wrong with it.
I take out the pot and the portable furnace and begin to prepare the vegetables and water.
I took out the dissected Grateful Boar meat out of my storage pouch and began cutting it.
This meat is known to be really bad in comparison to other types of meat, most people will actually avoid using the meat as a cooking material. Not only that but the meat becomes harder and harder as you cook it in heat and the umami disappears.
Minnalis knew about this as well and that’s probably why she looks a little nervous. However, the truth is that this meat has a secret to it, if you chop it up into chunks with the bone and when cooked together with a certain ricol fruit wine, it will turn into a completely different kind of amazing meat.
I thought it was interesting to see Minnalis so flustered so I purposefully didn’t tell her about me knowing the secret.
And so, I put some additional seasonings and the fruit wine into the mix.
「Now we just have to simmer it. Well this is definitely bad if I compare it to Minnalis’s cooking but…. Do you mind if you listen to my story while we wait for it to be done? I want to talk about Leticia.」
「T-That’s…. Yes of course」「Shuria also wants to listen to the story.」
Both of the girls hesitated a little but they definitely nodded in agreement.
We can’t afford to be hesitant forever. It still makes my heart throb when I think of that fateful day, but if I continue being like this, that fellow will probably make fun of me and tell me to『Stop showing such a shameful demeanor.』whilst laughing.
「In saying that, I don’t have much to say except for the fact that Glenn kid, the flame dragon, is sort of like Leticia’s pet. A little before she met me, she picked him up. But I think that from what I’ve seen, he hasn’t met Leticia just yet in this world.」
To be honest, this is probably the most I can talk about Glenn. Regarding the specific capacity, he serves, they would be looking at it from the limits of my memory.
Extra things may start to mix with the memory of Leticia and it might become complicated. Therefore, if I want to make things clear about Leticia, I should start from the first time we met. Doing so would surely be a good way to start.
「It was at the end of a fine day much like today that I met with Leticia. About a year had passed since I came into this world and I travelled to a remote area near the border of the northern part of the Empire and the Beast Country. In those days, I had just enough power to barely be categorized as an A rank adventurer in this world. Well, I did have a secret skill or two, but there wasn’t anything substantial enough to overwhelm every opponent I encountered so I tried to be low key in most situations.」
After clearing the dungeon near the Royal Capital and after repelling a lot of undead in the town of Ermia. With the cooperation of the Emperor, we used the legendary artifact “Transfer Gate” in order to fast travel to various dungeons whilst being able to cover vast distances in a short time period.
And at that time I was not able to let out my worries about the sense of nostalgia I had about missing my birth place and that I was stuck in this world, but there was a limit to pretending that I was fine with everything.
In order to drown out that anxiety and forget about it, I was being rash and I unreasonably tried to level up in a dangerous manner. While recalling what occurred at that time, I stir the pot and continue talking about it.
「In those days, I felt like I had no choices and being in this world was painful. I kept thinking, why did I get chosen? I wasn’t lying about being excited to be chosen as the hero, even the feeling of wanting to protect my friends who I thought were important people I could trust at the time, these were all my true feelings.」
I keep on talking while remembering the feelings I had at the time.
「Those feelings I had were definitely not fake. However, it was very close to being a misrepresentation. One year since I was summoned, it was becoming impossible to push down my anxiety, I couldn’t just keep hoping for the best without any reason.」
Many people have seen how the hero of a game, manga or novel goes to another world and has the adventure of their life. And because I was familiar with such a concept, I related it back to my case and felt like this world could also be a type of game.
No, to be more precise I probably tried to convince myself that this world was a game world. After all, in every game world, there is a clear direction to the story and a way to complete the game. Even if I was lauded as the hero in this world, I didn’t even know when I could return to my original world. It’s normal if you think about it. No matter if you were to talk about the demon race or the demon king, if you correspond them to a country, you know that they exist together as a single faction.
And within a game only a few people are required to defeat the king of that country to complete the mission.
If we went back to my original world, even a child would understand that it would be impossible for a normal person to overthrow an actual country.
I felt as if I was just some small cicada bug being crammed into a tiny insect cage. I felt like I was stuck in the cage with a fire in it and as the times go by, I could only suffocate more and more.
That’s why at that point in time, I was just rushing to obtain the power to escape from that insect cage.
I wasn’t thinking about anything, I wasn’t trying to notice anything, I just wanted the feeling of despair to end.
I wanted to return to my world and I could only hope that my mind would not break before I reached the finish line.
From the bottom of my heart, I truly wished that this world was a game. That was the best defence mechanism I had to cope and save my own sanity.
But after spending a year in this world, even if I wanted to be in denial, it was hard not to realize that this was not a game world. It was a world full of killing; to kill or be killed. I continued to polish my skills and with that it was impossible for me to think of this as just a game forever.
「At any rate, I wanted to become stronger. I wanted to be stronger as soon as possible, I wanted to defeat the demon king and return to my former world. That’s why on that night, I was alone again hunting monsters.」
I would train as I arrive to the city, I wished for demons to come out during our travels and I wanted to battle as soon as I reached the dungeon. The moment my party members fell asleep; I would go hunting for more monsters.
I cut down my break times.
I cut down my meal times.
I cut down my sleeping time.
Every day I cut down the daily necessities of a normal human being and repeat the same thing over and over hoping to become a little stronger.
Because of that, even though I couldn’t overlook seeing a person in trouble, I was impatient and most of the time I did spend helping people was spent in a rushed manner.
Every day my mind was filled with contradictions.
Every day I shave off my free time in order to get stronger as I try to do my job as the hero to save others.
「It was at this point in time, that a hole suddenly opened in the ground out of nowhere and I fell head first into it. The place was an undiscovered dungeon, well, it was a bad dungeon that made a fool out of men, that was the time I met with Leticia.」
Without a doubt, it was on that day that this world truly began for me. It was the day that altered my perception of the world from “This is the world I am going to die in” to “This is a world I can live in”.
「The clothes she wears is classified as a『Kimono』, this type of clothing… is something of a national costume from the place I was born in.」
「Are you referring to these clothes?」
Shuria shakes the sleeves of her clothing.
「That’s right. When I met Leticia for the first time, the details of her appearance are quite different but she was wearing something similar to it. I stared at her in total surprise, I didn’t know that the kimono would be something that was widely spread even in this world.」
I thought about the very first day I met with Leticia. I tried to keep calm as I continued to speak as I felt both the pain and warmth that passed through my heart.