A Gateway to Home – Part 03

And then there was light.

In an instant, a gust of wind swept through the room, knocking Hikaru and Kujastria off their feet.



The inkwell rolled and stained the carpet. Hikaru fell to the floor, holding onto Kujastria.

Flames rose from the elemental magic stone, hovering and spinning above the table. Its rotation accelerated, becoming too fast to track with the naked eye. There was a huge light and the sound of something tearing.


It was unclear whether the voice came from Hikaru or Kujastria.

Just as Kujastria had hypothesized, it lasted only a second, with a diameter of approximately fifty centimeters.

A glimpse of another world had appeared. Gray buildings, power lines, utility poles, a passing red car. In an instant, the space sealed shut.

The light vanished from the elemental magic stone, leaving behind a gray, opaque rock. The magic circuit burned and scorched the table. The catalysts had lost their color. The wind had also died down.

They were left dumbfounded. Kujastria was astounded by the experiment’s success. In a different sense, Hikaru, too, was in a state of shock.

“W-Wow! That was incredible!”

“Calm down, Kujastria. Relax.”

“How can I relax?! That was… That was an unseen world right there! What were those giant buildings and the red mass?!”

Hikaru was more astonished than Kujastria. His heart raced, and his head was spinning. The distinct odor of exhaust fumes that his nose detected confirmed the bridging of two worlds.

“Queen Kujastria! Your Majesty! What is happening?!”

Bang, bang, bang.

The door was being pounded. The disturbance had caught the attention of the royal knights.

“There’s no problem. I’m opening the door.”

Kujastria, speaking with a dignified voice, suddenly realized she was still clinging to Hikaru and promptly let go.

“Ah, um… I apologize. Thank you for catching me.”

Her actions were befitting of a girl her age. Hikaru finally began to regain his composure.

“Kujastria, I have one question. As per your estimate, you managed to bridge the worlds for one second with a portal fifty centimeters in diameter. With that larger elemental magic stone over there, what’s your estimate?”

That was the question he wanted to ask the most.

“A portal big enough for a human to pass through should be possible. However, extending the duration will be difficult. One person—perhaps two, if you time it right—can cross over to the other world.”


“But there’s no telling what would happen if you time it wrong. Furthermore, this method only allows for connection from here to there. I don’t know if we can use the same method to establish a connection from there to here.”

“I understand.”

The royal knights pounded on the door harder.

“Leaving this here would cause problems,” Kujastria said.

Hikaru hastily put away the earth elemental magic stone in his bag. Then, he left her room, once again entering the dark secret passage.

Two persons at most.

He could go to Japan. However, whether he could return to this world was uncertain.

“What do I do?”

In the lightless passage, Hikaru contemplated his options.

Extra: Meeting-Averse Receptionist

“Well, then. Let us begin the Pond Adventurers’ Guild regular meeting,” said Aurora, a mysterious beautiful lady.

“Okay. Let’s get started,” Gloria replied.

“I-I’ll take the minutes!” Freya said.

All three receptionists of the Pond Adventurers Guild were present.

“You don’t need to take notes. Your sharp mind will remember everything.”


“Thank you for waiting!” A female server arrived with a large plate. “Here’s your mushroom gnocchi. I’ll top it with cheese.”

Although they referred to it as a meeting, this was far from a conference room. They were in a small restaurant with only two tables besides the counter, bearing a sign that read Pasta Magic.

The plate held round and springy gnocchi rolling around in white sauce and various mushrooms. The server used a grater to shave brick-like cheese onto the dish.

“Wow!” The scent of cheese stimulated Freya’s appetite.


Then, three ceramic mugs were placed on the table.

“G-Gloria, what is this?” Freya asked.

“It’s red ale. You can’t come to this place without having it.”

Fine bubbles piled high on the thick mugs, almost on the verge of overflowing.

“But we’re supposed to be having a meeting.”

“It’s fine. It’s just a regular meeting, right, Aurora?”

“Yes,” Aurora replied, already holding her mug carefully with both hands, ready to take a sip.

“Let’s at least make a toast,” Gloria proposed.

“Okay, cheers.”

“Not yet.”

“Okay.” Aurora’s focus was solely on the alcohol, which Freya found surprising.


The heavy mugs clanged, signaling the start of the meeting.

The Pond Adventurers’ Guild meeting took place every month, yet for some reason, the guildmaster, Unken, never attended.

Since Freya joined the guild, choosing the venue became her responsibility. She had typically opted for places where they could enjoy a light tea, but this time Gloria chose this particular restaurant.

“Delicious!” Gloria exclaimed. “Drinking alcohol away from boorish and filthy adventurers is the best.”

“Gloria?! Please be more careful with your words!” Freya cautioned.

Roasted venison was brought in, red blood dripping from the eye-catching plating of meat. Freya realized that this was no longer a meeting. In fact, the presence of large plates, small plates, and mugs left no space for her memo pad.

I’ll work on the report tomorrow! Freya thought after taking her first sip of red ale.

The drink was sweet, fizzy, and easy to consume. Freya felt danger, and at the same time excitement. She assumed that three women gathering meant gossips about love and other captivating topics.

“This is Haze Deer meat, isn’t it? It tastes incredible,” Aurora commented, already having served herself a portion of the meat and savoring each bite.

“It’s probably the Haze Deer that Hikaru caught,” Freya said.

“You seem to be quite concerned about Hikaru.” Gloria gave Freya a probing look, which made her flinch. “I have a feeling Hikaru is hiding something. Do you know anything?”

“H-Hiding what? No, I don’t think so.”

“For instance, his guild card’s Blessing.”

Guild members viewed this Blessing as proof of strength. With powerful Blessings, adventurers could amass wealth and make a name for themselves.

“Hikaru’s Blessing is Metropolitan Residents, Townspeople, and Villagers Relief God: Civilian,” Freya said.

“A Civilian can’t kill a Haze Deer.”

Freya grunted. “Hikaru is very smart. He has hunted lots of Red-Horned Rabbits. Maybe he has some sort of strategy up his sleeve.”

“Smart… Was there a Blessing related to intelligence?” Gloria mused aloud, lost in her thoughts.

Freya whispered to Aurora, who was seated beside her. “Gloria seems fixated on Hikaru’s Blessing.”

“She is. It’s her ambition to marry a promising young adventurer.”

Freya looked at Gloria blankly. Ambition? An extreme word, to be sure. Yet, there was a part of her that felt like the word fit Gloria well.

“Freya, dear. Are you thinking of something rude?”

“N-N-No, I’m not!”

“Really? We have plenty of time tonight, so let’s enjoy ourselves, all right? There’s still plenty left in your mug.”


“Let’s order another round, shall we?”

Aurora nodded. Their mugs were already empty.

They’re heavy drinkers! Freya had lost count of how many times she shivered today.

The idle chatter continued until closing time. Freya had hoped they would discuss more than just work grievances, perhaps delving into topics about romance. However, she refrained from expressing such sentiments to her senior receptionists. Eventually, she realized that this meeting served as an outlet for the receptionists to vent their frustrations.

The following morning, Freya arrived at the guild with a hangover, frantically submitting her report. However, Unken paid no attention to her efforts, swiftly filing it away.

“I will never go drinking with those two,” he said.

Guildmasters were sly. Freya learned a little about the world of grownups.

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