Monday, February 12, 2024 @

Chapter 15 A Lifesaving Straw

Chapter 15 The Town Of Beginning, Sakurakand (Part Three)

 (However, excuses won't work anymore, will they?)

 I let out a deep sigh and started speaking.

 "Well, it's true that I have some knowledge about this world."

 Upon hearing that, even Morimura said, "I knew it."

 "Why do you know about this world?"

 Kondo questioned me.

 "It's through my dreams."


 Both of them reacted simultaneously.

 "Yes, dreams. I have had multiple dreams about this world, where I was a resident."

 If the time loop is indeed a dream, then what I am telling them is certainly not a lie. Kondo leaned in closer.

 "So, Akito, you know everything about this world!"

 "I don't know everything. I only remember fragments from my dreams, and my memories are not clear. However, when I am in that place, certain things suddenly come back to me."

 "Why does Akito-kun dream of this world?"

 Morimura asked in a calm and deep tone.

 "I don't know. I thought it was just a dream too."

 "Is there a way to return to the original world from this world?"

 Kondo pressed for further answers. This is the most difficult question to answer. It is necessary to carefully choose words for future reference.

 "There should be a way. But I don't know what that method is. I feel like I can't unlock the memories unless I go to that place myself."

 In a sense, this is also true. In a previous loop, I grasped the fact that there is a way to return to the original world. But I don't know what that method is. I have no choice but to follow the hints that appear one by one. I only know what I experienced in the past loops.

 "Then where do you need to go to unlock those memories? Do you at least know that place?"

 I said to Kondo when he asked.

 "Dungeon... Perhaps there, the first key for us to return."


 Kondo repeats my words.

 Morimura also looks puzzled.

 Silence falls for a while.

 Suddenly, there is a knock on the door.

 "The guys still aren't ready? You're eating downstairs, right? Let's go."

 It's Akamine Alice's voice.

 I stood up.

 "I want you to keep this matter to yourselves for now. I don't want others to know and have unnecessary expectations."

 "Understood," Kondo says.

 "Yeah," Morimura says.

 "Well then, let's go eat. Everyone hasn't eaten anything since yesterday. We need to fill our stomachs first."

 Saying that, I headed towards the door.

 When we went down to the cafeteria, we sat at a table for four.

 Gina brought bread, water, and soup for us.

 It seems the bread didn't suit the tastes of the other five, except for me.

 "It's dense and a little salty, huh. Is it old?"

 Tsubasa murmurs quietly.

 I'm used to it already, but maybe everyone else thinks that way because they're used to Japan's sweet and soft bread.

 "Maybe this is normal here. I've heard that bread in other countries is dense and salty."

 "True, now that you mention it. I thought it looked like the bread my grandma bakes."

 Alice reassures me with those words. Speaking of which, Alice is a quarter Japanese. She starts eating soup with bread as the topping.

 "Yeah, it's delicious! It might go perfectly with the meal like this!"

 Everyone starts imitating her right away.

 "Oh, tasty."

 "Indeed, eating it like this really brings out the flavor of the soup."

 "Maybe this is how bread is meant to be eaten as the main dish."

 "Japanese bread would probably turn mushy if eaten this way."

 Everyone becomes smiling.

 It might be the first smile since coming to a different world.

 Deep down, I felt relieved.

 In a continuous state of tension, humans cannot maintain normal thinking.

 I also said it with a smile.

 "This soup is delicious, right? It's seasoned only with vegetables, chicken, milk, cheese, salt, and spices, but it's incredibly tasty."

 "Yeah, I thought so too. This soup is really delicious."

 When Tsubasa said that, Alice said as if competing.

 "I thought so too! That's why I said it's delicious when you put it on bread!"

 At that moment, Gina came with a bread basket.

 "I'm glad it suits your taste. If it's bread, feel free to ask for more."

 Saying that, she added more bread to the basket on the table.

 "Thank you very much, Gina."

 When I thanked her, she left with a smile.

 While watching Gina like that, Mizuno Kaede, who doesn't usually talk much, said in a small voice.

 "Her name is Gina."

 "Ah, I remember now. She appears to be the daughter of this inn. Her mother and older sister manage this place."

 "I understand. But that person named Gina, I thought she resembled Alice exactly."

 Kondo Shuichi quickly replied to that.

 "I thought the same thing when I first saw her. Their hair color and eye color are different, but they have a similar appearance."

 Actually, I had the same thought.

 If you look closely, it's clear that they are different individuals, but from a distance, you could say they look exactly alike.

 Especially, their overall vibe is very similar.

 "I see, then can I survive in this world?"

 When Alice laughed, Tsubasa also teased.

 "Alice doesn't look very Japanese, so she should be able to make a living. Maybe she should just stay here?"

 "Ah, Tsubasa. By saying that, are you trying to leave me behind?"

 "Whisper, just kidding. If Alice stays, I'll stay too."

 In the midst of such friendly banter between the girls, it seemed to be opening time at the diner, and a group of four adventurers, two men and two women, entered.


 They were a party of three men and one woman. They sat at a table a little away from us and said, "Let's start with the usual." Soon, beer in mugs was brought to them.

 "There wasn't much harvest in the western forest today."

 "Because there were only weak monsters. It's not worth much money."

 I paid attention to their conversation. It's because sometimes I can get information or hints from their conversations in places like this diner, adventurer gathering taverns, or guilds.

 "If it's about money, going north is the only way."

 "Indeed, there are plenty of weapons and accessories left behind at the battlefield. But that place is the territory of bandits."

 The conversation caught my attention.

 Is it the battlefield in the north?

 The female adventurer began speaking.

 "You know, there weren't many prey today, so I decided to go north. And then, I saw someone entering the bandits' temporary hut."

 "Where is the bandits' temporary hut?"

 "It was recently built. It's near the highway, a little away from the battlefield ruins. It seems like the bandits built it as a shelter when the sun goes down."

 "So, maybe the bandits returned there?"

 "Well, it seems like they're not the bandits after all. They were dressed differently... From what I saw, they seemed more like pilgrims or officials from some country."

 "Aren't those guys in dangerous situation? I remember the guild issuing a warning about bandits appearing on the northern highway recently. That's why even the carriages heading north have been suspended for a while."

 "I think so too, but there's no need to go out of our way to inform strangers about it. I only saw them from afar with a telescope."

 I stood up when I heard that. Everyone else looked surprised, but I ignored that and headed towards the adventurers' table.

 "Is what you just said true?"

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