Yuusha no Segare

Volume 3, Chapter 2 - Beginning of an Adventure Part 1
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Volume 3, Chapter 2 – Beginning of an Adventure Part 1

The first thing he noticed was the smell of damp soil.

Also, the sound of running water.

“Ugh…”

Yasuo’s consciousness slowly returned along with a feeling of blurred vision and stiff limbs, as if he had taken a long afternoon nap.

“……Wha?”

The reason why he was smelling damp soil was because it was raining.

A gentle rain fell incessantly, and it felt like the humid air was sticking to his body as it surrounded him.

The moment he fully regained his senses, he realized that the thunderous sound he had been hearing was not merely his ears ringing, but instead was rising up from his surroundings.

“A r-river?”

When he attempted to stand up suddenly, he slipped in the slimy mud under his feet and nearly fell down.

“What the heck is thiiiis!?”

When he finally realized what kind of situation he was in, Yasuo unintentionally let out a loud shout.

He appeared to be a on sandbar in a large river, surrounded by a thick forest.

The river was fast-flowing, and wide.

The reason why his body and clothes only felt slightly damp despite the rain and the location he was in was because he was underneath the branches of the only tree that grew on the sandbar.

“Where am I? Is this Resteria?”

He couldn’t stop himself from saying that aloud, despite knowing that it couldn’t be true.

Even though it was an informal visit, he had entered the Gate Tower along with Diana, his father, and Shouko after being invited by the Resteria Kingdom.

However…

“………Tatewaki-san.”

Yasuo hurriedly scanned his surroundings.

“Diana?”

Although he finally managed to stand up by holding on to the tree, his feet were still unsteady.

“Dad!?”

He was alone.

He couldn’t find any traces of the other three people who had supposedly entered the Gate Tower along with him.

“What… is going on…”

No matter how he thought about it, his current situation looked like the result of the Gate Tower malfunctioning.

A strong gust of wind caused both Yasuo and the tree to shake violently.

The rain also seemed to have gotten stronger at the same time, as the river seemed to be flowing faster and the volume of water also started to increase.

“This is bad…”

Yasuo once again fruitlessly looked around, but even with the most optimistic estimation, the distance between the sandbar and the riverbank was over five meters.

What’s more, the riverbank was much higher than the muddy and surging water’s surface, and with Yasuo’s physical ability, it did not look like he would be able to make it in one leap.

However, even as he watched, the area of land available to stand on the sandbank gradually reduced due to the increase in the volume of water.

At this rate, he would be swept away.

It happened just as he was thinking that.

“There you are!!”

Hearing that faint voice, Yasuo turned in the direction it came from and shouted on impulse.

“Tatewaki-san!?”

Shouko was standing on the riverbank.

However, she did not look normal.

The voice and attire certainly belonged to Shouko, but both of her eyes were emitting black flames, for one.

If it was just that, it would still be within acceptable limits, but there appeared to be fire gushing out of both her wrists and ankles, and even from her waist.

“I’m coming for you! Stay right there!”

“Huh?”

Without even giving him time to frame a question, Shouko jumped with the speed of a bullet from the riverbank to the sandbar where Yasuo was.

“Uwaah!!”

In the next instant, she took Yasuo under one arm and jumped up again without caring about the muddy ground, and carried him over to the opposite side of the river.

While Yasuo was staring agape at her astounding physical ability, Shouko put him down and grabbed his hand.

“Yasu-kun! It’s really you, right? Are you hurt!? Are you okay!?”

“Uhh, yeah, how about you, Tatewaki-san?”

“I’m perfectly fine!”

As Yasuo somehow managed an answer while still being in shock, the black flames gradually started to disappear from around Shouko’s body.

“Thank goodness…! I thought I heard your voice, so I thought to check, just in case…! Thank goodness you’re alright!”

In just a few seconds, the black flames had retreated to just Shouko’s left eye.

“Haah… Now that I’m relieved… I feel kind of weak”

“Ah!”

Shouko looked disconcerted.

Just as Yasuo thought that Shouko’s eyes were closing, she suddenly fell to her knees.

“Tatewaki-san!?”

“Sorry… I just feel really weak… My head is spinning… I need to lie down for a bit…”

“Ah, are you okay? Here, lean on my shoulder, there is a large tree over there, so…”

“Yeah… Thanks…”

Despite having just shown astounding movements that looked like those of a Magitech Knight, Shouko’s face was now pale, as if suffering from the backlash of that.

While supporting Shouko, Yasuo distanced himself from the riverbank that looked like it could crumble at any moment, and got closer to the outer edge of the forest. He moved towards a conspicuously large tree with wide branches and broad leaves, and leaned against the trunk.

“T-This place should be fine…”

As he helped Shouko sit on a large and thick tree root, he saw that Shouko was breathing heavily as she leaned against the tree trunk.

“Sorry… I’ll recover in a minute… I just feel a little anaemic.”

“I-It’s going to be fine. I’m sure you’re just exhausted because of what happened earlier, thank you, everything’s going to be alright.”

Caught in the middle of a situation he didn’t understand at all, Yasuo could not stop the flood of meaningless words that came out of his mouth, but even so, after meeting up with Shouko, he felt a little hope come back into his heart.

Just what had happened for them to end up in such a situation?

What had happened to Diana and his father?

What was this place?

Were they really on Ante Lande?

“Haaah… Haah…”

While listening to Shouko’s rough breathing settle down just a little, Yasuo finally remembered what had happened just before he ended up in this place.

Yasuo once again entered the Gate Tower that he had previously entered to keep Shouko from being taken away, while riding on the back of his father again after more than ten years.

Yasuo, who had heard that a one-way trip would take about two hours, feared that he would need to piggyback on his father’s back for two hours despite being eighteen years old, but as soon as they entered the Gate Tower and the entrance closed, Hideo and Diana put down Yasuo and Shouko, whom they had been carrying.

“Uwaah.”

“Ugh.”

Unable to see a floor to put their feet on, both Yasuo and Shouko stumbled.

However, within the starry path where they could see a vast region that looked like outer space which extended far beneath their feet, the four of them were currently standing at exactly the same level, on what appeared to be an invisible platform.

“So this is… the path to the other world…”

“Do we just have to keep walking in a straight line?”

Diana shook her head at Yasuo’s question.

“No. Once the entrance closes, we can just let it carry us along. It is not necessary to walk.”

“Eh? In that case…”

“Yes. Even if you were to go to sleep here, you will eventually reach the Ante Lande, via the Gate Tower in Resteria.”

“It almost feels too easy. It’s like we are being carried in an invisible car or something, right?”

“If you must forcefully compare it to something from Japan, wouldn’t it be a traveletor instead? I only used one for the first time after coming to Japan, so I’m not really sure, but I’ve heard that if you walk in the direction of the travel here, you will actually be able to shorten the time required for the journey… Hideo?”

Diana, who had been caught up in answering Shouko’s question, suddenly noticed that Hideo’s face had gone pale and he was sitting down.

“Dad? What’s wrong?”

“Are you okay? Do you feel ill……”

“I have some tea, would you like some?”

“Aah, no, thank you. Sorry, I just felt a little dizzy…”

“Hey, come on, pull yourself together.”

Yasuo was rubbing his father’s back while speaking to him in a scolding tone, when he suddenly started to feel strangely anxious.

“Are you nervous or something?”

“……No, that’s not it.”

Yasuo tried to talk casually to make Hideo feel better, but Hideo’s face was still grim.

“I… Both your mother and I don’t know how we first arrived at Ante Lande.”

“Ah, yeah, I heard about that earlier…”

“My head… hurts, what is this…”

“Hey, Dad?”

“Hideo!? What’s wrong?”

“O-Oji-san, are you okay?”

“O-Oi, Diana, that reminds me, didn’t Khalija-san say something about mass being a limiting factor or something!? There are four of us in here, will that cause any problems…”

“T-That shouldn’t be the case! This was originally just meant to be a path for my return and Hideo’s summoning, but since Yasuo and Shouko will be traveling along with us, we made sure to take that into consideration from the other side and increase the output accordingly, so there shouldn’t be any problems with the mass!”

“Ugh… Ahh!!”

𝑓r𝘦𝘦𝘄eb𝒏𝙤vel.c𝙤𝙢

“Dad!”

“Oji-san!”

“You three, get away from me… Aahhhhhhh!?”

Inside the Gate Tower with the swirling stars, Hideo screamed and began to shine with light.

“T-This light, don’t tell me!”

“The Holy Sword, Liutberga!”

“I-It’s too bright, I can’t keep my eyes open……”

“Diana-chan! Take care of Yasuo and Shouko-chan—!!”

That was the last thing that Yasuo remembered hearing.

Hideo started shining brighter than any star within the Gate Tower, and everyone closed their eyes against that light. Everything was dyed in a white color.

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