“Ah, if you don’t feel well, tell me as soon as possible, okay? Well then, over here.”
I am already feeling terrible though.
As expected, even I am questioning all this.
Azu-san was walking to the front of us carefreely as if he were a tourist guide.
This is the other side of the balloon torsion. In other words, the world of the dead.
Something shining faint red was drifting in the atmosphere.
Or maybe not? Is the air itself changing colors?
Is this air that can be inhaled?
From what I remember him saying, I should be fine as long as I have the Magic Armor deployed, but…well, I can’t feel relaxed.
I feel as if we are walking at dusk in a place where sound has died out.
For some strange reason, there’s no sound of footsteps either.
The sensation at my feet is soft like that of sponge, a soft sandy beach; there’s no other words I can find that can describe this accurately.
From here, the landscape before Azu-san who is at the front is changing constantly.
At times, he stops and continues walking again, and at those times, when he does a step forward, the surrounding landscape changes completely.
A stone paved path, a forest, sand dunes, lake surface, deep inside a jungle, and also a townscape that felt familiar…and at times, there’s even the ironic cemetery. Even though the feeling at my feet was not changing at all, the scenery in front of us was changing constantly.
“This is no illusion, but this is not real either. World of the dead huh. What a strange place.” (Tomoe)
Looks like Tomoe is still fine.
Just in case, I have strengthened her into her silver haired mode.
Even so, I have no assurance that allows me to feel relaxed. That applies to me as well.
The impressions she is voicing out are not that different from the ones I have.
But, as expected of a person that uses illusions, it seems she also suspected that the abnormality in our surroundings could have been the work of an illusion or something related to it.
I see, an illusion huh.
It is true that this view is somewhat similar.
I have only experienced this a number of times in the past though. It reminds me of the feeling I get when I experience the ability of Tomoe.
There’s similar points with what’s happening right now and the experiences inside my head.
Even if this is not an illusion, it might be related to the past memory of a lifeform.
“Calling them inhabitants would be weird but, aren’t there any dead people here? I don’t see anything of the sort here though.” (Makoto)
I try asking what was bothering me.
It seems this is not the first time here for Azu-san, so it should be worth a try.
“…Fumu, if you are imagining something like undeads, there’s nothing like that here.” (Aznoval)
It is true that I was imagining things like skeletons or zombies; in other words, things that were related to bones and dead bodies.
So there’s none here?
Now that I think about it, undeads are dead people, but maybe they are the figures of the people that didn’t want to come here and stayed in the world of the living.
Or maybe they had grudges or lingering feelings that bound them to the world of the living?
It may not always the that way in Buddhism, but in Shinto, I feel like there’s a tendency of judging them as impurities.
Or more like, practically everything was like that.
In that case, my way of thinking of the world of dead might be closer to that of Shinto.
“Apparently, they are going around in the form of souls. I don’t really have much perception abilities of that type, and I am not the type that has high sensitivity to those things, but there’s souls existing here and there, so it seems people that have perception abilities normally die here.” (Aznoval)
The situation is overwhelming me right now, lessening the amount of words I let out.
I try to deploy the [Sakai] I normally use to search for living things in the other side.
At that instant, everything I could see in the area was filled with reactions.
I see. It doesn’t work at all.
I have to adjust it to one that can be used in this world. I wonder if it is possible.
“It seems the landscape here is also because of the ubiquity of the souls or something like that. If you have interest in the details of the area around here, Futsu who is waiting at our destination can tell you about it, but…if you can’t understand the world travelling explanation of Root, you won’t be able to understand this one either, you know? By the way, it was impossible for me.” (Aznoval)
“In that case, it would be impossible for me too.” (Makoto)
“So you felt dozy at the middle of it until it ended huh. From what I remember, there’s only one time I have been able to hear that explanation of hers until the end and the questioning time also lasted for several hours. There’s no need to feel ashamed about it. It was a pleasant experience after all.” (Aznoval)
Azu-san laughs heartily.
This lively laugh of his didn’t fit this place at all.
Or more like, pleasant experience?
“Root has spoke of this to most of the Wise she has met, has made joke-like conditions, and has carried them out. Could it be Root was Makoto-kun’s first?” (Aznoval) <Reminder: Root gave the condition that if they didn’t manage to listen to his explanation till the end, he would ‘eat up’ Makoto>
“If it’s that explanation, we were also present and listened to it till the end. And while at it, Waka…hasn’t been attacked, Aznoval.” (Tomoe)
“…Oh, that’s quite the rare case. There’s only been one who has been able to listen till the end, and they had a discussion in a mysterious language, and after that, if it’s from the opposite sex -and at times, even of the same sex- she would attack them and it would go all the way. Makoto-kun wasn’t able to understand the explanation, moreover, wasn’t attacked huh. From the atmosphere you let out, I thought you were born in the Heisei period <modern times>, but maybe you were born in the Showa period <1926-1989>?” (Aznoval)
“Why did it turn into talk about my age?” (Makoto)
I don’t understand what this has to do with anything.
“Refusing something like that would need quite the hard personality, right? I simply thought the Showa period had more guys made of tough elements, you see. Or maybe you already have a woman set in your heart?” (Aznoval)
The face of two women surfaced in my head.
Without even one second passing, the figure of Tomoe and Mio were also added there.
This is the worst.
Is my way of thinking such a pushover? That’s no good.
“Hm, but even if you had such a woman in your time at Japan, you are currently in a parallel world. It won’t serve to inhibit your desires at all. Then…aah…” (Aznoval)
“…What-ja, Aznoval? You are making a face unbefitting of a knight-ja ga.” (Tomoe)
“So that’s how it is. It is not Mio-san, so that means, you were already in that kind of relationship with Tomoe-san huh. Ah, so that’s why Root noticed this and didn’t try anything.” (Aznoval)
“…I am impressed by your discerning eye. Umu, you didn’t hit the mark, but it isn’t far from the truth-ja na. It is true that Root couldn’t do anything because of me-ja yo.” (Tomoe)
It is far from the truth.
We are not in that kind of relationship.
Regarding the latter half of that, Tomoe listened till the end, so we were able to reject it ourselves, so in a sense, he is indeed correct though.
“…Is Ne-san a court lady? I see…that is plausible. But Makoto-kun, Mio-san is lovable as well. That woman is definitely the type that would be by your side till the end no matter what happens, you know? Luckily, this world accepts polygamy, so…” (Aznoval)
In the time I was feeling self-deprecation at the harem thoughts that were somewhere in my head, the conversation between Azu-san and Tomoe was flying at unbelievable places.
Seriously, these two ride way too well in horrid topics.
“Once the legal wife is decided, things might turn that way unexpectedly fast. Umu, now that I think about it, we haven’t had much of this kind of conversations. Looks like even a troublesome knight-dono like you can be of use to some extent.” (Tomoe)
“Oya, isn’t Tomoe-san the legal wife?” (Aznoval)
“Hm? I wonder. I don’t really mind the order anyways.” (Tomoe)
“But if you get married faster, it would make it possible to leave many more children faster, right? Giving birth to the child of the man you love; this is the privilege given to women. From the people I know, there’s a Japanese man who married a dragon woman half, and many have lived happily.” (Aznoval)
“…Children huh. The holy child of Waka… Fufufufu…kukuku…True. I do want it. I want it fast.” (Tomoe)
The face of Tomoe had turned into the ‘grinning face’ she rarely shows.
But this doesn’t look like the face of a woman that got happy about understanding the privilege of women.
The closest comparison would be that of a grandparent waiting for her grandchildren.
It probably has already surpassed the level of parents.
“It is something natural.” (Aznoval)
Azu-san nods in understanding.
No, don’t go nodding.
In the head of Tomoe, I probably have married who knows how many wifes in the future.
Just now, I felt a strange chill running up my body.
Also, I feel…a strange gaze I have never felt before.
It is not the gaze of someone. I feel as if I am being watched by the whole world. That shouldn’t be possible, but I have no other way of describing this feeling.
“I was thinking of arranging everything first so left it for later, but it might have been a huge mistake. Mio and I are different from hyumans, so who knows what will happen in the future. Are you saying this was a task that we should have tackled as soon as possible?!” (Tomoe)
“You are still young, moreover, it seems your company is doing well. In that case, there’s no worries in terms of the assets. If you can count on the support from your surroundings, this troublesome knight proposes this foolish idea that even if you don’t suddenly aim for childbirth, you should begin training for the step before that, princess Tomoe.” (Aznoval)
The step before that.
Ah, I see. So that’s what it is.
“No, troublesome? I was simply ignorant of your consideration. Forgive me, Aznoval. Now that I think about it, it is exactly as you were worrying about-ja. There should be women aiming for him even within the Gorgons, and his resistance towards us might make him wish for a child from Tamaki.” (Tomoe)
H-How should I enter the conversation to change the topic?
It is so deep that my countermeasures for it are right now completely blank.
“It seems like you have heard about the knowledge of Japan from Makoto-kun, so there’s probably no need to say this but, in Japan, no matter how excelling or appealing of a man or woman you may be, you can only marry one person.” (Aznoval)
“Umu, I know.” (Tomoe)
“That’s why, you may at first not care about being the second wife or lower than that. The men that have become the husbands of Root get used to harems pretty fast, but Makoto-kun is most likely different.” (Aznoval)
“Fumu fumu.” (Tomoe)
“That’s exactly why being the first wife is important. Depending on her, it will affect his view of a second wife.” (Aznoval)
“From what I have seen, there’s no doubt that first wife will be Tomoe-san or Mio-san. A happy married life is definitely awaiting you! In that case, when are you going to make your move? There’s no need to even ask that! Isn’t that right?” (Aznoval)
“You are right! The moment is now-ja!!” (Tomoe)
No no, it is still only been one day since we met Azu-san for the first time…
Saying stuff like ‘isn’t that right?’ and ‘when are you going to make your move?’, from which company did this seller come from?
Also, no, the moment is not now-ja.
“Yeah yeah, I am glad to see that you understand. I want Makoto-kun to have a fulfilling Isekai life with no regrets.” (Aznoval)
That’s totally a lie.
You are currently trying to destroy my peaceful life with all you have, you know?
“By the way-ja ga, how many wives can a Japanese man manage to support-ja?” (Tomoe)
“…This one depends on the person. From my acquaintances, the highest number is 60, but I also know one who fell apart with 4.” (Aznoval)
“Mumuu, even when thinking about the highest number, there’s the need for each one to give birth twice to even reach the hundreds. T-Then what about the age-ja? Is it possible to make children no matter the age?” (Tomoe)
No, she got broken!!
My throat is dry.
Throwing away the part about the number of wives…a hundred children, she says?!
Moreover, it sounds as if she is not satisfied with that many?!
Is this a conversation you should be doing in the world of the dead?
Or more like, this is just a joke right? Where is the ‘you got pranked’ panel?!
“Sorry, but this also depends on the person. The top age I know of is 82, but the lowest was 40, he was unable to fertilize children no matter how much he tried…” (Aznoval)
“W-What?! If we think about it from the worst case scenario, that means Waka only has 20 years left?!” (Tomoe)
What are you saying with such a straight face, Azu-san?
The guy that was able to make children at 82 years old must have been some sort of superhuman, and the guy that couldn’t make children by 40 probably had some sort of circumstances behind it!
A disease, a wound, or maybe something happened in an adventure, there’s also the possibility that he led an excessive sexual life and it dried him before time.
I totally refuse a lifestyle like the latter one, okay?!
Also, don’t say things like ‘only has 20 years left’, that’s incredibly improper!
The moment I opened my mouth because I felt like my life was seriously going to be rewritten…
“Aznoval, what are you joking around for? I thought you were going to be guiding them here as guests, but you have only been talking loudly about their lives. Don’t you see that the souls are losing their composure and beginning to get noisy?” (???)
I could hear a voice reverberate in my head.
It was a voice that was directed at Azu-san, but I certainly heard it as well.
Tomoe must have heard it as well, but…
“Making babies… what a blunder-jatta. Making babies-ja…” (Tomoe)
She probably heard it as well, yeah.
I have an idea of who that voice is.
There’s only one possibility after all.
“Futsu, it has been a while. Also, I wasn’t joking at all.” (Aznoval)
The words of Azu-san confirm my guess.
A blue hitodama in a form similar to the souls that I imagined them to be were appearing countlessly around, gathered together, and combined to make a single form.
It is a dragon, but the oriental snake type of dragon.
What a fresh sight.
It is floating, and compared to its big body, its arms are small, and on its hands, it is holding spheres.
The contours of its head are slowly becoming clearer.
The horn is incredible.
An extravagant horn with ramifications like that of a reindeer, and at each section, it becomes wider as it goes up.
“So this is the existence that is on equal footing with Root… Futsu.” (Makoto)
“Now I am only the manager of souls though. Nice to meet you, outstanding one, Misumi Makoto-kun.” (Futsu)
A pleasant voice permeates inside my head.
At the place I am looking at, there’s Futsu.
It has taken form with its body covered in silver scales.
But it wasn’t as if its form was fixed to only that one.
At times, Futsu would turn into a pale dragon that felt as if it were made out of ectoplasm, and at other times, it would turn even paler, transparent like wind. And there are times when it is in the middle spot of materializing and being transparent.
But the form Futsu used to greet me with, the one where it materialized completely into a body where it is covered wholly in silver scales, was a mysterious view like no other.
Tomoe’s eyes were wide open.
It was easy to tell that it was because of surprise.
This type of presence is not one that can be faked.
Meaning that, at the very least, it is already clear that there’s actually a dragon that’s comparable in strength to Superior Dragons.
The appearance of a comrade that didn’t exist in the vast knowledge she had of this world.
It would be great if she gets into her serious mode and the conversation just now gets washed away though.