“The sea, huh.” (Hikaru)
I walked around aimlessly and arrived at the sea.
I feel like the scent of salt is thinner than that of Japan, but I remember reading in a book that that smell is because of the decay of plankton, so it might be different from Earth. But it is clear that this world resembles Earth quite a lot.
If it were completely different, this rocky shore itself probably wouldn’t even exist.
I am not a specialist or anything, so I don’t know much about it though…
There’s tens of wooden sailing boats anchored; a big harbour.
I don’t know how it was made, but there’s even a weir, and it looks like a good place for fishing.
Now that I think about it, fishing was the only hobby I continued.
It might be nice to try it out.
I walked along the harbour for a bit and managed to find a fishing gear store. More accurately speaking, it gives the air of a tool store for fishermen, but it seems like they also have fishing rods for personal use.
For now, I bought a primitive-looking rod that was made of what seemed like bamboo with a string attached at the end. It doesn’t look like something a fisherman would use, so it must be just for fun.
They are even selling bait, so fishing at the harbour might be one of the few major leisure activities in this world.
I shoulder the rod and search for a good-looking place.
A wharf section made by leveling big rocks had ships lined up, and there were a number of anglers on top of the wharf too.
There’s giant rocks piled up at the sea that were to reduce the waves which I don’t know how they brought them there. Maybe high level Earth Spirit Users did that? Or it might have been the Great Earth Spirit that helped out.
This world has no technology, but they have Spirit power.
There’s no inconvenience to their lifestyles to the point that I can’t really say they are a less advanced world. You could say they are a literal fantasy world.
(Let’s try fishing at the wharf.) (Hikaru)
It is not something you think of often in Japan, but it looks like it is not prohibited for anglers to be on the wharf.
Well, if they were to get in the way of the fishermen and the cargo unloading, I feel like they would be punched and thrown to the sea, but there’s not many people working.
I sat down at a random spot, and put a sandworm at the hook, and cast it out to the sea.
In Japan, if you don’t do it properly, the only thing you would be getting are grass puffers, but I wonder how it will turn out in an isekai. No way I will be reeling in monsters, right…?
I suddenly think of something and decide to cheat a bit.
“[Dark Sense].” (Hikaru)
The perception wave searched out even the sea below me.
This Spirit Ability lets me see through the darkness without obstruction, but it can be used anywhere. It can even be used to see if there’s any people at the other side of a wall, so it is unexpectedly handy.
I could use it to detect Sahagin inside the water at the 4th Floor of the dungeon, so I can of course know if there’s fish.
(I see, it looks like there are quite the big fishes. The water depth is around 5 meters.) (Hikaru)
Maybe because my Dark Sense still has low proficiency, I can’t tell their exact size, but there’s a lot of fishes that go over the 100 cm mark.
There’s even some who go above the 2 meters in size closeby. The isekai sea really is different from that of Japan.
I don’t think they are monsters, but I don’t know if they are edible fish.
Well, in the first place, I can’t reel in a big one like that with this cheap fishing rod though.
In around 1 minute, I caught a fish.
It is a fishing rod, and the string is short, so there’s not much freedom in movement, but it looks like a fish that was going around has bitten.
I tried pulling it up, and it was an unexpectedly big blue fish, and resembled a horse mackerel.
Of course, the taste must be different, so I don’t know if it can be eaten. I could investigate it for 1 Crystal, but using a Crystal for that would be stupid.
I put the fish in the Shadow Storage (things don’t get jumbled up inside this shadow storage, so there’s no problem putting in food just like that) and set the next bait.
As expected of an isekai, it seems like the fishes weren’t intimidated by this, and I got a new fish soon after.
I enjoyed fishing for a while.
Even though it is right in the morning with good weather, I managed to forget about the gazes of Earth. In other words, I am slowly getting used to my circumstances…maybe.
The loneliness blowing in my heart is something I can’t do anything about, but I think I will eventually get used to it too.
…No matter what other people think of me.
…No matter if the true culprit has been caught or not.
Nanami died, uncle and auntie died, my family couldn’t stay in Japan, and I have no choice but to live alone in this world.
That won’t change.
I can’t do anything about that.
That’s the reality of things, and my current position that I can’t change.
(Yeah, right… If only it was so easy to demarcate it so cleanly.) (Hikaru)
It definitely would be easier if I could.
I can’t return to Earth, so if only I could completely forget about that place and live in this world.
A warm wind blew, and the water was waving shallowly.
—No one else is watching -only the moon.
Rifreya said that.
In the end, she didn’t understand that there are millions of people watching her.
But…is that so?
Maybe she is the right one…and I am the one in the wrong?
My only basis that I am being watched is the number in the Status Board.
It is not like there’s drones flying around me, and it is not like I am being followed around by a cameraman.
‘I am being watched’, I don’t think that in itself is a lie.
However, I am being too bothered by it. Maybe Rifreya was teaching me that.
It is true that the moon is all the way up there, and it might be watching me.
It is the same as that.
Is there really a reason to be bothered about it?
…This is something that I have thought of hundreds…thousands of times.
Being here hanging my fishing rod in a peaceful seashore, it even makes me feel as if everything is just a delusion of mine and I am a resident of this world from the very beginning.
Right now I can’t cut it off, but if I continue a life of just fishing, a day when I think of Earth as just a dream or an illusion might come.
I think about that while I hang the fishing line.
The warm salty wind was caressing my cheek.
The white sea bird is crying.
(I am getting sleepy.) (Hikaru)
I thought that for a moment, and I fell asleep at some point in time.
…I had a dream.
A dream of when I was a child.
There was a time when Nanami gave food to a stray dog and it grew attached to her, and it followed her to her house.
A cute mixed medium sized dog, and Nanami and I, who knew close to nothing about pets, were patting it a whole lot and gave it watermelon to eat. The dog must have recognized the people that gave it food as its master, it followed Nanami just like that to her house’s garden and stayed there.
Nanami didn’t know dogs grew this attached to people and she was completely moved by this, and gave it the name Ai. Ai stayed in the garden of Nanami for a while, and when I went to hang out, she would wave its tail and follow behind Nanami.
Ai would most likely be taken into Nanami’s family just like that.
I thought with my childish heart.
One day after many days similar to that passed…
Nanami came to my house in tears.
While she was at school, her father had called the health center, and had handed Ai over.
Nanami said she didn’t want to go back to her house anymore, crept into my bed, and bawled her eyes out.
I can understand now.
Her parents must have thought a stray dog is in the end a stray dog, so she would disappear eventually. But Ai didn’t go anywhere.
She would wait for Nanami to come back from school, and sleep in front of the entrance at night as if to wait for Nanami to come out.
Ai had grown way too attached.
And as a result, she was killed.
“They said it was okay to keep her! I even gave her food!” (Nanami)
“One day, they are going to throw me away too!” (Nanami)
Was she sad, or was she angry?
Most likely both.
It may not be as much as my little sisters, but she was plenty wise herself, and she already knew what happened to dogs that are taken to the health center. She also understood that there’s nothing she could do as a child.
And the very fact that such a cruel act was taken by her parents must have been something that she couldn’t accept.
“…Or maybe, if I stay at that house, I will one day be killed.” (Nanami)
“No way that’s gonna happen. Uncle and auntie are kind.” (Hikaru)
“Hi-chan, if they were truly kind, they wouldn’t have called the health center. Even me, if they don’t like me, they will throw me away or kill me.” (Nanami)
It was an irreparable crack that was formed between her and her parents.
Since then, Nanami couldn’t dispel her distrust towards her parents, and when there was something important, she would definitely ask me and my little sisters. It might be because, in her, we were the only people trustworthy.
At the time when she was choosing between taking middle school exams or going to a public school, at the times when she chose a club and got tired of it, and even at the time when choosing high schools, she entrusted the decision to us.
It calmed down soon after that incident where she stayed for one night in my house, but the words that Nanami said after leaving and what happened after, strangely remain in my memories.
—If I were to be killed, make sure to definitely take revenge, okay, Hi-chan? Promise me.
“……Even though…that was only the nonsense of a child.” (Hikaru)
I opened my eyes and muttered this while facing nothing.
The scenery hasn’t changed from before I went to sleep. When I confirmed the time in the Status Board, I had only been sleeping for 30 minutes.
I had quite the nostalgic dream.
That dog was there for around 2 weeks, I think.
It is the memory of a child. Maybe it actually was just a few days, like maybe 5 days.
It was an instant for an adult, but for children, that’s plenty enough time to become best friends.
Why did I see a dream like that?
I failed to revive Nanami, and can’t take revenge for Nanami; is it maybe because those regrets were smouldering in the depths of my heart like a glowing ember?
Or I might have been shown this dream to scold me for thinking for an instant about giving up on everything, forgetting about Earth, and living here?
I set a new bait onto the hook that already had its bait taken away and cast it onto the sea.
After a while, I caught another fish.
I put that into the Shadow Storage almost as if automated.
I pass time plainly in order to not think of anything, and when I thought about leaving already…
A voice resonated in my mind.
[An announcement to all Chosen! We will be performing the first system update!]