With a faint sound a bundle of flowers fell down at the girl’s feet. Rara fruits followed, falling on the flowers and rolling away. In her widely opened white eyes a reflection of a man, waving his hands while muttering something, could be seen. The girl ran away, screaming, her face frozen in fear.
“Ah, wait a bit…”
Having reached the exit of the structure that housed the stone room, Yuusuke met a girl with pure white hair… and that girl ran away…screaming…
“Even though I just wanted to talk to her…?”
He felt slightly perplexed while picking up the bundle of flowers and the fruit like things that she dropped. They looked identical to the offerings in the stone room.
“So that girl came here to bring offerings, eh?”
“She didn’t mistake me with the demon that was offered this robe, did she?” thought Yuusuke after remembering the ominous statue. He was slightly worried about his looks, but, at the very least, he did not look like the human-monster statue at the altar. “Maybe I just looked like a suspicious person?”
Yuusuke groaned while checking out his surroundings. It was a quiet place, surrounded by somewhat tall trees. The trees grew so dense that the forest itself became dark and the other side of the forest was not visible.
It looked like the structure with the stone room was located in a small clearing surrounded by the forest. Somehow it looked austere and carried a feeling similar to the grounds of a Shinto shrine. A small path, looking more like an animal trail, continued in between the trees in the direction that the girl ran to.
“Shall I try going there?”
After deciding that there is no point in remaining here, Yuusuke started walking down the small path. Thrown out at some unknown place by a sudden supernatural phenomenon he was currently in the middle of another abnormal situation and was unable to talk to anyone that could explain anything to him.
Because a girl, looking more like a child, has come here alone earlier, he expected that this place would not be dangerous.
“Teacher! Teacher Zeshald!!“
Zeshald, walking on the small path towards the shrine, could not comprehend the appearance of Sun, who was running out of the forest.
She ran as if she was being pursued by someone, jumped at Zeshald, and clung to his arm. As Zeshald stroked Sun’s hair to calm her he asked if she got in trouble with ruffians from the city again.
“Teacher! An Evil god… A black Evil god has walked out of the shrine!”
“… Evil god, you say?”
Thinking of what might have happened, Zeshald raised his eyes towards the path, leading into the forest, to examine the figure of the man that appeared on it.
“Black… you don’t say?”
With shaking shoulders the scared girl turned around to look and, after confirming the presence of a [person with the black hair], hid herself behind Zeshald’s back. Divine arts users, people able to use the divine arts, had their hair and pupils colored after the God that they have received their blessing from.
The [fire arts users] had received the blessings of the Fire god Volnar and carried the red color.
The [water arts users] had received the blessings of the Water god Shalnar and carried the blue color.
The [earth arts users] had received the blessings of the Earth god Zalnar and carried the yellow color.
The [wind arts users] had received the blessings of the Wind god Fyolnar and carried the green color.
The [powerless] that have not received the blessing from any of the four great Gods carried the white color. The [black] was the color of [calamity] used to portray the Evil god. Therefore the Evil god statues in the shrines of the powerless were consequently painted black and there might have been those that wanted to partly undertake that image.
At least Zeshald has not seen a person with black hair or pupils once during his long 52 years, including over 30 years that he has spent traveling around various countries, researching the Evil god.
Activating the divine art that he possessed, Zeshald walked slightly forward in order to protect sun from the person with the black hair.
“You, Who are you?”
Yuusuke hesitated how to answer the alert looking elderly person, protecting the girl from before behind his back and, without a trace of fear on his face, asked him to identify himself. He showed no hostility but it was hard to say if he was a friend.
“Uhmmm, my name is Tagami Yuusuke, I’m a Japanese. Say, do you even understand what I am saying?”
“Yes, we are both speaking the same language. Your name is [Tagami Yuusuke], right? And [Japanese], is that the name of your tribe?”
The man, who questioned Yuusuke and spoke the same language, seemed to prefer communication over force. After explaining the name of “Japan”, Yuusuke talked about the mysterious things that have happened to his body.
He talked about the call of the [voice], followed by appearing in a completely unknown place and recovering his consciousness in the temple afterwards. Yuusuke voiced his worry that, if a normal person (NOTE: most likely a normal person in present day Japan) would to hear this, he would think of Yuusuke as a delusional madman – none of that brought smile on Zeshald’s face.
[“Tagami Yuusuke… a man that appeared from the shrine of the Godless might actually be the Evil god himself. Even more so he says that he has been called from another world“]
“Your story is very interesting indeed, but the Evil god…”
“Ah, I lived amongst normal humans”
“Mm, but you were even called the Evil god?”
“No! That is … Only the voice said THAT. I am really just a normal person”
Sun was hiding behind old man’s back during the entire conversation between Yuusuke and Zeshald.
“Then, did you really bring the calamity upon this world?”
“Rather, I want to say that I am the one that has experienced the calamity…”
After hearing Yuusuke’s story and deciding that he is not a dangerous person, Zeshald decided to accompany the young man until the Rufk village. Sun was visibly pale and her head was shaking thus Zeshald had convinced her by saying “This man is not dangerous” and persuaded her to return the village ahead of them.
While walking on the country road back to the village, they talked about why Yuusuke was called an Evil god and why Zeshald thought he could bring about a calamity. Despite talking all the way the discussion yielded more questions than answers.
“There are illnesses, we can’t cure. If the contagion spreads we call it a calamity”
“You seem to be perfectly healthy“
Normally unsociable Yuusuke has found an unusual subject of interest and has opened his heart while discussing it with Zeshald. His partner, after all, was a friendly and reasonable old fellow which gave Yuusuke a sense of security.
Zeshald openheartedly talked with Yuusuke, who, despite being thrown alone into an unfamiliar land, was not at loss and acted calm from the beginning, on the outside, but on the inside he was careful as to not get carried away and lower his guard.
“Still, these clothes… can you do something to make them look longer?”
Yuusuke sighed from the embarrassment of looking like a person from ancient times while wearing the clothes that were left as an offering. As for (looking at) Zeshald’s clothes, he was wearing loose fitting pants, made from thick cloth that were tucked into brown boots. Above waist he was wearing comfortable looking white shirt covered by a cloak that looked more like a mantle.
The clothes looked like those that a noble from the medieval ages would wear in western countries yet they felt [ordinary]. Walking behind such man while dressed as a person from the ancient times felt somewhat embarrassing indeed.
“If I could at least wear ordinary pants and a shirt…”
Yuusuke said that as he was gripping his clothes, but then he suddenly stopped. After sensing that Zeshald, who was walking 2-3 steps ahead of Yuusuke, turned around. After seeing the youth standing dumbfounded and staring at something Zeshald became even more wary.
“I… Am I dreaming…”
“Hoho, then are we the people, living inside your dream?”
Yuusuke calmly received Zeshald’s candid reply as he continued to stare dumbfounded at something in front of him. Or, to be more precise, it was an image. In front of his eyes was a wireframe image that contained a menu with a simple layout.
It was the [Item Creation – Customization System] menu – a special feature of the game, he was playing just before being called by the mysterious voice. In the customization window Yuusuke saw a spinning 3d model of the garment he was now wearing.
Then Yuusuke recalled something.
“Oh, that’s it! The chime back then was the sound you heard when you touched a customizable item in that game”
Zeshald tilted his head while watching Yuusuke talking to himself.
“Hmm I can’t understand half of what you’re saying. Have you remembered something?“
“Ah, please give me a moment”
While looking at the bewildered Zeshald, Yuusuke processed the item in the menu, he alone could see.
He roughly customized the color and shape of the clothes. There were other sliders for abilities and parameters of the item, but Yuusuke operated only the necessary sliders. One by one, almost identically to that game, he could fine-tune every property of the item.
[“There are no customization points, does that mean I can tamper with the item as much as I want? Isn’t this cheating?”]
With his eyes focused on something invisible, mumbling unknown words while moving his finger in the air, Yuusuke looked very suspicious, still, Zeshald felt a power resembling that of a divine art, emanating from the young man.
“What are you doing, Tagami Yuusuke?”
Because the offered clothes had plenty of cloth, Yuusuke has split them into a shirt and a pair of pants and then changed their form respectively. In the game players could remodel clothing, sold by the NPC, the way they liked and could have their characters wear it.
Incidentally he also made some underwear. Being unable to decide on the position (NOTE: i guess item equip slot for underwear) he couldn’t settle down.
“Ok, this should do it. …… Execute!”
Being engrossed in the customization screen, Yuusuke, afraid this was just a dream, hesitated for a moment, but, having decided that waking up if nothing happens wouldn’t be such a bad thing, he pressed the “Execute” button on the screen.
Yuusuke got surrounded by a warm light.
“Hey, You! …”
The offered cloth transformed to a gray shirt, a pair of black pants, and green briefs.
Girl’s shriek resounded the moment the light disappeared. Sun, with her white hair fluttering in the wind, ran away while covering her face, red from the shame. The moment that light enveloped Yuusuke, Sun, being worried, came back to look for Zeshald. She was staring at the light looking for the symbol of the Evil god…
“She ran away screaming again”, sighed Yuusuke, standing in the middle of the county road, surrounded by abundant greenery.
“Ah, right. If you customize the equipment, you are wearing, it gets unequipped in the process. Hahahaha…”
Zeshald, having witnessed power on par with divine arts, asked Yuusuke, who, laughing an emotionless laugh, was slowly gathering the scattered clothes from the ground… In the meantime Sun was running back to the village.
“What was it just now? I haven’t heard of a divine art that allows you to instantaneously remodel clothes”
Zeshald was now even more convinced that the youth, who has turned his head sideways in confusion, was not a person of this world. He has intended to only lead him to the village, but, after talking with him about the customs of this world, he decided to allow him to calm down in the village and then listen to his story in detail.
“Hmm, what should I teach you first?”