When Rona brought Ardis over and introduced the two, Minerva and Moore’s face became brighter as they thought there was hope. Someone alive and not from the duke residency, then he might know something.
But immediately after that, when they found out Ardis was the same in the regards of being thrown in this place without knowing where, their faces clouded over quickly. Their hope that was found at last was immediately extinguished, of course their face would look depressing.
「There’s no use to be depressed. The day is almost over too, let’s find some suitable place and set up for the night. 」
No one went against Rona’s suggestion.
Deciding a place surrounded by several tens of trees as their resting place, they started working to prepare for the night
Because of Ardis’s unfriendly behavior of not even introducing himself to the two, the atmosphere around certainly wasn’t pretty. Three persons and one beast were shrouded in an awkward atmosphere.
「Tough that we didn’t bring any water. 」
While roasting the Nedulo meat that will be their emergency meal, Moore muttered and sighed. Although their stomach can be somehow filled thanks to the Nedulo meat, their thirst wasn’t sated.
「Ah, that’s right. Oops, here, some water. 」
As if recalling something forgotten, Rona said so before manifesting a ball of water in front of them.
Minerva’s eyes became round seeing the round ball of water floating in air.
「Here, put out your hand. 」
The two had their hand become a makeshift cup, and the ball fell as if waited for that. Just as their hand touched the ball of water, the shape collapsed, and it was truly just water.
「This is……, water? 」
Moore was looking at the liquid filling his both hand and verified with Rona.
「What does it look like other than water. Ask whenever you need more, I can make more. It’ll be more convenient if we have a container, but no choice but to bear with it now. 」
The two put their mouth to it seemingly anxious, but after realizing it was safe, they quickly drank it all.
But rather than gratitude, Moore was complaining.
「If you can do this, then why not doing it in the beginning……」
「It wasn’t a choice then. I wasn’t clear about the situation earlier as well. And let me ask you, if I had just made water that time, would you have drank it without questions? And could you have guaranteed that you wouldn’t treat me differently after that? 」
「That’s……certainly, the truth. 」
Rona didn’t want to reveal himself if possible.
Though Rona knew that the two persons aren’t Ardis’s enemies, there’s no knowing where information is leaked. If Rona isn’t just a beast, but one that can manipulate and cast arts, he wouldn’t be able to walk in the capital.
And there would surely be bad plotters who would be interested, and in the worst case, he would be designated a demonic being and be subjugated. That wasn’t what Rona and Ardis wanted to happen.
「Sorry. But why are you fine now? 」
「There’s no point hiding it now right? 」
「Aah……. That’s true. 」
After all, Rona had showed that he could use magic during the battle at the small river, and also the ability to converse. There’s no point to hide the fact now.
「At least make your own water. Don’t treat Rona like a servant. 」
Ardis who was at the side seeing that interrupted. He probably wasn’t keen on letting his partner treated like a gofer.
It seems that Moore wasn’t happy because of Ardis’s blunt attitude. That’s why he wasn’t friendly with him too.
「Don’t blame them Al, they can’t use mana after all. 」
「Can’t use mana? 」
Ardis had a face of not comprehending at all.
「Why would people who can’t use mana lurking outside the town? 」
「I’m a swordsman. I can fight with my sword even if I can’t use magic. 」
Probably feeling humiliation, Moore was glaring at Ardis as he boasted.
「If you’re a swordsman, then it’s more so. How can you even fight without being able to make a foothold? 」
Ardis who was stupefied for round two rebuked.
「Foothold? What the heck is that? 」
Rona offered a saving boat for Moore who asked back without a clue.
「Uhh, this is what a foothold is. 」
Saying so, Rona jumped upwards. After jumping up about a meter in the air and drawing a parabola, Rona stopped before he hit the ground.
Minerva’s eyes saw that Rona was floating about fifteen centimeters above the ground.
「This is a foothold. One that you create with mana. 」
As if letting Moore who had round eyes to see clearly, Rona jumped in the air multiple times. Rona who was jumping against invisible footholds in the air looked like he was running through the air.
「I-Is that possibly……. The skill the Nedulos used? 」
「It’s not any skill. Since even a Nedulo can use it after all. 」
Rona replied as if it was common sense.
「Don’t name yourself as a swordsman if you can’t even do that much. Leave your sword and live in the safe town if you don’t want to die. 」
As if pouring oil over fire, Ardis looked down on him and said the harsh truth.
「You, let me tell you――! 」
「Wait wait wait wait! Although it wasn’t pretty, Al is right. It’s dangerous here with your abilities. 」
Rona was trying to stop Moore from being violent, but it seems like he wouldn’t back down either.
「Even I have my pride for becoming a battalion commander with just a sword! Do you expect I can keep quiet being ridiculed like this! 」
Moore probably understood what Ardis and Rona said as well. After all, he had clearly saw Rona and Ardis easily trampling on the Nedulos that he couldn’t even best.
Even so, he had his own pride as a swordsman. He wasn’t a person to keep quiet being ridiculed.
「A man who can’t even use a single art? What kind of countryside battalion is that to have you as its commander. 」
「Hey! Al, you too! 」
Ignoring Rona’s effort to keep the situation, Ardis had poured in even more fuel.
「If you’re so hungry for a fight, then I will be your opponent! I will let you taste plenty of the sword you want! 」
Just as Moore was getting up and grabbing his sword, Rona’s patience had reached bottom.
「Enough is enough! 」
Putting up five sharp icicles in front of Moore, Rona made a strong gale to stop him from approaching. Moore whose momentum was halted by the arts stumbled and took two steps backward, then sat back down.
「It was so annoying so I didn’t bother to say it, but if you’re not going to acknowledge the reality, then I will say it clearly. 」
Facing Moore who had a displeased face, Rona gave up and stated the reality.
「You are certainly the battalion commander of the Nagras Kingdom army, and one of its top swordsman. But all of that is only inside the Kingdom, it doesn’t hold a candle here at the very least. 」
「Even you――! 」
「Be quiet and listen! 」
Rona yelled to shut Moore up.
「This guy――a Nedulo, do you remember? 」
「……Yeah, the one that we fought earlier. 」
Rona pointed at the piece of meat that was once a Nedulo with his paw, and Moore answered in a bitter expression.
「You, do you think you can win? 」
「……If I’m being careful. 」
Moore managed to squeeze out words on the verge of his pride being crushed.
「Your realization is still shallow. If the four weren’t playing with you at the beginning, you would’ve already been in eight pieces now? 」
「If they were not playing? What do you mean? 」
「Nedulo you see, they like to play with their preys when they can. It seems like they enjoy hurting the prey and seeing them getting weaker. Well they are stupid and can’t distinguish if someone is stronger than them though, so there’re more occasions that they would get hit back. 」
Moore was dumbfounded at Rona’s words. He thought he was putting up a good fight but, in reality he was only being treated as a plaything.
「Only one can consider themselves a warrior once they can win against a Nedulo by themselves. If not, no one would ever take you seriously. After all, even the Nedulos can use footholds and barriers, that’s what Al is trying to say. 」
He had probably already understood what Ardis was saying. Moore became silent as he bit his lips.
「Here is……, where are we? Rona, you sound like you know where we are. 」
It was Minerva who was being silent for the entire time who spoke instead of Moore.
Rona sighed greatly.
After grumbling inside his mind, he gave up and thought to properly explain. Laying on the ground, he looked upwards to prompt Minerva.
「Let’s see. It’s quite complicated to explain but……. Look at the sky. 」
The two looked up at the sky prompted by Rona.
「What about the sky? 」
It was Minerva that noticed first.
「What is it Ojou-sama? 」
「There’s no…… twilight. 」
The sky with the setting sun is dark. It is an obvious phenomenon in this world but, it’s different in Minerva and Moore’s world.
In that world, even when the sun was setting, the sky would still glow dully, and the sky full of small light speckles would slowly encroach on the dark sky from the east.
It is a scenery not visible in this world, it is what people called as twilight.
(NOTE: I couldn’t find any name for this kind of sky, so I’mma going with twilight)
It was a scenery that is supposed to be a daily occurrence for them, that’s why they are surprised at the sky totally shrouded in darkness.
「Now that you said it……! 」
「But why……? 」
On one hand, there is the world that would be dyed in a vivid red color, and on the other, there is the world that seemed like it was being sucked into darkness.
For them who are used to the world that has a twilight, it would be a surprise to see something abnormal like this.
「There’s no such thing as twilight in this world. 」
Rona continued his explanation towards the two surprised human being.
「After all, it is a different world that the one you two are born on. 」
「A different……world? 」
As if not understanding Rona’s words, Minerva’s reaction was only lukewarm.
「This is the world where I was raised in. And also the world Al――Ardis is raised in. 」
It wasn’t Minerva nor Moore that had a reaction, but Ardis.
「Why would my name come out there? 」
After all, his name was just blurted out in a topic that he’d thought unrelated at all to him, of course he would be concerned. Ardis asked a question while holding his temple in one hand.
「Eh? Shishou? 」
「This guy is Ardis? 」
It wasn’t what bothered Minerva and Moore the most. After all, they are still in utmost confusion.
「For the time being, I will explain to these two people first. Since it’s too complicated to explain to both sides now……, I will explain it later to Al. 」
While feeling the silent pressure from Ardis and cold sweat forming, Rona turned back to the two people. While still receiving stabbing gaze from Ardis at the side, it was obvious why his voice was a little unsettling.
「Uhh, where were we again……. Oh right, this world is different than the world you two are used to. 」
Ignoring Ardis’s gaze who looked like he wanted to say something, Rona acted calm and continued.
「Something happened and Al was transported into that world. The reason for that isn’t clear. And also, he became younger for some reason, and also became terribly weaker but, Al was looking for a way back going around that world as a mercenary. I myself can cross the two worlds easily but, it seems to be difficult for Al. 」
The absurd story that was layered in more absurdness made the two people speechless.
「By the way, the Al here is the person himself, that’s what I think. It’s something like another Ardis that has a different set of memories than the Ardis you two know? 」
「P-Please want for a moment. I don’t understand……. This person is the same person as Shishou? 」
「They’re not exactly the same person, but I think their origin is the same person. 」
「This guy is Ardis? The age clearly doesn’t match up though. 」
「This is what Al looks like originally. The Al over there became smaller for some reason. 」
「Then, who is the Shishou I know? A fake? 」
「Both are Al. Both are undoubtedly the real Al. 」
Although the two were throwing questions in quick succession, Rona was able to answer them immediately. Of course, Rona wasn’t totally clear on what happened either, but he’s probably the most knowledgeable about it here now.
「So, this world here. Uhh, the biggest difference here than the world you two were in is the presence of twilight. Rather, Al and I felt having a twilight is abnormal. That’s why we were convinced that it is a totally different world in the first place. 」
Minerva and Moore looked up at the sky again.
In a similar way, the missing presence of twilight had become an undeniable truth for them. The fact that they’re in another world than they are used to.
「Also, I think it’s clear by now but, the beasts here normally can talk and also use magic. And there’re more wars here than the other world, everything is in chaos. Ah, but it feels like the mana here is thicker than your world. It’s easier to activate arts here. I guess that’s all the big difference. 」
The two probably couldn’t comprehend all the new facts that were thrusted in their face. They had both already lost their words long by now, and only their ears could hear what Rona was saying.
「There’re many other small difference, but also many similar parts. There’re strong and weak people here, good and bad human trash. Unfortunately. 」
A human trash, suddenly Rona recalled a red-haired woman.
Rage quietly rose inside of him. Rona couldn’t ever forgive the crazy woman that had not only played with, humiliated, and even tainted the person that is his important friend, and also Ardis’s love.
Even during that time, if Rona wasn’t injured gravely, he would’ve participated together with Ardis. Rona after seven years is the same. It’s painful to imagine what Ardis here is experiencing now as the event only happened seven days ago for him.
While hoping that his emotions wouldn’t turn into rage, Rona desperately pondered how to explain what happened to Ardis.