Standing Between Two Worlds - Chapter 4: Who Are You?
It was already dawn when Emma-san and I were walking through the village. At that moment, I felt calm and excited at the same time. The presence of someone made me feel more relaxed, and the anticipation of a new journey thrilled me.
As we passed by several houses, we finally arrived at Bardrick Wallner’s place. His house was no different from the others in the village. I’m wondering how they could even tell each other’s houses apart. Anyways, we knocked by Bardrick-san’s door. Then a man who looked like he was somewhere in his early 40’s opened the door.
“Good afternoon, Bardrick-san.”
“Emma, good afternoon. What brings you here?”
“Well, you see, Bruno-san here wants to learn magic. And the mage doctor recommended you when Bruno-san went for a check-up.”
“That old man really likes pestering me, huh?”
“Uh, Bardrick-san, if it’s too much for you, you don’t have to teach me,” I said.
“Oh, don’t worry, I don’t mind teaching you, but it’s been years since I last taught magic to someone. So, I might not be able to teach as well as before. Are you still okay with that?”
“Yes, I’m okay with that. As long as I get to learn magic.”
“Then come back here tomorrow morning. I’ll teach you with the remaining knowledge I have. How about you, Emma?”
“Me?” Emma responded.
“Since I’m going to be teaching Bruno, why not join in as well? Don’t think I didn’t notice you fidgeting around. You also wanted to join, right?”
“Ah, why’d you have to point it out. Okay, fine, I’ll join,” Emma-san said while pouting.
Emma-san responded with embarrassment. I found her reaction cute.
“Then I’ll be expecting you both to come here tomorrow morning.”
“Oh, before we go, do we need to bring anything?” Emma-san asked.
“Maybe, bring a pen and some paper.”
“For now, just those two.”
“I forgot to ask earlier, but Bruno-kun, where are you from?”
“I’m sorry, I forgot to introduce myself. I go by the name Bruno, which Emma-san gave me earlier.”
“Wait, so you’re the traveler who lost his memories?”
“Uh, yes. That’s right.”
It wasn’t even a day yet since I came here. Maybe, Albus-san told the other villagers. Well, at least that makes things a lot easier. I don’t have to explain to villagers who I am.
“I see. You went to the mage doctor earlier, right?”
“How about your memories? Did you regain them?”
“Sadly, I haven’t. According to the doctor, his magic level is too weak to retrieve my memories.”
“He’s the only person in this village with the highest level of healing magic. Wait, is that why you’re trying to learn magic? To retrieve your memories yourself?”
“Well, not exactly. As I am now, I’m okay without my memories.”
“Then why did you want to learn magic?”
“I just thought it was interesting to try.”
“So, you have no intention of getting your memories back?”
“Do you have any goals at all?”
“Actually, I do. I wanted to roam and explore the entirety of Miltis.”
“Look, I’m not going to stop you, but I’ll give you this as a warning. Even though the continental war is over, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t any danger out there. Aside from minor groups like bandits, pirates, syndicates, and others, each continent has its fair share of hatred towards other countries and people. If you venture out to a country that hates humans, then you’ll be immediately executed. Fortunately for you, you ended up here in the village Yomerus in the continent of Krots. Here in Krots, there is no law against foreign people. So, don’t just decide on exploring Miltis on a whim, or else it could cost you your life.”
It’s my first time hearing about this. It’s actually scary. Maybe, I shouldn’t rely too much on the guidebook. It stated that all the continents are at peace with each other. But it didn’t mention anything about getting executed. Maybe my journey wouldn’t be as smooth sailing as I thought. Although I know that if I die here, I’ll return back to Earth. But I don’t want to go back to that world. I want to stay here.
“Don’t worry, Bardrick-san. I’ll be going with him.” Emma-san suddenly uttered.
“Eh, you…? But what about your father? Did you tell him about this?”
“Actually… I haven’t, but I do plan on telling him. I’ll ask him after you teach us magic.”
“Look, I get that you’re old enough to decide what you want to do, but are you sure you want to leave him alone? I mean, you’re the only one he has left.”
Uhm, I’m not sure where this conversation is heading. What is this about Emma-san’s dad? Only one left? Does that mean there are only two of them in that place?
“This has nothing to do with my father. I’m already 16. And like you said, I can decide things on my own. I no longer need to follow my father’s orders. Besides, he thinks of me as a replacement for Ruby. I don’t exist to him in the first place.” Her intonation changed.
“Emma, that’s enough! A child should not speak ill of their parents. We’ll continue this discussion some other time. Now, go back home and rest. You’ll need to wake up early tomorrow for your training.”
After Bardrick-san spoke, he closed the door of his house. Well, that was somewhat rude, but never mind that. I’m more curious about Emma-san and her father. Did something happen between the two of them? I know it is none of my business, but I can’t help it, especially after hearing their conversation.
“Sorry about that, Bruno-san.”
“Uh, no, it’s okay, but… if you don’t mind me asking…”
“What is it?”
“Of course, you don’t need to answer, but I was just wondering. Is there some problem between you and your father?”
“Oh, that. It’s fine. I’ll tell you about it, but first, let’s head back to my place.”
“What about your father? Won’t he come back home? He’ll overhear us.”
“Don’t worry. My father won’t return until tomorrow.”
“Why? Did he go somewhere?”
“I guess he didn’t mention it to you. But basically, my father is a part of the village guard. Today, they went out to scout the neighboring areas for suspicious activities.”
“Suspicious activities? Like raiders or bandits?”
“Yeah, something like that.”
I see, maybe, that’s why he was one of the first ones to approach me when I entered the village. He was doing his job. But it’s kind of odd that he let me in. I mean, if there were people like bandits, wouldn’t I have been interrogated first or something along those lines? How could he trust me and let me in his house? I’ll leave that question out for now. I’ll ask Albus-san when he gets back.
After walking for a few minutes, we finally arrived at Emma-san’s house. Immediately after we entered, Emma-san went to one of the rooms, got some clothes, and handed me some.
“What’s this for?” I asked.
“A change of clothing, although it’s one of my father’s. We’ll get you some of your own pair next time.”
“Yeah, I get that these are clothes, but for what reason?”
“Aren’t you going to bathe?”
“Wait, you have a bath? Or is it a public one?”
“There is a public bath, but we have our own bath. It’s underground.”
“Oh, I see.”
Wait, the two of us at the same time? No, since she’s inviting me, the bath must have two separate rooms. But I’m curious to see how baths work in this world. I hope the bath water is warm, though.
I followed Emma-san to a small shack outside the house. When she opened the door, I saw a staircase made out of stone. But I could only see a few meters down. It was dark, but thankfully, Emma-san brought a lamp.
We walked down the staircase, and it was a lot deeper than I initially thought. Based on how far we’ve walked. I figure it’s around 30 to 40 meters below the surface. It’s a weird place for a bath, honestly. Then after a few more steps, we arrived at the bath.
“Wait, for me here. I’ll light up the other lamps.” Emma-san said.
Emma-san went ahead and left me in the dark. I couldn’t even see anything. After a few moments, the lamps on the side of the walls lit up. It was almost like a switch activated all of them. The lamps brightly shone that it was almost blinding me. But the thing that made me wonder was how those lamps lit up. Was it magic? I’ll ask Emma-san about it.
Then one of the two doors in front of me opened. It was Emma-san.
“Okay, all done.”
“I’m curious about something. How did you light up these lamps?”
“Oh, I just went on ahead and activated the enchanted stones.”
Enchanted Stones…? Again, it’s something the book didn’t mention.
“Follow me. I’ll show you.”
As curious as I am, I followed her into the door where she came from, and when I got there, I saw nothing but a small room. In the middle, I saw a pedestal with a stone tablet on top of it. There were writings on it, but I couldn’t read what it was. On the right side of the room, there was a shelf that contained other stone tablets. They looked similar to the one on the pedestal, but the writings on them were different.
“To activate the lights, all I did was place this tablet on here.”
“You didn’t have to do anything else?”
“That’s the primary purpose of enchantment, to make everything simple. Although, the process of making these kinds of items is not that easy. It is also a type of magic, but it is one of the most difficult ones. Some even say it takes 40 years of studying to get level 1 Enchantment. That’s also why we store it here. Someplace where people would rarely visit.”
“Wait, if it’s that hard to Enchant, then where did you get these?”
“I don’t know, but my father brought it home a couple of years ago. He said it was a reward. But other than that, he didn’t mention anything else.”
“So, the bath here also uses enchantments?”
“Yeah, and the only ones who know about this bath are My father, You, and me.”
“But why did you show it to me? You said there was also a public bath, but you chose to lead me here.”
“Well, for that… I wanted to see how much you trust me. Or how much of an idiot you are.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Look, no logical person would even think of following a person they just met through a dark and eerie staircase that goes 40 meters below surface level.”
“I did think it was creepy going down a dark staircase, but it didn’t occur to me that you’d do anything awful to me.”
“From what you’ve said, I can say that you trust me, but you’re also naive at the same time. Just like what Bardrick-san told earlier, the world isn’t as forgiving as you think…”
From that point, Emma-san starting lecturing me about being cautious of people. Of course, I never like it when people call me condescending words, especially back on Earth. But in this case, I was clearly in the wrong.
After Emma-san’s lecture, we finally decided to take a bath. Her lecture reminded me of my mom back on Earth. Speaking of mom, I miss her since she was one of the people who actually cared about me. Maybe, I should go back and check on her after this bath.
When we entered the second door, all I saw was a large pool of warm water. There were no dividers, not even something like curtains. Are we going to bathe together?!
“Isn’t there supposed to be division here?” I asked.
“Division? Oh, yeah, there isn’t ant since I’m the only one who uses this.”
“But I thought your father used this too?”
“I only said he knew this place, but I didn’t say he used it.”
“So, we’re going to bathe together?”
“Oh, so that’s what you’re worried about…” She said with a smirk on her face.
“You’re not worried about it?!”
“I mean, it is a little embarrassing, but it’s not that big of a deal. It’s just you seeing my body.”
“Don’t tell me other men have also seen it!”
“Of course not! But this is a different occasion.”
“How is this a different occasion?!”
“Oh, just shut up and bathe already!”
At that moment, she…
[AT: Ah, I’m finally done with this week’s chapter. Anyway, please do visit my discord https://discord.gg/7E75M6CfkJ.]