Chapter 03 – Witch of the forest

Next Chapter -> <- Previous Chapter

There was a bowl of soup on the table.
With the first sip I took from it, I was overwhelmed with a rush of pure ecstasy.

It has been a while since I’ve last had a warm food going through my throat, that I couldn’t help but start shredding tears.

“This is happiness~” -Ruri

“Either cry or eat. Don’t do both. Want some meat with that?” -Witch

“Yeah!!” -Ruri

I savored the moment after taking a bite of that juicy meat.

While I was helping myself with the food, I felt glad that the person I met was a good person.

After the initial shock, the blood-covered murder suspect-like person was in fact not committing a crime at the time. Instead, she was in the middle of butchering a wild animal which she planned on cooking later. When she went out of the shed and headed towards the location of the commotion, she called out to me. It was after that, that she noticed me losing consciousness.

How misleading….

But I was grateful that she went out of her way to treat my injuries, and provided me with warm foods.

I didn’t get a very good look at her the first time because I lost conscious soon after. Now, I could see that she’s just your typical old lady.

Although the first impression I had of her was that she is a mean person purely because she had a mean looking face, a person who would provide food to some nobody is definitely not a bad person.

The fairy tales I’ve read about witches acting friendly towards unsuspecting victims, only to eat them later flashed through my mind.
However, I don’t really care about those right now. The food in front of me takes precedence!
I was glancing around to confirm the location of the fireplace that was providing the warmth I’m feeling right now.

“Still, you had it tough huh? I don’t really have any feeling for Nadarsia from the beginning, but this just lowers my favorability towards it. I don’t know anything about this ancient prophecy thing, but to go so far as to kidnap others from another world…”

I stopped my hand movement and stared at the old lady.

“Why do you know that? I still haven’t told you anything.” -Ruri

I haven’t even told her about my origin, yet listening to her speaking, it was like she knew everything that had happened.

The old lady gave a grin and turned her head towards the ceiling.

I too did the same thing and looked at the ceiling and around it but I was basically staring into emptiness at this point.

“These children told me.” -Witch

‘Children’ she said. But the only one there was me and the old lady.
I was even more confused than before.

“Ah, you won’t be able to see them when they are in the state. Hmm let’s see, before reaching here, did you hear a sound or anything?” -Witch

“Sound… ah! I did, in fact, hear bell sounds. It’ll always lead me to water and food sources.” -Ruri

After I finished saying that, the same sound was ringing about as if they were trying to say ‘That’s right! Here we are!’.

“Those were the voices of the fairy. In fact, there are a lot of them gathering in the room right now.” -Witch

I scanned my surrounding one more time only to have the same result of not seeing anything.

“From what I can ascertain, you have quite the amount of magic power.
However, not being able to see them even with your magic power capacity would only mean that you are not well versed in using magic.
No matter how good a tool is, if the user is sh*t, the tool won’t be of much use.” -Witch

Unable to use something I have. A good example would be a television without turning on the power source.
In another word, I just have to find the ‘on’ switch…

Holding that thought, I once again used my imagination to imagine being able to see them like what I did to create a fire. Once I did that, I suddenly felt my vision opening up.
The next thing I know, I was seeing fairies the size of my palm floating around the room.

“Woah!!” -Ruri

I fell out of my chair from the surprising sight in front of me.
Seeing that, the fairies gathered around me to check whether I was ok or not.

『Are you ok?』

『Does it hurt?』

“I’m fine… wait…. huh? I can hear and understand you!” -Ruri

“Well now, are you able to see them already? I guess you have quite the adaptability power there, plus your magic power wavelength is the type that attracts fairies.
Being able to understand the fairies word means that you were able to recognize them.” -Witch

“Wavelength?”

“Let’s leave that for later. Tell me more about this ‘Asahi’ girl. The fairies just gave me a very vague description of her. It’s really hard to gauge what sort of person she is.” -Witch

I wasn’t that fond on telling someone I have never met before about something private. Just seems… wrong.
I still wasn’t sure if the people here are friendlies.
It would be somewhat ok if I were chased out from the house once I started badmouthing about Asahi. If she sends me back to Nadarsia, I’ll definitely get executed.

“Err, I don’t really feel comfortable talking about private stuff to someone I’ve just met…” -Ruri

When I said that, the meat that I only had one bite at was taken away.

“Hou~ I see. So you don’t feel comfortable eating the food made by someone you’ve just met, is that right?

“Uwahh. No, it’s totally fine! I’ll tell you all about me! I’ll tell you everything!!!”

To coerce me by taking away my food supply. How cowardly.

There’s no way I could resist when such delicious foods are right in front of me.

I resumed biting the meat that was returned to me and started talking about all the things that happened since the summoning.
Once I started talking, It was like my attempt to resist telling my life story was a stupid idea as I started really going into it and was even exaggerating the small details.

Especially things about Asahi. The misfortunes I had to endure because of her, the rage I felt for her. I continued to ramble on and on about her.

My current condition was just like a drunk father complaining about his problems in the workplace and household.

I was certain my face was a mess when I had the last word. But I felt like I had the burden in my heart lifted.

In the past, I was always surrounded by Asahi’s devotees. I never got to release myself like what I just did.

There were just too many things I wanted to complain about.

“I’m sorry to hear that. You had quite the experience huh.” -Witch

“I don’t think you really understand what I’ve been through!
Everyone around me arbitrarily made me the bad guy and started hating on me. Even if I try to distance myself from Asahi, she would just stick to me nonetheless.
At this rate, she might follow me even if I get married. Do you understand the terror of that?!” -Ruri

I still had tons more to complain about. But the old lady stopped me short.

“Alright, alright. I understand already. Just stop.
That said, It’s not like I don’t understand the feeling of that Asahi girl.”

“What do you mean?” -Ruri

“You irradiate a very comfortable wavelength after all.” -Witch

“Again with the ‘wavelength’… Just what is that?” -Ruri

“Ah, ‘wavelength’ is something every magician has. It is in another word, your compatibility with magic.
In this world, the magic ‘wavelength’ is much more important than the magic ‘capacity’.
The thing called magic is something you borrow from the fairy to execute. And the magic ‘wavelength’ determines your compatibility with the attribute of the fairy that would be willing to share its power with.
Fairies will be willing to share it’s power to those that have an affinity with it. On the flip-side, they would not even get close to those without affinity with it.
Then there’s you. Fairies of all types of attributes are gathering around you.
That proves that your magic ‘wavelength’ is the type loved by all fairies!” -Witch

“So you’re telling me that it was because of this ‘wavelength’, that Asahi stuck to me like a leech?” -Ruri

“Hey, not even I am able to gather this much fairies around me you know? The reason they gathered around you is because they feel comfortable around you. I’m sure the same goes for that Asahi girl.” -Witch

This explains the stalker-like action of Asahi. Such a pain.

I unconsciously made an expression that totally shows my discomfort upon having that thought.

“Ah, but that magic ‘wavelength’ you’re talking about, wouldn’t it only affect Asahi if she has magic power?”

The moment I said that the old lady made a serious expression.

“About that, It could mean that Asahi was using magic.” -Witch

“Using magic?! … Nah, that can’t be. In our world, magic is just things of fantasy.” -Ruri

After all, Asahi was as surprised as the others when she first saw magic.

Reluctantly, I can say for sure that thanks to the time I had with Asahi, I can easily see through her acting. And that was no acting.

“But It’s quite similar to a certain magic. The way she affects people around her. It’s just like the ‘charm’ spell.” -Witch

“‘Charm’?…” -Ruri

“Forcibly make people who feel nothing for them to feel attracted and can’t help but to do their bidding. A ‘charm’ spell.” -Witch

“I wasn’t affected at all. At least I think I wasn’t.” -Ruri

“Not only do you have a good magic affinity, you have quite the amount of magic capacity too.
Those with higher magic capacity don’t get affected by those with lesser magic capacity.” -Witch

Charm magic…
That would explain the blind loyalty they have for Asahi. I understand the reasons for their action now.

But I don’t think that Asahi was particularly targeting at me with that spell. She wasn’t at all hostile.

I mean, I tried so many different ways to get away from her.

I couldn’t 100% throw out the possibility of her doing this to spite me.

But I had spent time tailing her and even hired a private inspector to shadow her just to find out what her deal with me was. The result I got was conclusive. She is just your run of the mill idio… no, her head is just filled with flowers and happy stuff.

She was given the green light to do anything she like since birth that her common sense on how relationships really worked was distorted. Everybody would just bend for her. Because of that, she doesn’t know how to ‘read’ people.

But she wasn’t actually acting in self-indulgence or acted with malice intention.

She was just doing what she wants at will, just as a child would.

“I can’t imagine Asahi using ‘Charm’ to control others on purpose.” -Ruri

“… Well, if someone who has been beside her her whole life like you says so, that could very well be the truth. But the possibility of her using magic unconsciously is there.” -Witch

“Is that possible? If she has the affinity to use magic power, wouldn’t that mean she is legit the Shrine Maiden?” -Ruri

“Who knows. From my standpoint, you who are cherished by fairies are even more amazing than someone who is able to use ‘Charm’ magic.
Plus, the person who fits the characteristic of having the ‘rare color’ for a Shrine Maiden is you.” -Witch

“Is there by any chance that they would come looking for me when they find out about Asahi’s fake hair and eye color?” -Ruri

“Nah. Someone with blonde hair and Lapis lazuli colored eyes is indeed rare in this world. But having both black colored hair and eyes are equally rare here. They won’t just straight out call her a fake.” -Witch

“I see. There’s still the matter of my former classmates.” -Ruri

“Yeah. But if they can’t contribute to the glory of the kingdom, who knows what sort of fate will be waiting for them down the line.” -Witch

What should I do if they really came for me…

The old lady took a pen and paper out from a drawer nearby and wrote something down.
After she finished writing, she threw the paper into a water-filled square box.
The paper then slowly disappear into nothingness.

“What is that?!”

“I was sending a letter. After finish writing your letter, just toss the paper into this box of water and the letter will rematerialize in the box at the receiver’s side.

“Cooooool” -Ruri

I’m not sure of the construct behind it, but seeing that, I was once again hit with the realization that this isn’t the earth I know.

“Who did you sent the letter to?” -Ruri

“To my grandson who is currently in the Dragon Kingdom.
I want him to do some research on that girl Asahi and the ancient prophecy.
If she was using magic knowingly, her being under the control of Nadarsia might pose a threat to the Dragon Kingdom in the foreseeable future and methods on how to deal with her has to be formulated.
If she is using her magic unconsciously, we have to find a way to deal with that too in order to prevent unwanted casualties.” -Witch

Upon hearing the word ‘Dragon Kingdom’, I dropped all matters that I had about Asahi.

“Old lady, you’re from another country?!” -Ruri

“WHO ARE YOU CALLING AN OLD LADY?” -Old la…. Witch

“Oh yeah, I still haven’t asked for your name. Mine’s Ruri btw.” -Ruri

The old lady hesitated a while before murmuring in a small voice.

“….It’s Chelsea…” -Chelsea

“…… Pff!” -Ruri

I couldn’t hold my laughter. An old lady that looks like the evil witch from the fairy tales is calling herself Chelsea.
It just doesn’t match with her face.

“Sooo cuuuuute. Ahahahahaha” -Ruri

“That’s why I was reluctant to tell you my name.
Go on, laugh. No more meals for you anymore!” -Chelsea

“Waaa, I’m sorry, I’m sorry!
It’s a very fitting and cute… name… pff!” -Ruri

“Say that after you contained your laughter! Both your voice and your shoulder is trembling you know?!” -Chelsea

After having a tense few days, being able to make such lighthearted conversations made me happy.
After settling down on my laughter, I once again inquired Chelsea about the Dragon Kingdom.

“Dragon Kingdom is the neighbor country of Nadarsia and is coincidentally my hometown.
This forest is located between both countries.
As per its name, it’s a kingdom ruled by the dragon king.
It’s the largest country in this land.” -Chelsea

“Dragon King?” -Ruri

“The king of the dragon race. Do you know of the dragon race?” -Chelsea

I shook my head.

“It’s a race that is able to take both human form and dragon form. There are many other races such as the cat people and dog people that have a humanoid form. However, their face resembles more of the animal characteristic and are called Beast-man. They are all generally called Demi-human.
The discrimination towards Demi-human are quite strong between some human-oriented country, and Nadarsia is one of the prime examples.
In the Dragon Kingdom, there’s no discrimination going on and everybody lives together in harmony.” -Chelsea

“I see….” -Ruri

From what I could gather, there are other countries that are better than Nadarsia.

But what I really wanted to know was not about Dragon Race or Demi-human. It was whether going back is a possibility or not.

“So, would the method for returning to my original world be found in the Dragon Kingdom?”

I waited earnestly for Chelsea’s reply.
With so many different races in one location, there is bound to be some information regarding that.

But the reply I was given by Chelsea shattered my hope.

“Unfortunately, there’s no way to return to your original world.” -Chelsea

“It could be that it’s only you that doesn’t know of a way. Someone in the Dragon Kingdom might know something…” -Ruri

I forced myself to think positively, maintaining a smile on my face all the while. But Chelsea shook her head.

“Their situation may be a little different to the ones who were summoned here, but we had cases of people transported to this world for no reason before. But none of them managed to return home.” -Chelsea

“No way…” -Ruri

“In the past, there was a person who was transported to this world with memories from her time in this world in her past life. According to her, it is easy to come here. But leaving here requires one to shred their current appearance.” -Chelsea

“What does that mean?…” -Ruri

“It might sound cruel of me to say this, but the only way for one to leave this world is through you own death. There’s no other way.

I was stunned.

My thinking process stopped.

I survived the ordeal of the forest by holding onto the faint hope that I might be able to find a way to go back to my previous world

But with this blow of reality, my vision went black.

What should I do from here on out?

I have no basic knowledge of this world, I have nobody I could trust, just how should I survive my life here in this parallel world?

As I fell more into despair, what came after that wasn’t sadness, but anger.

(Being kidnapped to a parallel world, had a false crime pinned on me, forced to survive the ordeal of getting chased by some huge monster in a forest.
Why do bad things happen to me all the time??!)

The reason those was clear as the sky to me. Asahi who is totally oblivious with her surrounding, and no consideration in her action that was my constant source of annoyance. My former classmates and the prince who left me alone to die in this parallel world. And lastly, the king and priests who summoned me here in the first place are to blame as well.

(I can’t just forget all about this after crying myself to sleep. If I can’t go back, I’ll have my revenge on those who had caused me grief!)

Once I’ve decided on my next action, I squatted in front of Chelsea with my heads bowed down.

“I know that I will be troubling you with this request, but could you teach me magic? I will do anything as payment! Housework, anything.” -Ruri

To take revenge, I still need to obtain knowledge pertaining this world.
Plus, with my affinity with the fairies, there will be multiple ways to do things.

“I don’t mind” -Chelsea

I was surprised that Chelsea gave me her answer without hesitation.

“Eh? Is it really alright?
I know it’s weird coming from me, but shouldn’t you be more cautious of other…? -Ruri

“I was always alone in the big house. It would be great to have someone here to spice up the place.
Plus, I don’t feel the need to be cautious of someone who is liked by the fairies. If I were to kick you out of my house, these children might stop sharing its power with me.” -Chelsea

It was then when I felt really happy to have met Chelsea.

“Chelsea is a really kind person! It’s a shame you have the face of an evil witch tho.” -Ruri

“Maybe I should just kick you out.” -Chelsea

And so begun my life with the witch in the forest + fairies.

Next Chapter -> <- Previous Chapter