TL note: While getting the permission to translate from the author, I decided to ask if they could check to see whether the names I used in volume 1 were correct or not. I may have missed a few of the names when asking, but here are the changes:
Gia Batsand ⇒ Zia Batsand
The Gate of Simla ⇒ The Gate of the Multiverse
Twelve Sky Barriers ⇒ Twelve Sky Wizards
The Amethyst Swamp of Despair ⇒ The Violet Swamp of Poison
It really is a pain since words commonly used in fantasy settings tend to not appear in the dictionary. I have to sort of grasp at straws. That’s why I’m truly grateful to the author for providing me with the correct terms.
Once I had fully ascended the stairs, a world of snow was spread out before me.
Although I had borrowed the first line of a certain novel which had received a Nobel prize in literature, the reason why I didn’t feel particularly better despite having done that, wasn’t because I felt guilty for having used that famous line for such a trivial situation, nor was it because of the fact that the pessimistic prediction, regarding the fact that barely anyone even in my own world would be able to recognize this phrase, let alone this world, had crossed my mind, and, as expected, neither was it because of the fact that I had become aware of the truth that this was indeed reality and not some scene from a novel. Just, how should I say it? Merely because it was cold. It was simply because my current apparel did not match the season of this world.
‘Comprehension and experience are unquestionably two different things’, this thought went through my mind. It was January in my world. It was also January in this world. Even if the method of counting time was different, if hearing the information that the flow of time was approximately the same was ‘comprehension’, then this current situation where I was stepping on a pile of snow while wearing only slippers on my bare feet, was ‘experience’. That’s why my experience was, cold.
“Ah hah ha. Mr. Yujin, are you cold?”
A unique laugh that’s difficult to make if you don’t take the trouble to intentionally move your tongue in a particular fashion. This silver-haired girl, who smacked her lips as she turned to look at me, was the ‘Silver Lion Earl’. I spoke towards the culprit who made me be here while in this outfit.
“Hm hm, that’s a shame. You should make sure to always be warmly clothed when going outside, Mr. Yujin.”
While wearing a coat with fluffy fur attached to each and every seam, she spoke to me in a teasing manner and shoved her hands as deeply into her pockets as she could.
“So the basement was on the warm side.”
“Ukukukuku, that’s because this vicinity is within a crater. The inner areas are fundamentally warm. Furthermore, if it’s for pleasant entertainment activities, I’m not liberal towaaards the heating bills.”
Although I wanted to make a rebuttal about her entertainment activities, during one’s life, there was probably a much better timing to do so compared to the current situation where I was wearing a sweat suit with my hands shoved into my armpits while my entire body was shivering due to the cold.
Cold. In any case, it’s freezing. Evening, the setting sun, which stretched out from the end of the reddish sky and over it, was unable to heat the air or the earth. In that regard, this location was most likely to blame as well. The sky was open, but there were ramparts surrounding us and the width was narrow. If this courtyard’s goal was to be a military training ground, then even if it drank a lot of milk, it wouldn’t be enough.
Although it’s slightly different from the focal point of being a military training ground, it also appeared to be lacking in traces of people commuting through it often. The individuals who commuted through here were Zia and the Earl, and at most, possibly two other people. If you discerned it by the footprints left in the snow, if you thought about the fact that the form of this snowfield could only appear after several days of piling up and solidifying, and over all else, if you considered the fact that a pathway to the prison was all there was across this courtyard, this was the only conclusion which one could arrive at.
This courtyard was bristling with things which it lacked. If I didn’t also lack the mouth to voice my complaints, then I may have laid out whining words about it every day. Who knows? I could have even feigned humbleness while also accepting my own deficiency. I could have then blown up afterward. She did say that this was a crater, after all.
“Nya hah ha. Show some backbone like a boy. It’ll be a bit better once we’re inside the castle.”
Regardless of whatever the correlation between being a boy and having a strong will was, it was just as the Earl of the Silver Lion had said. After we passed the courtyard and entered the castle, a warmth, which couldn’t be explained by the sole fact that there was no draft, had enveloped me. For this hall to be so warm despite the fact that there were no heaters in sight. I feel as if my nose might start to run involuntarily.
“Is this also because we’re in a crater region?”
Once I asked while stretching out my retracted neck, the Silver Lion Earl giggled.
“Hm hm. There are three choooices. First, due to the benefit of the terrain. Second, due to the power of magic. Third, because resources were invested and heaters are being used in even pointless places. If it’s the proletarian Mr. Yujin, then you’d want to select option number 1 where no money is spent, wouldn’t you?”
“The fact that I’m a proletarian, does it stick out?”
“Honestly? Ukukukuku. To be exact, it does~ It’s apparent that you’re accustomed to being in the position of the weak.”
A painfully accurate understanding. As expected of Her Excellency the Silver Lion Earl, the leading politician of a single city.
“That’s not a bad thing, you know? As the weak, the weak remain powerless. Not only is that correct, but it’s proper as well. Pretending to be strong, is bad⎯⎯⎯the feeling you get when you look at these people, that is. Know their place, be docile, and don’t try to crawl up, as long as they obey these rules, then aren’t they honestly cute? Raising a Daruta⎯⎯⎯If you put it in your world’s terms, then it’s similar to not wanting to go through the effort to be shown something like the teeth and nails of a dog or cat. You already know that they have them, but if you actually see their teeth and nails, then your impression just shatters.”
Pat, pat, the Silver Lion Earl spoke while dusting her coat. Her canines and the movement of her shaking head mingled together, making it appear as if she were truly a criticizing lion who was looking down at the herbivores. Although it was ridiculous for a 16-year-old to be saying those kinds of words, in the first place, not only was she an abnormal 16-year-old, but she was an aristocrat as well⎯⎯⎯ Well, something along those lines. Even Chanmi had said something similar to that before.
“If I’m to borrow a line from a certain webtoon.”
Ah, even though I had won. Even though I had shook it off. Even though I had come to a distant world.
“Despite already being aware, it’s common for people to want to show off what they have the more they’re struck. Albeit it was fists and not nails in that webtoon, but the nuance is the same.”
It’s possible to refer to this very behavior of blurting out instantaneously as a ‘fist showing action’, but for I to have contradicted the words of the Silver Lion Earl who was completely unrelated to Chanmi. Regardless of how many times I resolve myself to not blurt out needless words, truly, each time this happens I become more keenly aware of the fact that I’m just human.
The Earl of the Silver Lion gazed at me vacantly before stretching out her hand. Her left hand, the 5 nails of which were all dyed with black nail polish, reached out like a hook.
My nipple, was grabbed.
“No matter how correct that may be, you know⎯⎯⎯.”
As if she were riding along her arm, her small body followed after. She then lifted her heels and leaned her entire weight onto my body before, she growled⎯⎯⎯into my chest.
“Don’t be like that, to me. The pliers are always at Mr. Yujin’s side. If you show your nails, then your nails, if you show your teeth, then your teeth, and if you show your fist, then your fist⎯⎯⎯will be torn out right from the flesh. Ah hah ha ha ha!”
It felt as if my nipple could be ripped out at any moment. They were terrifying words, and as much as this girl was the opposition, it most likely wasn’t a simple threat either. Nevertheless, it didn’t change the fact that a certain comedic feeling couldn’t be shaken off. It was because a man’s nipple had gained the ability to make any situation into a gag. It hurts.
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
A smile came to the Earl’s eyes. However, despite being like that, she continued to hold onto me and even put more strength into her grip. It wasn’t until she heard me moan⎯⎯⎯in pain⎯⎯⎯did she back off with a satisfied face.
“Hm hm, anyway, webtoon was it~? What a nostalgic word. I think I read up to chapter 450 of ‘The Sound of Your Heart’. Did more come out?”
“Exactly twice the amount of that has been released now.”
“Wow. Make sure to download it when you go on your vacation and bring it back. Along with some seasoned spicy chicken.”
“There’s no problem with the seasoned spicy chicken······ but downloading without permission is copyright infringement.”
“It’s a thousand and two hundred years too early for a place like Korea to have an advanced culture like copyright.”
Seriously, why do I have to listen to degrading comments about Korea even after coming to another world? In the first place, if you’ve come to another world, then wouldn’t the cliche be for the people of the other world to claim that Korea’s advanced culture is peerless after learning about it?
While I was thinking about that on one hand, on the other hand, seeing that I felt relieved by the fact that I was certainly going to be getting a vacation, it seems I truly was a proletarian by nature.
It was in that moment.
Before me, who was a proletarian by nature, comrades appeared.
Females who were wearing uniforms that had an appropriate balance of black and white⎯⎯⎯in other words, maids. Their numbers were approximately twenty. Considering the size of the castle, which I estimated from what I could see from the courtyard, this might be half of all the maids within the castle. If this castle was a place that put a bit more emphasis on small pay for working passionately, then this might be everyone.
“Korza, Antensimar’ zes!”
“Korza, Antensimar’ zes!”
“Korza, Antensimar’ zes!”
The maids, who gathered and lined up readily, opened their right hands and showed their palms. They then folded their left hands, which only had their index fingers extended, behind their right hands, making it appear as if they had six fingers, and lowered their heads. It must have been something similar to a Chinese martial arts bow or a military salute since the Silver Lion Earl grinned widely and made a peace sign in response.
“Anten. Merki-zio. Are’ ti zizzlmess sozmer-tio.”
“Ah, Noveme! Sii’ el musasima’ zes!”
“Mikatni’ na torro?”
“Noveme! Sii Garno Mikatni’ zes!”
As expected of another world.
Mm······ as expected of another world.
I should quickly learn the language. If I look back at my time in the basement, then ‘Korza’ should mean something like ‘Earl’, and ‘Anten’ is probably the basic form of a greeting, right? Then the term ‘Noveme’, which has been repeated over and over again, must have an affirmative meaning. Since I’m only able to infer this much by the nuance alone, if I want to learn the language, then I’ll have to meet that girl, Zia, a bit.
The blonde maid, who was standing in the front, raised her hand.
“Anto, Korza. Moltros’ ieme, Zia’ heikiss’ na Pelmute Yudia Batsand’ termiel zes.”
The Earl of the Silver Lion blinked her eyes. After making a face that appeared as if she had just remembered something which she had forgotten about, she turned to me.
“I have to go, Mr. Yujin.”
“Zia, special summon with a tap!”
Zia was summoned.
She tapped in front of us.
It seems she was in the middle of running. Zia Batsand slammed her face against the floor. She was literally the female knight of calamity. If I were to rephrase it without the translationese, then the female knight who fell into calamity. The Silver Lion Earl mercilessly rode on top of her while she was in that state.
“Eck? Eh? Korza, uh⎯⎯⎯.”
“Shut up! Tarz!”
(TL note: She says this in Konglish, Korean+English)
A poof and glimmer. In the next moment, their two figures had disappeared from this small hall.
The only ones remaining were me.
“······.” “······.” “······.” “······.” “······.” “······.”
And, all of the maids who were standing in a line in front of me.
Organizing the situation I was placed in.
First, I came aboveground.
Second, it was winter in this world. There was a necessity to acquire equipment that could prevent the cold. Fortunately, since it was warm inside the castle, it seems there wasn’t an immediate need to prepare something, thus meaning, I can place that lower on my list of priorities.
Third, I was left by myself. No, that’s a misleading expression. I mean that I was left by myself in a place where I knew no one. In terms of people who I didn’t know, there was approximately twenty of them.
Fourth, those very people who I was unacquainted with⎯⎯⎯all 17 maids were leaning forward a bit and staring at me.
To summarize, I was in a situation where I was thrown out in front of a bunch of unfamiliar girls. If you consider the fact that language didn’t work either, then it’s as if I was tossed out in front of a bunch of girls from another country. Although it’s a situation which I’ve only experienced twice during the 8 Years’ War, if you translate the term ‘words didn’t work’ with a broader meaning, then it becomes a situation that I’ve experienced a countless number of times.
I copied the hand movement which they did earlier and lowered my head. The maids who were looking at me vacantly flinched and then immediately started to quietly whisper among themselves.
“Habe’ te’ ziena?”
“Kemi’ von’ zes.”
“Mi’ na kemi’ nov. Anten’ ke.”
In spite of the difference between worlds, despite there even being a difference between races, as intelligent lifeforms (and as females), it seems their patterns of behavior were the same.
A gut clenching situation of being cast sidelong glances by a group of girls while they whispered among one another. Furthermore, a boundlessly familiar situation. The words that I’m capable of using(although it’s a guess) have all been used.
All I can do next is wait.
There was no need to wait vacantly.
Gathering information was important. Things with a particular form weren’t the only things that could be considered as information. Even if it’s not some secret written in a file, even if it’s not some classified information resting within the data of a disk, information was information, it just depended on how you utilized it. In a situation like this, my understanding of this group of maids will become my information for what’s to come in the future.
Contrary to how the color of their skin was limited to the brightness of the tone, their hair and eye colors varied from black, blue, green, gold, and so forth. Although there were only slight differences in their appearances, there was one thing which I was certain of, at least within my own aesthetic criterion, the fact that the citizens of this world⎯⎯⎯the females appeared to be incredibly beautiful.
Of course, since they’re the maids of the Earl, and since the Silver Lion Earl herself was in the disposition of being infatuated by otaku culture, there’s a chance that she had deliberately picked out only the pretty girls. If you base it on that very otaku culture, then you could categorize the 17 maids as the following.
One lone wolf type.
One girl who was more of a lone cat type than a lone wolf type, and also gave off a slightly more nihilistic atmosphere. She was probably the oldest.
Three girls who were the idiot trio type with a bright and pleasant atmosphere wrapped around them.
Two coexisting lilies type who, from the very beginning and even to this very moment, haven’t let go of the other’s hand, excluding the short moment where they greeted the Earl.
A single girl was standing at the front with her arms crossed⎯⎯⎯the initiative taking leader type who didn’t carry out tasks that were forced upon them but had the proactive characteristic of wearing an armband and going out of their way to step forward first.
Three quiet and introverted lady types who appeared to be slightly scared even now.
Two martial artists types who definitely exercised or did martial arts, to a serious degree at that.
And⎯⎯⎯four normal types who didn’t particularly have anything special about them.
I feel as if my plans to live a peaceful and relaxed other world life would have gone up in smoke regardless of whether the first person I met when I came to this world was the Silver Lion Earl or any of the groups here. If I met the lone wolf type, then a hardcore fantasy. If I met the lone cat type, then a vigilant literature. If I met the idiot trio type, then a love comedy. If I met the coexisting lilies type, then a dramatic play of passion. If I met the leader type and her subordinates, then a show for youths(TL note: Seinen). If I met the introverted lady type, then a sadistic game that’s rated A for adults. If I met the martial artist type, then it feels as if a peculiar supernatural action fantasy might unfold.
If you asked me what I thought about the average types that unexpectedly had no strong characteristic about them, then I would say that those fellows were the most foreboding.
At the very least, an existence such as a normal girl didn’t exist where I lived.
The fact that they’re pretending to be something that doesn’t exist, that practiced imitation, saying it severely⎯⎯⎯they gave me a bad feeling.
Although things would be settled if you said that it was nothing more than my narrow-sightedness and simple distrust towards females. Although things would have also been settled if I were to consider the fact that even if they didn’t exist in my world, they could in this world. In the end, if you said that everything was nothing more than my trauma, then as expected, it would have just ended there.
Furthermore, although this explanation is a little late, in the example of a sadistic game that’s rated A for adults, I’m the teaching target.
Even while I was thinking like that, the maids continued to whisper among themselves.
“Anten’ ke?” “So-o-i······.” “Ime akatano’ hara······.” “Nov. Akatano’ ta’ gangeri.” “Nyaa! Mi’ ta von’ ta’ gangeri.” “Ah~ Korza. Toshi weta’ ne mersiano? Sii’ ta?” “······Nov. Thon’ ta Sii’ nya’ pitkari’ zesona······.” “Nov.” “Mi’ to noveme’ zes!”
They were casting sidelong glances and whispering to each other at first, but they had started to slowly stare at me more openly and even raised the volume of their voices.
That troubled behavior which showed that they were unsure about what they should do, and couldn’t necessarily do nothing about it, was directed towards me and the Earl.
If I put myself in the shoes of the maids, then it would be as if a strange man was tossed out in front of them. A foreign substance. As a maid of the castle, it wasn’t something they could ignore and dissolve. Something that must be dealt with. If they consider the fact that the boy was a being that the Earl had brought herself, then they couldn’t utilize rough measures. Fumigation was sealed. Even if they contemplated on whether they should serve me or not, the Earl’s hobby should be widespread throughout the castle. Bandaging was sealed as well. According to Zia, since she stated that I was the only one to have ever survived past the third day, then this wasn’t a common occurrence either. No precedent case. Even if they tried to figure out my identity, words didn’t work so they were unable to do so. Troublesome.
The Earl was truly, a troublesome existence.
‘I see that I’m being treated the same as a big sore’, I realized this new fact through a fresh method.
It was then that I heard a voice.
“······Mer’ su arhen······?”
It came from above.
It was accompanied by the sound of footsteps. Step, step. The footsteps didn’t sound clear, but they sounded dull instead. Moreover, it also felt as if they were crushing the ground. Despite having such aggressive sounding footsteps, the actual legs that were wearing black boots were scrawny. They were like chopsticks. Since she was wearing white stockings, if you consider the fact that they acted as compensation for the width of her legs, then they were truly like toothpicks. The owner of those legs was another maid.
A pure white maid, was coming down the stairs.
Her age was probably in her mid-teens. Compared to her peers, her height was one head shorter. She had white bobbed hair. Not a silver tone, like the Earl, but a sincerely white shade, a color that was so similar to snow that it felt as if her hair would break apart if you touched it too roughly. Her skin was also giving off a white glow, making it almost seem as if it were snowing.
Except for a single thing.
In her eyes that were half open, it was boundlessly red.
A commotion arose within the maids. One of the girls among the idiot trio shouted for joy while one of the normal type girls spread out her arms and giggled. If you excluded the difference between the degrees of the other maids, then their atmospheres were similar. It seems they were all welcoming that white maid’s appearance.
Not the white maid herself.
But the appearance of the white maid.
“Sii. Anten~ Nace zima kou?”
“Sii! Anten’ ziena~”
“Anten, sii~ Koto’ me Attoru’ ziena ♪”
The idiot trio maids approached the white maid and spoke to her while being all smiles.
It was a smile which I had seen often.
The white maid took a step back and responded as so. With her half-opened eyes, she was looking towards the side while lowering her head slightly.
A motion which I had done often.
“Sii~ Korza’ ta’ se~ ♪”
“Toke’ tei Fressend’ wa mersiano.”
“Sii’ to kiho-eeyo’ ziena~ ♡”
The other maids each said one line and approached the white maid as well. With a tentative attitude, the white maid gazed at the maids who spoke to her in turn, before turning to look at me.
In my case, since I was watching her since the first moment she had appeared, our eyes met.
Pupils that were red like rubies.
Pupils that were like the evening sun.
Solely the scar that was carved within them⎯⎯⎯was a silver that appeared as if a pickaxe had struck a wall of ice.
At last, it was at the moment the leader type maid spoke to the white maid while crossing her arms.
The white maid, smiled.
A smile appeared on that face which, because of her half-opened eyes, appeared as if it found everything in the world to be troublesome, a face which seemed as if she had no drive to do anything.
This too was something I did often. The twisted, contorted,
“······Nov. ······Mi’ na siilue’ zes’ niano······.”
and seemed as if it were trying to be flattering⎯⎯⎯⎯that kind of smile.
The leader type maid snorted strongly and said that. The white maid then bowed her head, the brown-nosing smile still drifting on her lips, and,
“······Korza’ ro······ Mi, Irete’ hara’ zes.”
said that before⎯⎯⎯walking forward, to stand before me.
“So-o-i’ zete ♪” “Sii’ nya’ pitkari’ zesona!” “Sii’ ro ★” “Korza’ ro koroyo’ ee ♡” “Sii’ me sihoros’ ziena!” “Sii’ nya!” “Nov. Sii’ ro ★” “Nov.” “Nov!”
The maids squealed and each said one line. The white maid’s smile thickened. The sight of her avoiding their gazes while scratching the back of her head as if she were embarrassed almost appeared as if she were some prodigy child who was being favored by her relatives.
However, that hand.
To be exact, her right hand that wasn’t scratching the back of her head.
Like a ball of snow which had been compacted to its limit, her hand was clenched so tightly that it seemed as if it would crumble apart soon.
“Sii! Terue’ siero!”
The leader type maid spoke once more.
The white maid laughed with an ‘Ehehe’ before stretching out her hand, which was scratching the back of her head until now, and grabbed my wrist.
⎯⎯⎯An intense pain.
It was a strength that was strong enough to say that instead of being ‘held’, ‘crunched’ or ‘chewed’ were a more appropriate expression. Similar to how I used to play electricity in elementary school, I could see with my eyes the color draining from the area below my right wrist.
(TL note: ‘Electricity play’ is a game where one person grabs the other person’s wrist incredibly tightly to prevent blood flow. After a minute or so, the person would let go and drift their finger above the other person’s palm. It’s supposed to feel as if electricity is going through your palm and to that person’s finger.)
Although the reason why I was able to prevent myself from letting out a pained cry was because I had somewhat predicted that a strong pressure was going to come, despite that, it was a strength that went beyond common sense. This scrawny girl was hiding a Herculean strength in that body of hers.
However, that superhuman strength⎯⎯⎯.
It seems the white maid was a bit surprised by the sight of me trying to hold back the pain. But it wasn’t for long. She soon turned her body and spoke.
“······Mi’ ne kotte’ mesie.”
The white maid then started to walk. I, who had his wrist gripped, followed after her without a word.
I could hear the sound of the maids giggling behind me.
Comprehending the situation wasn’t difficult.
Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.
⎯⎯⎯A sore will be left to another sore.
TL Note: Thanks for reading. I’d like to mention something the author told me as I was getting permission to continue translating their story: “As this is a story that picks its readers, thank you for taking an interest in it!”. If you don’t really find this story to be that interesting, then feel free to drop it. There’s no need to leave a lengthy review about how the series didn’t fit your fancy. I’m not saying this because there was some specific review like that out there, I’m just saying this because I feel like it should be said.
Anyway, I’m actually going to take a rather short 3-4 days break. Reason? I may have gone out and bought 6 new books last weekend(I didn’t think the author would respond so soon). 3 of which were just new volumes of series that I enjoyed, and the other 3 are from a new series that I may consider picking up depending on my experience reading through it. It’s called 〈I Hate Isekai(Other Worlds)〉. It’s a Korean LN that apparently had a fairly good reception, so I’m putting it under consideration. I’m not sure what the series is exactly about since I haven’t read it yet, but the general plot seems to be about people from other worlds coming to the MCs world.