Material Collector’s Other World Travel Log Volume 1 Chapter 1 Part1
It’s your neighborhood firefly, Hotaru-chan! Back again with another translation project of a toootally different genre from the one I first worked on. I decided to pick this project up mainly because I liked the manga so I’m not really sure how many people will like this. Once again, feedback is very much welcome, but please don’t burn me on the stake if you can help it. ( ´ ▽ ` )
I initially planned to release the whole chapter 1 at first but realized it’s way longer than I thought it would be haha
So here’s part 1, and I shall try my best to release part 2 no later than this weekend. I’ll try.
A perfectly normal day-to-day.
I got up in the morning, and got ready while watching the usual TV shows.
I left the house, rode on the usual train carriage and got squished in on the usual commuter train.
At the company, I performed my work as usual, ended work as usual, and went home as usual.
Such is my daily life.
There are times when I experience train delays or traffic jams, but all in all, the days pa.s.sed by without any changes taking place. I spent each day just like that, however, I felt no discontent nor had I any complaints.
Having a boring daily life is a good thing.
I had a job, a room with a roof above it, and a warm futon to lie on. I had a hobby I could lose myself in.
Sometimes in TV dramas, some office lady laments over how ordinary days are boring, but I faintly laugh thinking, ‘Are you an idiot? Living in such a stylish room, having a handsome colleague, what more do you wish for? Do you, perhaps, intend to marry some Arabian oil magnate?’
Letting ordinary days pa.s.s by ordinarily– when did I realize that this is actually the best happiness there is?
Even though just living with a healthy physical wellbeing is already happiness in itself.
But, just a little. Just a little bit of the extraordinary.
Indeed, a part of me that wishes for that, does exist.
“I want to hit the me, who thought that way.”
In a white, empty s.p.a.ce with no one in it, I dumbfoundedly stood, stock-still, as I murmured to myself.
Calling it a white, empty s.p.a.ce might not be an accurate statement, but it is basically white. It had the feel of somewhat between being cloud-like and mist-like.
For such a thick fog to be dense enough that you’d be unable to see well even in a city centre is impossible, so I concluded that this must be a dream.
For a dream, it is not quite as vague, my consciousness is pretty clear, and when I tightly pulled on my arm-hair, it was painful…. But this must be a dream, right?
There’s no mistake, it’s a dream.
A dream, a dream.
“Alright! Back to sleep.”
⌈— What exactly is alright?⌋
Within the cloud-like, mist-like fog, someone’s voice reverberated. Like echoes brought out by speaking through a mic, but it did not seem to have that electronic sound to it.
Sweat flowed down along my spine.
On the other side of the cloud-like, mist-like fog, something similar to a river was vaguely visible. The moment it entered my field of vision from afar, a word crossed my mind.
“Sanzu*!”[T/N: referring to Sanzu River. Something similar to river Styx, I guess?]
When and how I came to such a way-too-famous place, I do not have the slightest idea.
Death, that word came to mind, but I denied it thinking, ‘No, no, there’s no way it’s that.’
In that case, even more famous is this river bank’s
⌈— Kawara*, right? Probably.⌋[*T/N: this refers to Sai no Kawara or Children’s Limbo. It’s supposed to be near the Sanzu River. Children who die ahead of their parents have to stack up stones in this place. I’m sorry, that’s all I know. (>ω<>
Do I have to build stonework? Do I have to be bullied by demons? One stack is for the father….. but, no, no, there’s no way–. Dad died a long time ago–.
I believe I’ve been living everyday in more or less, the same way an extremely typical Mob character A would. Even if I’m told something pa.s.sionate like, ‘You’re the protagonist of your life!’ I’d say, ‘No way, that’s troublesome,’ as if to brush it off.
If I entered a crowd, you would completely be unable to tell me apart from everyone.
If I were in a manga, I’d be randomly drawn.
No strong points worth mentioning, no parts that stand out, no…. girlfriend… ei…ther….
⌈— Yayy! Virgin.⌋
“That’s not it —! I did have some bittersweet experiences during my student days —! I will not turn into a sorcerer*—!”[T/N: I have no idea why being girlfriend-less would turn you into a sorcerer.. (ㆆ_ㆆ)]
As the haze that stretched throughout my field of vision cleared up all of a sudden, beside the river, stood a young man.
A white shirt with white trousers. His facial features were that of an ordinary j.a.panese person. Maybe a highschool or college student. A stranger to me.
This strangely realistic dream really continues, doesn’t it? Just how deep into REM sleep am I?
⌈— Yes, h.e.l.lo.⌋
As we bowed to each other in greeting, the young man showed a good-natured smile. I completely have no memory of him. I’ve never met him before.
Rather, where am I?
⌈— It is a representation of the world you came up with in your mind.⌋
The young man smiled, saying ‘isn’t it beautiful’
⌈First of all, can you please calm yourself and listen to me?⌋
I was surprised when the table set had appeared before I knew it, but it was not to the point that I would get fl.u.s.tered.
On top of the round table were steaming hot teacups with steam rising up from them. So this is to show that he knows I’m the type who prefers green tea over black tea.
⌈— Ahaha. That’s right.⌋
Wh-what did he say—
⌈— Although it’s alright for you to worry endlessly, would you mind speaking please? If you want to tsukkomi, then do it grandly. Do you need a paper fan*?⌋[*T/N: like this.]
“A paper fan.”
⌈— is it old? Ahaha.⌋
The sweat on my back flowed like a waterfall. My face does not sweat for the most part. I’m an actress— not! It’s my physical const.i.tution. Because of this const.i.tution, I got into fights with my teacher during my student days on whether or not I played hooky on marathons. What good memories–.
⌈— Well, well, take a seat. I’ve placed a restriction up to the degree where you won’t go erratic so, for now, just calmly accept that you are awake.⌋
“Ah, well, if it were the usual me, I’d be shrieking loudly and running around by now.”
I do understand that there a few things that are strange here, but tere is nothing to be fl.u.s.tered about. A corner of my mind constantly remained calm and was saying, ‘if you just calm down–.’
What on earth is this?
Just as the young man recommended, I sat on the chair and drank the tea. Is this some sort of high-quality green tea? It’s amazingly delicious.
⌈— Why, thank you. That’s because I recreated the flavour that would feel tasty for you.⌋
“Uhm, you know”
⌈— Yes, yes?⌋
“You know, uhmm, ehhm, uhhh”
⌈— Calm down?⌋
“Fuuu, what might this place be?”
⌈— Yes. This is your own image of the world after death.⌋
⌈— Yep. Takeru Kamishiro, age at death: 28 years old. Cause of death: heart failure, is what I set it as.⌋
⌈— Yes. Suddenly, while in your sleep.⌋
Being told that I’ve died and being told that I had heart failure, even though I should have shouted out a few things like ‘Why?’ or ‘Stop messing with me!’ or ‘this is just shocking,’ my voice won’t come out.
⌈— That’s because I’ve applied a restriction so that you won’t pointlessly panic. You’re calm… it seems, so I’ll continue talking. You were this world’s…. in this case, the planet called Earth, in the country called j.a.pan, from the area called Yokohama, you were one of the candidates for being a “Vanished Person”⌋
⌈— Yes. A person who, even if they vanished, it wouldn’t matter, no one would mind, and no one would be bothered.⌋
⌈— If someone spent their daily life ordinarily and they suddenly disappeared, people would worry about them, right? However, that does not apply to you.⌋
“That can’t be”
⌈— After all, yesterday, you resigned from your company, did you not? Saying something like you’ll travel around the world for one year, you resigned with a fair amount of savings and absolutely no plan. Both parents have already pa.s.sed away. No siblings or relatives. No girlfriend either for the looongest time. You had friends but you only exchanged several emails. These past few years, you’ve only ever travelled alone. ⌋
“That… might be so, but,”
⌈— Mmm. Firstly, the moment you resigned from the company, you became someone no one would care about. It would be different if you were exceptionally excellent, but you were a highly typical employee. Even if you quit from the company, there would be no losses. You were relied upon. But unless your relationship with your colleagues were not deep, they will not worry about you. Although you might get invited to go out for a drink, the moment you said you’ll travel alone, they became aware that it might become difficult ti contact you. Even if they could not keep in touch, memories do fade, so it’s nothing to feel sorry for.⌋
It was exactly as the young man said.
After saving up a certain amount, I planned to go on a world heritage tour for a year, which was my dream since my student days. It’s not for some n.o.ble goal like self-searching or growth. It’s just that it seemed interesting. I originally liked travelling alone as well.
At the company, I was not deeply involved with my colleagues, but had light, superficial connections. Since I have a disposition wherein I would not feel too lonely when I’m alone, even though I suddenly died…. they don’t feel too sorry for the loss? ‘Eh! What’s up with that? Isn’t that life too lonely?’ is what others mighg probably think, bit I felt carefree about it.
⌈— Right, right. There’s also the renewal contract for your apartment, or all sorts of tax payments, but for those, well, you’re dead so, you know? ⌋
⌈— Do I have to explain it from the top? I don’t wanna. All I can say is that it’s because you were a candidate for “Vanished Person.” There were other candidates for “Vanished Person” but, in this case, you were chosen. Another reason is, let’s see…. you had no chronic diseases and were the very image of health. Your heart is vigorous as well. If the vessel has no disorders, the soul can grow stronger. Your personality also was not bad. There was no rebelliousness either. You are also able to recognize the idea that killing someone is bad, if there’s someone who’s in trouble, you also have the att.i.tude to want to help them. Your mentality is quite typical. In other words, you’re a normal human being.⌋
So basically, it means I’m just one out of those extras, right? Don’t keep calling me ordinary. Although it’s not such a bad thing.
If you live ordinarily, you will be aware of the law, and murder being taboo will be an obvious thing.
There will not be scary desires either. If it is someone who was raised under an inferior home environment, they might live humbly, but if we consider the risk of committing a crime, it might get troublesome later on. Because it is troublesome, I don’t commit crimes. It’s to that degree of thinking. It’s not that I’m blindly believing a particular religion, but I just have the mindset of not doing bad things because someone might be watching me.
If it is within the scope of what I can do, I try to help those who are troubled, but I’m not kind enough to travel far just to do volunteer work on my days off. Precisely because it is to satisfy myself, just being a bit of a help to others is my standard.
⌈— That’s good enough. The requirement was an ordinary, typical, commonly found soul after all.⌋
“You’ll really emphasize being ordinary that much, huh?”
⌈— it is an important point, you know?⌋
Onthe young man had elegantly drunken up his tea, again, before I knew it, he produced a small teapot and poured out a refill. This color and fragrance, it’s roasted green tea (Houjicha).
“Who are you?”
⌈— You’re finally interested in me. I don’t have a name so call me however you would like. I am someone who manages the solar system⌋
⌈— Mmm… That’s a considerably rough guess but let’s just go with that. Anyway, I am managing the Solar System and the galaxies around it. And so, a request for a.s.sistance came from a different universe, you see. I was just about to give them a bit of a hand.⌋
“Somehow the scale* is too grand that I’m getting tired just thinking about it.”[*T/N: I put this word in context. The original said “Somehow it’s too grand.” Please don’t stone me to death, some people might get confused if I didn’t do this. >_<>
⌈— Just think of it as the universe being under management.⌋
It went straight to becoming plebeian.
⌈— Ahaha. Earthlings might say something like being G.o.d or something but, I’m not like that, you know? Not once have I ever sent oracles or divine messages. I only watch over a planet until its life span ends and fiddle with it from time to time.⌋
“G.o.d…. I thought He’d be more divine and awe-inspiring.”
⌈— G.o.d is also just in a managerial position though.⌋
Please stop it. Please turn G.o.d’s image into some uncle from a munic.i.p.al hall.
⌈— Ahahaha. That’s a good example, that’s funny! So then, they said this planet called ‘Madeus’ in a different universe, needs intervention. No matter how much they try to fiddle with that planet, it doesn’t go well. It seems that civilisation periodically ends up destroyed. That’s why I ended up having to make a move. It is rare though.⌋