The next morning after they stayed in the depopulated village the weather had cleared.
“Aah, I haven’t seen clear blue skies in a while.”
Jin stretched his limbs and inhaled the refreshing morning air.
Reinhardt had also woken up.
“It looks like we’ll be surely be able to get to Delead from here before the day is over.”
Breakfast centered on preserved foods. Still, they were able to get some fresh vegetables to add a little color to their food.
After the meal that was plainer than usual, the group departed the depopulated village whose name they didn’t even know. Of course, they thanked the village head aplenty.
There was nothing strangers like Jin’s group could do to this village at the moment. They departed with painful reluctance.
And yet the sky was blue and the rays of the sun warm. You could say that spring was in full swing already. As they continued moving their moods also cleared up.
“The wind feels nice, doesn’t it.”
Jin’s carriage’s roof also had ventilation openings so they were able to comfortably ventilate. Reinhardt who was riding with them was also relaxing. Elsa was unusually for her nodding off.
Jin was talking with Reinhardt in a low voice so as not to wake up Elsa.
“Hey, Reinhardt. Is there a Guild in the town we’re going to this time?”
The Guild Jin was asking about was obviously the Guild for Magi Craftsmen.
“Hm? Probably not, I guess. Not without being at least a provincial city.”
“Is that so.”
It appeared that the town was still too small for the organization.
“Do you have some business there?”
Reinhardt asked, and Jin answered,
“Mh-hm, I was thinking about promoting the ‘vacuum cleaner’.”
Jin explained to Reinhardt that as the vacuum cleaner is a Magi Tool useful for commoners and nobles alike, if possible he’d like to have it get popular and in addition be as cheap as possible.
“That’s unbeneficial for you who helped me though, Reinhardt.”
When Jin said so, Reinhardt laughed and told him not to mind about something like that and,
“I don’t think that your way of thinking is bad, Jin. You’ve got my support.”
He said some such, then Jin bowed his head to Reinhardt and,
He said. Reinhardt then asked Jin,
“In that case, you must be on the common people’s faction’s side?”
“Common people’s faction?”
It wasn’t a word he was used to hearing. Actually, ‘commmon people’s faction’ was something Jin didn’t know of.
“Oh, there’s a categorization of common people’s faction and chosen people’s faction. People in the common people’s faction obviously want to have Magi Tools universally spread throughout the masses. And so what does that mean for the special people’s faction?”
“I guess it must be that they want to monopolize them for only a selected part of the population.”
“That’s exactly right.”
“And Reinhardt, you’re which?”
Jin asked and waited for Reinhardt’s answer. That answer could change how Jin behaved from now on.
“I’m of course…”
“Rai-nii is of the common people’s faction. Because of that he got into quarrels with Uncle.”
Elsa answered from the side.
“Oi, Elsa, don’t steal the words from my mouth.”
Reinhardt laughed, and on that subject,
“That’s because it’s boring when you two talk by yourselves.”
Elsa said and looked just a little miffed about it.
“No, that was because looked to be sleeping comfortably, Elsa.”
When told so Elsa got worked up,
“Liar. As if I would fall asleep.”
She said, and
“The weather’s good today, I guess this is why they say ‘in spring one sleeps a sleep that knows no dawn’.”
Elsa asked with a puzzled look on her face. Reinhardt also looked interested.
“Let’s see, If I remember correctly, it means something like ‘it is comfortable to sleep during spring, and so when morning comes you keep on sleeping without noticing’.”
Jin replied. It was in fact Chinese poetry, but Japanese and classical literature weren’t Jin’s best subjects, and so he couldn’t explain any further.
“Hmm, ‘in spring one sleeps a sleep that knows no dawn’, huh. That’s rather accurate. It perfectly suits sleepyhead Elsa.”
Reinhardt poked fun at Elsa who blushed and,
“I’m not a sleepyhead. Rai-nii is rude.”
She pouted and turned away from him.
As the talk had gone completely off-topic, Jin said,
“A-anyways, I was thinking about making the structure and manufacturing method of the ‘vacuum cleaner’ available to the public. If I did that, then anyone could…I mean, any Magi Craftsman could build one, right?”
But Reinhardt had a complicated look on his face.
“Hmm, even so, that’s not going to happen. It is correct that the Magi Craftsmen’s Guild is ahead in transmitting information, but the treatment of that information varies Guild by Guild…”
He had a rather unclear reply.
“What do you mean?”
Jin asked and,
“Basically, the Guild would consider that monopolizing that technology would bring them profits. That sort of thing didn’t happen in Blue Land’s Guild where we went to earlier, though.”
Reinhardt explained. In other words, he meant that the way received information was handled varied in every Guild.
“Hmm, is that so. That’s a problem, huh.”
Jin let out a single sigh.
His own meaning for living in this world. Just when Jin seemed to be about to find it he stumbled.
He felt vaguely weaker, he vaguely gazed out of the window, and he vaguely started whistling.
(Come to think of it, I think this is the first time I’ve whistled since coming to this world.)
Maybe he didn’t have the spare time, or he had simply forgotten to, but in any case Jin whistled for the first time in a while.
The melody was a pop music song from the latter period of Showa era. It was a song his orphanage director loved so he remembered the tune well.
While whistling he reminisced about those days.
Jin had been a part-time senior high school student.
Usually, when you were of senior high school age you’d leave the orphanage, but the orphanage director seemingly had wanted Jin to be his successor and so the director had had Jin commute to school from the orphanage. The surname of ‘Nidoh’ must’ve also been an indication of that desire.
During that school commute, Jin had often whistled. The tunes had been from songs the orphanage director had collected on their cassette tapes.
(Was I fired up with aspirations back then? Or was that just a reflection of me wanting to earn a salary soon?)
In any case, it was a world he could no longer go back to, a life he couldn’t return to. Jin now had no other option than to live on in this world.
(Making this world more pleasant to live in is presumptuous. However, if it’s just where my hands reach. I can do that much.)
In those days, Jin had thought things like ‘i want to make the orphanage a finer place’, or ‘I want to buy many different toys for the youngsters and children’.
(My predecessor was researching combining magic and tools. At that time it had been unacceptable, but today it’s accepted in the form of so-called Magi Craftsmen. I’m…)
After he had thought that far, the song was over, and so his whistling also stopped.
“Jin, what was that song just now?”
“I’ve never heard that before. It was a good tune.”
Reinhardt and Elsa spoke well of it.
Jin decided that some day for sure he’ll stop hiding his true identity from these two and speak about it honestly.
But as of yet, he didn’t have the courage to do so.
Jin was afraid of being treated as a heretic and rejected by his friends in this world, like his predecessor had been cast out by her colleagues.
Jin didn’t call himself a Magi Craft Meister as a result of having inherited his predecessor’s memories and experiences of being persecuted.