This is the second time I woke up.
However, it’s different from last time as there was a gentle feeling on the back of my head.
This is… a pillow?
「Hmm, you awake?」
The voice of a woman.
It’s not the same voice of the person I met a while ago.
I opened my eyes slightly.
I passed out again.
「Let me see―」
I jumped out in surprise.
「T-that’s right, there was a giant tree I’ve never seen before―」
I hit something really hard with my forehead.
「Kyaa! …That hurt! What the hell are you doing?」
When I looked, I saw a woman with a wavy-looking bob cut holding her brow with teary eyes.
She was glaring at my face.
Because I woke up with such force, it looks like I head-butted her near her ears.
「Good grief… The day of the entrance ceremony and you passed out before reaching the academy, then you woke up to head-butt someone, what’s with you?」
「I’m… I’m sorry.」
While I apologized, I quickly looked at my surroundings.
It seems that I’m inside of a room.
They also laid me in bed.
The bed I’ve been sleeping on is simple but clean.
My consciousness is… steady.
I’m not feeling bad like before.
While her ears are still tinged red, the woman wearing what I’m guessing are white robes asked something.
「That doesn’t matter now. So, do you know why you passed out? If you have any sorts of illnesses, I can give you advice, you know? Despite my appearance, I’m the doctor in charge of the infirmary of Saint Runethread Academy. If it’s for the students, with pleasure I can consult with you.」
「Umm… Then I do have one?」
「Nn? My name? I’m Lisa Logosta. Age 25. And I’m currently taking applications for a lover.」
It seems that she’s a foreigner.
Her Japanese is considerably skillful.
It’s a mystery why she added her age and is taking applications for a lover though.
「Ah, my name is… Sa-Sagara Kurohiko.」
I was supposed to ask a question, but I ended up introducing myself.
Lisa put her hand to her mouth and let out a small 「Hm.」
「Fumu, Sagara Kurohiko… If I had to guess from your name, you’re a student from the Eastern Nation perhaps?」
Ah, nation of the east… she said the 『Eastern Nation』 but she means the 『Far East』 like Japan?
So she’s asking me if I’m from Asia?
I heard that Japan is called the 『Far East』 by foreigners, but this is my first time hearing it called the『Eastern Nation』.
Well, at any rate.
Where is this place?
And… that giant tree.
I never heard of such a tree in Japan.
Moreover, that building and townscape.
If there were anything like these, I would say they would all be located at the West.
But that giant tree looking over the pretty townscape…
I recalled that overwhelming and majestic appearance.
With just one glance, that big tree gave me such a strong impression.
It was so sublime that it made me want to kneel before it.
But… was there was such tree in this world?
Since I had unimaginable amounts of free time, I looked at every site about the world’s heritage, and there wasn’t such tree from what I saw.
What is happening?
There’s only one possibility, I was debating with myself earlier.
This situation, I’ve read it several times somewhere, it’s something that many yearn――
I raised my hand.
「Umu, ask anything you like.」
「Here is…. Where is the place?」
Lisa suddenly fell silent for a moment.
「We are in the infirmary of Saint Runethread Academy.」
「Ah, umm, not… that.」
「I don’t understand what you are asking…」
「What I’m asking is what is this―」
What is this world called?
When I was about to ask, I noticed how strange of a question it would be.
What is this?
This question is just like…
I often hear that question in manga and anime when the protagonist gets lost in another world.
At that moment my, heart beats harder.
No, but, it can’t be, I’m―
When I placed my hand on my mouth immersed in thinking, Lisa was looking at my face.
Her well-shaped face was near mine so I was surprised.
Now I can see that she too is classified as a beautiful woman.
「Did you hit your head hard?」
「You… Can it be that… Perhaps you’re inflicted with memory loss?」
「If you came for the entrance ceremony, it already ended, so you are asking where to go now, right? But it was as if… Yes, you’re reaction was like you just learned about the existence of this country right now.」
She gets off the bed.
And she comes back with a portrait from the corner.
She placed the portrait in front of me.
「What is reflected here is Sagara Kurohiko, correct?」
What she brought was a mirror.
I looked closely and I saw myself reflected in the mirror.
Before I noticed, I was touching every part of my face.
My face is… strangely… different?
But, this is… me, right?
The movement of my hand and the hand in the mirror is exactly the same.
But I feel that something is not right…
I looked in the mirror again and stared intently at myself.
It can’t be.
This is… rejuvenation?
There is no doubt that I’m the one that is reflected in the mirror—Sagara Kurohiko.
But my appearance is that of me in my teens.
My skin is smooth.
Yes… I’m in my late twenties, but because of anxiety, I had a feeling that I looked older than I actually was.
Realizing that I look younger, I don’t know what to feel.
I looked at the ceiling.
Although it was clichéd, I pinched my cheeks as I kept on staring at the ceiling.
But I didn’t wake up.
I didn’t wake from my dream, and I didn’t go back to my gloomy room.
Is this kind of thing… possible?
There is only one possibility.
That light wrapped me… sent me to another world?
There is one thing that doesn’t have an explanation.
That giant tree.
If there was such a tree in my previous world, I would have at least heard about it from the media or by some other chance.
I never heard even once of any information about that tree.
The existence of that tree gives me a reason to believe that this is another world… That’s what I thought.
No, maybe I wanted to deny my previous world only because of the existence of that tree.
If this a different world from my previous one, that explains various things.
That beautiful woman I met with silver hair and her strange clothes.
That mysterious and giant tree too.
All have easy explanations.
In other words.
That beautiful woman is not from my world.
And that mysterious and giant tree doesn’t exist in my world.
I’m in a world different from my previous one.
For third time I look again in the mirror.
Why did I age younger?
If this was normal, maybe I have to be more surprised.
Perhaps I should be questioning more things about this setting.
But putting aside my concerns, there was one more thing had me thinking.
And that was―the thing I lost some time ago, a burning feeling in my chest.
Is it possible to start over?
Can I… do it again?
Can I restart my life here?
One more time.
In this strange world.
This is… another chance that God gave me, isn’t that right?
When I was in my previous world.
I was thinking 「I want to redo my life.」
But I didn’t know from what point to redo my life in my 『previous world』.
I had the feeling I was going to fail from any point.
But… if this was a different world from the 『previous world』 then―
No, it is different.
It isn’t the same world.
This new environment will give me the chance to start over with a new life.
But, unless I put the effort to change, it is useless.
It’s not like 『myself』 changed coming to this world.
Although I have rejuvenated, the inside of 『Sagara Kurohiko』 is still the same.
I have to change.
And this time… I’m going to find it.
What I want to do.
Because this is surely my last chance.
I tightly made a fist.
I was given this unexpected chance.
Let’s try to do what I can do.
Before this, I wanted to disappear.
Even a only a little, but I felt that something that was stopped is now starting to move again.
Can be because I rejuvenated?
Or is was because… I was released from my obligations?
I laughed at myself with a smile and breathed.
「In that case, it is now…」
「So, I guess you enjoyed your one-man show?」
When I saw her, Lisa was folding her arms and looking at with a doubtful face.
I was so absorbed in my thoughts that I forgot about existence of Lisa.
「Your changing facial expressions on the bed, well, was enjoyable to watch.」
I stop being embarrassed.
What I’m doing…
「Although your emotions changed in unusual ways, can you answer my question? There is no doubt that the man reflected is Sagara Kurohiko?」
Although I rejuvenated.
There was a knock at the door of the room.
Lisa answers with a 「You can enter.」
A man entered in the room, suitable of being called a palace guard.
Held in his arms was a list of names.
And the man asked.
「Did the new student who didn’t attend the entrance ceremony due passing out near the gates wake up?」
Lisa turned her face.
「Yeah. He just woke up right now.」
「Good. And his name?」
「Yes, apparently it’s Sagara Kurohiko. His memories are a mess due to his fainting, but he remembers his name clearly. It appears that he is from the Eastern Nation.」
「Is that so? Umm…. A Sacred Tree Knight who didn’t finish the cadet registration today, Sagara Kurohiko… Sagara… Sagara… Saga… ra… Uh? Sagara? Uuh?」
The guard (which I call him) frowned and came near me with a bitter smile.
「Nn〜? Sagara… Kurohiko?」
「Ah, nothing, only that I can’t find that name in the list of new students… Strange, right?」
「He only needs to present the application certificate.」
「Ah, that’s right. First, show me the application certificate, it’s faster that way.」
The guard and Lisa are watching me.
「Of course you have it, the application certificate. Now, take it out.」
The guard and Lisa looked at each other.
The shocked guard says to me.
「In order for a Sacred Tree Knight cadet to finish his procedures in entering the academy, they must send an application certificate beforehand, then you get accepted. It is common sense.」
Lisa looks slightly doubtful.
「It can’t be that… you didn’t bring an application certificate?」
「Uumm… A Sacred Tree Knight and the application certificate, it’s my first time hearing about them…」
The mood changes.
The guard’s glance turned into a dubious one.
「Then, why are you here? Lisa-sensei, this young man, who is this…」
「No, I thought that he was a new student… Around the start of the entrance ceremony, a girl with silver hair brought him here. She said that a new student fainted near the entrance. But, that girl at that time was surely going to arrive late to the entrance ceremony.」
「That means he is an intruder!?」
「Um… Who knows? I was certain that he was a new student, so I was treating him cordially.」
It appears that the situation has become quite suspicious.
It was suspicious enough with the situation in the mountain…
The guard had a severe expression and had his hand on the sword on his waist.
「For the time being, I’ll hear your circumstances. But I’ll cut you down if you resist… What will you do?」
As soon as a resolved myself to try my best in this world, I have fallen into a terrible situation.
I’m only an ordinary person with no special skills at the moment with no chance of resisting.
It’s not like I can use martial arts, and of course that applies to magic too.
This is bad.
I can’t prove my identity, and it’s possible that they’re going to put me in jail too.
No, far from that, if they caught me, it’s possible too that they are going to say 「For the time being, he will be executed because he is unidentifiable and suspicious.」
I even don’t know what this world is.
Before understanding anything, I’m going to be imprisoned.
The future that I was hoping for, I felt that is now gone.
Wh-what I can do?
What is possible for me to do?
Then, Lisa placed her hand on the guard’s shoulder.
「Wait a minute, it looks like he doesn’t have any weapons, and it’s not necessary to be on guard so suddenly. Just now he said his memory is a mess, and it would pitiable to go violent.」
But the wariness didn’t disappear from the guard’s eyes.
「It’s possible that he is an Art User, we shouldn’t relax our guard. He might be a potential spy from a foreign country aiming to mix in with the new students. Or perhaps a companion of the man who ran away from the discipline chamber the other day…」
The guard is pointing the tip of his sword at me.
「So―What will you do, Sagara?」
I disappointingly dropped my shoulders and sighed deeply.
It can’t be helped.
The other party had weapons, it would be wise to surrender quietly.
There is also a possibility that my life is going to be in danger if I’m reckless.
In order to show that I have no intention to resist, I raised both hands.
In spite of being in this situation, a question came to my mind at that moment… Indeed, a carefree doubt.
…In this world, does surrendering with your hands up even exist?