Chapter 1: A Mysterious Chance Meeting
Motonari welcomed her readily to settle in the castle for the time being.
When she was brought by him to the shrine, where they first met, there was a monster she had never seen before…!
The next day, early morning before the sun rose, when Imari-kun and I were sleeping soundly…
[MOTOHARU]: “How long are you going to sleep. Get up now!”
[IMARI]: “Hwah!? T-that surprised me…”
[YUZUKI]: “M-Motoharu-san…? Good morning.”
.[MOTOHARU]: “Good grief… even though I was going to teach you to cook rice this morning, you didn’t come no matter how long I waited, and when I came to check on you this is how you look.”
[YUZUKI]: “Huh? But yesterday you told me to come to the kitchen at sunrise…”
[MOTOHARU]: “Do you think you can keep going with that attitude?”
[MOTOHARU]: “First, the kitchen is to be tidied, then there’s clean up after breakfast, and then after that is to do the laundry…”
[MOTOHARU]: “There are many things that must be done and because you are doing it all for the first time today, you should be arriving earlier than me, your teacher, to prepare.”
[YUZUKI]: (Motoharu-san is strict…)
[YUZUKI]: “I’m sorry…”
[MOTOHARU]: “Good, then let’s go to the kitchen. Hurry up.”
[IMARI]: “Do your best!”
I smiled and waved at Imari-kun, who cheered me on, before I followed after Motoharu-san and left the room.
Focusing myself, I set about preparing breakfast.
But, while cooking rice in a pot, there were other things I needed to prepare at the same time and I was about to grow dizzy.
[MOTOHARU]: “Hey, at that rate all the water will have evaporated. Watch the temperature of the fire.”
[YUZUKI]: “I’m sorry…”
[YUZUKI]: (It’s really hard to cook rice in an iron pot…)
I managed to finish breakfast preparations while being scolded by Motoharu-san, and then after the meal was done—
[YUZUKI]: (Next is clean up…)
[MOTOHARU]: “By the way, you…”
[YUZUKI]: “Y-yes! What is it…?”
[MOTOHARU]: “It seems like you can understand our words, but can you read letters?”
[YUZUKI]: (If I remember correctly, the letters in this world are written flowingly with a brush like ancient writing, huh…)
[YUZUKI]: “Erm, I think… I can’t read. I’m sorry.”
[MOTOHARU]: “Then I’ll teach you. If you cannot read, then you’ll continue to do routine tasks in the future. I’m sure Motonari-sama also does not wish for that.”
[YUZUKI]: “Eh…? You’ll teach me? Thank you so much! Please, that’d be amazing.”
[MOTOHARU]: “Yeah. While I’m teaching you the letters, I also plan to search for information related to Himemiko.”
[MOTOHARU]: “As I recall, there should be a book written on Himemiko in this castle’s archives. I’m going to look there. You can go to my room first.”
A book written on Himemiko-sama. This might be a large clue. I waited in Motoharu-san’s room, my chest swelling with hope.
[MOTOHARU]: “I’ve kept you waiting. Here it is.”
[YUZUKI]: “Thank you! I really want to know what’s in there.”
[MOTOHARU]: “Don’t rush. Everything that’s written in this book might not be the truth. Don’t expect too much.”
Saying that, Motoharu-san sat beside me and opened the book. Just as I thought, I couldn’t read the words written there—
[MOTOHARU]: “Listen up. This word here is ‘Himemiko’. I’m going to read slowly, so follow along with your eyes.”
[MOTOHARU]: “… ‘Himemiko held a majesty that overwhelmed those beside her…’.”
[MOTOHARU]: “‘Despite that, she was filled with compassion…’.”
[MOTOHARU]: “… What is this. Isn’t this just a common book of Himemiko worship?”
[YUZUKI]: “Himemiko worship…?”
[MOTOHARU]: “It’s like a manual written by those who crazily support Himemiko.”
[MOTOHARU]: “But… I don’t feel anything special from you.”
Motoharu-san said that and peered intently at my face.
Being stared at in such a close distance made me embarrassed and I unconsciously averted my eyes.
[MOTOHARU]: “Don’t look away. I can’t determine anything if you do.”
[YUZUKI]: (B-but it’s embarrassing when he stares at me like that…!)
[MOTOHARU]: “… Well, whatever. The contents of this book can’t be relied upon.”
[YUZUKI]: (I’m glad he read it… but we didn’t learn anything important related to Himemiko-sama…)
[YUZUKI]: “U-um! The last page… I mean, the place with the drawings, could you show me that?”
[MOTOHARU]: “The drawings?… You mean these?”
[YUZUKI]: “Yes. The mirror, magatama, hairpin, long sword… I don’t know what’s written besides the pictures, but for some reason I feel drawn towards these…”
[MOTOHARU]: “… Ah, the sacred treasures… Like I thought, for you to be drawn to these—“
Motoharu-san adjusted the book and told it to me in a way I’d understand.
[MOTOHARU]: “—The sacred treasures are priceless items that Himemiko gifted to the feudal lords who would govern each land. They’re said to have a power resting in them.”
[YUZUKI]: “Does that mean they could be some kind of clue?”
[MOTOHARU]: “I can’t conclude that, but I suppose it’s a step closer. Moreover, it makes sense that you’re drawn to these when you hold a similar power to Himemiko.”
A clue in order to return to my original world… I didn’t know about “Shina” but I wanted to obtain the sacred treasures as soon as possible.
[YUZUKI]: “Um, I… would like to go and search for the sacred treasures right now…!”
However, as if to chide me, a familiar and gentle voice rang out from the entrance of the room.
[MOTONARI]: “There’s no need for you to acquire the sacred treasures, princess.”