Chapter Nine: Is Sleeping Alone Scary?
Nisshin City, Aichi Prefecture.
Total population is approximately 80,000; Households are approximately 32,000.
Adjacent to it are Nagoya City at the west, and Toyota City at the east.
It’s area is approximately 34 square kilometers. A naturally abundant town formed by hilly land that’s 50 to 160 meters above sea level, and Nisshin City Hall at it’s center, elevated at 37 meters.
It’s famous for the 「Battle of Iwasaki Castle」 where Tokugawa and Toyotomi had a deciding battle which greatly impacted the 「Battle of Komaki and Nagakute」 in Tensho 12 (1584) during the Warring States period. In Meiji 22 (1889), 14 villages were consolidated by the Municipal System, and 3 villages, 「Kaguyama Village」「Hakusan Village」 and 「Iwasaki Village」, were born. After 39 years, these three villages were merged into 「Nisshin Village」, and the current city limits were formed.
Furthermore, it became 「Nisshin Town」 by the enforcement of the town administration in Showa 33 (1958) and since it was adjacent to the large city, Nagoya, in around 40 years, housing developments progressed rapidly, universities and vocational schools were aplenty, the residential town had a comfortable environment, and at present, continues to develop as a university town.
It was a relatively new town where the population exceeded 50,000 in the 1990 census, and on the 1st of October 1994, by the enforcement of the Municipal System, it became 「Nisshin City」.
The current mayor of Nisshin City, Hagino Kouichi, is a veteran who’s been mayor for 3 consecutive terms despite his young age at 48 years old.
The future of Nisshin city is Mayor Hagino’s daily worry.
「Something…… Isn’t there anything? A material that we could expect would raise the economy and boost the name of our Nisshin City on a national scale.」
With a height of 183cm and weighing 70kg, he is a middle-aged man with a slender physique and exceedingly well-featured who is very popular with the housewives of the public.
Neatly styled dark brown hair. Black eyes that give the impression of a no-nonsense intellectual. Born in a distinguished family related to the ancient Owari Clan, he is locally known for being wealthy.
Mayor Hagino is in one of the conference rooms of Nisshin City Hall, and is discussing the future of Nisshin City with the council members.
「Even with that said…… There is nothing famous worth mentioning in our town.」
「And yet the adjacent cities Nagoya and Toyota, are known nationwide……」
If you are Japanese, you might have heard of the towns 「Nagoya」 and 「Toyota」 at least once.
Nagoya City is one of the largest cities in the country. It is the historic town of the ancient Owari Clan which was counted as one of the Tokugawa Gosanke.
Toyota City is the town where the headquarters of 「Toyota」, the world-famous automobile manufacturer that Japan is proud of, is located.
This meant that those who have not heard of Nagoya and Toyota are few and far in between.
However, aside from it’s people, very few people know that Nagoya and Toyota belong to the 「Aichi Prefecture」.
「Taking advantage of the yurukyara craze did not raise the popularity very much either.」
One of the council members in the conference room grumbled.
There has been a 「Yurukyara」 boom recently, but even though Nisshin City invented it’s own unique yurikyara, it didn’t popularize as much as expected.
The yurukyara 「Nisshiー」 , the personification of the dragon that lives upstream of the Tenpaku river that flows through Nisshin City , did not garner as much revenue as the armor-wearing cat and the red bear with black cheeks did.
「Can’t something from somewhere suddenly appear? An existence that would be famous instantly and become the saviour of our Nisshin City…… But, if something really were to appear, a cute girl would be nice. That would be received well in various ways.」
While saying that, Mayor Hagino gazed at the townscape of Nisshin City that spread outside the window of the conference room.
This was an exchange that happened a day before a visitor from a different dimension drifted into Nisshin City.
Takashi and Aoi left Yasutaka’s house at the evening of the next day, Sunday.
Tomorrow is Monday, and they, as students, naturally have school.
If this was during a long break such as summer vacation, they would have stayed over at Yasutaka’s house for 2 or 3 days more.
After Aoi and Takashi went back home, Yasutaka decided that he would do some light cleaning before preparing for dinner.
The four partied for more than a day so the living room had various pieces of trash strewn about.
When Yasutaka took the vacuum cleaner from the storage space under the stairs and brought it back to the living room, Eru immediately approached him with an immensely curious gaze.
「Yasutaka-san! That’s another home appliance, isn’t it!?」
It seems she likes the home appliances of this world a lot.
The other world had things such as magic items.
Eru has always had a keen interest in magic items, and the reason she became an adventurer was so she could come in contact with and acquire various magic items.
For Eru, this was a dreamlike world filled with magic items.
「Please give me a moment. I will guess what kind of appliance this is…… You can’t say it.」
Eru stared at the vacuum cleaner intently. While watching her, Yasutaka thought of a reason for what Eru said.
If there were people from the Edo period in this era, they would find most of the electric appliances to be mysterious and incomprehensible.
In Eru’s case, there isn’t much difference between magic items and electric appliances. Then, the only difference is whether it is electricity or magic power that would be consumed.
「I’ve got it! I believe this is most likely something close to a 『Water Spirit’s vessel』!」
「『Water Spirit’s vessel』 ?」」
「Yes. When the section that intakes water is left submerged at water source, it becomes a magic tool that supplies water infinitely. That is to say, this is a structure that has already been submerged at some water source so the water has been accumulated in this thick section, and then would flow out through this elongated portion, is it not?」
Eru says this while tilting the vacuum nozzle downwards.
「Are? Water isn’t coming out……」
While peeking into the nozzle, Eru tilted her head in wonder.
Finding Eru charming, Yasutaka pulled the electric cord from the vacuum and plugged it into the outlet.
「Water has nothing to do with this. In the first place, Eru, what did you think I was going to use the water for?」
「Because you said you will clean, I thought that you would surely mop hence the need for water…… ah, c, come to think of it, didn’t this room already has a magic item called water supply……」
The living room of the Akatsuka house is opposite of the kitchen, so naturally there is a water supply. Therefore, expressly bringing water into the living room is not necessary.
「I believe there are very few places in Japanese households where you can mop though? This is a vacuum cleaner. You use it like this.」
Yasutaka switched on the vacuum cleaner. The moment the noise of the vacuum cleaner started, Eru, who was close by, jumped in surprise from the sound.
「Wh, what is that!? Such a dreadful noise all of a sudden……!?」
Even while in shock, Eru’s eyes never left the vacuum cleaner. That’s right, as she herself had declared, she certainly has an extreme fondness for magic items.
「This guy’s motor rotates the fan so trash and dust sucked in.」
Yasutaka operated the vacuum cleaner, and showed trash that fell on the floor being sucked in.
「O, oooh. I see! It wasn’t a water magic item but rather a wind magic item!」
(Well, what Eru said was not necessarily wrong. That’s because it was certainly the power if wind that the vacuum uses to suck the trash and dust.)
Towards Eru who was still very interested in the vacuum cleaner, Yasutaka had a wry smile and asked her,
「If you don’t mind, can I ask you to clean the living room? I’ll prepare dinner while Eru cleans.」
「Eh? Is it alright to use this magic item… i mean, this appliance?」
Eru had a gleeful expression upon receiving the vacuum and was cleaning the floor of the living room just like Yasutaka taught.
As for Yasutaka, he began preparing for dinner while pleasantly watching over Eru.
Having finished dinner, Yasutaka and Eru took baths one after the other.
The two sat on the sofa in the living room, cooling down by drinking cold tea while enjoying a talk about Eru’s life in the other world.
Needless to say, having never seen cold tea before, Eru was surprised when it was brought out.
Although Yasutaka avoided fantasy till now, he grew interested in it while listening to the stories of Eru who actually came from another world.
It’s the same when, for instance, one hear stories about a foreign country and grow interested, one would want to visit and see it.
Moreover, the topics Eru speaks of are at a level where the worlds are different. Many things Yasutaka could not have imagined were common in Eru’s stories.
An especially surprising story was one where fish were flying in the sky. It’s utterly inconceivable in this world’s ecosystem. That is, without a doubt, fantasy.
Occasionally, stories about the childhood friends would be mixed in and they were having an enjoyable time. And in doing so, midnight had passed unnoticed.
「Oh man, it’s already this late. I’ve got school tomorrow so we should sleep soon.」
「Since the room is bright, it’s quite easy to forget that it is night at the moment, isn’t it.」
The two got up from the sofa and left the living room together.
The light in the hallway was turned on and the living room, off. Yasutaka’s bedroom is on the second floor and beside it is his older sister’s former room which Eru would use.
Yasutaka’s older sister married and left the house about a year ago. She now lives in a prefecture far away, only coming home for Obon and New Years.
Speaking of which, when Takashi and Aoi stayed over last night, Aoi and Eru slept in his older sister’s room while Takashi and Yasutaka stayed in his room. It had long been established where they would stay, the boys in one, Aoi in the other.
「Well then, good night.」
「Good night to you, too.」
The two exchanged greetings in front of their rooms.
Eru waved her hand and entered her room, and Yasutaka, after confirming this, turned off the light in the hallway and entered his own.
It didn’t take long for him to fall asleep after entering his bed.
Though, for some reason or another, Yasutaka woke up so he verified the time on the alarm clock beside his bed.
The digital display of the clock showed that it was a little past 3 o’clock. Two hours had passed since he fell asleep.
(There’s still plenty of time before I have to wake up at 6 o’clock, I’ll sleep for 3 more hours.)
Having thought so, Yasutaka turned in bed and was about to close his eyes again when…
He vaguely perceived some sort of presence in his room.
Half asleep, he surveyed the inside of the room. With light from a slightly distanced street light streaming through the window, he could see inside of the room to a certain extent.
And then, Yasutaka’s eyes caught a thing crouching in a corner of the room.
Yasutaka screamed soundlessly. All traces of his drowsiness was blown away in an instant.
The thing that was crouching noticed that Yasutaka had woken up, it’s body shook and quivered as it approached Yasutaka.
As if to instill more fear into Yasutaka, it crawled ever so slowly towards the bed. and upon closing in, it immediately leapt onto Yasutaka.
Partway through, as if were shedding, a petite figure emerged from within it.
Her slender body was trembling and her feeble voice had a tinge of depression. Even though it was dim, her off-gold hair glistened.
Understanding that it was Eru who leapt at him, Yasutaka let slip a sigh of relief.
「W, why are you in my room?」
「………Th, that is…… Being alone in a dark room made me remember of that incident…… A, and then I was immediately frightened.」
What Eru was talking about was undoubtedly that. The incident where her comrades were massacred.
Since being teleported to another world all of a sudden till yesterday, being with Yasutaka, Aoi and Takashi and having fun made her forget it temporarily. However, it seemed that when she was by herself on a quiet night, she had flashbacks of the horror of that time.
「……And so you came to my room covered in the comforter on…… It would have been better if you woke me up though.」
Being gently admonished like a child by Yasutaka, Eru who buried herself in his chest, finally raised her head.
In the dim light, Yasutaka could see Eru’s tearstained cheeks.
「That’s……because I would feel bad waking up a sleeping Yasutaka-san…… Also, you mentioned that you had to go somewhere early tomorrow……」
Yasutaka smiled as he pat Eru’s head. The feel of her fine supple hair on his palm was pleasant.
「If it got out that I neglected a crying Eru, Aoi would get mad at me.」
As Eru was looking up at Yasutaka, a smile slowly surfaced on her face.
「It’s okay, you’re with me so you can sleep with ease.」
Eru changed her position as she clung to Yasutaka, and then closed her eyes when she was satisfied.
Before long, her breathing grew tranquil. Confirming that she was asleep, Yasutaka breathed a large sigh.
「…………There’s no way I can sleep like this…………」
Yasutaka was currently sitting upright on the bed. His posture was just right for giving a lap pillow to Eru who was now sleeping peacefully.
The softness of her body could be felt through their pajamas, and a sweet fragrance wafted from her pajamas, hair and skin.
And above all, the fact that Yasutaka was alone with a girl of the similar age in the dark had taken all of his sleepiness away.
- Explanations would take too long. If you want more information on this, please use google-sensei. Wikipedia articles are in English.[↩]
- The Owari Clan・Owari House of Tokugawa ( 尾張徳川家 ) is one of the three honorable houses of the Tokugawa, known as the Gosanke which was formed after the war to unify Japan.[↩]
- Yuru-kyara is the japanese term for a category of mascot characters. They are usually created for promoting regions, events, businesses. I’m not well versed in this so I apologize if I missed any references.[↩]
- 『水霊 (read すいれい) の水瓶』[↩]
- 水源・Suigen – The water source that she meant here is like the start of a river.[↩]
- Obon is a 3 day holiday to honor of the spirits of ancestors. Families would usually have reunions and visit their ancestral graves.[↩]
- I mistranslated this in a previous chapter. Her hair is “オフゴールド”・”Off-gold”, not pale gold. Sorry.[↩]
I previously abbreviated this work as 『Freeloader Elf』 but it sounded bad somehow so I revised it to 『Elf-san』(lol)
I think I will go with 『Elf-san』 from now on.
Now, this is a new volume. Even if it’s unavoidable for Elf-san to always gets surprised by the other world, she has to adapt little by little.
Well then, I look forward to your continued support.
※ I used the NIsshin City homepage as reference for the description of Nisshin City (in the story).
Hello! I’m back. Thanks for reading! It’s the start of volume 2~
Sorry this was later than I thought I could finish, aside from my schedule and unlike the other novel which was way shorter, this was a bit of a tough start for me, the history part was utter torture. I did my research but please do tell me if I’ve made a mistake. It was quite funny when I found the site the author used as reference before I read his note though (lol). Also, I did my best to try add suspense to the horror-ish part, sorry if it didn’t work well. Anywho, I think I’ll be back to releasing weekly, I’ll see you all next chapter~