Tough Another World Reincarnation (manga title: Starvation and Reincarnation) - Episode 4
The warm feeling and the savory taste that floods the mouth.
Sensing this in his dim consciousness, Reurus’ awareness surfaced and he slowly opened his eyes.
(What’s ……? ……)
Apparently, he is not dead yet. Or perhaps he had fallen to his death and had been reborn again. Reurus thought about this in his hazy thoughts, but the warm, delicious taste in his mouth for the first time in this life rapidly awakened his consciousness.
His eyes widened at the taste of the broth and salty flavor. As well as water, proper nourishment sinks down the throat and into the guts.
“Oh, you’re awake?”
He had been distracted only by the delicious taste in his mouth, but the voice that reached his ears made Reurus move his gaze. It seemed that he had been lying on a wooden floor, and a piece of cloth, though tattered, was draped over his body.
And beside Reurus was a girl.
Her age was not that different from Reurus’, probably around fifteen. Her straight flaxen hair was stretched to her back, and he could see her two pigtails swaying in a small knot.
Her face is gentle, yet fragile, and makes you want to protect her. She is not an overwhelmingly beautiful girl, but she has the simple beauty of a flower blooming in the wild.
Apparently, she had been nursing Reurus and was gradually feeding him what looked like soup, with his head on her lap to prevent him from choking. When she noticed that Reurus was awake, she smiled softly as if she was relieved.
(Hey, hey, hey. …… What the hell is this? Who is this girl? Did I die and go to heaven? Did a goddess or an angel take pity on me?)
The girl in front of him may have helped him, but Reurus, who had been exposed only to the coldness of others, could not accept the reality in front of him. It would have been more satisfying to be told that he had died and gone to heaven.
“Dad, this guy’s awake.”
The girl turned her gaze elsewhere, leaving the bewildered Reurus to his own devices. In contrast to the girl, the man’s gaze was cold and stern as he looked at Reurus.
The girl called him “father”, so he must be her father. His hair is almost cropped, but his flaxen hair and brown eyes, similar to the girl’s, suggest that they are father and daughter.
He looked to be about 40 years old, but his body was muscular and strong, and for some reason he was holding a large kitchen knife in his right hand. The knife was thick and wide, similar to a Chinese knife, yet it was well polished and seemed to be sharp.
Hearing the girl’s voice, the man slowly approaches, but the wooden floor is creaking and screeching with every step he takes. The man’s face was expressionless, unlike the girl’s soft smile. He looked as if he was about to slaughter some livestock.
–In this case, will it be me who will be slaughtered?
“I’m not even good to eat! There’s only bones, skin, and a little muscle on me!”
Perhaps it was because he was awake, but still sleepy, or perhaps it was the fear of a middle-aged man silently approaching with a kitchen knife, but Reurus remained on the floor, screaming desperately. When the man heard him, he twitched his eyebrows and slung the knife over his shoulder.
His voice was low and austere, matching his appearance. Perhaps it was because he was holding a knife, or perhaps it was a misunderstanding on Reurus’s part that he sensed an air of swordsmanship that no sane person could possibly exude. When he replied without any resistance to being called a brat, the man told him without changing his stern face.
“If you’re going to die in the open, at least die in a place where you won’t be seen. Dying at the back of a store is annoying.”
The words were cold and dismissive. The words made Reurus feel like he had been thrown cold water, but at the same time he had doubts.
(I understand that it’s annoying to die behind a store, but that doesn’t mean you should save them. ……)
The man’s words were right on the money. Considering where he had fallen, this was probably the restaurant where Reurus had tried to scavenge the leftovers, but it couldn’t be a good feeling to have a dead body lying in the back of the restaurant.
However, that was not a reason to care for them. As far as the abandoned town was concerned, even if there were dead bodies on the ground, they could be dismissed as a nuisance, as the man said.
There was no need to bring a stranded person of unknown identity into the store, lay him down on the floor, cover him with a cloth, or even give him soup. They could have called out to the armed men they saw all over the abandoned town and thrown them out of town.
“Oh dear, Dad, I’m so sorry about him ……. He didn’t mean to offend you.”
The girl looked troubled by the man’s words. The man frowned even more at the girl’s words, and sat down on a nearby chair. He was still holding the knife, though.
“When I went out back, I found you on the ground. ……”
“That’s why my daughter picked you up. What a nuisance.”
The man spits out, “I was about to close the store,” but despite his words, the initial harshness is gone.
“Korona, you clean up the mess. Brat, you clean ‘it’ up quickly.”
The man then instructed the girl, Korona, and gave another order to Reurus with only his eyes. What Reurus saw when he raised his body in accordance with those words was soup poured into a deep dish, bread placed on another dish, and water in a cup-shaped ceramic bowl.
The soup must have been what Korona had been feeding him, but he was not able to eat the solid bread. Two fist-sized loaves of slightly blackish bread were placed on a tray, and Reurus swallowed his spit.
“Oh, thank you, but the money is ……”
“I’m not expecting that. You don’t have any money by the looks of you.”
The man said while tapping him on the shoulder with a knife. Reurus’ eyes widened at the words, but his gaze was immediately drawn to the soup and bread.
There is nothing more valuable than free food. If he ate this food, he might be forced to do something unreasonable. In his previous life in Japan, but in this life, he has never been able to eat things given to him by others.
The smell of the steaming soup pierced Reurus’ nostrils. It was not very filling, but the temptation of the almost clear soup with carefully chopped vegetables was strong.
“I’ll have it …….”
In the end, Reures could not resist the temptation. In retrospect, it was the first time in his life that he had ever had a “proper” meal. As is his habit as a former Japanese, he clasped his hands together and picked up a wooden spoon.
The first thing he tried was the soup. Korona gave him a little bit to drink, but since he hadn’t had a proper meal, he should eat something that would be easy to digest.
It is a simple and rustic soup made by stewing vegetables and seasoning them with only salt. The taste was so strong and intense that it made the tongue numb, especially for Reurus, who felt like he had never taken salt properly in his life.
“It’s …… good.”
He took a bite and muttered to himself. As a person who once lived in an era of food satiety, he knew many kinds of gourmet food, but this was the first time he had eaten a dish that he could truly enjoy.
He took two or three sips of the salted soup, and now he bit into the bread. He thought it was hard from the feel of it in his hands, but it didn’t matter to Reurus now. He bites into it with his teeth, chewing and tasting it again and again.
It was a hard-baked black bread with no seasoning, but the taste of the ingredients alone was enough. Soaking it in salted soup would soften it enough and change the flavor.
Once he started to eat, Reures could not stop. He ate the salted soup and black bread with all his heart, and was so moved by the taste that before he knew it, he was even shedding tears.
“It’s delicious … it’s really delicious.”
He couldn’t find any other words. This level of praise would not be enough to pay the bills, but right now, Reurus could only admire the food in front of him. Not only tears, but even snot started to flow, but he didn’t feel ashamed about it.
“…… I see.”
The corner of the man’s eyes lowered slightly when he heard Reurus’ words, but Reurus, who was absorbed in his meal, didn’t notice.
The next morning, Reurus wakes up on the floor of the restaurant and wakes himself up. His body ached from sleeping on the hard floor, but it was better than spending the night on a tree. He was lent a sheet of cloth, and although it was not thick enough to be called a sheet, it was warm enough to keep him comfortable.
“…… You awake?”
As soon as he woke up, he was greeted by the voice of a man – Dominic. Reurus looked up at the sound of his voice, but it seemed that Dominic had started preparing the food early in the morning. There was no sign of Korona, but she was probably still asleep on the second floor of the house.
“Good morning, ……, and thank you so much for your help last night.”
Maybe it was because he hadn’t had a decent meal in a while and had gotten a good night’s sleep. He even felt as if he was overflowing with strength from deep within his body. Thankful for this, Reurus straightened up and expressed his gratitude.
Dominique didn’t respond to Reurus’ words of gratitude and peeled the vegetables with a knife. Reurus thought about helping him as a thanks for last night, but he didn’t have much experience in cooking in his previous life or in this life. Even if it was just a simple grilled dish, it would not be useful for an amateur to help.
Also, Dominic would not accept Reurus’ offer. Although they had known each other for less than half a day, he had sensed from Dominick an atmosphere similar to that of a craftsman.
It would be in Dominic’s best interest if he left this place as soon as possible. He folded the cloth he had borrowed, placed it on the table beside him, and sat on the floor and bowed. He wasn’t sure if he would be able to understand if he was (seiza)sitting on the floor or (dogeza)on his knees, but he believed that his gratitude would be understood.
“Thank you so much for your help. I will never forget this favor.”
It was more than a favor of one night and one meal, it was the saving of his life. He had no qualms about bowing out of gratitude, and Reurus put his head on the floor to show his appreciation.
“Brat, you’re …….”
In response to Reulus’ gratitude, Dominic’s expression changed slightly. However, he quickly regained his expression and shook his head.
“No, ……, as I said last night, if you’re going to die in the open, die somewhere else. At least don’t die in sight of my daughter.”
“I’ll be careful. Could you tell that girl I said thank you?”
Dominic would have helped Reurus because Korona had tried to help him. Or maybe Dominic would have helped him alone, but he didn’t have the courage to point that out.
“…… if I remember.”
Dominic blurted out bluntly and started peeling the vegetables again. Reures decides that he will not disturb them any longer and quietly walks out the door of the store.
It was still dark outside, but it would soon be sunrise. The sky in the distance was beginning to whiten, and Reurus stood there watching the sunrise.
Perhaps it was because he had eaten and slept so well, but the sunrise seemed so beautiful. Everything seemed to be shining brightly, as if it were another world. Although he hadn’t been able to get rid of the fatigue and malnutrition he’d been suffering from for years, his mood naturally improved when his stomach and spirit were replenished.
(The question is, what to do now? ……)
This time, thanks to the generosity of Korona and Dominic, he was able to survive, but it was unlikely that such good fortune would last. He needed money to survive in the Laval abandoned town, and he had to do something to get it.
(physical labor…… business…… I don’t even know where I can work, nor do I have any money to begin with?)
If anything could be done, physical labor would be the most appropriate. You don’t need a lot of money like a business, you just need to be able to move. Now that his stomach was full, he would be able to move for a day or two without any problem.
Once he managed to earn some money, he could go to Dominic’s restaurant to pay for the food. The only question is whether or not he can find a place to work.
(Unemployed, no fixed address, no family, no friends, no education, no qualifications, no ID, nothing at all, and malnourished. …… If I were the employer, I would never hire me.)
Would they hire someone for simple manual labor? Would they hire a stranger in the first place? While he’s trying to figure that out, he’s about to collapse from hunger again.
Exposed to the cold wind of early spring, Reurus cowered – and the coldness made him realize.
(A restaurant means fire, right? How about collecting things that burn?)
There are many forests around the town of Laval, although it requires some walking. Cutting down trees is difficult because of the lack of tools, but one can at least pick up dead wood. It would be a problem if you took too much, but if you just collected dead wood to keep warm, it was tolerated in Shena village.
The presence of the monster was frightening, but if he could escape before it got too close, he could manage. Not that he’s overconfident in his instincts, but he can manage to gather some dead wood in the shallow part of the forest.
It wouldn’t make any money, but it would be a way to return the favor. If he could find something edible, there was a possibility that he could barter for food.
The taste of salted soup and crusty bread that he had last night came to his mind. If he could have that again, he could work as hard as he wanted. However, he wondered if there would be any problem in picking up firewood from the nearby forest, even if it was not for business.
(……, just to be sure.)
It is always important to do ‘reporting, contacting, and consultation’, no matter where you are. Therefore, when Reurus got to the entrance of the abandoned town, he called out to the men who were guarding the entrance and looking around.
“Excuse me, may I have a word?”
“What? What’s ……, are you the kid from yesterday?”
With his hunger satisfied, Reurus cooled down and called out to the man in a strange social demeanor. It was the man with whom Reurus had spoken before entering the abandoned town. The man’s expression hardened as he saw Reurus looking even paler than yesterday.
“You shouldn’t have had any …… money on you, did you steal it somewhere?”
He put his hand on the hilt of his sword and asked as if to threaten. Reurus couldn’t help but wryly smile at the man’s appearance.
“I couldn’t afford to steal anything, so I fell down. Then a man named Dominic and a girl named Korona helped me out. ……”
There’s no point in hiding it. When he decided to do so and told the man what had happened, the man scratched his head, looking bad.
“Well, Master Dominic and Lady Korona, I’m sorry for doubting …… you.”
“No, I think it’s natural.”
If it were the other way around, he would have suspected the same thing. Therefore, Reurus does not mind. In his previous life, he had had a boss who would not apologize for doubting others and would snap at him. At this level, Reurus’s patience is not shaken, and he lets it slide.
But what did he think of Reures’ attitude? The man averted his gaze and clicked his tongue in annoyance.
“Hey, what do you want to ask me about ……?”
Apparently, the man listening to him. Normally he would shun Reurus, but perhaps he is feeling sorry for having doubted him.
“It’s a small way of repaying the favor, but I thought I’d go to the nearby forest to find some firewood and something to eat. Of course I won’t damage the trees unnecessarily or overharvest the food, but I thought it wouldn’t be a problem. ……”
As a matter of course, forests and mountains are someone’s property. Even in previous lives, they were managed as national or private lands, although there was a difference between national and private ownership.
In this world, it would belong to an influential person – Reurus didn’t know if there was one, but it would be a nobleman, a king, or a lord of the land. It wouldn’t be funny if he got beheaded for entering without permission.
“Oh, ……, return the favor, huh.”
Whatever he thought of Reurus’ words, the man’s previously irritated expression softened. He stared at Reurus’ face as if he could see through the lie, and the edge of his mouth slightly lifted.
“If you don’t take too much, it’s not a problem. But don’t take it to Laval by mistake. Come back to the abandoned town.”
Even Reurus would not want to enter the Laval city just because he had picked up some firewood. In fact, he would probably be turned away at the entrance.
“And be sure to go through the gates when you return to the abandoned town. If you climb over the wall to get in, you can’t complain if they kill you.”
“Haha, what a riotous joke. …… It is a joke right?”
“I’m not kidding. We’ll collect taxes from what you take. There’s no shortage of idiots who don’t like it and try to climb over the wall.”
That makes sense, he thought. Yesterday, he was able to enter the abandoned town without being charged anything, but it seems that if he gets something nearby, he will be charged a reasonable amount of tax.
(Hmm? But if they take the tax money, where the tax is going……)
It’s called the abandoned town, but maybe that’s because it functions as a town at least. Reurus was curious about where the collected taxes would go, but he felt it was a bad idea to ask that.
“…… Incidentally, may I ask how much of that will be taken as tax?”
Instead, he broached another topic. He was curious about where the taxes would end up, but first he needed to know about the tax at hand.
“Don’t worry. Taxes don’t take everything. It depends on what you take…….Well, maybe half at the most.”
”At most,” he said, they don’t usually take that much. For now, he had to take his word for it, and Reurus bowed to the man.
“Thank you very much. That’s all I need to know.”
“Oh. Well, if you’re still alive, we’ll meet again.”
The man says this to him with a light wave of his hand, but it’s a rather frank statement. He knew he wouldn’t starve to death right now, but with the danger of monsters, he didn’t know when or where he would die. Reurus laughed at himself for wanting to head for the forest despite this.
If possible, he would like to live in peace in a safe place. However, he is not in a position to make such a wish come true, and there is no one who can make it happen.
Even if it is dangerous, if he doesn’t move, he will die, so he had no choice but to move.
You can donate through Ko-fi (from the main page). Extra chapter(s) for this novel will be released when 9$/chapter has been slowly accumulated on Ko-fi. Please mention the novel you are supporting.