Dream Life Chapter 3.1: “Understanding the Current Situation”

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 I left my parents’ bedroom in this world, astonished at the fact that I had been reincarnated.



 Walking down a wide hallway with high ceilings, I arrived at a large room that looked like a dining room.


 I was still unfamiliar with my body and puzzled by the gap between this and my former adult body.



(It looks wide, but that’s probably due to the size of my body. Maybe it’s the narrower distance between my eyes that makes me think that.) (Zack)



 There was a large table in the cafeteria with seating for ten, and a nice smell wafted through the air as if breakfast was being prepared.


 In the kitchen at the back of the dining room, a well-dressed woman about forty years old was preparing a meal.



“Good morning, Molly.” (Tanya)



 My mother greets the woman.


 As I watched her, I frantically searched through my memories.



(Molly… I’m pretty sure she’s like a housekeeper… She’s supposed to be the wife of someone named Walt…) (Zack)



 After my father calls out to her, I’ll say hello to her too.



“Good morning, Molly.” (Zack)


“Good morning, everyone. XX000, please wait for a while more.” (Molly)


(She sounds like a caring auntie. But I still can’t catch some of the words…) (Zack)



 As I was thinking this, she smiled and went back to cooking.



 On the table was a wooden plate, a wooden spoon, and a round loaf of bread.


 The bread was country-style bread like Campagne, and it smelled good and fragrant as if it had been freshly baked. [T/N: Campagne or Pain de Campagne is French country-style sourdough bread. This is according to wiki-sensei.]


 A few minutes later, a boy, about the age of a primary school student, appeared, greeted me, and sat down in the chair next to my mother.



(He’s brother Rodrick. I seem to call him “Big Brother”.) (Zack)



 I tried to sound as infantile as possible and said, “Good morning. Big Brother.”, I try to sound like a toddler as much as possible.


 My brother looked at me with a slightly surprised look on his face but immediately returned the greeting.



(Did I do something wrong? My memory of my normal behavior is fuzzy, so I’ll have to try not to lose my act…) (Zack)



 After a while, Molly takes a large pot and serves what looks like soup on each wooden plate.


 The soup had few ingredients, with only a few bits of meat and leafy vegetables like cabbage floating in it.


 After the food was served, my father, mother, and brother picked up a piece of bread and began to eat.



(A poor table. It’s a knight’s house, albeit a declining one, and it doesn’t look like a replacement for something… searching my memories, so I guess this is our regular meal…) (Zack)



 I get my mom to help me dip the shredded bread into the soup.


 The bread is too hard for my infant mouth, so my mother uses a spoon to crush the bread so that it is finally soft enough to eat.



(The flavor is pretty strong, but not bad. The seasoning is… just salt? They don’t use anything that seems like spices?) (Zack)



 I eat two loaves of bread the size of an adult’s fist, and I’m full.


 While the other three are eating, I think about what I need to do today.



(Well, now I have to gather some information. Yesterday I was playing in the garden with a girl called “Mel” because it was a nice day. Today, I’m not sure if I should explore the house, or follow my mother or father around… I’ll decide after I see how things are going.) (Zack)



 After the meal, my mother takes me outside.


 They seem to be heading for the well on the back side of the compound.



 The mansion was at the top of a hill, or perhaps it was a gradual descent around it. And the slope was a grassy field, and further away, a patchwork of fields spread out on a series of hills.



(The hilltop or…. the patchwork is crooked, but it reminds me of Biei in Hokkaido, Japan. But thanks to my enhanced eyesight, I can see clearly into the distance…) (Zack)



 When I look at the scenery with a surprised expression, my mother asks me.



“Do you see anything interesting? But let’s wash our faces first.” (Tanya)



 When I reached the well on the north side behind the mansion, I saw a stoutly built man in his mid-forties drawing water.



“Good morning. Madame, Master Zack.” (Walt)


“Good morning, Walt.” (Tanya)


(Walt? He must have been the guy helping out at the house.) (Zack)


“Good morning, Walt.” (Zack)



 Walt said again, “Good morning. Master Zack,” he responds to me but soon resumes drawing water silently.


 The well must be pretty deep, because it takes even a big guy like him, a while to pull it up after he throws in the bucket.



(Maybe it’s just because we’re on a hill, but it’s pretty hard work.) (Zack)



 I looked at my mother and saw that she had put white powder on her fingers and started brushing her teeth.


 I imitated her and put my finger on the white powder to brush my teeth.



(Salt? That looks like crushed rock salt, too. Don’t you have a toothbrush…?) (Zack)



 Brush your teeth with your powdered fingers.


 It tastes salty and powdery like chalk, not at all refreshing.



(Is it salt and lime or something? I hope it’s not bad for me… But then again, all my teeth have grown out… No cavities, so I guess that means I’m healthy for starters…) (Zack)



 Sip water from a wooden bowl and rinse out your mouth.


 Imitating my mother, I wash my face with the water in the tub. The water was so cold that my drowsiness quickly vanished.



(The level of civilization seems to be medieval or even earlier. If the information I had when I created the character was correct, there should be magic, but so far I can’t find any trace of it anywhere. Is it not that common, or is it specialized in offensive magic? I’ll have to gather more information on this subject as well…) (Zack)



 Back at the mansion, I began to feel the need to relieve myself, perhaps a sign of good health.


 I make my way to the bathroom that I remember. My mother yells something in a panic, but I am having none of it, and proceed through the mansion almost as fast as I can run.



(I’m running so fast that I can hardly stand it. It’s so bad it’s about to go out…) (Zack)



 When I arrive at the restroom, I quickly do my business without a moment’s relief.


 Unlike the original world, the toilet has no bowl or anything, just a hole in the floor. Furthermore, there is only the ground underneath, and the smell is terrible.



(I have never seen such a dirty toilet. There is no toilet paper, and I wipe with a cloth that was left there. The level of hygiene is terrible.) (Zack)



 I think about washing my hands, but there is no wash basin or sink in the bathroom and I can’t wash my hands.



(This will make children sick. If I don’t improve this, I won’t be able to live a comfortable life…) (Zack)



 As I headed out again, I vowed to do the first improvement I could think of in another world, “Improve the bathrooms.”



 After washing my hands, I came back inside the mansion, and my mother approached me with a worried look on her face.



“Did you dirty yourself? Do you need to change your clothes?” (Tanya)



 Apparently, she thought that my going to wash my hands was me making a potty mess.



“I’m fine. I just went to wash my hands” (Zack)



 My mother checked my clothes and looked at me with a curious look on her face when she saw that I was fine.



(I guess I made a mistake. But I don’t feel comfortable if I don’t wash my hands. I’ll be careful next time…) (Zack)



 After the morning rush was over, I calmed down a bit and looked around and saw that my father and brother were gone, and it was just my mother, Molly, and me.



(Well, it seems that yesterday there were four of us playing. I was with a girl named Mel and siblings named Dan and Sharon. As far as I can remember, I’ve spent most of my time either playing with these three or chasing after my brother. So, what am I going to do today…?) (Zack)



 I first decided to see if my memory of the boy Zack was consistent with reality.



(Children’s memories are notoriously faulty, so there are bound to be a lot of gaps in their memories… Since it looks like it was going to be another beautiful day, I decided to go outside the house, to the “garden” and “Mel’s house” and to “Dan and Sharon’s house”. I should check those.) (Zack)



 I tell my mother I’m going to Mel’s house and run off without a side glance, trying to look like I always do.



 I pass through the gate of the mansion – a crude, wooden, swing-open gate – and walk out of the mansion. Mel’s house is on a hillside, so I have to walk down the path that leads from the mansion.


 Looking back toward the mansion, the house is a two-story wooden structure with black columns, white plaster walls, and a slate roof, and is larger than expected. There was a chimney protruding from the roof, from which a thin plume of smoke was rising, perhaps for cooking.


 I made sure no one was watching me and stopped running. And as I walked, I thought about my body.



(But it’s hard to run. Is it because my head is heavy, or is it because I still can’t control my body properly? If I’m going to live in this world, my body will be my most important asset. Especially my house is a knight’s house. It’s supposed to be a world where combat skills matter… If I train my body properly from the age of three, I should have an advantage over my peers by the time I grow up…) (Zack)



 Outside the mansion, I thought it would be a grassy field all around, but there were fields in places.


 I further advanced my thoughts as I descended the road, which was only stepped on, catching the fresh morning breeze.



(If the setting is correct, this must be a remote area. But what kind of climate would the country have, and what would the summers and winters be like? What is the latitude and altitude…? No, to begin with, I don’t even know what month or day it is. Oh!!! I don’t even know how many months and days a year is! I’m pathetically lacking basic information…) (Zack)



 I was depressed by how little information I had.


 In a world where the Internet is commonplace and you can get the information you want anytime, anywhere with your cell phone, I felt a sense of frustration at not even knowing how to get the information I wanted.



(But if you’re going to reincarnate me, there should be at least a little explanation! I didn’t realize how frustrating it was to not have information…) (Zack)



 Mel’s house is a small one-story house about fifty meters down the road from the compound, with a forest of trees surrounding the house like a windbreak.



(Mel’s father is Hector, and he always carried a bow. Her mother is Polly, who often comes to help out at the mansion. Her brother is Sim, I don’t know if he’s the same age as my Big Brother or if they have a surname… but as a three-year-old, I know her well. Or maybe my consciousness has been revived so I can organize the information and understand it better…) (Zack)



 Without knocking to ensure the same behavior, as usual, I suddenly opened the door and said, “I’m here Mel!” I exclaimed.



(Maybe it’s okay because I’m the son of a lord, but I don’t have the proper manners… Well, I can slowly improve… from now on…) (Zack)



 Soon a lovely girl, Mel, with short-cut brown hair, big brown eyes, and slightly older than herself, appears from inside.



“Master Zack, what are you doing today?” (Mel)



 Not having thought about it, I was at a loss for an answer. I answer like a three-year-old, “A walk?”



(I feel my sense of shame is being torn to shreds as a forty-plus-year-old man playing as a toddler.) (Zack)



 Mel nodded turning her adorable smile to me and said, “I’m going to go play with Master Zack!” She shouts and comes running up to me.


 Polly, a pretty-looking woman in her mid-twenties, Mel’s mother, comes out from the back, wiping her hands on her apron.



“Mel! Watch him so that Master Zack doesn’t get hurt! Take care of yourself too, Master Zack.” (Polly)



 I smile and nod vigorously, and hold hands with Mel.


 Then, I try to use my “Reference” ability in secret.



(Melissa Marlon, four years old. Melissa, so Mel, right? But then again, I guess they actually have a last name. So, she has a last name probably because she’s from a squire family in the service of a knight’s house… And also, this little girl is one year older than me…) (Zack)



 Holding hands with Mel, we headed to Dan and Sharon’s house.


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