Otherworld Company Chapter 160: No Matter How Much Preparation You Do, There Is Always Something You Think About When You Get Ready For The Actual Performance

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 There is a phrase “unknown world,” and I think it refers to exactly this kind of place.


 Led by Mr. Muir, we went further into the building where the Dark Elf elders were gathered, and there was a cave.


 We were then led beyond the cave.



“This is the world where the spirits with whom we Dark Elves have contracted reside.” (Muir)


“… amazing.” (Jiro)



 The world beyond the mist that was beyond the cave was illuminated by a lantern made of magic stone.


 The night world outside was a world worthy of being called the Otherworld, but this is a different world.


 Countless spirits flew across the seven-colored sky.


 Spirits shaped like animals climbing jewel-like trees.


 At first glance, it is a world that looks like something out of a picture book, a world that is definitely different from the world in which people live.



“Those who see them for the first time often react like grandson-in-law. The forest where the testers went to make a contract with the spirits for this project was ostensibly named the Spirit Forest, but in reality, it was not much different from any other forest. Unlike other forests, however, the spirits are easy to spot because there is a small entrance and exit that is separate from this forest. The spirits that come and go from there wander around the forest as if they were going for a walk in the outside world. This is the true world of the spirits.” (Muir)


“Wow.” (Jiro)



 Seeing such a scenery, even when I listened to Mr. Muir’s explanation, I could only awe at the sight.


 The ideal world of the spirits existed right there.


 I could only have ordinary impressions of the scenery.


 It was a dense magical power that I had never felt even in the dungeon.


 It blended into the air and harmonized with the natural feeling.


 It was difficult to react other than to be amazed at the presence in front of me of an ecosystem that I had never seen before, which was the product of Mother Nature.



“Well, there is no point in staying here for too long. Grandson-in-law, this way.” (Jiro)



 This is the world of spirits, and since strangers are not allowed to enter the world any more than necessary, only Mr. Muir is on the road with me.


 He called out to me as I was stunned, and his steps began slowly.


 I was tempted to look around like a “tourist” who had just arrived in Tokyo, but I held back and followed him quietly for about ten minutes.



“This place?” (Jiro)



 The place we arrived at was a small spring that didn’t look like anything out of the ordinary.


 It was a small spring, but it was large enough for ten people to bathe in it.



“The spirit that grandson-in-law contracts with is very special. He lives far away from here, so it would take him a long time to get there by horseback. So, the way to get there is also very special.” (Muir)



 The destination was a beautiful spring, so clear that if you looked into the water, you could see all the way to the bottom of the spring.


 I wondered if there was a spirit of the matter here, but that was not the case, and Mr. Muir whistled.


 I could somehow understand that the sound was summoning something with magical power.



“…amazing.” (Jiro)


“Oh, is that so?” (Muir)



 The old man, who didn’t look like an old man, was always in the mood for giving a surprise, and he never explained what this place was or what was to come.


 After whistling and listening for a few seconds, Mr. Muir senses something and smiles at me with a mischievous smile.


 I can tell that something is going to happen, and I have a feeling that something is coming while I am asking the question, but I can only come up with an answer that does not leave the realm of speculation or guesswork.


 The only thing that seems circumstantially possible is that it is a spirit with enormous magical power.



“What is it? It’s just like the ‘taxi’ in my grandson-in-law’s world. It’s a handy thing that will take you wherever you want if you ask it to.” (Muir)



 If it is a “taxi,” is it a spirit for transportation, like a horse?


 And since this is a body of water, does it also serve as a water source for the spirit?


 hope Mr. Muir is aware of me, and he is not showing any concern to reassure me with his mischievous smile, although he says not to worry when he sees my anxious expression.


 It must be a vehicle since it is called a taxi, it is something that comes out of the water.


 I think it might be a submarine, but there is no such thing in our world. Mr. Muir says it is okay not to be alarmed, but I am wary of what will appear, and then it appears.



“Ta… xi?” (Jiro)



 And my head seemed quite sharp today as I thought for a moment that it was a submarine.



“Hmm, it’s a spirit that freely comes and goes in the Spirit World, Hourei!” (Muir)


“Well, it’s a whale. A yellow whale.” (Jiro)



 As I looked up at the huge body, I could only describe the reality in front of me.


 I was tempted to ask how in the world it had come out of the small river, but its huge body emerged from it.


 I thought I would be drenched by the splashing water, but this is the Spirit World.


 The scattered water turned into magic power as it was, and the rainbow-colored luminescence only created a fantastic scene, causing zero damage.


 What was I to do? How was I to react to the appearance of a whale over 30 meters in length that was whistling and crying?



“Are we going to ride this?” (Jiro)


“Hmm, that’s right.” (Muir)



 Does the fact that it is floating in the air mean that we are going there by air?


 Since this is another world, it would not be surprising if there were at least flying whales.


 Then a yellow whale called “Hourei” slowly descends toward us, its face turned toward us.


 And then I see the inside of its huge mouth.



“****—Shall we get on, grandson-in-law?” (Muir)


“Um, where?” (Jiro)


“Huh? There’s an empty space in front of us, right?” (Muir)


“In general, people wouldn’t call this boarding, they call it swallowing.” (Jiro)


“What are you talking about? Come on, it’s going to get dark soon.” (Muir)



 Or, in this case, would it be more accurate to say “jump into the mouth”?


 He speaks to the whale in a language I don’t understand, and then without hesitation, Mr. Muir gets in the whale.


 Perhaps he told this whale-like spirit, Hourei, where we were going.


 However, not knowing where to board, I felt a bad premonition and my reason stopped me from taking that step.


 I asked Mr. Muir where we were going to ride, but as if to confirm my bad premonition, Mr. Muir pointed in the direction of the whale’s mouth, which was wide open.


 It’s not strange for a creature to wait when eating.


 But what kind of strange things is happening to me? I was worried that I might have heard Mr. Muir wrong.


 Mr. Muir just smoothly entered the whale’s mouth without any hesitation.


 It may be an unusual sight in the eyes of humans, but this is a different world, and people say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”


 I silently entered the whale’s mouth and it closed gently.


 I thought the inside of a creature’s mouth was supposed to be damp, but contrary to my expectations, I did not feel any such dampness.


 There was a slight floating sensation, but I didn’t feel anything once I started moving, and there were no windows to check if I was moving.


 And then.



“It’s unbelievable, but I feel more comfortable in a living thing than in a taxi.” (Jiro)



 I felt a little conflicted about the ride, which was more comfortable than the pitcher plant I had experienced in the past.



“That’s right, that’s right. If I had to come here by horse from that place, it would take me half a month, even if I hurry.” (Muir)



 Five minutes from what I felt.


 We got to our destination really quickly.


 But according to Mr. Muir, the distance traveled was much longer than I had imagined.



“How does it work?” (Jiro)



 When you travel that distance so fast, not to mention in an instant, it is natural to be curious about how to shorten the time it takes to get there.



“We don’t know the details exact principle. Hourei can go anywhere where there is water, from river to sea, from the sea to the river, anywhere where there is clean water. One theory is that they move between bodies of water by connecting them with a special space.” (Muir)


“A real fantasy creature.” (Jiro)


“Because they are spirits.” (Muir)



 It’s already a familiar answer to any question I find.


 The whale, which showed me it’s just a fantasy norm, flipped its tail and dove, and as I watched the Hourei disappear into the river, I had the impression that it was something akin to a cheat.


 If we were on Earth, I’m sure all the transportation companies and traffic-related businesses would want to use it.



“Well, we’ll just have to walk from here on out. Are you ready, my grandson-in-law?” (Muir)


“I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t.” (Jiro)



 Turning around from the direction of the fantasy scene, I look behind.



“Why is only this place monochrome?” (Jiro)


“That is the power of Valus, the spirit of time and space. The world beyond this point is a world where time has stopped, and I don’t know what happens beyond this point either.” (Muir)


“How do I make a contract with them?” (Jiro)



 The world that looks like something out of a horror game spreads out before my eyes after a landscape that looks like something out of a fairy tale.


 Time had stopped, color had been washed away, and a scene like a black-and-white television set from the early Showa period was spread out before my eyes.


 And there are no spirits in this vicinity.


 It seems that because of their great power, spirits of intermediate rank and below stay away, and higher-rank spirits and above stay away from them due to territory claims.


 Therefore, the place is very quiet.


 There are no living creatures, only nature.


 Strangely enough, I don’t feel aversion to it.



“Well, don’t worry. If you enter the realm without malice, the spirits will naturally speak to you. All you have to do is to respond to the spirit’s words.” (Muir)


“The perception range is also out of the norm, isn’t it?” (Jiro)



 Thinking inwardly that it would be reckless to make a contract through battle, I slowly stepped into the monochrome world.



“Mr. Muir, I’m going.” (Jiro)


“Hmm, take care. I’ll wait here for my grandson-in-law’s return. I look forward to good news.” (Muir)


“I will do my best. Look forward to seeing the results after I return.” (Jiro)



 From this point on, Mr. Muir would not enter.


 It was not that those who came to undergo the ritual had to take on the challenge alone, but it was better to undergo the ritual alone than to undergo it with several people to gain the spirits’ favor.


 That was Mr. Muir’s words.


 When crossing the border between the black-and-white world and the colored world, I hesitated for a moment but soon stepped into the world.


 Even though the trees are overgrown, the animal trail remains, and I push forward in silence.


 I continue on, feeling as if my sense of time is being gradually stretched out.


 There is no river, no leaves falling, no wind blowing through the air.


 The world just stands still.



(Oh, that’s rare. It is unusual for a human to come to this place.) (Voice)



 In such a space, a voice suddenly echoes.



“Huh.” (Jiro)



 I look around, but I don’t feel any magic, let alone a figure.


 I thought it was my imagination, but I couldn’t believe that the powerful voice I heard earlier was an auditory hallucination.



(Are you lost? I guess you’re not.) (Voice)



 The voice sounded somewhat familiar, and my body was able to inhale more easily than I had expected.



“Are you the spirit of time and space, Valus?” (Jiro)


(Oh, you know me? However, if you come here, you have only one purpose. Of course, I understand. Then, did you really come to take my trial?) (Voice => Valus)



 Rather than being confused, it was a voice that was more surprised.


 The contract with spirits is the exclusive domain of the Dark Elves in the Demon King Army.


 Is it unusual for a human to come to sign a contract with a spirit in such a situation?



“That’s right! This time, I’m here to challenge your trial!” (Jiro)


(Oh, my, your voice is so honest, so spirited.) (Valus)



 I had a more solemn image of spirits, but judging from the quality of their voice, I started to feel like I was having a conversation with one of the housewives in the neighborhood.


 Like there’s a cheerful child acting big while smiling.


 In fact, to the spirit, I might as well be a child.



“I wonder when the last time a human wants to make a contract with me, and I am sure it has been more than a thousand years. Such are humans. Why do you want to make a contract with me? The answer to this question will determine the nature of my trial.” (Valus)



 Valus, who happily reminisces about the old days and continues their story, does not show apprehension with the contract itself.


 I thought for a moment about how to answer the question coming from such a being, but then took a deep breath, thinking that it would be better to answer honestly than pretentiously.



 I want you to lend me your strength so that I can live with the people I love who will be living long lives!” (Jiro)



 I opened my thoughts.



(…….) (Valus)


“……” (Jiro)



 I think I said a line that I would normally be too embarrassing to say.


 However, it can’t be helped because the contract with the spirit isn’t because I want to become a general or because I want to become stronger.


 I wanted to make a contract with the spirit because I didn’t want to leave the girls behind as I alone died.


 I felt like I shouldn’t fake that feeling, so I spoke up and said these words.


 I was a little embarrassed, but I had no regrets.


 A moment of silence.


 Waiting for the spirit’s answer.



(It’s because of love, isn’t it? It’s good. I see no lie in that answer! Yes, love! That’s wonderful!) (Valus)



 And the answer was one of joy.



(Well! Go on, tell me your name, human! Let the trial begin, in the name of Valus, Spirit of Time and Space!) (Valus)


“Jiro Tanaka! Just a common human!” (Jiro)



Note for the Day


Now, I wonder what kind of trial will be presented to me.



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