Anyways, so as I promised, here’s the first chapter of the Web Novel, Hiraheishi wa Kako wo Yumemiru. We’re going to continue translating this, so I hope you guys enjoy this series!
Chapter 1: Prologue
――Ahh, now the world will be saved.
At the moment when I thought that, I discovered that the lump of sharp, silver iron in my chest was extending.
In my surprise, that word was the only thing that came out.
Just like that.
This is something I should make a more witty remark about, at a time like this.
Even God should be partial enough to let me say some cool one-liner at a time like this, at least.
That’s what I think.
But I know that there’s no helping it.
It all happened so fast. Fast enough to make my eyes pop out.
It happened so unbelievably fast.
A war that’s been going on for years.
In the midst of it, many of my acquaintances lost their lives.
Among them were my best friend and my fiancé.
In the beginning, we thought that there was no way we’d die.
I’m talking about a hopeless, almighty kind of feeling. Thinking about it now, it was probably just our imagination. But, still.
Unreasonably, when we thought that a bright era had come, we were festive.
Enough so that we believed that we would definitely win, from the bottom of our hearts.
The idea that one day, the hero would appear to our country with weapons of legend, seemed like a something out of a fairy tale, I thought.
The hero, the saint, the Great Mage, the King of Spirits.
It wouldn’t be too much to ask to expect that lineup, right?
Well expect, I did.
But reality’s a cruel thing, ya see.
”They’d be here,” they say, but soldiers are dying.
Merlo, Hiltis, Kelkey; they won’t come back no more.
They won’t come back.
And yet, when only I was pathetically left alive, did they finally arrive to the bitter end.
I merely carried feelings of revenge in my heart and tried hard to follow suit to the point that I coughed out vomit and blood.
And then, I was able to see them in front of me.
I saw a hero holding a holy sword, about to fulfill humanity’s long-cherished wish.
It was the best part.
Everything was shining: the hero, his sword, the air, too.
And that’s why I thought,
――Ahh, now the world will be saved.
That’s why I didn’t think that I’d be stabbed by a remnant of the enemy forces, or something.
And just like that, I, John Serias, a private from the Demon King Punitive Force of the World State Alliance, have died.
Haha. Can’t laugh about that.
I’ve had a feeling that I’ve been having a long dream.
The sky is dark, the world is shrouded in darkness, people die, and demons swagger.
A sad dream about that kind of era.
When I opened my eyes wide, I realized clearly that that wasn’t a dream.
It was something that really happened.
It was almost as if I could only think of it as a dream; even though it was of harsh, painful memories that make me want to think of it only as a dream, it was something that really happened.
If wasn’t, then I can’t bring myself to face them.
My comrades who fought and died.
The people who I risked my life protecting.
And myself, who fought hard with the intention of dying, despite the fact that I am weak.
That was something that happened.
Something that really happened.
I was led by the heroes of legend, rushed into the Demon King’s castle, witnessed the moment when the Hero took down the Demon King, and then was killed lean and clean by a remnant of the demon army.
And so, that one spectacle that happened today, was something incomprehensible and mysterious.
So why is my house, which had been destroyed by the Demon King’s Army, still here?
“John? What’s wrong? You look like you’ve seen a ghost…”
A young lady was looking at me with a wondering look on her face.
As if she was my childhood friend, or so I’m tempted to say, but this person isn’t that kind of person.
This person who is smiling at me, as if she had never seen me from when the war had started, is my mother.
Since there weren’t any paintings remaining of what Mom used to look like, what she used to look like was only known by Dad, Grampa, Grandma, and her acquaintances from long ago, but looking at her face-to-face like this was a real shocker.
――I was quite the looker back in my day!
I heard my plump and fat mother say that many times, but well, I’ve ignored her as I really didn’t care for her indulging herself in old stories.
As far as I can remember since I was small, my mom’s figure had already been quite the heavyweight class, but she seemed to have truly been a thin, young lady.
Well, I’ve heard that she was originally the youngest daughter of a wealthy merchant who was worked extensively in the royal capital, so in a way this would make sense, but even so, the thought of her ending up like that in a few years makes me sigh.
“…? Once again, you’re making quite the pessimistic face, aren’t you…? Are kids supposed to be this expressive at around this age…? Well, whatever. C’mon, it’s time for breakfast.”
As she says that, she begins to bare her chest in her clothes.
And why is that “breakfast”?
Why, that’s obvious.
It’s because I’m a baby.
I had realized that a little while after I had opened my eyes.
The inconvenience of my body—my neck that I just can’t move and my hands and legs that I can’t really put much force on—I’ve thought for a little while that it had miraculously been saved even though I had been pierced, but it was the cause of some sort of after-effects.
I can see with my eyes; I get that when I start rolling them, restless people start moving.
That’s why I thought for sure that this must be a hospital or something and that I am a patient here.
When there were patients in severe condition during the latter period of the War, it practically became fact that it was easier to be in that place in accordance to the logic of the battlefield. It was even truer for the ones who were nothing more than privates. So my fate of losing the sensation of being pierced, too, felt like a practical fact that had been decided upon me, but if I really think hard about it, with such a correspondence upon having a lack of supplies and personnel, I had corresponded that this was an extreme situation in which I had no time to be nursed as a patient. But since the Demon King had been taken down by the Hero, there would be no reason to do that.
Also, as a practical matter, the numbers of humans have decreased too much. Most men of age were drafted, and the path that had awaited those who weren’t extremely lucky was death. Ever since the beginning of the War, the human population had just been reduced, which meant that mankind had been gradually declining.
And for that reason, men who were dying were very regrettable existences. More than increasing the amount of people becoming necessary for a nation, it was decided that even a private like me couldn’t afford to die.
As we headed to the castle where the Demon King was, we of the Demon King Punitive Force of the World State Alliance brought forth a large amount of expensive weapons and medicine. It had even arrived to me, a private.
At any rate, it was the last move of an all-out war. The supplies, the force of arms, the situation at hand, everything indicated that if we were defeated, then it would mean humanity’s demise. Even if we were becoming legends at this late hour, it would be all for naught if we lost by being stingy with items. It just became a matter of just using the damn items. Well in that sense, the demonkin must also be nearing their limits.
In other words, I thought that such a medicine had been prescribed to me. If a third-rate potion was for peacetime, then an amount of gold coins and an unbelievable amount of potions had been gathered, so if the battle with the demonkin wouldn’t even be considered a battle anymore, then even those could be used on me, a private.
So this isn’t anything strange and, well, we’d probably be able to rise up in a few days.
That’s what I thought.
But I knew right away that this idea was wrong.
It was at mealtime, when the young lady—that is, when my mom—said “Here’s breakfast” to me and the instant she brought my body up to her.
Was my body really this light before?
At the same time this question occurred to me, I began to worry about all sorts of things.
Like if the girl in front of me isn’t similar to someone. Very familiar—yes, it comes into view whenever I see it in the mirror—somewhat different to me. The eyes and such are a splitting image. Wait, in the first place, if I fluff her up a bit, then she kind of looks similar to my mom…?
Or rather, this room I’m in right now. Doesn’t this kind of ring some bells?
This doesn’t feel like any kind of hospital anyway, and the picture I’ve glanced at certainly feels similar to something that was adorned in my home.
But even though I’ve thought it that far, I still haven’t grasped the situation at hand.
The lady before my eyes certainly looks similar to me, but she’s just too young, and the room and the house looks similar, but the wounds that I should have on me are nowhere to be seen. So I denied that the thought that even though it was all similar, it was actually different, with feelings similar to escapism.
Along with the loud foot noises, I felt a sign of someone approaching this room.
Judging by the footsteps, it’s probably a man.
The person came to the front of the room and opened the door.
I directed my eyes towards the entrance of the room to see who in the world came here.
And then, at that moment, I knew.
I knew that this is—yes, this is, without a doubt, my house.
“Oh, so that kid’s John!? Emily, let me hold him!”
The man had said that.
His gaze is fixed on me, I see. I can clearly understand that when he says “John,” he’s talking about me.
His face rings some bells.
I missed his face.
This man is supposed to have died early in the War, in a battle at a fortress.
This man is my father—Allen Serias. I couldn’t mistake him for anyone else.
“Oh, Allen. You came back rather quickly.”
Mom says that to Dad with a smile.
This scenery that I lost. This happiness that was supposed to have never returned.
I’m unable to hold back my tears.
“H-hey! He just cried when he looked at my face!”
“Well, your face is scary… You look like a bear.”
“What!? I’m his father!”
“Even if you’re his father, a bear is a bear. It’s scary.”
“Hee hee. Come now, John. Don’t cry. He’s your daddy.”
“That’s right! You were being born, so I took a vacation to come back here! Don’t cry, smile.”
The two are pleasantly and happily cradling me.
The more they were doing such a thing to me, the more I’m unable to stop my tears, but… I suppose I can’t help it anymore.
The scenery that I lost is now with me.
Some kind of a miracle and this hazy truth is in my hand.
I suddenly tried looking at my hand.
It’s a round hand. It’s not my rough hand filled with blood blisters squished from merely doing nothing but swinging my sword. I had a hand that was as fluffy as a marshmallow.
My mother stroked, and my father followed suit, feeling me with his hands as if dealing with glasswork.
My mother’s hands feel me smoothly and gently, my father’s hands feel me ruggedly and firmly.
My father was a soldier.
As a guard that served in the fort for garrison of the Demon Forest near the border, he was a busy person who spent most of his life over there.
He is hardworking, outstanding in his sword skills, and respected. He was that kind of person.
That’s why I followed him thereafter, and became a soldier.
I wonder if I managed to catch up to him.
I wonder if I managed to become a son that he could be proud of.
Those feelings well up as the man himself is right before my eyes.
Even if I try to voice them out, a voice that can only form those words comes out.
I suppose I can’t help it. That’s right. Right now…I’m still unable to speak. That’s how it works for someone my age.
I just thought that I ought to ask him someday.
If the life that I once spent as a soldier was something worth to him.