It is in the afternoon two days later that we finally reach Holy Land Lindwurm.
A magnificent church stands in terrain that looks like a hollowed mountain, and under it spreads a townscape heavily based on the color white. The main street that runs through the town leads straight to the staircase that continues to the church, and there is a huge number of people going to and fro.
We eat lunch at a top class restaurant as per usual, then stroll down the main street while browsing through the stalls.
I find some souvenirs that look like those small accessories of a dragon wrapped around a sword that can be commonly found in tourist sites in Japan, and wryly thinking about the fact that they have these even in a different world. But it’s just that for some reason, the ones here are of a sinister-looking right arm wrapped around a sword. Slightly interested, I pick one up.
“Caught your eye?”
“Nn, a bit, I guess. So, why the right hand?”
Rose peers at my hands. It’s just hot if you stick so close to me that our shoulders are touching. The altitude here is high so it’s a bit better, but you haven’t forgotten that it’s summer right now, have you?
“Ah, that’s the sword of the hero Olivie and the right arm of the demon Diabolos. It is said that long ago, Olivie had severed and sealed Diabolos’ right arm in this land. Over there, that’s the place.”
Where Rose is pointing to is a spot even farther behind the church perched above the long staircase.
“On that steep mountain surface is an ancient ruin called the Holy Ground, and that’s where Diabolos’ right arm is sealed. Or so goes the myth, at least.”
Rose smiles before continuing.
“I believe that souvenir is quite popular among guys.”
“Yea, I can imagine. Excuse me, I want one of these!”
This will be Hyoro’s souvenir. It costs quite a bit at 3,000 Zeny, but this I really can’t let Rose pay.
Jaga had given me an entire shopping list of what he wants. It’s a pain so I haven’t looked at it yet.
I put the souvenir into my pocket, then we continue walking. The stream of tourists flowing by and the liveliness around all the stalls somehow feels nostalgic.
Then suddenly, Rose pulls my hand.
“Over there is a an autograph session by Natsume-sensei! I’m a huge fan of hers!”
The place we are heading towards is an enormous crowd. It’s in front of what seems to be a bookstore, but I can’t even see the shop’s signboard.
“Umm, may I go line up for this? It might take quite a while though……”
So asks Rose with upturned eyes.
“I’ll wait for you, so go on ahead.”
“Thank you! How about you also come and meet Natsume-sensei?”
“Nah, I’m good.”
Rose buys one of the books on display shelves that are for sale, then joins the line.
Having nothing to do, I also take up a book and flip through it.
“I am a dragon. As yet I have no name.”
Hell, isn’t this a complete rip-off?
(T/N: Natsume Soseki was a super famous Japanese writer. I Am a Cat is a very well known satirical novel of his, and it starts off as “I am a cat. As yet I have no name.”)
No wait, I’m sure that it’s just that, by some freak stroke of coincidence, a literary master was born in this world who shares similar sentiments,. I collect myself and pick up another book.
Romeo and Julietta.
Yep, complete rip-off. There are more.
Red Riding Hood.
Oh wow, novelizations of Hollywood movies and manga and anime even. By this point, I finally get the message.
Apparently, there are reincarnators here aside from me.
I buy one book and get in line to meet ‘Natsume-sensei.’
For starters, I’ll take a look at this person’s face. I’ll think about my next step after that.
While engrossed in such thoughts, I have apparently reached close enough to the front of the line to lay eyes on ‘Natsume-sensei.’ It’s a bit hard to see due to that large hood, but that figure is definitely female.
Beautiful silver hair cropped close to the shoulders, cat-like eyes, and a mole under an eye. The opened top of her blouse is revealing a very deep cleavage.
How can I not recognize her? That person right there is someone I know very well indeed. I pinch the bridge of my nose and turn to quietly leave the line.
“That person over there, where are you going?”
I got stopped. It seems that the other side noticed me before I could leave.
I am escorted straight to the front of the line, face to face with this beautiful silver-haired elf. Yep, she is an elf that I am extremely familiar with.
It’s none other than Beta.
“Pass me your book.”
Beta smiles at me, but I just hand her the book and try my best to act like I don’t know her.
But while watching her sign my book with a practiced hand, I can’t hold myself back from asking.
In a super tiny voice.
“So-so. I’m steadily spreading my name.”
Et tu, Beta.
Here is another person making a profit by using my knowledge from my previous life.
I did previously tell Beta stories from my previous life. She seemed to like literature, so I told her the ones I remember in a cool way, just for the heck of it. To think that she’d rip everything off almost verbatim and make a killing off it.
Beta-kun, you have disappointed me.
I look down at Bera with cold eyes while receiving my now signed book.
“I’ve been invited as a VIP. I can leak information from the inside to some degree. I’ve written the full details of the plan in your book.”
The instant before I turn away, Beta says all that by moving her mouth a tiny bit. We part just like that, without looking at each other anymore. I love it, it’s like we are in a spy movie.
Beta-kun, you have redeemed yourself.
After I exit the store, for some reason a really happy Rose is waiting for me.
“I knew it, you’re also a fan of Natsume-sensei, aren’t you!”
“No, I’m not rea-……”
“Don’t worry, I understand. You saw all the female fans, so it became hard to admit it, right? But though it’s true that it’s mostly female fans who come to these kinds of events, she actually also has a lot of male fans.”
“The greatest thing about Natsume-sensei is that absolutely amazing imagination of hers, isn’t it? All her works are completely original, have startlingly novel worldviews, and are filled with characters possessing such unique values.”
Oh yea, it’s all original and novel and unique, sure.
“Romance, mystery, action, children’s tales, and even pure literature. There is no genre that she has not mastered. Every single work is as different from the one prior, almost as if it was written by an entirely different person. That great diversity is what has enabled her to have an iron grip on so many people’s hearts.”
That’s probably because they were written by entirely different people.
“Look at this, this is my signature. Then I asked Natsume-sensei to sign her name right next to mine!”
So saying, Rose spreads her book open, showing me her signature and Natsume-I’m-a-Rip-Off-sensei’s signature.
Speaking of which, she had said that she wrote the details of some plan in my book. I also open my book to take a look.
“This…… is it the ancient language?”
Comments Rose as she peers over my shoulder.
I can’t read a single word.
“Can you read it?”
“No, the study of the ancient language is extremely difficult, so I only know a tiny bit. The lettering is indeed from the ancient language, but it seems to have been scrambled quite a bit also, so it wouldn’t make any sense to read it as it is.”
But that makes it seem like a secret code, which is awesomely cool. As someone who had given up trying to learn the ancient language, I have a sort of admiration towards it.
“But whyever did she write in the ancient language?”
“Because it’s cool.”
“Guys sure seem to love this kind of thing.”
We then go on to check into a top class hotel, after which we have to part because Rose has to go around making her greetings to important people.
She tells me that she can’t introduce me to them because we are still just school friends. What does she mean by ‘still just.’ Does she actually have plans to convert me?
I’m sorry, but I’ve already decided to not go deeply into any religion.