Special thanks to all patrons~
[Casual Supporter: aureliaxangel, mjkj, SkVt, Greame K]
[Original Mania Level 1: Greg S, Kiradien, Ravenslock, Sami, ZeroDeviation]
[Original Mania Level 2: Aria R, Bradford M, DJay, Goddess_hera, Katrion, N0VERCL0CKER, Sean D]
[Original Mania Level 3: blizgerg, John D, sch, Mac, Tibb)(]
[Original Mania Level 5: Andrew M, Katherine, Kyle M]
[Double Degree Level 1: e]
[Double Degree Level 2: Christopher]
[Double Degree Level 3: Browser]
[Library Lover: Kaifen]
…and Gackt1 for always commenting! It’s always something I look forward to, so keep it coming! ^o^/
Stranded in the Unknown
“What do you mean?”
People started asking questions, perhaps in hopes of trying to make sense of their situation.
“To put it simply, there are many dimensions in this world. Normally, they exist without ever intersecting with each other. Each dimension has their own universe and worlds,” Osamu began explaining as he fixed his glasses.
“In a more popular culture, it’s often called as alternate universe,” Fideline suddenly chimed in, interfering Osamu’s explanation, causing Osamu to quickly glance at her with displeasure clear on his face.
However, since her additional information was technically correct, Osamu couldn’t say anything to her.
“But there are very rare cases where dimensional distortions happened,” Osamu added. He opened his mouth, about to say something else when Fideline beat him to it.
“The form of dimensional distortions vary, but they’re all phenomenon in which two dimensions clashed and were connected for a moment,” Fideline said.
Osamu took advantage of Fideline taking a breath to take the spotlight again, “But when two dimensions connect, it often involved the things around its vicinity, such as transporting the things around it to the other dimension.”
“There are still many mysteries about this phenomenon and since it rarely happens, not many believed it ever existing at all, and not many know about it,” Fideline added.
“And we happen to be the lucky… or unlucky… people who got to experience it first-hand,” Osamu added.
The two would sometimes glance at each other with a smug expression, as if they were rivals trying to outsmart the other one.
It couldn’t be helped as in the current situation, if the leaders were at par, then their aides would be equal as well. The great general of Naraka was now the Cielle crown princess’ rival, and their aides would be rivals as well.
Though their interactions to outsmart each other were amusing, the others didn’t even pay attention to it as they were more focused to the information that they heard for the first time.
“Are you kidding me?”
“Isn’t it only something that happens in fictions…”
“Huh, I am not sure about that. I think this is a trap.”
“This? Another world? Another dimension? Hah, what a preposterous idea.”
“We’re really in another world… another dimension? That explains a lot…”
“Can we even return back?”
As expected, people’s responses varied, from those who were in denial, those who completely didn’t believe in the news, and those who believed in the news and immediately despaired.
Fideline and Osamu both didn’t add another word for a while, indicating that they didn’t have any more information to add. After sending hateful glare towards each other, they shifted their gazes at their respective superior, waiting for what’s next.
Great general Nagare was standing stiff, his arms crossed, his eyes closed, his fingers tapping the other arms. There was a frown on his face, perhaps he was thinking of the situation or listening to the people’s whispers.
The more Oriel listened to the people’s whispers, the more she frowned.
Eventually, she had enough and clapped her hands, gaining the attention of, at least, the elves who immediately quieted down and focused their attention on Oriel.
“I know it’s hard to comprehend this, but it is our truth. And each moment is important for our survival in this unknown world. More force on our side is a better choice for our survival. We can try to figure out how we can return together. I hope all of you understand where I’m coming from,” Oriel said.
“…,” the elves were looking at one another and some whispered.
Then, Nagare suddenly said, “I know it’s hard. But for the sake of our own lives, let’s try to tolerate each other.”
The Onis’ reaction was even stronger than the elves. Some clicked their tongues in dissatisfaction loudly.
Suddenly, they heard what seemed to be the echoes of a monster’s growl, indicating that there might be more monsters incoming.
“We need to decide now,” Nagare said.
“Come, let’s hurry and find a safer place,” Oriel added.
Though everyone seemed reluctant, they had no other choices but to follow along.
“I will never, ever cooperate with the despicable Onis!” One of the most vocal elves suddenly declared.
All the elves stopped. The Onis were provoked as well.
“Tch, who the hell wants to cooperate with you arrogant elves? Over my dead body!” One of the most vocal Onis also declared.
Some of the Onis and elves that agreed to these fanatics’ idealism yelled in agreement.
“I’ll report your collusion with the elves once I can get back home!” One of the Oni fanatics yelled as he pointed towards the great general.
“Insolent…!” Osamu was about to walk up to the fanatic when Nagare held him back and shook his head.
“Princess, I didn’t expect that the Onis would manage to corrupt you. I shouldn’t have supported you if I had known this. I will report my findings to the Queen and ask her to reconsider the successor soon,” One of the elves fanatics also said.
“I…,” Oriel wanted to argue back, to convince the fanatic elves that their lives were more important than their pride, but Fideline quickly gestured to her to keep quiet. Since Fideline knew that whatever Oriel said would end up futile.
In the end, three groups were formed as they went to their separate ways. The first one was the Oni fanatics, the second one was the elves fanatics, while the third one was the alliance between the remaining Oni and elves, as well as their leaders and their aides.
Their entourage started with around 200 people each race, but now, after excluding those who have fallen in the battles and those who decided to separate themselves, there were only around half of them.
The wounded had been treated with some first aid at the spot the moment the monsters were defeated, and now, they were being helped by others.
It was hard to navigate in an environment that was completely unknown to them. Even something that normally looked harmless in their original world was proven to be dangerous in this world and the contrasting scenario had happened on several occasions as well.
Therefore, the Oni-elves alliance didn’t immediately find a good place where they could really stay at. They had to stop by several places to rest.
Luckily, they still had a little bit of provision that was saved in a magical bag that they could use to eat. But obviously it wasn’t enough for their lifetime.
“We have to find a place ideal for living,” Nagare said.
“So far there isn’t any good place. The cave we stayed at the first time was good, but it was way too far from water source. The second area was an open area with water, but there were just too many monsters lurking around, that was why we stayed only for a short rest over there. And then…,” Osamu began analyzing the area based off the map that they had tried to draw during their route here.
“We haven’t encountered any single living being that seemed to have civilizations, that we could reason with…,” Fideline sighed.
“I wonder how about the rest of us who decided to go off on their own…,” Oriel muttered.
Everyone went silent after hearing her.
Among the ones of the other factions, there were actually one of the great general and the crown princess’ closest people, that could be considered their secondary aides. That was why they had the courage to oppose the leaders and some members had the courage to join these higher-ups. Not to mention that the Oni-elves alliance members had relatives or even close friends that actually joined the opposition faction.
Realizing that she had unconsciously dampened the mood, Oriel suddenly said, “Let’s hope we encounter them midway and they’ve already changed their minds.”
With that, everyone went back to talking about where to go as well as resting.
Eventually, they found a place that was okay enough to be made into a living area. The atmosphere of the place seemed alright with no poisonous miasma or underlying traps or even monsters’ dens. The area was a bit secluded, but there was a lake with a calm water. The plants that existed there didn’t seem to be dangerous monsters instead.
After checking their surroundings several times, they agreed to make this place as their base.
Everyone got straight to the business without much fuss. And just as what they’ve done during their way here, nobody spoke more than necessary with members of the opposing race, only talking and working together if they needed to. Though united in an alliance, they were still more separate inside.
The water source seemed clean, but just in case, the elves used their magic to purify the water. The Onis scanned the dark caves with their dark magic, relieved upon finding nothing strange lurking behind the shadows.
The elves created barriers around them for protective measures, while the Onis made another layer of barriers that were imbued with curses that would put ailment on whoever tried to breach the barrier.
When the protective measures were done, they decided to take a good rest after the long arduous journey as well as the tiring chores they had to do to make sure the area was safe.
After getting their much needed rest, they gathered again to talk about their strategy moving forward.
“We’ve talked about it before, but we’ll need to divide everyone into several teams that would alternate around,” Oriel said.
“Each team will have roughly the same number of Onis and elves,” Nagare added.
Though nobody said it, they all knew that having a team consisting of both Onis and elves was decided in order to defend against the other race as well. With each race participating in each team, there would be no chance of one deceiving the other. Though they had already declared an alliance, they were still guarded against the other race.
What they were thankful for was the fact that everyone that was stranded together in the unknown world was fighter, meaning that there wasn’t any vulnerable person that couldn’t fight or defend themselves, other than those who were still wounded at the moment.
Based on each person’s strong points, they were allocated to different teams. There were teams that would go on expedition to find and gather food and other resources, teams that were tasked with surveying the area as well as drawing maps, noting the landscapes or presences that they found. Meanwhile, the ones who were staying would be defenders, healers, and the ones responsible for building stuff and processing the ingredients that were brought back.
Thus, they started each day with their assigned tasks, nobody had the time to relax except during their time off. That included the leaders as well as their aides who would sometimes join a team to observe how they were doing.
As days gone by, they had new discoveries and were starting to adapt with the life here. They were resigned and acknowledged that there weren’t actually another sentient lifeforms like them around the area to talk with or to ask things about this world. They only had one another.
The life forms in this world seemed to only be monsters, and there were so many dangerous monsters—even the plants. The more people that got hurt, the more they let down their guard to one another as the realization finally dawned on them that now they should be guarded towards the monsters instead.
One day, Oriel and Nagare were discussing the results of their findings and what to do next along with their aides and several team leaders when suddenly, one of the guards on duty ran in a fluster towards their area.
“Where are your manners?!” One of the team leaders that was responsible for the guard unit quickly reprimanded the guard.
The guard, short on breath, apologized as she tried to control her breathing.
“It’s alright. What is the matter?” Oriel quickly said as she looked at the guard. For her to come here in a rush without even asking for a permission to disturb the current discussion, there should be an urgent matter.
Sure enough, the guard quickly announced with a face full of confusion, “The people who left us… Some of them returned, but…!”