Here’s another chapter for the LN. I’ll be releasing the chapter for Yuusha Party (LN) tomorrow after the editor has taken a look at it. 🙂
A big thanks to our new Netooku (WN) editor, Anonymous Neko for for helping me out in this chapter.
Edited by: Anonymous Neko
Episode 1: The smell of other world from the innocent mirror (1/2)
It might be due to the soaring number of people involved in the same trading line as brokers, it has become increasingly harder to locate rare books.
Likewise, it is also relentlessly difficult to find some great bargains at the flea market.
Since the weekly flea market carried out at the shrine in the neighbourhood is run by professional merchants, there is no longer profit to earn there.
Thus the only remaining method, is to acquire them by traveling from one private residence to another in this province. This method is mentally exhausting since good communication skill is an utmost necessity in carrying it out. Although, the profit gained is huge if one knows what he’s doing…..
“Damn………There are more and more worthless piece of shit nowadays. This is all because of them. If I was the only scum around, I will be able to make a living by exploiting all those serious-minded people……” [Jirou]
I cursed as I continue driving the K-car. 1I was purely venting out my frustrations at this moment.
Since early this morning, I have been searching high and low for great bargains in the flea market, combed through several large-scale second-hand bookstore chains and purchased goods from the merchants whom I got acquainted with halfway through in the flea market. Nevertheless, the level of goods that can be acquired left were much to be desired……it would be great if I could earn at least around 5000 yen from them.
“Not to mention, my card payment for next month exceeds 60,000 yen…….” [Jirou]
My current fortune amounted to a mere 20,000 yen. I am on the brink of getting checkmated now. How did it come to this………
Regardless of how I look at it, this was the result of over-expenditure on my internet shopping.
It was my fault for overdoing it little by little without a care in the world. It was also my fault for not being able to suppress my troublesome overwhelmingly materialistic desire that blazes up whenever I see something that I want………
Why the heck did I buy that fuckingly expensive SLR camera even though it was my first one? What was the point of purchasing something like a rice bread cooker even though I don’t have the habit of eating bread on my meals?………
It’s scary! My own greed is scary! It’s seriously frightening how I have the optimism of a platinum member card holder despite being a NEET myself!
—-At any rate, I need more things to sell now.
If the worse comes to the worst, I could also dispose of the other items-chan that I have selfishly bought to break even. That is one of the methods but……….
I drove through the back street from the flea market and onto the highway along the mountain.
Since it has come to this, I have no other choice than to rely on baa-chan.2 I’ve got nothing to lose anyway……
Baa-chan’s house is an old Japanese-style house built over a century ago. Even though the scale is smaller than one might expect, this one comes with a storehouse.
Generally, an old house with storage space such as this would be the main battlefield for most antique dealers. There were a lot of them who had naturally paid her a visit but, baa-chan seemed to have turned them down flatly. As a result, the storehouse still remains untouched.
I might be able to get by for this month if she would sell even a few of her items. There is a possibility that great treasures were hidden in there as well. Even if there are no treasures among the items, there’s a good chance of selling the item at a high price by describing it as “new antique” — after all, that would be the first item acquired from her storehouse. However, recently there has been an increase in the number of ‘comrades’ who share the same idea in displaying their products as ‘new antiques’ as well, so this particular approach of misusing the term seems to have crumbled……..
“Baa-chan, I’m here to pay a visit—” [Jirou]
I hit the intercom once I reached her front gate. This style is pretty common in rural areas.
“Is it Jirou? You’re here just at the right time. I have something that I need your help with again.” [Baa-chan]
There was something that she requires from the local home centre so she needed someone to drive her there. Hence I gave her a lift there.
This request is not an unusual thing now since I am the only person staying nearby who has too much free time on his hands every day………
Upon returning, the original purpose of the visit has completely slipped my mind as I nearly accept 3000 yen as pocket money from her.
When I finally recalled it, I tried approaching baa-chan to negotiate with her about it.
“Baa-chan, I don’t need any pocket money but can I ask for something from you? Erm…..I understand that baa-chan truly cherished all the things but, I wonder if you can gift me just any single item from your storehouse….or something….” [Jirou]
I was flustered.
How should I put it….I was afraid that baa-chan might get angry.
“From the storehouse? The things in there are mostly things that I don’t use anymore. If you see anything you like feel free to take it. If it’s someone I don’t know then I definitely won’t allow it but a relative is a different story. There will be no one tidying up the storehouse after I die anyway.” [Baa-chan]
“Is it really alright?” [Jirou]
It seemed to be a needless worry but… maybe she’s the type who agrees easily to someone’s requests? It was somehow a bit of a let-down when she accepted it with ease.
I was handed the key to the storehouse from baa-chan and headed there. A sturdy wooden door with a huge padlock stood before me.
I pushed open the heavy door after unlocking it with the key.
The place beyond me was a room filled with hopes and dreams. A storehouse with all the untouched antiques that would make one drool. Namu namu. 3
Even I can’t help but to hold great expectation from this. Baa-chan did say that all the items in the storehouse were things that she doesn’t need anymore but—-
I searched through the storehouse with a flashlight in my hand.
A strange voice escaped my throat at the sight of all the different kind of antiques around the place.
(……Nn? It appears that there are some great things here.)
After rummaging through the things for about an hour, I ascended the stairs to examine the old Paulownia cabinet on the second floor to see if there was anything concealed behind there.
“Is this a…..mirror?” [Jirou]
Judging from the layer of dust covering the surface, this mirror must have been left here for quite a long time. The heavy wooden frame looks really cool in its own way. The height seems to be around 170cm and the width is about 100cm. It looks quite huge. It might be more appropriate to call this a full length mirror.
There was nothing reflected in the mirror. Was it because the storehouse was too dark? Or has the surface clouded after being left unattended for many years?
“……What is it? It didn’t seem to be……because it was too old……” [Jirou]
When I tried lifting it up, it was lighter than I expected. I am not really knowledgeable about antique mirrors but, considering the hardness of the frame, the weight doesn’t seem natural. Is the frame hollow?
(But well, a mirror is something that is troublesome to sell through auction. It’s fragile. Most importantly, I don’t think a mirror like this would be useful)
As I was thinking so, I casually touched the mirror’s surface with my finger.
No. To be more precise, I tried to touch it but I wasn’t able to.
My fingers went through it when I tried touching the surface.
And—-I lost my balance due to the shock, causing me to fall towards, or rather, into the mirror——
“O…O-ouch……….Nn? Eh?” [Jirou]
How did I end up in this unfamiliar looking room built out of stone?
No, I was able to distinguish the surrounding only to a bare minimum with the help of the flashlight. It’s a room that is completely devoid of lights.
Gripped with fear, I looked back in a hurry to find the same mirror as the one in the storehouse earlier behind me. The storehouse in which I was at just now was reflected in the mirror.
“Wh-….What is going on here…?” [Jirou]
There shouldn’t be anyone answering me even if I was to ask this aloud. It would actually be scary if there were.
When I tried looking around, I realized that the room was indeed built of stone. There appears to be a wooden door leading outside and a wooden box in this room.
The original storehouse in which I was at was still reflected in the mirror. No, if this were a mirror, the reverse image of this room would be reflected in the mirror instead. In other words, this is not a mirror. But, it is a mirror………. I wasn’t able to collect my thoughts properly due to the confusion.
I tried touching the surface gently again but, as expected my fingers couldn’t come in contact with it. They just slipped right through the surface.
Ehh….in other words, this is…
“The world inside the mirror…..?” [Jirou]
I became anxious the moment I came to that idea. Can I go back? What should I do if I can’t go back?
I leaped through the mirror right away to the other side.
*crash* I ended up sending the items scattering all over the storehouse. I have returned.
When I looked around, I brought my hand onto my chest, breathing a sigh of relief as I managed to return safely.
There was nothing but a black image reflected in the mirror again. However, if that was indeed another world then the stone room should be projected in the mirror.
“But, well, what should I do….” [Jirou]
I went outside once to take in a lungful of fresh air so I could sort out my thoughts.
I understood it well that something that seemed impossible has happened.
“Well now…what should I seriously do now….” [Jirou]
…….The only thing that I can say is that, this mirror can definitely sell for an amazingly high price! That was the only conclusion that I have drawn……..
After graduating from high school, I have failed in looking for employment so I ended up becoming a NEET for nearly two years.
That being said, it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t capable of looking for a job anymore. I did wind up joining the black company thoughtlessly, getting myself mentally and physically drained before I resigned —-that was all.
Nevertheless, I lost all my motivation to work after I left. The only thing I did was just lazing around by confining myself indoor. However, I was aware that this lifestyle cannot go on forever.
Thereupon I came across and bought a book entitled, ‘Lucrative Side Business! A monthly income of 300,000 yen from just net auctions!’ Following what was stated in the book, I decided to sell second-hand books and used tools through internet auction. I ended up obtaining a huge profit from them and…….from there on, was how I started living my life.
Fortunately, a weekly flea market would be held in the neighbourhood. I managed to purchase decent goods from the local shrine’s flea market and increased my revenue in auctions more than what I expected. Halfway through, I became fascinated by it and it was not an exaggeration to say that half of the reason was as a hobby and half of it was for money.
Originally, due to my strong materialistic desire, there were times when I developed deep attachment to the items purchased since I have good judgement when it comes to selecting items. Nonetheless, I ended up selling all the items at a really high price so it might sound conceited to say that I was rather talented in it. Well, on the other hand, I did wind up purchasing unnecessary things unintentionally too so, it wasn’t actually a huge profit all in all.
Still, even though I was able to obtain quite a reasonable profit during the first year, more and more people started earning money the same way. I had always thought that I was the only one doing something like this, but I was actually the only one amongst many in this kind of business.
At any rate, that was the reason why it has become increasingly harder to stock up on products now.
Items that are difficult to be acquired like antiques aside, there has been an increase in the number of new young patrons for the flea market or second-hand bookstores. It is common scene now to see all those young people going over the market rate of each items with their mobile phones before making their purchases.
Frankly speaking, it will no longer be a walk in the park to run this business and acquire even an average income.
Well, life is not a bed of roses for one who secluded himself in his room most of the time other than shipping the auctioned items out…….
That is why—–the discovery of a mirror that leads to another world looks far more tempting than anything else. Especially for one like me who is currently living in anxiety and uncertainty.
Hence I approached baa-chan to convey my interest in that mirror and loaded it into the car carefully so as not to break it. (There were occasions when I have to deal with fragile items so cushioning was already readied in the car)
“This mirror seems strange but, do you happen to know anything about it?” [Jirou]
Even when I tried asking baa-chan, it appears that she hasn’t got a clue of when she even obtain it. The mirror might be something that was acquired by jii-chan 4 but there was no possible way to confirm it since jii-chan has passed away a long time ago.
After about an hour drive from baa-chan’s house, I finally arrived at a single-family detached home (SFR) belonging to the Ayase family in the residential district. It is a newly built property that was bought by my parents with a 35-year mortgage loan after years of saving. The place is slightly small, at about 30 square meters.
Yeah. I’m living with my parents. I might be what people referred to as ‘parasite’.
Having no job as an excuse, all I did was just covering the slight cost for food. I’m a 21-year old NEET who is living off my parents. I do have an older brother and sister but both had already left the house.
It couldn’t be helped that I became a parasite. Being the youngest in the family, I was always spoiled as a child……..
Once I get myself a job, I would either contribute to the household expenses or leave the house. Until then, it was my hope that they would be able to look after me for a little while longer…..
1. K-Car or kei jidōsha 軽自動車 (light automobile)
2. Baa-chan = Old lady / Grandmother / Grandma
3. Jirou was chanting a mantra. Namu comes from the Chinese transliteration of the Sanskrit word namas.
4. Jii-chan = Grandfather / Grandpa