A beautiful and large lake glimmered in the morning sun.
Docked on it was something so vast and grand that it could be recognized from a distance, resembling a flying ship.
What first caught the eye was an enormous envelope that stretched 180 meters in length. At first, I thought it was a flying ship, but there were clearly differences that set it apart.
Underneath the envelope, the passenger cabin of what would be the flying ship was abnormally large. It made up about two-thirds of the entire length and looked like a galleon ship without sails, with large wings attached to the hull. It looked just like the fantastic vessels featured in games and fantasy worlds.
Could it be possible that it could fly? Its appearance was certainly that of an airship. The sight of it was majestic and unnatural.
However, it was simply impossible to think that it could fly considering the size of the envelope would not produce enough buoyancy.
While on Earth, there were hybrid airships that utilized both thrust and buoyancy to dramatically increase effective payload capacity compared to ordinary airships. Although the ship had wings as well, which indicated a similar mechanism might be in use, its design seemed to ignore aerodynamics entirely. Even if hybrid airships could increase payload capacity to such extent, lifting such a massive ship would still be impossible by Earth’s standards.
But this wasn’t Earth, this was a different world, one that could be called a magical world without hesitation.
(Please, let it fly! Fly, fly!!)
There was no way that the huge ship could pass through the river flowing out of the lake. Thus, it had to be flown somewhere if it was going somewhere. Therefore, it must be able to fly, right?!
(Oh yeah! Something huge and something flying, both are the romance of men! A moment where both of those elements combine would be double the excitement! If that thing is a giant ship that can fly, I can’t help but be thrilled!)
“You seem to be getting excited again. Is this what An likes to call ‘the romance of men’?”
(Yeah! Huge things and flying things, both are the romance of men! The elements combining would be doubly exciting! If that thing is a giant flying ship, it’s impossible not to get excited!)
“I can see you’re getting over-excited about this. Please calm down,”
It was a shame that there was no friend nearby who could share this excitement.
Frowning, I looked around.
In front of the ship, people were gathering continuously, boarding the ship one after another.
Though I had been distracted by the impact of the ship, I caught sight of something I hadn’t noticed before.
(What is that?)
“It could be a prehistoric bird, but it’s not in the database.”
A group of about a dozen people who were supervising the queue by the ramp, taking command of the armed soldiers, and posted as scouts, appeared to be riding on an animal that resembled a prehistoric bird that had already gone extinct on Earth.
It was large enough for humans to ride, so its size was quite considerable.
Their brains seemed developed, swelling from the back of their skull to their eyes; their heads resembled dogs more than birds. To put it simply, it was like taking the ears off the dog and replacing them with a large beak. They had three thick, ferociously looking claws at the end of their legs.
It would be hopeless if someone were attacked by that thing.
…Huh? Speaking of which…
As my gaze wandered, searching for something,
(Is that it?)
“There is a possibility.”
I found a group of people gathered around a campfire, who seemed to have kept a creature with a four-legged carnivorous appearance.
They were different from the other fantastic armed groups, wearing leather armor and casual clothes. Also, they were all in dark colors. They appeared to belong to a special forces unit or the like.
It looked like a saber-toothed tiger. Large fangs grew from its upper jaw. Its body was far larger than that of a large dog, and it was equivalent to that of a tiger. Its fur was jet-black and looked incredibly cool.
It stood out a little in the morning sun, but it would certainly be threatening in the darkness of the night.
Even so, to think that they would casually converse with such a terrifying beast instead of confining it in a cage… Was it so well trained? Or was it intelligent and friendly towards humans?
(Can I keep it too?)
“If it becomes attached to you, it might be excellent for self-defense.”
With that possibility in mind, I grinned.
Putting aside my fantasies, I resumed my observation.
(Its legs consist of four claws.)
“It seems like there’s a possibility,” he said.
At the end of its thick legs were sharp claws.
It might have been Bingo!.
It was the first corpse he had ever seen.
The creature’s back was covered with four large, gaping wounds.
He had thought of them earlier and, upon searching, he found them.
It could just be a coincidence, but the possibility was high.
The wounds were several centimeters apart, and it would take an animal of the size of a bear or a tiger to inflict such large wounds vertically across a person’s back from the upper right to the lower left.
He had considered the possibility of it being done by a wild animal, but he quickly dismissed the thought.
What were the chances of a person being attacked by a wild animal at the same time he happened to arrive in this world?
And not just one, but two people?
It was much more likely that it was the work of an armed group with beasts.
He couldn’t help but laugh at how it all made sense, and his mind was a little clearer for it.
He watched the group’s movements for several minutes, and finally he saw the tail end of the group reach the lakeside.
Everyone had boarded the boat, which was now ready to set sail.
As his stomach growled, he realized he hadn’t eaten breakfast yet.
After watching the boat disappear, he decided to find food.
He was a little anxious about the food in this world.
The armed soldiers patrolling the lake shores had gathered around the boat, and within fifteen minutes, everyone had boarded.
He couldn’t wait to see what would happen.
Excitement building in his chest, he watched as the boat began to move.
“What? No way,” he muttered in disbelief as the boat moved in a way he had never expected.
He had thought there would be some kind of driving sound before the boat moved, but it started moving almost silently, even though there was still a long way to go to the lake.
“I agree. Despite the risks, it is worth investigating this world,” voiced the Mai.
The boat flew into the sky.
No, it surfaced!
The drops of water falling from the bottom of the boat shimmered in the sunlight, creating an incredibly surreal scene.
This was beyond the technology of his own world. This was fantastic!
It was nothing like the HCS he had seen in the village square before.
He couldn’t imagine that the boat could move silently and vertically, almost like taking off.
He had expected it to glide and accelerate, like with the use of propulsion.
But there were no propellers and no sound.
It was just so incomprehensible.
“Since the completion of HCS, it has been almost 200 years. Our technology has stagnated, but the universe is vast,” the mai reminded him.
It was different from the phenomenon he had seen in the village square.
This world was incredibly stimulating and fantastic!
He had been so absorbed in watching the boat that he forgot about his neck pain.
But now, the sun was fully up, and the birds were chirping, indicating the start of a new day.
It had only been a few hours since he woke up.
What should he do now?
Look for food, search for survivors, or escape from reality by sleeping?
“Let’s start by securing food and having a meal. Then, we can investigate the village,” advised the Mai.
It was an obvious answer, but it was reassuring.
He had been feeling lonely and scared since he woke up in this unknown place.
But he had the Mai to talk to, even if it was just an AI.
“Thanks,” he said as he got up and dusted off his pants.
He began walking towards the village.