the seven gods -> The Seven
Mermen -> Marmen
Upon feeling the light of the sun shining on his face, Souma woke up.
He slightly opens his eyes while shading them with his right hand due to the brightness.
The location was inside a tent unbeknownst to him. Although it was called a tent, it’s not the triangle tent which Souma knows so well. It has a shape similar to a bowl having been turned over. With the top part having a hole it’s close to something nomadic tribes use. Thick pelts and cloths are spread out on the ground, which is where Souma was put to sleep while being covered by fur.
“Mmh? Did you finally wake up?”
It was a beastman who was about to enter inside after moving the tent’s entrance curtain aside.
The surprised Souma backs off, trying to distance himself in a hurry from the beastman, while still sitting on his butt. The beastman’s face furrowed due to that. It seems as if it smiled wryly.
The beastman piles up dry leaves in the fireplace that had been built by stacking stones in the middle of the tent then blows onto the glow and triggers a fire. After that, it unwraps several slices of thick, dried meat on top of a stone close to the fire and lines them up. Next it takes out something similar to dumplings and begins to grill them over the fire after stabbing them on top of a branch tip.
A short while later the fragrant aroma of roasted meat filled the tent.
Souma’s throat gulped.
The beastman smiled at Souma, who blushes out of embarrassment, and then placed well-roasted meat and dumplings on a large leaf which served as plate and held it out in Souma’s direction.
“At any rate, eat. There are various things I want to talk about, but that can wait until your stomach is full.”
It doesn’t seem like the beastman is hostile. Souma pulls the held out leaf to himself and timidly tastes the meat.
“… Delicious!?” (Souma)
It was so delicious that he unintentionally voiced it out. The dried meat, which had a condensed, tasty flavour, also has a herb seasoning with saltiness and a spicy taste. Its tastiness spreads through his entire mouth. The dumpling has a different colour and texture from the one Souma knows, but with it releasing a peculiar sweetness after chewing it, it was appetizing as well.
The beastman smiles happily due to Souma devouring the food greedily.
Saying that, the beastman sat down cross-legged on the spot and began to eat the meat and dumplings as well.
Souma observed the beastman while eating his meat and dumplings.
The entire body of the beastman is covered by bright chestnut-coloured fur. Only the inner side of the body such as from its mouth, which is similar to that of a tiger or leopard, to its belly is white. A sleeveless undergarment, which had a beautiful grid pattern and was knitted with vividly coloured ivy, covered its chest and shoulder. It is wearing something similar to a straw skirt with many small leather pouches and boards hanging down from it and was knitted with ivy in the same way.
Since the area around the undergarments chest section is bulging, I guess it’s likely for her to be a female, but I don’t have any positive proof either way since it’s not like I have any previous experience allowing me to compare a beastman’s gender.
Once the beastman finishes eating, she puts dried leaves into the hot water in the iron pot which was hanging over the fireplace and, after letting it boil for a while, scoops the pot’s contents up with a bowl.
“Drink. It will warm your body.”
Once he drinks as told, a good taste similar to that of oolong tea spread in his mouth. A short while later a pleasant warmth permeated from the inside of his body, just like the beastman said.
Drinking up the tea, Souma held out the bowl together with the leaf plate to the beastman. And then, placing his hands together, he bowed his head.
“Thank you for the treat 1.” (Souma)
“Those words, what’s that about?”
“Umm… It means that it was very delicious, serves as thanks to you for preparing the food and also shows your gratitude towards the things that were eaten.” (Souma)
“I see. Even gratitude towards the food that was eaten, huh? Thank you for the treat, I guess?”
The beastman imitated Souma and bowed her head after putting her hands together.
“Umm… I’m sorry if I’m wrong. Were you the person who was in that hole? Or not…?” (Souma)
“What? You didn’t know about me?”
“Sorry. Since that place was dark, I didn’t see the colour of the fur and such too well… Also, I didn’t understand the words.” (Souma)
“Hmm. Oh well, it can’t be helped, can it? I don’t grasp the face of a human well either. Since humans have a weak nose, they don’t understand scents, I suppose. What made you understand the language seems to be the 『connection』 grandmother mentioned, but I also don’t get that part.”
Saying that, the beastman faced Souma, confronting him directly, and lightly bowed her head while putting both of her fists on the floor.
“I’m 《Noble Fang》 Fagul Garguss Shyemul.” (Shyemul)
“Fagul is the clan’s name. It has the meaning of <Fang Clan> as one of the 12 zoan clans. The following Garguss is my father’s name. And Shyemul is my own name. 《Noble Fang》 is my nickname.” (Shyemul)
“Then, is it fine to call you Shyemul… san?” (Souma)
“Aye. Well, the 『san』 is unnecessary.” (Shyemul)
“I’m Kizaki Souma.”
“Kisaki Soma ² ? Kisaki is your given name?” (Shyemul)
“No, no, it’s different. Souma is my given name with Kizaki being my surname.” (Souma)
“Hoo. Different from the humans over here, your given name comes last? — Got it. Let me address you with Soma.” (Shyemul)
Shyemul committed his name to memory by repeatedly muttering 「Soma」 in her mouth.
“Umm… it’s something strange to ask, but… that… fur, is it real?” (Souma)
“Mmh? What, you don’t know about zoans?” (Shyemul)
“Yes. We zoans are a race born from beasts by the great God of Beasts. Were there no zoans in the dimension you came from?” (Shyemul)
“… Probably. It’s different inside myths and folklores though.” (Souma)
“It seems I have to explain from the beginning after all, doesn’t it?” (Shyemul)
Shyemul folds her arms and ponders from where she has to start explaining.
“What I’d like you to understand first is that you are someone called 『Drop Child』.” (Shyemul)
“A noble’s illegitimate child ³ ?” (Souma)
“That’s right. The location we are currently at is a place called Seldeas Continent. Have you heard of it?” (Shyemul)
Souma shakes his head. Shyemul picks up the branch she used to grill the dumplings and draws a rough ellipse on the ashes of the fireplace.
“The size and shape of Seldeas Continent isn’t properly known. No one ever investigated it. Even though there are those who want to investigate it, there are several countries on the continent. And, since those countries hate to have their own countries investigated by others, it remains impossible to do so. However, once you put the stories of travellers and such together, one at least knows that the continent’s circumference is surrounded by the sea.” (Shyemul)
She adds several wavy lines to the surroundings of the ellipse.
“Seven races worshipping The Seven live on this continent. Dinosaurians, Marmen, Dwarves, Elves, Zoans, Harpyans and Humans.” (Shyemul)
“You say Marmen, are those mermen? Err, do they have a human’s upper body and a fish’ lower body?” (Souma)
“Hoo, so you knew about Marmen?” (Shyemul)
“If it’s about the rest, dwarves are small and bearded, elves are a beautiful race with pointed ears.” (Souma)
“The male dwarves grow a beard. The elves are… I don’t know whether they are beautiful or not, but according to what humans say, they seem to all be beautiful.” (Shyemul)
“None of them exists in reality. Those are just people appearing in myths.” (Souma)
“I see. But, isn’t it a bit too much for it to be a coincidence. There might have possibly existed people who dropped to the other side from here, opposite from you.” (Shyemul)
Shyemul points at the continent drawn on the ash with the branch in her hand.
“The story ended up deviating a bit, but this continent is our world. There might exist other continents on the other side of the sea, but at least for now our world is this.” (Shyemul)
She picks up a pebble that fell down next to the fireplace and drops it on the drawn continent.
“And it means that you are a 『Drop Child』 who dropped to this place from somewhere else.” (Shyemul)
Due to her mentioning the word 「dropped」, Souma noticed about the character 「Drop Child」 being added in the word 「Drop Child」 which Shyemul used previously to specify him.
“As expected. This place was a different world…” (Souma)
His consciousness was hazy at the time, but he has memories left about the things happening in the meanwhile, though faint.
The suspicious religious ceremony in the limestone cave, the lizard with a horse-like size, the fortress illuminated by bonfires and the basement.
And above all else, the one he met there, the beastman currently in front of him, Shyemul.
All of those are impossible in modern Japan— the world Souma lived in.
“What’s this, you are believing me more obediently than I thought.” (Shyemul)
Certainly Shyemul thought that Souma likely won’t believe in her right away even if she told him that he ended up dropping into a different world. Maybe she was even anxious on whether he would get confused or begin to act up.
However, although Souma was astonished about the surprising facts, he apparently accepted the circumstances readily.
Though Shyemul didn’t have any way to know about it, stories such as the protagonist being summoned or dropped into a different world are something commonplace in anime and manga. Thus, for Souma who is a typical Japanese boy indulging in that subculture since his childhood; he had the groundwork if it’s merely understanding this abnormal situation.
Besides, not having the leeway to ponder overly deeply about it as his consciousness was hazy from the time when he dropped to this world until now, might have been unexpectedly fortunate for his understanding. As he was able to prepare little by little for accepting this abnormal situation while his consciousness was still hazy, Souma apparently didn’t suffer a large shock and didn’t become panicked even when he was told about the circumstances by Shyemul once again like this.
Comprehending the circumstance he was placed in, Souma first asked the question he wanted to ask the most.
“Can I return to my previous world? If you know the means to do so, please tell me.” (Souma)
Shyemul assumed that this question would crop up, but she can only warp her lips while looking apologetic.
“Sorry. I don’t know. Even the things I told you now are all just second-hand knowledge.” (Shyemul)
“I see…” (Souma)
Due to Souma feeling down, Shyemul continues her words in a hurry.
“Grandmother is better informed than me. As I will introduce grandmother to you later, don’t feel so depressed.” (Shyemul)
“Thank you.” (Souma)
Souma’s face revealed a smile, though awkward, at Shyemul becoming flustered to an amusing degree.
“But, why are you doing so much for me?” (Souma)
That’s something difficult to ask, but it was also something he had to ask no matter what as early as possible.
Considering that this place is a different world, acquaintances and a home on which he can rely on don’t exist for Souma. Also, he doesn’t possess anything of monetary value either. Let alone the knowledge to just survive in this place, he doesn’t even know the common sense around here.
As such, though he had been saved for some reason for now, Souma wouldn’t be able to survive at all if Shyemul’s mood changes all of a sudden and causes him to be thrown out.
If I have been saved by Shyemul with some kind of intention behind it, I have to grasp it fast and it will become necessary to put in effort for securing her protection. At least until I manage to return to my previous world or reach the point where I’m able to support myself. Shyemul’s protection is essential for either of those as well.
“Before I tell you that, I’d like you to listen to one thing.” (Shyemul)
Shyemul stared deeply into Souma’s eyes.
It was as if she is trying to not miss even the faintest movement of his eyes to see completely through the bottom of Souma’s heart.
“Why did you try to help me back then?” (Shyemul)
Wondering what kind of difficult question she was going to ask, Souma felt let down.
Therefore he answered her honesty without any kind of enthusiasm.
“Because that’s only natural.” (Souma)
“Only natural, you say!?” (Shyemul)
“Yea. In times of trouble you help each other, that’s what I was taught. Because I believed that to be the norm…” (Souma)
Shyemul was flabbergasted.
Just how peaceful was the world he came from? It’s common to help each other at times of trouble, he says? That’s a story from some paradise. I cannot possibly believe that there’s a world filled with only such fools.
Well, come to think of it, it might be reasonable. Even in the zoan’s village it’s nothing unusual to take care of someone, who lost the ability to hunt due to sickness or injury, with everyone. However, when it comes to extending that even to another race, it’s a different pair of shoes.
Isn’t that so? Shyemul thought.
There were no zoans in Soma’s world. Therefore he isn’t tainted by the common sense of the humans over here that the zoans are an inferior race that should be weeded out. From his point of view, a zoan, whom he saw for the first time, is nothing else but a living being that’s similar to humans. That’s why it was probably something natural to save them.
In this world the conflict between humans and zoans has been continuing since long ago before Shyemul was born. As source of evil that’s already impossible to resolve easily, it nested itself deeply within both races. It has already reached a stage where nothing can be done about it with the ideology of splinter groups or individuals.
However, if there’s a world of people who help each other without discriminating against humans or zoans, like Soma, won’t that be something absolutely wonderful then, I wonder?
As I know that that’s something totally impossible in reality, that only makes me consider the Soma in front of me as a very precious existence.
Shyemul straightens herself once more, presses both fists against each other and bows very deeply.
“Soma, I will never forget my debt of gratitude for that time. 《Noble Fang》 Fagul Garguss Shyemul swears on her pride and the name of her father that she shall return that debt without fail. Stay here for as long as you want. Please accept my hospitality without reservations.” (Shyemul)
“W-Wait a moment. Raise your head, Shyemul! I didn’t do anything significant!” (Souma)
Shyemul burst into laughter due to Souma getting all panicky.
This 『Drop Child』 doesn’t understand at all just how amazing the action he is considering as 「nothing significant」 is in this world.
Shyemul laughed for a while in front of Souma who had a bright red face, but once she noticed the footsteps of someone approaching the tent, she subdued her laughter.
“Soma, wrap this around your forehead.” (Shyemul)
As it’s still inconvenient for others to learn of him being the divine child of Aura, Shyemul tossed a headband that was adorned with embroidery to Souma.
The clearing of a throat could be heard on the other side of the tent’s entrance curtain. At the time of visiting someone else’s tent, the proper etiquette is to inform those inside with a cough about your visit before calling out to them.
“Who is it? What do you want?” (Shyemul)
“Shyemul, it’s me. There’s something I want to talk about. Is it fine to enter?”
Once Shyemul moved the curtain to the side after confirming that Souma put on the headband, a huge zoan with black fur can be seen standing there. The zoan with a vivid scar caused by a sword cut reaching from his brows through his nose bridge to his right cheek gazes at Souma with a sidelong glance and wrinkles up his nose while looking displeased.
“What’s wrong, 《Ferocious Fang》?” (Shyemul)
“It’s hard to have a talk here. I’m sorry, but please come with me for a bit.”
It’s very likely something difficult to talk about in front of Soma. Once Shyemul acknowledged his request, she told him to go ahead first since she will follow in a bit.
“Soma, I’m sorry, but I will step out for a bit. Please don’t go outside for any reason while I’m not here.” (Shyemul)
“Got it. — But, will you be alright?” (Souma)
Shyemul knew what Souma wanted to say. He is worrying whether Shyemul is put into trouble because of him.
“It’s fine, Soma. That guy is the 《Ferocious Fang》 Fagul Garguss Garam. He isn’t a bad guy in any way.” (Shyemul)
Due to the name he was told by Shyemul, Souma wondered with a 「Huh?」.
If I remember correctly, the first part is the clan’s name, thus it means that he belongs to the same clan of zoans as Shyemul, I guess. But the next part is the name of the father, I’m sure that Shyemul said that.
In other words, Shyemul and the zoan from before are…
“Ah, you realized? It’s true. Garam is my elder brother.” (Shyemul)
Author’s trivia about the novel:
The zoan’s tents are made by putting waterproofed, treated pelts and fur materials on top of a wooden framework. The interior has thick pelts and fur laid out and is equipped with a stove, a fireplace and such. It’s in order to allow all livelihood to take place there.
Usually an entire family lives in one tent.
Shyemul and Garam are elder brother and younger sister, but since Shyemul is a divine child and Garam is the clan head, they possess their own tents.
Given that someone else’s tent is a completely private space, it’s courtesy to do the greeting after announcing one’s visit with a cough first in case of a visit. If you violate this, it might develop into a fight.
As exception; in case the entrance curtain was moved aside, it’s allowed to do the greeting without coughing if you are close to the other party.
1 ごちそうさまでした – Gochisousamadeshita – Commonly said after a meal in Japan. Left it away to increase localization and changed the next line accordingly (back up)
² キサキ・ソーマ – Kisaki Soma – That’s how he is referred in historical books and whenever those living on Seldeas Continent address him. Just to point out that the author makes a distinction here, contrary to his real name which is 木崎蒼馬 – Kizaki Souma and is pronounced slightly differently (back up)
³ 「おとしご」 – otoshigo – usually means bastard of a noble (or in this case better: ‘a noble’s illegitimate’ child) and that’s what Souma hears first cause that’s how 「落とし子」, which means “Drop Child” here, is spoken in Japanese. It kind of localizes badly into English because it’s one of those typical misunderstandings that can happen with the kanji not being clear by just the pronunciation while lacking the proper context, which Souma does in this case. (back up)