|Author: Sasaki Ichiro||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library|
As I drew water from the well and filled the bucket until it was full —I had gotten so used to this work I no longer spilled it even when carrying a full bucket of water— I thoughtlessly peeked inside the bucket and found myself awestruck.
What peeked back was a slender girl with long, cherry-blonde hair and clear white skin.
Her eyes, a tad too large for her small face, were jade green, with her eyelashes curled and her mouth small and lips pink. Coupled with the thin eyebrows and straight nose, mirrored what looked like a strong will deep inside her. And yet, with the corner of her eyes a bit mellow and soft, she gave an overall impression of a fickle, sweet little candy.
She stared back at me for a while before disappearing to the edge of the bucket with a look of disbelief. What remained on the reflection on the surface of the water was the expanding blue sky with occasional clouds.
“That would definitely belong to the cute category back on Earth—”
While I could no longer see the girl on the bucket, I touched my face with both hands, feeling every single piece on there, and then I stood up and looked down at my limbs behind the one piece and apron.
It must have been the physical labor, diet, and daily practice over the past six months or so, my arms and legs became so much more slender, and my height had grown tremendously. I was probably past 150 centimertes. I couldn’t tell how much I weighed since there was no conventional scale around here, but if I put my hands around my stomach… it was roughly 50 centimertes, I’d guess?
Which made me wonder, what was the average size of the people here? I recalled, from my previous life as a healthy high school boy, the data of the gravure idols in the magazine I was reading… were usually around 170 cm tall with a waist around 58cm in diameter, so that was the frame reference of what skinny was, generally speaking.
If so, from a ratio standpoint, my stomach was still slacking. I had to do better!
With a renewed fighting spirit, I clasped my hands and looked up at the sky.
In fact, when I looked at them again in the reflection on the water’s surface, I was still plump in various places. I touched my limbs and they were so soft it made me wonder “Do these even have bones and joints?” They were just that full of fat.
All in all, I was still soft all the same. Chubby.
“…That being said, I do feel somewhat improved, however—” I thought to myself as I lifted the wooden bucket full of water. If anything, I would feel underwhelmed if I couldn’t feel any improvement.
Then, as though agreeing with me, the egg on my back shook.
“Eek—that was close.”
I put the nearly spilled bucket on the ground again, and with some difficulty, I lowered my bulging backpack to check what was happening.
“Come to think of it, it will be two weeks in a couple of days. I guess it is hitting its growth limit, then…” As I lightly caressed the egg, slightly warmer than my own body it was, I twisted my head, trying to remember the words of that fishy peddler. “After that… I just need to name this little one once it is born to make it my familiar, but is it a boy or a girl?”
I had been so occupied with my daily chores, I hadn’t had time to think about names. I suppose now was as good as any time to start.
“If it was a girl, then perhaps Charlene*… I suppose that would be too self-deprecating, wouldn’t it?”1
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I muttered the pet name of the M14 rifle of Pv. Pyle as I smacked the top of the egg—at that moment, a single crack appeared on the surface of the hard shell like a lightning bolt.
WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?! With all the hopelessness of making an irreversible mistake, my mind went all white.
When I rushed into the brewing room in the back, I saw the black-robed witch bending over the hearth in the dim light of the corner lamp, throwing several kinds of mysterious powders into the fire and chanting incantations. This very picture of Evil Witch aka my mentor, Regina, then looked up begrudgingly.
The glare from the flames, changing color every so often, gave her wrinkled profile an even more fearsome color.
“You’ve got the nerves to slack off your chores, you damn ragweed?!! Just when the hearth is getting hot, what do you want?!”
With that much anger in her gaze, I would have folded and done a tactical retreat any other day, but I was desperate today.
“E-, e-, egg, brok-, buh- ……!!” And yet, the panic made me unable to form my words correctly.
“What is it…? Your sloppy face looks even worse when it’s such a wreck.”
With a puzzled look on her face, Regina turned to the thing I was holding dear with my life—the pet egg that was getting more cracks on my way here.
With a smug look, Regina nodded.
“You finally decided to eat it, eh? So, what’s for breakfast today? Fried egg or omelet?” She asked with a straight face, and I shook my head as hard as I could. “…Right. We haven’t had scrambled eggs for a while.” Regina smacked her lips that curved in a twisted smile, so I reflexively held the eggs tighter to protect it from her, and yet the sound of doom worsened along with the spread of the cracks.
Looking unamused at me about to break down to tears for a few seconds, Regina then, tremendously mirthless and finding it troublesome, added, practically spitting her words out.
“Notice it already, will you? You didn’t break it, it’s hatching.”
“H-, hatching… isn’t that too fast?!”
“It’s exposed to your stupidly large amount of mana every day, so of course its growth is faster. Just give it a bit more heat and mana, don’t overtax it, and it’ll pop right out.”
Following Regina’s curt instruction, carefully I walked back to the living room with the cracked egg in my arms, where the fireplace was lit.
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I added some more firewood to up the heat, sat down in front of the fireplace, and made sure I didn’t push onto the egg as I put my hands on it, letting mana into it little by little. In response, the cracks in the egg spread wider and wider, and the baby in it became even more active.
“You can do it, just a bit more! …Hii hii fuuh! Hii hii fuuh!” I regulated the mana input with rhythmic movement.
“…You’re not giving birth to it, why the hell are you getting so worked up?”
Regina, with Maya coming along, shrugged her shoulders in disbelief, but this little one had been with me for 10 days, I cherished it the whole time, it was practically my own child.
Ignoring any external opinion, I injected my mana into the egg as I continued the lamaze breathing for 20 minutes before the cracks spread all over the entire egg, after which the whole egg popped abruptly.
“Myu!” A yellowish-furred, wool-ball-like baby pet peeked out.
“I can see that.”
Fluffy fur, short limbs, spongy tail, a pair of wings on the back, and a pair of big, round eyes that caught my reflection, and then “Myu, myu!” it jumped into my lap with a cheerful bounce.
The concept this time is “Yeah, no way your waistline is only 58 cm. The perverts don’t know better.” At last, I was able to include a misconception that high school boys often have into a chapter. It’s actually hard to tell unless you directly see it and touch it, you know.
On a side note, Syltianna is physically still a kid, so her body is soft all around and yet to fully mature. Her facial features are almost identical to her mother’s, but Clara’s eyes were icy blue in color and a bit more upward at the edges (even then, Clara still gave an overall soft and mellow impression), so Syltianna took after her father in eye color and shape. Also, she is going to outgrow her mother in the breast department (which means she got the good genes).
- Mab: Full Metal Jacket reference. Private Gomer Pyle is a large, obese, and slightly dimwitted man who earns the name “Gomer Pyle” after incurring Gunnery Sergeant Hartman’s wrath (Villains Wiki). In Author’s consciousness, Pv. Pyle is seen as that funny fat man who’s always smiling, likening him to Syltianna who was (or is, in her own eyes) obese, thoughtless, and dimwitted.