Taken Without Hope
Sakuragaoka public senior high school janitor, Hasebe Kurando, along with dozens of students and three teachers, had gathered to pick up trash left from the school festival behind the school building.
Suddenly, light filled their world.
Immediately after the explosive flash, they were assaulted by a strange floating sensation in their guts.
And then just as quickly, it disappeared.
The light, which had pierced through their eyelids, also vanished instantly.
Feeling sudden relief, Kurando opened his eyes stared at their surroundings.
Shaken themselves, the three teachers tried to calm the students. Voices of disbelief and wails already starting to be uttered.
Where was this place?
What was this place?
And why were they here?
[I am she who drifts between worlds.]
The voice resounded within their minds.
Serene and mysterious, it definitely felt maternal.
Both students and teachers heard the same strange voice and they quieted down.
[Unfortunately, you have all been summoned.]
Mysterious but direct. They understood what she said, but they didn’t understand what she meant.
[This is another world, where the immature cannot play around and young heroes are usually summoned.]
“Don’t be stupid, send us back!” shouted the PE teacher from Class 1-A.
Coincidentally, the students also started objecting.
[—I could not prevent the summoning because Earth is outside of my administrative control, whereas I do manage the world you were summoned to.]
[Now, since the summoning happened, at this point in time I can interfere with it.]
The teachers tried to interject, but they were interrupted.
[You are going to be in this world, which is not ruled by people from Earth. Danger will always be close by.]
The strict voice shut them down.
They felt like kids being scolded by their mother.
[With a language you do not understand, unarmed, and without magic, you are helpless in this world.]
And suddenly the voice softened.
[Which is why, I will not just throw you into such a world. Therefore, I will bestow upon you a modicum of power. First off, knowledge of the language, and then a body which can adapt.]
Everyone began to glow blue.
[And then a sword to protect that body.]
In front of each of us, one by one, swords emerged from glowing motes of white light.
Everyone cautiously received the blades.
[Well then, go forth my children. I wish for your success.]
My child? Without time to wonder, their bodies began glowing black. There was a sense they were being pulled to somewhere.
And at that moment.
The sword was snatched from Kurando’s hands.
Then, in a blink of an eye, the thief vanished while running away.
All he saw was the back of some first year student….Who he didn’t know by name.
He only remembered her face. Unyielding in high pride. Rumors about her had been spread by the President’s son. He remembered hearing the teachers talking amongst themselves.
He might not remember most faces, but it’d be foolish to mix up recently admitted students to those that had been there for six months or longer.
Kurando wasn’t angry at the thief, more like dumbfounded.
[Foolish. They should have have felt a piece of mind. They would have been established as a talent in the sword over there. It also could not be taken away from them. Something like that should not have been able to happen.]
While listening to the goddess’s voice, from a small distance away, a sudden look appeared in the PE teacher’s eyes. Along with a wry smile and a laugh he quickly disappeared.
Students and other teachers with the same expressions on their faces also vanished.
Kurando thought to be summoned in such a way was a bitter pill to swallow.
Twenty-five 1st year students, twenty-five 2nd year students, twenty-five third year students, three teachers, and one janitor a total of seventy nine people, all from Sakuragaoka public senior high school, were summoned from Earth to another world.
[….My poor child. I am so sorry.]
Kurando hadn’t disappeared yet.
He had been left all alone in the white space.
[Only one sword for each person can be made, so I cannot give you another. Part of your soul has been imbued within it and it could not have been stolen while in the other world. Since the thieves cannot steal the sword when you are there, they took it while you were here, where existence is not fully formed.]
Kurando also agreed it was bad that it had been stolen.
There was no one left to blame for the theft in this place.
Although, he had no intention to forgive the action.
[Even though I cannot see everything in the land you will link to, I don’t believe it to be too dangerous.]
The goddess’s voice couldn’t afford not to say it.
After this, he’ll go forward without resentment, nor without cursing his circumstances.
If true, then some dumb kid who stole his sword was supposed to be there.
Nevertheless, in that world, obstructions would be hard to overcome.
If there had been a legitimate power, exercising authority and control of the world, it would have been in the best interest of all to stop things like this.
Such was the way of things in that world.
Kurando, however, had already resolved himself.
To forgive, no, to…
[….However, I am embarrassed.]
While listening to the embarrassed voice, Kurando still thought about what had been stolen from him.
He wasn’t willing to forgive, after all.
However, he couldn’t get back home.
Then again, he didn’t really want to go back.
A failure at getting a good job and unable to join society, it had been hard to adapt he thought.
And it wasn’t for a lack of trying. It wasn’t from a lack of effort.
However, believed ultimately some sort of status is required in society, but not to determine one’s worth by what they earn, and not from what stage in life they’re at.
Things can go wrong with both people or things, so even with flexibility and patience, people should clearly say something. However even with a legitimate complaint, they still don’t succeed in society.
So, that’s why you shouldn’t get involved.
No, because not getting involved may not have been the right thing.
He wasn’t able to successfully adapt to society. At least not without belittling himself. That’s just the reality of things.
Security guards, garbage men, and janitors cannot stand on their own.
Everyone was either a contractor or a part-timer.
It just occurred to Kurando.
After being summoned from far away.
There really was no reason to continue being a contact janitor.
Low wages, no career advancement, and without even a renewed contract.
A lack of loyalty, professionalism, or a sense of belonging,
Well, as long as you put in the maximum effort and did your job seriously, you would not be blamed for things.
[….Well then, is there some other place you would rather go? I cannot stop the summoning, but I can modify it a bit.]
That Goddess hastily tried to exercise her administrative rights for him.
On the contrary, maybe a much better place would be generous.
Far from a lack of generosity, it was a sign of concern.
Kurando looked at the unexpected proposal with sparkling eyes.
It was as if she wasn’t just reading his mind, but also his responses.
He even thought to ask if there was a snowy mountain, desert, or place without many people.
Kurando was born in snow country and he wasn’t necessarily too enamored of the desert.
However, thoughts of an untrodden desert or snowy mountains where it would be easy to die, maybe the frontier just outside of snow-covered mountains, or a desert, where few people lived would be more reasonable.
Such a shameless wish should be fine.
[….And if I said there was a rampant demonic beast or monster in that world?]
Still, with food, water, and even if he’s stuck in the wind and rain, Kurando thought he would still be fortunate to go.
Also, he felt a bit desperate after having been robbed. He not only felt misanthropic, but was just overwhelmed with the entire supernatural event.
Overall, he didn’t think it diverged that much from what he wanted.
[….I can give you food and water for one year, general magic books for that world, and a knife as well. It is not very favorable to you since I cannot excessively meddle in that world.]
Again, it felt like it were a mother chiding a stupid child.
However, as a stupid child, he nodded.
[Alright, off you go then.]
Kurando bowed his head quickly with a pekori sound and disappeared shrouded within the black light.
Everyone had gone and only the voice resounded in the empty space.
[Please do not begrudge a mother who cannot do anything. I hope you do not come to hate that world. I pray all of you will find good fortune there.]
[Stolen by another child, my child is a child himself. I guess a stupid mother will always wish for the happiness of her children. However, I do not know whether the sword taken from here is stable and can be used or not. Fortune and misfortune are always intertwined, but this is too harsh. Aaaaah, such a foolish mother. Good luck, and fortune, to all my children…]