North x Northwest - Chapter 105
Volume 4 – Chapter 105
Side story 2 – Edgar’s Chapter: The Forest
Translators – Pru and Formidable
– Paahhwooooooo! –
Edgar’s eyes, which were about to close, flashed open. He reflexively raised himself, causing the two fairies on top of his stomach and chest to slip down. One of the fallen fairies screamed loudly and ran outside with tears in her eyes.
‘Tsk. That’s what you get for climbing on someone’s body.’
Edgar snorted while staring at the fairy’s tiny back.
As the situation progressed, the rest of the fairies began to pay closer attention to him. It seemed that they were more afraid of him than of the roar outside.
‘Judging from their reactions, they even seem to completely ignore the monster’s cry…’
But as soon as he thought about it…
– Paahhwooooooo! –
“…I’m not hallucinating…”
The air was vibrating so intensely that it couldn’t possibly be a delusion. Edgar dragged himself out of bed. A lot of eyes were on him, following him like a newborn would follow its mother. He didn’t have to worry about finding the exit because it was a building with no doors, only arches. As wind was scarce in a jungle, the structures didn’t have any constructive purposes, so the architecture could be open and light. Edgar stepped out into the open space beyond the door that was no door. It wasn’t until Edgar emphasised the word ‘open space’ that he realised something was off. There was a wide-open plain right in front of his eyes. A flat levelled land in the middle of the jungle. No rotten leaves or fallen trees in sight, and the meadows were neither wet nor slick. What was even more shocking was the herd of grey monsters strolling around. Flapping their huge ears and rolling their weird-looking noses. Their enormous horns, which were used to ram the tree he had climbed in, looked threatening even from a distance. When his legs trembled, Edgar leaned against the stone wall with a groan.
Suddenly, a voice rang close to his ear. Edgar involuntarily looked to the side.
“Ack! Ughh… really!”
There was a face directly in front of him. A face with delicate pink skin that he still had to get used to. Feeling uncomfortable, Edgar straightened out his shaking knees. This fairy, however, was about the same height as him.
‘It seems that not all fairies are the size of a human child.’
Looking down, he noticed the fairy that had fled weeping before, was now hiding behind the leg of the larger fairy. Only then did Edgar assume he was looking at another human race.
It wasn’t one of the foreign languages he could speak. Hearing them speak in their own language, amplified his suspicion and he concluded that he was indeed in the presence of another race.
“…I don’t know what you mean.”
The fairy appeared bewildered.
‘Seeing his widened eyes and his hesitation to move, he must be at a loss for words.’
Edgar was taken aback by the ‘human’ expression. Even though the larger fairy’s physique was no different from that of a human, Edgar had difficulty recognizing the stranger as one, maybe due to his unique skin tone.
‘But, that’s probably the same for the fairy.’
Edgar subtly took in his surroundings. A swarm of bystanders was gradually gathering around them.
‘Apparently, only these fairies live here. They all have pinkish faces and white hair. Neither residents from the Northern nor the Southern Island of the Western Continent resemble them. It’s a completely new race…’
In an attempt to communicate, Edgar sat down on the ground and picked up a branch. He then scribbled several lines in several languages, including his own Imperial language, in the dirt.
“Do you recognise anything from here?”
The fairy tilted his head, sat down next to him, and also grabbed a branch from nearby. Before long, fine dust erupted from the blunt tip. The sand paintings flowed like a river from top to bottom telling the story of life. Edgar’s mouth fell open seeing the elaborate depiction. It started with the moment the fairy rescued him – it seems that the fairy riding one of the monsters was the larger fairy next to him – after that several illustrations were pasted together. Lastly, the fairy drew the sky, the river, and the ground. While checking his appearance from time to time, the fairy drew a portrait resembling Edgar next to it. It seemed to ask where he came from.
Edgar drew a crooked central continent.
“I came from the Central Continent. No, from your point of view, it’s the Eastern Continent, right? Well, in my home country we actually call it the Southern Continent. So it’s safe to say you guys call it the Eastern Continent… Do you understand? I came from the East over the sea.”
He drew waves on the ground in a way a five-year-old would. The fairies gathered around him began to mutter, frowning at his incredibly bad drawing skills. Edgar was also on the verge of admitting to himself that it was the biggest rubbish of his life. He never considered himself to be a lousy artist, but the twigs made for poor brushes and a dirty floor as their canvas didnt help either. In the end, he irritably threw the branch away and turned to the fairy.
“I guess you don’t have a written language. All right.”
He pointed to his chest.
He then turned his finger to the fairy and raised his eyebrows. In response, the fairy opened his eyes wide and raised his eyebrows too. Seeing the expression, Edgar shook his head with an exaggerated smile. The fairy tilted his head after him with a confused face, but then…
Edgar rejoiced and asked.
The fairy nodded. Edgar pointed to himself with a cheerful response.
Chippo then clapped his hands and laughed. Edgar was shocked to hear both laughter and clapping at the same time. He never imagined that such a combination would be so widespread.
Chippo then continued while pointing his finger at Edgar.
“Jina raco ni nani?”
“What? Jina raco… ni nani?”
“Eh! Jina raco ni nani?”
“Jina… Ah, Edgar.”
Edgar pointed at himself and pretended to know.
Chippo smiled brightly. The fairies around them pointed at Edgar and murmured.
As they did, Edgar realised there were more people around them than he had assumed at first. Feeling a bit embarrassed by his sudden outburst, he quickly put on a straight face.
‘For a moment, I got carried away by this mysterious exchange of words.’
He stood solemnly and looked around the group of fairies. He managed a broad smile before, but he actually wasn’t a friendly person by nature. Edgar coughed against his fist and soon reverted to the role of objective observer and studied them.
‘First of all, it seems that it’s their first time to see an outsider. Regardless if they’re an adult or a child, they are looking at me like I’m some kind of rare monkey. Nevertheless, it’s pretty naïve of them to not sense any hostility.’
The young ones even poked his bare feet with some branches.
‘The clothes and appearance of each of them are different, but overall, all of them look very appealing. Perhaps because of their skin or hair colour. It’s dazzling to see them under the unobscured sunlight.’
After turning his head, Edgar stood up. He decided that it would be better to look around the village than to sit here when they couldn’t even communicate. When he walked away, a few of the children followed closely behind him.
Even though it wasn’t large, he spent several hours exploring the unfamiliar terrain. He didn’t know if there were other villages like this in the jungle. But he estimated that there were around 200 fairies living in this village.
A village filled with flat plains in the middle of a jungle. He looked around once more. Buildings were made with rocks cut into a specific size and their outer walls were ornamented with a harmony of detailed intaglios and embossments.
‘I have never seen anything like this before… No, I can’t even comprehend how a stone this large can exist in a jungle without a quarry…’
The most impressive piece of architecture was the temple-like building in front of him. A magnificent structure stood in the centre of the plaza where Edgar was. The temple was so high, that the entrance wasn’t even visible from the ground and dozens of grey beasts slowly roamed around it as if they were its guardians. Some of the monsters carried a fairy on its back.
‘In ancient times, people used to pray to the gods and offer them food.’
Edgar was particularly keen on the religious structure. Although this tribe could simply worship another random person, Edgar couldn’t help but associate the temple with the ancient unknown because he kept thinking of them as fairies. Edgar had little interest in new races or myths, but he didn’t want to waste this one of a kind experience. Furthermore, even from a distance, the temple was magnificent and shined brightly in the sun as if it was polished every day.
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