Saturday, August 21, 2021

Have a Cup of Coffee after School in the Fantasy World Café V2 (1 of 6)

 Chapter 1: Brand New Normal

Translator: Skythewood

Editor: Hiiro

I suddenly arrived in this different world one day.

I knew only people with their screws loose would say this, but this was fact, and I had to live with it.

Every day here felt uneasy, and I questioned whether I had really gone to a different world. Maybe I was from this world, and was delusional.

Maybe I would wake up with a start and find myself in the library after school was out, and everything was just a dream. Maybe I was in an incredibly realistic dream right now.

I had already lived here for two years, so these two things were just my delusion.

This world really existed, and people lived their lives here. Happy or not, I had no choice but to integrate into this world.

Even so, something still felt off deep in my heart. I couldn’t integrate fully into this world.

I didn’t go out often, and tried to stay in my shop as much as possible, and only interacted briefly with my customers.

All that changed because of that girl who came to my shop one day. I experienced a series of events through her one day, and I finally integrated into this world a little.

After that, the number of times I left the shop increased. I would go for a stroll, buy things from a stall, just minor things. But for me who had been hiding in my shop, even the scenery around the Café looked refreshing.

In order to survive in this world, I opened a Café.

Since my house was a Café, I was familiar with its operations. I inherited the old bar from an old man who saved me when I first arrived, and remodeled it into a Café.

A Café was a rarity in this world, since there wasn’t a Coffee drinking culture here. Regrettably, my shop was considered a queer shop that serves a black and bitter beverage, and business was slow.

But recently, things were a little more lively in the morning.

「Linaria-san, have you heard? Professor Muller almost blew up the lab again.」

Aina said. She was wearing the uniform from the Arialu School of Wizardry, with a small beret topped with a small ribbon. She sipped her Coffee with graceful elegance.

She was a noble after all. That’s right, there were nobles in this world, although I had no idea how they spent their time.

「Again? Would that professor blow up the entire school away one day?」

Linaria smiled wryly. She tied her bright vermillion hair into a ponytail, and she held a cup of Café au lait with a generous serving of sugar.

When Linaria and I had a slight misunderstanding, Aina helped us to make up. And now, they would visit the shop before I opened for business, and enjoy a leisure cup of morning Coffee.

In terms of status, Aina was a noble while Linaria was a commoner. But they were both students in the Arialu School of Wizardry situated in the heart of the city, and were now great friends.

「Great friends」 might make you think they were on great terms, but I only used this term out of consideration.

If I had to describe the situation more realistically, it would be closer to Aina flaring her nostrils and staring at Linaria’s profile while panting. She would put her hands on her cheeks from time to time and sway her head, and mumble 『Ahh, Linaria-san sitting besides me is just like a dream, ahh, I don’t want to wake up』.

But she was my benefactor after all. And that description wasn’t suitable for a girl in the prime of her youth, so I decided to turn a blind eye.

But Linaria didn’t show any reaction to the strange actions taking place beside her.

「You don’t mind?」

I asked quietly, and Linaria glanced at Aina before shrugging. Aina looked up at the ceiling as if she was having a dream.

「I’m used to it.」

She was so calm that it reminded me of a big and unwavering tree.

「I was the one who introduced her to you, but it must be hard on you.」

「Right.」 Linaria said with an awkward smile. 「I know she didn’t mean any harm, but, how do I put this……」

Linaria muttered.

She couldn’t find the right words, and nursed her temple with her right index finger.

But she still couldn’t think about what to say and sighed in resignation:

「It’s an incredible feeling to have someone by your side.」

「I see.」

Linaria seemed dissatisfied about this phrasing, and searched the dictionary in her mind with a grunt.

「It’s a refreshing feeling to have a friend by my side?」

When I said that, she looked at me stiffly.

She then relaxed her brows and narrowed her eyes gently.

「—— Yes, that’s true.」

「That’s wonderful.」

I didn’t know anything outside of the shop, but I would be glad if Linaria could be happy when she was outside the shop too.

When Aina first came to the shop, I thought she was a troublesome stalker following Linaria. But she was friends with Aina now, and made Linaria show such a gentle expression. Fate could be incredible at times.

I stared at Aina, she had finally come to her senses. She alternated her gaze between Linaria and me, and blushed.

「W-What? Why are you two staring at me?」

「No, it’s nothing, right?」

「Yes, right.」

Seeing Linaria and me nodding, Aina raised her brows and said:

「Ugghh…… ditching me aside and building a rapport with Linaria-san, what insolence……!」

「Your attitude towards me is really mean in comparison.」

「Not at all, this is only natural.」

Was glaring daggers at others a natural reaction? Fortunately, being glared at by Aina wasn’t scary at all.

「We will have to settle our differences one day. It has to be a duel after all.」

Aina muttered.

「I don’t want to duel.」

How would we duel? Face each other down and shoot with pistols?

「I will help you when the time comes.」

Linaria supported her cheeks on her palm, and said with a hint of amusement.

「Really? You won’t just watch from the sidelines with that devious smile?」

「How rude, I will help properly… If I’m in the mood.」

「I will pray for you to be in the mood, since I’m not good with fights.」

「You are putting it as if I’m proficient with that.」

「I think you are stronger than me.」

「…… You sound so confident that I don’t know how to respond.」

「It’s the truth, I can’t do anything about that. Anyway, if anything happens, I will be counting on you, Linaria.」

I said firmly, and Linaria smiled.

「You really are a handful. Alright, leave it to me.」

Great, I would be fine even if Aina challenged me to a duel.

I turned to Aina with that in mind, and found her trembling with her head down. She suddenly raised her head with a start:

「How sly! How sly! I want to ask Linaria-san too!」

The way she was smacking the bar counter wasn’t graceful at all, she looked just like a kid throwing a tantrum.

「You are the one who wanted to duel me……」

「That’s a different matter. Linaria-san, please protect me too!」

「Fine, fine, if I’m in the mood.」

Linaria answered lazily, and that seemed to be enough for Aina. She put her hands together with her fingers crossed, and looked at Linaria like a praying nun or a girl who had fallen in love. She said with an emotional voice.

…… Was this girl really fine?

But Linaria didn’t seem fazed at all as she quietly sipped on her Café au lait.

I watched the two of them head towards the academy. The city was bustling early in the morning, and they quickly disappeared into the crowd.

The day was just starting. The scenery on the streets were the same as yesterday, the stalls sold snacks, and there were peddlers laying their wares on a rug to do business.

A beastman with a giant axe on his back, and a dwarf jogging with his robes dragging the floor. A woman walked along the streets with a basket filled with fruits. Children running and playing.

It was the image of city life and adventurers challenging the Labyrinth, this was how this city, Albeta, was like.

I had stayed here for a long time, and had gotten used to this scenery.

The uneasiness I felt, unsure whether I could return to my original world, had grown faint.

People were creatures of habit. I had slowly gotten used to life in this world—— although it wasn’t clear if this was a good thing.

I stretched my back, exhaled deeply, then looked back.

The sign at the door was a bit slanted. I righted it, then took a few steps back to confirm.


I would work hard today too, it would be great if customers would visit.

This was the place I belonged, and the only Café in this world.

『Open for Business』.

Chapter 2: We Want to be Popular Too


I had always wondered, what was youth?

For example, in an empty classroom after school. The setting sun shone in through the windows at the orderly desks. A breeze swayed the curtains, and shouts came from the sports club on the field.

This image was filled with youth to me.

I was in the go home club in the past, and admired club activities. So to me, youth were those times that had passed me by.

A great man once said 「Youth would always keep coming.」 He was in his sixties, but fell for a young woman 40 years his junior, and considered love to be his youth.

No matter the era or how old one was, to men, love was an important thing. Even more so for young people like us, and the vibrant colours of youth were definitely hidden inside.

One day——

「Hey, what do you think we need to do to become popular?」

Jir said with furrowed brows, as he stared at me with a serious face.

It was noon at the Café, with just a few customers today. There were two groups of customers seated at the tables, and one other person beside Jir at the bar counter.

「No, I don’t.」

I answered. When he heard that, Jir put his hands on his forehead with a shake of his head, as if he were dealing with amateurs.

Jir was a student from the Arialu School of Wizardry, and was as old as me. He had an informal personality, and speaking with him reminds me of the times I just hung out with my classmates after school was out.

「Can you still call yourself a man? Is there anything that is more important than being popular with the girls? Are you really seventeen!?」

「He’s right.」

The pudgy youth beside Jir concurred. Jir usually came alone, but he had a companion with him today.

The pudgy youth noticed my gaze and made a show of sitting up straight. His uniform was almost bursting at the seams—— especially his stomach area.

「Pardon my late introduction, I’m Giadios, third son of the El Bardo Viscount house.」

Oh, he’s a noble.

「But the El Bardo house territory and peerage isn’t that great, and he is third son, so he isn’t that different from a commoner.」

Even if that was true, that was still rude of Jir. I looked at Giadios, and he puffed out his chest and stomach unfazed with a nod.

「I will fulfil my obligations as a noble, but won’t use my status to lord over others without cause. Please call me Giadi.」

「Oh, okay.」

Probably sensing my suspicions, Jir patted Giadi’s shoulder and said:

「He is weird for a noble, huh? But you can relax. We are part of the 『Unpopular Alliance』 and are just like brothers.」

「That’s right.」

「What’s this 『Unpopular Alliance』 thing?」

Although I could take a guess…

「Listen up, Yu, to us guys, being unpopular is a serious matter. We keep searching for girls who are willing to like us, and I won’t hope for five or ten of them. Just one girl is enough for me. And we will do whatever it takes to achieve this goal. That’s the 『Unpopular Alliance』.」

「But if possible, I hope I can be popular with five or even ten girls.」

Giadi said.

「Shuush, I think the same way too, but if we say it out, it means we are unpopular for real.」

Jir made a cross with his index fingers.

「Eh, is that how it works?」

「Yes, think about it, do you think a guy who goes around saying 『I want to be popular!』 will be cool? I do admit someone who can be frank with his desires is manly, but think about it from the perspective of the girls. They will definitely talk shit about such a guy in private, and ostracize him, right?」

Where did Jir get his biased views on girls?

「And being popular is a result of our efforts. After repeatedly doing actions that will make us popular with the opposite sex, we will slowly become popular for real, and that is our final goal!」

「Ohh… I see, that’s it! May I take notes?」

「Please do!」

Giadi took out a small notebook from his breast pocket and started writing furiously on it.

「Hey, what are you guys doing?」

I nursed my temple. This pointless chatter was making my brain hurt.

Jir repeated what he said to Giadi, but when he heard my question, he looked up and said:

「Like I said, we want to be popular with the girls at school, so what should we do!?」

「This might be shameful thing to brag about, but we have zero interactions with the girls in school.」

Jir nodded firmly at Giadi’s words.

「Listen up, Yu. We are studying in the world renowned Arialu School of Wizardry, a place where gender and social status didn’t matter, and everyone studied on equal grounds. We eat and live on the same grounds, study in the same rooms, then laugh and play together at times… That’s not possible anywhere else!」

Jir said agitatedly.

From what I know, Arialu School of Wizardry was just a co-ed school that combined the elementary school, middle school and high school. But my values differed greatly from theirs. According to Jir, it was rare seeing young men and women living in one place.

「We are living in such a wonderful environment, but…!」

「We can’t talk normally with girls!」

Giadi finished Jir’s sentence.

「We discussed this many times already, but our efforts did not’ yield any fruits……」

Jir slouched his shoulders depressedly.

「We have reached a bottleneck and can’t make any headway, and our days are bland like the grinding of gears… When suddenly, we reached a conclusion.」 Giadi said: 「Yes, and that is to ask the opinion of a third party.」

And now, I finally understand what Jir was saying just now.

「Hmm…… which means, you are here for my opinion?」

Jir looked up with a start and said with sparkling eyes:

「That’s right! So, what should we do to become popular?」

「Hell would I know.」


It would be great if they left with just that, but they were really pushy. Jir threw a tantrum, rolling on the floor like a kid, and Giadi kept downing my pancakes.

My Café’s menu was lacking desserts, so I asked them to taste test my pancakes. They liked the desserts more than I expected, and as they were in their puberty, the pancakes piled up on the plates vanished in an instant.

「Yes, I get it, I get it! So, what have you tried so far?」

I will run out of pancakes if this continues, so I raised the white flag.

「What have we tried so far?」

Jir sat back into his chair as if nothing happened at all, then scooped out a huge chunk of strawberry jam, spread it on the pancake before rolling it up.

「Didn’t we try the 『Three main principles』?」

Giadi poured a generous serving of honey onto his pancake, then cut it with his cutlery before eating it gracefully.

Leaving their stomach churning way of eating sweet things aside, what were the three main principles? How intriguing.

Seeing me tilt my head, Giadi laughed and twitched his small nose.

「I found an old book in the academy library. It was  written in the language of the ancient gods and hard to understand, but I managed to decipher a short passage.」

He said casually, but wasn’t that amazing? The ancient god language had not been deciphered in full yet, right?

「It says 『There are three elements to being popular. First, good at sports; second, good in studies; third, have a sense of humour.』 We dub these the three main principles, and write up our pop acts around them.」

「Wait, you are using something that an elementary school girl will like as reference? And what are pop acts?」

「Activities conducted to become popular, that’s pop acts.」

Jir licked his jam stained fingers as he said that, as if everyone should have known that.

「We carried out the first main principle, right?」

「Yes, to show how sporty we are, we will have mock battles in the training fields every morning.」

「Yes, that’s right. The instructor even told us off because we broke a few wooden swords.」

「In the end, only the guys gathered, and it turned into a battle royale for some reason.」

I glanced at Jir and Giadi.

Jir had a crew cut and thin, droopy eyes. He looked gentle and friendly at first, but after talking to him, you will find him easy to get along with. Because of the strong impression he gave, I only realized he had a toned body on a second take. His well defined muscles were hidden under his uniform.

Giadi’s blonde hair was combed into a three seven parting. He was short, had pale skin, and his belly bulged out, and didn’t look sporty at all.

「Are you two really strong?」

They looked at each other before turning to me:

「We are just average.」

「Yes, just doing okay.」

This wasn’t a greeting between businessmen……

「Anyway, the first principle didn’t work.」

Giadi said.

「The girls stayed further away from us instead, especially the noble ladies who openly despise us.」

「I think so too. Sporty people being popular must be wrong.」

「Spilling blood is going too far. Think about it, nobles probably have never seen something like that before, right? It must be too violent for them.」

No, you got the point of being sporty wrong in the first place. A battle royale with weapons wasn’t sporty. Something peaceful like a foot race or dodgeball would have been fine. No, for highschoolers, these weren't popular sports either.

Oh no, I was getting confused.

「What about the second main principle?」

「Hmm, studies, right? Executing that principle is really simple.」 Giadi answered. 「I intentionally played it cool and read 『Magic Mathematics Theory』 in class.」

「Hell yeah! That’s really cool!」

「Yeah, I’m the only one who can read such a difficult book in the academy.」

My chest started to hurt. There was a troublesome disease unique to people in puberty! Commonly known as middle school syndrome. Right now, an unknown thing deep in my memories has been stimulated.

Giadi, no, that wasn’t it. That wasn’t what being good at studies meant. Well, it wasn’t completely wrong, but…

「But I didn’t get any results, but I can hold my own when I talk with the professor teaching Magic Mathematics Theory……」

「Huh? You can understand that book?」

I asked out loud.

「I can, it’s written by my grandfather, and he taught me before.」

Giadi brushed it off lightly.

「Unlike Giadi, I’m not good with studying, and gave up on the second principle. I did visit the library, but am happy just looking at Linaria-san from afar.」

The name of an acquaintance being mentioned made my shoulders shudder.

「I know how you feel.」 Giadi nodded. 「That person is talented in both the pen and the sword. Her magic and swordsmanship results are excellent, and her academics are ranked first in school, she executed both the first and second principles.」

I see……

「Is this Linaria-san popular with the boys?」

I pretended to be ignorant and asked Jir.

「She is one of the most popular girls. Everyone just watches her from a distance, but there are many boys with a crush on her.」

「No one had seen her smile before. She is truly a goddess beyond us, and many boys think that is really charming.」

I nodded at Giadi’s words.

I never thought I would learn about Linaria’s life on campus in such a way. But, a goddess beyond us, huh? So she wasn’t a loner? Let’s ask her the next time she visits.

「What about the third principle?」

「We are very confident about that.」 said with a smile. 「It’s based on a book written in the ancient language of the gods.」

「That’s amazing. Oh right, let’s show it to Yu.」

Jir said.

「That’s a good idea, well then…」

Giadi stood behind the bar stool, and Jir stood beside him.

Giadi scratched the back of his head with a serious face.

「—— Sigh, it’s sure hot in summer.」

「What did you say!?」

Jir shouted immediately.

I saw Jir’s right leg moved, and the next instant, Giadi was sent flying with a kick.


I never thought I would express my feelings in such a way, but that was how it felt.

Giadi somersaulted 3 metres away and landed nimbly.

「How’s that? This is the basics of humour—— the comic and the straight man.」

Jir said with a smile.

I couldn’t think of a way to be a straight man and retort to them. They were wrong on so many levels, and this knowledge became twisted at some point.

I was hesitant to speak, then decided to put aside everything and asked:

「…… So, did it work?」

「We tried it in front of everyone in class, but it didn’t work.」

Giadi said before returning to his seat nonchalantly, showing no signs that he had just been sent flying with a kick.

「No one laughed, they were all staring in surprise.」

「That’s only natural, who would laugh at someone being kicked?」

I said with a firm tone.

「It’s no good?」

「We are only doing what the book says, being a comic and a straight man sure is deep.」

I had a headache thinking about a way to correct the fundamental mistake in their understanding.

I could understand their wish to be popular, all men would think this way. Especially so for young men, they would only think about how to be popular with girls or where to go after school.

Their effort was directed in the wrong direction, so it was obvious they didn’t get any results.

「So Yu, what kind of guy do you think will be popular?」

Jir asked, so I thought about it.

「Well, first, you need to be cool.」

「That’s obvious.」

「And I can’t do anything about that, I don’t have the looks.」

Giadi touched his face, then touched his belly before slouching his shoulders dejectedly.

「Hey…… cheer up… you are just a little rotund… You can show your coolness in other ways.」

「Yes, I have been thinking about that. For example, I have the makings of a magic swordsman, skilled with both spells and swordsmanship. Isn’t that cool?」

Magic swordsman——?

「I think so too, a magic swordsman is just like cheating.」

I nodded firmly.

Magic swordsman—— this term would shake the soul of any man. An all rounder fighter that could use magic and melee combat, utilizing an unique style that combines the spell and the sword—— Just the image of a magic sword shimmering with mana along the edge made me excited with goosebumps.

「There are no men in this world who hates magic swordsman.」

Giadi nodded profusely in agreement.

「And so, I want to make a 『gap』 as my selling point.」


Giadi turned to Jir and said emotionally:

「The thing I read in the book written in the ancient language of the gods, girls find this 『gap』 irresistible.」

「I-Is that so?」

「That’s right, according to my research, a 『gap』 has to be unexpected. Like a person with an aggressive face unconsciously showing a gentle side; or an unreliable person acting manly in a pinch. That’s a 『gap』.」


Jir concurred with him.

Giadi continued preaching while waving his hands.

「I’m fat and short, so girls probably don’t like me, and people will look down on me. If I show my power as a magic swordsman during a crucial moment… What do you think?」

「That’s really cool.」

Jir said and looked my way.

「Yes, I think it’s cool too.」

I nodded and looked at Giadi.

「So, will I become popular?」

Giadi looked at Jir.

「You will.」

Jir looked my way.

「You will definitely become popular.」

I glanced towards Giadi.

「But there’s a problem—— when exactly is that crucial moment?」

Giadi turned to Jir.

「Naturally, it will happen in a place like a Labyrinth……」

Jir turned to me again.

「During a terrorist attack in school……」


「Ah, no, it’s fine.」

I slipped my tongue just now.

「It should be very effective during a crisis, but there aren’t any chances during campus life.」

「How about during Labyrinth practical lessons?」

Jir said.

「…… You think we can visit the Labyrinth together with girls?」

When he heard Giadi say that, Jir gently shook his head.

「That’s putting the cart before the horse. But creating a 『gap』 is a good idea, why don’t we try creating another type of gap?」

「Another gap?」

「That’s right, for example……」Jir puffed his chest out: 「invoking their maternal instinct.」

Maternal instinct? What did that mean?

「Our goal is to become an adventurer or a knight, so we should work towards becoming reliable and strong.」


「A reliable and trustworthy man unconsciously showed his weak side! Wouldn’t such a gap make the girls’ heart race?」

「Why you—— are a genius?」

「Fu, I often think the same about myself too.」

「Which means, we have to show our weak side to the girls……」

Giadi opened his eyes wide>

「And we will become popular right away.」

「Let me ask one thing.」

At this moment, I interjected.

「Do the people around you find you reliable and trustworthy?」



「Say something.」

They averted their gaze wordlessly.

「I think the idea of showing our weakness is good.」

Jir clenched his fist and put it on his forehead.

「I think so too, but what kind of weakness do you want to show?」

When he heard my question, Jir stayed still without making a sound.

A while later, he muttered:

「I hate bitter food.」

「…… That’s a weakness?」

Giadi questioned me with his gaze.


I shook my head.

「Then what’s a weakness!」

Jir said exasperatedly, and I thought about it with my head tilted.


「Heart ailment, thinning hair, or having no friends… things like that?」

I looked at Jir and Giadi, who were frowning with complicated faces.

「No, instead of a weakness……」

「Those are serious troubles… I can hear you out if you want to talk about it.」

「That’s not my weakness though? No, stop making that face implying that you get it.」

After that, we discussed what exactly were weak points, but didn’t get a clear conclusion.


「By the way.」

I stopped the discussion.

The debate between the three guys was getting heated, and we were getting out of breath and starting to sweat.

We were discussing weaknesses, but slowly drifted away. After an intense talk about the 『strength of a man』, we dabbed into 『the diet to become strong』 and similar idle chatter, before Giadi finally raised the point that 『the charm of a short skirt is not exposing the panties』 which caused an uproar.

「Just what are we talking about?」

When he heard that, Jir slammed his fist on the bar counter and said:

「Like I said, we have to see the panties under the skirt! For us men, there is nothing more exhilarating than that! A strong gust of wind! The stairs! All men seek their dreams under those skirts!」

「You’re not living your life correctly!」 Giadi said while ruffling his hair: 「Skirts fluttering in the wind are the best! Seeing them flutter when you are climbing up the stairs will make your heart race! But the fun is gone the moment you see inside! Then it will just be normal panties!」

「That’s the point, we want to see panties!」

「You are wrong! Jir, I can’t agree with you at all… Listen up, the moment you see those panties—— is the moment the dream of us men crumbles. In that instant, the boundless imagination hidden under the skirts will just become a piece of cloth. Think about it, if there is a skirt, our expectations have no end nor limits. What’s the colour, is there any print? Or maybe she is wearing shorts… Can we see it from this angle? Or will a miraculous gust of wind come—— in that few short seconds, we can think about countless possibilities…… But the skirt will protect the panties like an iron wall, allowing those possibilities to remain a mystery. I want to peek under the skirt too, but I don’t want to see the piece of cloth known as panties.」

I couldn’t help gasping.

This guy…… What was he saying? Why the serious face and spittle in his passionate rant? Speaking of which, how did a topic about skirts and panties turned into a philosophical thesis…? This was unfathomable… But why? Why did I feel something hot in my chest… This is…

「I don’t get what you’re saying.」 Jir shook his head. 「But…… your passion…… and heart…… the idea you encompass…… I don’t know why, but there is a fire in my heart……」

It had been so long…… Since I felt such a sincere feeling, something usually hidden inside me had been stimulated… So I couldn’t lie to myself anymore……

「No no, now isn’t the time to discuss this. Oh right, we were talking about becoming popular?」

「By the way, which faction do you belong to, Yu? Skirts or panties?」

「I’m the inner thigh faction—— what are you asking me!?」

「Yu, you……」


「Hey, don’t make that face! What’s with you guys? You were talking so passionately about panties just now, so don’t show that calm face now.」

You guys sure turned on me fast, damn it. Don’t criticize other people’s interests.

「Let’s stop talking about this, and get back to the topic of popularity. We have been talking about abstract things, but do you guys have someone you want to be popular with?」

At my question, Jir stroked his chin and groaned.

「So there’s no one who you fancy!」

「Yes, don’t shout so suddenly.」

My shoulders shuddered in surprise.

Jir looked at Giadi, then stammered: 「Do you, have someone, you like?」

「What? Why ask me? If you want to ask, tell me who you like first? By the way, I like Areksis-san.」

「You revealed it so easily……」

Giadi was blushing. It might be cute for a girl, but I didn’t feel happy seeing a pudgy guy my age acting so bashful.

「Yes yes, Areksis, I get it, I get it. She is cheerful, friendly, and cute.」

「That’s right, she will even smile and greet me, she’s a really sweet and kind girl.」

「And the truth?」

I asked.

「Her chest is really big.」

Giadi answered immediately.

「You’re lewd, dude……」

Jir spitted with contempt.

「That’s going too far, I’m a noble, you know?」

「What about Jir? Is there anyone you like?」

I ignored Giadi.

「I like a girl named Aisha.」

Jir ignored Giadi too.

「You two sure have the guts to ignore a noble… Speaking of Aisha, she’s that Elf girl from the Magician department?」

「That’s right, I like to watch her exercising every morning… And her occasional smile is great too.」

「And the truth?」

I asked.

「Her slender body is awesome, her small chest and the shape of her butt is beautiful too.」

Jir answered right away.

「You disgusting peasant……」

Giadi said scornfully.

「Are you picking a fight, pig? I will slaughter you and ship you out!」

「Come at me if you can, damn plebeian! I will raise your taxes!」

They glared at each other from close up, ready for a fight. I couldn’t think of a dumber reason to start a brawl.

However, there was something that bothered me.

I knew two people around our age in the academy, so I wanted to confirm something.

「By the way, what about the girl named Ainaleila? Is she popular with the boys?」

「Oh? Do you know her?」

Jir asked.

「No, I don’t. I just heard that name before.」

She helped me with that incident with Linaria before, and would often visit the shop. And of course, I wouldn’t tell them that.

「That person, huh.」

「Hmm—— She is from a prestigious noble house.」 Giadi said. 「She isn’t an easy person to talk to, and isn’t someone you will want to date. She is popular with the aristocratic boys, but they are more interested in her house than in her as a person.」

Hmm…… This is a realistic topic… My face started to cramp.

「Her grades are great, and is the head of the Celestial Ball Conference, making her stand out. But she is always surrounded by nobles sucking up to her, so there is no chance to talk with her.」

Jir nodded and concurred with Giadi:

「I can’t talk to her since I’m just a commoner. It feels like she will yell 『Impudent』 at me.」

「When Linaria-san topped our school year, it was really scary. I was worried about her becoming infuriated with the commoner with better grades than her.」

「I thought so too, but recently, I often see them hanging out together.」

「Indeed, did they get closer? But Linaria-san gives off the feeling of being proud and aloof.」

Proud and aloof...?

「Is that Linaria-san really so aloof?」

「Of course!」

Jir raised his hands up.

「She is really cute, and often becomes the subject of the boys. Last year, many brave warriors attempted to hit on her.」

「…… and fell valiantly.」

Giadi offered a prayer for their souls.

What happened?

「A few noble seniors who think highly about themselves tried to ask her out forcefully, but she was adamant on turning them down. It wounded their noble pride, and turned into a duel.」


「An old tradition loved by the nobles, their favourite way of settling their differences is through duels.」 Giadi shrugged and said. 「However, in modern days, duels with wands and swords are rare, competing through chess or cards are more elegant after all.」

So in the end, nobles still wanted to duel, huh?

I swallowed back that retort.

「What happened next?」

「That senior is an outstanding mage, but it was still a massacre.」

Jir said while supporting his cheek.

「Right, it was really scary, she easily beat off that senior with her spells. Everyone feared Linaria-san, and would add the “san” honorifics when talking about her.」

「Is that so.」

So that happened to Linaria.

I had never seen it before, so I couldn’t imagine the scene of someone defeating an opponent with magic, but it should be very impressive.

「Like I said, many people admire her, but they won’t think of her as a romantic target, since she seems to have a very strict personality.」

Jir said.

「Indeed. After witnessing her spells, I can’t hold my head high at home any more. And her attitude is really cold.」

Giadi said.

「She will beat you up if you say that in front of her.」


Oh no, I leaked out my true thoughts.

「It’s nothing. Think about it, that might seem to be the case from a bystander’s perspective, but maybe she is really gentle and hard working.」

「…… You know Linaria-san?」 Jir asked:

「I-I don’t, never seen her before.」

「But that seems oddly specific……」

「I can tell from your conversations, since I’m a Café master.」

「Really? You’re amazing, owner!」

「So a Cafe owner need such an ability!」

They looked at me with awe.

「…… Speaking of which, what were we talking about?」

I said, and Giadi looked as if he just snapped out of a dream.

「Right, we want to be popular.」

「We got off topic. Ehh, are there other ways to become popular with girls?」

Jir said with a sigh. We hadn’t gotten any good ideas, and he looked tired.

「Right. By the way… I heard someone said that girls are moved when boys talk about their dreams or goals.」


Jir leaned out when he heard Giadi say that.

「If we talk about our goals and dreams, will it make us more charming too?」

「No idea. Talk is easy, right?」

After I said that, Giadi snorted.

「Naive, you’re too naive. Listen here, a guy who talks about the future, and a guy who keeps talking about his past achievements, which one is more charming?」

「The guy who talks about the future, of course.」

「Right! That’s exactly it!」

He affirmed strongly, and I was a little convinced too. I see, so the future, huh?

「So, Jir, what’s your goal!」

Giadi slapped the bar counter.

「To be a top adventurer of course, I want to be famous.」

Jir’s voice and serious expression made me hold my breath. This was different from his usual laxed attitude. He was smiling with a sharp glint in his eyes.

「What about you, Giadi?」

「Me? I want to earn a degree in the academy, and get a research job through recommendations.」

「Is that so? Your swordsmanship aren’t bad, that’s a shame.」

「I have been trained since young, but I know I’m no where close to a professional.」

They then talked about which adventurer was more famous, what research they wanted to do, and about the martial tournament next year. This was a topic about the future involving their goals and dreams. Their eyes were passionate and completely different from the joking faces they had.

I watched them from behind the bar counter, and felt a clear gulf between us.

The future, dreams and goals.

The terms I had never thought about flashed before my eyes. They were formless, and spun around me like a vague and dark fog.

I was planning to enrol in a college. I didn’t have anything I wanted to do, and thought I would find a goal in college. I was looking forward to that period of time before joining the workforce, and didn’t really think about my own future. I didn’t possess any exceptional talent, or anything I like in particular.

And now, I hastily started a Café, but this wasn’t my dream, but a small fort to protect myself from the storm.

「What’s your dream, Yu?」

「He got his own shop at such a young age, so he already realized his dream.」

Jir and Giadi looked at me, their faces filled with hope for the future looked really dazzling.

「Dreams, huh? I haven’t thought about it.」

I answered with a smile.

—— Should I search for my own dream in this world?


With the changing of the seasons, the sky over the city remained red even in the evenings as the night got shorter. With the blue skies and scorching heat coming again, summer was coming to this city again.

The door chimed.

The visitor tied her long hair that was redder than the setting sun into a ponytail. She was in her usual uniform, and entered the shop with a more casual mood than usual—— And of course, it was Linaria.

「Hi, Linaria, Welcome.」


Linaria waved lightly and sat at her usual spot. I started preparing a Café au lait.

We didn’t talk much, but the atmosphere wasn’t awkward. For Linaria and me, this wasn’t a problem, and the silence felt relaxing.

The water in the Vacuum Coffee maker started to boil and bubble. I stared at the bubbles and thought about my conversation with Jir and Giadi.

「Speaking of which, Linaria can use magic, right?」

Linaria, who was looking out the window, turned to me.

「Why are you asking that so suddenly? I can use magic.」

「What kind? Can you create flames or ice?」

I imagined the scenes from a fantasy game I used to play, and a wizardry movie that was popular worldwide.

「Something like that, and also magic to boost physical abilities and heal wounds.」

「So that thing exist too, right?」

I asked excitedly.

「That thing?」

Linaria asked with her head cocked.

「That thing, that indispensable thing when casting magic, and make the boys excited.」

「And what is that exactly?」

You should know that.

「Chanting spells!」


Spells, magic, special moves…… there must be a chant for every skill, and couldn’t be bypassed. It might be phrases spoken in an ancient tongue, but it would fill the boys’ hearts with hype.

「You will hold a staff and chant something, right? Like a cool spell or something.」

「I don’t understand why you are so happy about that.」

「Stop being a tease! Just show me, just once will do.」

Linaria then said with a sigh:

「There isn’t any.」


「Like I said, there isn’t anything like a chant.」

「…… There isn’t? Even though it is magic?」

「It existed until the era of Gerald, and there are also research into it.」

「What happened then?」

「It’s more convenient without chants, you know? You can shorten your casting time, and avoid miscasting because you make a mistake when chanting the spell.」

That was logical.

Well, it was more convenient……

「I see… There isn’t any chanting……」

「I’m troubled by how depressed you are. Is chanting that important to you?」

Linaria asked with a stupefied face.

「No, it’s fine. Spells…… it’s fine.」

「What’s your problem?」

After coming to this unknown world, I couldn’t live properly here. I then created a Café similar to the one in my old world to hide from the world.

After meeting Linaria and many other guests, I finally could spare the effort to face the world outside the shop.

There was a dream-like technique known as magic in this world, but this was the first time I expressed interest in it. That even surprised me.

However, I never expected to receive the dream crushing conclusion that there wasn’t any chanting. And for a very logical reason that it wasn’t convenient.

I had been hesitating to step forward because this was a different world, but strangely, I felt a sense of belonging now. It might be magic, but the one casting it was people just like me.

I could only think this way in recent days.

I looked at Linaria who was seated before me.

Like Jir said, Linaria was stunningly cute. Her skin was milk white and her almond shaped pupils were as deep as gems.

「…… What is it this time? Why are you staring at me?」

「Don’t worry, I spoke up for you, so you will find someone soon.」

Linaria nursed her temples and slouched her shoulders and muttered 「Just what are you saying?」

I poured the brewed Coffee into a cup, then added milk and a generous amount of sugar, completing the Café au lait customized for Linaria.

When Linaria finished half of her drink, I asked her suddenly.

「Hey Linaria, do you have a dream?」

Linaria looked up and looked at me in surprise.

「That was sudden.」

「Well, I’m just curious.」

「Curious about my dream?」

「You can share your goals too.」

Linaria supported her cheek with her palm and averted her eyes.

「I do have one… But…」


「It’s embarrassing, so I don’t want to be laughed at.」

「That will only make me more curious.」

「Don’t mind it.」

Was there anyone who would not be bothered by that? There wasn’t.

I pressed her for a while, but failed to get anything out of Linaria.

「You’re really annoying! Then what’s your dream!?」

Linaria pointed at me with furrowed brows.

「…… Yes, let’s table that for now.」

「Don’t change the topic.」

I shrugged. Dreams, huh… What do I really want? I want to hear Linaria’s dream for reference. Everyone had a dream or a goal, right?

I didn’t have anything to say about dreams, so I searched for a different topic. And just thought about the right thing.

「By the way, what do you think I need to do to become popular?」

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