14 July, Kasugamaru

文字数 3,658文字

Breakfast Fantasy Family


That morning, I followed the smell of miso soup into the dining room to discover that my mother and sister had transformed into what I’d call fantasyland humans—they’d turned blond and had grown pointy ears.
  “Why aren’t you an elf?” my sister asked me innocently.
  “Err . . . it’s because I look more like Daddy.”
  A bubble hovered around my nose. Inside it was a . . . something. Something that looked like a doll. It was looking right at me. Then it waved at me (whoa!) before floating away. Then, I saw another bubble. And another. There were tons! Not just that, but a swarm of butterflies was fluttering about, too. Then I heard birds chirping. They were perched on top of the TV. Am I still asleep? This must be a dream, right?
  “What are you doing, standing around like that?”
  It was Dad—no, it was Dad’s voice, but it’d come from a full suit of armor that had descended from upstairs. His blue cape swayed in the air, despite there being no wind. A white, steam-like thing rose into the air, forming a shape that resembled something like a lion’s head.
  “You look cool, Daddy!” my sister said, then turned to me and frowned. “What’s he going to wear?”
  “He can wear his uniform. I wore my school uniform when I first started, too.”
  “I remember that, honey. Good times! But shouldn’t we get our son a sword?”
  “We can deal with that when we get there,” the man in armor said matter-of-factly.
  Elf Mom had spicy cod roe and simmered beans, and elf sister had seaweed and fermented soybeans, with their bowls of rice. The man in armor took a slice of bread, spread peanut butter and strawberry jam on it half and half, folded it, then dunked it in English tea—it was how Dad liked his breakfast—before pushing up his helmet and shoving the whole thing into his mouth.
  I had finished my miso soup without even noticing.
  “Shall we? We need to get back before dinner,” Mom said.
  They clinked and clanked their boots and armor as they hurried towards the bathroom, where the bubbles were coming from.
  “It’s going to be a long hike. Wear sensible shoes.”
  Mom then pulled out a suspicious-looking box from the cupboard. What on Earth is that? On the box was a picture of a lady that looked like a fairy-tale witch, proudly holding out an apple alongside the words “Made by me.”
  “What is this? What’s going on?” I finally managed to open my mouth.
  “I told you, we’re going to my parents’ house,” Mom said.
  “It’s an elf’s castle! There’s going to be trowels!” my sister said excitedly.
  “You mean trolls? I’ve defeated one before,” the man in armor boasted.
  “Daddy! You’re a meanie.”
  “Sorry. . . .”
  “Sweetie, don’t you worry. You’ll get to meet a dragon. It’s called ‘Curly-tail.’ Isn’t that cute?” Mom tried to comfort her.
  After rubbing something on my forehead, they made me jump into the tub. And just like that, I crossed over to the other side, to the land of wonders.
  That was how my big adventure under the big skies began. Someday, I’ll tell my story.
  Wait, what is that smell? Miso soup?
  Not again. . . .


Translated by Yuka Maeno/Arranged by TranNet KK

Kasugamaru
Born in Tokyo, 1979. Founded a cramming school while in university, and oversaw maths, language, and essay-writing classes. Reading a large number of novels online, he began uploading his own literature. Won grand prize at the MF Books 2014 Let’s Become Novelists Awards , and made his official literary debut in 2015 with

Kakei

senki

o

kakageyo!

(Raise the battle flag of the burning stake), published by MF Books. His representative work is

Outer

Ragna

, published by Kodansha .

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