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  The Boy from Earth and the Girl from Another World  

Tsukasa Mikogami’s awakening began with a touch. Specifically, the feel of a damp cloth wiping his hand. The sensation pulled his consciousness up from the depths of darkness. Tsukasa heeded it and slowly opened his eyelids. His heterochromatic eyes—one a frigid blue, the other a fiery red—began taking in light.

The first thing he saw…was a dull wooden ceiling. The next was a beautiful girl dazzling enough that he could make her out with perfect clarity despite his bleary vision.

Her outfit was predominantly white and light green, bearing a close resemblance to the dirndls he’d once seen in Germany. She was gently wiping his hand with a damp cloth.


Suddenly, their eyes met.

“You’re awake? Oh, thank goodness.”

As she spoke, a relieved smile spread across her youthful face.

How lovely…

Rather than a beauty, she’d be better described as a cutie.

Also, her ears were quite long. Perhaps it was some sort of genetic quirk.

She looks almost…like an elf. The kind you’d find in fantasy novels, thought Tsukasa.

But more importantly, who was she? She wasn’t anyone he recognized. And also, what was he doing…wherever it was he was? Why was he lying down? His memories were all jumbled up.

“Wh…ere…? OW!”

But when he tried to sit up and voice his confusion, a sharp pain ran through his entire body, like his bones were cracking. His body was so hot, he felt like he was burning up.

“Oh, no, you mustn’t! You’re badly wounded; you need to rest!”

Badly…wounded? Ah, that’s right. I was…

Upon hearing those words, Tsukasa finally remembered what had happened to him.

“I wanna write a special article on all of us High School Prodigies.”

An old acquaintance of his, the journalist Shinobu Sarutobi, had invited him. So he, Shinobu, and the five others had all crossed the Pacific aboard an airplane piloted by Ringo Oohoshi’s AI.

Midway through that flight, though, the plane had been abruptly engulfed by a massive thundercloud, rendering it impossible to navigate.

A shrill alarm had gone off.

Swallowed up by some sort of waterspout, they’d suffered severe turbulence. Then, as they’d watched themselves descend, a conspicuously large shock had rattled the plane.

That was everything that had happened before Tsukasa lost consciousness.

The moment he remembered, Tsukasa immediately ignored the pain burning through his body, wrenched himself up, and firmly grabbed the girl’s slim shoulders.


“Please…! Oh…”

He paused for a second, not sure what language to use when conversing with this clearly non-Japanese girl, but then pressed on after remembering that she herself had spoken in Japanese just a moment ago.

“Please, tell me! There were six other people on that plane…! Did they make it out…?!” Cold sweat beaded on his forehead, and his face contorted in pain as Tsukasa asked about the well-being of the other passengers.

The girl had initially been confused at his sudden outburst, but she quickly gave him a soft smile to set his heart at ease.

“They’re all fine. Including you, we found seven people. All collapsed in the same place. We brought you all here to watch over you.” She glanced around the room as she answered the boy’s question.

When he followed her gaze, Tsukasa saw six familiar faces all bandaged up like him and sleeping on pelt beds.

“Don’t worry. They’re wounded, but it looks like they’re all going to make it.”

“Ah… Thank you…”

Given that they’d been in a plane crash, surviving would have practically taken a miracle. Knowing that, Tsukasa had been prepared for the worst. Upon hearing that everyone else had been rescued like he had, the tension drained from his body, and he collapsed back onto the bed.

“Oh man… Thank God…”

“You seem like a very kind person.” The girl gazed at him with eyes the color of lapis lazuli as she placed a cool, damp cloth on Tsukasa’s sweaty forehead.

“…Any public figure worries about the safety of his people.”

The cool rag helped relieve the heat and pain in his body. The sensation caused him to break out in a relaxed smile. He looked back at the girl taking care of him.

“Forgive me, I’ve forgotten my manners. My name is Tsukasa Mikogami. Might you do me the honor of telling me yours?”

“Who, me? I’m Lyrule.”

“Well, Lyrule, it would appear we owe you and your people a great debt. I speak for all of us when I express my gratitude for your generous, diligent treatment. Thank you.”

“Oh, we wouldn’t have dreamed of just leaving you there. We people of the mountain look out for one another.” Seemingly embarrassed at Tsukasa’s earnest words of thanks, Lyrule quickly stood up after replying. “It’ll take some time before your injuries are fully healed, but now that you’re awake, let’s see if we can get some food in you. Would you mind waiting here for a minute?”

And with that, Lyrule trotted out of the room. A few minutes later, she returned with a steaming pot in her hand.

“It’s a stew made from goat milk. Here, let me cool it down a bit.” She scooped up a piece of soft meat with a wooden spoon, then brought it up to her full pink lips and blew gently on it. After doing that a few times to clear the steam, she moved the spoon toward Tsukasa’s mouth.

“Here you go. Say ah.”

“It feels kinda like I’m a kid again.”

It was a little embarrassing. That said, his body did crave the nourishment.

Doing as instructed, Tsukasa opened his mouth wide to accept the soft chunk of meat. But the moment he tried to chew it, it immediately tumbled out. He couldn’t close his jaw well. Even with how soft the flank was, his body was too weak to bite through it.

“…My apologies. It would seem I haven’t recovered enough to eat just yet.”

However, Tsukasa’s weak words prompted Lyrule’s expression to sour slightly.

“Well, that won’t do. When you’re injured, you have to eat meat, or you won’t get better. Here, just a moment,” she said, picking up the dropped piece of goat meat with her fingers and popping it in her mouth. Then, after chewing it almost too thoroughly…



…she laid her lips over the prone Tsukasa’s.

Upon feeling her soft, supple lips placed gently against his, his eyes went wide in surprise. She slid her wet tongue into his mouth. Then she pressed down on Tsukasa’s teeth with the back of her tongue, opened his mouth, and poured in the masticated, mushy goat shank. Once the deed was done, she separated her mouth from his.

“This way, you’ll be able to get food down…right?” she asked, averting her gaze. Her face was so red it looked like it had caught fire.

It had doubtless been a deeply embarrassing act. However, she’d pushed through her shyness in order to help Tsukasa eat. A clear testament to how dedicated she was to his recovery.

“…Thank you. I suppose you’re right; that is one way I can eat.” Tsukasa elected to gratefully accept Lyrule’s kindness. Turning her down at this point would honestly come across as rude.

“Would it be all right if I depended on your goodwill for the time being?”

“…Why, yes. Of course. Let’s fill you up so you can go ahead and get better quickly.” Lyrule’s mood lightened, having seen that her unusual actions hadn’t given Tsukasa any strange impressions.

Her charming smile returned as she carried another spoonful of stew to her mouth. Then, just like before, she thoroughly chewed it up, and…


…brought her face close to Tsukasa’s so she could feed him mouth to mouth, but…

“Lyrule! Is it true that one of the stragglers we found woke up?!”


…promptly spat it out, startled by a woman opening the door and entering the house. As Tsukasa’s face was directly in front of hers, what had been in her mouth was, naturally, sprayed all over him.

“Ahhh! Oh, Tsukasa, I’m so sorry! Here, I’ll clean that up right away!”

“Oh-ho? Am I getting in the way of something?”

“Wh—? No—that’s not it, Winona! That… It wasn’t what you think!” Lyrule tried frantically to explain the situation as she wiped at Tsukasa.

Tsukasa looked out from under the towel being pressed haphazardly against his face to take in their visitor. It was a woman in the prime of her youth with chestnut hair and a capricious, teasing smile dancing on her lips. Unlike Lyrule, whose features were more childish, the new woman was well deserving of being described as a beauty. It was easy to tell how voluptuous her breasts were even through her loose garments, further accentuating her womanly charm.

At that moment, though…Tsukasa couldn’t have cared less about that. What was monopolizing his attention was her butt—and the top of her head. The woman was sporting a pair of wolflike ears and a bushy tail.

…Are those some sort of regional accessories?

The world was a big place, after all. It wasn’t beyond the realm of possibility for there to be some ethnic group that customarily wore such things.

But that wasn’t important right now.

“Ma’am, I find myself unable to chew at the moment, so she was just grinding up the food for me. I would ask that you not poke fun at her for aiding me in my time of need.” Tsukasa’s gaze was focused straight on the woman, chiding her for teasing Lyrule. He knew that Lyrule had put aside her embarrassment in order to devote herself to nursing him back to health. Even though he could tell by their tones that the two were close, he still couldn’t let it slide.


“Oh dear, I’ve been told off. You seem awfully dependable, for a straggler…but I guess that’s a good thing. With that much spunk, all that’s left is to eat up, and you’ll be better in no time,” she said, flashing Tsukasa a pleased smile at his rebuke. She made her way over to sit down beside him.

“Call me Winona. I live in this village, just like Lyrule. Pleasure to meet you.”

“I’m Tsukasa Mikogami. I heard a little bit from Lyrule, but it seems my friends and I owe you a great deal.”

“Oh, don’t give it a second thought. We all have to help one another out when we’re down, don’t we?”

“Still, a debt is a debt. Once I’ve returned to my country, I’ll be sure to thank you properly.”

“Oh my, you do seem dependable, especially considering you’re only about as old as my boy.”

“Oh, you have children my age? You look far too young for that to be the case.”

Going off appearances, Tsukasa would have pegged her as early twenties. Certainly not old enough to have kids his age. Tsukasa was honestly surprised, a fact that seemed to tickle Winona pink.

“Oh, you. Someone your age shouldn’t be allowed to be so smooth…” Delighted, she smiled bashfully like a young maiden. But as Tsukasa watched her, his eyes widened in surprise.

Much to his shock, her tail accessory was bobbing up and down in concert with her embarrassed smile like a dog’s would when it was happy. Its movements were so lifelike it was difficult to imagine them to be the work of a machine.

“…W-wait, is your tail…real?”

“Hmm? Real? Why wouldn’t it be? I am a byuma, you know. See?” Winona wagged her chestnut tail and patted Tsukasa’s cheek with it. The boy felt the unmistakable warmth of flesh and blood as it brushed his face.

Huh… It really is real.

That fact caused Tsukasa no small amount of consternation. After all, people with animal ears and tails…didn’t exist. If they did, it would turn the entire field of biology on its head. Humankind had reached the point where they were able to go up to outer space and gaze down at the Earth from on high. There was no way such an oddity could have passed unnoticed. Especially not in a culture that could communicate in Japanese. However, Tsukasa’s surprises didn’t end there.

“Have you really never seen a byuma before? That’s odd; you can find us pretty much everywhere in Freyjagard.”

“Their clothes were all really odd; maybe they’re from a foreign country.”


“I’m not sure I follow, but we’re from Japan.”

“J’pan? I can’t say I’ve ever heard of it.”

The unexpected response sent Tsukasa into even more of a tizzy.

“Wh-what are you talking about? You two are speaking Japanese right now.”


“What are you talking about? We’ve all been talking in Altan this whole time.”

“…?!?!” He’d never even heard of that language before. At first, he thought they might be messing with him, but…

Their gazes, their breathing, their enunciation… There’s no sign either of them is lying…

As a genius high student turned prime minister, Tsukasa’s powers of observation were keen. However, what they were telling him only served to further his confusion.

What’s going on here?

There were people with animal ears and tails talking about a language he’d never heard of. And also…there was his initial impression when he first saw Lyrule devotedly nursing him. Tsukasa’s mind mixed together all the strange hints—and arrived at an unbelievable theory.

There’s…no way…!

It simply wasn’t possible. Not only was it unscientific, it seemed downright unreal. Surely it was just a delusion spurred on by Lyrule’s and Winona’s odd appearances.

Even so… Science had never conclusively proven this nightmarish phenomenon impossible.

I have to be sure…!


“Wh—? No, no, you mustn’t move yet! Your wounds will reopen!”

“Lyrule’s absolutely right. You really need to get back in that bed.”

Lyrule and Winona scolded Tsukasa as they watched him hunch over in agony. But Tsukasa refused to back down.

“Sorry, but…I’m afraid I can’t do that right now. There’s something urgent I need to check. Do you know where my phone went?”

“What’s a fone?”

“It’s a flat black slab. There should have been one in my pocket.”

“Oh, you mean this?”

“Please, give it here!”

Tsukasa’s clothes were piled up beside his bed. Lyrule retrieved the smartphone from atop them and passed it to him. Tsukasa tried to use its GPS to determine his present location, but…

“Dammit, it’s not working…! It’s okay, though, there’s still a way…!”

Their plane had been equipped with GPS and satellite communication systems. Given that the crash hadn’t been serious enough to kill them, there was a good chance those features were still intact.

“Forgive me for imposing, you two, but could you take me to the crash site…or rather, the spot where you found us?”

“Wh-what are you talking about?! You’re in no state to be going any—”

“I’m well aware of that. But it’s a politician’s duty to push himself to the limit when his people are facing a crisis. If my insane hunch ends up being right, it’ll be my responsibility to take charge of the other six. In other words, it won’t do for me to end up just as alarmed as they’ll be… I need to be the first to fully understand the situation. So please, I beseech you…” His words of supplication and his expression brimmed with an unshakable will. Winona tried to glare him down but eventually heaved an exasperated sigh of defeat.

“…Fine. I’ll take you.”

“Winona?! You can’t; that’s crazy!”

“Look at his eyes. If we left him to his own devices, he’d crawl there on his hands and knees. It’s useless trying to stop a man with eyes like those… I don’t know what it is you want to check, but it’s that important to you, is it?”

“It is…” Tsukasa nodded.

“In that case…grit your teeth!” Winona slid her hand around Tsukasa’s back, then hoisted him to his feet.


“Does it hurt?”


“Way to be a man about it. All right, let’s go. Watch your feet, now.”

“W-wait! I’m coming, too!”

And thus, the two of them helped bring Tsukasa to the spot where they’d found him and the others. With him borrowing their shoulders and taking it slow, it took them about fifteen minutes to get there. Houses were scattered along their path, all made of wood and limestone. There was no concrete to be seen, nor did he spot any cars or bicycles. The ground was free of tire tracks. It was like a mountain village straight out of the Middle Ages.

Several villagers came and talked to the three of them as they walked, but despite ostensibly looking human, they all had animal ears, tails, or both, like Winona. The absurdity of the scene made Tsukasa increasingly concerned that his impossible, illogical theory was on the mark. Then, when they reached a crag overlooking a valley near the village—Tsukasa gaped at what he saw.

“This here’s where we found you. Four days ago, there was a big sound in the middle of the night, like a landslide. We all rushed over and found that big birdlike frame shooting out fire with the seven of you collapsed beside it.”


Sure enough, he could make out the wreckage of a familiar airplane down at the bottom of the red valley Winona was pointing at.

The wreckage.

The nose of the plane had been crushed and had sunk into the exposed red clay of the valley’s side. The flames had done a number on it—all that was left were the frame and the destroyed passenger cabin. The wings and tail were torn clear off and their pieces scattered about. Tsukasa could tell in a single glance that the GPS and satellite comm systems were unsalvageable.

What truly worried the boy had little to do with the status of the plane’s navigational devices, however. It was the state of the crash site as a whole.

There’s no way we made it out of there…

The plane had been designed by Ringo Oohoshi, a genius inventor and member of the High School Prodigies. Up until now, Tsukasa had assumed they’d survived thanks to some subsystem designed to protect the passengers in the event of a crash.

However, that clearly hadn’t been the case.

It was physically impossible for anyone inside an airplane in that condition to have survived. The very fact that Tsukasa and the others were alive at all was an unnatural occurrence bordering on the inconceivable. Each new detail the boy was confronted with defied comprehension.

What in the world had happened to the seven of them?

At a loss, Tsukasa turned his gaze to the sky, and that’s when he saw it.

“ ………”

A massive figure descended from the clouds. Tsukasa had already encountered many surprises that day, but this was the first that left him completely dumbstruck.

Up in the sky…soared a winged lizard the size of a mountain, swimming through the air.

“Oh. We get smaller ones all the time, but it’s not often you see a dragon that big.”

“It isn’t, is it? We should pray for everyone’s safe recovery.”


Lyrule clasped her hands and began praying to the flying dragon. Winona appeared pleased, happily smiling at having been able to see something so seemingly rare. It was their reactions to that utterly unearthly sight that made Tsukasa finally realize his insane theory…actually matched his current situation.

“Man… I guess I just have to accept it, huh…”

“What do you mean, you have to ‘accept it’?” Lyrule tilted her head to the side, confused.

Rather than offering an excuse for his words, the boy answered quite honestly.

“Well, it would appear that my compatriots and I have arrived in a world entirely different from our own.”

And there they had it—the world Tsukasa and the others now found themselves lost in existed in a different dimension and had developed along a different path from Earth.

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