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Special Shoutout to este and the whole OCY crew: thanks.

To everyone especially my friends, enjoy.

An employment ice age.

The world’s recession was like a stormy sea. A 4th year university student named Umemoto Shiori sighed deeply. Zero job offers. These scary words were, to the present Shiori, an unmistakable reality. Because no employment could be found, Shiori cursed her useless university degree.

When Shiori told the gist of this to her parents,

“It’s fine, it’s fine. You’re a woman so you don’t even need to enter a company. [1] Just keep looking for a job and a husband,” she was casually told, before being hung up on.

Shiori stared at the disconnected mobile phone with distant eyes.

It was just like her parents to be like that.

It didn’t mean that she wasn’t loved.

Only, Shiori’s parents were such a lovey-dovey couple that just watching them would make you embarrassed, and the result was that they placed each other first. Because of that, Shiori ended up as second fiddle is all.

Although as their child she did feel somewhat lonely, she also felt that it was a good thing for her parents to get along as they did.

Shiori felt that if she ever married somebody in the future, she would want a relationship filled with love, just like her parents’.

(Well, right now I don’t even have a lover though.)

Tossing her phone onto her bed, Shiori groped for the bag she had left on the floor.

Shiori was not told “Return home” by her parents, as it is she continued to live alone while job hunting.

From Shiori’s bag she took out her wallet and room keys to go to the convenience store.

“Uuu, it’s cold”

Spring was close and the night was becoming chilly. Entering the empty apartment, Shiori thrust her hands into her pocket ducking her head.

In that instant–


A strong light illuminated her feet, and just like that her body was sucked in.

With closed eyes one couldn’t tell how much time had passed.

In what felt like only a second, about ten hours had lapsed.

Shiori softly opened her eyes and took in her surroundings.

She expected to see the familiar highway spread out in front of her apartment.

Day falling into gloomy emptiness, the outdoor and house light illuminating the ground, that sort of expected scene.

(I wonder why my head feels funny?)

Shiori’s body was [2] sparkling and twinkling. However, before her eyes the scenery didn’t change.

She wondered if it was around noon. Looking up at the emptiness, bright sunlight shined upon the clouds.

Shiori stood up in a narrow alley. There were no people present near the alley however, from her position she could hear sounds of life and people talking.  

(Where is this? What do i do now? Perhaps…I’m in another country?)

Before her eyes she saw and touched a house’s wall. The cream walls had a wooden window frame. On the house’s other side there was lovely brickwork. On the ground one could see the stone paving lead the way to the concrete path of main street.

The old street corners looked as if they came out of a historical European fantasy movie. It had that kind of atmosphere.

“I’m alright. I just need to calm down a bit.” muttered Shiori, encouraging herself.

First she now looked at her appearance: a dark knit cardigan, sharp skinny jeans and light brown boots she bought from a winter sale.

When she left the convenience store and apartment, her appearance had not changed. She looked the same as when she left the convenience store and apartment.

In her pocket she grasped her wallet and keys.

Yet her surrounding scene just changed. What the heck is this…

Feeling timid, Shiori started walking toward main street.

An intense uneasiness squeezed her chest causing her to involuntarily tighten her grip on her wallet.

From the alley’s shadow she stealthily revealed her face wondering about the street’s appearance.

She felt a little hopeless.

(The whole town isn’t cosplaying or something right?)

Shiori’s forehead started sweating.

Each person passing by the street wore t-shirts and jeans.

This street’s atmosphere was a bit old-fashioned.

Shiori closed her eyes tightly, trying to escape from reality.

Perhaps, Shiori was in the midst of a fantasy film shooting.

Then, for some reason, I got lost…

However, when she saw the letters on the sign of a shop on the street, Shiori was startled.

(I can understand this….)

Then, at last, Shiori understood her present predicament.

This isn’t Earth.

In other words, similar to him, I landed in a world completely different from mine

[1] Note that the way large companies in Japan work are more like gangs, so you ‘enter’ a company and become affiliated with it. You don’t just ‘enter’ a job.
The literal term used is パチパチ which is a japanese sound effect. It doesn’t quite have an English equivalent, thus, I used sparkling.In other contexts it could mean clapping or crackling.

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