"W-Where am I...?" John muttered
He couldn't see anything, He couldn't feel anything, but it was warm. He felt as if something was embracing him.
"John? ... John! Wake up, John! John!" said the random voice.
"This voice... Who are you?" John asked.
The voice didn't sound like Elena, but for some reason it sounded familiar to him.
As he waited for a reply, John could feel his senses return back to him.
"W-What the hell…" John quietly muttered as he opened his eyes.
John was standing, in the middle of a road which was surrounded by houses. The houses looked as if they had come from the medieval times; making them seem out of place to him.
John didn't know what to say, because he was shocked. Any bit of reasoning that John had that could explain this situation had disappeared as he noticed the slight dread rising within his bones.
It wasn't because he was in the middle of an unfamiliar environment or the fact that everything looked as if it was some town that came from some sort of fairy tale based on a fantasy.
Rather it was because of what John had just witnessed in front of him.
The sound of chattering could be heard as people walked past him. All of them were minding their own business or chatting to others, but none of that mattered to John.
What mattered to him was how some people looked like humans mixed with animals. They had ears and a tail of animals, and there was even a person who appeared to be a lizard.
Some of them looked ugly, while some looked beautiful, but strangely enough, they all wore clothes and lived together with humans as if it was normal. John wondered what exactly happened to him.
"Am I going insane..? Did I fall into a coma after the car accident?" John asked himself
Seeing this John let out a sigh, before placing his hand on his chest. His heart was currently beating fast, and only continued to increase as he began to slowly make out the pieces of what had happened.
John took another look around and pinched himself, just to be sure it was real. Everything was indeed all real.
[A real fantasy world… I can't believe it… I was really reincarnated…?] John thought.
"I need to get information…" John muttered as he looked around once more.
Shops and houses lined up amongst each other and he, who was in the middle of the street, stood in between them.
As he was about to begin his search for information, he realised something.
John hadn't realised this earlier, but now discovered that his body felt different. He then understood that since he had been reincarnated, it was natural that his body won't feel the same as before.
He also had only now noticed that he had been barefoot throughout this entire time.
John walked up to the nearest puddle, which was near an alleyway near him, before using it to look at his reflection. When he did, his eyes widened. Short blonde spiky hair and green eyes.
[W-Who... Who is this handsome young man!?] John wondered.
He quickly looked around before looking down at the puddle. Every movement he made, the boy in the puddle followed. There was no mistaking it. It was his new body.
The body appeared to be around 12 years old. Short, skinny and pale. The only appealing characteristic was his face.
John continued to stare at himself without saying anything.
Suddenly, he felt a sharp pain in his stomach as he dropped to his knees. Confused once more, he looked down and found no injury. There was only one explanation for this, hunger.
What John needed right now was food. Conflicted, he got up before staggering towards the nearest stall to him.
It was a beef stall; the man was roasting a piece of beef through some sort of metal grill; it looked more medieval than the modern one. The young man was accustomed to it, but it didn't matter.
With his stomach rumbling and his hunger clouding his mind, John slowly staggered towards the grill.
[Will he... Will he be able to understand me...?] John thought.
With each step, John got closer and closer, and when he finally reached the stall, he tried muttering the words.
"F... Food... Can I have som-"
Before he could even finish his sentence, John was interrupted by the food vendor, who suddenly landed a sharp punch on his face.
The punch was so hard and so unexpected, that it pushed the young man back through the ground, before it caused him to hit his head onto the wall of the house beside the stall.
John laid on the ground in pain and confusion as he began to feel lightheaded. Meanwhile, the food stall vendor spat on the young boy's leg before saying.
"Damn, fucking pig. How many times do I have to tell you kids, if you don't have any money, fuck off!"
Those were the last words John heard before he was knocked unconscious.
When John woke up, he saw that he was under the starry night sky, finding himself on top of a blanket in a random alleyway.
The right side of his face was killing him, he could even feel the bitter taste of blood in his mouth as he slowly got up.
"Argh... That assho-" John cursed.
John suddenly stopped as he noticed the young girl next to him.
She had quickly stepped back once John had started talking and quietly stared at him with a scared look on her face. Her hands and legs trembled as she did so.
Short black hair and deep black round eyes, a young and slim figure with an age who appeared to be around the young boy's.
[Who is this girl...?] John wondered as he slowly moved his hand towards his face.
His right arm was bandaged along with his forehead. There was a bandage running all around it.
"This wasn't there earlier... Argh... It still hurts... Damn it... I'll get that guy back for this..." John muttered before looking over at the girl.
As he did, she flinched before staring back at him.
"Did you... Do this?" John asked as he pointed at the bandages.
Hesitantly, she quietly nodded.
"I see... Thank you." John muttered with a smile.
"I… It's fine..." The girl quietly replied.
[She can understand me? Thank god...] John thought.
"Hey... You... Where are we...?" John asked as he got up from the blanket.
He was dirty and a bit smelly, but he had indeed been treated.
"We're... In an alley..." The girl spoke.
"No, I mean as in, this wor-, this country or kingdom, where is it?" John asked.
"Y-You... Don't know...?" The girl questioned.
John understood that it was a strange and risky question and quickly thought of an excuse.
"I'm not sure... I may have been hit too hard in the head... I've lost my memories..." John muttered
Hearing this, the girl's eyes widened as she quickly moved in closer, before placing her hands on his forehead.
"R-Really!? Y-you don't remember anything?" She asked worriedly.
[Did I know her...? Come to think of it, she does look familiar...] John wondered.
"Yeah... Sorry... Did I know you?" John asked but thought something else,
[I feel bad for lying but...]
Hearing this, the girl hung her head before slowly shaking it.
[So she just helped a random stranger? Where did a girl her age even learn how to bandage?] John thought.
John took a look at the clothes she wore. They weren't dirty, but they looked worn out and old.
"You... What are you doing outside so late? You should be home..." John asked.
However, the girl quickly shook her head, before she muttered
"I have no home..."
[No home...? Where did she find the bandages and equipment to treat me?] John wondered again.
John then noticed, in the corner of his eye, a strange box in her slightly torn pocket. It was small and there was no way that it'd be able to fit in any equipment, judging from its size. It looked as big as a curled-up fist of a 5-year-old.
[It can't be that... Screw it, I'll ask later, I'm too hungry to think right now...] John thought.
"So you're like me, huh... Are you hungry?" John asked.
The girl flinched before slowly nodding.
"Good, keep that hunger in mind. We're going food hunting. I have a plan." John muttered before getting up on his two feet.
He staggered towards the exit of the alley before turning around to the young girl and asking.
"So are you coming or not?"
"I can...?" The girl asked as she slowly lifted her face.
"Yeah, you helped me after all." Said John with a smile on his face.
[She's homeless, but she helped me and either way, having a pair of hands right now would be helpful and she seems skilled in first-aid. Then there's also that strange box.] He thought.
"T-Thank you..." She muttered as she rubbed her eyes with her hand before she got up.
"What's your name?" John asked, as he turned towards the exit of the alley.
"Ariel…" The girl replied.
"Ariel, huh... That's a nice name..." John muttered with a smile on his face.
"T… Thank you... What's yours?" She asked
[Name...? My name...? That's right... What was my name again?] John thought.
"I can't remember my nam- John." He subconsciously muttered
[Huh...? That word suddenly popped up in my mind] He wondered.
"So you're starting to remember...?" The girl quietly whispered
Without hearing her words, John slowly looked up at one of the stars in the sky, as his memories began to return to him.
"Ah... That's right... John..."
And thus, this was how their journey began.
Chapter has been re-edited into 3rd person.
This's an experimental test for reading assistance in case.
We highly recommend you to enjoy the beauty of the original words.