I yawned and walked outside my house, wearing my suit and carrying my bag of textbooks and brief, heading to my car.
But as I pressed the button to unlock my car, I realized that the surroundings were different. Instead of the lightly frosted suburban area, there was a snowy city. Not only that, but there are Japanese signs all over and Japanese people walking around.
I groaned. "Not this crap again..."
Was it because I'd been so busy that I was having a hard time keeping up with comments? And was it because I felt guilty that the story was trending number one in spite of that?
Either way, it looked like I became an extra in my own story again.
"If I know how this works, then that means I'll have to die to get back..."
That was unpleasant though. It was one thing to be instakilled by a semi or blasted by John, but I didn't think things would be that easy this time.
"Let's see... When is this?"
I pulled out my phone to check the time.
Fortunately, it seemed like I still had signal... somehow. And it looked like it was December 1st, around 3 PM. As for my location...
"Roppongi Hills, huh?" I muttered and looked around.
Fortunately, I could somehow understand people now. Maybe getting smacked in the head so many times the last times I was here forced some Japanese into my head... or somehow unlocked all the vocab I had from watching anime for decades.
Either way, I started walking. As I did, I checked some more info.
First, my bank account.
As expected of a law school student with tons of loans, I was broke. Well, not completely, but I definitely couldn't catch a flight home like this... and I didn't want to use too much in case that somehow carried over.
Especially if this wasn't a series of continued lucid dreams.
I had enough to grab some food though, and I also had a paypal card to draw from... so that should be fine. In that case...
"Well." I slipped my phone back into my pocket and said, "Not every day you get to visit Japan. Might as well enjoy the sights, right?"
I didn't know when either John or Titor would catch on to me being here and forcibly eject me, so I might as well have some fun until then.
And if I was at Roppongi Hills...
I shifted my attention towards the nearby mall and started walking over. "Let's go see how good those udon noodles really are-"
A polite voice called out from behind me. Light and musical. Female.
I blinked and turned back. And when I saw who was standing there, I froze.
A perfect beauty. That was the only way I could describe her. A flawless and elegant face with ruby eyes and soft pink lips. Short black hair that lightly framed her face. And a casual gray hoodie and jeans that gave off an awkwardly cute vibe.
"I don't mean to be rude... but have we met?"
It was one of those cliche anime moments. Boy meets girl, a case of mistaken identity.
And considering how beautiful she was, I would have ordinarily played along.
But considering *who* she was... Hard pass.
Ignoring the sweat running down my neck, I shook my head and then said in English, "Sorry. I don't speak Japanese."
It wasn't a lie. And hopefully, that was enough.
With those words, I spun around and quickly started walking away, trying to put as much distance between me and the beauty as possible before I got found out.
But before I could take a single step, a hand grabbed my arm.
"Wait!" The beauty... No. Alphy moved to my side, staring at my face.
I felt my eye twitch, but I kept a poker face as best as I could and said, "Sorry, Miss. But I don't speak Japanese. Um-"
Alphy shook her head and said in English. "That's fine. I can understand you."
Ah, crap. Forgot about that. Damned universal translation BS...
She walked around in front of me, staring deep into my eyes. As she did, her eyebrows furrowed, as if trying to figure out a puzzle.
I rubbed the back of my neck with my free hand and said, "So... Did you need something? I'm a busy man, you know?"
"Ah." Alphy blinked and let go of me. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bother you. But..." She frowned and said, "I really do feel like we've met a long, long time ago..."
I laughed and said, "I think I'd remember meeting someone as beautiful as you, Miss."
Alphy blushed and then shifted in place. "T-That's... I'm not that beautiful..."
Dammit! Did getting sent here give me some of the traits from my self-inserts?
I waved and said, "Anyway, nice meeting you. Try not to get wrapped up with troublesome guys like me."
"W-Wait!" Alphy grabbed my hand again and said, "Your name!"
"...Niimo. Niimo Nobahdi."
Alphy blinked. "Niimo? Nobahdi?"
I brushed off Alphy's hand and quickly started walking away.
"Ah!" Alphy called out again and I heard footsteps chasing after me. But before she reached me, some more voices called out.
"Onee-chan?" A bright and young female voice. Rin's, no doubt.
"Did that guy do something to you, Alphy?" A cool female voice... and also one filled with hostility. The moment that came out, I felt a sharp feeling against the back of my neck.
Freaking hell. Killing intent has an actual presence in this world?
"No." Alphy's voice called out and she said, "He didn't. It's just... he seemed familiar. Like someone I met ten thousand years ago..."
I rounded the corner, moving out of earshot from the girls. But as I did, Alphy's last words echoed in my head.
Ten thousand years ago, huh?
Well, if you considered the fact that I was the one responsible for sending John to the Three Realms and helped arrange events to help him make Alphy in the first place, that was technically true. And considering the weird setup in this world from Titor's system, maybe some of those memories were being drawn out?
Though if that's the case, then-
"So. You finally decide to show your face and the first thing you do is flirt with my daughter, huh?"
A suave male voice... but also one frosty and cold.
A gust of wind blew, and then a man stood in front of me. A punchable handsome face, light green eyes, golden hair... Wearing a loose white dress shirt and jeans, he looked exactly like the pretty boy male leads in a Shoujo Manga.
Of course, I knew who that guy was.
John Smith, the Returning Transcendent and MC of this world-
I tilted my head and said, "Finally?"
John nodded and stepped forward, cracking his knuckles. "Yeah. Finally. Now..." He shifted his stance. The moment he did, a ripple spread over the surroundings, leaving the busy street devoid of life.
Just me and John.
"You have a lot of explaining to do, Mister Happy Vainglory."
"Again, that's not my name. And we've done this bit before, so... Hard pass."
John blinked. "What?"
Let's see. If the Incarnation System that Titor set up is still in place... and since this seemed to be right after the concert...
"I'm hacking to the gate."
"Tch. Stop talking nonsense and grit your- Mmph!?"
A tiny wormhole materialized before a cookie shot towards John's open mouth.
He staggered a bit at the unexpected attack and spat it out. "What the hell?"
I reached out to the side, grabbing empty air. But as I did, something formed. A glittering blue popsicle. Pointing it at John, I said, "Since you're a Gilgamesh Expy, you don't mind if I steal a page from his book, do you?"
John's eyes widened. "You son of a-"
"Gate of Babel-on!"
Portals shimmered behind me, before a surge of treats flew towards John. Cookies, popcorn, popsicles, and even some random sushi.
An endless tide of food surged, staining the guy's shirt and covering him in smears.
Using that as a distraction, I turned and ran... and then promptly slipped on a popsicle and cracked my head against the concrete.
A sharp pain. A loud *thwack*.
And then I was standing outside my house, holding my car keys. I looked at the keys and then looked up at the clear blue sky. After that, I shook my head and walked over to my car, unlocking it.
"Note to self: Give John a break so he isn't that pissed next time this inevitably happens."
God forbid I accidentally got dropped in after some drama with Yue's pregnancy or some-
I paused and glared at the sky. "Murphy. Murphy, no. Bad. Bad Murphy. Stop it."
I didn't get a response. But I didn't expect one.
"...Yeah. Really need to give John a break..."
Maybe an onsen chapter would be good...