Re:Zero: Arc 1 – Chapter 1: Unusable Ridged 10

―This is really bad.

Lost and penniless, those few words were all he could think of.

Well, penniless wasn’t quite right. He did have his wallet in his pocket, and setting aside the fact that he had an abundance of small change and very few notes, it couldn’t be denied that he had his assets on him.

More than enough to go to the nearest mall to do some shopping and eat some lunch. Even so, he could only be called penniless.

“Looks like the currency around here is completely different after all…”

Flipping the rare ridged 10 yen coin he was holding, the youth sighed deeply.

He was an unremarkable youth bearing short black hair and average stature. He had some muscularity which combined with his cheap jersey gave off the air of an athlete.

His sharp eyes were his only noteworthy feature, and now even they drooped helplessly.

The banality of his appearance was such that one could instantly lose him in a crowd, however the gazes directed at him were those of wonder and incomprehension, as though they were looking at something strange.

Obviously, there wasn’t a single person sporting black hair or a jersey among those looking at him. Their hair varied extensively, blonde, white, brown, green, blue and so on. Furthermore their outfits were armor, dancers’ clothes, monotone robes and more which possessed a certain vibe.

The youth could only cross his arms in comprehension as their brazen gazes washed over him.

“So basically, it’s like that, huh.”

Snapping his fingers, he pointed at those who were staring at him.

“Seems I’ve been summoned to another world.”

Before his eyes was a carriage drawn by a massive lizard-like being.

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Natsuki Subaru was born in Heisei-era Japan’s pressure-free education system.

He had lived seventeen years, and to describe his life would take seventeen years in itself.

Setting that aside, his present situation could be simply described as “High school third year, shut-in.”

Or in more detailed terms, “A piece of trash who disregards everything, even his parents, to shut himself in his shell even with his entrance exams right around the corner.”

There was no particular reason for his solitude.

On typical weekdays, he would occasionally think “Getting up now would be a pain”, and that became an impetus to cut school.

With his absences steadily increasing, before he realized it he’d become an exemplary shut-in who brought tears to his parents.

He spent his days in sloth, plunging ever deeper into the net with minimal communication.

“The result being a summons to another world, huh… I don’t really get it myself.”

Reconfirming his surroundings yet again, he heaved his umpteenth sigh.

He had moved from the street he was on, and was presently sitting in a somewhat dim alley.

The ground was paved. A rough job compared to modern Japan, but it wasn’t bad.

“Supposing this is a parallel world fantasy, I guess this must be the standard medieval civilization. I didn’t see any machinery, and they build with stone and wood…”

He thought back to the sights he’d seen on his way to the alley and organized the information in his head. He would frequently let his imagination run wild, as a result he was more than prepared for his present situation.

First, calmly analyze that time period’s culture and its differences with Japan. Ascertain any differences in the laws of physics, and possibility of contact with humanoid organisms. These were his priorities.

“Alright, let’s do this. I’m not imagining you guys, and I’m fairly certain about the level of civilization. It seems like my money won’t be of any use, but I took the opportunity to speak to a shopkeeper and we had no problem communicating.”

Upon realizing he’d been summoned, the first thing Subaru did was attempt to negotiate with a “Grocer?” Having attempted to purchase the “Apples?” with his Japanese Yen, he was promptly denied. It seemed that this world used gold, silver and copper coins as its currency. The inherent value of currency in this world was easy to understand, certainly befitting a parallel world fantasy.

“Well, I suppose there would be mixed-metal fakes. Something like a 500-won coin would probably degrade, though.”

‘Probably heavy to carry around’, he thought as another lizard-drawn carriage passed through the street. This produced a giant cloud of dust and yet the townsfolk paid it no mind, as though they were completely used to this.

“Even so, they don’t seem nearly as common as cars were… Come to think of it, I haven’t seen any dogs or cats around here.”

The lizards drawing the carriages appeared considerably larger than horses. Their body mass seemed constant relative to their proportions, but it was certainly worrying to see reptiles of that size.

“They’re commonplace, huh… Both lizards and humanoids.”

Then the final piece he had to confirm, the unique looks of this world’s humans.

They possessed very colorful hair, but one could easily obtain any hair color with dye. For a parallel world fantasy, that was nothing extraordinary. Instead, Subaru focused on their “animal ears.”

At a cursory glance he spotted dog ears, cat ears, perhaps even bunny ears and he may have even caught sight of a lizardman-like being. There were also those who looked no different from Subaru which led him to conclude-

“The genre is parallel world fantasy. The culture is that of your typical medieval civilization. Demihumans are common, so battle and adventure might be common as well. The animals show some minor changes but they basically serve their functions. Is that how it is?”

Having deduced that, Subaru exhaled a long breath that wasn’t quite a sigh.

Having spoken of the circumstances he’d ended up in, he knit his brows at this seemingly convenient development. If things proceeded according to his fantasies, he’d freely use his modern knowledge to obtain incredible power, however this world was slightly different from what he’d planned for.

“I’d run perfect simulations of the Sengoku era… If I’d ended up there, I’d have seized the country from Nobunaga.”

When it came to parallel world fantasy, at best his knowledge amounted to gunpowder production. And even that was meaningless considering this world’s technological level  Parallel world fantasy generally came with magic, if that were the case it would probably make gunpowder little more than fireworks.

“Well, there’s also cliches where magic isn’t the end all be all. If I ever get the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of science, I’ll do my best to… First, my current problem.”

He had no clue how or why he’d been summoned here.

He clearly remembered what he was doing prior to the summoning. He had just gone out for the first time in a long while to buy some cup ramen at the convenience store and was about to return home. He didn’t want to use his bicycle so he went on foot

Midway, he looked up at the night sky and thought “It’s almost a full moon tonight, huh.” And then as he looked down and blinked, it was noon.

Night to noon in an instant. He immediately realized something was off, but that was it. He’d calmed down now, but immediately after the summoning his panic was such that it could be told of for generations to come.

“Considering I being an only son have gone missing, those generations might not exist.”

As he muttered this, he once again checked his belongings. In a parallel world fantasy, starting gear was even more important than he’d imagined. He’d need everything he had, however little.

First, his cell phone (with a dying battery), his wallet (containing many video rental membership cards), the ramen he bought at the convenience store (Shoyu Tonkotsu), some snacks (corn potage flavored), his beloved gray jersey (unwashed), worn out sneakers (of two years) and more.

“That’s that, huh… Why didn’t I at least carry a pistol? What do I do now?”

It seemed only his snacks would prove useful, and only to fill his belly.

“The situation is hopeless. And of course I don’t know the source, I don’t even have any memories of passing through a mirror or hopping in a pond. Most importantly, where’s the beauty who summoned me?”

The heroine’s absence, by 2D standards, was an act of inconceivable negligence. To summon him and just leave him like that, it was as though he was simply thrown away.

In truth, Subaru could no longer escape reality now that he’d assessed his situation and he could only hang his head in despair.

“”Oh, give me a break already. What on earth am I supposed to do here?”

Subaru was already at his limit as he muttered complaints. He earnestly wanted to go back, fantasy was best left in the realm of fantasy. It was fun to imagine arriving in another world to obtain incredible power, but to actually end up in such a situation, what could he really do?

“For now, what’s important is survival, but… Will my level 1 communication ability be enough?”

Aside from his family, he only really spoke to store clerks. He’d lived this lifestyle for almost a year now and had long forgotten how to navigate social interactions.

“Even though I can type at speaking speed in online chats…”

Subaru moved his fingers nervously as he contemplated his future in despair. However, his expression changed when he heard the sound of footsteps echoing through the alley. He looked up to see three men blocking the exit.

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