I, a high school teacher, was transferred with my students to another world Volume 1 Chapter 43

Mera

“Kimishima!”

In a panic, I reach for the sword that had been taken off.

“Wait!”

Kimishima stopped me. What was going on?

Frozen in a strange posture, I looked at the red chick nestled on Kimishima’s lap. I had never seen it before, but it looked like the rumored colored chick. Yet, its size was not that of a typical chick. It was about the size of a small chicken.

“Be careful… Just a slight poke might leave a hole, you know?”

“I feel like it’s okay. I was surprised when the shell cracked, and this little one came out…”

“Isn’t it dangerous… there?”

“Even though it was in that fire, it’s not hot.”

“Not hot?”

The chicken curled up on Kimishima’s legs, burying its head in the feathers as if it was completely relaxed. Looking at it like this, it might indeed be cute in a roundabout way. But still… not hot?

Curious, I reached out to touch it.

Bachin!!!

“Whoa! That was close! It’s dangerous after all!”

“No, it’s okay. See? It’s not scary.”

The moment I tried to touch it, it pecked at my hand with its beak. Startled, I pulled my hand back, and Kimishima restrained the chick as if cradling it.

“Why… Is it okay?”

When Kimishima touched it, the chick snuggled comfortably again.

…What is this thing?

“I saw something like this on TV before. It might be imprinting.”

“Imprinting? Oh, when a chick hatches from an egg and sees a living being for the first time, it thinks it’s its mother… But it’s a monster, right?”

“But it seems to really like me… It’s cute…”

“Cute? Is it really… It’s strangely big, though… Did my egg turn into meat?”

“I won’t eat it!”

“Oh, right… Won’t you?”

“Of course not! I won’t eat it!!”

So… the egg is gone. I stared at the meat in silence. Kimishima, noticing my gaze, hid the meat, cradling it.

…Well, girls like these small animal-like things, I guess. They hang them from their bags like straps… Hmm. It might be unsettling to bring it along when hiding from monsters, but in the current situation, this pet-like presence might be a source of comfort.

Kimishima crushed a bit of portable food and placed it in her palm. The chick timidly pecked at it. The sight seemed to captivate Kimishima’s heart, and she looked at the chick with a smile that I had never seen before. Somehow… it wasn’t that my emotions weren’t complicated.

Eventually, as it became completely dark, Kimishima fell asleep beside me, still holding the chick. During my night watch, I glanced at the chick from time to time, and it slept peacefully in Kimishima’s arms as if completely at ease.

In the pitch-black night, while on night duty, I realized that I hadn’t mentioned the strange turn of events regarding my rank at all.

The next day, after deviating from the road for a while, we began walking along the path around noon, thinking that there wouldn’t be any problems by now.

Looking at Kimishima, a red chick peered out from her bag, swaying from the top of the bag.

“You can put living creatures in that bag?”

“Well, Sensei carried an egg in a backpack, right?”

“Yeah, that’s true.”

Certainly. Well, it’s just that it’s more spacious inside, so there shouldn’t be any issues. More importantly, it seemed like Kimishima was concerned about something else.

“Sensei, I’m thinking of giving this little one a name. Do you have any good ideas?”

“A name? …How about ‘Aka’ (Red)?”

“…Isn’t that too straightforward?”

“No, you see. In Japan, people give names like Shiro (White) or Kuro (Black) to chicks, right? Aka is… it might sound a bit biased?”

“Biased?”

“Oh, never mind. Well, she thinks you’re her mother, right?”

“Hehehe. Are you jealous?”

“…No, not really…”

“Oh. Even though it’s so cute…”

“…So you come up with a good name, Kimishima.”

“Hmm…”

Choosing a name was difficult.

“What about ‘Piyo-chan’? How does that sound?”

“You can only say it when it’s a chick, right? Its mother was bigger than me, right?”

“Oh… with all those eggs…”

“If it grows up, we probably won’t be able to keep it.”

“Hmm…”

In the end, given its hatching from a burning egg, we named it “Mera”.

It might sound a bit disappointing, but I won’t dwell on it.

Eventually, an unwelcome scene came into view along the road. The companions of those big guys who ran away yesterday were brutally murdered. Judging from yesterday’s battle, it was probably tough for those three to fight high-level monsters. Still, one monster’s corpse lay on the ground, suggesting they put up a decent fight.

And there were two wolf-like monsters having a meal in the middle of the road.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes…”

Sensing the presence of monsters ahead, I confirmed the situation along the bushes. Kimishima was shocked, her face turning pale. Mera peeked out from the bag, looking worried at its owner.

Whether to wait for them to finish their meal and leave… Well, judging by the movements of those creatures the other day, they might have sensed the smell and noticed us before we did. Fortunately, for then, they might not have noticed due to the scent of the three people’s blood. However, depending on the wind direction, who knew what could have happened.

…Should we have gone?

“Kimishima, stay here. It’s tough to just watch people being eaten in front of you… I’ll be back.”

“Yes… Be careful.”

“Yeah.”

Gripping the sword at my waist with my left hand, I emerged from the thicket. The monsters noticed me immediately. They raised the wrinkles on their noses and growled menacingly. One of them was an opponent I had killed before. I won’t say it wasn’t scary, but I had a little more composure.

Approaching me, growling in intimidation, the two monsters entered a combat stance. I maintained my walking speed, slowly getting closer.

Was this the spot?

Intuitively or not, I sensed the monsters’ distance. Once I crossed that line, they would probably have pounced on me in an instant. Lowering my posture just before that line, I gripped the hilt with my right hand. Manipulating the feel of the hilt threads with my pinkie and ring finger, I cut the string loop.

The monsters seemed momentarily bewildered by my stopping just before striking distance. Annoyed, they took a step toward me. In the moment they stepped into the striking distance with their own feet, two of them leaped at me.

A huge wolf, lion-sized, opened its jaws, but that might have been all there was to it. There was no skill to compete with humans using both hands. Slowly and surely. Sliding the blade along the predictable trajectory, avoiding the bodies of the leaping monsters. I swiftly took down both of them in a single breath.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to bury the three killed.

“Rest in peace.”

Just muttering that.

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