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2811-chapter-3

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Chapter 3
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‘I’m flustered. No, that expression is not enough. Give meaning in life? Me? …How? What can I possibly do?!’

Of course, I know that in general, living was more enjoyable and better than dying. I felt the same way myself. But trying to tell that man something like ‘Life is joyful and happy!’ without knowing anything about his circumstances was obviously not going to be well-received. Moreover, his significant wariness only strengthened my doubts.

This wasn’t the development I had in mind.

What I had in mind was a charming gentleman who would express his gratitude, saying ‘Thank you for rescuing me’ and asking, ‘How can I repay this kindness?’ while adding a touch of light to my ordinary life…!
As someone with extremely poor communication skills, I could only break out in a cold sweat and avert my gaze, while the man, as if about to attack me, reluctantly spoke. For some reason, his voice was softer than before.

“If you sought something in return for helping me, I’m sorry, but as you can see, I have nothing…”

After than, the man seemed to realize that he was naked. He glanced downward, pulled up the blanket in a fluster, and spoke with a slightly strange expression.

“…You must’ve seen my state. It would be best for you to let me die.”

As he struggled to rise, I instinctively stood up and pressed my hand against the man’s shoulder. I didn’t exert much force, yet the man collapsed like a falling leaf, gasping for breath in a pitiful manner. He seemed surprised, perhaps realizing that his condition was more serious than he had thought.

His golden eyes, gazing directly at me, trembled with confusion. However, I couldn’t meet his gaze directly as it made me feel uneasy.

“I-I didn’t seek any repayment or anything like that. Y-you got caught in my fishing line…”

“…Your fishing line?”

“I-I’ll explain the details later. Please, just lie down a little longer. I’ll quickly boil some water for you.”

What should I do? Was it because it had been so long since I had a conversation with someone? Every time I spoke, my voice trembled and I stuttered. My heart was pounding.

After quickly finishing my words, I didn’t wait for the man’s response and hastily left the room. Outside the window, it had become bright without me noticing. I had only intended to rest for a moment, but it seems like I fell into a deeper sleep than expected.

Staring blankly at the dimly lit kitchen, I sighed as I turned on the lights. It may be different from what I expected, but I can’t give up like this. First, I need to eat and then think. I opened the refrigerator and took out various ingredients.

Nowadays, I was accustomed to making something to eat on my own, but before coming to this island, I never had to do it. My mother was a housewife, and I had an older brother and sister, so unless I voluntarily helped, there was no need for me to do household chores.

I could boil instant noodles when it comes to cooking at most. But now, I can easily make not only basic Korean dishes but also Japanese and Western dishes. Of course, it wasn’t because of my exceptional cooking skills but rather because cooking was remarkably easy on this island.

In some aspects, it was very realistic, while in others, it felt like a game. Cooking fell into the latter category. First, you put the ingredients into a pot or a dish according to the recipe of the dish you want to make. Then, you put them into the multi-purpose cooking device that looks like an oven, and that’s it.

There was no need to chop, measure the ingredients or adjust the seasoning. Even when making bread, you just needed to put flour and water and let it spin. By adding various ingredients to it, you could make a variety of things, and it was enjoyable to experiment with many combinations.

Of course, you could also make things from scratch without these features, but the taste won’t differ based on skill. However, I enjoyed cooking myself because I liked outdoor activities, even though I could count the number of times I actually cooked on my fingers.

Right now, I didn’t have time to leisurely cook, so I put rice, water, eggs, and various vegetables into a sturdy pot and set it in the cooking device. After about 10 minutes, the kitchen was filled with a comforting aroma.

With a ding sound, the oven opened, revealing a pot of bubbling porridge inside.

 

[You have made ‘Nutritious Vegetable Porridge (★★★)’.]

 

I took out a tray, placed the porridge and a spoon on it, then grabbed another vial of elixir. After that, I entered the room.

The man was now sitting up completely, wearing the phoenix feather fabric I had covered him with, and fortunately, only a little bit of bare skin was visible. However, looking at his pale face, irregular breathing, and occasional trembling shoulders, it was clear that he was exerting himself greatly. Moreover, the way he stared at me was persistent, as if he was scrutinizing an enemy.

…There was no need to be so cautious.

I hesitantly sat down on a chair and coughed softly before speaking.

“Um, can you… eat by yourself?”

“….”

“It must be difficult… but it’s okay. Maybe I can help you?”

He didn’t reply directly, but I had a feeling that no matter what I said, he would look at me like that. Pointless kindness was meaningless. Instead of adding more words, I scooped up some porridge with a spoon and brought it to his lips. As I expected, he tightly closed his lips, but when I gently pressed it against his mouth, he eventually accepted the spoon of porridge. It was slightly amusing to see his eyes widen after taking a bite.

After he had emptied about half of the bowl, he raised his head.

“Stop…”

“Oh… this is… medicine. Just drink it like water, it will… help you.”

Even when I tried to speak properly, my voice trembled whenever our gazes briefly met. Although his eyes subtly furrowed at the mention of medicine, he received the bottle I offered without a word. However, he struggled to open the elixir bottle, so I had to take it back, open the lid, and then hand it back to him.

Despite being weak from being on the verge of death, he still seemed shocked and his lips trembled. I quickly comforted him as he alternated between looking at my hands and his own.

“I… I caught you yesterday afternoon! You haven’t regained all senses yet, not even a day has passed, so it’s natural that you don’t have any strength. If you eat well and rest well, you will recover soon, so please don’t worry too much.”

“…I think you mentioned earlier that I was ‘caught on a fishing line’.”

“Ah, yes! Um, I was fishing to have sashimi for dinner, but the sea was really rough yesterday, so I couldn’t catch any fish. Then, the float suddenly moved. I thought I caught something big, but instead of a fish, it was… you.”

After finishing my rambling explanation, I lowered my head with a dejected expression. I wanted to explain in detail to assure him that I wasn’t a suspicious person, but I stumbled too much and was disorganized, which ironically made me appear more suspicious.

It was partly due to the awkwardness of conversation after not meeting people for a long time, but in fact, even before coming to this island, I rarely talked to other people. I avoided others because I didn’t like being pitied. Although my conditions had improved a little before dying, it was only a small improvement.

What if there was any interruptions in quest progress? That would be a problem, but I was more concerned about being misunderstood by someone I met after such a long time.

I fidgeted with my fingers and discreetly glanced at the man’s reaction. A sigh escaped his stiff face. I really didn’t want to go this far, but if necessary, should I knock him out with my well-trained arm muscles…?

I clenched my fist and then released it, anxiously waiting for the man’s response. The man, who had been staring at me with an expressionless face, finished emptying the elixir bottle. Lowering the empty bottle, he spoke in a quiet voice.

“I seem to have misunderstood. I have been very impolite to the person who saved my life. May I ask for your name?”

“Uh? Well, uh… Um…”

“I suppose ‘uh’ is not a name, and if you don’t want to tell me, I won’t ask.”

“Oh, no! My name is, uh, Yuri.”

“Miss Yuri.”

As soon as I blurted out my answer like a child, my lips trembled. Somehow, it felt strange. Saying my own name or hearing it through someone else’s mouth had been so long ago.

As I repeated my name a few times in my mind, the man, who had been lost in thought, said again with a softer expression, “You mentioned that I was caught by a fishing line. I would like to know exactly where this place is. I have no memory of being in the sea.”

“Oh, this is, uh…”

Before I could casually answer, I froze. Even though my communication skills were lacking, I wasn’t oblivious or foolish. It was clear that if I mentioned the name of this island, this man would look at me as if I was insane.

“Hmm?”

I hesitated, expecting him to react in some way, but the man raised an eyebrow and questioned me.

Oh no, what should I do? Should I come up with a different name? No matter how much I thought about it, there didn’t seem to be any other choice. Jeju Island, Ulleungdo, Dokdo*. I thought of the names of islands I knew, desperately moving my lips.

*TL/N: Islands in South Korea.

 

[Once the island name is decided, it cannot be changed. If you want to keep it a secret, you can use a provisional island name.]

 

The words I was about to speak was cut off. It was a fact that I couldn’t change the island name, but I didn’t know that there could be a provisional name. Well, it was fortunate. Although I never had a reason to mention the island’s name to anyone, just like my name.

Anyway, I was relieved. Thinking of a suitable island name in my head, I sighed in relief.

 

[You can use one of the following as the island name:]
1. “Trapped Island”
2. “Resonance, Hellblade! Island”
3. “Young, Rich and Handsome Island”

 

“…”

Sister, brother… I was filled with a sense of loss for the traces of the two people who remained. I stared briefly at the man through the system window. Silver hair, golden eyes, a handsome face with a strong Western features. It was possible to think that he would probably speak English well. How would he look at me if I told him the island name was ‘Young, Handsome and Rich Island’ Just thinking about it made my face burn.
But on the other hand, I was more embarrassed to say, ‘Resonance, Hellblade Island’ It was an embarrassing phrase to utter.

In the end, I mumbled with my lips pursed like a crucian carp.

“Trapped Island… that’s what it’s called.”

The man’s expression upon hearing my answer was not much different from what I had expected.

 

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