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vekalat-talagh > Another World Where I Can’t Even Collapse and Die > Volume N/A - CH 1
CHAPTER 1 – REUNION IN THE MORNING MIST

Mornings in another world are simple. When the sky starts to light up, even just a little bit, the birds get so noisy that you can’t stay asleep. No matter how hard I had tried, I had never woken up without an alarm, but now I was in the habit of waking up at the crack of dawn.

When I got dressed and went downstairs, there was no one on the first floor. Walking through the dimly lit room, through the back door, then wrapping around the outside of the house, I found the mushrooms I had left to dry atop a flatcolander, placed over a barrel. Around here, salt mushrooms are the main source of salt in our diets. They harden like rock salt when placed in the sunlight, at which point they could be soaked in water to extract the salt. A single salt mushroom in a small pot would have the same salt content as the same amount of seawater. Yet somehow, when sliced and dried overnight, they taste just like dried plums.

Biting into one of the freshly-dried mushrooms, it had the ideal dried plum flavor — without any unnecessary sweetness. As I put the finished products into a jar-shaped basket, the eastward skies slowly turned orange. The morning birds began to fly around, chirping busily, and a warm breeze blew.

Up until just a few days ago, a cold, dry wind had been blowing through the city, raising up clouds of dust. But, after a day of particularly heavy snowfall and chilling gales, the spring winds returned, and the snow melted bit by bit. Now, I don’t even need to wear a jacket when I go outside.

It’s been about half a year since I came to this world.

After putting the lid on the basket full of dried mushrooms and placing it on the colander, I bent backward to stretch. As I did so, the far side of my outstretched hands hit something.

“Hm?”

I turned around in surprise, as this was an open space for processing the harvest. Behind me, a tall man was standing closer to me than I had expected, silently looking down at me.

At somewhat over 180cm (5’11”), he wasn’t that big, although you could see his muscular body through his worn-down travelling clothes. His silver hair, glowing iridescent in the growing sunlight, made his dark blue eyes and expressionless face look hazy.

To the man who snuck up with surprising skill despite his big figure, I unintentionally yelped.

“Fikar?!”

The man I hadn’t seen for a while, three months to be exact, Fikar nodded and suddenly put his hands under my armpits, picking me up as if I were a cat. He took a leisurely look at me as I panicked at the sudden sensation of no longer touching the ground, then folded his arms and hugged me tight, like a child holding a stuffed animal.

*squeeze*

*squeeeeeeeze*

“…it hurts.”

I patted his shoulder to make an appeal and Fikar, who had been rubbing his cheek against me, loosened his grip, dissatisfied. What inexcusable treatment of a girl my age. As I was still lifted up like a cat, I smiled

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