Haaah. Every single time I think I'm finally about to return to my home world this happens. I really can't even find it in myself to be surprised anymore. What is this now? The 36th world I've been summoned to?
Really? I was in the middle of bathing in the spring of returning with the nine elemental shrine maidens powering the return summoning circle. I was naked since I figured I'd take a relaxing dip before they sent me back. The shrine maidens also informed me material possessions such as clothing from their world wouldn't be transported along with me anyways, so there was no need for me to be dressed either way.
Plus, it's not like it was the first time I'd been summoned to another world while naked either. Since I was mentally prepared beforehand, I easily kept my cool in this awkward situation. There were many other returning methods from other worlds that also didn't allow for the transportation of material possessions from their world so I was already used to this by now.
The only thing out of the norm was, it was a group summoning this time. Why do I always end up summoned to another world after I've finished my mission in the world I was summoned to? This surely had to be rigged, right? Ah, whatever! I just want to get this over with as quickly as possible. I've already spent a hundred years moving from world to world in my futile attempts to be return to my original world.
What's one more world going to make a difference?
"Oi. You on the throne. Where's the demon lord? I'll go kill it quickly so I can be done with this."
"Eh? I'm not you, I am I, the great king Jasper of the Jasper Kingdom."
"You. King. Jasper. I really don't care, just answer the question. Where is the demon lord of this world?"
"Akua, aren't you being a bit rude to the king? He's a king after all, right?"
"Uh, well. Ehem. Since you asked; no, rather, it is something I must naturally explain. To be quite frank, the demon lord hasn't shown up just quite yet. The prophecy ordained that the demon lord should appear within the next eight months. The prophecy also says that it will be the strongest demon lord to ever appear in history and that it will take many heroes working together to bring them down."
Tch. Eight months huh? I guess it's still better than waiting several years.
Shortly after the king explained the situation, a guard appeared with the clothes I'd asked for.
"Miss Akua, these are the garments you have requested."
The guard handed over a long light blue and white one piece that I quickly changed into. I was a bit surprised at how well it fit and how comfortable it was as it was definitely a piece intended for the royalty to wear.
Wait just a damn second, why are the shrine maidens dressed in their normal attire when I'm not? Did they li-
"Oh! Akua, it looks good on you, as one would expect of a natural beauty."
Unfortunately my train of thought was interrupted by the annoying guy who knew my name for some reason.
What's with this guy who's been acting like he knows me anyway? As for ten years ago I was in another world, I could tell he was probably someone from my original world, but how could I possibly know him when I've been away from Earth for one hundred years already? He wasn't even born yet, was he?
"Hey you, what year was it when that person you mentioned moved?"
"What do you mean, person I mentioned? It was you."
"Forget that for now, just tell me."
"It was 2009."
That's about right, I did first get summoned around then.
"What year is it on Earth presently?"
"Do you actually have amnesia or something? How can you not know that?"
"Enough with your questions, just answer me already."
"It's the year 2019 on Earth."
What?! It's really only been ten years on earth?! Then doesn't that mean that person is likely still alive? So, there's still hope for me when I finally return then? Ugh, that is if I can ever make it back without getting summoned to another world.
I let out a sigh, I felt a bit relieved at the possibility of a reunion in the future. I'd always been stressing about it for the longest time believing my only family had passed away already. Well, the only family I had was like an adoptive uncle to me.
He picked me up from an orphanage when I was young and took care of me on a whim. One day that uncle of mine suddenly took up and left for reasons unknown to me. He left a plane ticket on the counter and told me to take it and head to America where we would one day reunite.
As a child back then, I naively followed his instructions without questioning a thing. I somehow boarded the plane without issues despite being a child. However, there was a freak accident during the flight. It was hijacked by a group of criminals who demanded a large ransom from the Japanese government for the release of hostages. During the flight the pilot put up a resistance, but was unfortunately killed. With nobody remaining with any flight experience, the plane was locked on autopilot. The plane just kept going forward until it headed directly into a storm. A lightning bolt inevitably struck us and the plane went down. Right as the plane was struck, being the child I was back then, I lost consciousness from excessive shock and fear.
Afterwards I had a strange dream where I thought I'd met god. At the time I naturally thought I'd died during the crash, but when I opened my eyes next, what came into view were strangely dressed people surrounding me. In my confused state they went on to explain I was a hero summoned to slay the demon lord.
That was how my nightmare of endless world hopping to slay countless demon lords began.
Haaaah. Will I ever reunite with my uncle who painstakingly took care of me and raised me up in my childhood? He was the only person in my life I considered a family member. Was he alright on his own? He always gave off the feeling of a lonely wanderer without a place to call home. I hope he at least found someone to keep him company during the time we've been apart.
My uncle, XXXXXX XXXXXX, please be okay.
When I tried to think of his name all I heard was a strange static noise inside my head.
Eh? What the? Why? His name?! What was it? There's no way I could forget it. I'm sure I knew his name even in the last world I was in. I even occasionally talked about him with several acquaintances in the previous world I was in. I'd also mentioned him to these shrine maidens on several occasions throughout the course of our adventures together.
In a hushed, low tone, to avoid attracting other people's attention I asked them, "hey girls, do you remember the name of the uncle I've mentioned before?"
"Miss Akua, how could we possibly forget the name of our hero's greatest benefactor?"
"What was his name then?"
The girls all opened their mouths, but just as they started to mouth out an answer they came to a sudden stop and opened their eyes wide in horror.
"What was it again?"
"It was definitely…"
"You can't remember it either?"
"No, can you?"
"Miss Akua, please forgive our sins, to forget the name of our hero's benefactor is unforgivable!"
"It's fine. It's fine. Don't worry about it."
There was definitely something afoot with regards to this new world we'd been summoned to. For me to forget something important like that was a first and it had never happened to me before. Well, it was my first group summoning, maybe it was just a temporary aftereffect where our memories became a bit groggy.
Whatever, forget about that for the moment, panicking about it now would do me no good. For the time being I should just do what I usually do. First I need to determine which side to take in this world. Humans weren't necessarily the side of good after all. Which side I chose both determined whether I could find a way to return to my home world as well as how easy it would be to return.
The human side was not necessarily the side that allows me to return to my original world with the least amount of effort. There were a few times when the human side wanted to forcefully keep me in their world rather than allowing me to return. From experience, it's best not to bring such things up right away or it will raise their guard and potentially backfire. The last world, I was lucky the humans were kind in nature and allowed the nine elemental shrine maidens to send me back. Of course, it was just my rancid luck that we were summoned in the process of trying to send me back to my original world.
Haaaaaaaah. My internal sighs are gradually growing longer and longer. It honestly gets more and more depressing the more I think about it all.
Although... it might not be such a bad thing for these shrine maidens being summoned to another world. In their world they were caged birds with no real freedom. In a world like this, at the very least, wouldn't they be able to live freely while they're here. They had a decent level of strength, so I could see why they might end up being summoned like me. Of course, it was probably my curse of being summoned to other worlds that inadvertently dragged them along for the ride.
Out of all the shrine maidens, I was most familiar with the water shrine maiden, Umi. She belonged to the first nation that I was summoned to in the previous world. Because we were both aligned with water she was especially affectionate with me, but after I met her, it became a game of gotta catch them all. I had to venture all across the continent and solve their respective nations problems before the nations they belonged to allowed me to use their strength to send me back to my world.
I could only sigh whenever I thought about the previous world I was summoned to. In the end, it took three freaking years of effort to reach the point where I could finally return home. It was one of the longer worlds to get through. Each nation had its respective demon lord which made it nine times more exhausting compared to a normal world. The most annoying part of it all was when the last demon lord fell at my hands. He laughed at me and said in an overly obnoxious tone, "hehehe you may have defeated us nine demon lords, but you will never slay the demon emperor behind us!"
You could imagine my ugly expression at the time. The jerk didn't even tell me where the last one was. It took two years just to slay the nine of them. I spent a full year just searching for the demon emperor alone. I bet no one would ever imagine how I found him. I bought a random book from a beggar that had written of several legends related to the demon emperor.
It turned out the demon emperor could not be found, only summoned. When I found out, my irritation level after I'd wasted an entire year searching for him only to find that out left me fuming out my ears in rage. The worst part was, all one needed to do was gather the nine elemental shrine maidens, draw out some overly stupid complex circle depicted in the book in blood, and have them each chant a few lines. In my frustration, using the elemental magic I had the best affinity with; water, I took everyone to the bottom of the ocean and summoned the wretched demon emperor down there and quickly finished him off. His expression of horror as the water pressure crushed him out of existence was truly the best revenge I could have ever had for how he wasted my precious time.
After that, I took everyone to the spring of returning and the next thing I knew, I was summoned here.
I was still unable to believe how horrible my luck really was, but I was forced to accept the facts. I was stuck here for eight months at the minimum since the shrine maidens were unable to send me back themselves unless a place like the spring of returning existed here. The summoning circle in this world also looked completely foreign compared to the one at the spring of returning.