01 – Watches cannot measure the heart
The members of the Kenzaki family were all busy with their morning preparations, but Diana was looking at one particular person while she was helping to prepare breakfast.
“Yasuo’s is black.”
Dianna murmured to herself while looking at Kenzaki Yasuo, the eldest son of the Kenzaki family, who was wearing his school uniform.
“Hmm? Diana, is something the matter?”
Yasuo tilted his head and asked after he noticed Diana’s gaze.
“No, it’s nothing, sorry.”
Diana gave a small apology, thinking that she had been rudely staring at him for too long
“Diana-chan, there’s some leftover bacon in the top shelf of the refrigerator, can you get that for me please?”
Diana carried out the request of Kenzaki Madoka, a housewife, mother, and the person who wielded power over the family in the background.
“Madoka… doesn’t have it.”
She said that to herself as she continued to observe. At that time,
“Mom, have you seen my mobile phone!?”
Kenzaki Nodoka, the younger sister of Yasuo and the arbitrator of the family, came running into the kitchen.
“I don’t know. Weren’t you holding it right after you woke up? Did you check in the washroom?”
“Eeh!? I already checked there…”
Saying that, she ran out again.
“Nodoka… doesn’t have it either.”
Looking at Nodoka, Diana slightly tilted her head.
“Seriously, Nodoka is like this every morning… Right then, it’s time for me to leave. Mom, I’ll be late today as I have to meet customers who are coming from far away.”
Kenzaki Hideo, the central pillar of the Kenzaki family and the Hero who Diana looked up to, said that after quickly finishing his breakfast and standing up.
“Yes, okay. Do you have your mobile phone? Try to be alone as much as possible, just in case something happens.”
Hideo looked at Diana after accepting his wife’s instructions.
“Diana-chan, I’m counting on you to take care of the other things.”
“Yes, leave it to me. Have a good day!”
Diana gave a short bow while wiping her wet hands with a towel, and,
“…Hideo’s is silver.”
She was properly observing the correct things.
“Yasuo, you don’t need to stop what you’re doing, so can you please answer a question?”
“W-What…? Do you need me to answer it right away, can’t it wait until after we’re done?”
After returning from prep school that night, Yasuo, who had been training under Diana for the past few days suddenly received a question.
“If possible, I would like for you to answer it right away.”
Diana still looked fine while performing the strenuous exercise, but Yasuo was red faced and out of breath.
“R-Right away… That depends… on the quession (question)…”
His tongue was not working properly.
Diana’s movements were rhythmical and she didn’t mess up her pace at all, however Yasuo was at the level where he was not even sure how his body was moving once he started to talk.
“You can’t do it…?”
Although Diana was usually the kind of person who tripped over nothing, and was prone to saying the most idiotic things, she turned into a completely different person when it was time for training. It was the same even during their daily nighttime running routine.
She was a Magitech Knight from Ante Lande, a different world.
She was a bona fide soldier from the Resteria Kingdom.
Yasuo only possessed the physical strength of an average third year high school student, could not match her when it came to physical ability at all.
However, Yasuo was still training under Diana in order to be able to fight for and protect his family. More than anything, there were probably no men who could reply that it isn’t possible when a girl like Diana, who was an otherworld beauty, asked them if they can’t do something.
“No, I can’t. It’s impossible. At least, let us walk…”
Simply put, everything has a limit.
There was no way that the president of a cultural club that had been shut down more than half an year ago could match up to a real soldier.
Even though he felt it was disgraceful, Yasuo bent down and asked for a break.
“S-So what did you want to ask?”
After he stopped running and started to walk instead, he suddenly started to sweat profusely. Yasuo, who was still out of breath and had a high heart rate, asked Diana who still looked the same as usual.
“Actually, I wanted to ask about the thing you and Hideo usually wear.”
“The thing Dad and I wear? What, is it the necktie?”
Talking about things he and his father had in common, he could only think of the necktie and leather shoes…
“No, it’s not the necktie.”
“Ah, so you know what a necktie is.”
“We have those in Ante Lande as well, although the shape is different. My Magitech Knight uniform has a tie as well, you know?”
“Ah, you’re right. Then what is it?”
Lately, he hadn’t seen Diana wearing her Magitech Knight uniform.
Right now, she was wearing a comfortable tracksuit, however, it was strange how even this tracksuit that only cost 1280 Yen looked like it was custom made for her when worn by a girl like Diana.
“Yes, it’s probably something that doesn’t exist in Ante Lande, so I don’t know what to call it… Please excuse me.”
Saying that, Diana casually held Yasuo’s left hand as they continued to walk.
From Yasuo’s perspective, having a girl hold his hand was a major event that was only allowed in the early years before he had joined school, so he was about to shout from surprise. However, considering Diana’s personality, she would take that as a sign that she had done something rude and get depressed, so he forced himself to hold it in.
It was a good thing they had been running until now. Even if his face was flushed and his heart rate was high, that wouldn’t look strange at all.
“Ah, It’s not here.”
Diana had been staring at Yasuo’s left wrist. Seeing that, Yasuo understood what Diana had wanted to ask about, even though he was tense.
However, in a way, that was unexpected. Diana had already been fluent in Japanese since coming to this world, and she at least knew about the existence of some consumer electronics.
However, the thing she was asking about now, did it really not exist in Ante Lande?
“Umm, I saw that the both of you had worn it on your wrists, so I initially thought it’s just something like a bracelet, but then I saw Hideo glance at it several times this morning. I don’t think men would do something like look at an accessory several times and feel happy about it, so I was wondering…”
“Yasuo’s was black in color and made from leather, and Hideo’s was silver and made from metal.”
It was a very roundabout way of talking about it, but Yasuo didn’t particularly feel that it was strange that she didn’t know about it, so he answered in a normal tone.
“Umm, that’s probably the watch, right?”
For some reason, Diana was so surprised that she stopped walking.
“Yasuo… can you repeat what you just said?”
“Eh? Like I said, it’s a watch… a wristwatch.”
No matter how he looked at it, Diana was definitely talking about the wristwatch. However, after being taken aback for a few moments, she immediately smiled.
“Come, now. Yasuo, even I won’t be fooled by something like that.”
“I mean, it’s impossible to have a clock so small that you can wear it on your wrist.”
“I mean, I know that this world has a lot of incredible technology, and I also know that the flat mechanical device called a Slimphone has the ability to measure the passage of time.”
“But talking about a clock that can be worn on the wrist, I cannot believe something as outrageous as that.”
It looked like Diana was actually being serious. However, Yasuo was not able to understand why Diana was so insistent that wristwatches could not exist, and refused to believe him.
That’s why he immediately understood that it was no use trying to convince her with words, and,
“This is what you were talking about, right?”
He pulled his wristwatch out of his pocket and showed it to Diana.
It was an analog watch with a black leather strap. He usually wouldn’t wear it when he was exercising, but he forgot to take it off before he started running today, so he had stashed it in his pocket.
It was a waterproof wristwatch with a simple design that his father had bought for him as a gift when he started high school. Not only for exams at school, it was useful to have on his desk while he was taking a test or mock examination at prep school at well.
Even though it’s not good to talk about the price of something received as a gift, his watch was not some expensive model that cost several tens of thousands of Yen. Sure, Yasuo would need to save up a bit if he wanted to buy it with his allowance, but putting it another way, even Yasuo would be able to buy it if he really wanted to.
However, Diana was looking at it in amazement as if she was seeing some OOParts from a different world.
“T-This is a watch?”
“Y-Yeah, it is.”
“This small, round thing, is it really a watch!?”
“Yes, it is. Is it really that surprising?”
Because she kept asking, Yasuo pushed the watch into Diana’s hands slightly forcefully.
When he did that, Diana hurriedly used both hands to hold it. She held it delicately as if she was handling some relic of immense importance, and stopped moving.
“…The hands are moving. This one which moves the fastest displays the number of seconds, right?”
“That’s right. You didn’t have any problem reading the time looking at the clock at home, why are you so surprised at seeing a wrist watch?”
“B-But it’s so small…”
Apparently, the small size was what bothered Diana the most.
“Are the watches in Ante Lande a lot bigger than this?”
“Well… as far as I know, the smallest watch in Ante Lande is about the size where I can hold it in the palm of my hand…”
“Something like a pocket watch? But I’m not sure if those are the same size as Diana’s hands… wait, they’re pretty big.”
“No!? They’re small! Besides, those watches are so rare that you’ll almost never see regular people holding one. I’m sorry if this sounds like I’m boasting, but I was only able to hold one because of my family!”
Diana’s parents were also heroes who saved Ante Lande thirty years ago, and even before that, they were important figures in their country.
“That’s surprising. I thought it would be easy to make such things using the power of magic or sorcery.”
While thinking of “Magic from another world”, Yasuo had built up the impression of a civilisation where things which ran on electricity in this world would run on magic in the other world, for example, the streetlights would be powered by magic.
“Using magic to run a mechanism as complicated as a watch would be incredibly difficult. And to think, it’s so small…”
This was probably because of the difference in their viewpoints.
“Ah, that’s right! Yasuo! You were running with this in your pocket, right!?”
“Is that okay? Won’t it break, or get messed up beyond repair?”
Yasuo didn’t know why she was so worried about a mere wristwatch, but she refused to listen to him no matter how many times he told her that it would be okay, so the two of them ended up walking all the way back home.
“…And that’s what happened.”
After they returned home, Yasuo told his mother and father what happened, while Diana was in the bath. His parents then looked at each other and nodded as if they understood.
“Well, that can’t be helped. A wristwatch in Ante Lande would be on about the same level as a Slimphone, both of them would be considered OOParts.”
“Is it really that incredible? It just displays the time.”
“The importance of ‘displaying the time’ is completely different between the two worlds.”
Perhaps his father noticed that Yasuo still didn’t understand in spite of saying so much, so he took his own wristwatch off and put it on the table.
“On Earth, wristwatches reached the level where they could be purchased by commoners somewhere in the second half of the 19th century. It’s believed that they become popular sometime around World War I.”
Yasuo was surprised because his father suddenly began to lecture about world history.
“Before that, all the watches were handmade by craftsmen, unlike now when any component can be manufactured in a factory. Manufacturing something in bulk would require a lot of craftsmen to work on it. Not just the assembly, each component was also made by hand. Since each of those craftsmen were fairly skilled, the cost of labor at that time was extremely high compared to now. Besides, the watches made at that time were delicate and would easily go out of alignment. Well, there are also people in the world who say things were better back then.”
“Go out of alignment?”
“It depends on the era, but it was said that even pocket watches that were custom made for nobles would be off by several minutes on the next day. A watch will shake when you walk around with it, right? Apparently, that would have an effect on the mechanisms inside the watch. Even watches built for nobles were like that, just imagine what it must have been like for the lower classes.”
Perhaps his father was able to talk so much about watches because the company he worked for specialized in making measurement devices.
“Being negatively affected by vibrations was a fatal flaw particularly when traveling by sea. Ships are constantly swaying on the surface of the water, right? Think about what will happen if the time is off by even a minute on ships that cross the open sea.”
“Just one minute? Can that really have an effect?”
“Come on, this is an elementary school level math problem.”
At his son’s reply, the father made a stern expression.
“Yasuo, if a car runs at one hundred kilometers per hour for one minute, how much distance will it cover?”
Seeing that Yasuo was still confused, his mother gave him some help.
“…Ah, I see.”
Yasuo finally understood.
On a paved highway, the distance traveled by a car moving at a fixed speed will change if the duration of the journey is changed by even a minute.
If that happened during a sea voyage where there were no markers or guideposts of any sort, what would happen?
“If you can’t measure the time precisely, you won’t know how far you’ve traveled or where exactly you are right now.”
“Exactly. Even if you know what direction to travel in because of a magnetic compass, things will get really bad if your estimate of the current location is wrong.”
His father nodded strongly.
“Both your mother and I have had to escape from stranded ships because of that reason.”
“The ship was stranded both during the journey to Racquan Island and on the way back, I really thought we would die at those times.”
One of their memories as a couple is escaping from a stranded ship, and what’s more, it happened multiple times?
Also, please don’t bring up names of places in the other world like Racquan Island as if you are just describing a trip to Kyoto. This is why things would get troublesome if the hero of a story married the magician.
“This fact is so important that ships on Earth have devices called marine chronometers that are specifically built for such purposes. That’s just how difficult it was to build a small watch that doesn’t go out of alignment. The quartz watches that we use everyday only spread to the public about fifty or sixty years ago. It’s not surprising that Diana-chan was so amazed by the existence of a wristwatch. But they have things like sorcery, magic, and Techno Weapons, so you’d think their rate of technological development would be faster than ours…”
“…It feels strange.”
Yasuo looked at the wristwatch that his father had put on the table.
Something he took for granted and rarely even thought about had so much history and meaning behind it.
Diana, who had come from another world, still didn’t know about that history.
“But it’s important to talk to Diana-chan about such things. We need to start acclimatizing her to this world to some extent…. We also need to buy her clothes and other items that she’ll need in daily life, right? This is a good opportunity, why not gift her a wristwatch?”
Yasuo didn’t immediately realize that his mother’s proposal had been aimed at him, so he was slow to react.
“You don’t realize how much she’s helping you? Even though she’s training your lazy body everyday?”
“No, I realize that, but really? Me? I’ve never given a present to a girl, you know?”
“You haven’t!? Yasuo, even I had done something of that level when I was around your age.”
Yasuo got angry after seeing his mother’s look of surprise and his father’s look of pity.
“It doesn’t need to be something elaborate or expensive. It just has to be something that Diana-chan can use in daily life without any trouble… If you choose it, don’t you think you can score a lot of points?”
“What the hell do you mean by ‘points’!?”
What the hell was his mother trying to incite him to do?
At the very least, he sensed that she was trying to tease him, so he stood up suddenly and tried to end the conversation.
“The style is important though. At the very least, pick something that doesn’t look ugly, okay?”
“Like I said, I didn’t agree to buy something for her!”
“Why not research what kind of watches the girls you’re friends with like to wear?”
Yasuo heard the sound of the bathroom door opening, and retreated to his room as if he was running away so that Diana would not hear the conversation.
“I’m done with my bath… Huh? Has Yasuo gone to sleep already?”
When Diana entered the living room, she only saw Madoka who was laughing, and Hideo who was sighing because he was despairing over his son’s future.
“Huh? A wristwatch? I don’t wear one. None of my friends do, either. What’s with the sudden question?”
“T-There’s no deep meaning behind it, but…”
“Don’t tell me you want to give one to Diana-san as thanks for the Magitech Knight training? Are you sure that’s a good idea? Buying a watch is too high a hurdle considering your fashion sense, Onii-chan.”
Despite what he had said to his mother, Yasuo felt bad for not doing anything for Diana despite all she had done for him, so he had asked the ‘girl’ close to him, his sister, for advice while having a faint thread of hope.
As a result, Nodoka instantly saw through her brother’s shallow thoughts and rejected it to his face.
“The ones that look nice are obviously expensive, the ones that are cheap really differ a lot and depend on the wearer’s taste, and you won’t find them in shops that men usually go to. Besides, in case something happens, won’t a wristwatch get in the way when she’s fighting?”
She continued to point out flaws in the idea that she had already rejected, and completely crushed Yasuo’s heart.
“Besides, would people really ask their little sisters for this kind of advice? Did you think that I would meekly agree and point out what I liked? Diana-san is a few years older than me, at the very least you should ask some girl of the same age as her, right? What about that person from your prep school?”
Nodoka was probably talking about Tatewaki Shouko.
However, Yasuo didn’t think that he was particularly close to her, and besides, he couldn’t remember if Shouko had been wearing a wristwatch or not. Also, if he asked Shouko for advice, she would get suspicious that he was ‘asking her for advice on what to buy for a different girl’. If she just suspected him, that would be manageable, but:
“Ahh, Yasu-kun, you’re really enjoying your high school life~ There’s a girl you want to gift a wristwatch to~ No wonder you forgot all about me~”
There was a good chance that she would say something like that. He had already made a bad impression on her because of the stuff that had happened the other day.
“I see, that’s not an option. Well, it would probably be better to give up, Onii-chan. You’re probably incapable of asking girls for that kind of advice in the first place, and if you did, they’d definitely think you’re creepy.”
He didn’t recall doing anything that would merit this level of insults, but since he was unable to completely deny Nodoka’s words, he wasn’t able to get angry either. However, he wasn’t sure if she even saw through those troubles of his.
“Well, I will praise you for at least having the intention to thank her. There’s no point in rushing these things, so why not get her something simple instead of a watch that carries a lot of meaning? Diana-san would probably be happy with almost anything.”
“…I see… I understand, thanks for your help.”
“Sure. Where’s my consultation fees?”
“You’re not getting anything from me.”
“You’re really horrible, you know that?”
Why would she hurl so much abuse at him every time she opened her mouth?
The instant he tried to say something back to her, she disappeared from before him, only to be replaced by the door of her room.
“Ah, what’s with this situation…”
Yasuo was talking to himself.
This was not the first time Diana had experienced culture shock since coming to Japan. However, because of his mother’s unnecessary words, he had started to think about something unnecessary as well.
Giving something that he had chosen, or something he had made, as a present to a girl.
His last memory of doing that was back in play school, when he had given a girl a paper airplane made from the yellow folding paper that she liked.
Such a miserable state of affairs.
“…Besides, it’s just something Mom said. There’s no need to be in a hurry to do something to thank her.”
Yasuo felt more miserable the longer he thought about it, so he forcefully cut off that train of thought.
He tried to cut it off. However, in spite of that, his imagination refused to stop.
If he gave Diana a wristwatch, would she happy?
Did he really want to make Diana happy?
“Ahh, I don’t understand it anymore!”
It wasn’t like he wanted to be thanked by Diana. In spite of that, he couldn’t stop himself from imagining the look on her face when she received a present from him.
Yasuo sat in his room and held his head in depression because he felt embarrassed at having such thoughts, but the seconds hand of his alarm clock kept on making a sound as if to corner him and laugh at his helplessness.
– The End –