Chapter 2:

Tememanda

From University Graduate to Soldier in an Interstellar Conflict: I Got Isekaied to an Alien World at War


I arrived in Tememanda, a place of bubbling sludge. Lifeforms come from all over to bask in its high concentrations, leading to a pungent scent that's smelt from a vast distance. This is where I live. Through some help from the Gloup’s allies – the Makupuu, a quadrupedal species located a respectful distance from Me’blenxclan and the solar system it was located - we created a house.Bookmark here

It was two stories and formed from the use of a sticky substance that dries to become similar to the roughness of stone and lifelessly white, thereby losing its sticky attribute. Unlike a typical house on Earth, it lacked electricity, internet, running water and other basic utilities. Furniture and the materials to craft them didn’t exist, nor there was soil to plant a garden – whether ornamental or for consumption. The building had a nice enough roof and some perfect spots where windows and doors would be, but to source windows or roofing materials such as timber, clay tile, or galvanise sheets, much less a door, was, and still is, impossible. I had to be content with the results of what we had accomplished. It was better than nothing. My recollections of not having four walls to call home when I got here, and comparing that to now shows a massive difference in my living standards. I am rather lucky to have what I have. It couldn’t be further from my imagination like my ability to socialize like a normal human being.Bookmark here

Having no neighbours to talk to regarding current events, sports, politics, or to just ask them, “How was your day?” would go a long, long way for me to cope with the fact I’m no longer on Earth. I didn’t have neighbours in my past life, but I resided on a planet where my kind was plentiful and interacting with all sorts of persons from all types of cultures, races, ethnicities and backgrounds through school made up for living on a forty-hectare farm with no one close enough that can be considered as a so-called neighbour. On Me’blenxclan, none of this is my current reality.Bookmark here

I missed my friends and family too much to even fathom their faces, their sounds, and their personalities without melancholy. If they were in my presence, I would be fine with all the horrible stuff that has happened in the last ten years. Like hell, I can’t breathe without constantly wearing a helmet that converts the atmosphere to oxygen sans significant assistance from the Gloup’s allies. Them figuring that out truly impressed me. I thought I would suffocate in this place. To live here is next to impossible for humans, but they made it bearable to have a shot in living in a good enough state that I’m still alive to this very second. Bookmark here

However, I felt I was abusing myself by not taking up the Makupuu’s offer to provide proper housing, not the worthless shack I sleep in every night. It’s just that I feel so conflicted on multiple levels. I tell my brain I no longer desire to return home but my heart knows what I really want: to return to Earth, to Japan, to Hokkaido. How much I would wish to be suddenly whisked back so I can leave this nightmare behind me and move on with my life. Bookmark here

This need for all things Earth and Japan specifically made me see their architecture as unsatisfactory in my eyes. Me having an environment as familiar as possible to home allows me to cling onto hope and motivates me that this will be the last of my time here. A foreign means of construction will take that away. It would be essentially giving up the link I’ve maintained all this time. That would be bad if I did. However, it’s been ten years already since my arrival in this world. How much longer will I be stuck in this place? Forever? No, I can’t accept that. If I do, I would rather die than to keep going at this point. Because of this, I press ahead. Someday, I will be able to go back. But I must fight to survive until then.Bookmark here

There’s something else that irked me a ton, one that was very poignant: me not having access to manga, anime and light novels. I would often read full-fledged novels as well during my time back on Earth, in addition to the heaps of manga and light novels volumes and anime episodes I watched on TV and on streaming sites. But, of course, this place had none of that. It hurts to think about all the series I’m not experiencing due to being stuck in this sludge plie. I wonder if Two Pace finally finished its run? Probably not. It’s still ongoing, I bet. Maybe it got a crappy ending. Oh my goodness, that would break me and my heart to pieces. It’s better I forget about it if it did. All these years being a fan would be a waste of time if it really did end on a poor note. Bookmark here

They did find the first of the two treasures to become Emperor of the Pirates on Baftel. The second one could be anywhere in the second half of the Wild Zone. Maybe Vulmera, or Castigo, or the land of legendary warriors, Fable? It could be in space or within the depths of Revert Mountain. Could it really be hollow? Can there be an island full of treasure beneath its surface? Well, it's Two Pace. The series does get weird. Drifting through more Two Pace theories and rumours was giving me mental fatigue. Maybe I should take a pause for now. These headcanons and fan theories are always troublesome.Bookmark here

To guess the state of all the other manga, anime and light novels I read took up a good portion of my free time. And I knew I was missing out on all the new stuff as well. Who could tell if I would love them or not if I’m not there to judge them? If they’re masterpieces? Classics in the making? Genre-defining works that would be referred to as the gold standard for the next fifty or so years? All I can do is sit down, fold my legs and imagine what they could be. To flip through pages as I lose myself in these worlds is pointless now. If only I had something to record my theories and predictions of all the stuff I followed, I wouldn’t have to remember so much information that it competed with all the other stuff swimming in my cranium. Forgetting key information like the look of Luly’s Fourth Drive or how good the anime Münster was and how talented Godhouse were in producing such a top adaptation to such a top work scared me. Thinking back to my otaku side was the thing that helped me to forget my situation for a short time and brought me a smile to better days.Bookmark here

Hopefully, the Makupuu are finished with the voice recorder I requested from them. Through their guinea-pig experiments on me over time, I was able to train my translator to comprehend around seventy per cent of their language. The disappointment of not being able to examine and of the species here did not have a written form of their indigenous words and phrases. And going beyond that, some never developed verbal communication at all; what mattered for these species was body language, pheromones and stuff of that nature. This led to the making of lots of noise that made it hard to sleep sometimes. That’s what I get for basing my house in a popular spot.Bookmark here

This was quite the diverse place. All the shapes and sizes were so foreign but intriguing. Hunting was a commonality for them, even in the midst of war. They didn’t see it as losing an able-bodied fighter to fend off hostile invaders, it was just them going about their business. This was part of the way they survived, so why change it? Everyone involved themselves in this military effort. No conscription or anything of the sort for them to go after and achieve their goal of destroying the enemy so they can be left alone.Bookmark here

There was this particular lifeform that annoyed me with its smug aura every time I looked to my far west outside: a lifeform from the Mutu. This was the name of the group of beings that caused so much destruction on my parents’ farm that day, that me and the group I associate with - the Tenkep Research Squad – convinced it to come stay where I live for us to pry its contents once my comprehension in Gloup has bettered. Much of its kind refused to do the same. Those we asked afterwards were just as negative. When it came, the being didn’t want to be moved or taken off-world, it wanted to be here. The organism said it will open up about what it knows eventually, but from my estimation, it’s been a long time since ‘eventually’ occurred.Bookmark here

My comprehension of Gloup in both English and Japanese already has improved to the level where I can have a decent length conversation, but all I get is silence. It’s not even nice enough to say anything for me to go on a wild goose chase, just nothing except its name. I’ve been told their ability to speak Gloup is limited. I don’t know if embarrassment of its lack of knowledge of the lingua franca is the reason it doesn’t like to talk, but it doesn’t help at all. Using coercive or forceful measures is not recommended when the Gloup and the Research Squad said that I should respect its quietness, but what equates to five years has passed. How much longer I should wait? All it does is remain at the far reaches of Tememanda devoid of speech.Bookmark here

I check my suit repairs. They were almost complete. It was an automated procedure, with what I can infer to be nanobots performing the most basic of repairs to the detachable armour. The abdominal, arm and leg plating were given the most emphasis but the entire suit was overtaken to fix any microdamage so that it can be brought up to a pristine state. In addition, the minute gaps of black fabric in between each major section of the plating were also taken over by said nanobots. Once they were done, they balled themselves into a swarm and returned to the container where they stored themselves until the next round of repairs. This container was attached to a circular platform with an outline comprised of a hard unknown metal, filled with a screen of glowing blue with a checkered white pattern, and a thin holographic barrier that gradually faded until it reached the suit’s elbows, lining the perimeter like garnish to a fine meal. It made it look as if I never put it through its paces even once.Bookmark here

Noticing they were done, something came to me - the sudden reminder that some of the Makupuu researchers involved in the creation of my house, my composite suit, and many other things, would be arriving soon. I couldn’t believe I forgot such a thing. We discussed this just a short while ago. Looks like the intensity of the war effort is giving me gaps in my memory. Or it could be that age is getting to me. I’m about… thirty-one at this point? Thirty-two, I believe? It’s either one. Paying attention to the day I was born and celebrating is hard when you’re in another world where time just works in a way so far removed from what I was taught and grew up to understand.Bookmark here

As I looked to go outside to pet some of the creatures, a message appeared on the suit platform. One of the Gloup army leaders stated in Makupuu, a language that lacked written form, and said that we were to head out tomorrow to deal with some recently discovered enemy infrastructure to my west. Its kind was very muscular, aggressive and loved to confront enemies head-on – its scars were proof of this inbred mentality they subscribed in full.Bookmark here

With this, I spend the rest of my day petting the creatures that come to feed on the sludge for nourishment, slide on it so they can coat their bodies as a way to cool them from overheating, and popping bubbles before they get too big and burst as some simple fun.Bookmark here

Let’s see what tomorrow brings. It just might be less challenging than today’s mission. This inflated optimism really does help in preparing for what would be the usual mess. Whatever it may be, whether it’s demolition, reconnaissance or an escort, I will do what I can to be there and execute to the best of my abilities. Bookmark here

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