5 Chapter 5: Many Shades of Pain

"Not a dream!" was my first thought upon waking up. As soon as I opened my eyes, information about my surroundings immediately entered my brain. In just a few seconds, I could see the entire interior without even glancing around the room.

These changes had become even more pronounced.

I probably should have been surprised, but I was already accustomed to this. Such alterations were relatively normal by now. It would be more useful to focus on something else. Let all the changes happen in the background, or else I felt my brain wouldn't be able to handle the constant strain on my visual organs.

Surprisingly, unlike the previous morning, this one turned out to be incredibly comfortable. I'd even go so far as to say it was the best in years. It was as if I could breathe easier. There were no curtains in my room, allowing the sunlight to flood in, which only added to my joy. It seemed that the root of my good mood was simple: I had been craving colors for a long time, especially with all the snow. In the morning, you step out into the dark to go to school, and in the evening, you return home in the dark. In short, it's like Groundhog Day. A dark Groundhog Day.

Sitting on my backside without leaving the bed, I looked around to verify what my magical sight had seen, primarily out of curiosity. Maybe my vision wasn't as good, and my brain, being the perfectionist it is, decided to add a few details to avoid feeling inadequate.

The walls were plain white, and the ceiling had four yellowish crystals at its corners. Nothing interesting. The furniture consisted of a small double wall shelf with books in front of me, two nightstands made of dark wood on the right and left of a fairly large single bed, which was quite comfortable. There was also a vintage grandmother's piano and a stool next to it, on which lay a yukata and a belt. Oh, and the thong, of course. Can't forget those.

Everything was in place, so I didn't imagine anything. My magical sight worked perfectly, even though it operated somewhat strangely.

Still not leaving the bed, I leaned towards the round window to my right. Through the clear glass, I saw the bustling city. In the morning, it looked entirely different, more like a fairy tale than reality. Moving my gaze closer to the sea, I saw the Fairy Tail building. "Now I'm a part of this world," I said those words with a sense of trepidation, placing my palm against the cool glass.

As strange as it all seemed, it was now my new reality, and I was even glad.

Pushing aside my thoughts, I jumped out of bed, not caring about my clothes. The abrupt movements turned out to be unnecessary, as they allowed me to fully experience the ache in my muscles. I was hit by an unpleasant wave of muscle pain, which quickly subsided when I realized how hungry I was. Following the pain in my stomach, I heard a deep growl and felt a sense of nausea.

"Darn, when did I eat last?" My last meal was yesterday morning, before going outside. But can I even consider that as my own now? "I don't think so. When was the last time I experienced this body?" I wondered. Based on the slightly protruding chestbones, it certainly wasn't yesterday...

Leaving behind thoughts of food, I headed toward the door that had piqued my interest since yesterday, located to the right of the main entrance. I hoped to find a kitchen with something edible, and if not, I could always fill my stomach with water. At least something.

The door opened to reveal a small corridor with two doors. Opening one of them, I found a small kitchen with dishes.

"Yes!" I cheered but quickly restrained myself. "It's too early to celebrate. I haven't won yet."

Without bothering to close the door, I rushed inside and, like a hungry beast, first opened the fridge – empty. Then I began to search for something to eat in every nook and cranny of the kitchen. Without success, but luckily there was water. The clear liquid flowed beautifully from the metal tap as soon as I lifted the built-in lever. Crystal clear, so at least I wouldn't have to worry about hunger for a while.

After filling my stomach with cool water, I moved on to explore my living space. Who knew that water on an empty stomach would refuse to settle? The gag reflex was immediately activated. I can't even imagine how people live on a water diet. Honestly, the previous world was a world of masochists. Just suffering for the sake of suffering. For what purpose? "Yes!" That's how we live...

The kitchen was quite small, maybe about ten to twelve square feet, I think. I'm not really an expert, but it's probably around that size. "Nothing supernatural. Just an ordinary kitchen."

Closing the doors, I entered another room. It already served as a toilet and bathroom at the same time. "Also, nothing out of the ordinary, in short – standard."

Approaching the sink, I rinsed my mouth and face while taking a closer look at myself in the reflection. Even though I already knew this yesterday, I didn't pay much attention since there was so much going on. But now, I could say with confidence – I'm "Satoru Gojo" from the anime and manga "Jujutsu Kaisen." There are many signs that point to this: appearance, Japanese clothing, and, of course, the magic in my eyes.

I think after everything I've been through, there's not much that can surprise me, so I don't react too enthusiastically. I simply accept it as a fact and move on with whatever comes my way.

"So, my name is Satoru Gojo now, 13-14 years old," I mused, greeting myself in the mirror, waving my hand with a wide smile.

Returning to my room, I picked up my clothes and checked them for unpleasant odors, which, to my surprise, I didn't find. Great! And the underwear. I didn't bother sniffing it, disdainfully picking it up with two fingers, trying to figure out how to put it on. "Tie it like a bow? Nah, I'd better buy some normal undies first, after I earn my first money. This is at least painful to sit in."

The time on the clock read twelve o'clock, which meant it was time to go to the guild. I needed a tattoo and a book on the basics of magic. I put on my haori, struggled to tie the belt with careful movements – it looked quite pathetic, but who cares, right? I doubt there are that many Asians here to notice such a blunder.


The guild was quite lively, especially compared to the number of people here last night. I would even say it was very lively, which makes sense. There's no need for further explanations.

The spacious hall of the guild was filled with people in all sorts of strange outfits. There are unusual people on the streets too, but here, it's like the concentration of all the city's freaks. What's surprising is that they all look different from each other, from typical wizards in robes and hats with staffs, to some thieves, archers, bald assassins, knights, and even children.

It's all as I remembered, just more realistic. But again, something is off. I retreated into myself a bit while studying everyone inside from the entrance.

My right palm held my chin, and my left hand, resting on my chest, acted like a platform for my second hand. "Hmmm..." They didn't pay much attention to me, but some did give me strange looks. Not that it bothered me, but it was rather uncomfortable when they stared at me like that. It interferes with my concentration.

Perhaps I should just ignore them... Wait, what am I thinking about?

"Oh, I see it now!" I found the answer after a short while. "Those with magic have a more beautiful appearance than those without it!" Magical energy apparently favorably affects a person's skin. It won't fix your bone structure, but it guarantees a flawless exterior. The eye color is also more vibrant than it should be, and the muscles are more well-defined. No innate imperfections like in my previous world. Those with abs can boast a chiseled six-pack, not a drunken bricklayer's wall. Just perfect symmetry.

These are small details, but I think they can help determine whether someone is a wizard or not when magical vision isn't working for some reason. There might be exceptions, but there's nothing wrong with that. It's even better if your opponent turns out not to be a wizard when you're at your worst.

Returning to the guild members, I could only recognize the children. That's enough because they're the literal future of this place. The ones who will elevate Fairy Tail to new heights. The ones with whom I need to build good relationships so I can have some support in the future. So, I need to get to know them better first.

I even remember the names and personalities of some of them, which pleases me. They're simply unforgettable: Red-haired knight girl – Erza Scarlet, the guy who goes shirtless – Gray, the charming brunette with cards – Cana, and of course, Natsu and Happy.

As soon as I glanced at them, or more accurately, at the place where they were, I only found a blue cat. Thanks to my excellent vision, I quickly located the boy I was looking for. Building a serious expression, he rushed towards me with his ignited hand.

"What?" I said, surprised, quickly dodging his fist.

That was fast! No matter how puny he may look, whether he's half a head shorter or a whole head shorter than me, it doesn't matter. With that speed, getting hit will be no fun.

"Come on, let's fight!" he shouted, his second fist lit with flames, and then lunged at me again.

Huh, who asks for a brawl after getting into one already?

The fact that he called out a stranger to fight didn't faze me at all. This is Natsu!

I smiled despite his seriousness. Why not? Seeing this, everyone started shouting something. Some even began their own fights, but there was no hatred in the atmosphere. They were having fun.

What I used to love about these and similar stories were the fights where everyone sorts things out with everyone. It doesn't matter if they're friends or foes, men or women, or even children – everyone gets punched in the face without exception.

In addition to memories of cartoons, I also remembered the fights in the schoolyards. It's a strange pastime, as it can lead to serious injuries, but for some reason, it felt fun back then. As an adult, you realize that even one wrong move during a brawl can cost you part of your life behind bars. Or your health after such an encounter might lead to a hospital bed or a grave.

None of that exists here – it's a world of magic, damn it! Robust bodies you can hardly harm, rapid natural regeneration, healing magic, and other benefits. That's the essence of this world. The winners are those who can kick their opponent's butt physically and mentally.

I'm all for it; I find these showdowns more appealing. After all, everything depends solely on your skills in this world. It's a place where your destiny is shaped by how much and how well you've invested in yourself.

Speaking of the current strength of those around me and, naturally, my own, Natsu turned out to be powerful. He primarily used his internal magic and body in combat. Despite his smaller size, he outclassed me in everything: strength, agility, speed. This would have been impossible in my previous world, but here, magic is a game-changer.

It was tough for me at first, but it's getting easier now. Only my amazing eyes and gradually improving magic proficiency have been my salvation in this confrontation.

Thanks to my vision, I clearly see every one of his strikes and respond with mine, which are weaker compared to his, but it's better than nothing. They don't cause him significant discomfort, but sooner or later, even these hits will allow me to win.

While his attacks are faster and more powerful than mine, I recognize them. No matter how much Natsu speeds up, it only makes me stronger, as long as I avoid getting hit.

Magical perception is also improving. It studies how the opponent uses magic, and, of course, it saves me from obstacles like other people, chairs, and tables, which gives me room to maneuver.

It's a strange yet familiar feeling, like when you've faced a boss in a game so many times that their attacks and the space around you feel like old friends. You know them intuitively, as if tying a blindfold wouldn't change much. This connection is apparent even in real life.

"Darn it, I shouldn't have let my thoughts wander during the fight," I grimaced, realizing my mistake. In battles against a superior opponent, all thoughts should be focused solely on them, not on how similar the situation is to games. This distraction was further compounded by the discomfort from my underwear. If it weren't for this nuisance, I could have avoided this punch.

But we have what we have, and I was swiftly punished for such a blunder. Natsu caught me off guard with his next move. Despite seeing his fiery kick coming, my body couldn't react in time. His shin, covered in flames, slammed into my torso, knocking the breath out of me. Not even my hasty block could mitigate the effects of the blow, which left me gasping for air.

My body, unprepared for such pain and damage, suddenly weakened from the shock. "I get it, he's stronger than me right now, but isn't his kick a bit too powerful?" I wondered. Despite getting used to his attacks, thanks to my improved mastery of magic to enhance my body, I was still no match for him.

Despite the recent pain and labored breathing, there was no sense of resentment. The defeat was obvious, and even though I could somehow wield magical energy, I was not much different from an ordinary person. I think I could even be proud of how long I lasted with such a weak body.

"Who are you, and what do you want, punk?" Natsu snapped, straddling me and gearing up to pummel my face.

"Huh?" I replied, baffled, ducking my head to avoid his incoming punch.

"Shut up, idiot! I'm going to beat you up for staring at us!"

Who would have thought that the kids here were so aggressive...

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