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Interlude: Father and Mother

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Author: Resn Original Source: Kakuyomu
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Silva

“Alright, good night then.”
“Let’s play more tomorrow~!”
“Mhm, and this time we’ll actually get you to get stronger!”

They were in a room of an inn in Wyndham. There Crim waved her hand until the two vanished from that world. Then everything seemed to become incredibly still.

Now that her friends had logged out, Crim fell back on the bed, lying motionless.

That was so fun.

She had spent nearly half a day traveling from the desert’s mid-stop station all the way to Wyndham. She had dueled other players twice. But she reunited with Hijiri and Subaru, hung out in the city, and fought together.

It was a day packed with events all the way through, but it was fun too.

“Let’s play more tomorrow, huh…”

That was a promise to see each other again the next day. That filled her with childish giddiness as she hugged a pillow, and shortly after she was filled with drowsiness.

That reminds me…I wonder how my real body is doing now…

Her father had said he would take care of that, and he had not informed her of anything regarding it yet, so she assumed there was nothing to worry about. Still, there was something nagging her mind, but just as quickly as those thoughts came, her sleepiness overpowered them and pushed them out…


“Have you fared well, my partner?”

His groggy mind was roused from its slumber at the unexpected voice of what sounded like a young girl. As he looked around with sleepy eyes, he surveyed the room, filled with strange machines that made it look more like some strange laboratory than a hospital room.

In the far end was the working gel capsule, commonly called the Cradle, glowing with a blue light inside, and humming quietly showing it was turned on.

This was Sora’s battlefield, where he had spent many weeks shut off from the rest of the world. But in the corner of his eye he spotted a different figure standing there.

“Oh…it’s you. Sorry, I think I dozed off for a bit.”

He rubbed his eyes and picked up his glasses, which had slipped off onto his desk as he slept. Then he turned to the person there, even though this room, where Kou was kept, was supposed to be closed off from visitors.

“It took quite some time, but I’m done making all the necessary arrangements. Voting passed without issue as well, so even if we make this public it won’t cause a big incident.”
“I see… Thank you for your hard work.”
“Your appreciation better be genuine. I hardly had time to watch our child growing up, busy as I was.”

That person complained, sounding almost pouty. She looked like a young girl, but her manner of speech seemed somewhat antiquated. She was Sora’s beloved wife, and Kou’s mother.

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After her grumblings, she ran over to the Cradle, smiling happily as she looked at Kou sleeping.

“I see…so our child chose my side.”
“Yes…though making that choice is likely already a lost memory though.”

She looked into the Cradle, with what looked like a mix between a childish grin and a motherly smile. Sora also smiled seeing her like that…but then his face clouded over.

“I feel like we’ve really treated Kou badly though. Sometimes I think that we really should’ve explained everything before the choice was presented.”
“We had no choice. Our child would’ve likely taken an obstinate stance on keeping things as they were.”

If Kou’s true desire was to keep things as they were, both subconsciously and consciously, then they would have respected that choice. But if they told Kou everything beforehand, it would introduce a bias from previous life experiences and society norms, overpowering whatever Kou’s true desires were.

That was something they needed to avoid.

Even though Kou looked like a regular human, there was a time years before when the instincts inherited from her won over, and a little girl was hurt. At the time, Kou was diagnosed with hematophilia, an obsession with the taste of blood.

Sora knew that was incorrect though. Kou had a case of species identity disorder, not too dissimilar from gender identity disorder. The adrenaline of combat could serve as an outlet for those impulses, so Sora let Kou play games, and even attend a fencing dojo for a while, but he knew that would not be enough to suppress everything, so he even got an extremely difficult combat training app from a friend…but he knew even the effects from that would eventually wear off.

That was when he and his partner, his wife, poured all their efforts into creating the Cradle.

…It was all an attempt to get their child to have a chance at correcting that distorted existence.

And so they created a safe and unbiased environment for their child to pick a new appearance…or rather, the appearance Kou was always meant to have. They believed the result would prove whether they were right or wrong.

“No, that’s a lie…I can’t say I was merely doing the best for our child. I was afraid…afraid that no choice would be made. I’m truly a despicable mother.”

In the end, it was her who rebutted herself. As she chastised herself, her finger slowly traced the outline of the figure sleeping within the Cradle.

“Remember, don’t touch it too much. There’s a lot of changes happening to all vital organs right now, so the Cradle has to be kept perfectly still until everything is complete.”
“I know, I worked on designing it too.”

She begrudgingly pulled her hand back, which seemed to amuse Sora, at least until she glared at him.

During the two weeks of sleep, Kou, the person in the Capsule, had shrunk quite a bit compared to how the couple remembered. There were other changes as well, curves becoming more pronounced, areas softening and becoming more delicate, and even plenty of hair growth, which only preserved some of its previous color on the tips.

“…It almost feels like looking into a mirror.”
“Well, you’re the mother after all.”
“Do you think…I’ll be despised again?”
“I wonder too, I guess it’ll be up to you though. When people go through puberty their hearts tend to be more tender, so just do your best and spend more time together.”
“Yes, I shall do that… I’ll do just that.”

Seeing his wife like that, Sora felt like it would make a great picture. Her standing there, blue light shining on her face and surrounded by heavy machinery, looking into the Capsule with a kind yet saddened look.

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“I’ll do my best, so…wake up soon, my daughter.”


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