|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3046 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1477 words|
Kagura had only caught a glimpse of her, but that was enough to know her identity. The many particles of light floating around her like long hair, the single layer of cloth covering her that looked plain but also of high quality, but more importantly, its friendly appearance.
That was one of the spirits living in the forest.
But Kagura was hesitant. This was the first time a spirit had approached her of its own will. Before that she had only heard them repeat reassuring lines while healing her in a fight during special quests.
Thinking of how unusual this was, Kagura looked at the tree again, seeing her face peeking out, smiling as she waved her hand. Her actions were something she had never seen before, but her friendliness was the same as usual. Either way, thinking about it would make her feel even more uneasy about her current situation, so she stopped those thoughts and tried to reply to the spirit.
Kagura spoke a simple greeting, at which the spirit came out from its hiding spot and asked many questions one after another. 「Are you hurt?」, 「It’s dangerous here」, 「Are you alone?」
In response, Kagura spoke about her current situation. How she was unable to use her ride anymore and could not go home, so she was at her wits end. After she was done talking, she heaved another deep sigh.
The spirit pitied Kagura after hearing what she was going through.
Then she introduced herself as Reesha and told Kagura that monsters usually wandered those places so it was best if they went somewhere safe.
Kagura nodded, introducing herself, and then followed Reesha into the forest until they reached a large lake.
The forest opened up a short distance from the lake, while the surface of the water reflected the starry sky. There was also a large shadow looming under that soft light. It was only one but almost the size of a small house, like a hog larger and fatter than a person, with two long fangs that were stained red with the blood of their prey. It was a monster, a Great Lance Boar.
Kagura readied herself to confront it, but Reesha smiled and said that hog was her friend.
Hearing that, Kagura took a closer look and saw it was lying on the ground in a relaxed manner. It opened its eyes and saw Kagura, 「What’s this? We have a guest?」 it asked in a low and slightly conceited voice.
This world had a certain concept named spiritualization. When an animal spent enough time together with a spirit, it would develop certain traits, like being able to use some powers or the ability to speak. That would normally only happen in key moments during quests though.
Kagura introduced herself, and the boar said to call him Multicolor while laughing. Reesha had named him that, and he liked the name.
Reesha reclined herself against Multicolor and invited Kagura to join her.
Kagura sat down beside her. 「You can sleep here tonight. Tomorrow morning I’ll take you to a human settlement.」 Reesha said with an innocent smile.
Kagura thanked her, then let her body rest against Multicolor’s warm and soft, although slightly lumpy, belly. With a starry sky overhead, they all fell asleep together.
The next morning, Reesha fulfilled her promise by taking Kagura to the closest city. Since Reesha was a wind spirit, she used her powers to carry Kagura through the air. They departed from quite deep inside the forest, so they had to take many breaks to rest in-between, taking longer to arrive at their destination, but by the time the sun was setting they were there.
They landed on the outskirts of the city and Kagura thanked Reesha multiple times, without forgetting to tell her to thank Multicolor as well.
The time they spent together had been rather short, but Kagura still thought she owed Reesha an immeasurable favor, so before parting ways she promised to return the favor properly one day.
The city Kagura had arrived at was called Green Gate and was located on the northern border of Grimdart. Since that still fell inside the territory of the Three Gods’ Countries, it was a rather prosperous city and it was quite possible she would be able to collect enough information there.
After staying there for a month, Kagura had a firm grasp on the current situation. This world was the same as Ark Earth Online, which had turned into reality around ten years earlier, with many players being thrown into it out of the blue, just like her. There had also been a considerable amount of change during those ten years.
Knowing all that, Kagura decided it was best if she returned to Arkite for the time being. Grimdart was located in the northern part of the Earth continent, so it would be a long trip without her flying island, but she had calculated ahead enough to know that.
However, before leaving the city she turned to look at the forest. She wanted to thank Reesha and Multicolor for helping her one more time before she left.
After buying a large amount of presents, Kagura mounted on Piisuke, the Vermillion Bird, and headed to that lake where she spent a night.
When Mira arrived at the lake of her memories, she was lost for words. It looked completely different from how she remembered it. The trees surrounding it were all fallen, as if a hurricane had passed through, branches scattered around everywhere. The lake that had reflected the stars so beautifully before, was now muddied and covered with leaves, like it was rejecting the light from the sun.
For a moment, Kagura thought she had gone to the wrong place, but then she started running.
On the lake’s shore there was a small mount of dirt and grass. From it, the root of a broken fang was sticking out. Kagura had not mistaken the place, this ruined lake was the same where she spent that relaxing night.
When she got closer, the mount shook a little. At the same time, Kagura’s eyes were open wide while her lips trembled, flooded with fear that made her want to run away, pretending everything was a lie.
The mount there was the Great Lance Boar named Multicolor.
He was covered in wounds, cuts from sharp blades, and even some blades stuck out making him look like a pin cushion. Kagura’s mind refused to comprehend what she was seeing, frozen at the cruel change forced on Multicolor. As she stood still, 「Is it… Kagu…ra?」 a low, conceited, and intermittent voice reached her. It was hoarse, mumbled and without much definition, but she still heard it.
Kagura’s face jumped up hearing that, then she rushed to apply all the healing medicine she had at hand while asking Multicolor what happened.
His breathing was really weak, but he steadily used it to speak to Kagura.
Some people came to attack them out of nowhere and attempted to take Reesha with them. He tried to fight them and defend Reesha, but he was no match for them.
His voice was sad, full of bitter regret, and after pleading Kagura to help Reesha, life faded from his eyes.
Kagura spent the rest of the day crying. She had only known them for a day, and really interacted with them for half a day, but Reesha and Multicolor had reached out to her when she was completely alone which left a deep mark in her heart, so for Kagura, they were her very dear friends.
The next day, her eyes red and swollen from all the crying, Kagura dug a large hole on the shore of the lake. In hopes of letting him rest at least a bit more peacefully, she pulled out all the blades stuck in Multicolor’s body, washing his body of all the blood, and then burying him.
When Kagura returned to the city, she resumed her collection of information. This time in regards to people who would attack spirits. Slowly she met like-minded people, which turned from a party to a guild, increasing its reach even more until finally becoming the Fifty Bells Union.
A strong determination was shown in Kagura’s eyes as she looked straight at Mira.
Mira had yet to realize the lengths of Kagura’s feelings, but the way she spoke about never forgiving the people who did something like that, made it clear that they were far stronger feelings than anything Mira had felt in the month she spent in that world.
「You really have a very complicated history here.」
「Yes, and I feel bad about Solomon, but I can’t return until I finish this.」
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