Category:Epitaph of Twilight Translation
Unofficial translation of .hack//Epitaph of Twilight
Author: Miu Kawasaki
Artist: Asako Shiina
Translation Editor: VanillaSkyCrawler
Special Thanks to Endrance for helping with the Prolouge
The curtain of night falls down, a thick fog blankets all. It was at this place called Alba Lake, which rests at the center of this world, enshrouded in a deafening silence. At the naval of the lake amidst the perfectly still watersー lies a cathedral which poses a myriad of questions. When was it built? For what purpose? Who made it? Why such a place? With its origins left unknown, here it stands in total isolation.
All that is known is the cathedral's name, Hulle Granz Cathedral.
Tonight, within this cathedral rumored to be of ancient times, an unprecedented meeting was to take place. Helba, queen of the dark, beckons. Apeiron, king of light, heeds Helba's call. The two greatest powers of this world, light and darkness, were locked in a seemingly unending conflict.
ーThey share a long history. Long before man was born, from a strong wind overseen by the twilight on the 10th month, the land and the skies birthed two spirits: Light and Dark. That was them. Right from birth, light and dark have fought continually for sole control of the regions. It was then that man was born amidst the conflict, but coexistence was impossible, as humans created shadow. Although they appear the same, man has shadow, while the spirits have none. Realizing this difference, mankind turned against those without shadows and persecuted them. Several of their companions were endlessly pursued, and others disappeared entirely. It once seemed that the struggle between the three would last forever... but the spirits’ defeat was inevitable. The reason being that spirits are seldom born, however, humans could reliably increase their numbers. So the spirits created a world for themselves far away from the humans, and since then, the conflict between light and darkness had calmed.
But what would drive the feuding leaders of light and darknessー even within this lull, to meet?
A calamity, known as the Cursed Wave. A calamity which threatened to erode their world, and pushed the spirits to the brink of annihilation. The Cursed Wave, literally in the form of a wave, steadily advanced, however the spirits had no means to fight such a foe. From where it comes, it swallows everything in its path, sweeping even the face of the earth before fading away.
Because the situation was so dire,
“I wish to speak with you about the Twilight Dragon, and the Cursed Wave…”
If the message Apeiron received from Helba was about anything less, Apeiron would not have heeded the call.
“It might be a trap.”
Apeiron’s adviser, Fili the White felt uneasy, however, Apeiron was prepared to leave for Hulle Granz Cathedral in spite of Fili’s concerns.
Helba claimed that the Twilight Dragon would save their lives from the Cursed Wave. Regardless of whether or not the dragon actually existedー because the wave was still alive, countermeasures needed to be taken immediately.
In this world, there’s a legend about the Twilight Dragon. A legend that spirits… and perhaps even humans know of. A legend riddled with uncertainty, but the spirits now had no choice but to believe in it.
“When the cursed wave doth rise, three shadow-bearing beings will depart in search of the Twilight Dragon that will save the world of the spirits.”
As if off in the distance, I could faintly hear someone’s voice.
This time it was very clear. Someone was calling my name.
A warm, gentle voice.
I slowly rub my eyes trying to shake off the pink haze enshrouding them.
“Lara, we’ll be there soon,” Papa said softly to me. I was still half asleep in the passenger seat of the car.
“I’m sorry, I fell asleep.”
Papa smiled and said, “No need to be sorry”.
“I suppose… I just think it's terrible falling asleep when I kind of forced you to take me along.”
“Don't worry about it, really. I'm really happy you'd come with me.”
I just smiled at Papa. It made me happy that he was happy.
“It's been quite a while since you last met your uncle, hasn't it?”
“A while?! But I don't think… Maybe it's been a while for you, Papa, but I've never met him before.”
“Not never. He came over to play once, around when you were still really small.”
“That so? I don’t remember anything like that.”
Papa smiled wryly when I said that.
“I remember he would look at you strangely.”
“Well, you were just born, and I guess it was the first time he'd seen a newborn.”
“It's not like you see babies everywhere you go, I guess.”
I’ll be 14 this year. Although I may still look like a child to Papa and to the rest of the worldー I think it’s more of an ambiguous age. Neither a child, nor an adult. Somewhere in the borderline between the two.
“I’m kind of looking forward to meeting him,” I said, as I stretched my whole body, and rolled down the car window.
The breeze flows into the car with the scent of grass and humid air. It was pretty different from the smell of the sea breeze that runs along the coastline, but it still smelled pleasant in its own way. I took a deep breath of the forest air. Because I live by the sea, I don’t get to experience the rich smell of forests like this very often.
“By the way, did you do some research on it yesterday as well?” Papa asked, as I turned around away from the window to look at him.
He always watches straight ahead when he's driving. He's done this ever since the time he scraped the car against a wall because he'd gotten so engrossed in conversation. Even when he's stopped at a red light he won't look at you. His face will be full of expression, but always facing straight ahead. It's as if he's speaking to the windshield.
“Yeah, but I didn’t have any luck. It’s been a while since the site with the original text disappeared. I don’t even know what kind of keywords to search so I can find the full text.”
“‘The Epitaph of Twilight’… Huh.” Papa muttered to himself inquisitively.
I’ve starved myself of sleep night after night trying to research the “Epitaph of Twilight”ー A web novel written by a woman named Emma Weilant. Being written by an amateur, the first section can be explained in fairly generic terms.
Epitaph of Twilightー the story of how the Cursed Wave eroded the world of the shadowless spirits and brought them to the brink of total destruction. This wave steadily advanced, but there was no practical way to fight it. During this desperation, the world’s two great powers, Apeiron king of light, and Helba Queen of Dark, forged an alliance to face the wave together.
In that world, there was a legend that states, “When the cursed wave doth rise, three shadow-bearing beings will depart in search of the Twilight Dragon that will save the world of the spirits”.
The story begins with one of those shadow bearersー a young girl, known locally as the Little Witch, who lives in a windmill shed in the middle of a cornfield, when she rescues a stag with no shadow.
Believing in that legend, she embarks on a journey to find the Twilight Dragon together with Fili, a spirit from the country of light, Bith, a spirit from the country of darkness, and two other shadow bearers.
The girl believes in the legend, and now she, along with Fili the White, Bith the Black and two shadow-bearing individuals leave in search of the Twilight Dragon. It’s a very, very long journey...
This story, however, has no ending. It's still incomplete because the author, Emma Wielant, died in an accident before she could finish it.
Without her around, the story has been swallowed up by the ocean we call the internet. Seems there's no one to preserve some no-name hobbyist writer's work. Even if you find something, it's hard to discern whether it’s from the original work or from one of the many fake copies.
The copy I have on hand goes from the opening portion to midway in their adventure. It's also in a worm-eaten state with some chapters written in fine detail, and then others I can only understand the subtleties.
The only reason I got into studying such an underground novel is because I knew Emma Wielant’s name from bulletin boards on the net.
Wielant didn't lead any ordinary life (she got caught up with the troubles of inheriting a fortune, and she even had a boyfriend twenty years older than her!), and apparently not long before the accident she had gotten absorbed in the philosophy of anthroposophy.
She’s like the heroine of some drama, or a tragedy.
At least that's what I thought while looking into her life. To think that people like this actually exist.
I think it's because the book was written by someone like that that I got so inspired to look into it.
Also, this anthroposophy is supposedly aiming to prove the purpose and existence of ghosts and other such things unexplainable by non human sciences. Things like believing in a sixth sense or reincarnation. But personally, I can’t believe any of it.
“There it is.”
I tried to find where Papa was looking.
One of the evenly spaced, but detached houses in the forest--- the only house that had an unkempt, neglected lawn. Even with the sunlight shining down, it was a dark and depressing sight. It even looked run down, like it was abandoned.
“...He lives here?”
Papa noticed the scowl on my face and smiled wryly.
“He does. He just hasn’t really taken care of it.”
“How does it get like this when he lives by himself…”
“I'm sure his job is keeping him too busy to worry about it.”
I took a look around.
Surveying the surrounding area there are beautiful, well kept lawns behind quaint white picket fences, and I can faintly hear elated laughter coming from within some of the houses.
Meanwhile, at the far end of those lots stands my uncle's bizarre looking house.
I've heard that my uncle, Papa's younger brother, is quite the famous programmer. A brilliant engineer known across the world. On top of that, he also seems to be quite familiar with the concept of anthroposophy that Emma was so devoted to.
"It still surprises me, despite working at the forefront of the world of 1s and 0s, he's still managed to keep his obsession with that philosophy a secret."
I couldn't tell whether or not Papa was being serious with that bitter smile plastered across his face.
My uncle seems to have been out of touch from us for the past few months. I hear that he even forgets whether it’s night or day when he gets fixated on something.
Papa got a bit worried and decided to go check up on him, but didn’t tell me to come along even though it isn't exactly a short trip either. I was worried about Papa, because he’s not the greatest driver (Maybe I was a little worried being with him too.) …But I was also interested in meeting my Uncle, so that pushed me into coming along.
“Well, let’s go.”
Papa stopped the car in front of the house, leaned over and prodded me to go.
I went with him up to a door overgrown with ivy and rang an old-fashioned doorbell. But, I’m pretty sure it didn’t ring, because when I pressed the button, it just lodged itself inward.
Papa leaned his head down, forcibly pulled the button back out and tried pushing it again, whenー the door creaked open.
“…Who is it?”
It made me flinch for a moment.
A tall, lanky man’s figure half emerged from around the doorー he looked at Papa, then glanced at me.
“My brother, huh…?” The manー my uncle, muttered and sighed.
“Yup. Now, don’t be a pain after I came all this way to see you.”
Uncle made a sour face and looked back at me again. It was apparent we weren’t going to receive a warm greeting, but I introduced myself politely.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Lara Hoerwick”
“…?” Uncle furrowed his brow. His silence begged Papa for an explanation.
“My daughter. You visited us back when she was first born”
As if searching for a distant memory, he just fixated his eyes on me. He had long silvery hair, an almost abnormally worn out look to his face, yet his amber eyes never lost their glimmer.
Papa has the same silver hair, but you’d never suspect them to be brothers just by that. And I don’t think they look like grandma or grandpa at all. Maybe distant relatives at best… Even then the resemblance isn’t there.
Although I thought it was rude to stare at me like that, I just smiled at him. I’m not sure if I was smiling all too nicely though.
Uncle finally turned his gaze back over to Papa.
He probably doesn’t remember. No wonder. That was 14 years ago, and I’m sure that there’s not even a shred of resemblance compared to when I was a baby.
“Ah, alright. Come on in,” Uncle said as he turned back into his house.
Papa and I exchanged glances. As Uncle disappeared into the house I whispered, “That wasn’t much of a welcome.”
“That’s just the kind of man he is, Lara. Don’t worry about it.”
“Geez… He’s not mad about us showing up so suddenly, is he?”
“If he was angry he wouldn’t have told us to come in.”
“…Is it really okay for us to go in?”
Looking inside it was even gloomier yet, like some haunted house. I stood there hesitantly next to Papa as he smiled wryly.
“Can’t just wait in the car, right? Let’s go in.” And as he said that, we went inside.
Uncle looked back at us from across the hallway. I felt as if our eyes met, and flinched again.
(What the heck... is my uncle even doing here?)
As I stood there thinking, Papa got way ahead of me.
“Hey, wait up!”
In a panic, I ran to catch up.
From the look of the outside, I couldn’t begin to imagine how neat and pristine everything was inside. I seriously thought it’d be lined with dust, and spider webs spanning the walls.
But no, the living room was even swept up all neatly, and surprisinglyー A lone picture stood atop the cupboard. In a room with the newest TV and audio system set up, that picture looked really old-fashioned.
“Surprisingly clean in here, huh?” Papa says sitting down on a leather sofa in the living room, his voice calling out to Uncle.
In the kitchen attached to the living room, Uncle just laughs to himself.
“Why don’t you have a seat too, Lara?”
I sit down next to Papa.
I was more surprised than anything.
Uncle, standing in the sun rays shining into the kitchen, was like a completely different person.
(Maybe he’s surprisingly nice after all.)
He was kinda likeable.
Uncle walked back into the living room, and the smell of hot coffee fills the air.
“There’s more in the pot if you want.”
He lines up three coffee cups on the glass table. The one for Papa being filled with straight black.
(I like coffee, but not without at least some milk and sugar…)
As for the cup placed in front of me, I decided to just endure it and drink it anyway, but it was actually filled with pure white milk.
The words escaped me without thinking.
“I thought milk might be better for kids.” While saying this, Uncle, sitting across from Papa, stood up.
“Oh, yeah that’s fine. I don’t care for straight coffee… Thank you very much.”
And without expression, he sits back down.
The cool milk definitely quenched the thirst. The unexpected consideration made me like him even more.
Papa, sitting next to me, began talking about his current home situations. Even though we had come to check on uncle’s condition, Papa just spoke of the comedic events from recent memory.
(Not much I can do about that.)
Papa and uncle would exchange glances between themselves. Despite Uncle’s expressionless face, he looked intent on listening to Papa.
(It’s all kinda boring…)
We certainly had nothing but time to burn here as I stared into my now emptied cup. Papa put down his cup.
“Shall we go outside for a bit?”
Uncle noticed Papa get up from his seat. As he stood up to follow, he seemed to be pained. They then both walked over to the door. After seeing uncle out, I asked Papa,
“I don’t suppose… I could go out too?”
“Maybe not. I just thought it might be good we talk outside and get some fresh air instead of staying cooped up in here.”
“We’ll only be out for a bit, so maybe turn on the TV or something,” Papa said and hurried his way out the door. As the door shut behind him the sound resonated throughout the now vacant living room.
“Came all this way just to watch TV…”
I got up to leave the living room and walked over to where I had seen that standing picture frame. Uncle was standing next to a woman in a long black one-piece dress with a parasol and a laced hat, but I couldn’t see her face all that well.
The two of them standing under the radiant sun like that, it makes me think that they would've made a nice couple.
(A picture like that makes me wonder if there aren’t any other pictures as magical as this one…)
I turned away from the picture stand and left the living room. I still wanted to know what it was my uncle does around here. Leaving the warm sunlight of the living room, I turned and walked into the gloomy corridor of an entryway. The door at the end of the hall was cracked open slightly, from which a pale blue light was emanating.
“The heck is that?”
I peered into the room. In one corner, there were multiple displays lined up. They had to have been on for the dim light to be shining through the doorway like that. I slowly made my way into the room.
Against the back wall was a bookshelf so tall that it reached up to the ceiling. Books were even scattered along the floor reaching to the end of a bed, with dust coating everything in sight.
“Is this his study?”
However, the monitors had nothing on them. They just emitted that dim light. Maybe they’re in standby mode.
I then noticed something left in front of one of the monitors. It looked like a thin pair of goggles, and next to that was a game controller.
(Does uncle sport these around?)
I pushed away the piled up books and slowly made my way over. I could see that the goggles were emanating the same faint light as the monitors from within the eye cup. And the light couldn’t have been reflecting off of the monitors, but rather it was being produced by them. Papa’s always fascinated by the latest technology, so if this is some kind of modern video equipment then I should have heard about it from him.
“What could this be…”
Something was playing on this device, and it was making noise, but I couldn’t see what it was. I exited the room to make sure Papa and uncle had not come back in.
“It should be fine if I just take a peek for a little bit.”
I grabbed the goggles and timidly peered inside to see what it was. The picture displayed in the eye cup was an expansive gold-colored wheat field, though the sky was heavy with clouds and mixed with a weird purple color. Not purple like you might see with a thunderstorm, but actually a more unrealistic looking purple.
(What's this place supposed to be?)
At the far end of this continuous field I saw a windmill. It was pretty easy to see it was operational too. The wind had to be blowing because the wheat was making a rustling noise and began to sway.
It was like nothing I'd ever seen, yet it felt as though I was being absorbed by it. I became uneasy on my feet and a weird feeling overtook me. I needed to do something or I'd fall, so I shot my hand forward onto the desk where the goggles were.
And then something sounded like it fell. It was the controller that had been beside the goggles. As the controller hit the floor, some buttons got pushed and text appeared on one of the monitors.
Probably the game's title. Under the game title was some login info. The same text was being displayed from inside the goggles too.
(Maybe it's played by wearing the goggles?)
I picked up the controller and pushed another button at random.
This time some text I know popped up on a different monitor.
“The spirits have held onto a legend regarding the Twilight Dragon--- When the cursed wave doth rise, three shadow-bearing beings will depart in search of the Twilight Dragon that will save the world of the spirits.”
It’s the Epitaph of Twilight.
I wonder if that means the picture I saw in the goggles is the wheat field the little witch lives in.
I peeked into the goggles again.
Maybe this is what uncle was so fixated on for the last several months; making a game based on the Epitaph of Twilight. It's only speculation, but he probably met Emma because of his interest in anthroposophy--- uncle being a programmer, thought he'd try make Emma’s fantasy into a game.
It was just a guess though. I don't know why, but that's how it seemed to me.
Something in my mind had me certain there was a chance. I don't know if it was inspired by the odd atmosphere of this dark room where the only light came from the monitors, but I shut the door.
Then, as though being lured in, I put the goggles on and grabbed the controller.
(Surely it'd be fine if I just play a little bit.)
Then, as if under some sort of trance, I clicked Login.
Episode 1: Can't Go Back Home
In the center of this world called Alba, high above the Hulle Granz Cathedral, a countless number of white doves slowly turned in the sky as a golden light shone down upon them. From a distance, they glowed like an angel’s halo shrouded in the veil of fog. A single man in white gazed at this wondrous site by the lakeside wearing a serious expression.
That man is Fili the White.
The confidant of the King of Light, Apeiron. The flock of doves, his familiars. Fili had no doubt in his mind that the meeting tonight was a trap, however, Aperion ignored his warning. So, Fili had ordered his familiars to wait above the holy ground despite Apeiron’s wishes.
Normally, he would be by Apeiron’s sideー who would enter the cathedral this evening, however, the meeting specified that only Helba and Apeiron were to attend.
Fili stared at the cathedral blurred by the dense fog, praying that nothing would happen. Long before this lull, the country of darkness consistently launched surprise attacks against the country of light. The country of light was always on the defensive. For the hundreds of years Fili had lived, never once had the country of darkness been invaded. The country of light would retaliate, as soon as everyone had recovered, the country of darkness would launch another surprise attack, leading to yet another battle… It was an endless cycle.
It was a bitter memory to Fili, and one he’d rather not recall. The dense fog swayed behind him in silence, yet showed signs of someone approaching nearby.
“Are you really that worried?”
Fili jumped back swiftly, reading his staff. However, the speaker was shrouded in darkness, unable to be seen.
“…Who's there?” Fili’s voice trembled in surprise.
”Did I surprise you?” Said the figure wryly. “You people of the light always find the darkness to be so terrifying.”
Fili knew it had to be someone of the dark. He raised his voice.
Fili’s staff began to glow brightly.
“Well, aren’t you a lively one?”
Two hands emerged from the darkness holding what appeared to be a pitch black hat, as if he had just taken it off.
Before Fili could even look up, that man with slanted eyes had appeared. The man named Bith, who aides Helba, queen of dark.
“Bith of the Black Hat…?”
“That’s right, Fili of the White Robes.”
Fili lowered his staff.
“What did you come here for?”
“Thatー” Bith glanced over at the doves flying over the cathedral. “Mind calling them down?”
“This is a meeting between rulers. Something like that would only get in the way.”
“I don’t remember taking orders from you.”
Bith shook his head, seemingly annoyed.
“If my queen wanted to, she could easily erase all of them in a single shot, However, she hasn’t. Why do you think that is?”
“It’s because she doesn’t want to ruin this meeting. I don’t know how the king will answerー but for now, we’ll have to try to get along. If we fought now, this would’ve all been for nothing.”
Fili glared at Bithー but it quickly faded. It was impossible to phase him anyway.
“Do you want to ruin this meeting by acting on your own?”
Fili lowered his staff dissolving the last of any spell that remained.
“...I get it,” Fili muttered. Fili's staff was then enveloped in a light as he used it to draw a pattern on the ground to give his familiars instruction. Shortly afterwards, the doves vanished as if melting into darkness. When Bith saw this, he sat down beside Fili, with Fili casting his eyes down.
“What, are you my supervisor?”
“Are you stupid? We’re going to be called in soon.”
“If we go in together, it’ll save us some time, don’t you think?”
“What do you mean?”
But Bith ignored Fili’s question, and just continued to stare at the cathedral.
After Apeiron saw that Fili’s familiar had dissolved, he turned away from the window and faced Queen Helba.
“That took a long time.” Apeiron said.
Helba sat across an un-deified pedestal with a smile upon her face, toying with her silky golden hair. “Shall we continue?”
“Yeah.” Apeiron leaned up against a window listening attentively to Helba’s story, stroking his stoic beard.
“As I had mentioned earlier, this area has already started to become corrupted. However, the Cursed Wave’s invasion has only just begun. If we act now, there might still be means to retaliate...Too hard to believe?”
“Facts are facts. So Helba… What do you propose we do?”
“As the letter I set you described. I’d like to start searching for the Twilight Dragon. When the cursed wave doth rise, three shadow-bearing beings will depart in search of the Twilight Dragon that will save the world of the spirits... How much of that legend is true I wonder?” Helba chuckled to herself over her thoughts, and glanced over at Apeiron. “Do you doubt me that much?”
“You’re the leader of another country. It’s only natural to be cautious.”
“There isn’t much of a difference between carefulness and timidness.”
With her visor shielding her eyes, it wasn’t possible to fully determine the expression of Helba, but with her smile, she was obviously looking down on Apeiron.
“…!” Apeiron scowled, drew the sword fashioned on his hip, and pointed the tip at Helba.
Helba tilted her head, retaining her composure. “What good does it do to pull that out? Even if I’m dead, the Cursed Wave won’t stop.”
Helba slowly rose off the ground and moved in front of Apeiron’s sword without taking a single step. The glamorously slender Helba extended her index finger from the sleeve of her pure white dress, and tapped the tip of the blade.
Both of them trembled as silence filled the room. The crimson blood dripped down Helba’s finger, dripping down to the cobblestone.
Realizing that this silence was a waste of time, Apeiron tightened his grip on his sword and sighed muttering to himself. “I’ll overlook this for now.”
Helba licked her finger and some of the blood dripped down onto her sleeve, yet her smile didn't fade. “Do you have any personnel you can use for the search?”
Helba nodded in satisfaction to Apeiron’s reply, and walked up to the pedestal. While the pedestal was devoid of deification, it was still a delight to behold in its old fashioned style.
“There’s no time. When those two return, we’ll start our departure.”
“That soon? Hold on a moment. It’ll be a long trip, you should take time to prepareー”
Helba looked back, and interrupted Apeiron. “Will you be sending Fili? I can be prepared for that. Although, his familiars are flying about, so we should make preparations elsewhere.”
“Typical Apeiron,” Helba says, looking back at the pedestal. “We have no time. No time to pray to God, nor to run away…”
They continued onー and at that time, from the windmill standing in the midst of the great wheat field far to the north of cathedral, a sleepy eyed maiden departed.
Seemingly reluctant, the maiden mounted her broom and flew towards the blades of a windmill.
“Saya, you better fix it properly today!” a black cat yells to the maiden from the windmill’s attic window.
“I told you I got it! Don’t yell so early in the morning.”
The maiden’s name was Saya, though in the surrounding areaー due to her small stature, she’s more commonly known as The Little Witch. She had the special ability of understanding the languages of flora and fauna alike.
She loved peace more than any other and had a deep love for plants and animals.
Also, the name of the black cat that called out to Saya was Vesper. He lived inside the windmill with Saya, and was her very knowledgeable partner.
Saya’s work these past few days hadn’t been milling wheat as usual, instead she’d been working to repair a broken windmill blade. With the blade broken, they were unable to mill the wheat.
Saya flew up to try and repair the damaged blade when wheat field behind her began to stir.
Saya turned around, her gaze meeting the wheat field, and listened to its voice.
“There’s something there!”
Saya saw something in the middle of the wheat field, and immediately flew over to see what it was. With the wheat field lined up so neatly, it was easy to spot any deformities within it.
Saya flew down, carefully drawing near where the wheat was tarnished. Noticing that it lathered in the thick crimson of blood, she grabbed her small staff.
In front of Saya’s eyes, a 6 legged silver stag had collapsed. The wounded stag weakly raised his head and looked over at Saya.
“Who would do this...”
Saya rushed over to the stag. The tip of her staff released a warm light enveloping the stag, healing the wounds of the stag in mere moments.
“Your wheat is... I deeply apologize,” the stag said breathlessly, putting his head back on the ground. Saya gently pet the stag's head.
“It’s alright, the wheat will be fine. However, I’m more worried about you.”
Seemingly fatal wounds covered the stag’s body. Saya’s spell wasn’t powerful enough to immediately close them all, so she tightly wrapped her cloak around where the stag was bleeding.
“It’ll take a little bit... but if you rest for 2 or 3 days, you should be fully recovered.”
Hearing Saya’s words, the stag opened up his eyes wide, staring at Saya with their sky blue hue.
“It’s not a good time to rest. I have to leave at once,” The stag says as he shakily shifts his feet to stand up, and looks up at the sky.
“Where do you need to go? I can close your wounds to some extent, but flying in your condition is out of the question.”
“Thank you. Someday, I will surely return your kindness.” The stag with trembling legs proceeded into a gallop, running off far into the sky.
“Wait a moment,” Saya’s voice resounded in vain. “Wait!” Saya mounted her broom, chasing after the stag.
The wheat field stirs, ensnaring Saya’s broom and holding her to the ground.
I stood amongst the expanse of a wheat field. The gentle breeze, and the sway it wrought amongst the wheat, its movement felt all too real. The windmill that looks so far away, the breeze that brushes along my cheeks, everything in this world, it was as if it was all actually real.
I wouldn’t have thought that I was looking at this from the goggles. I reached out my hand to touch the wheat that stretched to my height around me. The wheat rustled vibrantly, and it felt so lifelike.
This wasn’t like using a controller at all, I was able to move however I wanted.
“My uncle sure is incredible.”
Was this the first time somebody had made a game where you could actually feel things? Once again I was able see just how great my uncle was.
If this was the Epitaph of Twilight’s prologue, then there had to be something in the windmill. Maybe, I would even get to meet someone from the epitaph.
Full of hope, I rushed over to the windmill. I avoided the snarls in the wheat, and thanks to that, the way to the windmill was clear enough for me to run straight over to it.
I ran out of breath.
Exercise wasn’t exactly my strong point, so when I arrived at the windmill I was completely out of breath. I felt exhaustion spread throughout my entire body as if I just ran.
“What even is this…”
(This is a game, right…? Why am I so tired?) I grumbled as a black cat approached me. One with delicate, soft fur and a nice sweet scent. That cat, with clear blue eyes, peered up at my face with a seemingly puzzled expression.
“What are you doing?”
“I-It talked!” I subconsciously flinched. The black cat stares at me, and tilts his head.
“Ah, I get it…”
(It’s only natural it can talk because it’s a game.)
Surely, a black cat would’ve appeared in the Epitaph of Twilight. One of the shadowed ones, The Little Witch Saya, she had a black cat as her familiar.
(Umm, his name was…)
In response to me calling out Vesper’s name, he only frowned. He may be a cat, but it’s easy to tell that he’s frowning.
Based on what Vesper said earlier, the owner of this windmill, Little Witch Saya should be somewhere around here.
While surveying the surroundings, Vesper called out to me, “Saya… Did you hit your head?”
“You’re not acting like yourself.”
I’m sure he’s talking to me, but he called me Saya.
“And you’re Vesper?”
Vesper nodded again.
“Did you lose your memory?”
“Wai-Wait a moment. Why does this conversation keep going?”
“Why…? I don’t understand what you mean.”
“This is a game, isn’t it?”
“A game? What are you talking about?”
“Hmm… Something like a world created for amusement.”
“Created? Wait, Saya, I’m not sure I understand.”
The cat was getting frustrated.
(What could this mean?)
There are only a few games where you could have legitimate conversations. But as far as I knew, that only happened in online games. In games where other players talk back and forth, exchange information, and advance the conversation through the internet. Other than that, I didn’t know of any game where a character could respond to anything I say.
“Can I pet you?”
“If it’ll bring you back to being your usual self, then go ahead.”
I slowly reached out for Vesper’s head.
My hand brushed across Vesper’s soft fur. His fluffy fur was oddly lifelike, so I made sure to run my hand down his body.
“Saya, did you fall off your broom?”
“You were using it to repair the blades, right?” Vesper said looking up at the windmill. I followed Vesper’s gaze to see the windmill’s blades utterly torn.
“They aren’t fixed…”
“Yeah, they’re completely broken.”
“Completely broken… That means you skipped out on repairs, didn’t you?”
I frantically shook my head to Vesper, who seemed to be on the verge of snapping.
“For repairs and whatever else, I’m here now.”
Vesper looked over at me with a confused look wrought across his face. Hoping that he might finally hear me out, I began explaining everything to him. About how I secretly started playing a game I found in my uncle’s room that might’ve been based off the story of The Epitaph of Twilight. How I appeared in that wheat field after logging in, and thought the story would progress if I approached the windmill, but didn’t expect to be able to talk to the game characters so freely. I tried to explain it in a way he could understand.
“So then, Sayaー you came here from a different world?”
“My real name is Lara Hoerwick. But… if my name is Saya in this game, then calling me Saya is fine.”
“I still don’t know what a ‘game’ is.”
“The game. I just explained that…”
Vesper went into deep thought about this. “Of course…”
While I waited for Vesper to call out for me, I examined myself. My hair was still strawberry blonde, and even fluffy but straightened in the same way. I still had the same hour long polish to my nails. My chest size was still pitiful, my arms and legs were still slender, everything about myself that I could see was exactly like the real me.
The only difference was the clothes. The pointed hat and one piece dress complete with a cloak, all in black, with some lavender accents.
I pinched my cheek. It hurt.
“Hey.” When I realized something was wrong, I spoke to Vesper about it. My voice trembled. “What kind of girl is Saya?”
“What do you mean by that?”
“…? Are the Saya you know, and the Saya right here the same?”
Vesper looked me over intently. “I don’t think there’s any difference.”
I took another look at my body. It certainly felt like it was mine, but upon closer inspection, these were the hands of a hard worker.
(Maybe I’m thinking about it too much…)
But it did hurt when I pinched myself. There was a sense of pain.
“…Hey.” Vesper looked up at me.
“Did you understand it all?”
“If this world was fabricated, then where are you from?”
(Where am I from?) “From the world where the people who made this world are.”
“Okay… but how?”
I mused over Vesper’s words. The answer should have been obvious, but it all seemed so hazy.
(How did I come here…?)
My temples started to hurt, so I rubbed them with one of my hands. And of course, because of the pain I couldn’t remember what I need to remember, which only lead to my heart beginning to throb from my impatience.
“Uhh, Well, I put on something like goggles… Picked up a controller… Then selected 'Log In' from the display…”
My voice was trembling. The more I tried to remember, the more it made my head hurt.
“Where are those things?”
I tilted my head at Vesper’s question.
I looked at where I should be holding the controller. Of course it wasn't in the game. I touched my face, but I didn’t have the goggles either.
(Where are they?!)
I shook my head, but there was no sign that the goggles at all. I reached out to touch the display that should be right in front of me, but there was nothing there.
“It’s gone! It’s not there!”
(How did this happen?)
I completely search my whole body, but all I could feel was the gentleness of cloth. I looked around flustered, it shouldn’t have fallen off. But, since I first logged into this game, I didn’t feel like I was holding a controller.
My vision blurred.
My back gave out, and I fell down on the ground.
“Where am I?”
They dry ground soaks up the single tear that rolled down my face.
“This… This is a game, isn’t it…?”
In my confusion, Vesper stared at me completely bewildered. He peeked at my face and sat down beside me to console me.
“…Can I help you sort everything out?”
I nod silently.
“You’ve come from another world that’s different from this one.”
I nod again.
“You came here with the help of some kind of tools, but you don’t have them anymore.”
“…They're all gone.”
“And without them, you can’t go back to your original world.”
“Maybe… Who knows? I certainly don’t.” I shook my head.
Even if I had the goggles and controller, could I have even chose to logout? Considering I hadn’t seen or felt either of them since coming to this world, I didn’t even know if they could be used, let alone found here.
“You have no memory of being Saya?”
“None, I’m Lara Hoerwick.”
“Can you cast any spells?”
“Saya’s really good at recovery magic. Can you use any?”
“I can’t do that at all, not even a little bit…”
Vesper hung down his head and sighed. “Then how about the voices? Can you hear them?”
“I can hear your voice.”
“No, not mine, the voices of the wheat.”
“Communicating with the plants and animals. It’s an ability Saya has.”
I listened closely, but I could only hear the sound of the wind. “…I can’t hear them.”
“You usually can’t hear them.” Vesper said with a bitter smile.
“Let’s go,” Vesper stood up, and walked towards the wheat field where I had come from.
“Wait up,” I stood back up with trembling legs, and chased after Vesper.
While standing beside Vesper, I watched as the wheat field spread out before me. I didn’t really know what was going on, but I suddenly didn’t feel like I was alone anymore, just like Vesper said.
I slowly closed my eyes.
(It’d be nice if this was just a dream…)
The wind ceased, and my ears were wrapped in a painful silence.
(If only I could hear a computer’s fan right now…) I took a deep breath. My hopes were quickly dashed as a faint sound brushed across my ears. The sound of someone asking for help.
I covered my ears.
All the wheat in front of me suddenly started to stir. My eyes opened up wide in surprise.
Vesper stood beside me staring at a single point in the wheat field with a serious expression on his face.
“Now, I can hear somethingー”
The wheat only continued to rustle even more. Even though there was no wind at all, all the wheat seemed to be gravitating towards the point that Vesper was staring at.
“Wh-what? Did it stop? …Wait a minute!” Before I could say anything else, Vesper was already running towards the wheat field.
I chased after Vesper, and thanks to the way the wheat parted, I was able to chase after him easily, without ever losing sight of him.
As I ran through the wheat field I noticed the strong smell of blood. I caught up to Vesper who had stopped a little further in and I tried to catch my breath.
“Vesper! What the heck is thisー”
In front of Vesper was a blood ridden stag, that had collapsed.
My legs froze up.
The wheat surrounding the stag was stained red with blood. The stag seemed to be covered in scratches, blood gushing out and soaking into the ground.
“Hey, is this stag… dead…?”
Vesper slowly approached the stag, and licked his cheek, but the stag doesn’t move even once.
Vesper turned my direction and beckoned me over. I timidly sat down beside Vesper. Or maybe rather than saying I sat down, it might have been more accurate to say that I wasn't able to stand up properly.
“Saya, heal him.”
“Now while it’s not too late.”
Vesper stepped into my cloak, and came back out holding a small staff in his mouth.
“Use this. To heal him, you just need to fill your mind with a prayer.”
“How am I supposed to pray? What am I supposed to pray to?”
Vesper nudged me with the staff in his mouth.
I timidly took the staff from Vesper as he glared at me.
“How am I supposed to use this?”
“How do you use it... that’s kind of hard to explain. Saya just healed by silently praying.”
“That’s…” I grip the staff and gazed between it and the collapsed stag. I really didn’t know what to do, I was at a loss.
I’m Lara Hoerwick, not the Little Witch Saya who lived in this world. I didn’t think I could manage to heal him no matter how much I prayed. I couldn’t select any in-game commands, and I couldn’t believe that you could cast a spell with your feelings.
(What even is this situation?)
I mulled over it and glanced over at Vesper, and took a deep sigh.
(I wanna go home…)
Holding back my tears, I stared at the motionless stag.
“…Heal from your heart, pray with the hope that he’ll be healed.”
“From my heart?”
“That’s right. Brush off any and all wicked thoughts.”
“Any and all…”
“Now let’s help the stag. You can take everything I told you before one step at a time.”
While I hesitantly gripped the staff, Vesper yelled at me.
“Saya! Are you going to do nothing while standing in front of this badly wounded stag?”
I shook my head. It wasn't that I wasn't praying.
“But… I really don’t know what I’m supposed to do.”
“I told you earlier didn’t I? It needs to be an innocent prayer.”
I slowly closed my eyes. I gripped the staff I received, praying that the wounds of the stag in front of me would heal.
I’d ignore my feelings of wanting to return to my own world for the moment.
If I could save this stag by praying for it to heal then… So, as Vesper suggested, I focused on praying from my heart.
(…May this stag’s wounds heal.)
The staff I was holding slightly tinged.
I open my eyes in surprise. The tip of the staff was emitting a warm light that got warmer and warmer.
This body seemed to remember how to heal. Slowly stroke the tip of the staff across the stag’s body. The stag started to move a little.
“…Uhm, are you okay?”
In response to my voice, the stag opened its eyes widely. Its deep sky blue eyes seemed to draw me in.
“Your wheat is… I deeply apologize.” The stag said gasping for breath, and collapsed back down on the ground. I caressed the stag’s cheek with my free hand.
“I’m more worried about you than the wheat.”
The wound slowly began to heal, but it didn’t stop the bleeding from the more fatal wounds. Was my spell unable to close those kinds of wounds because I still wasn't t used to it?
I put the staff at my feet, took off my cloak, and applied it to the wound. The cloak immediately became drenched in blood.
“Isn’t there a way to heal faster?”
Vesper just shook his head in response to my question as I resumed treating the wound.
“That’s not possible.”
“Is it because it’s me?”
“That’s not it. Saya may have immense magical power, but the wound is too deep.”
“But… If this keeps up…”
(Even if I close the wound, he still might not be saved…)
With all my might, I ripped the cloak, and blood started to drip down my leg.
The fervent memory flooded into my mind. That which I loved, the Epitaph of Twilight, should have been the origin of this world.
“Huh? Is this the shadowless six legged stag?”
“What are you on about now? Saya, you’ve met him before, haven’t you?” Vesper said with a sigh. “Hmm… Right now you’re not Saya. But then, how did you know?”
“Because it showed up in the story…”
“Erm… The Epitaph of Twilight?”
“Yeah, I think so.”
With a hazy head, I tried to remember what I knew, but it didn't seem like it would be easy to remember.
“If that’s the case, then I think they can be saved.”
Skeptical, Vesper wore a very confused expression on his face. “Is that also written in the story?”
“Probably. I can’t remember it very clearly…”
Believing in my vague memory, Vesper turned to the left to face the stag and said “Please save him. But… with a wound like this, you’ll have to sit and rest for a while. Even with Saya’s magical power, there’s no way it’ll completely heal immediately.”
Hearing these words, the stag vigorously lifted its head.
“There’s no time to rest. I must go at once.” The stag said as he stood up with his feet trembling, but looking up towards the sky.
“Go where? With wounds like that, you can’t go anywhere.” I got up in a panic. “Isn’t the wound still open?”
“Thank you. I will someday repay you, I promise.” The stag ran forward with its trembling legs, ascending upwards into the sky.
“Hey, wait a second…” My voice simply resounded in the sky.
As if the sky was absorbing the stag, its silhouette shrunk into the distance. My wand had still been emitting a faint light from my healing spell, but that light slowly faded as the stag disappeared into the sky.
“Vesper, what should we do?”
“We don’t do anything, we can’t stop him from leaving.”
“That's so cold!”
“Then, how about chasing him down?”
“…Can we do that?”
“Call to your broom. Saya’s thoughts should reach it from here.”
I tilted my head as I tried to process the idea. Vesper brought it up again, asking me, “You gonna call it?”.
“Do I pray the same way I did to heal earlier?”
I took a deep breath, and called out to the broom with all my heart.
(Please… come here.)
But no matter how long I waited, the broom never came.
“It’s not coming, huh…” Vesper muttered while looking at the windmill.
“On second thought, maybe I can’t call it after all.”
“Did you properly envision the broom?”
“Envision it…? If I don’t even know what kind of broom it is, how am I supposed to envision it?”
“Wha?” Vesper stiffened up, opening his large eyes even wider.
“Huh? Did I say something wrong?”
“Don’t cloud your mind while calling for the broom. You need to properly envision it!”
“Like I said, I don’t even know what kind of broom it is!”
“Geez, this is so annoying…”
“What’s it like? Tell me so I can imagine it.”
“The handle should be made of oak wood, and the tuft made of soft straw.”
“Uhm… So I should imagine the tuft as golden and bushy, is that right?”
“The hilt is dark brown.”
I imagine a fluffy and bushy broom, like what you’d see in anime or manga, opposed to a rough broom, like you’d see at home.
“Hurry and come here…”
I stared toward the windmill hut.
“It's coming!” The broom, just like I had imagined, came flying straight towards me. I grabbed the broom in front of me and quickly straddled it.
(It’s just like when I was healing… This body will remember how to do it, I’m sure of it.)
I gripped the handle of the broom tightly as I tucked my wand into my belt. Slowly the broom floated into the air, and my feet lifted off the ground. Strangely enough, the broom didn’t sway enough for me to feel like I was going to fall off, so as long as I kept a tight grip I figured I shouldn’t fall.
“I’m going too.” Vesper said, jumping onto my shoulder and causing the floating broom to stagger a little. I was hit with a strange feeling, like the time when I was little and straddled a tree branch. “That was close… Are you alright?”
“Probably… Here goes.”
As if it was reading my thoughts, the broom flew off chasing after the stag. It was so fast, it was like driving down the highway with the windows open. In the blink of an eye, the windmill disappeared from sight.
“I wonder if we’ll catch up…”
“That stag’s really quick on his feet, so… I wonder.”
We were flying over a really dense forest. Even when looking back, I could no longer see the wheatfield.
“This is a really large forest, huh.”
The forest below seems to stretch out forever. It’s a bit melancholic, with the sounds of strange bird calls echoing from somewhere.
“That’s strange.” Vesper muttered to himself.
“The stag should live on the west side of the forest, so… why’s it flying over here?”
“Is it because of that place he said he needed to go?”
Vesper mulled it over once again. “I wonder if there really was such a place…”
While we were talking we had already passed far beyond the forest, and off in the distance there was a rainbow-colored lake where I could see what looked like a small stag.
“There he is!”
The stag wasn’t even flying in a straight line. Even from a distance, you could tell he was at his limit. I took out my wand, pointed it at the stag, and attempted to heal him again. But as soon as I did that the broom’s height sharply dropped.
“Kyaa!” I quickly grabbed back on to the broom.
“Saya! What are you doing?!”
“I thought I could reach him from here.”
“There’s no way. Not only is he still too far, but… If you don’t concentrate on flying, we’ll fall!”
I devoted myself to catching up to the stag.
As we approached the lake, the fog grew so thick that I needed to strain my eyes to see.
The rainbow colored lake in front of me was larger than any lake I’ve ever known. It could’ve easily been mistaken for the ocean. A stone bridge was built from the shore, appearing to lead up to a building that looks like an old castle resting in the center of the lake.
The stag faded from view into the building.
“Does anyone live here?”
“No way… Nobody lives in that cathedral.”
“The Hulle Granz Cathedral. Well, despite being a cathedral, it doesn’t worship anything.”
“Why would he go to a place like this?”
“Who knows. So, what should we do?”
The broom begins slowing down.
After mulling it over, I decided to wait for the stag to come out by the lake because I felt this imposing atmosphere telling me to stay away. However, the building was so far away that if anything was happening inside it’d be hard to tell.
The broom slowly descended towards the shore of the lake. As soon as Vesper had landed on the ground, he began to groom himself. I didn’t feel it while riding the broom, but a fairly strong wind seems to have kicked up, messing up both Vesper’s and my hair.
While patting down my hair, I sat down on the mist dewed grass.
(What could he possibly be doing…)
I let out a deep sigh.
“So then Saya, what’re you gonna do now?” Vesper asked as he finished his grooming.
“I decided to wait for him, didn’t I?”
“That’s not what I meant. Sayaー or wait, it’s probably weird that I still call you that. I mean what are you personally going to do?”
“I want to go home, but…”
“I have no idea how to get home.”
“Are you looking for those goggles you were wearing when you came here?”
“I don’t think I can even look for them. I haven’t felt anything like that ever since I came here.”
I felt like crying. I just wanted to experience what a game based on the Epitaph of Twilight would be like…
(It’s like Alice in Wonderland.)
The girl Alice who had entered the world of books. By chasing rabbits, she was able to free herself from that world, all because Alice deeply believed that it was all a dream taking place during her nap.
I could easily remember things like this, but for some reason, trying to remember anything about the Epitaph of Twilight made my head hurt.
It felt so weird. Like someone put a lock on my memories.
“I wonder if you’ve been switched.”
“You and Saya.”
I felt utterly hopeless.
If Saya and I had been switched, that would mean that I would have to live in this world forever.
“That’s a huge problem!”
“It’s a problem for me too. I’d have to educate you from scratch again.”
I once again let out a deep sigh.
(I wonder if Papa and my uncle are already back…)
They should notice something.
If Saya was in the other world, then Papa and Uncle should have noticed something was strange. Papa aside, If my uncle noticed something was wrong then… maybe he could do something about it.
I had a little bit of hope.
I felt like I should explain this to Vesper. Vesper did manage to understand when I explained to him back at the wheatfield, even though it was very confusing for him.
“In any case, till then, You'll just have to do your best here.”
“Do my best?”
“Those who don’t work, don’t eat. First we should go back and repair the blades.”
“…After confirming that the stag is safe, you mean.”
Vesper glanced at the cathedral, which seemed to dim from view. “Even so, I wonder what he’s even doing over there… I’ve never heard of anything ever happening inside the cathedral.”
“But, I have this feeling that there might be someone other than the stag over there.”
“Don’t ask me. I just have that sort of feeling somehow.”
“He could’ve collapsed…”
Vesper’s ominous words reminded me of the bloodied stag, and I rushed to my feet with my broom.
“Hold up.” Vesper held me back. “You decided to wait over here, because you felt an imposing atmosphere telling you to keep away, right?”
“Well, yeah but…” I gazed at the cathedral, obscured in the dense fog. “I started to worry after what you said, Vesper. Hmm…”
The moment I thought about it, a voice suddenly called out to me from behind. “Hey, you over there. You won’t be entering the cathedral.”
I looked back in a panic, but I didn’t see anyone else. “Who was that? Was that you Vesper?”
Vesper shook his head. “It wasn't me.”
“But, there was just a voice and…”
It might’ve been the hand of the person speaking to us, but all I could see was a hand floating in front of me, reaching as if it was picking something up from the sky.
“Eek…” My breath was completely lost.
The hands had long fingernails, and looked a lot like human hands. They were even the same size. What the hands appeared to be holding was a black hat.
The figure of the person in front of me melded into view. His slanted eyes were glaring into me.
“Are you the Little Witch Saya?”
“Yes, that’s right… and you are?”
The man, in a jet black coat with a pointed collar, stared at me suspiciously with his disdainful eyes. You could tell from the tone of his voice that he was much older than me. Though, because of his collar, his bangs covering his eyes, and him towering over me, I couldn’t get a read on his expression.
“Are you a spirit?”
“Was the stag’s story true?” The man continued as if he hadn’t heard my words at all. “Because you have a shadow, I guess I have no choice but to believe it… I can’t tell you the details, but please stay here a little longer.”
I scowled at his words, not even giving me a chance to reply with even a yes or no.
(It’s the first time we’ve even met, how rude can you be?)
I really hated being told what to do, especially when it was from someone I didn’t even know. I don’t think anyone would be pleased with something like that.
The man in the black coat didn’t even listen to my reply. He just turned away, and without even using anything to fly with, he began floating off the ground before flying off towards the cathedral.
“What the… How is he doing that?!” Vesper’s eyes widened in surprise as he watched him fly away. “It’s Bith the Black. What’s he even doing here?”
“Bith the Black? Who’s that?”
“He’s the confidant to the Queen of Darkness.” Realizing that it was obvious that I wouldn’t know, Vesper let out a deep sigh.
“Vesper. Let’s go home.” I had a feeling like I wasn’t supposed to be here, so I decided to return to the windmill with Vesper.
“But what about the stag?” Vesper asked me as I was heading back home on the broom.
“I mean he’s being protected by that guy, isn’t he?”
“But stags are an animal of light.”
I immediately stopped flying. I suddenly remembered a passage of the Epitaph of Twilight.
Although the light and darkness were in a lull, small conflicts between the two were ever present. One of the favorite foods of those of the darkness was the lifeblood of those belonging to the light.
I remembered scowling at that line, because it was a little too gruesome.
“What’s wrong?” As I floated in front of the dense forest that I later learned was called the Dividing Forest, Vesper called out to me.
“Why didn’t you say so sooner?!”
“Stags are careful creatures. They wouldn’t make contact with those of the dark for no reason… That’s why I didn’t say anything.”
“Is he gonna be okay?”
“He won’t eat it. Unlike the lower ranking mythical beasts, Bith is a high ranking spirit.”
“That’s not the issue…”
“Then, are we headed back to the lake?”
(What should I do…)
While I was worried about the stag, I felt like if I went back, I’d be dragged into an even bigger mess. Like I was going to lose something important.
While mulling over what to do, Vesper nudged me. “Saya, something’s coming.”
“…?” Before I could even react to Vesper’s warning, they came. I frantically flew upwards to avoid them. “What even was that…”
Looking down below us, I saw a flock of countless pitch black birds flying and screeching. I was filled with unease. That couldn't be good, I had a bad feeling about this.
With all the birds shrieking wildly, they swarmed flying off right past us from the direction of the wheatfield towards the rainbow lake. Vesper and I were stunned as we watched this unfold.
“Did something happen?”
“Can we go back to check?”
“Yeah. Let’s head back to the wheatfield.”
I didn’t want to head back in the direction of the rainbow lake, toward the place that filled me with a sense of dread. Until my uncle finds out what happened and can do something about it, I have to try and stay safe in this world.
I hurried back to the wheatfield. Inspired by Vesper, I tried to talk to the wheat, because the wheat might have some idea about what’s going on.
(Tell me if you know anything…)
I tried talking to the wheat through prayer. The wheat's response made no sense, it was a discord of random sounds that made me want to plug my ears. Was it just that I wasn't hearing them right? Were they really saying meaningless words? I was unsure. Vesper was staring at me anxiously, unable to hear the wheat.
“There’s trouble, isn’t there?”
“Don’t apologize, but I have a bad feeling about all this. Those birds are the servants of the forest. I can’t imagine them just suddenly moving like that…”
“What could’ve possibly happened?”
“Don’t ask me. I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but I have no idea.”
“You have no idea?”
“Why, even despite this lull, would the spirits of light and darkness come into contact.” Saying that, Vesper once again got lost in thought. I held my throbbing head, trying once more to remember the Epitaph of Twilight. If I could remember, there might be a hint about how to overcome this situation. But my head was far too clouded to make anything out.
“The light and darkness are very hostile towards each other, aren’t they?”
“That’s right, why do you ask?”
“Even though they’re both spirits? Why?”
Vesper let out a deep sigh. “Alright, I’ll explain.”
Those of Light and Darkness shared a long history. Long before man was born, from a strong wind overseen by the twilight on the 10th month, the land and the skies birthed two spirits: Light and Dark. Right from birth, light and dark have fought continually for sole control of the regions. Why did they fight? It could be attributed to fate… It was then that man was born amidst the conflict, but coexistence was impossible, as humans created shadow. Clearly different from that of the spirits. Humans began to persecute the spirits simply because they had no shadow. It once seemed that the struggle between the three would last forever... but the spirits’ defeat was inevitable. The reason being that spirits are seldom born, however, humans could reliably increase their numbers. So the spirits created a world for themselves far away from the humans, and since then, the conflict between light and darkness had lulled.
“I’m getting confused…”
“Right? It’s a total mystery why the stag was in contact with Bith the Black.”
Standing helplessly in front of the wheat, I began to hear footsteps behind me and Vesper.
(What is it this time?!)
When I turned around, there stood the man in the black coat who had called out to me at the lake, but he was accompanied by a gentle looking man in a pure white robe. He was a little bit taller than the man in the black coat, but he didn’t give off the same aura of arrogance.
“I told you to stay put.” The man in the black coat glared at me with a look of disgust. “You’ve wasted so much of my time.”
“You don’t have to be so rude!” I yelled back without really thinking.
Beside him, the man in the white robe had a confused expression across his face. “I’m sorry, but I don’t have any time right now. I need to leave immediately…”
“Wait!” Vesper immediately interjected.
“Why are Bith the Black and Fili the White together?”
“So you should be Vesper the Black Cat. The legend has become a reality. You know the legend, don’t you?”
After hearing the word ‘legend’, Vesper fell silent.
(A legend? It’s become reality…?)
Suddenly, the fog in my head clears. I have a flashback to when I first read the Epitaph of Twilight on my uncle’s computer in his room.
“Could that legend be… When the cursed wave doth rise, three shadow-bearing beings will depart in search of the Twilight Dragon that will save the world of the spirits?”
“You know of it?”
Vesper says in surprise.
I can remember it so clearly now. Was it because it was a phrase I read many times in the real world?
(I wonder what’ll happen…)
I tried to remember what happened after that, but I couldn’t remember what it was about at all. It’s as if my head immediately became cloudy again.
However, my bad feeling was completely right.
“If you already know about it, that makes things easier. Let’s head out now.”
“By head out, you mean… to search for the Twilight Dragon? With me?”
“You have a shadow, don’t you?”
When Bith said that, I cast my head down towards my feet.
There was a shadow.
I shifted my gaze over towards the feet of Bith and Fili but… Neither of them had a shadow.
Bith raised an eyebrow as he traced my gaze, and glanced back over at me.
“So you do. Let’s go.”
“Wait a second!”
I stopped Bith and Fili who were about to fly away.
“Do I really need to go?”
“The waves are approaching. It’ll be dangerous if we don’t hurry.”
(On a dangerous journey like this, if something were to happen…)
I feel like I’d never be able to return to my world.
It was at that moment… the wheatfield screamed.
It was telling me that something was approaching. Not with words, but with sounds.
Fili’s face grew pale and stiffened up like his blood had run cold.
“It’s already here…”
Bith said with a click of his tongue, as he took a wand out of his pocket.
The reaction of these two was radically different, but they were both looking in the same direction. I looked up, following the gazes of the two.
It was at the border of the southeast part of the wheatfield. It was shrouded in thick clouds obscuring what I could see, but what I did see looked like a semi-transparent fluffy mass of fat that stretched across the horizon, engulfing everything that it touched.
It looked like it was moving slowly, but that was only because of its shape. It was actually very fast. The wheatfield was already being gradually eroded.
“It’s the wave…”
“That’s the Cursed Wave?”
I imagined it would’ve been something like a tsunami. Seeing what it was actually like left me stunned.
Seeing the wave itself, I can see why they would want to rely on legends.
Like this wave gives me a bad feeling, like nothing could be done against it. Even if it was something like a missile from my world.
A horde of mice cut through the wheatfield to flee from the wave. I tripped over a field mouse and fell down.
Vesper, completely engulfed in fear, shouted at me to escape.
I shook my head, but my words wouldn’t come out.
“What are you doing?! Don’t you need to go back to the world you came from?”
(That’s right… I need to go back home no matter what…)
I slapped my trembling legs.
I have no idea what kind of journey Bith and Fili were trying to drag me on, but one thing’s for certain: I need to get out of here.
Vesper hurries over to me.
“Saya… Let’s forget about the wheatfield and go with them.”
“It’s not safe here anymore.”
“Is that okay with you Vesper?”
“Are you saying that you want to stay?”
“I meant that you’ll be stuck together with me.”
“I’m Saya’s partner.”
I slowly stand back up.
I gazed at the approaching waves off in the distance.
(I can’t die yet, over something like this…)
“Have you made up your mind on if you’re going?”
I nodded at Bith’s words.
“There’s no use in trying to stay here… I’m going.”
I straddled my broom.
“Please wait a minute.”
Fili hands me a black cloth.
“It’s a replacement for the cloak you tore to treat the stag’s wounds.”
When I received it, I silently put on the new cloak. It had sky blue lining, the same sky blue as the stag’s eyes.
Both Fili and Bith fly into the air without needing to use anything to help them fly. Vesper jumped onto my shoulder, and I followed them on my broom.
Episode 2: Imbroglio
Standing tall in the darkness are four spires that seemed to pierce the sky. In the center of them stood the seamless stalactite building known as Helba’s Palace, the land that the spirits of the country of darkness call home. All of the spires were the same height, save for the outer wall of the palace, which seemed to faintly glow off in the distance. It looked like a large hand reaching out from the depths of the earth to drag you down into hell.
Helba looked down across the land from atop the top floor of the palace. It was as if she saw this land of darkness as nothing short of radiant with how she looked at it so lovingly.
“The Twilight Dragon… Huh?”
She recalled the legend.
The legend that has been handed down across this world since ancient times. Regardless of whether you were a spirit of the land of darkness, a spirit from the land of light, or even man who have since parted with spirits, all know of this legend.
“When the cursed wave doth rise, three shadow-bearing beings will depart in search of the Twilight Dragon that will save the world of the spirits.”
However, although man has shadow, they have no power to resist the oncoming wave. Spirits alternatively, have power, but no shadow.
As is written, the spirits hate not only man for having shadow, but all who possess shadow. It didn’t matter if they were even spirits of the same land. In turn, spirits with shadows either lived in hiding or took on the form of man. It’s inconceivable that such spirits would voluntarily stand up to save the world of the spirits that persecuted them, so Bith was sent in their stead. It wasn’t written in the legend, but naught else could be done.
As Helba slowly pushed open the window with her index finger, a cool breeze enveloped the room.
“So you’ve returned.”
She didn’t miss a single black shadow that entered the room along with the breeze. Behind Helba, dozens of bats are perched across the ceiling. Each of these bats are Helba’s familiars.
“Good work, all of you.” Helba said without looking back, and snapped her fingers. At that moment, all of the bats vanished into a mist.
Helba leaned against the window frame as silence envelops the room.
A gentle breeze blows in through the window, stirring Helba’s silky hair.
The pleasant silence was broken by a knock on the door.
When Helba turned around, the door opened as if on its own. In front of the door stood a hunchbacked ugly old woman.
The old woman’s name was Boa. Like Bith, she is also an adviser to Helba. This woman’s true form is that of a giant snake, however, due to Bith’s absence, she has changed her form to that of an old woman and came to the palace to protect Helba. Boa sat down on the soft sofa in the middle of the room.
“How did it go?”
“The bats don’t talk. We’ll see the results firsthand soon.”
“The thing is, I don’t think the people of this land would believe it, regardless of if it’s a message from you directly.”
“That legend… If you live in this world, then you know of it, even if you don’t like it. The rumors of the wave will spread. We cannot contend with it by sheer numbers, we have no choice but to move.”
“Have they already left? I’m worried if it’s just them.”
Helba smiled at Boa’s question.
“We can go over the plan as many times as you need.”
Boa nodded and slowly closed her eyes.
“Shadow bearers, huh… There was one just outside of the forest, come to think of it.”
As Boa said that in the middle of her thought, Helba let out a deep sigh.
“You mean Lilith?”
“Is that what the night spirit was called?”
“That’s not happening.”
“Is it still no good, even with Bith?”
Helba closed her window and turned back to face Boa.
“It’s not happening because we sent Bith.”
“Aren’t they both from the land of darkness?”
Helba silently affirms Boa’s question. From the cupboard near the sofa, Helba took out two glasses, and a bottle filled with crimson red liquid.
She handed one of the glasses to Boa, and poured the liquid from the bottle. The stench of blood filled the room.
Boa drank it all in a single gulp, and looked at Helba standing beside her.
“It tastes like stag… This is good.”
Helba smiled at Boa, and took a sip from the other glass.
“Lilith believes that Bith betrayed her.”
Hearing that, Boa muttered under her breath as if she was remembering something.
“Lilith started casting a shadow due to the pranks of her comrades. Those who have shadows are persecuted without exception, and yet in spite of that, Bith begged me to help Lilith.”
“At the time, I thought it was unlike him to act like that.”
“Lilith shows a lot of potential in her powers. I wanted to do something about it as well.”
“There was someone who sewed up the shadow he cast… Was that not possible?”
“He died fighting humans. It takes a lot of time to be reborn.”
“He was also persecuted. Before dying with that ability, he was forced to leave.”
“Bith is such a little boy. Neither him, nor that night spirit understood each other’s feelings… It caused the queen a lot of trouble as well.”
Helba gets a wide smile across her mouth.
“It wasn’t that much trouble. It feels good to be on top,” Helba said, stroking her glass as it shattered into pieces.
From Helba’s Palace, we turn to our group riding the wind towards the recently discussed Lilith.
Lilith lived just outside of a dense forest called the Dividing Forest. Hundreds of years ago, she was banished from the land of darkness. A country where she had been set on fire by trusted friends, where those same people had betrayed and exiled her, causing her to cast a shadow herself. There wasn’t a day that she didn’t hate herself. She lived on every day in resentment.
With no way of knowing anything of how Lilith feels, the group knocked on Lilith’s door.
“Who is it…?”
Lilith cautiously opened the door, and her face turned sour the moment it had. Not only did they come with her betrayer whom she hated, but they also came with someone from the land of light, whom she also hated.
Bith remained completely silent, forcing Fili to reluctantly ask about the situation. They didn’t come to apologize for what had happened, but instead, they wanted Lilith to accompany them to save this detestable world.
Lilith’s answer was already decided before they asked.
It doesn’t matter what happens to this world.
If it’s destined to disappear, then there’s no point in trying to fight it.
If you try to change what has already been decided, then you’re simply distorting it.
Lilith stubbornly refused, but Fili kept persisting. He wanted to gather allies as quickly as possible, and with the waves steadily approaching, he couldn’t afford to lose any of the precious few shadow bearers in a place like this.
Lilith was no stranger to the legends, and had even heard rumors of the Cursed Wave’s appearance, but Lilith’s answer still refused to change.
Lilith told Fili what Bith had done to her.
—She once belonged to the land of darkness as a night spirit. However, one night she was accidentally set on fire, in spite of how careful she was. She later learned that it was a prank by her friends, but even that was but an afterthought, as she now casted a shadow, that which cannot be recovered. Just like how spirits like Bith were persecuted for not having a shadow, the spirits of the land of darkness persecuted their own who had shadows. At the time, Bith was one of her close friends, and would even console her when she was depressed. Bith said he would take care of it— but Lilith was in fact captured by the Queen of Dark and banished from the land of darkness. In the land of darkness, she could only believe in Bith. He was always by her side, even when she had a shadow. If Bith hadn’t told Helba, then she wouldn’t have been banished, and would’ve been able to remain as a spirit of the land of darkness.
Lilith shook her head as if to shake off her bitter past.
“Bith had betrayed me.”
After hearing Lilith’s confession, Fili couldn’t say anything. He loathed someone like Bith who would sell out his comrades to establish themselves.
“Could you work together with the guy who betrayed you?”
Fili didn’t answer. He couldn’t possibly understand all of Lilith’s feelings, but he thought he understood more than enough.
“If you understand, then leave.”
Lilith said, closing the door without waiting for Fili’s reply.
Bith and Saya waited by the pond next to Lilith’s house while Fili negotiated. Saya could feel something had happened between Bith and Lilith in the past due to the gloomy atmosphere and how little Bith was talking.
Fili returned to the group, and silently shook his head. Negotiations had completely broken down.
The only other shadow bearer they could think of was Lilith. They needed to decide what to do before attempting to move forward. Shadow bearers aren’t the kinds of people they could find by moving around blindly, plus, they were running out of time.
They didn’t have enough information.
Lilith was watching them through the window.
“Is this also fate…?”
Lilith’s ability was highly ranked in the land of darkness. So much so, that she found it impossible to be able to cast a shadow, even with the carefully constructed pranks of her friends.
“Only three shadow bearers can find the Twilight Dragon.”
Long ago, when she was just born, someone told her this. Words she had forgotten until these three came to visit.
Perhaps it was actually inevitable that she’d come to cast a shadow.
Has she begun to cast a shadow in order to save this world?
She didn’t want to think that she was forced to suffer for hundreds of years because of that fate.
Lilith remembers the argument that started this with Bith.
The spirits around her became aware that she had begun to cast a shadow, but she lives in darkness, so nobody should’ve been able to tell by just meeting her.
Lilith who had fallen to casting a shadow became even more desperate knowing that others knew. Meanwhile, Bith was the only person kind to her.
“I’ll do something about it.”
“What could you possibly do? There’s no recovering from casting a shadow.”
“Even if I can’t go back, I’ll talk to the Queen so that you can stay here.”
“…Can you believe in me?”
Bith says to Lilith, giving her a big nod. Knowing that Bith would stay true to his word, Lilith decided to believe in him. With a glimmer of hope in her heart, Lilith waited to hear from the Queen.
However, all that Lilith was met with was a sudden banishment. In addition, the one who dragged Lilith out of the land of darkness was none other than Bith, the only person who Lilith trusted.
“Why?! You said that I could trust you and that you’ll do something!”
“If you just kept quiet, then I could’ve stayed here!”
No matter how much Lilith shouted, Bith did not reply.
After a while, Lilith heard rumors that Bith had become a close advisor to the Queen. It was also said that he became a close advisor because he would openly relay all information to the Queen.
“He sold me out…”
Since then, Lilith has never trusted anyone. She spent the rest of her days resenting those mischievous spirits and Bith.
“Even if this is fate, I won’t forgive him…”
But Lilith begins to hesitate.
She wondered what she should do from now on.
As if seeing through Lilith’s feelings, Bith stared back at Lilith through the window.
But no matter how much Bith might stare back, Lilith would never join them. They had to hurry off in search of the Twilight Dragon.
The moment they started to leave, Saya was unconvinced, and began to speak to Lilith through the door.
“The past is the past. You should understand that better than anyone.”
Yet in spite of Saya's words, Lilith still wouldn’t join them. However, the words did seem to resonate with her heart.
Lilith gave Saya information about another shadow bearer.
“There are shadow bearers in the village just up ahead.”
They thanked Lilith and headed for the village.
After walking through the Dividing Forest for a while, the group found the village that Lilith spoke of. As soon as they had spotted a person, Saya ran off towards them with Vesper in spite of Fili’s attempts to stop her.
The reason why Fili tried to stop Saya was because the people of the village were humans.
Left behind, Bith and Fili decide to watch over Saya from afar. A black figure approached behind them, with Bith being the first to notice. The moment they had turned around to see who it was, their bodies began to float midair. “There’s spirit in a place like this?”
They approached the mysterious figure from behind, but what gave Bith pause, was that this figure appeared to be two meters tall.
What Bith and Fili didn’t know was that this tall man was to be their second shadow bearer.
I frantically chased after Bith and Fili with my broom after their sudden appearance. The place where I first appeared in this world, the wheatfield was long gone. Even if there was something there that could’ve brought me back home, I wouldn’t be able to find it now.
To be honest, I’m not even sure exactly what happened.
I was just planning on playing a little bit of the game that my uncle had made, and rush back to the living room before he noticed. It never occurred to me that I would never be able to return to the real world. I desperately wanted this to be a dream.
But the wound I got when I tripped over that field mouse was real. I can feel the throbbing pain from it even now.
This completely unexpected situation left me nothing short of stunned.
(I wanna go home… But what am I supposed to do?)
My vision slowly blurred.
(Do I have to live in this world until my uncle figures out that something is wrong…?)
That’s what I thought. But seeing that wave filled me with endless anxiety. Even if I do manage to find the Twilight Dragon safely, will I be able to stop the wave? More importantly, can I even manage to find the Twilight Dragon in a world I know next to nothing about?
(But… Would he really notice something’s wrong?)
The more I thought about it, the more depressed I became.
(Maybe I’ll never be able to return to the world I came from.)
My anxiety kicks in.
What will happen to the world I left behind? I don’t know. Originally, I thought that my consciousness might’ve been switched with Saya’s, but if it wasn’t… then did Saya just disappear? And if she did, then what am I supposed to do?
(I want to see Papa and Mama again…)
I could feel the corners of my eyes heat up as tears began to well up in them.
Possibly noticing this, Vesper called out to me.
“You look pale. Are you okay?”
“I’m fine… I think.”
“You’d best not push yourself too hard. I don’t know what’ll happen next.”
There’s no time to worry. I cannot disappear with this world.
There’s no going back at this point, so I guess I'll just have to make up my mind… but somewhere in my heart, I still couldn’t believe this ridiculous situation.
“Please hurry along.”
One of the people flying in front of me, Fili the White, suddenly turned around and urged me to hurry up.
“We need to escape from the waves…”
Fili mutters looking far behind me. I quickly turned around. I saw no wheatfields, nor that disgusting thing called the Cursed Wave.
“Aren’t we already far enough away?”
Bith the Black said with a sigh.
“…You worry too much.”
“Isn’t it better that we keep it in mind?”
“We still have a long way to go. It wouldn’t be wise to waste all of our energy here,” Bith the Black said as he gradually began flying slower.
I had been so desperate to fly, that I was very grateful for this reprieve. Now that we had a little time to spare, I tried talking to them, “So, what about you two?”
Bith the Black looked back toward me with an annoyed look. It startled me for a bit, but if we were going to be traveling together for the foreseeable future, I wanted to know more about them.
“Introduce yourselves. You both seemed to know who I am, but I don’t know anything about either of you.”
“Nothing at all?” Fili the White said in a surprised tone.
“Is it strange that I don’t know them?” I said, thinking I was whispering to Vesper, but they both seemed to hear me.
“…I would’ve figured that the knowledgeable Little Witch would have certainly heard of us.”
(The knowledgeable Little Witch, huh…?)
From then on, I really felt like crying. Wondering if I could really survive in this world.
“You’re too selfish,” Bith the Black muttered.
After hearing that, Fili the White scowled. These two didn’t seem to get along very well.
“Everyone calls me Bith the Black… But from here on out, I’ll be accompanying you. Just Bith is fine.”
“I’m Fili. I will act as your guide until you find the Twilight Dragon.”
“Bith is the aid to the Queen of Dark, and Fili is aid to the King of Light. Rumor has it that they’re both rather high ranking Wavemasters,” Vesper quietly explained to me.
“Wavemasters, huh…? Well then, I’m the hero who will save the world.”
“Hero?” Vesper tilts his head inquisitively to my murmur.
“Don’t worry about it. Just talking to myself.”
But the legend says that the three shadow bearers will find the Twilight Dragon. Considering that I’m the only shadow bearer we currently have, we simply don’t have enough shadow bearers. We’re missing two people.
Are we going to have more people join us from here onwards? I don’t think we’d just be flying blindly in order to escape the wave.
“Where are we headed now?”
Bith looked over at Fili. It seemed as though he didn’t want to explain.
“We plan to go to a spirit with a shadow. You know the legend, don’t you?”
“When the cursed wave doth rise, three shadow-bearing beings will depart in search of the Twilight Dragon that will save the world of the spirits, right?”
“That’s right. So spirits will go together with you, and…” Fili began to stammer halfway through his sentence.
“Is there someone else that you have in mind?”
“I’m afraid not… But it would seem that the country is gathering information for us.”
“I belong to the Country of Light. As soon as I learn anything, I’ll let you know, don’t worry,” Fili said with a slightly wry, awkward smile.
“What if… What if they can’t find anyone?”
“At this time, we have no choice but to search for the Twilight Dragon with the people we have right now.” Bith answers immediately, without any pause.
(Can we even find it if our group deviates this much from the legend?)
“We don’t have the time to spare… So it just can’t be helped.” Fili fell silent and lowered his face.
“Uhm, but don’t you have at least that much time?”
Bith scowled at me. His face told me “Didn’t she see the wave earlier?”.
“The Waves - You never know when or where they’ll come from. The next one may very well appear right in front of us.”
“Then you should just run away…”
“Well yes, we could run away, but if we just kept running away, then this world would disappear.”
(Is that so…)
Vesper’s mouth opens in shock.
“Then, do you have any idea where the Twilight Dragon is?”
“So that's how it is,” Vesper said, interrupting me to try to stop my ignorant question.
“If anyone has an idea of where it is, we’ll head there with the people we have now, because as we said, we don’t have the time. Trying to find someone else with a shadow is hard enough as is.”
“Is that so…” Vesper shifted his gaze from me over towards Fili. “Wasn’t the location of the Twilight Dragon mentioned in ancient lore? If I recall correctly, it resides in the Land of Light, right?”
“We’re currently in the middle of deciphering it.”
“Then, might you know why we need three shadow bearers?”
“You see, about that… I wish I knew myself.”
I couldn’t get a word in between Fili and Vesper’s conversation, so I just listened silently.
I really appreciated Vesper. Vesper who seemed to know everything, and even knew and understood my situation, I genuinely appreciated having him here. It would be impossible for me to try to live alone in this world.
I was overwhelmed by an indescribable amount of anxiety.
“Hey… again, this a purely hypothetical story, but, what if I’m the only one who has a shadow left in this world?”
“There are countless shadow bearers in the world if we’re including humans.”
“If those people don’t join us, are we just going to continue searching for the Twilight Dragon?”
“We don’t have any other choice.” Bith said, ending the conversation with his sullen remarks.
“Over here, huh?” Bith stops in the air, looking down.
“According to the information, this should be the house.”
Below us you can see the dense forest that I crossed when chasing the stag. Beside the forest was a small pond beside a log cabin overgrown with ivy. Based on their conversation, it seems as though the second shadow bearer lives there.
Vesper looked down towards Bith and Fili as they descended towards the cabin. “Saya, can you handle descending?”
“I think I can manage that. More importantly… Are those two on bad terms with each other?”
“Bith the Black is an aide to the Queen of Dark. Fili the White is an aide to the King of Light. I’ve said this before, didn’t I? Even though they’re in a lull, it’s only natural that they’re not on good terms with each other, being from hostile nations to each other.”
“But the fact that they’re working together shows just how dire the circumstances really are…”
The two of them were waiting for me to come down in front of the log cabin.
“Cmon, let's go.” Vesper said as I tried to lower the altitude. Immediately the broom came plummeting down with great force.
The broom flipped over and started plummeting to the ground. I desperately grabbed the broom, but my fear caused it to slip out of my hands as the broom continued to accelerate.
“You’re kidding me-” Vesper screamed as I tightly shut my eyes.
(Am I going to die like this?!)
Fortunately, Vesper and I fell onto a pile of straw that was lying out in front of the log cabin.
(What the hell…)
While almost crying, I crawled out absolutely covered in straw. At least thanks to the straw, there was miraculously no pain.
“Saya, you idiot! I thought you said that you could manage it!”
“Without that straw, we both would’ve been flattened. Seriously…”
When I had chased the stag, I was able to descend so naturally, but it seems to have been naive to think that it’d be the same this time. Apparently, my body didn’t remember how to do it perfectly after all.
Bith and Fili watched my exchange with Vesper completely flabbergasted.
“Uhm… are you two alright?” Fili asked worriedly, so I smiled and replied, “I’m fine.”
“Then let’s go.” Bith said displeased with his arms crossed, and walked towards the door. I hurried up and followed him.
“You’ll be the one in charge of trying to persuade them.” Bith said to Fili while standing in front of the door.
“I understand. If you tried to negotiate, you might scare them off and they wouldn't join us.” Fili said, looking back towards Bith as if remembering something.
“But… I’m fairly certain that the spirit who lives here is definitely from the Land of Darkness.”
“…I don’t know them. I’m sure they’re just a stray or something.”
“For the time being, I think I have a general idea of where the stray dark spirits reside.”
“Well, leaving it at that is fine…” Fili said as he took a deep breath and knocked on the door.
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“They weren’t exiled due to having a shadow, were they?“ Vesper whispered to me. “More importantly, be careful! There won’t always be straw to save you.”
“Sorry, sorry. I’ll be careful.”
Fili knocked on the door numerous times, but there was no sign of anybody answering.
“Are they not home?” Fili said as he tilted his head. Bith stood silently behind Fili with his arms crossed disapprovingly.
Is someone there-?”
The moment that Fili tried to knock on the door again, the door made a loud bang and slowly opened. Through the crack in the door, bright red eyes were glaring out. You could see long eyelashes curl around the edge of the eyes.
Bith’s eyes widened in surprise upon seeing those eyes, his face completely encapsulated disbelief.
“What is it?” Fili said, peering into the creaked door, only to catch the gaze of the red eyes.
“What?” A stern, intimidating voice called out to us, in stark contrast to how timid and frightened the voice was before.
“I believe you’ve heard the rumors, but the cursed wave has begun to invade-”
“So what? That has nothing to do with me.”
“I want you to leave here with us right now. Otherwise, you might be in danger.”
“Why would I go together with you? If I run away, I’ll run away by myself.”
“Because you are one of the legendary shadow bearers.” Fili answered her firmly without any pause after her question. She stared at Fili through the creak in the door, and she laughed at Fili mockingly.
“Are you trying to force me to go? You’re being so overbearingly pushy about it.”
“We don’t have any time. Please, I beg of you!” Fili said bowing deeply.
Seeing Fili bow so deeply took me by surprise, and I quickly lowered my head as well. Bith, however, remained perfectly still. While Bith usually looked very unfriendly and cold, he looked like he was far more sad than anything else.
“Alright then, who else?”
I heard the door open and looked back up.
Her skin was so pale that when it reflected the sunlight, it looked nearly pure white. She had short silver hair swaying in the forest breeze that perfectly matched her petit face. She was wearing a short indigo once piece dress, and had such smooth long slender legs.
I couldn’t help but admire her.
(She’s like the definition of beauty…)
The moment she saw Bith standing next to me, her eyes opened in shock just like Bith’s did earlier.
Fili and I tossed our glances between her and Bith. But upon seeing Bith’s guilty face, we both came to the same realization.
(What happened between these two…?)
“Why… Why are you here…?” She put her hands over mouth and looked like she was about to cry. Bith scowled, and turned away from her and began to walk away, as if trying to escape from this situation.
“W-wait a second!” I panicked and chased after Bith.
I don’t know what happened between them, but it’s strange to suddenly leave like that. Especially considering he’s the one who’s been stressing how we don’t have any time to spare. We have no choice but to bow down our heads and have her become our friend…
Bith was sitting down at the edge of a pond just a little ways away from the house.
I sat down beside Bith and timidly asked him about it. It was really bothering me, so I couldn’t help wanting to try asking about it. I was trying to be cautious about how I’d try to approach it, but I still wanted to try asking so I wasn’t just left feeling bad.
“So what exactly… happened between you two?”
Bith raised his head and immediately glared at me. I flinched for a moment, getting the feeling like I shouldn’t ask any more, but try to ask again anyway in spite of that.
“The look that girl had… it worried me a little bit. I was wondering if you two knew each other at all.”
If I was rejected here, I was going to stop asking about it. I’m not the best at dealing with these tense atmospheres for a long period of time.
I tilt my head sideways, looking over at Bith. He was staring off into the void, seeming to hesitate.
“You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to…”
“It’s okay,” Bith sighed lightly, staring over the pond.
“As long as I’m here… Lilith will never join us.”
“So she’s called Lilith, and she’s from the Land of Darkness, right…?”
“She was at one point, but was banished a long time ago. I didn’t know what happened to her after that. I didn’t expect her to be in a place like this…” Bith said as he looked up towards the sky. A large cloud reached across the sky, enveloping it.
“It’s my fault… If I hadn’t said anything, then she would’ve still been in the Land of Darkness.”
(It was Bith’s fault?)
I silently nudged myself closer to him.
“I was the only one who could’ve protected Lilith… but I cut myself off from her. I didn’t mean to, but it still turned out like this.” Bith was talking about what he had done in the past, but it sounded like he was talking to himself instead of me.
Hundreds of years ago, Lilith once belonged to the Land of Darkness as a night spirit. But one night, due to a prank pulled by her friends, she was set on fire and began to cast a shadow. The spirits began persecuting Lilith simply out of suspecting her of having a shadow. At that time, she had a close relationship with Bith, who knew of her affliction. Bith would encourage and comfort the depressed Lilith, however… Lilith was captured by the Queen of Darkness and banished from the Land of Darkness. The one that the queen had ordered to do so was none other than Bith himself. Lilith had no choice but whine as she watched all of this unfold.
“It’s simply unforgivable… I just wanted to help her, but…” Bith said, hanging down his head. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do or say. All I could do was silently sit beside Bith.
A gentle breeze caused ripples to obscure the pond’s reflection. I waited in silence beside him, hoping it would give him some peace of mind.
The past is the past. In the hundreds of years that Bith has been worried about this, and that Lilith has hated him for it, I think it’s gone on far too long already. They’ve never had the chance to properly talk out their feelings. If they let this chance pass by now… it’d just be too sad.
What if Lilith never joins us on our journey? What if either Lilith or Bith end up swallowed by the waves? If that happens, then… Bith will never get the chance to express his feelings ever again.
“That’s just too sad…” I said as I shook my head.
“I’m sure hearing this is only making you sad, sorry.” Bith said as he put his hat back on and stood up. It seemed like he was ready to leave at any moment, so I hurriedly stopped him.
“Hey, can I ask you something?”
“You didn’t mean to betray her, did you?”
“Of course I didn’t.”
“Does Lilith know that? You haven’t even tried talking to each other. It feels strange that you’d just leave it like this.”
“Have you ever ruined someone’s entire life before?”
I couldn’t understand how Bith must be feeling, but this is his last chance to set things right.
“I haven’t, but I think this is a great opportunity to try to make up with Lilith.”
“How ridiculous.” Bith said, as he let out a deep sigh.
“Call Fili, we’re leaving.”
“I’m not doing that!” I said, as I stood up and grabbed on to Bith’s arm as he began to leave.
“What if you two could never meet again? This very well might be the only chance remaining that you have to make up with Lilith, right?”
“It might sound strange for someone you just met to say something like this to you… but I feel like if I don’t say it now, I’ll surely regret it. No, well I mean I may regret what I'm doing right now, but I’d regret it so much more if I hadn’t.”
The faces of my laid back Papa and gentle Mama vaguely drift through my mind.
“You need to be able to say what you’re thinking and feeling while you still can. You have no idea when you won’t be able to see each other ever again.” I unintentionally projected my feelings onto Bith, but in turn gave my words more impact.
Bith slowly opened his mouth. “…I thought I’d never see her again.”
“But you haven’t properly met with her again. With the situation we’re in now, this is your last chance to make things right.”
“Between saying something, and regretting it, and not saying something and regretting it… I think it’s better to say something and regret it.”
Bith lowered his hat and hid his face. I could tell that he was wavering, but still trying to grasp that which he lost.
“I’m sure Lilith also wants to reconcile with you, I mean, you two were such good friends, right?”
“…” Bith remained silent.
“I’m going to go get Lilith!”
Unable to stand still, I ran towards the house.
I know the feeling of being unable to see someone important to you again.
(I don’t want to think that we’ll never meet again.)
But I know how much it hurts.
I saw Fili standing outside the door, but I couldn’t see Lilith anywhere. It seemed as though she had gone back inside.
As soon as Fili saw me, he simply shook his head.
“I couldn’t get through to her. Her reasons were-”
“It’s because of Bith, right?”
“He’s the worst… Betraying her like that.” Fili said. It seemed as though Fili had already asked Lilith why she cannot join.
I asked Fili, who was glaring in the direction of Bith, to go away.
“Saya, what are you planning on doing?” Vesper asked at Fili’s feet. Ignoring him, I knocked on the door with all my might.
“Lilith! Listen to me!” I knocked on the door over and over again. My hands began to tingle, but I still continued knocking.
“What? You’re being so annoying.” Lilith yelled through the door.
“I want you to listen to Bith’s true feelings.”
“His true feelings? I don’t want to hear any of his lame excuses.”
“But it’s a misunderstanding!” While I was stuck to the door screaming, Fili and Vesper stared at me in confusion.
“The past is the past. You know that you should never have held against Bith, right Lilith?”
“…” Lilith was so silent, I wondered what she was thinking from the other side of the door.
"Bith did everything he could to help you… I don’t think you ever knew about that.”
“What the hell do you know?!”
The door swung open, forcing me back off the door, causing me to fall down with a lot of speed.
Lilith’s eyes were in tears when she came bursting out of the door.
“After hundreds of years… how am I supposed to forgive him? Even… Even if he comes and tells me now… He should’ve told me sooner…” Lilith said with her body trembling. I looked up towards Lilith.
“Just understanding it isn’t enough. Bith, like me, has been regretting this for hundreds of years. No matter how hard I tried to hold out, it was never enough. You understand that, right? I was so naively attached to this idea. I don’t think I can understand how Bith feels at all.”
“…What’s your name?”
“Me? Uhm, well…”
Vesper looked over at me worriedly. “Do you even properly know who you are?” he said.
“I’m the Little Witch Saya!”
“The Little Witch… You live in a wheat field, right?”
I halfheartedly nodded. “Well, the wheat field is gone now.”
Lilith’s expression clouded over for a second.
“How long do you plan on sitting down there like that?” Lilith said, wiping away her tears as she looked at me and smiled.
Lilith’s shadow casted in front of me as I hurriedly tried to stand back up. Lilith offered me her hand to help me stand up, to which I promptly grasped onto. Her hand was so cold and thin- like as if it was as fragile as glass.
“I know what you want to say.”
“Really? Then, let’s go together-”
“I won’t be going.”
“Even though Bith did everything he could, I still ended up banished. Wouldn’t the waves just end up the same? No matter how hard we try, everything will just end up as if we hadn’t done anything at all.”
“That wasn’t what I meant-”
“I’ve already given up on trying so hard.” Lilith said lethargically, but with conviction and turned her back to us.
“If it’s our destiny to be consumed by the waves, then there’s no point in trying to fight it.”
At a loss for words, I asked Fili and Vesper for help, but they both simply shook their heads. No matter how hard I try, I can’t reach Lilith.
I sighed deeply. With a statement like that, even if Bith came over here to try to persuade Lilith himself, I doubt that it would make much of a difference.
And with that, I’m left as the only shadow bearer searching for the Twilight Dragon that I know of.
“I do know of one…” Lilith says without turning back to face us.
“A shadow bearer. They’re in the village just outside of the Dividing Forest.”
“This is the most support that I can give you right now.” Lilith said with her voice trembling as she went back inside her house. We silently saw her off.
“…Let’s go.” Fili called out to me as I was staring blankly at the door.
“What Bith did is not something that can so easily be forgiven.”
“I know that, but…”
“We don’t have the time. We’d do well to not waste the information that Lilith gave us.”
The sky from where we came from grew a deep red hugh from the cloud brought forth by the wave spreading even farther. The wave was already on its way here. I had no idea how fast it’ll get there, but…
Fili looked straight at me. “I… don’t forgive Bith. There should’ve been another way to protect her. But… There’s no point in arguing about that now.”
We had no choice but to give up on Lilith, but I didn’t think that it was Bith’s fault. I just want to believe that all this happened because things didn’t quite go as expected.
I told Bith about my conversation with Lilith earlier, but he didn’t respond. His attitude towards it was as if he was saying that it couldn’t be helped.
While we had no idea how far we would have to walk to find the village that Lilith spoke of, Bith said that we might miss it if we were flying so we chose to walk instead.
Bith and Fili started walking off without saying a word. I turned away from them and looked back at Lilith’s house.
Lilith was standing by the pond, seeming to be looking at me. I waved to her.
“Thank you so much! See you later!”
I had this feeling that we’d meet again somewhere. I couldn’t imagine saying our goodbyes like this.
Lilith scowled, and ran back inside her house. After seeing Lilith off, I quickly ran to catch back up to Bith and Fili.
In complete silence, the two walked so quickly through the Dividing Forest, it was as if they had already traced a path through. I had no choice but to silently follow along. I trusted that they would start saying something at one point, but no matter how far in we went, neither of them said a word. We just kept silently moving forward.
“Where the heck is it?” I just couldn’t stand it anymore, so I yelled out to them. I couldn’t stand traveling in silence like this.
“Perhaps it was in the opposite direction-” Fili said as he turned around.
“Even in that case, there’s no reason to rush ourselves. I mean, a certain someone has already cost us a lot of time as it is.” Fili said, glaring forward towards Bith in front of us.
“Fili… I don’t think saying that was necessarily wrong, it’s just…”
As if competing with Bith’s pace, Fili speeds up a little more himself.
“That was supposed to be a joke…” Vesper muttered to be and sighed.
“It’s better not to say anything in this kind of situation.”
“But, I can’t stand traveling in complete silence like that.”
“You need to be able to read the room.”
Vesper, who was perched up on my shoulder, started to twitch his nose.
“I smell something.”
The setting sun dyed the forest red, illuminating the entire area in the glow of the setting sun.
“Wh-what is?” Surveying the unusual scenery, I flinched at Vesper’s words,
Farther up ahead, there was something resembling a village of several cloth tents. There were even the shadows of several people surrounding me.
“Is that it over there?” I ran off towards the village.
Vesper called out to me as I passed by Bith and Fili, rushing towards the village. “Hang on!”
Fili grabbed my arm before I could reach the village. “They’re humans!”
“Humans?” I stopped running.
“That's fine, I mean human’s have shadows, don’t they?”
“Even if they have shadows, they wouldn’t lend us any help.”
“You won’t know unless you ask.”
“We don’t need to ask to know.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Well, the legend says that the cursed wave will erode the world of the spirits.”
“I know, I’ve heard it several times.”
Fili shook his head.
“It has nothing to do with humans. I don’t think they would risk their lives to help us when it’s something that has nothing to do with them.”
“Why does that matter?”
“There’s no reports of the wave ever appearing in the places that humans live.”
“Well they might start getting eroded from here onwards.”
Fili shook his head again.
“Humans also have kings, but none of them participated in the meeting. But they’re humans, so they wouldn’t be attacked by the waves anyways, so it doesn’t matter to them… That’s what I’m saying.” Fili let go of my hand, and suggested that we go around the tents, and move on.
“But didn’t Lilith say that there was someone in the village?” Bith cuts between Fili and myself. I nodded to Bith.
“There could be a shadow bearer in that village, right?”
“But it’s a human! Can’t you see those shadows?” Fili raised his voice.
Certainly, everyone who came in and out of their tents had a shadow…
“But, I don’t think that Lilith would lie to us.”
“She said that there was a shadow bearer, but never said that they would help us.”
“You see here…” Bith said with a sigh.
“Maybe she said it to cause trouble for the one who betrayed her.”
“Lilith isn’t that kind of person!”
“She might not be that kind of person, but we don’t have the time to argue. Just look at the sky!” Fili said angrily, as I looked up toward the sky. The sky in the direction of the wheatfield was covered by the same thick clouds that signified the coming of the wave, looking like they were headed straight for us. Bith seemed to notice the clouds as well.
Fili took a deep breath. “Don’t you get it? It’s a waste of what precious little time we have left to try to stop by this village looking for a shadow bearer.”
“We don’t know that it’d be meaningless.”
“I’m saying that we should move on before the waves consume us all!”
While Bith and Fili were arguing, I headed towards the village.
“You’re going?” I silently nodded to Vesper’s words.
I went together with Bith. I didn’t think that Lilith would lie to us. I’m sure there’s a shadow bearer here. Besides, all the time we spent arguing felt like more of a waste of time than actually trying to find someone.
“Uhm, excuse me…” I called out to a young boy in the village. The boy was holding a twig and wearing a stained beige cloak. He didn’t seem surprised to see me at all, and greeted me with a smile.
“Welcome. Do you have business with the elder? There’s something about a legend that you want to ask him about, right?” The boy with black eyes seemed like he could read my mind.
Even though I didn’t say anything, hearing him ask about what I had come to do confused me.
“Ehh… Ah, yeah. Can we meet with them?”
“This way.” The boy put the twig he was carrying down at his feet, and took me by the hand as he guided me through the village. I caught the curious gazes of the villagers as I passed through.
Humans persecute the shadowless spirits, but I have a shadow. I wonder, what would humans think of a spirit with a shadow?
The boy never stopped smiling as he turned back to me and said “It’s alright. It’s just that seeing people like you is unusual.”
“How do you know what I’m thinking?” The boy laughed shyly at my question.
“I wonder why that is.”
Vesper and I looked at each other.
“Isn’t it strange?” The boy said, stopping in front of a large tent.
“Elder! The Little Witch is here!” The boy yelled into the tent, and the tent seemed to open on its own.
The boy let go of my hand.
“I’m not allowed to go in.” The boy bowed his head respectfully.
Wavering a little, I entered the tent.
In the back of the tent, in the center of the room illuminated by torches, sat an old man with a long beard. His eyebrows alone covered half his face.
“Hello.” I bow politely. I didn’t forget to do a small curtsy with the hem of my dress.
“I heard from Theo that you were coming. Are Bith and Fili waiting outside?”
“Excuse me.” The elder said as he coughed and drank something from a misshapen cup beside him.
“The boy who guided you. That kid has the power of foresight.”
“The power… of foresight?”
“It’s not just Theo. Everyone in this village possesses some sort of power.”
Just with those words alone, I suddenly understood why the boy knew so much even though I didn’t say anything.
“Then I won’t take too much of your time, I’d like to-” The elder restrained me with his hand.
“I know. I’m sorry, but I can’t help you.”
“I understand the situation. But, I still cannot help you.”
“Do you mean to say that… It doesn’t concern you because you’re a human?”
“No, it’s not that.” The elder took a deep breath, prefacing that this was going to be a long story, and began speaking in a very calm, friendly tone.
—This village was a gathering of so-called psychics. Due to their abilities, they were seen as freaks by other humans, and shut out from the human world. With nowhere to go, they became nomads. After a long and painful journey, they finally found this land where there are no spirits, nor humans to persecute them. A place of calm and peace.
“We are so tired of traveling.” The elder said, and took another drink.
“As long as we stay here, we’ll be swallowed by the waves. But that too, is fate.”
“Our lifespans are not as long as the spirits. Some have been traumatized. Others have spent more than half their lives traveling. I don’t want to have to send those who have finally come to know peace off on another grueling journey.”
“Not all of them have the ability to protect themselves. Some of them still have not awakened to their powers yet. And those who have have already worked so hard just to get here.”
“You have no right to destroy our way of life. Am I wrong?”
All I could do was shake my head. I couldn’t say anything. I didn’t want to continue being by myself, but I understood how they must’ve been feeling, being persecuted for simply being born with this ability.
I knew that it couldn’t be helped, but I couldn’t hide my shock.
“I’m so sorry…”
“I am deeply sorry as well.”
With the elder’s words hanging heavy on my shoulders, I left the tent and began walking away when the elder called out to me. “Why are you trying so hard?”
I turned around and tilted my head. The question was so unusual if you already knew about the legend. He should know the answer. In order to protect this world of course, why would he ask such a stupid question?
The elder stroked his beard while staring at me in silence.
“I’m asking why you, who got lost in this world, are so desperately looking for people to join you.”
(I got lost…?)
While I was lost in confusion, Vesper whispered to me “This human probably knows that you’re not the real Saya.”
I couldn’t take my eyes off the elder. “But… This isn’t right… How could you know?”
“It’s that kind of ability.” The elder smiled.
“It’s not quite like that, though, I don’t know the exact details.”
I desperately tried to explain to the elder. “I want to return to my original world. But I wouldn’t be able to do that if I simply vanished in this world. I don’t know how to go home, so I have no other choice but to do my best here.”
The elder stared at me intensely.
“If you knew how to go back, then would you just abandon this world?”
“Are you prepared to survive in a disappearing world?”
I didn’t even think about it. I just want to go home, that’s all. I never imagined what would happen to this world after I went back.
“It’s only natural that you’d want to go home, but what would happen to this world that you left behind?”
“I will ask you again. Are you prepared to survive in this world?”
I felt dizzy. I hung my head down. If my assumption that I accidentally switched places with Saya, who was supposed to be in this world, was wrong then… The moment I leave, there wouldn’t be any shadow bearers left.
My heartbeat accelerated.
“Saya… You don’t force yourself too hard trying to think about it.” Vesper worriedly said to me, but my heartbeat was still accelerating.
I like Vesper, who cares about, and understands me. I don’t dislike Bith, who is still somewhat human, or Fili who worries about me. I did say “See you later” to Lilith. I’m sure I’ll continue to meet even more people in this world who will remain in my memories. Become a treasured memory for me.
I want to see Papa and Mama again but… I don’t want to regret it.
I gripped my chest tightly.
(Papa… Mama… I’m sorry.)
“I don’t want to regret it.”
“If I went back willingly now, I believe I would regret it.”
“Does that mean that you are prepared?”
“I don’t know… but if I’m going home, I want to be able to leave this world with a smile.” I said, staring back at the elder.
At that time, I had no idea what kind of situation I was actually in. I was convinced that I could save this world and return home unharmed. If I had known that I couldn’t do that, I’m sure that I would have responded differently.
How long has it been since then? The elder smiled.
“Very well, then.”
I didn’t understand what was going on, and tilted my head.
(What does that mean?)
“There is one person here who loves to travel. Let me introduce you.”
“Theo!” The elder called out, and the boy from earlier entered the tent with a smile on his face.
“If it’s Gendor, I’m sure he’ll already be able to get along with the Little Witch.” Theo said and grabbed onto my hand tightly with a large smile.
“Good for you.”
“Gendor hasn’t awakened to his abilities yet, but I’m sure that he’ll be useful.”
“What’s he like?”
“He’s just outside.”
The elder got up and left the tent with Theo dragged me by the hand, following after him.
It was already dark out. There were torches everywhere— But the sheer amount of light had Fili and Bith both scowl. Standing in front of me was a man who was twice as tall as me.
“Are you Gendor?”
“Nice to meet you.” Gender said with a very sluggish and timid voice and bowed slightly. With his long silver hair tied back, and his face a little unshaven, he stretched out his hand, asking for a handshake.
“Nice to meet you too.” We had a nice warm handshake.
“You’re Saya, right? I’m called Gendor.”
“Do you like traveling?”
“Yeah. I don’t know if I can be of any help, but let’s go together.” Gender said, stoking the heads of Fili and Bith who were on both sides of him.
(Would you look at that… Even though Bith and Fili say that they’re not good with humans, they’re still getting along.)
I made a relieved smile, but then saw those two with troubled looks across their faces. Anyway, I had made more friends, but I was the only one who was genuinely happy.
“We don’t have any time. It may be a little sudden, but let us leave at once.” Fili said. Gendor, carrying a large bag, nodded happily.
“So then, where are we going?”
“Well, because it’d be best to gather information, I’d suggest we head to Arche Hoakar first.”
“What is that?”
“Probably the largest city in the world.”
Bith flies away from Gendor. Gendor’s eyes widened, as if he was impressed that Bith could fly.
“Wait a second.” Fili said, stopping Bith who was about to just fly away. He turns to Gendor and asks. “Perhaps you cannot fly?”
Gendor slowly tilted his head.
“Am I able to fly?” Gendor asked the elder who was standing behind him. The elder expressionlessly shook his head.
“Wha!” Fili said surprised. Bith also let out a surprised exclamation.
“So you cannot fly…” Fili shrugged his shoulders in dejection.
“Can I carry him on my broom?” I asked Vesper, but the only answer I got back was that it would break.
Even though there was no time, we had no choice but to proceed on foot from here onwards.
Episode 3: Amnesia
Episode 4: Raid
Episode Real: At The Time
Episode 5: Discord
Episode 6: Lost
Episode 7: Merge
Episode 8: Riddle
Episode 9: Twilight Dragon
Epilogue: "The World"
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