A Decision During a Dark, Long Night
While it seemed clear that people wanted them to go, it hadn’t been officially decided yet. Still, they didn’t unpack their bags. They could just put on a new change of clothes and do the rest tomorrow.
“Hey, Maki-chan. This is the palace, but…”
“Yes, I was thinking about it too.”
It had become a habit for them towards the end of their trip. But surely the monsters wouldn’t come all the way here… Still, Maki and Chiharu went out to the balcony, quietly, so the guards wouldn’t hear them. Then they sat down.
At night, the castle was illuminated by magic stone lamps, but those too were turned off at midnight. And so it was nearly pitch black outside. Underneath the railing, they could see the faint outline of the town below. The lighthouse by the sea was one of the few visible lights out there. Though, the moon’s reflection could also be seen on the water.
“The nights sure are dark in this world.”
“It’s dark no matter where you go. But I find it relaxing too.”
Dark nights were like a danger warning telling you to go to sleep.
“And yet here we are, wide awake.”
Said Makii. Then they looked up at the night sky.
“Ah, so they are here after all.”
“Maybe it was just that we hadn’t noticed before.”
A small, small gazer approached. It was about twice the size of a human fist.
“Where did you come from?”
Chiharu asked and the gazer answered.
A dark place. Sometimes, there was lots of water. I followed the fast thing and came to a wide place.
“And did you see a lot?”
Chiharu asked quietly.
Lots of things. But not enough.
“Then, why did you come to us?”
Nice smell. Relief. And then it twirled around.
The two said as they saw the gazer turn.
After a while, the gazer seemed to grow bored, and turned away. Their backs are black. Chiharu thought. Then she asked.
“You don’t want to return into a stone?”
Not yet. I want to see more.
“Don’t go around following people.”
Why. They look so warm.
“Because people grow weak if you touch them. And then they cannot see things.”
Do they dissapear.
“If you touch them too much, yes.”
That is not good.
The gazer swayed as if it was thinking.
“Come when you are tired. I’ll turn you into a magic stone.”
And the gazer slowly drifted back into the night sky.
“It was so cute.”
Maki said as she put both hands on her cheeks. Then Chiharu said,
“It was cute, but this is not the underground. It would be fine if it was a weakened gazer. But I wonder if one as healthy as that one won’t cause trouble.”
“Healthy? It looked pretty dazed to me.”
Maki said with a chuckle.
“But, they were here before, weren’t they? And no one noticed. There was no trouble, right?”
“If it really is the same as before…”