I first met Eve in the plains under the moonlight. At the time, I trusted no one. My heart was ravaged by the stress of a long journey. And it was as I walked unthinkingly to the next town, that I was attacked by bandits.
And the person leading the bandits, was the dark elf, Eve. I slaughtered her underlings without hesitation. I tried to kill Eve as well, but a monster came in my way. I saw the lucky elf run away as I dealt with the monster. After that, I returned to my journey and arrived in the town safely. I thought that that would be the end of it.
But one day, I came upon an ancient elven ruin within a forest. I had wandered far before discovering it, but thanks to that, the place was untouched. I could descend into the depths of the ruins without worrying about being seen. And after a week of searching, I found the artifact. Sometime after, I would learn from an old library book, that it was the magic substitution tool.
Years later, I was working as a guard for a merchant caravan. A famous Adventurer of that time was there as well, and I remember that he tried to talk to me. But I was never interested.
It was when we were just two days from the town that the bandits attacked. It was difficult fighting while protecting the caravan, especially as there were those cowards who would run away.
While I fought, a familiar face caught my eye. It was Eve. She too saw me and immediately unsheathed her sword.
“It has been a long time!”
“You are as quiet as before… Today, I will finally have your sword and bow. The sacred treasures of the tree of life and death!”
She had seen the weapons during our first fight. Perhaps a unique skill had allowed her to confirm it, or she had heard something. In any case, I had no intention of giving them up. I did not care to indulge her, but I needed to fight to protect myself.
However, we were disturbed yet again. Even now, I can remember the fear that I felt.
The wyvern that appeared with an explosive wind in the darkness of the night. It was enough to make me shiver with horror.
It landed between us and then slashed at me with its tail. I instinctively raised my arms to protect myself. Then the sound of my bones breaking reached my ears.
I was thrown into the air. That was when the magic substitution tool fell from my pocket and rolled to the other side. My eyes went after it as I thought, ‘with that, I would be able to revive after the wyvern killed me.’ However, it was no use if it was not on you. It would have no effect on me now. I would be eaten alive. And that would be the end.
“Is that a magic substitution tool!?”
Eve’s voice rang, but I could not answer. The wyvern now seemed more interested in the caravan than us. We were no longer in its sight. Eve saw her chance and reached out to grab it.
It was then that the wyvern beat its wings and rose into the air.
The violent winds pushed me off of my feet, and I tried to protect my injured arm as I rolled on the ground. As the world spun around me, I had a glimpse of Eve taking the artifact. I wanted to vomit then, but I was suddenly enveloped in a floating sensation.
My body was floating. There was no ground beneath me now. I had been thrown over the edge of a cliff that had been hidden in the darkness.
This feeling of floating would not last forever. I was falling down to the bottom of the cliff as gravity dictated. I could not fight against it. I would die here. Just then, the faces of my parents after they had been trampled by dragons appeared in my mind.
And then I lost consciousness. When I awoke, I was in a river in the forest. There had been a river below the cliff, and I had been carried down here, all the way to this forest.
My bow was still on my back, and it seemed that I had been desperately clutching the hilt of my sword. But my armor had taken a beating on the rocks, and was in tatters. Furthermore, one of my arms was broken. And so even though I was alive, there was only despair ahead of me.
Well, in spite of that, I did manage to come out of that predicament alive…though, that is a different story in itself.
In any case, that was the last time I saw Eve. I do not know what happened after that. Not the caravan or that famous Adventurer. Perhaps they had all been eaten by the wyvern. Or they won and lived good lives after that. There was no reason for me to know, and I did not wish to know.
Now, the thing that was more important to me than anything was Asagi. As long as he did not faint, he could go as high as he pleased. That wind of silver and green would protect him.
Thinking about him now made it impossible for me to sit still. I wanted to rush to where he was immediately, but my legs would not let me. And so I had only anxiety to fill my heart now.