While Rachel had saved us a lot of time, we still had to hurry. Daniela and I pushed the doors open. And then just like before, Daniela stepped into the room first.
‘What is it now?’
The stone monument shone again and the holographic ancient elf appeared. ‘Ahh,’ Rachel muttered. Even she had never met an ancient elf before.
“I have something I want to ask.”
“Was it you that called me to this world?”
I could see Daniela looking at me with a worried expression. But I forced myself to look at the ancient elf.
“Are there records of summoning people from other worlds?”
Yes, when I first heard her voice, I realized that it was the same voice I heard in the convenience store. The voice that said, ‘Confirmation of subject who wishes to be summoned. Unique Skill ‘Jack of all Trades and Master of None’ granted…’
‘Correct. Ancient elves have experimented with summoning people from other worlds.’
It replied as if it were the most natural thing in the world.
So, the magic that had summoned me, Matsumoto, and Manager were all from ancient elves. As for Rachel…she was the only one who had been reincarnated. Perhaps it was part of their experiment. I didn’t know.
However, there was something more important that I had to ask now.
“About these experiments…were there any experiments for sending people back?”
‘Yes. However, they all ended in failure. Summoning can only occur in one direction.’
The strength left my legs. My knees hit the floor. I didn’t know what to say after that. It’s not as if I had been traveling all of this time in hopes of returning. I had been on the brink of death when I was summoned. And so I thought that I might as well see the world. It wasn’t something I put much thought into when starting. Of course, Daniela’s encouragement helped.
Still, I’d be lying if I said that the hope of eventually finding a way to return didn’t remain in me. Even if the world was filled with wonder and the person I loved was here, it wasn’t where I was born and raised.
And so there were times when I would look back and be drawn to it.
Those were the times I wanted to go back. And take Daniela with me.
Daniela slowly put an arm on my shoulder and pulled me towards her. The warmth of her touch helped bring me back a little.
‘Do you have any other questions?’
“Wa-wait… Where is the facility now? Where were the experiments conducted?”
But the sense of loss was still there. And so I had to ask that question.
‘There were four main facilities. They were in centers of ancient elven cities.’
She moved her arm to the left and a square-shaped hologram appeared. Then she moved her arm to the right, and the hologram slid towards us.
It was a world map. My eyes scanned it viciously until I found our current location. Then I compared its position to that of the facilities. One of them was on an island I had never heard of before. I hadn’t been to the sea yet. There was one that was to the far south. The third was up north. The last was close to the center of the map. The forest would have been much larger back then. I had heard that the ancient elves lived in forests. However, the position of the mountains did not change. The Alexia mountain ranges ran through the continent. The facility was located slightly to the north of those mountains.
“…The hill of mist.”
It was the place I had been summoned.
“This one…is in Erdiares.”
Daniela said as she pointed at the one to the far north. Yes, Manager said she had awoken in a town on the outskirts of that country.
“I was also born close to that place.”
Rachel said. In other words, it was all related to the experiments of the ancient elves. No one said anything. Maybe we couldn’t. Two of us now knew we could never return. We didn’t know what to do.
“Well, I have no reason to return, anyway.”
“Have you forgotten? I am no longer human. I am a monster. I have been a monster for eight-hundred years. I have devoured beasts and attacked humans. Yes, I even ate people to stay alive. I may look like a human now, but I am still a beast by nature. It is only because I have lived so long that I developed intellectually.
A wolf that has lived for eight-hundred years. Even if she had been a human once, if her true nature had changed, there was no going back.
“Besides, I never held any kind of hope, to begin with. …I had other things to think about…”
She had cut off her ties to the old world very easily. Perhaps it was something that time did. I didn’t quite know how that felt yet.
“You want to return?”
Daniela sat next to me and squeezed my shoulder. It was as if she were willing me to stay.
“You would do that. Even though I am here?”
“Of course, I would never…”
“Then what is wrong?”
She asked plainly. But I had dreams of us going together.
“But, Asagi. This is the world that I was born in. You would have me abandon it?”
“I would not want to tell you to abandon yours. But if you cannot return, then you should give up…no… No, that is not it…”
Daniela suddenly fell silent and shook her head with a wry laugh.
“I do not want you to spend the rest of your life searching for a means that may not exist. The remainder of your life should be dedicated to me.”
“You can call me selfish. I do not mind. But I do not intend on releasing you. I am sorry.”
She said as she held me tightly. Why was she always so…dashing? She felt so strongly about it… I needed to be like that. I wanted to see things in the same way as the person I was with.
Family and friends. It wasn’t easy to abandon all hope. However, what was easy was living with someone you loved. Side-by-side, in sickness and in health, we walked together. It would be an extension of what we’ve been doing. Our roads may not be the same length, but we would still be together. Yes, it felt like a long time ago now when I made that decision.
“Have you decided?”
“…Yeah. This is my home now. I’ll live here with Daniela.”
“Oh, how sweet and passionate. I didn’t know a user of water magic could get so steamy!”
Rachel said mockingly. But I had the potential to use fire magic too. In any case, I could give as good as I got.
“And you have your new life with your wife now. You can’t go back even if you wanted to.”
Rachel turned red as she fumed. Daniela and I chuckled. The ancient elf looked a little bewildered. Still, we had our answer. The summoning was a result of their experiments.
However, that was just for me and Rachel.
“I’m not sure how Manager and Matsumoto will take it… What should we do?”
“Indeed… Regardless of how they take it, it would be a terrible thing to keep the information from them. She may continue to search for a way to return. She may continue to have hope. How do you think she will feel when she nears the end of her life and realizes the truth? It would be better for them to feel despair now, while there is still time to heal. And people who can help heal it. It was the same with me. It was time and you that saved me.”
“Rindo and Yasushi seem like strong-hearted people to me. She, at least, will get over it.”
Matsumoto was still a high school student. He might have had many friends. It wasn’t the age to separate from your parents either. Sure, he may be popular with girls, but that didn’t replace familial love.
“But, what if they don’t get over it?”
“Can we really be restrained by such uncertainties? They should know, regardless of the cost. I think it is what all of you need.”
Right… It was reality, after all. They should know. It was information that everyone who came here should know.
“I suppose you brought me here in the hopes that I could bring Yasushi as well?”
“Sorry… But I had a feeling about this.”
“Very well. I will bring him.”
So saying, Rachel disappeared through the door in space. Being able to drag in the Hero of the Republic was one of the perks of being a Lambrusen court magician.
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