After the blood was completely gone, and I had soaked in the tub long enough to warm my whole body, I got out to find that Daniela and Marie Elle were fast asleep. The only sounds that could be heard were the crackling of the bonfire.
The sky was full of stars. I was near the city when I worked the night shift, so I couldn’t even see the stars at night. My neck started to hurt as I looked at those stars that seemed like they could fall at any moment. And so I lowered my head and sat down by the fire.
I was cautious enough to keep Presence Detection active. My detection abilities have increased in precision since the blood ape attack, and there was nothing that I could detect now. It was the same when I extended it above me. Well, peace was the best.
Nothing did happen that night, and Daniela eventually got up and I slept until morning. This time I didn’t have any dreams and slept like a rock.
When I got up, my head felt clearer. It was as if all kinds of things had fallen out. It was like I could see things clearly now.
The morning light that shined over the plains, the clouds flowing with the wind. The sawing grass, the fresh air.
I suppose this was what it meant to be alive. The day after a deadly battle. The morning that only the victorious will get to meet.
At that moment, I felt grateful for being alive for the first time. I was happy to be alive, from the bottom of my heart. It was clearer now than it was on that day, when I had become unconscious after being stabbed, and fallen into this world.
I took in a deep breath, filling my lungs with the fresh air and then exhaled. The cold air gave a tickling sensation as it entered your body.
I took out the Glampanzer from inside the tent and practiced swinging it like a kendo sword. A straight, downward swing. That was all. But my body felt surprisingly light, and my arms didn’t feel much of the strain from swinging it. The armored demon sword was quite heavy, but I could hear the sounds of it cutting through the air, and when I stopped, I could hold it still without any shaking.
I thought about this with wonder. But I could find no sure answer. However, there was one possibility.
It must be that I had gained experience. Not experience involving levels and stats, but experience as a person. I had grown as a human.
I had taken it all in, the good and the bad. The fun times and sad times were carved into me. Wasn’t that how you grew as a person?
And it applied to me right now. That’s what it was. Well, I had no proof.
“Asagi, breakfast is ready.”
“Ahh, I’m coming.”
Daniela was calling. I put the sword back into its sheath and returned to Daniela. When I took one last look behind me, the sun had risen and the blinding light washed over me. Then I turn back around and walk slowly as I gaze at the elongated shadow. I was sure that today’s breakfast would also be great. And I was thankful to be able to eat it.
The memories of yesterday would not disappear, but I was prepared to accept that. At the time, I wanted so much to be vindicated by a third party. But now…now I didn’t need that. The guilt of killing someone, the fulfillment of saving someone, my feelings towards the dead bandits, my gratitude towards Marie Elle, I would accept all of it and make it my strength.
I would live today, and move on in order to live tomorrow. And I was sure, that Daniela would be there, standing next to me. That comfort of having someone, it enveloped me gently.
“Ahh, it is good to be alive…”
Those words that naturally poured from my mouth were heard by no one, as they vanished into the clear blue sky.