Chapter 3

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3.

Kei absentmindedly dreamed.

A dream of playing outside with a friend from his childhood.

It looked innocent and fun.

Maybe it was tag. His younger self ran around.

Just like sand it smoothly melted away until it disappeared.

 

A white room.

From the window he could see a bird flapping away with outstretched wings.

He merely followed the bird’s flight in the clear sky with his eyes.

Atop the clean bed, he laid motionless. Entirely motionless.

He gently closed his eyes.

 

Everything was dyed blue.

The world ebbed and surged with a light blue hue.

It wasn’t hard to breathe.

That’s just how things were.

He wasn’t even scared.

He was sinking. Sinking into himself.

Deeper and deeper―

― He continued walking for what felt like a while.

Directly in front of him was a mirror.

A mirror that didn’t reflect anything.

No, he could see something if he focused his eyes.

 

Black hair and black eyes rose to the surface.

Subtly ornamented leather armor.

A feathered headpiece.

A single saber next to a quiver on someone’s hip.

And a vermillion bow in his left hand.

“…It’s me.”

His murmured words resonated clearly.

As soon as he recognized it, the form became clear.

Kei.

So he had once named himself.

Up to now, his two selves lived alongside one another.

 

“…My… body.”

 

He made a fist and squeezed.

His hand steadily unclenching and relaxing. The blood coursing through his veins. The tingling of his nerves to all his extremities.

He firmly felt it all.

 

Before he knew it, the mirror disappeared before his eyes.

In its place was a long path stretching on.

Somehow his surroundings felt lively.

A horse prancing about energetically.

A girl wearing a robe of feathers.

It was almost like a revolving lantern.

The illusions of shadows whispered to no one in particular, “Let’s go.”

And Kei took the first step forward.

 

 




TRANSLATOR’S NOTES

 

[1] Revolving lantern: A lantern that spins and casts different colors of light and shadows based on the design.
(Best explained with a video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmhn5u55Exs )

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