“—So, what is this situation, Libra?”
“We have safely arrived in town . I judge that there is no problem, master . ”
“Are you joking? This is a big problem . ”
Libra safely delivered us to the country of Gjallarhorn . Indeed, we arrived, but the mode of travel was a problem . She brought us here with the movement skill Sky Jet, but it was currently late in the night . At a time like this, she chose to move with a roaring jet propulsion . It wasn’t hard to imagine people being woke from their sleep by the noise . As a result, we were currently viewed with suspicion by the people who came out of their residences .
Ah, seriously . It is so late now . Sorry about that .
“You can’t do this, Libra . If you make that kind of noise at a time like this, you will wake the people who are already sleeping . ”
“No problem, Aries . According to my analysis, the fighting strength of the people who got up is not a threat . I can handle it alone . They are not an obstacle to master . ”
“No, it’s not like that…”
The dialogue between Aries and Libra made me want to hug my head . What should I do? This maid golem had no concept of being a nuisance to others . Was it because there was only fighting in the game, so her judgments were all related to combat power and threats? If it was a game, whatever happened was just an in-game event . No matter how much noise was made in the night, the NPC would not wake up . It seemed like Libra was lacking in experience .
“Ah, who are you…?”
A man in his late thirties spoke as we became the center of attention in the surrounding . Longevity was a trait of the flügels, who remained in their primes for half of their lives . This one was probably an old man close to one thousand years old . His wings were slightly dull gray, so it would not be considered beautiful . And not just him, everyone in this street so far had mixed color wings . There were none like my jet black wings, but there were others close to blue or red . This was really the town of the mixed-winged faction .
“Ah, sorry . It’s already so late at night . I’m the traveling merchant, Dina . We were stopping by this town and woke you up by mistake . Sorry for the inconvenience . I deeply apologize . ”
“Also a traveling merchant, Saphur . Sorry for the bother . ”
“Hmm . Traveling merchant, Aries . ”
“Golem escort of these three, Copernicus IV . ”
We introduced ourselves to the flügel uncle and apologized . This mouth that spewed forth arrogant words even at a time like this was a little hateful .
And Libra, without reading the mood, arbitrarily set herself a strange job and a pseudonym that sounded like the straight man of a stand-up comedy . Well, it was still better than using her real name . Unlike Aries, Libra’s appearance did not change, therefore using her real name would expose her identity . But she was not Copernicus .
“Oh, you are merchants? This is an innovative way to enter the town . ”
Uncle, you do not need to try so hard to compliment us . We are aware that our entry lacked common sense, so it is fine to be angry with us .
But he greeted us with a smile, devoid of anger .
“You must be tired after a long trip . My house also runs an inn . If you don’t mind, please stay over . ”
Hearing the uncle’s gentle words, Dina and I shared a look . Despite being disturbed by our nonsensical behavior, he introduced an inn with a smile instead of getting angry . What a nice person . As I was strangely impressed, I followed the uncle and entered the inn .
This inn…was made of marble?
No, not just the inn . Every building in this city was made of marble . They were beautifully mottled with unique gloss . It seemed that the art of marble construction was progressing well in this country . Perhaps, there was an alchemist with good craftsmanship .
“How much for one night?”
“Twenty-five eru for one room . ”
He answered Dina’s question with a very scrupulous price . Twenty-five eru was equivalent to five thousand yen . That was surprisingly cheap, considering there were four people . We paid the fee without hesitation and were brought to our rooms .
“This is your room . Please take your time . ”
The room was surrounded by marble, so it was somewhat uncomfortable . But it was not without consideration of the customers . A soft carpet was laid on the floor, while a vase was arranged casually . We should be thankful that it was not sparkling in an omnidirectional 360 degrees .
“Let’s consider meeting Merak tomorrow . Let’s just sleep tonight . Aries is dozing off already . ”
“Ah . ”
It was very late already . Even though I was the one who flew with an explosive noise at such a time, it would be better to go to sleep now .
Regardless of Libra the golem, Dina who slept at an unknown time, and me the gamer who played through the night, Aries was already very sleepy . But since he could not sleep before me, he was struggling to stay awake . This was really tear-jerking .
It wasn’t like I mind if he slept before me . Was it necessary to force himself to stay awake because of our master-follower relationship?
“Well then, good night . ”
“Ah, good night . ”
Dina and I slipped into our beds and closed our eyes . The mattress was a bit hard, but that was what a fantasy world would be like . Libra did not feel like sleeping, so she stood in a corner of the room . Well, golems had no need to sleep anyway . She even guarded the tomb for one hundred ninety years . Still, it was fine for her to sleep if she could get sleepy .
I thought so as I drifted into slumber .
—Who? Someone was screaming angrily with an unpleasant voice without a trace of kindness .
A white-winged man, the father of blood relation, was angrily shouting at a young girl . A parent got angry at a child . This was nothing special, as most people would have experienced it themselves . But normally, there would be no actual rage when one thought of the child . No matter where it was, even if there was some resentment internally, the parent would not act upon his selfish anger .
“You! The neighbor’s children said that you hurt them again! Didn’t I tell you!? Don’t injure others!”
“But, dad, they were the ones who did it first . They threw stones at me . I just, I just wanted to protect myself…”
The shrill cry echoed . The young girl understand that this was the violence brought on by the creature known as “father” . It was always like this . This man never listened to the story of this side .
He acted like a father disciplining his child, but he was really just thinking of himself . So if he felt like it, he would lay hands on her . Words that comfort a child would never leave his mouth . It was all about his self-image . If the young girl did something, his own reputation would fall . That was why he always scold and scream like an idiot .
“I do not remember raising you like that! Have you mistaken my teachings again!? Huh!?”
In agreement with the man’s piercing voice, the young girl thought, “That’s how it is . ”
I do not remember being raised by this man .
The only thing she ever received from him was scoldings and violence . Mistaken his teachings? Hah, it was full of mistakes . Or rather, there was no memory of him ever doing the right thing .
“There are no parents who do not love their children . ”
This was just a beautiful saying passed on by someone who was the center of parental love and knew nothing of things elsewhere .
There were plenty of parents who did not love their children .
Because they were unwanted, annoying, or noisy .
And because her wings were black—
Love was gone for such simple reasons .
At least, this girl never received love from this filthy thing called “father” .
“…Liar . ”
One word muttered, and the girl ran out of the place .
I do not want to hear that man’s voice anymore . There is no meaning in conversing anymore .
That is someone else .
It is just someone else who happened to share the same bloodline .
That’s why it is not sad, it is not painful .
These water droplets flowing along my cheeks are definitely not tears .
She ran .
She did not know where she was running, but she ran as far as she could .
There was no place for her in this village .
The black wings of anathema—Just because her wings were black, she was alienated, estranged, differentiated, and discriminated .
Even though they were not contagious, rocks were thrown at her . If she defended herself, she would be blamed instead .
Her only ally was her mother . But her mother was sickly, so she did not want her to worry unnecessarily . Even so, her mother was her only salvation . If not for her, she would have been gone from this place a long time ago .
—Why do I have to experience this? Just because my wing color is different . Why?
Besides her, there were other flügels whose wings were not white . In a place devoid of the sun, a place like a dirty slum…people of the same circumstances lived together .
It would be different if she stayed here . But if she left the house, that creature called “father” might do something to her mother . Perhaps, his violence would be directed at her instead .
—Why is the world so unfair? Why do I have to be so unfortunate?
She could not help but curse the gods .
What great god of creation? What goddess of love?
If there was a merciful god, why was the world full of inequality?
Prayers were meaningless .
There was nobody who would reach out to her .
—Nobody will help me .
Even as a little girl, she stopped relying on people . Nobody would help her, so she had to manage by herself . As long as she lived in the house, the minimum amount of food would be provided . But it was uncertain how long it would last . Besides, more than anything else, she did not want to live like this .
Therefore, I must become strong . I must become strong enough to overcome the inequality and irrationality in the world .
I’m still weak and immature now, but surely someday…I will take my mother and walk out of this miserable life .
The black-winged girl—Ruphas Mafahl swore strongly in her heart .
“…What? It’s just a dream . ”
I placed my hands on my forehead and opened my eyes .
It was a strange dream…yes, a really strange dream .
Perhaps it was Ruphas’ past . At least, this was something that I did not remember . I did not recall configuring such a setting . Nonetheless, if Ruphas lived in this world and not in a game, she must have parents . Being persecuted for her wings was also easily predictable .
This was what I thought .
Before I became Ruphas, there was the real Ruphas . This body did not belong to me . The soul of the real Ruphas should have been in this body .
But currently, I was here . I was the only a player, who knew nothing of Ruphas’ past .
Then, where was Ruphas?
Had she been expelled because of my presence?
Or was she asleep in this body?
…Or she was still sealed in the hyperspace . Perhaps the current me was simply a fake .
But if I was a fake, why would this body have Ruphas’ memories?
Ruphas’ father whom I saw in the dream should just be a stranger…so why did I feel so angry?
Why was I so angry about the absurdity and irrationality of the world?
How should I explain this raging waves of emotions?
“…Ruphas-sama? Your heart rate has increased . ”
“Libra . ”
The only one who wasn’t sleeping, Libra, asked in concern .
She appeared emotionless, but surprisingly, I knew she knew she had the stirring of emotions .
She wasn’t emotionless . She certainly had a heart . She would cherish and worry about me . Strangely, it felt like we had been together for many years .
“No need to worry . I just dreamed of the past . ”
“Dreamed of the past?”
“Oh . I just woke up like a little girl having a nightmare…It’s nothing to worry about . ”
I could not tell her .
I was not Ruphas…I might just be a fake .
…and so, I kept silent .