Chapter 13: Pursuit
I searched the castle town after learning that Mika had used a hidden passage to leave the castle, but there was no trace of her. Nobody claimed to have seen the dark-haired adolescent.
“──Mika, where have you been?”
The eyes that had smiled at me when I called out “Mika” had left my side.
It made me feel extremely uneasy. It was like traveling through time.
Mika was aware of a secret passageway that I had never told her about. We can’t rule out the possibility that others told her, but very few people could.
We continue on Mika’s trail, entering the hidden passage and following in her footsteps. The footprints came to a halt at the top of the hill, where the hidden passage ends.
I take a quick glance toward the forest near the hill.
Wasn’t that previously?
“──Back here, the claire berries are used to make dye.”
“Yes, they turn blue. “
“Will I have the same hair as Garen if I use the berries?”
I nod as she asks innocently.
“Please don’t say that because you have gorgeous black hair.”
Mika’s lips twitch as she says, “I really like Garen’s hair,” standing up taller and gently touching it.
I shut my eyes and felt a strange tickling and comfort from her touch.
“Don’t tell me she went deep into the forest to get claire berries?”
This forest, which borders the demons, is dangerous and intricate in its own right. There are wild beasts and possibly demons roaming the area.
…If there’s even a remote chance of that happening. I took my sword and entered the forest.
I stretch and get up. I slept so well last night that I didn’t even dream, which I attribute to the Demon King’s lullaby.
I’ve been spoiled ever since I arrived in this land. That was more than I had in Astoria, where I had no problems. Such is my desire to learn this world’s writing, and yesterday I demanded a lullaby from a country’s king, and he sang it to me.
“Isn’t that a little selfish?”
When I reflect on it, I feel ashamed. I’m not a kid.
But they can accept such a request because I’m a Shrine Maiden, not because I’m me.
So, as I plan for the day, I’ll have to be careful not to get too excited. If I recall correctly, the teacher assigned me homework. Also, I’d like to thank Sarah and the Demon King for their assistance. What should I do now?
Then there’s a gentle knock on the door.
“Yulin-sama is here—what would you like to do?”
I quickly prepare myself.
Yes, we should consult Yulin.