The spine-chilling sound could be heard once more.
Cassion and I raised our heads at the same time.
First, what entered my vision was only the blue sky.
Then, the bird circled through the air.
‘A blue… bird.’
The bird circling through the sky screeched subtly.
Like a dying sound.
Forgetting to blink, I stared at the bird.
That bird’s round, black eyes were busily roving.
Was it a mere trick of the light, or was its eyes solely directed at me
I felt a creeping coldness starting at my fingertips.
A terrible wave of déjà vu gradually enveloped my entire body.
A surge of recollection that increasingly felt like confinement, like shackles upon my ankles, like a sensation coming up to strangle me.
The same feeling of dread that held me hostage at Cassion’s funeral.
As I arrived at that conclusion, I unknowingly clenched my hands into fists.
Because, suddenly, I came to a realization—a realization that I did not want to believe was true.
Firm nails pressed down upon soft palms.
Reality struck me as pain entered my senses, but it did not feel real to me.
Perhaps it’s because I didn’t want it to be real.
How could there be no such reprieve in life.
Whenever you get the feeling that something was wrong,
However, even if you don’t know what the hell exactly was wrong, you just keep searching and searching for the source of your dread.
And before you know it, you find that you’ve become lost—even without being able to find what you were looking for, left with a hand that’s in pain from how you clenched it so hard.
That’s how I feel right now.
It felt like I’d become lost in a sea of unimaginable reality.
With that bird at the end of my sight.
Yes, that strange bird.
Blue body, black eyes.
Alive, yet not alive.
Dead, but not dead.
This unpleasant sense of déjà vu was pointing to only one thing.
Just the thought of it seemed like a joke.
Why had a blue monster appeared in this place all of a sudden.
This was a kind of demonic beast that Urien from the third transmigration was controlling.
I’m in the fourth transmigration right now.
The world itself was different from the last, so how could there be a blue monster here
Still, I couldn’t bring myself to laugh.
It was at that moment.
Not only from the sky, but even around me and Cassion, strange movements started to arise.
I quickly turned my head, looking to see where that sound came from.
But there was nothing in sight.
Was it merely the sound of the leaves rustling in the wind
It was a distinctly different sound.
In my alertness, I felt a siren ringing in my mind.
The chill creeping up my fingertips was evidence enough.
My fingers were getting so cold to the point that they were becoming numb.
Normally, I would have approached the source of that sound, checking it without any hesitation.
I could not move, not even an inch.
All I could do was turn my head and scan the surroundings with my eyes.
This time, it came from a different direction.
I quickly turned my head, but.
There was nothing.
My clenched throat started to feel hot.
My lips started to tremble.
Even my gaze started to become blurred and dazed.
The world around me spun and distorted chaotically.
My head was throbbing.
‘No, it’s my eyes that are throbbing.’
Or perhaps my ears.
Perhaps my nose.
Perhaps my entire body.
With the world around me thrown into chaos, I heard someone calling my name.
Heaving out roughly, I moved only my eyes.
And I saw one man.
It was Cassion.
His face was not clear, but I could see that his expression was not good.
He kept moving his lips as though he was in a hurry.
I couldn’t hear him properly.
I shook my head.
In the meantime, the world became bizarrely distorted.
It was me who was being thrown into distortion.
My cold stomach lurched, and something surged up my throat.
I lowered my head and felt something hot pass through my mouth.
But at the same time, the rustling noises began anew.
Rustle, rustle, rustle, rustle.
The rustling sounds were now coming from all around.
The continuous sound was indicative of how many there were surrounding us.
Shocked, Cassion looked around.
His dark blue hair flitted lightly as he turned his head sharply.
So it wasn’t a sound that only I could hear.
What a relief.
What a nightmare.
I thought I had gone crazy, but I’m glad that this wasn’t the case.
However, it was a nightmare nonetheless.
It would have been better if I really had gone crazy instead.
It would have been better if I was hearing auditory hallucinations alone.
After I retched out cold gastric fluids, one hand of mine reached out.
My hand struggled through the air, barely managing to reach out to Cassion’s arm, which was right in front of me.
Cassion’s gaze turned to me once more.
The broken words left him no choice but to ask back.
So, I spat out the words one more time, trying to speak as clearly as I could.
And right after I finished saying this, my body tilted heavily forward.
His large hand shot forward, his arm wrapping around my waist.
His startled voice called out to me.
I leaned against Cassion’s chest and gasped.
As the world became hazy before my eyes, blue things crept out one by one.
No. No. It’s impossible for them to exist here.
Wherever you may be, I will find you.
No matter what.
—Forever and ever.
A creepy whisper seemed to come out from nowhere.
It was the same voice that I’ve had enough of in the third transmigration.
Chills ran down my spine.
All my senses were shouting at me.
This familiar sensation was shouting at me.
That monster, it is coming after you.
That monster, it has already come for you.
With what’s left of my strength, I gripped Cassion’s arm.
And, I raised my head to make eye contact with him.
His dark, black eyes filled my vision.
In his eyes, was I Rosetta
Or, was I still Rita
But it did not matter which one I was.
There’s only one thing I wanted to say.
That was the last thing I could remember.
* * *
The wind howled past the leaves.
The sound was reminiscent of a scream, and so Alicia stopped in her tracks.
She looked up at the sky.
Through the leaves dancing in the wind, the gray sky entered her vision.
‘But it was blue just a few minutes ago…’
She didn’t know where the dark clouds had come from.
It was a shame.
She liked sunny days more than cloudy days.
It made her think about what Daniel said earlier.
He came to the barracks and asked her, ‘Since the weather is nice, would you like to take a walk together’
But wasn’t this kind of weather far from ‘nice’
Alicia looked down once more as she heard someone call her name from the side.
Blue eyes stared back at her.
“What is it” Alicia answered, her eyes wide.
It was Daniel who called her name.
He was evidently anxious, with the way his brows were furrowed as he was looking at her.
“Are you alright Did you get hurt”
“No, it’s not like that… It’s just, the wind sounded quite unusual.”
Alicia hurriedly waved her hands and made an excuse.
Still, it was half true, so it’s not entirely an excuse.
For an instant, their eyes met in the air.
More than that, a man.
She wasn’t very used to making eye contact with a man, and so Alicia avoided his gaze, her cheeks going red.
“As long as you didn’t get hurt, then that’s good.”
Telling her how relieved he was, Daniel gave her a warm smile.
Alicia nodded wordlessly.
Beneath her long eyelashes, her golden eyes glistened shyly.
Her heart had been beating regularly until now, but it started to race just a little fast.
“Thank you… for your concern.”
“Gosh, this isn’t something you have to thank me for.
We’re friends, aren’t we”
As he accepted her fumbling gratitude, Daniel’s white teeth were shown as he smiled.
Alicia furtively smiled again as she heard the word ‘friend.’
‘I have a friend, too…’
Suddenly feeling emotional, her throat clenched up.
For all nineteen years of her life, it was the first time that she was acknowledged as someone’s friend.
Alicia thought that it was fortunate that she got to meet Daniel.
Because he did not make her feel uncomfortable.
He was warm.
And he was sweet.
During their first meeting, she got to meet him as a man who couldn’t even come down from the tree that he had climbed.
But even then, he was just trying to save a kitten.
With that, he seemed to be a gentle person by nature.
And after which, she also enjoyed their occasional letter exchange.
To the point where she had to wonder if it was truly this fun to talk to someone.
Although they’d been acquainted not too long ago, the walls around Alicia’s heart had already gone down long ago.
“Ah, but just in case…”
Daniel held out his hand.
As if to ask for hers.
Hesitating for a moment, Alicia gulped, but soon gave her hand to him.
Then, with a dazzling white light, a warm energy seeped through her hand.
It was the same sensation that she felt before.
That day, during the funeral at House Carter, when Daniel had healed the scratch on her hand.
It was the same feeling from back then.
“How do you feel Your mood has gotten better, right”
Daniel asked playfully, at which Alicia nodded.
“Yes, it feels great.”
“Then, shall we continue our stroll Are your legs alright”
I want to walk more.”
The gaze opposite her contained a similar smile.
Unlike the downcast sky, the air was clear.
Still though, there was one particular shadow who wasn’t all that pleased to see them like this.
‘The sky had become so dark, so I wonder how long this walk will continue.’
Hiding behind a tree, Diana let out a small sigh.
She was escorting the two.
Matching the thought that crossed her mind, the sky was indeed gloomy.
It looked like it was going to rain any minute now.
But contrary to her expectations that they would end the stroll, Daniel and Alicia did not stop walking.
To her chagrin.
Inevitably, Diana also moved along.
Again, the wind howled.