Chapter 14:


Emiko Alone

“Come on, Emiko! I can see some city ruins over there!”

“Slow down, Atsui! Emiko is only human. She is unable to keep up with a beast-person like you!”

“Both of you are so rowdy. You will end up attracting attention we do not want.”

Emiko smiled softly at the banter.

“…Hast thou made thy decision?”

“I’m coming,” Emiko whispered, happily pulling her wagon along.

“…So that is how it is…”

“Hm? Are you alright, Emiko?”

Emiko blinked, realizing she had been staring at Isla floating beside her.

“…Art thou certain? It will cost thee. Thou knowest this.”

Emiko laughed softly. “Is it that obvious?”

“…Thou wouldst still ask more of me?”

With a sigh, Emiko shook her head. “Nothing’s wrong. I’m just… thinking. Wondering about how far we’ve come.”

“…Travel the other two holy peaks of this land. Defeat their guardians. Then, I shall consider this thy wish.”

“You can trust us, remember?” Isla said, smiling back. “We are your friends, after all. Especially after the Mount of Stars.”

Uris grinned. “Certainly. Our adventure was quite perilous, but we made it out alright, did we not?”

“But remember…”

“We sure did!” Atsui chirped happily, skipping back to Emiko’s side. “It’s just too bad the dragon said no!”

“…That the treasure thou seekest…”

Emiko nodded, a memory flashing before her eyes. “Yeah… but we know now what we need to do.”

“…Has always been right in front of thee.”

She felt tears collect at the edges of her vision as she looked at her friends worry over her. “Thank you for worrying about me.”

“If that is all… then… turn back time, return to thy frame, and awaken from thy slumbers!”

Emiko smiled brightly.

I will never be alone… when I’m with them.

She took a deep breath, and looked forward.

“Let’s go!”