Result: The "Rage" erosion has been lifted.
Result: The dead skill "Rage" has been stopped.
ãResults: Bad Status ãCurse: Demonic Erosionã has been inflicted.
System: The death of the user of the dead skill activates the counseling system.
ãI had lost all of my HP at the hands of Amber, and had been sent to a mysterious white room without respawning.
ãThere are two chairs facing each other in a pure white room. There's a door in front of them, but that's it. I was seated in one of the chairs.
ãThe Avatar's body was covered in cracked black lines, just as it had been when the dead skill was lifted.
'Yes, that's right, the traveler Skuna. We've only just met, so it hasn't been long.'
ãThe one who opened the door and came in was the navigator, Iris.
ãShe was the NPC who was in charge of exchanging items in the safe room for all players during this event, and she was also the nun-like character who was usually in charge of tutorials.
ãShe sat down in a chair facing me, and took out a large menu card-like item.
'This is the counseling room. It is originally a space for comforting those who have exceeded a certain emotional level among the gentile travelers who waver in my world.'
'Yes, it is. The dead skill you invoked, 'Runaway Rage', was not originally designed to be invoked by gentile travelers. It was originally supposed to cause the emotional value of the traveler to reach an abnormal level when activated, and most travelers would have their souls repatriated to their home world.
'Most ...... That means there are conditions under which they won't be returned, right?'
'Yes. I won't go into the details, but simply put, travelers who have the ability to accept emotional values to the point that their spirit does not collapse even after activating the "Outburst of Rage" will not be repatriated to the original world. In your case, you only had five minutes to accept it.
ãI'm sorry to Iris for explaining this so carefully, but I'm not thinking clearly right now.
ãEven listening to her explanation, I could only give a vague response.
'I don't feel like I can use my head much right now. ...... What is Iris doing here after all?'
'Counseling, more like confirmation. If you have not been able to calm down your emotional values and regain normal thought, we will be placing restrictions on your visit for a while. You are both fine, traveler Skuna, but due to the effects of your ...... dead skill, I will be restricting your visit for two days.
ãSo that's it. So you're here to check if I'm mentally ill.
ãI wonder if my status is written on that big menu card?
ãAnd since Iris doesn't use game-like terms, it's hard to tell, but it looks like I won't be able to log in for two days.
ãWell, I'm a little tired too, and I think it's best to let things cool down for a couple of days.
'......Yeah, that's fine.
'I hope you'll visit again, Skuna the Traveler. Thank you for protecting my world.
ãHis expression did not change. However, I could feel his gratitude.
ãIt was a short encounter that lasted only about five minutes.
ãMy world, huh?
ãYes. I forgot to mention that the name 'Iris', which is also a unit of money, is the name of the creator god of ...... this world.
ãI was practically forced to log out, and I lay limp on the VR machine.
ãI'm tired. I'm so tired now that I feel like I'm going to fall asleep any second.
'But now, ......'.
ãThere's something I need to check.
ãThere is no one at the next machine. That means that Lin has already logged out.
ãI suppress my impatience.
ãIt happened in the game. I know that.
ãBut still... Still... I can't get the sight of Rin dying in front of me out of my head.
ãI left the room and walked down the hall.
ãI opened the door to the living room.
ãI opened the door and found Rin-chan as usual.
ãShe's sitting on the couch, playing with her tablet.
ãMy eyes are burning.
ãFor the first time since the day my parents died, I felt my tear glands relax.
ãI felt something warm run down my cheek.
ãI could feel the tears welling up.
ãI knew I wasn't dead.
ãStill, I couldn't stop the tears.
'Welcome home, Nana.'
'Yeah, yeah ......!
ãI stood in front of the door, tears flowing uncontrollably, and Rin smiled gently at me.
ãShe stands up from the couch and hugs me as if she were wrapping me in her arms.
ãIt's warm. The heat I've been wanting is certainly here now.
'Gosh, ...... yeah.'
'Are you okay now?
ãI don't even have a vocabulary.
ãOnly the feeling of happiness dominated my whole body.
ãIt's always the same.
ãNo matter what time it is, Rin-chan is watching over me.
ãVisible and invisible, she's supporting me.
ãIt's really warm. The tenderness of her hug just filled my heart.
'Hmm, let's have dinner then. Aren't you hungry?
ãWhen he said that, I realized that I was indeed hungry.
ãMaybe it's because I've been hiding in the game for so long.
ãI've been in the game since before the apostle defeat battle.
ãMy stomach rumbled at the right time, and Rin let out a light gasp.
'...... some more'.
ãStill, there were things I wanted to prioritize more than food.
'Let me stay like this a little longer.'
'......Okay, princess. Let's relax a bit.'
ãThis is selfish.
ãBut Rin will forgive me.
ãRin-chan gently rubbed my back without losing her smile.
'I remember everything, Rin-chan. I remember that day, and everything before that day, and everything from ...... that day until today.'
ãSitting next to her on the sofa, I began to talk about it.
'......Is it hard?
'No, it's not hard anymore. But, Rin-chan. I feel like talking for a while. I want you to know what happened that day.'
'Yes, please talk to me. I've been waiting for you.'
ãShe gave me a peck on the cheek and smiled.
ãMy parents died in an accident. That's an undeniable fact.
ãBut the reason why I lost everything that day and closed my memory was not just because my parents died.
'It was a snowy day, wasn't it? It was very cold that day, and your mother and father looked very cold.
ãI don't feel much cold or heat, so I just watched them looking cold.
ãI wore gloves and a scarf, but it was still a cold day.
'As you know, Rin, your father and mother had the same birthday, right?ãSo, every year, on that day, I spent time with them apart from Rin. I guess you could call it a family reunion. I loved both my father and mother, so the hand that ......2 they held was very warm and made me very happy.
ãYou can hold the warmth and joy of that day in your hands again, thanks to the reminder.
ãIt was my last outing with my mom and dad. It was so happy, so warm even though it was cold, ...... that it made me inexplicably happy.
ãBut... Tragedy strikes suddenly.
'I was so happy I ...... didn't notice. I must have missed it. Two trucks were slipping and plowing into us. I was trying to help them. ......'
ãI gulped and swallowed. My breath hitched. The scene from that day flashed back, and my body trembled helplessly.
'Nana, calm down. Don't rush, just talk slowly.'
'Thanks for ......, Rin-chan.'
ãRin-chan slowly strokes me.
ãI felt the same fever as that day, and my palpitations slowly subsided.
'By the time I realized, it was too late. But still, Rin-chan. I'll sacrifice myself to push you both out!ã...... Your father, your mother, could have been saved. ....... But ......!ãBut ......'.
ãI can't keep my words in.
ãI knew what had happened, but it was too painful to put into words.
ãBut seeing me like that, Rin must have realized everything.
ãWith a sad look on her face, she got to the heart of the matter.
'So ...... your parents saved Nana.'
'Yes, they did.
ãThey pushed me out of the path of that inevitable truck.
ãEven though they both knew they wouldn't survive that.
ãHe used his life to save mine.
ãAnd then, reaching out with a hand I couldn't reach, I watched them die, up close.
ãThe biggest reason I suffered to the point of breaking down wasn't that I couldn't save them.
ãIt was that they had saved me and I alone had survived.
'I think we were sandwiched between two trucks and we both died instantly. Now that I think about it, maybe it wasn't just the pain. ......'
ãI hope so.
ãOtherwise, it's too much of a relief.
'So, you know. I almost killed the two drivers. But then again, so did they. They died on the spot, just like your father and the others.'
'Yes, that's right. The cause of the accident was a complete slip, four people died, all of them instantly, it was a tragic accident.
ãI smiled back at her as she lowered her eyes.
ãI'm sure that after the accident, Rin-chan was thoroughly investigating whether or not the accident was intentional or not.
ãAnd she used all the power of the falconer's house to come up with that result.
ãIn other words, it was really a coincidence. It was just a coincidence.
'I was so angry that I couldn't help it, and so sad that I felt like I was going to fall ...... down, and I couldn't even find a place for the two to go.
ãAnd I'm alone in the snow.
ãMy heart is broken, my memory is closed, my emotions are forgotten.
ãThat's how far I've come, and I've barely kept 'me'.
'I barely gathered up my disjointed self and created something that looked like me. I put on a mask and tried to live like a normal person. That's me. That's who I am.
ãAnd yet, for more than six years since that day, that's how I've lived.
ãI've been separated from Rin and have managed to live on my own.
ãThe reason why I stayed away from Rin-chan, who had always been close to me, was because I was scared.
ãI didn't think I could bear the grief of losing Rin right in front of me.
ãEven though I knew it would be better to protect her next to me.
ãBut still, Rin was all I had in my world at that time.
ãI was unconsciously convinced that I couldn't bear that loss.
'But now I understand. I wasn't broken. I've been who I am since I was born. Well, I've been living my life with that intention, so I guess it's a little late for that.
'Yes, you're right. It's not unusual for anyone to have a slight personality change. In the first place, Nana never used to get angry. She's much more able to express her opinions than she used to be, she's even grown up.
'Hahaha, you're right.
ãIn the past, I was always just a follower of Rin-chan.
ãThere were countless times when I was told that I was mute and expressionless, and that I looked like a doll.
ãNevertheless, I was happy in those days.
ãI was with Rin, I had Toka, I had my father and mother, and I had Rin's relatives.
ãI was very happy.
ãI can't go back to those days.
ãMy parents' deaths cannot be reversed and my personality has changed a lot. The only thing that has remained the same is my relationship with Rin, but other than that, nothing has changed.
ãBut that's okay now.
ãI finally remembered the memory I should have remembered the most.
'...... Lin, it's me. I finally remembered. They were both smiling at the end. We were smiling. ......'
ãOn the verge of death.
ãThey were almost crushed by two trucks.
ãBut they were still smiling at me.
ãMy father and mother loved me until the very last moment.
'Dad, Mom, I'm okay now.
ãI'm sure they wanted me to be happy.
ãAnd the 'I' that had saved me earlier was no longer locked away. It's still filling me with a soft heat in my chest.
ãSo I won't be lost or forgotten anymore.
ãRin is next to me, and I am here now.
ãI am here now because of Rin-chan, who has been supporting me in the shadows.
'Thank you, Rin-chan.
ãI'm sure that's when I said that.
ãI had the biggest, best smile I've ever had on my face.