Here is the new series that will be replacing Monette. It’s written by the same author, so if you liked that, you might like this as well. I know I do.
“It Ought to Stick Out in the Forest”
Lucy Blanchett remembered.
How bizarre she was, and in addition, she wondered where she was going to go, what she was going to do, and why her right sock was flipped inside out.
However, even if she were to say she had ‘remembered’, it would be better to say she had received some knowledge as the feeling of ‘knowing’ her past wasn’t present. It was as if she had read a bullet pointed summary of a story.
Still, it was a great thing for Lucy to get her memory back which is why she was feeling so relaxed and murmured, “Ah right, I see,” under her breath. She knew which way to proceed through the dense woods she had found herself in, and she knew why she was in such a forest. She could also understand why there were several wolves lying dead around her.
It was enough as long as she understood this.
Thinking that, Lucy closed a book that was less than the size of the first joint of a pinky finger. It was such a book that could not be read by the naked eye. She returned that book that was hanging on a silver chain around her neck along with the loupe¹ dangling right alongside it down underneath her shirt.
Then she started walking at a quickened pace as there was no reason for her to dawdle–as far as she could remember– and more beasts would undoubtedly be drawn by the smell of death and blood from the wolves. It would be too sad if she got lost twice in one day.
To that extent she was aiming for a certain academic institution as far as she could remember, and the entrance ceremony she was supposed to attend would have begun long ago.
She wondered if she would make it in time. Had this not meant to be a shortcut?
She of course asked her past self, but there was no answer. Still, Lucy continued to travel through the woods in earnest.
Lucy’s hair was a dark purple. It was a mysterious color that was made vivid yet dark by the light of the sun, and her eyes were the same color.
Although it was beautiful, it was a tad too conspicuous for traveling through a forest. No matter how thick the foliage was, she could never blend in. Besides, Lucy was a human being, so her disconnect from her surroundings was made all the more prominent.
Both animals and people would be aware and watch out for someone with purple hair trouncing through a dark forest.
In other words, what she wanted to say………she once again encountered some beasts.
It was a bear this time. A huge black-haired bear. It stood at the end of the road, rose up on its back two legs with a groan, and watched her with peeled back fangs. Its eyes were clearly locked on her, and when she noticed it, Lucy stared back.
If she were to look away, the bear would strike. No, even if she were to keep staring, she would not be able to do anything.
If she were to turn and try to run away, the speed of the bear would allow it to catch up in a moment. A bear is an agile creature whose speed does not match its large body.
In other words, it would not be an exaggeration to call this a crisis situation, a moment of desperation.
“Why did I want to go this way…..?”
Her past self was a blur. She wasn’t sure how many minutes or how many hours or even how many days ago she had started on this path, nor could she remember her reasons for using this path, but no matter how she tried to make sense of it Lucy thought that this was a bad road to take.
After completely thinking things through now, it would be depressing to have never set foot in such beautiful green scenery, but it was easy to understand what type of place this was just by the air here making it impossible to argue against anyone who would complain about danger.
After all why…….no, although it was true she was feeling immense regret with the current situation, it is a fact that nothing will change no matter how much she regretted it. Even as she had been internally complaining that whole time, the bear was still showing a threatening attitude while bearing its fangs and had yet to generously say, “I seeeee, well it can’t be helped! Go on through ☆”
If only that would happen…….suddenly Lucy scrunched up her eyebrows,
“I’m using Light Bullets, so shut your eyes!”
and then a voice came.
At that moment, Lucy’s eyes turned towards the direction of the voice………
Gaah! And then a shrill shriek escaped her throat while she held her hands to her eyes yelling, “My eyes!” as a bright light wrapped around her.
Visibility was pure white.
Whether she opened her eyes or closed them, it was white.
However, her hearing was working just fine, and that was picking up the sound of footprints rushing around. The bundle of movement was followed by a commanding voice shouting out some things she couldn’t quite make out, and then the sound of the bear running away……..
And……then the sound of someone approaching her.
“Hey, are you alright?”
“I am in a situation where I don’t know any of the people around me and am currently unable to see, but I am saved. Thank you.”
“Your eyes……sorry, I only gave you an instant to react before we fired.”
“My heart can’t be relied on.”
Because it would heal, Lucy smiled and returned with a joke.
Her field of vision still blinked white, yet there were no signs of blindness even if they were still pulsating with pain. Her self-diagnosis: ‘leave it alone and everything should work itself out’. She knows that it will fix itself after a while.
That was why Lucy instead chose to thank the man who sounded like he was standing in front of her.
“It would be nice if it didn’t turn out to be a big deal. By the way, why were you in this forest?”
“That is what I was wondering as well. There is most certainly a better path through right?”
“…….wondering, did someone bring you here?”
“I believe it is something different from that.”
“Did you get lost?”
“That might be it.”
As Lucy shrugged her shoulders, unsure of the certainty over mere possibilities, she could tell that the other party in this whitish world was sighing.
She still had no idea what this man looked like, yet she was able to imagine him currently wearing a dazzling expression. While thinking such a thing, Lucy tried to leave this place before anything else were to happen……….
“Where are you going?”
when someone suddenly grabbed her arm.
“No matter how you ask, the effects of your light bullets still remain, so I have no idea which way I am going.”
“Why are you going then. Are you in a hurry?”
“If you ask if I am in a hurry, then yes, I suppose I am. The entrance ceremony has probably already begun.”
“Entrance ceremony, are you talking about Liztena Magic Academy?”
Lucy reacted after hearing some words she recalled.
Liztena Magic Academy, she was about to go there. It was surely a place surrounded by a forest, and she was walking with that as her destination. She was probably attacked by wolves on the way.
“Could you please tell me if you know the location of the school. Was it the building whose top is visible from the forest?”
The man looked up towards the sky following Lucy’s line of sight.
Before her field of vision had gone pure white, the roof of a building was visible from the gaps of the growing trees. However, the external appearance of the Liztena Magic Academy was unfortunately not in Lucy’s memory. All she had was a certificate of enrollment and a map with the school in the middle of the forest circled in red ink in her bag, so she had been walking towards that building in the hope that fortune would stand beside her.
“Are you a student? A teacher? Allow me to apologize in advance in case you are someone of unexpected importance.”
“……..A student. I’m one year above you.”
“You were a senpai? Then this degree of correspondence should be enough.”
“You are politely rude. But what freshman is a model student? Let me tell you one thing though.”
‘Was he going to tell me the way?’ Thinking that, Lucy took a step forward and listened intently. ――Although her visibility was still pure white, so she did her best leaning in based off of where she thought the voice was coming from.――
“Lucy…..definitely, you are Lucy Blanchett right?”
“Yes, that should be it.”
“Should be, then what is it?”
“Yes, that is it.”
“Did you realize there was something wrong with your first explanation, so you just changed it?”
“No way. By the way, what did you want to tell me?”
Having so blatantly tried to sweep away the suspicious points surrounding her, the senpai standing before her sighed in amazement……..,
“The entrance ceremony was yesterday.”
and then told her thus.
Lucy’s reaction to the news was a simple, “Oh my,” followed by a tremendous sigh.
“Claudio…….that’s a name I’ve heard somewhere before.”
“Remember it. Anyone other than me would treat such a courteous suspicious person a lot differently.”
“It was gooooood, good that I knew Claudio’s name even though I didn’t know Claudio’s name. Hooraaaaaaaaaay!”
“Are you going to continue to be courteously rude even now?”
“I’m sorry. By the way, what was Claudio doing in the forest?”
Lucy asked while rubbing her slowly healing eyes.
Her field of vision which had been pure white until now had become able to perceive the contours of some people and other things as blurred constructs, and she was also able to tell that the fine quality cloth in front of her was a dark blue. However, it would be hard to call this a full recovery, and it was impossible to adequately see the scenery passing them by as they rode on a horse.
It was was only Claudio’s back who was riding upright on the horse with her and the arm he used to hold her that Lucy could make out in any real detail.
“Because the academy was closed today, I decided to do some hunting with my friends. I found you in the direction of an arrow I had shot at some game……..oops, it’s my defeat like this.”
“Whatever story you tell, you can claim me as part of your prey.”
So Lucy answered, but she could tell Claudio was sighing again through his muscles.
It was also the deepest sigh of the day, and because of that fact, Lucy decided to disregard any further remarks. There was always the possibility of him making her get off the horse and walking the rest of the way if she pushed him too far, so it was a good idea to hang silently here as long as she had no more questions for him.
But as soon as she had resolved herself for this, she would almost immediately break that silence with a, “Wow,” at the sight of a castle so magnificent, its beauty was transmitted to her even through her blurred vision as they both passed through and exited the thick forest.
1. A loupe is a small magnifying glass usually used to fix watches and other fine detail work.