Chapter 2 : The Investigation (1/6)
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“Be safe out there, ma’am.”

A knight said as he waved me off. I turned back to the tall walls of Radiant City. Everything in me wanted to disappear and never come back… but I promised Maxwell that I'd live here when he passed on.

“…It’s finally getting dark.”

I looked up to see the burning sun hiding behind the horizon. This was a sight I’ve grown to love. As the night cleaved in, I heard a loud clicking noise coming from behind me.

“Wow…”

When I turned to look at the city, the lamps around it lit up with holy spectrum. The spectrum flow in the sky that I noticed this morning was lit up. Dancing above us were colors representing different spectrums. It showed that they harnessed the elements and are using them all day and night. Even the Radiant Kingdom lit up in a bright white haze.

“…It’s time to get home.”

I whispered. The sight was marvelous, but I still wouldn’t want to live here if I had the choice. I slowly made my way back home. As I ventured into the field, I could see the factories tolling away as their lights were still on. Spectrum was flowing from it at high rates. However, the farms weren’t lit up; it was resting time for them.

Eventually, in the distance, my cabin came to view. Thankfully, no beast came out to attack me as I casually made my way back home.

 

 

I was able to let my guard down for the first time today. When I approached the door, I pulled out my key and opened the door. Inside was nothing special; a small kitchen, a living room, and a small bedroom on the side. Perfect for just me.

“I’m home, Maxwell.”

I announced as I walked into my bedroom. I set my katana on the wall.

“No fried green tomatoes, but… I do have broccoli… and maybe…”

After making a broccoli soup, I sat at the table and finally relaxed. It was fine… not much seasoning other than a little bit of pepper. My cooking skills were nothing special. As long as I enjoyed it, it didn’t matter how it tasted.

“This is nice…”

 

 

As I stirred my spoon in the soup, I thought about everything. I wanted my life to be simple, but after coming here and entering the city, it seemed that was taken away momentarily. I decided that after I helped Jade with her investigation, I would make sure to never step foot in Radiant City again.

“That was good…”

I whispered. The fire behind me crackled, the outside life chirped, and everything was… pleasant. After finishing my meal, I calmly washed the dishes. In the sink, I gently scrubbed the pot and plates. It was only me in this isolated space. As if I walked into a realm where other people didn’t exist, I was… in heaven.

I never make more than a portion size for myself. If I cooked anymore, then I would get bored of it and not finish the rest. When everything was in order, I looked about the place for a bit before stepping outside. The moon was bright, and it reminded me of the forest.

“…Maxwell.”

His name still hurt to mention, but because of him, I was alive today. Without his sacrifice, this sight wouldn't have been possible for me.

“I’m not just living for myself anymore… but for you too, Maxwell.”

When I first stepped out of that forest, everything was new to me. It was like I walked into a new world… but in reality, I was on the same planet. I was still on Prism.

As I thought away, the wind blew a nice chill as it made my long hair dance in the moonlight. As I closed my eyes and let the wind take me in its arms, I heard a noise not native to the elements.

“Ngg… Mhhh..."

From the distance, but near the forest, I heard a strange sound. Cautiously, I walked down my wooden steps. The noises were getting louder as I waded my way through the bushes. After a bit of searching, I found something remarkable…

 

 

On the edge of the forest, near my cabin, was a girl clad in a white and green school uniform. With a red ribbon, crème white skirt, and fancy boots, she looked out of place in this forest. Her bright pink hair and eyes full of starlike wonder caught me off guard. With that bright pink hair and coy exterior, she was lying down on her stomach with her eyes brimming with excitement as she watched something remarkable to her.

“Oh…”

It was nothing but a blue butterfly, but the way the moonlight broke through the trees and cast its wonderful light on her heightened the experience to me. Her uniform must be getting dirty, but she seemingly didn't care. Her feet kicked about as she was mesmerized by this tiny creature.

“Zoooom… zoom…”

Strange noises were coming from her lips and it… brought a smile to my face. As if she was so innocent that the childlike wonder was still brimming within her. Watching her poke at this butterfly and it not fly away, soothed my heart and took away the stressful morning I had.

“Mr. Wings. I’m going to call you… Mr. Wings from now on.”

When she spoke, her voice was timid and as soft as a pillow. It was the kind of voice that one could listen and fall asleep to. As if every syllable was made to soothe my soul…

 

 

“Wow… hehe.”

She laughed, and it caused me to smile and unconsciously chuckle too.

“Oh?!”

She stood up, causing the butterflies and any other little creature around her to scatter. Here in the blue moonlight, we caught eyes with one another. She had bright short pink hair and hot pink eyes that only added to her unique charm. She sported a sailor uniform that I’ve never seen before. It was white and green with golden buttons, but the white was now a mix of brown from the dirt. Momentarily, she wiped her hand on her white skirt, smearing the dirt there as well.

“Oh… sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.”

 

 

I put my hands up as I spoke. She reminded me of a bunny as she gazed at me with caution. Her eyes were soft, and that only made me want to calmly speak with her.

“Ah… I live just over here in that cabin nearby. I heard a noise and… found you, that’s all.”

“…”

Not a word was uttered from her as she watched me with prejudice. It was then that it hit me…

“Hey… I’ve seen you before, haven’t I?”

When I was being interrogated by that blue-haired woman with the gun, it was her that raced away, seemingly in fear. But before I could mention that, she shifted her gaze away and rushed off deeper into the forest. She was fast, just like a pink bunny. 

“Ah…”

I didn’t expect her to take off like that.  The fatigue of the day finally started to get to me. The temperature was getting colder as the wind blew just a little harder. I tapped my hip and turned around. With a stretch of my arms behind my back I concluded.

 

“Well, that’s one less person I’ll have to deal with, I guess.”

Instead of thinking more about it, I made my way back home. I removed my jacket and shorts and got into something more comfortable. It was a dark dress I made a few years back. It had holes that I had to keep repairing, but I still liked it. The rest of the night was uneventful, and when I got tired, I laid in bed…

“Alright… I have to be up earlier than usual tomorrow.”

I closed my eyes, inviting the night terrors to assault my mind.

 

 

 

 

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