7 Nights:Chapter 04 part1
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 Chapter 4 - Player Kill - Part 1
With that faint voice, I woke up from my slumber.
Is that Mi-ko ...? It appears I was able made it back alive from the nightmare.
As I yawn I open up my eyelids,
"..... eh ..."
My astounded voice got itself out.
What jumped in front of me is merely a chippped golden moon and the dome with the stars twinkling.
"Night ...? I, I should have returned by now ..."
"No. This is the Nightmare."
An answer came from my murmuring meant for no one. As I was about to bend my head, the Valkyrie's face showed up right in front of me. With our lips so close I would have kissed her should I raise my head a bit, my heart suddenly jumps!
This stance ... am I being awakened by her? And, is it her bosom that is touching my cheek ...!? It feels like hard armor but even then I cannot keep myself calm.
"S, sorry! I'm already awake and -"
"Don't move too fast. You must rest here for a while."
In my confusion I tried to get up; conversely, I was being strongly embraced by the Valkyrie. Eh, ehhh ... !? Why did I end up in a paradise like this --
-- oh, I see, I'm about to die.
My confused brain finally settled down. I see, I remember myself torn to shreds and then left for dead by the praying mantis. And from there the one who revived me is,
"You're the one who saved me, right."
She probably healed my injuries with her usual mysterious powers.
"Are you hurt somewhere?"
"None, thanks to you. I'm a bit sluggish though ..."
"My magic can only heal injuries, not restore stamina. It's better I stay beside you until you've settled down."
This is an embarrassing stance, but the real problem is if I get up right now I have a feeling that I would be totally disoriented as I stand up. Allowing myself to rely on her words, I breath deeply.
"Thank you very much. Thanks to you I've narrowly escaped from death yet again."
"No need for thanks. I wished for this. So there's no need for you to humble yourself. Being reserved is lonesome."
The Valkyrie says those words with a straight look.
"I understand ... well, 'I got it'"
As I correct myself, she nodded in assent.
... good, it's all right already. I again separate from her arm, and stood up by myself.
I look around the surroundings. It's the same place where I fainted, at the top of the pedestrian deck of Nanaobi station, north entrance. The praying mantises were dispersing into light as usual, their figures disappearing. Though that's okay,
"Akeno ... where is she ...?"
"She just 'left' just a while ago. As you lay down unconscious."
" 'Left' -- she woke up from this dream? It means she returned safe and sound, thank goodness."
With her safe, I stroke my chest in relief.
"Even so, I 'collapsed' .... Even in this dream I lost consciousness."
I murmured in wonder. Should I faint within this dream, I wonder where my consciousness will go ...?
"Of course. The Nightmare is an elaborate miniature garden (replica), should you lose consciousness here, you could die here."
The Valkyrie's expression was flat. So this would be true.
"We've met in the Nightmare twice, yet both times you were barely alive. Exercise more caution. Unless you want to be like it."
As she mouths those words of caution, she pointed at my feet. "It"? -- As I incline my head in doubt towards me, her fingertips follow. There,
A praying mantis is rolling about.
As my heart beats violently, I choked for an instant.
I kneel on the ground, and pick it up. It's about 10cm long. Even when it's between my fingers it didn't even move one bit. Nevertheless, I can't find even one injury in its body. It's pretty even if it started moving right now. Yes, a fine example for a stuffed animal.
"This ... this praying mantis ..."
"That's right. That's it for sure. The real form of the monster we fought against."
I remember the goosebumps-inducing ominous giant mantis' body. Was its real form the common praying mantis? Does this mean the monsters are not virtual, they're real living creatures ...?
"The monsters loitering in the Nightmare are common animals mutated by Loki's curse, driven into a violent frenzy to attack the players. If a monster goes down, it will revert back to its normal form."
So the dead monsters turning into light, it means that the curse attached to these monsters is being dissipated.
... Shit, somehow this is annoying .... "Until now we've been involved an exchange of lives with the monsters", this fact is suddenly making me sick. Even nauseous.
"Even in this Nightmare, there is no way to resurrect the dead. ... Watch yourself, Sakuya."
The Valkyrie's advice reverberate throughout my skull. My heart is battering against my ribs.
From my shaking hands, the mantis fell off and rolled about.
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