After getting sent by the Tolkien household and the others, it’s been the second day we left Toy Berry. Ravi and I, together we walked in the eerie forest.
Even though two days ago, the weather was clear with no clouds in sight, but now, the thick clouds spread across the entire sky. The winds were humid and cold, the days of needing the coat returned.
Is it because that the weather worsened? It looked to me like the colors around us had faded a little. The rotten tree branches, ground covered with withered leaves, and the wet soil. Even the chirping of the birds sounded empty somehow, and the atmosphere was depressed as ever.
Why had we not waited for the ship captain, Biagio to arrive in the port, and chosen to travel on foot back to Balzac. The reason is that on the night of the banquet, a certain rumor that chattered between the townsfolks in Toy Berry.
On the right side of the river that we passed through while we were on the ship, there lied a dense forest. From the people that didn’t travel by the seas, but walked through the forest, apparently there had been sightings of a ghost non-stop from a few years ago.
「I heard that it’s a young male, and he chases around travelers while pleading for help. 」
「Douglas-san, isn’t it great that you chose to take a ship! Having a ghost comes at you isn’t so fun right? 」
「I guess so. It’s better to avoid stuff that might scare Ravi. Don’t worry, Ravi. We will take the ship when we go back too. 」
While saying that and looking at Ravi who was beside, Ravi had a slightly pouty face. She has something to say. But she didn’t say it. It’s her usual expression.
「What is it, Ravi? 」
「……Ghost-san, I want to meet……」
It’s an unexpected answer.
「……Ravi, are you not afraid of ghosts? 」
Ravi tilted her head as if she doesn’t understand.
「Umm……I never saw one before, so I don’t know if it’s scary……」
「That’s why I wanna have a look……」
It’s her usual reserved request. Ravi who usually never speak out her wishes. She brought up her courage to ask me that. It would be problematic if it’s an evil spirit like an undead, but if it’s just a plain ghost, it has no power.
「……The sighting isn’t actually a demonic being right? 」
I asked the surrounding Toy Berry townsfolks, which they nodded smilingly.
「If it’s an evil spirit, then it would’ve been sealed a long time ago, a Saint party was sent out after all. 」
「Well, that’s true. 」
「It just likes to wander around in the forest. But won’t someone be scared normally if they got followed by a ghost? 」
It doesn’t seem to be a hostile spirit. But of course, even if it came out to be an evil spirit, I have my holy aspect skills to deal with it. There would be absolutely no chance of danger for Ravi.
What I’m worried is none but one. It’s just that it would try to spook Ravi if it’s an evil spirit. Against that, it isn’t something so simple that can be solved with a skill…….
「Ravi, the ghost might try to scare you? Are you fine with that? 」
「……Will daddy hug me then? 」
「O-of course……! 」
「If daddy will hug me, then it’s fine even if it’s scary……」
I covered my mouth panickily as I thought my face might become aloof. But it wasn’t just me. Charmed by Ravi’s adorable smile, everyone there had an expression like a melting cheese.
――And so, now. Ravi and I came to be walking in this dimly lighted forest――.
「Daddy, that person……」
Ravi and I who stood still on the forest path. And there were a single figure confronting us. It is a figure of a slender young man. The young man stood between the dense woods, and kept staring here. With a pair lifeless and empty pupil……
「Daddy, the real one……? 」
「I guess so……, it does feel like a real one. A face so pale, and standing so calmly with that much injuries. Above all, his body is translucent. 」
「Ah, umm……I’m definitely a real ghost. 」
Unexpectedly, the ghost engaged a conversation with us like a normal person. Although his pupils are still empty as before, his voice doesn’t have any hostility.
「Amazing……! Daddy, the ghost-san just introduced himself as a ghost……」
「Umu―. To introduce himself as one, he must be the one in question. 」
「Waa! Then we really met with the ghost-san. 」
It seems like Ravi really isn’t afraid of a ghost. Rather than that, her eyes are sparkling with curiosity. If it doesn’t scare Ravi, then there isn’t any problem. Since I have encountered undead many times, I’m used to seeing the deceased ones.
「Eh……. Y-you two aren’t afraid of me!? 」
Having seen our response, the ghost was the most shaken. Still hiding half of his body behind the trees, his eyes had a sliver of hope in them while asking us.
「Really not scared……? Will you not run away from me? 」
I loosened my shoulders and nodded back. Then, suddenly, his expression seemed to brighten up.
「I see……!! Finally! Finally, I found someone that wouldn’t be scared talking with me, aah, my Lord……!! 」
The young man ghost yelled while facing the sky, and hurried here excitedly. But it’s just, his right shoulder is missing, and his left leg is bent in a totally wrong direction, so he couldn’t run properly. It would be more correct to describe that he slowly limped here while his body shake.
「Ah, how troublesome! I can’t walk properly with this body. My left leg is bent 90 degrees. I tried to fix it myself, but look at this! 」
He broke off his left foot with a snap, and tried to reattach it in the natural position. But right after that, another snapping sound was heard, and his foot returned to the 90 degrees position.
「Haha―! Isn’t it the worst!? But it’s kinda funny! I didn’t realize that my injuries can’t be healed even after I died~! ――Wait, not that! My feet don’t matter! 」
The overexcited ghost was in high tension, and drew even closer. Too close, too close. Even for Ravi who had been curious looking at him was taken aback by his enthusiasm and hid behind me.
「Oi, how about calm down for a little? 」
I hugged up Ravi, and said it to the man.
「Ah―, sorry! It got to my head……I mean, you two are the only one that treated me fairly……!! 」
The young man ghost in his excitement, tried to hug us. But his body slipped through us like nothing.
「Ah―. Oops. Haha―! I can’t touch anyone cause I’m a ghost. 」
While getting overwhelmed by his enthusiasm, I met eyes with Ravi. He seems too energetic although he’s dead. He would be undistinguished from a normal human if his body isn’t translucent and injured in all the places.
Even though I thought a ghost would be quieter and harder to communicate with……. In reality, the undeads were only able to let out murmurs and growls, they can’t convey their intent clearly at all.
「I really wanted to shake hands and hug, but since I’m already dead, just receive my feelings! I’m Bruno. I’m really sorry for my conduct but……Please! Please be my help since it’s important for my life……!! 」
……Since it’s important for his life huh, ain’t you already dead. While retorting in my heart, I decided to hear what Bruno had to say for the time being.