Alice Tale in Phantasmagoria Chapter 59
――I was watching a dream.
Realizing this, was an immediate matter.
「Till! You're late, you're really dull, I can't watch this.」
Within the deep forest, a silver haired woman had already gone ahead.
The past daily life, that shouldn't exist.
「Do wait, Est……I'm not leaving the village.」
「What is thisー, Till is being obedient to the village chief? That's what those words seem like.」
「That's not the case, I don't want to be involved in matters outside the village.」
I admired that, innocent behavior.
With silver hair stretching to her back, jewel like shining eyes of that same silver.
Rarely found within the village, a childhood friend of the same age.
「You may say that but～, within this vast world, don't you think it's normal to want to see many things? The curiosity of everyone in the village is too shallow!」
Estoria said as such, and took the hand of my indecisive self.
「Are you afraid Till? It's okay, because I'll protect you! Staying a coward indefinitely, is wrong!」
「I am…… not blessed with Est's level of talent, fighting is…… I don't like it.」
「And that's why you chose ice magic? Even though shishou-sama had his eye on you, what a waste.」
「The title of the strongest, I don't need it…… It would be best if Est were to inherit that.」
「The one to decide that will be shishou-samaー. Mou, my rival, really doesn't have any enthusiasm.」
Saying that she inflated her cheeks, gesturing in a lively manner, she was lovely.
「Please, ーCome with me Till! Monsters, even scary humans, because my flame will burn them all to nothing!」
As such pulling my hand with great force, passing through the deep green forest, I and Est left the village.
――We would never return together again, to that village, our first home.
The dream continued.
The setting changed.
I didn't want to recall it, that detestable, particular day――
「Est, you must run already! Beyond this nothing more can be done!」
A large army trampling upon and overwhelming a small country.
Humans were burned, buildings destroyed, the existence of a dragon that trampled upon everything.
「I don't want that! Because in this country that person is here! For something like a dragon to be brought here! That insolent trait of humans irritates me!!」
Certainly, just how did they lay hands upon a phantasmal species like a dragon.
Those with affinity for that type, would only be elves like me, or demons.
「Ancient dragon…… As of now we, can't contend with that in any way.」
Blocking every attack, an unassailable field.
Something like long range magic, serves practically no purpose.
Even so, attempting close range combat is suicidal.
At this point, it's at the level of a natural disaster.
That thing, as a life form, is close to a god.
Even so, we resist.
The advancing army, the existence of the peerless dragon.
Against such an opponent, essentially only the pair of I and Est resist.
Avoiding every form of attack, burning through every enemy.
The two are the strongest.
Shortly after leaving the village, a rumor like that flowed through the world.
However, there's a limit to fighting alone.
Humans are skilled at war.
Although a large army, they use tactics freely and excel at group combat.
We also, are feared as the strongest magic users, in the end, I'm no more than one person.
Magic power has a limit, as that depletes stamina dissipates.
Forcing through the impossible, continuing to fight through day and night isn't possible.
By barrier of ice, the countless times stopping the dragon's breath, the world turned to black.
At that point I collapsed.
――Both magic power, and physical power, were depleted.
「……I apologize, Est. I really am a coward, I'm afraid of battle. Beyond this……」
Even mentally, I can't fight anymore.
That sort of state.
「I'm sorry, I'm sorry Till! I'm sorry for getting you involved! Because you protected me! ……Even if I must use my soul, just these uncouth humans and their dragon, I'll see them repulsed!」
Within my dim vision, a silver ring was handed over.
「Till…… when you have a child, this, could you give it to them? I love you, Till.」
The last time I saw, my silver haired childhood friend, as always she had an innocent smile.
From there alone, she plunged into the enemy formation.
――――That was, the last memory in which I saw Estoria.
When I came to, I was within that nostalgic village.
Most likely, I was moved by Est's transfer system.
It should have used an unbelievably massive amount of magic power, that is…… to the extent of using the soul.
For a while the body recovered within the village.
And so during that time as the wounds healed, I ended up receiving punishment for once again breaking the chief's words, several years passed in a state of house arrest.
……If I had been stronger.
If I hadn't failed so miserably, couldn't Estoria have cut through that hellish battlefield?
No, surely because I wouldn't be there to impede her, she should have cut through.
――I believed as such.
And so I who studied morning and evening under my shishou, succeeded the name of the strongest.
Having received the freedom to come and leave the village, pushed by an impatient feeling I finally left for a human village again.
If she's alive, then we should meet.
Estoria is an elf.
My childhood friend should have lived for the same time as me, she shouldn't be dead.
Countless years and countless years, walking here and there, wandering.
When the chance came, I would be pulled into battle.
If it's the power of my current self, it could surely aid you.
――Witch of Ice and Snow.
At some point I started being called as such.
As I walked alone I welcomed the rumors.
Est might notice them.
Thinking that, as day after day came I walked through human villages.
……Halfway, I could possibly been about to give up.
At that time as I thought to finally admit it, to clear my heart and return to the village, I met that person.
Outside the village, meeting someone like that was―― impossible, would not be said but it wasn't common.
Might this be, or so I thought.
Brown skin, sharp ears.
Wearing tattered clothes, completely dirty, a completely tired appearance.
Clinging to life through begging she held no abilities.
A child like that, holding an empty bowl in both hands, stood continuously on a day cold enough that snow fell.
White hair and, red eyes.
Without any feel of vitality, a doll like emotionless child that seemed like she could die at the very moment.
Although it was something that happened frequently within the constantly fighting human villages, as expected it wasn't something I could ignore.
「Elf…… No, dark elf is it. What village do you come from?」
「I see…… Your family's name?」
Just a little, she was nervous.
An abandoned child, is it?
Certainly, just one glance is enough to understand the extent of her hardships.
Right now living like this, is at the level of a miracle.
……Most likely, it seems she sold her body.
「Libra, is that how it's said. Would you come with me?」
「……If I can stay, I'll tolerate anything.」
「Kufu, that's wrong. I'd like it if you didn't put me together with the trash over there. Somehow, you seem to have talent. For magic, that is.」
Magic power detection skill.
Although it was taken for the purpose of searching for Est, looking at that child's magic power, I immediately understood the extent of her talent.
「Then, if that will let me live.」
「You'll live. Having a strength that won't lose to anyone, it'll be fine to live boldly.」
And so once again, time passed.
Chasing the flow of magic, I left the village and ran through the sky.
Just where and how, Ah, it's all become twisted up.
――No, to begin with, that person might have despised the world from the beginning.
Even so, killing the people of the village, if she intends to cause havoc within the human villages as well, it can't be avoided.
「Mu? That is……?」
Advancing across the sky, a silver girl desperately running upon the land entered my vision.
My heart jumped.
――This can't be……?
This can't be, this can't be!?
Faster than I could think, I jumped down to the earth.
Wandering around the rest area, the silver girl.
Furthermore, she totally didn't notice me.
This shouldn't be Est.
I quickly understood that.
「――Oi, young girl.」
Surprised from the bottom of her heart the girl faced me while readying her rod, without causing any provocation, I spread my arms.
Silver long hair, amber eyes, a girl with a strong impression.
And this magic power…… an elf, is it?
The special trait of our brethren, can be understood just by looking.
However, as it turned out, I went to town alongside this young girl.
「My name is――――」
Cutting through her breath as she desperately ran, I heard her name.
――――At that point, the feeling of waking from the dream came.
……Most likely, I was the one to slide in and embrace her.
The morning sun spilled into the room.
Within that hot bed, my body was completely enveloped.
Sleeping peacefully, the silver colored girl.
「……Just what will become of you? Nou, Alice?」
If possible without distortion, if possible happily, I want her to live.
Putting that wish in, I lightly strike her with a chop.
With that cute voice, today again another day begins.