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Chapter 38 : Alone
「And today~ I cut the tree~ chop chop chop~♪」
Mallow swung the『God of Destruction’s Battleaxe』towards a tree while singing such a weird song.
Right now, she was at Area 1, Black Forest.
It had been a while since she last visited this place. And as usual, there was no human presence here.
As she was hoping for. If not, she would get disappointed.
Because today, she just wanted to be alone.
She had been avoiding players and even NPC. And here she was now, alone in the forest.
Right now, even if a person came into her sight, it would be a bit of a mental burden for her.
Well, she could just stay in her own room at home. But, she thought that it would damage her mental health even more if she was just doing nothing in her room. That was why she was playing『Genesis Frontier』today.
Nonetheless, she had nothing to do either in the game.
Apparently, it seemed that a map conquest event would be held again next week. If there was another high difficulty boss battle on that event, Mallow might try to challenge it.
There were a lot of things to do to prepare for the event though. But, she just didn’t feel like doing it right now.
「So much fun~, so much fun~, so much fun~♪」
Though she was saying that, Mallow’s face didn’t look like she was having fun at all.
She was somewhat gloomy as if she was possessed by something. That kind of expression.
Perhaps Mallow herself should be aware of her own expression right now. That was why she forced herself to sing a song in order to raise the excitement.
It was so painful to watch her like this. But, there was no one here who could tell her.
There were only little birds chirping, flying in the sky.
She kept cutting down the tree pointlessly.
Thwack, thwack, thwack. Chop, chop, chop.
The trees that grew in the Black Forest are very hard. They couldn’t be cut down easily.
As expected from the trees that grew in the forest where the Monster Tree was growing.
However, the trees that Mallow cut would only disappear and not become an item.
So no matter how many trees she cut, nothing would happen. But for Mallow, it was good enough.
She wasn’t doing this for a purpose in the first place.
It was just for killing time, not for having fun or anything.
She stopped singing.
Even Mallow could be tired if she kept singing meaninglessly.
Though she tried hard to think about the lyrics in her head, it just wouldn’t come out of her mouth.
Well, that couldn’t be helped.
Then she put her axe down and sat on a tree trunk that looked like it could be used as a chair.
She breathed out a bit.
She looked up at the sky and saw the endless blue sky through the gaps between the trees.
There were little birds flying from nowhere. Mallow saw them and wished she could fly like them.
And while she kept looking at the sky, suddenlyー
She saw something big flying up there.
No, that was just too big for a bird.
Or maybe an airplane?
Nah, never heard about an airplane being implemented on the game before.
Didn’t know about that.
There were UMA monsters in this game though. So, that might indeed be a UFO? But, that looked like something different.
So, what was that then?
She still couldn’t guess what that was.
And when she tilted her head, that big shadow made a u-turn.
And then it came down into this directionー!?
「Oh? Mallow-san. ‘Sup」
What was coming down from the sky was a girl with silver hair and golden eyes wearing a military dress.
Yes, it was Bolg.
She landed in front of Mallow with a very normal face like there was nothing happening.
Even she made an expressionless face though.
Besides, why the heck was she flying in the air?
「What on earth are you doing in a place like this?」
「Umm… Cutting down the trees?」
「B, Bolg-san as well. Why are you coming here? It’s well known that there’s nothing in the Black Forest, right?」
「Actually, that’s why. There’s nothing here, thus no players here. So, I can test out this skill without worrying about being seen by the other players」
「Skill【Flight】. Recently, I cleared a quest and acquired this skill, so I wanted to give it a try」
Now Mallow knew the reason why Bolg was flying.
She didn’t know such a skill existed.
When Mallow finally understood the reason, Bolg gave Mallow an upward glance (because Bolg’s height is shorter than Mallow’s) and asked her.
「And then? What happened?」
「Something bothering your mind? You look like you are worrying about something」
「D, Do I look like that?」
「If you have something bothering your mind, you can speak to me」
「N, No, no. It’s fine」
Mallow waved both of her hands in front of her face.
「You don’t have to do that, Bolg-san. I feel bad about it」
「You don’t have to feel bad. I’m okay with it. I just have to listen to your story, nothing difficult」
「……… Are you sure?」
「Yea. It’s just talking. Talking is free, right? So, you can tell me your story. If that makes you feel better, it’s totally worth it then. Besides, I might be able to find a solution」
Mallow was thinking for a moment, choosing her words and then started talking.
「To tell you the truth, I’m a loner」
「I didn’t expect that. You look friendly enough to have a friend or two tho」
「Well, I ‘had’ a friend. But, long ago, we were having some distance and eventually lost contact with each other」
「And the reason is? There must be a reason behind, right?」
「…….That’s because….. I have a troublesome personality. And I have hurt people once because of that. Since that time, I was scared of being with someone else and doing something together with them. I’m scared if I’m gonna hurt them」
「That’s why I was always playing solo. But, I recently had an opportunity to play together again with my friend」
「Ohh, that’s good」
「Yes, indeed. That was really really fun….. That was fun, but…. I don’t know if it’s okay for me to have fun like that」
「….. Hm, hm」
It seemed that Bolg finally understood Mallow’s problem.
「In other words, you want to say something likeー You’re not sure if it’s okay if you are playing with your friend, because you are afraid that you’ll may eventually hurt your friend, right?」
「Um. Something like that」
「Of course it’s okay, isn’t it?」
Bolg answered it quickly.
She was easily destroying Mallow’s worries into pieces.
「Look. It’s fine as long as you are having fun. It’s only a pain in the ass to think about whether you may give people trouble or not」
「Pain in the….ass?」
「It means bothersome」
「I, I know what it means. That’s not what I was trying to say」
「’Having a troublesome personality’ has nothing to do with ‘if it’s okay for you to having fun with them or not’, you know?」
「So you say….both are different matters?」
「Am I wrong? Look. Having fun is an act that all humans are allowed to do. It doesn’t matter if you have a troublesome personality or not」
「Even though that it may be can hurt someone else?」
「Mallow-san, you are too kind. That’s why you get serious about something that “might” happen. If you are too cautious about that “can” may be, your life will be boring, you know?」
「It’s not just “may be”. It was actually happened」
「Indeed, you were actually hurting people in the past. And that’s your weak point」
Bolg clapped her hand together in front of her chest.
「Well, being afraid is not a bad thing. But, if that fear is stopping you from doing what you wanna do, I will not accepting it no matter what」
「That’s….. Maybe you’re right, but….」
「Maybe this is the time for you to try to step ahead for once. Try to interact with people. Doing something together with them. And eventually get recognition from them. Make them to approve your presence in their life」
「Avowal from people… no, from your friend. Maybe that’s what you need right now. Well, that’s maybe a bit difficult for now. That’s why, I have an idea」
「What is it?」
「Mallow-san, would you like to go in an adventure together with me?」
Bolg smiled mischievously.