Chapter 151 Clung Memories
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
Taking a deep breath, I resumed my specialized training in spatial magic. The next step was to address the changes in the internal environment of the alternate space. The interior of the alternate space visible from the opened entrance was pitch black, with no discernible boundaries for the ceiling or the floor. To create an interior environment similar to the Elven village, I began rewriting the magic circle for creating the entrance.
”Alright, it’s done.”
”What kind of magic is this time?”
”This magic circle is used to reshape the interior of the alternate space according to the caster’s imagination. By channeling magic while picturing the desired changes in your mind, the internal environment will transform accordingly.”
With the thought that one learns through trial and error, I immediately channeled magic into the magic circle and visualized the changes in my mind. First, I imagined the vegetation surrounding the pioneer settlement, as it was the easiest to picture. As a result, plants began to grow within the space, but perhaps due to the improper visualization, they sprouted in a chaotic manner, without any distinction between up and down.
”The trees are growing upside down.”
”Oops, maybe I should have started with imagining the ground first.”
Starting over, I pushed the image of vegetation out of my mind, reset the internal space, and then focused on imagining the ground. After creating the ground, I proceeded to visualize the sky, ensuring proper orientation before imagining the plants growing from the ground to the sky within the space.
”Amazing, a forest has appeared within the space.”
”Success! The way the trees are growing seems somewhat regular and unnatural, but should I go in and take a look?”
With cautious steps, I inserted one foot into the entrance, confirming the sensation of the ground, and slowly entered the alternate space.
”There’s no smell of soil.”
”Of course not, it’s just appearance. Even the trees growing are not real, they’re merely clusters of magic. Higher-level spatial magic can replicate not only the appearance but also the internal structure perfectly, but I’m not yet capable of such advanced magic.”
”Is it not enough to channel magic into the magic circle and visualize?”
”To completely replicate the internal structure, mere visualization by the caster might not suffice. But it seems I can’t proceed much further. Although I pictured a deep forest extending infinitely in my mind, there seems to be an invisible barrier despite the illusion of depth.”
”Well, the sky is different. The clouds aren’t moving at all, and there’s no sun. However, the surroundings are as bright as if illuminated by the sun.”
”That’s due to my lack of imagination. I focused on creating a midday sky and forest, completely forgetting about the sun. Just wait a moment.”
Saying so, I approached a vertically elongated stone tablet near the entrance to the alternate space. The surface of the tablet bore the magic circle for spatial magic.
”It’s the same as the one outside – a magic circle to alter the internal environment of the alternate space. Rather than going outside every time I want to do something, this way I can simply imagine it, and a new magic circle will be ready without needing to redraw it. Drawing and adjusting the magic circle again and again is quite troublesome.”
Considering how bothersome it would be to draw and adjust the magic circle repeatedly, I visualized the sun in my mind.
”Alright, how about this?”
”It looks like a sun imitation is floating.”
”Huh? What’s with the ‘imitation’?”
At Momoka’s words, I looked away from the magic circle to the sky and indeed saw something that resembled a luminous, spherical sun-like entity – more accurately, a spherical magic circle emitting light – floating in the sky. Likely, I had inadvertently combined thoughts of the sun with those of the magic circle, resulting in this amalgamation (foreign).
While it was convenient to change the internal environment through visualization alone, this ease of use also meant that poorly imagined images wouldn’t produce the desired results. Well, in a sense, it was producing the intended result, but it was somewhat challenging, as the magic seemed to read my thoughts so acutely.
”The sun is there, but there’s still something odd.”
”Indeed, even when compared to a natural environment, there’s a lingering sense of unnaturalness.”
I made adjustments to the sun’s visualization, eliminating all noticeable inconsistencies. However, a sense of oddness remained even after these adjustments.
”The position of the shadows might be the issue. The direction of the sun’s light and shadows is different; that could be the cause.”
”Alright, let’s try fixing that.”
From there, Momoka and I discussed the sense of oddness while repeatedly adjusting the internal environment, attempting to eradicate the discomfort.
”It’s… not working. Instead of diminishing, the odd feeling seems to be increasing.”
Perhaps it was only natural that the involvement of human hands would yield such results, but the more I tried to fix the unnatural aspects, the further I drifted from the image of the natural forest I aimed for.
Furthermore, due to the fact that the images in my mind were almost directly projected onto the internal environment, precise adjustments were difficult. No matter what I tried, parts of the surrounding environment were inevitably pulled into the image, leading to a distorted state within the alternate space that seemed as if multiple different forests had been cut and pasted together.
”Now that it’s turned out like this, the initial state might have been the most natural after all.”
”Should we start over?”
”Let’s take a break before that. I’ve been thinking too hard, and my head is starting to ache.”
Among the various magic spells used to alter the internal environment, I had thought this one to be the most convenient and straightforward. However, such convenience also posed a challenge. When I entered the alternate space with the Elven village, I didn’t feel any discomfort like this. The land and plants in that space were not mere imitations based on appearance; they were completely replicated items, or perhaps things that had been brought into the alternate space directly, like soil and seeds. However, even resting here is somewhat uneasy due to the chaotic nature of the place. I could go outside… yes.
”Hey, how about Momoka tries this next?”
”You want me to change the environment?”
”Yeah, this state is not allowing me to relax at all, and I’m feeling tired now, making it hard for me to visualize things properly.”
”Well… Can I even imagine a forest properly? I’m not so sure.”
”It doesn’t have to be a forest. Try something that’s easy for you to imagine.”
As Momoka placed her hand on the stone tablet engraved with the magic circle and began channeling her azure magic, the internal environment began to change rapidly. The blue sky turned to a deep red hue, the greenery vanished, and in its place, the land was gradually covered by grey mountains.
The scene had transformed into a twilight ruins, with concrete mountains stretching as far as the eye could see.
”Could it be…?”
”As I suspected…”
After hearing about the invasion and how humanity had retreated deep underground, I had expected something like this to some extent. However, the extent of the devastation was beyond what I could have imagined. Since not a single building remained intact, the invasion must have been extremely intense.
When I picked up a piece of concrete lying nearby and clenched it in my hand, it crumbled easily like dry soil, turning into a dust of magic and disappearing completely. Indeed, there was a stark difference between appearance and actual strength. Nevertheless, it was quite disheartening that this desolate world was what Momoka found easiest to imagine.
The Divine Spirit Tree had mentioned that Ihoumono couldn’t easily adapt to this world, to prevent them from forgetting their memories of their original world. However, it was easy to imagine just how much pain that “unforgettable” aspect could cause. So, I stared at this desolate world with a somewhat accusing gaze. At that moment, Momoka, who had been silent until now, suddenly spoke.
”I hate sunsets because they remind me of bad memories.”
”What do you mean?”
”We always set out at dusk. It’s the time when they transition from an active state to a dormant state, the time when their movements slow down the most.”
Couldn’t they have attacked when the enemy was fully dormant at night? The question almost slipped out, but I managed to keep my mouth shut just in time and swallowed the doubt. Even though I knew it wouldn’t make a difference, I didn’t want to risk making Momoka remember unpleasant memories by asking her questions. So, I just nodded in response to Momoka’s words, refraining from further inquiries.
”But you know, I’ve never actually fought. Right before we engage with the enemy horde, I’d realize that all the equipment I was wearing was gone, and I’d arrive in this world with nothing.”
Was the equipment intentionally removed when the gods brought her to this world? I didn’t understand what the gods meant by “better things, stronger things,” but given that various Imprints had come to this world, imparting power and knowledge, and considering the absence of firearms, tanks, and fighter jets in this world, it’s possible that weapons not dependent on individual strength might intentionally be excluded.
”So, all my memories of battle are actually the memories of previous bearers, stored as knowledge. They aren’t my own experiences…”
Momoka continued as she looked up at the reddening evening sky.
”I hate this bright red sunset because it reminds me of battles. I hate the flowing red blood because it reminds me of my comrades’ deaths.
I shouldn’t be remembering all of this, even though it’s not my memory…”
”I believe this is the voice of resentment from my predecessors. The predecessors who fought for the sake of humanity, for the sake of their comrades, risking their lives, are resenting me, a coward who is peacefully enjoying life without fighting, saying ‘Don’t forget,’ ‘Don’t run away.’ That’s why, someday, I want to be like my predecessors…”
Feeling uneasy about Momoka’s words, I called her name, and she seemed startled, covering her own mouth with her hand.
”…I’m sorry, I said something weird. Forget what I just said.”
As she said that, Momoka fell silent, leaving me at a loss for words. Memories of intense battles, gruesome memories of losing comrades, the scene of twilight ruins stained crimson—these things were deeply ingrained within Momoka now. As long as Momoka remained an Ihoumono, those memories wouldn’t fade away. I couldn’t erase or diminish those memories. However—
”All right! Break’s over! Hey, Momoka, have you heard of amusement parks?”
”Huh? I’ve seen a little about them in old articles when I was browsing the archives.”
”In that case, I’ll invite you to an amusement park in my memories.”
I couldn’t change the painful memories, but I should be able to temporarily help her forget with enjoyable memories. Even though my proficiency in alternate space magic was still low, the recreated attractions were awkward and lacked proper functionality. The roller coasters, merry-go-rounds, and spinning teacups—all the action-based attractions, including the thrill rides, were mere motionless sculptures.
Despite this, I think Momoka enjoyed herself to some extent. I hope that this memory remains a joyful one for her. With that hope in mind, I spent the time until dusk playing in the amusement park within my memories alongside Momoka
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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