Chapter 412 – Trials (1)
Even though it wasn’t a long and fierce battle, the two weren’t as tired as they thought they would be.
In Sarah’s case, for some reason, as she gained a little bit of enlightenment, her accumulated fatigue melted away like snow.
Not only that, but her mana sensitivity and her physical abilities were clearly higher than before.
At first, she thought it was because of her mood, but she was convinced that her body had recovered to its perfect condition.
Rata was beaten badly by the monster, so it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that his stubbornness was shocking.
And he wasn’t too tired.
“How much further should we head in?”
As they got closer to their destination, Rata’s mood began to turn serious, and Sarah didn’t bother asking why.
It wasn’t like they were close, and it didn’t look like Rata would suddenly act out.
She had that kind of trust in him, so she didn’t care.
And how long was it?
Rata, who was silent, spoke after a long time.
“What was your resolution when coming here?”
When she was suddenly asked for her resolution, Sarah frowned.
“You must have thought about a lot when coming here.
For example, if you fail, the world will perish.”
Wouldn’t it be hopeless if I had come this far, and yet there was nothing I could do?”
“Is that all? If you cannot save the World Tree, the world will be ruined for real.
This tree is a lot more important than you think.”
“I know that much.”
“You have a pretty calm face for someone who knows that.
May I ask why?”
The fate of the world was in her hands.
Still, Sarah looked like an emotionless person.
Rata knew that it was because of something, and he wanted to know what it was.
To which Sarah answered,
“If the World Tree cannot be saved, the world will perish.
But will it really perish?”
“There has to be something.
If we do not give up, even if the World Tree cannot be saved… call it human arrogance, but it feels like it will work out somehow.”
“That is such an irresponsible idea, though?”
“It can be like that too.
However, before coming here, I met a certain old man, and he never gave up.
The moment you give up is when it all ends.
You may fail, but as long as you don’t get frustrated, things will definitely happen.”
Of course, it might not happen anymore.
That failure might be the end.
Even so, if they didn’t give up, humans could still find an answer.
Even if the answer was different from what they thought before, they could still find an answer.
If others couldn’t do it, then she would surely do it herself.
Sarah thought so.
“And I am not that calm.
To be honest, I am incredibly anxious.
As you said, I have more responsibility than I can hold.
I don’t know why I have to carry such a heavy load, but if I have to do it, I will just move forward rather than get frustrated.”
After saying that, Sarah looked at Rata and smiled.
Seeing her smile, even Rata smiled.
Such a great name.”
It is a cool name to have.”
At Sarah’s proud tone, Rata nodded and said,
“I have something to tell you.”
“It is the main point now.”
The reason why Rata had been so silent for a while.
It was because he was trying to think of how to break it to her.
“Actually, I approached you for one purpose.”
Rata confessed that the first thing he said was a lie.
And then he tightly closed his eyes.
He thought Sarah would hit him, but unexpectedly, she didn’t do anything.
And she asked, as if indicating she wanted to know more,
“A-Aren’t you angry?”
“After all this time? Fine, go on and spill what you have to say.”
After joining forces, she put some trust in Rata, and with that trust, the lies he told her at the start turned out to be nothing.
Also, she had this rough intuition that there was something Rata wanted in this place.
But it didn’t seem like he would do anything bad to her.
That was probably why she didn’t care much, and Rata continued,
“Do not be surprised.
I came here at someone’s request to guide you.”
Hearing that, Sarah thought back on her dream before she climbed the World Tree.
The sweet voice of an unknown woman who called for her in the pure white space.
She wondered if the person Rata was talking about was her.
Sarah asked Rata for that person’s identity,
“Who is that someone?”
“I cannot say it.
If I mention it, there is a chance that everything we have done until now will become nothing.”
The mention of the name that could make everything vanish made Sarah more curious, but Rata didn’t seem ready to reveal it.
Rata continued talking,
“You will be meeting that person now.”
To be more precise, there is a passage that leads to where that person is.”
Sarah was speaking calmly, but her insides were screaming with joy, and to be honest, she had a hard time coming this far, and now it felt like there was something in here.
In particular, the thought that the voice in her dream and the person she would be meeting now were the same person made her think that the problem with the World Tree would be solved.
However, Sarah’s expression soon went stiff.
“But meeting that person will not be easy.”
“You will have to pass a trial.
To see whether you deserve to meet that person or not.”
“And what is this trial? Do you know?”
Roughly, but telling you will not give the answer.”
“What kind of trial?”
“The trial is….”
Rata spoke with a serious face.
“Going through your life.”
“This is the place.”
Rata and Sarah saw the black hole drilled underneath.
It wasn’t the one that Nidhog dug.
In the first place, the hole they looked at was not physically drilled but a black portal.
“Is it alright to go inside?”
Sarah remembered what Rata had said earlier.
‘A trial of going through life.’
Rata only told her that because there was nothing more to say.
A trial that went through the life of a person, but what was the solution for it? As he said, there was no such thing as helpful advice.
Sarah felt her heart pounding fast.
What would she experience if she stepped inside?
To be honest, she didn’t feel like doing it, but she wasn’t going to step back.
Sarah raised her head and looked at the ceiling.
The ceiling was also black, although she could still see to some extent with the help of the light coming from her artifact.
She closed her eyes, controlled her breathing, and then opened them again as she spoke to Rata,
“I will be back.”
And that was the end.
Sarah threw herself into the black hole before she could hear Rata’s answer.
At that sudden action, Rata shouted while putting his face close to the hole,
“HEYYY!!! I STILL HAVE SOMETHING LEFT TO SAY!!!!”
Rata’s voice rang like an echo, and Sarah faintly smiled, surrendering her body to the darkness.
Sarah opened her eyes to the warm sunlight.
It was hard to open her eyes since she had been in a dark place for a long time and was suddenly exposed to light, so she slowly tried to open her eyes.
‘Why is it so bright?’
It was too dazzling for her.
Being in the dark until now and coming into a darker hole, this place was too bright.
Sarah was shocked, but she managed to open her eyes and remember that this was the place she would have to do her trials.
And the first thing she saw,
“Oh my? Did my daughter wake up?”
Sears was there.
And her appearance was that of the Countess of Welton, just like in the past.
For a moment, Sarah was dumbfounded.
Her mother was in the village, where a different race called the Kelloggs had gathered.
So what did this beautiful sight mean? And that wasn’t all.
Sarah looked at herself.
The clothes she had on were tight against her skin.
Her eyes shook at the softness of the clothes she was feeling for the first time in a long time.
They were things that she didn’t pay attention to in the past.
It was a pink fabric dress with light lace and a yellow ribbon.
They were the clothes she loved the most and wore sparingly.
‘To go through life.’
She thought of what Rata had said.
It was something she thought about before jumping into the black hole.
Seeing Sarah’s somewhat shocked reaction, Sears tilted her head and asked,
“What is it, Sarah? Did you have a nightmare?”
Her voice felt so lively.
It was the opposite of how she was smiling like a dying woman now.
Her mother of that time.
Crying, the memory of that day was buried deep within her heart.
“Sarah? Why is my cutie crying so suddenly?”
Sarah burst into tears, making Sears hug her in shock.
The embrace was so warm.
How long had it been since her mother took her into her arms? Since that one day three years ago, everything in their lives has changed.
So Sarah couldn’t help but cry.
Buried in the happy memories of the day she missed, Sarah cried while holding onto her mother.
“Why is my daughter crying like this?”
Sears calmed her down as she suddenly burst into tears and patted her cheek.
Sarah was still crying as she felt her mother’s touch on her body.
The tears did cease a little, but calming down her heart wasn’t an easy thing.
“Was it a nightmare?”
Sears kissed her on the cheek and gave her another comforting hug.
Sarah just blurted it out.
It would be wrong for her to say no now.
It was true that this was a world of trials and the reality was cruel, but it could be said that her tears came from seeing her healthy mother.
Well, since she could hold her mother’s arms tightly after so long, her tired body and mind slowly felt stable.
They were the things she had taken for granted, and now, after losing them, she realized how precious they were.
Whatever this trial was, she just wanted time to stop like this.
“Will you not leave your mother’s arms today? It is mealtime soon.”
Come to think of it, where were they?
She was too focused on her mother that she couldn’t look around properly, so she looked around and realized that it was a very familiar place.
‘It seems like our home.’
It was the private garden of the Welton’s mansion.
They always enjoyed tea time here.
Seeing this place after a long time gave her a new feeling.
She always used to play with dolls or play with a ball here.
Sometimes, if her older brother returned early, they would even play magic here.
As her thoughts reached that point, Sara had an idea.
She struggled to get out of her mother’s arms to stand on her own.
“Do you want to get up?”
Sarah nodded, and Sears put her down.
The moment her feet touched the ground, it all felt so awkward.
She had no strength in her legs, and standing seemed difficult.
So she stumbled, but someone supported her from behind.
“Are your legs feeling weak?”
Hearing that voice, Sarah turned her head and looked at the owner of the voice.
The emerald hair and eyes.
Even though they were siblings, her brother didn’t look much like her.
“… Brother Jamie?”
It is Brother.”
Jamie Welton looked at Sarah with a smile.
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