The night slowly fell…
In the world engulfed in darkness, all signs of life had seemingly disappeared. Not even the forest brimming with life can escape this fate of being swallowed by darkness.
When the night finally descended, Noah stood at the dark entry into the forest. He sighed inside when he saw the forest that spreads as far as the eyes can see.
If he can avoid this, Noah would really prefer not having to do some exorcism mission at night in this kind of place.
He isn’t afraid of ghosts but that doesn’t mean he likes them.
Against something that is questionable as to whether they have a life of their own, even if he’s not sure whether or not they exist but he really hopes that this kind of mission could be done in the day. At least that way it would be much more pleasing to him.
Alas, the appearance of the Strauss siblings disrupted his plans.
Honestly speaking, the Strauss siblings’ request might be unreasonable but Mira has a point. As a magician of Fairy Tail, suppose he did give up this mission it wouldn’t really be such a big deal. At worst he would have to return to the guild and switch to another quest.
Makarov also said that he shouldn’t push himself if he can’t solve the job, he could quit anytime he wanted.
The Strauss siblings seem to have some reason behind them wanting this job so much. If it were any other time, ignoring the rude Mira or the weak willed Elfman, just because Cute little Lisanna asked so honestly, Noah might have just gave them the job without much fuss.
However, this is the first job he’s ever going on in the truest sense of the word.
If he can’t help quitting the job after meeting the firs obstacle, he would no doubt be upset, he might even lose a bit of confidence in himself. Plus, there’s no obstacle this time, stopping him from completing the job, it’s just some people who wants to steal his job.
And, that girl with her attitude sheesh.
Turning back, he confirmed that Mira, Elfman and Lisanna haven’t caught up to him yet. He lifted the rod shaped cloth bag and headed towards the forest.
The forest at night is very dangerous.
Noah practically ran all over the forest to train his magic power control and sword techniques in the more than one year time he has spent inside Magnolia.
Because of that, he knows quite clearly how dangerous the forest at night can be.
First and foremost, the magic beasts that possess dangerous characteristics are normally more active at night, this is the time that they come out to hunt.
There’s also geography, line of sight and other various restriction that makes it advantageous for these nocturnal magic beast when pit against a human who would be at a very precarious disadvantage.
Luckily, this forest isn’t like Magnolia forest where magic beasts run rampant. At the very most, there would only be some wild beast roaming around.
The chance of magic beast appearing is slight but there.
However, these kind of magic beast are usually not native, and numbering few as well as being weak.
Strong magic beasts usually has their own turfs, it might even a big territory.
So, the weaker magic beasts would be driven out of their own habitat to seek out another habitat for their own.
Under this kind of situation, the forest isn’t too dangerous, heck even the villagers from a small village comes here frequently to hunt. Noah reckons that his own abilities should be able to handle this extent of risk.
At the moment, Fiore kingdom is currently in the summer season.
But the coolness of the forest makes it hard to believe that today is a hot summer day.
The forest at night has a completely different atmosphere than the same forest at day. it’s as though the place took on a more sinister and cold atmosphere, it’s hair raising to say the least.
Noah walked deeper and deeper into the forest while breathing in the cold air. He feels nostalgic at being this weird sense of freedom.
Wait no, this doesn’t feel odd at all.
Because he has done this countless times before in the forest of Magnolia also in the night as well.
The scenes in the forest made him recall the familiar scenes from before, that’s why he felt nostalgia.
However, compared to Magnolia forest where magic beasts are everywhere, this forest would no doubt relax him more.
For instance, he wouldn’t smell ridiculous stench coming off some magic beasts. Nor would he see bugs bigger than the average human falling down from the trees overhead. He also wouldn’t hear the weird cries of strange birds. There’s also no spiders that are bigger than fists sneaking around.
At the most, he would only encounter snakes crawling along the ground or see shining eyes coming from owls hidden within the dense foliage of the trees.
Comparing things here with Magnolia forest’s, his train of thought went on and on until slowly he began to wander without aim in the forest.
Can’t help it, even if the objective of the job is to find the source of the crying sounds in this forest, the village chief didn’t really pin point exactly where one could hear this sound.
Not surprising, Noah said he would only do this mission tomorrow. Probably, the chief would only go into detail before he sets out to carry out his job.
At this point, Noah felt a bit annoyed, he felt like he should have gone to the village chief’s home before coming here.
As he’s kicking himself in frustration, before he could sigh, he heard something that sounded like a sob from his surrounding. He instantly stopped where he was.
Before Noah could react, the crying sound became clearer making Noah jolt back to his senses.
Noah noticed two things.
One, the sound is very tender. Preliminary conjecture would suggest the owner of this voice is not older than 10 and it is a girl.
Two, as the crying noise slowly approached Noah, he could also hear the gradual approach of the sounds of footsteps. These should be the source’s footsteps. It’s not hard to imagine that the owner is walking and crying at the same time.
Noah tilted his head in bewilderment.
“Isn’t it a spirit? Do spirits walk as well? To the extent that one could hear footsteps?”
While puzzled, Noah grabbed his rod shaped cloth bag and jumped into the woods on the side and hid there. He kept his eyes at the direction where the sound of crying and footsteps is coming from.
One couldn’t tell how long time had passed but a small figure slowly appeared from deep within the forest in front of him and came into Noah’s view.
It’s a little girl.
Her age should be around 7 or 8 years old. She’s younger than Noah by about 4-5 years old.
The girl had distinct bright blue hair that one could observe even in dim setting such as the forest. She wore a simple thin shirt, it must have been really cold walking around with something like that on.
The girl seems like she’s not aware of this, not that she’s shivering from the cold as well. She kept her head lowered and kept crying while rubbing her eyes. She didn’t stop advancing as well.
“Uuu… Grandeeney… where are you… it’s so dark around here…. I am so scared…”
Hearing those heart rending sob of hers and seeing her walk over while crying, Noah is really confused now.
That’s a spirit?
Surely not though?
Could it be that the crying sound came not from a spirit but is in truth the cries of this little girl?
Wouldn’t that mean that this girl had been wandering around and crying all this time?
Noah silenced himself and walked out after thinking a bit.
The little girl felt a sudden noise coming from her surrounding. She stopped crying instantly. She wiped away the tears on her face and looked around in panic. then, she hid in the bush on the side.
Seeing this, Noah confirmed something.
It doesn’t matter whether or not the girl in front of his eyes is a spirit or not, but this individual clearly has been in this forest for quite some time.
Otherwise why would a little kid like her hide when she hears a curious noise?
The girl must have known that the forest is home to many wild beasts and knows that it would be dangerous to can found by one. That’s why she chose to hide the first instance she heard a weird sound.