Drawn Mochi Volume 3 Chapter 20.1: The Mysterious Egg*4

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 Then we returned to the bird’s nest. This time I was not held by the bird, but by the Houou. I wanted to see if the Houou could carry me. After all, it’s a little bit too much to be carried like this.


  But what should I do? The bird seems to want to make me a spirit in order to fix the barrier that protects this forest.


 If that’s the case, I think I should help. The bird says that if I don’t become a spirit, then bad things will happen to me, the bird, Fay, Laocles, and Ms. Croix.


 But… that’s it, I’m also going to stop being human…





 And even now, the bird is pushing the fruit at me. It’s as if to say, “Eat quickly.”


 …It seems that if I eat this, my magical power will increase, it will become easier for me to become a spirit, and I will be far from a human. Yeah, well, I don’t want to eat.



“Hold on.” (Tougo)



 So, I asked the bird to stop rushing around for once… I’ll give it a try.



“Um, can I talk to you for a minute?” (Tougo)



 That’s why I suggested a temporary truce to the bird.



 It seems that the spirit egg won’t die if you don’t keep them warm. Yes, I’m sure that’s true. The book that Fay brought me said that sometimes they take a long time to hatch after gaining magical power. In other words, it’s okay to leave it alone.


 So, I went back to my house. There I found a frightened Laocles, and Ms. Croix, but the horses…


 The horses’ reaction was a little different.



“Eh, uh, what…?” (Tougo)



 The horses flapped their wings happily as they came around me. The unicorns, which usually don’t come close to me, blinked curiously and came close to me. I was immediately surrounded by horses and couldn’t move.



“…Is this because my magical power has increased?” (Tougo)



 Come to think of it, the horses started coming to me after I was fed fruits by the bird. Perhaps these horses also like humans with a lot of magical power. So, they’re moving close to me…? No, but they seem to be attached to Fay, and I think that magic isn’t the only reason.



“Tougo. Are you okay?” (Laocles)



 The alicorn was coming through the horses, and Laocles, who was riding on top of the alicorn, looked at me with concern.



“…I heard that you were about to hatch a spirit egg.” (Laocles)


“Yeah. It was temporarily put on hold. I’m still human.” (Tougo)



 For now, I’m still human. When I told him that, Laocles looked relieved.





“But it might be better to become a spirit.” (Tougo)



 I think… I’ll have to think about this one for a bit.



 Now. I think I have about three options.


 The first one is that I become a spirit. If I choose this option, this forest will probably remain peaceful. Maybe. I don’t know what will happen to the forest after this.


 …I don’t know what it means if I become a spirit.


 The bird says that I will remain in human form… but since it’s the bird’s word, I’m not sure I believe that for a second. However, I found a human-type spirit in the illustrated book, so I guess it is possible for me to remain in human form. Maybe…



 The second option is to have someone other than me become a spirit.


 However… someone other than me will become a spirit, it may not be much different from me becoming a spirit.


 If the bird has to like me to become a spirit in the first place, then this seems difficult. The bird doesn’t seem to dislike Fay, Laocles, or Ms. Croix, but it chose to kidnap me even though I was with Laocles and Ms. Croix.


 Maybe there is a kind of aptitude to be a spirit. Like being what Fay and Laocles call “fluffy”… Well, I could not dispute whether I am that “fluffy” or not.



 The third option is… not to become a spirit.


 The bird seems to want me to become a spirit and maintain the barrier of this forest, but if that is all I should do, then maybe someone else doesn’t have to become a spirit. Instead, we need to prepare a substitute for the barrier, or think of a way to maintain the barrier without a spirit.



 …and, well, I don’t have to think about it.


 The correct answer is probably the first.


 I should probably do what the bird wants and become a spirit. I don’t know what will happen to me when I eat the fruits, warm the egg, and hatch them… but I don’t know. But then, I hear that this forest is safe, and I won’t be bothering anyone else. I’m happy to help in this forest, and I like this forest too, so, well, if I can be of help, I’m happy to do that.


 I’m just scared because I don’t know what will happen to me… I’m still a little uncomfortable about dropping out of the human race. Maybe if I could ask a bird, it would ease my fears, but the bird is a bird. I can’t get detailed information. There is a limit to the number of questions that can be patiently answered with just “yes” and “no”.





 That night.


 I was flying in the night sky, holding onto the Houou’s legs. I couldn’t sleep, so I decided to ask something that was bothering me.


 The destination was the bird’s nest.



 Inside the bird’s nest, there were two young chicks, which would not be nesting for a while yet, and one spirit egg. And the giant bird.


 The giant bird opened one eye when I landed on a nearby branch, and I looked up with a smile.



“Good evening.” (Tougo)



 I greeted, and the bird opened a little space for me to enter the nest. …I’m sorry to bother you.



“It’s warm here.” (Tougo)



 The inside of the nest is warm and cozy with the body temperature of the birds. Dry grass and bird feathers are like a comfortable bed. yes. Not uncomfortable.



“…Hey, there’s something I want to ask you.” (Tougo)



 The bird flashes its eyes and twists its head. “What is it?”, probably.



“I mean, are you happy to be a spirit?” (Tougo)



 When I asked that, the bird blinked his eyes confused. Then they twisted their head as if thinking for a moment, and finally nodded their head.



“I see.” (Tougo)



 They nodded again. …I see.



“I thought you might have been scared of becoming something you weren’t.” (Tougo)



 When I continued to ask, the bird tilted its head again. In addition, they made a face that said, “I don’t understand”. I wonder if it’s a difficult story for birds.



“Isn’t it scary to change?” (Tougo)



 The bird tilted its head at this as well. But this time, after leaning over, they thought about it for a while, and then quietly snuggled up to me.


 The bird’s feathers fluttered against my skin, soft and fluffy. It was soft, fluffy, and ticklish. And warm.


 After being tickled for a while, the bird showed me two baby birds it had been keeping warm under its belly.


 Both baby birds had already dried up and were now fluffy chicks. They were chicks of the giant bird. They are about the size of a cat, but they are cute in their own way.


 The bird pushed the chick toward me, making a small cooing sound. The baby chick seems to have woken up at that moment and comes toward me, half asleep, blinking sleepily.


 …Just like that, two chicks fell into my arms.



“…cute.” (Tougo)



 What am I supposed to do with them? Well, they are cute.


 I was a little troubled with the baby birds in my arms, and they nodded their heads happily. Well…



“Are you nodding just now in response to my words that they are cute?” (Tougo)



 I asked them again, and they nodded again and again. Yes, no, they are cute. This is… this, what am I supposed to do with them?


 When I was at a loss, the bird wiggled its head close to me as if it was rubbing its cheek with the baby birds in my arms. I wondered if it was an expression of love. It’s their own baby, right?





“I see. This chick is your child, right?” (Tougop)



 “Chirp,” was its affirmative reply. I’m not sure if they understood. I began to understand. What was this bird thinking when it let me hold its baby bird?



“Does this mean that even if you became a spirit, you could still do bird-like things? Or that it doesn’t mean I’m going to become something completely different?” (Tougo)



 I don’t know what to say, but maybe that’s what it means. That’s what the bird is trying to say. The bird nodded repeatedly with a look on its face that said, “You finally get it.”



“…I see.” (Tougo)



 Well, it seems certain that I will become something that is not human… and something will certainly change in me, but.


 But I don’t think everything is going to change much and… yeah.


 I think I may have made up my mind a little bit.



 But before I leave, I just want to say one more thing. This is extremely important.



“I was wondering, was your body this big before you became a spirit?” (Tougo)



 Then the bird proudly spread its wings and nodded.



“And your attitude?” (Tougo)



 This time, they tilted their head with a puzzled look on their face, as if to say, “I don’t have a big attitude, but…” This guy.


 But… yeah. I see.


 This bird, it’s a spirit, so it did not make it bigger, huh?


 I’m relieved. I see. It seems that it doesn’t become huge when it becomes a spirit. That’s good.



 Then I grabbed onto the Houou again and went home. I thought it would be more difficult to hold onto the Houou and fly in the sky, but when I held onto the Houou, I had this strange feeling that my body also became lighter, and it was not so difficult to support my weight with my arms. Thank you Houou. Thank you for your continued support.



“I’m indebted to this forest.” (Tougo)



 Once again, I look at the forest from in front of the house.


 There is a spring, a house, a forest… There are horses, birds, and even bamboo.


 I like it here. I think I like this place.


 At first, I stayed here because I came here, but now, I can probably go anywhere, I still want to stay here.



 So, I want to stay in this forest from now on… and if it is necessary for this forest, well, I will become a spirit, too. I’m not sure how much I’m going to be able to do.




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