Dance of the Shining Stars on the Shore of Memory

Chapter 2

Translation Note: The creatures in this event story, named in this chapter, are "Shirowataboushi". Wataboushi means either a traditional Japanese bridal hood, or a mound of snow. I'm going with "White Bridesveil", which is not 100% 1:1, but that kind of has a creature-y vibe and also maintains the bridal thing which -- while never explicitly important... well, Rustica is here, it feels important thematically, lol.

[int: Shylock's bar at the manor, night]

Rustica, Chloe, Mitile, and I visited Shylock's bar. Cain, Heathcliff, and Arthur all had prior engagements to attend to, so we agreed to fill them in later if we found anything out.

Shylock: My, my. Welcome, everyone.

Shylock had a cocktail shaker in his hands, and he greeted us with a smile. It seems that we weren't his only guests tonight; Bradley and Mithra had also apparently shown up to have some cocktails.

Chloe: Good evening, Shylock. I'll cut to the chase, we're here because—

Murr: Hey, lookit that! It's a White Bridesveil! Those things are rare!

Mitile: Woah, Murr-san...!?

Exclaiming in a voice overflowing with curiosity, Murr dropped down from the ceiling of the bar. He landed softly on the floor, and turned to look at the little white creature sitting on Chloe's shoulder, bringing his face in to look at it more closely.

Murr: I wonder how many decades -- no, centuries, even! -- it's been since I've seen one'a these guys?

Akira: Ah, um, Murr... you said that this little creature is called a... White Bridesveil....?

Murr: Yup! White Bridesveil!

Rustica: Ah, now we finally know how to address it. White Bridesveil it is.

Chloe: Good evening, White Bridesveil!

Murr: I'm thrilled to meet'cha, too! It used to be that a bunch of these things lived all over the Western Country, but now they're close to going extinct because of all the air pollution!

Murr blew on the White Bridesveil with a puff, and just like a dandelion fluff, it flew off of Chloe's shoulder and landed instead on top of Mithra's head. I can't help but feel like it was relieved to be away from Murr, from the way it clung to Mithra and wouldn't let go.

Mithra: What is this thing.

Bradley: Bahahaha! It looks good on you!

Bradley laughed with a bark, but then he paused, as if something had just occurred to him.

Bradley: Hm...? I feel like I've seen one'a these things before.

Chloe: Huh, really!?

Bradley: Yeah. I once sneezed myself off into the Western Country. I think it was some kinda uninhabited island, but...

Murr: Well, then let's try to pinpoint the location!

Murr snapped his fingers, and suddenly a map appeared splayed out on the bar counter.

Murr: So, Bradley, where'd you get blown away to? Was it this island? Or that one?

Bradley: ... I've got it. It was this island, the one that's kinda cat-shaped. Once I got off the island, there was a town pretty nearby, and that's what I heard about it. There's no mistakin' it.

Murr: Then that's where our little White Bridesveil's home is!

Shylock: That being the case, why don't you return our little guest here back home tomorrow?

Chloe: Eh? But aren't the western wizards supposed to be doing magic practice tomorrow as a group?

Shylock: Well, that being the case... how about we say that Chloe and Rustica making sure our little guest makes it home safely is the lesson for tomorrow? It's a good opportunity for my cute little student to take. Please, by all means, go and savor the chance until the end.

Chloe: ...! Thank you, Shylock!

Rustica: We will happily serve as escort for our little friend.

Murr: Cool! I wanna go too!

Shylock: Absolutely not. The other day, you let a half-finished invention of yours run amok and ruined my plans for the lesson. As such, tomorrow you will be receiving a lesson in manners.

Murr: Aww!

Mitile: Um, would it be alright if I came along, too? I want to make sure this little guy gets home safely!

Mithra: What? No. I don't need you running off and dying on accident.

Chloe: But—

Mithra: "But"? ... if he ran off and hurt his butt or something that would be bad, right?

Chloe: Mithra... it's really kind of you to be so concerned about Mitile. And the fact that you're worried about butts is kinda cute.

Mithra: ... well, yes. I am very kind and cute. Anyway, no means no.

Mitile: I-- I'll be fine! Rustica-san is going too, so...

Mithra: You can't rely on any wizard who's weaker than me.

Rustica nodded along gracefully to Mithra's cutting words. I was utterly taken aback by his gesture of reverent acceptance, as though he were accepting an offer to dance.

Rustica: That is indeed true. I will try my best to not let our dear friend Mitile come to any harm, but it is true that I am weaker than you. As such, I would be most reassured if such an influential and important inhabitant of the manor such as yourself would come along with us.

Chloe: And besides that, the White Bridesveil really seems to like you, Mithra! I think it's fair to say that this little guy and I would both be really happy if you came with us, Mithra!

Mitile: Please, Mithra-san...!

White Bridesveil: Myuu...?

Mithra went silent for a short time, and then he heaved a heavy sigh.

Mithra: I guess there's no arguing the point.

Chloe and Mitile: Yay!

Rustica: Many thanks, Mithra.

Bradley: Then I'm coming along too.

Akira: Huh? You want to come too, Bradley?

Bradley: What? Is there a problem that I wanna come?

Akira: N-not at all. I was just a little surprised, but if you want to come along, it would be very reassuring as well.

Bradley: Well then that's that, isn't it? Anyway, I'm the only one who knows where the island in question even is. You're not gonna get anywhere relying on those guys to find the way.

Akira: Thank you, Bradley! You're being a big help!

Chloe: I'm really glad that everyone wants to help out. You'll be going home tomorrow, little guy!

In lieu of nodding, the White Bridesveil turned around and fluttered over to land on Chloe's head.


[ext: island forest, day]

The next day, we brought the White Bridesveil along with us to a small island off the coast of the Western Country via Mithra's portal magic.

Mithra: We've arrived.

Akira: This place is... the White Bridesveil's home?

All around us were forests and steep cliffs just as far as the eye could see. There were no humans or animals to be seen, with only the sound of the ocean waves echoing around us.

Mitile: It doesn't look like there's anyone here. What if we can't find where it lives and this really is a totally uninhabited island...?

Akira: I agree that it is a little bit mysterious. Or maybe it's better to say it's a little eerie...

Cain: It'll be fine. If anything happens, I'll protect you, Master Sage.

Akira: Thank you, Cain. That makes me feel a lot better. Speaking of-- you, and Arthur and Heathcliff, too. I'm glad you were all able to come with us as well.

Arthur: It's no trouble at all. I've been very curious about the White Bridesveil for a while now. If there's anything I could do, I wanted to offer my help.

Heathcliff: Even so, I find it hard to believe that the White Bridesveil's home is such a natural place... we have to be on our guards in case any wild animals or the like jump out at us.

Heathcliff looked somewhat uneasy, but Arthur seemed to be enjoying himself tremendously.

Arthur: Ah, I'm kind of excited! I feel just like the protagonist of one of the adventure stories I used to read a long time ago.

Bradley: ...nah, I'm starting to think this island might not be all that uninhabited.

Akira: Huh? What makes you say that?

Bradley: I sensed a few traces of magic over there. Last time I was here, I was in a hurry to get gone and I wasn't thinking too much about it. It feels like it's just one person, though.

Saying that, Bradley pointed out into the forest that spread out before our eyes. All of a sudden, the White Bridesveil -- who had been riding on Chloe's shoulder -- suddenly leapt forth into the air with enthusiasm.

White Bridesveil: Myuu~!

Chloe: W-wait! That might be dangerous...!

In response to the panicked Chloe, the White Bridesveil paused and turned around, gently puffing its body up and down in the air.

White Bridesveil: Myuu~!!

Chloe: Is it maybe saying it wants us to follow it...?

Mitile: But is it safe to follow it? There might be a wizard over there, right?

Mithra: If anything happens, I'll just turn them to stone. I don't think it's a big deal, and I'm with you, after all. So calm down.

Bradley: Then that's that. Let's get a move on.

Akira: Ah--! Mithra, Bradley! Wait for us...!


As we chased the White Bridesveil through the forest, Rustica had a serene smile on his face.

Rustica: Just now, you truly knew just the right thing to say.

Mithra: Just now?

Rustica: Remember? Before we came into the forest, you said you would protect us from any wizards that came at us, correct? You are all certainly very reliable traveling companions. And more than that, such is your charm that even the White Bridesveil is taken with you. It's truly delightful.

Bradley: Nah, I just came because I'd rather be here than running off on whatever mission those old geezers would've wanted me to.

Mithra: Mission? ... ah, that's right, they did say something about that.

Akira: Should I take this to mean that you guys are here because you're trying to shirk off your responsibilities...? Won't Snow and White be mad...

Mithra: It'll be fine, right? We left Owen at the manor, after all.

Bradley: Besides, if you spout off with some lines about "oh, I was just worried about the younger wizards and wanted to help them out" then those old geezers won't say shit about it.

Akira: Wait, hold on--!

Akira: (Was this Bradley's plan from the onset...? I really hope that nobody starts a fight...)

Right I was starting to get a bit nervous, I suddenly heard someone cry out in surprise not far from us.

???: What the--!? What are you doing in a place like this?

White Bridesveil: Myuu~!

When we looked, there was a slender young man with fiery red hair and bright red eyes to match standing there just beyond the bushes. Atop his head, the White Bridesveil we had been chasing was stuck to his hair like a burr.

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