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Chapter 6 - Things I Want To Protect

'Memories are strange things.'

I heard you speaking to me from far away.

'We make memories, both good and bad, and then without realizing it, we forget them.'

I said nothing.

'But it seems like the angry, sad, and bitter memories are the ones that stick around the longest.'

I remained silent.

'If that's true, then I want you to be by my side for every clumsy mistake and awful day I have.Because I want to remember every moment I spend with you...'


The voice struck my mind like ripples on a still lake, and my consciousness slowly returned to me. I was walking through the canyon. Clementine was at my side.

We had just finished delivering food to the bracers' training facility and were on our way back to town.

'Oh, sorry. I was just lost in thought,' I said, rubbing my temples.

Clementine put her hand to my forehead to check my temperature.

'Well, it seems like you don't have a fever or anything, but if you're not feeling well, you should rest.'

She grinned at me and continued walking ahead.

Watching her, I wished this moment would never end.

Why did you ask me to come with you that day?

The vision I had of you speaking to me...

Was it real, or just a wishful daydream?

'Hey, Edgar. What's your favorite food?'

Clementine turned to look at me as we reached the highway.

'Umm...' I thought about it. 'Anything you make for me.'

'That's such an Edgar answer,' she giggled. 'Okay, then. I'll make you something once we get back.'

'Really? That sounds great,' I said, 'I'm looking forward to it.'

'Is there anything you don't like?' she asked.

'Not really,' I said, thinking it over, 'I'll eat pretty much anything.'

'That must be nice,' she said, smiling.

'Do you like tomatoes, too, then?'

'Yep. Tomatoes, too.' I nodded.

The word brought back a faint memory. Like a tickle at the back of my mind.

'I just can't stand them, myself,' she said, shaking her head.

After all, you don't like tomatoes.

'When I was little, my father tried to feed me a tomato...' she told me.

You spat it out.

'...and I just spat it right back out at him.'

The scene suddenly bubbled up in my mind again.


'And you have no idea why, but you just can't eat them, right?' I asked.

'What?' She let out a small gasp. 'Yes, that's right, but how did you know?'

'Just a guess,' I said, looking away.

I remembered the scene I saw back in the restaurant.

Her words just now were the same as back then.

'I think I understand now,' I mumbled to myself.

It had been installed into my mind.

'Understand what? What are you talking about, Edgar?' she asked, concern creeping across her face. She grabbed my arm and looked up at me.


Before I could say anything, several figures rushed at us from the grass off the side of the highway.

'Monsters!' Clementine yelled.

Three feline monsters stood before us, blocking the road into town and hissing angrily.

'Edgar...' Clementine whispered my name. She was trembling.

I calmly moved her behind me.

'If they're on the highway,' I said, 'that means the nearby orbment lights must be broken.'

'What do we do?' she clutched my arm tighter.

'We can't get into town, so let's go back the way we came,' I said.

Clementine looked like she was about to cry. I grasped her hand and held it tight.

'The bracers will be able to help,' I told her.

'We need to go back there, okay?'

She nodded. Together, we turned and started running as fast as we could.

We ran for what felt like forever. I lost track of how far we'd gone. Clementine was running out of breath. The sun was nearly done setting and what little light remained in the dusky sky couldn't reach down into the canyon.

We stopped for a moment, and Clementine steadied herself against the canyon wall to catch her breath.

'I'm sorry I'm slowing you down,' she gasped.

'No, I'm the one who should apologize,' I said, 'I thought we would have found the bracers by now.'

At that point, I didn't even know which direction their training facility was anymore.

Panic from the constant sound of pursuing footsteps had muddled my sense of direction.

'If we just rest for a minute, I can--'

Clementine's thought was interrupted by the sight of one of the monsters leaping at her.

She screamed.

I grabbed a nearby branch and swung at it as hard as I could. I knocked it out of the air right before it reached her.

However, while I was preoccupied with the first one, two more circled around behind us.

I felt several sharp claws dig into me. One of the monsters was on my back and the other, on my leg. I turned and swung the branch again, knocking them away. They leapt at me once more, however, going after my head and shoulder next.

The world became a blur. I swung the branch, hitting one directly in the head. It flew off a short ways and stopped moving.

Clementine stood to the side, watching in fear, her hands pressed tightly over her mouth. One of the monsters started to approach her, and I kicked it away. While I did, however, the one behind me leapt at the back of my head, tearing into me.

Everything grew dim. I fell to my knees. My ears were filled with the monsters' piercing screeches mixed with the sound of Clementine desperately calling my name.

The last thing I heard before the world went dark was the sound of boots and loud, commanding voices.

第6巻  「守りたいもの」
「本当に!? やった、楽しみが増えました」        
「――! そ、そうです。でも、どうして」