While avoiding eyes, Kuuga jumped over the city walls without difficulty and got out of the city. He then ran to a high place and proceeded through the forest at a slightly different angle from the church’s direction.
After passing through the forest, he could see a familiar hill.
[Here it is… it’s where Gadi comes to rest.]
It felt a bit far from the castle, but he wondered if it’s to get out of the castle?
Trees could be seen here and there, but it’s a very open place with only short grass. Kuuga stopped and looked up at the sky to see if he could observe from here.
He could still see the floating islands of various sizes. The small ones were so small that he might wonder if they could even be called islands while the largest ones seemed able to fit one or two towns. It might be bigger if he actually saw it closer.
The altitude might be unexpectedly low because he could see it clearly, but it’s not at the level where he could reach it by jumping.
[Huh, it’s right above me.]
A floating island was suddenly right above him. When Kuuga raised his head again, he noticed it. It’s a low altitude island and also a fairly small one. Still, it’s a height that didn’t seem easy to reach…
From the way it’s written in the books, it seemed like there’s only one floating island where God lived, but in reality, there were so many islands that it disturbed the sky’s view.
As Kuuga looked up, wondering why there were so many islands… he realized that an island was gradually getting bigger, so he jumped back.
The island seemed to be getting bigger because the altitude was going down. After watching the situation for a while, the island that came down stopped a little above Kuuga’s line of sight.
[...just what the hell is going on...]
He never expected the island to come down. While he was staring at the island in a stunned manner, this time, the island began to rise, so Kuuga hurriedly jumped on it.
The island that started to rise was more like a rock than an island, and the area was only about 4 tatami mats.
Kuuga, who impulsively jumped, was at a loss while looking down on the gradually leaving ground. What should he do after this?
He didn’t know how to return once the island had finished climbing and stopped in place. If he jumped down, he’d die.
He waited for the island to rise while regretting that it’s too late to jump. It’s already so high that he could see the entire castle town.
After a while, the island stopped climbing. He could see another floating island above him. However, it’s not at a distance he could reach by jumping.
While thinking about what to do from now on, the island’s edge emitted a little light, and that light connected to the neighboring island. It was a bridge of light.
Despite being confused by the phenomena he had never imagined, Kuuga poked the dangerous bridge of light with his forefoot. His leg didn’t go through, and there’s the feeling of touching something.
[Do they want me to cross it...]
Even if he stood there like this, nothing would happen. So Kuuga gave up thinking and decided to go as far as possible to the bridge of light.
It’s a little scary to cross a bridge that could only be made of light at a high place where it was difficult to breathe.
Since the bridge’s width was about 3 meters, it’s unlikely that he’d slip and fall, but Kuuga walked gently on it with a frightened look. By the time he moved to the middle of the bridge, he gradually grew numb to it and increased his speed.
The next island he arrived at was like a Japanese garden. A stone bridge was above the pond, and trees similar to pine trees and stones the size of garden stones were meticulously arranged. It’s a landscape that seemed to have been made by someone else’s hand.
The island’s size was about 30 square meters, which was not big, but the feeling of strangeness was severe. He thought the person who made this might know Japan.
[...I think I’ll stop thinking about it.]
He prioritized going ahead. After making that decision, Kuuga followed the stepping stones and moved to the other side of the island. Then, as before, the edge of the island glowed, and the bridge of light appeared to the nearest island.
The next island was snowy. The next one had trees like in a jungle, and the next island was filled with dunes.
Kuuga moved forward, looking away from the unexpected changes in the landscape. Every time he crossed the bridge, the altitude increased.
The next island was a lake. He didn’t know if it should be called a lake, but the inside of the island was hollowed out, just leaving the edges with water gathered inside. It looked like a bowl of water was floating.
Unable to walk the edge at such a high place, Kuuga sighed and jumped into the lake.
Of course, there’s no way to do a breaststroke or crawl with this kind of body, so he could only advance in a dog paddle. He was unexpectedly fast as Kuuga desperately moved his legs at the unfamiliar swimming method.
As he was struggling with the many strange floating islands, he realized that the sun was starting to fall, and Kuuga was worried that he wouldn’t be able to return for a moment.
[No, I can’t go back even if I wanted to go home...]
Kuuga, who didn’t know how to get off from here, had no choice but to move forward.
Reaching that decision, Kuuga gave up for today and tried to find a place to sleep at ease.
It was a large island that had a forest where he decided to spend the night. Each tree in this forest was strangely large, and Kuuga felt as if his body had shrunk.
He’d seen all kinds of sceneries, but he’d never seen any creatures since he started the trip across the floating islands. There’s probably no danger to him even in a forest like this, where he felt it more likely to be attacked by a wild beast.
If that happened, Kuuga’s focus would be to remain calm.
He searched for a space large enough to fit his body and curled his body in it. At that time, the area was pitch black.
He had just learned of the floating islands today, so why did this happen? He’s sure Gadillas wouldn’t expect him to know how to get into the floating island this soon, so he might be worried about Kuuga not returning.
[On the contrary, I’d be disappointed if he wasn’t worried.]
Frowning at the unpleasant thought, Kuuga closed his eyes to sleep and start tomorrow morning again.
◇ ◇ ◇ ◇
At that time, in the king’s office in Ragra’s castle.
“He’s not coming back.”
Uros stood diagonally behind Gadillas, who silently looked out through the window where Kuuga went out.
“His Majesty was so angry…”
“He must have known that I’m not angry at him.”
That’s right. If he was an ordinary person, Gadillas might have regretted his attitude, but he wasn’t worried about Kuuga, who could read his feelings.
However, there were some things to think about when he thought about his actions the moment Kuuga left.
Kuuga didn’t know anything. Even about himself as a Divine Beast.
So Kuuga might be depressed at that time, not because he was angry, but maybe because the Divine Beast appearing in Jihak was better than him, who appeared under severe conditions.
Gadillas was not dissatisfied with Kuuga’s existence itself.
Of course, he wondered why he was chosen as the king, and he also thought it was a hassle.
However, Kuuga’s power was a little light on what Gadillas had. A little hope was born in the despair that stuck to his heart, which he thought would never change.
Kuuga could see through Gadillas. On top of that, he generously tried to use his own power for Gadillas.
There was some confusion ever since Kuuga entered Gadillas’ heart, which he thought no one would believe in, but his joy was great after that.
Doubting a person was exhausting. His heart never rested, even when he was alone, but he could relax when he slept with Kuuga.
It was a big deal for Gadillas to give up such comfort.
However, that and his dissatisfaction with God were different issues.
It was understandable that strict conditions were imposed to obtain the Divine Beast. That’s why he’s not convinced that the Divine Beast easily appeared in Jihak.
“He might not come back until he found God.”
Did he have such a strong sense of responsibility? With that in mind, Gadillas reflected a little.