Chapter 737 – Dangling Trees (5) DeepL
After several days of marching, the end was in sight.
“I think there’s a shepherd here.”
They hadn’t found the exit, but they had come to a village where a shepherd lived.
He stood at the edge of a hill, beaming at me from the edge of a cliff.
“I’ve found it, I’ve found it, I’ve found what Sihun wants, and tonight I want my reward.”
Walking, fucking. Walking, fucking.
The orb hadn’t recognized me at all at first, but as we shuffled and talked, it was friendly now.
We walked to the edge of the cliff. I could see a well-organized village down the mountain.
Without much light, the village didn’t look very vibrant.
A fence surrounded the village to keep out irrational shepherds, and I felt more confident that it was inhabited than the ruins I had seen so far.
As I stared at the village, a marble head suddenly appeared in front of me.
“Sihun. I want a prize.”
“When you sleep tonight, hold me until morning.”
Isn’t that how you sleep every night?
The bead poked the ground with its paw in response.
“You’re lying. I take it off every time because it gets in the way.”
“You don’t realize how annoying that is.”
In movies, lovers make out while giving each other arm pillows. It’s romantic, but it’s different when you do it yourself.
My arm was very numb from the lack of blood flow, and if I tried to be cool about it, I would wake up the next morning feeling like I was missing an arm.
“Besides, you’ve been hugging me for a long time, what’s your problem?”
“I just don’t want to wake up and have Shi Hun in front of me.”
It would be at least 4:00 a.m. before I could get the bead off of her.
Until then, I have to hold the beads.
Even if it’s only for two hours, I’m looking forward to a nice lie-in.
“My breasts… didn’t you let me touch them as I pleased?”
“Uh-huh. Since when are they your breasts?”
“Up to my body. Or did my former self make some strange arrangement?”
An under-desk secretary or something.
She’d signed over ownership of her body to me, saying she’d do anything for me to get into the flower.
She may have lost her memory, but that doesn’t mean the contract is gone.
“So… you’re not going to give me a hug?”
He looked up at me, his voice cracking at my words.
At the same time, he tugs at the collar of my shirt at my elbow, and I’m not sure if he’s trying to be cute or if he just thinks he’s cute in this state.
“You don’t have to sleep with me, do you?”
She pouted her lips at my words. It clung to my arm, trying to wrap itself around me.
Stretched out against my body, she murmured in my arms.
“But you’d better be warm.”
I pat its back. The arm that holds me grows stronger.
I’d always thought it was too much like the marbles I knew.
“What an obedient and dependent tree,” I thought.
I deny it, and it swarms.
I give it a gentle nudge, and it clings to me, face down in my arms.
“Okay, that’s enough, I’ll sleep with you until morning.”
“…Are you sure?”
After removing its face from the black dragon canvas, the bead reacted.
The corners of his eyes were slightly glazed and red, and he looked like he was about to cry.
“Did you cry?”
“Shi Hun, I didn’t cry.”
“You cried. Was that so sad?”
“No, I didn’t cry. I didn’t cry. Don’t cry.”
“Who cries? If you cry because you don’t get your way, is that a child or an adult?”
Marbles with no memories are not socialized or educated.
No wonder it’s a bit childlike.
I rubbed a little moisture from the corners of my eyes, and she squinted in confusion.
“Let’s head down.”
They need to reach the village by nightfall.
The villagers know the way out, Beads said, but this is the main part, the bottom.
For now, they needed a safe place to stay for a few days.
-Tap, tap, tap.
Give the signal. The orb climbed up.
Hugging me tightly, she smiled, looked up, and rubbed her cheek against the nape of my neck.
“It’s a blessing to be held by a pretty girl. Today’s flower word is ‘I like people who are affectionate’.”
Hugging the beads, I dive off the cliff.
My body accelerated as I hit the rocks, the wind rushing up from below.
The marble’s hair scattered in the air.
The whole time I was falling, the bead never took its eyes off my face.
A burdensome gaze.
I land on the floor. The rebound caused the orb’s body to shake once.
At the same time, the entrance to the village appeared on the other side of my vision.
I tapped the stuck ball on the butt and gave a signal.
“Lead the way.”
The marble that had fallen from my body took the lead, hesitated for a moment, then came up beside me.
I stare at it, wondering if I’ve forgotten something.
It reaches out and grabs my hand.
The coolness of its palm cooling the sweat in my grasp. The bead smiled bashfully.
“I want to go like this.”
Who taught it. True, or should I say, demanding.
We walked hand in hand, matching the bead’s hope. We soon reached the village.
As soon as we reached the gate, the doors opened, and the shepherds stepped out, looking at us warily.
Nameless shepherds, like beads.
We stopped in our tracks, wondering if we would be attacked. A man stepped forward as the leader and greeted us.
“…Guardian, have you come?”
“I am here.”
A shape with beads and a face.
I breathe, realizing I’ve been worrying for nothing, and suddenly the title bothers me.
I look at the orb, and it smiles confidently.
The elderly man looks me and the orb over before bowing to me as well. He speaks to the orb in a somewhat worried voice.
“We’re in trouble, Guardian. Engahero’s magic has gone off…. and the magic of the carpenters is not being released.”
What the hell is this.
The marble’s face was calm, as if it knew the truth of this whole affair.
“I’ll fix it. But first…. I need a meal and a place to sleep. I’m exhausted from the long march.”
The elder nodded at the bead’s request.
“I see, and the other guardians have not come?”
The other guardian.
I shrugged, wondering if he meant the masterpieces that had been at Gourd’s side, since I was the one who had killed them.
The orb next to me squeezed my hand. I waved it away, and a chuckle escaped my lips.
“He’s coming with us.”
The elder nodded, a look on his face that said he had questions, but wasn’t going to ask.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *.
Going without food for over a week takes its toll.
The moment I crossed the threshold, my body became capable of surviving without food, but my lifelong survival style could not be changed at once.
On days when I was already busy, eating something tasty was my only reward.
“I can’t eat this.”
The thing is, the food here is not fit for human consumption.
It was cooked well, but it was wood.
Spices were added to the rotten wood to make it just barely passable.
“Isn’t this like eating your own kind for you people?”
“It’s the only thing we eat around here.”
An ecosystem of compost bins eating each other.
Reasonable or not, the herders are trying to reserve their strength and head out in search of flowering plants and tree species.
The way they do this is by eating other herders.
This is how the rational herders built their villages, hunting other herders to fulfill their ritualistic needs.
“What is the magic of Angajero?”
One of the elders spoke up.
In a dry voice, the bead dutifully answered my question.
“The magic of my dagger, it comes from here.”
The power of the orb.
Something I’d fought with and watched from the sidelines. This guy’s dagger had a power level that far exceeded mine.
I’d assumed it was inherent, but there was more to it than that.
“Shepherds who live in compost bins become fertilized when they accumulate a certain amount of magic in their bodies.”
The whole body solidifies like a magic stone and becomes natural magic.
This is what I heard while holding the orb.
“The rational shepherds do not know the flower language and are afraid of dying. Engahelo uses this to connect guardians like me to the compost bin, so that we can inherit the magic of the shepherds here.”
Not Mr. Engahelo, Engahelo.
Ever since he realized I didn’t like him, he hasn’t called me Mr. EngaHero at all.
To paraphrase the bead. Does this mean that the beads, the guardians of the villagers’ magic, are using it outside?
“Yes. The shepherds here may not be fertilizer. I get to use quality horsepower. It’s a win, win, win.”
The secret of the near-infinite power source.
Considering the amount of magic power trapped in the compost bin, it wasn’t strange to call it infinite.
“I get it, but why is it broken?”
“Because the dimensional rift is closed, or because there is no guardian to feed it.”
If there is a guardian, it’s the orb.
I put my arm around the orb lying next to me and asked.
“So this is your home, then.”
“Yes, it is. If you’re going to hug me, hug me harder.”
Under one quilt.
On the same bed, cuddling, adding weight.
“…Are we going to do it tonight?”
“Do you want to?”
“It’s fun to see Shiheon’s face. When Shiheon is in a good mood…. I get excited too.”
She makes a peculiar sound.
I slide my hand through Bead’s clothes and cupped her nipple.
The slightly protruding depressed nipple is strangely tense. I picked it up and flicked it, and the corners of her mouth twitched.
“…Mmm. Sihun. I have a question.”
“Didn’t you say that my personality is much different with memories than without?”
“Yes. It’s like I’m looking at a different person.”
I lick the nape of her neck, touching the nub of her breast.
The bead accepts my teasing without resistance, and rather defiantly pulls against my body.
I’ve never heard her heart beat so loud.
When I pulled my mouth away from the nape of her neck, I saw her face.
Her cheeks were slightly flushed.
Unaware of her own emotions, she didn’t even realize her expression had changed.
To anyone else, it would be very dry and expressionless.
Then, her lips parted.
“If I were someone else…. Which version of me would you prefer?”
I wonder what that means.
The heat in her eyes told me she wasn’t joking.
I don’t know if I can get my memory back right away or not. What the hell.
Maybe he was jealous of his old self. I laughed unnecessarily.
“Answer me. Answer…please.”
I squeeze her ass, and a faint moan escapes.
A voice you don’t recognize.
You’re not a numb body anymore.
It’s a body that’s starting to feel something, not enough to dampen my underwear, but something.
I hug her, and she hugs me tighter, craving my affection even more.
“When I’m with him. My heart beats faster.”
I hugged her so much that it didn’t feel strange to be in love.
The beads heated by my body heat were still lukewarm, but his face was different.
Her cheeks were red with heat, and she was cute when I pulled her close. Her eyes blinked like rabbits as she pretended to be all sorts of pretty.
“Your nipples stand up on their own now, even if you don’t touch them?”
“…I don’t know. I don’t know.”
He shakes his head and ducks his head in embarrassment.
On the other hand, the cute light pink nipples stood up pointedly.
I savored the fruits of my labor.