It felt like an eternity, but in reality probably only ten minutes passed. A sharp call echoed through the woods. The queerat sprang to attention and rushed off.
“Alright, let’s go.”
We started forward again. Finally, we came across a dirt road cutting through the evergreen forest. On the other side was a large red pine forest for which the town is named after.
After double checking to make sure that there were no people or queerats around, we darted across the road into the pine forest.
Suddenly, all the little hairs on my body stood up.
Panicking, I looked around wildly. I only saw trees and grass. Nothing out of the ordinary. But something felt completely wrong.
“Just as I thought, there’s something weird going on. Something bad in the air. We shouldn’t stay here for too long,” Satoru said, apparently getting the same vibes as me.
“What do we do?”
“We’ve already come this far, we can’t turn back now, right?” Satoru whispered, though he looked uncertain.
We went another forty or fifty meters into the pine forest. An unbelievable sight appeared before us. There was another rope stretched out at eye-level. But it wasn’t a simple black and yellow striped one.
“The Holy Barrier! Why?”
It was a pure white rope hung with lots of streamers. Why was the Holy Barrier, which was supposed to protect Kamisu 66 from the outside world, here in Pinewind?
“Did the town’s borders shrink?”
“No, that’s not it,” Satoru said, inspecting the rope. “This is obviously newly made. The old Holy Barrier is probably still where it always has been.”
“Then what is this?”