I didn’t want to die here. But there was nothing more we could do. As I waited for my life to end, I was surprised at how unemotional I was. But I was too tired to muster up the energy to feel anything.
I edged away from Satoru and sat hugging my knees. Hallucinations started appearing once again. The outside world was so infinite that most things pass unnoticed. This fact came easily as if a switch had been flipped. After wandering through the darkness for so long, our mental defenses were weakened, and the demons in the hidden corners of our mind were free to run rampant.
The first thing I saw was a minoshiro. Its semitransparent body ambled slowly in before me, right to left. It was incredibly realistic. The ends of the Y-shaped feelers on its head and the quills running down its back glowed white, red, orange, blue, and other bright colors.
Then, shining green threads of sticky mucus started dripping from the ceiling. In the blink of an eye, a glowworm galaxy appeared.
The minoshiro appeared to be stuck in the dripping mucus. It twisted itself free and continued walking, but in the end was still trapped. The threads swayed like a chandelier, gradually binding the minoshiro tighter and tighter.
Then, the minoshiro started autotomizing his trapped feelers and quills one by one.
The now bald minoshiro’s back started glowing vibrantly with all the colors of the rainbow. The colors mixed and overlapped, creating stripes and spirals in the air. The beauty of it made my mind go blank.
At some point it transformed into the false minoshiro, its colorful afterimage still lingering above its back, and started disappearing from my field of vision.
The residual light slowly faded away into darkness.
Was everything going to fade away as well? Just as I thought that, the scenery changed completely.
Suddenly, an orange light erupted right in front of me. A flame burning above an altar.
From underground comes the sound of chanting, interrupted by orange sparks.
It’s the scene from that day.
A praying monk threw some pills and poured fragrant oil into the fire, making it flare up dramatically.