After recalling everything, Minako who now accepted her new self as Luna, returned to her sense and check her current situation. Still suffering from the pain of miasma corruption, she gritted her teeth and stood up while enduring the pain and then scanned her surroundings.
Though she feels pain from the corruption, she doesn’t feel any other normal necessities of a living person like environmental temperature, hunger or even common biological reactions. Since it’s been a whole day or more since she was brought to that place, it wouldn’t have been strange for her to at least feel hunger or thirst. She could only link this strange condition to what she is suffering now.
Like what her guardian have been telling her from stories she heard of people surviving corruption, those who suffer corruption feels nothing but pain. The stronger the corruption, the stronger the pain which felt as if their bodies were being ripped from inside out.
『I could certainly understand right now just how much pain being torn inside out is like, though mine would still be considered weak since the strength of the miasma was on the weak side.』
There was also the peculiar constitution that where beast avoids them and monsters ignore them, but any beast or monster you try to attack will also fight back. By the way, the difference between beasts and monster are that beasts would be normal animals of this world while monsters are distorted creatures corrupted by miasma. Intelligent life forms corrupted by miasma are called the Wicked while those who survived the corruption are known as Shadow Walker.
『I don’t if I could hold on my sanity long enough to endure this, but I have to do my best. I don’t want to die nor end up turning into something else just after I reincarnated. 』
There was nothing but trees around her, a weird pedestal beside her and what seems to be a grave with some kind of rugged cloth covered in dirt sticking out from inside the grave. Finding it strange why such a thing was around this place, she dug up the grave despite the pain she suffered as she clawed through the soft dirt.
She doesn’t really expect anything to be inside it, still continued digging until she reached a hard surface. Digging in the surroundings of the hard surface, she finally found all the edges showing the dimension of the object which seems to be a box or some kind of rectangular object.
Her reason for digging wasn’t really anything but that she just wants her mind to be occupied by something. After clearing enough dirt around the box, she pulls out the small wooden box out of the grave and puts it in the ground. It was a small wooden box with a dimension big enough to contain 9 baseballs.
Filled with curiosity, she examines the surroundings of the box only to discover something written on its lower area.
『Here are the goods, the payments are also inside so be sure to handle the product properly. 』
「What… what is this…」
Examining the box a little more, she finally noticed that what seems to be the locking mechanism of the box was open. Assuming what the box was, she slowly opened it.
「Huh, there’s something inside but there was only a small empty pouch? 」
The box was empty, however there traces of what seems to have been the contents of the box. Tracing the shape, she concluded that something like a knife, a round object and probably a small pouch probably a money bag but it was empty. When she opened it, she found a small note inside it.
【Prepare a pedestal for the contamination orb and check it from time to time. Be sure that no one else notice. 】
「Contamination Orb… was it that crystal filled with Miasma? Could that thing have been a magic tool for gathering miasma? 」
Retracing her memory, she thought about the orb and how it releases a lot of thick miasma after breaking it. From this, she finally understood how the orb came to be and why there was a pedestal in that place. But one thing bothered her most, was that why would someone place that thing in that place, and not to mention that such devices were banned in her country and many other countries that which she learned about from other people in her village.
「Now that I think about it, what’s with that dead skeleton I encountered earlier? Was it the one in charge of this orb? 」
After thinking about it some more, she gave up and went to do other things but first returned to the skeleton that encountered before. Finding the skeleton, she also examined it finding a small dagger with a holder on its waist. Though the dagger was crude and rusted, it was still better than not having anything, and even if she is safe for now with miasma still leaking out of her body, she definitely won’t be safe once that stop.
「But still, that pedestal was really close to our village. I may be dull in understanding other people’s feelings I could still understand that placing something like that close to a village will definitely bring harm. 」
「For the time being, I need to forage some edible food. I may not feel hunger or thirst but I still have to eat and drink or the corruption would just further progress. 」
Because of the pain assaulting her, her pacing as she moved around was slow but that didn’t bother her. In her former life, she actually liked moving around and was influenced by her grandparents who liked foraging forests and camping.
Combining her knowledge with Luna, she searched for edible things that she could find and then returned to the pedestal which she turned into her base. Though calling it landmark would be much preferable than a base. She didn’t know how long the corruption would last but she planned to prepare for at least a few days’ worth of supply even if it’s just all vegetation.
While foraging, she also looked for things she could use to start a fire like spark stones, dry wood and many other things. Thanks to her regained knowledge, she easily found usable things and though she could use life magic from Luna’s knowledge, she is currently in an unstable state and didn’t want to risk it.
Then after piling up mushrooms, herbs and edible plants and fruits, she lined up small fist sized rocks in a circle and attempted to light a fire using different methods. Since her body is small, she can’t really do something that requires a lot of strength and stamina. And then after sever attempts she managed to create a simple campfire.
「This sure is a strange feeling, though the pain have subsided a bit to a tolerable state, I still couldn’t feel anything even heat 」
Staring at her campfire, she waited for the mushrooms stabbed in a stick to be cooked lined up near her campfire. She only sat there waiting for the sun to set while still enduring the pain. After a while, the mushrooms were finally cooked and she started her meal.
「I wonder how this would taste… 」
After taking a bite, she froze looking bewildered, then continued eating, forcing it down her throat.
「Ugh, even my sense of taste is affected… It felt like I was eating tasteless rubber which was really unpleasant. 」
Eating other edible things resulted the same way so she just ate with a blank expression like a machine. After all she needed to do it even if she didn’t really have the motivation to do so.
Since she also couldn’t feel full, she stopped after eating a good amount. She then lies down for a bit on the pseudo grass bed she created. She does not feel sleepy so she just stared at the fire. After the moon reached its peak, a reaction finally happened to her body.
「Huh, what, what’s happening!? Uwaaaaah!!」
Without warning, the miasma that was oozing out of her body started to rampage inside her followed by an assault of intense pain.
「Ugghhhhh!!! What’s happening… hnnnnn!!! 」
Her whole body felt as if she was being burned alive and the miasma that was only slowly oozing out before was now coming out of her body as if it were gas leaking on a pipe. A dark mist of miasma soon surrounded her even covering her vision and an area of several feet around her complete hiding her out of sight. Only her scream could be heard in the pitch black darkness that swallowed even the light of her campfire.
「Ugh, why…what… is… hap… pen… ning… pain… ughhh…」
She hugged her body into a fetal pose as she endured the pain that pelt like it was digging through her body, and the pain could even be felt penetrating her bones. But despite the pain, she struggle to remain conscious enduring it biting her lip.
The one of the moons above her glowed red as if watching her suffering, though it was only for a moment, it soon returned to its normal blue glow. After a few hours of suffering, the thick mist of miasma slowly started to fade.
What was left behind was the child, Luna who was still breathing ruggedly but was alive. However, distinct changes happened to her body. Her hair was now while, her skin pale as snow and opening her eyes now showed golden irises. After finally calming down, she slowly stood up and checked the changes on her body.
「The pain, it’s gone… did it finally end?」
Miasma is not coming out of her body anymore and she couldn’t feel the seething pain. In exchange, she could feel the wind hitting her skin, thirst from her throat and finally,
And the sound of her empty stomach along with the feeling of hunger that followed.
「My sense have finally returned… was it over? Have I survived? 」
Still questioning her current situation, she still hasn’t realized the changes in her body. Prioritizing her body’s needs, she immediately fed wood to her campfire that was almost about to fade, and then prepared again her collection of food sitting beside the campfire.
「I survived mom, I’ll definitely return home soon. 」
Realizing that her current predicament finally came to an end, she relaxed for a bit as she prepared her mushroom barbeque that she was eating before. She was confident that even if the miasma has now been removed, she won’t encounter dangerous beasts or monsters because that forest has been known by the villagers as a relatively safe place.
Still, despite that, she didn’t let her guard down and continued to be vigilant of her surroundings as she filled her hungry stomach with the food she prepared.