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As the sun was settling at the horizon, I was running. I was running somewhere I didn't know where. I just needed to be away. I was just a tool to them. Yayaka, Grandma, and everyone else… they used me. I was so hurt that I couldn't think straight anymore.

With my backpack, I ran in the mountains covered by tall trees and grasses. I ran, never feeling tired, as if a foreign force was leading me somewhere I didn't know where.

It was starting to get dark and my running slowed down until I was walking. My clothes—school uniform—were in a mess; it was covered in mud, dead leaves and it was torn in few spot. As I watched the surrounding, I quickly realized that I was lost. The sun has already settled and the moon was nowhere to be seen.

The tall tree's shadows were darkening the area and in less than few minutes, I was in a complete darkness. I could barely see my hands that were in front of me. Despair started to consume my heart, followed by regrets… but I could go back. I couldn't…or they will use my ability for their dark will once again.

With the remaining resolve I had, I started walking deeper into the forest. It was a very calm place. I didn't like that…but there was no turning back now. After walking for a while, my right foot came in contact with mood and just as I was about to check, I started to slip, falling god-knew-where.

I crashed on a clear area lit by the moonlight. It was full moon, allowing me to have a clear view of the surrounding. Just as I was about to stand up though, I fell back again on my knees because of a sharp pain on my legs and ankle. I examined myself only to see scratched on my legs and a small sharp rock planted in my left ankle. I quickly took it off and screamed my head off at the pain.

Blood started to drip out of the now rock-freed wound. It was very painful, even more since the cold weather of autumn season was increasing the pain. Tears started to form on my eyes. "So, I am going to die here…?" I lifted my head to have a look at the beautiful bright full moon."Pathetic… My life was pathetic…"

"Why are you crying?" An unfamiliar voice called. I turned around to see a girl with long pink hair, clad in a baggy shirt and shorts walking in my direction. She kneeled down in front of my and whipped my tears before lifting me in bridal style. "First off, we have to get you into a warmer place before threatening your wound."

She started walking toward the wood with me in her arms. She was warm, literally warm. "B-but who are you?"

"Papika! You can call me Papika!"


"What about you?" She glanced toward me, her pair of blue eyes meeting with my amber ones. "What's your name?"

"M-me…" She nodded, motioning me to continue. "C-Cocona…"

"Then, Cocona; nice to meet you!"


Papika placed me on a bed made of leaves and blankets before checking my wounds. She smiled after a while and grabbed a pot full of herbs. We were currently inside a long-forgotten pipe—a well-decorated one by the way as the inside was warm and lively.

"Ouch." I couldn't help my face from doing a grimace as Papika took my tight off and cleaned my wounds with a preparation of shaved herbs.

"Does it hurt?"

I slightly shook my head. "It's fine…"

And with that, she resumed her earlier act. I just summoned every courage I had to not scream from the pain. Fortunately, she started speaking again, allowing me to not loose conscience. "So, where does Cocona come from?"

I didn't know what to reply.

"Never mind that!"

I looked down. "I don't have any place to go anymore…"

She took a moment of silence before speaking about. "Then, how about you live here with me?" I lifted my head to see a warm smile—that made my heart melt—on her face. "It will make me really happy! I always wanted to have a friend!"

Averting my eyes, I was thinking about the possibility. I didn't have much of a choice. I couldn't go back…and yet, I won't be able to survive by myself. "T-then… I guess I will stay…"

"Cocona~" She jumped and took me in a bonecrushing hug, now that my wounds were treated and bandaged with some kind of cloths. "I like like like you!"

"Papika…" Even though the hug did hurt a little, I felt a warm feeling on my chest…something that I never felt before…but I kind of liked it. I couldn't help my lips from forming a smile. "It hurts…" Though the tone of my voice wasn't very honest regarding that comment since I was still smiling.

"Sorry 'bout that!" Papika let go of the hug and looked straight at me again with that innocent smile, our eyes meeting. At that time, something inside me awoke. It was a feeling I never experienced before, but there it was. "Say, Cocona…" I could have sworn the area was getting more colorful and livelier. "If it's okay with you, will you go there with me?"

"T-there?" I asked shyly as I didn't know what she meant.

The reply came into a big smile, a lot brighter than before. "To pure illusion!"