The True Momo
3 years ago, during the time divine power assessment was being performed throughout the kingdom, all the young daughters of the Palette Village were gathered by the church. Upon getting called in, Momo entered the church looking slightly frightened. That day, the church building gave such a tremendous brilliance that spurred Locke to come rushing, worried about what happened inside. What welcomed him was the sight of Momo, dazzling like a divine being, looking so full of confidence in herself.
‘I should’ve noticed at that time. She talked like a different person and was suddenly able to comfortably read ancient books that even priests would find hard to read. Everyone said that it was thanks to her awakening of divine powers, and although we soon ended up separating without so much a protest…, something about her kept bothering my mind.’
Locke’s emerald eyes bore sadness behind the mask, gazing upon Momo. Yet, they looked to be resolving themselves to accept a severely harsh reality certain to come.
‘Just, who are you really? Where did my childhood friend go?’
‘You’re really cruel Locke… I already told you before that I am Momo. It’s just that I remembered my past life.’
Dai tilted his head in puzzlement, while Leddorio’s eye opened wide in surprise. When people die, they are guided towards a stratum where the Saintess, the first, resides. That was the belief of this country, or rather, the very doctrine of the Sacred Church. However, the prince did hear about other countries do believe in what they call a ‘cycle of rebirth, in which, a concept of being reborn anew exists.
(Did she just say memories of her past life!? A ‘true saintess’ of the sacred church, denying its very doctrine?)
There are folk tales meant to scare children within the Coloflare Kingdom, such as the souls of evil people being sent towards the advanced dungeon to wonder there forever, among others; hence, the concept of the cycle of rebirth isn’t entirely unacceptable to the populace.
(Also, because miasma gives birth to the monsters, one can also say that monsters were scoundrels in their past life. Still, did the Saintess, the first, really pick a woman like this as her successor?)
‘I don’t really know about past lives or whatever but, what happened to the memories before the awakening then? If you really insist that you are Momo, then go ahead and try remembering them then. The previous Momo is the only ‘Momo’ for me.’
‘Like I care. That airhead country girl has already disappeared a long time ago! I’m the only Momo there is now, so just accept me!’
Momo’s voice reverberated throughout the magic crystal caverns. It was then followed by a brief silence. Locke closed his eyes and stood still for a moment, but before long, poised himself to face her once more.
‘…Alright, I’ll accept it.’
‘That’s right. You should have obediently accepted me from the sta…’
‘Right before the sacred power assessment, I made a promise to that girl. Momo said that she had a very bad hunch about something and that if she ever stops being herself, she told me to stop her no matter what.’
Saying so, Locke pointed his sword towards Momo with a face full of sorrow.
‘Locke…? What are you…’
‘I guess you wouldn’t know about that. It’s a promise between Momo and me, alone. I kept averting my eyes from it, not wanting to face the truth but, now… I was finally able to resolve myself.’
Momo shook her head looking like she found the whole thing unbelievable. The surrounding black hair twisted like living creatures and moved to protect their owner.
‘Witch… I will be the one to cut you down myself!’
‘Stop right theree—!’
Right as Locke was about to start attacking, a voice of restraint resounded. It was followed by a pure white brilliance piercing through the cavern. Because of it, all the soldiers who had been caught by Momo’s hair and other monsters were set free and able to barely escape with their lives.
(Wasn’t that Darck’s union magic, Magic Arrow!? But that just now was sacred power, also that voice… Don’t tell me…)
For Leddorio, a month had already passed since he last heard her voice directly. Still, it didn’t feel such a long time ago to the prince. After all, he does hear her voice, albeit indirectly, every week.
A tremendous crashing sound was followed by the destruction of the cavern’s entrance. A lone carriage rode through the path paved by the magic arrow earlier. The one to descend from the carriage pulled by the winged white horse was none other than Chloe Sereknight.