The green screen hid Ofris like a veil. I wished I could simply ignore it, but after reading it for the fourth and fifth time, I just couldn't get myself to do it anymore. That vixen tried to troll me again, I just knew it, but I didn't know how. The quest text didn't seem ambiguous, you couldn't misinterpret it. And still, I felt afraid.
『Quest-Chain accepted: Guardian or Knight?
Quest 1/3: Listen to him!
Description: Follow Ofris' instructions for one day.
Rewards: Improves benefits of the title "Loved Child"; Improves benefits of the title "Maiden in Love"; Manual: Being a Fox for Dummies
Additional Rewards for partial completion:
Quest 1: 400 Exp; Quest 2: 800 Exp』
"You are not tricking me?" I heard myself ask.
「I won't trick my little Rika.」
Something in the face hidden behind the green screen changed. It didn't take long for Ofris's disappointed voice to reach me.
"You still don't trust me? I guess I can't hold that against you, after what you have been through."
I hastily closed the quest screen.
"I trust you!"
"So you talked to yourself again?"
"I don't talk to myself ..." My voice grew weaker with each word I spoke. "There- there is a goddess ..."
"She talks to me!"
Ofris face changed once again. This time, there were disbelief and pity in his eyes.
«So we are back to him thinking I was a lunatic ...»
"Don't worry," I answered disillusioned, "you don't have to believe me ..."
"I don't know about them talking to you, Rika, but I know they are watching over you. You are blessed, after all."
"The titles you got. I believe they were 'Good Girl', 'Loved Child' and ..." He hesitated. "Maiden in Love."
"She gave them to me."
"They are some... quite unique titles. What did you get them for?"
A foxgirl sitting in the dirt and begging for forgiveness like a dog appeared in front of my inner eye. Ofris had seen this shameful display himself.
"I- I forgot," I lied.
"So I guess you were in love before you lost your memory?"
«Wha- what?! What the hell are you asking!?»
"No! I wasn't in love before!"
It was only when he averted his gaze that I realized what I had said. When gods only gave you titles that were fitting the situation you were in or the good deeds you did, it meant I had been in love when they gave me the title 'Maiden in Love'. The only one that had been around me after I 'lost my memory' was him, Ofris.
«He totally misunderstood!!»
Luckily, Ofris changed the topic himself: "What is the name of the goddess who is talking to you?" He asked.
"I don't know ..."
「I don't know either,」 the vixen replied in an almost whispering voice.
"How can you not know your own name!?"
「I forgot ...」
"She forgot her name?"
「Nobody prayed to me ...」 The vixen answered, her voice not hiding her dejection at all. 「So I just forgot ...」
"What does that have to do with people praying to you?! You forgot your own name! And you dare to treat me like I were stupid!? You are the stupid one! You whole family is stupid!"
Ofris suddenly turned around.
"Stop it, will you?! Stop it right now!"
He walked towards me, let himself sink on his knee and placed his hand on my shoulder. I became petrified when I realized that his eyes were slightly teary.
«He- he is hurt? I hurt him? What did I do!?»
"I- I'm sorry!"
"Rika ..." He sighed. "The gods give us titles and strength because they need us to believe in them."
"What happens when we-"
"They cease to exist."
"It isn't her fault that she forgot ..."
A run-down temple appeared in my mind. Tiles were falling from its roof, wood was rotting away and not a single wall was left without holes and cracks. A bright smiling goddess was standing in midst of all that ramble, bare-footed on the weed-infested cobbles.
«Damn! Damn it!»
She didn't answer.
⊱————- Extra ————-⊰
Rika: What is it?
Ofris: What made you ... fall in love with me?
Rika: I- its not what you think!
Ofris: I mean, I could be your father... there is nothing I could give you other men couldn't. Why would any woman-
Rika: You- you aren't old, ok!? You are gentle, you are strong and you own a house! You even love children! There is no girl who wouldn't fall for you!
Ofris: I- I didn't knew your feelings were that strong!