“Maki-chan, you struck gold. This is an excellent gem. Maki-chan’s luck has been half-used up for the year, yeah, no doubt about it.”
“Stop it, Senpai! At least leave me luck with men! Anyways, it’s a strange story but……this gem wasn’t like this when I bought it. Please, take a look at this.”
Maki-chan held out her smartphone.
“I took this picture on the day I bought the gem.”
When I looked at the screen of the smartphone I received, I saw a cluster of crystals that looked like the stone in my hand.
“Wait, let me see.”
I zoomed in on the screen and compared it with the gem held firmly in my hand.
My back straightened.
“This is the same gem for sure?”
“Yes, this is definitely the same stone.”
The gem cluster in the image had the same shape but the color was completely different. Compared to how it was now, it was clearly less saturated with a dull and dark interior and a large fracture (crack) inside.
I see. Like this, there was an appeal too, but I understood why it was worth 1000 yen.
But if that was the case, what did it mean for it to have a completely different aura now?
Maki-chan furrowed her eyebrows and said.
“It’s been a week since I bought it. Before I noticed, it had changed into this……I like stones but I’m not interested in spiritual things or the occult. This kind of thing is creepy. Senpai, is it possible for the physical state of a stone to change like this?”
I shook my head while comparing the two stones.
“……It’s unthinkable. While the crack in the gem could increase due to changes in temperature, it’s impossible for it to disappear……Maki-chan only held it?”
“I just decorated my room with it as usual.”
Maki-chan took the crystal in question from me and held it up with both hands to the light entering from the window.
“I left it for about a week after buying it and noticed a change this morning. So, I don’t even know if this change happened over a week or a day. Look, if the light hits it in this way it’s very sparkly and pretty, right? I happened to see it glitter in the morning light and was surprised to see the change.”
“Wow, that’s amazing! It’s shining a pretty blue in the sunlight.”
I was captivated by the glowing gem in Maki-chan’s hand.
“……Somehow, it seems like the gem itself is radiating light. It’s so pretty……as beautiful as a dream……”
Glittering and sparkling, the diffused light fell on Maki-chan.
Light danced around her at impossible angles.
I heard someone’s voice in the distance.
『Our beloved child, return to us.』
『To within our love, return to us.』
Blue shining fragments fall around Maki-chan like a shower, and it grew brighter and brighter.
Even though I was spellbound by the mysterious voice, I was taken back and said.
“Maki-chan, wait! Something’s wrong.”
『The Maiden of Light, return to us.』
The person’s voice was getting closer.
Maki-chan’s body was already completely covered in light.
“Maki-chan, quickly put the gem on the table. Let go of it! Hurry!”
Maki-chan looked at me with a face taut with fear.
Oh, no. This was really bad.
“Release it already! It doesn’t matter how, just drop it!”
“What…what is this. Senpai, I can’t let go of the gem. It’s pulling my hands to it!”
Both of the panicked Maki-chan’s hands were pulled upwards as if she was suspended by an invisible rope.
“Help me, Senpai! I’m scared!”
“I don’t like this. Hurry and let it go! Give it to me!”
I climbed onto the table with my dirty shoes and grabbed onto Maki-chan’s hands which were held up high. I tried to pry them open, but the stone wouldn’t leave her hands.
“Maki-chan, I’ll open your hands somehow! Hang in there! I’m sorry if it hurts!”
“What is this……Senpai, it’s scary, I’m scared. Help me, Michiru-senpai, help me!”
At that moment, a noticeably strong light poured from the shining gem and we were engulfed by the blue radiance.
“Maki-chan! This gem…this gem…get away!”
Maki-chan’s face was stiff with fear as she looked at me imploringly. As I struggled to remove the gem, the surroundings around us changed.
We were in the middle of a whirlpool of light.
“There’s no floor!?”
『Welcome home, my daughter, welcome home, welcome home.』
“Oh no, we’re falling!? No, we’re flying!?”
I couldn’t tell what was up and what was done anymore.
And so, Maki-chan and I were plunged through the tunnel of light to who knows where.