Slipping through the busy streets of the city, I returned to my room.
The Angel was stubbornly still there.
It'll be winter soon. The temperature would break the critical freezing point and the city would soon literally freeze. But I didn't think of passing my second winter in this city.
"There's a lot of commotion in the city lately," the Angel said as she looked down from the window.
The large window, larger than the Angel, looked like the window of a church that I once saw in a picture book. The Angel with blond hair and bright white wings bent over with a sad face. Behind her, the city and two World Trees were blurry like a mirage.
...everything was inside a gunmetal world. It was a nightmare. Only this Angel was pretty.
The Angel looked down at the distant ground. The city was packed with people who were trying to leave.
"Um. What is everyone doing?"
"They are moving out all together. The neighboring area was destroyed by a three thousand meter Aristoteles. Calculating its route, they said it will pass through this city in three days."
"Above us. It might collide with the World Tree. Either way, everything in its path is destroyed. It's obvious why people are running away."
"Oh, so that's why everyone's so desperate," the Angel said as she absentmindedly looked down.
Glancing at the Angel who's just standing there, I started packing my belongings. I shoved winter gear and clothing, personal air maker, and several guns into my bag. I decided to leave everything else behind.
"Are you going too?"
"Yeah, because I don't want to die. But not right away. I'll go out on my own after the commotion down there dies down."
The Angle sadly lowered her eyes. Because she’s always happy for no reason, just that made her look really lonely.
"...this may be the last time, so let me you ask you a question. What were you after all?"
The Angel sighed without any seriousness.
I can only make out that she isn’t from the existing species of angels. That's why I wanted to know the truth, at least in the end.
The Angel replied plainly. "What everyone calls the Aristoteles."
You didn't know? The Angel looked at me like that.
Aristoteles. The things that suddenly appeared on this planet and became the enemy of all living things. An unpredictable enemy. Not only was there no method of communication, but their biological structure as living things was unclear.
And that was in a little city like this, in a room of a deserted tower, shaped like an angel, and playing a guitar? What kind of joke was that? No living things on this planet are able to stand against this life form, what a punishment by God.
"Oh, no. The thing at the base of this city, to be exact. What I was, was shot down and fell to this place. It was an instant death. Trees grew and people started living on top of that."
The Angel goes on. “This planet no longer has any power to raise life. That's why greens wouldn't grow, but if it was on top of another life instead of the earth, they would.
"I'm normally not that kind of thing, but I ended up like this. What everyone calls the World Trees are the wings of what used to be me. ...umm, in other words, the wings’ feathers. The falling feathers took the shape of what I used to look like. I was originally that kind of life form. It's not the angels that were originally on this planet."
"But you're still shaped like an angel."
"Because I’m everyone's fantasy. The body of what I used to be died already, but it seems something like my mind was still alive. But a concept of a mind never existed to me. The species of this planet have a wonderful ability to form a shape out of knowledge. Using everyone as a model, I formed a shape out of the knowledge that I had but never used.
“The reason I'm shaped like an angel is because it's the closest image to the shape of what I used to be. That's how I was able to communicate with everyone by creating the same thought circuit. I was able to become myself by taking the imaginary form of angel."
The Angel detached herself from a thing called Aristoteles by becoming an illusion. She was able to acknowledge herself for the first time by becoming something not herself. She's nothing but the realization of an image of an angel that the people imagined on their own.
"Are you… happy?"
The Angel cheerfully replied, “Yes.”
Only an illusion stood here.
“…I see. An angel can only live within an imagination."
I happened to recall the definition of an angel. That it had wings, a halo, were really beautiful, and then, it's only an illusion…
After all, a thing that brings you hope can only be a fantasy.
When I thought about that, the angel sadly replied, “You're right.”
"I wish I was a real angel."
With an appearance that looked more like an angel than an actual angel, she said something like that.