"Tanda, before you leave, is there anything you'd like to talk about?" asked Nao.

Nao already knew the answer. Usually, the Milletians who passed by here just wanted to return to Erinn. None of them really felt like staying to talk to her. As expected, Tanda shook her head. "Not really," she said. "I was going to hang out with my friends, and I don't want to be late."

Nao smiled. "I understand. Go ahead."

The girl in front of her waved goodbye, and was gone.

It didn't really matter whether Tanda or anyone else wanted to stay and chat. Nao was just glad to see them. Soul Stream was so lonely sometimes. Since she couldn't just leave whenever she wanted, these people were her only link to Erinn. She wanted to know what was happening there, but she didn't want to keep anyone from their lives. So as they dropped in and out of this place, she could do nothing but watch.

Mostly she was content despite her occasional loneliness. The glimpses of the world she'd left showed a mostly peaceful place. That, at least, made her happy. She hoped with all her heart that the Milletians would help it to stay that way.

There were times when she wished she'd simply been allowed to die, rather than being given this duty. She still wasn't certain as to why she was needed, but she knew it was important. The Goddess wouldn't have put her here to do something insignificant.

At that moment, she sensed something. She turned around to face the faint, wispy shape that floated next to her, knowing exactly what she had to do. "My name is Nao," she said. "My duty is to lead pure souls to Erinn. First, though, you're going to need a body. What kind would you like?"