Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 56 (Part 2)
It had been a number of days since we went into the dungeon and I was concentrating on working on the magic barrier. I had to make sure to polish up the barrier that had protected the 9th city. Then I had to make sure to deliver it, even if by force, to the middle-aged man from the Dark Organization that we will meet in the 12th dungeon.
If, for example, I hand them 100 MP potions, they’ll just be suspicious that they’re poisoned or think that I was trying to win them over. But, in the case of the magic barrier, they’ll just be confused as to why I’m giving it to them because they aren’t aware of the reasoning behind it. That’s because I’m improving the barrier to block off all attributes. It truly was a magic tool whose only purpose was to protect.
By the night of the 16th, I was almost done with my modifications. The communication device rang earlier than usual. I wondered if something had happened as I answered the call.
“Evening Zagan. You’ve worked hard today as well.”
“Nii-sama, good evening. How have you been?”
It was Luca and Noel and I could hear the others in the background. They all seemed to be standing next to the communication device.
“Yeah, I’ve been good. You guys sound energetic as well.”
“Yes! I got to hear Nii-sama’s voice so I’m full of energy!”
I couldn’t help but smile at Noel’s cute answer.
Actually, I started to feel lonely all of a sudden. I wondered why and then quickly realized that it’s been a while since I’ve been completely alone.
Last month after Luca and the others cleared the dungeon, I spent all of my days not only with Luca, but with the girls as well. When I was training with Luca or when I worked in the living room, there was always someone else there in the space around me.
Noel who stared at me working and Nina next to her polishing some coins or a jewel. Miranda, sitting at the dinner table, making wood carvings. Camilla with her silent alchemy and the sounds of Bennet cooking in the kitchen. And, of course, Cindy sitting on the sofa and quietly reading a book.
Perhaps it’s because I’d gotten used to such an environment that I’ve started to feel lonely now that I couldn’t sense their presence around me as I worked. Which was why, when I heard their voices, I too became full of energy. I didn’t go out of my way to tell them that though.
I continued working as I listened to Noel talk and then, from the side, I could hear Miranda’s voice.
“Noel, can’t it be my turn soon?”
“Oh, that’s right. Nii-sama, I’m handing you over to Miranda.”
Miranda wants to talk to me? As I was wondering about that, I could hear everyone’s voices fade away. There was the sound of footsteps so Miranda must have been on the move.
After a couple of seconds I could hear Miranda groan.
“Ah, um, well… that, you know, today I met that woman.” She told me, her voice faltering.
I see, so they met the female pervert after all.
“So… you had a proper conversation with her?”
“Yeah. When we first met she stupidly showed hostility towards us and I got pissed off, but I remembered the promise I made you and managed to calm down somehow. Luca and the others also calmed down. And then I tried asking her… about him…”
There was a slight pause. I waited without saying anything and eventually Miranda let out a sigh.
“… she didn’t remember him. She’s killed a lot of people.” She told me quietly with a subdued voice.
Well… the incident where she killed Miranda’s fiancé was four years ago. To her, he must have been just one of the many males of various attributes who came near her. In the first place, for a dark attribute user like her to wear such an exposing outfit, you could pretty much guess what she was trying to do.
It seemed that my guess wasn’t wrong.
“Since a long time ago people would try to kill her just because of her attribute… they sexually assaulted her as well. When she killed all those men who did that to her, she was picked up by the Dark Organization, but she found herself seducing men and killing those that she lured in.”
In the end it seems that dark attribute users aren’t able to live honest lives in Soleil. The harsh environment forces them to kill or be killed, until they become mentally ill and start to kill again and again. Just like what happened to the original Zagan.
But that woman, when I told her about the value of a life she teared up. It was proof that she was trapped inside that sense of fear that she’d be killed if she didn’t kill first, and proof that she continues to suffer even as she kills.
“It might give you some mixed feelings, but… I honestly think that there are men out there who would be seduced by a woman like that even if she was a dark attribute user.”
“Haha, that might be true… even I’d get a bit excited if a gentlemanly fellow held my hand. Well, you and Luca probably wouldn’t be able to relate.”
I didn’t deny it. I never thought of wanting to touch any human other than Luca and Noel, and Luca is the kind of man who’d choose me even when surrounded by women. No matter who tried to seduce us, I fully believe we wouldn’t give in to the temptation.
By the way, so Miranda’s type was an older gentleman? But from her stories, her fiancé was a good-for-nothing. Is this what people mean when they say fantasy is different from reality?
“Oh yeah, I asked her for her name. It’s Sophia. She has a cuter name than you’d expect, right? I told her my name as well and she just snorted. She acted like she wasn’t interested but I think she’ll properly remember my name.”
Unlike in the game, the two seemed to have had a calm conversation. And both seemed happy about it.
“Anyway, I’m glad I got to talk to Sophia. And I finally got to put that guy behind me. I mean, he always nagged me, worried that I’ll get snatched by some other guy and then he tried to cheat on me? What an asshole.”
“Yeah, people who cheat should be stopped. It’ll only lead to suffering afterwards.”
I’ve never met the guy in person so I couldn’t call him a piece of shit, but still, in this world there are plenty of other men for Miranda to choose from. When I told her my thoughts, Miranda started laughing, but in the next moment a sob got stuck in her throat. I could hear her sniffling as well.
I stayed quiet for a moment until Miranda let out a self-deprecating snort.
“Sorry, I’m crying again. Still, I wanted to tell you this no matter what.”
“I don’t mind. If crying can help you let go of the past, then you can cry however much you want.”
“You’re… a good guy. You and Luca suit each other.”
“I’m happy to hear that. I’ll do my best to stay by his side from now on as well.”
“Luca said the same thing. You guys really are made for each other. He said he wanted to become the type of man who can stand by Zagan’s side. It’s the best – two people doing their best to stay together. Oops, it looks like Luca is going to get angry if I don’t hand you to him soon.”
She was still crying, but it would probably be better if Noel and the others comforted her instead of me.
After a short wait, I started to hear the other’s voices again. It sounded like Luca took over the communication device and stepped inside the tent, because I could hear him tell the girls goodnight. Then it got quiet.
“Finally it’s just the two of us. Miranda said she had to talk to you no matter what, but she didn’t say anything weird, did she?”
“Weird? Not really. She talked about the woman you guys met today and about her former fiancé. She also told me that you and I suit each other.”
I didn’t tell him that Miranda’s type was an older gentleman. That might fall under the category of weird things that Luca had mentioned, but I didn’t think it was right for me to spread the news about what type of guy Miranda liked.
Still, Luca sighed in relief.
“I see. That’s fine then. As long as it doesn’t make Zagan worry.”
“Isn’t Luca… the only one who can make my heart waver?”
“Eh? Are you lonely without me? why’d you have to go and say something so cute?”
“No. I-I didn’t say anything about that.”
I was lonely, but I was supposed to be controlling myself so that he wouldn’t notice. And yet he pointed it out so bluntly, I ended up blurting something out. To make matters worse, my face had gone red because I could hear Luca laughing. Ugh, how embarrassing. Should I just hang up on him?
But I couldn’t bring myself to actually hang up. I glared at the device until Luca stopped laughing.
“Sorry for laughing. I’m extremely lonely when I can’t hold Zagan in my arms.”
He said it so smoothly that I started feeling even more lonely and my heart squeezed from the love I felt for him. Luca truly was an unfair man.
“… You have that photo we took together, right? You can just look at that.”
“Eh? Don’t tell me – you’re distracting yourself from your loneliness by looking at a photo of the two of us? Oh god, you’re just too cute.”
Why’d I have to go and tell him that? Damn,I was so embarrassed, I wanted to bury myself in the blanket.
As Luca had pointed out, since our second night in the dungeon, I’d been looking at that photo. I could no longer endure being on my own.
But that didn’t mean that I’d grown weak. It’s because I’m lonely that I can do my best until we see each other again. I wanted to show him how much I’d grown as a person.
“Fufu, I’m so happy. I love you Zagan. Next time, let’s go buy a picture frame together.”
“… Yeah, ok.”
Even though it was just over the phone, hearing Luca laugh happily and tell me he loves me made me want to try that much harder.