Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 62 (Part 1)
After breakfast we all headed to the adventurer’s guild.
Yesterday I didn’t feel their stares because it was after the sky had grown dark, but today all kinds of people were looking at me. However, there wasn’t that much ill-will directed towards me. It seems that that newspaper article had proven effective in this city as well.
Also, as it was almost National Foundation Day, the 12th city was decorated beautifully. Plenty of pale-orange fairy lights lined the trees along the road. Such a beautiful sight must give the people who see it a sense of peace.
“The 12th city is where Lyle-sama was born and raised. He has family here as well.” Orobas, who was walking ahead of me, explained as I looked around at the streets with their Christmas-like atmosphere.
Father’s hometown. Then this must be where Father met Orobas and where their friendship had developed. Perhaps he had even been acquainted with Duchess Charmant when he was younger. She did say that they used to be partners in crime.
“Then Noel’s grandpa and grandma must live close by.” (Nina)
“My uncle, aunt and cousins as well as my great-grandparents do as well.”
“Wow, what a large family. Are you going to visit them while we’re here?”
“No. I’ve always been with Father when I visited them before, and currently, I’m a knight in training. I’m accompanying Luca by the king’s orders. Which is why I shouldn’t go on such a personal trip.”
Mhm, Noel is serious and firm today as well.
As I was admiring her determination, Bennet, who was walking next to me, looked up at me. She seemed worried for some reason.
When I looked back at her as if to ask what was wrong, she hurriedly shook her head.
“S-sorry. It’s nothing.”
She didn’t seem to want to talk about it, so I went along with it. But she was all worked up for some reason and her eyes were welling up as well. Really… what was wrong?
I couldn’t understand the problem so I turned to my friends for help and Miranda, Camilla and Cindy behind us changed the subject to something else. Nina, who was always quick to read the room, and even Noel and Orobas enthusiastically jumped into the conversation. Apparently, they were curious about what a butler’s job entails.
I was holding Luca’s hand, but he should be concentrating on the duel and I shouldn’t be bothering him, right?
At least I thought so, but when I turned towards him, he was already looking at me in his usual manner. Also, it seemed that he had been following the conversation and had a wry smile on his face.
“That’s where you need to push a little harder, Zagan.”
Oh, I see… that “it’s nothing” from earlier actually meant the complete opposite and she did want me to ask her about it.
“Sorry, Bennet. I didn’t notice.”
“N-no. I’m at fault here for immediately saying that it’s nothing. Zagan-san just took my words at face value.”
Well, I mean she’s right, but I already knew that Bennet was a timid person and I should have stepped up.
“So, what’s wrong?”
“U-um, Noel-san’s relatives must be Zagan-san’s relatives as well, right? So I was worried about how you were feeling.”
“Ah, if you ask me… I don’t think they have anything to do with me. I mean, they don’t. Even if they are related to me by blood, people like that who I’ve never heard of before, would still be strangers to me.”
“I see. I’m glad Zagan-san wasn’t bothered by it.” Bennet gave me a shy smile.
And the conversation ended there. Or not.
Bennet was fidgeting her hands together and her eyes were rolling around like she was lost.
Did she just find it hard to ask, or was she trying to settle a thought? Should I ask her, or should I wait for her to talk?
I turned to Luca for the answer. He put a finger to his lips and whispered shh. I gave him a small nod and waited a bit for Bennet to compile her thoughts.
After several minutes, Bennet looked up at me with determination.
“Um, Zagan-san! It might be rude of me to ask this, but this is, um, a what-if situation. I-if Zagan-san’s mother said she wanted to be a mother to you from now on, what would you do?”
“If I saw her, I’d ignore her. And if she tries to get close to me, I’d use intimidation.”
It was an easy question so I answered immediately, making Bennet flabbergasted.
“Eh.. um, does that mean you wouldn’t even talk to her in the first place?”
“Yeah. She’s the kind of person who would abandon their child just because of the colour of their hair. I don’t want her to try and be a mother now; I’d rather we stay strangers.”
That was my answer, however, if the things I heard about her from Father and Orobas were correct, then she wasn’t the type of person who would come up to talk to me in the first place.
Mother had little mana and not much fighting power. She was a person too sensitive and weak to be a noble. But, because she was weak, she had the kindness to support other people’s weaknesses. Which was why she could never meet me.
She could never look at my face, with my black hair and red eyes reminiscent of the Evil God. Whenever she saw it she couldn’t help but recall that fear of being unable to escape the Evil God as they destroyed the capital. The fear of almost being killed. The fear that if Father hadn’t been there, she would have no doubt died.
But, as a mother, she couldn’t show her frightened self in front of her son. So that person chose not to meet me.1
From now on, if I stay by Luca’s side, I would probably come face-to-face with her, but I don’t think that she would be the one to come up to me. Because, no matter what reason she may have had, she still carries the guilt of having abandoned her child.
My weak and kind mother – she avoided my existence so I don’t know if she felt any love for me. When I left the mansion, she saw me off from afar. I don’t expect much from such a person.
“I hope she continues to love my father and treasure Noel. I hope she continues to live a happy and healthy life without having anything to do with me. Those are the only things that I ask of her.”
If neither one of us interferes with the other, we can keep this peace. But, when I gave this answer, Luca suddenly grabbed me. I was trapped between his arms and his chest and couldn’t move. The emotions I felt from him were somewhat mixed – part sadness, part love.
I’m happy to be in his arms, but if we stop walking like this Miranda will yell at us again.
“Uuuuu… Zagan-san… Uee, fueee….”
I was surprised to hear Bennet bawling all of a sudden.
When I somehow managed to detach my face from Luca’s chest and looked around, I could see Miranda with her eyebrows raised, scratching the back of her head. Then I felt a hand on my back. This presence… It was Noel.
“Let’s not stand in the middle of the road.” Camilla said, tapping Luca on the arm.
Luca loosened his grip, releasing me so I could look up at his face. When our eyes met, he smiled gently and kissed me on the forehead. He didn’t say a word, but I could feel his love.
When I checked behind me, Noel was there, her mouth forming a thin line.
Nina and Cindy were trying to calm the crying Bennet by wiping away her tears and stroking her back. And Orobas was quietly looking over all of us – no longer in the mindspace for a duel.
Anyway, we all moved to a nearby alley, away from prying eyes.