Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 62 (Part 2)
When we stopped walking, Noel buried her face in my chest. Luca also hugged me from behind, nuzzling his cheek against me. This kind of situation had already happened once before.
“What’s wrong, Noel?”
I could feel the overflowing feeling of love coming from Luca, so I knew he was ok even without asking, however, I didn’t know what was wrong with Noel.
I gently stroked her head and she stared up at me, looking like she was about to cry.
“I, before, I’ve made Nii-sama have bad memories.”
“I’ve never had bad memories talking with you.”
“I’m talking about the time when I showed you Mother’s photo. Hearing Nii-sama’s words just now, I’ve realized just how stupid I was.
Ah, did she hear what I said? I don’t really care about that, but it might come as a shock to Noel who has a good relationship with Mother.
“That’s… right. What Mother did to Nii-sama was… she neglected him. How could you forgive such a thing? And yet I, without thinking of Nii-sama’s feelings, proudly showed you that photo… I’m sorry, Nii-sama.”
“You don’t need to apologise. It’s not like I hate Mother, I just refuse to accept her.”
When I told her this in all honesty, she buried her face in my chest again. Did I make her even sadder? I didn’t want to lie though.
After making sure that there was no one else around, I loosely put my arms around Noel. And then, when I patted her back, she let out a weird sound. Are you trying to hold back your tears?
“Coming back to the capital with Nii-sama I wanted to have a meal together as a family. Because you said you’ve always been alone, I thought you’d be happy to sit around the table with Father and Mother. Because it would make me happy, I thought that Nii-sama would feel the same way. It didn’t even cross my mind that Nii-sama wouldn’t like it. I didn’t even consider why Nii-sama has never seen Mother’s face, or the emotions associated with that. I am so selfish.”
My tender-hearted sister, I know that you’re always thinking of me, so I can’t easily agree with you saying that you’re selfish.
“Noel, it’s very hard to guess what is going on in other people’s hearts. The things that you do for the sake of another person might actually be a burden to them… but still, if you wish for it from the bottom of your heart, I think you can still try to make it happen.”
I gently stroked her hair and she timidly looked up at me. A few tears had escaped.
“I have my own opinion, but what about Mother? She might want to meet me. At that time the decision is in your hands – are you going to give up because I said I didn’t want to? Or are you going to ask again and try to persuade me?”
“Are you saying that… you’d be willing to listen to me?”
“Yeah, I won’t ignore my precious little sister. Though, until that moment comes, I don’t know if I’ll be able to give you the thing that you want.”
At this point and time, my heart rejected the idea. I don’t want to have a conversation with the mother who neglected me. I don’t hate her, but I don’t want to be friendly with her either.
But, if it’s something that Noel longs for… and if she tries to persuade me over time, I might be willing to make a concession one day.
“Thank you, Nii-sama. I, in the end, I still want the four of us to sit around one table at least once. A dinner table where I won’t be scolded for asking why Nii-sama isn’t there… a dinner table where there’s a seat for you across from Mother and Father and next to me. I want to sit around such a happy dinner table.”
Is that what she always saw in her dreams? Me sitting next to her? Did she miss me all that time when I wasn’t there?
“That’s why even if it’s impossible right now, I’ll try my best to make it a reality no matter how many years it will take. I’ll do my best to convince both Nii-sama and Mother!”
Noel’s sudden cheerfulness surprised me. I tilted my head questioningly and Noel let out a happy giggle.
“After all, before, I didn’t even know if Nii-sama was alive. But you’re alive and you’re here now. The fact that my chances aren’t zero anymore makes me so happy.”
I see. How resilient.
I patted Noel’s head and she let out a slightly embarrassed laugh. Then her gaze turned to Luca who was still hugging me.
“Luca, it’s all right now. Sorry for being a bother.”
“It’s not a problem. I’m just hugging Zagan.”
A bother? To Luca?
I couldn’t understand what she was saying, so I turned around to ask Luca and got kissed on the forehead.
“It’s because the world doesn’t know that Zagan and Noel are brother and sister, and because you are my fiancé. If rumors spread that my fiancé was seen hugging the count’s daughter, it might cause all kinds of trouble, right?”
I see. So the reason why Luca was hugging me was so that they couldn’t see Noel from the main road.1. But Orobas was standing at the entrance to the alleyway so I don’t think anyone could try and take a peek. And, on the other side, the five other girls, who moved slightly away from us, were standing, hiding Noel from the back.
Despite that, we still needed to be extra careful as rumors could easily spread. Especially those that concern the prince, Luca.
It is unclear in which direction the people’s thoughts may turn and it is possible that instead of badmouthing me, they would turn their ire towards Noel, the young lady of the Brady family. In any case, we couldn’t be too cautious.
In the meantime, Noel let go of me and turned to look at our friends. It seemed that Bennet had already stopped crying and that they were waiting for us to finish our conversation.
Luca called out to them.
“Sorry for making you wait. Bennet, is everything ok now?”
“Y-yes. I’m sorry too – I ended up taking so much of your time when you have important business to attend to.”
“The duel is my own personal problem so you don’t need to mind it. But, may I ask – why did you decide to ask Zagan about his mother? You asked despite saying that the question might be rude, so I thought that you must have a reason, right?”
Luca asked in a soft voice and Bennet’s eyes wandered for a bit before she gave a firm nod.
“Yes. That… I thought about it while I was in bed last night. That after clearing this dungeon, we’ll head to the capital and this journey will end. Luca-san and Noel-san have homes in the capital, and Zagan-san will stay with Luca-san. I’m sure that everyone else will go back to their homes as well. But I, I was wondering what I should do. I, um, my father, from some point… we don’t have a good relationship. So… should I go back? Or should I forget about my home? I was thinking about that.”
Speaking of which, Bennet was saved by Luca when she was in the middle of running away from her father who tried to sell her off to pay his debts. Of course she’d be worried about going back to that house. So that’s why she asked me about my mother. Did my answer help somehow?
“I’m also worried about that. Being with you guys is great and stuff but I’ll only get to spend time with Luca and Noel until we get to the capital, right? Over there I can’t treat the prince and a noble lady the same as I’ve been doing so far. And there aren’t any dungeons in the capital either, so it might not work for an adventurer like me… well, I did hear that the monsters around the capital are strong enough in their own way, but still, I’m worried.” (Miranda)
“Me too, I just left the store like that. Even if I do move closer to Zagan and the others, I’ll have to go back at least once.” (Camilla)
“I can’t really give you a definitive answer until I know what will become of the Dark Organization. If Eloi-kun goes to prison, I’d like to live close to him. If that happens, I’ll also need to go home at least once to properly resign from my job.” (Cindy)
I wonder if that, the future, was what the three of them were discussing back then?
Nina hasn’t said anything, but she did ask Orobas about being butler so she might be thinking of becoming Noel’s exclusive butler. She doesn’t have a place to go back to and that will allow her to stay by Noel’s side.
“It makes me lonely thinking of how we’re going to be going our separate ways. I want us to be together forever. But that’s not possible, is it?” (Bennet)
I wonder… if they all move to the capital, we’ll be able to see each other often in the future as well.
“And earlier, I heard what Zagan-san said and what Noel-san said, and I started thinking that I have to make it clear where I stand. But meeting Father, that… it’s scary.” (Bennet)
“If you want, I’ll come with you and send him flying.”
Bennet giggled as Miranda flexed her biceps.
“That’s why I want to think about it a little more, talk with all of you a lot and find my answer.”
“I see. If you don’t plan on going back, I’ll hire you. Since Zagan and I will be living together we’ll need at least one maid.”
“Ah! T-that sounds wonderful. Uwa, what should I do? I don’t want to go back now.”
I couldn’t help but smile at Bennet’s excitement. All the others laughed as well. But I could feel just a slight pang of melancholy in the air.
The moment we clear this dungeon, we have to go to the capital right away.
The end of our journey… the time to say goodbye – it was looming ever closer. 2