Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 63 (Part 2)
That’s what I thought. However, Luca avoided it narrowly by twisting his upper body to the side, using that flow to crouch down low and swiped at Orobas’ feet. Not expecting that Luca would use martial arts, Orobas lost his balance and landed with his hand on the floor.
Luca swung his katana down. Orobas widened his eyes at the force that managed to destroy the magic wall─
Right before his eyes, the blade stopped. The two of them were unmoving at that moment, making it seem like even time itself had stopped.
“…………It is my win.” (Luca)
“…So it seems. I have lost.” (Orobas)
The outcome decided, Luca lowered his katana.
The tense air finally relaxed and I exhaled. I hadn’t even realised I had been holding my breath on top of clenching my fists with all my strength. My palms hurt slightly.
Anyway, Luca won. The joy made my chest gradually grow warm but then I saw Luca’s body swaying and about to tip over so I hurriedly rushed over to him.
“Luca! Here, hurry.” (Zagan)
Supporting his unsteady body, I took out a potion from my magic bag. Since it was a high grade potion, it should even heal fatal injuries.
When I popped the lid open and brought it close to Luca’s lips, he put his hand on the potion and knocked it back.
Once he finished gulping it all down, he let out a sigh and smiled his usual gentle smile.
“Thank you, Zagan. I’m fine now.” (Luca)
“Really? That’s great then.” (Zagan)
Although he looked tired and his breathing was erratic, his complexion was fine so I felt relieved. I didn’t have the composure to look at it during the fight, but when I actually checked, Luca’s flank was dyed in red. An attack that managed to destroy Luca’s magic wall and penetrate through his dragonhide coat. As expected, Orobas was strong.
Speaking of Orobas, he was in the process of being healed as Noel had rushed to his side. Unlike the way a human healed, demonic essence gathered and reformed his arm.
Come to think of it, what happened to the severed hand? I looked to where it fell out of curiosity only to see a dagger lying there. Even the portion of clothing that was cut off with it was gone, so the clothing was also part of his mimicry skill?
His hand grew back quickly, partly because Noel was applying recovery magic too.
“It’s done now, Orobas.” (Noel)
“Thank you, Noel ojou-sama. But I could have finished regenerating an arm within an hour even without ojou-sama bothering with it.” (Orobas)
“What nonsense are you saying! You can’t go around looking like that. I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one who would feel pain just from looking at it!” (Noel)
“Ah, so that was what concerned you. I would have preferred if you worried about me a bit more. I may not look like it, but I am actually in shock after losing.” (Orobas)
“I wanted Luca to win anyway, so there’s no problem there.” (Noel)
Orobas showed an indescribable, complex expression to Noel who proudly puffed her chest out.
He used to make that kind of face before.
For instance, when Noel was two years old. My little sister who usually got carried to my room by Orobas came knocking at my door alone. I did think it was a little strange since she was just two years old. Not even considering the possibility she had stealthily gone past the eyes of all the maids and went down the stairs all on her own, I read a picture book to her as usual and laid her on the bed when I saw her dozing off.
After a while, Orobas came down to the basement in search of Noel, and when he discovered her on top of the bed, he made the exact same face. A mixed expression that showed he was angry yet too perplexed and tired to express it. Meanwhile upstairs, there had been a big uproar due to Noel’s disappearance.
He still couldn’t seem to find the words to say, so after turning away with a sigh, he looked up at us.
Luca took a step forward and held out his hand. Orobas then grabbed his hand and stood up.
“I thank you, Your Highness Luca. Is your flank okay?” (Orobas)
“That level of injury can be healed using a potion so it’s fine. So, how is it? Will you approve of me now?” (Luca)
“Yes. Although frustrating, I have no choice but to acknowledge you since I lost. Besides, bocchama’s heart is so attached to Your Highness that each time Your Highness was in danger, bocchama even directed intimidation at me.” (Orobas)
I directed intimidation? Really? When I tilted my head at Luca, he let out a laugh.
“I guess you were watching with so much enthusiasm that you never realised.” (Luca)
“Did nii-sama not notice that Bennett who stood next to you was about to collapse because you were repeatedly letting out a tremendous amount of intimidation?” (Noel)
“…I couldn’t take my eyes off the fight.” (Zagan)
When I looked over to the girls who were still by the wall, I saw that Cindy was giving Bennett a lap pillow. Nina was also limp as she sat on the floor with her back against the wall. Meanwhile, Miranda and Camilla were stroking their heads and shoulders. Uhm… apologies…
“This Orobas has taken care of you with wholehearted devotion since you were a baby… no, 15 years have passed since bocchama left the mansion. Even without me or Lyle-sama, you grew up splendidly and became an adult. The little you in my memories is no more.” (Orobas)
Orobas lowered his gaze sadly. I had never seen him look like this before.
I always thought he was indifferent to everyone except Father. That the only reason he took care of me and Noel was because it was an order from Father. But strangely enough, I could clearly feel Orobas’ affection now.
As Luca said last night, he must have loved me from the beginning. I just hadn’t realised it.
It’s because I… my original self changed. It’s because Luca kept his promise to me and won against Orobas. He proved to me that I have an absolute existence – Luca – beside me. That’s how he saved my original self.
An enormous amount of joy flowed from my chest, making me feel like I really wanted to touch Luca. I wanted to hug him close and kiss him. But I had to be patient first.
I gripped my hand that was reaching out towards Luca and looked at Orobas again.
Orobas who once repeatedly betrayed my original self. However, the world reversed time and caused a change to occur by fusing me with the original Zagan. When I was imprisoned underground at the age of three, Orobas protected me from Father who was very sensitive towards me. He even scolded Father, and changed Father’s attitude.
Precisely as Orobas mentioned, from meticulous health management to my education, he wholeheartedly took care of everything I needed in my childhood. The memory of that time still stayed within me.
Then 15 years later – the present when I have grown up. His line of sight that I couldn’t meet without looking up towards him was now level with my own.
“…I am grateful to Orobas. It was thanks to you that I was able to live a stable life. Even when I couldn’t get out of the basement, I stayed healthy. It was because you told me about various things that I was able to live without any problem once I left the mansion. Last night, you praised me for growing up sincerely but… I definitely owed some of it to you as you’re one of the main factors. So thank you, Orobas.” (Zagan)
“Bocchama… Your words are wasted on me.” (Orobas)
Orobas was deeply moved. It was exactly as Luca said – just these words could make him happy. Even so, trying to put into words the 15 years of time since I left the mansion was hard.
If I were to tell him that I had lived in the Great Forest alone without stepping a single foot out of there, I’m worried that would cause Orobas, who could only see me off from the mansion, to feel regret. But if I were to tell him that I didn’t particularly feel lonely even when I was alone, it may lead to the idea that the nine years that Orobas had supported me were inconsequential.
I thought it would be easy to convey how I had lived for the past 15 years by crossing our blades.
I wanted to relay to him that in order for me to become this strong, I had no choice but to continue fighting non-stop, and that in an environment where it was either kill or be killed, there was no room to feel ‘lonely’. That fighting… that becoming stronger made life worth living.
But now that ties with the past had been removed, I could feel that Orobas no longer wanted to point his blade at me nor have mine pointed at him.
There was no more need to fight. No more need to put it into words. Because if he looked at my current self, he would know.
That’s right, didn’t Orobas say so last night? That it was plain to see that he would lose.
A demon who lived for 7,000 years, if he fought seriously, he would have caused unspeakable damage. He could never go all out because he would probably have killed me. However, if he didn’t fight seriously then he would lose to me.
He probably could tell that I had grown that much stronger the moment he saw me again. Moreover, as someone who had taken care of me for nine years, he could have guessed what kind of lifestyle I, someone with the dark attribute, had to go through, that I managed to grow up to be how I am now.
The… parent who raised me.
Even though his gentle gaze that watched over me never changed, I was never able to accept his affection honestly up till now. It made me want to apologise… but that’s not what Orobas was after.
I need to tell him. Not about the past me, but about the me from now on.
With my gaze still on Orobas, I felt for Luca’s hand while he stood next to me… but he grasped it first. Gripping it back, I started to speak.
“Orobas, I love Luca from the bottom of my heart. No matter what difficulty may come, I have decided that I will live alongside Luca. That’s why I want you to acknowledge us.” (Zagan)
It is better to be direct than wasting time beating around the bush.
That line of thought was apparently right because Orobas smiled softly.
“If it’s someone Ciel-bocchama has chosen, he is sure to be a wonderful person. Of course, I approve of the two of you.” (Orobas)
I left the mansion 15 years ago. Yet now, at last, it felt like I had finally left the nest.