Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 67 (Part 1)
After leaving the accessory store, we continued with our leisurely walk.
Unlike me, who hadn’t really interacted with a lot of people up until now, Luca and Noel had interacted with lots of people every day, so it was fun hearing them talk about their past, and they never seemed to run out of things to talk about so I never got tired of hearing them.
As we walked and talked, the scenery around us changed to that of a calm residential area. Every one of the houses was decorated for the Sun Festival, making it a feast for the eyes.
From time to time, a passerby would stop and look at us, but I couldn’t feel any malice from them at all. It was the result of that article and, of course, because Luca was standing next to me. When I looked up at him, he smiled at me lovingly and pressed his lips to my black hair. It was like he was telling those around us that it was true that his fiancé was a dark attribute user.
Because Luca was with me, I didn’t feel any ill will directed toward me. Instead, there were moments when I was looked at with an extremely favorable gaze. Though, that favor didn’t necessarily come in exchange for ill will.
The way they looked at me was similar to the heated gaze Bennett often turned toward me and Luca. As it mainly came from women, I could pretty much guess the reason behind it.
Though I knew why they were looking, I wished they wouldn’t stumble around in an exaggerated manner like that, exclaiming about how wonderful our relationship was. I was glad though that they accepted our relationship despite the fact that we were both men so I didn’t ask them to stop.
It was a bit hard to bear, but Luca and Noel kept talking without paying them any attention, so I kept walking as well.
After some time, we arrived at a place near the river and I suddenly felt the presence of someone running toward us. They weren’t that fast and didn’t seem hostile, but I kept my guard up nonetheless.
“E-excuse me! Zagan-sama!”
Rather than being hostile, they seemed to have some business not with Luca, the prince, but with me. I didn’t know why they would go out of their way to look for a dark attribute user like me, but since they called out to me in a normal way, I stopped walking and turned toward them.
The person who had called out to me was a woman. Probably in her late twenties. She held a large basket in her arms like it was something precious. I could sense a faint amount of mana coming from inside.
“…What is it?” I tried asking her.
The woman exhaled and then took a deep breath. She looked me straight in the eyes.
“Zagan-sama, I have a favor to ask of you. I know that this is very sudden and rude of me, but even if it’s just for a second, would you please hold this child?”
I thought that that would be the case when I felt the mana – there was a newborn baby inside of the basket. They had purple hair – an infant with the dark attribute.
Perhaps… was this Noel’s individual event?
Learning that the mass murderer Zagan was her older brother, Noel (in the game) became deeply distressed. She didn’t know she even had a brother, let alone that her parents had imprisoned and abused him in the basement because he was a dark attribute user.
Noel had aimed to become a knight so that she could catch the culprit who put her mother in critical condition, but to learn that her mother was the one who was in the wrong in the first place, of course she had trouble coming to terms with it.
However, her brother Zagan died. Tears streamed down her face as she held her brother’s corpse.
If discrimination against dark attribute users didn’t exist, none of this tragedy would have ever happened. She thought she and Zagan could have spent a happy life together as a family.
After that, while she still loved the protagonist, she tried to think about what she could do to rid this kingdom of discrimination. And then, in the individual event in the 12th city, this woman appears… a woman who was about to throw her child into the river.
The protagonist stops her in a hurry. Noel, who had a great sense of justice, was automatically going to reprimand the woman, but couldn’t say a word when she saw her crying and when she saw the color of the baby’s hair.
“But my husband told me. He said that he loved me but wouldn’t raise this child. This child too, even if they live, they’ll only suffer a harsh life. It would be better to kill them now when they’re still unaware of the world. But… I can’t. I can’t strangle them or kill them with magic.”
“So you decided to close your eyes and throw them in the river?”
“Uuuu… I am a bad person. I was the one who gave birth to this child as a dark attribute user.”
Noel stroked the woman’s back as thoughts ran through her head. She wondered if her parents too had suffered like this. Because of the discrimination both her parents and her brother lived in pain. Only Noel had been blissfully unaware.
In the end, the woman decided to go back with the child in her arms. The protagonist and Noel watched her go. Noel then solemnly declared before the protagonist that if she ever gave birth to a child with the dark attribute, she would do everything within her power to protect them.
By the way, the game never showed what happened with the woman and the baby in the end.
Anyway, in the game, this was a very serious event, but the reality of it had clearly changed. Though the woman had given birth to a dark attribute user, she seemed happy.
The baby was fast asleep and I was worried that they would wake up if they were moved. Wouldn’t they be surprised and cry if they were suddenly lifted up by someone other than their mother? Would a newborn even notice the difference? I didn’t know much about babies.
I looked at the baby, troubled, and the mother furrowed her brows at my reaction.
“I’d like to make a wish. That this child, like Zagan-sama, will grow up to have a lover and friends regardless of their attribute… is that no good?”
“No, I don’t mind holding the baby, but I don’t want to startle the child, so I’d like you, as their mother, to lift them up from the basket.”
“Ah, that’s right. I apologize for not noticing.”
While the woman was in a fluster, Luca, who had wrapped his arm around my waist at some point, let out a chuckle. Even though he must have known that I was troubled, he just stood there and did nothing. Even though I understood that this wasn’t really a situation where I needed his help, it still made me pout to think that he saw me looking troubled and laughed because he thought it was cute. I’m not going to let that one go even if you kiss me on the head.
“Ma’am, I’ll hold the basket for you in the meantime.”
Noel stretched out both hands and took the basket. When she did, the woman carefully lifted the baby from inside and handed them to me. I held on to them and she left the newborn in my arms.
Truthfully, I was a bit nervous, but I managed to prop their head up properly so that was good.
The baby slept peacefully in my arms. I couldn’t really feel their warmth through the material of my down jacket, but I could feel the dark mana coming from them. They were only an infant so there was only a faint amount.
“Thanks to Zagan-sama, my husband and I were able to keep our composure when this baby was born. We consulted with the city lord right away and they promised to give us shelter if something were to happen. Truly, thank you so much.” The woman bowed deeply.
I see, so this woman had also read Duke Magnifique’s article. Also, a photo of me walking with Luca and the others, which was taken in the 11th city, had already been published in the national newspaper as well. For some reason, the duke’s article never mentioned any friends, but just now this woman said that she wished her child would have not only a lover but friends as well.
Soleil Kingdom was a place where dark attribute users were killed the moment they were born. And even in the game, this woman had suffered to the point where she was going to abandon her child. But now, this mother who had given birth to a dark attribute user was smiling happily. This baby was precious to her. She loved them so much that she prayed they wouldn’t suffer any discrimination.
I decided to expose my hair so that I could help those with the dark attribute, even if it was just a little. I thought that perhaps, when a baby with the dark attribute was born, if people saw me out and about with Luca and my friends, they would hesitate before killing them.
And now a small baby like that was sleeping in my arms. And this woman said that it was all thanks to me. It was only one person, but I managed to save the life of a dark attribute user. The reality of that made my heart grow warm.
It was only a small thing, but in reality, this kingdom was changing.
Noel got the mother’s permission and softly touched the baby’s cheeks and stroked their head. Luca only looked on from the side, but I could tell through his mana that he was happy.
Please live a healthy life without being discriminated against.
After putting that prayer into words, I handed the child back to their mother and she bowed again and again, thanking me.
When we offered to escort her back to her house, she refused, saying that it was really close by, and held the basket close as she walked away. I looked at her retreating figure and Luca rested his cheek on my head.
“Zagan’s amazing. You exposing your black hair really did save a dark attribute user’s life.”
“Yeah, it’s wonderful that we can actually see the results. But really the amazing one isn’t me, it’s Luca, isn’t it? You looked past the discrimination and fell in love with a dark attribute user like me. When I said that I’d expose my hair, you were the one who gave me a push saying that we’d do our best together. And you’re the one who protected me saying that you’d always be by my side.”
Our relationship was published in the national newspaper because Luca was a prince. Had the person I’d fallen in love with not been a prince, we wouldn’t have been able to see such immediate results.
“That woman didn’t know just how much Luca had been protecting me, so she only thanked me. So I’ll say it instead. Thank you, Luca. I’m counting on you from now on as well.”
“Zagan… Mn, I’ll always be by your side, so let’s do our best together.”
He squeezed me tight, so I hugged him back. I couldn’t feel his usual warmth through the down jacket, but the feeling of being loved was conveyed nonetheless.
I love you, Luca. I rubbed my face against his chest and he squeezed me tighter, placing his cheek on my head.
I looked up when he kissed me on the top of my head and then on the forehead as well. Then the corner of my eye and my cheek. He looked at my face and I glanced back at him before closing my eyes and he gave me a kiss on the lips as well. It was only for a second, but it felt wonderful.
“Zagan, I love you.”
“Mn, I love you too.”