Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 74 (Part 2)
Our meal ended as we chatted about Father’s past and, at around 7:30, we went up to the watch tower’s roof. Despite the temperature up there being much colder than inside, I didn’t really feel the cold that much thanks to the armour I was wearing.
“Here you go, Your Highness Luca, Zagan-dono, a lantern.”
I took the still unlit lantern and headed with Luca towards the parapet where we could look down at the 12th city. There were about 30 minutes left before it was time to release the lanterns, which was why the lights in the city below were being turned off one by one.
“I bet that right about now people are outside, huddled together, waiting for this to start.”
“Isn’t that what the Sun Festival is supposed to be about? When I was at the mansion, Orobas would hold me up as we waited.”
“Huh? This isn’t your first Sun Festival?”
“No. On the night of the Sun Festival, Orobas would always carry me up to the roof. Everyone in the mansion would be out at the time and, because Orobas had an amazing jumping ability, nobody noticed us… right?”
I kind of lost confidence towards the end of that sentence, so I tried asking Orobas, who was on standby behind us, and he smiled and nodded.
“Yes. I made prior arrangements with Lyle-sama and we jumped to the rooftop of the back garden while everyone else was in the main courtyard. As Zagan-dono is the descendant of Lune, we had to celebrate.”
What does that mean? Isn’t the Sun festival meant to celebrate the foundation of the Soleil Kingdom that was being protected by the god Soleil? I didn’t think it had anything to do with Lune.
Orobas continued talking. Perhaps because he could guess my questions.
“Indeed, today is the day the kingdom was founded, and the current people of Soleil consider the Sun Festival a celebration of that day. However, the Sun Festival has been held for about a thousand years. A thousand years ago, the kingdom that was almost destroyed by Soleil was saved by the goddess Lune who sealed him.”
However, the royal family at that time lied to the people and told them that it was Soleil who sealed the Evil God. An unimaginable number of people had lost their lives back then and many buildings were destroyed. It was a lie meant to protect the impoverished kingdom.
The Sun Festival was a ceremony meant to thank Soleil and to mourn the numerous lives that had been lost. By having the festival coincide with National Foundation Day, they hoped that the god Soleil would be revived and that the collapsing kingdom would return to its former glory.
“However, the royal family who had tried to kill the goddess and us monsters who remained knew the truth. About the meaning behind those lanterns as well.”
“I get that it’s a sign of mourning, to wish those that had lost their lives a peaceful slumber, but…”
“I guess the time of day also has some meaning.”
Luca and I thought about it as we replied to him, and Orobas looked up at the night sky.
“Yes… the moon shines in the night sky… Though it’s been hidden for a thousand years now…”
I get it. If the purpose had been to thank Soleil. The lanterns should have been released while the sun was still out. However, the god they truly needed to thank was Lune. Which was why they released the lanterns into the night sky, towards the moon that could no longer be seen.
“The previous royal family lit numerous lanterns. As an apology for trying to kill her and as gratitude for saving them. And we, the monsters that remain to this day, send those lanterns, that resemble the sun that she loved, to the moon, wishing to someday see her again. People like us call the Sun Festival ‘the festival of the holy night.’ It is a name befitting the goddess of the moon, is it not?”
The festival of the holy night. Is it because she is the goddess of the moon who possesses both the darkness and holy attributes?
Speaking of which, in my past life, there were also all kinds of events and festivals going on around this time of the year, and it was also called the holy night. However, unlike in my previous life, the holy night of this kingdom was a cruel one.
“Orobas… didn’t you want to kill them? Those humans who thought that if they sent their gratitude and apology they’d be forgiven for the destruction that they brought on this land.”
It was written in the crown prince’s letter, that in the battle between the two gods, monsters and spirits crashed against each other and lost their lives. Among them may have been those that Orobas held dear.
“This is just a guess, but the demon Zagan also died back then, right?”
It was a name I’d heard when I was little. Though I don’t remember what Orobas had told me about him back then, when the two of us met again not long ago, he told me that the demon Zagan had already died. Also, the two of them had been close enough for Orobas to curse Zagan and say that he wanted to beat the crap out of that moron. So the demon Zagan was probably as old as Orobas was and about as strong as him. It was easy to guess that the battle a thousand years ago was what killed an SS rank demon.
I had guessed correctly. Orobas nodded.
“Yes, Zagan was my friend and he died a thousand years ago. However, I don’t feel sad about it. After all, that idiot lost his life asking Soleil for a fight despite being so weak against angels and sacred beasts that he was almost insignificant. The gods are overwhelmingly strong even to us demons.”
“Ah, that… is quite daring…”
“Yes. Despite knowing he wouldn’t win, he had to challenge Soleil to a fight. Zagan was a demon who held the desire to fight those who were stronger than him. Which is why I think he was happy to be fighting a god in his final moments.”
Is that so? I’d been wanting to ask him about the demon Zagan for quite some time now, but I would never have guessed he had that kind of personality. No, well, it was a name borrowed by the original human Zagan when he began slaughtering people, so it kind of works.
“Monsters do not have lives in the first place. Furthermore, demons like us rarely die. The moment of our death is something that we decide for ourselves. The moment we think to ourselves – this would be the best time to die. For that guy, that moment was the war a thousand years ago.”
Orobas talked about Zagan with pride and I couldn’t help but admire him for that. Was that what it meant to be a demon?
“You’re so cool. As for me, just thinking about Luca dying makes me feel like my heart’s going to break.”
“Zagan… me too. If Zagan were gone, my heart would shatter and I’d become a cripple. So don’t go thinking about such sad things, ok?”
The lantern in my hand was taken away by a tentacle before I could even react and Luca hugged me. He gave me a kiss on my forehead and on the corner of my eye as if to soothe me. The soft sensation of his lips made me feel happy and loved.
“It’s as His Highness said. The two of you have only just met and you will still be together a hundred years from now. There is no need to already be thinking about what will happen when you part. Rather than that, would it not be better to think about the path you’ll be walking together?”
I nodded, happy because I could feel Luca’s warmth around me. That’s right, it’s too early to be thinking about that. The two of us will always be together, now and in a hundred years.
“Anyway, as I am a demon, I don’t feel such lingering emotions such as sadness. Just remembering how that bastard died without a word of apology after causing so much trouble for those around him, makes me angry enough that I want to send him flying. Incidentally, a memento of Zagan still exists, though, by some kind of coincidence, the person who currently possesses it has also taken on the name Zagan.”
He must be talking about me. I’m in possession of a memento of Zagan?