Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 75 (Part 1)
Confused, I looked up at Luca and he looked back at me as if he were wondering the exact same thing.
Orobas chuckled. Perhaps because he found the sight of our confused faces cute.
“When a demon dies, they leave behind not only a mana stone but a crystal as well. The dagger that had been made from that crystal has, over the past thousand years, only been loaned to a single human that I was interested in.”
“…I won’t give you Zagan, ok?” Luca pulled at my waist, distancing me from Orobas, and even went so far as to cover my head in order to hide me from his line of sight.
Though the only thing I could see was Luca’s chest, I heard some strained laughter.
“The only person I ever loaned it to was Lyle-sama. He was a brat and would always cause trouble for the people around him when he was young. I never knew what kind of trouble he’d get into if I left him alone. That’s what drew me to him, and it is the reason I decided to serve him as his butler.”
So, in other words, Father and the demon Zagan had similar personalities, which is why he became interested in him. Luca did mention it before – that Orobas held some unusual feelings towards Father.
“However, it was decided that Zagan-dono would have to leave the mansion while he was still young. The Great Forest is Lune’s domain, so you, her descendant, must have felt comfortable inside of it; however, it was still dangerous. So I discussed it with Lyle-sama and he gave you the dagger.”
The very same dagger that was strapped to my hip even now. It was something Father had given me when I left the mansion. He told me that it was an outstanding dagger that raised one’s fighting skills significantly and that he had used it since he was young. That dagger was what kept me alive inside the Great Forest. It’s what allowed me to grow to be this strong.
I see now. So it was something that used to belong to Orobas? And to top it all off, it was a memento of the demon Zagan.
“Should I give it back?”
“No. Lyle-sama didn’t know it was a memento in the first place, and since a thousand years have already passed, I do not mind handing it over to others. You may keep it. I’ll continue holding on to his mana stone. So please, Zagan-dono, continue using it without any concerns.”
“I understand. When another hundred years have passed and I am no longer able to use it, I’ll return the dagger to you,” I replied, peeking from behind Luca’s shoulder, and Orobas’s eyes softened in a smile.
He seemed somewhat confused, but happy. It was unusual to see such a bewildered expression on Orobas’ face.
Seeing Orobas look like that, Luca went back to his original position – hugging me from behind.
From the corner of my eye, I could see the two lanterns swaying from his tentacles and, for some reason, Luca’s heart too was shaken up.
I could feel happiness mixed with anxiety emanating from his body that was touching mine.
He was happy because we were going to spend the next hundred years together, but why was he anxious?
While I was pondering whether to ask him about it or not, Orobas’ gaze dropped to the ground below us. Though it wasn’t time yet, someone’s lantern had slipped from their grasp and the tiny light fluttered as it drifted into the sky.
“I… like them. Those humans whose lives burn bright. Who try to live so desperately despite how fleeting their life may be.”
Ding. The sound of a bell rang out. It was time.
Noel and the others, who were standing a bit away from us, had already lit their lanterns in anticipation of this moment and had let go of them as soon as the bell rang out. There were considerably more lanterns than people – you could feel Duke Charmant’s bold personality from the way she prepared it to be this way.
After making sure that the girls were having fun, I looked down again and saw a sea of lanterns rise towards me little by little. Ah, what a beautiful sight.
“Let’s light our lanterns as well.”
Orobas took a match out of his breast pocket and lit it. So I took my lantern back from Luca’s tentacle and had him light it for me. Luca did the same.
After waiting for a while, some of the lanterns made it up to where we were, and their numbers steadily grew until we were enveloped by light.
Enchanted by that beautiful and fantastical sight, we too let go of our lanterns. They drifted softly upwards, joining in with the many others, floating through the night sky.
“Yeah. It truly is.”
No matter how small each lantern was, gathered together, they shone brightly. And then they drifted off into the night sky. Almost as if they were searching for the lost light of the moon.
As I was about to give a lantern that had strayed too low a helping hand, my hand overlapped with Luca’s.
The two of us had had the same thought and that made me happy. Laughter spilled out of Luca’s mouth making me laugh as well.
With our hands on top of each other, the two of us helped the lantern back into the sky, and we put our cheeks together. It was kind of tickly and another little giggle slipped out.
“I can’t. Zagan’s too cute. I love you.”
“Mm. I love you too, Luca.” I responded as usual and then heard the sound of something shifting behind us.
Ah, that’s right, Orobas was here too. He’d completely hidden his presence and I was too focused on the beautiful scenery so it had entirely slipped my mind.
My face grew red. It was embarrassing to show something like this to someone who was like a parent to me. Also, Luca was holding me, so I couldn’t run away.
“My apologies. I was trying to hold it in, but I was so moved seeing the two of you look so happy that my voice leaked out. Thinking that Zagan-dono, who had to live in solitude and endure persecution due to his dark attribute, now has someone who loves him from the bottom of their heart, I, Orobas, am overjoyed.”
Ugh, I want to dig a hole and bury myself.
Orobas had raised me though, and I truly was happy that he was happy for me. And Luca, being Luca, told him that he would definitely make me happy. So I endured my embarrassment in silence and Orobas turned his gaze up towards the sky.
“Zagan-dono, if possible, please offer your emotions to Lune. She is the goddess of the dark attribute who turns emotions into power and you are her descendant. Which is why I am sure that she can sense your existence. Even if you have never met, even if you are far away, your feelings will definitely reach her.”
My feelings, huh? If they truly can reach her, I’d like to convey my thanks – for keeping Soleil at bay and protecting this kingdom even now. And also my apologies.
I wanted to eliminate the discrimination in this country. For that to happen, I needed to prove that Lune was not the Evil God. Which was why we needed to save both gods.
However, it’s possible that she didn’t wish for change. Because she was with her beloved Soleil, no matter what form she may be in.
This was my selfish desire.
With discrimination gone, the babies who are born with the dark attribute and those around them no longer have to experience sadness. I wanted dark attribute users to be able to live in peace. And, most of all, I wanted Luca, who loves me, not to be condemned by others.
I wanted to protect Luca. So please, goddess, find it within your generous heart to forgive me.
The next morning, Orobas and Duke Charmant came over after we finished packing everything up. They came together with the two horses we’d left in their care.
“Good morning, Your Highness, everyone. It must have been busy this morning cleaning up after last night. Please let me see you off.”
“I have warned you before that that is not an appropriate way to speak to a prince who came here under royal decree. Even if the two of you are close, shouldn’t you show at least a little bit of decorum?”
“Please don’t mind it, Orobas. Other than Noel and I, the others aren’t used to that kind of flowery language, and this light-hearted way of talking is more comfortable.”
“See. I told you His Highness would say that.” Duke Charmant grinned and Orobas let out a sigh.
I thought so last night, but the two of them really did have the kind of close relationship that could only be achieved by knowing each other for so many years.
While Luca returned the key to the mansion, Noel took the carriage out of her magic bag and the others harnessed the horses.
Duke Charmant took the key from Luca and looked at us once again.
“The last time the Evil God was resurrected was 28 years ago. I also took part in that battle, but our opponent was unbelievably strong. Many people lost their lives. However, you guys managed to draw the truth about a thousand years ago out of that demon there, and are trying to break the chain of negativity that surrounds the Soleil Kingdom.”
Her frustration was palpable when she said “that demon there.” It was frustration over the fact that she never noticed the secret that Orobas had been carrying.
“His Highness Luca, descendant of Soleil, and Zagan-dono, descendant of Lune. If it’s the two of you, who have been recognized by Orobas, then you’ll definitely be able to save the gods. I must protect this city, so I can’t help you, but… I leave the capital, this kingdom, in your hands.”
“Of course, we will do our very best. Thank you, Duke Charmant.”
Luca grabbed her outstretched hand and the two shook hands. Then she took my hand as well. Her faith in me was conveyed through the strength in her grip.
Letting go of my hand, the Duke clicked her heels three times and came to stand directly in front of Orobas.
“Orobas, I’ll come to the capital when things have calmed down. Lyle and I are going to thoroughly chew you out at that time so you better prepare yourself.”
“I shall make an effort so that you may come to the capital in peace.” Orobas smoothly replied with a smile, despite the Duke trying to start a fight.
She frowned, perhaps because Orobas was hard to deal with. Her opponent was a seven-thousand-year-old demon – it’d probably be wise to stop picking fights with him.
As the two exchanged complaints and snide remarks, our party climbed into the carriage one after the other. Their interaction somehow ended with a fist bump, and Orobas was the last to climb in. With that, we were ready to set off.
“Thank you for taking care of us, Duke Charmant.”
“Thanks. Let’s meet again in the capital.”
“Yeah, let’s definitely meet again.”
The Duke, who was seeing us off, was greeted with various goodbyes.
Since we were riding a carriage, the Duke’s figure quickly disappeared from sight. Still, Orobas continued to look out the window, seeming slightly lonely.
“We’re going back to the capital. Soon… our journey will be over,” Luca murmured as he drew me into a hug.
That’s right. It’ll be over soon. Our final destination was the capital. There, the deciding battle of “Lumiere” awaited us.