Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
「In the end, I wonder if the Islanders have been suspecting something for some time now. Or maybe they were just happy with the “Ignorance is bliss” kind of attitude. Thinking about it like that, you are truly someone to look up to, Filmina-dono. All the more reason for me to apologize to you for the way in which the Islanders were treating you. Even though I realize just how hypocritical that makes me, since Agedilus-dono is roughly the same as Elizabel all those years ago.」
「…… I, I see.」
I could really sense regret in the words of the Governess, as well as loneliness. Even though she may have been born into the Governor’s family, the truth is she was alone on this island all this time. I can only try to imagine the kind of suffering she had to go through, but I know that I would never be able to truly understand it. But I have seen scenes like that in the capital city when I was young. The way in which that child was treated by everyone else. And even though he didn’t really say anything to that, the amount of suffering he had gone through must have been the same. That would make it possible for him to understand just how others like him, must have felt.
–––– Even though I don’t think that man remembers that, it doesn’t change the facts at all. I don’t want to see anyone else having to go through something like that. But that’s only my wishful thinking.
I want to smile bitterly, but I managed to stop myself from doing that by taking another sip of my tea. Just what exactly is the Governess thinking of me, I wonder? I know that she calls me with respect, but that’s not it. Could it be that she had her doubts, hm? I look at the contents of my cup, trying to avoid looking at her. I could feel that she was looking at me right now probably wanting to say something, but she ultimately shook her head and stopped.
「I’m sorry, it’s nothing. It’s just that, please forgive me for every rude thing I might have said or did up until now!」
「Is that so? If that’s the case, then……」
「Please, don’t stand up. You were severely sick not all that long ago. You shouldn’t overexert yourself like that yet.」
The Governess tried to stop me from standing up, but I gently pushed her away. I also shake my head in denial hearing her words.
「Please, Letishela-sama, no need to worry about me. I heard that you are going to visit the ruins together with Edi sometime later. I can see you off no problem. …… Letishela-sama?」
Is there something wrong? I wanted to ask, but just then the Governess placed her hands on my shoulders and looked at me with deadly serious expression.
「Filmina-dono, you mustn’t do that. You need to rest properly. Besides, there may still be those flowers inside of the ruins. What if your sickness was to return?……」
「Here you are mistaken, Letishela-sama. I think that if I am to stay in bed any longer, it might be an even bigger poison for me than the actual one. But I appreciate your concern.」
Even though I smiled warmly while saying that, the Governess still looked as though she didn’t want to believe my words. I could see it in her eyes that she wanted to believe me, but she still had doubts. And seeing her like that, I could hardly blame her for thinking like that.
「It’s alright, really. Edi is going to be with me all the time, and besides a doctor visited me this morning and after consulting the idea with him he gave me his approval. And after taking medicinal baths, my body is said to have produced antibodies for the flower’s poison.」
That’s right. Even though he tried to stop me at first…… To be honest, rather than the doctor, it was Edi himself that suggested to me that I should get out of bed and try to get some exercise. All the doctor said was that “my body is young so it should heal by itself in no time”. But let’s not talk about that to the Governess.
After the doctor finally left, together with that child we looked at one another for a moment before eventually letting out a sigh of relief. Then, after another brief moment of silence he stopped being so tense and said “We should go to the ruins later.” It was a very sudden proposal. Honestly speaking, for a moment there I thought that he might be joking. But just one glance at his face was enough to confirm that he was serious.
Thinking about it for a moment, I realize that the boy’s words were making a lot of sense. After all, the original purpose of our visit here was to investigate the ruins and then to unravel the mystery of Elizabel’s curse as a result. And since from the moment we arrived here we suffered lots of setbacks and obstacles, we never really had time to properly do our original job. So it was only natural that I would like to help him as much as possible, not wasting anymore of our precious time that we have here.
「Besides, it is just like I said, just a little bit more.」
「A little bit more?」
「Yes, that’s right. As for the meaning, I’m afraid I don’t know it myself.」
What could be the meaning of this? But alas, the boy didn’t say anything. However, I sensed that there was something in his words. Something that he just couldn’t bring himself to say. Looking at me I could say that the Governess eye’s had narrowed considerably, as if she was fighting her own thoughts right about now. But then, she opened her mouth and just whispered quietly.
「I understand. However, I implore you: whatever you wish to do, just don’t overdo it.」
When I said goodbye to the Governess I went back to my room and put on my cloak. Because of the Governess’s sudden visit, I was making that man wait for a long time. I knew that it wouldn’t cause him to be in a bad mood, but there was a possibility that he might have gotten worried.
「Edi, I’m sorry for making you wait.」
I knocked on the door to his room. When I heard a muffled reply, I opened the door and I could feel something similar to a gust of wind coming out of the room.
I called out to the boy who was standing at the opened window, looking outside through it. The boy looked back at me, the wind from behind him carrying out the smell of the forest mixed with the smell of the sea. His eyes were looking straight at me. They looked as though they were asking “What is it?”
I thought that after what I saw at this island nothing is ever going to surprise me anymore, but I guess that assumption was wrong. The boy just stood there, looking embarrassed and confused at the same time, unable to say a word.
For a moment I was wondering if I should say something or remain silent, but in the end I chose the former. So I opened my mouth to speak:
「Umm…… Why are you looking at me like that?」
His appearance surprised me. He was not dressed in the clothes that the Governess handed to him upon his sudden change into a little boy, but rather the clothes he was wearing when we originally came here from the mainland. In other words, instead of his cute clothes he was wearing his usual black cloak. And if you ask me whether or not it looked good on him right now, the answer would be: that’s debatable. I’m not saying that it was looking weird on him, but it would definitely cause him to stand out from the crowd even more.
I was really grateful right about now that this place was secluded in the forest. The boy still wouldn’t respond to me, so I looked at him again. But the boy just averted his gaze.
「Just a little bit more and you shall understand everything. So cheer up, Filmina.」
The boy walks up to me and takes me by the hand, saying nothing more after that. He didn’t say anything even if I asked him over and over again. And since I was unable to find the right words to say anything, I just held on to his hand without saying anything as well.
All this time the boy was remaining silent, even as we were on our way towards the ruins.
Just as the Governess said, there were still remnants of flowers left around the ruins. But because of their presence there, the path we followed was brightly lit. And there was also the magical light of the lamp that the boy brought with him to the ruins. The magic symbols on the ground and on the walls were still the same, whether it was a good sign or a bad sign I don’t know. While I was thinking that, I suddenly let go of the boy’s hand and we came apart.
Even then the boy still remained silent. But he came to a stop and put the lamp on the ground, turning towards me.
「I told you that we would come prepared.」
After saying that, the boy opened his bag and after taking some items out of it he started to survey the symbols that were written all over the walls. What does he mean, come prepared? While I was pondering that the boy stood up and looked at me again. Was that supposed to mean that we should be ready for any potential risk or obstacles that may be thrown at us again in here? Just when I was about to ask him, the boy continued to speak.
「I really understand that. You were always there for me, without ever asking for anything in return.」
There was technically nothing special to those words but for some reason they made me feel extremely uneasy, like there was some kind of bad feeling lurking behind them. Especially since it was that boy who spoke them. Rather, for a long time it was this boy who was always patient, always having to deal with my selfish behavior and recklessness, so it was only natural that I should do the same for him right about now. …… Wait, no, no, no, now’s not the time to be reminiscent about the past. I want to know what the boy meant by “I really understand”.
「I knew it. I really understood it, but I was averting my gaze and pretending that I do not understand. Filmina, you must have been aware of it much earlier, but I was only aware after seeing you like that.」