Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
That’s right. He seemed like someone who would be too pure and kind-hearted to try and imitate a genuine concern like that. And I was sure that his love for his brother would rival even that of mine towards him. In a sense, because of his brotherly love he would surely be able to do things that I wouldn’t be able to. I must thank you for that one of these days. …… Umm, from the look of it, it sure looks as though I’m leaning more towards Lucius rather than that man.
「Don’t you think so as well, Edi?」
Even if he understood that, it surely must be a complicated matter for him. I was looking directly at him this whole time as to not miss even the slightest reaction on his end, and in the end I saw it. A small nod, so small that it was almost missable, but it was still there.
「–––– Maybe you’re right.」
It was so unusual for that man to say something like that that for a moment out there I thought I might have misheard him saying that. But those words were definitely his, and when I realized that it was as if my heart has skipped a beat. To think that he would react in such a way to someone else than me, I could feel my face becoming hotter and hotter by the minute. Is this what they mean when they say that blood is thicker than water?
Thinking like that, I felt that my heart was simply elated at this moment. What is blood relation even? Emotions are emotions, and nothing in this world is stronger than human emotions.
And then it occurred to me. Just until this afternoon, I assumed for granted that this man will always stay here. I thought it was all but natural. But it was something rather arrogant for me to assume. It might be better for that man to go somewhere where his recognized for his many talents rather than stay in a country that refuses to see him for who he really is forever.
And even though he never mentioned something like that, if it really came to that, I would have nothing to oppose the idea.
「Filmina? What’s wrong?」
「…… It’s nothing, really.」
「Do excuse me, but I don’t believe that “It’s nothing” really means what it is supposed to mean when it comes from you.」
「Oh my, that’s unusual coming from you.」
He didn’t really need to say it like that. While I looked at him and thought just that, the man took my arm in his hands and lifted it gently. And almost immediately after that, he placed his lips on my arm. This gesture surprised me so much that I even failed to notice when he backed away.
「If your wound opens up again, I want you to tell me right away. I can do this as much as is needed for it to stop hurting.」
「………… Thank you, very much.」
Honestly, right about now I didn’t even know what else I should say. But it seems that the man’s kiss had some magic to it, for the aching that was still lurking in my arm was now completely gone. It was yet again a display of that man’s power, where he used magic without having rely on spirit’s help. I almost managed to forget about this pain, but using magic for something as minor as that felt almost unfair for some reason. Now, even though the heat from my wound was gone, but now it was hitting my face with all of its might.
「Edi. Is that your way of diverting the way from the main subject again?」
When I asked him that, that man diverted his gaze away from me and clicked his tongue audibly. So it wasn’t a random act at all. Let’s face it. I know that this man is worried about my injuries, but there was clearly something of even greater importance going at his mind right about now. I faced him again before asking him this:
「Say, Edi? Do you want to go back to Negroland, as Lucius mentioned?」
「But given enough time you might change your mind?」
My country –––– I mean, the Holy Kingdom of Vargentoum has its flaws, and I won’t try to deny that. Even someone like me could easily see that. But still, we don’t know if things would be better in Negroland for sure, but on the other hand they surely wouldn’t be worse than here.
But, what if. If that man decided that he wanted to go to Negroland all by himself, would I even be able to stop him from going and staying here with me? Would he choose to stay even if some more influential figures, like for example government officials or rulers were to approach him? Or if we, his family, were to be taken hostage and thus he would be shackled to do what they say him to do, would he really be able to resist? I can imagine at least couple dozens of grim scenarios like that.
…… Oh well, leaving assumptions and fantasies aside, let’s focus on the reality at hand. How does that man feels about Lucius and his proposition to go back home together with him? Even I can’t get a read on that man and what he thinks deep down inside. Ahh, what an irony, since I’ve known him for so long. While I was agonizing over that fact, the man tuned towards me again and asked me a question of his own.
「Let me ask you a question as well. If I did decide to go back to Negroland, would you be able to leave everything behind you and go back together with me? Or is it as he said, and you as well, already……」
I spoke up to interrupt his words, to which that man looked rather surprised. I knew it, that man wasn’t taking me seriously after all. On the contrary, he even wanted to make me part of the problem. And seeing that at the current moment this discussion wouldn’t take us anywhere, I decided to take the initiative.
「If you really want to go back, if that is really what you wish, then I’ll follow you even to the ends of the world.」
If he really wants to go back, then as his wife I would go together with him, leaving everything else behind me: my family, my home, even my dear friends. If I were to choose between them and that man, I would always end up choosing that man, no matter what.
I put my hands on his hand and look him deep in the eyes. Those eyes were exactly like that of Lucius, as if you were gazing into the morning glow. I squeeze his hand tight as I can see my own reflection in his eyes.
「You should know that I would never leave your side and that I would die of loneliness should we ever get separated. And as long as I’m with you, I don’t need anyone else in my life to be there for me.」
But even if he decided to move away on his own, no distance would be too great for me. We have magic stones for communication. We can talk to one another whenever we want and we an exchange letters and messages. I’m sure that in the beginning it wouldn’t be easy, probably because the officials would be afraid of the national secrets getting leaked abroad. But all in all, even if he decided to go, it wouldn’t be the end of the world for me. I would be hard, but for his sake I’d do my best to manage somehow.
For a moment out there the man looked as though he was deep in thought, but then he looked back at me and opened his mouth, his words spinning quietly.
「Do you really think that?」
「Yes, I do. So, Edi, I think it should be an obvious choice for you as well.」
Suddenly, he was a completely different person. Did he really thought that my view on the matter would be anything else but that? Just how well did he manage to understand me? He should have known that besides him, there was no one else who would ever be important to me. As proof, the man frowned his brows and looked as though he wanted to say something, but ultimately he chose not to.
「There are more people out there that care about you than you might think. I want you to remember that at all times.」
I had no intention of staying here if he chose to go back, but even if he wanted to go back alone, I wanted him to be aware of that fact.I think that it was a rather straightforward question. And certainly, that man must have thought that I would never think of confronting him like that, because his eyes first went wide with surprise, only for him to avoid my gaze yet again. He then opened and closed his mouth repeatedly over and over again, clearly looking for an excuse he could present to me on the spot.
「…… I don’t think I’d be able to do that for now.」