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The topic of the conversation was steered away after a few moments of silence as they continued their merry-making.
However, Oriel stood up and moved away from the crowd. She seemed to be not in the mood for all the merry-making and something seemed to be on her mind.
As she scanned the surrounding to find a nice place to sit and think, she suddenly spotted Nagare, who was actually sitting a bit distant from the crowd.
His spot was a good one as he could still see the crowd from there, but he wasn’t in someone’s way.
Apart from him, there were also some elves and Onis who distanced themselves from the crowd, but some seemed to be sleeping, some seemed to be forming a circle to talk among themselves, and some were stargazing.
After thinking for a while, Oriel decided to move to where Nagare was.
The great general seemed to be in a daze as he looked at the crowd in the center, but when Oriel walked to him, he quickly lifted his head and asked, “Here to take a breather?”
“Mhm. You’re not joining them?” Oriel asked back.
“No. I prefer watching over them like this,” Nagare shook his head.
“Mind if I sit here?” Oriel asked.
Then, the two sat side by side, but unlike their trusted aides who were all talk with each other, the two leaders sat in silent.
They were simply watching Fideline and Osamu running their mouths off, unsure who would eventually relent.
“Pfft,” Oriel finally laughed when she saw Fideline who seemed to be cussing out.
“You finally laughed,” Nagare said.
“Huh?” Oriel turned to look at him.
“You seemed to be sullen since earlier. Did something happen?” He asked.
“Hmm… Well, I was just thinking,” Oriel began talking when she noticed that she hadn’t been herself due to the burden she had been carrying. Perhaps she had been waiting for someone to ask her, ‘What’s the matter?’ since she wanted to actually talk about it, yet unsure who to talk to, or how to start the conversation.
Once she started talking, words flew by just like that.
“But why is it that things have turned this way between us…,” Oriel muttered in the end, as the closing statement to her story.
Although her muttering was so small, since Nagare was sitting right next to her, he could hear her very clearly as he muttered back, “Differences create jealousy and comparisons. In the end, it will bring about superiority-inferiority complex that turns into hatred. Then, add power and greed to the equation.”
“…,” Oriel went silent upon hearing Nagare’s answer.
Putting aside the hatred and inability to understand each other due to their differences, since the two were in different countries, of course power and greed had to be one of the motives.
But as they had gained experiences here and the more they bonded and shared, the more they realized that they had been doing such a pointless thing back at their original world.
Oriel felt that so much and after experiencing the peace and ‘utopia’ that existed here when the two races shed aside their hatred and prejudice and were willing to accept and understand each other, she could no longer only wish for a substantial matter.
She could no longer wish that the two would never have anything to do with each other, only tolerating their existence under the same sky.
She began to wish for the two to be able to coexist just like this, in her original world.
“I wish we can bring this coexistence back to our world,” Oriel muttered her real feelings.
“I’m having a hard time thinking about returning to our world, let alone thinking about that,” Nagare said with a serious tone.
“…You’re right,” Oriel hung her head down.
“Osamu told me that everything about this dimension was unknown. It’s unknown if time passes by the same here as our original world, and that if we manage to return, we will even return to our original timeline,” Nagare said.
“……Fideline didn’t tell me that,” Oriel said.
“I know. Fideline told Osamu that she didn’t want you to worry over the uncertain. She wanted to make sure before telling you,” Nagare said.
“Why did you tell me, then?”
“You didn’t tell your aide about all this too, since you didn’t want her to worry for you, right?”
“But I bet you already have a hunch about it,” Nagare guessed.
“Well, yeah,” Oriel was having difficulty following Nagare’s way of thinking.
Nagare seemed to notice Oriel’s confusion, so he quickly cut to the chase, “I don’t want you to worry about the things that are still far away and uncertain. Rather than worrying about it, we should focus on the certain stuff. For example, maintaining this peace and cooperation, surviving, and eventually settling here.”
“Worst case scenario. If we have to spend a long time here, we’d want to make it feel like home.”
“I guess so,” Oriel sighed.
“If we can really return to the same world and the same timeline, let’s think about how to proceed from there,” Nagare added.
Oriel turned to look at him and asked, “So… You also think that we should try to help our countries reconcile?”
“Mhm,” Nagare nodded.
Hearing that, Oriel felt more relieved that she had an ally.
The two then exchanged more stories about each other’s hometown as well as customs.
“Wait, wait. If Osamu’s full name is Kisaragi Osamu and he goes by Osamu… Then why is it that you go by Nagare when your full name is, uhm…?” Oriel suddenly had a realization when they were talking about family names and naming sense.
“Right, that,” Oriel didn’t even try to mention his name because it was too long and too hard to pronounce for her.
“Well, I call Osamu, Osamu because he’s my subordinate.”
“What about the others?”
“Osamu’s family… I mean, clan, is quite influential so there are a lot of Kisaragi. So, to avoid confusion.”
“I see… Then, should I change the way I address you with… Sess… Sessssssss… Uh…,” Oriel grimaced upon thinking she had to say a mouthful of a name every time they talked.
Nagare was surprised that Oriel even thought of that. He hadn’t talked about how the culture in their race was to call each other with their surnames if they had surnames, and then call each other with their nicknames once they were closer, but…
In Oriel’s culture, it was quite odd to address each other with their surname.
“Up to you. You can call me Nagare, Great General, or… Shou. If my first name is too hard.”
“Hey, I will definitely be able to pronounce it right!” Oriel thought Nagare was mocking her.
“Yeah, yeah, Crown Princess,” Nagare simply said, not bothering to correct her.
“I always don’t like the tone you use when you call me ‘Crown Princess’, so call me by Oriel,” Oriel finally said.
Again, due to their cultural differences, Nagare was taken aback at first.
“Alright then, Little Princess,” Nagare was somehow addicted to seeing Oriel’s reaction, so he continued to tease her instead.
“What? You old geezer!”
“I don’t mind being called that,” Nagare smugly said.
“…You!!!” Oriel finally understood why Fideline would sometimes get this angry when talking with Osamu.
Despite the conversation turning into this small argument, Oriel felt like she was no longer as gloomy as before.
Then, not too long after that, the two leaders together with their aides finally gathered to talk about things.
“It’s been… How long since we’re here?” Nagare asked.
“About a year, Sir,” Osamu quickly answered.
“What have we known so far?” Oriel asked.
“We’re now positive that the only beings in this weird world are monsters. We haven’t found any that we could talk to…,” Fideline bitterly said.
“We encountered similar lifeforms to us, only to find out that they are as dangerous as the monsters,” Osamu shook his head.
“And we haven’t found any dimensional crack or portal that could lead us to another world, let alone to our original world and timeline,” Fideline sighed, finally breaking the news to Oriel as she turned to look at her with concern.
Unexpectedly, Oriel didn’t show a hint of surprise and continued to be in her deep thoughts.
“As expected, there’s no other way to proceed rather than settling here and try to consider that we must live here, huh?” Nagare concluded.
“……How do we break the grim news to them…,” Oriel hesitated.
“Worry not. They’re not as weak as you think they are,” Nagare only said that.
“…I guess it’s better than letting them to cling on a false hope, huh?” Oriel finally relented.
The four of them agreed to break the news to the rest of them.
As the time arrived and they made the announcement, various reactions could be observed.
“R-really…? I have a wife and young children back at home… I might not be able to see them anymore?”
“My parents, they are waiting for me…”
“Hey, we have quite a long lifespan, so don’t you think we might eventually be able to return?”
“Right. Do not lose hope, but do not be too obsessed with it!”
“I am sure there is a reason why we’re here. And when the time is right, we will definitely return!!”
“Ey, don’t you think it’s better for us to start a new life here? Imagine all the areas that we can occupy, hahaha!”
“Don’t get too ahead of yourself. This place is basically infested with so many dangerous… things!!”
“We can start making our new history here!”
“Yes, after being here for… oh wait, only a year? But I feel like we’ve been here for so long. I mean, look at us, we’ve bonded so nicely!”
“It’s because of the extreme situation we’re exposed to, and the intense interaction we have!”
“Yeah, anyway, my point is, I am enjoying my freedom here and the fact that we can live in peace like this. I can’t imagine all the mess we have to deal with once we return…”
“Hey, don’t say that! Have you forgotten about how dangerous this place is?!”
“…Let me cheer myself up, alright? I know, but I want to look at the bright side…”
When the surroundings got too heated up, Oriel clapped her hands and said, “Alright. Our priority now is to settle here, but if there is a chance to return, we will definitely return.”
“We can’t promise you if we can even return in this lifetime, but we will try to,” Nagare said.
In the end, since they were more comfortable already in their new living place, there were changes made to the teams.
For example, there was a new addition of the research team, consisting of Fideline, Osamu, and other intelligent elves and Onis that would be researching about the dimensional distortion and ways to return home.
After that, they had been living quite a peaceful life and adjusted quite well with their new life.
Another year had passed with nothing really significant happening… just how they had all accepted their fates already and new knowledge was added.
But then, another year passed again and finally, there was something worth causing an uproar for.