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It’s the last part of chapter 13 and we will move to chapter 14 in the next update!
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Bertia 17 Years Old (3)
Translated by LynneSuzuran & Senhiro
“If it’s now… you can still change things, can’t you? Hey, I’m begging you. Choose Heronia! At this rate, Heronia will only be sad and feel bitter.”
His actual age should be far older than me, but looking at his youthful appearance as he was appealing with his teary eyes brought a little pain to my chest… no, I don’t feel any pain.
I didn’t really feel compassion towards the enemy who hurt my Bertia and who tried to snatch Bertia away from me.
It might be considered coldhearted to others, but these are my true feelings.
Though I’ve gradually come to understand that thing called emotion and there’ve been a couple of [exceptions], nevertheless, my true nature is still to be lacking in emotion.
The illusion that the light spirit created allowed me to come to this realization.
As well as the importance and loveliness of the unique existence who let me experience such [exceptions]…
“I’m sorry, but it’s impossible. After all, I dislike her. Originally, she was a [stranger that I have no interest in], but you two have repeatedly done foolish things in order to snatch Bertia away from me, haven’t you? This is the situation that you two have caused on your own.”
I answered with a smile.
The light spirit opened his originally large eyes even wider at my words.
“Why? Why?! I mean, Heronia said so. That you are Heronia’s destined person. And that’s why it’s a matter of course that you’d come to like her. Even in the scene that I showed earlier, although there were a few additions, but in the first place it was the prophesized future that I created based on Heronia’s memories, you know? Even though Heronia was just doing her best to guide you onto the correct future!!”
The light spirit who couldn’t accept the reality cried, “This is weird,” as if he was throwing a tantrum.
He looks so foolish… and pitiful.
“No matter how hard you tried, I was quite pleased with Bertia by the time I met you, so it’s very unlikely that things would change in the future. And that’s only to begin with, but don’t you think the direction of your endeavors couldn’t be more mistaken? If you hurt someone in order to grant your own desires, you will definitely provoke someone’s anger and hatred. Who do you think would like someone who’s repeatedly speaks and acts selfishly when their wishes don’t come true? I won’t say anything about having to defeat the opponent for your own wishes. After all, it’s a necessary thing to do in order to procure the one and only position. However, if you want to defeat someone, you don’t do it by scorning your opponent, but you should work hard so that you can stand one step ahead of your opponent. Isn’t that right?”
In order to grant her own wishes, Bertia also kept repeating her (useless) endeavors.
You could say that she and Baroness Heronia are a bit similar in that sense.
However, there is a big difference between her and Baroness Heronia.
Even while saying [I want to become a first-class villainess!], Bertia had never hurt her opponent in the literal meaning.
Even if she has ever tried to hurt her opponent, the result is—everything has ended up as a failure.
It could be said that it was all due to [luck] up until now, but I think that it was because subconsciously, she wanted to keep things safe without crossing the boundary line.
Though Bertia is aiming to become a [villainess], she isn’t used to hurting people.
She is actually very against the notion of hurting people, and each time she tried to accomplish it, I knew that she herself was hurt in a place she didn’t even realize.
Even so, she kept trying to accomplish it, and it was due to none other than her [kindness].
She is not a shrewd person in the least, so she can’t really conceal her [kindness] that well.
That’s why, I think that her [kindness] naturally reveals itself and attracts people.
She also has another great power.
It is her ability to put in great effort and polish herself in order to grant her own wishes.
Though she acts in a weird direction sometimes and it makes me amused, I think that it’s a very indispensable power.
And neither I nor Baroness Heronia possess these powers.
…Yes, it’s the power that even I do not possess.
“But, otherwise, Heronia won’t become happy, right?”
“Isn’t it wrong? It’s because of you two that she can’t become happy. On top of accepting the destiny that has differed, in order to be happy, as long as she works in order to be liked by the one she wants to be liked by, at least she wouldn’t have to stand in that place of condemnation without any friend other than you by her side, would she? She wouldn’t have been alone in a place surrounded by enemies.”
“Then, what should I do?!”
The light spirit shouted.
Even while doing so, his body is steadily becoming transparent.
Heading towards the end… In that person’s words, it’s proof that the countdown to his death has begun.
“You trying to protect her from feeling sad was what made her actions becoming more impudent. If you truly care about her, on top of showing her the reality, you should just reprimand her at times and be her support nearby, wouldn’t that be enough? If you do so, it might not manifest in the way she wished for, but I think that she would be able to obtain a certain degree of happiness. …Well, it’s already too late for that, so even though I’m quite sure of it, it’s already impossible to confirm how things would have turned out in reality.”
“No way, because… because…”
I looked down at the light spirit who sat down in shock at my words.
Though he may feel a deep regret, there’s no more time left for him to start over.
“Speaking of something even more serious, if you disappear here from using up all of your power, she will really be all alone. If the things happening up until now become big, at the level of a baron house’s power, they wouldn’t be able to cover for her. If they were to cover for her poorly, the house would fall into ruin. Baron Inderon will undoubtedly forsake her. If you’re not there, the friends that were gathered to her side by your power would also leave. And, you yourself won’t be there by her side. It’s a complete isolation.”
“This is the future of the path that you two chose to walk.”
The light spirit had faded to the extent that even his silhouette couldn’t be discerned clearly.
He fell prostrated on the floor as he was lamenting at his master’s fate.
I can only look at that scene in silence.
If I were to say [Leave Baroness Heronia to me], he’d be able to die with a peace of mind, but I already have a partner that I have to cherish.
I can’t protect someone who might hurt that partner of mine.
And by doing so, there’s a high possibility that I myself might also hurt the very person that I have to cherish.
That’s why, no matter how pitiful I think he is, I can only watch.
Seeing me just standing in silence, he should have realized that, as well.
After that, he disappeared a little.
When that happened, he stopped lamenting and raised his face.
He roughly wiped the sopping tears from his face and fixed me with a strong gaze.
“I-I’m aware that Heronia and I have caused troubles for you guys. That’s why, I understand that it’s wrong for me to be asking this of you, but… can you convey my message to Heronia?”
“If it’s only that, then I don’t mind. I dislike you two, but… because you two were here, there were things that I came to realize. I will listen to your last wish as my thanks.”
“…Please tell Heronia, [Even if you can’t see me, I will always be with you.] I can’t do anything else other than that.”
He desperately tried to smile even when he was in sorrow, and his smile was crooked because of it.
He probably also has many regrets for having to leave in this kind of circumstance.
In exchange for his life, Heronia’s remaining hope of being tied together with me was also severed.
“Even if your figure couldn’t be seen, you will be by Heronia’s side. Is that your wish?”
“After all, even if spirits have used up all of their power and disappear, they will just return as a part of the world. I, my consciousness as an individual will disappear, but I will become one of the grains of light that illuminate the world, and I will be by her side. I want her to also think so. I want to tell her that she isn’t alone, that she has a friend.”
Looking at him who was nodding firmly with a gaze full of determination, I couldn’t help but think [If only that kind of expression was made a little bit earlier, I wonder if something might have changed?]
I looked in his eyes and nodded back.
After he made a slightly relieved expression, his eyes slowly closed.
I can tell that the world of the light spirit that’s imprisoning me is also going to disappear.
At the same time, the light spirit’s life as a spirit is also disappearing.
His human figure returned to that of a simple light.
I’m sure that his consciousness has become thin enough to make it even more difficult for him to think.
“…It looked like it’d be bad for me to be waking up with this kind of ending, somehow.”
In front of the life that was gradually disappearing, this time, my heart was genuinely hurt a bit.
It is very unlikely for me to come to like them, but even so, there are certainly things that I managed to learn thanks to them.
Just like I’d told him earlier, it might not be so bad to lend a hand in order to reward them for it.
It was a very small hope to give.
I’m not going to cover up for Baroness Heronia.
After all, you ought to reap what you sow.
The rest is up to them.
“Zeno, lend me your strength.”
I put my hand to my chest as I call out to the spirit inside of me—to the connection that I have with Zeno.
If the collapse advances like this, then it should be possible for him to send me some power through the cracks.
“Well then, shall we go back post haste?”
While slightly smiling at the quick answer and power given, I gently stretched my hand in front of me.