Alright. First, sorry that this was late. I was hoping for the editor to come by and take a look at this but they seem to be busy, so I'll be releasing this unedited for now.
Second, I'm going to preemptively apologize for the quality of this translation. As I had suspected, this was quite difficult to do so there are various parts that I feel weren't done quite well.
Finally, everything past this point (besides the chapter) is with regards to this: http://skythewood.blogspot.com.au/2016/03/IM23.html
For the time being, I'm not entirely sure whether or not Skythewood has picked up Isekai. If someone could confirm this for me, that would be wonderful (seeing as I have no idea how to and I'm still in the middle of a wrestling match with RL). With that said, I'll basically lay my thoughts out on the matter.
Ah, for those who don't give a damn, this chapter comes right after Skythewood's translation (if I assume correctly). And, unlike the aforementioned, I've been translating from the Web Novel because I'm an MATL.
If Skythewood is picking up Isekai, I think I might drop this series and move to another one. Simply put, he/she/they(?) are pretty good and pretty fast. A series doesn't really need two capable people working on it (if you can consider me capable). Furthermore, since I can only work on the Web Novel, not the LN (cause MATL), working together would make things difficult, at the very best.
If he isn't, I'll probably keep translating Isekai, albeit slowly. This chapter here was 31 pages in total (well, 22 when you exclude the RAW). And, seeing that Kiriko is also busy with RL (and keeps getting demotivated by the author's manner of writing), I won't be receiving much help.
Anyway, enough about that. Here's the chapter for Isekai 28.
If the editor for this doesn't answer within a week, I might just give it a crack myself. For now, I'm going to go eat some lunch.
Oh yeah, thanks to Kiriko for translating half a page.
Isekai Mahou wa Okureteru Chapter 28 - The thoughts of never giving up for the sake of someone else
Author Note: Thank you for waiting.
Several days passed after the night where it was known that Lefille had been cursed. While Suimei and Lefille remained wary of Mazoku attacks, the two continued to walk through the forest depths.
The path they tread was dense, often shrouded by various types of trees.
Although the sky seemed clear, seeing as the brightness of the sun and the sky was obstructed by the tall trees, the amount of sunlight that poured into the forest was quite faint.
The future from here on, unlike the faint rays, could be said to hold no worries, so long as one’s outlook was positive. Yet, it would appear that adopting such an outlook was unlikely.
Of course, while there was the issue of the Mazoku’s presence, the most pressing matter was with regards to the two’s poor relationship.
The two walked together, side by side.
At first glance, their relationship appeared to be fine, uneventful yet definitely not foul. Seeing as nothing that would create discourse between the two had occurred, this was only natural. However, if one were forced to indicate something of interest, one could not deny that there was a subtle interval of space between the two’s walking distance, as well as a gap between each other’s hearts.
Indeed. After that night, it was in no way not awkward.
With that said--
Suimei, together with Lefille, displayed the behavior of turning to their side simultaneously before they froze, like a frog who had been trapped within a snake’s ensnaring gaze.
And then, almost as if someone had coordinated it, the two who simultaneously attempted to start a conversation realized that, in the midst of their own carelessness, their voices sounded terribly awkward.
--Indeed, between these two human beings was nothing that could be considered as threatening. Nor could it be called a rift. Yet suddenly, just like what had transpired moments ago, the timing between the two’s conversation seemed to connect no longer. If one had to say whether or not the timing was perfect, then perhaps one could say that the timing was a little too perfect.
“Please, go ahead……”
“No, what I want to say isn’t really that important. I’m fine with Suimei-kun speaking first.”
Like so, this is how the two ended up, their breath uneasy due to the fact that they were unfamiliar with talking to members of the opposing gender. Suimei, reluctantly holding out his hand with a red face, and Lefille, the one whose gaze kept darting here to there in order to respect her partner.
Owing to the fact that their conversation topics weren’t particularly crucial, the two could not engage in verbal exchange. Perhaps due to the fact that their hearts had been captivated by boredom for far too long, this strenuous tension continued to persist.
Sure enough, the origin of this did not need to be said.
Suimei did not possess the sort of personality that would cause him to become overly aware of Lefille, especially after finding out that she was cursed. Even if this were not the case, however, after thinking about the details of the hex, somehow it became difficult for both his mind and mouth to move. He had seen through everything. Touched everything. Though Suimei hadn’t done it out of vulgar, carnal desires, as well as the fact that it was necessary at the time, the person in question had kept the appropriate boundaries when doing so, even if he still felt some inhibitions towards her.
On one hand, it was clear that he should tell Lefille that her secret had been exposed.
That kind of thing had occurred with someone whom he had just started to get along with. It couldn’t be helped if their relationship soured due to this.
In the end, the two simply continued to simmer. And so, both of them simply continued to let out various moan- and groan-like voices.
As though something were manipulating them into having awkward moments time after time, the two of them nonchalantly went through several days while continually missing the chance to hold a proper conversation.
--however, if they were to continue in this manner, both their relationship and their path would swerve out in a disastrous manner. Therefore, thinking that this was where a man needed to do his utmost, Suimei took a firm step forward as he asked Lefille, the one who was walking next to him, about their movements from now on.
“H-hey. I think it might be best not to head towards Kurand City……don’t you think?”
Although he thought that they should discuss whether or not they should change their route to their destination, Suimei’s tone grew somewhat awkward as he raised his voice.
However, in reality, due to the fact that the two were currently advancing while wary of encountering Mazoku, they had yet to leave the forest, diverted off of their planned path, and had yet to determine the route they would take to get to Kuranto City.
Because of this, Suimei raised the topic of how they would try to get to Kuranto City. However, whether it was due to having her head in the clouds, Lefille, the other party of the conversation, seemed to be unable to properly grasp the contents of Suimei’s discussion.
“Iya, we need to have a proper discussion about this, so……”
“Ah, yeah. You’re right.”
Her answer to Suimei’s proposal, more than a step late, was mingled with unheard deception. As her eyes turned into dots, Lefille displayed an uncharacteristic impatience, her head nodding every now and again.
Following this, in order to sort out her emotions, Lefille took a deep breath, and even cleared her throat before she responded to Suimei.
With this, Lefille’s serious visage finally returned to the conversation.
“--yeah, it would seem that the chances of being ambushed are high if we were to continue to proceed in a strictly west direction. If we wanted to make the utmost effort to avoid contact with the Mazoku, it would be best to redirect our route slightly towards the south, or so I believe.”
“An ambush, huh? Well, it does seem probable.”
Indeed. As Lefille had indicated, there was always the possibility of the Mazoku being spread around the forest outskirts. On top of Rajas extensively moving his subordinates, it was appropriate to assume that there would be various Mazoku stationed between the forest and Kuranto City.
With that, upon hearing Lefille’s predictions, the map which he had seen once before began to surface within his mind.
Their current position was in the middle of a forest, deviating slightly south from the Omoto-route highway. At the border of the highway which connects the cities of Mehter and Kuranto, from the foot of the mountain to the plains nearby Kuranto lay an expansive forest, one that spread in parallel with said highway.
If you were to continue even further south from there, it would be one considerable detour to Kuranto City.
With regards to provisions, seeing as they had secured a sufficient amount of it, the two did not have any problems about facing hunger. However, if they took this route, the two would find resting properly to be an arduous task, seeing as they would have to constantly camp out. And, because of this, they would inevitably find themselves wasting energy.
However, as one would think, this would seem to be an inescapable predicament.
“If we’re heading to Kuranto City, it would be best if we were to delay to some degree. If we can continue to go unnoticed by them, then I think we should be able to skillfully get past them.”
“Do you really think it will go so well?”
“Even their war potential can’t possibly just up and leave the plains nearby Kuranto City.”
Placing her chin onto her hand, Lefille spoke with a pondering visage, her line of thinking reasonable.
Although humans were no exception to this, even the Mazoku could not continue to keep their troops deployed indefinitely. As time went on, the troops, much like them, would consume food and energy. If their base wasn’t within close proximity, before the troops became completely exhausted, it was highly likely that they would withdraw.
“Well, if they were to openly utilize their military might, they would be discovered by the people of this country and draw out the disciplinary forces. In which case, it would probably turn into a full blown battle. If they desired such a thing, then the situation changes, but……”
“It’s unlikely. While Kuranto City may certainly be a large town, in the end, it is a city of humans. It doesn’t hold any strategic importance in a military sense, and there are little to no merits for them to cause a large scale battle here. Even if they felled the city, were they to forcibly induce a war around here, even they would be subjected to losses, to the point where they would eventually become isolated and vulnerable upon victory.”
“I know what you mean. In their eyes, such a situation would only bring them to a decline.”
Looking up at the umbrella of trees and foliage-filtered sunlight was the one who agreed with Lefille, Suimei. Even if the Mazoku wanted to assault and bring down the surrounding city, in their perspective, such an act would not be profitable for them.
Certainly, while there would seem to be chances of victory on a microscopic scale, if one were to consider things on the macro level, one could only say that they would be involved in a reckless farce that unnecessarily depleted their military might.
If their commander was a decent one, then such a thing would surely be prohibited.
With that said, their reason for coming all the way here still remained a mystery. If Lefille was not their original goal, then what reason did Rajas have for bringing his troops all the way out here? Even if the situation had devolved into such a disaster, it could be said that this didn’t concern Suimei and Lefille.
Well, for the time being anyway.
“Indeed, that may certainly be the case. Instead of obsessing over us, the possibility of them pulling out before any problems occur seems to be more plausible, huh.”
“Although that’s only true if they don’t enter the forest to come attack us, but……well, they wouldn’t make such movements now, anyway.”
Lefille phrased her unlikely concern into words before immediately denying it. Usually, it wouldn’t be strange for the Mazoku to dispatch at least a reconnaissance force within the confines of the forest. Nevertheless, the fact was that they had not.
“Do you think that they have no idea about our current whereabouts? I mean, seeing that the only ones who know that we’ve entered the forest are the people with the caravan.”
“Maybe. Normally one wouldn’t think to enter deeper into a forest to escape. That possibility does exist.”
Lefille also seemed to share the same thoughts. Although her manner of speech was slightly ambiguous, Lefille also displayed agreement with this projection.
However, Suimei, who presented similar predictions in optimism, felt a tinge of anxiety in the pit of his stomach.
(That’s right. If there’s anything to be worried about, it’s that strange thing that he mentioned…huh.)
Ruminating over the words he heard from Rajas the day prior, a thoughtful expression lingered on Suimei’s face. What in the world did that Mazoku come up with? Those words that incited anxiety. The fact that his enemy had conjured up something diabolical unavoidably resulted in fostering Suimei’s torment.
Due to the limited amount of speculative material, the two were rendered unable to discuss this concern, resulting in frustration. After all, if they were to simply leave things as they were for a lengthy period of time, they would undoubtedly begin to fall behind.
“Well, whatever the case, at the moment, we need to cover a certain distance, right.”
“I guess so.”
Shaking off the unnecessarily swelling anxiety was Suimei’s words. And, displaying agreement without uttering a single objection, Lefille’s voice entered Suimei’s ears as the boy pushed the green of the forest to the side.
Just like how future policies begin to pile up, the two’s tread grew somewhat lighter, or so it seemed.
Whatever the case, it was here, with this conversation, that Suimei would eliminate his most pressing concern--
“Phew……, somehow, we were able to hold a normal conversation……”
Sweat formed on his brow. In a small, whisper-like voice, Suimei smiled silently as he released a genuine sigh of relief. If he were to continue to remain silent as they had been, wondering what to do without establishing a mutual understanding, there was no doubt that Suimei’s mind would be significantly burdened with anxiety.
This point may have also proved to detail the shallowness of his life experience. This may have been unavoidable, however, due to the fact that he dedicated his all to the study of magic.
However, at the current time, Suimei never expected to hear a reply towards his words of relief.
“……I apologize for causing you such concern.”
To think that he would receive a reply to his monologue. As an apologetic voice entered his ear from the side, Suimei made an excessively panicked cry. Whether he he had received a fatal blow, or perhaps was even caught in the throes of death. Whatever the case, as he experienced an extreme, unheard of agitation, Suimei jumped backwards.
In response to this, Lefille, with a mystified expression-
“……what’s wrong? You made such a strange sound.”
“That’s obvious. I mean, we’re this close to each other.”
Almost as if she were about to make a “What in the world are you saying” interjection, Lefille’s demeanor began to blur towards amazement in response to Suimei. Now that she mentioned it, this was certainly true. If one were to heave a sigh of relief at this distance, even if one didn’t want to, they would certainly hear it.
Upon seeing her face, Suimei displayed a foolish smile in an attempt to cover up his mistake. However-
“A-ahaha. Yeah, that’s right……”
What came back was an elegant and naturally feminine laughter.
And in the face of this, Suimei asked the following with a blank expression.
“No, I was just thinking that Suimei-kun is quite the careless individual.”
When you hit a bull’s-eye, it is no different from delivering a lethal blow. Releasing a groan that would seem to be expressed during such a predicament, Suimei dejectedly dropped his shoulders.
And in the face of this, as if continuing to add insult to injury, Lefille spoke.
“If I recall, on the day that I first went to the Guild--”
“Please don’t bring that up again……”
Suimei slumped over, his head cradled between his hands. If one were to add onomatopoeia, then it would probably be “hemo hemo”. Certainly at that time, in order to manipulate his rank, Suimei placed a strong suggestion--Malm・Hypnotic on the Guild Staff Dorothea and the others. However, what he carelessly didn’t prepare any countermeasures for what had happened on that day.
In which case, the topic would probably be raised here. The people who were there were quite plentiful so they would obviously start rumors.
Crestfallen, he fell into despair--. As Suimei made an expression that implied this completely incomprehensible example had hit the mark, a grin surfaced upon Lefille’s face.
“You’re surprisingly riddled with openings.”
“He- he-, after all, I’m just a careless individual”
Pouting, Suimei grew sulky as he issued a voice that sounded similar to a pig’s cry.
Seeing this, Lefille’s smile only grew brighter. Rather than criticizing it as ridiculous, she enjoyed Suimei’s change in expression.
……however, it was quiet. In such a peaceful atmosphere, the distance between the duo shrunk as the conversation grew reasonably animated. This was, in no way, a bad thing--however, for some reason, the calm winds seemed like the ones that always preceded the larger storm. Although they should have been placed out of their crisis, it was such a frightening calm that, conversely, baseless fears began to spread through their minds.
It was at this time, when Suimei scratched his head whilst feeling unease towards this tranquility.
The thickets behind the two abruptly rustled.
Sensing some kind of presence, Lefille immediately whirled around and shouted out a word of warning. In response, Suimei acted in a rather unexpected manner. Currently, behind her, numerous ghost-like beings had suddenly appeared. Their form seemed to be that of a dog, or perhaps a wolf. It was possible that they were demon beasts, or even Mazoku.
Preparing for the possible threat of being assaulted, as well as fully applying his speculative abilities, Suimei grew vigilant, not even a shred of carelessness remaining in his mind.
The surrounding atmosphere was abruptly filled with an increasing insecurity. As a consequence of the knight and magician’s tension, the atmosphere seemed to birth an innumerable number of thorns. However, what had appeared before the two was something completely different from what they had expected.
The swaying entity emerged from the parted thickets.
A man whose whole body was covered by wounds.
Lefille and Suimei were stunned by the arrival of the individual they had not anticipated. Of course, the one who had entered the scene was a man that held the appearance of an adventurer. With uncertain steps, blank eyes, and ripped clothes that had been dyed with a bright red pigment, lacerations and burns broke out all over the man’s entire body, leaving marks and sores imprinted within the man’s skin. From what their ears could hear, a faint groan reminiscent of an insect’s breath and a “hyu-hyu-” like wheezing resounded through the atmosphere.
A body infested with wounds. In such a state, this man had travelled all the way here.
Due to his wounds, the focal point of the man’s gaze did not meet them. Towards such a man, Lefille immediately rushed over to him.
“Keep it together!?”
The man seemed to have come to his senses upon hearing Lefille’s loud voice. Although his still vacant gaze briefly wandered through the air, his focus finally managed to meet Lefille’s face.
It was then that Lefille posed her question once more.
“What in the world happened!?”
“M-Mazoku…attacked…us. In the……mountains……”
These words were the only ones that could be taken from within the man’s faltering speech. Towards Lefille whose face grew grim in the face of the man’s fragmented words, Suimei suddenly realized a certain something, causing him to tap her shoulder.
“Hey, Lefille. This man.”
“What about him?”
“No, this is the adventurer from that time.”
“That time? Ah--”
She suddenly raised her voice in realization. At this moment, it would seem that Lefille had also noticed. Although she couldn’t tell with a single glance thanks to the significant wounds and blood plaguing his body, during the time when Lefille was forced to depart from the caravan, this man was the escort who had caused the most commotion, to the point of outright screaming.
Perhaps after being assaulted by the Mazoku, he took flight and ran here all by himself? Or maybe he came to call for help? While whichever was more likely could not be determined, the fact remains that the current situation was quite bad.
Lefille, the cause of the adventurer’s suffering, was once more plunged into confusion and impatience due to the abruptness of the situation. No, perhaps due to the fact that she paused whilst holding the man in her arms, it might be better to say that her thoughts dulled upon realizing that he was the one who drove her away.
Yet, sure enough, while gathering magical energy into his palm, Suimei issued an order towards the paralyzed girl.
“Lefille. Put that man to sleep. I’ll apply the treatment now.”
“Ah, yeah. I got it.”
One could not deny that Suimei’s tone was quite blunt. Yet, while it took a moment for Lefille to regain her senses, she soon assessed the situation, returning a weighty nod before quietly lowering the man’s body onto the ground.
To the girl who was walking the path of righteousness with full force, it appeared that not even a trace of resentment remained.
“I’m counting on you.”
Upon hearing these words, Suimei nodded. Following which, he then began to apply healing magic. So long as it wasn’t instant death, or a serious condition very close to it, he could still use his techniques to compensate for the type of injury. With regards to physical trauma, Spirit Therapy was a viable and effective option. For severe blood loss, although there would inevitably be some residual symptoms, he could cover it up through the use of Restoration Magic.
Beneath the adventurer, a color similar to the Magic Circle that surfaced from Suimei’s hand could be seen. Being healed by a faintly rising, smaragd-colored Magical Light, the adventurer’s scars closed within moments.
It was then that Suimei gave up.
Mid-treatment, while bending downwards slightly, peering at the adventurer without uttering a single word, Suimei quietly lowered his hand which was supplying the therapy.
In the face of this, Lefille could do naught but exhibit her bewilderment. To her, who had been observing Suimei from the side, it was likely that his actions could only be interpreted as an abandonment of the treatment midway.
“Suimei-kun!? What’s the big idea!? Why did you stop!?”
An expression that blurred the line between confusion and suspicion pierced Suimei’s chest. A betrayal of expectations. No, perhaps if Lefille’s hopeful pupils projected resignation, then he might have become even more frustrated. However, Suimei had no choice but to stop his hand. After all, there was a reason behind his madness.
In the face of the interrogative enquiry she emitted, Suimei’s face bitterly distorted as he conveyed his reason.
“......it’s impossible. The Astral Body has been exhausted beyond repair. Right now, no matter how much this man is healed, it will only be in vain.”
It can’t be done. It can’t be healed. It’s impossible. Indeed. However, to Lefille who had witnessed the wounds close, this explanation was likely something that she could not comprehend.
Upon merely seeing the wounds, healed by the treatment, the suspicion and distrust that fostered within Lefille was suddenly bombarded towards Suimei.
“What are you looking at? His injuries were healed by your treatment, you know? There’s no way that this could be in vain. Why……?”
“I can heal the wounds. Just the external injuries. However……”
‘Doesn’t that mean you can heal him?’ - is most likely what she wanted to say. However, while clenching his teeth bitterly, Suimei shook his head, almost as if to intercept said words.
Seeing this, Lefille’s face grew strained, her expression suggesting that she continued to mull the words “why” in her mind.
The despair that had sunk into the words Lefille spoke was painful. What surged within Suimei’s heart was helplessness. Even if he had subjected the adventurer to his treatment. Even if the other party was but a stranger that he had once held in contempt. He could not stop this bitterness.
On the other hand, however, Lefille suspected that this resignation was caused by a different reason.
“Suimei-kun. Don’t tell me that the reason you stopped the treatment was because this man was the person who expelled me? Do not underestimate me. I wasn’t bothered at all by what happened at that time! So please, hurry up and continue the treatment!”
“No, it’s no use. Certainly, as you have indicated, Lefille, I can cure the injuries sustained by the body. That is possible. However, like I said earlier, the Astral Body--in other words, the soul’s main body and its vessel, the shell of the spirit, has been eroded. Furthermore, no matter what healing technique I apply from here on, there is no possible way for this man to survive.”
“Wha……!? That can’t……”
Anticipating the life pulse that would be extinguished like a fleeting shadow, Lefille was at a loss for words. Towards this girl in such a state, Suimei began to inform her, almost as if he were spitting out his regrets.
“Even if various healing magic was applied to his body, there’s nothing that can be done about another’s soul.”
“.......is it really impossible?”
“Under the right conditions, there might be a one-in-one thousand chance that it might not be. However, if we were to use that approach, we lack time. Even if preparations were made now, this man’s body would first need to be maintained.”
In response to Suimei’s assertion, Lefille tightly clenched her teeth as her shoulders dropped, seemingly slumping over. To look at someone who is dying, no matter who they were, it was something quite painful to experience. To Lefille, seeing that the cause of this death was the Mazoku that she had been struggling against, the endless nature of this emotion would most likely seem more intense than to anyone else.
……as the two were in the midst of being tormented by despair, the man opened his mouth without warning.
“T-The others……a-are still…being attacked...by Mazoku.”
“Are there still some that are alive?”
As Lefille asked in surprise, the man answered her question in spite of his painful breathing.
“I don’t……know. If so, they’re still……”
“They could still be alive, right!?”
Even though Lefille’s responded with a question, an answer was not returned.
In an attempt to try and capture oxygen in his lungs, the adventurer’s mouth floundered, no longer able to voice his thoughts. Although it was unclear what she was thinking, Lefille used a faint voice to ask the man in such a miserable state the following.
“……the others are in the mountains, right?”
It was undetermined whether such a question held meaning. Her voice was so calm that one could mistake it for being almost chilled. Towards such an alarming question that seemed a touch too ghastly, the man faintly nodded.
And shortly after, the man took his last breath.
In the face of the man’s death, Lefille released a silent cry while Suimei’s expression darkened.
……eventually, however, Lefille rose from her kneeling position, standing on her feet before turning around. Turning her back to Suimei, the direction that the girl had faced was--
What this signified, she did not know. Therefore, after being asked thus, with her back continuing to face the boy, Lefille, for some reason, uttered a word of apology.
“Sorry? What’s the big idea? Why are you facing that way?”
In the face of such a question, Lefille, in a tone that seemed to suggest it was only natural, spoke thus.
“Suimei-kun. That is a foolish question.”
“Foolish, you say……”
The way that she phrased it implied that the reason was something obvious. --no, it certainly was something that could be considered obvious. Currently, what lay before her was the same path that the two had tread through. Needless to say, the destination of said path was the mountain that they had previously passed through. It was probable that after the incident, the people of the caravan turned back in order to run away from the Mazoku, leading them to this mountain.
Before long, Lefille had made up her mind. Turning her back from here, she voiced her thoughts and resolution.
“Suimei-kun. I’m going to go save everyone from the caravan.”
“Going to save- are you serious?”
“Yes. I did not intend it as a joke.”
“Even though you don’t know the exact location of the caravan!?”
“It’s probably that they’re following the mountain road. Even if this estimate is wrong, the error won’t amount to much.”
“You don’t even know if they’re still alive!?”
“Yeah. There’s a possibility that they may still be alive. That’s why--”
They should go. To save them. To recklessly aid them, or so it might be said. However, they should not. By no means should they head over to them. After all--
“Don’t you understand!? This is a trap by the Mazoku intended to lure you in, Lefille!”
“A trap, huh?”
“That’s right! They’re the type of guys who would indiscriminately attack humans once they see them, you know? There’s no way that they’d leave an injured escape before their very own eyes! Surely Rajas will be waiting for you up ahead!”
Indeed, this was a trap. A ploy. Of course, this was something that anybody would be able to discern. Anticipating that Lefille would go to help the people of the caravan was such an atrocious plan of enticement. On top of that, the plan considered to read the action that Lefille would take upon witnessing the escapee nearing death. So long as one knew her personality, it was probably that they could concoct such an idea.
Certainly, here in the deep forest, his arrival to this location would probably be attributed to complete chance. Yet, the speculative possibility that they originally let him escape was more than enough. It is not hard to imagine that Rajas would most likely be waiting for Lefille who would rush to the caravan’s aid.
However, in the face of Suimei’s fruitless complaints, Lefille returned a calm and composed voice.
“Probably, she says……Lefille, even you must be aware, right!?.”
“Yeah, that’s right. It’s just like you said. Even I know that this is reckless.”
“But-!! ……! Even so, I’m going to go help them! It’s my fault that things have come to this! Everything! That’s why!”
In the face of Suimei who stood his ground, continuing to insist that she should go, Lefille began to overflow with emotion. It was likely that the identity of the emotion was all of the mental torment she had accrued up until now. The desire of wanting to help, and the idea that she was obligated to save them was severely conveyed through her words.
However, from this, Lefille’s self-condemnation could not be seen as anything else but excessive.
“Like I said before, Lefille, it’s not your……”
“No, the fault lies entirely with me. You said it yourself, right? The reason why this man appeared is because the Mazoku devised a plan to trap me. Because they didn’t know my whereabouts, they resorted to using such a measure.”
“That’s……but even so, you’re just going to be heading to your death, you know!?”
Indeed. An ambush was not something that one could take so lightly. In anticipation of fighting the waiting party, it is preferable for one to prepare accordingly. Not only would it be impossible to avoid being disadvantaged, the opponent was one that they had lost to once before before.
Which is why Suimei relentlessly continued to stand his ground as he attempted to detain Lefille.
“Lefille! Think it over! Calm down and think about it one more time!”
However, Lefille did not look back--
“Lefill!! Look at me!! You should know better than anyone else!”
“Lefille!! You can’t afford to die, right!? In order to not exhaust the spirit’s power! Then this place--”
It happened when Suimei was about to say thus. Lefille, whose shoulders trembled in silence up until now, opened her mouth.
“You don’t know anything about me-!!”
What stopped Suimei’s words was a cry that came from the depths of Lefille’s heart. It was then that her accusations continued, her thoughts overflowing like water rushing out of a broken dam.
“Are you trying to tell me to avert my eyes from this!? Telling me to abandon people who are important to me!? Telling me to desert even my family!? Are you telling me to forsake those who were put in danger because of me!?”
Lefille’s words struck Suimei’s ears. They struck his heart. In the face of this, the boy’s mouth could no longer form words.
What she possessed, her thoughts and passion, was something that she had hidden within the depths of her heart. The bitterness of being unable to save anyone. The pitiful self that could not help anyone. Being unable to bear this pain, to the point of crying out, truly displayed just how strong her thoughts of wanting to save someone were.
In which case, how could one obstruct such a will?
“How long do I have to run away!? How long do I have to abandon those I want to save!? All just so I can regret my own life! All while my meager feelings merely cost others their lives! That…..I’ve already had enough of it!”
Her shout was one directed towards the unfairness of the world. The wails that she was unable to direct anywhere until now pierced Suimei’s heart.
Indeed, whilst continuing to betray and betray her own feelings, the several layers of torment continued to pile up. Seeing as it was the right thing to do, then Lefille’s pain was even more justified. And for her, whose beliefs were entrenched and unwavering, this guilt would be something that even she could never endure.
It was then that, after exhausting herself through screaming her thoughts, the corner of Lefille’s eyes were blurred by faint tears.
It was painful. It frustrating. These tears were the crystals filled with grief, belonging to the girl who had been bounded by chains.
……before long, the girl’s rough breathing finally calmed. Distraught, Lefille voiced an apology before turning around once more. And then, whilst not daring to look back a second time, she uttered a word of parting, almost as if declaring that the course of her life had been decided.
“……sorry. It was short, but thank you for your help.”
“Lefille!? Don’t go!! Wait!!”
The voice which intended to detain her ultimately ended up falling upon deaf ears.
Lefille, not hearing Suimei’s voice of restraint, travelled across the path she had used with extraordinary speed, perhaps thanks to the power of the Red Spirit.
“O-Oi. Did she seriously heading there……”
Left behind, Suimei’s stunned murmur echoed through the forest depths. Lefille’s speed was just that fierce, to the point where, no matter how loudly Suimei raised his voice, he would not reach her.
Stopping his foot that attempted to chase after her, Suimei stood still.
She was gone. In order to save the ones who she swore to save, the very same people who cast her aside. In order to pursue her entire path. The girl who was tormented by curse and misfortune. Looking towards a battle that she had no hope of winning, she left.
Faced with this truth, Suimei grit his teeth.
Was he alright with letting her leave like this? Towards a battle that held only despair? In such a state, all by herself?
If not, then he should chase after her, just like he had done before.
However, if he went, he would surely endanger his own life. Naturally. After all, the ones that had no choice but to fight were the Mazoku known as Rajas, as well as his subordinates. The fight would most likely become appropriately severe, and, in the worst case scenario, it was possible for him to lose his life.
However, that was not acceptable. Suimei had his own reasons as to why he could not allow himself to die. Suimei needed to fulfil his father’s wish, realizing the ideals of the association. That was his promise. Even if this commitment was not an exchanged agreement, or even if this was a one sided arrangement, a promise was a promise. Although it was already decided, it was something that Suimei could not give up on until it had been fulfilled.
However, was he fine with this? Was he fine with using the excuse that he had his own obligations to fulfill, to simply walk down the safe path whilst not daring to look behind him?
Without saving the girl who was running full speed along the path without salvation.
--abandoning people in need of rescue so he could complete a thesis that saves people in need of help. Wasn’t this an extreme case of placing the cart before the horse?
Questioning his own contradictory ideals, a voice echoed within Suimei’s head.
Since when did you become so afraid of something like death? Since when did you fear something that will eventually come for you, to the point where you’d hesitate and second guess yourself? Since when did you cut out your spine and embrace such cowardice that those without power cling onto?
So right now, think about it once more.
What is it that you hold? What you have desperately learned ever since you were young, was it not the magic techniques that was superior to anyone and everyone? Cutting apart all difficulties, it was for this reason that this enigma exists, no? You have a panacea that will never allow you to lose those whom you want to save, don’t you?
Yes, at the present time, your heart sways in the face of conflict. In actuality, you already know that there is only once choice to make here. Even if you are self-conflicted, even if your sense of danger continues to send alarms ringing within your head, even if your calculations force you to weigh your chances of victory and defeat . After all-
--to that end, you swore to yourself on that day.
“That’s right. Yakagi Suimei. You are a magician of the association. A mage of the association wouldn’t dare to not follow such ideals……”
As if he were monologuing, Suimei recited these instructions. He chanted in verification, trying to ensure that his own ideals were grounded once more. It was a modest ceremony, performed In order to regain what he had sought once more.
And it was during this instance when a new incident occurred.
Suimei’s mouth momentarily closed, his pupils narrowed as they grew frosty.
From behind him, he could sense something rise to their feet. Along with the presence of a power that appeared to be emitted from a Mazoku, it swayed from side to side, similar to a departed soul.
Seeing the life which was so feeble just moments before completely change, it was quite an ominous tonic.
--the cure being ineffective, so that’s what it meant……
In light of the hidden truth, the questions Suimei harbored were dispelled.
The questions regarding the unnatural corrosion that the adventurer’s Astral Body received.
Excessive wear and tear of an Astral Body was not something that occurs as a result of physical trauma. Even if it was a fatal injury, without exception, there was an absolute amount of the soul that would not be lost. Certainly, if one suffered an injury, their spirit force would weaken. However, the spirit would simply diminish. The soul, on the other hand, would not shrink in size.
On the other hand, the man who was an adventurer would have had to have suffered an additional attack aside from his external injuries. If it was an Astral Attack, a blow that would be effective against a soul, had occurred, then a factor that would corrode the soul would be necessary. The current situation could be described into one of these two options.
If one were to look at the present results, the situation was undoubtedly the former.
Presumably, he was charged with delivering a blow to Lefille when she had her guard down in front of the deceased.
Appearing behind Suimei, about to chase after the weeping girl, the living corpse raised its first cry, gasping in agony.