|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2872 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1219 words|
Maybe those nobles were not expecting the assassins to be successful either. If they continuously harassed Brave, he would get fed up and leave. He could not accuse the nobles since there was no proof, and even if there was proof, no one would side with him. In that case it was best for him to just ignore it, though I could only imagine how painful it must have been.
“He then decided to leave the palace and live in another city. He went far away, where the influence of the capital would not reach, and was able to live normally in a small city for a while. But not too long after the people of that city began pushing him away too.”
“Simple. The main reason was fear. Knowing someone with the power to defeat any human or monster was living alongside them, they became afraid, avoiding contact with him”
I could understand what she meant. When Lapis defeated the Lich, there were also some adventurers who began fearing her, and not in the joking way like in the guild, but true fear. She had worked diligently every day after that, gaining the trust of most people back though. But would that have happened if they knew she was a legendary hero? They might respect her, but would hesitate to get close, afraid of angering her and meeting an untimely fate. We knew she was not such an evil person, but anyone who did not know her personally would be afraid. Even someone as dumb as me understood that, everyone would start avoiding her.
“The second reason was jealousy. In their attempt to get rid of Brave, the nobles granted him a mansion and a fixed salary, enough to live the rest of his life leisurely. As time passed and there were no more dangers, the people slowly forgot the times when the Demon King was alive and what Brave had done, which made them despise his current easy life. I know it’s not my place to say this, but humans truly are too selfish.”
There was no one here who could disagree with her opinion. Not too long ago we had hurt her in the same way after all.
“He left that city and went to live in a small village, but the same thing happened there. He then decided to live alone in a small hut near the town, and he never appeared publicly again since.”
I wonder how Lapis must have felt at that time? She was definitely hurt, maybe even full of resentment. But rather than using her power to deal with it, she decided to stay silent and vanish, so no one would bother her again.
“Some time after he started living alone, Sorciere visited him, carrying a certain grimoire.”
I could already guess what happened next. Sorciere offered to help with her magic.
“That was the Demon King’s grimoire, and inside there was a certain magic spell that could turn a person into a completely different one. You’ve probably already guessed that it was this spell that turned Brave into his current form. Sorciere had thought Brave would return to civilization and start a new life, but by then he no longer wished to live amongst men. He left that town and went far away, living alone at the foot of Dragon’s Nest.”
Having finished the story, Selene placed the cups with a weird smell in front of us. But we were in no mood for that, there was a terrible implication if that was the end of the story.
“All that…was three hundred years ago? So… Lapis has been living there alone since then?!”
“She was there in the middle of nowhere… for three hundred years…”
“That’s… as if she was exiled for a horrible crime!”
Ciel and Diaria sounded far more distressed than usual. I was too shocked to even say something. The only sanctuary of peace Lapis had obtained after saving the entire world was a small hut next to a mountain! That fate was too cruel!
“Being upset can’t change the past.”
“I know! But it’s still annoying!”
I knew it was just an outburst of anger, but I had to voice my opinion. This anger was not only directed to the people in the past, but to myself too. We had forced her out of her peaceful life, she had tried her best, but then we made her go through the situation all over again. We had really been too selfish, and we could only lament it now.
“How…foolish of me. When I heard she was the hero, my first thought was that everything would be better if she had taken care of this alone. She probably noticed those thoughts, and that’s why she ran away. And that after I vowed to not be like other nobles that sit in a safe location and let others fight for them!”
Luvias punched the wall as she said that. A dull sound came from the wall, a small crack spreading through it as blood trickled down her fist.
“It wasn’t just you. I thought the same, that if the old hero is still alive, then there was no need for me to struggle and fight. Lapis definitely noticed it, she’s good at reading people like that.”
Ciel’s usual composure was gone. She was pulling her hair back, her mind clearly somewhere else.
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“Listen! It was all our fault! We all thought the same, and we all hurt her the same. Even though we call ourselves her friends, we were cowards thinking that we could stop risking our lives if we dumped everything on her shoulders!”
Diaria was crying, but she was right. We had all deeply hurt Lapis, so we needed to talk with her again. We had to apologize, and ask her to be our friend again!
“Please Selene, can you let me see Lapis? I promise I won’t skip my training after that, but I just can’t let her be alone after hurting her. I have to apologize. So please, let me see her! I don’t care how harsh my training becomes afterwards!”
“Me too! I just want to tell her a few things, that’s all!”
“I want to help my friend! Please!”
After me, Luvias, Ciel, and Diaria all bowed to Selene. She was a dragon, so I did not know how much she understood human emotions, but we really had no other option but to lower our heads to her. But…
“I can’t do that.”
I raised my head hearing that cold and instant reply. We had failed to convince her. At first we were thinking of fighting her again, as many times as it took, but then an entertained smile appeared on her lips.
“However, I have one condition. If you can hurt my body in any way, even if it’s just a scratch, I’ll let you meet. What do you say? Do you want to try?”
“For sure! Right, everyone?!”
“You bet! I’d never give up on a friend!”
We all were of the same mind. It might be really hard, but there was a bit of hope. Just wait, Lapis, we’ll be there soon!