|Author: Natsuni Kotatsu||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library|
I think the Empire may have been instigating rebellion among the humans or the royal family within Piscroza to prevent them from providing assistance to Orbwight.
“…Well, I didn’t really care about what would happen to them, but those guys went and started messing with our forest of all things.”
In the Piscroza forest, there existed a forbidden place that the country considered off-limits. Once you entered, there was no way out, and powerful creatures roamed the forest, even stronger than ordinary monsters. At the heart of it all resided a demon god that ruled over these creatures.
…Well, that demon god referred to me, you see. I had set up barriers to disturb the senses of any unauthorized intruders and summoned animals to protect our home from monsters and invaders.
“They’re attempting to clear the forest, whether it’s for resource procurement or securing transportation routes. I managed to handle it for now, but I wanted to hear your perspective on the matter.”
I inquired, struggling to contain my overwhelming anger.
“Yes. She regarded you as her only family.”
“…Anna was also part of your family, Orion.”
“Haha, I’m aware.”
Orion interrupted my words with a cheerful smile.
There was no trace of jealousy or resentment… I couldn’t help but feel a pang of envy towards their unwavering trust in each other.
“Nevertheless, you received Shultz’s name from Anna. It is your right to decide what should be done with her grave.”
Rights came with responsibilities.
“…Give me some time to think.”
“Gotcha. Take your time to think… is what I’d like to say but… Haha.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll have an answer by tomorrow.”
“…Take your time.”
After recommending a place for him to stay, I returned to the branch office.
Having finished my duties at the reception and kitchen, I went back to my private room and started organizing my thoughts.
Anna Shultz was a motherly figure to me.
Being abandoned by my own family and friends in this world, I had convinced myself that there was nothing in this world that I could trust. I was inclined to believe that everyone was to blame. In my attempt to suppress the feelings of loneliness and sadness, I redirected the anger I forcefully brought forth toward those around me.
In hindsight I realize that my company simply didn’t want to let go of an obedient livestock like me, however, before this realization, I believed that I couldn’t be abandoned because of my dedication to the company, even if I made mistakes.
Moreover, I carried the burden of regret for not being able to do more for my family, who had always been there for me, and dying on them… I wondered if there was something more I could have done.
Although I wasn’t conscious of it at the time, when I first arrived in this world, I unconsciously or perhaps naturally thought:
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I will do whatever I can for the family that gives me love. Since I was blessed with cheats, I should protect everyone in the village.
…I believe I used to harbor a naive notion that things would work out better than in my previous life, all thanks to my cheat-like abilities.
However, things didn’t go smoothly, and I was abandoned.
That realization prompted me to live for my own sake this time. I decided to live as I pleased.
But now I understand that I wasn’t acting as I wanted; it was simply a manifestation of self-destructive behavior.
Anna was the one who guided me to think differently, to think in a more sensible manner.
She was strict to the point of being overbearing, and her anger was intimidating… Yet, deep down, she was an incredibly kind person.
Whenever I try to recall her words, memories of being scolded come rushing back. However, when I close my eyes and envision her face, it is her warm smile that stands out the most. She was that kind of person.
Anna, who found herself wandering into this world many decades before my birth, couldn’t adapt to the unfamiliar atmosphere here. She could only live within the forest of Piscroza, which resembled the atmosphere of Earth. Sadly, shortly after our meeting, she passed away.
Although Anna was a wanderer in this world, she had grown to love this world and the life within the forest, so we left the house be and also built a grave nearby to honor her memory.
Taking care of her resting place was Orion, who was once Anna’s beloved.
Orion, who used to roam freely in Piscroza, had his wild spirit tamed by Anna. It didn’t take long for him to develop a deep affection for her. Despite their occasional clashes and his calling her an audacious woman, their bond remained unbroken.
You have so much more potential within you. Don’t use me as an excuse.
She had apparently pushed him away with those words once, but the two ultimately never separated.
By the way, during that time, Orion had refused to leave, saying:
If there are 100,000 people who see me only as a tool of utility, I will choose to protect the one person who sees me as a human being, even if I have no value to offer. I don’t seek any kind of reward.
After that, they didn’t speak to each other, but the very next day, they argued over dinner complaints, which was quite fitting for the two.
There are many beautiful girls in the country who are worth more than an old lady like me… What a foolish man.
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Anna sighed in exasperation, yet wore a remarkably serene expression.
Although they never married because Anna didn’t want to feel tied down, I believe their connection went beyond mere names or formalities.
And now, Orion has entrusted me with the decision regarding the grave.
Moving the grave means letting go of the house and the forest.
In Orion’s heart, I sense that the memories held within are more valuable than their physical manifestations, and he has come to terms with it.
As such, I don’t think I, who left that place, am qualified to say something.
“I don’t, but…”
I couldn’t decide. I didn’t want to demolish it. I wanted it to remain there forever, so those words involuntarily left my mouth.
The tomb and the preservation of memories are ultimately for the sake of those who remain. If Anna were here, I believe she would say it’s not worth burdening others. But that wasn’t an answer to “what I wanted to do.”
Since parting ways with Anna until today, I have earnestly contemplated what was it that I truly wanted to do. I don’t want to disregard Orion’s resolve. I don’t want to betray Anna. However… I didn’t want to make a wrong choice in this matter.
After thorough deliberation, I have reached a decision.
“Here, take this with you, please.”
The following morning, I presented a spear to Orion, who was once again in the watchtower.
“This should grant you the power to protect the forest… but if you have to resort to killing, I ask that you just let go of the place.”
“…Haha, I understand. …Wait, what?”
As he received the spear, with its quadrangular cones extending from the shaft, it seemed that he realized it held a divine tool.
However, having only vaguely known about the existence of divine tools, he probably saw it as simply a “spear with a special power.”
“This is the Divine Spear Vishva. When thrown and pierced into a target, it summons lightning, and when thrust into the ground, it creates a fence that marks an inviolable zone with lightning around it.”
“A divine spear… Seriously?”
“Yes, it’s a divine tool.”
“Can I wield its power…?”
It was commonly known that sacred tools were not something that could be wielded by just anyone, much like how the Empire proclaims it as a noble cause(?). The belief that only humans could use divine tools had become somewhat of an established doctrine, so it’s understandable that Orion was unaware of it.
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“Yes, You can use it.”
Orion appeared to be deep in thought as he gazed at Vishva.
“If you use it, there might no longer be a need for them to clear up the forest.”
“! …Haha, you saw right through me, huh?”
After a moment of surprise, Orion quickly embraced the idea and laughed.
I believe Orion must have pondered various things too. The conflict between cherished memories and the current reality: which should take precedence? What does he truly wish to safeguard?
Initially, he refrained from disclosing “who” was attempting to clear the forest.
Perhaps, from his perspective, if he thought about it without considering his feelings towards Anna, they were someone he wanted to protect. I believe he thought that revealing it to me would only confuse my judgment.
Should he protect that forest at the cost of abandoning someone he wanted to support?
After thoughtful contemplation, I believe Orion embraced the idea of relinquishing the forest. He believed it was a way to honor Anna’s trust.
I am reluctant to let go of that forest. However, I feel it is also wrong to sacrifice someone for that purpose. This not only applies to Orion and Anna but also encompasses the individual whom Orion is considering.
Orion had someone he wanted to protect, and if Anna would also desire for him to prioritize it, then there was only one thing left for me to do.
“Please use that and do what you wish to do.”
Orion laughed. And then, he looked toward the forest once more, revealing a calm smile.
“You’ve come to be like her. Like Anna.”
“Not at all. I’m just acting out of my selfishness.”
In the end, I’m just using other people for my own gain. I live while doing what I want to do, being sly as I want.
“But… I’m happy to hear you say that.”
Because that makes me feel that the time I spent with Anna properly lives on inside of me.