Dragon Life - Chapter 55
This time, I'm really being left out.
Because of there being a large chance that we would be interrogated if the play's staff found us, we promptly left the entrance hall in a fast pace and changed our location. On the way we picked up Miss Rosa, who could not grasp the situation, and exited to a small unpopular garden.
’’Oh, ehm, Sir Lutoria, what in the world is going on?’’
Miss Rosa seemed confused since she was gazing at Timo and me. Of course. The me in Anna's figure who is supposed to be with the Captain was nowhere in sight, and instead there was a blond youth, who was me, and a young girl;Timo.
Probably since Timo hadn't met Miss Rosa before, she asked me.
’’Who is this person?’’
’’She's Miss Rosa, the younger sister of Mr. Maurice, who is this country's most important person.’’
’’Oh, the 'Unwanted Princess'. Huh, so it's you.’’
At those words Miss Rosa's complexion had a sudden change. It looked like she'd cry at any moment, and she was trembling a little. Calling her 'Unwanted Princess' is to much even when intending to insult her on purpose.
’’Oh no... I'm sorry. I called you that because I had heard the rumors about it;I said it without thinking. I didn't say it out of malice...’’
’’No, no... It's the truth... I am...’’
By watching a panicked Miss Rosa's complexion turn deathly pale as she justified that, although I didn't know what in the world she went through, I could imagine it without having to ask. Not only she did not manifest the rainbow-colored eyes which are the proof of belonging to the same family as Mister Maurice, but she was born with gray eyes that are very close to the abhorred black. It was no wonder the public criticism was bad given her station; if she were an ordinary citizen, she would not have such a bad reputation. She was born in the wrong family. It was just that.
’’Please don't worry.’’
The Captain gently consoled Miss Rosa;perhaps he felt it as if it was his own affair. He himself grew out his bangs because he was bothered because of the color of his eyes. I wondered if he sympathized with her because they shared the same circumstances.
’’I like that color.’’
What's with this atmosphere.
Miss Rosa was staring at the Captain with reddened cheeks. The scene was as pretty as a picture. The flower garden at the back brought out a good atmosphere. They were truly a Princess and a Knight. Moreover, by convention my Dragon self was the villian, right? I am aware of that. ...Hah, Miss Rosa is a real princess so isn't it perfect if I kidnap her?! How about fighting the Captain? How fun... Or is it now? Hmm, I wonder if by becoming a man one's thinking process will become closer to a man's as well? Either way, my eyes kept following girls around too. Oh no, this can't go on. I have to find some way to replace Anna's form by any means possible before it's too late. Or, a way to leave this country and return to Anna's form as soon as possible.
’’Are we bothering you? Aren't we, Vito?’’
’’Why do you throw the ball at me?’’
Timo was grinning as she gave me small pokes with her elbow.
’’Eh? ...Miss Vito?’’
Miss Rosa made a weird face when Timo called me Vito.
’’Ah, hello. I'm Vito.’’
As I obediently introduced myself, she went, 'Huh? Huh?' And stared at me with an expression more bewildered than before. After explaining the situation she seemed to be convinced, though she looked a bit awkward. Maybe she accepted it easily since there were Sacred Beasts nearby, although she was indeed surprised.
Oh, maybe Ruff can also turn into a human being. I'd like to see that.
’’By the way, is it fine if I change the subject?’’
That's right. This wasn't the time for that.
We nodded to Timo's words. Miss Rosa seemed to have witnessed the matters from earlier from a distance, and was listening with growing interest to the talk.
’’His name is Maji. He's a former friend, and he's stupid.’’
She called him stupid again. I admit that I called him idiot as well, but Timo's phrasing carried the will to insult. She was emphasizing it, too.
’’We got involved with the beginning of Maji's machinations. I wanted to stop him in order not to make a greater commotion, but it looked like... it was too late already.’’
Could it be, since she mentioned they are old acquaintances, maybe Lord Cleric was related to this matter as well? When I inquired about it, she replied 'That's the case,' with a sad laugh.
’’Didn't I tell you that he swallowed the crystallized magical power that I made? ...Because of that, he ended up was bound over there. I made that crystal on my own to stop Maji who had lost all reason and went crazy. That magical power was too strong, however, and that guy knew it, so he swallowed the crystal in my stead. ...But even after that he couldn't stop him. Moreover, although he acquired such a vast magical power, he became a physically handicapped person at the expense of it, and he can't do anything but be bound to that place for eternity.’’
She took a breath and scratched her head.
’’It's, my fault. ...It's the end, of this world, and everything.’’
Such a feeble tone. This was the first time I saw Timo being so fainthearted. She is always confident and reliable, and yet. Her expression now was appropiate to her appearance;with her eyebrows lowered while she worried on her lip, she looked like a frail young girl that was about to cry. By the time I noticed I was already hugging her tiny body. A smell that reminded me of chemicals, which was unlike what little girls should smell like, was floating up to my nose.
’’You did your best, it's okay.We can still do it somehow, let's think of something together.’’
She was surprised at the sudden embrace, but she looked up at me with desperation in her eyes, which were wet with tears.
’’Do-, do you have a basis for that?! I'm telling you that it's useless already! We can't stop the devils' revival unless we follow Maji's method!’’
’’But I think that is better than not doing anything, so as long as there is any possibility, why don't we bet on it?’’
’’Yes, but... What in the world can we do?’’
I don't know. But there must be a way.
...Be that as it may, what's with this, so cute. Timo, so cute. Her hair is too fluffy and it makes me want to rub my cheek against hers. I'm not into little girls, but let's use the excuse that it's instinctive for me to want to love cute things. While such things were flashing by within my mind, the Captain came closer without my noticing and pulled us apart. While expressionless. I'm sorry, I got carried away. That's right, from the side it would look like a young adult guy was hugging a little girl. It'd be fine if we were siblings, but we're not related. It would look like I had weird hobbies. Thank you, Captain. Huh? That wasn't it? Oh well, I guess it's still fine.
Cough, I attempted to drive away the wicked thoughts with some violent coughing and ammended my words.
’’Let's go see Lord Cleric.’’
Yes, that was what I wanted to say.
We might be able to ascertain some things if we meet with him. Even if we can't ascertain anything, some breakthrough out of this situation may be possible.
Timo's eyes opened up wide, possibly because she hadn't expected that the talk would return to Lord Cleric.
’’To-, to see that guy !?’’
’’That won't be necessary.’’
In an instant, 'twitch', the muscles along my spine tensed up;this feeling, this is.
Turning to looking back right away, there was a boy who was dressed in plain clothes, unlike the white one-piece from before. His long hair was drastically cut and didn't reach past his shoulders. He looked like nothing more than just a child. It was only that he had a mysterious air about him.
There was no doubt, it was Lord Cleric.
’’Long time no see... Timotea Norris. I wonder, how many centuries has it been?’’
’’Hold on do you wanna die!? Why are you here?! Return to that fountain at once!! Just what are you thinking?!’’
Timo run up and yelled at him in a terribly threatening attutude. I also wanted to yell at him. Or rather I'd like to beat him. While I may say that I wanted to hit him, and that the reason I never went to see him was because a lot was going on so I just couldn't go, it could also be said that I had been avoiding him since I did not want to see him. How dares him come here! ...Though now was not the time for that.
’’Oh my, it's such a touching reunion and you're telling me to go back? You're so not honest. Even though I had assumed you were thinking of me at the time I received your message.’’1
’’This has nothing to do with honesty!! Do you truly wanna die?!’’
He readily nodded. Also with a large smile to boot. My anger ended up flying away because of such anticlimax. Timo was left as taken aback as I was.
’’Wh-, what did you just...’’
’’I'm thinking of ending it all once and for all. I'll stop the Demon King this time for sure. Also please don't bully Maji like that;he's desperate, and is trying to stop it in his own way, even if his way is wrong.’’
He was talking about how Maji tried to stop the Demon King at the expense of the people in the city. I guessed Lord Cleric had been listening earlier.
’’That's why I'm telling you, you don't need to sacrifice yourself...!’’
What on earth was Lord Cleric trying to do?
’’I don't have any time left already, and I may actually die any time now. I underwent a careful purification ceremony before leaving, but even so it'd be only to have one more day left.’’2
’’Go back right away if that's the case! In the first place that fountain shouldn't be left without a priestess in it, should it?!’’
’’No I won't go back. I just won't go back. Besides, I left Leiya in the spring. She will be my successor;she will certainly become one sincere and lovely priestess. Do you understand?’’
’’You are the one who doesn't understand! What do you think will be solved if you take on the problem all on your own? Even in the past, if you just had consulted it with me...!’’
She was staring at Lord Cleric.while desperately trying to hold back her tears. When he saw her like that, he smiled kindly at her.
’’I know, but that was not your fault. I did that according to my own judgement. It was due to my own selfishness of not wanting to lose the only person who was dear to me.’’
’’That is just arrogance.’’
She lowered her head and grabbed the hem of her robe so tightly that her hand turned white. She murmured, 'You don't understand anything,' in a thin voice.
’’...It seems that we kept being unable to connect with each other. I took on the task I had to fulfill and overlooked the feelings of the one closest to me, who was you. ....No, I pretended not see them. ...I'm sorry, Timotea Norris.’’
’’What do you intend to accomplish by apologizing now?’’
’’I know, but I want to apologize.’’
Standing closer, he stretched both hands and gently held Timo's cheeks. Wiping off the tears that had begun to fall, he softly kissed her forehead.
’’Let's end this, whatever it takes.’’
That was their resolution.
’’B-, but, how in the world do we stop it?’’
Lord Cleric was the one to respond to Miss Rosa's question.
’’I'll use my magical power. The crystal made by Timotea Norris was capable of producing infinite magical power. By having it enter my body, my magical power has continued to grow through my life, but every container has a limit. Until now I had been leading that magical power to the exterior through my hair and that fountain, but now that I've cut off that possibility it's being accumulated in my body.’’
So he cut his hair for the sake of leaving that place?
’’So, if the limit is reached, it'll end up exploding.’’
To say it simply and privately, it is like a full stomach.
'The limit is already close, though,' he added with a bitter smile.
’’Should I eat it?’’
Magical power is my moving source. As I said so, I was surprised that such a thing hand't been suggested.
I'd have liked to protest this idea, but for moments he put on a painful expression, so he was surely close to the limit. I'm not such a brute that I'd leave someone to die just like that, even it it's Lord Cleric. I can't eat his body, but eating his blood or hair may be able to reduce the burden a little.
’’That's right, there was that option too. Well then, will you kiss me?’’
What is this person spouting all of a sudden!
’’Kissing is a noble act for transfering magical power, and it has been considered to be sacred since long ago.’’
So that's why you taught me that way to establish the contract! You bastard! You knowingly forced me to do it while grinning to yourself all the while!!
’’Quit making fun of her.’’
So he was teasing me after all?! I was so worried, I lost it!
’’Fufufu, your goodwill makes me happy, but now I want to concentrate my magical powers up to the limit. While I used it incorrectly before and thus I couldn't stop him, it'll be sll right this time. ...However I'm afraid to say that I need somebody's cooperation in orfer to use my magical power, but I left Leiya back there...’’
He stared at Miss Rosa with a fluttering gaze while saying, 'I wonder if there's someone around here who has a pure and chaste heart like a priestess'?' What's with such obvious attitude.
’’That's true, if it's someone like her then she will certainly work as a substitute for Leiya.’’
Rosa was left there blinking in surprise, she probably didn't think that she would be nominated.
’’Y-, you're talking about me?’’
’’Yes, it will definitely go well if it's you.’’
'But we won't force you,' they added, but she interrupted them by saying.
’’Please let me do it...! If I'm of help I will do whatever I can! I want to be of use to someone...!’’
Her voice was filled with will-power, and she was showing her brightest expression until now. The her who acted all neat and quiet so far was nowhere to be seen. She had a lively look to her. Maybe she hadn't been needed by anyone before;and this is a secret, but at seeing her acting so gallant I wanted to hug her and pat her head.
’’Shall I do something too?’’ (Captain)
’’That's right, you have quite the magical power for a human;would you help too?’’
Even the Captain stepped forward. His amount of magical power was certainly enourmous so there were no complaints.
...Uhm, maybe I was truly being excluded? The only thing I could do was physically destroy things. It was impossible for me to help. I'm useless when talking about magical powers and the like. In the first place I consume magical power itself to sustain myself so it was not possible for me to help their side. I felt dejected.
’’Rain, I will stick with you till the end.’’
’’Oh my, will this be a lovers' double suicide?’’
’’Say whatever you want. I will still accompany you.’’
Seeing Timo's extremely serious countenance, Lord Cleric said, 'Your obstinacy doesn't chance, does it,' with a bitter smile.
And then Lord Cleric approached me, who was being left out, to a distance where only I'd hear him speak and said.
’’Miss Vito, there's no need for you to die.’’
He spouted something in an abrupt manner once again. The surprise made me go speechless.
Moreover he was a person who smiled beautifully. I didn't know if he was human or not, but this one wasn't an inorganic smile like the ones from before, but this one was a smile that contained life. I guess it was probably because Timo was nearby.
’’In truth, these events actually follow a plot where the outline was that you'd become a sacrifice and thus prevent the revival of the Demon King and the Demons;that was what I read back then when I read your future.’’
That I would become a sacrifice and die...? Was this what he was talking about when he told me that the day would come where I would die?3 A future where both hope and despair await. But after telling me such grand life spoiler that after sacrificing myself I'll die, and expect that I'd easily go and die like that;no I wouldn't. But.
’’The future is what you decide yourself, that's why I did not intend to intervene, but hehehe, sometimes I also think about opposing it, so please be relieved. It is not necessary for you to die, I will take your place.’’
’’Take my place...?’’
Does this mean, that Lord Cleric will die in my stead?
If my future really was what Lord Cleric had read, then I would have probably resisted it fervently. But when I was saved at the expense of someone else? Such a thing... Is wrong. Surely.
But I couldn't say anything. There was, nothing I could do.
This time, I'm really being left out.