It seems like it is better if I perform the ultimate magic faster. That’s ‘cause the damage to the land decreases the faster I do it. Now that the ultimate magic is completed, there is no need to hesitate.
I was ready all along but Old Moran and the others wanted to take more time. I also somewhat understand the reason behind doing so. Or rather, it can be only one thing.
It was decided that we’d execute the plan 1 week from now.
When I think about the people of Helan living a hard life after abandoning their own land, I feel the urge to execute the plan right away. I am also worried about my parents taking shelter at the capital.
Glad I sent Rahsa back to the capital. I wonder if prince Arch is bothering Iris… And if Rail is enjoying it, watching from afar…
And if Toto is doing well, growing his precious herbs at the school? Well, if it’s him, he’s probably making a bad face even if he’s alright.
Vain, who had travelled to a far away country must have completed his mission by now. I can almost imagine him awkwardly protecting the people close to him. And also Crossy trying to build up the ruined country while being protected by him.
I am reminded of the friends I met at the academy. It was a short while but I had the pleasure of making some really good memories.
I don’t think I will have the chance of going back there again. Not only did my land fall into ruin, I don’t even have a fragment of the honor I had before. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that I am in situation worse than a ruined noble. There’s no way someone with that social status can carelessly go about pursuing higher studies. First, I must do what I have to do.
I will rebuild this land. I want to make it even better than the Helan territory which prospered because of the hot springs. I wonder what kind of a land I should turn it into…
The Land of Occupations–doesn’t sound too bad. I will spread my skills as a blacksmith. And not only that, I will train people of many different occupations here. I want to make this into a land which will be overflowing with the best workers in the country in the future.
What started as a light hearted plan for the future, made me think up of more and more ideas as I lied down pondering. I can still contribute more and more to the Helan territory… or that’s how it’s supposed to be.
But I am well aware that that is now a dream which can’t be fulfilled. And I came to terms with it.
Just like the first generation Helan territory’s landlord, Helan, stopped the curse by using the ultimate magic, I am probably supposed to do the same and follow him.
That’s right, I will die.
The collateral damage would naturally be big as I am going to be overcoming such a big curse. No, it might actually be a small price to pay if the land can be revived by just one life. Yep, it’s a small price. Too small.
That’s right, my job is not rebuilding the Helan territory. It is to revive the dead Helan territory. It is my mission to revive the land to the state when beautiful flowers bloomed all around.
And beyond that would be… Someone else’s job. It would be great if Lotson-san, who helped me the most, takes the initiative but… it is not good to expect too much either. That person is extremely talented. And so he doesn’t have the need to go out of his way to rebuild Helan territory from such a state. That talent would surely be accepted widely in a blessed land.
If so, to whom shall I entrust the land? There’s no doubt that it will be a tough job. There might be many obstacles and hindrances. Who would even do that willingly? It might not be something for me to worry about but if I am going away, I might as well make that part clear before I go.
While I was worrying, time went by real fast.
I was struck by the feeling that time went even faster as the fated day drew near.
After three more days, I was called by Old Moran and Petal-san.
They had a gloomy expression so I somewhat understood what they were going to say.
“Young master Kururi, I am sorry.”
Such words came out from Old Moran.
“About what? I don’t anything but gratitude towards you guys, Old Moran. There’s not a single thing you need to apologize about.”
“No, this is very late but we have finally realized our foolishness.”
“Foolishness? I don’t know anyone as wise as you, Old Moran.”
Old Moran shook his head left and right while looking down.
“We are fools. We are big fools. Our dream, our dream of saving this land, at the end, we have left it to others. I shouldn’t have spoken about the ultimate magic to you.”
“Why? It’s something only I can do. Then it’s something I should be doing and I also want to do it.”
“Wrong! If we hadn’t taught you about the ultimate magic, it would have never come to light, neither would you have completed it.”
“If you had done that, the ultimate magic would have been lost forever… The Helan territory would have been left cursed forever and the people who fought for this land before would never be rewarded.”
“Even then… even then. It would have been great if we could do it instead… However, we can’t do that. And so, we have no other choice but to have young master Kururi do it. That’s what I had thought. But now, I don’t know if that’s the right thing to do.”
…… Why say that at this point? Why did they now stop and rethink their decisions? I couldn’t see the reason behind it at all.
“I, will die, right? But I don’t fear that. If we can overcome this curse, if this is something only I can do, I will gladly do it–I will gladly give up my life. There’s no falsehood about these feelings.”
“I know that young master Kururi is very smart. That you had probably known about it long ago. That if only you resolve yourself to do it, we will also be strong and see it through…”
Old Moran and Petal-san exchanged glances, looking all disheartened.
“A girl’s tears are very painful, you see…”
A girl’s tears…
“Exactly. We thought that young master Kururi, you were the one at the toughest, most painful position. You are willing to become the sacrifice to protect everything. However, we can’t stop you once you have resolved yourself. We had decided to see it to the end silently.”
Old Moran let out a big sigh and continued.
“We hadn’t told Miss Eliza that young master Kururi will die. She is also smart, I thought she might have realized somehow but, I told her the truth yesterday night. About what will happen to the Helan territory, what will happen to you…… She… her tears didn’t stop.”
Old Moran lowered his head apologetically. So I made him tell her something I needed to inform her myself, huh?
“Miss Eliza loves you. I was happy that Harp’s tears were the last woman’s tears I had to see. It’s not something I would want to see multiple times…… That one trickle of tears, looked exactly like the one Harp shed at the end.”
Petal-san remembered the past and also of Eliza’s tears of last night and pushed his hand against his chest. The sadness they are bearing is considerably deep.
“Even still, I will do it!”
“… If you don’t do it, Helan’s lands will remain cursed. The people of Helan will be forced a hard life at other territories. They will probably be accused of responsibilities that don’t even exist. But, even then, young master Kururi can keep on living. You can stay next to Miss Eliza. Besides, I also think that you’re someone who is still needed by this world.”
“I do not think so. To not do something I can do… that would be letting myself rot. If I run away here, I will probably lose status to an incompetent fool. I will surely die being talked about behind my back. I don’t want any of that!”
“But what will you do about Miss Eliza? Are you going to leave her?”
… Leaving Eliza alone, huh? Her family condition is in a bad state right now. She has parted with both her mother and father and is now at a place like this. If even I were to disappear, who would protect her? I know that she’s isn’t someone who will always just be protected. But that doesn’t mean I won’t worry…
But, I believe in her. I believe that she will definitely recover and bloom into a wonderful lady.
“I will talk to her. About my feelings, about the future, about her. And so, Old Moran and Petal-san, please don’t make it public. You two have expended your lives for this. Not only you, Harp-san and even the first Helan–everyone of their feelings are packed here. I will not waste it. I will also not let anyone regret. The future is surely bright, dazzling. And to make that happen, I am here.”
Eliza wasn’t in the house.
I followed the path she would take to the forest and found her at the place with the springs. She was sitting there, gazing at the pretty water. She wasn’t crying anymore.
She noticed I was here but didn’t react much. I got close and sat beside her. The ground was a bit wet so I guess I messed up my sitting place.
“That part is a bit wet.”
“Looks like it. My pant’s bottom part got a bit wet.”
And we both couldn’t help burst out laughing. Even though my pants just got a bit wet, we laughed awfully lot. We laughed all we could. This might be the last time, right?
“We can’t have the hero who will be saving the Helan territory be clumsy like that, can we?”
“Yes, I am sorry.”
“Listen well, the person who is going to be the landlord must always be resolute. He must not let anyone notice it, even if his pants bottom part is wet. And even if they do notice, they must be bold, as if having that part wet is stylish!”
“Yessir, I understand.”
“Nice of you to do so. Kururi-sama, it is completely normal, being a bit more proud.”
A bit more proud, eh…? I will keep that in mind.
“Up ’til now, I haven’t told you this but, I love you dearly. Did you know?”
“And what do you think of me, Kururi-sama?”
T-that is embarrassing. Being asked that so directly like that.
“I-I love you too. I think of you as a very precious being!”
“The most precious being!”
“That is better.”
I had my head patted. I felt a bit itchy. But, I am happy.
“Since when do you think I had you in my mind?”
…… I wonder when. Probably after the first incident at the academy.
“Th-that time when I gave you a flower as a present?”
“Mm, mmm. Nope. Even before.”
When was it? ……. Mmmm, I don’t know. I had thought the time I gave her the flower had the most effect but…
“The answer is from the first time I saw you. Your glowing red her, your friendly attitude unlike that of nobles, the kind atmosphere around you. You had stolen my heart since the first time I saw you.”
Is such a thing even possible?!
“Me too! From the first time I saw you, I doubted my eyes–thinking that such a beautiful being couldn’t possibly exist. I remember it clearly. You were shining dazzlingly, and were strong… and a bit scary.”
“What did you say?”
“N-no, nothing at all, miss.”
After that, we talked about the former days.
Like the fact that she didn’t really hate Iris. That she actually liked her.
That she knew about Crossy and Vain’s combi and how she was also curious about Toto’s weird herb cultivation. About how much she enjoyed the academy life–I got to know about it all. I just listened so I don’t know of it all. I wanted to see her from the sides from now on as well.
“Eliza, can I have a minute?”
“What is it? I was just about to talk about the phantom potatoes cultivation method too.”
“It’s important talk. I want you to listen properly.”
Seems like she realized what I was going to say with just that. Her happy expression from a while ago disappeared.
“I will die after executing the ultimate magic 3 days later. Probably. No, most certainly, I guess. I am sorry that, I was so late in telling you. I should have told you faster.”
Eliza didn’t say anything. But I continued.
“Even if I die, I want you to be happy. But, there’s something I would like to request of you. Will you listen?”
She still didn’t say anything.
“When Helan territory is released from the curse, I want to leave the rebuilding of the land to you. With your knowledge and skills, it will definitely go well. I believe that. But, it will probably be a tough job. But still, I can ask this of you because you are you. No, it’s something I can’t ask anyone but you.”
Something I can only ask Eliza, whom I trust. If it’s her, I can also count on her with the tough work. Please, take care of this land after I am gone.
“…… A world without Kururi-sama is like stew without any potato–it’s meaningless.”
She got up and left the spring.
That was an example I didn’t quite understand but it looks like I have been rejected. I wanted to request this to Eliza. I would have been able to go peacefully that way.
But, I also feel like it won’t go so bad.
Rahsa, Iris, Toto, prince Arch, Rail, and maybe even Vain from another country will protect this land. I can go in peace if it’s them. It can’t be helped if Eliza rejected… I will pray that she finds happiness in her own way. Yep, surely she will–and I pray, that she is filled with happiness.