I’m Sorry, Onii-sama! V2C6

Spring of Yearning Part II

After finishing with reports, the sun was already setting.
It was about time for him to return but as I told him that, he hesitatingly opened his mouth to speak.

“I will be going to the battlefield once spring comes around.”
“Eh?”

I was stunned for an instant by those words.
Although the battlefield near the border is intensifying as a result of that battle, it should not be at the point where apprentices needed to be sent in.
That is still a long way off.
Even though the enemy countries were beginning to utilize that technology, there is still quite a difference in national strength.
Besides there is another issue.

“In order to go to the battlefield as a knight, don’t you have to be at least sixteen?”
“The training facility can only provide so much. I have already learned all I can. The rest will be from the field……and I will be going to the battlefield as a magician.”
“……Is that so.”

If that is what Atlas wanted, then there is no problem with that.
But given Gil-sama’s age, this decision is still far too early.
He was suppose to train in magic and grow up a bit more before this, but if he decided to take the option of becoming a magician now, it might become impossible for him to build a trusting relationship with Gil-sama.
―――It’s strange. It’s definitely strange.
With this, the story wouldn’t be progressing as in the original.

“I think we will likely be sent to the same battlefield…….and we will be guarding each other’s backs. Therefore, there is something I want to say as a ‘knight apprentice’.”

His stiff voice drew my thoughts back.
As a knight apprentice and not a magician―――what does that mean?
Focusing on his brown eyes, he spoke each word as if he were carefully mulling over it.

“I don’t like you, I dislike those who brandish their strength and oppress the weak.”

These feelings that were conveyed straight to me by one of the people I had admired inflicted quite a wound upon my heart.
Although this is due to character of ‘Origa’, but even so, the disgust in the words he spoke is directed towards me.
To what I have done. His feelings about the crimes I have committed.

“……Is this because of Gilford Irvis, or is this…”

Because of those people I burned away in that battle.
Whether he had guessed my thoughts or not, the quiet words he spoke gave the answer.

“It was something that could’ve been resolved without sacrifices if you hadn’t rushed the situation. Both Gil, and the fort.”

If he is aware of what had happened to Gil-sama, then he must have already had the chance to speak with him regarding his birth.
So that’s why he was so hostile towards me the first time we met.
That’s right.
It has already been a year since he returned to the family name of Ivris, so their relationship has likely progressed to a certain extent at this point.
If so, then him deciding his future so soon, should be alright then?

“No matter how much time passes, he will never be worthy of the Rujil name. Besides, as I mentioned earlier, that victory was grasped under my name. And I believe it was the best course of action.”
“Many lives could’ve been saved. Or are you saying that everything you decide is correct?”

His sharp gaze felt like it was stabbing me and my heart began beating loudly.

The righteous eyes, the pure heart, the character who walks the path of justice.
This conversation was suppose to have happen several years later, my heart felt cold upon facing a distortion now in the story――――this conversation was suppose to have happen just before Origa destroyed this country.
Impossible. This alone, must not be possible.
Because I have not started the attack on this country yet.
It is still not the time for us to declare the differences in our beliefs.

But even so, ‘Origa’s’ answer has already been decided.
And it is impossible to answer any other way.

“If, I were to deny those sacrifices, wouldn’t it be blasphemy against the dead? ―――My decision, is not wrong.”

A commander doesn’t just carry the sins of their subordinates.
But in order to not let the lives already robbed to be in vain either, I have to hold my head up and continue defending my actions.
I have to keep moving forward so that my subordinates do not falter.
That’s why I cannot waver. I have to be a villain.
I cannot be the weak ‘me’. I have to be ‘Origa’.
I have to hide what’s within my heart.

“………I understand what I am saying is idealistic. But as an aspiring knight I cannot forgive you.”

He averted his gaze and let out a large sigh.
I also understood that.
I am a villain who is different than those who are good since the beginning. So there is no way he can understand me.
Nothing would be solved even if he understood me.
Even though it is something I already knew, even when his harsh gaze turned away, instead of feeling relieve, my heart protested in pain.
Even though I don’t have the time to be hurt and waver like this.
A villain listening to the voice of condemnation from an existence of justice, the real ‘Origa’ would never show such a ridiculous sight.

“―――But from a magician’s standpoint I understand. There was no choice but to kill the people in that fort……and you protected Gil.”
“Eh……”
“Unlike my clan or the clan of wind, it is the Rujil’s. If you hadn’t banished Gil from the clan like that, the clan would probably have lost control and he would’ve been killed.”

It’s true that the other clans are more tolerant than the clan of fire.
They are slowly losing the power of magicians, which means they are merging their bloodline with ordinary people.
The magic power in the children that are born is declining rapidly, and in the future, the power of their magician blood will not even manifest.
Although the main families are still bound by blood marriage, unlike the Rujil, the magicians belonging to the other branches are able to marry freely.
That’s why someone like Gil-sama would’ve been allowed to exist.

But Gil-sama is the offspring of the Rujil’s head.

I don’t think……you did what you did without reason. So I also decided to……believe that there was some circumstances with Gil. In the first place, since it is a matter between you and Gill, I know that it is not something I should interfere in.”

Atlas’s voice was hesitant and quiet, as if he were talking to himself, and it disrupted my thoughts.
Yes, I was trying to save Gil-sama――――since I love him.
Yes, I do have my own circumstances――――but I wanted him to live.

――Why was ‘I’ thinking this?

My emotions are a mess.
It was disgusting. Just dis…gusting.

“So I wanted to apologize. At that time, I said terrible things to you. I am sorry.
“I also…went too far. I’m sorry.”

I faked a smile to hide my nausea.
It is doubtful that he was speaking to ‘Origa’ but rather he was speaking to ‘me’.
My mind was blank, and Atlas’ words flowed into my head.
I have to end this conversation as quickly as possible.

“But you don’t have to worry too much about him. Since he is already separated the Rujil, there is no one trying to do anything to him now.”
“This has nothing to do with you being Gil’s little sister.”

I am here for Gil-sama, for mother, for the clan, for the magicians.
Just that is enough.
I don’t want to think anymore, I don’t want to think.

“I know that I ruined your reputation at that time.  I know what I did was horrible. Even so my father, that is……if you are willing to place your trust into me, then I will repay you back with that trust.”

He continued on with a stiff expression and apologized once again.
With a voice so soft I could barely hear it.

“I want us to become friends.”

―――The emotions that were swirling in the depths of my heart came to a stop.

“Friends.”

I repeated the word dumbfoundedly, and Atlas looked away awkwardly.
The word floated about within my mind but didn’t make sense and the meaning refused to connect.
His usual assertive demeanor was nowhere to be seen.

He is truly a straightforward person.
Since she believes in me, I want to believe in her.
Since I want to forgive her, I want to be forgiven.
That’s why, I want to become friends.
That is the thinking of a child.
It is only in stories that relationships between people are forged so simply, and reality is always cruel.
Since ‘I’ am not someone who can become his friend.
He is a character that cannot become intimate with me.

Various thoughts rushed around in my mind and my brain came up with the best answer to this but.
Seeing him fidgeting with his cup of tea with a slightly red face, my lips moved on their own.

“What is it, just say it if there is something you want to say.”
“……I, this is my first time making a friend.”

His half-opened mouth was rather strange and finally laughter came bursting forth.
I must not get involved with him, but the warning sounded by reason could not stop my heart.
―――In the future, I would come to regret ignoring this warning.

From then on, everyday was full of small joys.
I would frequently visit the mansion of Marquis Harvester and Atlas, and we would spend our time enjoying small talk.
There was no mistake that their existence and concern for me helped heal my body and mind, and before long my magic power had stabilized.
But even so, it wasn’t until spring that my normal defenses came back to me.

*

Before returning to the battlefield I needed to visit the capital first, but while I was dressing up I was told by a bemused Keika that I had a visitor.
As I entered the reception room, a woman with rich golden hair was sitting there.
With a squeal, I ran up and hugged her waist, and with a smile she stroked my copper-colored hair with her pale white hand.

“Mother! It has been a while. Is your health better?”
“It’s been a while, Origa. I heard that you will be returning to the battlefield soon, so I came to greet you before that. Since it was a last minute decision, that person did not come along.”

Because I had father accompany mother during her medical treatment to keep his influence away, I haven’t been able to meet her since.
If I were to visit, society’s eyes would turn back to father.
But her weak constitution strongly reminded me of myself in my previous life and since I had been sending her this and that out of concern, we had maintained correspondence.
Because she is already almost―――.

“Origa?”
“……I am really glad to be able to see mother again.”
“Oh my, I thought you had already grown up into an adult, but it seems you are still a child.”

While exchanging jokes, I happily gave a report of the past year.
About how I had met the king after my succession, of how Keika escorted me, about how I met Marquis Harvester, about how Atlas had refused to dance with me, and how now he had become my friend.
As I recalled the fun memories, my mother laughed in her gentle bell-like voice, and our conversation continued on.
I talked about my failed magic experiments, the fashion trend of the nobility that enter the castle, about the interesting varieties of food, and a natural smile began forming on my face.
It was my first time talking with mother like this.

“I think it is my first time seeing you have so much fun.”
“Mother?”

It was my first time meeting mother after a year.
As usual, her appearance and figure were lovely, and our time to bid farewell came once again.
She expressed her gratitude towards the ‘head’ for letting her husband live, and gave her daughter a hug.
Even though back then I couldn’t express myself, she still hugged me and worried about me like this.

I didn’t have any memories of my mother worrying over me like this in my previous life.
So that might be why.
A part of me was embarrassed about being fussed over like this, but happy and didn’t want her to worry.
One day I want to give this person what ‘I’ had wanted.

“You seem to be always worrying about something, so I was very worried.”

But it was alright since I am able to make friends now, she said while slowly smiling.
While stroking my red copper hair, she whispered with a thin and quiet voice.

“I pray that you will find happiness.”

Mother’s smile was trembling as she said that.
There was a fleeting smile on her pale face, and realizing that the time had come, I lowered my eyes.

*

Mother ‘s funeral was held at the capital.
His Majesty offered flowers and the many nobles followed suit, the grave was surrounded in flowers that my mother liked.

I didn’t know but perhaps my mother was very loved.
Many people mourned her early death.
Many people were in despair over the fleeting life of such a beautiful person.
Even His Majesty who I thought wasn’t as affectionate towards family relationships, had a mournful expression.

I only looked on like it was someone else’s ordeal, silently fulfilling my role as the chief mourner.
The voices and tears of people who visited one after another flowed through my ears.
Even though only a single life had been lost, all these tears were shed―――this fact placed a sort of pressure down upon my head.

To tell the truth, I do not remember much about the funeral.

However, I do remember a little bit.
Atlas approached me when I was praying at my mother’s grave alongside father.
The letter he handed over along with words of comfort, were from my brother.

I really don’t remember why I did such a thing.
I don’t even remember what I said.

But before I noticed, I was burning the letter from my brother and was unable to read its contents.
I think that father, who was looking at it by my side said something and laughed, but I do not remember what.
……I didn’t want to remember anything, I can remember that I strongly thought that.

And then, after that day, father disappeared.


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