Chapter 102: If You Don’t Give Up…
“No way! Sebas! You brought them here?! Foolish!” Nii-sama said as if he was criticising him, and looked towards the carriage with an intense gaze.
I stopped Nii-sama.
“Niini, Lei wiww thawe care of Lei’sh maththers.” (Niini, Lei will take care of Lei’s matters)
Nii-sama tightly clenched his fist and tightened his lips.
Sebas put me down and called out to the carriage. Then, a woman younger than Sebas and a boy younger but larger than Nii-sama descended timidly from the carriage. They looked at me in surprise and lowered their heads. The boy had his lips tight together, and he bowed his head silently.
Those two are Hannah’s mother and brother.
I searched through the pocket of my Rug Dragon. I hope that it didn’t break when I hit the yellow-eyed Prince. Here it is.
I took out a thin gold necklace, approached the mother, who still had her head down, put it on my hand, and gently held it out.
“I, I bought this for Hannah…”
“Hannah threashured ith.”
The mother reached her trembling hands towards the necklace. I let her take it.
“Hannah noth here anymore. Lei’sh fauwth. Sorry.”
“Ojou-sama, no, it’s not. Hannah was the one who took you. And yet, and still, you came back. Hannah, Hannah is…”
The boy held his mother’s stumped shoulders firmly and looked at me. If Hannah hadn’t been my maid, then she wouldn’t have committed a crime. However, I didn’t look down. I lived with this burden. I nodded without saying anything and turned my back towards them.
“Sebash come bacw withh ush.”
“I can’t go back to Kingdom anymore. I will live here.”
I know. But, I couldn’t help but ask. Sebas’s quiet eyes told me he had no regrets.
“Then, Lei wiww vishith you.”
“Really? Then Sebas is looking forward to that.”
“Ai. Lei wiww come withh Niini.”
“You’re going to take me with you after all?” Niini laughed in resignation and his tension faded away.
I hugged Sebas’s legs and gently let go after I got him to pat my back. I won’t cry anymore.
“Lei wiww vishith.” I said once more and turned my back away from Sebas.
“Lei-sama. Take care.”
“Ai. Sebash thoo,” I replied, and walked away without turning around. Well, I actually only walked a few steps, but the people, who usually teased me, didn’t say anything and I was put into the basket.
“You did well,” Clyde whispered softly as he closed the basket. At least I’m still alive. I can’t sob in front of Hannah’s mother.
I didn’t know that while seeing us off, Hannah’s brother muttered, “She’s such a good kid. Who am I supposed to hate?” or that Sebas had replied, “It’s wrong to hate Lei-sama. The ones to blame are the bad guys. The past won’t return even if you grieve, and you won’t have a future.”
The border was actually really close to Sebel. We had lunch and will enter Kingdom in the afternoon.
The autumn prairie is fun, but my heart shook with mixed feelings.
I want to get home quickly. But, I don’t want to separate from everyone. I want to go back. But…
I should have made up my mind, but it shook and was unsettled just like the withered grass that was blowing in the prairie. The Rug Dragons also must have felt this, because they were restless.
In the midst of this, Bart brought his dragon near my basket.
“Luke-san and Lei, that’s probably the border. There’s a group there.”
Bart is a hunter. His eyes are better than anyone’s. The guards, who hadn’t noticed, made a fuss. Nii-sama looked at Gill, who nodded and asked Bart, “Bart, how many are there?”
“Less than we have.”
“Then, let’s watch and approach slowly.”
That’s what we will do. We nervously proceeded slowly.
“That’s… A person is wearing the same white clothes as Luke. And the people wearing black clothes around him look like guards.”
“What did you say?! Don’t tell me…”
Nii-sama looked at Gill again. Gill also looked at Nii-sama as if he was shocked.
“Just how much did he push himself? He definitely rushed the dragon here. The guards also always have a hard time. Honestly.”
“Lei, it’s probably Otou-sama.”
No way! He came to pick me up even though he didn’t know when we would return?
“Then, we can go quicker.”
We, who were moving at a slow speed, quickened our pace. The group finally came into my view before long.
There was a person who looked nonchalant as if he were at home even though he was in a prairie blown by the wind.
“Seriously? What the heck, he’s sitting in a chair relaxing with his legs crossed,” Bart couldn’t help but utter because Otou-sama looked so relaxed. His long hair was tied in a ponytail like always. His hair was tied so tightly that even the wind in the prairie couldn’t move it.
My voice echoed in the prairie. Otou-sama smiled a little as he remained seated. The dragon didn’t need to reply.
“The guards are likely the Albans private guards. Honestly, when it comes to Otou-sama…” Nii-sama shook his head in amazement. Our group stopped a little before Otou-sama’s. Apparently, this was the border.
Nii-sama gave me permission to get off, and I was taken out of the basket. It would actually be faster and safer if I crossed the border in the basket. But, I wanted to see Otou-sama without being in the basket. Clyde put me down, and I looked forward. Otou-sama was still sitting on the chair.
Honestly. Otou-sama is always like this. He’s actually troubled because he doesn’t know what to do.
I walked briskly. Otou-sama.
“Lei!” Alistair’s voice made me stop. Alistair. Bart and everyone. I turned around.
“Lei.” This time it was Otou-sama. I stopped, and couldn’t move in either direction. What should I do?
“You’re stupid, Lei. I didn’t want to confuse you. Here, this.”
Alistair ran to my side. He crouched down and looked me in the eyes. He held my hand and gave me something.
“You like it, don’t you? There are no more annoying princes who will tell you to stop blowing. Take it with you.”
I put it into the pocket of my Rug Dragon.
“I’ll come visit you.”
“Ai! You thoo, Awishthair.”
“Barth. Miww. Kyaro. Cwyde.”
Everyone came up to me before I noticed.
“We’ll see you off, so go.”
“Ai! I’m off.”
Everyone saw me off with smiles, and I turned towards Otou-sama. I moved forward briskly.
“Ah, she’s still tottering.”
“Oh, yes, briskly. You’re walking briskly.”
*KEE* I continued walking briskly even as the invisible barrier echoed through my body. Then, I stopped.
I reached my hands out. I thought Otou-sama wouldn’t get up, but he quickly did and picked me up.
“Lei! Welcome back.”
“Ai. I’m bacw.”
I smell Otou-sama.
“Now, let’s go home.”
Otou-sama turned around and began walking. Everyone was dumbfounded. The guards weren’t moving.
“Eh, eh, greeth everyone.”
“You don’t need to. We’re heading straight back.”
Otou-sama finally stopped.
“Lei won’th dishappear.”
“You did, didn’t you? You left father,” Otou-sama said childishly.
“Lei won’th dishappear again.”
I definitely won’t disappear again since I decided this myself.
Otou-sama finally hugged me tightly.
“Otou-sama, even I’m amazed.”
“No buts. These people saved Lei. Thank them properly, and then we’ll go home.”
What’s fine? Otou-sama walked back to the border under everyone’s amazed gaze and stared at Bart and Alistair, who were dumbfounded.
“Amazing. It’s such a spectacle to see three Albans at the same time.” Mill’s light-hearted voice resounded. I laughed weirdly. That made everyone calm down.
“Hunters, thank you for helping my daughter. Come visit the royal capital. The Albans will always welcome you.” That was all Otou-sama said before he turned away from everyone without hearing their reply.
“This is the Four Marquises.” That was probably Kyaro. He sounded shocked and impressed.
“No, that’s just an Albans. Or should I say, that’s Dean-dono.”
I didn’t miss the fact that one of the guards had muttered this.
He’s selfish, but this is Otou-sama. I felt relieved and put my head on Otou-sama’s chest. My long journey ends here. I rummaged around the pocket and took out my whistle.
“It’s fun? Then, that’s fine.”
I blew the whistle.
The Rug Dragons cried out in reply from close by and far away.
It was painful.
It was fun.
As long as I don’t give up…
I’m sure we’ll meet again.
“Now, let’s go home.”
Let’s go home now.
Frontier Arc finally finished /o/