Translated and Edited by: ynlucca.
-san: A polite suffix, but not excessively formal.
-kun: A common suffix among friends and younger people.
-chan: A common suffix among people you’re close with, mostly used for feminine nicknames and girls, since it’s cutesy and childlike.
-senpai: A common suffix and noun used to address or refer to one’s older or more senior colleagues in a school, workplace, dojo, or sports club.
It was after school the next day.
“She didn’t show up in the end…” I muttered to myself, dejected.
I’d dragged my heavy body to school, hoping to meet Serina there, but it didn’t happen. Even though I endured Miriya’s torture and came without complaining… Ugh.
Oh well, I guess it’s only natural. They said Serina didn’t have much longer to live, and that she needed urgent hospitalization. Fortunately, I confirmed with Miriya yesterday that the curse had been successfully lifted, so that took a load off my back.
Still, I can’t help feeling restless until I finally see her face.
Seemingly fed up with my behavior, Miriya, who had come up all the way to my seat, sighed as she stared down at me.
“Sigh… Master, you’ve been restless all day. If you’re so concerned, why don’t you just go to the hospital?”
“Well, yeah, that’s true…”
“Oh. ‘I’m worried about that whole confession thing, and it’s embarrassing to go see her myself. Maybe she didn’t like me in the first place!’ — Is that it?”
“You don’t need to say it out loud…” I pouted.
Miriya really did have a good understanding of me. As much as I hated to admit it, she was right. In any case, there are some things I just can’t do at school.
“…I should go. Are you coming with?”
With that said, I dialed Serina’s father and headed to her place. Good thing I already knew his number.
Serina was hospitalized at the largest facility in the prefecture, two stations away from school. As soon as I walked in, I saw she was sitting down on a spacious bed in a private room, already awake. Relief washed over me as I saw she was doing well.
“Thank you for coming all the way here. I was surprised at what my Dad told me.”
“Well, I was pretty darn worried. Glad to see you’re looking well.”
“The doctor was surprised, too! Oh, but it seems I’ll be fine now. The detailed exams are ongoing, but I think I’ll be discharged soon. And this is all thanks to you, Izuru-kun.”
“…It really isn’t.”
Serina beamed as she looked into my eyes. Her unwavering gaze made me feel guilty… Her healing really isn’t thanks to me, as it was all my fault in the first place.
I hesitated to tell her the truth and, by proxy, to come to visit her. Still, I had to make up my mind. I just needed to check one last thing before.
—Miriya, can you confirm something?
Using telepathy, I’d asked Miriya to check Serina’s status. She stood next to me as she did. It was better to be safe than sorry.
—There are no signs of it coming back, right?
—Yeah. It’s completely gone. There shouldn’t be any issues.
I ended the telepathic conversation and walked up to Serina’s side. As I got closer, I could see her expression clearly, and I noticed a single tear streaming down her cheek.
“I’m so, so glad we could meet again…!”
Without daring to wipe her tears, she just locked her eyes with mine and held my hand.
“Izuru-kun… I thought it was impossible. They said I had an unknown illness, and said I’d only last up to six months…”
“Yeah… I’m really glad you’re okay.”
“Did… you do something for me?” She hit the nail in the head.
For a second, I hesitated. The moment had finally arrived, and it was time to reveal everything. With her hand tightly squeezed in mine, I finally said, “…I promised. I’ll tell you everything.”
“Yeah… It’s okay, no matter how long it takes. You’ve given me all the time in the world, so I’ll listen to every little thing you wish to tell me, Izuru-kun,” her smile was weak, yet filled with happiness. “Because you saved me.”
I sat down in the chair next to the bed and turned to Miriya.
“Well, I’ve… I’ve been far, far away from here. You don’t have to believe me but know I mean every word. I met Miriya there… Ugh, I don’t know where to begin with this, really…”
“Take it slow. I’ll believe in every word you say. You’re my hero, after all.”
“—! Hero, huh…”
Her choice of words elicited something in me. You know, I wanted to be a hero to Leishia, too. As soon as that short sword plunged into her chest, she disappeared, along with the blood and the weapon used. She probably went to that wicked goddess.
Still… For the first time in my life, I prayed to the one I hated, hoping Leishia’s next life would be one filled with happiness. And hey, I know it’s not my place to say this since I’m the one who took everything away from her, but I can’t help it. I just want her to have a good life.
And if… If we ever meet again, then at that time—
Serina peered into my face, confused at the lonely tears streaming down my cheeks.
Ah, I’m really pathetic… Despite being the one who sowed these seeds, I still wish to erase all these memories that gnaw at my heart, the ones I don’t want to remember!
Swirling inside me were nothing but these memories, oh-so-vivid in my mind’s eye and unchanging.
Regardless, I still need to convey it all properly. Convey that it wasn’t all that bad. Despite that other world being so cruel to me, I had still gained a lot. I found people I didn’t, and don’t want to let go of.
So, I’ll put everything into words. Every harsh experience, everything I’ve been bottling up inside my feeble heart… And even about the irreplaceable people I’d met there.
And all my sins along with them.
“Serina,” I called her by her first name.
I wiped away these laden tears and finally looked her in the eye.
“There is another world out there, and—”
She listened to every beat of my story without looking away once. And every time I couldn’t convey what I wanted to say properly, Miriya helped me. In the end, I told her of my bittersweet days of adventure, which seemed all too unreal, and too much like a dream. One I wished was just that.
T/N: The next one is the Epilogue. I’ll post it soon with a small review of my own!
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