Chapter 107: A Form of Love
Two hours had passed since then. The practice became serious and turned into a sort of a freak battle. The reckless Seiya kept screaming at the cautious Seiya to put more heart into the fighting poses.
In the midst of this intense practice, I noticed that Kiriko didn’t stand next to John Dae.
「Hey, John Dae. Where’s Kiri? 」
「Ah, Kiriko, you ask. Earlier, Cleo grabbed her hand and took her to his inn.」
「Wait a second! What did you say? You should’ve been looking after her, you know! Kiri is still a child!」
「You weren’t even watching her as well! 」
I left the two Seiyas and headed towards the inn. I didn’t feel that Cleo was dangerous, but I was worried that he could bully her for being a machine. After all, he implied that she was disgusting in yesterday’s exchange.
I found Gerstein at the main counter of his inn. He told me that Cleo was at a tent behind his house.
I went to the backyard and opened the large entrance of the said tent.
「…Kiri, are you there? 」
「Ah, yes! I’m here! 」
When I entered the tent, I saw that Cleo and Kiriko were sitting side by side. Cleo was kneading some clay and his hands were full of mud. His mother, Millie, was also nearby, and the shelves behind them were lined up with various types of soil pottery.
「Eh? What are you doing? 」
「He’s making pottery! 」
Kiriko spoke happily. Millie approached me and whispered in secret.
「Cleo was depressed by the events that happened yesterday. So, I told him to teach Miss Kiri how to make pottery.」
「Ah, is that so! 」
Instead of bullying, Cleo was getting along well with Kiriko. I see. I thought that he was a cheeky boy at first…But, he was an innocent child after all.
「Even so, why pottery? Is it a hobby for children around here? 」
Then, Millie smirked at my questions.
「The people of Fulwaana are grateful to the nature. We cherish everything that this earth gives to us…Therefore pottery making is a flourishing practice around here.」
Without using a potter’s wheel, Cleo kneaded the clay with his hands and tried to make small pots. He showed his confidence to Kiriko when he finished.
「Just like this. Got it? Now you try it. 」
Kiriko received the clay from Cleo and tried to knead it. However, it seemed that her experience didn’t go well. Cleo was somehow shocked.
「You’re clumsy even though you are a machine… 」
「I…I’m sorry. 」
「Look. Just do it this way. 」
「Ah, I see! 」
…Hmm! Somehow, he looked like an older brother!
I felt like smiling when I saw Cleo holding Kiriko’s hand to knead the clay. All right. Millie was also with them. I didn’t see any problem nor threat.
Suddenly, I noticed a large plate of decorated pottery in the tent. On that large plate, there was a picture of warriors fighting against a scorpion-like monster.
「Excuse me, Millie. Are these people, perhaps… 」
「Yes. It’s Lord Seiya’s party. Seiya visited Fulwaana one year ago and defeated the monster “King Scorpion” that was devouring our land. That picture depicts what happened during that time. We engraved it on the pottery plate in order to remember it.」
Millie spoke with serious eyes.
「At that time, I was watching the battle of Lord Seiya up close. It was a fierce and intense battle between Lord Seiya’s party and the King Scorpion. Lord Seiya managed to win the battle, even though his abdomen was stabbed by the King Scorpion’s tail.」
「Ehh!! He was stabbed in the abdomen!? 」
「The other members of his party were also poisoned, paralyzed and sleep-deprived.」
「He…He really tried to challenge a strong opponent even though his level was lower!! This really sounded like something that a reckless Seiya would do!!」
I was amazed at the large gap between the reckless Seiya and the cautious Seiya. Yet, Millie laughed gently.
「Actually, looking at it now, that battle was probably too much for Lord Seiya’s party. Even so, for us, the people of Fulwaana, Lord Seiya is a person we respect dearly. He is a hero that works hard in order to overcome obstacles that are stronger than his own power.」
「Yeah. Both of them are extreme on their very respective personalities. I think if we could add those two together and divide them in half, we’d probably get the reasonable Seiya…」
After talking to Millie, I decided to head back to our Seiya. I left Kiriko in the tent, because she looked passionate about making pottery.
In front of the inn, and much to my surprise, the two Seiyas were still exchanging swords.
「The…They’re still practicing…! 」
「Yeah. They continued to practice without any breaks. Actually, the cautious one is all right, but the reckless one seems to have reached his limit. He’s going to collapse.」
As John Dae described, the reckless Seiya was clearly fatigued. He was beyond his limit now. Before long, the reckless Seiya spoke after he realized that he reached the maximum of his physical strength.
「It…It seems that you can use that special technique now. Isn’t that enough? 」
「Not yet. I want to master it. ‘Cause I have to save the world. 」
「I see…Your world hasn’t been saved yet…! 」
Then, the reckless Seiya gritted his teeth.
「Okay. I understand. Let’s go for it until the very end. 」
However, the reckless Seiya pushed himself too hard. Not too long after that, he fell to the ground from exhaustion as if he were a cartoon character!
「He…Hey, are you okay!? 」
I rushed in Seiyas’ direction. While I held the reckless Seiya that fainted to the ground, I scolded the cautious Seiya that didn’t seem to care about his impersonator’s condition.
「Seiya!! You have to adjust yourself!! This Seiya has a much lower status than yours!! 」
The cautious Seiya approached the reckless Seiya, touched his heart, and then, he opened the closed eyelids of his impersonator with his fingers. I thought that he was checking his health state, but…
「After I observed him for a while, I realized that he is truly like the old me…As for our current situation.」
He didn’t worry about the reckless Seiya’s health state. The cautious Seiya was just analyzing his behavior and external appearance. Then, he looked at the cloudy sky outside of this town.
「He said that the sandstorm would go away in two or three days’ time. Until then, our situation remains unchanged. I will continue to observe this town.」
After saying those words, our Seiya walked away by himself.
「Hey, wait a minute!! What should I do to the fallen Seiya!?」
I couldn’t leave the reckless Seiya unconscious on the ground. Therefore, I asked John Dae to help me take him to the inn.
We spoke with Gerstein to rent a room. Afterwards, we put the reckless Seiya on the bed. Then, John Dae left us, leaving only the reckless Seiya and me alone in the room.
As a precaution, I activated my clairvoyance ability to check the status of the reckless Seiya. It startled me when I saw the stats.
HP 3 / 70024
Hey!! He only had 3 HP points!! Was this person dying from excessive practice!?
He probably went over his limit in order to teach our Seiya that special technique. Since he almost died, this reckless Seiya slept the whole day.
Next day at noon. The reckless Seiya finally woke up.
「…Oh my. The Lady Goddess. 」
He saw me sitting on a chair next to his bed. His reaction irritated me.
「You shouldn’t be saying, “Oh my. The Lady Goddess”. You should be thinking about your health. Have you noticed that you pushed yourself too hard?」
Then, he slightly raised the corner of his mouth.
「But, that was amazing, you know. He didn’t want to stop despite mastering the new technique. Actually, I’d be happy to just listen about the details. I feel like we’re the same person, but at the same time, we’re completely different.」
「Ah, yes, somewhat. I know you both very well. You two have many things in common, but on the other hand, you don’t as well.」
「I heard from your hero that the demons forces have destroyed the heavenly world where your gods live. I wonder if that bad experience has been so painful that even changed the personality of your hero…」
It seemed that the reckless Seiya was thinking deeply about the cautious Seiya’s current circumstances. Well, circumstances that were entirely different from those that he spoke about now. Speaking of which.
「Ex…Excuse me! You said that you’ve defeated the Demon King! So, does that mean that the Tarmine Kingdom of your world is safe now?」
「Yes, it’s peaceful now. I’m currently based in Tarmine, and I’ve been watching over the safety of the world. I just visited Fulwaana to inspect their safety. I will return to Tarmine once the sandstorm goes away.」
「Then, does that mean that…Princess Tiana is alive!? 」
「Yeah. Tiana and our child are waiting for me to go home. 」
My heart beat violently.
「The…The unborn baby…was really born!! 」
「Yeah. It hasn’t been long, so my child is still a baby. 」
「A boy? Or a girl? 」
「A girl. 」
「Is she healthy? 」
「She is a very healthy baby…Lady Goddess. Why are you crying?」
The reckless Seiya asked me why I was crying. I didn’t realize that tears had started overflowing from my eyes.
「Ye…Yes. Don’t mind it…But, Seiya. Aren’t you going back to Japan? 」
「Yeah. I protected this world with my own life. So, I decided to stay. 」
I couldn’t stop from crying because of this sensitive conversation. The world of the reckless Seiya. This must’ve been the world that I desired when I was Princess Tiana. No…Even the current me desired the same fate…
…Ahh…How happy would have been if this world was the real world?
The moment I thought so.
「Lista. The flowers next door are red, and the lawn looks blue. 」
I heard a cold voice in the room where the reckless Seiya and I were staying alone!
Ehhhhh!? Whe…Where did that voice come from!?
My heart was throbbing nervously! Then, I noticed that our Seiya was crawling from under the bed of the reckless Seiya!
Why was he under the bed again!? Was this his new place for hiding!?
The moment I screamed when I saw him beneath the bed! *bang* He grabbed my head and hit it against the structure of the bed!
「It hurtsssss!! Why the hell did you do that to me!? 」
「Don’t fall asleep. Come back to reality. 」
After that, the cautious Seiya left the room. I was perplexed for a while. When I finally settled down my feelings, I became extremely angry with him.
「I…I can’t believe it!! That damn stalker!! He’s always lurking underneath the bed of other people!!」
「Are you okay, Lady Goddess? 」
「Yes. Somehow… 」
The reckless Seiya was worried about my wounded head. “I knew it, the reckless Seiya was far more decent than the cautious Seiya”…That was what I really thought to myself.
The next day.
When I woke up in the cave, I noticed that our Seiya was no longer inside. I saw that he was busy doing muscular training, creating new golems, and investigating the town with his earth snakes. C’mon, take a break already!
Today, Kiriko went to the tent to play with Cleo. And, at the counter of the inn, I noticed that John Dae and Gerstein were talking and smiling.
…Oh my. It seemed that John Dae got along well with Gerstein. He was laughing so happily.
I decided just to watch from the sidelines.
「About the two Lord Seiyas, you see. I told the people of this town that they were twins. 」
「That helps. It can be confusing, mainly if we watch them at the same time. 」
Having said that, John Dae moved away from the counter and stared at the outside of the inn. He looked at the people coming and going on the streets like they were having a regular day. He spoke deeply then.
「This is a great town. Tarmine also used to be vibrant in the past. 」
「Oh? Have you not heard that the foreign Tarmine kingdom is still prosperous? People say that a beautiful princess and the hero who saved this world, alongside the wisdom of an excellent queen and her general, are managing the kingdom…」
「Is…Is that so! So, I’m doing well on this parallel world! I’m not undead, and Princess Tiana is still…」
A beautiful woman approached John Dae, who was impressed from the sights that happened on the outside of the inn. She brought a tea set on a tray.
「Actually, this is a crude tea, but please, have some. 」
「Ah! I appreciate your gesture! 」
The woman happily grabbed the teacup and tried to give it to John Dae. However! Before she gave the cup, this woman spilled the tea on John Dae’s face!
It was a terrible and outrageous act! However, I noticed that this woman didn’t have any kind of reflection on her eyes and her expression didn’t change at all!
「Wha…What!! Gerstein!? Who the hell is this woman!? 」
「I…I don’t know! This woman is not from our inn! 」
And then, the woman’s body glimmered with light! Suddenly, the beautiful woman transformed into the cautious Seiya with an armor cloth! Our Seiya spoke to John Dae with a cold tone.
「Don’t get swayed. You’re still a general. Always be vigilant of your surroundings.」
Ehhhh!? He turned into a woman with the art of change just to observe John Dae!?
Afterwards, the cautious Seiya left our side as if nothing much had happened…
「Hey isn’t he the one who’s impersonating some else!? 」
John Dae’s painful feelings. I understood them very well.
I went to see Kiriko and Cleo after John Dae bathed with tea. I saw that our Seiya walked in the opposite direction. Perhaps, he won’t be observing the children creepily. Even so, I felt anxious about it, because we were talking about that cautious Seiya after all! Yeah! Let’s hope he won’t be there!
Today, Cleo and Kiriko kneaded some clay again as Millie watched over them. Kiriko’s pottery making skills had improved. I saw that the desks were lined up with various types of clay materials, such as plates and jars. They were probably drying out.
I asked the two of them who had their hands busy.
「Listen. What are you making now? 」
「We’re going to do decorative pots. I’m doing the “Sun”. 」
「I am doing the “Moon”. 」
「Ahah. Hey, let’s switch them later. 」
Cleo spoke with a wide smile on his face. However, Millie looked at Cleo with a sad complexion.
「The sandstorm surrounding our town is going to dissipate tomorrow. Cleo, keep working on those molds with her until then.」
「Ehh! Then, Kiriko, that means that you’re leaving us! 」
「Ye…Yes. I am on the journey to defeat the Demon King. 」
「Ah, yeah. But, you’re leaving even though we’re finally friends now. 」
「I’m sorry… 」
Millie looked at me.
「It takes a full month to complete the materials made of pottery. Miss Goddess. Would you like to come to this town again once your journey is finished?」
「Yes. I understand. We’ll come again. 」
「Well then, let’s start baking them now. 」
Millie approached a large furnace outside of the tent. Cleo followed his mother Millie.
「Mom! Hurry up and bake Kiriko’s pottery as well! 」
「Yes, yes. 」
I stared warmly at them. Then, Kiriko nodded her head slightly.
「Miss Lista. If the Demon King didn’t rule the world, then would I be granted the wish to have a peaceful life?」
I wished that time could slow down for her to enjoy herself more. However, the moment that Millie opened the lid of the furnace with tools, everybody freaked out.
I saw Seiya’s face inside of the furnace! From there, came out the cautious Seiya wrapped up in flames!
「Whoahhhhhhh!! It’s a monsterrrrrrr!! 」
Millie and Cleo screamed aloud. Both Kiriko and I were speechless from this bizarre occurrence. Our Seiya’s body was all covered in fire. Our Seiya had a serious-looking expression on his face. I slowly opened my mouth.
「Se…Se…Seiya!! Isn’t it hot!? 」
「My body is protected with fire magic. So, it’s just a little hot. 」
「Of course, it’s hot!! 」
While burning, Seiya approached Kiriko.
「Kiriko. We have our world. Don’t wish for something else. 」
「Ye…Yes. I’m sorry… 」
I couldn’t stand this anymore and I yelled at our Seiya.
「Seiya!! Stop observing your comrades one by one so creepily!! 」
「I do it because everyone is being careless. Don’t forget that this town is already under the rule of the Death Emperor.」
「Tha…That was not what I was speaking about!! 」
「The sandstorm will leave tomorrow. We will leave this town at once if we don’t find any abnormality. So, get ready.」
He just said what he wanted to say and walked away immediately.
…It…It felt as if he smashed John Dae, Kiriko and I’s good mood to the ground …!
Cleo nodded angrily.
「I knew it; I really dislike that Lord Seiya…! He “smells” like a true criminal…! 」
I agreed with Cleo’s words. Then, I noticed that Millie was carefully checking out the furnace where Seiya came from. I apologized to Millie on behalf of our cautious Seiya.
「I’m truly sorry. Please don’t mind our criminal…no, our Seiya’s actions. 」
「Ah, it’s okay, it’s okay. It seems that the furnace isn’t broken. 」
「I don’t know what is the real deal of that stalker… 」
I frowned heatedly because of this ridiculousness. Yet, Millie laughed gently.
「For example, some people use their favorite pottery in their daily lives, while others keep them in a cupboard so that they won’t break.」
「When you come to like something, there are people who express their love honestly, while others will watch silently from a distance. When I saw the behavior of that Lord Seiya, I thought that his observance of you was a form of his love.」
「No…No, Millie. I don’t think that’s a form of love. Actually, he’s been observing us so that we won’t give him any trouble.」
Still, Millie kept smiling gently at me.
Then, the morning of our departure day.
While I woke up, and moved my right foot forward…
「It hurtsssssssss!! 」
I felt extreme pain! When I looked down, I saw that an earth snake bit my leg!
「Wha…What the hell!? 」
Then, the earth snake opened its mouth and uttered Seiya’s voice.
「It’s morning. Get up, Lista. 」
Apparently, it was an earth snake mobile phone, however…
「This is an absurd wake-up call!! 」
「Just get ready. I found an enemy’s shadow outside of this town. 」
「An…An enemy’s shadow!? Huh!? Hello!? Are you there!? Hello!?…That bastard!!」
Anyway, I immediately changed my clothes and jumped out of the room.
Time to find out what is going on in this town!
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!