Chapter 120: Farewell
The sky of Tarmine was clear when we returned from the Demon King’s Castle. The evil that covered Exfolia disappeared after Seiya defeated Artemaeus.
There were many soldiers in the royal palace, seemingly waiting for us to speak.
「…Ryuguuin Seiya has defeated the Demon King Artemaeus. 」
John Dae declared those words with an austere complexion. The soldiers remained silent for a moment, and then, they shouted with joyfulness.
「The hero has defeated the Demon King! 」
「Exfolia has been saved! 」
My heart was filled with loud cheers and endless praise. The soldiers, who were making a fuss, became quiet abruptly. I noticed that Queen Carmilla walked with an escort soldier. She bowed deeply to Seiya, and said thank you. Then, she held my hand.
「All of you did really well. 」
The smiling Queen looked around when she noticed a missing person.
「Where is Kiriko? 」
「Kiri is… 」
…Artemaeus’ corpse, whose magic power had been lost, became dust and Kiriko disappeared, leaving only the flower pendant that I gave her once. I wept and cried for a long time without stopping in the Demon King’s Castle. I thought that I had no more tears, but my eyes became teary once again when the Queen asked me about her. The Queen hugged me then.
「So, that’s what happened. It must’ve been painful. 」
I forgot that I was a goddess, and I wept on the chest of my mother from my previous life.
Afterwards, a feast was held in the gardens of the royal palace. The people of Tarmine put aside their ranks, and enjoyed each other’s company in the feast. A palace maid recommended me to drink some wine. I accepted it even though I never drank alcohol.
「Hey. Give me more, please… 」
「Ah, excuse me goddess. That’s your sixth cup, isn’t that right? It’s better to slow down from now on…」
「Shut up!! Don’t you dare tell me to stop!! Bring me the whole barrel!! 」
「What!? You sound like an old man!! 」
I felt bad for remembering Kiriko, so that’s why this wine felt like a cure. My legs were wobbling. It seemed that Seiya and John Dae were talking nearby. I listened to their conversation with a dazzling head.
「So, in the end, you did it all by yourself, huh. I learnt the special sword skill from the Goddess of War, but it was for nothing. It feels like I wasted my time back then.」
「Hmm. There will be many opportunities for you to use it in the future. 」
「Well, you’ve got a point. We have the impending reconstruction plan under way. We need to check various places of the kingdom in order to handle the remnants of the Demon King’s Army. There’s a lot of work to be done starting tomorrow.」
John Dae spoke while looking at the soldiers frolicking in the distance.
「Despite the hard work, over time, Exfolia will eventually recover. 」
「And, over time, you’re gonna get worse and worse. 」
「Damn you!! You’re so unfriendly!! 」
Shortly after yelling to Seiya, John Dae looked down.
「I wonder how an undead like me is allowed to survive this way. I think this outcome should’ve been different, you know. “I wish I had died instead of Kiriko”, these thoughts have been in my mind since then…」
“John Dae. You mustn’t say those words.”…I thought so, while listening to their conversation.
「Yeah. You’re correct. That scenario would definitely be better.」
Seiya completely ignored it. No…No! It wasn’t supposed to be like this…!
Seiya continued his conversation with John Dae, who held his head down.
「More importantly, what are you going to do? While I’m here, do you want me to transfer your soul to a skeleton body?」
「Ah, no. I have an attachment to this body. It is fine like this. 」
「Is that so. Okay, then I shall give you this. 」
Seiya gave John Dae a small wooden box. I noticed that a button was in the middle of that box.
「What’s this? 」
「It’s an explosive detonator loaded into the earth snakes that are wrapped around your body. If your brain gets eroded by the undead phenomena, and you think that you aren’t going to have your rational consciousness back, then press this button to die.」
「Ah, ah, I see. So, that’s your type of twisted kindness. Well, I thank you for that.」
「I don’t need your thanks. By the way, I gave the Queen a spare detonator, in case you lose your mind before pressing the button.」
Seiya pointed to the Queen drinking wine in the distance. When Seiya showed John Dae’s detonator, the Queen took out her detonator from somewhere under her clothes, and lifted it up while laughing.
「I have it! 」
Then, the soldiers and the palace maids around us took out their detonators one after another.
「We have one too!! 」
「Me too!! 」
「I got one as well!! 」
Seiya told a speechless John Dae the following words.
「As a precaution, I gave a couple of detonators to some trusted soldiers and palace maids.」
「Hey, why did you give those detonators to such people!? What if they press the button by accident!?」
When I saw that John Dae freaked out…
A laugh leaked from my mouth. John Dae, who noticed my presence, came to me alone.
「C’mon, that hero is really…! 」
「Well, that’s just the way Seiya behaves. So, it’s all right for us to ignore some of his ridiculous remarks, don’t you agree?」
「Maybe, yes but…I’ll be really okay? I’m not going to suddenly die, am I? 」
「It’s going to be okay. We’re talking about Seiya after all. I think there’s a lengthy procedure to go until those boxes get detonated. Don’t you think so?」
「Ah! Yes! Now that you mention it, that’s probably correct!」
After we laughed slightly, John Dae stared attentively at my face and whispered.
「…Aren’t you going to tell the Queen about that story? 」
Of course, I was Princess Tiana in my previous life. I saw the Queen talking happily with the soldiers at the distance.
「Aria spoke to me about this before. The reason why reborn people have no memories of their previous lives is simple. We forget everything of our past so that we can start anew and live our new lives. I believe that’s the right thing to do.」
「Ah. But, I won’t forget, okay? I won’t forget the Queen and you John Dae…And, of course, Kiri as well. Still, I don’t think I should tell the Queen that I was Princess Tiana.」
「Is…that so. 」
I glared at John Dae, who had a sunken face.
「By the way, John Dae! Can you stop talking to me with such formal speech? Somehow, it feels weird and strange!」
「Ah, well. But, it’s hard for me to switch it now upon learning the truth! 」
I smiled wickedly at John Dae, who kept waving his hands at me.
「You see. I never told you this info before…John Dae. A fish-man bashed you during the Enlistment Test of the Beast Emperor’s corps, am I right?」
「Ehh!! How do you know that!? 」
「Actually, I was that fish-man. 」
After being silent for a while…
「You…You shitty goddesssssssssss!! 」
John Dae looked furious at me. I ran away from John Dae while laughing aloud.
「…Lista. We’re going now if you’re ready. 」
Seiya spoke to me when the sun started to set.
「Are you going already? I wished that you stayed here a little bit longer… 」
The Queen showed me a sad face. The feast was going to continue overnight, and I thought that it was okay to spend the whole night in Tarmine. Nonetheless, Seiya wanted to return early. Now that he had defeated the Demon King, Seiya probably thought that it didn’t make any sense to remain in Exfolia. Actually, to tell the truth, I felt that Seiya stayed in the feast for a few hours because he might had taken into account my feelings. After all, I felt utterly depressed and sad that Kiriko was gone forever.
The Queen smiled when I told her that we would return one day.
「Well…In fact, I don’t feel that lonely anymore. 」
She pointed to the borders of the Tarmine Kingdom. On the far side, near the city walls, I could see the drunk Great Tarte.
「Because now, Tarmine has a guardian goddess. 」
「Ahah…But Seiya said that she wasn’t that useful to being with. 」
Nevertheless, after watching the Great Tarte for a short moment, Queen Carmilla spoke as if she felt nostalgic.
「Somehow, I feel a connection with her. Someone always leaves a doll behind.」
In my previous life, I gave the Queen a handmade doll when I was young. Unfortunately, the Grand Lion destroyed that doll…
「So, you gave me a bigger doll this time. 」
The Queen laughed. Maybe the Queen knew about everything…Somehow, I felt that way.
She came close to me and hugged me tightly.
「Please, come back to Tarmine…Anytime is fine… 」
I left the Queen and opened the portal. Seiya and I dived through the portal towards the God’s realm.
I looked back on my way to the portal, and I saw the smiling Queen, alongside with John Dae, the soldiers, and far beyond, the Great Tarte, who waved at us innocently.
As soon as Seiya and I arrived at the plaza of the God’s realm…
Aria rushed on my direction. Adenela and Celseus were in the surroundings as well. In addition, I saw the faces of other goddesses who never came down to the plaza of the God’s realm. I saw Rusti, the Goddess of Change, and Nephitet, the Goddess of Seclusion.
When I raised my thumb in silence, the feedback was similar to the one we received in Tarmine. Just like the soldiers who celebrated our victory, the gods praised Seiya and me.
Meanwhile, Adenela touched my shoulder.
「Li…Lista. You…You are now part of…of the top goddess’ league.」
「Eh! Top goddess? Me, you say? 」
「Of course, Lista! You saved a SS-rank difficulty world after all! 」
It didn’t feel real to me even though Aria reaffirmed it. To be honest, Exfolia’s rescue quest was completed 100% by Seiya’s power. I was just by his side.
Celseus showed me a smile since I looked rather awkward for not being able to rejoice openly.
「Even so, I’m glad the world was saved! Kiriko and John Dae must be thrilled, right? 」
「…Celseus. You see… 」
I remained silent for a brief moment. Then, I changed my mind, and smiled with a happy expression on my face.
「You’re right! Both of them are very happy! 」
「I see! I hope they’ll come to work with me one day! 」
「Yes. One day, surely… 」
「I must wash Kiriko’s apron first before they come here! 」
I looked at Celseus with tears when he took Kiriko’s apron to the kitchen. That apron won’t be worn again. Yes, never again.
After that, I headed towards the Great Goddess Isister’s room on my own. I went to report about the successful rescue of the world Exfolia.
When I walked into the room, the Great Goddess Isister stared at me with a strange look on her face.
「Listarte. Thank you for saving Exfolia, the SS-rank difficulty world. Moreover…」
The Great Goddess Isister bowed deeply to me.
「Please forgive me. I’ve been hiding the truth from you for a very long time.」
I shook my head with a smile on my lips.
「Even Seiya fell down unconscious during the battle with Ceremonic because he knew the truth. Between saving the world and saving Kiriko…I think I wouldn’t be able to stand it if I knew the truth beforehand. And the results remained unchanged. Therefore…it’s fine now.」
I tried to leave the room when I bowed in respect. However, the Great Goddess Isister spoke to me before I left.
「Are you leaving already? 」
「Listarte. You know… 」
The Great Goddess Isister, who was capable of predicting the near future, was able to read my future actions. Still, I spoke with confidence.
「Because I am the goddess in charge of Ryuguuin Seiya. 」
When I left the Great Goddess Isister’s room, I noticed that Seiya was leaning against the wall of the aisle.
「Lista. Open the portal. We have to return to Exfolia. 」
「Okay, I understand. But, why do you want to return? 」
「I forgot about something irrelevant. I remembered that the old gramps told me to come to the Sage Village once I defeated the Demon King.」
「Ah. Now that you mention about it, that’s right.」
「It’s no big deal. I can go alone. No problem. I’ll be right back. 」
I summoned the portal as usual. I chose the place of arrival a little away from the Sage Village.
Seiya tried to go under the portal. Yet, when he realized that I was going to follow him, he closed the portal’s door.
「Hey. What are you doing? 」
「…I was following you Seiya. 」
「I just said that I was going alone. 」
I stared at Seiya’s face.
「I definitely believe that you didn’t “forget” about it. I bet that you forgot about it on purpose, am I correct? You wanted to leave me in the God’s realm by myself while you went to the Sage Village on your own, isn’t that right?」
I guess I hit the bull’s-eye. Seiya clearly wrinkled between his eyebrows. I laughed proudly.
「Ehhh! I won’t be deceived anymore after what you did to me in Geabrande! 」
「What a troublesome woman. 」
Seiya sighed then.
「Exfolia is safe. For now. There’s a chance that some evil is lurking around. 」
「What kind of evil are you referring to? 」
「…The old gramps at the Sage Village. There’s a high possibility that his identity is actually the evil god.」
「Eh. How do you know that? 」
「The wise man named Immel never existed in the Sage Village. I’ve never heard of him before. In fact, I know all of the deceased villagers after I watched the past repeatedly from Isister’s crystal ball.」
「As expected of you Seiya. 」
「I have my own suspicions. When the Demon King said that his life was “flowing towards the evil god”, he stared at the direction where the Sage Village is located.」
「I see. That makes sense. 」
「The evil god may be acting only as a conscious body in Exfolia. I presume that the evil god intervened through a crystal ball, or maybe into the subject’s spiritual world. These two are the highest possibilities where the evil god could send instructions to the Demon King and the Emperors in Exfolia.」
「And Artemaeus’ death gave the evil god a mighty power… 」
「That’s right. In other words, it’s no longer just a conscious body as before. The evil god could probably kill me or even kill you. The evil god’s abilities are unknown. It’s likely that I’ll die if I engage in a battle with the evil god.」
「So, why are you going? 」
「I have to see it with my own eyes. 」
「Are you ready? 」
After thinking for a while, Seiya finally muttered.
「Not at all. 」
「This isn’t like you Seiya. 」
「But, I won’t know if I don’t the face the evil god directly. 」
「I see. You’re right. I feel the same way… 」
Seiya had a boring expression as usual. I never knew what Seiya was thinking about nor did I knew what to do, but this time, I knew that I had to be by his side.
「You don’t have to come. 」
Even so, I stick behind Seiya. Then, Seiya stared at me.
「Don’t come. 」
「I refuse. 」
「Don’t come. 」
「I refuse. 」
「Do you want me to beat you? 」
「I don’t mind it. 」
「Don’t come. 」
「I refuse. 」
Seiya raised his fist. Still, I didn’t protect my head nor did I close my eyes. Eventually, Seiya gently lowered his raised fist. I smiled at him.
「You helped me, and yet you called me an idiot for countless of times. You liked me and you hated me as well. Sometimes, it was confusing, while other times was clearer…But after all, we shared a lot with one another.」
「It’s a rotten relationship. 」
「Maybe, yes. 」
I showed Kiriko’s flower pendant to Seiya.
「Listen. Do you want me to give this to you? 」
「You did it for Kiriko. It’s yours. 」
「You know what? Kiri was pleased with the toys that you gave me in the God’s realm.」
I spoke with Seiya after he looked shyly away.
「Seiya. Thank you for letting me spend an irreplaceable precious time with Kiriko in the God’s realm.」
After a moment of silence. Seiya finally muttered.
「…Shall we go? 」
I summoned the portal once again. The extraordinarily cautious Seiya didn’t create golems this time. Perhaps, he realized that was it useless to bring golems with him this time.
After diving through the portal, we walked together towards the Sage Village that was visible in the distance. I felt that Seiya’s hand slightly touched my hand unintentionally. As a natural occurrence, I began to hold hands with him as we walked side by side. Seiya tried to shake my hand off his’, but I grabbed his hand tight, and we continued to hold hands.
I felt that we got along very well.
We went to a place where we didn’t know what to expect. Seiya didn’t prepare for this upcoming hurdle, and I thought that I might never return alive…
Still, it wasn’t possible for me to forgive the evil god that played with Kiriko’s fate.
We are approaching the end of Volume 2. I hope you guys have enjoyed this long ride along with us… 2 more chapters to go before we start Volume 3. 😉
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!