Chapter 188: Thorns hidden in the Skull
…Will you formally contribute to the Heraldic Order? Or will you maintain your current vague position? Or perhaps will you live as the knight who serves the elf Eldith?
Largud Ann said those questions, as if she expected me to make a choice. She spoke with a quivering voice, which was unusual.
I felt that she hoped that I would make her desired choice. A choice that would benefit her saint. Ann left the room after saying those words. Apparently, I was still under confinement.
I put my elbows on the table again, remaining quiet in the chilly room. I closed my eyes naturally, and my thoughts ran around in my skull.
Quite unexpected. It seemed that they wanted me to make a choice now. I felt slight confused. But I realized that my luxury was over.
What luxury? Well, until now, my choice had been to reach out, scratch my fingers, and force myself to pick something up. It was not a deliberate choice. Rather, it was the only way for me to survive. To force myself in order to move forward. Now, I had to make a real choice. It was something I was not used to, so I didn’t know what to do.
Did I belong to the Heraldic religion? Did I serve Ghazalia? Or would I end up continuing my status as I was now? To be honest, none of them was bad in any way.
The Heraldic religion, the so-called Heraldic Order, could provide some good treatment, and if I went to Ghazalia, they would give me the status of a knight. That was certainly one of my goals. However, I felt conflict as to whether it was okay for me to receive such a thing.
I was sure other people would not feel troubled with this sort of thing.
The hero who resembled the sun, Helot Stanley, would devote his choices to his justice and goodwill. Caria would be a follower of power, and Filaret would be able to choose her most important role based on wisdom. Would Eldith make a good choice for the sake of Ghazalia? Yes, she would.
So what was I? What the hell was I here for?
Was it to hold Ariene’s hand?
Maybe I was here to be on par with the heroes who were only the object of my admiration.
Did I come to the past to avoid walking the road of the old journey again?
The more I thought about it, the more my head hurt. What should have been clear was now vague. I felt my mind hazy. I didn’t even know why I was so worried about this.
『That’s not bad either. Anyway, doing and feeling nothing is not living. Why repeat the same things all over again? Having desires and anguish is what makes you people human. That’s right. Conflicts and choices are the real thrills of the living!』
It was “him” again. I felt cramps in my eyebrows.
The one who spoke to me now was the shadow that once gave me a choice. His presence shook my entire body and eyelids. His silhouette came to my mind with a distorted smile just like the time when he first appeared before me.
But, of course, it was just my imagination. After all, if someone were to appear as a consultant, it would be best if Ariene were the one who appeared in my mind.
『How disrespectful. However, my presence is brief since all the actors have already set foot on the stage. Which means my role is running out.』
The black figure was just my imagination, but it spoke words that did not make any sense. How strange. I would understand the words more clearly, if something appeared in my mind by my own volition.
Ah, no. Wait a second. Did this shadow look like this even in the past? I couldn’t understand most of the shadow’s spoken words back then. Then, in a sense, my mind was recreating that shadow quite brilliantly.
Even if it were an imagination created by my mind, if it could give a little revelation to the troubled lamb, then I would not ask for anything else.
『That’s no good. It will be useless. It’s far more amusing to leave the choice to someone instead of providing an escape from reality. Some would call that escape as salvation. Some would not even care for that matter. But I am the one who denied a fixed path.』
The shadow said something plausible. Did I act like a fool for requesting an answer?
By the way, I remembered in my head that some guy said something similar in the past. At that time, I was not sure what kind of intention that scoundrel had towards me. However. At that time, I was impressed to hear words that resembled those of a teacher.
『That’s why I can only talk about one thing. This is an opportunity for you. One of the crossroads has been given to you. You can no longer turn back. Why? Because you’ve left too many footprints behind…』
…And you, fortunately, have the right to choose. Therefore, it’s not bad for you to worry about it and twist the thoughts inside your head in order to select your desired choice.
The shadow disappeared, leaving behind the words that it first threw at me. I couldn’t even feel its proper presence behind my eyelids, disappearing quickly just as it appeared.
After all, the shadow did not provide any solution. Well, of course it wouldn’t. Why was I worried about a crappy black skit in the form of a shadow? It felt futile in a way.
Still, it was a relief. It reminded me of the time when my heart made a choice.
Ahh. Air went down my throat. Somehow, the cold air was comfortable now. A white mist leaked from my lips.
I hated. Yes, I hated myself sometimes. After all, it seemed that some people could not change that quickly. This ingrained habit and nature did not change even after my appearance became much younger.
I thought that I tightened up the servility in myself, but it seemed that I didn’t erase it properly from my body yet.
Some thoughts emerged in my chest. Was it okay for someone like me to belong officially to an organization? If people looked at me with excessive expectation, I may not be able to live up to that expectation. I could end up being discouraged and lose everything in the process.
I felt this refusal because I didn’t want to be lost. It frightened me. That’s right. It seemed that these foolish emotions still tamed my heart.
Stupid. I felt so stupid with myself. I’ve already decided on my purpose, have I not?
In order to hold Ariene’s hand. In order to stand side by side with the heroes who were once the object of my admiration. In order to avoid following the path of the old journey. All of them were part of my own choice.
I was here now so that I wouldn’t give up on anything. Then, I’ve already decided on which role to take. I was a little dissatisfied with myself for the fact that it was the illusion of that shadow that reminded me of that resolve.
It’s always great when Lugis realizes his worth and purpose. Let’s hope he continues to thrive 🙂
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