Chapter 31 – With Yorha
“…Have you gotten used to Fezel yet?”
We had gone to the dungeon, the ‘Tank Killer,’ in order to save the S-Rank Party, Reculoma. And a month had now passed since we first headed to the 64th floor.
Under a sky without a single cloud.
Ahh. The question came just as I had yawned slothfully.
“Yes, thanks to you.”
Yorha said as she walked next to me. A satisfied smile appeared on her face, like a blooming flower.
‘…I’ll pass. You can ask Yorha.’
‘…Me too. Ask Yorha to do it.’
Please guide me through Fezel.
I had asked this, the day after we had finished our work on the 64th floor. But Ornest and Clashia gently refused. And so I ended up asking Yorha, who would guide me whenever she had time.
And she happened to have time on this day.
“…Still, those two. In spite of seeming rather coldhearted, they were actually being quite considerate.”
She suddenly changed the subject.
Obviously, she was talking about Ornest and Clashia.
And I had an idea of what she was going to say next.
“While they didn’t say it, I think that they were giving it to me.”
She didn’t say what.
The opportunity to be a guide. The opportunity for the two of us to be together.
Such words flashed in my mind reflexively, but I did not say them out loud.
“And while I might have sounded like I was satisfied by it at the time, to be honest, I wasn’t at all. Ornest and Clashia said they would accept it, if that was your will. But I couldn’t. Not even at the very end.”
And then she added,
“While others don’t seem to think so, you know…I’m the most obstinate in the party.”
“I know that.”
“…Ahaha… Yes, you would. Alec.”
We had been together for six years.
And so she didn’t need to remind me about it.
That she was the most obstinate, and also the most patient.
“And so I wanted us all to be together. It didn’t matter how. As long as it was the four of us acting like fools together. And my feelings haven’t changed since then. Well, they are just my feelings. No matter the reason, I do not want to force anyone.”
…I’m sorry. It’s not really fair to say it like that.
Right next to me, she whispered in such a soft voice that it was barely audible.
“And so, I just want an answer, one more time. Because when we were in the royal capital, I was taking advantage of the fact you were in a weakened state, Alec.”
And then Yorha’s slender right arm reached out towards me.
That was enough for me to guess what she wanted to say.
…She really was conscientious. It was very…
She described it as unfair. But I thought that it was rare for someone to be as honest as her.
And so it made me want to talk without concealing anything as well.
I could not hide anything from someone who was facing me this seriously.
“…To be honest. If I said I had no regrets, then I would be lying.”
Yorha had been considerate enough to wait a month before asking me. And so I had some time to organize my thoughts.
And so I said…
“Still, that doesn’t mean I want to return to being a Court Magician. It’s more due to feelings towards myself. Downhearted and pathetic.”
Anger and regret towards myself, for not being able to accomplish anything.
After all, I had been banished. That was the end. I just could not accept it.
That was why I was answering Yorha like this.
“…And so, I had thought that…regardless of how it would end, I would one day return to Gardana.”
Yorha must have noticed that I spoke in the past tense.
And her eyes narrowed slightly as if puzzled.
“However, the more I thought about it, the less I knew what I should do. To put it bluntly, I wasn’t exactly someone who dreamed of becoming a Court Magician. And so there was a part of me that was willing to move on, after being banished.”
But, I wanted to repay an old debt.
And though I was not as proud as someone like Ornest, there was a part of me that wanted to erase the feelings of irritation towards those nobles, and the reckless crown prince.
It was all scattered.
So scattered that I didn’t know what to choose.
What was the right answer?
“…Hey, what do you think I should do, Yorha?”
I decided to confide in her.
The words that I spilled out of my mouth seemed to surprise her. After blinking a few times, she stared at me.
“…Ah, I’m sorry. You wanted an answer. …My answer is the same. If the four of you will have me, then I want it to be like old times. In the dungeons.”
And then I took her extended hand and squeezed it.
“…Well, we do not allow people to leave.”
“I never heard about that.”
“Well, I just made it up right now. Unlike back at the academy, I’m the leader now. And so I make the rules. Lasting Period has to be with us four. Anything else is impossible.”
She squeezed my hand tightly.
As if to say that she would not let me go again.
“…I’ll remember that.”
“If you forget, I’ll have Ornest chase you to the ends of the world.”
“Now I definitely won’t forget.”
That sounded more terrifying than being chased by a monster.
With that thought in mind, I laughed and let go of her hand.
“…Also, I’m surprised that you confided in me.”
“Well, it was part of the penalty, after all.”
Ornest’s words on the 64th floor suddenly returned.
“We must absolutely honor the penalty, I suppose… I don’t know if I like that, but if it means you will talk to us Alec, then I won’t complain. At the very least, it is better than you keeping it deep within, while turning your back towards us…”
There was a sadness in her eyes, and I didn’t know what to say. And so I averted my gaze from Yorha.
“So. What should you do? Was that it?”
“In that case, maybe we should all just head off to Gardana once.”
She said casually, as if it was nothing significant.
And so it was my turn to look surprised.
“I’m quite sure that Ornest and Clashia will say the same thing.”
‘Well, it’s quite simple then. We’ll go to Gardana and knock those bastards down!!’
‘…This is why I hate hasty idiots. Regardless, if we are going, then it will have to be all three of us.’
While they weren’t here, I could easily imagine what those two would say.
And before I knew it, I was grinning.
“You confided in me like this, Alec. And I think that this is the answer.”
I could not say anything in reply to that.
“I think that if it really was something you didn’t care about anymore, you wouldn’t have asked me about it, Alec.”
Eventually, I thrust my right hand into my pants pocket.
The sound of the bracelet, the Artifact that Loki gave me, and something else that was metallic.
I took it out of my pocket. A pendant with a crest on it.
“…What is that?”
“It is kind of like a form of identification for Court Magicians. As it was all so sudden, I had forgotten about it.”
By the time I realized that I had forgotten to return it, I had already left Gardana.
But even if it was identification, they would have already been notified of my banishment.
And so this pendant had lost its power already.
…However, I was not able to throw it away.
I couldn’t quite explain the reason just yet, but I couldn’t do it.
“…Well, surely I could not be blamed for saying a word or two to them while returning this.”
Perhaps it was because I could use this reason, the returning of the pendant, to visit the royal castle.
Somewhere, deep down, I must have thought about it.
“Alright then. Let’s talk to the others and decide on the day to head out towards Gardana.”
…But I couldn’t get the others involved in my personal affairs.
The words flashed in my mind briefly, but I brushed them aside.
I had promised Ornest to not keep my troubles to myself.
“It would make things a lot easier if they were both inside of the guild, but I doubt it will be so convenient.”
Yorha muttered, as she started to walk briskly towards the guild that was in front of us.
Even from a short distance away, I could tell that the guild was a little different from usual.
It strange. It was too quiet.
There was malice in the air. The smell of danger.
And what was most strange, was that Reviel, the Guild Master, was standing in front of it.
We then reached the guild, and just as Yorha was about to enter the building, she was stopped by Reviel.
And then he turned to me, as if I too was not allowed to enter it yet.
“…Damn, you are hard to find. But you’re finally back. Hey, Alec. There is a visitor here to see you.”
His voice was filled with exhaustion, and his words caught me off guard.
“Aye. He is waiting inside. But I’ll just tell you now, this is one visitor that will do you no good to see.”
Bonus chapter courtesy of Al. Thank you so much!!
A Court Magician A Court Magician Who Was Focused On Supportive Magic Because His Allies Were Too Weak Aims To Become The Strongest After Being Banished Aims To Become The Strongest After Being Banished Who Was Focused On Supportive Magic Because His Allies Were Too Weak