I was quite hungry after that, and so I came here to get some food.
“I see… That was very gallant of you.”
“Not at all. Normal. Normal.”
“No, it was. I am very proud of you Asagi, as my partner.”
It was kind of embarrassing to hear it in such a straightforward way.
“Hehe… I was worried. You seemed very closed off during the past few days.”
“I don’t think I was. I just needed to regain my calm.”
“You can say that, but it was written on your face. You did not look well when you were asleep.”
I had been having nightmares. That battlefield seemed to keep repeating in front of me. I would be lying if I said it hadn’t stressed me out. It had woken me up several times.
But it was all something I was resolved to deal with. And it wasn’t as bad as it might have been. It was all something we had thought out and decided on.
I had decided to do it. So there was no reason I couldn’t deal with it without asking for help. It was something I had to do alone.
And so I didn’t ask Daniela for anything. It was something that would sort itself out with a little time.
And the Imperial Sword Tournament would start soon. I was sure that my mind would be fully distracted when that happened. And then time would… Well, that’s what I was thinking. But Daniela seemed to have sensed what was happening.
“Asagi. Am I so undependable?”
“What are you saying? I don’t think there is a more dependable person in the world.”
“Then…you could rely on me…just a little?”
“You help me more than I even know. I don’t want to take advantage of that.”
My fist clenched around the skewer. It wouldn’t help me at all. Besides, why should someone who kills feel the need to rely so much on another’s kindness?
“…Well, perhaps this party is over.”
I was so surprised by this that I jumped off of the bench.
“This should have been a three-legged race. No matter where we are headed. But I cannot run if my partner rejects me. So, there is nothing to do but disband.”
“I… Daniela, are…are you serious?”
“Of course, I am. Do you think I am the kind of person who would joke about this?”
Her eyes were filled with anger as she stared at me. Why won’t you depend upon me? Why do you keep everything to yourself? Her stare seemed to ask.
“But, Daniela. This…”
“Say another word on it, and it is over.”
I would not let that happen here. I didn’t know what to do. But I didn’t want to part ways with her, and so I sat back down.
“I know what you are thinking. You think that it would be wrong to try and lighten any burden you might bear…”
That was exactly right.
“Basically, you are a foolish bastard trying to play some tragic hero role. So, how does the city look when you are all alone? Do you even see it? I doubt you see anything but yourself. Are you the protagonist on a stage?”
There was not a word I could say.
“It is idiocy. Nothing will come of it. You killed some people. They were sacrificed. It is a lot to deal with the death of one, but there are now many. Do you really have a choice but to rely on others?”
She was both enraged and on the brink of tears as her arms wrapped around me.
“I do not think you will survive like this… That is not something I want to see.”
“Daniela… I’m really fine.”
“It is not just this time. I have heard you in your sleep… You wanted forgiveness! You have become much stronger during our travels together, but your heart has not kept up with your body and experience… You are able to think of things and do them. But you have not always been able to deal with the results. But going forward, there will be many, many more deaths you will have to overcome.”
I slowly caressed her head. At this point, I was the one doing the comforting… No, maybe not.
I hadn’t killed anyone until I came to this world. In this world, it was normal. I knew that I would have to do it one day.
That day did come. I killed the bandits that had attacked the carriage. And then I fought many more after that.
“So, you must allow me to help… I do not want you to deal with it alone.”
She raised her head and our eyes met. It was surprising to me that she had put so much thought into this. And I was sad that I hadn’t realized it.
“Thank you, Daniela…”
“We are two halves of a whole. Share whatever pain you have… We must both feel it, the good and the bad.”
She chuckled as a tear fell from her eye. Through tears and laughter, she was so beautiful that I moved my face closer in order to take it in.
And then she laughed knowingly and moved her face even closer to mine.