The reality was always harsh. Seeing things you didn’t want to see. Hearing things you didn’t want to hear.
“I can’t ever see my family again either… I felt so hopeless when I first realized it.”
“So…you really are just like me.”
“Yeah. Maybe a little different, but we’re in the same situation now.”
One day, we were suddenly called to this world. Without warning or a choice. And the unfamiliar world had been full of trials for us.
But we both found someone to love…well, he found people who loved him, anyway.
“I wanted to see my family. But I couldn’t…. It was those times that Daniela supported me. A person I love who also loves me. Surely, there is someone like that in your life?”
“Someone I love…who loves me…”
Matsumoto had saved many lives. There was a time when I felt like he was getting too excited, just because he was in a different world. But it wasn’t everyone who was able to save people and create such tight bonds. It was only possible because he had a kind personality.
“And I decided to live for her. You’ll have to decide what to live for too.”
He treated me with respect, just because I was older. But he had come here first and was much stronger. And yet, here we were. I wanted to help him and Manager. But I didn’t know if there was anything that I could do. All I could do was show them their options. However, as the one who had made the decision, I was the only one who could give them that.
“You know, living as a Hero and for those here that you love, is not a betrayal of those back home.”
I told him that it was wrong to feel guilt over it. But maybe this was all very presumptuous of me. Maybe it was wrong to give up. And yet, I still wanted them to live without looking back.
□ □ □ □
After he had calmed down a little, Rachel took Matsumoto back to Lambrusen.
“Mister Asagi… I’m going to live here with the others. I don’t know if that’s the right decision, but I have to start from there.”
He said as he smiled weakly. His eyes were still puffy, but but there was determination there.
He was strong after all. And he was only getting stronger. He had already changed from just a few minutes ago. Having a strong heart was something you needed to live. It was a hard trick for me to learn. But he was different…maybe it was because he was a Hero.
As for Manager, she cried into Daniela until she fell asleep from exhaustion. Neither I or Daniela could do anything. And so we just sat there. Manager had her head on Daniela’s lap, but she opened her eyes before too long.
“…Ah…so I’m still here…”
It was as if she had hoped to wake up and find that it had all been a dream.
“Reality… Ah… Oh, well.”
“It cannot be helped?”
“You will have to continue on. You are here. In this world.”
Manager wiped at her eyes, which were just as puffy as Matsumoto’s. Then she grinned.
For better or worse, she was quick to adapt. That was important for survival. It was a good thing.
It was an important trick to living.