…Riku Barusak won´t live to the next winter.
By the words that couldn´t be ignored, Riku stopped her feet.
But she didn´t look back. From the mood that was telling the severity of the situation and Shibira´s tone of voice, the case could only be described by the word “serious”. In other words, it was something that Shibira had seen in the future. Letting out a small sigh, while still looking at the door, Riku asked Shibira.
“…Is that so? Incidentally, could there be any way to avoid this?”
“I don´t know. But if I were to say the way that would certainly solve this problem, it would be leaving the Demon Lord army.”
From Shibira´s answer, Riku burst out with laugher. She knew that Shibira was seriously answering her question. But that´s exactly why there was no way he wouldn´t start laughing.
After still having her smile on for a while, she opened the door. At the other side of the door, there was a corridor with a floor made of stone. Because it was nighttime, the moonlight coming from the window was shining at the dimly dark floor. Riku slowly looked back. The room was filled with the mild light and Shibira looked like she was being basked in light. Once again, Shibira extended her hand to Riku.
“If you have nowhere to go, I can shelter you in this shrine. Once all of this cool down, you can dye your hair and be introduced to the society. I can give you my hand on that.”
That hand was filled with good will. But Riku shook her head. While lightly raising her right hand, she went off to the dark corridor.
“Thank you. But I need to decline. …Let´s go, second lieutenant Vrusto.”
“Hey, wait a sec!”
Riku started walking through the corridor. Each of her footsteps echoed.
“…If you go straight through this corridor, you should arrive at the exit. May you have good fortune, Riku Barusak.”
Both the sound of Vrusto hurriedly following after her and Shibira´s calming voice resounded from behind. Just like Shibira had said, as she narrowed her eyes, she noticed there was a wooden door at the end of corridor.
“Ojou-chan, is it really fine?”
After catching up to Riku, Vrusto whispered to her. Vrusto had a weird expression on his face. To Vrusto´s weird expression, Riku leaned her head to the side.
“What is really fine?”
“Ah, what to say… Wouldn´t it be better to do as Shibira told you? If you leave the Demon Lord army, the thing about you being able to extend your lifespan. Your death doesn´t seem like it will be because of illness or something like that.”
“Ah, you were talking about that.”
Riku loosened her lips.
If she were to leave the Demon Lord army, she would be able to get away from the future she dies. In other words, her death that would happen within this year would most likely be at war. What kind of place, how, who was the person who killed her; such things she didn´t know. All she knew was that if the future Shibira had seen became true, then Riku would die at battle.
“Of course, I don´t plan on dying.”
“But if you keep in the Demon Lord army…”
“Don´t make me say the same thing again.”
Riku glared at Vrusto. A force that was as if he had a halberd pointed right next to his neck went through his body.
“I will fight for captain until my last moment. Besides… There is no way I can throw everything away for a future that might not really happen.”
As she had said that, they arrived at the front of the old wooden gate.
The future Shibira had talked about wasn´t anything more than a future that had high chances of coming true in the end. Maybe by leaving the Demon Lord army, she would be able to get away from the future she dies, but if she were to do the, the conviction of Riku Barusak would die. Rather than living the rest of her life by killing her own conviction, she would rather stick with it to the end.
Perhaps this was only idealistic. Perhaps the path which she would live on was the correct choice. But even if her body was still living, if her heart was dead, there would be no meaning to it. Only this conviction she wouldn´t let anyone decide for her.
“I will decide my own future.”
After closing her mouth tight, she pushed the wooden gate.
The house of the lord that governed Derufoi city was a very big house.
With many unused rooms, the effort to keep all of them clean was very regrettable. But no matter which influential person´s residence it was, there would always be a dirty room.
An underground room full of cells locked by a key would be the most usual example. Inside the place filled with the stench and with many torture instruments and skeletons around, Charlotte was lying at the floor. She still wasn´t subjected to torture, but soon enough they would start to do it so that she would blurt out crucial information of the Demon Lord army.
“This disgrace… There is no way I can accept that.”
Charlotte was biting her lips.
Her older brother, who was an influential figure for being the demon lord, was suddenly sealed away, and without knowing about anything, she became the demon lord substitute. Sitting at the throne her older brother was sitting a few days ago and giving orders to his subordinates felt very uncomfortable.
Getting used to the position of demon lord substitute, for these two hundred years she had been preparing for the unsealing of her brother… She had been killing off her feelings and working for the sake of the Demon Lord army. Of course, sometimes she would take a breather, but this was all there was to it. She was always aiming to be what one would expect of someone that was the younger sister of the demon lord. The first time she went against it… The result was that.
It was different from the forced gentleness of her subordinates… The gentleness that boy approached her with was just as if it was of her beloved older brother. She was embarrassed that she had fallen in love with the boy even if it was a bit. Because of that, many of the elite of the Demon Lord army were killed.
“…This is a punishment.”
It was a punishment that felt out of reality. Tears were flowing off her eyes. The moment the pearl like tear that was flowing through her cheek fell to the ground…
“Sorry, I got a bit late on coming to save you.”
With a clatter, the gate of the cell opened. Charlotte´s eyes were wide-open. At the other side of the gate, the spiritualist boy that had been gentle to her was there. Showing a wry smile, the boy rushed over to Charlotte.
“What are you doing!?”
“It took much effort to calm down Cellia. But as expected… I think killing you is wrong.”
The silver haired boy untied the rope binding her without hesitations. And then, he gently lifted Charlotte, who had been sitting at the floor, into his arms. Because of the words overflowing with gentleness, Charlotte trembled.
“Why… You, you are a spiritualist, aren´t you?”
Charlotte asked him while sobbing.
Something such as a spiritualist saving a demon was completely unheard of. In fact, all of her escorts were all… Were all exterminated by Cellia Buryuuser. Also many other demons were killed by other spiritualists. Her brother was sealed only because they couldn´t kill him. There was no way a spiritualist would be gentle to a demon. It was obvious there was something behind the scenes.
But the silver haired boy said with a gentle voice.
“Yes… I´m a spiritualist. But I don´t see you as a wicked demon.”
These words went straight to her heart.
They were words that were gentle on all points and weren´t two-faced. Charlotte felt her cheeks, and then her whole body warm up. Her heart that had been filled with his affection was dominating her.
“I… I want to change the current state of the relation of demons and spiritualists. That´s why…”
I want you to lend me your strength. I want you to live.
The moment these words left the boy´s lips, a thundering sound shook the ground.
Yes, it was the sound of Kurumi self-exploding underground.
But while Charlotte obviously didn´t know about that, nor did the boy. Clearly, both of them were surprised by the sudden thundering sound and tremor.
“Wh-what was that!?”
“Eh, earthquake? Was there earthquakes in this world? Even though there should have been no way for an earthquake to happen at this timing!!”
The boy´s face crumbled.
Charlotte was staring at the boy puzzled. Looking at how the boy was panicking at the unexpected event made one want to laugh. Even though she had been thinking he was the type of person that would always be completely calm, she had ended up seeing another side of him.
It was very different to the attitude of a saint… It was obviously a reaction more suited to his age.
“Wh-why are you laughing?”
“Although I was thinking you were like a kind saint before, right now I can only think of you as nothing more than a human.”
With Charlotte laughing at him, his face suddenly became red. Of course, this would be because of his embarrassment. It was as if there was steam raising from his face to the point of even making a sound.
“Th-that´s rude. I am a human to begin with.”
“That´s right. Humans are humans. And demons are demons.”
“Y-yes, that´s right. But, for it to be segregated like that… I really don´t think it is good.”
Clearing his throat as if to start his talk again, the boy held Charlotte´s hands. And then, as if he had chose his words, he spoke.
“Please. I´m a human, and you are a demon, but… If you cooperate with me, we can make a world everyone can smile. Please, lend me your strength!!”
Charlotte showed a wry smile at his childish ideal.
If it was the words of the saint like boy from a few moments ago, perhaps she would have agreed to him without saying anything. But the child like boy´s immature words didn´t make her heart move.
A world where everyone can smile was indeed fabulous. It was the world she and her elder brother would always dream of. But once she sat down at the throne, she noticed something. Reality and ideals are different. In order to accomplish something, somebody would need to be hurt. In the end, all that was no more than an ideal she would dream of when she was a kid.
“If it was that easy to build a world of peace, nobody would be suffering by now.”*1
Bluntly refusing him, she declared.
1.What is that ->そう簡単に平和な世界が築けたら、誰も苦労はせんよ<- ;-; No matter how much I looked for it, I couldn´t find D:. Because I´m not really sure what this is supposed to mean, I didn´t put anything there, otherwise, it would take too long-.-