Chapter 16 – The country exists for the sake for citizens!
Editor: Momielxai & Puissansa
First Published on Ainushi
Their stares put immense pressure on me.
「My views won’t change…even if the country or the King is gone… I think?」
They both had blank looks on their faces. Uu- how should I put it? If the King dies and the country falls to ruin, my living environment will change, but I myself won’t. I will just live the way I want to. Although if it’s possible, I would prefer to have left the country before that happens.
「Even if the King or the country is gone, the country can probably be rebuilt, though it might not be Riestinne. But even then, I’d still live on. Even if the country changes and my lifestyle changes, I won’t change fundamentally. 」
「Is that how it… is?」
Kei-san asked. The both of them seemed dumbfounded. They loosened their grip on my hand – does that mean that it’s fine for me retract my hands…?
Immediately after I shifted my hand slightly, it was caught again…. I stopped myself from clicking my tongue in a panic. After all, it wouldn’t be good for me to do so.
「It’s not like everyone thinks this way. On the contrary, everyone loves Riestinne. The so-called patriotism or something? The majestic King ruling this country – that is loved by flowers – now thinks for the citizens. It’s definitely something to be proud of. I think it happened about 4 or 5 years ago? This is just what I heard from others, I personally don’t quite know what has changed.
What I said just now are all just my personal opinion. I feel sorry for the King and the people who work hard for the country, but to me, the country doesn’t exist for the sake of the King but for the sake of the citizens.」
「The sake of the citizens?」
Ani-san asked with an excessively bright grin. Kei-san on the other hand coughed violently. What’s wrong? I separated my hand from Ani-san and patted Kei-san’s back. He seemed to be in a lot of pain; even his eyes were teary. Is he alright? As I continued to pat his back, I replied.
「Yeah. It can’t be called a country if only the King exists, right?
You will need merchants, soldiers, farmers, and shepherds…all sorts of people to cooperate and interact with one another to form a country, won’t you? The person who guides them and brings them together is the King.」
Ani-san nodded in agreement while Kei-san seemed to have calmed down. What a relief.
I quietly stood up and approached the table. Touching the tea-set, I willed it to become clean and it instantly did. It’s probably considered purification magic. Magic is really useful. Without pause, I conjured up some hot water and prepared tea, although this time it was the usual black tea instead. As I did, I continued speaking.
「Let me return to the original topic. Even if the King and the country are gone, I’ll still want to protect the people I care about, which includes Kei-san and Ani-san. I want to live on with the people I care about after all.
Conversely, if the King and the country remains, but the people I care about are no longer around, it would be meaningless to me.」
I finished brewing the tea and passed it to the two of them, before nonchalantly sitting on the chair. It would just be a punishment to return back there after all! It must be my imagination that they looked a little unhappy. Like I said, it must be my imagination!
「Then it’d be fine if I was the King, right? Az will protect me.」
Kei-san could not hold back his laughter as he said that, and even Ani-san joined in as well.
「Eh? I can’t do much on my own. But well, I will definitely help out if I see you guys in such a bad state.
Besides, the King has many bodyguards so I’d be of no help even if I’m there. Also, if you were the King, I wouldn’t be able to have tea with you this casually. I don’t want that, it’s terrible!」
It’s enough for them to be transcendentally handsome upper class nobles. That must be the absolute limit!
For a short moment, their faces betrayed a hint of sorrow, but it was quickly replaced by a smile. But I mean, if he was the King, we wouldn’t be able to have tea together, right? Generally speaking…since I am a commoner after all.
「What? Even if I were the King, I would still be happy to have tea with you, you know?」
「That’s right! Please invite me along for tea too.」
They sounded really happy for some reason. Don’t tell me he wants to become the King!? I’ve never met the King but I’ve heard that he is rather handsome. In Koihana, the Prince’s flashback scenes do pop out occasionally, and he had royalty’s blonde hair and blue eyes. As his father, the King should have the same features. Ikemen explode!
Keh. Share some of it with me, please. Aah…
I want to grow taller too! That’s the most important thing!!
Well, for now…
「Well, it’s just until I leave for Tournons. Once I get there, I won’t be able to help you two.」
The two of them fell into silence. Uu- it might be a contradiction, but no matter how important they are to me, I can’t stay here. I can’t be with the people important to me if I don’t stay alive anyway, so my priority now is to search for a way to stay alive.
「You’re going to Tournons no matter what?」
Ani-san murmured softly. Somehow, I felt really guilty. Can you not give me such a sad look?
「Un. If I go to Tournons, I might find out why the magic probing stone didn’t react, too.
I’ve heard that magic can be used freely there, so I can use it without worry. Since I don’t want to go to the academy, I can’t use magic openly in this country. Although I only just found out that using magic is prohibited by law for someone like me.」
Kei-san sighed after hearing what I said. I slipped in a lie though…sorry.
「You don’t want to go to the academy, so you can’t use magic, huh? To not use magic even when you’re hunting magic beasts, you really are thorough.」
「I probably shouldn’t be saying this since I benefited from it…but why did you make it an exception this time?
Ever since you first encountered ani-ue 4 years ago, you have practically been meeting him monthly, right? Does that mean you value him enough to use the magic that you have never used all this time?
I heard that you didn’t use it 4 years ago as well.」
It’s true that I meet Kei-san about once a month, so the total number of times we’ve met should be 24.
This country counts 6 months as a year, although the number of days in a single month is different from how it was in my previous life. While the number of hours in a day and the number of days in a week is the same, one month here consists of 63 days and one year consists of 378 days.
When he finishes his work, or when he has a day off, Kei-san comes over for tea…. Now that I think about it, I’ve never gone over to his place. Nn? I only know his given name – Kei? And not any other details…. nothing at all!? Our first encounter was so astonishing that I didn’t pay attention to anything else. Our every meeting afterwards always ends with me thinking “it’s good that he looks fine now”!! This is unacceptable… Well, if I found out something weird, we might not be able to have tea together.
「That’s purely because I wanted to help the both of you at that time. There’s no need for reasons when it comes to helping out a friend, right?
I would say we are tea-drinking companions, but I really don’t know much about Kei-san, besides his given name. If he doesn’t come to visit me, I would never see him. I’m a little surprised that I’ve only just realized this. But even so, if you were to be targeted again, I will still help you out. Our very first encounter was somehow so shocking that just seeing Kei-san healthy makes me feel relieved. ‘Aah- I’m glad he isn’t hurt this time.’ I was content with just knowing that.」
I unintentionally smiled bitterly as I said so, and Kei-san looked as though he was going to cry.
「And besides, when I saw you covering for Kei-san, even though you were already covered with wounds, I could tell how dedicated you were in protecting him. When I heard you shouting then, I just ended up using magic.」
This time, even Ani-san looked as though he was on the verge of tears. It must have been tough when they were forced into such a bad state from the attacks.
「Is it really fine to expose your ability to use magic? You would regret it if others find out after all, since you have been hiding it so thoroughly all this while. Furthermore, it was for the sake of someone like me, someone you hardly know anything about.」
Kei-san clenched his fist tightly and hung his head down as he spoke with a quavering voice.
「I thought things through even in that situation, you know? I used magic only after careful consideration.
Even if we were to return to that point in time, I would still choose to use magic. That’s why I don’t regret my decision. I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if I had chose to run away without helping you guys. That would truly make me regret it. Had I not used magic, the 3 of us would definitely have died. But, I knew things would be different if I used magic, so I did.」
Kei-san raised his head in shock when he heard my words. Ani-san too, was staring at me. They both looked so glum. I gritted my teeth and scowled.
「I won’t allow that to happen. Having the power to protect what I want to protect yet not doing so! I don’t want to die. I did mention earlier that I would escape if I might have ended up dying. But, I did also say that I will do my best, to my utmost limit. Back then, I judged that we would be able to escape if I used magic. That’s why, I decided to help. I absolutely won’t allow a life that can be saved to be lost. For that, I am willing to brave any consequence.
I want to help you two. I don’t want to see you die. So, I just used the strength I have. I don’t regret it. Even if my secret is exposed, this is more important, so I don’t regret it! That’s why, don’t show me such a sad look!」
Silence descended upon the 3 of us. There was nothing any of us could say.
The one who broke the silence was Kei-san.
「I understand how you feel now. Sorry…for hurting your feelings yet again.
I’m really grateful for how you think of me and for your help.」
Both of them bowed deeply in apology. It’s probably better for me to accept their apologies. I want to accept it, because their actions were brimming with sincerity.