12 Years Old: Chapter 56 – Farewell
Editor: Om Athalye & Me3
First published on Ainushi
Author’s note: Warning. This chapter contains cruel depictions.
Thinking back, Gilles really had trouble dealing with his real father.
Or more to the point, he was scared of him. The fact that just coming into contact with him was enough to make him see nightmares, Lord Alfred was someone that he couldn’t deal with.
Gilles slowly steadied me on my feet whilst gazing calmly in Lord Alfred’s direction.
Compared to the past when he confronted him, there was no fear or dismay in his expression. Instead, he had a composed countenance. I even surmised a faint smile dancing on his lips as he gently stroked my head.
On the contrary, I was in a panic, looking alternatively between Lord Alfred and Gilles, wondering whether Gilles would be alright. His Lordship was the same as always, not a fragment of love could be found for his son in his cold gaze.
「Honestly, let’s not have our personal feelings get in the way….. Please don’t interfere」
Those words were not directed to Lord Alfred, but to the people surrounding.
Father had obviously showed up when Lord Alfred had launched his sorcery at me. He thought of apprehending him as soon as he saw an opening. The fact is Father and the guards were watching closely, waiting to make their move.
Comprehending Gilles’ wish, Father gave Gilles a questioning look and with a hardened gaze, Gilles returned it with a solemn nod. Whether he had perceived it or not, Father did nothing but stare at Lord Alfred in silence.
I was only aware that there was a stinging tension that began to linger in the air.
「Don’t call me that. It gives me the creeps」
Extremely uncomfortable with the way Gilles addressed him, Lord Alfred grimaced and spat that out.
Refusing to accept that title, not even in a million years, the cold isolating tone of his voice did not seem to regard Gilles in the slightest. It was as if he never had any expectations for him in the first place.
「Even if you don’t acknowledge me or write me off from the family tree, I’m most definitely your flesh and blood」
His tone was flat, although calm yet unfeeling.
Just by looking at him, I immediately understood Gilles’ words.
Lord Alfred and Gilles were similar. If you multiply the hateful expression in Gilles’ eyes by several years and predict how his facial features would look like, it would be just like Lord Alfred’s right now.
Though their characters were exact opposites, their appearances closely resembled one another.
Even his demeanour when squared off against Lord Alfred was the same as ever.
….. Nevertheless even if he looked calm, I could sense from his voice that he was concealing something, purposefully sounding disinterested. Whether it was anger, sorrow or something else that he was holding back, I couldn’t tell.
All that I can confidently say is that Gilles was antagonising Lord Alfred.
「….. I am grateful to you. You gave me the opportunity to meet Liz-sama」
Whilst muttering those emotional words, Gilles drew me into his arms.
*plop* Snugged tightly in his arms, my face landed on his chest. I felt his arm that was wrapped around my back trembling ever so slightly.
When I glanced up, Gilles was smiling. His love filled gaze immediately narrowed when he looked at Lord Alfred again.
「It is not the Steinberts but Liz-sama whom I had promised to remain by their side for an entire lifetime. I had vowed to protect my most precious person. I will never be someone like you, a foolish man who bids by the beck and call of his master and goes against his own country」
There was no hesitation whatsoever in Gilles’ declaration.
I wonder if Gilles is aware that father and the surrounding people are listening to this… Serving me for an entire lifetime. Those words made me happy but….. It was also a tad bit embarrassing.
Father and His Highness stared in wonder, seeing me in Gilles’ embrace.
Being hugged in close proximity in public view was undoubtedly mortifying. Just saying, even though I scoot over to hug him whenever it’s just the two of us.
「…Alfred Sévéne. I, Gilleraide Sévéne, and as Gilles the valet, will eliminate you」
As soon as he uttered them, Gilles promptly extended his enchantment, invoking his sorcery. It was the very same spell that I felt before,『Air Cutter』.
Although it wasn’t some high powered sorcery worth mentioning, but in Gilles’ hands, it was more potent than any ordinary sorcery. The air blades split the fireballs, like slicing butter at room temperature, into little pieces, the wind blowing the remnants away.
Recreating the effect of the previous attack, Gilles used another spell to pursue him. Rather than a continuous invocation, this one was cast with a slight delay, so that it activated parallelly.
From the spot where the flames had disappeared, clumps of heat went soaring into the air with a rumbling sound.
I wondered if he intended on returning the meaning, by using the same spell on purpose. However, there was a remarkable difference in its power. The size was manyfolds larger than the ones I’ve ever fired before, it was roughly about the size that could swallow a person whole.
I felt slight unease. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I felt that I oughtn’t to mention it so I kept silent, but…..
「Liz-sama… Are you sure you don’t want to leave? Although I’d pull you close to me, it is dangerous over here」
「I’m fine… After all, you’ll protect me, Gilles」
To be honest, I never imagined that Gilles would lose at all. Gilles is my valet and also my master.
「You’re quite good at drawing out my motivations…」
It was such a serious scene and yet, Gilles smiled. It was as if he was showering me with love with that gentle look in his eyes.
Even when Lord Alfred tried to repel the blazing heat he had fired off just before with a mud wall erected from the earth, that smile of his remained the same. Harmonie préétablie, those were the words that came to mind.
It was likely that his defense barrier couldn’t repel it due to the magic consumption it took and the numerous gaps in his defenses.
「Don’t underestimate me」
Openly humiliated, Lord Alfred grinded his teeth and his mud wall extended in a straight line, heading straight towards us within the shortest distance with needle–shaped rocks growing from it.
The compressed mud was shaped like sharp pointed cones. Warped, several of them stuck out from the ground one after another, charging directly at us.
Gilles took one look at it and, without even seeming flustered, raised a similar weapon from the rocks to thwart its course. Given it was the same spell of the same attribute, the strongest type wins.
The needle–shaped rock that Gilles created only made it halfway before being offsetted by the other’s spell. Ah, just as I expected…..
Grasping Gilles’ cuffs, I looked up to see him looking slightly frustrated, his expression as though he had abandoned hope. Even so, he never stopped smiling. It had to be because I was around.
He displayed his disappointment to Lord Alfred without concealing it.
In a flash, the emotions written on Gilles’ face disappeared and he cast『Spread』. From above Lord Alfred’s head and the mud wall, a mass of water fell down in one swoop.
Though Lord Alfred promptly extended his barrier, he didn’t know that it could not stop the force of the water. In a blink of an eye, the mudwall turned to slush.
Although the barrier just barely withstood it, the surroundings had been severely damaged. The mudwall had been brought out from the earth at his feet. The ground had caved in so the water that poured into it gathered up to his knees.
Continuing, Gilles fired『Lightning』at the large pool of water.
Now that the water had gotten muddy, Lord Alfred was petrified being unable to affix his barrier in the slippery mud. This time, there was no way to avoid it; the lightning struck the water.
It was a howling cry. Electrified through the water, Lord Alfred spasmed and fell to his knees.
Struck by the lightning directly, his entire body was carbonized. That it was even possible to do so had to be because Gilles purposefully did it. To an extent, you could say it was compassion like he was going easy on him but on the other hand, it was a ruthless merciless act.
Facing Lord Alfred’s half immersed body as it spasmed repeatedly in the water, Gilles fired off another spell. It’s purpose was to freeze the water.
「….. The reason why you’ve never acknowledged me was because you were terrified of me, weren’t you?」
The moment the nearby pond water froze, Gilles opened his mouth and murmured the convictions he had held deep within him.
With his movements easily sealed, unable to shake off the numbness in his body, his body half trapped in the ice, Lord Alfred could only watch Gilles. There was pure horror swirling in his eyes.
….. Gilles saw through Lord Alfred’s resignation and despair that he had probably sensed that there was no chance for him to overturn the situation.
Even so, Gilles had gone easy on him. Frankly speaking, if he had fired high fire power sorceries at him in rapid succession, his life would have been over. Given his capabilities, it was improbable that he could even withstand three shots.
Gilles’ specialty is precise suppression by means of accelerated deployment and parallel invocation. Even if it was a difficult sorcery invocation, Gilles can invoke it without reservation. If it had been any ordinary guy, firstly, this would be an impossible task for them to pull off.
Although the amount of magic powers he has pales to mine, on closer assessment, Gilles was far stronger than me. Which is probably why Father was interested in him and why he worked at the Magic Institution.
「It’s because you feared my existence that you treated me like I was no one. You detested me. You feared and resented me, all because I possessed something that you didn’t have」
「If you had accepted me, the future would have been different. There might have been a future where I had killed Liz-sama」
The future in which Gilles kills me….. If that were to come to fruition, it’s highly likely that he would have easily killed the resistance within a short span of time. To a degree, it’ll be as quick as twisting a baby’s hand.
Gilles stroked my head gently as I looked on despondently. Though he never uttered the words, “It’ll be alright”, I felt it nevertheless through his actions.
「However, back then, I understood clearly that you and I will never get along. It is impossible for us to turn back now」
With a chilling expression on his beautiful chiseled looks, Gilles looked at Lord Alfred who was frozen still with a cloudy gaze.
If I were to summarize the look he gave in one word, it would be pity.
「..… Rather than be exposed, fired from your job and executed as a traitor, I’ll ease your suffering. That, is the least I can do for you.」
….. Right, the truth is it was impossible to double back. Either way, the moment he had started the rebellion, there was no way for him to evade this situation from happening. The sequence of events was pretty much decided unless someone were to take his place.
Gilles glanced at Father. Solemnly, Father nodded his head, taking Ruby into his arms and covered his eyes.
Though his eyes never left Lord Alfred, Gilles once again held me to his chest, hiding me completely from what’s to come.
His body trembled ever so slightly.
Since I was clinging onto him, I knew the magic powers in Gilles’ body was spreading out. It was slightly unstable however there was no doubt that he was putting together a sorcery.
I buried my face in Gilles’ bosom, embracing him tightly. There’s no going back….. Gilles chose me. Compared to the sentiments between a father and his child, he chose me.
That being the case, even if others were to shun Gilles, I will remain by his side. I will support him.
The wind, whistled.
Been a while since I posted a Happy Life chapter. Sorry to readers who’ve been waiting for this a good while. You know, I somewhat pity Gilles. If he just had the love of his father, he might not have turn down this awfully dark path…
Anyway, this busy bee is going back to her lair to settle more irl work. Sigh~
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