Chapter 309: Straying Off Course
We’ll head to Faubley after Firo and the others rest for a night.
Right now, we’re staying in an Inn of the neighboring country. Raphtalia left to bathe in the public bath.
Tomorrow, will we have a meeting with the Seven Stars?
There may only be one there, but we still need to go in protest.
The King seems to have taken a liking to me, and he should have at least enough political power to gather the Seven Star Heroes.
The Queen already sent a quick messenger, so they might be gathered by the time we get there.
The message also contained a form of my request.
He keeps sending over those disgusting videos one after the other, so I don’t think he’ll deny me so easily.
But… really, who is the culprit?
That one hero who defeated Kirin probably knows of the others.
I also can’t deny the possibility of someone like Glass being behind the curtain. Whatever the case, we can’t let the guy who tried to take out the entire continental army get away unharmed.
Even so… I need to think of Firo, and our other beasts of burden’s stamina.
Even though we’re only staying a night, I feel that all of my time is being wasted. I’m irritated.
Another emotion seems to have emerged in my heart. When I’m left alone in a room, I get depressed for some reason.
I guess this is what exists between the me who only plots for revenge, and the me who can do nothing but cry tears of grief.
“What’s up, Aniki?”
Fohl finished his shopping, and enters the room.
… He’s Atlas’s brother.
We’ve slept in the same bed before, though.
“Are you going to sleep yet?” (Naofumi)
“… Let’s see. I’m a bit tired, so I guess I’ll turn in early.” (Fohl)
“I see. Fohl? Do you like me?” (Naofumi)
Fohl raises a strange voice as he stares at me.
… I guess he doesn’t.
I mean, I’m the one who couldn’t protect his precious sister.
“… I don’t hate you. I promised myself that I would never hate the one Atlas loved.” (Fohl)
“Then… sleep here.” (Naofumi)
I point to a bed.
“Really, what’s with you?” (Fohl)
Fohl makes a grandiose gesture of spreading himself over the bed.
I gently sat down on the bed Fohl was lying on, and put my hand on his back.
Ah, he smells kinda like Atlas… I think.
Fohl suddenly jumps up.
“W-what the hell do you think you’re doing?” (Fohl)
“I thought I would sleep with you.” (Naofumi)
For some reason, I see that girl’s facial features in his.
It’s makes me feel as if all that never happened.
“You bastard! Wait!” (Fohl)
Fohl’s face turns pale, and he runs out of the room.
I’m not sure if she returned earlier, but Sadina comes into the room with a Sake bottle in one hand.
“I heard from Fohl-chan… drink this, and regain a bit of your spirit.” (Sadina)
“I’m sorry… Alcohol just doesn’t do it for me.” (Naofumi)
“Ah, that’s right…” (Sadina)
Before her, others have come to try and cheer me up.
I guess it doesn’t matter what world you’re in. People will offer alcohol to you when you’re depressed.
If I was able to get drunk, I think that I would be drinking right now.
“Then will you do something fun with Onee-san?” (Sadina)
“… That’s right.” (Naofumi)
Atlas said she wanted me to answer to those that said they loved me…
Then I need to answer this woman who always said she harbored feelings for me.
“Sadina, do you like me?” (Naofumi)
“Oh my, you’re asking quite an embarrassing thing. That’s right. I love Naofumi-chan.” (Sadina)
She wriggles her body and acts embarrassed as she answers.
“I see… then change to human form, take off your loincloth, and lie there.” (Naofumi)
“… Naofumi-chan?” (Sadina)
Sadina tilts her head, as she sits on the bed.
“Hey, human form, I said.” (Naofumi)
“Ah, yes.” (Sadina)
Sadina dispels her transformation, and changes to her Demi-Human form.
I lower my pant, grab her shoulders, unfasten her loincloth, and…
“Wait, Naofumi-chan, STOP!” (Sadina)
I was pushed away.
“Naofumi-chan, what were you trying to do right now?” (Sadina)
“I mean, wasn’t I doing what you wanted me to do?” (Naofumi)
“… Wait a second, Naofumi-chan. Sit down there.” (Sadina)
“If I sit on the ground, we can’t do it, you know.” (Naofumi)
“That’s fine, just sit down already!” (Sadina)
I feel that Sadina’s mood is getting worse.
“I’ll ask first, but you know there’s things like atmosphere and foreplay and a lot of other things you have to take care of first, right?” (Sadina)
“Yes, I know. And?” (Naofumi)
I mean, I’ve dabbled my hands in plenty of Eroge.
There’s no way I don’t know.
Honestly, I know a lot of amazing things Sadina’s probably nevere even heard of.
… Not that I’m trying to brag.
“Even so, you mechanically try to do it with me. Raphtalia-chan’s going to get angry.” (Sadina)
“… Perhaps. But Atlas wished that I answer to you.” (Naofumi)
“You see, Naofumi-chan, everyone loves you a lot. But I don’t think you should go around doing that.” (Sadina)
“… Really?” (Naofumi)
She gives a serious answer for once.
With someone like Sadina scolding me about my actions, I was able to regain some composure, and understand what she was trying to say.
“Naofumi-chan, I’m the same. If you wish to have fun with me, and love me, then I’ll accept. If you find things too sad to bear, then I’ll comfort you as a woman. But the current you doesn’t seem to have any of those feelings. Though I don’t think you’ll go after Raphtalia because of your promise with me.” (Sadina)
“Um… I think I’ll wait to give Raphtalia an answer.” (Naofumi)
“Hmm… It seems you have some resolution there. Good. But I’m different, right? It seems you tried to do something to Fohl-chan, but you understand what I’m saying right?” (Sadina)
“Naofumi-chan, right now, you were thinking of nothing but making children with me. Isn’t there something a little different with Raphtalia?” (Sadina)
“… Different? Fohl is… well…” (Naofumi)
Was what Atlas wished for… something else?
Didn’t she want the children of the Hero of the Shield… or something?
Though I think I kinda understand.
I don’t have any homosexual tendencies, but Fohl seems to have slight leanings, so I tried to push him a bit.
“You see, Naofumi-chan.” (Sadina)
Sadina smiles, and puts pressure on me as she grasps both of my shoulders.
I think she’s acting similar to Raphtalia.
They aren’t related by blood, but I guess she really is a sort of sister.
“Having children is supposed to be the result of love; the result, and not the goal. The journey is important. I think I would enjoy it if me and Naofumi-chan loved each other. Perhaps if you wanted me to comfort you, I wouldn’t mind if I got pregnant as a result.” (Sadina)
“Fumu… now that you mention it, that makes sense.” (Naofumi)
“Even if you hate it, you think that as long as you can make the other party happy, you’ll offer yourself, right now, right?” (Sadina)
“… Yeah.” (Naofumi)
“Truthfully… I’m quite sure Atlas-chan didn’t wish for something like that. So calm yourself.” (Sadina)
My head clears from her words.
Even when I haven’t found my enemy, I strayed off path to make sure not to leave any regrets.
I lost myself in the ideal of… ‘As long as Sadina wishes for it.’
… That’s right. Sadina’s a human too, for argument’s sake. Just as my heart wasn’t in it, as long as her heart wasn’t prepared, and she didn’t ask for it, it was wrong of me to make a move.
I’m more than well aware that rape is a crime.
I was going to pledge myself to her, but as I was not the usual me, she refused. I wonder what the real me wants.
Then… what… should I do?
“I understand that you’ll take responsibility, but if I accepted the current Naofumi-chan, the future Naofumi-chan would only have more regrets. That’s why Onee-san will reject you for now.” (Sadina)
“… I see.” (Naofumi)
“I’ll warn Raphtalia-chan and the other children, so think over what you have to do again. Make sure you reflect on trying to do things to me indiscriminately.” (Sadina)
By Sadina’s warning, my thoughts began wandering once more.
Right now, I’m no good… I understand that well.
Sadina warned me out of worry for my future.
So I don’t have any regrets, I can’t lay hands on those that love me.
Or the me of the future will repent.
I regretted not doing it, so she directed harsh words at me.
I could have given Atlas more happiness, and yet…
Instead of regretting not doing it, it’s better to do it and regret… no, that’s no good, right?
“Naofumi-chan, it may be impossible for you to smile now. But slowly get back on your feet…. And once you have the resolve to live trying to find out Atlas’s intentions, with me, Raphtalia, or the village children… Even Fohl. You can give us your answer. Your current determination is no good at all. I love you, so being embraced by you like this would disgrace me as a woman.” (Sadina)
She gently strokes my face, and leaves the room.
… I am… Where am I right now?
Taking responsibility… resolve…
Various thoughts spin around my head.
I am… what exactly do I want to do?
Kill the one who did this to Atlas, defeat the wave, and bring peace to the world… Then what?
I have no intentions of being buried in this world.
That feeling hasn’t changed from the start
This is probably what Sadina was warning me about.
With such half-assed resolve, what’s more, with the intention of impregnating my partner… I’m scum. I didn’t even wish for it myself.
Something like that won’t make anyone happy.
She didn’t want me to be treated like a breeding horse, I think.
When I realize just how much she was thinking about me, my mood worsens again.
Something was wrong with me back there. There’s no way Fohl is homo…
And I can never replace Atlas.
Though I’d like to think they didn’t have any twisted sibling love.
“… Yeah, that’s right.” (Naofumi)
I can’t impose my selfishness on the villagers.
I have to live up to the expectations of those that believe in me.
But for that, I have to have the resolve to carry their lives on my back.
Now, Atlas is lending me her power as my shield.
Then when I return to my world… what’ll happen to her?
I don’t know, but… I guess that would be good bye.
My thoughts of going back home, and my thoughts of staying with everyone, and answering to their feelings, intersect.
Without me reaching an answer, the night came and went.