Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 7 (Part 1)
Luca confessed to me, and then we had sex. Yet, on the next day when we left the hotel, we returned to our usual lives. He was a prince who was always noticed by the people around him, while I was someone with the dark attribute, who couldn’t even expose his hair in public. Our positions in society would never let us walk side-by-side. But, it was still a little painful to see the sad expression on his face when we parted.
However, when I met Luca once more at the Adventurers’ Guild before I dove into the dungeons, he smiled at me happily and hugged me just like usual, so I breathed a sigh of relief in my heart.
In the game, the protagonists and Zagan had an encounter in the 5th city dungeon. They found the star fragment first, and what’s more, everyone except the Protagonist and Noel escaped beforehand using the magic circle.
If Noel’s favourability points at this point were above the minimum required value, and the player had triggered all the events needed for her capture, this would trigger an individual event.
Zagan would try to kill the remaining two. Noel would introduce herself chivalrously like a knight, and would engage Zagan.
“I am Noel Brady. Murderer Zagan! You shall fall to my sword here! ”
“Brady, you say? …Pft, hahahaha! Brady, you say. Hahahahahaha!!”
“Wh-What? Why are you laughing like that! ”
“Hahaha! Why do you think? Fu, haha. You certainly resemble that man. For you to be his daughter, it sure is a small world. If I torture you to death, your parents will surely be in utter despair. Ahh, how thrilling. For me to be able to exact revenge on those shitty bastards like this!”
“You bastard, why do you want to… D-Don’t tell me, you were the one who tried to kill my mother in the past!?”
“Well, you tell me. Pft, hahaha. …Then, shall we enjoy to our fullest? Noel Brady.”
Enraged by his words, Noel crossed swords with him, but was not able to scratch him. And just like that, Noel would be transferred out due to the will of the dungeon. Left behind, the protagonist would fight Zagan next as he vowed to protect Noel.
And just like that, 14 days had gone by since I began the dungeon attack. When I finally arrived at the deepest part of the dungeon, Luca and the others, who had already defeated the boss, conversed as they held the star fragment in their hands. When they heard the sound of the door slammed shut, they turned to look at me.
“Zagan! I see you made it too.”
When he saw me, Luca smiled happily like always. The heroines did not assume a fighting stance this time either. They had received quite the drub last time, and I heard that Noel had snapped at them too. They must have reached some sort of understanding after that.
Nina and Miranda glared at me, Bennett averted his eyes, while Cindy and Camilla looked on with curiosity. And then there was Noel, who gazed at me with sparkling eyes.
Luca entrusted the star fragment with Camilla and urged her to go ahead, and then rushed down the altar.
“I guess we beat you to it this time. Fifth time’s the charm, huh?”
“You’re right. …Well, I have to praise you for this time.”
“Fufu, you’re tsundere as ever.”
I wasn’t a tsundere, it was just that when the other party was Luca, I didn’t feel like praising. If it were Noel, I could have easily praised her – she came here while the other heroines withdrew using the magic circle. Why did this situation turn out like a Noel event?
“I apologize for my late introduction. I am called Noel Brady. I have great respect for Zagan-dono’s 1 ability, for being able to reach the S-Rank in a mere few years.
Even though Luca should have proceeded with his event with her, she ended up introducing herself. …Was it because I was different from the original Zagan?
“Is it because of this hair of mine? Even though I was born with vast mana, if I don’t do anything with it, it’s like casting pearls before swine.”
“Certainly, that is the case. However, if you don’t have the heart to fight against incredibly strong enemies and the strong will to win, you won’t be able to reach the S rank. You truly are a splendid adventurer.”
“I’ll gladly accept your praise. …Noel. Are you a knight? ”
“Yes but I am still an apprentice though.”
When I came to think of it, I wondered why she chose the path of becoming a knight. Since my mana didn’t go on a rampage, my mother should have been healthy.
In the game, my mother would be left crippled, and furthermore, cursed, and even high-grade potions would not have been able to cure her. That’s why, in order to catch and apprehend the perpetrator, Noel chose to become a knight. Her parents did not tell her that she had a brother with the dark attribute and the truth about her injuries, so if you did not go through the individual Noel events, she wouldn’t know anything until the end.
“Why did you decide to become a knight? I do not mean to be rude, but being unable to use offensive magic and being a woman, you can’t hope for much rise in ranks, can you? ”
“It is just as Zagan-sama says. However, my father is the vice-commander of the Mage Order in the Capital and my brother also had a lot of mana. It is true that I cannot use offensive magic. However, I can also fight with a blade, and can also heal any of my friends who are injured. I want to fight for the Brady family and for the people, so that I can take my brother’s place, even if only a little. …Because I am sure my brother would have done the same.”
“…Is he dead? ”
“No. Ah…uhm. To the outside world, he supposedly died of illness, but the truth is that he too is someone with the dark attribute, just like Zagan-dono. That’s why he couldn’t stay at home, and left when I was still young. Ten years have already passed since this.”
“I see. So even if he is still alive, he might be involved in some kind of wrongdoing.”
“That is not true! My brother was extremely kind! ”
I was a little surprised to see her suddenly snap because she had always been kind to me all this while.
“For those with the dark attribute, this kingdom is a hell filled with malice. Do you know what kind of agony it is to live through that torment? There’s no way you would because you aren’t of the dark attribute.”
“That…is… But, still, despite being of the dark attribute, you are still living an honest life! ”
“Me? Honest? Don’t make me laugh. I can easily kill humans, it’s just that I don’t feel the need to. That includes your friends. If your brother was still alive, he too must detest humans and must be thinking of destroying this kingdom. Wouldn’t it be better for you if he were dead? ”
Noel made a hurt expression. But she quickly turned to give me a sharp glare. I looked down to those eyes as I hoped to catch a glimpse of my cold-heartedness in them.
I didn’t think it was possible, but did she suspect that I was her brother?
Even though I said that he may already be dead, for some reason she didn’t argue with me about it. She might have thought that since I was honest, that her brother was too. But no matter how much she suspects, I would never admit it. 2
Since she continued to glare at me, I too returned the stare single-mindedly. As I did so, Luca wrapped his arm around my waist and then we parted from Noel.
“Both of you, cut it out, will you? Look, Noel, it’s time for us to teleport out of the dungeon. You go on ahead and meet up with the others.”
Noel’s body glowed bright and she disappeared in a flash.
With her gone, I let out a sigh of relief. I didn’t expect to have a conversation with her, and it was quite nerve-wracking. It tired me more than battling monsters. Luca smiled bitterly, as if he could hear my thoughts.
“I’m sorry about Noel. She didn’t have bad intentions. She just didn’t want someone to destroy her cherished memories from the past.”
“I know that. Even I know that I said too much. However, it is better for her to get rid of such naive thoughts. It’s for her own good.”
He brought his face close and whispered into my ears. My heartbeats grew louder and I broke out in cold sweat.
“Yeah, maybe you’re right. But Noel loves her brother a lot, and no matter how much you disapprove of it, it’s not going to do much. As long as the truth is not clear, she will not listen to anything anyone says and will argue with you. And even if reality is cruel for her, isn’t it fine to dream a little? —We don’t even know if she’ll ever know the truth.”
What was the meaning of this? Why did you purposely say those words to me?
My heart thumped loudly, but I feigned composure and looked at him. He smiled. And it wasn’t his usual gentle smile.
“Zagan said it before, right? That no matter how much you rebuked your sister, she still visited you in the basement – you read her picture books many times. Noel too, had picture books read to her by her brother many times. Moreover, her brother shares the same birthday as you, July 8th, and if he was alive, he should be 23 years, just like Zagan.”
Noel didn’t remember that her brother had black hair, but she remembered the things I had done for her. Come to think of it, she had said it a while back. That her brother was kind.
Did she really talk about this memory to Luca? It may have been natural for her to share it with a childhood friend, but I wish she had kept it to herself. No, it was my fault in the first place. I shouldn’t have talked about my sister to Luca.
Luca had asked me before, when my birthday was and I had told him, but I didn’t think he would know when Noel’s brother’s birthday was. He might have learnt that from my father. My father was Luca’s magic instructor, so there was a high chance he had spoken about his son’s birthday. He gave me presents every year.
“I intend to wait and watch. Since it isn’t a question I can bring up.”
As I stayed silent, not knowing how to respond, Luca’s body too began to glow. And he disappeared in front of my eyes.
It was only a few minutes after him that I transferred and returned to the hall. When I looked around, I saw that there were still many dungeon challengers that transferred to this point. Luca had already left. I was relieved that he hadn’t waited.
Hasr: Shoutout to Patrons Jennifer, Christina, Truc and Elizabeth!