Chapter 36: The waiting reality
She had the ability to judge a character.
“You are Andy Smithson”
“Doctor……I heard from Hilda-san and Selenium. ……You helped me with Selenium’s torrent disease and my half-death state, didn’t you?”
“……That will be so”
“That……thank you, very much. Since it seems that there is no doubt that fact, I thought that I only have to say thank you”
The half-elf girl talked as if she was embarrassed with her unclear thankful thanks before she stared at me a stinky stranger.
“Apple, why do you stare at me”
“Selenium……because of this person”
“This is the person who loved Apple. He was the kind of person who loved to cry that you didn’t want to leave”
“But it is not normal anymore, like a collar or a female slave……Selenium, it is still strange”
I raise my hand to stop Selenium, who raised her voice.
“It’s certainly not normal. What she is saying isn’t wrong”
“……It isn’t wrong”
I am surprised myself and make a voice that sounds good.
“More than that, she forgot about 15 years or more, which is hard for her”
Apple looked very uneasy. The only Selenium who is supposed to be her best ally is insisting that Apple herself should also be a female slave, declaring her slavery to an unknown man. The best friend of the kind is suddenly saying such a thing in the life of the persecution of the half-elf. If she doesn’t understand anything, she must be feeling desperate now. She needs a friend now.
“Selenium, give me a minute with Apple”
In the hands of selenium is the old collar that was supposed to be returned to Apple. A childish promise that lost its value. ……My life support has lost its meaning so much. The feeling was not representations in that, and feelings which disappeared before it went around in the body when the one like the emotion was born vaguely like having been wrapped in haze suddenly while spinning the word with the care in the mouth while spun and was tasted. I wonder if this kind of feeling is emptiness.
Selenium remained in the hospital, as we go out to the street.
“Is it memory loss in this case?”
When asking Hilda-san, the answer came back frantically.
“I guess it’s nothing like that, even if you sprinkle water on a dry cuisine, everything will return to its original state”
“But perhaps memories may be confusing. She may recall someday or maybe not”
“Can you do something with magic?”
“Magic can’t heal the mind”
Hilda-san’s voice takes on a slightly missing color.
“You can show your memory to a person, you can send a false event, there is a way to brainwash with magic, but there is no way to heal wounds of the heart, memories or the mind. The mind is originally in a different shape, and because it is a delicate thing, putting the hand is not necessarily healing. But it’s not healing, it’s remodeling”
For example, if, from now on, Hida uses magic to make Apple a child under the memory of my memory 15 years ago, it is not healing to Apple. It’s just pressing. Even if memory is broken, Apple’s “now” is only there. If I were this I would compensate from a trustworthy world like Army or Polka that some memories disappeared, but none of the worlds supplements her memory anywhere. The one that connects her with me is only a childish promise from 15 years ago. I realized it again. She didn’t know anything about me, I knew nothing about her, just because the warmth was there and we promised to someday warm up again. …… I am nothing for her. That was somewhat sad. It is probably because Selenium, Dianne, Anzeros, and Laila are supporting my back though it is done in a very small way.
Nonetheless, there is no point in keeping in mind Apple forever. I decided to proceed to finish the next matter.
“Andy, how was it”
Dianne caught up. It seems that we got accommodation. As I´m trying to figure out how I can explain this situation, Hilda-san explains it briefly.
“……Is that so, memory”
“Hilda-san’s story seems not to have better chances”
“It’s possible, but I need to try to the utmost”
Hilda-san says so to us. ……Well, after all, it would be that degree of hope, but if you don’t believe, your head won’t work well.
“In the meantime, here too we could get accommodation for eight people”
“If I can use it……I don’t mind it”
As I say it, it makes me somewhat depressed to explain to my father. ……Ah. A little feeling that my heart moved well. Let’s not soak in the emptiness. I, right now, I’m definitely going to be calm.
“Well, you can have eight guests stay, so it seems that the house is not that big like this one”
“Uh……well honestly, it seems like quiet sleeping and like four people in a room”
“Isn’t it good to use the place where Selenium settled?”
“No, no, it’s hard to recommend because the hunter hut isn’t good at all”
Just a little bit, getting back in a while, we walk towards my parents home which is out of town.
And we arrived there. My parents’ home for three generations. A brick house with a roof and the feeling of clinging to the ground.
“There is a nice smell of immature iron”
Jeanne says with a nod.
“The smell of freshly forged iron is different, this workshop is working properly”
“Ah, that’s what it feels like if you understand”
The sense of dwarves’ minerals is too much to go away, but I often don’t understand, but somehow I understood freshly forged iron.
“My father is probably inside”
I try to knock on the door, I felt somewhat different, as I was trying to put a hand on the doorknob, remembering that my appearance is different so that even Keel didn’t recognize me……The hand is reciprocated several times between the doorknob and the plane of the door. Everyone smiles at such actions of me. Never mind, I put my hand on the doorknob. The doorknob got caught from the other side and a face jumped out from the other side.
I’m surprised. That face is about the height of my chest. That means it is still a child. It is a girl. ……A child!?
I surely should have been an only child. If my father and mother do their best in the gap where I ceased, it will certainly be about this time certainly. No way.
“Uncle, who are you?”
“E……emm, past son……I´m supposed to be”
The child looked up at me with a suspicious look. ……Horn. Two horns. She looks like a human but has ogre´s blood.
“Oka-san, a young uncle came”
I felt unpleasant. And soon there are light footsteps and a woman comes out.
“Emm, aren’t you mistaken something? Or are you already drunk during the daytime?”
I don’t know this woman. It isn’t my mother. ……Wait. It was supposed to be my house, which had been since the old days.
“Who are you?”
“Who are you?”
“I’m Andy Smithson, I should be the son of the house owner here”
“I don’t know”
The woman saw me with eyes as if she saw a suspicious guy.
“Wait a moment, what does that mean?”
“There is no such thing, this isn’t your home. Please leave”
Point blank. ……Wait, it isn’t a joke.
“Hey……I can’t do that, what’s going on?”
“Calm down, Andy……!”
Dianne pulls my shoulder. I can’t go against that power. But my eyes naturally glare at that woman. The woman shut the door and called someone from the inside. And in dozens of seconds, the door opens again. This time a gigantic man appeared.
“Emm, who are you……if you are a customer you have to go to the workshop”
I finally realized that I knew the giant.
“Eh…..ah, is it possible?”
Half-ogre and half-giant, Jackie Rumeiro. He is my father’s disciple. From behind Jackie, the woman still looks intimidates at me.
“If you are persistent, we will call the military police”
“Idiot!! This man is the son of my master! What a rude thing to say!!”
Jackie yells at the woman. Because of his loud voice, some snow of the roof fell down. ……I was a little relieved.
“I am sorry, my wife is strongly alive because my daughter is bullied a bit.”
I see. Human distrust?
“Besides that, where are my father and mother……?”
“……Ah, you don’t know Andy-botchan?”
I had a bad feeling.
Under the moonlight in the night, I am immersed in the hot spring. I had collapsed fully.
Jackie’s story was shocking. My father was killed by a horse-drawn carriage long ago.
My father seems to have increased drinking alcohol since he heard that I was driven into war. Those built in the Trot army were still known to be safe, but I was placed close to the border on the final stage of the war, the war ended in the place where we were assaulted and I was incorporated directly into the corps of Celesta. It seems that I was deemed to be dead without the pursuit of it. So he began drinking until he went out every evening and one day he was stumbling out of town and was run over by a horse-drawn carriage. Residents of Polka, even if they have considerably major injuries or major diseases, they don’t die rarely owing to the miraculous spring. However, it was said that my father was stepped on by the horse and the ribcage was crushed by the wheels, which means instant death. As long as I can think of, it is the worst way to die. Then my mother who lost her son and her husband decides to let go of our house in disappointment. Originally Polka is also easy to be attacked by monsters and there are also sudden attacks from the elves. With one hand you can not keep slowing down. Although there is the miraculous spring, it is a painful land to live by yourself. So it seems that she has now migrated to Folklore in the West. And the house and workshop were entrusted to Jackie-san who was supporting the workshop from the time my father began to drown in alcohol.
If it is known that young master is alive, it would be a good idea to return the home and workshop to you……”
Jackie-san scratched his head while seeming a bit disappointed.
“As you can see, I now have a wife and daughter……. It’s hard for a half-ogre like me to find a house and workplace”
I understand painfully what Jackie-san says. Half is half. It isn’t like half-elves but it does not change with communities that belong to it. The land of relief that I had in my hand. Even though there is an obligation, it won’t be something that I can relinquish. In the end, I couldn’t say anything to Jackie and his family and I could only address them.
When I turned around, there was Selenium. She is naked inside the hot spring bath, of course.
“Here, is the men’s hot water”
“It’s still business hours, it’s not funny if anyone comes in”
Selenium laughed brightly and sat down next to me in the hot water.
“……But, I am Andy-san’s female slave”
“As long as Andy thinks so, I will definitely be your female slave all the time. I’m with you everywhere♪
Selenium seems to have thought about the conversation with Apple. For a while, the two of us looked up at the night sky in the hot spring for men with a bonfire.
“……Selenium, my father is dead”
I tried to speak.
“Didn’t you know Selenium?”
“……I didn’t hear it. We were not exchanging openly with the people from Polka, as it wasn’t so long since Apple was shot”
Speaking of which, she couldn’t have even entered the town until Celesta won. Even when my father died, Selenium wouldn’t have been able to walk through the streets altogether. Besides, she merely pledged slavery to me, there is no obligation to care about my father. Many of the half-elves are spoiled by their parents, even if they can be related to someone, they don’t care about their parents’ generation.
“What kind of dad was he?”
“He was a useless father”
I answered immediately.
“He was weak to alcohol, but he loved it, he didn’t like to calculate difficult things, and when my mother wasn’t there, he always gets angry at my mother. He was also collecting bills and when he got a glimpse of a beautiful older sister, he worked cheaply. There are also 4 times that I know that he escaped from the guarantor of other people’s debts”
“Th, that is……”
“But he was such a good father who helped me when the people of the town said, “Your smart son is in trouble”. “Even at the three studios, the craftsmen who were indebted to my father didn’t try to take back from him as he crafted things by himself”
My father’s nostalgic miserable laughter, so the appearance of the people in the city who are canceling various kinds of “Ginger” come to the night sky.
“Although I don’t know it surely, it was my father who always felt like caring for people and would feel comfortable working for everyone for that reason”
“……He was like Andy-san”
“Ah, I like alcohol but I am not in debts”
“For anyone, you´re desperately trying, to be kind to them and that’s why you care for everyone”
“……I wonder if I´m my dad alike”
Selenium laughed at me.
Wrapped in Selenium’s gentle voice, I´m feeling her warmth and softness. Emotions finally began to return to my chest where the gas seemed to have escaped.
“I didn’t payback anything to my father yet”
Tears come out. Even though I heard the story from Jackie-san, there was a lingering feeling that Apple had a cold attitude, although I was shocked, I didn’t think it was sad at all.
“I……I wanted to be a better son to him. My father, I wanted to tell him. Someday I would like to collaborate with him to smith swords and shields, or take turns every night when I grow up to be an adult and let him think of his grandson’s name because he has the naming rights, or, I wonder if it becomes more effective if I massage his shoulders……I wanted to do it all. I wanted to return the happiness that my father gave me. I was happy to be born in Polka and I wanted to tell him that his son was fine, so I came back here”
I had a running nose in the middle. Tears didn’t stop. I was finally realizing that I had lost my father forever and my tears drip down into the hot spring.
“……It’s fine, Andy-san”
“Your dad, he was a really nice person”
I tried to answer her, but I couldn’t answer. Holding me like that from behind, Selenium begins to talk kindly.
“I, as far as I can remember, my elf mother died……my human father thinks I’m a nuisance. I grew up feeling that there was no place for half-elves. The only one who accepted me was Apple who had not the same whereabouts like me. Our looks are good, so we came closer just in one night. But I understand. I feel like I’m going to stomp the next day. ……Andy was the first to do it”
“Do you know about Trent’s disease?”
I shake my head sideways.
“It’s a sickness where the body gradually becomes like a tree……it is also said to be a kind of curse. I was hit by a poison arrow from the forest elves of Alfilm, which was the origin of the disease”
“Yes. ……the elves over there are overbearing. They don’t acknowledge the existence of their blood that is outside their will. So I was destined to become a tree as it is. ……I thought it was good. I was tired of traveling every day”
“But Apple tried to help me. For me, Apple is like a half-body. But I didn’t think that the person who wanted to stay by the side always appeared without abandoning such me. That’s why Andy is so important. Even if Andy is married to the same family, you´re irreplaceable enough to be kept forever. So we wanted to be your female slaves”
Gyuu, Selenium hugged me.
“I know that when I was a child, I had monopoly greed that I knew nothing about. But the monopoly greed was enough. We wanted to be monopolized as it is. In a dirty way, Apple was even trying to educate me to think so”
“……I don’t need that. You guys are mine”
“That’s why Andy-san was so happy that he had tears when he learned that he still had a half-elf as his own lover. You’re the owner of us because you really know who we are. That’s why I thought Apple would be happy, too”
“I wonder why it’s going to happen like this. ……We don’t want such luxury and happiness”
I felt the warmth of Selenium and told her to squeeze me.
“I’m not going to give up. The dream which had been seen here is never made the memory here. Someday, I want to make Selenium and Apple happy. ……So if Apple can’t remember me, that’s fine. I’ll fall in love with Apple again. I’ll turn her around”
There is no place left in this town that I should stand. The house which had to be inherited isn’t available anymore and the girl who was sure to wait didn’t wait for me either. However, I was born here and fell in love here and I have lived aiming at coming back here. I have no recollection of it. I don’t have a house. I’m still not defeated by reality. I don’t have a hard time doing anything. I want to be happy.
Ten bells rang in the distance. Bonfire is half burnt out and no one came in after this long time. However, there was a sound of water somewhere far away. I thought that someone might have seen the naked Selenium, but the good hearing Selenium wasn’t supposed to be noticed and didn’t seem to mind, so I kept being hugged by Selenium without saying anything.
“I don’t know…… I can’t remember at all……”
“Why do you feel like this……?”