𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟔𝟑: 𝐁𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚 𝐇𝐞𝐫𝐨 (𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝟐)
Jude became more engrossed in the “special time,” and his companions didn’t say anything more about it.
I realized that several months had passed since my return when the discussion about the one-year anniversary celebration of peace came up.
Already, it’s that time. I wonder if Tyran will come back.
I was vaguely thinking about such things.
As the discussion about the party progressed, it turned to flowers. It was said that each person would be given a bouquet on the day. If there is a favorite flower, they will arrange it as the centerpiece. It was something they prepared. Among them, a certain flower caught my eye.
Clematis――it was Maylene’s favorite flower.
Remembering her smile, I finally began to think, “I should return to the village.”
“I want to go back to the village.”
I murmured quietly. Then, my companions, while exasperated, started preparing the teleportation magic.
They made a bouquet with the flowers prepared as a sample and got on the teleportation magic circle.
It’s been four years since I returned. I believed that Maylene and my family would be happy. But when the villagers saw Jude, instead of welcoming him, they averted their eyes.
After four years, one’s appearance would change slightly. It’s probably just that they don’t recognize me. I didn’t deeply care about it and returned to my parents’ house.
“So, you actually came back.”
“Well, of course I came back. I told Maylene too, didn’t you hear? Well, never mind. I’m going to Maylene’s house.”
My parents had an indescribable expression on their faces.
I sent a letter to Maylene, but I didn’t tell my parents anything. I thought that if I sent her a letter, she would understand.
I wish they had told me.
While thinking that, I knocked on Maylene’s house door. But what I heard from her brother was unexpected.
“Maylene hasn’t come back.”
“Has she gone somewhere?”
“She’s been in the capital for three years. She hasn’t come back since then.”
It was the first conversation in four years, but the words were strangely stiff. Despite the age difference, we were supposed to get along well.
But Maylene’s absence was more important than such small changes.
“But it’s been almost a year since she was dismissed as an apprentice saint. She hasn’t come back even once… Why?”
“I don’t know. But please forget about her.”
He said that with a cold voice, someone who loved his family.
He was not someone I could talk to. I asked Maylene’s sister and other villagers if they knew anything about Maylene’s whereabouts. But everyone gave similar reactions.
Even my parents told me to “go back to the capital.”
It was as if the village had no place for Jude.
While I was away, what happened in the village? They don’t seem to intend to tell Jude about that “something.” Is it related to Maylene’s absence?
Why don’t they try to find Maylene? Aren’t they worried, even though they are family?
Jude returned to the castle and decided to start searching for Maylene.
When it came to the search, Tyran’s face came to mind first. He is a genius. If I rely on him, he might find her quickly. But I couldn’t gather the courage to choose to rely on him.
After all, Jude had always dismissed Tyran’s words, telling him to cherish his family and write letters.
If he were to tell him that Maylene was gone, he might try to kill Jude with cold eyes.
It was scary.
At the same time, he felt anger towards the country and the Demon King, who had caused him to be separated from Maylene. If there hadn’t been the subjugation of the Demon King, if he hadn’t been chosen as the hero, she would have stayed by his side.
Above all, if the lie about the marriage with the princess hadn’t spread…
Soon after starting the search for Maylene, Jude learned that the plan for his marriage with the princess was progressing considerably. The royal family, nobles, and the church had rushed the plan without even informing Jude.
He also learned for the first time that part of the clothes for the one-year anniversary party of peace was actually a wedding dress.
The king said he would give a reward, but instead of giving, he took many things from Jude. What meaning is there in a future without Maylene?
“After saving the country, this is how I’m treated! If Maylene isn’t found, I won’t forgive those involved in the plan. Whether it’s the king or the saint, it doesn’t matter.”
The kings seemed flustered by Jude, who didn’t even try to hide his killing intent.
The wizards of the royal palace all joined forces to begin the search for Maylene. Although they may not be as skilled as Tyran, they are still top-notch wizards. They assured him that they would find her soon.
However, she still couldn’t be found.
It seems that a magic spell has been cast on the church where Maylene was staying, hindering the search. It took over a month for them to realize this.
With a click of the tongue, one of the wizards timidly stepped forward.
“We are unable to break this magic. But Tyran, who is called a genius of magic, might be able to.”
Upon hearing that, they finally decided to rely on Tyran.
As expected, he directed a cold gaze towards Jude. What was unexpected was that his attire had changed slightly.
He rarely changes his clothes, claiming to have life magic, but he was wearing a vest that he didn’t recognize.
It was a warm outfit, the complete opposite of Jude, who exudes a chilling aura.
I wonder if he had it knitted by the family he cherished and had always treasured even during the journey to defeat the Demon King.
With that thought, my attention turned more towards the difference between him and me, and my mood began to sink.
But with his help, I can experience that warmth. Just a little more patience.
A little more, a little more. I repeated those words in my head countless times.
However, even with Tyran’s power, we couldn’t find her.
“If it had only been a month since the spell was cast, we might have been able to do something, but it has been almost a year. With such a powerful magic, only the person who cast it can undo it.”
Those words pushed me into despair.
I tried to hold Tyran back from wanting to return to the Demon King’s Castle and asked him to continue the search. We obtained new information, but it is still uncertain whether we will find her or not.
“Where are you, Maylene…”
If only I had listened to my comrades’ advice and gone to see her sooner.
No, if only I had listened to Tyran’s words and written letters even during our journey.
Regret overwhelms me in the face of the reality that Maylene is not here.
Why did she disappear? I can’t understand even if I think about it.
But as her brother said, I can’t forget her. Maylene is an important family member. I can’t even imagine a future without her by my side.
That’s why I will continue searching.
Even if it means turning the country against me, I strongly desire to feel that warmth and find peace as soon as possible.