Transmutation Master Aria Is Doing Her Best Today ~a Happy Second Life for a Transmutation Master Who Had Her Results Stolen by Her Sister~ – Chapter 28
Chapter 28: Even if you can’t forgive yourself
Just by looking at the beautiful scenery, one can feel better.
Is it because one can sense their own insignificance compared to the vast nature?
Compared to this grand nature, my worries are too small and terribly weak.
“How is it? Do you feel a little better?”
“When I have my own worries, I often come here. I’ve had a tendency to overthink and get depressed.”
“Is Yuren-kun the same?”
When I asked, he nodded with a gentle smile.
He brought me to this place because I was still worrying.
Yuren-kun is as kind as ever.
“I’m a little tired from walking. Shall we take a break and sit down?”
“Yeah…that’s a good idea.”
We sat down on the hill.
The green lawn was soft and felt like a small carpet.
It was a bit cold because of the cloudy weather, but it was also refreshing.
Even while sitting, the scenery could be seen.
I remained silent for a while and just gazed at the scenery.
Yuren-kun did the same, but suddenly spoke up.
“This cross, I built it myself without permission.”
“What… do you mean?”
“You asked me if it was a graveyard, right? Half true, but half different.”
I tilt my head.
Yuren-kun looks at the cross as if reminiscing, then continues to explain.
“I made this cross about five years ago to mourn the people who protected me when I was a child.”
“People who protected you… like Hisui-san?”
“He’s a different story. As I’m a prince, my life was always in danger from an early age. Assassination, attack, abduction… I have experienced them all at least once.”
As I hear his story, my body trembles slightly in terror.
The fear of assassination is still fresh in my memory.
At least for me, it’s impossible to talk about it as if I want to remember.
Was that just an ordinary part of his daily life?
If that was the case…
“It must have been tough for you…Right?”
“Well, yeah. But it’s unavoidable for a prince to be targeted. What was really the hardest part was seeing people sacrifice themselves for me.”
Those who fought to protect him and lost their lives.
Those who risked their lives to protect Yuren-kun, following orders for the sake of the country.
This cross was also meant to honor them.
Yuren-kun speaks his mind.
“I didn’t want to see anyone die because of me. But when I was younger, I didn’t have the strength to protect myself, so I had to be protected. It was frustrating and I felt guilty, but I couldn’t look away. Everyone fought for me.”
He clenches his fist powerfully as he speaks.
You can tell from his gesture that he is feeling regret.
It’s frustrating that he couldn’t do anything.
If only he had the strength to fight, maybe he could have saved more lives.
“So I’ve been working hard to become stronger since then. If I can become strong enough to protect myself, nobody else will get hurt because of me, right?”
“… Do you often spend time alone?”
“Yeah, because I don’t want to drag others into danger. Especially the knights, who use themselves as shields for me. I can’t bear to watch that. But I know that it’s their duty.”
To protect one’s lord at the expense of one’s life.
That was the true duty of a knight, or so I had once heard somewhere.
To risk one’s life for the sake of others.
He had felt an extraordinary loyalty since his childhood.
“I have become stronger since then. Thanks to that, I have been able to protect lives. I think I have grown as both a prince and a human being.”
“I think so too.”
“Thank you. But you know, no matter how much time passes, I can’t forget about the people who have passed away. I still regret my actions. I keep thinking, if only I had done this or that… You probably feel the same way, right?”
He directed his soft gaze towards me.
I hesitated for a moment, but soon nodded.
“Right. If I had… if I had refused in the beginning, lives wouldn’t have been lost. It’s not my fault, everyone tells me that, but… it’s hard to accept it.”
I could understand it in my head, but I couldn’t accept it in my heart.
As Yuren-kun had told me, I had been regretful for a long time.
I had to put an end to the past and move forward, yet I still looked back.
That’s just who I am…
“That’s not true. It’s just because you’re kind-hearted that you think that way.”
“Kind-hearted… you think? I just think I’m weak.”
“Then, you should become stronger.”
He stands up and puts his hands on his waist and takes a deep breath.
“No matter how much you think about it, the past cannot be erased. It’s not something that can be settled, and you’ll keep regretting it. Nevertheless, we have to keep living and live for the future. You can’t move forward if you keep looking back.”
I’m trying my best to think that way.
“If you think you deserve to be blamed, it’s not true. The one who is really bad is that prince, and he’s the one who should be blamed. Carrying those feelings will only drag you down to hell. Aria should focus on meeting expectations, not on bearing grudges.”
“Yes. You can carry it with you. If you regret it, just work hard not to repeat it. If you’re struggling alone, I’ll help you. Rather than getting stuck and worried, let’s do our best with what we can do now.”
“Do our best with what we can do now…”
My best contribution is to serve as a Transmutation Master.
If I can help many people as I did with Irina-chan and others, maybe it will be a redemption.
Yuren-kun reaches out his hand to me.
“Live with your head held high. Live strongly, become happy, and be praised by everyone in the afterlife for doing your best.”
I cannot forgive myself.
I will regret my foolishness forever.
Still, I will keep on living.
Keeping it in my heart, I will keep moving forward.
Because there are people who need me and will support me.
I want to answer their thoughts.
I realized that I am stronger on the desire to meet their expectations than on the feeling of regret.
That is why I took his hand.
I will stand up again and start from scratch.