Chapter 34: I Wanted to be Alone⁠—but I’m Not Alone

“Magic Arrow…”

“Gube!”

The Magic Arrow I shot blew away a lizardman.

When I looked the other way, I saw knights fighting with lizardmen. Multiple knights surrounded the lizardmen and swung their swords at them. 

The knights would never take on the lizardmen one-on-one⁠; that was the ironclad rule which the captain drilled into everyone until we arrived at the battlefield.

“…I’ve known since the first damn day already…”

A grunt soldier muttered to himself.

When I observed the lizardmen fighting, they were definitely way stronger than usual… It was my first time seeing a lizardman in the flesh, but were they really that powerful of a creature?

Their attacks were indiscriminate and swift.

A fully-armored male knight who received a single hit from a lizardman was sent flying straight backward for a couple of meters with a crash. The impact must’ve been tremendous⁠; unable to immediately recover from the blow, the soldier tottered around.

Firvus answered my doubts.

“Did you forget? Carlyle said they got a Crest Master working in the shadows for them, and the lizardmen who have tattoos engraved onto them evolve as an individual.”

…That’s right. We talked about that.

Then, when I looked at the lizardmen, I saw tattoos with various designs engraved all over the their bodies.

“If we were to take them directly, even the kingdom knights wouldn’t be a match for their strength.”

“Is that so?”

I caught a new lizardman at the corner of my eye.

“Magic Arrow…”

A white arrow pierced through the lizardman’s chest and ended his life with a single shot.

“…Seems like it’s irrelevant to you…”

Firvus spoke with an exasperated face.

At any rate, it seems like the lizardmen only need one shot of my slightly powerful Magic Arrow.

However, I felt something of out place.

How should I put it… It felt like the sharpness and firing time compared to my usual Magic Arrow was worse. I was actually missing a lot of my targets.

It’s probably just my imagination.

After routing the lizardmen in the area, our squad began advancing once more.

Just then, I heard the grumbling of some knights.

“…Aren’t these lizards stronger than before?”

“I thought the same. I feel like we’re advancing less than before.”

“Aren’t like the number of tattoos higher than the previous guys?”

…I wondered what they meant by that.

After walking for a while, the captain’s loud voice resounded.

“We’ll take our midday break here! Eat your food while you can! Also, the soldiers on guard duty should do best to keep their eyes on the surroundings!”

Looks like we’re entering break-time.

“I’ll go rest over there.” 

After informing Firvus, I moved over to a place without many people.

I wanted to be alone.

Ever since the night I reunited with Alencia, my feelings have been thrown out of order. I still haven’t processed the emotions I felt at that moment.

My heart is losing stability. 

I couldn’t bring myself to talk to another person with a smile.

And yet⁠—

Rustle.

⁠—I heard someone’s footsteps.

I, who was nibbling at my rationed bread, quickly shifted my gaze.

“Um, Albert… Would you like to eat together…?”

There stood Laura.

“…”

I was unable to respond immediately.

I want to be alone.

However, I’d feel bad about hurling those words at her.

Laura timidly continued to speak.

“…Um, erm… I know I’m being a bother… since, um… you’re giving off the impression… that you wanna be alone…”

Then, Laura raised the tone of her voice.

“But! That’s exactly why! I want to lend you an ear! I want you to tell me what happened if you’re troubled! I’m… worried for you as your friend!”

Laura was excessively frantic.

After seeing her face, I⁠—

“Haha, hahahahaha!”

⁠—ended up laughing.

For some odd reason, Laura was earnestly thinking about me. 

Thinking about me.

Thinking about the likes of me.

Thinking about a completely worthless person like me.

Even if I put up an unapproachable wall, she climbs over it and tells me she’s worried for me.

I have someone like that beside me.

There was nothing more delightful and happy than this.

I wanted to be alone⁠—

but I’m not alone.

“HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”

“Jeez! What’s so funny, Albert!?”

“Sorry, sorry. You looked so serious, so I thought it was funny.”

“But! I was really worried about you! You looked really down, so…!”

So that’s it. Laura was concerned for me.

I made her worry for me, huh…

“Laura.”

“Yes?”

“Thank you for worrying for me.”

I pointed at the spot next to me with my hand.

“Let’s eat together.”

“Yes!”

Laura’s face lit up with happiness, and she nodded.

We then chatted about trivial things. We didn’t talk about anything specific. Stuff about the academy, stuff about magic⁠—the same old things we talked about at the cafeteria. 

That was probably Laura’s way of looking out for me.

She should be curious about what I was depressed about.

However, she never mentioned it.

She made trivial small talk without bringing it up, all to divert my attention from it.

Precisely because of that, I had a thought.

I wanted to tell Laura the truth.

If I talked to someone about it, maybe the weight in my chest would lighten up a little.

I thought this was the perfect time to bring it up.

Despite Laura telling me about her own lineage, I still kept mines a secret. I needed to correct this unfairness.  

“Laura.”

“Yes?”

In response to my solemn voice, Laura tilted her head with a puzzled expression.

“I want you to hear my story.”

She was clever, so she guessed everything I wanted to say with just those words.

“Yes! Of course!”

A brief silence.

Laura waited⁠ for me to speak.

I waited for the words to float to my chest⁠—the words I needed to tell Laura, and the past I shut away inside myself.

Before long, the words would slowly spill from my mouth⁠—

as if a heavy gate was being pushed open.

“…Laura… You see, I… was enrolled in the academy ten years ago. I was a student who ran away in fear of failing.”


Today’s chapter. I’ll be out for a bit so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to post twice, but I’ll try. Also, I’m planning on doing the poll in another day or two, so let me know again if you guys have any other novels you want me to translate that isn’t being translated by another person. Right now I have colorless magician and a revenge-esque story with an entire essay of a name. They both seem pretty interesting. Anyway, see you guys next chapter. EDIT: accidentally did evening break instead of midday break, sorry. fixed

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