「Then we became proper lovers… a lot happened, but after a while, he asked me, 『Will you marry me?』He proposed to me.
But I turned him down.
After all, I’m immortal.
If we get married, people will eventually find out about it.
I couldn’t tell him the truth because I was afraid that if he found out about my immortality, it would destroy our relationship.
I guess I didn’t want to ruin our current happiness.
That was my mistake in the first place, though.
But he was very patient.
I thought he was going to reject me, but he said, 『If you don’t want to get married, I won’t force you.
But I want to be with you forever.』『So you can quit your job as a hero?』I begged and pleaded, but he immediately said…『If that’s what you want.』」
「I couldn’t say no if he said so.
I was genuinely happy.
After that, we lived alone together for about six months, in a remote area where people didn’t know he was a hero.
He started to work as a teacher in a nearby village, and I waited for his return every day while plowing the fields.
We took a day off once a week to go places together, and he made love with me every day… the best time of my life.
But at the same time, I was in deep despair.
I realized that I was incapable of bearing a child.」
Anorn’s eyes clouded over.
「I was actually going to accept the marriage.
But I found out about it before I got married… I guess it’s the price of immortality.
I couldn’t tell him the truth even after six months.
But he was always smiling, and that made it harder and harder for me.
It was at that moment, after a long time, that we received a request to take down the Archfiend.
I was reluctant at first, but our comrades came at us.
Apparently, it was quite powerful, and several kingdoms had already been destroyed, and the strongest knight order around had been defeated.
So they gathered the remnants and asked us to join them in a counter-offensive.」
「Did you go?」
「Yeah, he couldn’t say no.
More like he had no choice, it was because it’s his birthplace.
But it was already a trap from the Archfiend.
As a result, we ended up rushing into the Archfiend’s stronghold with only our own people.」
Alfiris yelped, but Anorn closed her eyes, unperturbed.
She remembered that at the same time, she had shouted the same line as Alfiris.
「That’s right, it was reckless by normal standards, but we didn’t intend to lose in the slightest.
There were so many fiends waiting for us inside that we didn’t even bother to count them, but we defeated them one by one.
The Archfiend must have miscalculated our strength.
But we had also underestimated the Archfiend.
We never thought that there would be more than one Archfiend.」
「There are other… Archfiends?」
「Yeah, six in total.
All of them were stronger than the creepy one we fought earlier.
At that time, the Hero was so strong that some of the Archfiends felt they were in danger and temporarily joined forces together.
Even so, he defeated them one after another, but our comrades also fell one after another.
And in the end, it came down to me, him, and two remaining Archfiends.」
So even though it was supposed to be one against two, he still had the upper hand in the fight.
That’s when the Archfiends pulled a cowardly stunt amd caught us off guard.
I tried to defend him, but for a moment, I didn’t want to know about my immortality, and that interfered with my movements.」
Anorn’s eyes darken and sink deeper.
「But he… he died defending me without any hesitation.
And his last words were 『I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you in the end』! I don’t need to be protected to die, and I should have been the one to protect him!」
Alfiris had no words to say.
Anorn began to have tears in her eyes.
「I killed the Archfiends myself.
I shattered them alive so that not a trace of them remained.
But I was just empty.
After that, I got desperate and hunted down every fiend I could find.
One day, I hunted another Archfiend.
After the battle, when I was so exhausted that I couldn’t move at all, I was picked up the current Master Bishop of the Church of Arnelia.
But even after that, I was powerless and had no motivation to do anything.
I tried to die on my own and tried to do all kinds of desperate things, but Master wouldn’t let me.
I didn’t care about my life anymore, and I was thinking of getting ordained in earnest, it was when I met that guy from the Lazaar family at church.」
「In contrast to the Hero, he was frivolous.
I remember he touched my butt as soon as we met.
I slapped him, no, I beat him to a pulp, but he came back the next day and sexually harassed me as if nothing had happened.
But he didn’t mind messing with other women… He was annoying that I got angry every time I saw him.
But it was strange.
I felt like I was missing something without him.
I wondered if be liked me.
But then, one day, he suddenly married another woman.
Do you know what he said to me then? 『Oh, no, I’m sorry! I’m tired of you!』I punched him in the face as hard as I could and went straight to the pilgrimage mission that I had been told about.
I was so angry and annoyed every time I remembered him during the trip.
But for some reason, in all the 118 years of my pilgrimage, I never forgot his face… I just found out why.」
Alfiris was listening to the conversation while staring at Anorn.
Suddenly, Anorn began to shake and tremble.
「Albert just showed me his journal… He wrote, 『Dedicated to the only Sister in my life whom I love with all my heart.』He was fascinated by me from the first glance.
The way I look to him, I looked like I was asking for help.
No matter how many times he was dying on the battlefield, every time he remembered my face, it gave him energy to live.
Whenever he saw me looking lonely.
I was angry at myself for not being able to do anything about it.
He was always trying to distract me, even if I hated him, so that I wouldn’t look so lonely.
He regretted that he could not stay my side until the end of his life in order to preserve his offspring.
He also apologized for not being able to tell his wife and his mistresses that he loved them with all his heart.
I was— I—!」
Finally, large tears began to spill from Anorn’s eyes.
「I didn’t understand anything! I didn’t know how much he cared, he suffered, how much I really loved him! Whenever I remembered his face, he would always, always smile! In front of me, no matter how much pain he was in, he always cared for me first and foremost, and never showed any sign of pain.
And yet… I’ve been seeing him for almost two years without saying a single kind word to him, and to top it off, I said, 『I never want to see your face again!』I’ve said something terrible… to him… I’m was… awful…」
Tears were rolling down from Anorn’s cheeks and she could not stop them.
Anorn thinks her face must have look awful, but she can’t stop her tears, and she doesn’t want to stop it.
「(Now that he’s dead, for the first time I felt truly sad.
I’ve been lying to everyone around me and to myself for a long time, and I’m sure Alfie would despise me for being such a horrible person.
But I can’t help it…)」
And then, softly, Alfiris hugged Anorn.
Alfiris puts more strength into the hands that hold Anorn.
「You don’t have to hold back anymore, do you Anorn?」
「I don’t have to hold back… is it okay?」
「Isn’t okay for humans to cry at times like this?」
「But I’m not human…」
「You’re human, and also you’re my friend.」
Anorn didn’t know what her face looked like anymore, or what she was screaming right now— but she wanted to cry until she felt better.
Right now, she just wanted to cry in front of her friend who were there for her like this—.
She wondered when was the last time she had cried like this…
She don’t know how long has it been, but Anorn still hasn’t stopped crying.
She was still sad, and she would probably have regrets in the future.
But there is also a part of her that wants to see things with Alfiris in front of her.
The look on Alfiris’ face right now is so peaceful…
「(Yes, all the people I loved had this expression on their faces… When I see Alfie like that, I naturally start to feel tender…)」
「I’m sorry, Alfie.
I cried a lot.」
I want to support you sometimes, too.
I’ve always been supported by you.」
「Isn’t that the wrong word for annoyance?」
「I guess you could say that.」
Anorn poked Alfiris.
「Oh, you’re hurting me! You’re using too much force, you should be more gentle!」
「Is that what you say to a weak maiden?」
「…You’re back to your normal self, aren’t you?」
Anorn was momentarily taken aback.
「(I can’t tell which one of us is older than the other.
I’m not sure if she’s really 18 or not…)」
Anorn looks at Alfiris with a slightly suspicious gaze, when Alfiris saw her, she had a question mark floating in her mind.
「Good grief… I guess I’m losing today.
Also, I’d like you to call me by my real name.」
「Can I do that in front of everyone?」
「I don’t mind.
Well… I don’t have to use my fake name anymore! It’s an alias I was given because I didn’t want to be called by my own name.
Do you know where it comes from? It’s a wordplay from the ancient word 『Announ = Unknown』.
It’s not a good name, and it’s not appropriate at all.
But I’ll use my real name from now on! But I’ll only tell you my full name in secret.」
「Heeh, it’s a maiden’s secret, huh?」
「Not exactly, okay? My full name is…」
Anorn, or rather Miranda, whispered her name to Alfiris.
Then she blew her ear, causing her scream and Miranda to burst out laughing.
After that, the girls didn’t stop laughing for a while.
「Well, well, well! That brat finally got over it! I’m really worried her.
I guess that’s what it’s like to have a little sister or daughter who takes a lot of worries.」
The one who was watching exactly what was going on through the messenger was Millie, the Master Bishop of Arnelia Church, Miliazar.
「As long as Alfiris is alive, we no longer have to worry.
No, will that amount be enough to cover the loss of Alfiris?」
While nodding, Miliazar is convinced.
「After all, she’s got… well, I guess it’s just a matter of what the brat does.
I’m going to take care of my own business first.
I hope I can catch some goodies today.」
As the sun was setting and the city of Mysia was turning golden, Miliazar began to walk along, muttering to herself.
No one knew what was going through her mind as she sighed, looking into the distance.
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