SETP Vol. 1 Chapter 25
Chapter 25 – An Old Story
Once upon a time…
Though, since it was only 200 years ago, it wasn’t such an old story.
Before the Saldance kingdom was founded, in its predecessor, the kingdom of Romanne, there was a princess confined to bed due to a terrible illness—
It was a fatal illness, one so inexplicable that all doctors threw the towel in despair, unable to find a cure.
No one managed to even find a clue about how the illness could be cured. In such a desperate situation, a woman claiming to be a witch appeared before the king.
<<There is a small island southeast from here. The monsters dwelling there protect a rainbow-colored flower that can heal any illness.>>
The witch said no more. The king, however, could not help but to cling to her words. It was the first and last clue they ever found.
The witch’s words were truly bewitching, but also poisonous.
As a result, *we* ended up seeing hell on earth.
The king gathered brave warriors, saying that the flower would grant any wish to whoever brought it back.
Those who responded to his call were renowned knights, other warriors, and a total of ten “Heroes”.
All of them, me included, were absolutely convinced that it would be a simple task. Mere minutes after we landed on the island, however, our hopes were shattered to bits.
The island’s monsters were not opponents we could match one on one.
They were not only powerful enough to push us on the brink of defeat in every battle, but the terror of their seemingly endless numbers caused some of us to ultimately flee. Even now, the sight of us being brutally killed as we turned our backs is branded into my memories.
We should have taken advantage of our greater numbers and cooperated in battle.
That was not possible, however. While on paper we were a single group, we had been gathered in a hasty manner. Even if we tried working together, we all joined the mission for our own personal gain, thus our first concern was not to let anyone leave us behind. This situation worsened our teamwork instead of improving it.
As a result, only five of us humans managed to obtain rainbow-colored flowers and escape. Among them, three were “Heroes”.
That’s how fierce the monsters were. Strong enough to make us pray we would never encounter one again.
So the only thing I can say is that no one should even think of going to that island. I have nothing else to say.
If there is someone you wish to save at all costs, however— then even such danger might not be enough to stop you.
If there is a piece of advice someone like me, who *made it back alive*, can give, it is to go with comrades you can trust.
Those monsters are not opponents anyone can face single-handedly. I can say that with absolute certainty.
We all only have one life.
Do not waste it.
Author: Svallg Volga
I closed the old book, blowing a bit of dust all around.
“The Truth behind the Rainbow Flower”
I put back the very honestly titled book on the shelf containing many other books about the Saldance kingdom.
I came with Grerial to the library and, from early morning until now, read books for about four hours, but other than the dubious direct experience narrated in this book, all others were books of stories. They all stressed the fact that the princess was saved, so I could not gather anything really useful from them.
“Did you find what you were looking for?”
“So-so, I guess.”
Today too I was accompanied by the head maid, Feli von Yugstine.
She was apparently interested in books about Diestburg’s history and was avidly reading not too far from my seat.
“Books about the Saldance kingdom…?”
She looked at the books lined up before me and a conflicted expression appeared on her face.
“What about it?”
“Nothing, I was just thinking that I read some such books in the past.”
Feli then took the “The Truth behind the Rainbow Flower” I was reading in her hands.
Feli, an elf, was about 100 years old.
For her, it probably happened just a short while ago.
“Is this story real?”
“I don’t know if all the details are, but it seems that it really happened. I only heard about it from other people, though.”
Just like the man in white— Rowle Zwelg said.
In that case, the rainbow flower’s effects could have some truth to them too.
While I was lost in thought, Feli called to me.
“Please do not have any bizarre ideas. I wish for you to live a long life, after all.”
So she said, while glancing at my “Spada” from time to time.
I heard someone say these words once:
Cowards tend to live long, while courageous people die young.
She probably ranked me among the courageous then.
“What, you think I’d go to search for the rainbow flower?”
“Yes, especially— ”
Feli continued while looking towards Grerial, who was talking to the librarian.
“Especially if Prince Grerial fell gravely ill. Wouldn’t you depart immediately, Your Highness?”
I couldn’t contain my laughter.
Because I realized that she was probably right.
“You would go too, wouldn’t you? Feli.”
I thought the same thing could be said of her.
“Serving the Diestburg house is your reason to live, after all.”
Feli gave a small laugh and nodded.
Like I had said something completely obvious.
I earnestly thought that she should treasure herself more.
“Then don’t tell *me* about having ‘bizarre ideas’.”
The confident way she nodded told me that she was definitely the bizarre one between us.
“You have nothing to worry about, anyway.”
There wasn’t any sense of duty or justice in me.
“As you very well know, unless something really incredible happens I’m not budging an inch.”
“But”, I continued.
“If my family or friends are in trouble, though, it’s a different story.”
I couldn’t give anything back in my previous life. I just received.
I received and received, so many things…
I was treated with kindness, I was protected.
I was taught techniques to survive.
Even if in my current life I was leading a decadent lifestyle, brother Grerial was a special existence.
Feli too always took care of me so stubbornly. Always telling me to mend my ways.
You could say that that’s all there was to it.
But for Fay Hanse Diestburg, they had already become irreplaceable.
“Of course, that includes you too, Feli.”
Maybe she didn’t expect to be included. Feli turned towards me.
“Are you flirting with me, Your Highness?”
“Don’t be stupid. You’re one of the people I want to protect, but I don’t see you that way. I wouldn’t flirt in a place like this anyway.”
Feli laughed heartily, saying it was just a joke.
“Even so, for someone in my position, hearing you say something like that is a joy and an honor.”
She smiled and thanked me.
I thought she smiled a lot that day, then thought about my “Spada”.
I was not wielding my blade just for personal desire anymore. That would lead me down the same path as my past life. I had no intention of dying in solitude again.
For the sake of others.
For the sake of people.
Being someone that could kill others without a second thought, I couldn’t start acting like a saint and save anyone in trouble. I had little faith in people anyway.
If it was someone close to me, however.
If I could think that they were worth dying for, I would wield and swing my sword without hesitation.
The knight Logsaria was an exception, but I thought that swinging my sword for a reason like that wasn’t too bad.
I thought it was something like me.
“I wonder what Grerial is discussing with the librarian, though.”
Grerial said that he had something to look for, but spent most of the time talking with the librarian.
“Maybe his reason to come here was to talk with the librarian?”
They were talking in a private room, so I could only see part of his face through a small window.
Two knights were with him, and I couldn’t notice anything out of the ordinary for the moment.
“It’s true that it doesn’t look like they met today for the first time…do you know anything, Feli?”
“Nothing in particular, unfortunately.”
“I see…but it’s been a while…”
I was about to comment that Grerial had been talking for a long while, when he came out of the room, as if he was waiting for the perfect timing.
He then walked towards us.
“Sorry for the wait.”
He looked at the large clock hanging on the library’s wall.
“It’s already noon. Shall we go eat lunch?”
Grerial smiled, as usual.
Yup, he looked just like the usual Grerial—