SETP Vol. 2 Chapter 18

Chapter 18 – Curtain Call

 

It was really close.

I was about to utter these words, when…

“……ah”

The pain I had been suppressing started circulating throughout my body again. I felt something liquid rise in my throat, towards my mouth.

Before I could say anything, I heard a light, shrill sound. Like something falling into a pool of water. The only difference was that the resulting splashes of water were deep red in color.

“…haah…haah…”

I moved my shoulders, slowly inhaled and exhaled.

The bones broken by Velnar were already being fixed by my “Spada’s” restoring ability. It was only a matter of time.

The sharp pain was also something I could endure.

“…tch, that sucked.”

I wiped the blood spilling from my mouth with the back of my hand.

I chuckled at myself, looked at the blood on my hand, and laughed again.

“I didn’t mean to make them worry though.”

I felt somewhat dizzy and looked up at the sky.

I had lost too much blood. That was my biggest problem: if I kept looking down I might really lose consciousness, so I looked up to endure it.

“When was the last time…I spilled so much blood?”

I boasted that I needed no escorts or bodyguards, only to end up beat up like this.

She probably thought the same thing too.

“I still survived, though.”

I had kept my promise.

I could still talk.

So…

“So don’t look at me like you’re about to cry. You’ll make me feel guilty.”

I turned around and laughed, weakly.

I felt someone approaching me from behind.

The presence of someone who was often close to me lately.

A pleasant sensation.

Did you hear what I said?

“Hey, head maid.”

I turned around and Feli was in front of me.

Her eyes were puffy and red, a jumbled mess of emotions in her expression. She stared at me.

“Feel guilty…please, please, feel guilty…don’t be reckless…please.”

She repeated the words desperately.

Feli was an incredible busybody, but also incredibly kind.

She probably worried about my wounds, and thinking of what I told her about my feelings towards the sword, showed concern for my painful fragility.

“I heard you the first time.”

I was about to collapse at any moment, but I couldn’t show her any more weaknesses.

I was literally only standing thanks to my willpower, after all.

I honestly wanted to collapse and sleep, but I couldn’t lose consciousness and leave Feli like that.

Besides, it was too early to say that it was over.

“So, what should I do?”

If another opponent on Velnar’s level could appear, I personally wanted to get out of here.

So I asked this question to the other person approaching me.

“Rowle Zwelg.”

“It has been a while, Prince Fay.”

The man in a white lab coat, the “Hero” called the “Immortal”, Rowle Zwelg had a content expression on his face.

“No need for pleasantries. Just tell me what I should do now.”

The ship that carried me to the island was anchored close by.

It was slightly damaged because of the sea beasts, but I made sure to protect it enough to allow it to sail again.

If they were going to stay longer on the island, I might consider bringing Grerial and Feli back by force, if needed.

My expression  brimmed with such a threat as I looked at Rowle, as if burning a hole through him.

“…some of our companions are looking for the Rainbow Flower.”

“You’re telling me to wait till they come back?”

“…………”

The conversation stopped.

“Sorry, but I’m pretty much at my limit now. So— ”

I’m going to take them back with me.

I don’t want anymore regrets.

Before I could say it, something left Rowle’s hand.

An object drew a smooth arc in the air as it flew in my direction, and I managed to barely catch it.

“I know that this is a despicable judgment, believe me…”

His words implied that even though he knew it wasn’t right, there were reasons that forced him to take such a course of action.

I looked at the object— the syringe thrown at me — and turned to Rowle.

“This is?”

“A blood-forming medicine with relatively instantaneous effects. You need blood, don’t you?”

“…now that you mention it, you were a pharmacist, weren’t you.”

Despite the lab coat, I had completely forgotten about it.

Being a chemist, he was likely to be able to tell my condition just by looking at me.

There was a misunderstanding, though.

The reason why I wanted to leave the island was my fatigue, that was true. But it was just an excuse to hide my real reason.

“Yes, I lost a lot of blood. I could collapse any moment.”

My expression did not show such distress in the slightest, so my words worried Feli, who started to approach me quickly, but I stopped her.

I was close to collapsing, but my words to Rowle were exaggerated on purpose. So there was no need to hurry.

“But even if I was in top shape, I would say the same thing.”

Who would ever allow the people dear to them to stay in such a dangerous place?

At the very least, I wanted Grerial and Feli to return to Diestburg as soon as possible.

“I don’t want to lose anyone anymore…so if you’re thinking of changing my mind, give up. Rowle Zwelg.”

I was going to toss the blood-forming medicine back, when an unexpected name froze me in my tracks.

“Stenn Hanse Diestburg.”

That was all it took.

Just one name was enough to create the greatest obstacle to my actions.

“What would you do if I said that is one of the reasons why Prince Grerial came to this island? Would you still leave?”

“……..”

Grerial was the most intelligent person I knew. Excluding people whose thinking I just couldn’t understand, like my mentor and the others, though.

In any case, he wasn’t the kind of person to decide things based on a burst of emotion.

I did think that he had surely joined this expedition because of some sort of personal return.

The Rainbow Flower was the ingredient for a medicine that cured all illness.

Thinking about it, it wasn’t strange for Stenn Hanse Diestburg’s name to come up.

“…are you threatening me?”

“Despise me if you must. I am aware of the toll that this could cause on you. Even so, I want those with a chance to survive to do just that. That’s a chemist for you.”

A short distance from us, Grerial and Welles were lending their shoulders to the knights.

What Grerial wanted to do the most was definitely interrogate me. To yell at me about coming here.

However, he continued helping the knights in need. He had known them only for a few days, but he prioritized their care.

Against such a backdrop, Rowle both inspired compassion in me and threatened me. Quite the nasty personality.

…no, nasty was far too kind a word for it. It was downright evil.

“You’re a nasty one, you know that.”

“Yes, I get that often.”

If I took Feli and Grerial back with me by force in this situation, it would mean abandoning many people.

It would also mean abandoning Stenn, my other older brother, to his fate.

Personally, I thought that some lives were more important than others. For me, Feli and Grerial were the only priority. Anyone and anything else meant nothing. I would think nothing of abandoning them.

If my heart would be affected by something like that, it would have been broken a long time ago.

….no.

My heart was already broken down beyond repair, wasn’t it?

“……….”

After a brief silence, I whispered.

“I’m a human too, I guess.”

If I completely lost my heart, I wouldn’t be a human anymore, but just a doll. A machine. A robot.

My heart may have been broken, but it was still there.

“I still know what it means to honor a debt of gratitude.”

Velnar’s attempt of killing Grerial and Feli was still fresh in my mind.

I could remember as well that Rowle and Welles desperately tried to prevent it. Gratitude had to be repaid.

“………”

I was aware of how naive that was.

Worrying about that was naive in itself.

I just needed to cut off anyone else.

I was called a “Trash Prince” until now.

I told myself that it wouldn’t change anything even if I was insulted as “trash” some more, but my body wouldn’t move.

My original personality was probably the cause of everything. The personality from my past life, which my mentor and the others said was born in the wrong world.

I closed my eyes and rolled up my shirt.

I pointed the needle of the syringe to my abdomen and stabbed it in.

“Thirty minutes.”

I waited before continuing, to stress my words.

“Nothing more. Thirty minutes is the most I will allow.”

The island’s residents would surely learn of Velnar’s death soon. And if someone superior to him came, then it would be all over.

Hence, thirty minutes.

I wouldn’t wait any longer, no matter what.

”…that’s enough. Thank you very much, Prince Fay.”

“Nice words to say after threatening me.”

“That was one thing, this is another.”

Trapped by Rowle’s words and still not convinced, I ended up having to continue wielding my sword.

The signal flare was shot towards the sky about twenty minutes later.


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