The Heroic Tale Of A Villainous Prince Chapter 19

**Chapter 19 – A Screaming Heart**

“I like humans. No… Seeing Netos, I think I fell for humans as living creatures. Those lives burning away in merely an instant and moment…”

Elinne stared at the magic stone, but the shining golden rock said nothing to her.

It was no longer her dear friend. Just an inanimate stone.

“Elves have long lifespans. If we lived desperately making the most of each day like humans, we’d get exhausted. I left the village because I didn’t want to spend my whole life surrounded by people like that… But in the end, I was the same as them the whole time.”

Like mocking, laughing at her past self.

“I can’t pour my soul into creating like that. As long as I’m an elf, for my whole life, for eternity… So…”

“So you gave up?”

At my question, Elinne nodded with a wry smile.

“….Yeah. I gave up. The moment I saw the real thing before my eyes, I gave up everything.”

Sorrow. Frustration. Lament. Resignation.

I wondered if she had been carrying those complex emotions for over two hundred years.

“I can never match that instant of burning life.”

That line seeming to accept everything was also like she had squeezed it out with great difficulty.

“I know that! I’ve thought about it countless times! What a perfectly righteous argument! But you know, it’s easy to just say things like that! Magic ring crafting with magic stones is do or die. No redos. Fail and it’s over on the spot. The stone dies in that moment. A one-shot gambit. And this isn’t just some stone… It’s that child’s heart! That child’s life!”

Elinne’s hand holding the stone trembled faintly. No, not just her hand. Her whole body shook. As if afraid of the weight in her hand.

“You want me…to shoulder that? A good-for-nothing half-baked person like me? Hah… Don’t joke with me. I can’t do something like that. There’s no way. A fake like me, bearing something so heavy…”

“But you will bear it!”

I shouted. I felt I had to deny her here.

—-I knew…this would happen… From the day mama died, and I was left alone… That’s why I decided then… I’d leave proof that I lived… By making the ultimate masterpiece I’m fully satisfied with…

Because I’d learned of the girl’s wish.

“Netos entrusted her own heart to you because she believed in you, Elinne-san! Even if she died, she believed you would surely carry her wish into the future!”

“Why would she trust something so important…to me…to someone like me…”

“Because she wanted to stay by your side, right?”

“By my side…?”

“Knowing her life was short, for Netos to remain with the eternally-living Elinne, she probably…had no choice but to do this.”

An elf’s lifespan was incomparable to a human’s.

And Netos with her [Stone Blossom Disease] was even more fleeting and fragile. She herself surely understood that best.

“Even if her life ended…if it was in the form of a [wish], she could continue living with you.”

“—-!”

Elinne’s face was like she’d been struck.

She embraced the weight in her trembling hands again.

“….She didn’t want the stone buried beneath the earth for you to cherish her memory. Much less for you to stop and give up. But I think what you’re doing, Elinne-san, is nothing but betraying her wish. It’s no different from killing her life!”

I knew the pain and fear of betrayal all too well. Far more than enough.

So I didn’t want her to do the same to the person before my eyes.

“If you’re afraid, isn’t it because you’re trying to move forward? Because you’re trying to progress? If you’d really given up, you wouldn’t fear, right?”

“……”

“Let’s move forward. …No. You need to move forward. Even if you’re scared, even if you’re terrified, you should bear that wish of a life.”

Elinne feared the weight of that stone. She couldn’t progress.

Naturally. Anyone would be afraid. A life is far too heavy a burden.

But still, she had to move forward. Entangled by fear, even if only step by step, onward. Onward.

—-If you mourn those lost.

“…..I really am…scared.”

Her body wouldn’t stop shaking.

“But…I wonder why… Right now, I’m so happy.”

Elinne embraced the entrusted wish with trembling hands.

“….She died in an instant. Before I even understood why, she died. It felt like there was a hole in my chest. My vision went pitch black, like that… That’s how it felt. If I killed this stone too, she would really disappear… That thought terrified me.”

Tears ran down her cheeks. Gentle drops fell on the stone.

“But that wasn’t it… She stayed by my side all along. She lived on, accompanying my life… And I never noticed that at all…”

Crying and clinging to the stone, Elinne crouched down looking like a small child.

“Thank you…for making me realize what’s important.”

The wish a fleeting moment of life had left behind, entrusted to Charl.

Elinne, who had been in the abyss of resignation, would surely start walking from here now.

Step by step, little by little, onward. Forward.

—-If you think of the departed.

“I’ll… I’ll definitely return the favor. For sure.”

YOU ARE READING STOLEN TRANSLATION. READ THE ORIGINAL TRANSLATION AT GADGETIZEDPANDA.COM

She promised to return to the capital in the near future.

Meaning we had brilliantly accomplished our original goal of bringing Elinne over to our side.

“I-, I’m sorry. For butting in…”

The person herself who had managed that was curled up shrinking in the carriage.

“Why’re you apologizing?”

“Well… Because I butted in without thinking, just reacting instinctively…”

“Isn’t it fine? Thanks to that, at least I couldn’t reactively bite in at that scene.”

“Bite in…!?”

“It really was an impressive bite. Woof woof.”

Makina giggled, but I could tell there was praise in it.

Neither Makina nor I could have done that. If Charl hadn’t been there, Elinne would likely still have remained frozen. Oblivious to the wish entrusted by a single girl.

“Uu~…I’m embarrassed. But I don’t regret it.”

“Haha. I like that side of you, Lady Charl. And as your fiance, isn’t it good balance? Lady Charl who can directly hurl out what she feels, and Lord Al unable to be honest. You suit each other.”

“Hey. Your evaluation of your master is twisted.”

“I meant it as praise though?”

“Revise your definition of praise.”

“Then, shouldn’t you praise the accomplishant this time a little more honestly?”

“Honestly…”

“It’s important, you know~? Praising someone. Especially for those in high positions.”

Can’t talk back to cold hard facts. Damn cheeky maid.

“Ah… Charl.”

“Y-, yes!”

“Um… Good work. Ah, no. Sounds arrogant. You did well…? No, not that either…”

Honestly praising someone straightforwardly is surprisingly difficult… I can’t think of the right phrasing.

There are limits to what comes from inside me. If only there was a good example…

—-You did great. Al.

A memory from long ago suddenly came to me. Back when I was much smaller.

Kind Leo’s face, and the warmth of the hand on my head.

“……”

Before I realized it, I had placed my hand on Charl’s head.

“Saved me. Thank you, Charl.”

“Oh…”

While remembering the past, I gently stroked her head.

“……”

And immediately came to my senses.

“…………Sorry.”

What am I doing?!

“That was reckless. My bad. I shouldn’t have…touched your head so freely. Sorry.”

“N-, no! You have nothing to apologize for! Rather, I don’t mind if you…do more…”

MottosawatteModaijoubudes? (youcantouchmemore?)

What’s wrong with my brain. It’s not comprehending the words I’m hearing correctly!

“Lady Charl. For someone with such a prim appearance, you’re quite naughty…”

“Ehh?! I-, I have no such intentions…!?”

“What do you think, Lord Al? About your fiancee being prim yet naughty.”

“….Don’t know! Sleeping! Good night!”

Judging continuing this topic dangerous, I decided to pretend to sleep for now.

It was true I was tired after fighting thieves and such today too.

(….Come to think of it)

The thieves. That reminded me of Deophil and the others loaded on the wagon.

They had been raiding the cave in Mount Itoel where the magic stone slept. Why?

With that, it seems like they already knew a magic stone was sleeping there from the start.

(…Did they know?)

Thinking back, Deophil had said this.

—-Hah? Take a look, we hit the jackpot on buried treasure here. Or rather, who the hell are you?

Hitting the jackpot on buried treasure. I thought he meant the cave walls they were destroying, but…could it have actually meant they were digging up the magic stone buried beneath the earth?

If so, then how and where did they get information on the magic stone that only Elinne should have known?


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