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They meet again~CSWH Chapter 48: Rendezvous Between Him and I
"……long time no see."
When I was gazing at the outside scenery from the tower, Rui appeared.
My heart danced at the long unseen sight of his figure.
Though I won't say I came every day, whenever I was in the Capital, I would come to this favourite place of mine quite frequently.
Even so, it's been several months since I last saw Rui.
I felt like Rui had grown considerably taller since I last saw him.
"Did something good happen?"
I tilted my head at his sudden inquiry.
"It's written all over your face that something good happened."
"……am I that easy to read?"
Rui smiled at my question.
Observing his reaction, I opened my mouth.
"Recently, you know, I saved a certain young girl. I'll omit the details, but…….from her thanks, I realized that everything I've built up until now wasn't pointless, and that there was meaning in it. I feel like I got some sort of affirmation……and was very happy about that."
A one-way road where you walk in the darkness, unable to see what lays ahead.
A human's life is such a thing, is what I think.
What will happen, what is waiting for you……for things in the future, even if it is but a minute or second away, you will not know what will happen.
And for something that has already occurred, it is impossible to turn back and return things to how they were.
That is precisely why people have regrets, saying things like "I should have done that" or "I should have done this".
In the midst of the unseen future, all people are walking forward.
While taking into hand the small lights that are their goals and dreams.
However, that was exactly why they become uneasy at times.
Is the road that I have walked upon fine like this?
Is there meaning in the things that I have done……they think.
It was not a road that I advanced upon with some half-hearted resolve.
It was a blood-stained road, but even so I found it fine and walked forward.
Even if I were given the chance to redo things, I'm sure that the road that I choose would remain unchanged.
Having someone reaffirm my path felt so comforting.
Above all else, it was without having them experience the fear of loss……I truly felt that was great.
I thought that from the bottom of my heart.
Because I felt that relief, the me at that time began to shed tears……is what I believe after thinking about it now.
"I see. That's great."
I smiled at Rui's words.
For a moment, I silently gazed at the outside scenery.
He also gazed at the same scenery next to me.
Suddenly, I looked at his nearby face.
He appeared relieved and had a tender expression.
Just how did the world he was gazing at look like through those deep blue eyes of his? Though I wasn't a poet, such words came to mind when I saw him.
After staring at him for a while, something about his state suddenly bothered me, as I opened my mouth.
"Rui. Are you tired?"
"Why are you asking that so suddenly?"
"Somehow your complexion seems a bit bad."
My unrestrained words momentarily rendered him speechless, and he sat down.
"Ahh……well, that may be so. Lately, I haven't really slept much."
"Eh! Then rather than coming here, wouldn't it be better to sleep? Rather, hurry up and go back and sleep! It's bad for your body."
When I said that in a fl.u.s.tered manner, he chuckled.
"I wonder why…….usually I can't help but feel pressed for time."
"…….time? What do you mean?"
"Well, simple, it just means I have that much work to do. The majority of it is just due to my own impression of things. I've always been chasing after my father's back……..for the time when I will one day succeed my father, no, precisely because I want to succeed him…….however, the more I chase after him, the more I feel the difference between my father and myself."
He said that in an absent-minded manner while gazing afar, in a hushed voice.
"I am lacking in everything. In knowledge, in experience, in imaginative ability……and in talent above all else. That is exactly why, in order to bury that which I lack in, I just have to think and learn."
The time when I thought that I wanted to beat my father in a spar came to mind.
I was also like that.
That something that I lacked in. In order to fill that gap, I felt that I had to find something.
"If I am lacking in talent, then all I need to do to fight against that is to learn and refine myself, right? …….time is limited. In order to succeed my father's footsteps, I have to do everything that I can…….when I think about that, I unconsciously begin to feel chased by the thought that I do not have enough time at all."
"……you may think that I am only saying this because you said that……but I understand that feeling. Because when I was learning the sword, I also felt that I was lacking in everything, and thought that I had to fill that gap with something. All the more so because I was learning the sword with a girl's body."
At my words, Rui smiled a bit.
"But, what I don't understand is…….why must you feel that cornered? It may be true that time is limited, but there is still quite some time before either you or I become adults…….although those aren't really words for me to be saying, considering that I will not be succeeding anything."
"No. I'm sure it's like that. The reason why I'm feeling impatient is because I also feel that time is limited. But, let's see……I need to do things in my own way. If I were to break once, then I might end up following that flow and end up doing things in a half-hearted manner. If that happens, then no matter how much time pa.s.ses, I'll end up being hidden in father's enormous shadow. If that happens……then even if I obtain a position enabling me to fulfill my dream of becoming this country's support, I will end up thinking, "If it were father, then he'd probably be able to do things better", and become unable to advance forward. I am scared of that. That alone is something I do not want. If at that time I did things that way……if I had done things more seriously - I do not want to have such regrets."
I cannot forget the moment that he said what he wanted to do.
Nor can I forget the moment he mouthed those words at this tower.
Because those thoughts had also taken root inside of me.
……just how much has he fought against to get to this point?
A wall that stands in his way between him and what he wants to accomplish.
To him, that wall was probably his father's exceedingly large shadow.
…….even if that was not his father's intention.
"……that is your first battle, isn't it?"
"……even so, no, that is all the more reason why you should go to sleep sooner. If you destroy your body, then you'll be putting the cart before the horse, right?"
"That may be so but……"
He trailed off, and once again looked off into the distance.
"People have scenes that they want to return to."
I tilted my head at his abstract words.
"Those are my mother's words…….for example, a point in time where you ate a meal as a family. A time spent playing with a friend. And after finishing playing, the sunset you saw when returning home. Those sorts of daily, casual times, feel even more beautiful and precious when you become an adult."
Rui's soft voice dissolved into the air of the town's twilight and disappeared.
……somehow that seemed suffocating and beautiful, is what I absentmindedly thought as I listened to him talk.
"The more of those times you acc.u.mulate, the stronger you will be able to be when you become an adult. No matter how filthy the world appears when you become an adult……no, that is precisely why such nostalgic memories will shine, and you will feel that…….even so, the world is beautiful - is what she said…….well, in short she's just saying that while you're a child, it is important to enjoy playing around like a child, is how I interpreted it."
"……she said quite a lovely thing."
"That she did."
"……but, while I might be repeating myself, if you were to collapse while doing such things, then it'll be pointless."
"I do understand that."
He said that and made a wry smile.
"Somehow, sleeping starts to feel wasteful. I don't plan on placing the fault on mother's words, but……for some reason, when I become so terribly busy that I can hardly do anything about it, I remember those words. And when I do so, I start to really want to come here. This is probably the scene that the me of now wants to return to."
"Fufufu……somehow I understand that feeling."
"……and if I come here, I can see you too."
His sudden words caught me off guard, and even I could tell that my boiling hot face had gone red. That's not fair……
As I thought that, I felt embarra.s.sed and prayed that he would think the redness of my cheeks was due to the sunset.
"That is…….an honour."
As I said that, I averted my gaze by gazing out at the view outside.
"Do you remember our promise from before?"
"I want to go out to the town with you. And then, I want to do a lot of things that we can only do now together with you."
Around the time when the heat in my cheeks had cooled somewhat, I called out to him and said that.
"As do I."
He also smiled again as he replied thus.