Run for the hills!
Oni 19 – The end with nothing after
「Say goshujin-sama, once the troubles in this world have ended, what are you going to do?」
Sophia-san asked that before the conference with the Divine Word Religion began, at a time when we were in the waiting room, waiting for the other side to complete their preparations. Since we got here, Sophia-san appeared to be pondering about something. I bet that was about this question. Sophia-san is concerned about what happens after the end.
On being asked, Shiro-san’s usual expression never changed, and after a short pause she replied.
The voice of inexpressible doubt that Sophia-san’s raised, is I think something that spoke for what all of us here felt in our hearts. Run away? From who? From what?
Based on what I know, I can’t even imagine that there’s an opponent that Shiro-san would have to run away from. If there happens to be one, there is that other god besides Shiro-san called Kuro, but I somehow feel that it’s not about him. More than anything else, the very fact that Shiro-san would state that she’s going to run away, is just so unexpected to me that I can’t make sense of it. From my dealings with Shiro-san to date, I had thought that she had the type of personality where she would do whatever it takes to accomplish what she wants to achieve. If it’s for that purpose then she will do absolutely anything. For that Shiro-san to actually state that she’s going to run away regardless of how it appears to others, is out of character for my mental impression of her.
It seems that everyone else is also thinking the same thing, as they all have a puzzled expression. Uniquely, Ariel-san only had a puzzled expression for a moment, then quickly showed an expression where she seemed to hit upon the reason and accept it. Does Ariel-san know something that the rest of us don’t?
「Shiro-chan, are you sure it’s okay to actually say that aloud?」
While suspiciously glancing around restlessly, Ariel-san said that. Ominous. From Ariel-san’s state, she has the air of someone who is afraid of something. There exists something that neither Shiro-san or Ariel-san can do anything about, is what that attitude indicates. After coming so far, I’m suddenly worried about whether there is something capable of returning Shiro-san’s plan to square one.
「It’s okay but it’s also not okay. Which is why I don’t really want to talk about it.」
Even Shiro-san’s tone is somewhat more firm than normal. It’s almost like she’s being vigilant about something.
「Shiro-san, is that existence something that will obstruct our plan?」
I decided to try asking about what I’m worried about. If the plan that I had thought was progressing well was actually crossing a dangerous bridge without me knowing, then I think I ought to know the truth.
「Ahh. That’s okay, that’s okay. You don’t need to worry about that Wrath-kun. Basically, that person will surely not interfere with the plan. After all is said and done…」「Demon King」
Shiro-san interrupts what Ariel-san was about to say. Shiro-san shakes her head, and on seeing that Ariel-san also nods her head in acknowledgement.
「Well, it’s best to just regard it as something you don’t need to worry about.」
「I can’t just leave it at that you know.」
「Wrath-kun, this is one of those situations where you’re better off not knowing, okay?」
When I still refused to back down, Ariel-san refused to explain any further. After Ariel-san and Shiro-san refused to talk, I wasn’t able to drag out any explanation. I had no choice but to give up on pressing them any further. However, because Ariel-san said that I don’t need to worry about it, there shouldn’t be any impediment to the plan.
「Where will you run away to?」
Just when I was thinking that the conversation was over, Sophia-san brought it up again. In spite of Shiro-san’s words just now that she didn’t really want to talk about it.
As expected, Shiro-san casually responded. Since Sophia-san brought up the topic again despite it being something Shiro-san didn’t want to talk about, a certain amount of irritation could be heard in that short response.
「Give me a proper answer.」
Perhaps she didn’t notice the irritation, or perhaps she noticed it but decided to ask the question anyway, but with an unusually serious expression Sophia-san raised the question again to Shiro-san. With those closed eyes of hers, Shiro-san silently faced Sophia-san who in turn stared intently at Shiro-san’s face. They continued to stare at each other for a short while, then the one who gave up first was Sophia-san.
「Could I… come with you?」
She asked that in a somewhat embarrassed sounding voice that seemed about to vanish. I had the sense that she was uneasy, or perhaps instead, that she somehow knew what the answer would be from the start but had to ask anyway.
Shiro-san’s reply was short, but it was still a clear refusal. Sophia-san’s expression was pretty much saying “as expected”, but showed sadness as well.
「While you can’t come with me, you can choose whether to live here or live on Earth though, okay?」
Shiro-san suddenly dropped that bombshell.
On Earth? No, now that I think about it, it wouldn’t be strange if Shiro-san has been to Earth. If anything, it would be more strange if she hadn’t been to Earth. While it was quite some time ago, Shiro-san did drink canned coffee right in front of us. Canned coffee, which doesn’t exist on this planet. That was a well known brand of canned coffee from Japan. To get hold of such a thing, it shouldn’t be possible without going to Japan.
Shiro-san has a way to get to Earth. Most likely, with Teleportation. With that, it’s possible to go to Earth huh.
It’s not like I never thought about being able to return to Earth. I specifically thought about that many times immediately after I was reborn in this world. That I want to return to Earth. That wish… can be granted?
「I prefer to stay here. I don’t have any lingering affection for the Earth anyway.」
While I was thinking, Sophia-san easily rejected the option to return to Earth.
「It’s not like I could return to how I was originally even if I went back to Earth. More than anything, I’m rather fond of how I am now. Even if I return to Earth after all this time, dealing with all the red tape sounds like it would be a pain anyway. In that case, I’ll live here doing whatever I like.」
“Doing whatever I like” sure sounds like a typical response for Sophia-san. Not thinking anything, simply living however your own heart sees fit. If I said this to her it would probably anger her, but I feel her way of life of not thinking anything really suits Sophia-san. I feel that she’s living freely.
「What about you, Kyouya-kun?」
Sophia-san brought up the subject of me as well. However, my answer is decided.
「I also, prefer to stay here.」
I have a lingering affection for the Earth. However, I cannot return. Sasajima Kyouya is already dead. What’s here, is merely the oni called Wrath. I won’t return anyway – I can’t return.
Sophia-san easily overlooked my response. Even without asking, she probably expected my response. That I have no intention of returning. The reason why she asked me anyway, might have been because she intended to give me a chance. To let me think that I can still turn back, or that there’s also other options.
However, no matter what options might be available, I have already decided. So, I’m sorry. Because it’s meaningless to discuss to the future with me.
No response. She’s just a drunk.
“The end with nothing after” – in a way this is quite a literal translation but the implication is more like “after the end, I have no future”. It’s building on the theme on the previous chapter and the title is similar to how Sophia described Ariel’s situation in relation to the “end”. Reading between the lines, it seems likely that Wrath wants to die once the plan has ended – and also that Sophia has realised this.
“that person” – Ariel is indirectly referring to D, using a respectful expression.
The coffee incident is from chapter 262.
“No response. She’s just a drunk” – there’s a line in the Dragon Quest which is almost identical that became a bit of a meme, except with “corpse” instead of “drunk”.