What’s done is done, even if you don’t want to admit it.
S32 – Reborn
There was no other way to describe the atmosphere in the room after Wakaba-san and co left, except to say that it was the worst. Kudou-san, who is usually keeping everyone together, is crestfallen due to Wakaba-san saying that they can’t return to Earth.
I don’t know what the situation was like in this village. However, based on the ambience, I can conclude that they were somehow getting by, with Kudou-san at the core. The heart of the person who was at the core, is now fracturing. In this situation where everyone is anxious about the unknown future, with the fact that the person who formed the reliable core of the group has gotten disheartened, that appears to be casting a particularly heavy shadow over everyone’s hearts.
“I want to go back to Japan” – I think that is something that all of the reincarnators have thought at least once. I myself have thought that many times. The civilisation of this world is no match at all for Japan and there are many times when it feels lacking. Most of all, I want to meet with my family who were separated from me by my death. And eventually, I even thought this – “ahh, if I could only go back to Japan”.
Despite me being the prince of a major country, blessed with a luxurious environment, I have thought that as well. The others aside from me are surely carrying even more intense feelings. Kudou-san’s current state gives a graphic account of that. They were pent up in this elf village, leading a life devoid of freedom. Perhaps for all of them, it would be a matter of course that they would want to go back to Japan.
Breaking the silence, Shinohara-san called out to the tied up Kusama in a cold tone. I recalled that Shinohara-san often treated Kusama like a gopher and called him Shinow. But, unlike back when she called out to him affectionately, now her tone is carrying a sense of hostility.
「Is there really no way to go back to Japan?」
In response to that question, Kudou-san raises her head, surprised.
「The attitude of that lot just now, was suspicious, you know? They gotta be hiding something, right? Besides, if there really was no way to go back, then such a thing wouldn’t come up in the first place, right?」
Due to the conviction in Shinohara-san’s words, the gazes of everyone in the room focused on Kusama. Seemingly becoming frightened of everyone’s menacing looks, Kusama began to squirm and Ogi, who was tied up with him, grimaced.
「I dunno! I don’t know! Really! For real! I really don’t know anything about that okay!」
Kusama desperately defended himself. Based on his attitude, I can’t believe that he’s telling a lie. However, perhaps unable to discard the ray of hope, Kudou-san rushed over to Kusama and grabbed his shoulder.
「Hey, if you know something then tell me! Please!」
「I really don’t know, okay! If I could go back then I’d also want to go back and read more manga!」
Although Kusama gave a dumb reason for wanting to go back to Japan, his tone was sincere. Thought it felt more like that it was forced out of him by Kudou-san’s intensity, rather than it being the real reason for him wanting to go back.
「Calm down, class-rep. Kusama is saying that he doesn’t know, yeah? Cool your head a bit, okay?」
As if intervening, Tagawa gently pulls Kudou-san away from Kusama.
「You just don’t understand because you’ve been outside though! Just what do you think we’ve been through while living here!? You’re the one who’s been off having fun adventures!」
Completely unlike her normal self, Kudou-san raises her voice in disparagement.
However, it seems she trod on a landmine.
「Fun adventures? Having my relatives killed, and fighting on through sickening battles in order to get revenge, is a “fun adventure”!?」
This is bad!
「Tagawa! Restrain yourself!」
I immediately rushed over to Tagawa, and pinned his arms from behind. If I hadn’t done that, it seemed like he might have gone on to strike Kudou-san. Having slipped out of the rope before I noticed, Kusama was also standing protectively in front of Kudou-san.
Behind Kusama, Kudou-san has been overawed by Tagawa and had collapsed to the floor with the blood drained from her face. Based on the colour of her face, I don’t think it was just due to her being overawed though.
「……My bad. I blew my top. I’m okay now. Let me go please.」
After calming his breathing that was disturbed during his rage, it seems that Tagawa has regained his composure. I believed his words and so released his arms. Tagawa threw a glance at Kudou-san, then turned around without comment, leaving up the stairs to return to his room.
「Ah…… I’m sorry……」
Kudou-san speaks that simple word of apology to Tagawa who is no longer here. Without rising from where she was sitting on the floor, she stayed there with a downcast posture. With her body trembling, a faint sob could be heard.
Again, the room is filled with a heavy mood. I think Kudou-san was at fault just then. I hadn’t known it either, but because she hadn’t known that Tagawa had been fighting in such circumstances, she insensitively touched on that sore spot. Tagawa’s words didn’t have an impact on Kudou-san alone, as the boys who had talked of adventures as if admiring them also looked uneasy. Although she hadn’t known, Kudou-san is at fault for carelessly treading on Tagawa’s landmine. But, despite saying that, I have no intention of condemning her.
「“I think it’s meaningless to talk about which would have been better”, huh.」
Unintentionally, I voiced Kyouya’s words from earlier. While I had refuted the words that he’d spoken afterwards back then, perhaps I can agree with this part. Each and every person, walks down their own individual path. It’s natural for those paths to each have their own joys and sorrows. It’s inevitable for people to brag about the sorrows that they went through. Since no matter what happened, the past cannot be changed. People must not focus on the past, but look to the future.
「Class-rep. We have already died once.」
We died once and then we were reborn in this world. That past cannot be changed.
「We died. Those of us here now, even if we have memories of our past lives, we are not the same. We have been reborn. In a new life.」
Class-rep, who is crying her eyes out, turns towards me. In her expression there is a sense of confusion at why I would be saying something so obvious at such a late stage, along with a certain amount of irritation as well.
「Even if we returned to Japan, since we are now different people, we don’t even have a place to return to.」
Class-rep gasps. Even class-rep should have known that logically. It’s just that she didn’t want to acknowledge it. Even though our appearance is similar to that in our previous lives, there’s no strong resemblance. There’s even those like Katia whose gender has changed. That alone makes one a different person. Even if we went to Japan looking like this, we have no place to return to. We are already residents of this world.
「Let’s think about the future. Such as what we want to do. Or what we should do.」
Saying that though, when I think about what I could do by myself, I have doubts. From now on, what on earth should I do?
I felt that those cursed words that had been echoing through my head all this time had gotten louder. When I get timid, it seems it’ll influence my consciousness more.
Shut up! Just what are you saying to atone for? Just what are you saying that I, that we, should do!?
Perhaps sensing something strange with me, Katia called out to me anxiously.
「It’s nothing. It’s just that I was also thinking a bit about what I should do from now on.」
I’m not lying. I actually have no idea what I should do from now on in practical terms. So many things are muddled up and the insides of my head are in such a mess that I couldn’t sort things out either. However, for anything relating to the future, perhaps the expression “at my wits’ end” fit the situation to a tee.
Until now, I have taken actions based on my own convictions. However, was there actually any meaning in all that in the end? Julius-nii-sama died, father was killed in front of my eyes, Sue committed patricide due to Yuugo’s actions and the Kingdom has collapsed. In order to stop Yuugo, despite coming all the way to the elf village, in the end I collapsed without being able to do anything, then finally I heard that Yuugo had been used by Wakaba-san and co and disposed of. While I was unawares, a gigantic course of events occured. The actions I had taken until now, were those based upon my own convictions, but I now feel that they were simply engulfed by that gigantic course of events.
So what on earth should I do? In the first place, is there even anything that I can do with Wakaba-san and co as my opponents? I don’t feel that there is. Even just earlier, I wasn’t able to offer any real resistance and couldn’t do anything except to pathetically grovel on the floor.
I shake my head, to drive off my timidity and that curse. Despite that, the curse continues to ring. Even so, I can’t do anything except to pretend that I can’t hear it.
「Shun. Are you really okay? You’re looking unwell.」
「Yeah. It seems that I’m still not fully recovered. I’ll return to my room and rest for a bit. I’ll cool my head there for a bit and think about what to do from now on.」
I responded to Katia’s concerns like that, and began to walk back to my room. There wasn’t anything unusual in my response, right? Due to this damn curse, it seems I’ve gotten emotional. Even during my arguments with Kyouya, I should have been able to do it more amicably. Kyouya surely has his own circumstances too, yet I got emotional and forced my own opinions on him. Next time, we should have a proper talk with just the two of us.
The opportunity for that, never arose. The world changed more rapidly than I had expected, without even giving me time to think. As if anything and everything was turning worse and worse.
“Shinow” – Shinohara calls Kusama Shinobu this as a nickname. The “o” at the end is drawn out so I went with “Shinow” as it’s not a real name and this helps differentiate it a bit.
“Ohh” – Tagawa’s line here is spoken in a crude and threatening tone. The cliche example would be angry yakuza glaring with a dark expression.
“I think it’s meaningless to talk about which would have been better” – a reference to chapter 309