“Kris will stay over at my house tonight.”
Those words opened a big hole in my heart. It meant Krish-san’s relationship with Annette-sama was good enough for him to casually spend the night at her house.
It was a matter of her family accepting him to stay over with their daughter of marriageable age. Of course, it was. Their marriage was approaching after all.
“Honey-soaked lemon. Although I went to great lengths to make this, it will all be for nothing, huh?”
If Krish-san gets married straight away, there won’t be any chance for me to give this to him. If I walked past the street, I’d probably see him, but if I go there without any actual business, I’ll just cause trouble.
While Norn, Couge, and Gennett-san went home, the house turned deadly silent. Before I lived together with Krish-san, this must have been natural, but after having gotten used to people being around, this silence was slightly painful.
I found the room without any sound unpleasant and made loud noises on purpose as I started washing the massive amount of tableware from lunch.
Cleaning the dirty tableware was the perfect way to distract myself. After putting the clean tableware away, the dirty kitchen weighed on my mind, so I cleaned every nook and corner.
Rinsing the dust cloth vigorously, I moved the chair with a rattling sound. Since many people and come and gone, I also roughly swept away all the dust on the floor, then wiped it with a damp cloth.
Denying my rampant feelings by cleaning, I looked for something else that needed cleaning and noticed the door to Krish-san’s room being ajar.
With the brand new armor and a few changes of clothes, the room smelled of Krish-san even though it was in my house. Soon, this room would return to being empty again.
Then, I guess Krish-san’s scent would also disappear.
The distance between the living room on the first floor and Krish-san’s room symbolized the distance between Krish-san and me. I couldn’t go through this door.
Only a special person could be by Krish-san’s side, and that was surely Annette-sama.
An image of the two of them happily smiling appeared in my mind, and, feeling like sighing, I closed the door.
Who was the person who said that “Happiness will flee if you sigh1”? I wanted to tell that person “Because I fled, I will sigh”.
After all, you won’t sigh if you’re happy. Since I fled with a wonderfully happy feeling, I could say that with certainty.
“Around this time, Krish-san should be greeting Annette-sama’s parents.”
Without anything to do but sit absentmindedly, I couldn’t help but end up thinking of Krish-san. Everyone, including Filk-sama, who would become one family, was probably enjoying their dinner right now. I should be happy for him. Krish-san’s family would grow, after all.
I sat on the sofa Krish-san had brought for me in a pitch-black room, with my arms wrapped around my legs and the corners of my lips pointing down, and only felt more miserable.
“And I thought we’d be together all day…”
The empty house felt spacious, and I could hear echoing mutters. As much as I enjoyed the daytime, it was lonely to be alone, and I had no appetite.
Still, Krish-san would be angry with me if I didn’t eat anything, and I had to work in the field again tomorrow.
I tried to recall the ingredients in case something was wrong, but I ate all the food I had made for lunch, and I had bread, but nothing had been bad or stale.
Besides that, what I could eat straight away was a small plate of handfuls of Kokuri on my desk. I had given away all the other harvested fruit to Norn and the others.
It was more than I could eat alone, and more fruit would be harvested tomorrow. Instead of throwing the damaged fruit away, I thought it would be better to give it to others.
“Should I eat outside?”
The lunch I had with everyone was delicious and made me happy. If I remember that while eating, I thought I could regain some of my appetite.
Standing up on shaky legs, I took a handful of Kokuri and went outside.
In truth, I had thought of eating nearby the fruit trees. But, when I reached the pond on my way there, the beauty of the stars in the night sky reflected on the water's surface fascinated me and I stopped.
Plopping down on the ground, I gazed at the stars in the pond. Wherever I came to draw water from the pond at night, I had been too afraid and rushed back home, so I had always missed this beautiful sight.
Come to think of it, I wasn’t that scared today. When I was washing the dishes, I was too restless to calm down, but now there was only a stillness inside me.
It was like my heart had been carved out of my chest.
The stars shone both above and under me like they were surrounding me. Since arriving in this world, I had only seen this scene once. At that time, Krish-san had been with me.
I was supposed to spend the breeding of light moss alone. Spores had danced in the breeze around Krish-san, who had come to pick me up.
Because the pink spores had reminded me of the cherry blossoms in my previous world, I started crying, and Krish-san wiped my tears while making a gentle lie.
At that point, I had never thought I’d fall in love with him, and he was more like a companion. To think I had thought that.
I wonder when I first fell for Krish-san. Maybe I had already started being charmed by him little by little already at that time.
I ate a Kokuri that rolled over in my hand. Crushing the fruit with my fingertips, a pleasant aroma spread out as I put it into my mouth. It was strange because it should be the same thing I ate for lunch, but now it tasted sort of bland. I chewed and swallowed the pudding-like texture several times.
It was right after I learned about Annette-sama. I had felt sad after seeing the two together by chance and wondered why.
After that, I didn’t meet them again for a while, then robbers came and Krish-san was the one who saved me. He was sweating profusely as he rushed to me.
Seeing Krish-san like that, I finally realized I really was saved.
Without Granddad or Grandma at the time, I wished for Krish-san to save me. Since coming here, I’ve made friends with Norn and Couge, and there was Gennett-san, too.
But it was only Krish-san who I wanted to “save” me.
Krish-san was cool, kind, like a hero, but I wasn’t his heroine.
I obviously wasn’t. I was an otherworlder that was short, appeared to be a 10-year-old, and had a sunburn making me look like a panda.
Although gender and age didn’t seem to matter in this world, I lacked the ability to be the heroine.
Annette-sama was a beautiful, cute, and bright woman. Her facial expressions were vivid, her nails were polished, and words like madonna or heroine suited her.
It was common knowledge in any world that the hero and heroine would be attracted to each other, and above all, Annette-sama was a genuine princess.
She surely grew up having her family love her and raise her with care. Completely different from me.
Picking up the second Kukuri, I crushed it between my fingers and put it in my mouth. After eating a third, then a fourth, they really didn’t taste as good as at lunch.
I should have known. Krish-san had told me there were marriage talks and would stay with me and work in the fields until I was all better again.
He stayed with me because he was worried, but after my injury gets better he was bound to leave.
When Annette-sama asked me today how I was feeling, Krish-san might have left straight away because I said I was feeling better. It took about an hour for a carriage to reach my house from the city, so it would be inconvenient to commute as a knight.
The field was doing well since I had started sending Couge vegetables again, so knowing Krish-san would be going home, I should prepare to return to living alone. Even though I knew in my mind that feelings like loneliness and sadness were selfish to have, I cowardly and selfishly thought “I want to be together a bit longer”.
The water's surface trembled despite the absence of any wind. I blinked my eyes feverously, scattering the water while looking up at the night sky. If I had looked down, it would have fallen from my eyes, so I looked up instead.
After my vision cleared a little, I could see the sky full of stars, big enough that it felt like I could reach them, but then water gathered again.
I remembered that the brightest star was said to be the knight’s star.
This world was full of things reminding me of Krish-san, and no matter what I saw was painful.
“I should have known it would happen.”
I should have known that the life together with Krish-san would come to an end and that he wasn’t my hero. My chest hurt at the thought.
Since I already knew about Annette-sama when I first realized my feelings, I haven’t ever thought something would happen between Krish-san and me.
Because he nursed me so kindly, I might have started to hope for something.
I was so stupid. Didn’t Krish-san tell me already? That “his duty was also to confirm the safety of the civilians”.
To Krish-san, living together with me was his duty as a knight.
Once the tears I had held back started falling, I couldn’t stop them. After rubbing my eyes, I realized it was OK to cry.
Since Krish-san wouldn’t come home today, so he wouldn’t grow worried seeing me cry this pathetically in an improper place.
Crying as hard as I could, I let my emotions pour out.
“I love Krish-san to the point of crying.”
I wonder if I cry until my tears dry up, my feelings for him will dry up too.
“Somehow I feel refreshed.”
Although I didn’t know how long I had cried, it must have been a considerable time. Because I cried to rid myself of all the sadness inside me, my face had grown moist from all the tears.
The hiccups had subsided, and the numbness at the back of my head was somewhat relieved.
Although I had heard crying it all out could be a stress relief, it really seemed to be true.
Pochi was sitting next to me obediently. My tears had soaked into his fur too, making it dried out.
After I had begun to cry, I heard the scratching sounds on the door of the rearing room and then Pochi’s whining.
Pochi, the excellent watchdog he was, had noticed his owner was crying and came to comfort him.
After opening the door, he licked my tear-streaked face. It felt like he was telling me to “cheer up”, so I buried my face in his fur and continued to cry, relying on his comfort.
Since I had made his fur fluffy earlier, I felt a bit regretful.
Then another animal came. After Pochi, Blanche, Krish-san’s partner, slowly showed up.
After approaching me and sniffing my face, she simply stopped by my side.
Maybe she was meaning to protect me instead of Krish-san.
Blanche’s dignified stature as she stood at attention reminded me of Krish-san. So animals take after their owners, after all?
Her strong presence put me at ease, so I could cling to Pochi and cry my heart out.
Yeah, it was fine. After crying everything out, I was fine.
When Krish-san comes back tomorrow, he’d probably say “Thank you for everything” with a smile. Should I say “Congratulation on your marriage” then?
Despite crying, my feelings for him didn’t change so easily. I was still sad, but no matter how I thought about it, I didn’t regret falling in love with him.
Although the time we had spent together after I realized my feelings was short, my heart was pounding and I was nervous and happy and embarrassed. He thought me all kinds of emotions.
I was happy. So I would see him off with a smile.
If I cried when he was leaving, Krish-san would definitely notice it because he was kind.
Pochi, it’s lonely now that Krish-san left, isn’t it? But us two will be together forever, okay?”
At this time, mistaking it for Pochi’s breathing, I didn’t notice the pair of footsteps approaching.
- A Japanese folklore meaning if you sigh a lot in life, you’re unhappy ↑