Tuesday, August 2, 2022 @

Chapter 31 [Quite Talk] Farewell to the Heart: Lida's Case

 Lida's POV
 Even though I said it in front of everyone, I have already decided.
 I'm the only one who can be Ceres' lover or wife.
 Even if all three of us were wanted... I would still want Ceres.
 My eyes were blinded.
 All that sword-wielding had made me crazy.
 Even as a child, I liked Zect.
 It's no surprise because he was always the center of attention.
 Still, Ceres was always working.
 He didn't participate in the children's games much. He only helped the adults.
 Because of that, Mom and dad were always close to Ceres.
 Mom made Ceres call her 'Nee-san.'
 Dad also told him to call her 'Nii-san.'
 And Ceres called them 'Nee-san' and 'Kazuma-niisan.'
 He's not even family... and yet he comes into the house.
 At home, the conversation was always about Ceres.
 Dad always said, "Ceres is great. He really likes to cook."
 He would yell at me if I went into the kitchen at the restaurant instead of the kitchen at home.
 But Ceres was usually allowed in.
 Mom used to beat Ceres... at first I thought she was just mad at him... but no... she was beating him out of her trust in a true family... and she was beating him to prove it. Mom is smiling, and so is Ceres.
 I don't know how much I hated him, but I thought, 'I hope he dies.'
 After all, Ceres is taking more and more of my space.
 And my parents...
 "Lida... who do you think you'll marry in the future? I recommend Ceres."
 "Well... I'd be happy if that boy would be Lida's husband."
 See... Do they think about my happiness... aren't they just pushing me to get married because they want Ceres?
 I hated my parents with all my heart.
 I hated Ceres even more...
 So I was pretty mean to Ceres when we were kids.
 I pushed him into the river and hit him with a wooden stick to make it look like an accident.
 And yet... he always smirked at me.
 "Don't worry about it... it's no big deal."
 Now that I think about it, Ceres had no parents, and if I pushed him into the river, it would be Ceres who would dry his clothes and boil his bathtub.
 If his head had bled... usually his parents would have treated him, but he had no parents... so he would have treated himself and gone to bed alone, in pain, I am sure.
 Because I was ashamed of what I had done, I decided to stay away from Ceres.
 That's how I chose to be a child.
* * *
 Now that I'm an adult I understand.
 As an orphan, Ceres could only live 'that way.'
 For food and shelter, he had to help others.
 No wonder my parents took pity on Ceres and were so kind to him.
 He helped them with the restaurant and even helped them with the cooking, so it was only natural that they would let him into the kitchen.
 All of this was necessary for Ceres himself survive...
 That's all...
 For such a normal thing, I used to hate Ceres.
 And looking back again, he was incredibly kind.
 He never told anyone I pushed him into the river or hit him with a wooden stick.
 'How could I ever be so cruel to a man like him?'
 I made fun of him and Zect and Maria and maybe even Mel.
 We used him and pushed him around.
 Just because he wasn't a four-job man.
 But he didn't complain we did that... and then we kicked him out.
 Still, why isn't he mad at us for that?
* * *
 No... because he's... open-minded.
 Yeah... he's like an ideal father and mother... that's what he is.
 It all makes sense.
 If my mom and dad were my sister and brother, it wouldn't be surprising if they thought of me as a niece.
 Ah, I see... until now, I was surrounded by great love... really, I'm stupid.
 Even if I end up with Zect, I'll still be no better than number four.
 Probably he would have a princess for his legitimate wife, a nobleman's daughter for his first concubine... and Maria below that... and me below her.
 Even now, I am the fourth lowest in Zect's party..., and I am not worth it.
 In that case, I'll be happier in Ceres, where I'll be cared for.
 Maybe after we defeat the Demon King, we can both be adventurers.
 We'll eat the food he cooked... wear the clean clothes he washed, drink the booze together... well, at night... we'll be together...
 Hmm? Isn't it better this way?
 Mom and dad were right.
 They were trying to make me happy.
 When we get tired of being adventurers, we can return to the village and take over the restaurant.
 Dad was there, and Ceres was working the frying pan beside him.
 I can't do anything, so I'll just serve the food...
 Then, Ceres, I'll be your wife... and I won't hate you again, I won't let that happen again...
 Well, even with all three of us... we'll just go back to the way we were.
 And we'll be happy.

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