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With this chapter, volume one is over~
Chapter 1, Epilogue
After losing consciousness from Schtobel’s lightning attack, Hiro awoke in a strange place.
A pure white space. A world where color was lost.
Hiro had no idea what happened, and his confusion clearly showed on his face.
Then, someone came from behind Hiro as they called out to him.
「You’re here. So that means… you’ve returned to Aletia.」
Hiro turned around surprised, and in front of him was a golden haired, golden eyed young man.
「It’s been a while. Or, maybe that’s not necessarily the case. I don’t know how much time has passed since you returned to that “Earth” place, Held*.」
TL note: His name is written “Hiro”, but the reading above it is “Held”.
Hiro was speechless, eyes wide open in shock.
There was a golden throne made of jewels. You could say it was in bad taste.
The young man was sitting there.
He looked sharp and well put together, as if he had leapt out from a painting. If a girl saw him, she would probably let out a shrill scream in adoration.
He is such an adonis that even a man would be captivated without realizing it.
He crossed his long, slender legs, and thanks to his overflowing elegance, even the throne with its bad taste looked befitting of him.
After finally regaining his senses, Hiro began to speak to the golden eyed young man who gave off a gallant impression.
When he asked, the young man displayed an impish smile.
Hiro wants to knock him down, but he resists the urge. He persuades himself that he’s not that short tempered.
He tried to look around to distract himself from his irritation. It really was a space with neverending white everywhere he looked.
He returns his gaze, wondering if Altius disappeared, but there he was, as pompous as ever.
「Yeah. This is a dream.」
It’s only natural that Hiro makes this assertion.
For starters, he was supposed to be on a battlefield.
Also, this is a person from a 1,000 years ago. Altius is among the departed now.
It’s possible that he himself died.
If so, it would make sense that Altius is here.
Altius smiled wryly at Hiro, who began to be distressed.
「Held. It’s not like I don’t understand your confusion. I also understand your desire to believe this to be a dream. But, you know—」
Altius pointed to Hiro’s chest after he cut himself off.
When Hiro looked down to where he was pointing, there was a faint, transparent light escaping from his chest.
「What is this…?」
He undoes the buttons on his uniform and rummages around his inner pocket. What he pulls out, is a single card.
It’s the plain white card he received from Altius a 1,000 years ago.
Hiro tilted his head and spoke.
「… It’s kind of weird asking you this in my dream, but this really is a spirit charm, right?」
「Exactly. It’s a spirit charm.」
「But, I looked through a bunch of books and I didn’t see any spirit charms like this.」
「That’s something I made with a spirit I received from the spirit king. It’s only natural you don’t know about it.」
「The fact that I’m seeing this weird dream… does it have something to do with this?」
「I put traces of my thoughts into that spirit charm, too. So these are memories from that time. I only have my memories up until the moment you returned to “Earth”. The fact that you’ve come here, means that the condition for invoking that charm was met. I’m sure some sort of trouble occurred, and that means I’m not there.」
Altius looked sad for just a moment, and then his voice sprang up with joy.
「Which era were you summoned to? I’m sure there were many things that surprised you.」
「There were. I was summoned back a 1,000 years in the future…」
「Hahaha! Amazing! That’s an overwhelming amount of time!」
「Overwhelming doesn’t begin to describe it. I still can’t believe it.」
「I see… So a “turning point” has arrived in that era.」
「Huh? A “turning point”?」
Hiro replies with a question, but Altius ignores him.
「Seems like it’ll become a fun era. I’d like to go too, but unlike you whose “soul” isn’t tied down, I cannot.」
「Don’t ignore me… And, I don’t really understand. What are you talking about?」
「… Don’t worry about it. I’m sure you’ll understand eventually.」
「You’re always like that.」
「Well, that’s my nature. Anyway, what I can say to you— is to live as you want. That’s all!」
Altius stood from his throne, looked up into the white space, and spread his arms.
「The world is wide! Which is why there are an infinite number of possibilities! Walk the path you so choose! Don’t limit your own world! Live freely. Give in to all your desires!」
Altius approaches Hiro, then presses his fist to his chest.
「My blood brother, you are not a man of low calibre. Don’t underestimate yourself. It’s a bad habit of yours. Be stronger than any king. Become more prideful than any king. Become mightier than any king. For that purpose, I have prepared many possibilities, many choices for you.」
After Altius cheerfully gives his speech, he pats Hiro’s shoulders.
「I will watch carefully. The end to which my blood brother will go, the future which my blood brother will walk.」
Looking satisfied after saying all he had to say, Altius plopped down on his throne looking proud of himself.
He slowly extends his right arm, and points his palm towards Hiro.
「Now, it’s time to wake up.」
「… So abrupt. You say what you want, and then it’s goodbye?」
「Do you understand a bit of how I felt?」
Hiro shrugs his shoulders at Altius, who holds back his laughter.
He hit him where it hurt. He had nothing to say in response to that.
A 1,000 years ago, Hiro abruptly decided to return to “Earth”.
Hiro shook off Altius, who desperately tried to hold him back, and went back without giving any reasons.
Having done that, there was no way Hiro could blame him now.
There were a number of things that bothered him, but if this was his revenge, even if he asked his questions, they would probably just be evaded.
And so, he decided to ask a harmless question. The one that was most on his mind.
「Is this really goodbye?」
「For starters, I’m not even sure if this can be considered a reunion. Because the me standing here right now is just residual thoughts.」
「… I see.」
「Yeah. I doubt we’ll be meeting again. But—」
Altius cuts himself short and sighed as if he was disappointed.
「It looks like we’re out of time.」
He pointed to the heavens, so Hiro looked overhead.
A black darkness had appeared in the white space.
It slowly started to pick up speed as it began to paint everything in the empty world black.
Altius smiled and spoke to Hiro.
「That—which you—will create—. —I can’t—wait to—」
He couldn’t understand him very well because of the pauses.
Hiro’s vision is quickly engulfed in darkness.
Altius’s figure grows hazy as it disappears.
(Goodbye… my blood brother.)
—When he opened his eyes once more, an unfamiliar ceiling came flying into view.
The scent of medicine enters his nose and he regains consciousness.
He felt something soft covering his body. Though reluctant, he sat himself up.
As he looks around his surroundings, the colors of the world return. There is moonlight shining in through a window onto some medicine sitting on shelves.
After he gathers that he’s in some sort of medical office, he notices Liz is sleeping by the side of his bed looking happy.
He smiles wryly and places the blanket that was over him across her shoulders.
As Hiro realizes that he’s awakened from his dream, he tries to get down from the bed.
But the moment his foot touched the ground, the world around him swayed violently.
His vision went mad, as if his eyes were spinning.
His back slams hard onto the floor with a loud thud.
He groans, unable to breath, but he senses something coming up from his chest and he holds his mouth.
He wasn’t able to hold his vomit back.
Hiro’s breathing becomes irregular and his face starts to go pale.
(What’s wrong with my eye…? What is this…?)
A giant flood of information violently rushes into his left eye and is transmitted to his brain.
Unable to block it, it starts to crush his mind as he unwillingly takes it all in.
Even with his eyes closed, he feels like he “can see”. He’s never experienced this before.
Despite it being his own body, he has no idea what’s going on.
It seems Liz woke up noticing something unusual was occurring.
But Hiro didn’t have the freedom to reply.
Liz rushed to the suffering Hiro and pat his back.
「Get a hold of yourself! Someone, get in here!」
「Did something happen?!」
Tris, who was waiting outside, entered the room in response to her voice.
He looks at Liz, then Hiro. He immediately realizes something is wrong and goes back outside.
「I will hurry and call for a doctor!」
「Please! Bring him quickly!」
Liz, who was holding Hiro’s head, has vomit smeared all over her upper body.
But she didn’t pay it any mind and placed Hiro’s head on her lap.
Liz takes out a piece of cloth and begins to gently wipe Hiro’s mouth.
「It’s okay. Calm down and breathe…」
Hiro heaves, but nothing comes out. Maybe it was because he threw up all the food that was in his stomach.
「Hiro, will you listen to what I have to say?」
She probably wanted to distract Hiro.
Actually, Hiro showed a reaction to her clear, affectionate, mother-like voice.
His bloodshot eyes pierce through Liz.
His left pupil was oddly dilated and clotted with blood.
Liz was about to scream without thinking, but she held her mouth.
She felt a chill down her spine at the sensation of having her heart peered into.
But she can’t possible flinch. Even if only a little, she wants to take away Hiro’s pain.
Liz speaks as cheerfully as possible.
「You know, when I first met you, I was really surprised.」
She’s referring to the time they first met in Anfang Forest.
When she came back from bathing, there was a young boy being threatened by Cerberus.
A black eyed, black haired young boy. It was as if—
「You looked just like the image I had in my head— Of the Second Emperor」
The Second Emperor. The one and only emperor in history of whose portrait does not exist.
There is no way to know how he looked. One can only imagine his appearance from what is written in the legends.
Even the bronze statue of the Second Emperor is a product which was created based on the legends.
「The Second Emperor is my aspiration.」
She, who was always strong willed, showed more interest in swords rather than dolls.
During bedtime, she would convince her mother to tell her, not fairy tales, but stories of the Twelve Great Gods of Grantz as she fell asleep.
And among them, in the militaristic nation of the Grantz Grand Empire, the Second Emperor always held a fearsome level of popularity.
Having been aiming to be a soldier, it was natural providence that she held interest in the Second Emperor.
「No matter what the people around me said, I trained hard. Though, no one acknowledged me because I was a girl.」
At first, it was her dream to be a soldier.
Next, it was a general, then, a commander in chief.
Each time she grew, her dreams grew with her.
Everyone laughed at Liz and ignored her. But that situation would change completely.
—This was due to her receiving the favor of [Laevateinn].
The first one to approach her was the head of the Kelheit house, one of the Five Great Nobles of Grantz.
After he, who held influence in the eastern region, expressed his support of Liz, all the lower and middle class nobles expressed their support for her as well.
She became a power which could not be ignored by the other successors of the throne, but that all collapsed the moment the head of the Kelheit house was assassinated by an unknown culprit.
By the time she realized, only Tris and Dios were still with her.
「Then, I got word of my demotion, so I went to take a bath in Anfang Forest to take my mind of things.」
That’s where she met the young boy. A young boy who looked exactly like the Second Emperor, her aspiration.
Liz touches her hand to Hiro’s cheek and smiles.
Though he’s still breathing hard, it looks like he may have calmed down a bit.
The corners of Hiro’s eyes had softened a bit as he was looking up at Liz.
「You know, I have a dream.」
At that moment, noisy footsteps could be heard from outside.
「Move it! The boy is going to die!」
「Don’t make an old man run!」
「Then I’ll carry you on my back!」
Liz forced a smile, then put her mouth near Hiro’s ear so he wouldn’t miss what she said.
She whispers. Maybe it was because Hiro had already predicted what she would said, but he didn’t look surprised.
Her dream is an extraordinary one. It will not be an easy journey by any means.
—I will become the Empress.
She moved her face away from Hiro, and with the moonlight shining down on her face, she looked even more beautiful than usual.
Imperial Year 1023, July 11th.
Ten days after the battle with Lichtein’s army.
Fort Belk, central tower.
Hiro was in the room which was provided to him.
It was a dreary room, with nothing but a bed by the window, and a full length mirror to its right.
It’s a given, but he had no personal items. He never had the time to purchase such things.
As for items he brought from Earth, it was pretty much just his clothes.
Hiro stood in front of the mirror and stared at his own figure.
Or rather, he was stroking a part of his face. He is yet to grow accustomed to this uncomfortable feeling.
The left half of his face in the mirror was covered with an eyepatch.
It is a special eyepatch which was purified with a spirit charm.
With it, he no longer senses the slip in the world and is able to live as he had until now.
If he removes it, the world will spin like before. He’ll end up taking in enough information to rupture his brain.
「Well… guess I need to get used to it. I just have to get used to it.」
Right. He just needs to be able to master [Uranus].
Since it is his own eye, he should be able to master it in the near future.
And it’s not bad. He somehow has a grown up feel to him with the eyepatch on.
Without thinking, Hiro crossed his arms, lifted his chin, and tried to make a cool pose.
As he was getting carried away and debating whether or not to summon [Excalibur]…
「Hiro~! I’m coming in.」
A crimson haired girl came in without even knocking.
He had the urge to say something about privacy and some other things, but more importantly, this was a bad situation.
「What are you doing?」
Liz stopped in her tracks in front of the door surprised.
Hiro’s face instantly flushed red. She saw him.
His pounding heart starts to beat faster. He can tell he’s getting hotter from his neck up.
This is embarrassing… He thrust his hands out and waved them flustered.
「N-No! You’ve got it all wrong!」
「Got what all wrong?」
Liz tilts her head and swings her crimson hair.
Ahh, Hiro thinks it’s such a cute gesture, but doesn’t voice his thought.
If he could, he wanted to escape from that spot that instant, but Liz was blocking the exit.
「Uhh… How should I put this…?」
It would have been so easy if he could say his body was taken over by a moment of vanity*.
TL note: Word used here is “chuunibyou”. Wanted to avoid any Japanese in these translations, but we thought we’d add this note for clarity.
Silence falls. It’s an extremely awkward atmosphere.
While Hiro was lost as to what to do, Liz was the one to act first.
「Come on, what are you trying to tell me?! Anyway, come with me!」
She grabs his arm in a way to suggest that she doesn’t care about Hiro feeling shaken.
He’s dragged off by a monstrous strength and flies out the room. They head towards the spiral staircase leading downstairs.
「And where might we be going—?!」
He wasn’t able to tell her that he was ill until just the other day.
This was because they started going down the stairs at full speed. He would bite his tongue if he spoke in this situation.
They basically flew down the stairs. When they rushed out the central tower, they were met by the plaza.
The brilliant sun was beating down and broiling the surface. They could feel sweat building on their skin.
「Aura said she’s returning to the west. We have to see her off, right?」
「W-We still have time! We don’t have to rush like this!」
In order to bury the soldiers who had died in the previous fight, she stayed at Fort Belk while receiving treatment.
Unfortunately, there were also many soldiers who could not be found. Some corpses were so severely injured and covered in mud that it was difficult to discern whether they were friend or foe.
Despite being injured herself, she had been going around looking for the bodies of her subordinates until the sun set.
They gathered all the corpses of Lichtein’s troops in one spot and burned them.
Because there was also the fear of disease spreading, they had the Fourth Imperial Army assist them to dispose of the bodies quickly.
The Fourth Imperial Army was also dispersed in various areas of Margrave Grinda’s territory.
This was due to the possibility of survivors of the Lichtein army remaining in Margrave Grinda’s territory and disturbing the public order.
It seems First Imperial Prince Schtobel took his imperial guards and returned to the Imperial capital.
(Someday… I have to pay him back.)
He decides to live his life the way he wants as Altius told him to that day.
For now, he puts aside his revenge on the First Imperial Prince for another day and keeps his anger inside.
Reason being, there was someone he had to see off with a smile on his face.
「Did you come here just to see me off?」
There was a young girl straddled atop a warhorse with her right arm dangling— It was Aura, with that usual glum look on her face.
There was also Alfred next to her with his entire body wrapped in bandages.
Although he looks to be in pain, in a way, it was comical and made you want to laugh.
「Your highness, and… Sir Descendant. Thank you for seeing us off.」
Alfred sounded thoroughly displeased the moment he said “Sir Descendant”.
You couldn’t see his expression through the bandages, but you could tell what it looked like.
Liz puts her hands to her hips and speaks.
「Yes, a lot happened, but I’m glad we’re all alive.」
「Yes. The outcome was terrible, but I believe we gained various things from this battle.」
Aura kept staring after speaking.
Hiro forces a smile at those lead colored eyes that seem to be probing for something.
「How is your eye?」
「Well, it seems like it’ll take some time for it to heal.」
The only ones who know about his eye’s abnormality are Liz, Tris, and three doctors.
Everyone else was told that it was a wound from the battle.
So there was no way Aura would know, but for some reason, Hiro felt she would figure out the truth about his eye if she kept observing him.
「I see. As long as you haven’t lost your sight. But still, that’s a large eyepatch.」
They had no choice but to use a large eyepatch to hide the spirit charm.
But he couldn’t possibly explain that to her.
As Hiro was thinking of an excuse, Liz threw him a lifeline.
「It’s a huge wound! It’s a… a really horrible wound!」
「I see… Do you think it will leave a scar?」
「Ah, no, I think it’ll be okay.」
Hiro said, as he was shaking inside.
「… That’s good to hear.」
Then— can you please stop staring at me?
No matter how much time passed, Aura’s gaze was fixed on Hiro, piercing through him.
Liz stood in front of him to intercept her gaze.
「We’ll send you a letter or something.」
「I will also write you a letter once things settle down.」
「Lady Aura, it’s almost time.」
Alfred interrupted the conversation.
Lined up behind him were the [Imperial Black Knights], though their numbers had diminished.
Perhaps because of the heat, they were wearing light armor rather than heavy, and the warhorses had their armor removed as well.
They were stored along with their food provisions and water in the wagons.
「Then, shall we depart? Take care.」
Aura wraps her arms around her horse’s neck as the sleeves of her military uniform flutter about, and heads for the main gate.
She looked back after moving forward a bit. Her gaze lands on Hiro.
「Held*, let us meet again somewhere.」
TL note: Aura calls Hiro the same way Altius did at the beginning of the chapter.
ED note: O.O\\\!!!!!
After that, she didn’t look back again.
With her at the lead, the group of warhorses slowly goes out the gate.
Despite the heat, his heart is assailed by chills and he feels frozen stiff.
Liz patted Hiro’s stiffened back.
「Hiro, I know this is sudden, but we’re going to practice riding horses.」
Those words froze his heart even more.
Hiro ended up getting many, many scratches while exposed to the blazing sun.
—Two days thereafter.
An Imperial command was delivered to Hiro from the current Emperor.
ED note: I’m adding the colored images.