Regressor, Possessor, Reincarnator
[Translator – Aine]
[Proofreader – yukitokata]
“We came from a hunting village in the mountains. My mom and I stayed together. She would go out to hunt and sell the leather, and I would forage for herbs.”
‘A hunting village…’
“I can’t remember much from when I was really young. My mom said it’s because I hit my head pretty hard on the ground once, hehe…”
Allen remembered that her village had been inhabited by rough hunters and rugged mountain climbers.
‘A mother had to raise her daughter alone in that kind of place by becoming a hunter as well…’
Those circumstances couldn’t be called normal.
“But if a monster ever appeared and if Mr. Henkel, who lived next door and gathered herbs, and Mr. Jason, who always said he was never scared of anything, weren’t there… and if the merchants who always came to the village also weren’t there—”
Allen cut her off, thinking that her explanation was taking too long.
“So why were you fighting with those soldiers?”
She scowled for a second before lowering her gaze, remembering the status of the man before her.
“Oh, okay. So all that was why we decided to come and take refuge in the city, but…”
“But you were blocked at the gate.”
After having said that, Allen began to find the situation odd.
How did she even get in the city while so many others who also seeked refuge were still left outside the gates?
Looking as though she were about to start hesitating with her words again, Allen spoke firmly.
As Allen urged her, she continued with her eyes closed, as if it were a necessary action.
“...So I bribed them to let me in.”
“If you go to the east or west gates instead of the north or south gates, you can get yourself into the city with a good bribe.”
She trembled as if she were confessing a great sin, but Allen didn’t really care much about it.
If it were him, he, too, would’ve resorted to bribery to guarantee his own safety in the city. What was wrong with forcing oneself through into the safety of the walls while coming from such a dangerous environment?
“...Why were you fighting with those soldiers?”
After unexpectedly hearing the same question, she answered him with the same, unchanging stunned look she’d had before.
“...I bribed them to let me in. We couldn’t afford to give them more than half of our money, but Mom told me to give them some extra fur and herbs to be safe.”
Her round eyes began to glisten.
“...Those bad guys... When they finally let me in and it was my mom’s turn, they suddenly demanded that we give the rest of our money before letting her in…”
Unlike how she had been yelling at the soldiers earlier, she now had tears in her eyes as she spoke.
“...And when mom finally gave them everything… Hic… they just kicked her out because they said that they had a sudden schedule change… Hic…”
Allen looked awkwardly at her as she suddenly burst into tears.
“...Come here for a second.”
However, that was in vain. There was no point in trying to comfort her. When he consoled her, she started crying even harder, soaking his shirt in her tears.
“Waaahhh… What am I gonna doooo… Sir… Waaahhh...”
“It’s okay. I’ll help you. …Maybe.”
‘Because it’s my fault.’
From her point of view, the soldiers’ actions were outrageous. However, Allen coldly brushed it off.
‘If they said that they had a sudden schedule change, then maybe it was my party’s fault?’
It was possible that soldiers from afar saw them and rushed to take control of their duties when Allen and Francisca first arrived at the gates.
“What if something happens to her outside… Hic…”
Allen consoled her without saying a word and thought about the details surrounding his journey.
How many days did it take to get to Hibelle in his past life? Did she lose her mother in the past? What exactly happened?
‘We arrived in the same way as we did last time.’
He came to this conclusion from skimming through the black book.
He tried to recall memories from before his regression, but it was impossible to fully remember the past, even from only a few years ago.
Or about his enemy, who was still yet to become of a higher rank.
Even though he could roughly remember some things, he couldn’t recall the details.
‘I have no choice but to rely on the book for details.’
As the future changed, the number of identical information between both lives written in the book became less and less. Nonetheless, the conclusion was clear.
The book was still useful enough for now.
“I’m going to go to the soldiers directly early tomorrow morning and tell them to let her in. Which gate did you say she was supposed to be at?”
“Sniff... The west gate…”
“I’ll go pick her up in the morning myself, okay?”
She began to shake violently as her red eyes widened.
“Hic… Th-Thank you so much, sir. Really. Hic. For your kindness. Sniff. I’ll find a way… I’ll find a way to repay you… Hic.”
Allen gave a bitter smile and smoothed her glossy black hair.
In the end, it was his fault. Yet he was glad.
And maybe it was because she was tired from crying for so long, but her eyelids started to close, and she began to murmur:
“If you decide you want to touch me now, I won’t say anything…”
Although she’d just been babbling, she quickly passed out from the emotional exhaustion from the day.
Allen got up and ironically laughed at her for not being able to get rid of her doubts about him up until the very end.
He brought her to the bedroom, laid her down on the spare bed, and retied her collar.
After working too hard all at once, it was always harder to do almost any task the next day. And after ten days of traveling, Allen couldn’t suppress his exhaustion anymore.
“...I bet they’ll say something again tomorrow.”
Thinking of the work he would have to do the next day, he threw himself into bed.
His breathing soon became more even.
At that moment, she, who’d fallen asleep in his arms, opened her eyes slightly.
“...Thank you. Really.”
After a little while, her breathing, too, became heavy and even.
A smile of unknown meaning formed around Allen’s lips and quickly disappeared.
It was a peaceful night.
For the moment.
* * *
Allen, who had been meditating on the floor, opened his eyes to the sound of a small scream.
As he finished up his meditation with a light breath, he saw Linbelle and her bewildered expression.
“What’s wrong? Did you not sleep well?”
Shame became evident on her face, brought about by the thoughts she had been thinking.
Allen chuckled, as if he knew what she had been thinking.
“Ah, don’t worry about taking my spot. I was tired too.”
She rose quickly from her seat and bowed. Allen stretched his stiff body.
“Uhm, so, well…”
Knowing what she wanted to say—almost as if he read her mind—he spoke.
“I passed my orders down to the soldiers earlier at dawn, so let’s go to the west gate together in a little while.”
Her face brightened as he addressed exactly what had been worrying her.
“Thank you so much!”
“Well, first off, go get ready. I think it would be best if we had a quick meal before going out.”
“Yes, yes, sir!”
* * *
Translator - Aine
Proofreader - yukitokata
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* * *
Right after leaving the room, Allen heard someone calling for him. He turned to face the source of the familiar voice and saw the person’s flowing dark red hair approaching him.
She was smiling as always.
“How was your sleep, Sir Allen?”
“You’re industrious as usual.”
“I’m flattered. Did you sleep well last night?”
“Yes. Thanks to you, I was able to sleep peacefully for the first time in a long while. By the way…”
Her gaze shifted behind him. Linbelle let out a small yelp as they met eyes.
“Who’s that kid?”
Allen didn’t miss the sorceress’s eyes turning cold for a split second.
“She’s a kid I saved while I was walking around the city yesterday. It got pretty late, though, so I kept her with me.”
“Hmmm. Is that so?”
As if searching for something, she looked over Linbelle a few times. Once she confirmed that there was nothing wrong with the young girl, she smiled widely and continued to walk.
“Alright, I see. I didn’t know you were with a little girl last night…”
Allen walked in step with her. Linbelle carefully followed closely behind them.
“Haha. I know what you're thinking, but I prefer more mature women than kids like her.”
Allen shrugged, and Francisca closed her eyes.
“I’m sure you do…”
“...I’m not a kid. Hmph!”
Linbelle quickly shut her mouth after unconsciously speaking her mind. Her eyes were wide open as she trembled in fear, realizing that she interrupted the sorceress.
However, Francisca didn’t appear to be the slightest bit upset. Instead, she stroked Linbelle’s hair, thinking that she was cute.
“Oh my, you’re just adorable. What’s your name?”
“I owe you an apology. I’m sorry for calling you a kid.”
“Oh, don’t worry.”
Linbelle was visibly embarrassed when the woman, who’d been of a much higher status than her, apologized to her. She then hurriedly turned towards Allen, asking for help.
Seeing the look in her eyes, he decided to intervene.
“Miss Francisca, we have to go now as we have urgent business to attend to…”
Francisca paused momentarily, making Linbelle immediately hide behind Allen.
The sorceress gave her an apologetic look and began to speak as if she had a good idea.
“What’s the issue?”
“It’s rather simple. The kid’s mom got locked out of town, so we’re going to go find her.”
He didn’t elaborate any further. He didn’t mention anything about the soldiers smuggling people in or the bribes. There was no need to expose their shortcomings in public.
She replied with a brief nod.
“Well then, would it be alright if I came along?
‘Is this a dream?’
Allen swallowed the words that were about to burst out.
He had felt a sense of incompatibility between them ever since they first met. Until their run-in not long after coming out from his room into the hallway, he had let that sensation slide. However, it could be seen as disrespectful to try to intrude on his private life.
‘What is she even thinking?’
There wasn’t any reason for her to care so much about him.
First was while they were on their way to Hibelle, then that time she asked whether he believed in prophecies, and now this.
She appeared different than how he had once known her due to her somewhat out-of-the-blue questions.
Allen had no idea what she was really thinking behind her mask of a smile.
“As we discussed yesterday, the soldiers have been busy evacuating villagers since early this morning. It would be easier to search for someone in the crowd if you took me with you.”
Allen weighed the pros and cons in his head.
She did have a point.
The soldiers would be all over the place transporting the villagers into the city.
‘I guess it’s useless.’
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