I like this chapter 🙂 Let’s try to continue my chapter a day again :v Dota 2 has been draining my time recently
Youth, A certain night at a corner seat.
The night was getting late, the customers were leaving. This was the time when all the bustle was dying down.
He took a sideward glance at the figure of the woman with slender shoulders coming into the 『Dancing Ocelot』 and once again returned his gaze to the glass by his hand.
“Were you meeting up with the men in your past again?”
“Oh my, are you jealous?”
“S’no way right. I just sympathise for the other men.”
Saying so he let out a sigh at the counter, and Hermione laughs as she sat down next to him.
She really hasn’t changed since the first time he met her.
The person herself denies it, but being able to meet her every now and then like this, he couldn’t see any differences.
However, it seems that was the same for more senior people like Kenneth as well.
“….Just snag up a man you like and settle down already.”
“For you to actually say something like that, you’ve really 『aged』.”
“It’s been more than enough time for people like『us(Human race)』.”
“That might be true.”
Seeing Hermione chuckle, Dale was slightly befuddled as he brought a cup of alcohol to his mouth. It wasn’t like he was in the mood to drink until he loses himself, but he couldn’t stay sober in front of a female fox like her.
Hermione called over Rita and had her bring a cup as well. From the corner of his eyes, he could see her slender fingers waving Rita over.
“Simply put, 『You people (Human Race)』 shouldn’t try to force your common sense on 『us』.”
“Is this a lecture?”
Ting. A loud clear sound resounded from within the glass, and Hermione continued.
“It’s impossible. Even if people like 『you』 speak of virtue, that is to 『constantly think of one person in their life』, that’s just not how it is in real life.”
In the shadow of her long eyelashes falling on her profile, there seemed to be something deeper, darker than what he could see.
“Just think about it. Even amongst those of the same race, it’s not weird for there to be several hundreds of years of difference in age. If they leave first, are you saying you’ll live the rest of your life thinking about that person? That’s terrible…. Which is why people like 『us』, races with a long lifespan, don’t look for a steady partner. The more you think about it then, the deeper the pain 『parting』 is.”
With Hermione’s words, Dale stayed quiet and his gaze fell on his wine cup.
He recalled his beloved child’s smile.
Someday, he would definitely leave her behind. What could he possibly do for her until that day comes, he wonders.
“…Anyway, you don’t have any integrity. Just how many men are you going to take advantage of.”
“Oh my, you can’t say it like that. It’s just that 『you guys』 leave me and end up getting old immediately.”
“Even if you say that, that’s no reason to just target brats, right?”
“That’s just a coincidence. Besides, I’m quite confident in my eye to discern men, you know?”
Hermione’s words were not necessarily wrong, as amongst the 『men』 who she has taken 『advantage』 of, many of them became famous, top-class people.
Before those 『men』 became 『top-class』, when they were still starting out, they all had a somewhat hopeless, bitter sweet memory. That memory was the woman called 『Hermione』.
“Besides, I’m quite faithful, you know? I’ve never two-timed anyone ever before.”
“If you were that kind of woman, it would probably be easier…. to hate on you.”
“You think so?”
She chuckles again.
Even if he couldn’t deal with her, he couldn’t come to hate or detest her. That was definitely how the other 『men』 thought of her as well.
“Women are different to men, we live carrying risks, you know? I don’t want a man who would think, ‘Why don’t you just give birth, after all this time’.”
“….You sure know what you want.”’
“It’s because you’ve become an adult…. because you’ve become a 『parent』.”
As she said that, Hermione’s face had the expression of an older person’s calm. A tone like she was speaking to a much younger brother or child, was evident in her voice.
“Why do you think that someone like 『me』 doesn’t like being called a『Half elf』?”
When two races’ specialties are combined, they’re called a 『Mix』. However, only a person born from someone of the 『Human Race』 and the 『Elven Race』 is called a 『Half』, and there is indeed a tendency for them to shirk away from the name.
Dale, not knowing the reason, quietly shook his head.
“The Elven race, other than the Human race, can born a 『Mix』 with the Winged Race. However, since the Winged Race and the Elven race have too much of a difference in their values, the two races never interact with each other in the first place.”
The Winged race was a race that had an even shorter lifespan than the Humans.
In addition to them living in their own private settlements, living out their own private cycles of life, there also wasn’t that many of them.
Their areas of life don’t really overlap with the Elven race, and thus there weren’t many 『Mixes』 between the two that exist.
“It’s because we’re 『Half』. Simply speaking, 『Half elves』 can only live 『half』 that of normal 『Elves』. However, that is more than enough time compared to the 『Human race』. …. Which is why we’re shunned. Understand?”
Dale shook his head silently, and Hermione continued her words like a teacher warning a student.
“The 『Elven race』 are different to the 『Demon race』. It takes time for us to become adults. Nevertheless, it is still an extremely long period of time to 『Humans』. Thus, a 『Human』 parent cannot raise their 『Half Elf』 child. And….”
There was a shadow cast on her expression. Hermione’s voice also sounded slightly bitter.
“For the 『Elf』 parent, their 『Half elf』 child, is someone who will die of old age before them.”
“….And, does that have anything to do with the amount of men you go through?”
“It does, you know? I don’t want any children unless they’re 『Human』 or 『Half elf』. If I decide to partner up with a man, not of the 『Human race』, then there’s a chance that I could get pregnant with another race’s child right?”
Smoothly going through her graphic speech, Hermione disguised her bitter expression with a playful gesture.
“If I had a child with a man from any other race, then there’s a chance that I could get pregnant with an 『Elf』. If that happens, I wouldn’t be able to raise them. There won’t be enough 『time』 after all…. Well, either way, the 『chances』 of that are low anyway.”
The birth rates for races with a long lifespan was low.
In addition to that, Dale reflected on the time when he had thought she was 『playing』.
He washed down his bitter thoughts with the alcohol in his hands.
“….Why did you, suddenly, bring this up?”
“Who knows. I wonder why?”
Saying it like that, Hermione chuckles, hiding the bitter expression she had until just now.
Perhaps she was still in a place where he 『couldn’t reach』.
“To races with a 『long lifespan』, being able to live for a long time comes with its own pains and difficulties. Just remember that, with『your (Human race) 』 reasoning, she’ll be the one in pain. You’re her 『parent』 right?”
It’s impossible not to know 『who』 those words were targeted towards.
With Hermione’s powers of observation, he had thought that she would 『realise it』 the moment she laid eyes on her.
“….One day, after I die, would you help Latina out…?”
Hermione answered quickly. She looks at Dale, her eyes narrowing into a gentle smile.
“If she’s important to you then, you should try your best to live a long life.”
The ice inside the glass he had drained, made a ringing sound.