Youth, Being warned by his Older brother. (Second half)
Dale was truly a kind person, from his core, was what Kenneth believes.
Kenneth, who had been looking after him ever since Dale was a young man, understood him a lot, even regarding the more private matters of his.
If one had to say, Dale was the type who preferred talking about stupid stuff with men, but it didn’t mean that he couldn’t deal with women at all.
There were times when there would be women who would give off a hint of wanting to be in a closer relationship.
It would be weirder if a healthy, young man, who was working such a vigorous job, didn’t have such desires.
However, Dale had never tried to pursue 『Someone special』.
He had never pursued that sort of 『relationship』, even for a moment, and he has only ever been with those who understood that boundary.
Considering how earnest a personality Dale has, it was unnatural.
Nevertheless, it was precisely because Dale was earnest, that he chose to keep that 『Distance』, was how Kenneth saw it.
“You…. have always kept treating your surroundings, as if 『You might die at any time』.”
Dale’s silent face looked like a young child, who had been forced to swallow down something bitter.
“Which is why, when you’re by Latina’s side…. I feel relieved as well. If you think that you can’t let go and leave that child behind then, you would have a reason for you to cling onto your own life, after all.”
Originally, as an 『adventurer』, who could be said to be synonymous to living besides danger, there are quite a few who live for a moment’s pleasure.
They don’t know what their tomorrow’s will be. It isn’t always true that there will be a second chance. If you don’t enjoy yourself when the time for fun comes; if you don’t celebrate life, there will be nothing left.
Even then, Dale was a little different.
He is earnest. So sincere, that he ends up worrying about those around him — The 『adults』 around him who want to become more intimate to him in their own ways — .
It wasn’t just Latina, for Kenneth and Gilbester, Dale was another 『target of worry』. Just like how everyone knew of Latina when she was young, they also knew of Dale when he was just a 『Kid』 as well.
Dale has personally accepted the fact that 『he has a reason to be killed』.
With the contract he has with the country of Raband… Ever since he came to be burdened with the job of eliminating the threat of the 『Demon Lord』, ever since then, it has been like that.
He was aware, that even the 『Devils』, the subordinates of the Demon Lords, that even the 『Demon Race』, the citizens who follow the Demon Lords, have their own 『reasons』 for doing so. He had never averted his eyes away from the fact that even they, have friends, have family.
He doesn’t regret 『having killed them』. Even we, have a 『reason』 why we cannot give up.
Which is precisely why, he was certain that he was cursed, hated — and sure that they would even personally come and try kill him.
He doesn’t plan to simply accept the fact that he will be killed, but has conceded on the fact that, it wouldn’t be strange for him to be killed at any time.
Which is why Dale —
“Which is why you probably, right from the start, never considered 『you yourself』 as 『Latina’s partner』.”
Gulping, Dale had his mouth hanging, trying to deny Kenneth’s words — and was dumbfounded, lost for words.
“What you wish for, is for that child to be happy. You 『who would die first』, will be unable to bring happiness to that child. That’s what you’re thinking.”
That was exactly, Dale’s most troublesome 『quality』.
It’s exactly because he is earnest and kind that, Dale, 『someone who doesn’t know when he might die』, does not pursue a special someone. Since he would be leaving her behind, he would not be able to bring her happiness, so he chose to distance himself from the beginning.
That was something that he could say even to Latina.
If someone was to show up who could make her happy, if someone was to show up who could protect her after he was dead — If someone was to show up, 『other than himself』, who he could entrust her to then, his role as her 『guardian』 would end.
However, he didn’t want to let her go. He didn’t want to lose her.
Which is why — For a little while longer, just 『like it is right now』 — he was wishing and hoping that they could stay as 『Small child』 and 『Guardian』.
“Wa…ait, just a second…. I …..”
“Latina had already resolved herself, you know?”
“That child has long accepted that she is of the 『Demon race』…. It’s not just you. Me, Rita…. Even Theo… everyone. She’s already resolved herself, about the fact that everyone will grow old, and leave, earlier than her.”
Nevertheless, that girl —
Says she’s happy —
Says that she wants to treasure the limited amount of time they can be together right now —
Always, always smiling for me —
With a thud, the glass, which only had ice left in it, was placed down as if he was trying slam down on the table.
Looking at the one opposite him downing that, which definitely had not been a few, Kenneth forgot the words that he was trying to say.
Looking at his 『Little brother』 who stood up as if he was kicking away his chair, and headed to his bedroom as if he was running away, Kenneth looked inside the glass he was holding in one of his hands.
Seeing that, which was mostly empty, Kenneth reflected, thinking that maybe, he had also gone too far due to the alcohol, and lightly swirled the glass as he muttered quietly.
“So he finally 『realised』 it.”
With this, the situation will probably change a little.
『Those two』 have always been happy. It definitely won’t be a bad thing, for him to understand 『her』 heart, and realise 『his』 true feelings, probably.
Seeing 『his true intentions』 unintentionally leaking out from each of his actions, his 『Little brother’s』 wish was simple to understand — To the point where even he himself was would want to say that he was being meddlesome
— Thinking like that, he emptied the little bit left inside his glass.
And the next day.
Just like always, Kenneth was coming down the stairs in order to prepare for the morning, and was taken aback. There was a suspicious individual who was sneaking around, as if he was trying to run away in the night.
“….You….. what, are you doing?”
Dale, dressed up completely in his traveler’s gear, with an attitude exactly like a brat who had been caught doing a prank, turned around, startled.
Just looking at that reaction, it seemed he really was 『running away』. Right now, while Latina was 『on break』, he had to get up earlier than usual to start work, in order to make up for that. Kenneth had come downstairs a lot earlier than 『usual』.
It seemed as if he was aiming precisely for that gap, and planned to leave without saying anything, even to him.
“….It, it’s for work! There should be a 『request』 coming soon so, this time, I was just thinking that, maybe I should go to them instead, that’s all!”
Panicking, Dale spits out his excuses, which had to be said, extremely desperate.
“No, you, but….”
Kenneth, who was utterly amazed, tried to admonish his 『Little brother』, who was acting like an idiot.
However, even with that, Dale looked towards Kenneth, like he was about to cry — as if telling him, ‘Don’t say anything more’.
Suddenly, Kenneth finally realised something.
This 『Little brother』 of his, who should have accumulated quite a fair share of his own life experiences, but he was running away as if he didn’t want to pursue a 『Special someone』. That basically meant that, when this guy, is thrust into this situation,
— Was much more of a wimp, than he had thought.
“I-I left, properly, a letter, for Latina, alright! I leave the rest to you!!”
Leaving behind his last words as if he was shouting, he opened the door and rushed away with all his might. With such nimble movements that you wouldn’t believe he had been turned into the living dead for the last few days.
He ran away. He escaped. In some sense, doing the exact same thing as Latina.
Seriously, the two of them are so strangely similar. Furthermore, even the fact that they immediately throw themselves into 『work』 in order to escape, was the same.
(But, you can’t do something like this…. right…?)
By the time Kenneth had come to his senses, and had something to retort back with in his head, the person he had to tell this to, had already disappeared.
Dale is confused!
Dale ran away!
In all of the story arcs so far, this has been his most pathetic action. I’ll be describing what’s going through his head after this, so please wait a while.
He just wants so time to properly understand the situation.)