Chapter 32: Confession
Brandt’s magic circuits were healed after two more treatments.
We went to the beginner’s dungeon near Russell town to see how things were going, and Brandt defeated all the monsters with ease.
“I’m completely back to normal… No, I even have more magic power than before. I feel so light.”
Brandt laughs, showing no signs of fatigue.
Whether the once-broken magical circuits have been restored and strengthened or whether the healing process has allowed the parts that were flowing poorly to begin with to come through, Brandt’s already powerful magic has increased even more.
Anastasia is beginning to fear that an outrageous monster has been created.
She decides to put aside for the moment the fact that Brandt seems to have the blood of a demon king in his veins.
Anastasia holds no personal grudge against the demon lord.
In her last life, she fought and ended up being cursed, which was also the cause of Anastasia’s death, but she also defeated the Demon King, so she is a good match for him.
The figure of the man in anguish is rather impressive, and if there is resentment, it is by far greater towards the Hero Shin.
If I were given the choice of meeting either the hero Shin or the demon king, I would choose the hero Shin without hesitation.
However, there was concern about what would happen to Brandt, who hated the demons, when he found out about his own bloodline.
“I think it’s all right, so let’s go to a nearby intermediate dungeon.”
“Yes. Since we’ve come all the way to this town, let’s go there.”
Anastasia nodded, pushing her worries aside for the moment and taking care of what was in front of her.
So the vacation passed with a visit to the intermediate dungeon and a walk through the town, giving them a break.
There were some intermediate dungeons where Anastasia had encountered demons in her last life, but she avoided them, taking the precaution of not going beyond the hidden door.
Normal demons are no longer a match for the two of them. They take a stroll through the dungeon.
The hunters’ guild seems to have calmed down.
Fortunately, when the [vampire tower] collapsed, there were no casualties, and the hunters made their way to another dungeon.
In the meantime, Anastasia has been promoted to rank 5.
Brandt could become a rank 3 hunter if he wanted, but he would have to deal with the requirements of an appointment, so he has remained a rank 4 hunter.
“…The semester break are almost over.”
Anastasia mutters, regretting the few days she has left of her vacation.
She had never had such a relaxing vacation in her life.
When she goes to the dungeon with Brandt, she feels safe and is not overly worried.
When I walk around town with Brandt, I sometimes worry about the envious looks of the women on the street, but we have such a good conversation that I forget about the time.
It seems that being with Brandt has become a matter of course.
But this is the first and last time I get to spend a long vacation with Brandt.
The next semester break will be the second semester, when Brandt graduates. By then, Brandt will have become a court magician of the Zigwald Empire.
──Then we may never see each other again.
Well, considering what happened in my last life, there’s a possibility that we’ll end up seeing each other in an unwanted position.
As the Zigwald Empires third prince’s…
“Well… shall we go back to the academy tomorrow? Before that, let’s walk around town.”
Brandt’s regretful voice brings Anastasia back from her reverie.
Shaking off the tingle in her chest and the thoughts floating through her mind, Anastasia takes Brandt’s offered hand.
They hold hands and walk away.
The atmosphere is gloomy, and eventually they come to a small hill overlooking the town.
“…Actually, I’m thinking of staying at the academy after I graduate.”
Anastasia didn’t understand Brandt’s words for a moment.
Gradually seeping into the water raises the expectation that it might be possible.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but… What happened at the tower showed me I’m not ready. I need to train harder. And most of all… If I stay here, I can spend more time with Anastasia-san.”
Brandt looks at Anastasia with a sincere look and speaks calmly.
Anastasia looks at Brandt and is unable to say anything.
They look at each other in silence for a while, then Brandt takes the floor as if he has made up his mind.
“…I like Anastasia-san.”
His calm voice could be heard clearly.
Immediately, Anastasia felt a jolt like lightning, and her consciousness seemed to fade away.
She felt dizzy and unsteady on her feet.
─I ─knew this was probably the case, but when the words were spoken, my heart began to beat violently.
I’m completely confused and don’t know what to say or do.
“I think I was attracted to her from the first time I met her. This feeling grew and grew… When I saw Anastasia beating the demon with her fists, I realized exactly how I felt.”
──Ah, that’s when it happened.
Anastasia, who seems to be too far away from the general mood, regains her composure a little.
“… But I don’t know if I’m qualified to say this. Apparently, I have some special circumstances that I don’t even know about… Maybe… A demon… No… I want to stay here to settle things. Actually, I should have confessed afterwards, but…”
Brandt mumbles and looks down.
Anastasia is taken aback by these words.
Perhaps Brandt is also aware of the possibility that he has demon blood in his veins.
Anastasia stared at Brandt, speechless, and he shook his head as if to change his mind.
“That’s why I decided to stay at the academy as a researcher. I didn’t know this before because I’ve never thought about becoming a researcher, but I’ve heard that researchers, unlike students, are addressed by their last name and not their first name. It seems that it’s a remnant from the old days when the master gave his name to his apprentice in the master-disciple relationship of the spell casters.”
A shiver runs down Anastasia’s spine.
The words “researcher” and “last name” weigh heavily on Anastasia with a bad feeling.
Anastasia tells herself that she’s imagining it, but the shiver won’t go away.
“I may have told you before that I don’t have a family name. So the dean gave me a name the other day. So when I become a researcher, I will have that name.”
But Brandt’s words remain without any reassurance for Anastasia.
The elation she felt earlier is gone, and the only thing that torments Anastasia is the fear that she is being driven to the edge of a cliff.
Anastasia. It’s as if the scent of death has hit her nose.
“Researcher Foster. That will be my name after graduation.”
Finally, the words came to stop her.
Anastasia resisted the urge to scream and clenched her fists.
Uncontrollable tears flow down her cheeks.
For Anastasia, the name was a promise of death.
In Anastasia’s previous life, Researcher Foster was turned into a monster and killed in a failed magic experiment.
All this time I’ve been looking for him, it was Brandt.