Seeing the countless stars shining in the night sky, a pleasant breeze blew the surroundings . The hustle and bustle regarding the migration of their departed symbolic of 【Beast Kingdom – Pasion】 at daytime, had quieted down .
But sometimes, one could hear a mother lecturing her own child, or the tiny squeaking sounds of insects .
While hearing such sounds, Okamura Hiiro sat cross-legged at the top of the royal household, 《Ouki》, as he looked at the starry sky above him .
“To think you were in such a place . . ”
Even though he recognized the owner of that bothersome voice, he didn’t glance at that person’s direction .
“What do you want, old man?”
He said those words without turning around to Arnold who called out to him . The latter didn’t answer as he thought he would be noticed anyways and continued towards him .
“It’s not a big deal really . ”
“Then tell me quickly what you want . ”
“Ugu…you haven’t changed that way of speaking as usual . ”
Due to Hiiro’s straightforward remarks, Arnold had a cramp on his cheeks, but soon returned with his usual expression and sighed .
“Muir and Mimiru were looking for you, you know?”
“I see . ”
“Well, those guys are glad of your visit in here…… even though I don’t want to accept it . ”
It was obvious from his tone that he was jealous, but Hiiro didn’t mind about it . Because he knew since the time he first met him, he was an idiotic doting parent-like figure .
“…say Hiiro . ”
“… . ?”
“Why are you trying to get stronger?”
Hiiro wondered where that came from, when he looked into his eyes, he could see Arnold was serious, it didn’t felt like question asked in a joking manner .
“During daytime, I heard you were having a special training with my Master . But why? You still want to get stronger even though you could do those things?”
He might be referring to the incident where he wiped out the water dolls .
“That’s a foolish question . It’s obvious there’s only one reason for it . ”
“Because I don’t want to die yet . ”
“… . can’t you use your magic to prevent your death or something?”
“It’s possible…probably . Haven’t tried it . ”
He probably meant… to use the 『Immortality | 不死』 character . However, Hiiro had decided not to use any characters related to life .
He’s also scared about the 《Rebound》 of it, and even if he did use such a character, the emotion he’s feeling right now would probably vanish .
“Then why not try it?”
“It’s because I’m alive . ”
“It’s because I’m still alive that I’m desperately trying to raise myself in order not to die . But if I become immortal, everything I’ve done until now will not matter anymore . ”
“I don’t want toy with life so roughly . Especially my own life . ”
“Why are you particular on that part? Are the future fights going to be hard if you aren’t immortal? You seem quite fixated on that Predecessor Demon Lord . ”
It is as he says, there is a possibility where he would face unfamiliar opponents, so the chances of him winning won’t be higher if he’s not immortal .
“You may have a point old man, if I really become immortal, I would become an invincible existence . ”
“Then why won’t you…”
“But, there’s something wrong with it . ”
“Something like foul play, or close to it, as if I’m betraying everything I had desperately tried to achieve until now . ”
“… . is that so?”
“In my opinion at least . And besides… . if I did such a thing, my deceased parents who protected me would definitely scold me about it . ”
“Heh, this is surprising . It’s the first you opened up a conversation like that . I was actually prepared for your ‘It’s not your business’ speech, you know?”
If it’s the usual Hiiro, he wouldn’t speak such things more than necessary . But today, Arnold was quite surprised when he talked about his parents .
“I just felt like it today . ”
Hiiro shuts his eyes while looking up at the starry sky . And recalled a childhood memory, when he and his parents went on a trip .
When they entered a blind curve of a mountain trail, his parents died due to an accident caused by a doze driving of an incoming car… That was when Hiiro was still 6 years old……
When Hiiro who had fallen into the bottom of a ravine, woke up, he noticed a warm feeling wrapping around his body .
Apparently, it seemed his dear mother had covered Hiiro with her body to protect him from the impact of the fall . Due to that favor, he was miraculously uninjured .
However, his father who was supposed to be at the driver seat, was not there anymore . Still, Hiiro desperately called for the names of his mother and father .
At that time, his mother’s body moved . However, he shivered when he saw his mother’s body . It’s possible they hit a tree branch when they fell . Because a branch had broken through the door and skewered her flank from the side . Hiiro could have been involved as well if he shifted a little bit from his position .
But despite this situation, his mother was still conscious . When Hiiro called out to his mother in tears, his mother opened her heavy eyelids as she heard his voice,
『I’m sorry… . if I couldn’t protect forever』
Her mother was aware that she didn’t have any time left . When she saw Hiiro safely uninjured, she expressed a smile and said such words .
It wasn’t the usual one his mother would give, but she cried in tears and embraced Hiiro . But he noticed that her mother was getting paler by the second, it felt like his heart was being crushed .
Still his mother reassured Hiiro as she gently stroked her head with a gentle smile on her face .
『Listen Hiiro…from here on out… . you may experience painful things… . . sad things… . And many more similar to these… . But always remember… . never give up… . . Desperately struggle to live… . live on Hiiro』
Her mother was still smiling even though she was crying in tears .
『The things you want to do… . do it… . don’t endure it… . do all the things you want to do… . but Hiiro… I won’t permit any plans going to heaven…alright?』
Hiiro was already drenched in tears . Although he was young, the bright Hiiro somewhat noticed that her mother’s words felt like a goodbye .
To such a Hiiro…ton*… . his mother gently poked his forehead with her index finger . And while smiling pleasantly,
『Hey now, if you’re a man…you shouldn’t cry that easily…Leave your grief…in this place… . and go out there and live… I’m sure… . happiness is waiting for you at the end of it…… . That’s why』
Once again, her mother hit his forehead,
『Although we may be apart for a little while… . but always remember that…me and your father will be waiting for you…on the other side… . That’s why… . Hiiro… . live a straight life』
And then, her mother quietly shuts her eyes . No matter how much he cried and prayed to God, her eyelids never opened again .
After that, he didn’t understand how long had passed by . He looked up at sky from the broken window . Although he felt a bit hateful, a starry sky was brilliantly spread around the night sky .
From then on, every time Hiiro sees the sky full of stars, he remembers his parents . And the words of her mother .
That day also, Hiiro learned the feeling of what it is to lose life at arm’s reach, and even after he was rescued from that day, he had kept something from that incident all this time .
And that was… .
『To live a straight life』
Because his mother had told him that, if he pushed straight from the path he was taking, surely he could face anything from that path . And his deceased parents wouldn’t get angry at him as well .
“My mother…she’s scary when you make her angry”
“Hm? Did you say something Hiiro?”
Hiiro shook his head and expressed a smile . It seems Arnold did not hear what Hiiro murmured .
“Say old man . ”
“I will live a straight life . ”
“…… . ?”
“I will not allow anyone hindering me . I will walk on the road I believe . If there are obstacles, I would strengthen myself and break towards it . Even if I don’t become immortal, I will find a way to get stronger still . ”
“Ukiki! As expected of the contractor I recognized!”
Tenn suddenly showed from who knows where and gets on Hiiro’s shoulder .
“Yellow Monkey, how long were you here?”
When he looked at the direction Tenn’s finger was pointing at, he saw three figures that were obviously not hidden .
“Blue Ribbons, Nitouryuu, Chibi… . What are you guys doing?”
At the mention of his words, all of them jerked in surprise and went out with their apologetic appearances .
“Errr, uhm… . since the stars are so beautiful tonight I thought we could spend time with you looking at it . ”
“I-I agree! I would gladly enjoy star gazing with Hiiro-sama if he wishes to…”
“I’m…always together with Hiiro”
In face of their desperate excuses, Hiiro sighed . But he wasn’t in a bad mood because of it . Because by looking at the stars this way, he could reconfirm his feelings, so he’s actually sorry for them .
“Well that’s that Hiiro, just give up . Since we are all here, why don’t tell us some secret episode of yours? You know, about that kind of things? Like finding a crush or two at Evi— eh?”
It was reasonable that Arnold’s talk was interrupted mid way . Because he groaned from the two hands affixed to both of his shoulders with an unusual grip strength .
“Oji-san, why don’t we take for a walk?”
“And talk about regarding that, yes?”
Muir and Mimiru was giggling ‘ufufufu’ , as a Hannya appeared on their back .
(TL Note: Hannya is a mask used in theatrical Japan representing a jealous female demon)
“Wha— wait guys! Tha-that was just a joke!”
“Your character is very bad, Oji-san!”
“I concur! I won’t permit such acts!”
And so two little girls had began chasing the fleeing old man . It was difficult to understand how it arrived to such a situation .
(That old man really never learns…)
Hiiro once again looked at the starry sky with his dark pair of eyes . It was really similar to the stars back then . At that time, he recalled what he swore to himself and thought about it quietly .
(Mother, Father, I will live to the utmost from now on)