Chapter 299 She will Continue to Shine by my Side

After listening to Alice’s story, all the pain she felt and had been carrying…… I can’t say I can understand.
[……Alice. I lost my parents once too…… I think I understand at least a little bit of the pain of being left behind. However, the years I’ve spent in the past aren’t even close to Alice’s. So, I can’t comfortably say that I understand how Alice feels.]
[Yes.]
I’ve only been alive for at most…… around 21 years and a few months. However, after I’ve lost my parents, I’ve given up on a lot of things.
If I never came to this world, there’s a non-zero chance that I will choose the worst possible future because I will be sick and tired of being alone everyday for an extended period of time.
How many years has Alice been carrying these feelings? Tens of thousands of years in her original world and tens of thousands of years in this world…… It was a mind-bogglingly long amount of time that I couldn’t even imagine it…… Living her days in suffering, using only the wish left by her best friend as a reason to live.
I don’t think I can say that I understand how she felt.
[……Even though I wanted to be cool and said that I wanted to protect Alice’s heart…… But in fact, I think there’s only so much I can do for Alice.]
[…………..]
[But, well…… what I can do “is be with you even in the future”.]
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[…………Auuu.]
As I put my thoughts into words, I strengthened my embrace on Alice’s body.
So that not a bit of warmth would leak out of her small body…… I hugged her body tighter.
[For me, I had the impression that Alice is…… an idiot, no good, and a troublesome fellow who always messes around……]
[……That’s mean, Kaito-san.]

[……However, Alice is cheerful, reliable and someone I don’t have to put on a bold front with…… Someone who’s so important to me that I can’t imagine her not being around anymore.]
[ ! ? ]
As I heard a soundless, gulp, Alice, who was in my arms, slightly moved.
[……I promise you, I’ll never leave you alone, Alice. So, from now on, I’ll continue to be unpretentious…… I want you to be by my side as “Alice”.]
[Uaahh…… Yesh…… If that…… is your wish…… I will always…… be by your side.]
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Her voice trembling as she spoke, her small hands went around my back. I’m sure she feels the same way as I do, not wanting a bit of warmth to leak out of our bodies, acting as the stopper…… It’s as if our embrace ascertains that we are indeed together.
Promising Alice not to leave her alone may be difficult for me, who was but a mere mortal…… but I’ll definitely keep my promise.
[……It may be difficult for me since I’m not immortal…… Neun-san changed from a Human to a Demon, so I guess that method works……]
[……Eh? Kaito-san is pretty much “immortal”, you know?]
[……Eh?]
Arehh? That’s strange? Just now, I’m pretty sure that I was declaring my resolve to reject my humanity and stay with Alice but…… What the heck is with her response, as if she’s asking me “What the heck is this person talking about?”?
I’m immortal? Hahaha, you’re joking around even at a moment like this, what a troubling woman you are…… Eh? Seriously?
[……You didn’t hear about it from Shallow Vernal-sama?]
[……About what?]
[N- No, what I’m saying is…… the effect of her blessing……]
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[……She only said “I dunno” while tilting her head……]
Hearing Shiro-san’s name here makes me feel strange…… Just like that time when I met Lillywood-san, how is it that the people around Shiro-san know more about her blessing than the me who had been given this blessing and Shiro-san herself?
Or rather, does Shiro-san’s blessing really even have the effect of making one immortal?
[……I- Is that so. Well, I heard it from Kuro-san but…… I heard that Shallow Vernal-sama’s blessing is perfectly the highest blessing one can receive from all Gods, and you can get all the benefits from the blessings of every God.]
[Really? Or rather, there’s a blessing that could make you immortal?]
[The True Blessing that Duchess Lilia received from Chronois-san had such an effect.]
[…………………….]
Whoa there, I kinda feel like I’ve heard another shocking statement…… The effect of becoming immortal is due to Chronois-san’s blessing, and it seems that Lilia-san became immortal because of that.
A- Anyway, it seems I’m immortal. Oi, come out, airhead goddess…… I didn’t hear anything about this from you, you know……
(The effect of my blessing is “apparently” higher than all Gods.)
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It’s too late already! Moreover, the person herself is saying “apparently”…… Why the heck does Kuro have more understanding about your ability than you!?
(I was also surprised…… I see…… I guess that “additional magic technique” that I was about to cast on Kaito-san was just pointless huh……)
Oi, why the heck do you sound like you’re also planning something else? My body has been super-modified without my knowledge already, you know?
As I was throwing tsukkomis at Shiro-san in my mind, I looked at Alice, who was looking at me in puzzlement.
[……I see, I’m an immortal huh……]

[……I guess…… Fufufu……]
[……Kuhh— hahaha…… What the heck is this, I’ve completely missed on knowing the most essential points huh…..]
[Well, that’s just like Kaito-san, isn’t it!?]
[Wait a moment there, you……]
What is this, being unknowing on the most important things…… Having such a conversation that seems to throw everything out of the loop, it feels like Alice and I really had a connection with each other, as both of us unconsciously exchanged glances and laughed.
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[……Well, but when we’re talking about being immortal, wouldn’t that save Alice from a lot of grief, so isn’t it great?]
[……Immortality doesn’t make you invincible, you know?]
[For such matters…… “You would be there to protect me”, right?]
[……That’s how it ends up huh…… I really can’t match you. Yes, leave it to me. When it comes to protecting people, I can say that I’m unrivaled. Instead, when I want a shoulder to lean on, or when I’m losing my presence of mind…… “Please protect me”, okay?]
[Yeah, I promise.]
As Alice tells me that she will protect me, she asks me to protect her heart.
Those words seemed to supplement each other, and were a very gentle…… reassuring promise.
[……Alice. I love you. Please continue to be with me in the future.]
[……Kaito-san. I love you. Please let me stay by your side.]
Then, exchanging words of confirmation of our feelings, as if the both of us were being drawn to each other…… we softly kissed each other.
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Mutually exchanging our soft and pleasant warmth with each other, the both of us communicated our feelings to each other.
When both of our lips parted from each other, I could see tears dripping from Alice’s eyes.
[……It seems like it was foolish of me to be afraid.]
[Unnn?]
[To go where my close friends are…… I was trying to fall in love for the sake of dying. So, I was afraid that if that came true, I would have a strong desire to die…… Being anxious of that matter, I couldn’t find the courage to take the first step.]
With tears streaming down her face, Alice put her hands around my neck and hugged me as if she were clinging to me.
[However, I don’t think I can go to the place where my close friends are…… I fell in love with Kaito-san and you accepted my feelings…… My desire to die has gone away. I want to be with you forever…… I want to “live” in a future where I’m walking by your side.]
[……Unnn.]
[……Kaito-san, just this once…… Can you call me by this name?]
Then, Alice whispered one name in my ear, took her body away from me and looked me straight in the eye.
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I immediately understood what that name was.
It was the name of the hero who once saved a world, and now, she’s ready to truly say goodbye…… to her past self.
[……”Alicia”.]
[……………]
When Alice heard the name I called her, she gently closed her eyes and stayed silent for a few moments.

Then, held within Alice’s beautiful blue eyes as she opened them were strong and definite intentions.
[……Thank you. As of now, the girl who was called a hero in the other world…… Alicia has truly died. And from now on, the name I hold as I walk with you from now on is “Alice”. Once again, hereafter, I will be in your care.]
[Unnn. I will be in your care too……]
Saying goodbye to her past self, Alice gives me a big smile on her face.
Not as the hero from another world, not as a fragment of illusion, and not as the faceless king…… but as Alice, a girl living in this world……
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Holding brightness as powerful as the sun…… I think that was definitely the sincere smile that her best friend wished for.
Dear Mom, Dad——— Accepting Alice’s feelings, I was also able to honestly express my own feelings. The bond we weaved together became stronger and tougher. With my new girlfriend, from now on——— she will continue to shine by my side.

Serious-senpai: [A- Aahhh…… No more…… Let it end already……]

T/N: 29/196

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