chapter 2 (part 3): 10 years later
ーWhat is he saying…this person…
Is he saying that he is going to present his own head?
That can’t be.
“If because of that you will feel more cheerful, it is a small price.
I have all along wanted to apologise to you and atone for my sins.
I really did something that could not be undone.
That time, just with me speaking up a few words, something should have been different. Just by showing that paper, I may have been able to prove his innocence. Even so, I did not do that.
As a consequence, I probably caused you to have painful memories.
….I am sorry, because I have along been concerned what became of his family, I had it investigated.
I investigated and found out that it had truly culminated in the worst scenario.
His wife died from illness one month after his death, his daughter had no caretaker, was all alone and sold her body, lent a hand in criminal activities while moving from place to place.
…I almost died from my feelings of guilt.
I wanted to meet with his daughter. Wanted to meet with her and apologize.
Because of that, I disguised myself and went to the front of the house everyday. I was thinking whether you would come here someday…”
“…Therefore, you called out to me right”
“That’s right. I have your sketch and more than anything else, you have the vestiges of him. Hence, I thought that you were his daughter based on my intuition and called out.”
“…I did not even want to take reference to this sketch you see…”
It seems like my father’s drawing was catastrophic. He had the that kind of workmanship where if you were to ask about the sketch, you will harbor questions such as “is this a person?”
…This, is it me…
“Well, I looked at that to start searching once, but I honestly could not guess at all…”
“That was great.”
If this had become a reference just a little, I would never be able to go out my whole life.
Cannot go out.
“With this and that, I was able to meet you.
I would like you to at least let me atone for my sins.
If you are fine with it, I will give you my head no matter how many. Thereupon, please forgive me.”
The thing inside me that had started to crumble, crumbled away completely.
“It is fine already.”
“Because I have understood that it was not your fault…”
The lord blinked his eyes.
You don’t have to be that surprised.
“However, haven’t you lived up until now for the sake of revenge?”
“That’s right. For the whole time, I have resented the culprit and also the lord and also the young lord.
But, different from the culprit and the lord, I have understood that it was not the young lord’s fault.
Instead, for believing my father and carrying out various investigations…thank you very much.”
The lord was extremely surprised that he became rigid.
“I no longer have any regrets.”
I was about to head outside the tearoom.
“Wait! …Do you plan to die?”
“…Because there is no longer any point to living”
I took out a small knife from my chest pocket.
“The young lord was not at fault in any way. That is why, please do not torment my heart about my end. This is my decision.”
From the beginning, I had intended to die when my revenge is complete.
It is just that the time is now.
I swung the small knife down directed at my left chest.
In that instant, an intense impact occurred.
“Clank clank”, the small knife fell from my hand and made a sound.
It seems like the lord hurled himself at me.
It became an appearance where I was pushed down by the lord.
“…Why…won’t you let me die…?”
“Because I don’t want you to die”
“I’m begging you, please don’t die. If you die, what is going to happen to me”
“Why do you go that far? Although there’s the incident about Father, I am after all only a daughter of an ex-servant.”
“…I fell in love. With you”
“It’s alright already…you don’t have to tell that kind of lie.”
“It’s not a lie. Did you not hear that I fell in love with you at first sight?”
“…But, isn’t that a pretext to call me out…”
“It’s not a pretext. If it’s a pretext, there are various others too. However, when I first met you yesterday, I fell in love with you at first sight.
And then, talking to you once again today, …I came to like you even more.”
The lord said as he looked straight into my eyes.
“I am the son of the lord who killed your father under false accusations. Furthermore, I am also called a foolish lord. I do not think that I will be allowed to like you. However, I fell in love from the bottom of my heart. Therfore…
Won’t you be my wife?”
The lord held out his hand to me.
“Although indirectly, I have caused you pain. Hence, I won’t say that I want you to forgive me. But, I want you to be blissful from the bottom of my heart.
…Even I may not be able to know the pain you will when you think of your father. However, I want to make you happy. I honestly feel that way.
I am not saying this from my feelings of atonement. I am saying this as a man who have fallen in love with you. I want you to belive me.”
Not a lie, really thought in that way.
But, that kind of thing probably would not be allowed right.
Although this person, this person is not to blame, he is also a person who formed the reason for my father’s death.
Despite that, I wanting to become a wife…
I wanting to become this person’s wife…
……My wish in wanting to become this person’s wife…would that kind of thing be allowed…?
For some reason, I felt that I wanted to become this person’s wife.
I intuitively felt that I wanted to support this person by his side.
ーBut, if I were to get married with this person, what would Father and Mother think?
The son of the person who forced the innocent you to death.
As I thought, I guess it probably wouldn’t be allowed…
I clenched my fists tightly on top of my knees.
…As I thought, there is also the matter about my father and mother…I have to refuse…
Thinking in that manner, I opened my mouth, about to refuse.
At that moment, it became pure white in front of my eyes.
As I was perplexed, I came to hear a voice that came from nowhere.
When I was looking around restlessly at my surroundings, I came to hear the voice again.
ー…This voice is…!
At the same time I noticed, figures of people appeared faintly in the pure white world.
The two of them stood while nestled close together.
Their faces looked a little sad.
ーYou probably blame me right…?
My father held out his hand in front of me and interrupted my words.
『…Please be happy…』
My father certainly said that.
『Don’t live in hatred anymore… We are already alright. There is nothing painful too. …Moreover, we also don’t bear a grudge against anyone. Therefore, don’t wallow in resentment anymore. Don’t agonize about anything. It’s okay if you don’t try to take revenge for us.
…We want you to be happy. That is our number one wish…』
ーAhh, the one who is making them show a sad face is surely…me
ーBecause I have been living while being bound by hatred…
Now, in order to not make my father and mother show a sad face.
Also in order to not make them worry.
I must be happyー…
“…Yup, I got it. I will be happy. That’s why, you don’t have to worry.”
My father smiled. The creased smiling face of my father that is I loved.
My mother also smiled as if she was reassured. I loved this smile of my mother which was gentle and warm.
My field of vision became blurred with tears.
No matter how many times I wiped my tears, it only steadily became blur.
My father and mother’s figures faded bit by bit.
I stopped trying to reach out my hand.
I smiled for the first time in ten years.
Even if it was awkward, that is also fine.
Because I definitely had an awful expression from resentment, rage and sorrow ten years ago.
This time, I sent the two of them off with a smiling face.
The parents whom I love showed a smiling face that looked delighted and their figures vanished.