“Titus-sama, I have something to request,” I said after the Loera family returned. I could feel my face was stiff with my seriousness.
Titus-sama sighed and said, “As I said, drop the formalities with me. Well, I guess it can’t be helped since you lost your memories…”
…I could never get used to calling your name without any honorifics! And as if it mattered, I’d be back in my original world soon, and I’d have to call you Titus-sama over there.
Titus-sama closed the documents he had been reading until before I asked for an audience with him. He looked at me before he said, “What is it that you want to request?”
“This is related to my memory loss. I’ve discussed it with Nicole before and I’d like to try a way that can solve my problem,” I said, inserting a lie in it. But well, it could definitely solve my problem and if I were to return to my original world, that would also solve ‘my memory loss’…technically.
“Oh? You two found a way? Then, let’s try it out,” Titus-sama said without even asking me to explain what way it might be. I suppose that’s a form of trust and eagerness to try out anything?
“Yeah, we don’t know if it will work or not, but I’d like to try. So, I want to go to the Silent Forest that’s near the Flugel’s residence,” I said.
“No problem. We can arrange it for tomorrow, then. I think I’m free tomorrow—”
“Hold on,” I immediately stopped Titus-sama the moment I knew we weren’t in the same page.
“I’m thinking of going there alone, actually…,” I said as I let my words trail off. I knew that for convenience sake, I should be going alone to face the wolf beast.
“No,” Titus-sama straight off denied me.
“Why?” I asked, although I had an idea why.
“Because it’s not safe. You were just injured, what if you were targeted and injured again?” Titus-sama asked.
“…I can take care of myself.”
“That’s what you said before, too.”
“…But I believe I have to be alone in facing this beast,” I said.
“You have to face a beast to do it? Then, all the more you can’t be alone,” Titus-sama raised his eyebrows.
“Ugh, yes, I think the beast can help me with it. But as I said, I think the rule is for me to face it alone.”
“Denied. At least bring some guards or knights with you,” Titus-sama said.
“…The forest is safe, I believe.”
“But you can be attacked in the middle of the journey.”
“…Fine, then I shall be accompanied by some knights or guards during the journey, but when I approach the beast, I need to be alone,” I compromised.
Titus-sama went silent as he tapped his finger on the desk. Meanwhile, his left hand propped his chin. It seemed like he was thinking…
“If you so insist about it…But what about letting another monster follow you around for safety reason?” Titus-sama suddenly asked.
“A monster?” I raised my eyebrows.
“Yeah, my Familiar. He can’t talk, but he is to follow you and alert the others should you face any danger,” Titus-sama said.
“Your Familiar…,” I muttered. It was true that my concern to having someone else follow me was that they might find out about things they shouldn’t have, and I doubt the wolf beast would spare them. But if it were just another monster…
Speaking of which, it’s my first time hearing about Titus-sama’s Familiar!
“Come out, Damon,” Titus-sama snapped his fingers.
And exactly at that moment, a swirling black pulse appeared on the floor between us, the wind suddenly grew stronger that I had to close my eyes and cover my face with my hands.
After I felt the wind subsided, I slowly opened my eyes and there, I saw…A monster that I wouldn’t expect to be the king’s Familiar.
Its appearance wasn’t fitting at all, you see.
The monster’s main body was like a ball, and in the middle of it there was one big red eye. Just right above the eye, there was a single horn in the middle. Then, there was a long tail extending from its body. Finally, there were four wings that kept the monster floating in the air.
And that monster was staring at me as it inched closer to me. I stepped backward instinctively but it…stared at me with its eye! But that eye wasn’t intimidating at all. I was scared for nothing. It was a curious stare as it seemed to tilt is head.
“Damon, she doesn’t remember you,” Titus-sama explained.
The monster—Damon’s eye was half-closed as it looked sadly at me.
“Uhm, sorry…You’re Damon? N-nice to meet you again?” I said, unsure as what I should tell it.
“…,” Damon only blinked at me.
“He’ll be accompanying you from the shadow. Damon, it’s…as usual,” Titus-sama briefly commanded Damon.
Damon turned to look at Titus-sama and nodded.
It seemed like Damon’s tasks involved following someone from the shadow? So he was so used to it. I guess he was the perfect one for the task, too.
After that agreement, Damon returned to the swirling black area that suddenly appeared again from the floor. It happened so quickly as if I was dreaming. But I had been dreaming all this time, hadn’t I?
“Titus-sama, your Familiar is interesting. Where did you meet him and why him? Also, how?” I asked out of curiosity.
“Heh, that’s exactly the same words you told me when you first saw Damon,” Titus-sama chuckled.
My smile turned stiff. I guess some things never really change, huh?
“Damon isn’t a Familiar I befriended myself. I inherited him. In other words, he is the royal family’s Familiar.”
“Eh? He is?!” I couldn’t hide my surprise. This was totally unexpected, you see! If it was in the stories, Damon certainly wasn’t the type of beasts to be the royal family’s Familiar.
“Hehe, still the same reaction,” Titus-sama chuckled again.
Geh—again, some things never change.
“Damon is indeed the royal family’s Familiar. He’s actually the founder of Riviera’s,” Titus-sama explained.
“The founder of—hee?!” I widened my eyes in surprise.
In other words, Damon was the first king’s—and in another word, he’s the hero’s Familiar!
“Is he like, secretly super ultra strong or something?” I asked, still in utter disbelief.
“Well, he’s not very strong, but the record stated that he became stronger during the time he accompanied the founder,” Titus-sama said.
“I see…He’s indeed very loyal!” I was really impressed. Damon had been with the royal family for so long then!
“Yes, indeed. He’s reliable, so I will be rest assured with him by your side,” Titus-sama said.
“Thank you, Titus-sama,” I said.
Titus-sama sighed, “Fine, take your time. I hope after your trip to the Silent Forest, you can regain your memories.”
“…I hope so.”
I mean, I hope everything can return to normal again.
I didn’t want to bother Titus-sama for too long, so I excused myself after I was done with my business.
After walking several steps away, I was caught by none other than Trevant. When I looked at the time, I came to understand that he was just done with his studies and training.
“Uhm, Mother…I happened to hear your conversation with Father,” Trevant cautiously said.
“Well, I happened to pass by and saw you entering Father’s office. I was wondering what you were talking about and stayed a little bit…I’m sorry, I know I shouldn’t do it,” Trevant apologized.
Well, he’s just a ten-year-old boy…
“It’s fine. So, you’ve heard,” I said.
“Yes! Mother, may I come with you?” He suddenly asked.
I was stunned.
“Don’t you have any lesson or training tomorrow?” I asked.
“I have, but I can postpone or skip them,” Trevant said with determination.
“I want to help you, Mother!” Trevant said with very steady eyes.
When I looked at his determined green eyes, I suddenly had a realization that made me feel choked.
This good child in front of me…Upon my return to my original world as Lyra…He would no longer exist. Not anyone would even remember him.
In exchange, there would be Shaula, Luca, and Leticia.
Also, Reinst would be no more, but Lyra would be there.
…In the first place, is this child called as ‘Trevant’ real?
Though this might as well be a dream, I somehow felt that everything was real. This child was too real.
I got to admit that I somehow had developed some kind of feelings towards Trevant as well.
Were those feelings simply this body’s feelings as that child’s biological mother? My body’s instinctual maternal feelings?
Although I couldn’t say for sure that ‘I love this child so much I’m willing to do anything for him’ or that ‘He’s my son, I love him no matter what’…I know that I care for him.
But, given the choices again, I would definitely go back to my original world no matter what.
I couldn’t stay here and try to become a mother—something I knew that I wasn’t. It would be cruel for this child too, if I were to force myself to be this world’s Reinst. I wouldn’t be able to become his proper mother, so I might as well go back.
This world is scary. It’s awful. The condition here is a lot worse than the world I know.
The Gamma cult rampaging, Altaire’s like another person, Clavis went missing…The horrible things that I wouldn’t be able to bear living with for the rest of my life.
Seeing the child’s innocent stare at me, I felt…guilty. I felt as if I would be abandoning him, to live in this harsh world. Meanwhile, I would be living in a much better place…
As soon as this thought crossed my mind, I felt sympathetic towards Trevant and the burden he would have to bear in this awful world—add that he is the crown prince here.
My body unconsciously pulled Trevant’s body into a warm embrace.
“Mother?” Trevant asked, he was purely confused.
“…I’m sorry I can’t bring you with me,” I started to say.
Not just about tomorrow—that I can’t bring you with me to the Silent Forest. It’s also about how I won’t be able to bring you back to my world—to a place better than this.
“…As I expected. That’s fine, really, Mother. I’m also afraid I’d be a burden again to you, so it’s fine! Just…be careful, okay? And return safely!” Trevant said.
“…You will never—and you are never a burden to me, nor are you to your father, or to anyone else. You are a fine young man, a fine crown prince. I’m sure you will become a good king in the future and I’m proud of you. I’m sure your father is proud of you, too. Please don’t lose your kindness no matter what happens in this world. I know this world is at an awful condition at this moment, but that’s exactly why you shouldn’t lose the light inside you,” I started to pour in the words that I wanted to tell him before our parting.
All the important things that I wish he knew, that might be able to help him…
“Mother, what’s gotten into you? What’s with this all of a sudden?” Trevant asked, completely confused.
“…You are precious in this world and there are definitely the things you—only you can do in this world. Never lose hope and don’t resent the idea of living. You will surely find the things precious to you and if you can’t, try to take a careful look at your surroundings. Who knows they might be so close to you, yet you fail to realize them all this time? Do what you want to do, as long as it’s not harmful to others. Don’t regret anything,” I continued to advice him.
Actually…those are the words that I wished to tell my old self. I couldn’t communicate with my past self, but perhaps it would do him good.
Trevant then asked, “Mother, you won’t be going anywhere far away, right? You’ll be back quickly, right?”
This kid is unbelievably sharp to be my…Reinst’s son. He must take after Titus-sama in this aspect.
I choked up but I tried to hide it and said gently, “Of course, I’ll always be with you, dear.”
I knew lying wasn’t good. I knew that I won’t be able to be a good mom with how I am right now, but…I could imagine being in Trevant’s position, that would be the words I wanted to hear the most.
…Right. This would be the last time I am here, the last time I can see this person called as Trevant.
……That is, if the way Nicole told me really works.
No, I’m sure it will work!
I looked at Trevant who smiled after hearing my words of reassurance.
…Please God, Aion-sama…if this world is real—if this is that famous parallel world, please let this child be happy. Please let the me of this world be happy. Altaire, my old family, my friends…Please let everyone in this world be happy.