Final day of the Harvest Festival.
The day Yuutarou will be fighting Montavo.
The morning of that day, Montavo woke up earlier than usual.
His head and body felt fresh, he didn’t sleep again but left the bed.
He opened the shutters and bathed in the day’s still faint first light.
In the cool light, he shut his eyes.
— Am I afraid?
A question meant for his own self.
The answer came immediately: No
His enemy was an unparallelled reincarnator, even backed by a goddess.
But there was no fear in Montavo.
He had spent every effort for this fight, and most of all, he was no longer fixated on the idea of winning.
Not that he didn’t want victory.
He was staking his whole body and soul to try and defeat Yuutarou.
But that’s not for the sake of fame, nor for a reward.
All Montavo wanted was the greatest fight with the strongest opponent.
He wanted to know — whether the sword arts he trained his whole life would be of use against a reincarnator.
To clash life with life, elevate each other, to present a beautiful sword dance.
That will be his repayment to Phryne, and also to Kai.
If he could, he wanted a confrontation with Yuutarou in the wilderness with nobody around.
With no obligations, just an exchange of swords —
“— Mon, are you awake …?”
The door to his room was opened and his sister entered.
“Good morning, sister”
“Huh, Mon, you’ve stopped being loudmouthed …? I don’t really care … — but say, Mon … I’ve made the invitee list to your wedding … I’m calling the Lord of Sephor, and the guild higher-ups … you have anyone else you want to invite … ? Ah, maybe your girlfriends …? I wanna see a catfight …”
Montavo’s sister already began his wedding preparations.
The one with the Lord’s daughter Kirisha —
Yes, that was how this all began.
The engagement between Montavo and Kirisha that had been arranged for several years — and Yuutarou calling for a stop to it.
[Kirisha will go on a journey with me! If you have a complaint, then fight me!], he said.
An obstruction by a reincarnator — but the Gingaits utilized even that.
They proceeded talks with the Lord’s wife, making the fight a spectacle, and get a cut of the earnings.
To rise again even when they fall. No, the Gingaits don’t possess the notion of stumbling to begin with.
To pick up gold from the ground where they stumble — that was the way of the trader.
And if Montavo won against Yutarou and obtained Kirisha as planned, everything would be perfect.
“Big sis … um, about the wedding …”
“Yeah … I’m looking forward to it … the Marquis’ blood you know … the marquis …!”
His sister raised both hands and spun around.
Her face looked so happy.
Montavo wasn’t interested in the Kirisha girl.
Only, she seemed so pitiful.
It was the way of the world that the daughters of the strong would marry against their wishes — but to marry into the Gingaits, what will become of her.
She will be used, that’s for sure.
To suck dry all value out of anything that had value.
That is how the Gingaits are.
He wanted to win against Yuutarou, but if he did, an unrelated young girl would descend into unhappiness.
— if it comes to that …
The morning of that day, Kirisha woke up on her father’s bed.
She was still sleepy.
Her father next to her was still in dreamland.
She had been listening to her father’s Lord jokes until late last night.
Kirisha continued laughing, as if she had returned to the past.
Since her mother died, her father seemed like a stranger.
He had a gloomy face, and did not tell a single joke.
His change was finalized when his new wife Irene came.
He was captivated by his wife’s charm, and became a yesman — never deciding anything without her say so, completely becoming an imbecile.
His father mercilessly raised fines from the people — his reputation gradually worsened.
But as long as his wife loved him, he was happy.
Kirisha’s father who obeyed his wife was like a machine, and in the eyes of Kirisha who knew what her father used to be like, he looked vaguely fearful.
He was afraid to displease his new wife, so he treated Kirisha like she didn’t exist.
He ended up focusing his love on his wife and her two daughters.
Kirisha didn’t begrudge him for that. He probably didn’t have any other choice.
People change — that was what Kirisha believed.
Yesterday, Irene went back to her parent’s home, and Kirisha’s father loved her even more dearly.
Her warm father had come back.
She was happy.
But Kirisha saw the situation with cold eyes.
“He will change again anyway”
Kirisha looked over the town from the window.
At the activity of the people that change day by day.
— I wanted a place that doesn’t change.
She wanted to leave on a journey with Yuutarou and find a place she can be at peace.
An absolutely unchanging utopia.
A place without the fear of change —
Her father would be sad, but Kirisha wanted to see her dream come true.
When she was reminded of the Uncle, Liu, and Ruby, her chest tightened.