Kuro no Maou Chapter 409: The time for the two to go separate ways

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“U-umm… Kurono-kun… I…”
Nell came jumping in front of me. I haven’t seen her since Asbell village.

However, now she felt more like the time when I visited her at night during that thunder storm rather than that time after the Fenril subjugation. No, maybe even worse than that.

The corners of her eyes were dark. Even her blue eyes looking straight at me seemed like they lost their radiance.

“…..Nell, I am happy, we got to meet before parting.”

That clears my regret. While feeling relieved, I got off Merry once again.

And when I actually stood in front of her, she looked even more depressed. As if she might break with just a touch.

“I heard from Lily. You’re returning to Avalon, aren’t you?”

“–?!”

It is true that it didn’t turn into a rumor inside the school yet but one can easily understand the reasons behind it with a little thinking. No, maybe no one even bothered making it the topic since it was too obvious.

No matter if they are the Wing Lord, Nell and Nero are the royalty of another country. There’s no way they would have the leeway to participate in Spada’s wars.

“It will be lonely without you but I am glad. You will surely be safe if you go to Avalon.”
She will certainly be safe there. However, I don’t know how we would meet again. If she returns to Avalon, chances are high that she will just remain there.

It is difficult to say that Spada’s situation is stable now that a war is breaking out. Daidaros was also an opposing country but it has already been 10 years since the last war with them.

Spada is literally the front line in the war between the city-state alliance at the center of the Pandora continent and the invading army. It’s hard to think that she will be allowed to study in a country like this again.

Moreover, since she won’t be another student of the academy, there would be no chances for us to meet since I am just an adventurer.

Even before Lily told me last night, I saw it coming.

“That’s not… I-I, no matter how dangerous the situation, I wanted to be with you, Kurono-kun!”

We might not be able to meet ever again. It seems I didn’t even need to confirm that. She must have been holding it back. The tears came flowing down her cheeks.

This is my 3rd time seeing her tears. How many times do I have to make her cry?

“Thank you. You saying that is enough for me.”

“I am sorry… I, can’t do anything…”

Nell even came with us to Iskia to protect her allies. Even when she knew the risk, she didn’t hesitate.

“…..Kurono-kun.. at the very least… could you, at least, accept this…?”

Her tears showed no signs of stopping as she held out her trembling hand, on which lied one white feather. It was a beautiful white feather, giving out a dim and faint light. But I had seen it before.

“This is… Area Guard Feather?”

Translations by AsianHobbyist Website. Stop reading at pirate sites like boxnovel that steals translations. Check novelupdates.com for legit fan translations Translations by AsianHobbyist Website

“Yes… The one I gave you before was made from my inexperienced divine protection but this is a complete artifact, made by the head shrine maiden of Avalon.”

Now that she mentions it, it does give off a stronger magic presence than the previous one. But the size and appearance is similar and Nell’s one was also quite good.

“But, is that okay? Isn’t this something you should be keeping—”

“I am, fine. I want you to have it, Kurono-kun… This will surely protect you again..”

I nearly escaped death before because of the charm Nell gave before. This is possibly the best blessing.

“Thank you, Nell.”

If I come back alive, I will go return this. Although I don’t know if I can give it to her personally once she goes goes back to the princess status. Even so, it will work as hope to definitely make it back alive.

And so, I obediently took the true Area Guard Feather from Nell and put it in the chest pocket like before.

“Ah, right, in return… well, I don’t think I will ever be able repay you for all the things you did for me but, I would like you to accept something as well.”

I held out my arm and used Shadow Gate to bring out Nell’s present from my cuffs.

Normally, Hitsugi would lead the deposits and withdrawals by dimension but for some reason she didn’t react this time. She might reading the atmosphere. It has been a while since I selected something of my own will.

And then, from the shadows, a pinball sized gem came rolling onto my hand. At first glance, its radiance looks similar to Black Opal. Inside the shining sphere, one could see jet black and crimson color flickering like a flame. But it was cold to the touch.

The red light which kept flickering without maintaining a form looked like it was made from magic.

“Eh, no way… this is…”

“I don’t know if it’s an artifact or not, though.”

I said with a bitter smile.

This is a gem I bought while preparing for the war alone before Lily and Fiona returned.

Although I returned from Asbell village desperately, after learning the details from Will, I got more than enough time and room to calm down. And that’s when I bought it as a present for Nell but who would have thought it would be as a parting gift?

Ever since Lily told me Nell would be returning to her country, I wanted to give this to her by all means and fortunately am blessed with a chance like this.

“You see, it seems they couldn’t understand its name nor effect even after an appraisal. But, since it’s a treasure excavated from an ancient ruin in Avalon, there’s no mistake that it’s a gem and has value.”

It’s not like I am being stingy about buying a normal gem. Since it’s glowing and has magic inside, there’s no mistaking that it has value as a gem and a magic stone.

But still, since the details are unclear, it isn’t even comparable to the artifact gem Lily has.

There are several patterns when the effect can’t be understood even after an appraisal. The most common one is that there’s no effect. The next most common one is that the effect is so low that magic can’t detect it. And lastly, the effect is so enormously big that appraisal magic can’t measure it.

Such a large effect is called an ancient since it deviates from the model system and it only manifests in places with extremely strong monsters. As such, there’s a very low chance of something like that going around the market—a chance even lower than winning a lottery.

And if I were to add, I bought this from Mordred weapons’ shop and not a gem/magic stone shop so that tells me that the chances are high that it’s not that valuable. But it was on the excavated product corner and Mordred president also recommended it so the chances are not zero either.

“But if you have it with you, Nell, I feel like it might show some amazing effect. And so it might have a value high enough to even surprise the Avalon’s royalty—that’s what I am hoping.”

I worried over this a lot–whether to give this to her as a present.

After all, she is a princess. Even things I think of as ‘uwah?! so expensive?!’ is probably like ‘ara, is it that cheap? ufufu’ to Nell.
And I don’t even know the brands or what kind of designs she likes. Besides that, stuff which come in handy for an adventurer also doesn’t feel right to give as a present.

And so, I decided to have luck decide the value of the present for me. Although now that I am actually giving it to her, I feel my judgement has been bad.

The reason behind thinking that is, Nell just kept listening to my present explanation and didn’t say anything. Tears still didn’t stop flowing from her eyes.

“….Sorry, I should have gotten something a bit more appropriate. Just a gem like this is a bit—”

“That’s not true!”

Just when I was about to withdraw my hands, Nell stopped me with both her hands. Her soft, white hands covered my wrist gently. And she also gripped really hard, as if to never let go.

“I… I am very happy… If it’s a present from Kurono-kun, anything is fine…”

The feelings are what matters when giving a present. Even such lip service sounded true when coming from a beautiful angelic girl while she holds your hand.

No, at the very least, Nell would have been happy no matter what I gave her. Even a cheap gem or a potion.

And so, hearing her say that made me feel that she understood how I felt.

“I am really grateful to you, Nell. Thank you for everything—”
I wish I could have expressed it with better words but at this point, such simple words were the only thing which came to mind. If I start revealing any more of my feelings, ‘reluctant to part’ would be the least of my worries. And I might not even be able to stop crying if I start once.

And so, I expressed my gratitude and had her accept my present. That’s good enough for a farewell with a friend.

“…..No.”

However, Nell kept holding my hand and didn’t let go. She should know that I am trying to leave.

“No… don’t… say that…”

“Sorry, Nell. I will be leaving now.”

I gently softened Nell’s grip with my free left hand.

Nell just gazed at me doing it and didn’t resist. Just that the tears flowing from her eyes just kept increasing.

Just when I finished undoing her grip, she broke out in even more tears and didn’t stop.

“—no! I don’t want to part! I don’t want to part with Kurono-kun!”

However, once I let go of her hands, she came at me with her whole body.

Although I was surprised, I just quietly let her hug me. I can’t possibly push her aside now that she has become completely like a sobbing child.

“Nell….”

Having said that, I also don’t have the determination to hug her back.

It’s not like I feel resistance hugging a princess in front of everyone. It’s just that… I am scared I will not be able to let her go if I hug her once. Even though I was able to undo her tight grip, I am not so sure about her passionate hug. I don’t know.. I don’t have the confidence.

“Don’t go… Please, please… don’t go anywhere…”

Nell herself probably knows she is asking for the impossible. But even then, she probably can’t help saying it. Her losing control so much is also proof to how much she cares about me.

“Even I don’t want to be apart. I wanted to talk more. I also wanted you to teach me magic till the end. Now that I think about it, I have only been on the receiving end of favors.. and we didn’t even go have fun… I am sorry.”

“It’s fine… It’s fine with me.. If I can just stay beside you, Kurono-kun…”

She raised her face which was buried in my chest and smiled.

Translations by AsianHobbyist Website. Stop reading at pirate sites like boxnovel that steals translations. Check novelupdates.com for legit fan translations Translations by AsianHobbyist Website
Nell’s friendship is real. It’s exactly because she is so kind that she can be this pure without having love-related thoughts.

On the other hand, I am not sure if friendship is the only thing I have for her. No, I am undoubtedly feeling attracted to Nell. There’s no way I won’t be feeling it.

“I am sorry, Nell—”

And so, I finally hugged her back. I firmly embraced her weak body as she kept crying.

‘Ah’–Nell let out a small voice in surprise. I wonder what kind of a face she is making right now. I am curious but I can’t see.

Avoiding her big wings, I had my left hand go around her waist and my right gently on her head. She also can’t see my face but she probably can hear my loud heart.

Reluctance to part, love and a bit of lust made me hug her back. It seems my rationale or self-control isn’t that good.

But this is the end so it’s fine.

“–Thank you. Goodbye.”

Cutting apart all lingering affection with those words, I let Nell go. I half forced her away by pushing her shoulders.

“Ah… ahhh…. wait, Kurono-kun….”

To escape Nell’s hands which extended for the third time, I nimbly got on Merry. Without looking at her, I just looked straight at the road I must cross.

Even then, her despair filled expression was burnt into my brain like a curse and attacked me incessantly.

“….Let’s go.”

I didn’t say it specifically to anyone. I just let myself hear it and ordered my horse to move forward.

With a loud neigh, Merry took a strong first step forward filled with dark red auro.

“–Go! Go and come back, Kurono! I shall pray for your continued luck in battles, Element Master!!”

Will finally raised his voice, erasing Nell’s crying voice. He probably did it on purpose. He probably knew how hard it would be for me to listen to her cry.

As gratitude to his consideration and with my feelings of ‘leave Spada to me’, I thrust my right hand in the air. I didn’t look back. I only need to proceed forward.

As if to signal that, once again, applauds and cheers broke out from the people around us. With raging waves of cheers pushing our back, we crossed the front gate.

I couldn’t hear Nell’s voice anymore.

“Hey, Kurono.”

Lily called out, looking at me with beady eyes. She was in front of me, using my belly as the back of chair.

“It was good that you got to have a proper farewell with Nell, huh?”

She said with an affectionate smile.

Ah, am I being consoled now? – I thought, as a drop of water fell on Nell’s cheek.

“So, don’t cry.”

Her small hands wiped my tears. I felt a bit ticklish as her soft fingers followed the tear on my face.

“Thanks, Lily. I am fine…”

Yeah, I am fine. With this, I am done with all the farewells. All the sad and painful farewells are done.

All that’s left is to fight–
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