Chapter 17 – I tried dreaming
…This is a dream.
I’m sure it’s a nightmare…
“Why… Why did this happen…”
…The town is burning.
Flames dance down from the sky like cherry blossoms.
Everything those beautiful petals touch is enveloped in a never ending fire until it’s turned to ash.
This is hell.
And at the center of this hell, stands a demon king.
No one is kinder, and no one works harder…
And yet, this girl has turned into a demon king.
“If I could rewrite the past, would our relationship be different?”
The demon king doesn’t answer.
It probably can’t even understand me anymore.
In the end, we never saw eye to eye.
Our promise from when we were young… Remained unfulfilled.
All we are now are two beings trying to kill each other.
“I see, then…”
I hold up my sword and face the demon king.
“At the very least, I will end you, Labrys.”
Demon king number ■, Sinful Flame Princess Scarlet.
That’s the name of the first demon king I killed.
I wake up, and don’t see a burning town anymore.
But what I see isn’t a laboratory of the Sorcerer Association, or the dance of blood and iron powder of a battlefield either.
This is my room… Of my youth.
I see the spring sunlight from the gap between the curtains, and hear the chirps of little birds.
(Yes, I went back to the past…)
I take a deep breath and scratch my head.
(…What an awful dream.)
Then again, there hasn’t been a night in these past hundred years where I didn’t have a nightmare.
But of all things, it had to be of that time.
Even though it was a dream, the feeling of stabbing through Labrys with my sword is very fresh in my hand.
The first time around, Labrys became a demon king… And I killed her.
The reason why she became a demon king in the first place isn’t certain, but at least it shouldn’t happen very soon…
(…This time, I’ll have to keep an eye on what she’s doing.)
There’s already been a change in her behavior thanks to the change in our relationship.
I don’t know what’s going to happen from now on, but I just hope this dream wasn’t a bad omen…
(There’s so much to think about…)
The continuous births of demon kings, the plot of the Sorcerer Association, Labrys’ movements.
It’s too much for one person.
(…I guess it’s really not going to be easy to get my ideal future.)
I sigh, and try to get out of bed…
That’s when I notice something on my body.
I lift up the cover, and see El sleeping peacefully.
(Ah… That’s right, she stayed here last night.)
El is holding me, so I can’t get up.
I can’t just push her away from me either, so I just stay lying in bed, and stroke her hair.
After a while, she starts to fidget, and blinks a little.
She looks up at me with moist drowsy eyes, and limply lowers her half asleep face.
“Ehehe… It’s Chrom…”
She rubs her head against my arm and sighs with satisfaction.
It’s like a dog or a cat.
(She really is still half asleep…)
But I can’t just stay here forever.
“Hum, El? Can you please let go of me?”
I gently shake her.
She blinks and looks at me again, still dazed.
“Good morning El.”
Her eyes start to focus.
She makes a strange sound.
Now she’s definitely awake.
“W-w-w-w-why are you here!?”
“No, you were the one sleeping on my bed.
Can you let go of me?”
She finally realizes she’s holding me.
She lets go of me immediately and presses her red cheeks with her hands.
“I-it wasn’t a dream…!? W-what part of it was real…!?”
“…? Were you dreaming?”
“I-I wasn’t! I didn’t have a weird dream or anything!
She shakes her head as her face turns bright red.
That’s when the door opens.
“Chrom, is El by any chance…”
Miss Reina enters, and stops suddenly.
Her eyes go right to El and I, who are in bed together.
She slowly and quietly closes the door as she leaves.
My second day in the past begins with this peaceful exchange.
I get changed and head to the dining table just like yesterday.
“I will be in the capital for a while.”
Says Mister Sirius while we have breakfast.
El expresses her confusion while biting on a piece of bread.
“I’m going to report what happened yesterday to the royal palace, and ask the capital to send a survey team as well.”
“Survey team? Weren’t the adventurers of this town going to investigate?”
Asks Miss Reina.
“Yes, but this town has always been at peace, so the adventurers and vigilance committee are weak and few in numbers.
They have been told not to probe too deeply, or it might be dangerous.”
Says Mister Sirius, before his face turns a bit stern.
“…I feel this incident was man-made.
I also feel like this isn’t over yet, and this town doesn’t have the power to deal with it.
We can’t simply rely on that ‘mystery hero’ either.”
It’s the senses he cultivated as a knight.
If he survived the first time around… If he didn’t lose his life to that surprise attack, that future would’ve probably been a little less bad.
“I will be back as soon as I can.”
He says before turning to me.
“I leave this town to you while I’m away, Chrom.”
I’m glad to hear him ask this.
Even though regular me of this time could do nothing but be protected himself.
Mister Sirius left, wearing his traveling clothes, and I practiced my time magic by doing housework just like I did yesterday.
Now I’m in the backyard, swinging my sword.
This is the daily training I’ve been doing for a hundred years.
I graduated as Mister Sirius’ pupil, but I still need to train this body, and build muscle to move like I did in the future.
Having that said, it’s going to take a long time to reach that level.
In the future, I accelerated my training, accelerated my rest… And just kept repeating.
After swinging the sword for a while, I wipe sweat with the sleeve of my training shirt.
(…I’m still feeling the damage from yesterday.)
My body still hurts quite a bit, and I still can’t use magic properly.
I can fight if I have to, but I really don’t want to face a strong opponent in this state.
I want to enter the dungeon soon for the sake of stopping the birth of the second demon king, but…
(I should take it easy today.)
Rushing too much would be dangerous.
I don’t want to provoke an enemy while being unable to fight with my all.
If it’s like the first time, the second demon king should be born in a week, so I don’t have to panic just yet.
Today, I’ll just patrol around the town like Mister Sirius asked.
I can see what’s behind me reflected in the sword I restored back to being brand new with time magic.
I can see pink twintails bobbing as their owner peeks at me.
It’s obviously you, Labrys.
(Am I… Being watched?)
I turn around quickly, just to check.
She’s startled and hides like a small animal.
(W-what is she doing…?)
Labrys is on my mind today too because of that nightmare, but…
(…I-I don’t get it.
I have no idea what she’s thinking.)
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