Chapter 242 – Strong

I was appeasing Amae, who was sobbing.

“Hey, don’t cry, oh~, it’s not like we’re saying goodbye forever. It’s just for a while…”

“Uh, gus, when is a while? Is it tomorrow? …… the day after tomorrow? … more?”

“…… th, that’s…”

How pathetic, I’m at a loss for words.

I can’t explain the difficult circumstances to Amae. But that doesn’t mean I can’t make promises like “for how long” without much thought.

I can’t say, “I’ll see you again soon.” either.

Whenever my father and mother broke their promise to me, they would always say “next time”, but the next time never…

“…… Amae…… stop crying.”

“High Priestess…”

“Don’t forever remain a child.”

“Uh~”

Wait, Jamdi’el? You, what are you saying to my little sister!

Amae is still such a child…

“Do thou think that you can always be spoiled because thou art unfortunate to not have blood-related parents?”

“…… High… Priestess?”

“Nothing about that makes thee special. Neither Tsukshi, nor Karui, nor the other girls… no, in any part of this world… there are so many in similar circumstances as thee… who lead more miserable lives out there, swept away and discarded.”

Holding the reins and looking straight ahead, Jamdi’el dared to speak harshly to Amae, who was clinging to my chest.

Those words gouged Amae even more.

“Thou have been indulged and pampered until now, not because thou art special. Simply put, Machio, who took thou in after having lost thy parents and without a soul to care for thee, even Tsukshi, and Karui, just so happened to be good-natured.”

The latest_epi_sodes are on_the ʟɪɢʜᴛɴᴏᴠᴇʟᴘᴜʙ.ᴄᴏᴍ website.

“Oh… uh…”

“This world is not so sweet a world that thou alone art allowed to be spoiled or selfish.”

I don’t know how far such a small and young Amae can understand Jamdi’el’s words.

But at the very least, she must have understood that Jamdi’el was speaking harsh words.

Because Amae was trembling so much.

This dark woman…… shall I kick her from behind and drop her?

『Child…』

「Eh… I know…」

Tre’ainar murmured as if to admonish me, but I also understood.

To be honest, I’m not sure how much I can do to convince Amae, except to comfort her and make promises that I can’t guarantee.

Of course, the same goes for Kron, who loves Amae as much as I do.

If I really want to persuade Amae, I have to teach her the reality.

Even if it makes Amae cry more.

And Jamdi’el volunteered to take on the role herself.

“Then… High Priestess, Goddess… Older Brother too… will go away and not come back?”

“I’m going somewhere. I’m not saying we will never return, but… I can’t easily say we’ll return anytime soon.”

“Uu, no! No! No! I don’t like it! Take Amae with you!”

“That’s impossible, I won’t take thee.”

“Why! No! We all have to be together! Why are you leaving me here!”

Finally, Amae released her hold on me, who she was clinging to, and turned around and rocked Jamdi’el back and forth as she steered the horse.

“You don’t …… like Amae anymore?! Amae is… an unwanted child?”

The latest_epi_sodes are on_the ʟɪɢʜᴛɴᴏᴠᴇʟᴘᴜʙ.ᴄᴏᴍ website.

She’s probably the only child in the world who can do such a thing to Jamdi’el…

“Why would I leave thee? Because thou art a small child and weak.”

“…… because…… a child?”

“Yes. Due to circumstances, Lady Kron and I can no longer live with everyone and we must go far away. From now on, I and Lady Kron… must do all we can just to protect ourselves. I cannot even protect thee.”

Those words are too obvious, but in the end, that was the only answer.

It’s not that I don’t like her. I can’t hate her.

But why would I leave everyone? That’s because I can’t protect them.

Why leave Amae? Because she is a small, weak child with no power.

Yes, because she’s a kid…

「Me too…」

『Child?』

「So clearly… if it’s true…」

In order not to keep a small, weak child from crying. I don’t say such harsh words if I can help it.

Even if I tried to persuade her, in the end, all I could say was “I’ll make it up to you,” “Next time…” “I’m really sorry,” and so on, just like my father and mother did to me.

『Tis so. If you merely love them and pamper them, they would be no better than pets.』

「Tre’ainar?」

『Even if you get angry at times, and even if you have to hit them depending on the situation, some things must be said after serious consideration, Hence why both Hiro and Mamu are ill-prepared to be parents. Well, they themselves are aware of their own faults in being too busy to be decent parents… rather than scolding you for running away from home and doing as you please, they were trying to apologize first.』

I guess I’m a boomerang after all.

“Amae… is what Jamdi’el…… what the High Priestess saying difficult?”

“…… Older Brother?”

I’m not ready to be an Older Brother either. Realizing this, I smiled wryly and took Amae into my arms once more.

The latest_epi_sodes are on_the ʟɪɢʜᴛɴᴏᴠᴇʟᴘᴜʙ.ᴄᴏᴍ website.

“If you don’t understand, then you need to get big and strong enough to understand what it means. Don’t just keep getting spoiled by your sisters and uncles. Someday, when you grow up to make Jamdi’el and Kron bow their heads and say, “Amae, please come with us” or “Please stay with us”… I’m sure we’ll all be together again.”

“Get stronger? Can I be strong? …like Big Sisters?”

“Yeah, and even more. Elder Sis Tsukshi and Mr. Machio… they’re trying to get stronger and bigger now. So that we can all be together again. Amae, you need to see that hard work and realize it for yourself.”

That’s right. Mr. Machio, Elder Sis Tsukshi, and the guys in the dojo all vowed to do so when we said goodbye.

I am sure that everyone in Cacretale has understood that feeling.

Even Mortriage and the others should have received that intention.

That’s why even Amae, who had been spoiled by everyone for being such a small thing until now…

“Everyone’s trying to do their best to make that happen. So, Amae, let’s do our best too, shall we?”

“I don’t know… but…… if Amae gets bigger, will everyone stay together? Really? Will it be fine if Amae gets stronger?”

“Please be strong, Amae, so even when everyone is together, there’ll be nothing to worry about. Then I’ll definitely rely on you. And I can say ‘Older Brother is useless without Amae!'”

In order to make her stronger…

“I’ll work hard too. I’ll get stronger. Kron too. Isn’t that right?”

“Of course! Amae, I am also weak. That’s why I will become stronger. To protect what is precious to me. To be able to protect it. I have to work hard from now on.”

I gave Amae a big smile and called out to Kron, who nodded as well.

“…… Older Brother… Goddess… Amae is… uh… ugh~……”

As expected, Amae did not understand and accept everything.

She groaned with a difficult look on her face.

But, her growl was different from the sorrow and tantrums of before.

“Think about it slowly. Your Older Brother is still weak and I’m sorry I couldn’t fulfill Amae’s wish… also… for lying… I’m really sorry.”

“Older Brother… is strong…”

“I need to get stronger.”

The latest_epi_sodes are on_the ʟɪɢʜᴛɴᴏᴠᴇʟᴘᴜʙ.ᴄᴏᴍ website.

“Uh, uh~…… ugh~…… I have to do even more, right?”

“Yeah.”

Before I knew it, Amae was growling hard as she thought hard about the meaning of our words.

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