Read Violet Evergarden
Read Violet Evergarden Light Novel English

Violet Evergarden – Volume 1 – Chapter 7

readviolet~October 26, 2017 /Uncategorized

Violet Evegarden: Chapter 7

Please feel free to message me about possible corrections. If you can, support the creators by buying the official releases .

The Major and His Everything

When had that feeling sprouted within him? He had no idea what the trigger had been. If he were ever asked what he was fond of about her, he would not be able to properly express it in words.

“Major.” Before he had realized it, he was happy whenever she called out to him. He believed he had to protect her as she followed him from behind. His chest pounded with immutable devotion.

——For whom and for what purpose is that devotion? Supposing hers is for my sake… her lips would automatically only speak words that sound pleasing to me. Since she seeks subservience and orders, having the approval of the Lord she submits to is her motivation. Then… what about my own life? What about my love? For whose sake are they?

Emerald eyes opened. They belonged to a small child. The wide-open orbs of a young infant who had yet to complete six years of age and had just awoken from his slumber reflected the world around him.

As he hopped off the carriage he had been sleeping in along the course of the road, a summery scenery spread in front of him. The first thing that caught his attention was the beauty of the trees lined up on the way to a green forest. While nestled close to one another, from old ones to saplings, they stood dignified. The shadows formed by a soft, pure light cascading to the earth from the gaps between their leaves almost looked like dancers. Said leaves swayed in the wind, sounding like the giggles of little girls.

During such season, white flowers blown into a storm of petals were a remarkable trait of Leidenschaftlich. Almost as the blizzards of the northern countries, the flowers floated about in the air. Their vines were associated with heroes who had protected the nation against no trivial number of invasions, and could be found planted all over the country. Beautiful blossoms bloomed from them during the change from spring to summer.

“It’s our family flower.” His father whispered that one sentence, walking ahead of him.

His eyes, which had been moving about in many directions as he was led by his older brother’s hand, landed on his father’s back. Perhaps sensing his son’s thermal stare, the father turned around once, and though he could not tell, it could have been to confirm if he was properly following from behind. Same as his young self, his father’s irises were green, except of a slightly different shade, and bore a strict gaze.

Just from the fact his father had turned backwards, he was happy to the point of wanting to break into dance. Most likely, that was idolization. However, although his heart was pleased, his expression was stiff. All he was concerned about was whether he had done anything warrant being admonished during that instant.

“What’s that stuff… about ‘our family flower’?” His older brother poorly imitated their father’s words in a very low tone.

The parent and children followed down the green path. Beyond the scene created by the beauty of nature was what seemed to be an area for military training facilities. In it were several people who wore the same purplish black uniform as their father. The little one acted as though exploring something peculiar, and what lay before his pupils that twinkled with stars of curiosity was the figure of soldiers in a march that did not disarray for a single second.

The father took his sons to what seemed to be seats for authorized people in order to watch something that was about to start. Leaving them on chairs arranged outdoors, the father left their side.

In addition to those who wore the army’s uniform, there were also soldiers wearing the navy’s white high-collar one. Surrounding the fighter and reconnaissance planes, they chatted amongst one another, cleanly divided into two parties. Although both were defense forces, they appeared to be self-conscious of and unfriendly with each other. From the eyes of a child, it was a bizarre sight.

Perhaps becoming nervous due to not seeing his father anywhere, he flapped his arms and legs, aimlessly dropping his gaze to his feet. A petal of bougainvillea, which his father had called their “family flower”, fell down. As he stretched his hand out in a forceful attempt to take it into his palm while remaining seated, his older brother sitting next to him held his body back down.

“Gilbert, behave.” As his brother told him with a sullen tone, Gilbert tamely complied.

He was an obedient child. His home was Leidenschaftlich, and he was the descendant of a well-known southern military nation’s heroes.

For the Bougainvillea men, it was customary to enlist into the army. It was not the first time that his father, who had a high-ranking position in it, had brought his brother and himself to similar events.

His brother grasped his hand and held it tight. Even without him doing so, Gilbert was not the kind of boy to repeat an action after being scolded for it.

“If you disgrace the Bougainvillea name, I will be the one punished for neglecting my duty of supervising you.”

Since his brother receiving a lecture along with a reprimanding fist from their father was something often witnessed in their everyday routine, it was only the expected for him to show a well-attuned response, as to not spoil their father’s mood. Gilbert understood that much.

In the Bougainvillea household, where Gilbert and his older brother lived, each person had to act out their conduct with utmost care; otherwise, it felt as if the house’s walls, protruding with needles, nails, swords, and rose thorns, would pierce their bodies and draw blood. Rather than it being a comfortable place, it was as if it judged them constantly. Such was their home.

“So boring…” his brother said, half-pouting. His eyes were directed not at the army soldiers, but at the navy ones. “This kind of thing… seems boring, doesn’t it, Gil?”

Although Gilbert was asked for agreement, he was at loss for an answer. He could not consent.

——Why do you say that?

He believed feelings such as boredom had to be discarded in that situation. Regardless of how tedious it could be, they had to endure it. That was why he had ceased acting as a restless child who was easily influenced by others. His brother was supposed to be aware of that as well, so why did he go as far as orally seeking concordance?

Since Gilbert was still only an infant, he replied in a child-like manner, “You can’t say things like that.”

“It’s fine. It’s okay for you and me to talk about this in a low voice. As if I would let even my thoughts be controlled. Y’know, Gil… this is definitely… something that Dad and Dad’s father, and even Dad’s father’s father have done. It’s the worst, right?”

“Why is that bad?” Gilbert asked.

“Isn’t it as if they don’t have a will of their own? Listen, the reason Dad has brought us here today is to say, ‘you are going to become like me’.”

“Why is that bad?” Gilbert asked.

“It’s to make us understand that we can’t choose anything other than this.”

“Why is that bad?” Gilbert asked.

As he did not comprehend his brother’s feelings no matter what, the latter seemed frustrated and annoyed, lightly balling a fist and strongly hitting Gilbert’s shoulder with the hand that had been holding his. “I want to become a sailor. Not just any sailor. A captain. I’d lead my comrades and venture all around the world. I also want my own ship. Gil, you’re a good learner so you could become a voyager too. But… I… we will never be allowed to become what we want.”

“Isn’t that obvious?” Gilbert said, “Since we are from the Bougainvillea family.”

The household was neatly composed of a pyramidal hierarchy where the father stood at the top; beneath him was the mother, uncle and aunt, and beneath them was the oldest brother, Gilbert and their sisters. In the house Gilbert had been born into, it was natural for the lesser people to lower their heads to their elders, and opposing them was not tolerated. Gilbert and his brother were little gears meant to give continuity to the Bougainvillea family by protecting its heroic honor. Could gears proclaim what they wished to do? No, they could not.

“You’ve been… completely brainwashed, huh…” With a voice that hinted pity, his brother whispered in disdain.

——I wonder what… ‘brainwash’ is.

While he was lost in thought, the fighter planes took flight. In order to see the iron birds rendezvousing and drawing arcs in the sky, Gilbert looked up towards the heavens. The planes intersected with the Sun and disappeared for a moment. It was incredibly dazzling. However, his eyeballs ached as if burning, causing him to close his lids slowly.

Perhaps due to the stimulation from the sunlight, tears had formed.

Emerald eyes opened. They belonged to a wise young man. The orbs that bore sternness taken after not only his father but also perhaps his own personality, as well as kindness and loneliness, were staring at a doll. Rather, a girl that looked like a doll. In the corners of his field of vision was the figure of his older brother, who had grown up just as Gilbert himself.

The room was filled with refined decorations. They were expensive arrangements. However, the fact that the fine quality of the ornaments was the criteria to decide who could afford staying in the place was laughable.

Everything was a mess. The room had become the murder scene of five men at once. The girl, bloodstained, was the culprit. Even with her clothes and scent washed in blood, her beauty remained undamaged by it. She was the most beautiful assassin in the world.

“Hey, you’ll take it, right, Gilbert?” putting on an amicable smile, his older brother pushed the girl’s back.

She took a step towards Gilbert’s side. Automatically, Gilbert took a step back. His body had moved reflexively in refusal and fear. She was horrifying.

——Don’t look at me.

His brother had relentlessly insisted that the girl in front of him was a ‘tool’ and forcefully handed her over. Indeed, she was treated and acted as a tool. However, her breathing was still heavy.

While he wiped her hand, sticky with blood and fat, with his cufflink, she stared at him as though inquiring what the next command would be.

——Why are you looking at me?

He empathized with his older brother’s inhumane utterances to a certain extent. The pyramidal hierarchy existed not only in their home but also in society. In order for children, who were at the bottom of it, to ascend to its top, efforts were required. And not simply by one’s own power. So as to live, so as to be successful in life, it was necessary to make use of a variety of assets. It was not something to be praised for, yet it was something Gilbert desired. Undoubtedly, if he learned how to properly use her, she could become the best shield and sword.

——Why are you… looking at me?

The automated assassin doll desired Gilbert as well.

In the end, everything had gone as his brother had planned, and the young Gilbert, who still had features that could be considered that of a youth, stood in the middle of a street downtown. His two orbs of a mysterious hue stared at the one his arms. The doll, wrapped in his jacket, smelled of nothing remotely sweet, instead enveloped in the odor of the blood she had just bathed in. If she had monster-like features, he would have expected that much, yet her appearance was akin to that of a pixie from some fairytale.

“I am… scared of you.”

The girl did not react to the honest words that leaked from his lips. Her blue eyes simply watched him.

“I am… I am scared of… using you.” Gilbert continued while embracing her tightly. “You are terrifying. Right now, in fact… it’s possible that I’m actually supposed to kill you.” Muttering painfully, he never let go of the girl. He also did not attempt to drop and leave her on the road, shoot her head with the gun in his pocket, or squeeze her slender neck with his hands. “But… I want you to live.” He held onto her despite his fears. His words were frank. “I want you to live.”

It was a truth that shone faintly amidst a cruel world. The problem was whether they would be able to endure its harsh reality. Could he do it?

Uncertain, Gilbert closed his eyes. He prayed for the idealistic thought that it would be wonderful if everything were solved once he opened them again.

Emerald eyes opened. A situation far worse than when he had been praying unfolded before them. The girl proceeded to murder men who had become unable to move by spanking their heads with batons. She would hit them. Blood would fly. Screams would rise. She would hit them. The one who had ordered so was Gilbert himself.

Something other than life was being lost in that space. Violence was giving birth to something in place of reasoning, conscience and other values that had been given names by someone. It was…

——Suspicious. This is not for justice. For her, mine and this country’s sake… that’s what this was meant for.

A little bit of pleasure was born within Gilbert amidst enough guilt to make him want to vomit, along with a lust for conquest from getting his hands on an overwhelming power – which was a girl who would not listen to the orders of anyone but him –, and a sense of superiority as though he had taken over the world.

With the justification of escorting her to the spare room that she had been given, he temporarily excused himself and escaped from the circle of superior officers coming to ask questions regarding the girl. Stepping onto the pool of blood of the people she had slaughtered, he headed for her.

It was as if she would make blood come out of whatever she touched. The blood of her victims, that is. Never her own. Yet her current image seemed to be a copy of one Gilbert would probably see again someday, of her completely covered in blood. That was what he was attempting to do.

The feelings that had abruptly risen within him were gone, like a candle being extinguished. Her breathing was heavy once more.

——There’s no helping. There’s no helping it. Gilbert told himself.

Indeed, it was a decision that could not be helped. There was nothing that could be done, as it was only the expected of him to want to keep the frightening weapon he had acquired, which possessed awareness, within his view. He feared she would harm others. In such circumstances, it was best to use her while maintaining her at reach, and the tool herself wished for that as well.

——It can’t be helped… in order for us… to be together. For her to stay alive.

Even so, the insides of his eyes hurt exactly as the time he had stared directly into the Sun.

Gilbert took the girl to a deserted corridor.

She was a tool. Not his daughter or little sister. She was someone soon to become his underling. It would be troublesome if other people perceived their peculiar relationship. Unless they kept a distance, they would not be able to live side-by-side.

——Still…

He made her walk, walk and walk. Once no one else was on sight, he turned around and stretched his hand towards her.

“Come.”

He could not hold back. The fact that his uniform would be soiled with blood did not go through his head. He had to hold her at that very moment, moving automatically to embrace her. When they had first met and when he had taken her with him, he had ended up doing so as well.

The girl had the same reaction. She trembled agitatedly, but unlike the other times, her tiny fingers gripped onto his uniform – firmly, as though to say she would not let go.

She was a living being with temperature and weight. Back when his sisters were babies, he used to carry and soothe them often. The feeling of those days overlapped. She was soft, as if she could break, to the point of making Gilbert believe he had to protect her no matter what. She fit in his arms more perfectly than he had first thought.

His face, distorted with extreme sorrow, reflected in her blue eyes. Grievously, Gilbert whispered, “Do you really want… a Master like this?”

He could not directly face the excessively innocent glow of the girl’s eyes, and closed his own as if to run away.

Emerald eyes opened.

“I cannot comprehend… what you are saying.” Even though he was still at an age where one would be complimented for their youthfulness, his precocious orbs showed exasperation as he stared at a telecommunication equipment.

It was raining outside. The sound of droplets pouring onto the building interfered with the conversation. Everywhere was too noisy.

Gilbert, commanding the Special Offense Force of Leidenschaftlich’s Army, carried the duty of traveling around the country to terminate the various conflicts happening in it. Moreover, he had the role of raising the one who would become the strength of the Raid Unit in the upcoming final battle. In addition to that, he had suddenly received one more job.

“About the location, a driver has been arranged to take her there. Prepare her and order her to kill. Just that will suffice. Eliminate everyone living in that building. She’s not to worry about anything else and should come back as soon as she’s done.”

Having unexpectedly received a message from a superior officer during his stay at the army divisions’ base, he opposed to the contents of the operation. “But…!” although he had waited for his turn to talk, he closed his mouth after raising his voice. “If this is meant to put disturbing elements under control, my entire troop should participate. Why are you pushing this mission onto Violet alone…? It’s not something a single soldier could do.” He was unable to subdue the disapproval dripping from his tone.

“It’s because the least people who know about this, the better. The target is a national arms dealer who signed an exportation contract for an anti-government organization. This has been reported by a spy who infiltrated in it. We can’t leave the matter to be solved by itself. After all, they are quite aware of our blemishes. The moment is opportune. We must settle this. It’s regretful to call it an overthrow, but there are certainly many people who will take it that way. If we end up exposing to the world even the dubious ideals we embrace, this will be of importance.”

“If that is the case, then all the more reason to assemble personnel capable of accomplishing the mission.”

“Which is your doll. A killer weapon who desires only your orders without questioning them. There’s no one more capable than her, right? I haven’t forgotten that spectacle you presented to us. How many did she murder back then again? How old was she? With your guidance, the precision of her killings should have improved even further. I won’t let you say she can’t do it. Rather, if you had to pick between her doing it or not, which would it be?”

“That’s…”

“Could the most prominent symbol of national defense that is the Bougainvillea be a fake?”

Unable to speak properly, Gilbert clutched his clothes on the area next to his lungs. During the few seconds of silence, an image surfaced in his mind of himself commanding Violet to complete the aforementioned task. She surely would reply with an obsequious “yes”. There would be no hesitation. She was not one to falter. If it were something Gilbert ordered, if it were for the sake of the Lord who looked after her, she would do anything. And what distressed Gilbert the most was that Violet would probably execute her role without difficulties.

He then pictured the future he had predicted in his head. Within it, he could see himself unable to sleep in the barracks, simply awaiting her return.

“She can do it.” His voice finally came out. “She can do it, but Violet needs specific on-site directions. If you have witnessed the slaughter of back then, you understand that, right? She cannot function as a weapon unless I give instructions. Allow me to accompany her.”

It had finally come out, but not with what he had wanted to say.

“Violet, are you ready?” clad in his purplish black military uniform, Gilbert gazed down at the girl with his emerald-green eyes. They seemed intense in the dark interior of the vehicle.

Besides his own, the only other pair of orbs that glistened blazingly was the girl’s. As to expand her field of vision, her golden hair, which complimented her beautiful eyes of a color lighter than the blue of the sea and deeper than the blue of the sky, was tied inside of a military hat identical to the one Gilbert wore.

“Yes.” Her curt response was dispassionate yet brimming with confidence. The girl who could not speak was no longer there.

Gilbert handed a knife and handgun to the female soldier of a rare beauty. “We are going there with the pretense of just talking, but that is not our intention. What we are about to do… will serve as example to all arms dealers involved with Leidenschaftlich.”

“I am aware.”

“The inside is not spacious enough for big fights. I want you to adapt to the conditions of this battleground as fast as possible. You can’t use Witchcraft. But I will go in as well. I will protect you. Think only of defeating the enemies.”

“Yes, Major.” As she nodded, no matter how one looked at her, she did not give off the slightest impression that she was about to kill people. Her slim shoulders and delicate physique indicated her to be in her mid-teens or somewhere below.

Gilbert glanced at her despondently and left the car. It was pitch-black outside. A night sky without stars created a serene atmosphere.

“It will take no more than thirty minutes. Wait here.”

After he informed the driver, the two of them stepped into the property that interposed two alleys. In front of the place that did not appear to have any irregularities was a hard-faced man guarding the gates, holding a rifle as though for display.

There were several houses nearby, but none of them had lights on. It seemed to be an abandoned residential area at the back of a housing district deep within a suburban town. There was a reason why no one lived in it anymore – no normal family would wish to be in a neighborhood reeking of blood and violence.

“I am an affiliate of Leidenschaftlich’s army, Major Gilbert Bougainvillea. I’ve come to see the arms dealer. I know he is here. Tell him I have something to discuss.”

The gatekeeper evidently showed a face of displeasure at the sudden visitors. “Aah…? What’s with you guys? Don’t fuck around. Who do you think you’re talking to?”

At the unbecoming attitude of spitting on his shoes, Gilbert remained expressionless while muttering, “You should watch your language as well.”

With a quick action, he held down the gatekeeper’s rifle in one hand, simultaneously sinking a fist into the other’s stomach. He then pointed the rifle to the top of the groaning gatekeeper’s head, hitting him with it. It did not end there; the instant the latter fell onto his knees, Gilbert landed a kick on the side of his face with his military shoes. A large amount of blood and a crowned tooth spilled from the gatekeeper’s mouth. Gilbert glared coldly as he shouted in agony with yelps and grunts. His ruthlessness had increased from thrashing the man’s profile.

“Disappear. I will use a gun next time.”

The order was for them to murder all of those in the building. They were not inside of it yet. He had let the other live due to mercy. However, a few seconds after the man fled, the girl accurately shot his head with her gun as he ran away. The hand of the man that had been shot held a hidden revolver.

“Violet.”

“Major, he was aiming a gun at you.”

A few minutes after the two entered the building, vicious gunshots and shrieks echoed like music pieces. Sounds of bursting flesh and breaking glass, cries of deathly agony. They were played in a timed harmony and went on repeatedly, until at last, the brutal pursue came to an end with a particularly lurid scream. The building that was the only source of light in the area eventually lost its gleam and its interior became completely quiet.

The world had finally regained its true form. It was a time of silence where living beings would fall into deep sleep.

“How dull.” Loading his pistol, which had gone out of bullets, Gilbert sighed and sat down on a sofa. The legs of the bodies lying on the floor were on his way, but he ignored them as there was nothing else he could do.

It was Violet that the superior officers had nominated to take care of the arms dealer. She was actually supposed to have come to that place on her own.

——She already handles enemy soldiers, but now she has to do even this kind of dirty work. The higher-ups are treating her as nothing but a murder tool.

If the disposal of troublesome elements was for their country’s sake, he could do it free of obscure thoughts. Had he been by himself, he would not have been thinking such things.

“Major, is something wrong? The mission has been cleared. There are no survivors.” Even in such a situation, the girl in question checked the corpses with a calm face.

Gilbert knew better than anyone that there was no need to accompany her.

“No.” As he let his gaze wander around the floor, the feet of a man he had killed came into view. Disturbed, he averted his eyes. “I am fine. You’re tired, right? Take a seat too.”

As he gestured to the sofa, she wavered slightly but obediently sat down. It was a strange scene – a man and a girl relaxingly taking their time in a room filled with dead bodies. The blissfully striking moonlight poured from the window and illuminated the two felons.

Violet observed her superior – rather, someone whom she considered far more than just her superior – as he refused to look at her. What was the owner of those blue eyes thinking? It was as if she saw nothing else but him; such was the kind of stare that she regarded him with.

“Is it all right to not leave immediately?”

“Just one more minute and we’re off. Once we are out of here, we will return to the barracks and to our traveling routine. We will exterminate the enemy units as the higher-ups tell us to, travel again, and exterminate.”

“Yes.”

“There’s… very little extra time for me to spend… just with you.”

“Yes.”

“Even though we’ve been together since you were small, lately, it’s only at times like these that…”

“Yes.”

He felt as if his throat would clog with sorrow. It was the product of feelings that did not match his cool-headed outline. They were all brought by the girl sitting next to him. That was because the one who raised and managed that cold-blooded female soldier was Gilbert himself. He who directly used her as an assassination tool was in no position to berate others.

“Hum, Violet… sorry, but could you open the window? The smell of blood is terrible.”

After sounds of her stepping onto the pools of blood on the ground ensued, the window was opened. Although it was a starless, dim night, the moon was now out. Exposed to the moonlight, her frame reflected hazily in Gilbert’s eyes. Her beautiful facial features were already fully developed, despite her still being so juvenile. Blood droplets had splattered on her white cheeks, tainting her pure appearance.

“Major?” Perhaps uncomfortable from being stared at so intently, Violet tilted her neck at Gilbert.

“Violet, you’ve become taller again.” His voice came out hoarse. He covered his head with his arms folded against his knees. Whenever he looked at her increasingly gorgeous figure, an indescribable pain would boil in his chest.

“Is that so? If Major says so, it might be true.”

“Do you have any injuries?” It was not easy for him to speak without stuttering.

“No. Major, are you all right?”

“Do you despise me?” As he spoke as if spewing blood, the girl blinked in surprise. She must have been truly shocked.

After a while of silence, she replied in a low voice, as though whispering, “I do not understand the question.”

To Gilbert, that had been a predictable response. A dry smile naturally came to him.

“Have I… failed at something?”

“No, that’s not it. There’s nothing you’re at fault for.”

“If there is anything wide of the mark, please tell me. I will fix it.”

Her figure as she took the posture of a tool no matter what was hard to bear for Gilbert.

——However, I have no right to think that this is sad or that she is pitiable.

It was hard, yet he had no means to escape from that suffering.

“Violet, there’s nothing you’re at fault for. It’s true. If there’s anything to be criticized, it’s the fact that you are by my side, killing people without hesitation for my sake. And the one to blame for all of this is me.”

Violet did not possess a sense of good and bad from the start. She did not ‘know’ what could be considered righteous or erroneous. She merely chased after the adult who gave her orders.

“Why is that? I am Major’s weapon. It is merely obvious that you would use me.”

It was because Violet’s words held no lies that each note of each one pierced Gilbert’s whole body. She was simply a tool for massacre, devoid of emotions.

“Anyhow… I’m the one to blame. I don’t want you to be doing this. Still, I make you do it.”

Regardless of how beautiful she was, regardless of how much the man by her side held her dear…

“To me, you are not a tool…”

…she was a doll devoid of feelings…

“Not a tool…”

…that wished only for orders.

Gilbert wanted to shout. He had probably wanted to do so ever since he was a child, had he been allowed to. Had he been permitted freedom, without having to care about being well-behaved, the truth was that he had always, always, always, always, always wanted to shout, “As if I could conform to something like this.”

——As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. As if I could conform to something like this. Aah, aah, as if I could conform to something like this!

When had that feeling sprouted within him?

——Why at such a time?

He had no idea what the trigger had been.

——Why her?

If he were ever asked what he was fond of about her, he would not be able to properly express it in words.

——Anyone else would have been fine.

“Major.” Before he had realized it, he was happy whenever she called out to him.

——Even so, my eyes chase after and search for you.

He believed he had to protect her as she followed him from behind.

——My lips…

His chest pounded with immutable devotion.

——…feel like they will blurt out “I love you”.

After acknowledging that he loved her, he ceased attempting to drag her into war.

——For whom and for what purpose is that devotion? Supposing hers is for my sake… her lips would automatically only speak words that sound pleasing to me. Since she seeks subservience and orders, having the approval of the Lord she submits to is her motivation. Then…

“I… You…”

——What about my own life?

“You…”

——For whose sake…

“You…”

——…is my love?

“Violet…”

——For whose sake… am I living now?

“What is ‘love’?”

“Violet, love is…”

At that moment, he understood everything.

——Aah.

Gilbert was not keen of that phrase.

——It was fate.

After all, it would wipe clean every effort he had spent so far. He could not conform to the fact that the experiences stacked from since his tender years, as a child aiming to rise to the pyramid’s apex, had been for the sake of fate. Everything should have been the result of sheer effort. Nevertheless, at death’s doorstep, Gilbert understood.

——It was fate.

The reason why he had been born into the Bougainvillea family…

——It was fate.

The reason why his brother had abandoned him and cut ties with their household…

——It was fate.

The reason why said brother had found her and brought her home with him…

——It was fate.

The reason why Gilbert wound up loving her…

——It was fate.

“Violet.”

——Just… teaching what love is… to this girl who doesn’t know it. That is my life’s purpose.

“I do not understand. I don’t understand love. I don’t understand… the things Major talks about. If this is how it is, for what reason have I been fighting? Why did you give me orders? I am… a tool. Nothing else. Your tool. I do not understand love… I just… want to save… you, Major. Please do not leave me on my own. Major, please do not leave me on my own. Please give me an order! Even if it costs my life… please order me to save you!”

——I love you, Violet. I should have… told you this… more properly in words. The many gestures you would show, the way your blue eyes would widen whenever you discovered something new… I enjoyed watching you like that. Flowers, rainbows, birds, insects, snow, fallen leaves and cities filled with shaking lanterns… I’d wanted to show them all to you in a more beautiful light. I’d wanted to bestow you with a moment to appreciate them freely, not with mine but your own thoughts. I don’t know… how you would have lived without me there. But, if I weren’t around, wouldn’t you have been able… to see the world in a slightly more beautiful manner, the same way as I saw it through you? Ever since you came to my side, I… my life… was pretty much destroyed, but… I’ve found a meaning for living other than aiming for the top of that pyramid. Violet. You have… become my everything. Everything. Unrelated to the Bougainvillea. Just… everything to the man named Gilbert. At first, I was afraid of you. Yet at the same time, I believed I wanted to protect you. Even though you had sinned without realizing, I still wished for you to live. After I decided to make use of you, a criminal, I became a criminal as well. Your wrongdoings were my wrongdoings. I loved that mutual sinning. That’s right, I should… have told you this. It’s something very rare. I have very few things that I like. There’s actually a much bigger number of things that I detest. I simply don’t say it, but I’m not fond of this world, or this lifestyle. I do protect my country, but in truth, I dislike this world. The things I like are… my best friend, my inevitably twisted family… and you. Violet, it’s only you. My life consisted of just that. Wanting to protect you… and trying to keep you alive… were the first things in my life that I had wanted to do no matter what out of my own will. Abjectly, I make this wish. Violet. I want… to protect… you… more, more and more.

An emerald eye opened. It was a world of darkness. The cries of insects could be heard from afar.

Was that the real world or not?

As he picked the smell of medicine, he immediately knew he was in a hospital. Gilbert confirmed his situation. He was lying on a bed.

His memory gradually returned. He was supposed to have died in the battlefield. However, perhaps because he had been praying so miserably, even though God had never granted any of his wishes until now, He had let him live.

Only one of his emerald eyes had opened. Regardless of how hard he tried, the eye from the side that was wrapped in bandages did not budge. He wanted to move his arms to touch it, as to check on whatever had happened to it. However, again, only one of the limbs moved.

He wondered who had done it. He now had a mechanical arm.

Gilbert turned his face to the side. He met with someone’s eyes in the dark. It was a redheaded man.

“You’re… pretty resilient.”

The only man in Gilbert’s life whom the latter called “best friend” was there. He looked exhausted. What had happened to his uniform? He was dressed in a shirt and pants.

“Same… for… you.” As he retorted huskily, his friend laughed.

He laughed, but it morphed into sobs right after. Gilbert thought it was a pity that he could not properly see his friend’s crying face with only one side of his vision.

“What about Violet?”

His friend definitely knew beforehand that such a question would be asked. He shifted the chair he was sitting on and showed the bed next to him. The girl Gilbert loved lay there.

“If… she is… dead… then please kill me too.”

With her eyes closed, she looked like a sculpture, making it impossible to discern if she was alive or not. His friend gently told him that she had survived, but her arm was no longer usable.

“Just… one… of them?”

“No, both. Both sides… now have artificial arms.”

Gilbert forcefully attempted to get up. While his friend rushed to warn against doing so, Gilbert borrowed his hand, walking the insignificant distance to the girl’s bed with trembling legs. As he uncovered her thin blankets, her smooth porcelain-like arms existed no more. In their place were combat-specialized prosthetics, even though one could not say if she would fight again.

Who had put them on her?

Gilbert touched Violet’s prosthetic with his flesh hand. It was cold. What was supposed to be there was gone. More than with his own condition, he had to bear with that.

“Major. What should I do with this… now that I have it?”

The arms she had showed him the emerald brooch with were gone.

“Major.”

The hands that had grabbed onto Gilbert’s cufflink as to not be separated from him were gone. They would never return.

“I want… to listen… to Major’s orders. If I… have Major’s orders… I can go… anywhere.”

What she had lost would never come back to her.

Gilbert’s vision blurred with tears to the point he could not see his beloved girl anymore. “Hodgins, I have a favor to ask.”

Shedding a single teardrop, an emerald eye closed.