Chapter 236 – Return
A space where nothing exists.
The sky does not exist and the same with the earth. There is no light nor sound, there is nothing.
Everything was nothing, the only thing there was space itself.
And in that place, me, Hikari, and the two Eleanors were sucked in.
Hikari grabbed onto me tightly. She is probably scared by this space of nothingness, where you can’t even feel the sense of direction.
I gently stroked Hikari’s head.
「Don’t worry. I’m with you」
「You want to return to a sword? That might make you feel better」
I think that more than half of the reason why Hikari is scared is because of the sense of nothingness.
It’s not hot nor cold, even temperature might not exist.
There is no light nor darkness, I don’t even know if I am seeing.
There is no sound nor silence, it is even doubtful if my sense of hearing is functioning properly.
In that kind of space, staying in her human form should give her a lot of stress.
That’s why I asked her.
After Hikari looked up at me……she glanced at the Demon King, the Eleanor who is in her human form.
「I’ll try to do my best for a bit more……」
「I see. If you can’t endure it anymore, you must immediately return to your Demon Sword form」
For Hikari, the places where she could feel and touch Eleanor in her human form is limited.
Currently, except that lottery place, it is only this Eleanor in the past.
I understand her feeling of wanting to stay as long as she could.
So I continued to gently stroke that Hikari’s head.
「Well then, let’s rest for a bit」
「How complacent. Do you know what kind of place this is?」
「If so, I shall tell you. This place isーー」
「No matter what kind of place this is, there’s no problem」
I stopped Eleanor who dexterously raised only one side of her lips grinning when she was about to talk.
Eleanor looked like she was about to make a proud expression, but she instead made a deep crease between her eyebrows instantly.
It was deep enough to place a business card in between.
「It’s probably a space where you can’t get out once you’ve entered, or something similar, right?」
「You understand that much huh」
「Well, yeah. It feels like that」
「Then how about panicking a little bit more?」
「There’s no need. After all, I’m going out later in the end」
「Why do you say so?」
「There’s a lot of reasons, but……」
My beloved daughter that I’m patting is still a bit trembling.
「Something like, there’s no way I can leave Hikari in such a place forever」
Eleanor scoffed, then roughly sat down to the ground.
Although the ground does not exist, she made a pose as if she was sitting on flat ground.
While in that pose, she looked up at me.
「Explain it to me」
「The reason why that girl is calling me her mother」
「Ahh, about that. Firstly……well, we came from the future」
「Time and space ripple huh」
「Althea was saying something similar. That’s probably the case」
It’s something similar, so I’m thinking there’s also something like dimension ripple.
I recently thought about why Eleanor’s memory is a little bit too unreliable is because although we were sent to the past, it is in the past of a parallel world, but I decided not to mention that right now.
「And, this is Eleanor」
『Treating me like a thing again』
Eleanor lightly protested.
「It’s the real Eleanor」
「What’s the matter?」
「You gave yourself away. There is no way a mere human can wield me. While I acknowledge that Demon Sword’s power, there is no way it is I」
「Come to think of it, there was that setting huh」
『Don’t call it as “setting”!』
Eleanor protested once again.
「I’m the only one Eleanor can’t possess」
「Such human does not exist」
「What should I do so that you’d believe me?」
「……let me see」
Eleanor thought for a while, then stood up while showing a grin.
And then, she slowly approached me and reached out her hand.
「Take my hand. If I cannot dominate you, I’ll believe you」
「You can do it even in that form?」
「Of course. I’ll tell you this first. If you take my hand, your end shall be determined. If I show my true powers, I can instantly erase a human’s mind together with their soulーー」
I took Eleanor’s hand.
It was a small, but soft hand.
Is her body temperature high? It was unexpectedly warm.
「What! Why did you take my hand! Why did you do it without any hesitation!」
「Well, it’s something that I’m doing regularly」
I held Eleanor’s hilt.
Both taking Eleanor’s hand and holding Demon Sword Eleanor’s hilt.
For me, it’s the same thing.
『Yosh. Now, you should grab her tightly and toss her away. Do it with full strength』
I gave Eleanor’s blade a flick of my finger.
And I continued to hold Eleanor’s hand.
I could easily tell that she is gradually getting even more confused.
「Why……why can’t I take over you. I’m serious……」
「Isn’t it about time you believe me? This is also Eleanor, the you who came from the future」
「……I could only believe」
Eleanor let go of my hand.
She made a self-deprecating smile and shrugged her shoulders after taking a step back.
「A human who can resist my domination, no, not only resist it, but sure of himself confidently. Such human, shall be born in the future, huh」
More specifically, I’m not born in this world, but teleported from another, but……if I say that now, it would only complicate things so I didn’t.
「And, this girl is my daughter. She is my daughter with you, right?」
「Un! Hikari is Otou-san and Okaa-san’s daughter〜!」
「Do you also need a proof for that?」
Eleanor shook her head.
She showed a faint smile, a smile that she had never shown up until now.
「Leaving you aside, there is no doubt that she is my daughter. No matter who looks at it」
Hikari tackled Eleanor who was smiling at her from a distance to hug her.
I could feel Eleanor feeling confused.
Hikari’s movements were completely the same as how she acts in that lottery place.
Hugging her mother that she really loves. A young and lovely daughter’s best way to show her love.
If it was the previous Eleanor, she would’ve accepted that naturally. She would receive her actions naturally and hug her back while stroking her head.
But this Eleanor is different. This Eleanor who does not have the self-consciousness of being a mother could only be confused, and she froze.
「The future me……was able to gain such common happiness, huh」
Eleanor’s whisper was full of emotions.
It felt as if, it was full of something that had burdened her.
『Leave her alone for a while』
When I was about to call out to her, the sword Eleanor stopped me.
『I know myself the best. A thing such as “common happiness” is too much of a shock for me in this era』
「Hikari, let’s go over there for a bit」
It looks like Hikari felt something as well. She followed me without saying anything.
We took some distance from Eleanor and watched over her.
「Are you shocked?」
『Although I had forgotten when it was, but there was a time when I wished to possess a human body』
「Because you wanted a common happiness?」
I asked using Eleanor’s words.
『It is not as simple as that』
「But, it is not that far away, huh」
I felt that it was like that from Eleanor’s tone. Seeing Eleanor show silence, I felt that I was right.
And after waiting like that for a while, Eleanor raised her face and came to us.
「Sorry to keep you waiting」
「Are you alright now?」
「Rather than that, let’s think of a way to get out of here」
「You look positive, completely different from earlier」
Eleanor looked at Hikari. She reached out her hand and stroked her daughter’s head.
「After all, I can’t leave Hikari in a place like this forever」
「The problem is, what should we do……」
Eleanor started to think. I could tell the difficulty from the deep crease she’s making between her eyebrows.
『If it is about that, then there’s no problem』
「Do you have a way?」
『Umu, come out lass』
Eleanor said that and summoned Tanya.
It’s the maid ghost inside Eleanor.
『Umu. You shall be the key. Do the things I am about to say』
「What are you doing?」
Eleanor asked dubiously.
「I don’t know too. The you here is planning something」
『Understood, I’ll try it』
After a while, Tanya who had received an explanation took a step forward and placed her hands together, looking like a nun who is praying.
Tanya’s body started to faintly glowーーbut when I was thinking about that, something came out of the space.
I don’t know what it is, but I know it’s “something”.
But even so, it is something that is the first thing that appeared in this place where there is nothing.
『She borrowed the powers of that other lass on the other side. After all, it seems like the two of them are connected』
「Tanya huh……I see」
Tanya and ghost Tanya. Their peculiarity of possessing the same soul was used huh.
「However, it’s useless just by doing this」
『From now on, it’s your turn. Hikari, return to a Demon Swor』
Hearing her mother’s words, Hikari returned to her Demon Sword form.
『Use us and break through the space. There’s is a crack now, you should be able to do it』
『Hikari will do her best〜!』
「I got it」
I raised her and threw her with full strength.
Just like the time I destroyed a castle and fortress, I threw her with full strength towards the crack in the space.
The space where there was nothing shook and trembled.
Eleanor pierced through the crack and reached the other side. The crack spread big enough for an arm to pass through.
『Otou-san, don’t hold back okay?』
「Hikari is such a good girl」
This time, it’s Hikari. It’s her first time.
The same thing I did to Eleanor, I did to Hikari for the first time.
I gripped her hilt tightly and threw her with full strength.
The space that was once pierced spread once again. It is now big enough for a human to barely pass through.
『A-Amazing……the space was really broken』
「There’s no time to get impressed. Tanya, you go first」
After Tanya went out, I also passed through the space tear and turned around.
「Eleanor, let’s go」
I reached out my hand through the tear in the space, but Eleanor didn’t move. Not only that, she even took a step back.
「Eleanor, what are you doing. Let’s get out of here」
「What are you saying, you’re the one who mentioned about getting out」
「I did not say a thing about leaving myself」
I recalled, the words Eleanor said.
ーーAfter all, I can’t leave Hikari in a place like this forever.
「You! You planned this from the start」
「That’s right. I’ll stay here. An existence like me must not stay on that side」
「What are you saying」
「No, not that. I am, tired now. Although I gained the body I wished for, I got the thing that I really wanted even if I did not possess a body. Everything that I’ve done was for nothingーー」
「What will happen to Hikari if you disappear. If you disappear in the past, Hikari will!」
「I am……not connected with you, right?」
「Got it right huh」
Eleanor smiled. It was a kind of smile that I saw from her the first time.
Strictly speaking, it’s not that. Eleanor is implying “no one knows if we’re connected or not”.
Eleanor did not move. The tear in the space slowly repaired.
「Go now. Give Hikari……give that girl, the happiness she deserveーー」
When the tear was about to completely close, Eleanor told me her last words.
I, returned inside the tear.
I passed through the tear and returned that space again.
And, the tear was closed.
Eleanor, she had a face as if she saw something she could not believe.