Ilya Lindsay has been wandering on a long road.
The defeat and disappearance of her brother, Carl Lindsay, robbed her of the chance to live her life. And more than 10 years had passed since then.
After meeting Airn and her other friends, not much had changed.
Sure, she realized the path she took was wrong.
But what after that?
Acknowledging a mistake didn’t mean that the problem itself was solved. And so, she was still unable to find an answer.
As Ignet moved confidently, Ilya was there as a best friend to Airn, who had also found his own sword.
But if not for holding Airn’s hand, she would have never come this far.
A person whose embankment had collapsed because of a few words from Ignet.
A person who couldn’t walk on her own path and gets swayed easily. A person who hadn’t been able to take a step forward ever since she had been previously swept away by the words and gazes of people.
‘Is this right?’
As she was like that, she hesitated to even knock on the door.
Was it fine to ask her father for help as if she was a child?
The thought of her dreams lingered on her mind.
But, Ilya finally knocked on the door.
‘It’s the same always.’
Right. After all, she was the one who made the same mistakes over and over again.
She knew that she wasn’t complete and was lacking.
If there was one thing different from when she was in Land of Proof, that would be…
That she needed help.
And that made her feel comfortable.
Ilya, who brushed off her feelings of shame, appeared in front of her father.
“… I want to consult you about some concerns.”
And regretted it.
Why hadn’t she come a little earlier?
She felt relieved.
She couldn’t be more at ease when talking about it to anyone else.
Since her father was a person who looked at her with eyes full of kindness and warmth.
And with complete trust that no one else could have that look, Ilya confided in him.
After a short time passed.
“You are mistaking something.”
Joshua Lindsay, opened his mouth after careful deliberation and pointed out something Ilya had missed.
“When walking your own path, why is it that you think that you need to think and decide about everything alone?”
“You don’t think so? Humans are creatures who interact with others. Neither the beggar in slums, nor the royal family nor the noble ladies or men, nor the commoners nor the kids… no one can live alone.”
Ilya’s confusion grew stronger.
Didn’t Airn do it by himself? If we constantly interact and get swayed by other people, then what is the meaning of such a life?
Was it right to follow Ignet?
However, the words her father said told her the opposite.
Humans interact with others.
That they influence each other.
It was when Ilya put on a confused expression.
“The important thing here is that the subject of interaction with others should be ‘myself’.”
Joshua Lindsay smiled and continued.
Like before, he made sure to say that a human cannot stand alone.
Sharing emotions, ideas and talents. Just like that, one can lead a better life by filling in each other’s shortcomings.
And of course, that didn’t mean that one should depend on another person till the end.
And it doesn’t mean you have to listen to everyone either.
“I heard from Perry Martinez. He said that you swore at the nobles who spoke about you?”
“I am not reprimanding you. Rather, I will compliment you. Good job, you did really well.”
“You don’t think so? Do you think that anything they said was for your growth?”
“Then, was there anything you learned from their words?”
“Right. In the end, it is nothing more than meaningless words. Ignoring them is right.”
Joshua smiled as he continued to speak.
“But there will be things which you shouldn’t ignore. Your friend… Airn said something like that.”
Ilya nodded her head at that.
It was right.
The Rabat nobles and Airn were different.
Airn’s words were for her.
It wasn’t something she thought was wrong. He said words to make her grow.
Without him, she would have never been able to ask her father for help.
Ilya thought and looked into her father’s eyes.
She seemed to understand what her father was saying.
“Finally… it doesn’t matter if you get along with others or not.”
Joshua smiled and continued.
“From now on, the words, gazes and actions of countless people might be focused on you. And they will try to shake you. But it isn’t right to close your eyes and ears in fear of that. That wouldn’t mean you are walking your path, but it is more like you are crumbling under the eyes of others.”
“Accept what you receive and think you need and let go of what you don’t need. If your judgement is right, spit out swear words like you did in the banquet hall and just brush it off, and if it is advice that can help you grow, then accept it. Now should we conclude this? So, now what do you think is important?”
“Focusing on myself first and not others.”
The father stroked his daughter’s hair.
“There is no need to focus on each and every word of others that is directed at you. As long as you understand yourself, then all your problems will be solved.”
At that moment, Ilya Lindsay felt her mind clearing.
What kind of person is she?
What did she like and dislike? What was her path? And what path made her crouch in fear?
All of it was clear.
Instead of reacting blindly to the words and actions of others, if you can become the subject and make your own choices…
Then there was no need to be afraid of others. And there was no need to be bothered by others.
‘It is the same with Ignet.’
Ilya closed her eyes and thought of Ignet Crescentia.
The swordsmanship she showed, the courage she showed and the words of recognition she gave her.
There wasn’t any problem with that.
Because she clearly understood her own feelings. She hated and hated Ignet… but truthfully, she didn’t.
Rather, she longed for her.
And those feelings were driving her own growth.
‘I have to make a clear distinction.’
The incident caused by Ignet.
The sadness caused by Ignet.
The rumors caused by Ignet and the voices of comparison that arose out of it.
Ilya didn’t need those; she didn’t need to listen or think about them.
But that didn’t mean that she had to ignore them and be stubborn about being recognized as a swordsman.
Ilya was genuinely delighted to hear the compliments from Ignet.
She decided to accept it and move forward.
“Yes, my daughter?”
“Thanks for talking with me. I am sorry, but I’ll be back in a moment.”
The moment she focused on herself.
Ilya left the room as she realized that there was something more important than Ignet.
And she moved with all her might.
She felt sorry for her father, who was left behind.
But she couldn’t stand it.
She finally realized.
The moment she focused on herself, Ilya sprinted towards the training hall to see him, who had a greater presence than anything else in her life.
How did she know he was there?
She just knew.
A strange feeling had called out to her.
Ilya appeared in front of her precious friend.
No, she looked at the one she loved, Airn Pareira.
Even in Krono and in Land of Proof, it was a face that gave her great power.
She could feel his worried eyes and the faint smell of sweat.
She liked that too.
Ilya Lindsay, who was completely focused on herself after so long, was fully aware of her feelings and opened her lips to speak.
But she couldn’t say it.
It was unavoidable.
She lived her entire life concentrating on others, so it wasn’t easy to speak out like this.
Her confidence lowered.
‘Why am I being like this?’
‘Isn’t it more strange since I was the one who came out running for him?’
‘I don’t think this situation calls for saying that…’
‘No, Airn definitely only thinks of me as a friend…’
Among the dozens of thoughts, a few seemed positive.
And then she realized once more. Who she was.
The fact that there was something more important.
‘… to love me.’
“Ilya are you fine?”
Airn Pareira approached her. And looked at her with a worried expression. Ilya felt grateful for that.
Knowing that Airn had currently put down his sword for her sake, her emotions deepened.
Of course, that was all.
She got to know herself better than before, but… it would take time for her to fully love herself.
It was difficult, but Ilya decided to hold back her words for Airn a little longer.
‘Let’s take a little more time.’
Until she felt confident.
Until she could love herself.
Until Airn begins to like her.
Until then, she wanted to hide the feelings a little more.
“I just wanted to see you.”
“It’s like I said. Since we haven’t seen each other lately.”
“So, I came. Since I wanted to see you.”
“Should we duel then?”
“Hm… should we?”
Airn nodded. And Ilya smiled as she looked at him, which made Airn a bit surprised.
Because she was brighter than usual.
However, there was nothing strange.
She liked Airn.
She wanted to spend time with him.
Although she wasn’t confident in revealing the truth about her feelings, she didn’t feel like she should hide them completely.
She would stop hiding her feelings.
She would be more confident and express herself. Not hiding her true self.
‘Someday, I will be able to become a person attractive enough to express my feelings.’
Looking at Airn’s face, Ilya Lindsay smiled brighter.
Only the moon in the night sky was looking down on the two who were using their swords after a long time.
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