135 – Even if it wasnt a Mistake, it Still Hurt

Wraith, who is sitting in front of me, blinks his eyes in surprise.

clink goes the ice inside his glass.

「Im surprised. I knew you were a quick thinker, but… how did you know?」

「…If I were you, Id be doing the same thing.」

「Ahaha.」

Wraith found that hilarious and laughed. And then, he looked happy.

「I see. Thats good. Then, help me out. You get it, right Lem? Even when Mr. Fenix, Uncle Air, I, or any other strong person recognize your abilities, those who doubt it wont go away. There are always guys who cant admit someone is strong until they see it for themselves.」

Certainly, when Aerial mentioned inviting me into his party during the Tag Tournament with Berith, the evaluation of the Black Sorcerer Lem didnt completely change.

It was just enough to make more, if ever so slightly, people acknowledge me.

I am not dissatisfied with this small step forward, but Wraith seems to think otherwise.

The people who deny me also have their own evaluation criteria.

Even if I win, it doesnt change the fact that Im plain.

It doesnt change the fact that Black Magic cant be seen.

They dont think that my appearance is impressive in any way, nor that my way of doing things is useful for Clears.

There are so many other reasons to deny me, all lying around.

However, as long as you put yourself in a place where you are exposed to the evaluations of others, criticism is bound to follow.

There are people who say Aerial is getting on in years, and Fenix lacks leadership skills.

There isnt a single person who is universally praised by everyone.

Even knowing that, it still hurts to be denied.

And if the thing or person that is being denied is important to you, then it surely hurts more than if it was you being denied.

「I cant help you.」

「I dont get it. I just dont get it. You wanna become a hero. You havent given up on it, so what do you want…no, what are you doing? I just dont understand how youre going about achieving your goal.」

Theres no way hed think that I went over to the Monster side.

And thats exactly why my attitude is so incomprehensible to him.

Im a man who hasnt entered a new party and declined the invitations of him and Aerial, yet still continuing towards my goal of becoming a hero.

「Well, whatever. If you dont want to tell me that much. If you see us fight, Im sure youll want to fight with us. Its fine if Lem just supports me and fights his own battles. If Lem is doing it, Im sure its necessary for the sake of winning.」

He trusts me a lot.

No, thats not entirely accurate. He simply saw me fight and made that judgment.

My struggle with Berith was all he needed to see to make that judgment.

「I am glad that you feel that way.」

「But youre refusing, right? I get it, I get it. Well, guess Ill head back, then. Busy day tomorrow.」

「Wraith.」

「Hm, what is it? Changed your mind? Welcome aboard!」

「No, nothing like that… Its just… I apologize if it was a misunderstanding.」

「Is that all? You scared me for a second there.」

Wraith shrugged his shoulders while giving a faint smile.

I was hesitating.

When you direct a word at someone, its meaning isnt the only thing that is important.

The relationship between you and the other person, the circumstances, the other persons state of mind, and many other things come into play.

I dont want to be able to just throw out a word and have it reach everyone the same way no matter who says it.

Isnt what Im about to say too much? I had this hesitation.

「I believe its admirable to want to prove that the person you admired is right.」

「Oh that. Sure, thanks.」

He looked away, inclining his neck as if this was all a big pain.

This probably isnt a favorite topic of his.

「If you want to become the hero that you a

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