【Translation】 Koezaru wa Akai Hana – Esta 「Noor Route Split」

HBG0005669

Disclaimer:I cannot guarantee the complete accuracy of this translation

ノールルートから

Noor Route Split

……As those magic words continued to be whispered, everything became Noor to me.

How many days has it been since my mind left me due to the repeated torture?

Although I wasn’t able to process even that and despite having just returned to my senses, I took notice regardless.

Naala: Huh…?

I had been surrounded by a muddy haze for the longest time, so right now, I am at a loss as to whether this is a dream or reality.

Naala: (Come to think of it, my eyes……)

As the sound of footsteps coming down the stairways reached my ears, my eyes were seized with despair.

Noor’s face instantly came to mind and my shoulders jumped.

The owner of that sound slowly approached me and seemingly knelt down by my side while I trembled.

Noor?: ……How are you feeling?

Naala: ……

It can’t be good that I can’t see.

(But even if I were to tell them, they’ll probably reply with “So what about it?”)

Currently, to Noor, I’m nothing but a slave. And that despair weighed heavily upon me well before even insanity could.

And that was the first time I realized that those that have given in too far can’t even descend into madness.

Naala: (I wonder what will become of me……)

Although I knew I would not get a decent answer, I asked with a voice quivering with anguish.

Naala: What are you going to do to me, Noor…?

Noor?: There’s been a bit of an incident, so Master Noor is busy at the present time. Thus, he could not come here.

Noor?: ……Since you were able to ask that, the drugs must be losing effect.

Naala: Was I in that terrible of a state?

Noor?: Yes. In the past few days that I’ve visited you, you had remained a husk.

Noor?: You were just repeating, Noor, Noor, over and over again…

Noor?: And that’s why I……couldn’t ask you.

Naala: About what…?

Noor?: ……

The sudden silence amped up my anxiety.

Come to think of it, it feels like it’s been a long time since I last had a normal conversation like this.

I don’t know if it’s a whim or simply fatigue, but Noor’s acting a bit strange today.

Noor?: ……Are you hungry by any chance? I brought you breakfast, so let’s talk while we eat.

Naala: Food…

Noor?: If it’s difficult for you to move, I’ll assist you.

Naala: ……Now that you mention it, you said I was a husk the past few days, so what did you do about the meals during that time?

Naala: I’m definitely hungry, but it doesn’t feel like I’ve starved for several days.

Noor?: ……It may be insolent, but I’ve been taking care of you.

The moment that was said, I noticed that my body’s clean even though I was out of it for several days.

That Noor, wiping down a soulless human body like a madman and handling their meals is……honestly, a bit surprising to say the least.

Naala: Why are you suddenly kind……?

Noor?: ……I always hope to be kind to you. I don’t have much confidence that something like kindness exists within me, though……

I heard a clunk as something was set down.

But right now, although it wasn’t overwhelming, I wasn’t in a state where I could eat.

At the end of the day, I can’t see, my foot’s bound, and both my mind and body have deteriorated.

Naala: ……I don’t need breakfast. More importantly, what are you going to do to me today?

Noor?: Do what?

Naala: If you’re going to discipline me then I want you to hurry up and get it over with.

Noor?: I won’t do anything to you.

Naala: Why? Until now, even if I said no, you’d always force things upon me, have you not?

Noor?: ……

Naala: You’re so fickle, aren’t you?

Noor?: ……

I didn’t have the mental resources to even be irritated by the silence, I no longer cared.

Noor?: ……Are you okay?

Naala: What do you mean by okay?

Noor?: It sounded like you gave up. It’s not like you.

Naala: ……Well, I can’t see, I can’t walk, so even if you don’t want to, you become like that.

Noor?: ……

That person was awfully shocked and appeared to have made a step back.

Naala: Why are you being surprised? If you’re going to discipline me then go ahead, do as you like.

Noor?: I would…never do that.

Naala: I…don’t understand you. If you consider what you’ve done appalling, to then suddenly act kind is……!

While raising my voice, my body began to shake again, but this time, in anger.

Aah, how long has it been since I last vented my emotions on someone……

For there to still be this fury inside me, is a bit unexpected.

Naala: I-I just don’t understand, Noor……

If I had submitted to you quietly then surely you’d return to the old Noor.

There was a time where I believed that. However, there’s a limit to that too.

My feelings swayed, but fear and sadness quickly took over.

(If I rebelled like this then surely, Noor would be angered and punish me again……)

Noor was the worst kind of man. Yet, why can’t I seem to hate that atrocious man? ……It’s both strange and an unbearable disappointment.

Naala: Why…why……why did you change, Noor……?

Unknowingly, tears were trickling down.

Noor?: ……I’m so sorry.

I thought I was gazed at with cold eyes, but contrary to my expectations, the voice that broke the silence was trembling.

Naala: ……Eh?

Noor?: I wasn’t able to rescue you before you deteriorated into this state……

Naala: What are you talking about, Noor……?

Noor?: I’m not Master Noor.

Naala: Funny, Noor. You’re the only one who’d talk to me, are you not?

As I spoke, I was hit with a sharp headache and I knitted my brows.

Only “Noor” would talk to or touch me, but what’s the source of this discontinuity?

As I placed my hand on my throbbing forehead, I heard a concerned voice.

Noor?: Once the effects of the drugs completely disappear, you’ll surely recover.

Naala: The headache?

Noor?: ……Your headaches, your perception, everything.

Naala: Perception…?

Today, Noor’s saying a bunch of things I don’t understand.

As I tilted my head out of confusion, I was unexpectedly brought in a tender embrace.

The arms that wrapped around me shook slightly, but they gradually strengthened.

Noor?: ……I’m truly, truly sorry.

(Noor?)

He sounded like he was choking up, but was that my imagination?

I don’t know what expression he had as he spoke, but he seems to be crying.

Noor?: During the time we were apart while I was assigned to remote work…I had heard that you were in good spirits.

Noor?: I had an inkling that Noor’s behavior was a bit strange, and yet……why did I not……

Naala: ……? Why are you crying, Noor? You, yourself, had been the one who committed all those deeds.

Noor?: ……Despite having treated you this way, do you still love……Master Noor?

Naala: Love…?

Noor?: The last time I saw you, you were smiling beside Noor. Those eyes were filled with love and you were happily……

Noor?: And that’s why I thought…your happiness would be to be by Noor’s side……

I was hard-pressed for an answer. Even if asked, “Do you love me?”, I honestly don’t know.

I used to think that in the corner of my mind, I still might’ve loved Noor……

(But now….)

Naala: In a situation like this……how could I love you?

Noor?: So you don’t love him anymore.

I took a gulp of my saliva as those words seemed as though they were asking for confirmation.

If I were to nod obediently, something terrible might be done to me again.

But if I were to lie now, I sensed that I’ll lose something important as a human being…… So, while quivering, I shook my head up and down.

Noor?: ……Is that so? A load has come off of my chest.

Naala: What do you mean?

The surprising response made me increasingly confused.

At that moment, he removed his arms around me and placed his warm palms on my cheeks.

He let out a faint sigh, so I could tell that he was close to me, staring at me.

Naala: Noor…?

Noor?: I can’t comprehend Noor either. Even though he’s supposed to love you, how could he treat you so horribly……?

The falling droplets slipped in through the gap between my lips.

As the salty taste spread inside my mouth, I felt pain for the first time in a long time.

Naala: Are you feeling regret……?

Noor?: ……Perhaps.

Naala: Perhaps?

Noor?: I was nothing but a doll who followed orders, so I’m not sure what the emotion I’m feeling right now is.

Naala: You, being a doll, you say some rather odd things. Dolls don’t shed such salty tears.

Noor?: Tears……

It was a voice of surprise like he just now noticed.

Since he’s a prideful person, this might be the first time he’s cried in front of anyone.

Naala: I was shocked too. I can’t believe ‘that’ Noor was in tears.

Noor?: So when people cry, their chest would be in this much pain, huh.

Naala: Are you hurting?

Noor?: Unbearably so……

Naala: Even though they’re things that you, yourself, did?

Noor?: You’re the only person who didn’t think of me as a doll. And yet…I let that person go through all this hell.

I don’t know the reason for this sudden change.

Nevertheless, knowing that Noor himself doesn’t think well of this situation, I felt a glimmer of hope inside me.

Naala: So you don’t think this situation is good, either……?

Noor?: I want you to be happy. I can’t stand you being oppressed like this.

Naala: Noor……

Because that voice sounded so pained, I forgot things that had been done and reached my hand out to him.

It seemed that my fingertips had touched Noor’s wet cheeks.

There was a small sigh before his cheeks relaxed.

Noor: ……

Because it felt like…he was smiling gently at me, tears welled up at the base of my eyes.

I was happy to once again exchange words and feelings with Noor like this.

Noor?: I had been thinking about this for a while.

Naala: ? About what?

Noor?: About whether what I’m about to do now will make you happy… Perhaps, this might only be my own self-righteousness.

Noor?: However, right now…I’ve made up my mind.

Noor?: Even if it’s self-righteous, I can’t leave you like this. Even if you still love Noor…… This is wrong.

He moved away from my body, and I felt anxious again. When I reached my hand out as if to confirm his existence, I heard the sound of metal coming off.

Naala: Ah…

My ankle felt light, and I realized that I’ve been released.

Although I tried to jump up in joy, that body that had eroded from being poisoned extensively did not move the way I imagined.

Noor?: There’s no need for you to remain captive here.

Naala: I’m happy, but… Why did you suddenly do this?

Confused, unable to decide my next move, he took my hands. He gently wrapped his hands around mine and pulled them closer to him.

Noor?: This is not a place you should stay. If this continues, you’ll be entirely ruined.

Noor?: So… Let’s get out of here.

Naala: ……

Although I said “I’m happy” right away, the time I was bound had been far too long.

Perhaps it is a set-up to make me happy before plunging me back into despair again.

Due to my wariness, I could not easily respond, and that was when a wry voice attempted to persuade me.

Noor?: I won’t hurt you.

Naala: Really……?

Noor?: Yes. Let’s head to a place where no one knows of us and wait for your recovery there.

Naala: Eh, but…Noor, you have your job as a parliamentary assistant, no……?

Noor, who was that busy, could he really afford to go on a vacation?

It was odd so I asked. What must he be thinking, I wonder? After a while, having realized that a cheerful voice replied back.

Noor?: I was granted a long break as a reward for completing a major task. Therefore, there’s no need for you to worry.

Noor?: So, please… Please come with me.

Naala: ……But you did such unspeakable things to me. It’s hard for me to trust you again.

Noor?: I would never hurt you. It would be easier for me to end my own life than it is to hurt you.

Naala: Noor……

There’s no sense of lies nor falsehood in that voice.

Resonating directly with my heart, that voice riled up whatever remaining affection was left deep inside me.

(I might actually be crazy…… To be unable to abandon my love for Noor after all that has been done to me……)

Instinctively, I let out a laugh of scorn, but he carefully stroked my cheeks.

A single tear was shed at that gentle warmth as I proceeded to close my eyes.

Naala: But I’ll be separated from everyone from Ruse……

Noor?: ……

Naala: Noor…?

Noor?: ……No need to worry about that matter. You’ll only be apart during the duration of your recovery.

Naala: Could you put in a word so that no one gets hurt?

Noor?: ……Yes, it’s been arranged.

Naala: But are you sure about using your precious vacation time on me?

Noor?: If you take my hand, from that moment onwards, my time will belong to you.

Noor?: And this body will live and die for you.

Naala: ……

(Is it alright for me to believe those words…?)

>> I don’t trust him, but I don’t wish to remain here either……

I hate being in this place. I can’t stand it.

――Simply wanting to escape from this situation, I took that hand.

>> I’ll trust in him once more……

Still, I fear I’m being deceived.

However, his voice when he said “I’ll die your sake” was serious, and I can’t imagine that he was lying……

(If I were to reject this hand then I don’t think there would be a bright future for me. In that case, once again……)

I’ll believe in him. And with my decision made, I took his hand.

Noor?: ……Thank you.

I slowly stood up while supporting myself. But as expected, my body isn’t able to move the way I wanted.

Noor?: Please grab onto me.

Naala: Huh-

It felt like I was floating in the air as he held me under his arms. Surprised, I clung onto his neck, and Noor, who was supporting my shoulders and knees tensed his arms.

To encourage him that I was fine, I relaxed a little.

Noor?: ……I’m sorry.

I lifted my face in response to his words of apology. And when I did, a droplet fell on my cheeks, and he kissed my forehead as if to hide it.

Naala: I may not be able to immediately forgive your previous acts……but, if we were to take our time――

Noor?: No, you must not forgive. You must not forgive me.

Naala: Why……?

Noor?: I destroyed something precious to you. And once you realize that fact, you’ll surely resent me.

Naala: ……You wish to be hated?

Noor?: No. But even so, because I wished you to smile…I chose the path that had even the slightest chance of that happening.

Naala: You wish for me to smile……

I repeated the words that reached my ears and chuckled.

Noor?: Like I thought, is it strange?

Naala: Well, it’s almost like a confession of love, isn’t it? This is the first time I’ve heard such sweet lines coming out of your mouth.

Noor?: ……

Naala: Noor?

Noor?: ……The moment I was acknowledged as your “friend”, I became human. And as my eyes followed you, little-by-little…I came to learn of emotion.

Noor?: So, for now, I wish to repay that debt.

Naala: Today, you’re saying a bunch of things I don’t understand, Noor.

Noor?: It means that I have no right to speak of love.

The sound of that whisper pierced my chest.

I wonder why…? Even though I don’t understand what Noor’s saying, the tears won’t stop flowing.

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