“What is it?” (Shin)
Before Shin could turn around, Reno jumped on his back.
And she hugged him tightly.
“…I get it. Now I get it. Shin… I love you. This was love all along. I’m in love with you, Shin!” (Reno)
Shin looked at her, taken aback.
“I thought it was strange how I always felt different whenever I was with you. When I heard that you didn’t know what love was, I felt a pain in my heart. And when you watered the flowers, it put a smile on my face. Shin, you always bring out a different me. When I’m with you, I’m not the Great Mother of All Spirits, but just me.” Reno said, her face beaming with joy.
She was like an innocent child.
Feeling intimidated by Shin’s gaze, Reno pulled away from him.
She turned her head and gave Shin a timid, upturned look.
“…Am I… being a bother to you?” (Reno)
The Great Mother of All Spirits had lived in Aharthern for a long, long time.
But now, she looked like a little girl who had just gotten her first crush.
“I feel no love.” (Shin)
Upon hearing those words, Reno’s body trembled, as if in terror.
“…However, you have filled the void inside me a little. Playing with the spirits and watering the tear flowers were things I never imagined myself capable of before.” (Shin)
Reno’s face relaxed, as if in happiness.
“The days I spend here feel as if I were a naked sword who had been given a sheath. Though it may not be love, you still have my gratitude, Reno.” (Shin)
“It’s fine, really. No need to mention it.” (Reno)
Reno smiled as she shook her head from side to side.
And as she did, Shin declared in silence.
“And today, my time here must come to an end.” (Shin)
“I have finished driving away the Divine Beasts Gwen. And even Nosgalia, who is still hiding somewhere, is between life and death. He should only have very little power left as a divine order. If you remain inside the Great Tree of Enyunien, he should not be able to do anything to you.” (Shin)
“Are you going to reincarnate?” (Reno)
“I cannot fail to keep my word to My Lord. Before long, the Hero Kanon will spread rumors about the phony Demon King. I was thinking of leaving before then.” (Shin)
“I will head for Dilhade starting now.” (Shin)
Reno bit her own lip.
“But… I only just… realized my own feelings…” Reno muttered sadly.
Seeing this, Shin shut his mouth, as if troubled.
The two of them faced each other in silence for a while, then Shin eventually spoke up.
“My deepest apologies. But My Lord is awaiting my arrival two thousand years later.” (Shin)
Reno’s face, which was facing down, was stained with sadness.
She looked as if she was about to start crying, but she held back her own tears.
Then, she forced herself to smile.
“It’s… It’s not fair.” (Reno)
“…What isn’t?” (Shin)
“Well… The Demon King has been with you forever, right? While you and I only met a few days ago. If so, then I can never, ever top that.” (Reno)
She was desperately trying her best to smile and keep herself from crying.
If he said anything, tears could spill from her eyes at any moment.
Or perhaps did Shin already notice that.
He did not repeat what he said about ‘His Lord waiting for him’.
“Then, as a token of my appreciation to you, and to avoid any form of unfairness, let me give you something in lieu of my time away from here.” (Shin)
“…What will you… give me?” (Reno)
“Anything you desire. If you ask me to remain here, I will do so.” (Shin)
Perhaps it was so Reno could uphold her claims about never shedding tears of sadness, but Shin made a proposal I would’ve never expected from him.
Reno thought deeply about it.
“…Then, Shin… Umm… I want you to…” (Reno)
Embarrassed, she spoke in a voice so feeble it looked like she was about to break.
“Marry me.” (Reno)
Sasha, who had been watching them from afar, shouted “Just like that!?” Luckily, Reno was having none of it, and didn’t seem to hear her. “No way he’s gonna say ‘yes’…” or so Sasha muttered.
“Your wish is my command.” (Shin)
“He said ‘yes’…?” Sasha said, once again in a small voice.
In the Mythical Age, even when they weren’t in love, people often got married for various reasons. Considering Sasha’s values as someone from two thousand years later, she probably couldn’t understand that.
“Well then, have a safe trip, Shin.” (Reno)
Reno smiled from the bottom of her heart.
“I’ll be waiting for you for the next two thousand years. All the way until you return. And once you do, then next time for sure, I’ll teach you about love without fail.” (Reno)
It wasn’t that she wanted to restrain him.
What she most likely wanted was a promise.
To make sure she’d meet Shin again in two thousand years.
Shin swiftly knelt down in front of Reno.
Then he took her hand as he addressed her.
“Between Dilhade and Aharthern, which style would you prefer?” (Shin)
“Eh? Umm…” (Reno)
She looked puzzled, as if she didn’t understand what he meant.
“I mean for the marriage ceremony. Is there none in particular among spirits?” (Shin)
“But don’t you have to go?” Reno asked in a puzzled manner.
“My Lord has instructed that those among his subordinates who were to be married had to hold a ceremony, no matter what. I cannot reincarnate without first completing this task.” (Shin)
Hmm. Come to think of it, I did say that, didn’t I.
Marriage wasn’t always a happy occasion, but many refrained from getting married because we were in the middle of a war.
However, there was no point in worrying about a battle that could end at any moment. So I thought I’d at least let them make their celebrations memorable.
“Then could we do it the Aharthern way? I mean, nobody here really knows how marriage ceremonies go in Dilhade.” (Reno)
“What I am about to say will be the way of Dilhade, but…” (Shin)
He stared at Reno and declared.
“I swear on the name of the Great Demon King.” (Shin)
Face down, Shin gently brought his lips to the back of Reno’s hand.
Her eyes widened in surprise.
“I shalt take thou, the Great Spirit Reno, as my wife. And though death may separate us, though perdition may separate us, though fate may separate us, our hearts shall remain united forever and ever.” (Shin)
Those were the words of betrothal used in Midhaze during the Mythical Age.