Nessiah and Eudy, gen.
“Then, our next strategy will be like this.”
Nessiah and Eudy, who sat hunched over a large desk, were just about done discussing where to position cannons. Eudy nodded to him, already excited over the prospect of being bathed in the scent of gunpowder again.
“All right. Ahh, I’d better fine-tune them right away.”
Nessiah sighed at the look of rapture in Eudy’s eyes. She always got like this when it came to cannons.
“It’s all right to enjoy yourself, but please don’t get carried away.”
“Aw, that’s so cold. Life wouldn’t be any fun that way, right?”
“…That kind of thing is unnecessary.”
Eudy had spoken in jest, but she sobered at the sharpness of Nessiah’s response. It wasn’t unusual for him to be this curt, but his words seemed much graver than usual.
“What, you’re already approaching life philosophically at your age? Even though you’re still so much younger than me.”
“Not particularly, I just believe that sort of thing has nothing to do with me. Enjoying life…”
Nessiah didn’t say anything more. Eudy was momentarily silenced by Nessiah’s critical tone, but then she walked around the table briskly and sat down beside him.
“Are you the type that’s never depended on others much?”
“What’s this, all of a sudden? I suppose you may be correct, though.”
Eudy snickered a little at the hidden meaning in both their words, then leaned over and proposed, without hesitation:
“Then rely on me.”
Ignoring Nessiah, who was taken aback at being told something so outrageous, Eudy went on.
“I’m not trying to talk down to you or anything, but I’m the adult here in Gram Blaze, aren’t I? The idea of you being dependent seems pretty funny anyway, so depend on me.”
“I have no idea what you’re getting at.”
At Nessiah’s continued amazement, Eudy continued to speak with a slightly more serious expression.
“I’m not really joking around or anything. Honestly, I’m not very good at relying on others either. I am kind of past that age, though.”
As she pushed the papers on the desk about with her fingertips, she began to smile a bit tenderly. It was a warm and somehow sad smile, an expression of nostalgia.
“Even so, I still have memories of being treated kindly. Memories of clinging to people when I was little, memories of getting rescued by others. But when I look at you, somehow I get the feeling that you haven’t had many experiences like that.”
“So in short, you mean to say that I appear to have had an unhappy life?”
“I guess that’s what it comes down to. If it’s not like that, though, then you can always say I’m wrong.”
Eudy fell silent after that, but Nessiah was unable to reply to her. He had lived significantly longer than her, but quite honestly he did have very few of the kind of memories she had indicated. Or perhaps it would be more correct to say that he had never recognized himself to be in that kind of situation. There had been many times in the past that he had behaved in a friendly manner towards someone, but that was merely a tool he used to “gain trust”. Even now, that was how he felt towards Gram Blaze.
Perhaps he did have those kinds of memories. Perhaps he had once perceived someone else’s words as warm. But Nessiah had simply lived too long to be able to clearly remember such things.
“Sorry if I’m making you uncomfortable. Still, by the look on your face, I’m taking it that I guessed right?”
Eudy said so while staring steadily at the still-silent Nessiah. Her eyes peered sharply into Nessiah’s half-concealed face.
“It… seems so.”
Nessiah’s reply was reluctant. I knew it, Eudy thought, blinking.
“Then depend on me. It’s really not as awful to as you think.”
“Even if that’s what you’re suggesting, I really don’t understand what I’m supposed to do…”
“Guess so. Even if I order you to let me hear all your complaints, you’re probably not actually going to complain; when you absolutely need help from someone else, you already accept it just fine. In that case…”
Eudy drew closer to Nessiah, pushed his hood down, and patted his head.
“You’re not used to this, are you?”
Just as she said, Nessiah was shying away from the foreign sensation. Her touch was gentle and he sensed no intent to harm, but because he rarely received such physical contact from others, his body naturally rejected it.
“Certainly not, but somehow I have the feeling that I’m being treated like a child.”
“Who cares? You’re a lot more grown-up than all the adults here even so. Every now and then you ought to loosen up and act more innocent.”
It was a somewhat strange, almost embarrassing sensation. Nessiah wasn’t entirely sure that this was what she meant by “dependence”, but he decided to obey quietly.
Still, when he wondered if this odd feeling might be buried at the bottom of his memory under the deluge of time, it pained him just a little.