Young girl, Saying goodbye.
The finished leather coat, didn’t look much different from before. He had told them several of his demands and had it improved, but the design was more or less the same. And to change this, which had become half of his trademark now, was somewhat embarrassing.
He had seen through his little brother’s wedding peacefully and his goal that he had come for had also been accomplished.
Which basically meant that it was almost time to head back to Kroix.
Once that was decided, they suddenly became busy. Their preparations for the way home went by quickly. Even though it had been the beginning of Spring when they departed from Kroix, the seasons were now in the middle of changing.
They also had their 『previous lifestyles』. Once their goals were completed, there was no way they could just rest with ease.
“Thank you for teaching me.”
It was the last day she was learning by Cornelio’s side. Latina says and then, pecon, lowered her head.
“Not at all. It was quite fun. Those who had the desire to learn will influence those close to them as well, after all.”
Cornelio looked at his little student with a calm expression. Just like Dale had said, she was extremely intelligent and wise. From what Cornelio could see, she seemed to be keeping some matters to herself, but he thinks that it’s fine as long as it could assist his own students.
He had also thought that it might help his student, Dale, who was shouldering such severe burdens.
What this little girl wanted from Cornelio was to 『understand Dale』. She wasn’t told that ‘You’d hear from Dale himself one day’ or about Dale’s 『abilities』, but in exchange he taught her various things about Dale’s roots, 『Tisroh』.
Shortly after Cornelio started teaching her, this young girl managed to speculate all the way to the opposition between Tisroh and the District Lord.
Even Cornelio was amazed.
“If I was the Lord then…. I would think that Tisroh is really 『scary』.”
He asked her several questions towards the girl who said that as a test, and he found answers with a troubled face. It wasn’t like it was limited only to the correct answer, but there were many answers which didn’t seem to belong to a 『Point of view』 of a young girl. It made him feel like she was raised by someone who stood at the top of people. This was probably also related to this little girl’s secrets.
“…However, I think, that it would be good if no one had to fight.”
“Even if you don’t want to fight, there are also times when you are attacked. When that happens, would it be good if you were overrun?”
“…The other side are also people, so I don’t want to hurt them. …But, I want to protect the people I love. I can’t protect everyone, but I think it would be nice if I could protect the people I care about around me.”
After that answer, she pressed down on her chest and said.
“I would hate it, if everyone faced terrible things because of me after all.”
— For such a clever child, her answer was slightly out of place. However there was no reason to interrogate her about this intentionally.
He had felt it since a while ago, and he kept in mind the feeling that he had touched upon the tip of something. That phrase probably came out from the 『Sense of obligation』 that this gentle girl was, without a doubt, shouldering. That’s what he was able to get out of it.
“Latina, you know. Latina wants to become a kind adult, just like Dale.”
“Is that so.”
He felt like he understood why his student, Dale, dotes on her with such affection. She was a 『Beautiful』 young girl, not just on the outside, but on the inside as well.
She probably wasn’t 『without blemmish』. She probably wasn’t perfect. However, it’s precisely because of those imperfections that this girl fascinates those around her.
Latina, who was sitting down quietly in Wenn-baa’s room just like always, was suddenly asked by Wenn-baa who was facing her.
“I wonder if I should give you a souvenir before you leave, Latina-chan.”
Latina answers as so then looks at Wenn-baa.
There was only a little time left before this 『usual』 scenery which she had already gotten completely used to, ends up becoming the 『usual』 no more.
“It isn’t extremely bulky or anything so, it’ll do just well as a souvenir. Call my stupid grandson over.”
Tilting her head in puzzlement, Latina went over to call Dale, her small footsteps making a, trot trot sound. He should be doing the final check over the preparations for the journey back.
“What’s up old hag? Don’t spoil Latina too much.”
“You think you have the right to say that?”
Dale who came to Wenn-baa’s room soon after, says then frowned.
Wenn-baa laughs off Dale who was acting like that before fixing her sitting posture.
Seeing that his grandmother was acting different than normal, Dale formalised his expression as well.
“As the clan head of Tisroh, I grant you your 『Name』.”
Hearing Wenn-baa’s solemn tone, both Dale and Latina lost their will to speak in shock.
Not just Dale, but even Latina understood the meaning of 『Being bestowed a duty name』 in Tisroh.
“…Tisroh will always accept those who are a part of the clan. With this, Latina-chan will be able to come back 『Here (Tisroh)』 whenever she wants.”
“Even after I die, after my stupid grandson isn’t around, and even after everyone 『here』 changes. Even if we leave from this place and move to a different place, 『Tisroh』 would place importance on the 『clan』 above all else. You can come back whenever you want.”
Having Wendelgard say that, Dale rubbed Latina’s head as if he was honoured.
“Normally, you would only be bestowed a 『Name』 when you become an adult. However, by that time, I can’t guarantee that I would be near you, Latina-chan. That’s why until then, hold this and keep it dear to you, it’ll be fine if you ask Dale about the meaning of it when the time comes.”
Saying that, she points at Latina’s chest with her finger and taps it once.
The one to bestow upon Tisroh’s 『Duty Names』 was the duty of the clan head. And it’s precisely that act of name bestowal that, is evidence of one’s coming of age. It’s the 『Ceremony to Adulthood』 for this clan.
In the current Tisroh, it was an authority reserved only for Wendelgard.
Tisroh didn’t forbid outsiders from being accepted into the 『Clan』.
As a clan of priests belonging to a god that governs over prosperity, they possessed a large amount of knowledge. Knowing that adhering to lineage and, repeating through generations in a narrow environment generates no benefits. In order to not become overly stagnant, welcoming new lineage into the 『clan』 was also indispensable for the sake of the clan’s prosperity.
A marriage like Freeda’s was the most common but, it was limited to just that. The only and definite greatest rule was 『To live while upholding the clan’s pride』. They would welcome those who would accept that. Furthermore, the one to ensure that they are capable of doing so, was again an ability, a duty asked of by the 『Clan head』.
Forbidding them from asking about the meaning of their names, wasn’t particularly a custom they had to hide. There was no doubt that 『This name』 was given because of the path she was going towards and her nature, but if she was told the meaning now, it may end up hindering this young girl who has the possibility to tread upon many, many different ways of life. That wasn’t the true purpose of Wendelgard’s actions after all.
It was the same reason she forbid her from asking Dale.
There was no evidence that her grandson wouldn’t get influenced by her 『Name』, narrowing her future possibilities. From what Wendelgard could see, her grandson was young and naive, and still had a ways to go.
When she becomes an adult, even if she lives a way of life different to her 『Name』, it would still be fine. It was just necessary for them to be able to recognise the role given to them as a member of the clan.
At the very least, 『Tisroh』 would become a place of protection for this child, who their own grandson had accepted into his life. It’ll probably become a safe place to come back to.
Even if she couldn’t return back to her hometown where she was born, it’s undeniable that she could create a place where she belongs, in a fresh, new location.
Even if her grandson had wished for it, 『That』 was not something that he, not being the clan head, had the power to bestow. It was his grandmother who was bestowing it upon her.
It was a present that his grandmother could give him, seeing that her grandson was still upholding the clan’s dignity despite writhing in agony from his important duty.
“If you don’t like my stupid grandson anymore then say so. Ok? I’ll find someone better for you, ok?”
“Dale, is, the best.”
With a voice like she was choking up, Latina says and smiled.
“It’s thanks to Dale that, Latina, was able to meet with granny. Dale is always, giving. Lots, and lots of things that Latina wants.”
Gently patting Latina who was moved to tears, saying good girl, Wenn-baa laughed merrily like usual.
“Latina-chan, you’ll definitely be a good girl once you grow up~. Definitely.”
“Latina wants to be, a granny, like you, granny.”
“Eh? Wait, Latina. Think twice on that.”
Dale was seriously panicked hearing Latina’s words. Seeing Dale shaking his head with all his might, Wenn-baa clicked her tongue loudly, making Latina look puzzled.
“Now then, let’s eat up a feast tonight. It’s going to be farewell for a while 『until Latina-chan comes by again』 after all.”
Sitting round the dinner table, not with a teary face, but a smile, was how they spent their last day in Tisroh.
Holding onto a bunch of 『Souvenirs』, some of which didn’t have form, the two of them made their way back to Kroix.
(Author’s note: The hometown arc ends with this.
Thanks for always reading.)
(TL: Edit: I keep forgetting theres a new pretty picture of Latina – Volume 5 cover)