Since listening to the ghost while just standing around will be a waste of time, we decided to have our lunch while we listened.
「If so, I’ve got a good place! I will take you somewhere that have more light! Now, follow me! 」
「I don’t really want to leave the path too far though. 」
「It’s alright. It’s just a little way from here. And I’ve been here for a long time after I became a ghost. It’s like my garden so please be assured! 」
Is that something to be proud of……?
「It’s a time for happy dining. Wouldn’t you like a place with a brighter atmosphere? 」
Well, he’s got a point. Ravi would like it to if we have our meal in somewhere comfortable.
「Alright. Guide us. 」
Even if we somehow lost our ways, I have brought a compass and there’s skills I can use to get through somehow. Suddenly, I recalled that I told someone that 「You will be more worrisome if you have a child. 」. But now I’m the one worrying over everything.
Where Bruno had brought us to is a flower garden that has sunshine scattering through the dense leaves, it was just a little way away from the gloomy path.
「Wa……! Pretty……! Daddy, there’re so many flowers……! 」
Ravi looked around in joy. The carpet of flowers that was spread out in our view. The flowers which grew only around here danced gently while bathing in sunlight.
「I’m surprised. Just a little distance from the path, there’s a place with such atmosphere. Thanks for telling us about it. 」
「I wanted to tell someone about this place for this whole time too. It’s too beautiful of a place for to be kept to yourself, right? ――Now, take a seat! And start your meal without minding please. 」
Because Bruno is a ghost, of course he wouldn’t eat anything. I thought it would be a little rude to have a meal in front of him. But he said, 「It’s been don’t know how many years since I accompanied someone on a meal, just that is more than happy for me! 」
The bright laughter didn’t contain a sliver of regret. It’s probably what he really thinks. Then we shouldn’t be too mindful of that. I took out the bread and cheese from the baggage, slicing the cheese thinly, and two portion of cheese sandwich is completed.
And during that time, we boiled water for the tea. Using a knife and cutting the lump of cheese, and lightly spreading it on the bread. It’s Ravi’s favorite to eat the cheese bread when the cheese is melted.
「――To speak the truth, to find this flower garden was why I came to this forest. The blue flowers here in my hometown, they have the meaning of promise of eternal love……. I thought that presenting it on the wedding to my partner would make her happy……」
Ravi’s and my hands stopped just as we thought to start our lunch. The blue flower that Bruno pointed out is smaller than fingertips. Compared with other flowers, they didn’t stand out at all, but looked like wildflowers that you can find anywhere.
「Ah! I will just continue talking by myself, so don’t mind it and continue eating! 」
「Y-Yeah……continue your story please. Ravi, let’s eat. 」
It isn’t particularly a story that we can just ignore. I stuffed the sandwich more quickly than usual.
「I’m a secretary in a small village office when I was still alive. And of course, adventuring is a first time for me. 」
「My village is about half day away from here, so it isn’t really far. But even if it’s in a place on the other side of the world, I would have done it anyways. I mean, I love her a lot! I will do anything if she can be happy. 」
「I understand that feeling too. 」
「Right!? Because of that, I made up my mind and headed out to the forest. Where the flower garden had been, the me that time hadn’t know it. There were people that had brought flowers back to the village, but I think that it will be better if I got it myself. 」
「Then you wandered into this gloomy forest……? 」
「I wonder if that saying is right. I believe that it was the guidance of my love! ――But in the end, I met a huge trouble. 」
「Getting totally lost deep in the forest for three days. That day was raining heavily too. I tried to look for the path in the forest while running all around. But it was so cold that even white breath came out. 」
Ravi with half a sandwich left over, she clung onto my arms. 「Should we stop for a while? 」 as I asked, but she shook her head sideways. Ravi replied that the sandwich is fine for now, so I packed it to save it for later.
A child’s tolerance might be much more than what adult thinks. That is what I was forced to realize many times after spending many days together with Ravi. I also have a choice to cover her ears and eyes, shielding her from what might hurt her.
But that won’t do good for her, that’s what I have learned from experience. With her wishes in mind, I want to let her face the things in the world as much as she could. If the time when Ravi would get hurt comes, then it would be my turn to take over.
「……Should I stop after all? 」
「No, it’s fine. Please continue. 」
Having seen our exchange, Bruno tuned his tone before continuing his story.
「My foot was stuck on the edge of the cliff. When I thought that it was getting bad, my body was suddenly in the air. When I hit the ground heavily, a strange sound resounded from the bones of my neck, shoulders, and even my legs. And the next moment that I regained myself, I could see my whole body from top to bottom facing the sky. It took me three days to realize that I have died. And to accept that, was a month time. 」
While speechless, I could only nod.
「But I don’t regret that I came. It’s what I chose for my loved one! In another sense, it can be said that I died happily. 」
I wonder, how can this man smile like this even though knowing that his loved one is left behind after he died. Noticing my gaze of surprise, Bruno furrowed his brows and added on.
「Of course, in the beginning, I was really depressed. But being positive is my special trait. Since she had said that she likes that part of me. I thought that I must be positive even after I became like this! 」
Bruno laughed as if he’s embarrassed. When Bruno is talking about her, it seems that even with his pale face, a sliver of happiness can be seen. It must be that he’s very caring of her.
「Even though I died, I want to remain as the one that she loves. 」
「……Then the main topic, can you please send the 『Me』 back to my hometown…… 」
「Do you mean 『Me』 by your body? 」
Bruno nodded while looking sorry.
「Actually, I’ve tried many times to get out of the forest, and when I realized, I was back at where I died. It felt like I’m bound with my physical body. Probably with my body still here, I can’t ever leave the forest…… 」
「You wish to return home huh. 」
「I want to look over her……. That’s the least I can do now that I’m like this……」
I understood Bruno’s wish. Now then――. When I glanced back at Ravi, a soft voice, 「……Will we help ghost-san? 」asked. I patted Ravi’s head lightly.
「Well, sure. We will help you within what we can do. 」
「Eh……!? Really!? 」
「Oi oi. You are the one asked, why are you so surprised. 」
「There were three other people willing to listen to me before. But they all said that they couldn’t help me. That a ghost can’t compensate anything……. Just like what they said, is it really fine? 」
「Helping someone isn’t something you expect a return right? 」
Rather than helping someone, it’s more like helping a ghost this time.
Bruno eyes widened as he heard my reply, and started to tremble.
「You are such a good person……!! 」
「No, isn’t this much normal? 」
「That can’t be the case!! I have been in this forest for almost five years, chasing around the travelers, but never had I met someone like you!? I’m really moved right now……!! 」
「D-Daddy. The ghost-san is crying……」
Bruno who cried exaggeratedly yelled, 「I’m very touched!! 」. Ravi who was tugging at my sleeves, was evidently stunned because of the overwhelming Bruno. To be honest, I’m equally surprised as Ravi.
It’s because that we are similar in the aspect that emotions are less showing. It’s the exact opposite of Bruno who is crying, wailing and rejoicing loudly.
Ravi who would show a lovable beaming smile if there’s something delicious, something nice happening. And her shoulders will droop whenever she’s depressed.
But in both cases, if you listened carefully, you can hear a fleeing mutter like 「I’m happy……」or 「I’m sad……」. I could never describe how precious that is for me.
Oops, not now. In any case, the colorful and various expression of Bruno, had indeed shocked the both of us. Rather than that, I never thought a ghost can cry…….