Zara Skeens (ザラ スキーンズ)
CV: Ishida Akira (石田 彰)
A dutiful butler in the service of the Galland family, but he also acts as a pharmacist and creates medicines for Fiona. He absolutely adores her and places her safety and health above everything else which can make him a little strict towards her. He is actually a war orphan and the last of the rabbit race.
(If you right-click on the images and click “view image” you can view them in full size which is 1025 x 575).
The routine is the same. The wolves attack a village. Fiona celebrates her 16th birthday. Auger interrupts and kidnaps her to the castle under the pretense of her being a witch. Her father and Nesso have to quell the uprising in Scharlmessen. Fiona has to stay in the castle until the accusations against her are dropped. Mejojo hosts a dance party to celebrate her arrival and birthday, but Fiona finds herself alone in the hall.
She thinks about how she would like to dance with Zara. She knows it’s impossible but if he were here then they could dance together. She wouldn’t be nervous with her childhood friend even if he’s the opposite sex and they would have fun. Fiona recalls with a giggle how, in order to teach her, Zara danced a lot with Nesso. Because Fiona didn’t know how to dance, Zara had to memorize the female part and dance with Nesso as demonstration.
Although it was very strange; it was also very beautiful. A sense of incompatibility could be felt though since they were two men, but it was amazing to her who knew nothing about dance. Then, when they practiced dancing, Nesso was always her partner and Zara her teacher. He taught her about the atmosphere and her footwork. They had to practice in the tower which didn’t have a wide space.
When Nesso wasn’t there, she often practiced with what was called a shadow. Basically she danced alone but acted as if she had a partner. She recalls Zara scolding her for collapsing her hold when she turned. Fiona protested that because she had no partner her arm couldn’t keep the position. Zara’s responded that she mustn’t place her weight on her partner anyway. He informed her that she had to learn to keep her posture correct by herself.
She had complained that it was impossible and that she’d warp her back. It is impossible, while balancing alone, to keep her arm from collapsing or from stepping wrongly. Zara had sighed in exasperation and then asked her to watch him as he demonstrated. Fiona’s mind returns to the dance hall as she thinks about how gracefully Zara danced and how he kept his posture perfect by himself. He was a man and yet he could dance the female part so beautifully.
Fiona wasn’t going to lose! Now she thinks she could dance it perfectly. She could meet his expectations. Thanks to that she can dance at the level of normal people. But her smile falls as she watches the dancers whirling around in pretty colors on the floor. She read in a book that women without partners were called wallflowers, which means she’s one. It’s a considerably lonely thing. She starts to feel like an outsider. If only Zara were here..
And then someone approaches her and greets her by name. Fiona’s eyes widen and for a second she thinks she’s hallucinating. She asks him with a stutter how he’s here and Zara explains that Edgar received an invitation but Nesso came as his representative. Zara is here as Nesso’s attendant. The Galland family has connections with the royal family. It would be strange if they weren’t invited to such a dance party.
She thought they wouldn’t be invited because of the accusations against her as a witch though. She’s glad but she looks worried as she asks Zara why her father sent a representation. Did something happen to him? Zara averts his eyes and informs her that his health took a turn for the worse. Fiona’s expression dims because even though Zara’s words are ambiguous the source for her father’s decline in health is clear.
He is uneasy about her relocation to the castle. Zara changes the subject and asks about her well-being. Things had been tentatively explained to them by Auger, but he wants to know if she’s troubled by anything. Fiona smiles and reassures him that she’s fine. Mejojo and Auger are good hosts and the room they prepared for her is beautiful. Zara returns her smile and confesses that he feels relieved after seeing her face, although he would like to return her home as soon as possible.
Zara trails off as he comments on the way things have become and so Fiona reassures him again that she’s fine. Even though they have only been apart for a day she can’t help but feel like she missed him greatly. His face becomes serious as he tells her that once things have calmed down on their end, Fiona will be able to return home. Fiona admits that she also wants to return. Zara laughs at how strange it is since she used to talk about wanting to go out.
Fiona frowns and tells him that those are two different things. Zara agrees that deciding to go out and being dragged out are completely different things. She nods with a smile but agrees inwardly that it’s strange. She had always yearned to leave the tower for a long time, but now she’s dying to return to it. She wants to return to her family. Fiona shakes her head to drive away the feelings of homesickness. And then she asks Zara if he’ll dance with her now that they’re here.
His eyebrows raise as he asks her in surprise what she’s talking about since he’s an attendant. In a place like this he is in no position to be able to dance with her. Fiona points out that this is her first dance party and does he intend for her to end it without dancing with anyone? Zara smiles though and tells her that he’ll find Nesso. Fiona pouts because she wants to dance with Zara. She gasps as an epiphany hits her and Zara asks if something is the matter.
Fiona asks with a sly smile if he’s declining because he can’t dance. Zara exhales slowly and then asks her clearly if she’s forgotten whom she took dancing lessons from. Fiona quickly tells him that while Zara did teach her how to dance he always danced the female parts. Zara’s eyes narrow as he asks her if she’s accusing him of being able to dance only the female part. Fiona flinches at hearing how Zara’s voice has become lower.
Zara informs her that such a misunderstanding is besmirching his name and so he will dance one song with her. Fiona beams at him because just as she hoped they are going to dance together; but is it just her or does she have a bad feeling? Zara extends his hand and when she takes it the two of them head to the dance floor. He orders her to start in the hold and Fiona cheerfully agrees, but Zara snaps at her to keep her response short.
She instantly obeys but a smile remains on her face. It feels a bit amusing for them to have their usual exchange. Anyway, her right hand is placed on top of Zara’s and then her left goes onto his shoulder. Zara’s hand is placed on her waist. He’s in the hold for men. Honestly, she knows that Zara can dance more than the female part but it’s refreshing to be able to see it. He asks her if she’s ready and when she nods he finds the right timing to step onto the dance floor.
Fiona is surprised by how easy it is to dance with him. Nesso isn’t unskilled but dancing with Zara is even easier. She wonders if it’s because he knows the female parts as well because she can promptly follow his lead. The corner of Zara’s mouth tilts up in a smirk as if he could see her admiration. It seems like he’s boasting. Fiona giggles a little but then she has to correct her hold with regret.
She feels like it’s natural to be able to follow him so easily because he’s Zara. Zara informs her 「お嬢様、あなたのことは僕はなんでも知ってます。ネッソが知らないこともね？」(My lady, I know everything about you. Even things that Nesso doesn’t know, ne?). THAT’S NOT CREEPY AT ALL.. ಠ_ಠ. Fiona didn’t catch that though and when she asks him to repeat that he reassures her that it was nothing. Now he’ll teach her some more.
Zara’s hand is almost as soft as a female attendants and for reasons unknown to her, the place where he’s holding her turns hot. He notes that the tune is still continuing and so they should continue dancing. And then they danced until the very end of the party, despite the fact that they were only going to dance for one song.
Meanwhile. The King’s health is starting to decline. Mejojo dreams about his childhood. Scharlmessen’s uprising starts to become dangerous. Fiona learns the truth about Julian and his relations and past with Mejojo and Auger. Nesso tries to bargain for Fiona’s freedom with his family’s standing, but he only finds out how drunk on power the twins are. The wolves torture some villagers for information about the castle.
Fiona wishes to go out and so Mejojo takes her to a destroyed village. They end up going wolf hunting and Fiona meets Rath. She turns her head away from the violence and faints. She wakes up in her cottage and is comforted by Julian. Mejojo tortures Rath in the dungeons and recalls how he became scarred. The torture is interrupted by Arles and Guillan’s invasion. Zara tries his best to help Rath despite the fact that the wolves, under the orders of the 6th King, exterminated the rabbits.
Arles meets Fiona in the gardens and learns that she is Mejojo’s fiancée. He bites her to confirm that she is a Lobeira before leaving. Mejojo finds her and starts to strangle her for being touched by a wolf. Auger manages to calm him down and the two retreat to their rooms. Fiona falls unconscious and starts to dream. She dreams that she’s back in her tower but the world starts to distort and she starts to feel faint. Someone is calling her name though.
It sounds like Zara’s voice. The moment she realizes that her conscious whirls around and around and then she sees an old, nostalgic dream. It’s a memory from her childhood. Zara is begging her to turn around and face him, but Fiona refuses with a sob and continues to cry while crouching and facing a wall. This is a memory from ten years ago when she was first transferred to the tower. Before she was aware of it, the construction started in the garden and she used to stare out of the window at it in excitement for when it finished.
And when the tower was almost completed, she learned for the first time that it had been built for her. Child!Fiona asks her father if she will be living in the tower. Edgar smiles and tells her that it’s a beautiful tower built especially for her so that she won’t get sick. He’s sure she’ll like it. She asks if Nesso and Zara will be with her and Edgar loses the smile on his face. Fiona realizes out loud that Nesso and Zara won’t be with her.
Edgar informs her that Nesso will become a knight soon and Zara will become Nesso’s attendant. That’s why Nesso and Zara won’t be living with her. Fiona dashes off at that and ignores her father calling for her to stop. But she just continues to run and after making a large circle she ends up at the same place. Although she’s tired she squats and faces the wall before she starts to cry. She’s heartbroken because she feels like she was deserted by Zara and Nesso.
Before the tower was built, she only had Nesso and Zara as playmates because she couldn’t leave the residence with her weak body. There were adults who cared about her but they weren’t her playmates. And if she moves into the tower then Nesso and Zara will be separated from her. Fiona cries out that she doesn’t want that and she shakes her head while crying. She’s scared of being alone and she doesn’t want Nesso or Zara to leave her.
And then, while she’s crying, she hears Zara’s voice. He asks her softly if she’ll look at him but she refuses and continues sobbing. Then he asks her why she won’t and if he did something to anger her. Fiona sobs out that Zara is going to leave her to go away to a far place. Even more tears well up in her eyes when she voices her fears and she sobs harder, but Zara just sighs quietly before telling her with a smile that he won’t go anywhere. How could he leave behind this princess crybaby.
Fiona cries out that her father told her Zara and Nesso were going to become knights together. Zara points out that something is mistaken since he can’t become a knight. The talk was about how he would become Nesso’s attendant. Fiona sobs and asks if that means he’s still going to leave with Nesso then. Zara tells her gently that he won’t go. He had talked to Edgar and refused the task of becoming Nesso’s attendant.
In exchange, he will become Fiona’s attendant. They’ll always be together. Fiona spins around and stands up at his words and Zara teases her about how he can finally see her face and how it isn’t that hideous. Although to him it is always lovely. He steps closer to her and starts to wipe her tears away with a gentle hand. Fiona cries louder at that and throws herself onto him. Zara chuckles and tells her not to cry because he’s by her side wiping her tears.
But she’s happy this time because Zara will be together with her. Just from that, the feeling of being scared disappears. Zara just sighs in exasperation but there’s a smile in his voice as he tells her to cry until she’s satisfied then. He kindly rubs her back and she whispers that she loves him. He replies gently that he loves her as well and asks her to throw away her tears. He kisses her cheek over and over again to wipe away her tears.
She wants to continue crying if he will continue to kiss her like this. She hugs him tighter and he softly calls her a spoiled child, but he continues to kiss her. His kisses are kind and that kindness causes more tears to fall. And because she wanted to be spoiled to her heart’s content, she continues to cling onto him and cry. The adult!Fiona is blushing as she recalls that nostalgic dream.
After that day he became her attendant and started calling her Lady Fiona. She feels a bit lonely to have a title attached to her name, but she’s happy that she wasn’t separated from him. After having such a nostalgic dream she wants to see Zara. Fiona surfaces from her dream and wakes up dazed in the real world. She has the feeling that she met someone and she recalls Zara comforting her in the tower. A blush turns her cheeks red but she smiles at that gentle and sweet dream.
Reality wasn’t that sweet. It is only a frightening world. Fiona lowers her eyes as she realizes she’s a crybaby, or more like a spoiled child. She would cry right now if Zara were here to comfort her. Even now would he still wipe her tears? Would he gently kiss away her tears in exasperation? Or would he lovingly pat her back? It’s a happy dream. Then she hears Nesso and Zara asking her if she’s alright.
Finally Fiona realizes that this isn’t a dream and she learns about how Zara is employed in the castle to research Zodiva and how Nesso snuck in. They plan to take her with them and escape the country. Fiona wonders what Zara thinks about their situation. But then she realizes the question is actually if Zara would come with them. He’s been assigned to be a research on Zodiva by Mejojo and Auger and so he can run away with them. But what will happen afterwards?
Zara was employed by her father to become her assistant and to stay by her side. Once they leave this country and lose their title as the Galland house, then it might be difficult to keep Zara in their employment. Zara is excellent and so the possibility of continuing to be able to pay his wages after they lose their position in society is low. In other words, after they leave this country Zara might separate from them. When she imagines that she can’t help but feel extraordinarily helpless.
Noticing Fiona’s troubled look, Zara asks her if something is the matter. When she continues to remain silent he calls her name again in worry. Finally, Fiona tries to ask him something but she gives up and just shakes her head while telling him it’s nothing. She decides not to ask him what he will do after they leave this country. Zara is weak to her selfish requests and so if she demands him to stay by her side then he might actually stay by her side.
But she refuses to do that. She cannot bind Zara indefinitely to an employer who doesn’t have the money to pay his wage. Zara has the right to live his own life. The person in question sighs loudly and when Fiona looks at him in confusion he informs her that he roughly knows what she’s thinking about. She was raised by him and she’s being sad over an idiotic reason. She protests as he pinches her cheek. It doesn’t hurt too much, but neither is it completely painless.
He asks her in annoyance if she thinks of him as a man who would do anything for money. He’s much more selfish than she thinks. He tells her with a smile 「仕える相手は、自分で選びます。そして僕は……、あなたを自分の主人だと決めたんです。」(I choose who I wish to serve. And I.. have chosen you to be my master). Then he adds 「だから、ついていきますよ。どこまででも、ついていきます。どこででも、あなたのお世話をします。」(That is why I will follow. Wherever you go, I will go. Wherever you go, I will take care of you).
Then 「……あなたに、いつか要らないと言われるその日まで。」(.. Up until the day you say that you do not need me). Fiona is at a loss for words and tears well up in her eyes as Zara releases her cheek. Zara pats her cheek and tells her softly that she’s the only one. She thanks him deeply and decides that she will run away with everyone.
Julian wishes to run away with them and tells them about a secret tunnel through the drainage system of the garden. Meanwhile, Mejojo and Auger kill their father. Auger ambushes Fiona and the group in the tunnel and reveals how broken Julian is. He’s driven off by Nesso though and the group escapes the castle. Auger returns back to Mejojo and is given a scar as punishment for failing.
Fiona collapses during the journey and wakes up in a cabin. Zara explains everything he knows about Zodiva. He has created a medicine that will prevent Zodiva, but it won’t cure those who already have it. Unfortunately, Fiona might have it because of the bite Arles gave her. There is a high chance that he could create a cure if the wolves cooperated, since they seem to be able to create antibodies against Zodiva.
When she asks him what he thinks, he throws her a surprised look. But she wants to know what he would do because she’s not sure what they should do. Zara admits that it’s a hard decision. As a pharmacist who is researching Zodiva he does want to cure this fatal disease. But the real reason he is researching it is for her sake. Zara reaches out and touches her cheek gently before sliding a finger down her face.
He passes her neck but stops before he touches the bandaged wound on her shoulder though. Then he tells her that as long as he can save her then he has done more than enough. Also, although there hasn’t been news of Zodiva outside of Weblin, there still might be a chance that it’ll spread. When he thinks about that he thinks there is value in being able to tell the other countries how to cure Zodiva. But in the end, he asks her what she would like to do.
Fiona informs everyone that she wishes to talk to the wolves before leaving this country. They set out to find the wolves. Meanwhile, Mejojo ascends the throne as the King of Weblin. Fiona meets with the wolves and is attacked by Guillan, but Arles interrupts the fight and brings them to Zanan. Zara tries to persuade Arles to help create a medicine for Zodiva but he refuses. Fiona gives Rath hope though and so Arles allows them to stay while they decide on their next course of action.
Arles encounters Fiona at night and takes her for a moonlight walk. He reveals the truth about the incident ten years ago. Mejojo killed Elvira when Arles was afflicted by Zodiva and framed Arles when he ran. In the end, she decides to escape the country with her family. She wishes to live with them in peace. Before they leave Zanan, Rath gives Zara the blood of Arles, Guillan, and himself to develop a cure for Zodiva because he wants Fiona to live.
Anyway, Nesso leads them north to Weblin’s borders, but when they traverse through the marshlands they come upon a wide river that blocks their path. The only way to cross it is to hop across these stones, but it’s dangerous for Fiona to attempt this alone. And so she asks Zara if he would help her.
Of course Zara tells her he doesn’t mind and he extends his hand to her, as if he were an escort, and asks for her to give him her hand. Nesso pouts off to the side and asks if she won’t choose him. Zara teases 「お嬢様は僕をご指名ですので。ネッソはユリアンとどうぞ。」(My lady nominated me. You may have Julian). Julian blinks wide eyes and asks 「えっ、あ、俺ですか？……手、繋ぎます？」(Eh, ah, me?… holding hands?). LMAO WHAT ARE YOU THINKING JULIAN?!
Nesso hurriedly tells him that they can pass on that. Fiona starts giggling at that but then Zara suggests that they should go first. The moment she nods he takes a step forward and pulls her by the hand so that she has to take the same step to follow him. Once he confirms that she’s beside him he takes another step forward and again she follows. Although her footing feels unstable, the hand that supports her is unfaltering.
Fiona suddenly giggles and Zara asks her if something is the matter. She tells him that she was thinking about how he always felt like this. When he tilts his head in confusion she explains that it always feels like he’s pulling her just like this. Zara is always walking ahead of her just a little and leading her. It’s different from the sweetness of Nesso who would do everything for her.
Instead, Zara allows her to advance on her own but he is always pulling her away from dangerous situations and supporting her. She slips suddenly but Zara pulls her into him with a jerk and warns her to be careful. Fiona can’t help but be amazed by how Zara knows her better than she knows herself. Zara points out that they’re finally near their goal and Fiona comments on how fast that was. The last step is taken with regret.
She felt as if Zara were escorting her in a dance and her feet land lightly on the dry earth. Fiona mentions how wonderful it feels to have dry ground beneath them and Zara agrees. Both of them exhale at the same time and they look at each other before laughing. Nesso and Julian, who had watched them cross, finally start to move across themselves. Fiona loses the smile on her face as she notes out loud that all she seems to do is be saved by Zara.
Zara asks her if she really thinks that, because he thinks he’s been saved by her. Fiona’s eyes widen and she looks doubtful as she tries to think of how she saved him. She can think of countless times where he helped her, but she can’t think of any examples of the opposite. Zara reminds her that he used to be a war orphan. Fiona turns serious and nods. She had also heard it from Auger.
In the previous generation, the one before Mejojo’s father, the rabbit race seemed to have been in an important position. As a result, when the successor was to take the throne, the rabbits who had all this power became hindrances. And so they suffered war. Zara informs her that after his parents died, he spent some of his life living as a slave. Various cruel things happened during that life. Just remembering it reminds him of how it was the worst treatment.
Every day he wanted to die. Some days he even wished that he could have died along with his parents. Fiona lowers her eyes but then Zara informs her with a smile that Lord Edgar was the one who saved him from those circumstances. For the sake of his daughter’s weak body, due to Lobeira, he searched for a rabbit employee since rabbits were known for their pharmaceutical genius. The owner he had at that time was greedy for the money and so Zara was sold to Edgar.
Zara confesses that he had thought he would be treated cruelly by Edgar as well. No matter how kind Edgar was to him, Zara couldn’t trust him. Now that he thinks about it, he was an amazingly bratty kid. Even he doesn’t like himself. Fiona can’t help but laugh along with him. All the while, Zara is speaking lightly and shrugging his shoulders as if these were small matters. Anyway, he was a person without a single relative.
Because he was damaged he couldn’t bring himself to trust anyone. But still Nesso and her welcomed him as family. Zara asks her with a soft smile if she knows how much he was saved by that. Fiona points out that she didn’t do anything. She didn’t do something that she thought she should do, she also didn’t think of it as helping or saving him. But Zara tells her that, because of his treatment as a slave, he greatly hated himself.
But Fiona accepted him, even though he hated himself that much, as family. And because of that he was able to grow to like himself just a little. Fiona murmurs his name quietly. This is the first time she’s heard him talk about himself like this. Even though they’ve been together for a long time, he never talked much about himself. He would simply tell her that they weren’t very good memories.
And then she points out with a smile that if he thinks of her as family then he could call her by her name, just like he used to in the past. Zara recalls that he used to call her by name until he became her attendant. Fiona confesses with a frown that when he suddenly started calling her “My lady” she felt lonely. He remembers, since she threw a large tantrum about how he should just use her name.
Fiona winces and averts her eyes. She doesn’t like to call it a tantrum, even though it basically was one. Zara admits sheepishly that while he did become her attendant and is hers, he actually didn’t want to stop being part of her family.lso doesn’t want to stop being her family. Her eyes dart back to him in surprise, but he just chuckles. She frowns and calls him a bully and he teasingly admits that he is one and he was purposefully making her cry.
He corrects his words and tells her that he is more like a person who is crafty. He doesn’t go out of his way to do things, but neither is he caught. Fiona has to admit that it sounds just like Zara. She doesn’t remember any incidences but she can see how it would be just like him to do that. He tells her that she never noticed when he was teasing her.
He’s grinning as he says 「わんわん泣きながら、僕に抱きつくんです。助けて、って。僕が、泣かしたのに。」(Wah wah, you would cry as you hugged me and asked me to help you even though I was the one who made you cry). ಠ_ಠ… NOT VERY IMPRESSED HERE. Zara admits that he used to think she was an idiot. Fiona starts to pout because even though it sounds like a good story, she feels like she’s being lightly blamed.
Zara confesses 「ですが……。だからこそ、僕が守ってあげなきゃって思ったんです。この子は、僕が助けてあげなきゃって。」(But.. because of that, I thought about how I needed to protect you. I need to help this child). He smiles as he tells her that what he means is that he was saved a lot by her as well. Fiona can only apologize though, because she doesn’t know where she saved him at all in this story. However, she is considerably shocked at the tale of what Zara used to think of her as a boy.
His eyes widen as he asks her if she didn’t understand. Fiona replies that she doesn’t understand at all. All she understands is that he’s a bully. Zara just laughs and tells her that he was reborn because of her. She isn’t sure if he’s teasing her again or not. Zara’s asks her in a surprised voice if she can’t see that he was reborn. Fiona shakes her head and says only a little. This makes Zara tell her that he’s going to increase her medicine by 3/10.
Fiona pales but Zara just laughs and then Nesso finally arrives and asks her if something happened since her face looks pale. Julian has made it over as well and asks if something happened. Fiona is frowning as she tells them that Zara is bullying her. He tells her that she’s mistaken and that it’s an expression of his love. When she stares at him flatly he just laughs cheerfully. Anyway, the group continues their journey north.
They settle down for the night after Nesso and Julian return with firewood and after they finish the dinner that Fiona and Zara made. Fiona can’t seem to sleep in this cold though and she tosses and turns. But then she hears someone else moving as well and she thinks it might be Zara. It does turn out to be Zara who asks if she still isn’t sleeping. Fiona lifts her head from her blankets but she can barely see him on the other side of the dim fire.
She tells him that she knows she needs to sleep, but it’s just that her hands and feet are a little cold. Zara tells her that this won’t do and asks her to wait. She calls his name questioningly when she sees him slipping out of his blankets to sit beside the fire. She apologizes for making him get up just because she couldn’t sleep. His voice is light as he asks her what she’s saying since taking care of her is his job.
Fiona watches him poke at the fire and then asks him what he’s doing. He informs her that it’s an improvisation but he’s creating a heated stone. She still doesn’t understand what he’s doing though and because she’s curious she slips out of her blankets to sit beside Zara. Not to mention it would be strange for her to remain wrapped in her blankets while he had to get up. Zara chides her for not remaining on the ground and asks her if he woke her.
She just points out that he’s doing something for her sake, and so she can’t just continue sleeping peacefully. Once again he asks her what she’s saying, because it would be better for her to sleep. She must be tired. She stares at him stubbornly and tells him that the same can be said for him. Zara points out that he has more stamina than her. Then he sighs and asks her to come closer since there is no meaning in letting her become unnecessarily cold.
Fiona thanks him and draws closer to him. In response he carefully drapes the blanket, so that it won’t catch fire, over her shoulders. The two of them sit in front of the fire and wrapped in a blanket. Fiona starts to giggle and when Zara asks if something is the matter, she shakes her head and simply tells him that she remembered something from a book she read. He asks her what kind of a book it was and she tells him that it was an adventure story for children.
The heroine and her group were on an uninhabited island and there was a scene where they had to endure the cold. They wrapped themselves in a blanket, warmed themselves by the fire, and passed the time talking about easy things while staring at the stars. Zara appears to recognize it and asks if the heroine spent time on the south side of the island. They played by the sea and when it became night they were cold.
Fiona nods and continues by saying that the two children played until they became tired and then they fell asleep leaning against each other. Zara remembers as well and how they ate a whole roasted bird. She excitedly tells him that when she read it she used to think about how she wanted a large adventure just like that. Zara chuckles as he points out how her wish was granted in an unexpected way. She agrees though there are no southern islands.
No matter how they look at it, they are in the north. Zara agrees and also points out how they don’t have roasted birds either. The two of them whisper and laugh quietly to each other so as to not wake the other two. The warmth coming from the shoulder next to her is warm and pleasant. Her head is drawn to his shoulder and the warmth in her blanket circulates around her body. Zara softly asks her if she’s become sleepy and she nods slowly.
She confesses that the warmth feels very nice like this. He asks her to wait just a little while longer, because the heated stones can almost be brought out. When she asks what they are, Zara explains that they are stones, the size of one’s hand, and they’re placed in a fire until they’re hot before being wrapped in cloth. Then one can place it within a blanket and it’ll start to become warm. Fiona is surprised that there is this kind of method.
Zara informs her that she could do the same thing with an airtight container and hot water, but because they don’t have such a container she has to make do with stones. She agrees to wait, but the cold has already vanished as if it were a lie. The warmth of Zara feels very nice. Finally, Zara removes the stones and shows her how red they are. She notes that they seem hot and he tells her that they are very hot. Right now they will only scorch her and so he plans to allow them to cool a little.
He uses a stick to bring the stones out from within the fire. In the dark, the stones glow bright red and as she stares at them she begins to feel drowsy. Walking up the mountain had made her tired, but she couldn’t sleep because of the interfering cold. But with a solution like this, drowsiness surges up at her. Zara asks her to wait just a little longer before he wraps the stones in cloth and then slips them into her blanket.
Fiona nods but quietly confesses that Zara’s warmth feels terribly pleasant and so she’s already sleepy. Zara laughs softly and tells her to sleep if she wants. He’ll put her to bed later. Fiona thinks about how childlike it is to be put to bed. But even though she thinks that she can’t seem to open her eyes. Zara wraps up one of the rocks and takes her slackening hands with his own before pressing a wrapped stone into it.
She murmurs that it’s warm. The heat seeps through the cloth around it. Zara tells her quietly that the stone is still hot inside and so she should take care not to peel off the wrapping, although he doesn’t think it would be that easy to peel off anyway. She gives a small nod. She is snug from the warmth coming from his shoulder and the warmth in her hands. Zara chides her to hold the stone firmly or else she’ll drop it.
Fiona can only nod tiredly but she’s sleepy. Finally, Zara just sighs in exasperation and covers her hands with his own. Her last thought before sleep drags her into unconsciousness is that it’s warm. Zara wishes her good night in a whisper and Fiona entrusts her weight onto him before falling into sweet oblivion. (ㆀ˘･_･˘) I’M SO BORED..
The next morning they continue to move north. Finally, the group reaches the border but they decide to take a secret route in order to avoid the sentries or a trap. Nesso leads them to a frail cliff that they have to cross before they make it out of the country. The cliff can only support two at a time though and so Fiona asks Zara if he would like to cross with her.
Zara tells her with a smile that he would love to and he will escort her safely across. His tone of voice makes it sound as if the two of them were attending a dance party together. Fiona is reassured by the familiar tone and she nods determinedly. Nesso informs them that he and Julian will test it out first and Zara apologizes since, technically, he should be the first one to test out a dangerous situation.
Nesso points out that he has the important job of protecting Fiona and so he doesn’t need to concern himself with that. He and Julian will reliably confirm the stability of the passage. The two of them step out onto the path and immediately some stones start to fall. Fiona holds her breath and is afraid that if she looks away they will disappear in an instant. Zara reassures her that they will be fine especially if it’s Nesso, and he squeezes her hand.
The warmth from his large hand manages to ease her fear a little. She thanks him shakily and repeats to herself that they’ll be fine. Fiona finally exhales in relief when Nesso and Julian make it across safely and Zara chuckles before commenting about how they’re already tired just from seeing the two across safely. Fiona lowers her eyes and agrees, but now it’s the real thing for them. The relief she had felt drops in an instant.
Zara cheerfully points out that it can’t be helped. They must prepare themselves and start moving. Fiona nods firmly and then steps out onto the unstable road, following his lead as if he were escorting her in a dance. Zara advises her not to look off to the side. She doesn’t need to worry about anything and she should just walk normally. Fiona nods and refuses to look to the side. She refuses to hear the far away sounds of rocks tumbling down.
All she does is look forward and walk. She only thinks about their hands which are connected as she walks. But when they finally reach halfway Nesso yells at them to speed up. Julian warns them that there are pursuers behind them. Fiona startles and reflexively turns around only to gasp at the sight of mounted cat knights. Zara narrows his eyes as he comments on how they seemed to have been waiting. Fiona cries out that they have to hurry, but Zara warns her to take care.
If they move in a panic then they might cause the path to collapse. She nods shakily and they quicken their pace while still being careful. The knights yell and ask her if she, the witch, plans to escape with her minion. Zara’s brows furrow in worry as he realizes that if the knights continue to advance like this then the path will collapse. At the same time that Zara curses them for their stupidity, a large part of the path behind them collapses.
One of the knights yells at the others to stop and they curse as they realize they cannot chase after Fiona. Zara urges Fiona to continue walking away and the knights start to talk amongst themselves. She doesn’t know what they will do, but she knows they won’t simply allow her to walk away. She says Zara’s name in worry but he tells her not to worry and to only concentrate on looking forward.
Fiona obeys him and refuses to look behind her, she just continues to move her feet. She startles at the sound of something cutting through the air, but Zara sternly tells her not to mind it. They’re being short at by the knights, but Zara reassures her that the wind is strong here and so they won’t be hit that easily. Once again he urges her to hurry and she grips his hand tightly as they continue to walk forward.
They finally make it and Nesso instantly pulls her the rest of the way to safety. Fiona can’t help but exclaim joyfully that they made it and that they’re saved. With this they’re free. They don’t need to be afraid of Mejojo or Auger any longer. Although she might not have a life as the daughter of an early, that isn’t a problem. They are free. Once again everyone can live together. She can live together with Zara.
Zara’s response is a weak 「……そう、ですね……。」(.. It appears… so..) and Fiona turns around in worry only to notice that his complexion is as white as a sheet. His body starts to sway but before he can topple over, Nesso lunges for him and supports him up. It is then that Fiona sees it. There is an arrow in the middle of his back. Fiona is stunned that an arrow actually hit them during that time. And yet, Zara didn’t want to let it affect her.
He just continued to encourage her to walk forward. Julian tells Zara to hang on and Nesso orders Julian to help place Zara on his back. Elza should be nearby in order to see them off safely. Julian agrees tightly and lifts Zara up onto Nesso. Fiona is still shocked and whimpers out Zara’s name, and so Nesso reassures her that Zara will be fine but right now they have to leave. However, he does ask her if she can keep up if they rush though.
Fiona determinedly tells him that she will be fine. They need to be quick for Zara’s sake. They hurry down the mountain path as fast as possible and Fiona prays for someone to save Zara. At the bottom of the mountain, they meet up with Nesso’s subordinate, Elza. He had been ordered, by Nesso, to standby the borders because Nesso planned to cross it. Under Elza’s guide, they rushed to where her father was. Immediate care was given and Zara was able to start recovering from his wound.
Time skip! Fiona knocks on the door and asks if she can come in. Zara tells her to come in since he was the one who called for her. After she gets his permission she enters the room. He apologizes to her for asking her to come to such a place. She shakes her head and reassures him that his room has a lot of things and so she likes to look around. His voice is amused as he asks her if that is so, since he thinks it tends to be a confusing clutter.
Fiona admits that his room has a lot of things, but she doesn’t feel like it’s cluttered. She takes a look around it as she says this. There is medicine on the desk, apparatuses that she doesn’t understand, and piled up research books. She’s sure that Zara knows perfectly well where everything is though. The word cluttered makes her think of things scattered about to the point where no one can find anything.
Zara tells her in embarrassment that this room was given to him by Edgar, so he thinks he should keep it more tidy. Fiona quotes his words before pointing out to him that he doesn’t need to speak like that anymore. Her father is no longer an Earl and she is no longer a lady. Zara points out that her father is still his benefactor though and she is still the daughter of his benefactor, and so he thinks his language is proper.
She frowns at how stubborn he is. When they came to this new country, they lost all their titles. Her father was not an Earl any longer. She was no longer the witch of the tower. Nesso was no longer on the list of the finest knights. But even though they lost everything, Zara still followed them. Thanks to her father, who took a few things with him before he left the country, they have no troubles living. But neither can they live luxuriously.
After selling off the property they had brought from Weblin, they bought a small residence in the town of this country. Zara had requested her father to allow him to live with them and let him pay rent. And so now they all live together. In truth, her father planned to give Zara his freedom in this new country. With Zara’s knowledge of pharmacy, he could make a living anywhere. Yet he remained by their side.
Even though her father told him that he didn’t have to, Zara continues to pay rent every month to this family. Fiona murmurs out loud that Zara is able to live independently. He informs her that he doesn’t want to though, so it can’t be helped. She reluctantly agrees that if he doesn’t want to then it can’t be helped. In the end, Zara still works as their steward and butler. She points out that she knows they shouldn’t just rely on Zara to do everything, but they inadvertently ended up doing that.
Zara replies 「僕は、お嬢様に頼られるのは好きですよ。もっとたくさん頼ってくれればいいのに、って思っています。」(I like it when my lady relies on me. Although, I would be pleased if she relied on me more). Fiona exasperatedly reminds him that he is no longer her butler or watchdog. He’s free. At her words, Zara lowers his eyes in sadness. She has the feeling she said something terrible to make him look like that. Fiona hurriedly opens her mouth to change the subject.
And so she asks him why he called her here and if he needs help with anything. Zara looks a little surprised before he shakes his head. He doesn’t need her help, but he wants to tell her something. He places a small bottle on the desk. When Fiona asks what it is, Zara informs her that it’s the vaccine for Zodiva. At least, he would like to hope so. Fiona’s eyes widen as she asks him if he’s done it. He averts his eyes and tells her that he doesn’t have proof yet.
Fiona has a sly smile on her face as she points out that Zara himself thinks it’s complete though, right? Zara nods his head slowly and asks her if she remembers Zara giving them blood when they left Zanan. She remembers that and how he told her that he didn’t want her to die. And then he gave them blood of the three wolves who had beaten Zodiva. Zara had said that it was necessary to have the blood of the wolves because the beginning to the vaccine for Zodiva was there; in the three drops of blood on a white cloth.
Zara informs her that he compared and analyzed the blood for a long time and was finally able to discover a common factor. Fiona asks if that is what this bottle is and he nods. She takes the small bottle and looks at the transparent liquid inside. This medicine, created from the research on the blood of the wolves, looks mysterious somehow. Born from red blood, the medicine is completely transparent.
She asks if she is supposed to drink it, but Zara shakes his head and tells her that it is injected rather than orally administered. Fiona winces since she doesn’t like injections. In the past, she threw a tantrum at drinking bitter medicine but she would always endure the bitter medicine over having it injected.
Zara asks her softly if she’s still scared of injections. Fiona complains that they hurt. He tells her that he’s an expert and so he won’t let it hurt. She points out that she’s let him inject her many times and in the end they always hurt. He informs her that it’s an optical illusion. She’s watching the needle as it enters and so her mind creates the pain. She looks doubtful and expresses it but he reassures her that he’s telling the truth.
She reluctantly presents her arm to him, but for some reason Zara looks troubled. When she calls his name in worry, he sighs heavily and mutters about how he has never been afraid of injecting or being injected before. She asks if something is wrong and Zara confesses that he’s scared this time. He explains that he’s convinced and confident that this is the vaccine for Zodiva, but still.. he’s scared to inject her with it.
What if there are side effects? What if it’s ineffective? Just thinking about it makes him worry. He had never thought that there would be a time where he wished he was the one infected with Zodiva. Then he could test it on himself first before giving it to her. She tells him quietly not to say scary things. If he collapsed due to Zodiva then there would be no one to stop the disease. He reassures her that it was just an example.
She falls silent and he exhales slowly and shakily. He hasn’t taken her arm yet. No matter how confident he is, he still hesitates to inject her with the medicine. And so Fiona asks him to inject her with it, because she believes in him. She believes that his medicine will end her nightmare. Then, at last, she will have her peaceful, calm, and free days. Zara murmurs her name, but Fiona continues on to say that she believes in him. She believes that he will save her.
At her words he can only agree to do it. He quietly takes her hand and rolls up her sleeve before disinfecting her skin. At the feeling of the cool liquid, a similar cool feeling sends shivers up and down her spine. After that, the syringe is filled with the liquid from the small bottle and Zara deflates it just a little to get rid of the air inside. He tells her that he will be doing it now and Fiona asks quietly for him not to hurt her.
He reminds her teasingly that he’s an expert. Then he presses it into her skin and she shuts her eyes with a wince. Slowly, the medicine is injected through the needle and Fiona murmurs that in the end it still hurt. Zara tells her lightly that it’s just her imagination, but he has a serious look in his eyes. Soon all the medicine is injected and he withdraws the needle while telling her that everything is over with this.
Fiona asks if the effects are immediate, but he doesn’t know. When Fiona tries to protest at that Zara points out that she hasn’t developed any symptoms for Zodiva yet. But if there is any Zodiva cells remaining in her then they would be dying right now. It looks like they still won’t know whether or not the vaccine he created will cure Zodiva just yet. Then Fiona points out that Zara will have to observe her for a little while then.
Zara’s eyes widen in surprise before a slow smile appears on his face. He tells her that she is right and that he has the obligation to observe her to see if Zodiva will develop at any point in her life. She comments on how it sounds like a large burden. He agrees easily that it is, but he thinks it will be very worthwhile. And if any other sickness occurs then he will cure it by injecting her. She protests that he doesn’t have to use injections.
He teasingly tells her that this is for the spoiled princess’ sake. Of course, if she would like it to hurt more then he could prepare a thicker needle. Fiona complains loudly at that and calls him a bully, but then she exchanges a look with him and starts to laugh. They don’t need to make such a promise to have a reason to stay together. She’s sure that all she would need to do is tell him that she wants him by her side and he would obey.
Zara tells her softly 「一生、僕が面倒を見てさしあげますよ、お嬢様。」(My lady, I will take care of you and any of your troubles in your whole life). She replies that she will be sure to give him a life full of troubles then. WAIT.. WAS THAT SUPPOSED TO BE ROMANTIC? LMAO. NORMALLY I LOVE INSIDE JOKES BUT.. UHH.. Fiona confesses that she loves him. He whispers that he loves her as well and then they laugh quietly together before they kiss.
*** BAD END ***
When they cross the river Fiona asks Nesso to help her. When she can’t fall asleep in the cold forest, she hears Julian shuffling around and the two of them end up sharing a blanket. Finally, when they reach the unstable cliff she asks Zara to stay with her. Nesso and Julian make it safely across but when Zara and Fiona make it halfway mounted knights appear. They are stopped by the collapsing path though and so they cannot chase after Fiona and Zara.
Instead, they start to shoot them with arrows. Fiona and Zara manage to reach the other side but Zara ends up taking an arrow to the back. Julian places Zara on Nesso’s back and the group hurries down the mountain to meet up with Elza. Fiona continues to pray for someone to save Zara. But along the way, Nesso suddenly notices something and stops. Fiona asks him worriedly if something is wrong and Julian offers to carry Zara if Nesso is tired.
Nesso reassures them that he’s not tired, but he wants to find a place to lower Zara down on. Fiona protests that they need to find a doctor for Zara immediately though. He tells her that he knows that; however there’s something he needs to check. Julian returns and leads Nesso to a spot. There, Nesso warns Zara that he’ll be lowering him and Zara weakly nods. And so Nesso gently lowers Zara down onto some soft undergrowth that Julian had found.
Once again Fiona asks what is wrong, only for Nesso to tell her in a rough voice that Zara’s body is hot. Julian repeats those words questioningly and Fiona starts to ask what he means by that only to hear Zara panting harshly. His face is completely red and she can feel the heat inside his body from every breath he exhales. Fiona whimpers his name and reaches out timidly to touch him only to recoil in surprise.
His body is terribly warm. In fact, his body seems to be generating heat. She wonders if this is normal for an arrow wound to do this. Julian gasps in realization and Nesso says it out loud. It was a poisoned arrow. Fiona repeats his words brokenly. She doesn’t understand the meaning of his words. No, more like she doesn’t want to understand. Zara manages to laugh quietly in between his harsh pants.
Fiona asks him worriedly if he’s alright and if something is the matter. He weakly coughs out that it’s amusing for a pharmacist like him to die to poison. She snaps out that it isn’t amusing at all and he’s an idiot. Zara apologizes faintly. Even though it hurts and is painful, he still manages to keep a smile on his face. Somehow it’s very characteristic of Zara to do that and she’s even more heartbroken.
Nesso asks Zara urgently if he has been trained in poisons and if he could create an antidote with the medicine that he has. Zara gasps out painfully that it’s useless at the speed the heat has appeared. Nesso snaps at him not to say that it’s useless so easily. Julian pleads with him to hang on, but Zara falls silent. It’s so characteristic of Zara to be asked about a survival method only to instantly say its useless.
Fiona cries out his name. It’s painful because of how characteristic it is. Zara had always strived with all his might to do things for her and Nesso, yet he gave up so easily whenever it came to himself. This is the person who is called Zara Skeens. Fiona starts to sob as she begs him not to give up so easily. Zara sighs out that he’s fine with giving up. Nesso’s voice is angry as he asks him what he’s saying. He yells at him to continue fighting and to do something; he’s a pharmacist after all!
Zara’s voice is weak as he whispers that he is glad that the one who was hit by the arrow was him. He smiles beautifully up at Fiona, though his face was sweating and his pupils were dilated. He’s satisfied, from the bottom of his heart, with this end of having saved her and he can die easy now. Fiona screams out that she doesn’t want this. She doesn’t want this at all! Zara coughs out an apology.
She curses his habit of saying things without feeling. She can’t bring herself to believe in the apology that comes from such a tranquil and glad face. Zara weakly calls out for Nesso and Julian. Their voices are trembling, as if they want to weep, when they ask him what he wants. With a stuttering voice he tells them to take this recipe that he is pulling out. It is the medicine that can prevent Zodiva and the paper is smeared in blood. He wants them to find someone to make it.
Nesso’s voice is teary as he snaps 「ザラ……おまえ……！だめだ……生きろ、生きるんだ。」(Zara.. you..! No.. you have to live, you have to live!). But Zara only gasps out painfully 「……おじょうさまを……、よろしく、……、お願い、します……。」(.. Please.. take care… of.. my lady..). His voice starts to fade 「でき……れば……ずっと……おつか、え……」(If.. I.. could.. I.. would.. always..). She desperately lowers her ear closer to his mouth, but he closes his eyes. Fiona calls out his name helplessly but she can’t hear his breathing anymore.
She cries out his name louder and grips his hand. Although the hot temperature of his body remains now, it’s coming off an empty husk. She weakly mutters that this must be a lie. It has to be! It’s a lie! Nesso’s voice is full of tears as mutters about how he can’t believe this would happen after they came so far. Julian grits his teeth to muffle his sob. She’s in shock. The forest is quiet and calm. There is no one coming after them. They’re finally free. And yet.. only Zara is gone.
Time skip! Someone knocks on the door and Fiona invites them in. It’s Nesso and he came to deliver food to her. Julian is with him too. She giggles at the sight of Nesso hefting a large bag into the room. She informs them that she’ll make them something to drink since she had prepared a fire to make some for herself. Fiona sets a small kettle on the fire and then turns to face the two men. She thanks them for going out of their way to come to her in these mountains, but it really helps.
Nesso chuckles and tells her that he comes just to see his lovely sister’s face. Then he lowers the bag to the ground and informs her that this should be enough to last her for a while. Fiona thanks him and examines the large parcel. There are miscellaneous good in there to sustain life, such as preservable foods and snacks. She notices Julian looking around her lodge with wide eyes and so she asks if something is wrong.
He hurriedly tells her that it’s nothing except, here he lowers his eyes, he can’t help but think it’s lonely to live here all alone. Fiona’s smile remains on her face even though she realizes she’s made him worry. On that day, when they finally crossed the borders and came to this new country, she wasn’t able to make it to the village her father was waiting at. Nesso asks her if she really has no intentions to come and live in the village with them.
She nods and apologizes quietly. Julian asks her if she will at least allow him to stay by her side then. Fiona shakes her head and refuses to let him stay. There’s a simple reason as to why she is living all alone in the recesses of a mountain. Fiona reminds them that she may or may not have Zodiva inside her body, and so she cannot unleash the disease into this country. Nesso and Julian can only stare at her in silence.
She was a woman who was bitten by a wolf though. And she had experienced a fever. There is a high possibility that she is infected with Zodiva but Zara’s medicine is suppressing it. And now that Zara is no longer alive, no one can create a cure for Zodiva. If she spreads Zodiva into this country then there will be no one who could save this country from it. That is why she cannot remain in the town. Honestly, she shouldn’t even be seeing Nesso or Julian like this.
But Nesso had argued that he and Julian had been drinking Zara’s inhibitor for a long time and so they will be fine. Plus, she can’t expect them to just abandon her in the mountains. Julian had agreed and told her that if she wasn’t going to allow them to see her then he wouldn’t move from this spot. When they protested like that, she wasn’t able to refuse. She laughs quietly as she recalls those memories.
However, she knows the truth. Even though it sounds like she compromised with the two of them, she is really the one who is spoiled. Even at the very end it looks like she isn’t able to choose solitude. And so Fiona asks them how everyone is faring in the town. Are Pearl and Richie healthy? How is her father? Nesso replies with a smile that Pearl and Richie are the same as always. They want to see her. Her father seems to have been found useful by the aristocrats in this country because he used to be one.
He is summoned here and there to talk to them. Fiona asks what he and Julian are doing. Nesso informs her that he feels like he’ll find a job that involves swordsmanship. Julian tells her that he was employed in the residence of the Galland family. Fiona smiles and wishes their happiness over everything else. Nesso just returns her smile before suggesting that they should create the inhibitor for Zodiva with the usual recipe.
They bring out the recipe for Zodiva’s inhibitor that Zara had written down by hand. It had been improved repeatedly since the time they were at Scharlmessen. They follow the steps in the blood-stained recipe to create the medicine before they drink it. It is Zara’s last present to them. Even though he lost his life he lives on through this. Fiona murmurs Zara’s name and she sees a flash of memory in which he asks her in a cheery voice if she needs something.
She finds herself back in the lodge though and Nesso asks her if she said something. Fiona quietly confesses that she felt like Zara had been standing by her side. Julian replies with a smile that it could have happened. On the other side of this lodge stretches Weblin’s beautiful forest. As she stares up at the sunlight streaming through the leaves, she closes her eyes and whispers in her mind that thanks to Zara she is alive.