Volume 2: Chapter 009: Ulysses: Going Around in Circles Like an Idiot
Translated by Zzonkedd
Edited by Gumihou
“Thank you, Bastian… As expected, the fragrance of your herbal tea really puts me at ease.”
“Your Highness seems a little tired, so I changed the blend.”
“… I see, is this chamomile? With a little cinnamon?”
I inhaled the scent of tea, picking out the details in the brew. The smell relaxes me a little bit more.
“Your Highness, at your leisure.”
Bastian maintained his gentlemanly attitude even as he bowed and left the room. As for me, I slowly sip at my tea, before letting out a sigh.
“… hoot, hoot, I see that Ulysses-sama is ill, na.”
“Ufufu, what kind of illness could it be?”
“What the heck are you saying? As a man, he should strive ahead until his entire body collapses!!”
“No no, he shouldn’t collapse!”
I could hear the many unseen voices chatting with each other.
Looks like my spirits are quarrelling with each other. I can hear everything.
I snap my fingers, causing them to materialise into their physical forms. Several magic circles were used to make this happen.
“… What are you talking about?”
“Nothing, that is… Ulysses-sama… just thinking about the last time you were like this… hoot.”
“The Great Sage has always been calm and composed about everything. He should not fall apart over these kinds of things. You have a good brain in your head, but you use it to over think and start running around in circles like an idiot~~”
Still sitting on the bed, I grab Fan and flip him over, holding him upside down.
“W-what, Ulysses-sama?! Owls can’t move when they are turned upside down, you know?!”
“Just don’t move.”
Fan continued to squirm and roll about, but I refused to let go and kept on bullying him. Pino Dora hopped onto the bed and I caught him too.
Celiade, the only one who appeared in the 2nd Summoning Form, had created a water field in the air and was staring down at the situation from a safe position.
“Goodness, Great Sage… you turn into a child when it comes to such matters.”
“From the point of view of spirits, we humans might as well be babies, right? Since you’ve existed in this world for ages.”
Celiade is playing with her hair as she speaks, “Even so, White Sage, I must say you become very awkward when dealing with the Shrine Maiden. You are beyond competent on other matters, but are very clumsy with love affairs. The Black Demon King is much savvier about such things. Even back then, you were incredibly nervous when they matched you with the Shrine Maiden.”
“No, that is, why are you being so noisy? Please stop comparing me with Tooru. Also, you guys are laughing at me, aren’t you?”
“That’s because… the Shrine Maiden back then kept calling the Great Sage old geezer, old geezer…”
Yes, I do remember that.
The former Green Shrine Maiden had a stronger personality compared to Percelis.
It was natural for her to call me an old geezer, I had been alive for nearly 200 years by then, thus, to her I was nothing but a geezer. On the other hand, to me, who had known her from the moment she was born, she was more like a granddaughter.
For us to suddenly be told to marry, was…   She had hated the idea from the beginning and rejected our marriage. Though I had been alive for a long time and had worked to educate myself on all kinds of things, I did not have the Black Demon King’s skills with women. Therefore, it took me a long time to get her to open her heart to me.
Just how did we manage to get along back then…
As I retain my silence, staring at the upside down Fan with his large round eyes… I must say that his huge eyes are very scary looking.
“… what is it, Fan?”
“It’s nothing… hoot.”
“Why are all of you joining forces against me?”
“What the hell? Danna is overthinking it! That green girl has no memories of Danna, but she’s still sticking all over you, eh? Isn’t that a good enough answer, eh? Tch, you have it too easy!!”
“… ara, that’s an excellent point, Pino~”
Celiade made pistol fingers at Pino and winks.
What are these spirits doing?
Surely it’s perfectly normal to think about these things?  After all, it is about the life of the person I care for, shouldn’t I devote more thought to my actions so that I don’t hurt them further?
If I ended up looking like a fool who thinks in circles, I’m fine with that. Not even the Sage knows everything.
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The next day, I got up early and made my way towards the Holy Nation through a secret passage from the Royal Palace.
I could not sleep at all last night and ended up tossing and turning until morning.
This is also why I decided to go and see her, although I have no idea whether I will meet her or not. Even though I have no answer as to what I should do next.
“H-hold it, hold it, I know we fan the flames a little, but are you really going into her bed to…”
“Hoot, hoot, bold move, bold move,”
“Absolutely not!! The Green Shrine Maiden is awake before the sun rises, so, she’s definitely not in bed!!”
As I hurried down the underground passage, I scolded my spirit companions repeatedly.
The weather has been getting chillier of late, so I put on my coat over my clothes.
When I arrived at the Holy Nation, I heard a slightly strange sound.
Is that the sound of a flute?
Moreover, so early in the morning?
“What is this…” The sound of the flute brought out some disconcerting feelings inside of me.
The higher pitched sounds seem to waver a little, but contrarily, the dissonant melody has a calming effect on me.
Could the Bishop be the flautist…?
While thinking over it, I open the Black Door and descend to that sacred place, the Garden of Truth.
The garden feels cooler and more refreshing than usual this morning. The refreshing scent of morning is like a freshly cut orange and flows slowly around me with each step I take.
A green and white garden.
As I listen to the sound of running water, Percelis emerges from the small garden fountain.
Water from this fountain has the power of purification.
If I remember correctly, the Green Shrine Maiden of 2000 years ago would soak herself in this fountain every morning.
I am at a loss for words.
Because her dripping wet appearance is completely different from the image of a young girl I had until now.
The name that slips out of my lips was the name of my former wife. Seeing the shadow of her image in Percelis. I cannot help but call her name.
She is looking at me with surprise. Only for a moment, though. After the initial shock, her expression tightens and she frowns, pushing  grass green eyebrows, still wet from the spring water, together.
I have not seen her in a while, somehow, I still think of her as a child.
However, she has matured into an adult in that time without me realising it.
It has been a long time since we last met, I have no idea what to say to her. She keeps staring at me as this mysterious and awkward silence continues to build.
Eventually, Percelis pulls her long robe on. She turns her back to me and quickly darts behind a large tree.
As I expected, she refuses to see me, still.
I follow the traces left by the wet robe that had dragged on the ground. It winds past the 8 caskets and over the roots of the large tree. The water trail is obvious,  even if I had not seen where she had hidden herself.
I found her crouching between some roots.
“… what’s wrong, Percelis? If you stay in such a place wearing wet clothes, you’ll catch a cold. It’s almost autumn now and this place is already colder than usual… look, you’re shivering, aren’t you?”
I put my cloak over a silent Percelis.
She stays silent.
“… I see, you still find me uncomfortable to be around. Is it because you get the feeling that you’re ‘about to recall something’?”
She finally looks up with an odd look on her face. However, she quickly looks down again.
I narrow my eyes and crouch down as well so that I can look her in the face.
As expected, she is frowning, her overall expression is very stiff. It’s clear that she is uncomfortable.
I laughed out of awkwardness.
“… sorry for not coming here all this time…”
Percelis turns to look at me once, then looks away again, her expression even more sullen as she more or less turns her back to me.
“This again, it’s that face again, Ulysses… the one who dislikes looking at me is not the Ulysses.”
“It’s fine… it’s fine you know… you don’t have to keep coming and showing me that face. You have Makia and Tooru, right? You have lots of people to make you happy, right?”
She has curled up into a ball, looking very small and weak. However, I know that I cannot use ordinary means to engage with her.”
“Why… Why do you look at me with that sad and troubled face? I-I don’t understand anything…”
“Ii’s make me uneasy, you know? E-ever since that day, when Ulysses cried in front of the casket saying ‘that child, that child… I’m always, always… so frightened. I don’t know why, but… I get this feeling that something frightening will happen all the time.”
I am shocked.
Sure enough, some recollection is trickling into her too.
I’m sure that she will eventually remember everything and suffer unbelievable pain from it.
“… you have a feeling that something frightening will happen?”
“Frightening, it’s really… frightening…”
“I see,”  I cannot bear to hear anything else from her mouth. “It’s fine, it will all be fine… that feeling you are most afraid of will not be awakened.”
I glance around the area behind the large tree. There is a single white bell flower blooming among the brilliant flowers.
“A long time ago, there lived a foolish man,” I say as I pick the white bellflower and the memories begin to wash over me.
“Even though the people all around called him a Sage, he was just a foolish man who could not convey his feelings properly to his fiancée. After one season, this foolish man left his fiancée’s for some business in another Continent.”
Percelis, who had been looking down all this while, suddenly looked at me with an odd expression. I hold out the white bellflower to her.
“That man sent white bell flowers to his fiancée, soon after, they were married…”
You understand the significance of this white bellflower in the language of flowers, don’t you?
As expected, Percelis blushes and her round eyes widen even more.
“…but for you, it is best not to accept it.”
I gently place the white bellflower on the green, moss-coloured floor. I pretend not to notice it when her expression changes in that instant.
I have done a very cruel thing.
“Accepting this flower will only lead to you being devoured by fear. You will know the truth of everything.”
Percelis’s expression contorts and tears begin to flow down her face.
I can only quietly endure the pain welling up in my chest.
“Why… Ulysses, why…”
“… I’m sorry.”
I gently turn my face away and force myself to move away, crossing over the many tree roots and doing my best not to listen to her stifled crying.
“Wait… please wait… Ulysses…”
I think… she is whispering for me not to go.
Really, that is such an absurd thought, how could she have said that? I must have imagined it. It must be my obsession over her that led me to these half-hearted gestures.
Once she regains her memory, it will only torment her. Therefore I could only tell her ‘Don’t accept the flower’ and seal this memory away forever.
To use the beautiful language of flowers to incite such a cruel method of separation… In spite of knowing how cruel this method is, I still did it to show her my feelings.
In the secret depth of my desires, I held hope that she would want to ignore my warnings and wish for her terrible memories back.
This action is inconsistent with my intention.
If I really had wished for her to never regain her memory, the best method is to do nothing. To act aloof and show no interest. By holding out the white bellflower to her, I held out my feelings, entangling her existence with mine.
My steps are brisk and I do not look back as I climb the passageway out of the Tomb of Truth to the surface.
After peeking through a few gaps between the pillars of the Church of the Holy Nation, I return to the Royal Palace.
“White Sage… You’ve done some unexpectedly unpleasant things…”
“I think ‘disgusting’ is more appropriate!!!”
“Hoot, hoot… that was quite a serious blow.”
Although annoyed by their comments, I am starting to realise just how foolish my actions were.
However, this is not the time to change my mind.
It’s time to break away from my past.
The past life and the present are different, they are events coloured by different experiences I have to make myself accept this.
Even so, the sound of the unstable flute still echoes in my ear.
[Gumihou: Have I ever said I disliked this kind of character most?]
 Add details, because starting a sentence with ‘On the bed’ suddenly when it is unclear where you were is so weird.  Reword a few things for added dramatic purpose  Reword Ulysses’ POV to represent his way of thinking in place of something generic. Give his thoughts more depth too.
The original was:
What’s up with these spirits? I mean, it can’t be helped that I end up overthinking all of this! I just can’t decide on what to do… If I sound like an idiot going around in circles then I’m fine with that. Don’t just assume that the White Sage has the answer for everything.[3a] Reworded another of Ulysses’ POV:
I came to a conclusion without hearing any more words from her.
Like… isn’t this kind of writing a bit crude? Reword it to reflect his ‘type’ of thoughts. Let the reason come to this conclusion without blatantly showing them the words. Deleted some superfluous ‘However’, ‘Even so’ because, it’s really not needed. [4a] Deleted ‘let’s talk about’ because it detracts the dramatic effect of the chapter
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