Once they finally reached the town at the base of the mountain, it was well into nighttime. They checked in at the town’s sole inn, and made plans to leave the next morning. When the innkeeper noticed Ambrose’s blond hair, his elegantly beautiful face, and his medieval-looking attire, he murmured fearfully, “A Grey Wolf!”
But Ambrose began breathlessly asking questions about what it was like to manage an inn or how the telephone worked or why there was a dead bird pinned to the front door, and with each question, the innkeeper’s fearfulness seemed to fade away a little bit more. Instead, he became steadily irritated, and at last lost his temper. “Don’t pester me with questions like an unreasonable child. Just how old are you?!” he shouted, and fled the scene.
The sky was clear the next morning. The travelers climbed aboard the mountain train, made their descent, then transferred to yet another steam locomotive … and in the afternoon, they finally returned to the familiar village that was the home of St. Marguerite’s.
Mildred covered her summer dress with her cumbersome nun’s habit, and prepared to return to the church. Sighing, she uttered a few last words of complaint. “Back to my tedious life…” And as soon as she had closed her mouth, her brilliant red curls were already tucked away into the depths of her habit, her face assumed a certain stiffness, and at a glance, she could have been any other nun. She loudly stomped away.
Inspector de Blois accompanied Derek into a carriage bound for the police station. He looked out of the carriage’s window toward Kazuya and Victorique, and said, “Anyway, just go back to school for the time being. I’ll send them further instructions at a later date.”
Kazuya felt uneasy at his dark tone, but he couldn’t guess what it meant for them in the future.
The carriage carrying the inspector and Derek receded into the distance. Mildred was nowhere to be seen.
Everyone was going their separate ways.
The journey was over.
As they came out to the main road that led from the station to the village, a comfortable, summery breeze was in the air. People filled the street with noontime traffic. The rows of shops were lively and bustling with customers coming and going.
A horse-drawn omnibus ran next to them, and on the other side of the road, an automobile of the latest model sped past with a noisy rattle.
Ambrose was looking all around in wonder. “So this is the present…”
He began to walk away, no apparent destination in mind. His expression betrayed mixed emotions of anxiety and pleasure. Kazuya and Victorique watched him wander off.
A sweet fruity scent from the vineyards, along with the warm scent of earth, drifted through on a gentle breeze. In the distance, they could hear the high-pitched whistle of the next steam engine coming into the station.
It was a typical slow-paced day in the village.
Ambrose ran back to them, seeming to suddenly remember something. He grabbed Kazuya, and with a mildly perplexed look, whispered into his ear. “I forgot to ask you something about the prophecy.”
“By prophecy, you mean the one we had in the village?”
“Yes. Why did you and your friend…”
“Me and Victorique?”
“Yes.” Ambrose shook his head in befuddlement. “Why did you both ask the same question?”
“Th-the same…?” Kazuya tilted his head.
He remembered the look on Victorique’s face when she emerged from the church: highly disgruntled, and her eyes welling up with tears.
Kazuya had assumed that she had been told something very shocking, and then she told him that she had asked if she would grow any taller….
The same question? It’s not like I asked if Victorique would grow any more….
Kazuya pondered to himself for a moment….
“Ah!” And then the answer finally dawned on him.
No, it’s the opposite! Victorique asked the same question I did. It wasn’t really about whether she would grow or not….
She asked… “Can I be with Kazuya Kujou forever?”
She received the same answer he did.
And that was why she shed those tears.
Ambrose went on musingly. “If you had both asked different questions, then you could have learned two things about the future. But I guess this was just something you really wanted to ask. Hmm…” With this, he sauntered off blithely.
Kazuya returned to Victorique’s side, and began to stare very closely at her face. Annoyed, she snapped, “What? Why are you staring at me like that?”
“No, no reason…”
“Then go look over there.”
And once again, his forgotten anger bubbled up inside of him.
Victorique always made him so furious. She was just so clever and so acid-tongued that he didn’t have the faintest idea of what to do with her. Victorique was the strange one, not him. She made a fool out of him and treated him like a servant, while simultaneously acting like he was some unwanted guest. And…
I’m glad we could go home safe together.
That’s all there was to it.
Kazuya watched Ambrose vanish into the distance.
When he first met him in the nameless village, Ambrose looked so much like the rest of the villagers in his old-fashioned clothing and polite manner. Only the sparkle in his eyes spoke of his vivacious nature. But now, as he walked down a modern street with his hands in his pockets, whistling a tune, an easy spring in his stride—it was like he had blended into his surroundings in the blink of an eye, becoming simply a part of the scenery. The effect of his change in attitude was enough to overcome even the strangeness of his clothes. A group of local girls passed next to him, and turned back to gaze at him dreamily, sighing in admiration. Ambrose noticed them, and blushed slightly, but managed a cordial nod.
He had acclimated in an instant.
A warm spring breeze blew. His long, glossy blond hair, like strands of silk hanging down his slender back, danced up into the wind.
By the time the wind died down, Ambrose had disappeared. He had turned some corner, and walked away….
“I wonder what will happen to him now?” Kazuya murmured, a bit of concern in his voice.
Victorique was silent. An ineffable light, akin to yearning, swelled in her eyes. Perhaps she envied Ambrose who had gained his freedom. But she admitted nothing. She merely gave Kazuya’s question a brief answer.
“He will live on. The same way Cordelia Gallo did.”
And that was the end of their journey.