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Finale - To Each their Own Wish

Jack and Halle returned to the harbor at dawn.

The enormous ship disappeared into the morning fog, gone before most knew it was even there, as if it they had been played by an illusion all along.

'...What will you do with me, then?' Halle asked.

'Nothin'. You're free,' Jack shrugged nonchalantly. 'I doubt anyone will ever try to use your life in any deals ever again. Do whatever you wish.'

Halle was quiet a moment, then said, 'Hey, Jack. Why? Why would you do all this for me?'

Jack gave her a small, rare smile.

'King gave his life to keep you safe, and by saving you, he saved my life as well. I'm only standing here today because of him. Don't you think it's only natural I'd use the life he gave me to make his wish come true?'

'Wish? What do you mean?'

Jack's smile disappeared.

'I believe your father regretted setting foot into those gambling dens. Not because of the game, but because there's no way a guy like him would've ever risked putting his daughter in danger for anything. He adored you, you know.

'You should've never gotten wrapped up in this dark world, Halle. I'm sure he would've wished the same.'

Halle didn't know what to say.

Jack continued.

'If you get what I'm sayin', then run off from here and don't you ever come back.'

And with that, Jack strode away and left Halle standing there by the sea.

The Calvard Republic.

There's a city in this country, a place where migrants from the East have recreated their homeland down to the bright lacquered tiles. On the northern outskirts of that city was a little, run-down bar.

Over a week had passed since that fateful game. Jack could still be found there in that same, dingy bar. As always, he was at his liquor starting from noon. He had settled things with his past, but he was still the same man he was before.

No. He was changed.

He drank less. And when he drank, he didn't throw it back like a man dying of thirst, but instead sipped slowly and appreciated the taste.

And that day, once more, the door to the place opened with a sound like a shriek. A new customer stepped into that very same bar. And that new customer...was Halle.

Jack choked on his whiskey.

'...Halle? What are you doin' in here?! This ain't the kind of place you should be in!'

Ignoring his sputtering, she pulled up a stool and gave him her most dazzling smile.

'Hey, Jack,' she began. 'Let's play a game. A real shocker of a match.'

'...Only this time, all bets are off.'


最終回 それぞれの願い

明け方の港へとジャックたちは戻ってきた。 巨大な船影は幻のごとく、朝霧の彼方へと消えた。


















「……判ったら、もう二度と、こっちの世界に関わるんじゃねえぞ。」 ジャックは最後にそれだけ言うと、ハルを残し、足早にその場を立ち去った。

――カルバード共和国。 この国には東方からやって来た移民たちが、故郷を想い、故郷に似せて築き上げた街がある。 そんな町の北のはずれにおんぼろな一軒の酒場が立っている。

2人の勝負から1週間が過ぎた。 ジャックは相変わらずこの酒場にいた。 そしてまた昼間っから酒をあおっている。


――いや、変わった所もある。 酒の量が減ったのだ。 やけ酒はなくなり、大人しく呑むようになった。

そして今日も、店の扉が悲鳴のような音を立てる。 酒場にあらたな客がやって来たのだ。


「ん……ハル?」ジャックが慌てて声を掛ける。 「おい、何のつもりだ!ここはお前の来る所じゃねえぞ。」

ハルは動じず、満面の笑みを返した。 「ねえ、ジャック。勝負しましょ、しびれるような勝負よ。」