I’m still shocked by Nesso’s good end, but let’s move on to Zara. This is also the last route on the family path. If you’re worried that Zara might go insane like the others, then don’t be. He’s completely, thoroughly 100% normal and devoted.
Zara is the Galland family’s butler. When he was small, he lost his family in a war. He was taken in by Edgar — Fiona’s father — and grew up together with Nesso. In return, he pledged his absolute loyalty and serves the Galland family as their butler. Despite his past, Zara is gentle and has a soft demeanor. He has a broad range of knowledge and is very skilled in pharmacy, often making medicines for Fiona when she falls sick. He also loves teasing her from time to time.
During the dance party in the palace, Fiona wishes she can dance with Zara. She knows it’s impossible, but if only he was here, she can dance with him instead of being a wallflower. They’re childhood friends, so she would be able to enjoy it without feeling nervous. It reminds her that Zara used to dance with Nesso when they taught her, and the memories make her chuckle. Since Fiona didn’t know what a real dance looks like, Zara went out of his way to memorize the female part and demonstrated it with Nesso. It felt a little strange since they’re both men, but it was also incredibly beautiful in Fiona’s eyes — even though she didn’t know anything about dancing. During their practice sessions, Nesso was Fiona’s partner while Zara took the role of her teacher. After she grasped the mood, they taught her the steps and helped her practice.
When Nesso wasn’t available, Fiona did “shadow practice” by dancing alone with an imaginary partner. She remembers that Zara scolded her for breaking her hold when she turned, and she complained since it was hard to maintain her arms position without a partner. However, Zara told Fiona that she’s not supposed to do that. She’ll end up putting her weight onto her partner and that won’t do, so she needs to maintain her posture by herself. Fiona protested saying it’s impossible. She had to bend her back, and she couldn’t keep her balance and hold while following the steps at the same time. Zara sighed saying it can’t be helped then, and he asked her to watch him as he gave her an example. Fiona was surprised back then, but Zara danced elegantly while maintaining a perfect posture. He’s a man, and yet he danced the female part so beautifully. She fired up and refused to lose, though upon looking back, she realizes that she was moving according to his plan. It’s all thanks to him that she can learn how to dance properly.
Back in the present, Fiona sadly watches those who are dancing. All the people around her are so beautiful and radiant, and it makes her feel lonely to watch them from the corner. Just when Fiona wishes for Zara to be here, she hears some footsteps… and he really appears before her. For a moment, she thinks it’s only an illusion. When Fiona asks why he’s here, Zara explains that Edgar received an invitation for this dance party. He’s here to accompany Nesso, who came as Edgar’s representative tonight. The Galland family has a deep connection with the royal family, and so it’d be strange for them not to get invited. At first Fiona thought her family won’t be invited due to the witch issue, but she’s glad that it’s not the case. She then asks why Nesso is acting as their father’s representative, and Zara reluctantly answers that Edgar is feeling a little unwell. He uses vague words, but she immediately knows the reason — Edgar must be worried about her.
Zara asks if then she ever has any troubles in the palace, but Fiona assures him that she’s fine. Mejojo and Auger are treating her well, and they even prepared a beautiful room for her. Zara doesn’t seem convinced, but he smiles saying he feels relieved after seeing Fiona’s face. He actually wants to bring her home as soon as possible, but the situation won’t allow that to happen… and she smiles saying it’s alright. They were only apart for a day, but Fiona missed Zara a lot. He wants to pick her up once everything settles down, and she answers that she wants to go home too. Upon hearing this, he chuckles and says it feels weird because she wanted to leave the tower so badly. She protests saying the situation is completely different, and he agrees. Getting dragged out of the tower is not the same as leaving on her own, but she knows that he does have a point. She was yearning to leave the tower for so long, but right now she really wants to return there — she wants to go home. Fiona shakes her head to chase the feeling of homesickness away, and she asks Zara to dance with her. They’re at a dance party after all.
Zara is surprised, and he asks what Fiona is talking about — reminding her that he’s just an attendant. He’s not a person who can dance with her in a place like this. Fiona points out that her first dance party will end without her dancing with anyone at this rate, but Zara only says he’ll go search for Nesso then. Fiona pouts because she wants to dance with Zara, but then a brilliant idea struck her mind. When Zara asks her what’s wrong, Fiona grins and asks if he refused because he can’t dance. He sighs silently, and then he asks if she forgot who taught her to dance. Still grinning, Fiona points out that Zara only taught her how to dance the female part. He frowns upon hearing this, and in a slightly lower voice, he asks if she thinks he can’t do the male part. Zara says that misunderstanding is hurting his reputation, and so he finally agrees to dance with Fiona for one song. Fiona happily smiles since her wish to dance with Zara is fulfilled, but she also feels that he’s incredibly scary right now. Well… you were the one who provoked him? (○´ﾟωﾟ｀):;*.’:;ﾌﾞｯ
After asking for Fiona’s hand, Zara escorts her to the dance floor. He asks her to position her hold and she happily obeys, even when he tells her to keep her answers short. It’s their usual interaction, but she finds it funny. Fiona holds onto Zara’s hand with her right hand, while her left rests on his shoulder. His right hand is holding her waist, and she admires how he does the dance hold for men. She actually knows that he can dance the male part as well but she still finds the sight refreshing. After making sure that Fiona’s ready, Zara waits for the right timing and takes her to slide into the dance floor. The first thing she notices is that it’s so easy to dance with him. Nesso isn’t a bad dancer either, but Fiona finds it even easier to dance with Zara — probably because he understands the female part. He knows what she wants him to do, and he gives quick follow-up to help her. When the corner of Zara’s lips curls up into a smirk, Fiona nearly bursts into laughter. It seems like he knows that she’s admiring him, and now he’s proudly showing off his dance skills.
Fiona nearly breaks her hold due to the laughter, but Zara immediately pulls her up again. His follow-up is superb, and she thinks it’s just like him to do something like this. Then he smiles and says: “Milady, I know everything about you. Even the things Nesso doesn’t know about.” Fiona looks up at him in confusion, but Zara only says it’s nothing and changes the subject — saying he’ll teach her more about dancing. His hand is softly holding her waist, and she doesn’t understand the reason… but the spot he’s touching turns really hot. Zara mentions that the song still continues, and he asks Fiona to keep dancing with him. Even though they were only planning to dance for one song, they end up dancing together until the end of the party.
After Arles bit Fiona’s shoulder, Mejojo completely loses his mind and strangles her out of rage. She loses her consciousness, and she falls into a dream of the tower in Scharlmessen — where she suddenly starts feeling dizzy. She can faintly hear Zara’s voice calling her name, but her consciousness spins rapidly as she falls into another dream. It’s an old, nostalgic dream from a very old memory. Back then Zara was begging Fiona to turn around and look his way, but she refused and cried while facing the wall. It’s a memory from 10 years ago, directly after they decided to move Fiona into the tower. When the construction started in the garden, she was always excited to watch it from the window… and when it was nearly complete, she found out that the tower was built just for her. Edgar told her it’s a beautiful tower made so she won’t get sick, but he turned silent when she asked if Nesso and Zara will live there with her.
Fiona realized what it means, and so she asked if Nesso and Zara won’t live with her. Edgar sadly answered that Nesso is going to be a knight soon, and Zara will become Nesso’s attendant… so they couldn’t live with her. Fiona was shocked, and she ran off — ignoring Edgar’s attempt to stop her. She kept running in a circle until she returned to the same place, where she crouched down facing the wall due to exhaustion. Then she started crying, feeling that Nesso and Zara were abandoning her. Even before they moved her into the tower, Fiona rarely went outside due to her weak body. Her only friends were Nesso and Zara. There were adults who cared about her, but she didn’t have any friends to play with. As if that wasn’t bad enough, they were going to put her in the tower — separating her from Nesso and Zara. Fiona sobbed as she shook her head. She was afraid to be alone. She didn’t want Nesso and Zara to leave her behind.
While she was crying, Fiona heard Zara’s voice behind her back. He asked her to turn around and face him. When she refused, he asked if he did something that made her angry. Fiona answered that Zara is going to leave her and go to a faraway place, which only brought more tears to her eyes. He only sighed quietly, but then he smiled saying he’s not going anywhere. He couldn’t leave a crybaby princess like her. Fiona sobbed saying she heard he’s going to be a knight with Nesso, and Zara told her that’s completely wrong — there’s no way he could be a knight. He was simply offered to become Nesso’s attendant. Fiona asked if that means he’s going to leave with Nesso, but Zara said he won’t. He already talked to Edgar and refused the offer. In return, he asked to become her attendant instead — they will always be together.
Upon hearing this, Fiona instantly stood up and turned around. Zara smiled saying she finally showed her face, and he told her that a lady shouldn’t have such a terrible face — though she’s always cute in his eyes. As he said that, Zara leaned in and gently wiped Fiona’s tears away. When she cried harder and clung onto him, he chuckled and asked her to stop crying since he just wiped her tears. Besides, he’s going to stay with her forever. Fiona couldn’t stop crying though. She was happy. Just by having Zara by her side was enough to chase her fear. Zara sighed saying he understands, and he asked Fiona to cry until she’s satisfied. At the same time, his hand is gently stroking her back. When Fiona said she loves him, Zara answered that he loves her too… so she didn’t have to cry anymore. Then he started kissing her cheeks, wiping her tears away with his lips. Fiona wanted to continue crying if that means Zara would keep kissing her like this.
As Fiona snuggled up to him, Zara whispered that she’s such a pampered child. His kisses were gentle, and his kindness caused her tears to keep falling. She wanted him to keep spoiling her to her heart’s content, so she kept clinging to him as she cried. It’s a nostalgic dream. Ever since that day, Zara became her attendant and started calling her Lady Fiona. She felt a bit lonely since he used to call her name, but she was happy to be able to stay with him. After seeing this nostalgic memory, Fiona realizes that she misses Zara. She wants to see him again… and then the dream fades away. When she wakes up in the garden, Fiona blushes as she recalls the dream. It’s a gentle and sweet dream, but reality isn’t that sweet. The world is terribly frightening. The dream also makes her realize that she’s such a spoiled crybaby. If it can make Zara pamper her like that again, then she wants to cry right now. Would he still wipe her tears the same way now? He sounded like he was complaining, but he gently kissed her tears away as he stroked her back — it was a blissful dream.
Beside her bed, Fiona finds Nesso and Zara along with Julian. They’re suggesting the idea of escaping from the royal palace through the underground sewers, but Fiona wonders what Zara thinks about this idea. Or rather, she’s wondering if he’s going to come with them. Mejojo and Auger are watching him for the sake of their research, so she can stay with him as they escape from the kingdom… but what will happen after that? Zara is working for Edgar, and he’s been staying with Fiona as her attendant. If they leave the kingdom and lose their title as the Galland family, it might be hard for them to keep employing him. Zara is excellent, so it would be hard for them to give him a suitable salary after losing their wealth and properties. Which means that once they get out of Weblin, Zara might leave them and take a different path. Upon thinking about this possibility, Fiona suddenly feels extremely lonely. Noticing Fiona’s grim expression, Zara asks her if there’s something wrong. She remains silent for a while before opening her mouth to ask him about this, but she ends up stopping herself. Fiona knows that Zara is weak against her selfishness. If she forced him to stay with her, he might really stay with her… but she doesn’t want to do that. She can’t keep him bound forever onto an employer who can’t pay him properly, since he has the right to live his own life.
Even though Fiona doesn’t say anything, Zara sighs saying he knows what she’s thinking of. As he pinches her cheeks, he admits that it makes him sad to see the young lady he raised being so stupid. He asks if she thinks of him as a man who would do anything for money, and he tells that he’s actually more selfish than she thinks. He chooses who he wants to serve, and he has chosen her as his master. That’s why he’s going to come with her. Wherever she goes, he’s going to follow her and take care of her — until she tells him that she doesn’t need him anymore. Fiona loses all words, while Zara releases his pinch and gently strokes her cheeks. He smiles saying she’s the only one, and she quietly thanks him. Fiona finally decides to escape with them, and they leave the royal palace through the underground sewers. They get ambushed by Auger along the way, but he’s force to flee since he didn’t expect Nesso and Zara to be with her.
Since Fiona is down with a fever, Nesso, Zara and Julian decide to let her rest in a mountain hut that night. After learning more about Zodiva and the wolves, Fiona asks for Zara’s opinion about this issue. He seems surprised, so she explains that she has no idea about what to do next. She asks what he wants to do, and he admits that it’s difficult. As a pharmacist who’s researching about Zodiva, Zara wants to cure the deadly disease… but Fiona is the reason why he did this research in the first place. He holds out his hand to touch her cheek, and his fingers slide down to softly touch the wound on her shoulder. Then he smiles saying as long as he can save her, it’d be more than enough. Besides, even though they only heard about Zodiva in Weblin so far, it might be spreading to other countries as well. If that’s the case, it might be a good idea to inform other countries about how to cure Zodiva.
Zara then smiles and asks what she wants to do, so Fiona answers that she wants to talk to the wolves first before giving up on the kingdom. From there, they travel into the wolves’ territory. Arles invites them to the wolves’ hideout in Zanan, where he tells them about what happened between Mejojo, Elvira and himself 10 years ago. Fiona has to make a decision before they leave Zanan, and she decides to have a peaceful life with her family. The next morning, Rath gives them some blood sample so they can make a cure for Zodiva — just in case Fiona is infected. After leaving Zanan, they continue heading north towards the border. Their path is blocked by a wide river in the wetlands, and they have to cross it by jumping onto the rocks. They all know it’d be bad if Fiona falls into the river and catches a cold, so she’s not allowed to cross it by herself.
Fiona decides to ask for Zara’s help, and he gladly holds out his hand for her to hold — as if he’s escorting her. When Nesso raises a protest, Zara simply replies with: “Milady has chosen me. Nesso may have Julian.” Julian is surprised and asks if they should hold hands too, but Nesso obviously rejects the idea — much to Fiona’s amusement. ﾌﾟｯ(※ థэథ)∵.*.∵ Zara then says they should go first, and he holds Fiona’s hand as they hop onto the first rock. After making sure that she has landed safely, he jumps onto the next rock and she follows him. Her steps are unsteady, but his hand is firmly supporting her. Fiona chuckles. When Zara asks her what’s wrong, she smiles saying the two of them have always been like this. He always walks a bit ahead of her, pulling her hand as he guides her through the way.
While Nesso spoils her and does everything for her, Zara always helps Fiona to move forward on her own. He keeps her away from danger, supporting her through their joined hands. When she suddenly slips and nearly loses her balance, he pulls her back up and asks her to be careful. Fiona is amazed, since Zara really knows her better than she knows herself. They soon reach the other side of the river, where he gently pulls her to land onto the ground — as if he’s escorting her for a dance. When she comments that dry ground is the best, he smiles saying he agrees. Both of them exhale with relief, and they exchange looks as they laugh together. As they watch Nesso and Julian crossing the river, Fiona sadly mentions that she’s always saved by Zara all the time. However, he answers that she keeps saving him as well. She tilts her head in confusion. He has helped her countless times, but she just can’t think of the opposite.
Zara then reminds Fiona that he’s a war orphan, and she nods — she heard that story from Auger as well. Two generations ago, before King Garibaldi VI’s reign, the rabbits played an extremely important role in the kingdom. They became a hindrance when King Garibaldi VI seized the throne, and they became the victims of war. Zara tells Fiona that after losing his parents, he worked as a slave for a while. Back then he received a lot of cruel treatments, and he wished to join his parents in death everyday. The one who saved him from those circumstances was Edgar. Edgar was searching for a rabbit servant for his Lobeira daughter, because the rabbits were known for their medical knowledge. Zara’s owner at the time was dazzled by the money he was offering, and so Zara was sold to him. At first, Zara thought that Edgar would give him the same terrible treatment. No matter how kind Edgar was to him, he just couldn’t trust the earl. Now that he thinks about it, he was a completely charmless brat. Even he hates how he behaved in the past.
Fiona only laughs along, since Zara is speaking so lightly about his past. He smiles saying he was an orphan without any relatives. He was hurt and couldn’t trust anyone, but Nesso and her welcomed him as a family. He was saved by their acceptance. Fiona says she didn’t do anything, since she didn’t do it in order to save Zara… but he tells her that due to the treatments he received as a slave, he really hated himself. That’s why when Fiona accepted him as a family, Zara can grow to love himself for a bit. It’s the first time he ever talked to her about this. Even though they’ve been together for a long time, Zara never really talked about himself. Most of the time he’d only tell Fiona that he doesn’t have any good memories. She then smiles saying if he really thinks of her as a family, he should just call her by her name. He used to call her that way in the past, before he became her attendant. Fiona admits that she felt lonely when he started calling her “milady”, and Zara remembers that she threw a tantrum over it — whining at him to call her name.
Upon hearing this, Fiona looks down and averts her gaze… because she really did bug Zara about this. Zara smiles saying it was because he became her attendant, but it was also because he didn’t want to end up as nothing more than her family. Fiona looks at him in surprise, but Zara only chuckles and smiles — as if he’s saying that he’ll leave the rest to her imagination. When she calls him mean, he admits that he is mean and admits that he has made her cry on purpose. Or rather, he was more like a cunning kid. He never did things that would cause him to get caught. She doesn’t remember, but she thinks it’s just like him to do something like that. Zara then adds that Fiona never realized his mischief at all. She always hugged him while crying for help, even though he was the one who made her cry. Then he thought “this girl is so dumb.” (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Fiona drops her shoulder since she feels slightly blamed, but Zara says that’s also why he thought that he has to protect her. He wanted to help her.
Zara concludes that he’s always saved by Fiona in that sense, but she apologizes since she didn’t get when she saved him in this story. Fiona did understand about how Zara thought of her when he was just a young boy though, and it was pretty shocking for her. Zara’s eyes widen in surprise, and he asks if Fiona didn’t get it. She admits that she didn’t, though she did learn that he’s a meanie. He laughs upon hearing this, and he tells her that she brought him back to life. She can’t help but feel that he’s still teasing her though, so when he asks if he doesn’t look revived, she only says he does… a little. Zara replies that he’ll fulfill Fiona’s wish by making her medicines 30% more bitter then, and he laughs when she turns pale on the spot. When Nesso and Julian arrive, they ask if something happened since she doesn’t look too good. Fiona says it’s because Zara is picking on her, but he only laughs saying she’s wrong — he’s simply expressing his love. ❤
After passing the marsh, they continue traveling north towards the border. They set up a camp in the forest at night, where they eat dinner while chatting about their families and Fiona’s failure in cooking. They make their beds and go to sleep after that, but Fiona has trouble sleeping due to the cold temperature. She ends up getting up to blow breath onto her freezing hands, and soon she hears someone moving as well. Fiona wonders if it’s Zara, and it’s proven true when he asks if she’s still awake. When she lowers the blanket from her face, she can see him looking at her despite their dim surroundings. Fiona says she can’t sleep because her hands and feet are cold, and Zara comments that it’s not good. He asks her to wait, and he moves to sit beside the fire. She apologizes for waking him up, but he smiles and gently asks what she’s talking about — reminding her that it’s his job to take care of her health.
When Fiona asks what he’s doing with the fire, Zara answers that he’s making an instant heated stone… but he doesn’t explain further. Feeling curious, she gets up and moves to sit beside him. She was the one who woke him up in the first place, so she can’t just curl up under her blanket. Zara frowns saying she should lie down instead of getting up, but Fiona replies that she can’t just go to sleep while he’s doing something for her. Once again, he asks what she’s talking about. He says it’s okay for her to sleep since she must be tired, but she points out that the same goes for him. Zara simply answers that he has more stamina than her, but then he asks Fiona to come closer. After all, it’d be meaningless if her body grows colder. Fiona thanks Zara as she moves closer to him, and he wraps his blanket over her shoulder — protecting her from the fire. The two of them are sharing a single blanket as they sit in front of the fire.
Fiona suddenly chuckles, and when Zara asks her what’s wrong, she says she remembers a book she read a long time ago. It was an adventure novel for children. The protagonist and his friend were stranded on a deserted island, and there was a scene where they shared a blanket like this to endure the cold. They sat in front of the fire together, chatting with each other as they watch the stars above. Zara feels that he has read that book too, and he asks if the story took place in a southern island. The characters had fun playing in the beach, though it got cold at night. Fiona nods saying there was a scene like that. They got tired after playing and fell asleep while leaning against each other’s shoulders. Zara also remembers that they ate a delicious grilled chicken, and Fiona adds that back when she read the book, she was wishing to have a big adventure like that someday. That wish came true in an unexpected way, though their adventure doesn’t take place in a southern island. They’re in the north instead, and they don’t have any grilled chicken either.
Both Fiona and Zara whisper and chuckle in a low voice, so they don’t wake up the other two. His shoulder is touching hers, keeping her warm and comfortable. Fiona then puts her head on Zara’s shoulder to enjoy his warmth, which blends with hers and circulates under the small blanket. He asks if she has grown sleepy, and she says yes since it feels so warm and nice… but then he asks her to wait for a little longer. The heated stone will be ready in a moment. When Fiona asks what it is, Zara explains that it’s a small stone around the size of one’s hand. They heat it in the fire and wrap it with a piece of cloth. The stone will remain warm for a while, so they can slide it under their blanket to keep themselves warm. Fiona is impressed since she didn’t know about this method before, and Zara says they can also do the same thing with hot water and airtight container. They don’t have such a containers though, so for now she has to bear with a stone.
Even though Zara asks her to bear with it, Fiona actually feels really comfortable. The cold temperature she felt earlier has vanished like a lie, and his warmth feels so nice. After a while, Zara takes a red-hot stone out of the fire. Fiona comments that it looks hot, to which he replies that it is scorching hot — they have to let it cool down a little. She watches as he uses a stick to scoop out the stone, which glows bright red in the dark. Then she’s starting to feel more sleepy, exhausted after walking through the mountain path all day. Earlier she couldn’t sleep because the cold air was bugging her, but now that she feels warm… drowsiness comes to sweep her. Zara asks her to wait for a little longer, since he’s going to wrap the heated stone and slide it into their blanket. Fiona nods, but she admits that staying with him like this feels really nice — so much that she might fall asleep. He chuckles saying it’s okay for her to sleep, since he’ll put her to bed later. She thinks it’s so childish to have him put her to bed, but she can’t keep her eyes open any longer.
After wrapping the heated stone, Zara gently holds Fiona’s hands and places the stone there. From under the cloth, the stone’s warmth instantly spreads into her body. Since the stone is still hot, Zara asks Fiona to be careful not to take off the cloth… though he wrapped it tightly so it won’t come off that easily. Fiona only nods, and Zara tells her to hold it firmly or else she’ll drop it. When she responds with another sleepy nod, he sighs saying it can’t be helped. Then he covers her hands with his own, holding the stone in place. Zara gently whispers good night, and Fiona finally falls asleep on his shoulder — wrapped in his gentle warmth.
The next morning, they continue their journey towards the border. They soon reach the end of the forest, but they’re afraid that Mejojo and Auger might have laid an ambush ahead. It’s too risky to take the straight path towards the border, so Nesso takes them to a hidden path that he found during a border patrol. The path will lead them out of Weblin, but it’s located directly beside a cliff and the ground is really fragile. It will definitely collapse is the four of them cross together at the same time, so they have to move in pairs.
When Fiona asks if she can go with Zara, he smiles saying he’ll gladly escort her to the other side. He says it in a light tone that makes it sound like he’s taking her to a dance party, but it makes her feel relieved. Nesso then says he’ll test out the path with Julian, so they’re going first. Zara apologizes since he’s supposed to be the one to check dangerous situations, but Nesso points out that he has the most important job to protect Fiona… so he shouldn’t feel bad. Besides, Julian and him will thoroughly check the path for them. As Nesso and Julian make their way through the path, Fiona can see the cliff crumbling little by little. She’s really afraid to take her eyes off them, thinking that they could disappear any moment. Noticing that she’s clenching her fists, Zara gently squeezes her hand — assuring her that Nesso and Julian will be alright. The warmth of his large hand slowly erases the fear in her heart, and they keep watching until Nesso and Julian safely make it to the other side. Fiona sighs with relief, while Zara laughs saying they also feel tired just by watching those two cross the path… but now the real challenge begins. It’s now their turn to cross the path.
Zara smiles saying it can’t be helped then. They need to be prepared and proceed. He guides Fiona to step into the path, as if he’s escorting her for a dance. He then asks her not to look to the side. She should walk normally, without thinking of anything else. They shouldn’t think about the cliff hanging beside them. They have to ignore the sound of rocks crumbling nearby. Fiona looks straight ahead as she walks, only thinking about Zara’s hand holding hers. However, halfway across the path, Nesso suddenly tells them to hurry up. Julian says there are pursuers behind them, and they turn around to see mounted cat knights coming their way — Mejojo and Auger’s royal guards. Which means the twins were planning an ambush after all. Fiona is shocked and says they need to hurry, but Zara warns her not to panic. The ground might collapse if they move carelessly. She nods and speeds up her pace. They continue walking while only thinking about their next step, but soon they hear the knights shouting behind them.
One of the knights yells that they should let witch Fiona Galland escape with her cursed followers, and Zara frowns when they start running into the path. He curses and calls them stupid, since the ground obviously won’t be able to hold all of them. As he says this, a part of the ground behind them suddenly crumbles with a loud sound. A knight immediately orders the others to stop, and they start cursing since their path is now blocked. Zara urges Fiona to take this chance to continue walking, but then she can hear the knights saying they’re going to do something. She doesn’t know what they’re planning to do, but she knows they won’t let her get away. Fiona then calls out to Zara, but he tells her to ignore the knights — she should look forward and keep walking. They have no time to look back and check, so she nods and speeds up her pace. Fiona is surprised when she hears the sound of something sharp cutting the air, but Zara tells her not to mind. The knights are shooting arrows at them, but he assures her that it’s fine. The wind is strong here, so they won’t get shot so easily.
Once again Zara urges Fiona to hurry, and she continues walking while holding his hand… until they finally reach the other side of the cliff. When Nesso and Julian welcome them, Fiona happily turns to Zara and says they safely made it. They’re free now. They don’t have to fear Mejojo and Auger anymore. She might not be able to live as an earl’s daughter anymore, but that’s not a problem. They’re free. She can live together with everyone. She can live with Zara again. However, Zara answers with a weak “You’re… right…” Fiona wonders what’s wrong, and she notices that he looks as pale as a sheet. His body sways forward, but Nesso catches him before he falls. That’s when she sees it — there’s an arrow piercing his back. Fiona is shocked. It means that Zara actually did get hit earlier, but he didn’t let it affect her. Instead, he kept encouraging her to move forward. Julian asks Zara to hang in there, and he helps lifting Zara onto Nesso’s back. Nesso assigned Elza and his men to wait for them by the foot of the mountain, so they should be able to help.
Fiona is still shocked, and she quietly asks what’s going to happen to Zara. Nesso assures her that Zara will be alright, but they should hurry to Elza’s place now. He asks if she’ll be okay if they move in a rush, and she answers that she’s fine — they should hurry for Zara’s sake. As they rush down the mountain, Fiona keeps praying for Zara’s safety. They make it to the foot of the mountain after that, where they safely meet up with Elza. He was assigned to wait until they cross the border, so he’s been on standby for a while. Following his lead, they eventually reach Edgar’s place and treat Zara’s wound. Thanks to the immediate treatment, Zara then recovers from the injury in no time.
One day, Zara calls Fiona to come into his room. He apologizes for asking her to come to such a place, but she shakes her head. There’s a lot of things in his room, and she loves seeing them. Zara thinks his room is simply messy, but Fiona doesn’t think so. While it’s filled with a lot of things, his room definitely doesn’t feel messy. Fiona looks around the room as she says this. There are medicines, unknown tools and also a stack of research books lying on his desk. She’s pretty sure that Zara knows where he keeps his stuff, so his room is not messy. She thinks “messy” is a word to describe a place where things are scattered all over the place, so much that you won’t be able to find anything. However, Zara says he wants to keep his room neat since it was given to him by Edgar. Fiona points out that he doesn’t need to be so formal though. Her father is no longer an earl, and she’s not a noble lady anymore. He answers that Edgar is still the person who saved his life, and she’s the daughter of that lifesaver. Zara wants to keep his polite language for them, and Fiona can only think about how stubborn he is.
When they came to this country, they lost everything they had in Weblin. Edgar is no longer an earl. Fiona is no longer the witch of the tower. Nesso is no longer the top knight. Even after they lost everything, Zara still followed them. They can have a good life since Edgar brought some of their properties, but it doesn’t mean they can have a luxurious life either. After selling their properties, they bought one mansion in this country. Zara then asked Edgar to allow him live with them — even promising to pay the rent — and so they’ve been living together ever since. The truth is Edgar actually wanted to give Zara freedom in this country. He should be able to make a living anywhere with his knowledge and skills as a pharmacist, and yet he decided to stay with them. Even if Edgar refused, he gives them money every month to pay for his rent.
Fiona then mutters that Zara can live independently, but he says it can’t be helped since he doesn’t want to. In the end he’s still working as their butler. Fiona knows that she can’t keep relying on Zara all the time, but she always ends up asking for his help. He admits that he loves it when she relies on him though, and he’s actually wishing for her to rely on him a lot more. Fiona reminds Zara that he’s no longer her butler nor her chaperone. He’s free now, but he falls into silence and his expression turns sad. She immediately feels bad, so she changes the subject by asking why he called her today — does he need any help? Zara smiles saying he doesn’t need help, but he wants to inform Fiona about something. He then puts a small vial on the table and explains that it’s the cure for Zodiva. Or at least that’s what he’s hoping for. Fiona is surprised and asks if he finally completed it, and Zara says he still doesn’t have a conclusive proof… but he thinks he did it.
Zara asks if Fiona remembers that before they left Zanan, Rath gave them some blood — the blood of three wolves who managed to recover from Zodiva. It was the key to cure the disease. Zara has been comparing and analyzing their blood, and he finally discovered a common factor between them. Fiona then asks if it’s inside the vial. She he nods, she takes it from the table and observes the transparent liquid inside. It feels strange to think that it’s a medicine extracted from the red blood of the wolves. She asks if she should drink the medicine, but he explains that it’s not meant for oral administration — it’s for injections. Upon hearing this, Fiona immediately averts her gaze. She’s always whining about bitter medicines, but she’d rather drink them than taking an injection. When Zara asks if she still hates injections, she tells him that it hurts. He says it won’t hurt because he’s good at giving injections, but she points out that it always hurt whenever he gave her one. Zara answers that it was simply optical illusion. It hurt because Fiona kept watching as the needle pierced her skin. She wonders if that’s really true, but he assures her that it is.
Despite what he said, Zara looks troubled when Fiona reluctantly holds out her arm for him. When she calls his name in confusion, he sighs saying he’s not supposed to be afraid of injections — be it giving or taking one. She asks him what’s wrong, and he admits that he feels scared. He’s sure that the medicine is the cure for Zodiva, but still… he feels afraid to inject it to her. What if it has a side effect? What if it doesn’t work? His worries are endless. He never thought that he’d be wishing to get infected by Zodiva, so that he can test the medicine first before giving it to her. Fiona asks Zara not to say such scary things. Nobody would be able to stop Zodiva if he collapsed from the disease, but he assures her that it’s just for example. She doesn’t reply, while he sighs quietly. He still hasn’t taken her arm. No matter how confident he is, he’s hesitating to inject the medicine into her… so she finally asks him to do it. She believes in him. She believes that he can end her nightmare with the medicine. They can finally obtain their peaceful, calm and free days.
Once again, Fiona tells Zara that she believes in him. She believes that he can save her, and he finally says he understands. Zara then takes Fiona’s arm, rolls up her sleeve and puts disinfectant on her skin. The cool sensation sends shivers down her spine. He fills the syringe with the medicine after that, and he pushes it a bit to get the air out. When Zara says he’s going to inject it now, Fiona asks him not to make it painful — to which he replies that he’s good at injecting. Fiona shuts her eyes when the needle pieces through her skin. Zara slowly injects the medicine into her arm, and she comments that it hurts after all. He lightly replies that it’s just her imagination, but his eyes remain serious. After he’s done injecting all the medicine, he takes out the needle and says they’re done. She then asks if the effect is immediate, but he admits that he’s not sure. When she tries to protest, he points out that the symptoms of Zodiva hasn’t occurred in her yet. That’s why even if there’s Zodiva inside of her, the disease should be dying right now.
Since it’s going to take time until they can see the result, Fiona says that Zara will have to keep an eye on her for a while. He blinks in surprise for a moment, but then his lips slowly curl up to form a smile. He says she’s right. He has the responsibility to confirm if Zodiva will occur in her — for the rest of her life. She comments that it sounds like a tough job, and he admits that it is… but he thinks it’ll be very worthwhile. Besides, if she ever gets sick, he can solve everything with his injections. She protests saying he doesn’t have to use it, but he says it’s necessary for a selfish lady like her. Of course if she wants a more painful injection, he’ll be glad to prepare a larger needle for her. (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ Fiona quickly refuses and calls Zara a meanie, but then they exchange looks and laugh together. Fiona knows she doesn’t need to look for a reason to keep Zara by her side. She knows that he will stay if she asks him to stay, but still…
Fortunately for Fiona, Zara takes the initiative and says: “I will take care of you for the rest of my life, Milady.” She answers that she’ll be in his care for the rest of her life, and he leans close to kiss her. When Fiona tells Zara that she loves him, he whispers that he loves her too.
They laugh together before sharing another kiss.
As they hurry down the mountain, Nesso suddenly notices something and stops. Fiona asks him if there’s something wrong, and Julian offers to carry Zara if he’s tired. However, Nesso only asks them to search for a place where they can put Zara down. Fiona reminds him that they need to bring Zara to see a doctor, and Nesso says he knows. It’s just something is bothering him. Soon after that, Julian returns and leads them to a clearing — where Nesso slowly lowers Zara down onto the soft grass. Once again Fiona asks him what’s wrong, and Nesso whispers that Zara’s body is hot. Fiona wonders what it means, and she turns to look at Zara. He’s breathing heavily. His face is red, and she can feel the heat from his breath. Fiona reluctantly puts her hand onto Zara’s forehead, and his body temperature shocks her — he’s burning up with a high fever. She wonders if it’s normal to get a fever from an arrow wound, but Julian and Nesso know what’s going on.
It was a poisoned arrow.
Fiona only repeats Nesso’s words slowly. She doesn’t understand. She doesn’t want to understand. Beside her, Zara quietly laughs. When she asks if he’s alright, he answers that it’s funny for a pharmacist like him to die from poison. She calls him stupid since it’s not funny at all, but he only mutters out a weak apology. She knows it must be painful for him, and yet he keeps smiling. It’s really like Zara to do something like that, and it only deepens Fiona’s sorrow even more. Nesso asks if he can identify the poison or if they can detoxify it with the medicines he brought, but judging from the sudden fever… Zara knows it’s useless. Nesso tells him not to give up so easily while Julian asks him to hang in there, but Zara doesn’t reply. It’s just like him to say “it’s useless” even though they’re asking for a way to save his life, and that side of him is hurting Fiona. Zara Skeens is a man who always does his best for Nesso and Fiona, but he gives up so quickly when it comes to himself. Fiona cries and begs him not to give up so easily, but Zara whispers that he’s fine with giving up.
Nesso then says he doesn’t care about that. He asks Zara to do something — anything. Zara is a pharmacist after all. Instead, Zara only whispers that he’s glad he was the one who got shot. His face is wet with sweat, but he slightly opens his eyes and gives Fiona a beautiful smile. From the bottom of his heart, he’s satisfied with this ending. He managed to save her, and now he’s going to his death. Fiona sobs out that she doesn’t want any of this. When Zara apologizes, she snaps that he doesn’t even mean it. She just can’t believe in his apology when he’s saying it with a peaceful, happy expression. Zara then calls out to Nesso and Julian. She can hear their voices trembling as they answer, as if they’re about to cry. He takes out a bloodstained paper and hands it to them, weakly explaining that it’s the recipe for the preventative cure for Zodiva. Anyone can make it with the recipe. Nesso nearly breaks into tears as he yells at Zara to live, but Zara only asks Nesso to take care of Fiona. Then he whispers “If… possible… I wanted… to… serve… you… foreve…”
Zara’s ears quietly droop down as his consciousness fades away, and he finally closes his eyes. Fiona calls his name, but she can’t hear him breathing anymore. She yells out his name again and puts her hand onto his forehead. It’s still as hot as flames and there’s still warmth in his body, but it feels hollow. Fiona screams that it must be a lie, while Nesso cries saying this shouldn’t happen after they got so far. Julian quietly holds back his tears. The forest is serene and quiet. There’s no one chasing after them. They’re already free… and yet only Zara is gone.
Time passed. One day, Nesso and Julian come to deliver food for Fiona. She happily welcomes them in and prepares some drinks for them, since she already prepared a fire to make some for herself. After putting a small kettle on top of the fire, Fiona turns to thank Nesso and Julian. They went all the way to visit her deep in the mountains, and she really appreciates the help. Nesso laughs saying he wants to see his cute sister’s face too, and he figured out that she must be running low on food supplies. He then hands a heavy bag to Fiona. Inside, she finds all sorts of household goods — including preserved goods and snacks. Meanwhile, Julian is quietly looking around her hut. When she asks him what’s wrong, he quickly says it’s nothing — he was just wondering if she doesn’t feel lonely to live here by herself.
Realizing that Julian is worried about her, Fiona only smiles. They managed to cross the border and came to this country that day, but in the end… she never made it to Edgar’s place. Nesso asks if she doesn’t want to live with them in the city, to which Fiona nods and apologizes. Julian also asks if Fiona can at least allow him to stay by her side, but she shakes her head saying that won’t do either. The reason why she’s living alone deep in the mountains is very simple. She might still have Zodiva in her body, and she can’t let it spread into this country. Fiona is a girl who got bitten by a wolf, not to mention she also had a fever after that. There’s a high chance that she’s infected with Zodiva, and the disease is currently suppressed by the cure Zara made for her. Now that Zara is gone, no one can make the complete cure for Zodiva. If she causes the disease to spread, no one would be able to save this country. That’s why she can’t enter the city.
Fiona also thought that she shouldn’t see Nesso and Julian either, but they assure her that they’ll be alright. They had been drinking the preventative cure Zara made for them, and there’s no way they could abandon her in the mountains. They refused to leave if she wouldn’t allow her to see her again, so she couldn’t turn them down. Fiona chuckles upon recalling the memory, but she knows better. Even if it seems like she gave in and compromised with their request, she’s the one who’s spoiling herself. Up until the end, she couldn’t choose to live with loneliness. Fiona then asks how everyone is doing. Are Pearl and Richie well? How is her father? Nesso answers that Pearl and Richie are still the same. They both want to see her. As for Edgar, he’s warmly welcomed by the local nobles. They have a high opinion on him because he was born as a noble in Weblin, and he keeps receiving invitations from them.
When Fiona asks about them, Nesso says he managed to find a job thanks to his strength as a swordsman. Julian is now maintaining the Galland family mansion, and Fiona is glad to hear that everyone is doing well. Nesso then says it’s time to make preventative cure for Zodiva with the usual recipe — the recipe written by Zara. It’s the recipe he had been working on back in Scharlmessen. They follow the bloodstained recipe to make the preventative cure, and they drink it once it’s done. It’s Zara’s last present for them. Even if he lost his life, he continues living through the cure. Fiona quietly mutters Zara’s name, and she can see an image of him replying with “What is it, Milady?” ｡ﾟ+(｡ﾉдヽ｡)ﾟ+｡ When Nesso asks her what’s wrong, Fiona says it feels like Zara is standing beside her right now. Julian smiles and answers that she’s probably right.
Beyond the hut lies the beautiful forest of Weblin. Fiona narrows her eyes as she looks up at the sunlight streaming through the trees, and then she whispers in her heart: “…Zara, thanks to you… I’m alive.”
As you can see, Zara’s route is 100% normal. He remains sane up until the end, and his devotion for Fiona never falters. That can be both good and bad depending on your opinion. If you don’t like the madness of the cats, then maybe you’ll love Zara and his peaceful route. On the other hand, if you prefer insane routes that make you drown in endless tears, you might find him boring. As for me, I like Zara and his surprisingly mischievous side. That’s why I wish they’d give him more depth, but of course that didn’t happen. Maybe in Last Hope? ヽ( ；∀；)ﾉ His relationship with Fiona feels so natural, and it’s adorable to see him picking on her from time to time. I was afraid that Zara would suddenly turn insane in the end (blame the previous route), so his good end feels strangely relieving. (´・∀・`；)ゞ
No comment on the bad end. It makes me wanna jump into a pool of tears and stay there forever.