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Afterword 

The twelfth book of Sword Oratoria occurs after the fourteenth volume of the main series, before the fifteenth volume. 
The first edition of the fifteenth volume of the main series was released on June 15th, 2019, a full month before this book was released. It would have been nice if they had been released at the same time, or even for this book to be released first. I guess I’m trying to say I’m sorry for this late release! 
It was totally the author’s fault for not keeping the deadlines. And I apologize to all who were involved for causing extra problems. 
In the twelfth volume, the fight that has continued since the first volume has finally reached its conclusion. And yet, I don’t really have much to say here. I thought that I would have so much to share about the final battle, but nothing comes to mind at all. This must be what it feels like to have poured in everything that I could offer until there was nothing left. 
First of all, I can say with confidence that among all the books in the main series and side story, this book was indisputably the hardest to write. It was so bad that while I was writing it, I kept saying “This sucks” to myself, like, 177 times. And I’m sure the editor who watched me suffering laughed out loud 177 times. It was like a picture of hell. 
I think that pain had as much to do with the fact that I was wringing out every bit of my strength together with the characters and expressing it on the page as it did with the fact that it was so hard to finish this story. Or at least my intention was to tell a story on a larger scale than anything else that I’ve written so far. That I still had so many characters I still wanted to write was surprising—and a little scary. 
I’d like to believe there won’t be a battle to surpass this one (he says, while pretending not to see the plot for the final book of the main series). 
If I just stopped here, it would feel a little empty, so I’d like to try to touch on one of the characters. Which means that there will be spoilers after this. Consider yourself warned. 
This book marks an ending for a girl who could be called a heroine for the first time in any of these stories. At first, I avoided trying to express how she was feeling on the inside. That was because I didn’t want to write it. I didn’t want to see what was going on in her heart that was filled with contradictions. I suspected that the more I delved into it, the more I would get sucked into those depths and I wouldn’t be able to escape. It was just that exhausting. 
However, at the very last moment, I selfishly insisted on rewriting the very final battle. Normally, I write battles from the perspective of an ally, but for the first time, I put it together with the focus centered on the opposing side. It was definitely hard, and I fumbled around a lot, struggling to find her inner voice, but in the end, I managed to hear it. And as expected, I regretted it. 
But even with that remorse, I finally understood that she felt deeply for her fellow elf, and just how much their initial meeting had saved her. Her actions were undeniably evil, but if I was asked whether she was an enemy or ally, even as the author, I would have difficulty answering. But I believe that her friendships and desires were real. Well, real enough that she would selfishly disobey (someone who was, in my personal opinion) a god whose facade was beautiful but whose true feelings were filled with meaningless things. 
I picked up the book again and reread the scene where those two met, and I realized I hadn’t devoted many pages to it. I was trying not to foreshadow anything, but when I imagined her smile after they held hands, I started to tear up a little bit. So yeah. That’s essentially that. 
Good job. Good night. Until we meet again. I’d like to continue watching over the girl who was left behind, to take responsibility for my promises. 
With that, I’d like to move to my thanks. 
To my editor Takahashi and chief editor Kitamura, I’m extremely sorry for causing trouble with the schedule again. And likewise for Kiyotaka Haimura. It was thanks to your illustrations of Aiz, Lefiya, and the rest that I was able to get to this volume, which was a critical turning point in the series. Thank you very much. And my deepest gratitude to all the people involved who have continued to support someone like me. 
And most importantly, thank you to the readers. I appreciate you for reading this far. Because of your support, we were able to continue publishing the twelfth volume of a side story, which is always a difficult sell. If I’ve been able to give you anything in return with my story, then I’m truly happy. 
Sword Oratoria has reached the end of a chapter with this twelfth book. But even with that, I have plans to write more. But with the time line for the main series, I would like to give the strongest protagonists a break. I hope you can wait a little longer for their return. 
With this, the third part of the side story is finished. Starting with the next book, it will be a new chapter, the fairy’s awakening arc. 
Thank you very much for sticking with me until the end. 
With that, I’ll take my leave. 

Fujino Omori 
 


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