Chapter 102

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Author: lipzoldyck

 

After the conversation had come to an end, Masha was visibly sullen.

 

She seemed to be disturbed because I didn’t seem to be thinking deeply. She doesn’t even try to make good eye contact, and her voice is weak. Well, it would have been even weirder if she had reacted positively in this situation.

 

She seemed to care in her own way not to let me know how she felt, but since she wasn’t really good at acting, she naturally showed off.

 

I now had a rough idea of what Masha was misunderstanding. She must be wondering if I already made up my mind, and if in fact it wasn’t even a problem for me to worry about. And she’ll be digging, saying that it won’t do any good to add anything.

 

But even though I knew all about it, I didn’t bother trying to appease Masha.

 

It can’t be helped. This place is no better than the middle of enemy lines, and I know how insidious the magicians can be if they make up their minds. It’s one of the things I realized the other day when Dante was running away from me.

 

To be honest, if he was overhearing our entire conversation, I couldn’t do anything about it.

 

It would be nice if she noticed that my composure isn’t real, more like a deliberate façade. Whether I was acting too naturally, or whether Masha was digging deeper than I thought, it seemed a long way off.

 

I just had to wait two days for all of this to be over. When that time comes, I should hold on to Masha and tell her. Whether it be porridge or ice, there was only one choice for me.

 

And that I have no regrets about my choice.

 

***

 

J2.

 

He was able to talk about the years he had lived his entire life. It was the first time when he was so excited and looking forward to the next day.

 

Originally, he belonged to the axis that hates waiting very much, but this time was an exception. After his conversation with the woman, Jeremy was half-sure that his plan would succeed, so he was happy to accept her waiting as well.

 

How can it flow in a direction that is easier than expected and without a single noise?

 

In fact, the reason why Jeremy had such blind faith in the future was the woman’s attitude.

 

[…Give me time to think.]

 

The poor dimension-shifter, like his own old friend, was agitated at the word ‘go back’. Confused since he said she would go back to her original dimension, she turned pale when she saw Jeremy’s lab.

 

In a way, it was reflected in fear of the cruel scenery, but the woman’s face would become serious whenever he explained how each beast specifically helped with the dimension shifting magic. In a word, she didn’t ignore his words, yet rather listened intently.

 

The act of showing the experiment taking into account the number of cases was repeated, and the brown eyes that were filled with doubt seemed to gradually take on a light of surprise or understanding.

 

In the end, she asked for time to think with a fiercely conflicted look on her face.

 

Jeremy, who needed time to check the magic circle anyway, gave her the time of the day, and he didn’t forget to show his own generosity until the end.

 

[I trust you will make the best choice. Talk to the Master of the Magic Tower, and think about it while talking to your friend.]

 

Of course, he said this because he thought that the Master of the Magic Tower had prepared a way to contact her through magic, and Ei, who was about to leave the room, hesitated for a moment at his words.

 

[And what will you do if I don’t make the choice you want?]

[Then, well.]

 

Jeremy responded in a stern tone to the words of her feeble vigilance.

 

[I’m just releasing you and your friend.]

[…You’re going to do something grandiose like this and then just let go?]

[Yeah.]

 

Naturally, the woman didn’t want to trust him at all. Jeremy checked the look on her face again where her doubts began to rise, and he burst into laughter as hard as he could.

 

[Didn’t I explain it earlier? This magic first requires the consent of the dimension shifter himself, and as long as you refuse, this magic can’t even start.]

 

Jeremy playfully formed a circle with her index finger and thumb, which he then held to his eye. The woman standing at a distance from him seemed to be trapped inside his own fingers.

 

[That said, I’m afraid of retaliation from the Master of the Magic Tower for forcing you to agree.]

[…]

[Because I still can’t figure out what kind of magic is on you.]

 

The woman looked at Jeremy, who said that and smiled quietly.

 

The actions of the woman who went back to the room afterwards were nothing special. After talking to her friend almost without notice, she just stared blankly at the empty space for the day he had given her to think about.

 

The only thing that was odd about her was that she never contacted the Master of the Mage Tower. However, since it’s a choice that will determine her future life, it’s not impossible to understand her if you think that she wanted to make a decision on her own without interference from others.

 

And what Jeremy was most pleased with her more than anything else was the attitude of keeping her troubles to herself. If she had valued the Master of the Magic Tower and her friend, she wouldn’t have continued her thoughts alone like an isolated island.

 

Really, you can see at once that she doesn’t care about the people who will be left behind.

 

As a result of thoroughly observing that sight, Jeremy concluded that she had no lingering attachments to this dimension. Even if the lingering feelings were as small as a speck of dust, it wouldn’t overwhelm her longing for her hometown.

 

So Jeremy finally stood here with a happy heart.

 

It was the largest space in this building, and on top of the magic circle he had completed over several decades.

 

He hummed softly as he proceeded to inspect the magic circle, which was to be his last. Perhaps in a little while the dimension shifter will arrive at this place, and she will come up with an answer she has been thinking hard about for a day. And, predictably, the answer was almost certain.

 

If that’s the case, it’s really going to be an optimal script. Of course, it wasn’t that he didn’t think about situations in which she would refuse.

 

“Even so, nothing will change anyway.”

 

It just gets a little trickier, and the outcome is almost certain. Jeremy giggled, already drunk on success, but he remembered her soon-to-be arrival and kept his smile. He didn’t think it would do him any good if he showed that he already knew her choices.

 

There are times when he deliberately went into a low-key position saying it all depends on her, but he has to be perfect until the end. As Jeremy cleared his throat and straightened her back, the door opened just as he had been waiting for.

 

“Ah. You’re here?”

 

Jeremy tried not to be too enamored with her, and the woman stared at his face for a moment. As she opened the door without knocking, she stood by the door without recklessly entering the room.

 

Indeed, he can’t expect the stupidity of coming in without thinking.

 

Jeremy, who had eyes on the circle-shaped floor and the magic circle that filled the inside, smiled silently.

 

“Are you reluctant to step on the line? Even if you roll on it, the magic circle won’t be erased, so don’t worry.”

 

“Why did you carve it on the floor?”

 

She didn’t even try to look closely at the magic circle for asking such a question. Rather, she took a step back, meeting Jeremy’s eyes as if she was staring at him.

 

But Jeremy took that gaze as just the tension ahead of an important choice, and he said in a soft voice.

 

“Should I just write it down, I wonder. I made it so that even if the building collapses, only this magic circle will be intact.”

 

“…”

 

“So, even if there is a belated interruption, the dimension shift will proceed without a hitch.”

 

The word ‘interruption’ was pronounced especially strongly, and it was actually close to the manifestation of subconsciousness. Subconscious thinking that even in this situation, the Master of the Magic Tower might come to ruin everything.

 

After that, Ei was silent for a long time.

 

“Is there anything left to worry about even after coming here?”

 

Jeremy asked slowly, his mind relaxed, and the woman, who blinked for a moment, answered in a monotonous tone.

 

“I’m not worried, I’m just having thoughts about something else for a while.”

 

“What thoughts?”

 

Um, she seemed to be taking a break while making a sound.

 

“Thoughts that if something goes wrong in magicians’ brains, it’ll show in their magic circles.”

 

“…”

 

“Just look at this. There’s no way you could draw something like this without being crazy.”

 

The woman gestured toward the meticulous and well-organized magic circle that Jeremy had praised as the masterpiece of his life.

 

“Even if there were thousands of bugs crawling around in it, it would be less disgusting.”

 

“…Are you saying this as a compliment?”

 

In an instant, the emotion in Jeremy’s voice was gone. His face hardened because he couldn’t control his expression, and the unhidden flesh gradually leaked out.

 

But she, who would have confirmed all of that, was still unconcerned.

 

“Compliment? No, of course.”

 

“…”

 

“I’ve never seen a magic circle that would drive me crazy just looking at it like this. That’s when I thought, I’ll probably have to keep an eye on you for the rest of your life to make sure you don’t do something like that again.”

 

Do you know what I’m talking about? The woman laughed, folding the corners of her eyes.

 

“So I won’t go back.”

 

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