Chapter 115

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Author: lipzoldyck

 

I hurriedly closed my mouth before I could finish speaking, but it was already too late. The expression disappeared from Dante’s face again, and his loose grip on my arm became strong enough that it didn’t hurt.

 

The only thing that’s being held back is one arm, so why do I feel like I can’t even move from this spot?

 

“When did that happen?”

 

His voice asking quietly sounded eerie. I seriously considered adding that it was a lie, but it didn’t seem right, so I stopped.

 

“…It was a very long time ago. I don’t even remember much now.”

 

You know that the long ago I’m talking about is really a long time ago, right? I said this because I wanted to emphasize that a lot of time had passed, but it was of little use. Dante seemed quite shocked that something like that had happened to me, and that he didn’t know about it.

 

He must have thought that he should ask everything at this point, then Dante immediately began to ask various questions with a slightly pale face.

 

“Anything else than that?”

 

“Huh?”

 

“Other than falling down the stairs, have you ever been seriously injured again?”

 

There have been many times when I have been seriously injured. How many times have I experienced dying and coming back to life for no reason?

 

But I, who had never said this on purpose, kept my mouth shut, determined not to say anything this time either. Even if I said just a few of these things, Dante would be very upset, and him being upset would eventually lead to overprotection, but that was enough for now.

 

If I say that I have forgotten as time has passed, he will ask me to tell him what I remember. Then I have no choice but to just say nothing.

 

As if Dante had noticed something about my attitude, he immediately started whispering.

 

“Now that I think about it, I’ve heard about your physical condition, but I’ve never heard in detail how you found out about it.”

 

“…It’s because I just learned it as I live my life?”

 

“So, you have never ‘lived your life’ properly.”

 

To be needlessly sharp. I grumbled inside, and realized that if we continued like this, I might have to reveal everything about my past.

 

It’s not like I’m just mentioning the past in passing, but doesn’t this feel a bit like… I’m being interrogated.

 

“It’s okay now because I won’t get hurt as badly as I used to.”

 

I, belatedly feeling dissatisfied with the one-sided situation, complained. As I lightly shook the arm that was still being held from side to side, I felt Dante’s grip weaken again.

 

“Why are you so sure it won’t happen in the future?”

 

“Because I have you now.”

 

“…”

 

There was no answer in an instant. At the same time, I checked my completely free arm and raised the corners of my lips.

 

“Are you going to let me hurt?”

 

“…No.”

 

“Right. That’s what I mean.”

 

After speaking, I wondered if I was completely entrusting my safety to Dante, but since it wasn’t wrong, I let it go. I can’t even entrust it to him anymore, so I’m almost relying on him, well.

 

Dante erased the distraught expression he had shown just now and touched his red ears.

 

“I feel like something slipped by.”

 

“You’re mistaken.”

 

“Got it. I’ll say it’s an illusion up to that point.”

 

But Dante asked again, as if he really wanted to hear this.

 

“So how did you fall down the stairs?”

 

“Hmm…”

 

How did I fall? It wasn’t like I fell down just once. Was it the first time someone pushed me, asking if I would really come back to life even if I died, or was it the first time I got caught in a physical fight and were pushed around without realizing it?

 

Either way, it wasn’t something worth telling Dante about.

 

“…Now that I think about it, there is only one pillow on the bed. Let alone sharing a narrow bed, we need an extra pillow, so I’ll have to go out and look for it.”

 

“You don’t want to tell me that?”

 

“If I can’t find it at home, I have to buy it today. You stay in the room, Dante.”

 

With those words, I got up and came out of the room. Like a criminal running away from prison.

 

It seemed like I could hear Dante letting out a small laugh through the closing door.

 

***

 

D13.

 

Dante remained alone in the room and looked around the unfamiliar scenery.

 

He was so focused on Ei when he first came here that he couldn’t pay attention to the things that he began to notice little by little now that Ei was away.

 

As if to prove that this was another dimension, the room was filled with objects whose purpose was unknown, and even those with familiar shapes were made of unknown materials.

 

As Dante looked at the objects with traces of Ei’s hands, as if he were a visitor to a museum, he thought that Ei would have a lot to teach him.

 

Just by looking around the room, he could see that the civilization in this dimension was more advanced than where he was. If Dante were to materialize a distant future that he had never imagined, it would look like this, and he couldn’t figure out just by looking at what process it went through and how it developed like this.

 

As someone who came from an old civilization, he will have to learn the very basics step by step.

 

It didn’t matter to him that he had a lot to learn and that there were probably things he would never understand. Dante wasn’t the type of person who disliked learning, and he was happy if he could learn more about Ei by learning about the world he didn’t know.

 

However, he was worried that she might get exhausted while explaining every little thing, from the basic rules of the world to the purpose of each object.

 

Although it came to this situation, he didn’t want to be perceived as just a nuisance to Ei. At first, he thought that he shouldn’t fall from Ei’s side because everything was unfamiliar, but he felt that such things wouldn’t happen if he did things on his own that he could understand on his own.

 

As he continued to think about how he would fit into this world, Dante was fiddling with one of the objects he had only seen with his own eyes.

 

It was a ballpoint pen that showed traces of Ei’s frequent use, and the nib ejected with a clicking sound when pressed lightly.

 

Did she usually sit here and write and erase something? Compared to other items, it seems particularly old. Could it have been a cherished item?

 

The strange feeling of falling into an unfamiliar dimension faded away as he was swept away by the joy of finding traces of his loved one. Dante tried to mess around, but when he realized that he was no different from a child playing in a laboratory, he stopped doing all of his actions.

 

Of course, he doesn’t think Ei will be upset if he accidentally touches and breaks something. She’ll probably sigh and ask if he’s hurt.

 

Maybe she would criticize why she was always the only one getting scolded when he, too, could be careless.

 

“…”

 

As he just inadvertently remembered, Ei was always in the position of getting scolded when it came to getting hurt. The daily routine of Dante worrying about Ei, and Ei glancing then confirming that it wouldn’t happen in the future was repeated.

 

She probably guessed that she had lost his trust as she remembered the words she had failed to keep, yet Dante was thinking a little differently every time she did that.

 

He thinks it’s amazing how she sees herself, for example.

 

She doesn’t think it’s a big deal that she’s still hurt. She never makes a fuss about something hurting, and she only discovers it after someone else tells her about it, and then looks like she’s completely forgotten about it.

 

Moreover, she’s naturally indifferent, so if someone who isn’t in her line worries about her, she doesn’t pay any attention. There were times when even the concerns of those within her line were of no avail.

 

Yet despite this, she has promised Dante that she will be more careful in the future whenever she gets hurt.

 

Because she cares about him and no one else. Her getting hurt may not matter, but what Dante feels is important to her.

 

There are moments when you realize that you’re valuable to the other person, even if it’s not through direct words or actions. For Dante, it was like that when Ei looked at him, and every time she did that, he always felt his worry and conflicting emotions rising up.

 

If he had to explain it, it would be a kind of satisfaction. The satisfaction of knowing that he was always present in a corner of her mind, and that it was natural for them to exchange affectionate concerns.

 

But, Ei. I want you to like me more than you do now.

 

In the room where he was still alone, Dante muttered in an inaudible voice. I want you to go beyond feeling like I’m the only one for you, that you feel like you can’t live without me.

 

If that happens to you too…

 

“Maybe you could choose me instead of this dimension.”

 

Despite her long suffering, she might choose eternal life with him again.

 

…What a selfish wish this is.

 

Dante could no longer take pleasure in the sight before his eyes. Before his mood sank further, he put all the items back in their places. As if he didn’t touch anything and didn’t think about anything.

 

It was easiest for him to hide his greed under affection.

 

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