Chapter 13

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Author: lipzoldyck

 

Dante asked for a chance. He told me to think about it one more time, and if I didn’t change my mind even then, he would give up neatly.

 

Since those words were the same as saying that he wouldn’t leave until he heard my answer, naturally, the time Dante stayed in this house also increased.

 

I understand that he will give in and stay longer here. But in the end, I couldn’t understand why he acted as if this place was his home from the beginning.

 

Originally, I wasn’t the type to care too much about changes in the other person, so I realized later that Dante was behaving surprisingly calmly.

 

I think I’ll have to go grocery shopping again next week, but I even noticed it while we were talking about what day would be good. Our relationship itself is obviously the landlord and the lodger, so why are we having conversations that would be exchanged between housemates?

 

It was absurd that Dante said in response to my question, “I just wanted to help.”. He’s being selfish, not helpful.

 

Anyway, if that naturalness is part of an effort to change my mind, I’d like to honestly admit that it was a smart choice.

 

From a certain moment, I also considered Dante as a part of my daily life. I took it for granted that Dante would come to meet me when I returned from going out, and when I prepared food and stuff, I prepared his share without realizing it.

 

It’s been a while since I’ve felt this way, yet I didn’t say it out of fear of giving Dante hope.

 

Somehow, it seemed that Dante acted to aim for this point, which hurt my pride unnecessarily.

 

As time went by, there was a day when I was walking in the woods alone because Dante said he had something to do.

 

He was often away from home these days. At first, he said that he had to let his colleagues know that he was alive, but today, he had to go to fix itㅡas it was more chaotic than expected while he was goneㅡin fact, I didn’t know the details.

 

As a result, the amount of time I was alone and the number of days I felt bored increased. Before he came, I didn’t share my time alone with someone, yet now the difference between the two was clear.

 

The only time I can think alone, I thought about you. You, who said you loved me

 

And I thought about me who couldn’t completely reject you.

 

At this point, I had no choice but to admit it honestly. Far from hating Dante, I had what could be called a liking for him.

 

However, rather than accepting the feeling, I chose to ignore it by deliberately not thinking deeply about it. As I was afraid to face what I was feeling.

 

However, Dante keeps going through my head and shaking my heart so that I keep realizing what my original feelings were. In the end, I reached the point where I couldn’t avoid it even if I wanted to.

 

If I finally admit that I was shaken by Dante and accept him, can we end up sharing our hearts together like everyone else?

 

Obviously I can’t. Because the longer I spend with Dante, the more it will become apparent that I’m not normal.

 

Among the things I realized as I lived a long time, there were two things that were most valuable. If I start having attachments to the past, I won’t be able to endure it, and that it will be a great pain for me to not be able to endure an infinite amount of time, as I can’t face a perfect death unlike ordinary people.

 

I hated being in pain. That’s why I forgot the past, the affection and kindness I received, the faces of the people who gave me affection and were kind to me. If you remember and meditate on the things you left, there is no doubt that you will have regrets.

 

Whether I really forgot or was deliberately trying not to remember, but it didn’t matter now.

 

Every time I felt happy because of the promise that I wouldn’t have any regrets about the past, I felt anxious at the same time. All the present will someday become the past, and happy memories always remain as regrets. It was only when a daily life that could be passed on casually was maintained that I could feel relieved, and even if something unexpected happened, I didn’t put a lot of weight on it on purpose.

 

If I were with you, I’d be happy right now, but will that joy still remain in the end? Whether you change your mind and leave quickly, or on the contrary, stay by my side for a long time, and in the end, I will be left alone.

 

From the time I came over here, I repeatedly met people and bid them goodbye. However, the type of separation I went through wasn’t very mild. In extreme terms, either I died or the other person died.

 

No one who has ever been by my side hasn’t left me, and no matter how much you love me now, you will leave me. Then when that time comes, I will try to forget you as always.

 

Yet something has changed. Instinctively, I realized that if I let you, I wouldn’t be able to forget you, even with difficulty, unlike other people who were easily forgotten.

 

By then, it will be faster to blow away all memories than to forget you.

 

Thus, accepting you was like being willing to face avoidable pain.

 

It was all a lie that I pretended to think of you as much as I thought you were wasted on me. I was thinking only of myself from beginning to end. When you disappear, I will be left alone.

 

Only when I thought so, I concluded that it was right to reject you.

 

But why can’t I tell you to get out of my house, I wonder.

 

Dante didn’t stay here all the time, he was just given a brief reprieve. I knew that, and you knew better.

 

So if I tell you to leave my house and never come back, our relationship will end. Because you can’t disobey me and I won’t find you, who disappeared anywhere.

 

It’s a relationship that can be ended so easily, why on earth?

 

I had never been shaken like this before, and I tried not to, yet I was experiencing a lot of things I could never have imagined because of someone who fell from somewhere.

 

I sighed. As I thought it was endless. There were only two options, but it was frustrating to be at a loss.

 

I walked through the woods for several hours, but only floating thoughts passed by: I don’t know why I’m like this, whether I’m like this because of that face, or that I shouldn’t have treated him in the first place.

 

Time passed, and the blue sky was turning into the evening light.

 

The moment I blinked slowly, thinking that the sun was going down, a wind blew from somewhere. It was a wind I had recently become accustomed to.

 

I guess he’s using magic again to come this way. Strangely as I muttered that, I seemed to think that the wind would touch me that day.

 

I didn’t care about my fluttering hair, I reached out my hand through it. Something purple and gold shimmered between my fingers then slowly slipped away.

 

Instead of slipping through my fingers, there was something naturally grabbing my hand. I looked up, and Dante’s eyes met.

 

A smiling face came into my view, and I felt the touch of a hand gently pulling on my arm. Dante, who seemed to lower his head for a moment, whispered in my ear.

 

“I came to see you, my love.”

 

***

 

“Who are you calling your love?”

 

“You called me that last time too. I’m just saying it.”

 

He speaks really well. Whether I glared at him or not, Dante smiled cheerily. It seems that the frequency of him laughing has increased a lot lately. Ah, it’s because of me. Damn it.

 

At the moment, my head hurt, making him press a spot between my eyebrows, asking anxiously where it hurts. The hand that touched my forehead was kind. I don’t know why my face gets hotter when it touches his cold hand.

 

Dante, who had been putting his hand on my forehead for a moment, lowered it while frowning.

 

“Looks like you have a fever.”

 

“No, it’s not a fever. My head only hurts for a while.”

 

“It hurts? Shouldn’t you go and rest soon?”

 

I can’t say, “It’s because of you.” Lately, there have been a lot of cases where I swallow back words that have reached the end of my throat. For example, now that Dante is pushing his face closer.

 

I was torn between the urge to push the face away and to just grab and pull it closer.

 

The one who won the conflict was rather to do nothing.

 

“Enough, I’m not sick. Even if I do, it doesn’t last long and I get better quickly.”

 

Even if I die, I will quickly come back to life, so what’s the point of being sick? As I thought to myself, I roughly waved my hands, and Dante made a, hmm sound, straightened his body.

 

“Then I’m glad.”

 

“Yeah, yeah. You’re glad, so let’s go home now.”

 

I can’t think about it anymore because he’s here, that’s why I’ll just think about it next time. I dragged Dante without sincerity.

 

Yet strangely, he didn’t move from his spot. Is he holding on because my strength is weak right now?

 

“I promised the other day that I would show you the most unusual magic in the world.”

 

“Ah, you did. Why?”

 

“I will show you that now.”

 

Right now? I wanted to ask that, but Dante’s eyes were twinkling like an excited child, so I just kept my mouth shut. It was the same when we first met, and now, in many ways, it seems to be a weakness of my eyes, is it an illusion? I hope I’m mistaken.

 

“Hold my hand. We have to go up a little bit.”

 

“Go up?”

 

Before I could hear an answer, a magic circle appeared under my feet. And me being swept away by magic was an instant.

 

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