Chapter 14

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Author: lipzoldyck

 

 

I thought I had closed my eyes for a moment and opened them. No, it was actually just that much time.

 

In that short time, I had arrived at a place I had never been to before. The trees and grass that had filled my surroundings until just now were nowhere to be seen,, and a vast landscape that couldn’t be captured at a glance came into my field of vision.

 

It was truly a scene that could only come out of a dream. It was to the point where I felt as if the boundary between reality and unreality was collapsing in a situation that would have been even more strange if I had experienced it.

 

Where was I, you asked? Well, I don’t think I can say specifically where. If I really want to know, I will have to open a map and point at any sea. Maybe this one? While spitting out vague sounds.

 

Yes, I was floating in the air, in the sky with the wide sea below.

 

“Wait a minute.”

 

I stumbled in surprise as soon as I realized that I was floating in the air and that the sea was right under my feet.

 

Perhaps if Dante hadn’t held my waist, I might have lost my balance and fell. If I fall, well. Did I fall? I don’t think I’ll fall because Dante is here.

 

I couldn’t tell whether it was a relief or a sigh that burst out as I barely straightened my body.

 

“Ah, I’m surprised.”

 

“You are?”

 

“Are you serious? You gave me a preview of something like this suddenly, without saying anything.”

 

I tried to continue the words that were close to criticism. Because Dante didn’t seem to be listening to me. To be more precise, his words didn’t sound like he was sorry at all.

 

At that moment, Dante was looking at me as if he were seeing something very strange.

 

“This the first time I’ve seen you act surprised.”

 

“It doesn’t matter now, no. You saw it for the first time?”

 

“Yeah. Even when I used magic, you just thought I was a magician and moved on.”

 

I thought you would be surprised at the time, but you weren’t. Dante muttered as if he was talking to himself.

 

I was this surprised before, the first time I saw your face. Instead of spitting out the words that came to my mind, I chose to swallow them.

 

“I… see.”

 

I looked at the sea below, unable to hide my fearful expression, then removed Dante’s hand, which was still wrapped around my waist, and stepped cautiously.

 

It didn’t feel like I was stepping on something hard like the floor, nor did it feel like I was going to fall suddenly anyway. When I mustered up the courage to take a few more steps, I felt as if I was stepping on the ground after rain.

 

It was better than not feeling anything under my feet. After I made that decision, I turned around and saw Dante, who had moved as far away as I had moved.

 

For some reason, he was still looking down at his hands.

 

“How did you know about this place?”

 

“Yeah. You’re really cute.”

 

“Don’t talk nonsense.”

 

Only then did Dante smile at me when I made a grim look. The reason why my expression almost melted at that smile at the moment must have been because his smile was so silly.

 

“It’s not a place I’ve known before. I just came to know about this place while thinking about what to show you, and I came here because I thought this place was the best place to come around sunset, than other places.”

 

He thought it would be nice to come here at sunset. Hearing those words, my gaze went to the scenery unfolding in front of my eyes. It must have been because we were right in the middle of the sea, and apart from being frightened at first, it was a sight worth seeing.

 

The sky at the boundary between day and night was tangled with many colors, and so was the sea that reflected it. Even just looking at the sky as it is, I could see how clear and transparent the water was.

 

I lowered my gaze and watched the dazzling ripples shining in the sun shimmer for a moment, then raised my head again.

 

“Are we here for you to show off the most unusual magic in the world?”

 

Dante’s eyes twinkled as if he had been waiting for that question.

 

“I will show you the most special and beautiful magic in the world.”

 

“It feels like something has changed, and more details have been added.”

 

“If I’m going to show you anything, I want to show you something beautiful.”

 

That’s why I prepared. I thought I heard him say that.

 

Again, the wind blew from somewhere.

 

***

 

Dante tended to use magic without hesitation. Even in ordinary daily life, his magic often appeared, and I, who was by his side, could often see it as well.

 

However, when it comes to magic, I didn’t say anything particularly great about it, except when a broken wall came back to normal or when an entire room was rebuilt. It was because we spent extremely ordinary and boring days together, without needing to use any more magic.

 

That’s why I thought Dante was an excellent magician in my head, yet I had never clearly realized it. When estimating Dante’s magic ability, it always ended with vague imagination and reasoning.

 

But it was only at this moment, when Dante announced that he would show me an unusual magic, that I realized it.

 

I realized that even the magic I had considered great until now was nothing to Dante.

 

And the fact that I will never guess his limits.

 

When Dante used magic, most of the magic circles came to my mind. For now, that was the case in my memory, and I had heard from Dante that the act of drawing magic circles actually helped the magician.

 

Maybe that’s why I heard that he has a habit of drawing it even when he uses light magic that doesn’t require calculation. He said that it was okay because the others were just barely finishing the basic calculations while he was drawing the magic circle.

 

However, among the countless magic circles I had seen, there was no one made by overlapping a figure over and over again like this. Complicated but not distracting, it continued to grow and grow in size.

 

Between the sea and me, in that shallow gap, the magic circle emitted a subtle light and floated as if it were covering the sea.

 

I bent down and stretched out my hand toward that line, but it passed between my fingers without any sign of being disturbed. It was a strange and mysterious sight.

 

You, standing in the middle of a magic circle with light streaming out, closed your eyes and concentrated on magic. The bookshelf of the book in your hands turned over without a break.

 

You said that the book contains ancient magic that hasn’t even been properly interpreted. He was finally getting used to it, so he must have been unfamiliar with it.

 

Are you using this type of magic for the first time, I wonder. Yeah, because you said it was prepared for me. For me…

 

I stared blankly at the formulas being drawn over and over again. The magic circle that cut through the air was beautiful in itself.

 

As the sun increased its light, the soft magenta continued to blend with the intense vermilion, but neither was lost in the light of the other.

 

The light of the magic circle was now shining on the sea where only the sunset was shining, thus I thought that the bottom of my feet seemed more like a mirror than water. A mirror that shows both the inside and outside while gently swaying.

 

Inside the mirror were you and me.

 

What on earth are you putting so much effort into showing me? I felt my heartbeat beating faster than usual, yet at the same time, a corner of my chest felt cold. It felt a little bit frightening.

 

But what the hell?

 

Before I could think about it further, Dante opened his eyes. When I turned my head while looking at the formula, I made eye contact with you, and I had to look straight ahead at you smiling brightly at me.

 

The impression of him being cold if he wasn’t smiling collapsed in one glance. As the wind blew his black hair with a hint of purple, a smile as innocent as a child caught my eye.

 

I always think about it, but that face is really harmful to my eyes. Even in the midst of this, my mind, which was playing its role, calmly judged.

 

“You’ve waited a long time.”

 

“No, not really.”

 

Dante pulled my hand slowly. I didn’t bother to shake off that hand and followed his lead.

 

“I prepared a lot of things. When I drew this in advance, my colleague called me crazy.”

 

The magic hasn’t even started, but I can understand the feelings of that colleague just by looking at the magic circle drawn now.

 

“I didn’t get angry when I heard that as I thought I would show this to you. No, it’s just…”

 

Dante took about two steps back from me, hesitated, and finally covered his mouth with one hand and lowered his head.

 

There were only you and me here, and when you stopped talking, everything was quiet. All I could hear was the distant sound of waves.

 

The sound of water hitting somewhere and sweeping away filled my ears faintly.

 

Yet even for a moment, your voice continued. It was a very small voice that I might have missed if I wasn’t paying attention.

 

“It was fine because I thought of you.”

 

In an instant, a soft breath escaped from my lips. As if I had stopped breathing for a long time.

 

“Because I think… you will see this. I was rather happy, Ei. Really.”

 

I opened and closed my mouth. I was speechless, so I couldn’t say anything like a fool.

 

I didn’t understand. Why do you give me so much love? I’ve never received anything like this, and I thought I’d never get one. Why are youㅡ

 

No, wait.

 

Am i happy now?

 

When my head went blank as if I had been hit by something from the sudden realization, a voice flowed in. I hope you’re as happy to see this as I was. It was a soft and kind remark.

 

Eventually, the fully formed magic circle began to emit an enormous light all at once.

 

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