Author: lipzoldyck

 

After slamming the door shut, shame and embarrassment rose to the top of my head. I was breathing out and locked the doorknob, and I could hear urgent footsteps in the distance.

 

“Ei!”

 

I felt the vibration of a knock on the door, Dante calling my name. However, I didn’t answer the call and sat down in front of the door.

 

The previous situation kept repeating itself in my mind. I threw the card away and ran away, but I don’t know what the people who were there would think. No, I really didn’t know what they would think. Damn it.

 

I’d rather have somehow ignored what Dante said. Of course, considering that people’s eyes were focused at that moment, ignoring it wouldn’t have solved it, but I think anything would have been better than running away.

 

Running away is like confirming to people what Dante said…

 

Once again, I slammed the innocent door in shame. When I did so, I heard no more knocking, as if the one on the other side had stopped knocking.

 

It was only for a moment that the surroundings became quiet, and then a voice that seemed to be crawling on the floor was heard.

 

“I was wrong, Ei…”

 

“…”

 

…I wanted to ask what he was doing wrong. Yet no matter what Dante answered, it was clear that the shame would be on my side.

 

I knew in my head that even Dante would be quite ashamed, but my mood wasn’t accepting that. I took a few deep breaths and opened my mouth.

 

“How could you say that there?”

 

“The words popped out without going through my mind.”

 

So, does it make sense for people to talk without thinking? I almost got angry at the moment, but I held back my anger by clenching my fists once.

 

After exchanging a few words with Dante, my face became hot again. As my fever rose, it felt like my thoughts kept bouncing in that direction, thus I hurriedly put my hand on my cheek. My hand, which must have been at the same temperature as usual, felt cold for some reason.

 

I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve been so embarrassed. As I was preoccupied with calming the heat on my face and gave no reply, Dante spoke again.

 

“I’m sorry. Can’t we talk face to face?”

 

“…”

 

Knock, knock, I heard that again. Dante persistently asked for the door to be opened.

 

Listening to that earnest voice, it seemed that I came back to my senses after the embarrassment. However, even then, I didn’t dare to open the door.

 

To be precise, I didn’t have the confidence to talk face to face with him. I haven’t calmed down yet, but if I saw Dante’s face, I felt like I would run away again like before.

 

Once we’re home, there is nowhere to run to anymore.

 

I got up from my seat and thought for a while before grabbing the doorknob.

 

And without opening the door… I put my hand down.

 

“Yeah. But not right now.”

 

“‘Right now’…?”

 

Dante repeated my words as if he was puzzled. I spoke in a very kind voiceㅡI don’t even know if it sounded that way even to Danteㅡwith a little more ease than before.

 

“I can’t see your face now, so go out somewhere.”

 

“Huh? You want me to go out?”

 

A panicked voice echoed from the other side. I feel like I’m a bit selfish right now, but what about it?

 

As a person who can’t even leave the house for a while, I think it’s okay to be grumpy like this.

 

I couldn’t see the situation outside the door, yet I could tell what Dante’s expression was. He must be standing in front of the door, fidgeting his fingers.

 

I deliberately waited for Dante’s answer without saying anything. There was silence for a while, and then a shrunken voice was heard.

 

“…Can’t I just stay in my room? I will never show my face.”

 

“No, then it will look like I’m locking you up.”

 

It seems like there is no difference between kicking him out of the house and locking him in a room, you say? No, it’s completely different. It was different in that once I put him in the house, Dante would somehow talk to me.

 

I mean, I need some time to be alone right now. Perhaps feeling that I wouldn’t back down, Dante eventually declared surrender.

 

“…How long do I have to go out?”

 

“When do you want to come in?”

 

When I asked, there was no answer. I wondered at the silence that lasted longer than expected, yet I heard a shameless answer.

 

“After 10 minutes?”

 

I shouted.

 

“Come in at dinner!”

 

***

 

D5.

 

A moment later after Ei’s evil command fell.

 

Dante was standing somewhere in the sky, with a clear view of the town. A magic communication port was floating in front of him, and someone’s voice flowed from the device.

 

[So now… You’re kicked out of the house? ]

 

Dante’s secretary, Rook, said as if he was dumbfounded. A lament that didn’t feel like the boss’ lament sounded absurd, yet Dante didn’t care.

 

Rather, he sighed as if to listen, and replied in a depressing tone.

 

“Yeah.”

 

[…The person who didn’t listen to me no matter how much I asked you to contact me, contacted me belatedly and told me… that you had a fight.]

 

The communication port buzzed, sending out Rook’s displeasure. Dante skillfully ignored his words and muttered in a low voice as if he was talking to himself.

 

“As expected, I should have seen the redness on her face earlier.”

 

[Pardon? All of a sudden?]

 

“Hm. I’ve never seen her so shy.”

 

It was really cute… After talking like a sigh, Rook, whose face was reflected in the communication port, frowned as if his ears had rotted.

 

[What’s the point of regretting it now? I heard you can only go home in the evening anyway.]

 

“That’s why I’m saying this.”

 

[Everything is fine, but why are you saying that to me… No, nevermind. Since you contacted me first, I have something to tell you.]

 

Rook shook his head and said.

 

[I found out who attacked the Tower Master.]

 

“…”

 

Dante’s expression, which had been relaxed softly, hardened in an instant. A kind energy slowly drifted into his eyes, and soon a lifeless gaze was fixed on Rook’s face.

 

[As the Tower Master would have expected, there was no twist. They’re the degenerates of the Magic Tower.]

 

Flip, he heard the sound of papers being flipped. The secretary looked at the paper containing their personal information for a while, then continued.

 

[Anyone who can be called the leader… Here it is. It’s said that he was expelled from the Magic Tower after attempting an illegal human experiment 20 years ago. Would you like me to tell you their name?]

 

“No. What’s the use of knowing their name?”

 

[I knew you would be like that.]

 

Dante and his secretary were casually exchanging conversations, but the atmosphere that hovered between them wasn’t light. Rather, there was a sharp tension that seemed as if they would deal with anyone right away.

 

That group, called the degenerates, was a constant headache for the Magic Tower. Because they were determined to satisfy their evil desires with magic, against the Magic Tower, which united magicians for the purpose of pursuing knowledge.

 

They were magicians who once worked in the Magic Tower, but were immersed in their talents and did things they shouldn’t, then were even kicked out.

 

Even so, it seemed so foolish of them to not give up and covet more powerful power.

 

Dante, even for a moment, remembered those who had attacked him in order to take the position of the Tower Master and obtain ancient magic that only the Tower Master could access.

 

[However, they’re strangely quiet after attacking the Tower Master. There is no activity, like a rat holding its breath. ]

 

“It looks like they are reorganizing.”

 

He thought they deserved it. They had poured their magic on Dante in an instant to the point of seriously hurting him, he would have reached a dangerous level if he didn’t concentrate on recovering right away because his mana had run out.

 

Dante recalled the day he had come here, and let out a small laugh.

 

It seems like they knew he wouldn’t die and tried to neutralize it somehow, but it was all in vain.

 

[If you want to give a detailed report, I think it would be better for you to read the documents yourself… In that sense, when are you planning to stop by the Magic Tower again?]

 

“…”

 

[You still have no intention of coming back, right? ]

 

Because you don’t want to get away from your lover. Rook said sullenly.

 

In fact, there was an ambiguity in those words. Ei was no longer his lover, but his wife, and the reason he was staying here wasn’t to keep her on his side.

 

Yet Dante had no intention of explaining the circumstances to his secretary. Thus he didn’t point out where the secretary was mistaken, only cutting off the conversation.

 

“I’ll be there tomorrow, so stop being sarcastic.”

 

[Really? If you don’t come, I will come find you, though? ]

 

What did he mean by coming to find him? He passed Rook’s words without thinking deeply.

 

“Sure. So, are you done talking now?”

 

[No, it’s not over, but… Do you have any urgent business? ]

 

“Do the rest later.”

 

It was Rook who was in a hurry, as he was about to disconnect. Dante didn’t hesitate to check his secretary, who had brought his face too close to the communication port.

 

“I’m going back now.”

 

[Pardon? You said she told you to come back in the evening.]

 

“I can’t wait until dinner.”

 

For the first time in a while, he remembered the day he was hurt. Dante spoke to his secretary one last time before disconnecting the communication port.

 

“I won’t be around for long tomorrow, so take care of yourself.”

 

[Tower Master! ]

 

Communication was cut off after a single scream. Soon after, a magic circle appeared in the sky, and Dante disappeared on the spot.

 

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