Author: lipzoldyck

 

My last memory was definitely of the twilight dawn with faint blue light leaking through the cracks in the windows. I think I fell asleep while watching the sun rise, but I don’t know exactly when.

 

But one thing is for sure, it’s midday.

 

“Hmm…”

 

As I barely lifted my eyelids, the sunlight entered my eyes as if it had been waiting for me. As I reflexively frowned and tried to turn my head, I felt a weight around my shoulder. And warm body temperature too.

 

“…”

 

Turning my eyes, I looked down and saw Dante’s arm wrapped around me. In fact, it was more accurate to say that it was placed on top of me rather than wrapped around me. Maybe he was holding me, but I tossed and turned then he was pushed away.

 

It was as if he had fallen asleep without any care for the world. I carefully removed Dante’s arm with blurry vision, yet Dante still didn’t wake up.

 

It’s been a long time since I slept late, so everything was bothersome. The power that came after waking up came to an end after I barely turned over. I didn’t even want to get up, so I lowered my hand under the bed in a sprawling position, and I touched something other than the cold floor. Something rustling and slippery… Kind of like a shirt.

 

But I don’t know whose shirt it was. I could have turned my head out or lifted my arm to check the shirt, but even that was too much of a hassle now. To the point where I feel like it’s a big deal that I didn’t go back to sleep in the same position I touched the shirt.

 

At times like this, I was so envious of Dante. Something would fly at the flick of his finger.

 

But my husband, who can do that kind of magic, was sound asleep, so I decided I just didn’t care whose shirt it was. I’m lucky if it’s my shirt, if it’s Dante’s… It will be comfortable because of the large size.

 

I struggled to pull up the shirt and draped it over my body. Of course, it took a lot of effort to put the arm in place, but in the end, I decided to put the significance of wearing it properly. It was a bonus that I was a little awake because I was messing around too much.

 

I put on the shirt and lay down again, only to get up when I realized I couldn’t do this. Actually, I didn’t have to force myself to get up, but looking at the sunlight outside the window, I felt a sense of crisis that I might blow the day away.

 

It’s been years since I overslept like this, a hundred… How many hundred is it? Thinking quite meaninglessly, I stepped under the bed, and a cold touch touched my feet.

 

Again, I had just woken up and my brain wasn’t quite awake yet. Which means, I didn’t even have time to think about anything else on the floor.

 

I should have remembered what happened yesterday since I picked up the shirt.

 

“Aakh!”

 

When I felt an unexpected pain, I let out a shrieking scream without realizing it. Reflexively, I lifted my foot and checked underneath, and saw a chess piece placed exactly where I had stepped. No, why is the chess piece on the floor here…

 

Wait. Chess piece?

 

Before I even realized that the chess piece I was stepping on was the king, I suddenly felt a strong pull on my waist.

 

“…Dante?”

 

In the blink of an eye, my vision flipped. It wasn’t long before I realized that I had returned to the bed I had barely gotten out of. After blinking for a moment, I looked up and saw purple eyes staring at me full of anxiety.

 

After examining my appearance with shaky eyes, when I was only making a puzzled expression, he softened his expression and hugged me deeply.

 

As if I was relieved, I didn’t say anything, but belatedly opened my mouth.

 

“You’ve woken up?”

 

“…You suddenly screamed.”

 

“I didn’t scream that loud…”

 

When he said that, he briefly showed his face, and he made an expression as if the volume of my voice was now important.

 

“Hmm, I forgot about the chess pieces scattered on the floor and stepped on one. It was no big deal.”

 

If I had just remembered the reason I slept in today, I would have been more careful, so it certainly wasn’t a big deal. As the pain in my feet, which had been a bit throbbing, disappeared, I belatedly recalled the events of yesterday.

 

I decided to just play a game of chess with Dante, but since it was right before bedtime, we decided to climb on the bed and play it, and added the condition that the person who lost jokingly would grant the wish of the winner.

 

And while working hard to play chess… Ah, but who won? I don’t remember this.

 

Perhaps the game of chess was over without knowing who won. We didn’t even think to bring a chess board because I didn’t have enough space, so we turned it over under the bed…

 

Hmm. Anyway, it went like that.

 

“Didn’t this happen the other day when we were playing a card game?”

 

“Yeah, at that time, you almost stepped on the card and slipped.”

 

“And you didn’t wake up this mad back then.”

 

When I answered like that, our staring eyes met. As I quietly brushed Dante’s sunlit eyes, a disgruntled voice flowed in.

 

“…You should have woken me up.”

 

“If you had woken up, why? Will you clean it up?”

 

Dante reacted again to the lightly thrown words. As if there was no reason to explain it in words, I lifted the arm that was holding me and gestured, and then I heard a rumble and something rolling all at once. The messy floor was quickly tidied up, and the chess pieces that had been lying around disappeared.

 

As expected, I’m envious of him.

 

“Thank you for clearing it up.”

 

“You’re welcome.”

 

The nonchalant answer seemed pointless. I said, I want to get up now that it’s been cleaned up, but I realized that my voice had subsided and I kept my mouth shut, yet before I knew it, Dante was looking down at me again.

 

“…Why?”

 

“…”

 

What are those conflicted eyes?

 

I secretly frowned at his questionable appearance, but Dante put me in his arms again.

 

“Let’s sleep a little longer. Until the other day, you said it was weird to oversleep when we had guests, yet you kept waking up early.”

 

“I don’t need more sleep, neither of us really needs sleep.”

 

“But you said sleeping helps you recover. Yesterday must have been difficult…”

 

“Stop.”

 

“Mm…”

 

There was a faint hint of laughter in the voice that answered with a muffled pronunciation. I hated that, so I looked at him once, then again, because he was handsome with his eyes closed and the corner of his lips slightly raised, and in the end, just as Dante said, I decided to sleep more.

 

I decided to ignore the sun shining and floating on the blanket and found a comfortable position, but I suddenly remembered something, so I spoke to Dante again.

 

“But your shirt is too big.”

 

“No, you’re the tiny one.”

 

“…What did you say just now?”

 

Whether he was really asleep or pretending to be asleep, Dante didn’t answer. It was, once again, ridiculous, so I was admiring Dante’s face, and without realizing it, I fell asleep naturally.

 

***

 

To put it simply, the reason why only the two of us were left in this large Magic Tower was this.

 

After the conversations that had to be finished, Dante spoke first, saying that this time we should go and live in a place with a lot of people. Perhaps because of the incident just before the loss of me, living in a remote place seemed uneasy, and I answered yes because I understood Dante.

 

However, not long after we talked about it, Dante showed signs of pondering for several days, and then said this.

 

“Let’s just live here.”

 

Here? Are you talking about this place where I can’t even see people at all?

 

Even Dante didn’t listen to the invitation to go down to the capital for a while. No, even if we live here, shouldn’t you stop by the capital at least once? There are people who came to pick you up, you know?

 

In the midst of such absurd situations, as if she had expected it, Lily only smiled faintly.

 

“It doesn’t matter if you live here, but it’s not bad to visit once.”

 

“Not bad, but not good either, eh. It’s just a hassle to go to the capital. It’s safer to be alone here.”

 

“Hey, what should we do if the Master of the Magic Tower hates work?”

 

Dante laughed at my scolding and replied:

 

“I haven’t worked for about 10 years, Ei.”

 

So you’re proud of it? Whether I was dumbfounded or not, Dante was still just standing there with a smile on his face. Although he usually listened to me, I couldn’t figure out why he was so stubborn. I didn’t ask for anything big, though.

 

“Miss Ei.”

 

Lily said, who continued to smile, showing no signs of giving up.

 

“Do you remember what I asked you to do before?”

 

“The favor?”

 

“Yes.”

 

And the voice continued like a whisper.

 

“Please help me take the Master of the Magic Tower to the capital.”

 

Ah, that’s what she meant. It was only then that I understood what I had heard a long time ago.

 

***

 

To put it simply, in the end, the attempt on going to the capital with Lily and the others failed. This is because there was no one who could ‘carry’ Dante in a physical sense.

 

In the end, I ended up staying in the desolate towerㅡDante repaired it, but it was still desolate because there were only few peopleㅡwhere only Dante and I were left, and I found it surprisingly not bad. No, it wasn’t bad, it was rather good.

 

For me, well, there are a lot of books I haven’t read here, and there’s also my husband’s face that I can’t get tired of looking at, but Dante, who actually said let’s live here, looked somewhat uneasy. Anyone who sees it will think that I was the one who said no to going to the capital.

 

It was like that before. It’s not that Dante is a deep sleeper in the first place, but that doesn’t mean that he wakes up at the slightest sound.

 

The fact that he woke up because I screamed, the fact that he was relieved after looking at me, and the fact that I was told not to wake up and just sleep again, were all the same.

 

And after waking up from a deep sleep, he even inspected the magic circles around.

 

I let out a small sigh as I watched Dante’s back doing what he did yesterday. If you can’t even hide that you’re so anxious, why did you ask to be here? Shouldn’t we go to a place with a lot of people as you wish?

 

And when it comes to places with a lot of people, the capital is the best. It’s not like Dante doesn’t know that fact, though.

 

During the 10 years we were separated, I decided to think about it alone for my husband, who had become quiet in useless places. What is the reason why Dante, who has nothing to fear, doesn’t want to escape from the Magic Tower?

 

[It’s safer to be alone here.]

 

“Ah.”

 

I suddenly remembered something, so when I looked up, I could feel Dante’s gaze looking this way.

 

“What is it, Ei?”

 

After checking the magic circle, he seemed to have improved a little, and the anxiety like before had completely disappeared. Walking through the scenery in the sunset light, he certainly looked better than before.

 

But if you don’t ask me anything, you’ll be living next to me anxiously again.

 

In the midst of the catchy clues, I smiled faintly at Dante.

 

“Dante.”

 

“Mm.”

 

“Your magic communication tool, if I use it, can I talk to Masha?”

 

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