As a Person, as a Human
Daniela’s dinner did well for my tired body. It was also interesting to see a completely different outcome from the same ingredients that I had bought.
“It’s really good…”
“Thank you. I am quite proud of it myself. What do you think, Marie Elle?”
“Yes, it is very delicious.”
“I see, I see. But did you know that Asagi is a much better cook?”
“Oh, is that true! I would love to try it!”
“Ah, if the opportunity arises, I’d be glad to.”
I smiled as I saw how cheerful she looked. In reality, it was she who was going through the worst time. It couldn’t act so depressed. I’m older than her, I have to be strong…
The pot was quickly emptied. We had all been more tired and hungry than we thought. I had refilled my bowl twice. Well, that was still only half of what Daniel ate.
“You two should use the bath first. I’ll use it later.”
“Are you sure? Well, if you insist. Marie Elle, let us go.”
They disappeared behind the partition. I could hear some rustling and then the splash of water. As their voices rang happily, I tried to remember the dream that I had. But I couldn’t. With nothing else to do, I stared into the flames.
“I really am a wreck…but maybe that’s to be expected…”
The red flames blurred in front of me. I couldn’t focus. I rubbed my eyes with my hands, but it did little to help. And so I sat there, poking at the logs with a stick, and looking back at the day. There were a lot of thoughts, but no conclusion or common ground for it all…If there was one, I wouldn’t find it alone.
“Hahh…that was nice. Asagi, your turn.”
“Hmm…? Ah, out already? That was quick.”
“Really? It felt quite long to me… You must be very tired.”
Slowly, Daniela put her arms around my shoulders and embraced me. I could smell the soft scent of warm and moist skin. I drop the stick that I was holding and hug her back. Gently, as if she could break. And then Daniela tightened her embrace. She probably wanted me to do the same…she must. And when I did, she laughed happily. I was correct.
“Now, take your time and relax. Wash away the fatigue of the day.”
“Yeah, I will. Thanks.”
“It is nothing. We are partners.”
She said and kissed me on the cheek before standing up. I would have like to return the gesture… As I stare at her, her cheeks flushed for a reason that had nothing to do with coming out of a hot bath. Then she bent over and offered her cheek. Without a moment’s delay, I held her face in my hands, turned her face, and kissed her lips.
“Mm…ahhh. That was…surprisingly forward of you.”
“I don’t know…I just wanted to.”
“Hehe. If it is what you want, then you should. I am prepared to give you anything that you want from me.”
“I see…thank you, Daniela. Stay with me, forever.”
“Aye, forever. Now, hurry up and go.”
I stood up with a grunt and made my way over to the partition when I saw Marie Elle. Her face looked bright red.
She quickly hid behind it, but her shadow was clearly visible.
“Marie Elle. Over here.”
Red-faced and eyes downcast, Marie Elle slowly walked closer. I patted her cleaned hair and said gently:
“Marie Elle. You must have been so frightened by what happened today…”
“I don’t think you will ever be able to forget it.”
“That is likely…”
“But, I wouldn’t want you to forget today. The day that Daniela and I saved you. The day that you were saved. The day where you were given a chance to continue living. The sadness, the pain, turn it to your strength, and live.”
I wiped the tears that were falling from her eyes when she looked up. Then I gently pushed her towards Daniela. Daniela hugged her before picking her up and carried her to the tent. I watched them leave.
I added some water to the bath and reheated it with magic. The little power that I had recovered by resting was used up immediately. But at least I could relax in hot water now. If it came to it, I could still fight without using magic. Of course, I would still want time to dress if that happened.