Chapter 87 – Night
“Thank you so much!”
After I finished helping at the magic tool store, Mia bowed her head and thanked me repeatedly.
“This was a great experience for me. You taught me so many things that I didn’t know.”
I didn’t expect her to feel so strongly about it.
Still, it warmed my heart, and I was glad that I had helped her.
Even though I had not done all that much.
The work itself was easy compared to the amount of work I used to have to do.
“Please come again!”
Mia said, as she waved her hand and we parted ways.
I do hope that she becomes a good magic artificer one day.
It took me back to my younger self.
I had been so busy, and could rarely return home.
Those days were a blur. But I was not able to think back on that time with a little nostalgia.
Besides, I felt that working like that, exceeding my limits, had led to my skill improving.
But even then, that work environment was wrong and should not have been allowed.
It was with such thoughts that I reunited with Luke, and we had dinner.
We ate in a great dining hall that was connected to the Adventurers Guild.
“Can I have another plate of this!”
“…You’re going to eat more?”
“I always have more room for tripe stew!”
After a greatly satisfying dinner, in preparation for tomorrow, we returned to the inn.
“It’s a nice room. So, where’s mine?”
Luke said as he looked at the room.
Apparently, he thought there would be a room just for him.
“I’m very sorry about it, Luke. But there was only one room available.”
He looked confused, and so I explained.
“And so… You’re going to have to stay in this room.”
◇ ◇ ◇
Things had taken an unexpected turn.
And even though Luke Waldstein looked calm on the outside, he was currently experiencing confusion and restlessness like he had never felt before.
Luke had never slept in the same room as a friend.
Not only that, but this was with someone who he had feelings for for many years. So it was impossible for him not to be shaken.
(Calm down. You are just friends. So act normally.)
He turned his back to her and started to unpack, while pretending to be calm.
“I haven’t had a sleepover with a friend in a very long time!”
He heard her say cheerfully behind him.
But that alone made his heart beat faster, and he cursed his own weakness.
“When’s the last time you stayed with a friend, Luke?”
He opened his mouth carefully.
“I don’t remember. Maybe I never have.”
“Ah, I bet your family was strict about that kind of thing. Children of nobles might not be allowed to do that.”
She muttered as she rolled around on her bed.
“It cannot be helped. But as someone who is experienced in such matters, I shall teach you the proper etiquettes of sleepovers.”
Did such a thing exist?
Luke turned to look at her, questioningly.
“Magic quiz game! Yes!”
“Yes. When having a sleepover with a friend, it is good manners to play magic quiz games until you fall asleep.”
“…Sounds like something you just want to do.”
“Hey, hey. Are you so afraid of losing?”
Luke was annoyed now, and so he decided to do everything he could to win.
While she had a deep knowledge of things that interested her, she had many blindspots as well.
And Luke knew a lot about her weaknesses.
Because he had observed her for so long.
“No, this can’t be happening…”
“I win. Well, good night, then.”
“One more time! One more game!”
She hated to lose, and wanted to continue until she won.
Oh, dear. But he went along with it. Happy to be wanted.
I am reflected in your eyes now.
You are close by, saying my name.
That alone makes me happy, so that I want nothing else.
However, he started to realize something as well.
That such times together were coming to an end.
After the battle with the Holy Blade, she had become an even more renowned magician.
And now, even His Majesty the king was interested in her.
Her potential and talent was starting to really show. And that was pushing them apart.
But he would still not give up.
He would reach out his hand.
For the thing that was important to him.
“Good night, Noelle.”
She was tired and had fallen asleep, and so I put a blanket over her, and then turned off the magic lantern.
Prove my worth.
To be by your side.
To stay in your world.
There are no doubts.
I knew from the beginning, what it would take.
And I will do anything.
I had already made my decision.