I can hear it…from the distance…the people who shouted “Normies, go explode!” as they read this chapter. Same, tbh. Enjoy!
I felt really thankful that Al was being earnest when asking about me, but I still felt really nervous and my heart was racing.
What was I supposed to do if he couldn’t help at all?
I stared at the spirit as I kept worrying like that. After the spirit glanced at me quickly, he simply replied 『No』.
『I don’t really see anything on her. If she summons a darkness spirit, she should be able to make a contract I think…? Though whether she summons a high level one or a middle level one depends on her luck…I can’t really say anything more though.』
“I see. But well, the thing is that she…failed at making the contract before. And we wanted to know why.”
『Really? And that’s why you decided to call me?』
“Yeah. Was it a bad idea?”
『Not really, you’re my master so you can do anything you want, though… 』
He fell silent for a while as he stared at me again. I was really afraid of whatever he would say, but in the end he just knit his brow and turned to Al.
『…I really wonder why she failed. I’m sorry, I have no idea. I don’t see anything on her that would turn a spirit away, so like I said before. If she tried she should be easily able to summon a darkness spirit… Are you sure it wasn’t just coincidence?』
—Could it really have just been coincidence?
Without noticing, my eyes focused on the spirit. If he was right, then I had been worrying for nothing.
I could’ve just given it another try, and established the contract with the spirit.
I tried my best to hold myself back from talking to the spirit. In most cases, a spirit wouldn’t want to get involved with anyone else except their master. I didn’t want to bother someone who had already done so much to help me.
Al nodded and spoke to the spirit.
“So that’s what you think then. Thanks. You can go back now.”
『Hm? You don’t need me for anything else then?』
“No, that was the only thing, sorry.”
The spirit smiled broadly while Al apologized.
『It’s okay, I don’t mind. Instead, you should call me every now and then. If you never call me even though we made a contract, I might get lonely.』
After hearing Al’s reply, the spirit nodded and vanished.
As soon as that happened, all the stress I had been holding back was suddenly released as I felt a heavy exhaustion filling my body.
My body started to fall forwards. Al noticed me lose my footing, so he sprang up and ran towards me.
“Are you okay?!”
“Yes…I’m just a bit…exhausted, that’s all.”
He sat beside me and took my hand. Feeling his warmth on my hand made me feel even more weak.
He looked somewhat surprised at my hand.
“Hey…Lily, your hand is cold. You were that stressed?”
I nodded silently.
I had felt so insecure after all.
The spirit could’ve said anything. Like…what if he said I would be unable to make a contract? Or that my affinity was gone?
But now all those negative thoughts that had plagued my mind had suddenly vanished, and I felt so relieved I almost passed away.
“…but I’m glad.”
I barely squeezed those words out as my voice was obviously trembling.
The contract had still not been done though, so it was too early to celebrate, but I still felt glad.
That fire spirit had said I would be able to make a contract if I summoned a spirit. So that time I tried had just been a bad coincidence, I just had bad luck.
But since another spirit had said it would work, it had to work.
“…Yeah, I’m glad too, Lily.”
He looked at me with a gentle gaze. And I replied as I tried my best to hold back my tears.
“Yes…I’m really…glad. I-if I…was told I wouldn’t be able to… I always worried…I wouldn’t…be able to…reach you.”
“Don’t say such terrible things. Do you think I have no feelings for you?”
“B-but…if I can’t make a contract then the royal family…”
…won’t accept the marriage. I was unable to say those last words, but Al understood what I meant. He started patting my back as he replied.
“I guess you ended up thinking about that even if you didn’t want to.”
As soon as I confirmed that, I was unable to hold back my tears any longer. In an instant, Al was hugging me.
“Lily, please don’t cry.”
His comforting words were so gentle they only increased my tears.
“I’m sorry…I just felt so relieved I…”
As soon as I felt like I wouldn’t have to give up on Al, my tears started to flow. Hearing me struggle so much to talk clearly, he just hugged me more tightly as he looked up as if wondering what he was supposed to do with me.
“Why…why do you have to be so cute?”
I looked up at him from inside his embrace. The tips of his ears were slightly red.
“I already knew you loved me. But was it this much? Do you love me so much you cry like this for me?”
I really loved him a lot.
In the start it was just love at first sight, then when I got to know him, I also loved who he was. He was gentle while always showing me what I should do to be better. He didn’t throw me aside, but always reached his hand out to me.
So as I get to know him, as I spent time with him, my love for him only increased.
Nowadays I couldn’t think of anyone else apart from Al. And if I were to lose him, I’d be lost on what to do. His presence grew like that inside me, occupying everything and taking over anything else.
I tightly gripped his jacket. He took a deep breath as if calming himself down, then began gently stroking my hair. Feeling his caring touch, my chest was filled with a warm feeling.
“It isn’t weird at all. Because I also love you a lot. I’m really glad you feel that way.”
I pressed my cheek against his chest. When I closed my eyes, I began to hear his heart beat. It pounded strongly, and really fast.
“Is your heart…racing too?”
I got too curious and asked him, he looked at me in defeat and slightly lost.
“Did you hear my heart right now? But yeah, whenever I’m with you my heart races like that. I always keep thinking what I should do to keep the cute you tied to me.”
“Huh? Do you really think that?”
I hadn’t even imagined he would be thinking of something like that.
Surprised, I turned my head up towards him, which left our faces really close to each other.
“Don’t get so surprised with this alone. But well, I can tell your heart is racing too. I can feel your heart when I hug you like this too.”
“Heheh, it’s really fast. And it’s all because you’re aware that I’m with you. It makes me happy.”
My body stiffened getting hugged so tightly by him.
I could hear his heart even more clearly. And I also began to hear my own heart starting to go crazy.
His soft and refreshing scent enveloped me and my mind began to go blank.
—This is bad, I’m about to pass out.
I couldn’t stay calm feeling Al’s body so close to mine.
My brain began to be overloaded and refused to work any longer.
I felt like I was overflowing with happiness, about to burst from it.
His voice was so sweet my ears felt like they were about to melt. And when his breath reached me, my shoulder twitched a bit.
—Ahh I can’t take it, I can’t handle it anymore. My mind and body aren’t listening anymore, I’m at my limit.
I turned my head up as I felt my brow boiling and met Al’s loving gaze looking at me.
“Your ears have turned completely red. It’s cute.”
“I…I know, you don’t have to tell me…it’s…e-embarrassing…””
I had already noticed my ears were burning. So it was obvious they had turned red.
And it was so embarrassing I couldn’t take it. But Al just chuckled.
“But I want to. Because you’re so cute and calm. But if you hated it, would you brush me away? Or oppose me? If you were to do that though, I would leave you without saying anything more.”
“I’m not cruel enough to keep hugging a woman that doesn’t want to be with me. So you can just say that you hate it, and I’ll go away, you can push me aside if you want. And even then, I wouldn’t hate you for it. But that’s already obvious I guess, because I’ve fallen for you.”
Me after finals