Synopsis: A fast-paced story about a youngster who loses everything and everyone he holds dear. Through the only family that still remains with him, his uncle, he gets to choose to dedicate his focus and attention to blacksmithing rather than to fall into depression and street life...
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When I think about it, it feels like something happens all the time at dusk. The matter with Eliza a few days ago, and the discussion after that. It was also after school when I heard from Senpai his past.
…….Oh yeah, wasn’t it also after school when we first met?
Our time during the day is very short despite the memorable red sight that remained. At this time, I became sentimental without reason…… Today, I encountered a suspicious person. Am I really not cursed?
Keeping a certain distance, neither I nor he(?) moved, and a few minutes have already passed. I was also considering if I should prepare for battle like a magician here but alas, I am an amateur in fighting magic. Besides, the person with a paper bag on his/her head in front of me is wearing a school uniform. If this person was the same kind like Eliza and her friends… he/she is not fashionable.
Wondering what to do, I kept on worrying if it is worth it to scream any time……
While staring at the suspicious person, I noticed one thing.
It was a coarse brown paper bag that covers the head. This is a general-purpose item that can be bought at the store inside the hospital. Regardless of how it is used, it is not unusual. It should be below notice.
I am distracted by the “uniform”, but the “contents” strangely gives me a sense of déjà vu. Maybe because he/she is leaning against a lower wall that he/she looked somewhat stooped but…… this person is tall. I am quite familiar with the proportion of the upper body and the lower body. The proportion of the length of the legs is almost enviable.
I muttered half-unconsciously. The person with a paper bag in his head turned a little towards me and slowly inclined his head to one side.
Step by step, I slowly approached him. Even though nothing has changed in terms of appearance, both surprise and confusion vanished somewhere when I noticed it. Oh yeah, his elegant uniform that I remembered was a little disordered. Although it is plain, his shoes seem to be a little expensive.
I called him clearly this time instead of sounding doubtful. The person with a paper bag that slightly looked at me again quickly shook its head.
I touched . . . his hand. Unlike a girl’s hand, it was a strong hand where bones and veins stood out. A hand that was big, warm and had reached out to me many times.
It was definitely his hand. The feel of the gently tangled fingertips made me somehow tear up. His presence that wraps around me was painfully kind. I remember it well.
He kept silent but still, he did not brush off my hand. He just slowly shook his head, pointed his unconnected hand… towards the direction of the dormitory ahead of the corridor.
“Go home.” If I borrow Monica’s words, “It is okay to escape.” I was told to avoid being involved with the Kralvane family which began after school that day.
That is the right way if I think about my future.
………….But I can’t do it.
Those words of denial are for him, for Monica, and for myself. I don’t want to return. I do not want to let go of this hand yet. I want to see Senpai without the paper bag. I can’t help it, because I missed him.
So for the first time, I called him by his name. Not as someone from the aristocratic, prestigious Kralvane family, but the name of the eccentric Senpai that I know.
For a moment, his shoulders trembled and he silently lowered his hand. And then, he slowly turned his body towards me and the hand he used to show me the exit moved toward my cheek. To that hand that was big, warm and had touched me gently, I drew my head nearer.
“…I’m sorry. Even though it was I who told you to stop. It is too early to revoke that, right?”
Really, I can’t say anything to Eliza. I know it is selfish of me to withdraw the previous statement in just five days.
A nasty person, a foolish woman. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
“……Didn’t you have any business with me?”
The voice of Senpai that I haven’t heard for a long time was a bit husky. But as I expected, it was him under that paper bag judging by his voice, I am very happy just by that.
……I miss him.
“It’s different. I was looking for you for five days because of stupid reasons.”
He slowly shook his head again. That’s right, I saw this movement in the cafeteria before. The strange Senpai who makes sharp looks, is somewhat out of sync, and looks cute at times.
“I missed you.”
As I reached out my hand, the paper bag was easily removed. Being illuminated by the sunset, his hair is shining like a blade and his beautiful golden eyes reflected my stupid expression. Like a story’s prince whose curse was broken, his appearance dominated the red world. Really, this handsome wretch. He was so dazzling that tears came out of my eyes.
“Five days is unexpectedly long, isn’t it?”
Before I could enjoy his glittering appearance, I was trapped in his arms. While we were holding hands, it was a crushing force other than that. Rather than hugging, this is “clinging”. Because there is regret in this Prince’s heart.
“The five days were long.”
“I missed you. I wanted to meet you, Meryl.”
“I also looked for you. You are good at hiding, aren’t you?”
“The meal was unappetizing. I disliked food for the first time.”
“I also couldn’t eat much.”
Five days worth of words flowed gently, thrown at each other. It was only a matter of having lunch together, but it is also confirmed that such things were quite important. We contemplated the time we spent together.
……I’m happy we’re together at this moment.
“Meryl, I cannot tell you to believe me. After all, I could not find the words to successfully convey to you.”
The arms hugging me suddenly slackened and I raised my head. Like the other day after school, with our foreheads touching, Senpai stared at me.
“The ‘reason’ of the Kralvane family I told you at the start was not a lie. It won’t change either.”
The prestigious family wants my “constitution” and “womb”. Perhaps, as Monica said, as a “tool”.
“…However, that’s another story. Can’t I, Gilbert, be allowed to personally want to stay by your side?”
Golden eyes painfully pierced straight through me. With wrinkles between the eyebrows, his frightened face seemed about to cry. And yet, it quivered so as not to evade.
“The trouble is that I, Meryl Foster, do not dislike spending time with Gilbert-senpai. Separated for just five days, I’ve searched for you around.”
So reaching out my hands, I slightly stood on a tiptoe and stroked his head. I think he is more troubled about the “Kralvane” than I. A cute person who said unpleasant things and yet, he told me he wants to be with me. A lovable person.
Surely…… the person that I like.
“Can we not separate?”
“Me too. I’m a girl who only has a constitution, but if you don’t mind.”
He hugged me slowly so as not to squeeze me this time. My heart and body is full of Senpai. It is very comfortable. If I would be told that this was actually all about “persuasion”, I won’t regret it.
It’s frustrating but I’m happy.
That day, we went home together for the first time. As usual, we were holding hands.
The scenery on our way home that I should have been used to seeing was somehow very, very beautiful.