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Chapter 82 – Determination
“Aix, thank you.”
Aix had rescued Luca from the Rabbit-sama. Wait! How about Mother Rabbit? A shiver ran through Aix.
While thinking about such things, Luca’s expression gradually became sullen.
“… You didn’t come to help me for a while, what were you doing with Amine?”
“Ugh. We were attacked by people from Honey Trap earlier. I tried to sacrifice myself to settle things. Um, don’t make such an anxious face, we solved it with money in the end.”
For some reason, I ended up stumbling over my explanation. I didn’t do anything wrong.
“Why didn’t you fight back?”
I felt like an unrewarded hero. This is the responsibility of those who have power.
“My power is not meant for harming people. I made an adult choice that wouldn’t hurt anyone.”
I hoped Luca could understand, but the response I received was a verbal lashing.
Luklca’s pained expression, as if she were about to cry, was hard to take out of my eyes.
Why is she making that face?
“Why do you always sacrifice yourself? Criminals don’t need mercy.”
“But… if we talk properly, we should be able to understand each other.”
Because we are human.
“No. Animals don’t speak the same language as us. Think back. Has there ever been a time when someone who has done terrible things to you has understood you?”
A fatal blow. Indeed, I’ve never been able to reason with anyone who asked too much of me before.
With an older sister-like expression, Luca smiles, looking troubled.
“It’s okay. If someone who threatens you appears, no matter what sacrifices I have to make, I will protect you.”
I shuddered at the desperate resolve in her eyes.
Was choosing the “mature” option of not hurting anyone a foolish decision?
I was an idiot.
I ended up hurting myself, and as a result, it was almost causing Luca to get hurt too. That was a stupid, naive, shitty choice.
“Please. Take better care of yourself.”
I can’t escape Luca’s gaze.
Her clear, beautiful eyes only reflect me in this world.
“Got it? Remember, I need you. So, don’t leave me alone for another woman. Please don’t make me go through that.”
Her shoulders tremble slightly.
I see. She was worried.
What is the right way to comfort her at times like this? Come to think of it, the senior I met during forest patrol said something like, “If a man and a woman are fighting, just apologize and hug them, and everything will be resolved.”
“I won’t make Luca cry anymore.”
Is this the right way? I hugged her tightly.
I feel Luca’s warm body temperature.
“A-Aix… So sudden. I don’t hate it, but I need to prepare myself. I brushed my teeth a while ago, but I’m not prepared down there. But already…”
The good smell makes my head dizzy. Luca’s ears turn bright red, and I hear her heart beating fast. It’s a good thing I listened to the senior’s advice.
I want to extend this happiness.
…But what’s been bothering me since earlier is the word “prepare” that Luca said. It’s like there’s more after this. But there isn’t. I didn’t plan anything.
Luca closes her eyes, making a gesture as if waiting for something.
Is she sleepy?
No, that’s probably not it. I need to think harder.
But I didn’t know there was a continuation to that conversation.
It’s no good. Perhaps impatient with me for not finding an answer, the sweet air disappears.
Luca trembles, her eyebrows furrow, and then she stamps her foot with a thud.
“Ow! What are you doing, Luca?”
Jumping up with teary eyes, Luca was getting irritated with a dry face full of tears.
“Why haven’t you done anything yet??”
It felt like flames were flickering from her back. Oh no. Getting scolded without doing anything.
“Um, what should I have done?”
Asking timidly, her angry face turned into a surprised face, and then she became fidgety. Um…
“Well, that’s, um… figure it out for yourself. You idiot, Aix.”
And then, with a bright red face, Luca ran away like a rabbit.
What was that?
But thank you for getting angry for me. It cut off the chain of the adult illusion that had bound me. The world began to change.
It seems that I haven’t been valuing myself until now. Have I been facing myself while longing for adulthood?
I won’t tolerate it anymore.
First, I will face myself.
Returning to my own room and locking it, I took a deep breath and meditated.
Speaking to my hollow half.
He is my darkness.
“Are you satisfied with your current life?” (Aix)
Apparently, I really don’t know anything about myself.
I was somewhat proud that I would be happy with my life, where the sailors were always talking about how they didn’t want to go back to their countries, and where they were enjoying their days of fun and entertainment.
“Is there anything you want me to do? Anything you want?” (Aix)
What a surprise. Is he scared of speaking about what he wants to do?
I’m sorry for making you do unpleasant things until now.
I’m sorry for making you eat something disgusting.
I’m sorry for apologizing for things that weren’t wrong.
I’m sorry for making you work until you collapse.
I’m sorry for hurting you.
“Please say it, I’ll make sure it comes true this time.” (Aix)
I don’t fully understand my emptinesses.
Some say they want a massive genocide, while others say they want the end of the world.
But one thing is for sure, they don’t want to run away.
I acknowledge my emptiness.
“Yes, I promise.” (Aix)
“Thank you, then it’s a promise.” (Hollow)
It’s a toss-up if it’ll turn out good or bad.
The die has been cast.
Here, a new contract has been formed!
“So what do you want?” (Aix)
“A slime pillow.” (Hollow)
My emptiness is like that.
Even if it seems silly to others, I’ll do what I want to do.
“I’ve decided! Let’s go back to town.”
All that’s left is to… not start a war.
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