Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 39 (Part 1)
It was Noel’s voice. I wondered what she wanted to talk about.
I patted Luca’s arms that were around my waist to get his attention and got out of the bed. I held the tip of the tentacle that was following me to reassure him as I opened the door.
“I can’t offer much hospitality-wise, but come on in.”
“Thank you, Nii-sama. Excuse me.”
Noel bowed her head and then walked into the room. She approached Luca with a firm expression on her face as he slowly pulled himself up.
“Luca, let me get straight to the point. Please head out to conquer the dungeon tomorrow. I’ll be staying behind in your place.”
“…Huh? What are you saying? Why are you trying to separate Zagan and me?”
Luca finished sitting up in bed and glared at her. His voice seemed a tone lower than normal, but Noel maintained her resolute attitude. The two of them were suddenly in a tense standoff. I wondered if this was how childhood friends were supposed to be.
“I really want to send a letter to my father about what nii-sama told me. There are many things I want to ask and convey to him about nii-sama and the goddess Lune. I also need to report on the events that happened in the ninth city. Because of the nature of the content, it will take some time to write. So please let me stay behind. Of course, I will protect nii-sama.”
“If it’s a letter to the professor, I can write it myself, right? I will write to him and my older brother to inform them of what we have found out.”
“No, I will write to Father and ask him to inform His Royal Highness the Crown Prince. You must go to the dungeon. That’s what everyone wants.”
“The monsters in the dungeons are getting more and more powerful. It is true that we are also growing stronger. Even so, without you, who has been leading the charge until now, we will surely not be safe.”
Luca furrowed his brows. I guess he couldn’t argue with that. This was the tenth city, and the encounter rate with S-rank monsters would be higher than last time. If the leader was absent, there was a risk of annihilation due to lack of experienced leadership.
“In the first place, we had discussed that we should not proceed to the dungeon until nii-sama woke up. I know that now that we have given nii-sama’s star fragments away, we have to collect the rest at all costs. But if we were to die, there would be no way for us to do that. Isn’t that right?”
Luca did not reply to Noel’s complaint. He stared at the floor, frustrated.
I knew that he didn’t want to leave my side, and I was happy that he was worried about me. However, Luca must get all the star fragments that appear from now on. There was a possibility that no one but Luca might be able to reach the deepest part.
And… he can’t be around me right now.
I sat down on the bed. Luca immediately reached out to me. I took his hand and stared at him.
“Luca, why don’t you give us some space?”
“W-Why? Is it because I can’t answer the questions you’ve been asking me?”
“No, that’s not the issue. Everyone has one or two things they can’t say. I believe that sometimes it is better to keep quiet about some things because they are important to you.”
I also believed that I shouldn’t tell people about my past life’s memories. I liked video games, watched a fair amount of anime, and was a bit familiar with voice actors. Above all, I was a mechanical and engineering geek. There was no need to confuse him by telling him that I was different from what he knew now.
“I just wonder if there’s anything I can do to help you with your distress.”
“No, that’s… I just want you to be with me, that’s all. Zagan. That alone makes me very happy.”
Luca smiled at me. But because of his fatigue, he couldn’t accept my request as easily as he usually would.
“I, that’s… I like you, Luca. You’re very precious to me. So, when you’re suffering because of me and can’t even sleep, it hurts me too. I blame myself because I’m the one who caused you to suffer…because my carelessness nearly killed me. …No matter how many times I apologise, I feel like it’s never going to be enough.”
“I’m sorry, Luca. I’m sorry that I caused you so much pain.”
“That’s not true! No, Zagan. It was because I was weak. If I were stronger, you wouldn’t have had to endure so much. If I had paid more attention to my surroundings, I would have been able to spot the members of the Dark Organisation.”
“Don’t say that! It was because I was unconscious that they took the star fragments away. Nii-sama even collapsed! If only I had been stronger…Hngh.”
Noel called out with a tearful face. That’s right. It was enough for me that Noel was safe, but that didn’t necessarily mean that she was happy about what had happened. How shocked she was to hear later that she had been taken as a hostage.
“…I’m sure it’s no one’s fault, but I still blame myself that you’re having trouble sleeping because of me. Just like you guys blame yourselves for other things. So why don’t we just take a step back for a while? We’ve always been separated during dungeon diving, haven’t we?”
Whenever Luca woke up, he got wrapped up in the idea that I might not awaken. Even though I was right beside him, he didn’t want to risk it, so he didn’t sleep. It was because he had nursed me, holding me as I was comatose.
But when we went to the dungeons, not being by his side was a given. When I awoke, I would greet him via the communicator, concentrate on capturing the dungeon in any case, and then exchange a few words with him for a few minutes before going to sleep. Doing the same old routine in the dungeon that he did before would surely heal Luca.
“I hope you sleep well and get better so that I can feel relieved, Luca. Can you please listen to this selfish request of mine?”
“…That’s not fair, Zagan. Saying it like that, how can I refuse?”
He pulled me by my arms and hugged me tightly. His cheek rubbed against my head, and then his lips were on mine.
“I’m sorry, Zagan. It hadn’t occurred to me that my problems would cause you so much pain. But I’m happy that you’re so worried about me. Thank you, Zagan. I love you.”
“Mmm…I love you too.”
Luca smiled happily when I replied with the same words.
“Saying that you love me~ I’m so happy~.”
I started to feel a little embarrassed and wriggled to get out of his arms, but it was no use because Luca’s arms wouldn’t loosen. Noel was right there, so he should reign himself in. B-but, he was smiling and looking incredibly happy, so I supposed it was okay as long as it was this much.
“Hey, Zagan, will you listen to my selfish request too?”
“Hmm? What is it?”
“I want to have sex with you all day. I want to take my time touching you. …Is that okay?”
“…It’s not not okay, but…”
I inadvertently looked at Noel, and she suddenly perked up and saluted me.
“I’ll take my leave then. When would you like to eat, Your Highness?”
“Lunch will be served around one o’clock. Can you put it on a wagon and leave it in the middle of the corridor? Dinner should be ready around 6:30. I’ll go to the kitchen to get it.”
“Yes, Your Highness. All right, I’ll leave you two to enjoy yourselves until tomorrow morning.”
Noel bowed her head and briskly disappeared out the door. As the door slammed shut, the room fell silent.
“Zagan, please don’t try to put on your hood. I know it’s tempting because you feel self-conscious, but we’re all alone now. See?”
No, but she only asked Luca about the food, and she even said to “enjoy yourselves until tomorrow morning”. It’s no wonder I would feel despondent that my sister thought I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed until morning.
Kuro: How I would love a sister as supportive as Noel~! XD
PalenMisha: Noel is the best wingman.