Episode 103

Dominance
3 weeks ago
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In the morning at the Star Annex.

Shiron slowly got up from the bed. He woke up to the pouring sunlight without anyone waking him. Still, his mood was opposite to his light body condition—it wasn’t good.

It was because of last night’s incident.

‘What’s with that girl.’

Shiron pondered, stroking his chin.

‘Why didn’t she react at all when she saw Seira?’

He was so tired that he collapsed immediately, and the worries he should have had yesterday came belatedly.

Lucia suddenly pushed him aside with a gesture, and she faced Seira. It was a situation they should have encountered at some point, so he didn’t intervene much, but it wasn’t a meeting he intended, so he just observed quietly.

However, the situation ended unexpectedly blandly. Far from the expectations and anticipation, Lucia ignored Seira and left the room with a simple goodnight.

‘What’s going on? I didn’t expect a dramatic scene, but I at least expected some special reaction…’

Their meeting was indifferent to the point of being unrelated to their relationship as comrades who hadn’t seen each other in 500 years. No, it wasn’t just indifferent; there was no interaction at all.

“…Could it be.”

Shiron gazed under the bed thoughtfully. A nun was sleeping on the cold stone floor in a curled-up position.

‘Can’t she remember Seira?’

Shiron got out of bed and walked over to Seira. He tried to wake her by shaking her shoulder.

“Hey.”

“…”

“You’ll get a stiff neck if you sleep there.”

“…What, what.”

Seira turned her head and narrowed her eyes. Shiron wondered why this age-defying elf was sleeping on the floor, especially in his room, but he didn’t pry further.

Being a young man who respected his elders, Shiron kindly pointed to the bed where he had been sleeping until a moment ago.

“If you’re going to sleep, sleep in the bed. What’s this?”

However, despite Shiron’s warm consideration, Seira didn’t move to the bed. She just sat on the floor, looking at Shiron’s face.

“Kid.”

Seira looked at Shiron with an annoyed face.

“Do you not remember what happened yesterday?”

Seira slowly got up, sighing deeply.

“If you come up on the bed, you’re dead.”

“…What?”

“When I asked where to sleep, you said if I come up on the bed, I’ll be dead. So, I curled up on the floor.”

‘Did I say that?’

Shiron felt a bit bewildered. Had he said something like that? He fell asleep from exhaustion and couldn’t remember well. Meanwhile, Seira yawned and slipped into the bed.

“Call me again if you need me.”

“…Okay.”

Click-

Seira snapped her fingers, and the room darkened instantly. Soon, the sound of light snoring was heard. It was behavior unbefitting of a great magician, but Shiron didn’t reprimand her.

He vaguely realized that Seira hesitated to face people barefaced, so he quietly turned his back and left the room.


The academy’s library.

“Return is due 14 days from the date of the loan. Please be careful not to be late.”

Lucia told a student who was walking away with an armful of books.

Being a library committee member was a volunteer activity without any pay, but since Lucia wasn’t doing it for compensation, she cheerfully wrote down the loan and return records.

Indeed, being in the library always calmed her mind. Lucia felt her troubled heart slowly settling from last night’s events.

Lucia loved the library. If asked why, it was because it was the only place in these vast academy grounds where she could be quiet by herself.

‘…If I get into one more fight, I won’t be able to avoid suspension.’

Interestingly, the ones who used to pick fights with Lucia, whom Siriel called scumbags, didn’t even come near the library.

‘I guess I’ll be safe here for a while.’

So Lucia diligently carried out her duties as a library committee member until dusk. She dealt with students borrowing books, shelved piles of books, and quietly read a book until Siriel finished her personal errands.

“Lucia.”

When she got used to the smell of the old book, a cozy spring fragrance touched her nose. It was Siriel who had quietly approached and tapped Lucia’s shoulder.

“Let’s go home.”

“…Yeah.”

After tidying up, Lucia grabbed her handbag and left the library. Lucia and Siriel walked side by side to the school gate.

‘Now that I think about it, Siriel is also tall.’

Lucia looked at Siriel, who was about a head taller than her. Because of the height difference, Lucia kept looking up at Siriel.

‘Both Shiron and Siriel are tall. Why am I the only one…?’

“Ah…”

While continuing such trivial thoughts, Lucia remembered something she had forgotten. Her footsteps in her high heels suddenly stopped.

‘Did I… tell her about Shiron’s arrival?’

“Huh? What’s wrong?”

Siriel quickly turned towards Lucia, who had stopped walking. Lucia awkwardly looked at Siriel, who was silhouetted against the sunset. Siriel, not a child who often smiles, was continuously smiling today. Normally not a talkative person, Siriel seemed even quieter today.

‘Could it be…’

Suddenly, despite the warm spring weather, a chill ran down Lucia’s arms. She vaguely realized that her friend had been longing to see Shiron, and felt a significant guilt, even if it was a mistake.

“Si, Siriel.”

“Yeah?”

“I forgot to tell you something, Shiron came to the star annex yesterday morning.”

“…Yeah?”

“It wasn’t that I was trying to hide it? I just didn’t get the chance to say it because things were so hectic…”

“That can happen.”

Siriel cut off Lucia’s words with a bright smile and then abruptly turned her head towards the main gate and walked.

“…What?”

Lucia was a bit late in responding due to her surprise. She followed the increasingly distant figure of Siriel.

Lucia hastened her steps to catch up with Siriel. Was she upset because Lucia hadn’t told her sooner? As Siriel walked ahead without looking back, which was unlike her usual self who walked side by side with Lucia, Lucia couldn’t help feeling uneasy.

After following for a while, Lucia noticed a carriage waiting in front of the main gate. Next to the entirely black-painted carriage was a gentleman in his middle years.

“Please get in.”

“…Yes.”

Siriel calmly accepted the coachman’s greeting and was about to get into the carriage, but…

She couldn’t. As the door opened suddenly, a man was already sitting inside. The man greeted Siriel with a beaming smile.

“…Brother?”

Siriel stood frozen in front of the carriage. Inside was Shiron. Time had changed him significantly, but Siriel instantly recognized the black-haired young man as Shiron.

“Hello.”

Shiron waved to the stiff Siriel.

“What are you doing? Aren’t you getting in?”

“…”

“Shiron?”

Lucia, who belatedly checked inside the carriage, widened her eyes in surprise. It was the same for Siriel. Although she knew he was in Rien and had even practiced what to say when they met, she was at a loss for words now that they were suddenly face to face.

‘Keep calm. If you cry or run into his arms after such a long time, you’ll look like a child.’

Siriel silently sat down next to Shiron on his left. She almost ran into his arms without a moment’s hesitation. She was trying so hard not to seem like a child. Siriel was grateful for her body and mind’s ability to remain composed in such an astonishing situation.

Shiron noticed Lucia sitting opposite him and tapped the carriage wall to start moving.

“You’re not surprised or anything?”

Shiron turned towards Siriel, who was clinging to him. The appearance of his cousin-sister, whom he hadn’t seen in a long time, was exactly as he remembered.

Siriel was tall, resembling Hugo, but not excessively so. Perhaps about a head taller than Lucia… Lined up, the three of them seemed to differ by exactly one head in height each.

“Brother… Did you expect me to be surprised?”

Siriel cautiously asked Shiron. Her blue eyes shimmered, set amidst silver hair that glinted red in the sunlight.

“Did you really, really want me to be surprised?”

“…Not particularly.”

“Hmm…”

In the midst of this, Siriel suddenly embraced Shiron’s left arm tightly. Shiron was taken aback.

“I was actually quite startled. But the feeling of wanting to see you was so strong… I couldn’t just react with surprise, you know.”

“…”

The girl was surprisingly strong, no longer showing any traces of a mischievous child. But Shiron’s stiffness had another reason.

‘…Chest.’

The fullness was clearly felt over her white blazer. Despite the double layers of clothing, Shiron could feel the firmness.

An obvious tactic.

Both Shiron and Lucia, observing the act, realized that Siriel’s actions were intentional.

But the obvious tactic worked. In this short time, Siriel managed to imprint on everyone that she was no longer just a child.

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