Episode 91

A Week In Korea (10)
1 month ago
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“Hehehe.”

Rurin confidently jumped onto the bed. I decided to think about the strange feelings in my heart after Rurin’s birthday.

There could be no change to that decision. I closed my eyes and turned to the side. Then, a hair-pulling attack came.

“Hey, hey, hey! It hurts!… I get it, let’s sleep. It’s night. You seem sleepy too.”

“Really? I don’t know. Yawn, now that you mention it, I am sleepy.”

Rurin started rubbing her eyes. Her hair swayed with every motion. It’s an unfair sway. It shakes my heart every time.

Whatever feelings it shakes aside, just her swaying hair with her mouth shut is enough to enchant someone, making my heartbeat quicken.

Moreover, her sleepy appearance is so endearing in its disheveled state. It bothers me more when she stays still like this.

No.

I’m going crazy.

“Yeah, yeah. Come here. If you’re sleepy, you should sleep.”

I had to come up with another method. Since I lost the bet, I sat up, grabbed her hand that was rubbing her eyes tightly, and pulled her strongly into my chest.

I’ll just make her sleep. That was the last resort. The surprised Rurin raised her head slightly and widened her eyes.

“You?”

“Why?”

“Oh, nothing. It’s been a long time since you hugged me so tightly…”

I went strong, and this dragon stuttered. It’s a bit unexpected.

“A loss is a loss, so I have no choice.”

I started stroking Rurin’s hair. The scent of shampoo tickled my nose each time.

This is driving me crazy. If I don’t get her to sleep soon and throw her onto the next bed, I might stay awake all night.

“You…”

“Yeah? I said sleep, dragon.”

“I have something to ask. Do you know how scared I was when you got hit by Nies’s breath and collapsed last time?”

“Oh, that time… you cried your eyes out.”

“Who cried? I didn’t cry.”

“No way? I clearly remember.”

“That was because you were hurt and out of it. Anyway, more importantly!”

Rurin shook her head left and right, looking like something was holding her back.

“I didn’t cry! But I think it’s possible to cry if you’re hurt. And more importantly!”

“Huh?”

“I prayed that I would die before you. So I will never forgive you if you get into a situation where you might die first like that time. Do you know how I felt then? If you were really going to die, I was going to die before you. I will never see the moment you die.”

Having said that, Rurin moved away a bit and gazed at me steadily. My heart ached. Even if she didn’t want to see me die, saying she would die first…

I shook my head and looked at Rurin. My heart stirred. Emotions intensified.

“Really?”

When I asked again, Rurin just nodded. I stroked her hair and began to talk. My mouth moved on its own.

“But do you know something?”

“What?”

“I feel the same. I can’t watch you die. So I can’t forgive you if you die first. If that happens, I’ll choose to die before you too.”

“No! That messes up the order! You!”

“So, if we have to die, let’s die together. Hugging each other and closing our eyes together. Isn’t that more romantic?”

Rurin looked at me blankly at my words. Her hair swayed, and I kissed her forehead.

It was a ridiculous action driven by a burst of emotion. As soon as the kiss sound was heard, I realized what I had done and pulled back.

It’s not just a forehead kiss. Rurin and I have a relationship where such a kiss cannot be trivial.

Even this ‘peck’ could break down the dam of my heart, crossing the line from family to lovers.

Oh. Realizing what I had done, I had to slap my cheek hard. Then I crawled under the blanket.

“Let’s sleep. If we sleep for 24 hours like this, the bet is over, right?”

Since it’s a bet, I squeezed Rurin into my arms and covered us with the blanket.

But soon, Rurin spread the blanket and got up from the bed.

“You.”

“What, what?”

“Can I use my breath?”

“What? What nonsense are you talking about? Why use your breath?”

What’s this situation? I was surprised by her outlandish answer and sat up.

“My, my heart feels like it’s going to burst. This is weird. If I don’t release my breath, I feel like I’ll die! I feel so weird all of a sudden, you!”

“A dragon’s heart doesn’t burst that easily. And using your breath would only raise your blood pressure and worsen your symptoms.”

“You! You! You! My heart is pounding so hard. That sudden…! Ahhhhh!”

I didn’t know what to do, so I picked Rurin up in a princess carry. Then I placed her on the adjacent bed.

“I know the solution. If you think about something delicious away from me, you’ll feel better. Just lie down on your bed and count Palenque. Got it?”

Yes, this is my chance, I thought, and quickly returned after sending Rurin to the other bed.

“No!”

Then she came back right away. Our eyes met. Her ears turned red. She bowed her head.

“Your face looks strange! So strange! Breath! Breath!”

Rurin, acting out of character, then returned to the other bed.

Eventually, she decided to count Palenque and covered herself with the blanket.

She always asks for a hug first. She likes physical affection so much, but she reacted like this just from a kiss on the forehead. Even I was surprised.

Of course, it’s surprising that my true feelings treated her as a lover, and my actions still bewilder me, but I thought Rurin would rather ask for more kisses.

But the result was the opposite.

Come to think of it, the most intimate physical contact Rurin knows is hugging. She never got close to any males before meeting me.

She seems to have heard various things from my former comrades, but ultimately, she’s completely ignorant about romantic relationships.

That was fortunate. The more flustered she was, the calmer I became. Yes, slowly, step by step. I must not repeat this mistake until her birthday.

As a result, Rurin had already moved to the other bed, curled up, and was squealing. I took this opportunity to force myself to sleep.

But I couldn’t fall asleep easily.

As the deep night passed and dawn arrived, Rurin, who had started purring, habitually came over to my bed and clung to me, making it even harder to sleep.

In the end, I had to stay awake all night with my eyes open.


The next afternoon.

I fell asleep in the morning and woke up in the afternoon. Feeling my mana almost fully recovered, I cheered inwardly.

“You, if you kiss me once more, it might be different this time. Last night, it was the first time, so I was too flustered. I feel wronged. Again! Again!”

“Don’t be ridiculous. That was an accident. An accident. And since we’ve been hugging while sleeping until now, the bet is over!”

“No way! No, that can’t be. It wasn’t an accident!”

“It’s over! Let’s get out quickly!”

Rurin pouted, expressing her grievance. A day had passed, and her emotions seemed to have settled. But I had no intention of repeating yesterday’s actions anytime soon. Absolutely not.

More importantly, we could return to the restaurant tomorrow. So, we should prepare to leave.

Then, a thought crossed my mind to leave something memorable from this world we wouldn’t return to.

Yes, given the different technology, it might be good to do something only possible here. What caught my eye was a large frame hanging on the hotel room wall.

Suddenly, I wanted to take a photo with Rurin. A big one, like the size of that frame. A form of commemoration impossible on the other side.

I said I didn’t want to think about it, yet all my thoughts were about leaving memories with Rurin. Whatever. If I want to leave memories, I will.

So we arrived at a makeup shop. Before going to the photo studio, I wanted to properly make Rurin up and capture her beauty at its peak.

“What’s this place? You.”

Rurin tilted her head in confusion. I shrugged and put my hand on her shoulder.

“Just stay still while these people do their thing. They’ll make you incredibly beautiful.”

“Beautiful? Oh! They’re touching my hair. Is this that thing I saw in that strange book from your country?!”

“Yes.”

Rurin’s eyes lit up as if she remembered something. She was probably talking about the magazine she saw while brushing her hair alone before. The one I had tossed aside while reading.

“I’m already beautiful, so becoming more beautiful here would be troubling, but I want to be troubled, so it doesn’t matter.”

She muttered strange words to herself and then looked at me. I had never seen Rurin with makeup before. Of course.

Of course, there’s makeup for nobles in that world, but it’s not as advanced as in the modern world.

So unlike here, makeup isn’t essential in that world.

Naturally, Rurin was far from makeup.

With her eyes sparkling, Rurin quietly followed the designer.

“Please take good care of her.”

“Of course. By the way, which company is she from? Is she debuting? Are you her manager?”

The woman, who seemed to be the shop owner, bombarded me with questions. She probably thought Rurin was an aspiring celebrity.

“Haha, just make her beautiful, please.”

I was at a loss for words, so I just brushed it off and looked at Rurin.

First, they started with makeup. Soon, Rurin’s face began to sparkle. As the makeup finished, they finally started working on her hair. The moment the hair designer touched her hair, Rurin grimaced.

“Don’t let a mere human touch me!”

Rurin stood up with a very angry face and tried to use her breath.

Makeup was fine since it didn’t involve touching her face with bare hands, but the moment her hair was touched, Rurin exploded.

I ran to stop her breath.

“Ruriiin!”

I grabbed Rurin, who had caused a scene, threw some cash, and ran out.

Come to think of it, I wasn’t thinking.

Rurin had never allowed anyone other than me to touch her. Even when my former comrades tried to wake her up.

After all, Rurin is not human. She’s a dragon, a great being.

After fleeing the makeup shop, I looked at a huffing Rurin.

“Hey, you saw it in the book and watched them touch your hair, yet what was that?”

“I don’t know. Becoming more beautiful is good, but I can’t tolerate a mere human touching me.”

Rurin confidently argued, blinking. Her eyelashes stood out. The makeup was complete.

Because of that, there was a subtle sensuality behind her usual innocent impression. It was like a mix of Sereina and Rurin.

Well, we don’t have to touch her hair.

“But trying to use your breath in a place like that? Sigh.”

“Using my breath doesn’t consume mana.”

Rurin said something ridiculous. I shook my head and brushed her hair that got messy from running. She leaned against me casually.

“Forget it. Let’s just take a photo.”

If she hates being touched by others, what can I do? Anyway, she’s ready for a photo, so we went to a photo studio.

“By the way, Rurin, do you know what a photo is?”

“Photo?”

“Yes.”

“I don’t know.”

Of course, it was my mistake to ask. Photos don’t exist at all in that world.

“Listen carefully. It’s like a painting, but exactly like the real thing. We’ll take a photo of us together to commemorate, so just stay still next to me.”

“If it’s next to you, I don’t mind.”

Rurin nodded confidently.

“I’d rather hear more about what you said earlier, but this seems fine for now, so I’ll hold back. Hehe.”

Finally, we started the photo shoot. I held Rurin’s shoulder in a formal pose and took the photo. It felt too ordinary.

“Oh, wait!”

“Yes? Would you like to try a different pose?”

“Yes.”

After a bit of thought, I lifted Rurin in a princess carry.

“Please take it quickly!”

“Got it, got it. You must be newlyweds. Hohoho.”

The photographer made an odd remark while taking the photo. She probably thought we wouldn’t pose like this unless it was a wedding photo.

Thinking this might be the first and last chance, we took photos in various other poses. After waiting, I held the photos in my hand.

“How is it, Rurin?”

“Oh! What is this! The you here looks exactly like you!”

“Right? I’ll frame it and hang it in the lair.”

“You’re saying good things for once. Hehe.”

Rurin, also liking it, stared at the photo intently. She hugged it to her chest and made a fuss.

The idea to leave a photo as a memento was definitely successful.

Another day passed. As expected, my mana was almost fully recovered the next day. That meant our life here was finally over.

With my mana recovered that day, I went shopping. I bought things like a bed made with technology impossible in that world.

And finally, I used the summoning spell.

Guuuuung!

Then, the black hole that had sucked Rurin and me in appeared again. First, I threw the bed and other large items in, including the frame, into the black hole.

According to theory, the other side of this black hole is connected to the restaurant in that world. After throwing the items in, I grabbed Rurin’s hand.

“Shall we go then?”

Rurin nodded and gripped my hand. We made eye contact and then jumped into the black hole.

A sharp headache and darkness gnawed at my consciousness, and I lost it completely. While teleportation makes people dizzy, dimensional travel makes them lose consciousness.

Last time, I even had a strange dream.

When I opened my eyes, it was the restaurant. The restaurant I had dreamed of appeared. The bed had crashed into a table, smashing it, and amidst the chaos, Elena looked at me with a shocked face.

“Mr. El!”

“Ms. Elena?”

And next to her was Sereina.

She shouted at Elena as if it was obvious.

“See, I told you he’d come back just fine! Did you think he’d just disappear suddenly?”

“Mr. El!”

Elena carefully grabbed my arm. Then Rurin tilted her head at the elf.

“What’s wrong? Elf?”

“Oh, nothing! I was just worried because you suddenly disappeared. I was surprised.”

“Oh, really? Actually, we got caught up in a rather peculiar situation…”

“If that’s the case, then that’s a relief…”

Elena slowly nodded. Sereina, standing next to her, made a humming sound and then looked at Rurin with a surprised expression.

“But you, you! What’s that?”

“Oh, this? It’s a photo!”

Rurin started showing off the frame to Sereina. Fortunately, it wasn’t broken.

“What is that?”

Sereina furrowed her brows, then snatched the frame and ran away. Rurin started chasing after her.

“Ahhh! You crazy Red! Give it back right now! That’s a treasure of El and me!”

Rurin’s voice faded away, and Elena let go of my arm and stepped back.

“Oh, I-I’m sorry, I was just so happy.”

“Are you okay?”

I asked, sensing something was off with Elena, but she soon started laughing.

“Actually, ever since you disappeared, I’ve been coming to the restaurant every day. I was worried. So, please let us know next time if you’re going somewhere…”

“Oh, okay. I’ll let you know if possible. Anyway, this is Rurin’s and my home.”

“Yes… That’s good then!”

Elena nodded vigorously and started cleaning up the broken restaurant.

It was a bit strange, but with Sereina and Rurin causing such a fuss, I soon gave up thinking. Stopping those dragons came first.

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