Chapter 12 – Reunion (3)
Why did you come now
There was still a hint of tension in his voice. Even after speaking to herself, Lena couldn’t close her lips tightly and trembled. It was obvious to anyone that he looked frightened.
I couldn’t be reprimanded. Looking at the horribly torn school uniform, it was easy to guess what had happened while I was gone. He must have been caught and threatened by those who broke through the door. It seemed to have been removed with magic, but the scar remained red on the skin of the shoulder.
As I continued to stare, Lena hugged me by the shoulders and shrank. My eyes were focused on the pure white underwear that was revealed through the torn collar. Lena glared at me with fierce eyes.
“What are you doing?”
“What are you doing?”
I had no choice but to ask stupid questions without context. Lena looked at me like that and shot me coldly.
“Aren’t you here to save me? Then give me something to cover yourself with. We can’t stay like this.”
I groaned and tried to spit out the words, but I exercised self-control and shut my mouth. Then, he handed over a blanket that had been stretched around to Lena.
“Now. This is the only one.”
“Yes. Thanks, Lope.”
“So? Are you hurt?”
“How do you look?”
Still, Lena’s reaction was harsh. He didn’t even try to pretend to be kind like he used to. Her attitude now is the same as when she faced me at the academy.
What is the reason? Maybe you still don’t believe me? Is that why you are expressing that anxiety with aggression? Or, perhaps, because of what happened earlier, she developed a vague dislike for men.
I could come up with dozens of reasons to attach them. However, no matter what the meaning was, it was all the same that he was not considerate of the person who came to save him. Because of her attitude, it seemed that even the sympathy that had arisen for a moment would quickly evaporate.
“No injuries. My legs are fine and my arms are moving. Is this enough?”
“Can you still use magic?”
“I don’t know. Why are you curious about that? Are you checking to see if I still have the strength to resist? What are you going to do with that?”
“Lena. I just…”
I must have frowned unknowingly. Lena wrapped herself in a blanket and dug deeper into the locker.
“I’m only here to help you. That’s all.”
“Yes. I guess.”
“Don’t talk like that. There’s no reason to do that under these circumstances.”
“Why. Does my attitude make you uncomfortable? Is that so, Lope?”
It was a sharpened voice, but it still trembled slightly. However, Lena maintained that precarious aggression until the end and glared at me.
“Did you think I’d mess with you? Did you expect that?”
“I’m sure it was. In this situation, you would be able to wield me as you please. You came running thinking that way. Didn’t you?”
“What the hell am I supposed to do. I just…”
“If not, why did you come to pick me up now?”
Lena said it proudly as if it were a sharp blow. I shut my mouth and she continued talking triumphantly toward me.
“I have eyes and I have ears. I could tell you what you’ve been up to even while I was trapped here. And you knew I was in this situation for at least a month, didn’t you?”
“No. I really didn’t know Lena. In the first place, even those guys didn’t know you were here until recently…”
“Don’t even think about fooling me now. I told you. I have ears to hear. And even if that’s true, you should have come to rescue me right away when you find out. Right?”
“I couldn’t help it. To help you.”
“You’re laughing. I had plenty of chances before that.”
Now I could hear the clear hostility in Lena’s voice. In fact, what she felt now was strange. She’s been like this ever since she met me here.
“If you really thought about me and wanted to help me, you would have come to see me somehow before then. But you didn’t. You came to me after this day came after you were messing around with those guys over there.”
“It is not so.”
“It’s an obvious ulterior motive. They must have made a deal with them. What is that? I’ll help with the raid, so give me Lena. What kind of deal was this? Did you want to make me yours by doing that?”
“It’s a ridiculous delusion, Lena.”
“No. It seems persuasive enough to me. Considering your attitude so far.”
“Attitude? What does that mean?”
“Well, do I have to say it with my own mouth. But now, there’s nothing to hide. You’ve loved me since the old days. Didn’t you, Lope?”
She thought she couldn’t know. However, exposing it like this gave me some pain, no matter how long it took.
“I don’t think you thought you wouldn’t know. Of course I knew. I just didn’t show it off. But it was cute in its own right. The way you cling to it somehow, even though you knew it wouldn’t work.”
“I thought it was cute.”
“There was a time when I thought that way. But not anymore. I know that you won’t come around in a cute way anymore. So I’m going to stop pretending to be nice to you.”
Pretending to be good At that part, I laughed out loud without realizing it. Who has been good to whom so far? Perhaps that insincere thank you, that hug, was a reward overflowing with grace for me.
“You did a good job.”
“Isn’t that so? You spent time playing with a loner with no friends. Why, or did you think I liked you too? I bet it wasn’t like that, Lope.”
Okay. I see.
It was only now that I felt like I knew what you were thinking of me. And that I’ve been misunderstanding all this time. Until now, I thought there was a line between you and me that was less than a friend or a lover. Even though I didn’t cross that line, you’ve thought of me that way too. Been so mistaken
But it wasn’t like that. You just thought of me as an easy friend to use. No, actually, I don’t know if the expression friend is accurate.
To you, I was just a dog. A dog that should just run right over if it thinks its owner is in danger.
If you’ve been thinking that way, you’d be angry. It will look like the dog is barking at the owner to thank the owner. Maybe that’s why I’m angry. Otherwise, who would say such harsh words to an opponent with a sword in a situation like this? It is impossible if the recognition that has been ignored and looked down on from usual does not continue.
I felt like I could understand everything now. And, it seems that I can give up even if it is too late.
“…So I’m sorry, but Lope. I won’t be your only toy. If you tried to take me under the pretext of this situation, you’d make a big mistake. So that’s what you think…”
“I get it. I get it.”
I put my sword in the scabbard and crossed my arms. And he answered in an indifferent tone.
“Okay, so come out first. You’re not going to stay like this all the time.”
“What is it, Lope? You still haven’t given up? I told you. I…”
“It’s not like that. So come out.”
Memory. Perfume. Longing. It seemed that all the feelings she had for her had vanished in an instant. I took a step back and pointed at the door with the tip of my chin.
“But it’s true that I came to pick you up, so I’ll stay with you until you leave. After that, let’s go our separate ways. That’s all right?”
“I can do that much because I have all these years. I’ll help you until you get out of this building. Isn’t that enough?”
Lena looked at me with a slightly dazed expression. But she soon shook her head with a meaningful expression on her face.
“…No. I’m not leaving.”
“Now don’t be so stubborn. If you stay here, other guys will come. So let’s get out.”
“I don’t like it. If you really want to help, stay here with me.”
“Lena. Stop being obstinate…”
“I’m Anna Ga Lope. Because there’s someone who’s supposed to pick me up.”
What nonsense is this again? When I put on an annoyed face, Lena replied with trembling lips.
“He said he’d come pick me up if he was here. He came long before this raid happened, and he’s got a clear plan for what’s to come. Unlike you, Lope.”
“Who is that?”
“You don’t need to know. What’s certain is that I’m more dependable than you. That’s why I…”
Just then, a dreary scream was heard outside the door. It was the warning sound from the guy standing outside the door. Before I could even admire her loyalty, I turned to Lena.
“Someone must have come outside. Hide for now. But I’ll help you this time. So…”
“No. You don’t have to.”
“Because it looks like it’s finally here.”
“So who is that…”
Just as I was about to continue talking, the door opened violently and the sound of someone’s footsteps leaked in. I instinctively reached for the sword, but another instinct prevented it from being drawn. For some reason, I thought the sound of those footsteps was familiar.
But I never felt happy. Again, a cold aura gripped the back of the back.
Soon, the intruder’s sighs fell quietly. The person looked around the room and opened his mouth slowly, looking this way.
“I’m sorry I’m late, Lena. Something unexpected happened.”
The moment I heard that voice, I spit out curse words. It was a voice I knew.
The person also spit out a small exclamation, as if he had recognized my identity. Then he greeted me with a very nostalgic name.
“Looks like this. Lope level.”