Chapter 16 – The Girl Who Fell Asleep in the Well (2)
A girl with a voice heard at the school gate. A name that ends in ka.
There was only one person who could think.
“Sorry. I don’t know. I was embarrassed at the time, and my voice was really small…”
“No, it’s fine. Don’t mind it.”
Having said that, I couldn’t help but care. Liquid explosives. Hater. Roselia. Lena. Even Erica there. Numerous names intertwined with each other, giving off a fishy smell. It even gives the illusion that they are using a group to look this way.
No matter how you think about it, too many things happened tonight. Just like the day when everything collapsed. Another upheaval was engulfing the academy.
But I’m already too tired to keep it all in my head. I was so exhausted that I didn’t even have the strength to yawn.
“You didn’t hear a word I said. You must be very tired.”
When she came to her senses, Saya was looking this way with a worried look. It seems that my time has stopped for a very short time.
“Sorry. I’ve had too many things.”
“Why don’t you go to bed early today? You look really bad.”
“No. Until that much…”
“Huh? Senior! My hair must have gotten stuck in the drain! My head can’t move!”
I suddenly wanted to fall asleep. As if a martial arts fighter in the last round was hit with the last blow, everything became annoying and I wanted to give up everything. Haru’s voice had that one shot.
“Lope. I think you’d better just lie down. You can’t go anyway.”
“I’ll see you. Close your eyes for a moment, huh?”
“Sorry. So… That’s right. Yeah… I get it.”
I couldn’t even tell what I was talking about because I was really tired. I poured out gibberish and nonsense and hit my head on the bed as if I was collapsing. A soft shock thumped his skull.
In the midst of my blurred consciousness, I heard the sound of Saya and Haru arguing. The noise from other people’s lives in my room was very strange and strange. I thought I would never have an experience like this in my life.
Was it only after the world was destroyed once that I was able to observe such mediocrity?
The monologue before bedtime made me ruminate on how messed up I am. I guess I’m the type to chew on my own tongue when I’m chewing on something. When I look back on myself, I can feel the bitter taste of cigarette ash.
Negative thoughts naturally turned into nightmares. As her consciousness faded, the dragon’s flame began to flicker in front of her eyes. Because they had not experienced it, the flames of destruction were even hotter and uglier. With a terrible causal pain in my arms, I recalled what the imperial spokesperson had said that day.
Did you say 200 days until the dragon landed? Exactly two months have passed since that day.
According to what he said, there were 140 days left until destruction.
A breath too close clung to the bedside. It was wet and even hot, which was never pleasant. It felt like a taste of the heat of summer that had yet to come.
To put it more simply, it was the worst. Out of the mornings I’ve had in the past month, I’ve been so annoyed that I can count them on my hands.
In the meantime, all the muscles in her body groaned, probably from the fatigue of the previous day. It was as if the screams of the girls from all over last night were replaying in my body. It seems that the karma he didn’t want to shoulder stuck to his heels.
The whole world was harassing me so far, but I didn’t have the ability to stand up and endure. I wanted to lie down for another hour or so, but all the force forced me to open my eyes.
The first thing that caught my eye was Haru, sniffing like a dog with his nose in my hair.
“…What are you doing?”
“You can smell it. You don’t know it when you see it.”
Saying, “I don’t know if you look at it” Was no different from Haru’s point of view. I couldn’t feel good because I was cursed at by my junior from the morning.
“Then why are you sniffing?”
“Of course, I’m trying to remember. Senior’s voice is so common that I think I’ll have to distinguish it by smell. Oh, don’t worry. I’ll have to buy it a little later so I can smell you too.”
“Okay, get off now.”
“Isn’t that nice? I can see the pretty juniors’ faces as soon as I wake up.”
“Not at all.”
If you look at the bottom of your nose, you might have been right. However, Haru’s eyes had disgustingly terrible scars sticking to them, so it was not a pretty face at all. I lifted her finger and pushed the tip of her chin all the way.
“Where did those wounds come from? Have you ever been to a battlefield?”
“Oh, the scar in the eye? The cuts are my dad’s and the burns are my mom’s. Why?”
“…Yes. I’m sorry.”
“Then I’ll sniff some more. I’m not sure yet.”
I had nothing to say, so I had to keep my mouth shut. What saved me was Saya, who appeared again from the bathroom.
“Is Lope awake? I’m sorry. I told Haru not to do it, but he didn’t listen to me…”
“It’s okay. He won’t listen to me.”
“That’s what well-bred kids do. Oh, Saya-unnie, come over here. I need to smell it.”
Haru became entangled with Saya as if she were switching hosts. As soon as the damp breath dispersed far away, the cold air seeped through the clothes in an instant. I nervously hugged the blanket and got up.
The midday sunlight, not morning, poured over his body, which was full of muscle pain. As if sprinkling salt on a wound, the warm heat that falls is brutal. I muttered something to myself, somehow feeling like a latecomer.
“I slept too much…”
“I thought I was tired, so I deliberately let you sleep late. Could it be that it was bad?”
“No. It didn’t mean much. It’s just the first time it’s happened at this hour.”
“Do you have anything to do? I’m going to buy it anyway. It looks like you cleaned up and everything. Can’t you get some more sleep?”
“What have you been up to?”
Haru laughed at my question instead of answering it. Then, naturally, in Saya’s arms, she smelled the extension.
“You have to do that from daylight. It’s a world that will perish anyway, so you can spend a little more leisurely.”
“If you keep doing that, you throw it away again.”
“Senior, then you will go to hell. From now on, if you use your mind carefully, won’t the flames of the dragons that will greet you soon be a little cooler?”
From Haru’s point of view, it would have been just a joke thrown without much meaning. However, Saya tilted her head at the question and asked.
“What do you mean? Did Lope not tell you yet?”
“What is it? I have nothing…”
“Say, wait a minute.”
I plugged Haru’s ears to Saya before she could open her mouth further. Then he lowered his voice and spoke in a whisper.
“I haven’t told Haru yet.”
“Huh? But why…?”
Haru moaned and struggled, as if putting her fingers a little deep inside her ear, and Saya followed me and covered the back of my hand. Then she asked in a soft voice.
“Wasn’t he an important person to you? Of course I thought you were talking about the pattern.”
“I’m just an acquaintance. And above all, I don’t want to talk about this too soon. For the time being, let’s just the two of us know each other.”
“Yeah…Okay. If you say yes, I won’t tell anyone.”
Saya nodded his head while putting on a guilty expression. Seeing that, I felt as if my dead conscience was stabbed a little.
However, as soon as I realized the value of the pattern, I wanted to approach it more carefully than before. I didn’t know how to change when I learned that even the juniors I knew could be saved from destruction.
“And buy it. You know this pattern, only those who have it can enter the land of the elves? Just because you have this doesn’t mean you can take the people around you too, right?”
“Yes. Only one person at a time.”
“It doesn’t matter who has it?”
“Even if you’re the emperor, this fact won’t change.”
It was as if he was talking about an immutable truth. But it didn’t sound arrogant at all. The elf’s plain declaration came like an irresistible truth.
And it was clear that Rogeria probably wouldn’t know about the truth yet.
No matter how much I threw my eyes out the window, I couldn’t see the academy. It felt like a kind of unrequited love that I wanted to be farther away than any other place, but I couldn’t take my eyes off it. I went through a lot in one night, but it was clear that the academy was changing even faster than that.
And they were at the center of it. Erica. Roselia. And Lena. There wasn’t a single name that didn’t bother me. If you roll it in your mouth, the thorns embedded in its name will rip your tongue, and blood will flow out.
But they were people I had to face someday. To be more precise, we’ll see each other in three days. It was a deadline set by Rogeria, but she didn’t want to go beyond it anyway.
No matter how much I look back, it was a fact that made my heart confused. As I poured my thoughts out the window, I heard moaning in pain.
“Ahh… I’m going to tear my ears at this. I don’t know what you’re talking about, but please let me go. If I can’t even hear you, my life is really at a loss.”
“It must be really painful. Let go now, Lope.”
I then removed the finger that was covering my ear. Then, Haru grumbled and frowned as he did.
“If the two of you have something to say, just ask them to leave. What is this about?”
“Okay. I’ll do that from now on.”
“Thank you. But that won’t heal the damaged eardrum and heart. Please pretend to apologize, senior.”
I let out a thin sigh. No matter how I thought about it, it seemed that I had brought it the wrong way. I’ve only been here for one night, and I’m already regretting it.
However, regret about the day was much better than worrying about the future. It may not have been intentional, but I also felt the illusion that my heavy heart was relieved a little.
Anyway, it was inevitable that I had already brought it. I called the name of the troublemaker in front of me to get rid of my thoughts about the academy for a moment.
A voice I don’t want to hear is lodged in my ear canal. A dozen or so sleepiness does not go away, and it tightens her head like a terrible hangover. I am so annoyed that I feel like I want to tear my eardrums apart.
“Lena. Are you listening?”
But the other person persistently called my name. No notice, no consideration. You probably don’t even want to take care of it. I don’t like it at times like this, but I can’t help but think of the person I came to every morning.
I almost cursed. The problem is I don’t have the energy to do that. I was always weak in the morning. Sometimes to the point where I even wish that the sun would rise late for me.
But none of that happens. And now there is no one to listen to my ridiculous complaints. That little truth flew around my head, flapping its tiny wings.
I finally let out a moan that no one would hear, holding my head. Like a whore crying in bed. A long-forgotten word came to my throat as I swallowed back the twisted desire. It was a word that the head of the academy could never utter.
Fuck. It’s a real fucking morning.