She was incredibly beautiful. More beautiful than anyone. She was beyond and above all, regardless of gender or age.
She was more breathtaking than Priestess Priesia or Princess Reutrina. Looking at the woman, Nainiae asked,
“Are you… a goddess? A goddess of this other world?”
In the past, Nainiae felt pain when she tried to locate Goddess Irenetsa when Priestess Priesia was thinking about the goddess. When Nainiae tried to locate this woman through her right eye when Heliona was visualizing her, Nainiae felt pain that was similar to that incident. This was why she wondered if the woman was a goddess.
The woman with similar face as Nainiae shook her head left and right and said,
“I am too shabby to be called a goddess.”
She had bitter look on her face. The woman covered her face under the veil again and said,
“Even now, all I can do is having a conversation with you through help of Irenetsa.”
The name of the goddess from Nainiae’s world was mentioned. Nainiae muttered ‘as I thought’ inside and tuned in to the rest of the explanation.
“To answer what you asked earlier… Yes, that’s right. I gave you that eye.”
The woman in black looked at the horrible looking right eye of Nainiae and said,
“You must have been pointed fingers at a lot. It must have been difficult as a woman. I have done such a horrible thing to you… I’ll understand if you resent me. I am sorry.”
Having heard the woman’s words, Nainiae shook her head and interrupted her. Nainiae said she didn’t resent the woman for giving her the eye. Nainiae asked,
“It was for Young Master, wasn’t it?”
It seemed the woman was surprised by the question. She nodded.
“Yes. Of the things that I could do… After having thought hard about what I could do to help Young Master, the result was you, Nainiae.”
The woman in black said she made Nainiae to be born in that world, lead her to go to the Magic Tower, made her get the scar on her right eye, and made her meet Riley.
“I want to ask you one thing.”
“What is it?”
Below her feet, Nainiae was looking at the scenery of Riley’s past life. Nainiae asked,
“My fate in the future… will it flow in the way that you already set?”
The woman in black smiled lightly and shook her head slowly. She said,
“The fate that I prepared for you was… only up to when you met Mr. Riley. From that point and later was made by you. As a proof of that, you came all the way here only for his sake, didn’t you?”
The woman said that she thought it might happen but didn’t think Nainiae could really come and find her.
“In that case, it is all right.”
As if she was satisfied, Nainiae closed her eyes. She organized something in her mind and looked at the woman in front of her again.
“Please tell me. What is it that I should do.”
It seemed Nainiae had made up her mind. Clear and sharp eyes were directed toward the woman. Feeling the gaze, the woman looked back at Nainiae and got to the main point.
“First, I’ll heal you.”
“You mean, by turning me into an artificial summon spirit?”
“I am not a summon spirit, so you will not be able to become an artificial summon spirit. However, it won’t change the fact that this will resolve the problem that you are having.”
The woman’s body suddenly started to become faint.
“Ah, I don’t have much time. I am sorry, Nainiae. I don’t think we have enough time to explain this in detail.”
Only a moment ago, the woman was able to deliver her voice clearly. Having noticed the woman’s body suddenly becoming faint, Nainiae also wondered what was going on as she tilted her head to the side.
<When you wake up from the dream, can you please ask this favor to Mr. Riley?>
Like before, the woman sounded echoing voice and desperately pleaded to Nainiae.
<Just once more… will you wield sword again. Will you please save our world.>
“I don’t think Young Master would listen to you now?”
<In the world you live in, there are ‘purple humans,’ right? The people who use special powers that does not need mana.>
Having heard the woman’s question, Nainiae thought about the dark mage from the Rainfield and nodded.
<That power is something that should not exist in your world. It is from this world. It is the power that causes the balance to collapse.>
<In the end, your world and this world will… get jumbled up and become a mess. Literally, the calamity will come.>
The woman explained the events that could occur later. She then gathered her hands together and pleaded to Nainiae.
<Nainiae, please. I know that asking him to wield the sword and save the world once again is… such a shameless request. However, this world… and your world… need him.>
In silence, Nainiae was not responding. The woman bit her lips and took a step forward. The woman asked again,
The woman asked for the third time.
It was not a plead from another human like Nainiae. It was not from the summon spirit that Nainiae expected either. It was from the goddess of this other world.
Nainiae took a moment of pause. With a serious look on her face, Nainiae looked straight at the goddess in front of her and said,
“… I do not wish to make things difficult for Young Master.”
Having heard her response, the woman, who was looking at Nainiae through the veil, could not look more disappointed.
‘I have done unspeakable things to her and him… so this is an obvious outcome.’
Nainiae still had the serious look on her face and looked at the goddess in front of her. Nainiae took in a short breath and said,
“I’ll ask you this.”
“Right now, Young Master is suffering because of the memories from his past life, right?”
Wondering what Nainiae was getting at, the woman was not able to respond right away. She was deep in thoughts to figure out the reason why Nainiae asked this. Nainiae judged that the silence must be the answer. She made a proposal right away.
“In that case, I’ll go with them too.”
“The burdens that Young Master is shouldering… The things to worry about… Allow me to shoulder them with him.”
* * *
“Nainiae is… not waking up.”
It was at the Duke Philisneon mansion’s infirmary.
A boy and a girl were lying next to each other on the bed. Sera was looking at them. With her head supported by her palm, she sighed deeply.
<It’s only been two days.>
“It’s already been two days.”
<We have no other choice but to wait.>
<Ah! Would you stop sighing! That’s going to reduce lifespan!>
“That’s because you are a summon spirit, Ms. Heliona! I am a human. I grow ever so anxious with passage of time, so I cannot stand still!”
Heliona flinched after hearing Sera’s shouting. Heliona realized that the passage of time felt by a human being was different from a summon spirit’s perspective. Feeling awkward, Heliona scratched her cheek.
<Calm down for now. It’s still true that there is nothing we can do, isn’t that right? Are you going to learn Seven Circles magic like Nainiae and take on the challenge?>
Heliona mumbled as she proposed the idea. Sera shook her head to say that was beyond her. Sera said,
“No, that is…”
It was said that even talented ones took five years to get to Three Circles, yet going for the Seven Circles?
Sera came to sudden realization just what kind of incredible height Nainiae reached. With disappointed look on her face, Sera dropped her head.
“… Yes. I am sorry.”
It seemed Sera was thinking what she said earlier was too much. Sera lowered her head and apologized. Heliona blushed as if she got embarrassed. She fetched another idea.
<Why don’t you try praying!>
<You guys have that goddess Irenetsa or whatever, right? I heard that humans do things like that and hold out when going gets tough.>
“Well, that is true, but… I’m the kind that doesn’t exactly believe in religions, so…”
Sera explained that she came to not believe in the existence of the goddess while she lived in the Lower Solia. Sera then asked a question that came up in her head.
“By the way, where did you hear that? Sighing will reduce lifespan, and people pray when things are tough.”
<That? My master, obviously…>
Her master… She was talking about Andal, the dragon who transformed into a human form to be on an amusement tour in the human world. She had picked up all sorts of stuff about humans from him. Heliona stopped in middle of the sentence.
It was because she was not supposed to disclose things about her master.
<Nainiae! I’ve heard them from Nainiae!>
She quickly changed her words. Instead of Andal, Heliona now said that she heard it from Nainiae. Sera was accepting her response, saying ‘I see.’ Having noticed that Sera bought it, Heliona secretly sighed in relief.
Sera was nodding as if she believed her, and Heliona was sighing. At that moment, sounds of steps could be heard outside the door. It was coming closer to the room.
It sounded like the steps belonged to a woman. It made tap sounds. Sera turned her head toward the door and went ‘sniff sniff’ with her nose to check the smell that was approaching.
‘This scent… Is it the Princess?’
Sera got up from the chair that she had placed at the front of the bed. She then carefully approached the door.
As soon as Sera got to the door, two or three knocks could be heard.
“Excuse me. Are you there?”
“Yes. What is it?”
“For the past few days, both Sera and Nainiae… I don’t think I have seen any of you. I came to ask if things were all right. Is Young Master’s condition still the same?”
Nainiae was practically like a lifeline. Now, even Nainiae was at a state where they had no way of knowing when she would wake up, just like Riley.
So, they decided to keep this a secret. Sera even decided not to leave the room for the time being. Having heard Reutrina’s question, Sera pulled her chin and said,
“Yes. His condition worsened, so…”
“I’ll contact you when there are any improvements.”
With that as the end of her response, Sera was going to move away from the door. At that moment, Reutrina asked carefully from the outside,
“… Excuse me. Is Nainiae in there?”
Sera was going to take back steps and go back to the bed. She flinched her shoulders after hearing the question.
Sera hesitated, not knowing how to respond to the question. With her voice full of panic, Sera asked,
“J… Just now, what did you say?”
“Nainiae. I would like to speak to Nainiae for a moment.”
With that sound, the door handle turned. Sera, who took back steps to move away from the door, got petrified.
“… Excuse me.”
‘I was sure I locked the door?’
The locked door opened as if it wasn’t at all. Reutrina in a dress leisurely waked in.
“Princess… Just what are you…”
Reutrina opened the locked door and entered forcibly. Sera was going to question Reutrina for her actions. However, feeling that Reutrina’s atmosphere was definitely different from the usual, Sera lost her words. She merely opened her mouth vacantly.
“… What’s this?”
Having entered the room, Reutrina seemed she was not interested in Sera who was just standing there vacantly. Instead, Reutrina saw Riley and Nainiae lying next to each other on the bed and wiggled her brows.
“… There’s no fever either.”
Reutrina looked at Riley and muttered in low voice.
“… Just sleeping?”
Afterwards, she looked at Nainiae. The tip of Reutrina’s mouth got twisted in bizarre angle.
“Two of them are, next to each other?”
It was not certain if she was satisfied or angry about Riley and Nainiae lying next to each other. Reutrina’s smile was to the point of sending chills down the spine. With that look on her face, she turned and looked at Sera, who was petrified.
When Sera carefully called Reutrina, Heliona, who was hiding behind Sera’s shoulder and watching the situation, panicked and screamed,
<… Sera! Watch out!!>
Despite her shouting, Sera, who was standing there vacantly, did not manage to respond. Her body was bent like a bow.
Her stomach was struck. Sera coughed out blood from her mouth. She got thrown outside as she shattered the glass window.
Having seen what just happened, Heliona tumbled and flew outside the window.
“Well then… With the hindrance now gone…”
Reutrina shook off her right fist that she swung at Sera and dusted it off. With seductive look on her face, Reutrina turned to look at Riley.
“Well then, shall we leisurely enjoy ourselves?”
She extended her white finger as if it was a snake. She started to use her finger to brush over Riley’s cheek. Reutrina’s eyes were saturated in purple.
“It’s such a waste that I’ll be throwing away the title of Princess, but…”
She let out her tongue and licked her lips. Reutrina smiled as she looked at Riley who was asleep.
“If it is you, Young Master, you will show me a wonderful memory, right? So that I won’t feel that losing my title was not a waste?”