111. Let’s Reunite in the Future
As I descended down the stairs, I saw a dark and damp place.
“How long has it been?”
“The stairs seem to be endless…”
As Nigel and I walked side by side, we exchanged words.
I was positive some time had passed since we began—regardless, the stairs continued.
Overall, it was a very old place. It wouldn’t be strange if the staircase were to collapse.
“There does not seem to be any traps. Still, we must not let our guard down.”
The atmosphere was tense.
As we cautiously paved our way ahead…
“L, L, Leticia! I will absolutely protect you! So, you can be assured and hide behind me!”
“…There’s no need for you to do that.”
The voices of Claude and Leticia could be heard from behind.
As they followed us, Claude was hiding behind Leticia.
Leticia looked appalled.
Leticia was an expert at magic. Meanwhile, Claude was an amateur at combat and couldn’t use a single spell. Regardless, he was determined to protect Leticia. Although, in all actuality, Leticia should be the one protecting him.
“It is kind of amusing.”
Looking at the couple, I couldn’t help but smile.
Claude’s legs were trembling. He looked ready to escape at any moment. His hand stayed on the hilt of his sword.
The sword was a means of self-defense. It wasn’t that sturdy, but should still suffice for combat.
Although Claude wanted to run away, his determination to protect Leticia triumphed.
“Hey! When will these stairs end!? Is the Demon King really sealed here!?”
“I do not know what lies ahead us. Still, a curse, one meant to conceal something from us, is likely to be there. Imagining any other possibility is difficult.”
“I understand what Eliane is saying, but… what if there’s really nothing?”
“We will decide what to do when that happens. As of the present, this is our only lead. So, it cannot be helped?”
Claude still seemed reluctant.
…Regardless of anything else, I wanted to avoid the worst-case scenario at all costs.
My limited-time barrier was nearing it’s time to lose its effect.
Once the barrier was no more, a full-scale war with the demons was the only thing waiting for us.
“At any rate, we must win the battle against the demons without any casualty. For that, we must prevent the resurrection of the Demon King…!”
It was when I was about to continue explaining.
I was distracted, tripped, and almost fell.
Is it because I was walking while talking to Claude?
Nigel immediately supported me.
“Are you alright, Eliane? You have to be careful.”
“I, I am… thank you.”
I thanked him.
Nigel’s hand was both gentle and soft.
I felt happy whenever I was touched by Nigel.
But, it wasn’t the time for that.
While suppressing my feelings of bitterness, I separated myself from him.
“I don’t know what I would do if something were to happen to you.”
Nigel furrowed his eyebrows.
“You are overreacting, I merely tripped…”
“What are you saying? What if Eliane’s gorgeous face got scratched? I wouldn’t know how to take responsibility.”
“What responsibility…!? In the first place, it is not Nigel’s fault in the first place!! As I have said, you are just overreacting…!”
Nevertheless, Nigel’s kindness was conveyed to me. Nigel, who was always so gentle.
…I felt unworthy of him.
Regardless, I wasn’t going to say, “I am unfit to be his fiancée.” anymore.
While having such an exchange, I felt a gaze from behind.
“What’s wrong, Claude?”
Claude turned away.
“I, it’s just…! I just think that the two of you are on good terms, and, above all… I also feel guilty!”
“A, about my past behavior. I don’t think just an apology would suffice, but I’m glad that you’ve found a man who would take good care of you… was what I’m thinking…”
“…Claude, did you eat something weird?”
“What!? Are you trying to say that it’s strange for me to be concerned?!”
Claude had changed a lot since the demon invasion.
I wish he had done so from the beginning.
At the very least, I no longer had a bad impression regarding Claude.
The problem was…
Leticia stared at us with her arms folded. She appeared to be in a dilemma.
…As I thought, she was still unreadable.
Although she hadn’t done anything, and I didn’t feel any hostility from her…
“Anyway, let’s hurry. Surely, the stairs are almost over…”
It was when Nigel tried to continue his words.
With such a noise, I began to lose my footing.
“W, what’s that!?”
I wasn’t the only one caught in the collapse, and was about to fall over.
Leticia scrambled to catch a hold of something.
However, it was to no avail. As the ground collapsed, we had no other choice but to fall.
Nigel and Claude, not caught in the collapse, remained where they were.
At the same time, I could hear their voices.
The two desperately reached out to help us.
But—they failed. Along with the debris of the stairs, we fell.
Nigel, who wanted to rescue us, attempted to jump on the spot.
“Nigel! Do not worry!”
“With my magic, we can withstand the impact of this fall! Let us reunite in the future!”
Nigel moved his mouth.
However, I couldn’t hear his voice due to the collapsing stairwell. He seemed to be nodding…
—As I thought, it wouldn’t be that simple.
After managing to take hold of Leticia’s hand mid-air, we continued to fall.
***T/N: But, Eliane, aren’t you also overreacting? He just prevented you from falling, and you act like he had just taken a bullet for you… Also, I love how most authors would scramble to raise tension in a scene like this, but this author be like, “This is the perfect time for my adorbz couplez to have PDAs!!!”
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