༺ The First Letter (38) ༻
Tens of thousands of people live on the academy grounds. This is because not only the students but also the faculty and the store’s staff, and various management personnel reside here.
Since it was a place where so many people lived, the academy was always crowded. More than half of the people staying here were youths brimming with vigor. There were a lot of people to meet, places to go. Thus, they would frequently venture out.
However, no matter how crowded the academy was, the drove couldn’t occupy each and every place. The academy was spacious, but of course there were some secluded places as well.
For example, the forest at the south of the academy or the backyard of old buildings located at the outskirts of the campus. After all, they were places that students didn’t need to visit and they were also far from the center of the academy.
These places ended up becoming the venue for the likes of Thean’s gang to gather. As a result, the students’ visits became fewer and rarer, and they have now become a secret area known only to a select few.
The place where I called Seria was also one of those places.
There were several old buildings on the way to the forest. They were a complex of buildings that had been used as a research center long ago, but over time, may it be because they decided to reconstruct it or that the related studies have been abandoned, it became a forsaken site.
The Ministry of Education seems to be making plans to use this area somehow, but, like most administrative procedures, progress has been slow. This in turn made this place suitable for students desiring a secret meeting.
It was a suitable place for me and Seria to have a conversation. I stood in the vacant lot behind the old building, looking at Seria.
She was in doubt… as if she didn’t know how to treat me.
I was her first friend. So she didn’t know what to do when a friend got mad. Thinking as such, I heaved a brief sigh.
I wasn’t seriously angry with Seria either. Rather, due to my recently sensitive temper, I needed an excuse to vent.
I should comfort her, so I opened my mouth.
“Seria, have you been following me since this morning?”
At my point, Seria’s body flinched and started trembling. Her gaze drooped to the floor. Her pupils trembled, making her look pitiful.
It was as I said. Seria has been following me since this morning, right after I got angry.
Even after I entered the dorm, it seemed that she was sneaking around in front of the dormitory. After all, as soon as I left the dorm, she had been secretly stalking me again.
In fact, I had noticed it before. Seria hid herself, but my senses, which have become more sensitive recently, quickly perceived her presence.
There was also the virtue that Seria didn’t completely erase her presence. At the academy in broad daylight, where a lot of people are walking, if you suddenly start prowling, passersby will obviously look at you with a strange gaze.
Since she had been following me around for so long, obviously, there was something she wanted to say. I looked down at Seria and asked gently.
“Is there anything you want to say?”
Seria glanced up and looked into my eyes, and when she met my eyes, she bowed her head in surprise.
My mood had cooled off, but she seemed to think that my anger hadn’t calmed down yet.
It was a difficult situation. I had no choice but to think about how to soothe her, so I waited patiently for Seria to speak first. However, I then realized that she might be late for her lecture.
So I took one step closer to her. Seria’s body quivered. Her bewildered gaze turned towards me.
There was still quite a distance between us. I stopped there and looked at Seria again.
It was a signal for her to say something. If I continued to approach her, she would freeze. In that case, it would be enough to moderately comfort her, but this time, I wanted to hear what Seria wanted to say to me.
Because it was a valuable opportunity. I couldn’t always take care of her due to her immaturity. She, too, needed to grow.
Seria tightly closed her eyes. A shaking voice came out of her mouth.
‘Sorry’? It looked like she was going to apologize.
It wasn’t a bad choice. First of all, apologizing to a furious person without arguing about the right or wrong would certainly help to calm those old flames of rage.
Of course, there are people who hear the apology first, and then get made once more affirming how they were right all along. Such a person was rather emotional, so it would be fitting to spend a little more time on trying to patch that relationship. Otherwise, it’s a relationship doomed to fail.
Fortunately for Seria, I wasn’t particularly inclined to keep sulking for a long time. And above all else, I thought that I was the one in the wrong here.
After hearing Seria‘a apology, we would reconcile. I’ll apologize as well, and that would conclude the matter. We would then go back to the days when we practiced together and chatted together like before.
It was perfect. I smiled contentedly at the blueprint of the future I envisioned.
Seria will also find out from today’s events that friends sometimes fight, but after they reconcile, their relationship becomes even stronger.
However, Seria’s next reaction was beyond my imagination.
“So-Sorry… I’m sorry, sniff, sniff…….”
Tears welled up in her sapphire eyes.
The dripping tears, as they hit the ground, shattered like a beautiful jewel being broken to fragments. I was taken aback by Seria’s reaction and didn’t say anything.
Is she crying?
Was she still that Seria with a strong sense of pride? Although she sometimes felt inferior to her half-sister, the pride and confidence she harbored were genuine.
That’s why after losing to me, she applied for a duel again. It was to restore her self-esteem.
Today was the second time I saw her shed tears.
Back then, when Seria was being bullied the last time, she struggled to wipe away her tears. She must have felt miserable deep in her heart, thus she didn’t want to show that ugly side to me.
However, the tears falling today seemed more abundant than the tears she shed that day.
It symbolized how intense her emotions were. I was dumbfounded, unsure of what to do, so I had no choice but to stare blankly at Seria.
“Sorry, sob… sorry… please, forgive me… sniff, please… … .”
Waves of emotion soon spread not only to her eyes, but engulfed her entire body. Her body quivered like a leaf. It was a pitiful sight. So I had no choice but to unconsciously approach Seria.
The body sometimes conveys emotions better than words. This is how Seria was now. Only a visceral sadness dwelled in her voice, but her trembling body said a little more.
Anxiety, apprehension, and fear.
The thought that the precious relationship she had so painstakingly worked to build might crumble made the proud and confident girl bend her pride. It was unbearable.
Seria bowed her head and apologized to me once again. I grabbed one of her stiff hands.
Suddenly, Seria raised her head in surprise. Her tearful eyes seemed to be affecting mine as well.
I sighed and wiped her tears with the back of my hand, then I admonished her.
“…… Are you an idiot? It’s not something worth crying about.”
Seria had a bewildered look on her face as she raised her gaze. I wiped her eyes a few more times, and then the tears stopped.
Astonishment was evident in Seria’s voice.
“E-Eh, Hiik.. Senior Ian isn’t mad……?”
She was stuttering. But neither I nor Seria cared about it. Seria was looking at me in shock, while letting out hiccups. On the other hand, I was in a panic as I saw her sudden burst of tears.
I looked at Seria without saying anything for a moment, then scratched my head.
“No, why are you crying? Just because of a little fight… Then how many times are you going to cry in the future?”
“Ha, but Senior Ian got angry for the first time…….”
Seria hesitated and lowered her gaze to the floor again. A slight unease painted her eyes again.
So were you worried? It was a scene I could never get angry at. I laughed as if it was ridiculous.
“What if I get a little angry? Back then, I was in a bit of a sensitive mood, Seria. Sorry.”
Seria lifted her head again and looked into my eyes upon hearing my apology. After making sure that my anger had been resolved, only then she breathed a sigh of relief.
Even so, a bit of moisture still lingered in her eyes. She glanced at me.
“…… Are you still worried?”
Seria didn’t answer my question. However, her head lowered once again, expressing her feelings.
Hmmm, I swallowed a sigh. I didn’t know that I would end up in such a situation just by being angry once.
After thinking for a moment, I asked her carefully.
“Then what should I do?”
In fact, it was a rather cowardly question. An ill hearted way to pass the choice on to others, if you didn’t have the ability to solve the situation.
But for now, this was the best choice. I didn’t know how to soothe a crying woman, and this was the first time in my life that I had ever made a woman like Seria cry.
The times I ever had a woman cry, at most, were when I made Celine cry as a child. I couldn’t even understand why Seria burst into tears in the first place.
Why was Seria so anxious? Unable to answer this question, I couldn’t figure out how to appease her.
Seria’s eyes widened for a moment at my sudden question, and then she glanced away slightly as if entering a deep state of contemplation. Then, soon, the glint in her eyes changed and became like someone who has made a decision.
Still, her lips opened and closed over and over again, as if those words hard to say out loud. Then she finally opened her mouth a few moments later.
And the words she uttered.
“…… Ehm, give me a hug.”
Again, her words far exceeded my expectations, so I didn’t say anything.
Seria’s skin had a sweet scent to it. Her moist breath, the tearful eyes, and the slightly red cheeks.
Her silhouette was eye-catching. It was an attractive curve that only a beautiful woman could have. My head went blank in an instant.
A crying woman had a strange charm. A magic that attracts men and makes them want to hug her right away.
Thus, I couldn’t open my mouth recklessly. I just kept staring at Seria, who was looking up at me without saying anything, for a long time.
It was a sultry look. She seemed to have subconsciously learned how to seduce a man, other than having the curves of a beautiful woman.
When her soft breath tickled the tip of my nose, I suddenly woke up. It felt like waking up from a dream, and my hazy mind awakened as if it had been splashed with cold water.
And with my sense of reason returning, the first thought that crossed my mind.
…… Why is this junior so bold?
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