༺ The Moon’s Gift ༻
Serena’s white owl began to rapidly descend upon the cat doll who grasped my leg while trembling.
Despite the disadvantage, the cat doll did not surrender. It attempted to throw kitty punches at the owl but since it was just a cat doll and not a real cat, the attempts to harm the owl were irrelevant.
The cat doll’s meaningless resistance did not stop it from being captured by the owl. The owl’s claws grabbed the cat doll and carried it into the air. An audible cry of despair reverberated throughout the room.
“Hmmm… my hair keeps sticking on end.”
Ignoring the bloody battle occurring in the background, I fiddled with my hair while glancing at the mirror. I muttered and smiled to myself.
“What should I get for Serena?”
Serena is someone who has devoted herself to me. Not bringing her a gift would be disrespectful.
“Kitty, what should I bring her?”
After sitting down and contemplating for some time, I questioned the cat doll who I had rescued from the clutches of Serena’s owl.
“Yes, that’ll do… uhh.”
As I smiled and spoke after a great idea came to mind, my mouth was covered by the paw of the cat doll.
With a sullen expression on its face, the doll turned its head and slipped out of my grasp.
In the next moment, it suddenly vanished. I definitely saw the doll leaving my grasp, so where had it gone?
“Sorry, I’ll play with you again next time.”
I assumed that the cat doll had hidden somewhere since it liked to hide in dark places such as nooks and crannies. This included hiding somewhere in my clothes.
“…Yes, let’s go.”
The owl then perched on my shoulder. It settled down and began to rub its cheeks against my face.
It was strange to see such a violent owl suddenly attempt to show affection. This was however, still preferred over being pecked at, so I ignored the change in temperament.
I was lost in my thoughts as I left the room. I noticed Irina passing by in the hallway when she called out to me with a confused expression on her face.
“I have some business to attend to.”
Irina’s expression turned pale in response to my words. She was clearly traumatized by what happened the last time I had stated something similar and went to visit the Demon King’s Army.
“I’ll return some time tomorrow morning, so don’t worry too much.”
Irina quietly nodded while swallowing her saliva nervously. Her eyes widened as she suddenly noticed the owl perched on my shoulder.
“Hey, that owl…”
Irina’s approach came to a halt as the owl glared fiercely at Irina. It began to rapidly peck at my face, necessitating an increase in the pace I had been walking.
“Then, I’ll leave the rest to you. Especially Lulu, make sure she doesn’t do anything rash.”
Irina’s face darkened as I left her with those words and headed towards the exit to the mansion.
“…Why do I sense traces of dark mana?”
I paid no heed to the words that Irina seemed to be muttering since I was in a hurry to leave.
In her room in the Moonlight family mansion, Serena grinned as she held the letter.
It was a letter Frey had sent her a week ago.
Serena repeated the words that Frey had written and smiled dazedly. She suddenly sensed a presence in the yard and sprinted towards the window.
She noticed Frey getting off of the carriage.
Serena began to prepare a minor prank as she watched Frey enter the mansion with a slightly awkward expression on his face.
“Alright, let’s try it.”
Ever since childhood, she often played pranks on Frey.
One of her favorite pranks was to pretend to stab Frey with a fake poisoned stinger.
She, of course, had no intention of hurting Frey, so she devised a magic that made Frey feel a minute sting.
Thanks to the magic, the younger Frey would ask her desperately for an antidote with a pale face.
Of course, after his change in demeanor, I couldn’t play those kinds of pranks on him anymore. But now, perhaps I may be able to see his cute side once more.
Because last time was an emergency situation, I had to provide the ‘antidote’ immediately. Things would be different this time however.
– Knock, Knock
Serena had been silently thinking to herself as she heard a knocking sound on the other side of the door. She quickly dashed beside the door and responded in a calm voice.
Frey let out a confused voice as the door opened.
Confusion struck him when he saw no sight of Serena upon opening the door.
Frey cautiously stepped into the room with a blank expression displayed on his face. Serena did not miss this opportunity and reached out to Frey’s neck at lightning speed.
“Serena, what are you doing?”
The corners of Frey’s lips raised in a smile as he simply grasped Serena’s hand.
Serena immediately hid her bewildered expression as she spoke with a brazen expression on her face.
“If you act like this… then there’s no other choice.”
With a mischievous smile on his face, Frey directed Serena’s own outstretched fingers and pressed them on her neck.
“Now that you’re poisoned, you should drink your antidote.”
Serena retrieved a vial with a sullen expression on her face.
“I failed to prank you for the first time… I’m really shocked… ah!”
The antidote disappeared from her grasp in the blink of an eye as she shrugged her shoulders and muttered to herself.
Frey spoke with a smile as he snatched the antidote and poured the contents into his mouth immediately. This mirrored what Serena has done last time.
“…I have no choice but to live.”
After approaching Frey with a smile on her face, she gently placed her lips on his.
They separated after a few minutes.
“By the way, I have a question for you…”
“What is it?”
“Why does the antidote taste so bland?”
Frey frowned and tilted his head. He continued to speak with a puzzled expression on his face.
“Like last time… And even this time… Isn’t herbal medicine used to produce an antidote?”
Serena responded with a smile.
“It can’t be helped, it’s just water after all.”
A comical expression emerged on Frey’s face. Serena chuckled and continued to speak.
“It’s just water, it has no effect.”
“Then, I guess you were toying with me even back then?”
In response, Frey questioned Serena with a blank look on his face. Serena replied while displaying an impressed expression.
“Still, I’ll commend you for grabbing my hand. Thanks to that, my heart raced.”
Serena reached out to Frey but abruptly stopped and frowned faintly.
“Serena, what are you doing?”
“How could you get something like this on your clothes?”
Serena coated her hand with lunar mana and caressed Frey’s collar as she uttered those words.
Black smoke rose from Frey’s collar.
“Seriously, that cheeky cat…”
Serena began to unbutton Frey’s clothes with a grin. Her grin suddenly transformed into a frown once more as she remained silent.
“Serena? What is it now?”
Serena responded with a cold smile as Frey tilted his head at her behavior.
“…We have an uninvited guest.”
As she spoke, Serena channeled her lunar mana into the pocket of Frey’s robe. A cough could be heard from inside of Frey’s pocket.
The cat doll that had vanished from Frey’s room earlier peaked its head out of the pocket.
“What…? Why is he here?”
Frey watched with a bewildered expression as he muttered while scratching his head.
“I definitely didn’t feel anything in my pocket…?”
“Do you know, Frey?”
Serena, who did not miss his words, began to speak in a hushed voice.
“There’s nothing more terrifying than getting used to something.”
“You begin to accept issues naturally without realizing it.”
Once Serena finished speaking, she picked up the black cat doll from inside Frey’s pocket.
“By the way… this doll is so pretty, isn’t it?”
“Oh, it produces cute noises too.”
Serena smiled at Frey and questioned him as she held the cat by its stomach.
“Can I have this?”
“Sorry… that’s a precious doll to me.”
“…I see, that’s unfortunate.”
As Frey shook his head with an apologetic expression, Serena mumbled and began to stare into the cat doll’s eyes.
“Regardless, I have a present for you.”
Serena followed the cat doll’s eyes as it eagerly averted its gaze. When Frey spoke in a hushed voice, she redirected her gaze towards him with a blank expression.
“H-How is it?”
Frey blushed faintly as he held out a star-shaped crystal glistening in silver.
“It was made by gathering my stellar mana. I used my stellar magic that awakened recently.”
“Was I too rude? Sorry, you called so suddenly, so I didn’t have time to prepare a gift…”
As Serena stared at it with a blank expression on her face, Frey broke into a cold sweat and began making excuses.
“…It’s the best gift ever.”
Serena’s face glowed crimson as she spoke quickly while embracing the twinkling star-shaped crystal.
“…So, what did you call me for?”
Frey and Serena remained silently blushing for a long time afterwards. The pitiful sound produced by the cat doll broke the silence and elicited their continued conversation.
“Didn’t it become your birthday a couple hours ago?”
“I called you here because I wanted to give you a birthday present.”
Frey questioned her with a mysterious expression upon hearing Serena’s words.
“But, my birthday party hosted by the imperial family will be held soon, right? You could just give it to me then…”
As she uttered those words, Serena placed the cat doll she held onto a high shelf. She grasped Frey’s hand and began to lead him into her room.
“What are you trying to give me…?”
Frey, who was suddenly being dragged along by her, froze as he realized where they were headed.
After verbalizing that sound, Serena grabbed the blanket beside her and spread it about, enveloping both herself and Frey.
According to the cat doll who observed them, they didn’t emerge from under the blanket for a long time.
“Frey, I can feel your heartbeat.”
“…I can feel yours too.”
Serena embraced me under the duvet.
Thanks to the close proximity, I could hear her breathing and the rhythmic beating of her heart. Her curvaceous body came in contact with mine, allowing me to feel her shape.
“Then, let’s begin…”
Serena spoke shyly as she stared at me. I swallowed my saliva and reached out to her.
“…Preparing to give you the real birthday present you’ll need.”
As she held my hand, her expression suddenly morphed into a serious one as she began to speak.
“I’m sorry. Do you feel cramped? But, we have to be thorough.”
“What the hell…”
“…Of course, I was contemplating making fun of the naughty cat.”
I stared at Serena who continued to grapple me and emit distinct, incomprehensible sounds. I immediately began to urge her to hurry up by poking her sides.
“So, what are you trying to tell me?”
Serena involuntarily released a moan when I poked her side. It was her only weakness since childhood. She whispered with a rosy cheek.
“T-the reason I knew the truth about you… and what you need to know.”
I had a nervous expression on my face when I heard her words, but when I heard Serena’s subsequent words, my mouth shot open.
“Do you have a ‘prophecy’?”
“How do you… how do you know uhh..?”
Serena clasped my mouth shut to prevent my raised voice from saying anything further. She whispered to me with a cautious voice.
“I have it too.”
When I questioned her in disbelief, Serena spoke to me again in a clear tone.
“I also have the prophecy for this regression.”
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