Even though I said that we were going to eat, we didnt want to keep Lilia-san and the others waiting too long, so we decided to eat at a stall instead of going to a restaurant.
I mean, I noticed this when we were searching for what to eat…… There are also normal restaurants here huh.
I dont know if I should say that its to be expected from an outrageously large place or not……
Buying a few salt-grilled fish and other items from the stalls, I sat down with Anima on a bench a distance away from the stalls.
As soon as I took a bite of the grilled fish, from beneath its crispy skin, the white flesh that went well with salt became visible and its taste gently spread out in my mouth.
The fish is lightly seasoned, but it goes without saying that salt and white flesh of fish go extremely well together.
Its very tasty.
Tasty…… wait, Anima Are you not going to eat it]
[Ahh, n- no, Ill eat it.]
Turning my head to the side, for some reason, I saw Anima staring at the fish skewer with a listless expression on her face.
When I called out to her, Anima flusteredly took a mouthful of the salt-grilled fish, but after taking a bite, she stopped moving.
[……Did it not taste good]
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[N- No, it tastes great……]
Animas expression felt somewhat strange.
Its kinda hard to explain…… It doesnt seem like shes depressed or anything like that.
How should I say this…… It felt more like she was confused.
However, I couldnt figure out what she was confused about.
While I was unable to continue the conversation, Anima remained silent for a while before she muttered.
[……Ummm, my apologies.
For being selfish……]
Whats this Anima really seemed to be confused about something, and the confusion I felt from my Sympathy Magic became stronger with her mumble just now.
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However, its not like I can use my Sympathy Magic to read minds.
This magic can only read surface emotions and even if I could tell that Anima was confused, I still wouldnt know why shes confused.
As an unanswerable question came to my mind, the answer immediately came out from Animas mouth.
[……I just…… I- I just dont know why I did such a thing……]
[Im a subordinate serving Master…… Someone who has sworn her absolute loyalty to Master…… I should have sworn this but…… why Even though I shouldnt have meddled with Masters actions for my own selfishness……]
I could understand the reason for Animas confusion by what she just said.
Perhaps, just a bit, just a really bit…… Even if she couldnt properly say what she was feeling, she noticed it.
It exists in her heart.
An emotion for me different from loyalty……
(P/R: another one…)
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That was why Anima was so confused right now.
Because she could properly identify this emotion budding within her heart, and the reason why she has acted differently from the way she has in the past……
She could understand the loyalty within her heart, but this other emotion…… For Anima, it feels as if her loyalty has been shaken, and she had become worried because of it.
However, even if thats so…… I couldnt just tell her what emotion shes feeling here.
This was because this emotion was still budding within Anima, and had not yet solidified……
If, for arguments sake, I told Anima the answer before she could figure it out herself or confessed my feelings…… Im sure Anima would be confused, but she would force herself to accept it.
She will most probably say that “because Master said it, then it must be right”…… Before she could even properly understand what she was feeling, she would instead think that this was how it should be.
By then, it will all be pointless.
[……What the heck are you saying Anima is the one “going along with my selfishness”, you know]
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[N- No, but……]
[Unnn Or is it that Anima did not want to eat with me]
[Thats not the case!!!]
Thats why, what I should be doing is giving Anima time to calm down and look into her own heart.
I dont know what kind of answer shell end up reaching as a result of my decision.
Would she put her loyalty first and push down these feelings…… Or would she accept these feelings and change……
[Hey, Anima Is Anima happy to eat with me]
[Yes! Ummm…… Strangely, I feel like it tastes better than usual]
[I see…… Then, theres no problem, right Im happy to eat with Anima, and since were both happy…… It was a rather good choice we made, wasnt it]
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This is just a guess but…….
If Anima properly accepts her feelings…… I think she will grow much, much greater than she is now.
Im not talking about physically, but mentally instead…… Yes, I think Anima will become an even more charming girl than she is now.
[……Errr, ummm…… Its delicious, isnt it]
Thats why, I wont say anything right now.
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[Ummm, Im just wondering what this is Im feeling a strange warmth inside me.]
Im also feeling exactly the same though.]
Anima probably hadnt noticed it.
Before she knew it, one of her hands held the salt-grilled fish skewer in one hand……
While her other hand was placed next to my hand…… With her pinky finger slightly touching my hand……
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[……I dont know.
But for some reason, I kind of wanted to say thank you.]
For now, I guess Ill patiently wait.
If one day, this girl who was content with “following behind me”, would wish “to stand by my side”.
Im looking forward to such a future……
Dear Mom, Dad———— Slow it may be, Anima is starting to change.
At the moment, she is still very confused, but there is no need to rush.
We can just continue to spend our time together in this peaceful way…… and little by little———— I think we can get closer to each other.
Serious-senpai: [Y- You liar! You told me that if I won first place, youd let me appear in a serious chapter (※ I didnt say that)!!! Not only am I beaten up by that “costume freak”, why the heck are you intentionally making me appear in a sweet chapter!]