|Original Source: Syosetu
|Word Count: 2141 characters
|English Source: Re:Library
|Word Count: 978 words
That was my other favorite skill. My fist was charged with lightning as it crushed the monster’s head against the ground. The hard shell and sharp fangs cracked, and I smelled burnt monster flesh. The Greedmega Worm still twitches a bit, but it quickly stops moving.
“Alright, I think we defeated it. Ah-”
I pull my fist back and notice it’s covered in the monster’s fluids. I don’t mind fighting giant bugs, but this is kinda gross.
As I shake off the fluid, Natalia comes running at me.
So how was I? I bet I was even more useful than Mir this time, wasn’t I?
“Are you hurt?! Insect monsters often have poisonous blood! We need to neutralize it just in case!”
I stand tall and proud, but Natalia pays no attention to that, instead holding my hand and washing it with an antidote she took out of her magic storage. She wraps my hand in hers, rubbing the antidote onto my skin as the Greedmega Worm’s fluids get washed away.
Natalia always exaggerated things like that. I can handle that myself, so I wish she’d just praise me instead.
At least she’s trying to care for me. I’m a bit disappointed she won’t praise me, but I should be happy she’s worried about me.
Ah, that reminds me. I haven’t been hugging Natalia, or holding her hand lately, so maybe it’s about time I start being a bit more assertive? I’ll try to recreate that scene I read in a book the other day.
“The fluid is gone and you don’t seem to be hurt, but if you feel weird in any way please tell me right away.”
She’s wiping the antidote away with a napkin, so I hold her hand and pull her closer. The sudden movement makes her lose her footing and tip forward, so I support her body, move my face closer, and whisper into her ear.
“Thank you for worrying about me. I’m fine now, don’t worry.”
I lightly brush my lips against her cheek, then help her stand up properly again before stepping back.
Amy and Chris had said that scene was really cool, so maybe Natalia will also notice me now? My eyes are focused on Natalia, and I desperately try to stop myself from grinning.
“I see. That’s good to know then.”
But she just looks at me with her usual kind smile.
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“Do you feel ill after all?!”
“Oh no, not at all, I’m fine!”
I hurry to stop Natalia, who’s getting ready to douse another bottle of antidote on me.
This isn’t how this was supposed to go. Natalia also reads romance novels with knights and nobles as main characters, so I was sure she would like this, but maybe I was wrong then?
While I still thought about that, the Copper Spider points into the cave again. Natalia shines her light there, and colorless transparent crystals twinkle back.
“These are all Mana Crystals. And they seem to be rather pure ones too.”
Mir gets closer and examines them. I guess Natalia can finally get what she came here for.
The Copper Spider uses Earth Magic to shake the rocky wall with the crystals, loosening them. The transparent crystals fall to the ground, forming a small pile.
“This is even more than I was expecting.”
She mutters as she opens her magic storage and stuffs everything inside, reminding me of the way the Largemouth Worm ate the Naked Panther earlier. But it’d be awkward if I say that, so I keep it to myself.
“Thank you all, for accompanying me on my selfish quest.”
Once she finishes storing everything, Natalia turns to us and bows, even though I didn’t feel like she was being selfish at all. I’m sure Mir feels the same as me too.
My father had told me that being modest was a virtue, but I feel like Natalia takes that to a ridiculous extreme. She’s always looking out for me, so I wish she’d act a bit more freely sometimes.
“Not at all, it was fun going on an adventure with you again. We should head back now though.”
Mir pushes on Natalia’s back, taking her back the way we came, and Natalia walks a bit before turning her head around in confusion. I realize she’s looking at me, so I quickly run to catch up with them, and the Copper Spider joins us too.
I already had a hunch of this, but Natalia really doesn’t see me as a potential romantic partner.
Amy and Chris told me she had to have such feelings somewhere too, but Natalia always treats me like a child. Lately I’ve grown in a lot of ways, I’ve gotten taller, even my chest is getting bigger, but I guess I’m not mature enough yet.
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I end up heaving a sigh, which makes Mir turn to look at me.
“I’m rooting for you, okay?”
I couldn’t understand what she meant at first, but even my dumb brain was able to figure it out soon enough.
“Natalia can be surprisingly dense.”
“Huh, are you talking about me?”
“No no, it’s nothing.”
Natalia turns around, but Mir just pushes her back and walks faster, forcefully changing the topic.
Mir seemed like a calm and quiet person at first, but I just saw how powerful of a warrior she is, using her dwarf strength to its fullest. And she even knows how to deal with Natalia, even if it’s by force. She’s way more mature than me.
“Olivia, there’s no need to get impatient. Just keep being yourself and everything will work out.”
See? I would’ve never been able to say something so sensible.
But she’s right.
I’ll never give up. I’ll just fight on, and I’ll make Natalia look my way eventually!