|Author: Kisasaki Suzume||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library|
The dining hall where all twenty-odd guests likely dined together in the past now looked vast and empty, most of its desks and chairs packed in the corner.
The men were on the rooftop downing the alcohol after the bath and playing Lord of the Tiles. Kafal seemed to be observing that while being taught half-truths about human culture by Wein.
Lucella thought nothing fatal would occur since Tim was with them, but he decided to thoroughly ask what he taught her and correct it as needed.
Lucella himself was now drinking milk after Viola’s strong recommendation.
“Milk is tasty… I don’t remember liking it that much, but it sure tastes great after not drinking it for so long…”
“Glad to hear it.”
“I wonder why they drink milk at hot springs?”
“Who knows? I heard it was originally an eastern tradition.”
Even condensed droplets in the glass felt pleasant.
Lucella was cooling his flushed body with the cold milk.
In the end, he ended up getting thoroughly cleaned by Kafal, and then stayed in the bath for a while in her embrace.
“…I wonder what I am to Kafal?”
“Where did that come from?”
“I’m wondering why Kafal picked me up.”
Lucella suddenly started wondering about that as if in reaction to her doting.
It was something he kept asking himself even on the mountain.
Since he couldn’t ask Kafal, he had no choice but to just guess it, but now he at least had someone he could consult (…or at least hold a conversation with) about it.
“Ms. Kafal lost her egg last year in a flood disaster, right? Then maybe it was to compensate for the loneliness she felt?”
“Yeah, but I wonder if that isn’t just a guess based on human standards…”
“…I have always been too absorbed in my monster research hobby and adventuring so I have no experience in love… but I think, if she had sworn to offer everything to her child once it was born yet lost it, she would feel as lonely as her love was strong.”
“I wonder if that’s true for dragons too…”
“Wouldn’t they feel even more sadness? Hued dragons (a general term for dragons like red dragons that are called by their colors) usually take forty years to raise their children.”
That did make sense.
But even so, Lucella’s feelings were still hazy.
“But why was it me? There are countless humans in this world.”
He felt happy on the mountain with only him and Kafal.
But now that he came down to a city full of people, he finally remembered that there were more people in the world than just him and Kafal.
Once he returned to the world of humans, Lucella felt like he awakened from a dream and found his mountain life very unnatural and insecure, as if all of it was something brittle that could crumble away at the faintest stimulus.
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Viola also drank two cups of milk and lightly brushed down her flat-as-a-cliff chest.
Being just out of the bath she wasn’t wearing her unfashionable robe. She was instead in loungewear which was practically just underwear and had her short golden hair tied into a bun.
Her bottle-bottom glasses were still on her, however.
“Isn’t it fine for there not to be a particular reason? Maybe because you just happened to be there. Fateful encounters don’t need that kind of drama. Most of the world revolved through coincidences, after all.”
“As you say, maybe there was no necessity that you had to be ‘Lucella.’ Maybe there were others who conformed to Ms. Kafal’s standard for a foster child… But you were one of the people who fulfilled those conditions… and you just happened to be there. That’s it. One person coming to love another doesn’t need a bigger reason. Wouldn’t it make you feel better to just think of it as such? I didn’t have to be the one. She met me by chance so I was chosen— that’s exactly what we call fateful encounters.”
It sounded like quite a bit of an extreme view of life. However, those words managed to convince Lucella. He even understood why he was feeling so uncertain. He wanted his encounter with Kafal to have some kind of special meaning. He wanted some kind of reason for the two to be together.
In other words, Lucella didn’t want to part from Kafal. When he realized that their relationship was unnatural —at least from the common sense perspective— he had become anxious.
Despite acting all embarrassed about being spoiled, he wanted to be spoiled in reality.
But Viola said it was fine for it to be a coincidence. That it was plenty enough to connect Lucella and Kafal. That even if it was a chance meeting, that was no reason for the two to part.
“…..Ms. Viola, you turned out to be… quite mature.”
“I’m not sure if you’re praising or making fun of me there…”
Sitting opposite him, Viola laughed while lightly pushing her glasses up.