I opened my heavy eyes, and slowly came to my senses.
I was wrapped in something soft and warm, and I couldn’t fully awaken due to its comfort.
—Where am I? I have no idea, but I feel extremely relieved… I want to stay here forever.
However, I soon remembered the last memory I had before I lost consciousness, and was forced to pull myself from dozing off.
That’s right. I’m pretty sure I was forced into a corner, got injured, and then—
I tried to jump up to get a better idea of what was going on, but my body couldn’t move properly.
I didn’t feel any pain. My wounds seemed to have healed completely, and I didn’t feel as tired as I had before, even though I lost so much blood. Strangely enough, my spirit was at peace.
Nevertheless, I wondered why I was still unable to move. I moved my head around in puzzlement, and looked at the warmth that surrounded me.
Then, I immediately knew who was causing it, and couldn’t stop the heat from running through my body.
“Shal, don’t move. I’m healing you with Wadler’s water magic to improve your recovery and relieve you of fatigue and anemia, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Fragile humans don’t recover that quickly, after all.”
I was laid out on a soft bed I didn’t recognize, and Azel was holding me right next to him with my head in his arms, but he had a stern voice on top of his usual pouting face.
I-It’s a contact transmissible virus…!
It felt so unbearably hot whenever I touched Azel.
My gaze wandered around, in an attempt to make a temporary strategic retreat from the unhealthy snuggle pillow next to me.
The bed was located in the corner of the room, and there was a partition made of cloth extending from the ceiling, so it was quite dim and separated from the bright center of the room. Still, I felt like I was going to be caught with my face flushed, and I broke out in a weird sweat.
The bed was of good quality, spacious enough for three adults to sleep in without feeling cramped.
The current situation slowly came into me, and I realized that I was half naked on that bed, while being held by Azel.
Now that I had regained my healthy body without injuries and my usual spirit from the extreme tension, I, a healthy man, couldn’t contain the pounding in my chest whenever he touched me.
I wasn’t consciously trying to remember, but I was forced to.
I didn’t have time to think about it for a while since I was suddenly deceived and almost got killed, but now it came back to me: I was in love with Azel.
This was an indisputable fact, and they were feelings that I couldn’t just discard, no matter how hard I try.
It was a hope too high to give up, so my mind was a mess. I ran away to the city, wondering how I could get him to like me. Yeah. And, I remembered every mistake I made after that.
But even if I accepted those facts, the situation I was currently in would still be too hard for me. I could feel my heart beating loudly, even if I didn’t want it to.
Ugh, I made a strange sound.
I didn’t know what he thought about me being so nervous and stiff that I couldn’t move, but Azel placed more strength into his arms, and raised his head to look towards me from his prone position.
“…I’m sorry it took me so long to come and help you.”
I hurriedly turned my gaze to his side when I heard his words. Azel’s cheeks were flushed, as if he was angry with me for my carelessness.
However, he apologized, furrowing his eyebrows as if he were a repentant sinner, and looked pained as he gently touched my shoulder that didn’t have any traces of scars left.
It’s not right. I’m the one who should feel like that. Not you, definitely.
“Why? What are you apologizing for? It’s my fault for being careless, and even more foolish for not noticing the trap. And yet, I only caused you trouble… I’m the one who should feel ashamed…”
I couldn’t accept his apology, so I confessed my own wrongdoings to refute him, and felt a little down. Those weren’t lies, but the truth.
I didn’t screw up things when I was in the human realm, and I thought I had been more cautious since I came here, but I had forgotten that I was alone in this realm.
Did I really get so worked up over my feelings for him? …Perhaps, so.
Being in love scared me. As soon as I became aware of it, all I could think about was Azel.
‘I want to be loved. I want to know how he sees me. I don’t want to be abandoned. I want to be with him forever.’
I was an obnoxious fool with a lot of ulterior motives back then. I guess I reaped what I sowed.
But, even though I was fool, acting on my own and getting myself into a stupid situation, you still didn’t abandon me.
When I saw Azel, who came to help me as soon as I wanted to see him, I was—astonished, but I was also very happy. I’m the worst.
“…I’m sorry for causing you trouble.”
I got clouded by my own insecurity. I felt like an asshole for feeling delightful after causing trouble to the person I love. Like hell I would let him apologize to me.
No matter how dangerous a situation may be, I never thought about the possibility that someone else would come and help me. This wasn’t self-depreciation, but simply a natural way of thinking.
Screaming for help wasn’t an option, nor was the thought of holding out until someone else came. As a matter of course, I simply persisted to get through it alone.
Then, he destroyed my natural way of thinking where I had to fight alone, and saved me so easily.
If he did that, there was no doubt I would fall in love with Azel so much that I couldn’t escape it.
“I should say the same for you. What’re you talking about? I’m the one who brought you here. You shouldn’t try to put yourself in my shoes, I’m the one in the wrong. I… knew that everyone would want a beautiful creature like y… you. I’m an idiot for letting them steal you right under my nose.”
“No! Don’t take all the blame. I came along with you on my own. I’m here by choice. And, compared to you, I’m a filthier man.”
However, he couldn’t understand what I was trying to say and looked at me with a very serious look in his eyes. I was troubled by Azel’s lack of understanding, so I brushed my cheeks against his head.
“For me, you’re more lovely and beautiful than you’ll ever be.”
I said that with a slightly different kind of love than usual to Azel, who was still worried about my flushed face and depressed state.
He was so kind and cool, so I thought I’d at least let him know a little, that…
Those things about you is what saved me, and what made me fall for you.
Yup, yup. Right, of course. I was still worked up.
I clenched my fists deep inside my mind, thinking that I was already next to him, so I should try my best not to miss this opportunity.
I was already aware of it, so I wanted to tell him how I felt—
It was reasonable, but I didn’t want to be rejected in case he didn’t like me.
So, it was my cowardly plan to let him know little by little how I felt, and see how he would react.
“B…brushed… cheeks… Surprise attack…”
That was my plan, but… Azel began to groan and tremble at my words and actions.