He opened his eyes to an isolated, box-shaped fluorescent light on the ceiling. Surrounding that were white-painted walls with little adornment, different from a castle and more like an older apartment building that he had no record of ever seeing before.
「It was almost like that line from Evangelion…I’ve never seen this ceiling before.」
He could hear a girl’s voice beside him. A jovial happiness with words that one had to make jokes about. He found the owner of the voice after turning his head to look in her direction.
His eyes faced hers, and it was the body of a fairy that he finally found.
「Yes, desu. You’re the only one for me, desu.」
「When did you get back?」
He awoke his body from the bed he had been lain down. He still had vertigo a bit, but it wasn’t so bad that he couldn’t get up.
「You came here yesterday, desu.」
「Yes, desu. Everyone went back home while you slept, desu.」
「…how long have I been sleeping?」
「A whole day or so, desu.」
Taiyou opened his eyes wide after hearing this. He looked at hims body again, and he had on hospital gowns and not the black clothing of Leticia’s soldiers before he had fallen unconscious. After seeing all the bandages and gauze on his body, when he moved he could feel the pain return to his body.
He understood that the damage he had taken required a whole day of sleep.
「After hearing about your fighting, Taiyou, I think you shouldn’t get into overwhelming fights like that, desu. Like fights that require you use Super Armor to be worn, desu.」
「I think so too, and it’s something I need, and after reaching level 5 I wasn’t able to select Super Armor. Do you know when it will be available again?」
「I know but…even if it becomes available, you won’t choose it again, right?」
「Because you’d want a different skill, desu.」
Taiyou nodded and understood. He was a typical power character with talent in real leveling. If he were to select Super Armor, it would actually make him too powerful, so he knew by leveling everything to the max would allow him to get various other skills to pass the game fully.
His invincibility against ranged weapons now, and it’s ability to stop all flying attacks against him was still no match for Super Armor.
「Even so, leveling up without it is way more fun. Because of all the stuff that happened lately, my levelling was stopped, so I have to level up soon.」
「Yes, desu. I will help you, desu.」
While Taiyou was talking, the door opened a crack. He say the double-ponytailed face of Aoba peek inside.
She lifted her face to see what he looked like now, but as soon as she saw Taiyou awake, she flung open the door and came into the room.
She ran small steps up to him and faced him.
「So you’re okay?」
「What about you, Natsuno-kun? Are you okay?」
「Yeah, as much as you see here.」
As he said that, he hoisted himself up from his prone position and lifted the gurney he was on above his head. The bed was so heavy it seemed like a gimmick to him, but he was still able to lift it up quickly.
「Whoa! You don’t have to go that far. Put it down, down!」
Aoba was in a tizzy. Taiyou started to put the bed down in front of the worried girl.
After he put it down as she said, she relaxed and embraced him.
「I’m glad you’re…okay.」
「And, sorry. I wasn’t able to save you. Even though I had to do it myself, it seems that others did the job for me.」
「I’m really sorry…I promise, I’ll get stronger, and if the same thing just happens to occur again, I’ll be the one to save you myself.」
He embraced Aoba strongly. She could feel his emotions and wrapped her arms around his back as well.
A brief silence, a content calm.
Right after that, Aoba spoke again quietly.
「Jeez, this isn’t like you Natsuno-kun.」
「I just said this isn’t like you, Natsuno-kun.」
As she said that, she had her face buried in his chest so he couldn’t see her expression, but her tone seemed relieved.
「Isn’t like the normal me?」
「Yeah. Because you always talk about purposes and means. If someone completed your purpose of saving me, who did it…and what means they used don’t make a difference to you.」
Taiyou couldn’t force out the words. It was just as Aoba said, that his personality would allow any means to achieve his own purpose.
Because he didn’t think of that, but his wife Aoba did, Aoba couldn’t give and excuse for why it happened either.
「But, I’m happy.」
「Because I can feel that you were thinking of me as so important…I’m happy.」
He pushed her shoulders back so he could separate her face from his chest and see her again.
Then he quickly gave the close-eyed Aoba’s lips a kiss.
After the kiss, they locked eyes again, and like magnets drew together a second time.
「Kinda early to be doing this!」
Once more…as he leaned in again for a tongue-entwining kiss, he heard an vulgar-toned voice interrupt from the direction of the door.
With her back to the frame of the door, a girl with twin ponytails sood there starting.
「Ah, sorry. I forgot to knock.」
She said this she stood in the door as if to say knocking was pointless anyway.
The door being opened revealed a now very animated Taiyou and Aoba, who pushed him away.
Taiyou cleared his throat, and asked Youran,
「You’re okay too?」
「Of course, who do you think I am?」
「A cute girl.」
Youran was speechless, and her face blushed. She lifted her back from the door frame and faced Taiyou with a surprised face.
「W,w,w,w, what do you mean by that?!」
「Ah, you sound just like Juurokuya!」
「Or she sounds like me!」
「Well, I wonder…I think your way of speaking sounds more like hers though.」
「As if! I don’t even stutter like her! The only reason I did is because I came across such a strange sight!」
「It’s not a strange sight.」
Taiyou’s face became serious and looked straight at Youran. She took on an ignorant look and her slight body gulped down a breath.
「W, what does that mean?」
「It means, please never do something like that again.」
「If a cute girl like you ever sacrifices herself like that, it’s so harsh that it’s like allowing yourself to be strangled to death because I can’t help you.」
「You were just talking about the differences of purpose and means, right? It was right for me to use those means for the purpose to be completed, right?」
「The purpose…wasn’t different from what my principle was. Save Aoba, and not let you get into trouble was what my purpose was.」
Youran was a bit shaken as Taiyou nodded clearly.
「I…I’m not saying something stupid! I, it’s good you just woke up, now since you can talk you can go and see everyone!」
「Ah, you’re right.」
「Natsuno-kun, can you walk?」
「Are you okay, Taiyou-chan?」
The two girls both smiled at him, and attempted to help him out of the bed, but were stopped.
Then he followed Youran through the room.
As he followed Youran, he suddenly got turned on. While he was walking beside Aoba, he hurried up and followed Youran.
He pulled down both of her ponytails.
「You pulled them again!」
Youran stopped and turned around in protest.
She had a tear in her eye.
「I saw you and had to do it.」
「You said the same thing before!」
「Don’t say ‘really’? Whatever, just get in front of me!」
「But, I don’t know where I am…and where I should go. Just lead me on.」
「You’re just telling me that so you can pull my hair again!」
「But doing that…」
「If you’re not going to do it, then promise me!」
Youran shouted up at Taiyou’s leering eyes.
Just then Aoba tried to break into the conversation.
「Natsuno-kun, I’ll show you around. You’re fine with that Youran?」
「I don’t really care either way.」
Youran squinted in disgust.
After Taiyou said that, Aoba replaced Youran in front and led him around.
As if the hair was happily dancing itself, it seemed to spin in the wind as the ponytail bounced left and right as she walked.
After asking Aoba if it was okay to follow, Taiyou walked next to her and looked while he pondered over a worrisome memory in his mind.
Her voice seemed to break into his thoughts. She looked at him, stopped, and nervously gazed at him.
「I’m supposed to be walking in front of you.」
「Yeah, you’re right.」
「I…I put my hair in a ponytail today.」
「Yeah, it looks cute today. The thing that keeps it in place is cute too. It really matches your name.」
Even though he complimented her naturally, for some reason she returned a complex expression.
She seemed to begin walking again with a forlorn expression.
Taiyou wondered what had happened.
「It’s not just me either…」
For some reason, Youran gave him a blank expression which caused him to tap her head in a frenzy, causing her to explode in anger again.