Translator: Kell | Editor: Weasalopes
Words and Hearts
Paula was in the dorms with the warriors from Jarazack, tending to the wounded, when the sound of an explosion echoed throughout the campus. Hikaru told her to “heal them, but not too much that she’d draw attention”. It didn’t quite sit right with her, knowing she could heal them completely, but she had no other choice. Her abilities had to be kept secret.
「What was that?!」
The deafening sound came from the yard, followed by the earth rumbling. What’s happening? she thought. Hikaru was not here. Is he over there?
「Calm down, young lady.」one man said.「Hey! Those who can move, follow me! We’re gonna see what’s going on. Wait, where are you going?!」
Feeling uneasy, Paula bolted out of the room. She was running down the hallway when suddenly, it turned bright outside.
That’s Lavia’s magic that Hikaru-sama carries around. There are still enemies around and he’s out there fighting alone. I may not be able to do much, but I can heal him if anything happens.
Hikaru always faced enemies alone, almost never bringing Paula with him. Instead, he asked her to stay somewhere safe.
But what if he gets hurt? Who will help him if he’s in danger?
Paula was about to step out of the building when she heard a thunderous roar. Fear seizing her heart, she grasped both her hands tightly over her chest.
「I-If Hikaru-sama’s there…」she muttered, lips trembling, and started running once more.
What she saw was a huge drakon hovering in the skies. She had just conquered her fear, and now her legs were shaking. The gigantic creature watched the ground with animosity. Then a magic circle as big as the drakon appeared.
Paula was prepared to die. She had never seen or heard of a magic circle that big. It had to be one of those spells that appeared only myths and fables, spells that could destroy a whole mountain, stop a river from flowing, or part the sea. The magic circle was pointed in her direction.
But the threat vanished in no time at all. A black beam shot from on top of a roof. Someone wearing a black coat was up there. It had to be Hikaru. The drakon’s magic circle disappeared and the creature plummeted to the ground.
「Wow… Incredible! You’re so amazing, Hikaru-sama!」
Her fear-ridden heart was now filled with hope. I should go to him, she thought. I’m sure he’s exhausted. I can make him some tea.
Overjoyed, she headed to where Hikaru was. On the way, she noticed a lot of people coming from the other direction. Lavia was with them. Paula assumed that they were guards that she called for help.
Lavia’s here, too. That’s even better. They must be cold. I can give them something warm to drink.
Hikaru was talking to the guards with his silver mask on. Paula knew that he put the mask on whenever he did something he didn’t want others to find out about. He didn’t bother wearing it during Ludancia’s attack, but the drakon matter—where the creature came from, she didn’t know—was a different story altogether. He didn’t want to get involved in it.
The expressionless masked man cast a glance at Lavia. Lavia stared at the mysterious man with a serious look as though she was aware of everything going on, and flashed a smile. Hikaru smiled broadly in response.
It was as though they understood each other well, like they just connected naturally—a sign that they fully trusted each other.
I know. They’re lovers and I should be happy about their good relationship.
But she couldn’t stop the stinging in her heart.
Hikaru noticed Paula heading towards him with Mana Detection. She stopped halfway, however, and turned back. He wondered what was going on.
「So you’re saying a drakon destroyed this whole place and you drove it away?!」the head of the guards said, repeating Hikaru’s explanation.
Hikaru calmly nodded. He had already stuffed Drake into the Dimension Dragon Box so the guards wouldn’t see him. The white drakon didn’t want to, but his color would make him stand out, leaving Hikaru not much of a choice.
「That’s what I’ve been saying.」Hikaru replied.
「Then where’s the drakon?!」
「Who knows? Maybe it escaped.」
「You expect me to believe that—」
「Anyway, I’m leaving. You guys can do whatever you want.」
Hikaru turned around and scuttled towards the back of the building, activating his Stealth. He breathed a sigh as he removed the mask.
All right, then. You guys can clean the place up. Right now, I need to establish an alibi about what I was doing when the drakon was around. I should ask Paula for help.
Paula returned to the dorms, but not where the wounded were. She was somewhere far, alone. Hikaru waited for the warriors from Jarazack to pass by before making his way to where she was.
「Paula? What are you doing here?」
She was at the end of a dark hallway.
Hikaru was caught by surprise. Even in the darkness, he could tell there were tears in her eyes.
「What’s wrong? Did something happen in the dorm while I was gone?」
「I-It’s nothing! Nothing happened!」
That can’t be true, Hikaru thought. The Paula he knew was always positive and cheerful. Her crying in a dark place like this meant something definitely happened.
「Are you hurt or something—」
「I-I’m fine! I’m okay, really. I’ll be going now. I still need to heal the wounded.」
Hikaru grabbed her hand from behind as she passed by him.
「Tell me what’s wrong.」he said.
Hikaru didn’t know what to do in these kinds of situation. Paula clearly needed help, and it felt like she was avoiding him. Should I call Lavia? he wondered. His Instinct told him no. It was he himself who needed to speak to her.
They were silent for a while. Then unable to bear the silence any longer, Paula spoke.
「Hikaru-sama… Can I really stay by your side?」
「Where’d this come from?」
「It’s just… I’ll get in the way between you and Lavia-chan.」
「You’re needed. If you weren’t around, Claude might’ve not survived.」
No. This is not what she wants to hear. What does she want? I don’t know.
「So I’m of use to you…?」
「I see… I’m glad, then.」Paula smiled. But it was clear that she was forcing it.
I get it. Now’s the time to tell her.
「It’s too cold here. Let’s go somewhere else.」
Hikaru dragged Paula into a nearby room. Dim, orange light filled the entire room as he turned on the magic lamp. It was just as cold here as the hallways, but the room was equipped with a heater. By the wall beside the window was a metal board with oil inside that warmed up when the handlebar was turned.
Hikaru brought two chairs in front of the metal board. He offered the other one to Paula while he himself sat down.
「Hikaru-sama…?」Paula was confused. She didn’t why they moved here.
「Paula, I’m not from this world.」
She stiffened at the sudden confession.「H-Hikaru-sama, you—」
「It’s true. This body belonged to a boy from this world, but my soul is from another. You saw the notes in Zubura left by Oota Masaki, right? He’s Japanese and he came from a different world. I came from the same place as him.」
「No! You can’t!」Paula rose from her seat.「Don’t… Please don’t tell me your secret!」
Hikaru wrapped his hands around hers, as if to calm her down. She sat back down with a thump.
「I’ve been meaning to tell you… Um, I’m really awful at expressing emotions, but…」he said, turning his face away, and cast a glance at Paula.「I really need you… Not just that, you’re important to me. So much so that I don’t want others to have you.」
He didn’t love her like he did Lavia, but the feelings he had for Paula was more than that of a friend’s. When did I start feeling like this about her? he wondered. He just happened to save her once at first. Later on, she became a member of his party. He believed she would never betray him. His heart raced when she got a makeover.
Hikaru needed to think it over. What did he think of her? How should he face her? He had his answer now.
Paula sat there with her mouth open, tears streaming down her face.
「Do you really have to cry?」
「O-Of course… I’m just… so happy…」Paula wiped the tears off with her forefinger.「Can I really stay by your side?」she asked in a sweet, nasally voice.
「Forever and ever and ever?」
「Of course. I’m prepared for it.」
Tears began welling up in her eyes again, but with a red face, she flashed a bright smile.
She embraced Hikaru all of a sudden. They almost fell over, but he managed to hang on.
「I-I’m so glad… I always wondered… how long I can stay… can I even stay… I never really thought about it that much before, but recently…」
It was easy to imagine that Paula felt worried when she saw Claude and Luka. I urged Claude to talk to Luka, when I should’ve done the same to Paula, Hikaru thought as he gently tapped Paula’s back.
He was simply delaying the matter by “trying to find the perfect opportunity” or “tell her once things settled down”. He felt awful as he imagined her suffering all the while.
「I’m so, so happy… I want to be by your side forever…」
「Sure, that’s fine by me. You can stay for as long as you like.」
Wait. This sounds like a proposal. Eh, whatever.
「Paula, would you listen to my story? It won’t take long. Although it might leave you shocked.」
「I’d be glad to.」Paula pulled herself away slowly then kissed Hikaru on the lips, catching him off guard.
「Ehehe… This is to make my oath. That I will offer my body and soul to you. Ehehe…」
「B-But you can’t just—」
Hikaru couldn’t stop his face from turning red. He was aware of Paula’s feelings for him, but she had never expressed it directly as she did now.
「I actually got permission from Lavia… Ehehe…」
「What do you mean?!」
Paula blushed, fidgeting as she held her hands between her thighs.
「Hikaru-sama got my first kiss… Ehehe…」she said, covering her face with both hands this time and flailing her feet about.
Her expression was becoming softer and softer. Hikaru would need a little bit more time before he could tell her the truth.