We Never Changed
Gahrona didn't bother to curse him for his wild imagination. Instead, she directly used her spiritual energy to give him a mental rush to the head.
While a mental attack like that wouldn't be much for a magus like Annelotte, Leguna was only an assassin with weak enthymema and spirit power. Gahrona's rush overwhelmed him and caused him to roll his eyes. Had it not been for his iron will and the fact that he was with Annelotte, he would've fainted on the spot.
Annelotte's cheeks were red as apples. She stood before him nervously, fidgeting about and tugging on her clothes from time to time. Even an idiot could see how restless she was.
Ah! what happened just now?! Why did I do something like that to him? Did Sis Lisana use Confusion on me? She felt like finding a hole to burrow herself in as she awaited Leguna's reaction. It wasn't common for her to be put on edge like that, yet it had happened nevertheless.
As Leguna was weathering the mental assault, Annelotte's mind was a flurry of emotions.
The two of them remained dazed for quite a while before suddenly snapping back to normal at the same time.
Leguna didn't know what to say. He was still suffering quite a lot from the attack; not collapsing right away was already nothing short of a miracle.
[Oh, I didn't think you'd be able to stay conscious! I wanted to stupefy you for good!] Gahrona mocked.
[Please calm your anger, Teacher. I was only speaking without thinking... Forgive me just this once, please? I know someone as noble as you won't hold a little grudge like that against me," he begged. It was quite rare for Annelotte to even express any emotion towards him and he was terrified that Gahrona would jeopardize his chances.
[Hmph! I'll get you for payback someday!] she snapped, but her care for her disciple was apparent. Since he had already apologized, she didn't really want to fuss over getting back at him.
[Thanks, Teacher!] he said with relief.
"Then... since you promised me, I'll give you a reward! That was your reward! D-don't overthink it!" Annelotte said forcefully.
"Overthink?" he repeated, before he touched his forehead. The warmth of the girl's lips still lingered on his skin. He didn't say anything and only began to snicker.
"What are you laughing at?" she asked, her face turning even redder than before.
"Nothing! I'm just happy!"
"You!" Her embarrassment was starting to fuel her anger. She rolled her eyes at him and prepared to leave.
But Leguna grasped that chance and held onto her wrist before pulling her into his embrace.
It didn't happen really quickly, but Annelotte was too weighed down by her emotions to react. She didn't think he would pull such a trick at a time like this. Were the lessons she taught him not enough?
Leguna looked at the stunning beauty in his arms and no longer hesitated. He mustered courage he didn't knew he had and lowered his head, kissing her in the lips lightly.
Given how it was both their firsts, the two of them were really awkward. The kiss lasted only three seconds before Annelotte pushed hard and caused him to pull back.
"Kissing without consent is harassment, so I'm just returning the favor." He did his best playboy impression and prepared himself to see her shy gaze or her murderous look.
Before, he would be pursued and hunted with the slightest transgression, so the least he would get to be forgiven for kissing her directly was two slaps on the face.
So, he raised his head high and attempted to use the most dazzling pose to receive her punishment.
I want Annie to know that I look cool even when taking slaps to the face! he spat in his mind.
[Pffft!] Gahrona found that she couldn't keep herself angry at her disciple. Hearing him saying something like that caused her to break out laughing. [Hahahaha, you and this girl are quite a pair! How laughable! Even though you humans are devious, you're far more interesting than us orcs! Hahahaha!]
Hmph, what would an orc like you know?! he thought without sending it through wisely. He only quietly waited for Annelotte's strong counterreaction.
But he looked as if he had seen a ghost. She didn't chide him madly and didn't hit him. She only stood there for a few long minutes with a blank look. Who knew what she was thinking?
Leguna waited, but didn't feel the 'slap of love' coming. He looked at her and saw that her standing there like a puppet that had lost its soul.
"Annie?" he asked probingly.
"I need you to do a few things!" She said, suddenly having recovered her calm.
"First, don't tell anyone else about this matter tonight!" Annelotte said.
"I'm not begging you or making a request. It's a notification. This is non-negotiable!" Annelotte snapped.
"Second, forget the whole thing entirely, or I'll kill you!" she threatened with a savage look, which looked cute all the same in Leguna's eyes.
"You mean to say you want this to all disappear?" Leguna asked with a sigh.
Stunned, she nodded. "Yes."
"Annie," Leguna said with a deep voice, "I know that accepting this is too hard for you."
"Don't deny it," he interjected, "That is how it really is. Do you hate me? If that's the case, I can promise that I'll forget not only what happened tonight, but everything else that came before."
"I..." The words couldn't leave her mouth. After the years of brewing and maturing, her feelings for him grew stronger and stronger. Even with her stubbornness, she wasn't able to refute the feelings she had for him.
Seeing the words catch in her mouth, he felt relieved. He looked at her and said solemnly, "That's why you shouldn't deny it. It's just as I say. No matter how hard you resist and struggle, you won't be able to refute your innermost feelings. You... you like me, so don't deny it anymore!"
[Oh? Isn't this a little too narcissistic?] Gahrona couldn't help but comment.
[This was what Lisana told me before she left,] he replied, [I don't know why she's so concerned about my affairs, but that's what she told me so that I could tell it to Annie when I have the chance.]
Hmph, what else could it be?! Gahrona thought to herself as the ugly face of the silver-haired elf appeared in her mind. Eirinn was definitely the one orchestrating this from behind the scenes!
And her guess was right. After Leguna returned to Melindor, Eirinn was worried for his relationship and Annelotte's, so she wrote a letter to ask Lisana to give them a push if she had the time. While they hadn't known each other for long, Eirinn believed that Lisana would definitely swiftly get the thing done.
Her bets paid off in the end and Lisana's push helped further those two's relationship by quite a bit.
"I..." Annelotte couldn't find the words. She couldn't admit her feelings, but denying it was further out of the question! This was the first problem she found she couldn't solve.
"But don't worry, you don't have to rush it," Leguna said. He was going to ad-lib the rest. "Just like I said before, some things are hard for you, so I'm willing to wait for you and help you along."
"Is that so?" she whispered.
"Trust me! I will definitely keep my word! I won't forget what happened just now, but I won't brag about it like a fool either. Let's keep it a secret between the both of us, alright?"
She hesitated for a good moment before forcefully nodding. "Okay..."
"Great--" he pointed at the center of his brows, "--This is my promise to you. I will seal it properly in my memories."
"And?" she asked suddenly.
"Of course, I'll keep myself safe too!" He tapped his head again. "I promise you that too!"
"Fine..." She smiled ever so slightly. "Then, can we still act like we did before?"
"Nothing has changed between us. We're still the same, you and I!" he replied with a smile.
Previous Chapter Next Chapter