Is this what it feels like to have a heart drop?


 

I froze from head to toe, starting to my toes, wondering if I had unknowingly revealed myself to be a scammer by my own admission.

 

“Looks like you’re dragging the time to get me out somehow, but you’d better not do that, kid.”

 

He whispered in a filthy voice in my ear.

 

“You’re not the only one who can be taken here.”

 

“This crazy…”

 

As I glared at him with disgust, muttering lowly, he chuckled.

 

“You’re holding onto me so that others won’t get hurt, right? But if you keep acting like this, I’ll have no choice but to take someone else with me.
Are you okay with that?”

 

My fist clenched in anger, trembling.

 

The fact that I had to come close to death because of this guy made me so furious.

 

The smile disappeared from his face.

 

“Are you ready to come with me obediently now?”

 

***

 

Stella, who had returned to the Nazet after meeting May, suddenly raised her head while walking down the hallway.

 

“Don’t think too much about it.
It’s her life, whether she dies or not.
What do I have to worry about, as she says?”

 

Despite saying that, she was deeply concerned about May, who was going crazy.
Leaving May at the orphanage made her feel guilty, as if she had thrown her to death.

 

“Why the hell is the original novel like this… Why did they have to kill May like that?!”

 

Argh, it’s so frustrating! It’s bothering me! How can I not be concerned when I know the original novel?!!

 

As Stella screamed while messing up her hair, passing maids looked at her strangely.

 

Stella breathed heavily after screaming Ahhh! Until the end.

 

As she calmed down her agitated emotions, Stella remembered what May had said.

 

“Coming to the orphanage was a very difficult decision.”

 

“Don’t make it harder for me by shaking my heart for no reason.”

 

May had told her that.
Coming to the orphanage was a very difficult decision, and not to make it harder for her by shaking her heart for no reason.

 

Stella muttered as if she had made up her mind.


 

“I don’t know anymore.
You made the choice and said so, so I won’t come to persuade you anymore.”

 

I won’t care whether you live or die!

 

… But when she said that, when did she come to the orphanage again?

 

Stella had promised herself hundreds of times overnight not to think about May anymore, but she set foot in the orphanage the next day.

 

Ring-

 

As the door of the orphanage opened and Stella walked in, it was clear she hadn’t slept well.
Her sharp eyes were a testament to her concern for May.

 

When Stella entered the orphanage, the teacher she had met yesterday greeted her.

 

“Oh, aren’t you the Young Lady of Nazet who came yesterday? You talked with May and left …”

 

“Yes.
I came to see May again today.”

 

Her voice lacked energy.
This was also because she had not slept well.

 

“May … where is she?”

 

At that moment, an uneasy feeling engulfed Stella, but she tried to ignore it, thinking it was due to her tiredness.

 

“Where is May?”

 

However, the reality was too big to ignore, and the power that was restraining her came from the subconscious knowledge that the anxious feeling she was trying to ignore was real.

 

“She’s not here at the orphanage.
She left with her new parents this morning.”

 

Not at the orphanage, no, with the new parents, she left.

 

She left with her new parents, so she’s not at the orphanage.

 

The jumbled words she heard confused her.
She wanted to confuse them.
She didn’t want to hear them correctly because it was an answer she didn’t want to hear.

 

The confused and jumbled words returned to their place, and she hit her head.

 

… What?

 

Stella asked again in disbelief, “What happened to May?”

 

“Somebody came to adopt her, so she went with them.”

 

She was adopted already?

 

Stella staggered at the news and collapsed to the ground.


 

Adopted.
She went with them.

 

That idiot…

 

She couldn’t hear the people around her frantically asking if she was okay.
She couldn’t hear anything.

 

She only saw the darkness before her eyes.”

 

***

 

“Haven’t seen you in a while.
Were you here?”

 

The place where Persis witnessed Floa in a few days was a gazebo in a flower garden in the late evening.
Floa, like Persis, was not a talker.
The reason was also the same.

 

Floa became strange at a specific time of day.
If May hadn’t gone to the orphanage, Floa would have been training in swordsmanship with her at that time, but unknowingly wandered around looking for warmth.

 

The warmth left by that child.

 

Anything would be good if only the warmth left by that child remained, whether it was the wooden sword used in training, the dish used for meals, or the notebook used in class.

 

There was no warmth anywhere.
It was a dismal fact.

 

Why doesn’t the warmth stay and always disappear? Why does it create a desire for warmth and then vanish?

 

While searching like that, what came into his hands was an Imperial language dictionary.
It was so worn out from usage that it was slightly creased.

 

When he opened the first page, there was a desperate wish written in a cute font.

 

[I want to go back to my ordinary daily life.
Please make me go back.]

 

Floa’s gaze lingered on those words for a few minutes.

 

The ordinary life she talks about must be before he released the magic. 

 

Those peaceful days when she didn’t have to be afraid of being discarded.

 

Yeah, even if he hadn’t released the magic just because he was lazy, that child would be living an ordinary life by now.

 

That child must also know.
That the one who ruined her ordinary life is none other than the person who is the protector of Flotina.

 

That it is himself who is reading this desperate wish.

 

“Even though I know….”

 

Even though he knew, she was a kind child.
She even smiled, even though he had threatened her.
He had brutally crushed the innocent child’s wish.

 

“I’m the one who took away the warmth.”

 


He made her run away, and he made her disappear.

 

With a heavy heart, Floa left the library and has been sitting in this gazebo ever since.

 

“You didn’t even come to see the little one-off.”

 

When Persis asked, Floa looked away.

 

“I’m not qualified to see her off.”

 

Floa had been watching everything, without missing a single moment, even when May was struggling.
He had been watching over her until the moment she fell.

 

But he didn’t stop her.
Even though he was her swordsmanship teacher and could have stopped her from falling, he didn’t.

 

When did he become so worthless?

 

Looking back, he had valued life until Pasabea was by his side.
He even suggested making a garden in the front yard with numerous plants to the apathetic Pasabea.

 

But he fell apart after Pasabea left without a word.
Every moment, he blamed himself for leaving because of his own inadequacy.
As a result, everything became exhausting and troublesome, and he broke promises and undid spells.

 

He barely managed to fulfill his role as Flotina’s protector.

 

He had to do that, so he wouldn’t be ashamed in front of Pasabea, who might return at any time.

 

So he watched without stopping until the little girl fell, cruelly.

 

“Why didn’t you make me send her to the orphanage the day I found him? You could’ve done it with your mental magic.”

 

If he had, he wouldn’t have felt this inexplicable discomfort.

 

“… I have no regrets about my choices so far.
I don’t regret breaking the promise with Viche, or even threatening May not to overlook my position as a protector.”

 

He didn’t regret it.
He didn’t have a mind capable of regretting it.

 

At the mention of his threat, Persis let out a hollow laugh.

 

“Of course.
You are an existence for Flotina.”

 

“But… not anymore.
Now… now I regret it.
I regret keeping you around when it was too much.
I regret not stopping you.”

 

By having the child beside him instead of Pasabea, he no longer felt inadequate and regained his energy.
The child’s presence alone healed him.

 

Each of Floa’s words carried a sad emotion.

 

“When she lost consciousness and collapsed, her body felt like a flame.
I was afraid that the small body would burn up and explode.”

 

He had put the child in danger, made her suffer, and ultimately sent her to an orphanage by undoing the magic.

 


He knows this all too well, and his breathing becomes difficult.

 

“I should not have done that.
I should not have left her alone.”

 

 …”

 

“I regret it so much.”

 

He had never been insincere for a moment.
He was sincere even now.

 

He asked with a deeply desolate face, “Are you not regretting anything, Persis?”

 

***

 

Clang!

 

This loud noise was made by none other than Persis during the meal.

 

For the first time in his life, he dropped his fork.
He couldn’t believe he had dropped the fork, so he just stared at his empty palm.

 

Suddenly, he remembered his conversation with Floa.

 

“Are you not regretting anything, Persis?”

 

“Are you not regretting kicking out May?”

 

To that boring question, he gave a vague answer.

 

“I have never regretted any decision I have made.”

 

“Then, is it okay if you never see May again?”

 

His answer seemed even vaguer.

 

“I don’t know.”

 

He remembered as he looked at the fork that the maid had picked up from the floor.

 

“Come to think of it, that kid dropped his fork, too.”

 

He saw a ghostly image in front of him.

 

That little kid turned to stone in an instant after dropping his fork.

 

The little kid felt relieved because I didn’t scold him.

 

The kid didn’t even notice the sauce on her mouth as she eagerly ate.

 

My child.

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